Peas In A Pod: Armagnac Cocktail

Frank William Wasielewski.  “Frank,” “Franky Baby,” “Free Jazz,” “Jazz,”  “The guy in the hat.”  This man comes from good stock; blessed with a mother who’s heart radiates pure kindness and a father with infinite strength and wisdom…no one can understand what went wrong.

Frank is a hero among humanity; Frank is my friend.

Everyday of our lives we are in contact and surrounded by other people; everyone of us, myself included, are fallible, fragile and ugly.  Most of us, crying behind the hand-drawn smiley face on our full body prophylactic.  We protect ourselves with constant judgement of others misfortunes and actions, while seamlessly justifying our own.  Every so often, someone comes into your life and you immediately feel blessed.  Not because they are perfect, because they understand that you are not.

In these rare relationships we feel true love and comfort.  Able to shed our emotional condom and faithfully dive into the well-spread empathetic cheeks of trust.  Feeling appreciation instead of judgement for releasing our load of insecurities on the chest of our confidant.  Frank and I barebacked emotionally…and it felt right.

Frank has been living in New York  since July of 2010, awaiting to cross paths with the beautiful future that I know he has in store for him.  I think about Frank quite a bit.  This tends to happen with voids left by exceptional human beings that are no longer apart of your day to day.   Dan, Dana and John Dye are without exception.

I thought about Frank after coming up with this cocktail.  I thought about how much he would have liked it.  He would have told me that it was in his wheelhouse.  I pictured him drinking it in his well pressed shark skin suit, slouched fedora, red skinny tie and polished Stacy’s, listening to Vince Guaraldi after hours in a dark, familiar bar.  Love and miss you Frank…Dig it baby.

Little Drop of Poison

1.75 oz. Armagnac

.5 oz. Averna Amaro

.25 oz. Fernet Branca

.25 oz. Benedictine

Stir ingredients in mixing glass with ice.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  Garnish with a lemon twist.


Published in: on November 9, 2011 at 2:52 am  Comments (2)  

Peas In A Pod: Gin & Rye Cocktail

There was never a time when my grandmother couldn’t spout out an appropriate cliché for any given situation.  These candid interruptions were usually coupled with a dramatic pause and a slow drag from the cigarette that had always seemed to be hanging from the side of her mouth.  Charming.  She has since passed away, but her words (well sort of) still enter my thoughts on occasion.  I will share with you some of her favorites, then I will tie it all together in a big red bow for ya: “All’s fair in love and war.”–I have been through my fair share of relationships and listened to enough CCR to completely understand this maxim.  “Gild the lily.”–The number 1 reason I would never date a woman from Staten Island.  “Plant kindness and gather love.”–My grandmother, having buried 3 husbands, should have probably stopped incorporating this chestnut in her daily repartee.   Last, but not least…”Can’t see the forest for the trees.”–Started hearing this one early on in life, when my minor case of OCD became apparent.

Personal Interpretation and New Found Pursuit

Appreciate the detail and subtle nuance of our passions, while comprehending the full spectrum of our creative acumen.  Be unbound by the rules that govern habit and stifle innovation.  Promote stylistic independence while maintaining a simplistic integrity.  Efforts will unapologetically be weighed and measured by the products of which our hands and minds produce.

I know that turning 4 hackneyed statements and making them ones personal mission might seem a tad bit trite and dramatic to some, but you can always make the best out of the banal.

Here is a new and appropriately titled cocktail of mine, incorporating my new found trust:

New Coat of Paint

1 oz. Bombay London Dry

.75 oz. Carpano Antica Vermouth

.5 oz. Sazerac Rye 6 Year

.25 oz. Yellow Chartreuse

2 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters

Combine all ingredients with ice into mixing glass.  Stir, stir, stir and strain into chilled coupe glass.  Garnish with  flamed oils of an orange twist.


Published in: on June 17, 2010 at 2:21 am  Comments (2)