Trials & Bibulations.

MxMo/Tue LXXX: The One Where Rafa’s Late


Pictured: Cock-tail.


Hi there! Our theme this month, chosen by Nick of the excellent Straight Up blog, is anise. Here’s three drinks loaded with a flavor American kids hate but Mediterraneans can’t get enough of. 


Dr. Fünke

The South Pacific just blue itself.

1 oz Absinthe
1 oz Rum
3/4 oz Lime juice
3/8 oz Blue Curaçao
3/8 oz Orgeat
1 bsp Swedish Punsch
1 spl Soda water
1 twst Lime peel (shaken)

Shake all but soda with ice and pour unstrained into a tall glass, topping with a splash of soda and a straw.

This stiffie will pack your sweet pink mouth so full of absinthe you’ll be the envy of every Jerry and Jane on the block!

Unlike most “Polynesian-style” mixed drinks, the Dr. Funk is a genuine South Pacific classic. Made in Samoa around the turn of the 20th Century by Dr. Bernard Funk, physician to Robert Louis Stevenson among others, this “stiff drink of absinthe with lemonade or limeade” was a popular cooler throughout the islands. Adapted by Don the Beachcomber, Trader Vic, and others during the height of the Tiki era into a grenadine and pastis highball, the good Doctor is updated here into a drink whose bright ocean hue is sure to bring a smile to the faces of whole groups of formerly blue men.

II. Tango ‘til They’re Sore


Photo by Eric Witz.

1 oz Rye
3/4 oz Peychaud’s Bitters
3/4 oz Sweet vermouth, Carpano Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur, Luxardo
1 twst Orange peel

Stir, strain, rock, twist.

One of my favorite anise-forward concoctions, Peychaud’s is softer at large amounts than a comparable amount of absinthe, with supporting notes of cherry and mint and a mild bitterness complemented by the brimstone bitterness of Punt e Mes and the dill and mint of rye whiskey. Maraschino adds a funky finish and enough sugar to offset the other ingredients without upending the balance. 

III. Woodside


Woodside, Woodside, NY.

2 oz Gin
1 oz Lime juice
1 oz Coconut Water
3/4 oz Ginger syrup
2 oz Tonic water, Q
6 lf Thai Basil
4 lf Mint
2 ds Peychaud’s Bitters

Muddle basil, shake, double strain, top with tonic, stir, top with bitters and a basil sprig, serve with straw.

Potable tribute to my diverse former Queens neighborhood. Southside Fizz by way of the Rangoon Fizz by way of Thai basil. If Thai basil cannot be found, regular sweet basil can be substituted; the Peychaud’s shoud donate the licorice notes of true Thai basil.

Thank you Nick for hosting!



Bartender Pamela Wiznitzer makes the Blind Abbot, a cold and complex take on an Irish coffee served at New York’s Grace. Click on the gifs for detailed instructions. Read more here.

(Source: foodandwine)



A nightcap courtesy of my Facebook pal and otherwise drinks doppelgänger Rafa García Febles, aka DrunkLab. Strong and full-flavored just as I likes ‘em. You’d all do well to follow Rafa on Kindred Cocktails as his drinks are consistently excellent and his drink names are consistently hilarious (e.g., Corpse Defiler #2). This one uses one of my favorite recent discoveries, Louis Royer Force 53 cognac, to beautiful effect:
1 oz Louis Royer Force 53 cognac1 oz Jamaican rum (50-50 Smith & Cross and Appleton VX).5 Bonal.5 Yellow Chartreusedash bitters (Angostura)
Stir and strain up or on a rock, lemon oil garnish (discard peel).

Thanks bud



A nightcap courtesy of my Facebook pal and otherwise drinks doppelgänger Rafa García Febles, aka DrunkLab. Strong and full-flavored just as I likes ‘em. You’d all do well to follow Rafa on Kindred Cocktails as his drinks are consistently excellent and his drink names are consistently hilarious (e.g., Corpse Defiler #2). This one uses one of my favorite recent discoveries, Louis Royer Force 53 cognac, to beautiful effect:


1 oz Louis Royer Force 53 cognac
1 oz Jamaican rum (50-50 Smith & Cross and Appleton VX)
.5 Bonal
.5 Yellow Chartreuse
dash bitters (Angostura)

Stir and strain up or on a rock, lemon oil garnish (discard peel).

Thanks bud

MxMo LXXVIX: Into the Woods

This month’s theme is “lateness and chagrin.” Actually, it’s “resin,” a delightfully adventurous and odd choice from Christa and Shaun, the booze nerds behind Booze Nerds. Their announcement post is here. I’ve taken long enough to get this post up, so without further ado: 

Into the Woods

by Rafa García Febles, NYC.


Photo by Stew Ellington, all rights reserved.

3/4 oz Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Herbal liqueur, Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Dry vermouth
1 twst Grapefruit peel

Stir, strain up or onto a rock, grapefruit peel.

My notes: Woodsy, unsurprisingly, and intense, though less so than expected, with an elegant, lingering herbal complexity and resinous notes from the Fir, Chartreuse, Vermouth and the tarpenes from the grapefruit peel. The bitterness is very mild and redolent of grapefruit. As originally made, this was an equal parts drink of Campari, Chartreuse, and Douglas Fir eau de vie, an ode to Chris McMillian’s End of the Road; the dry vermouth softens the whole and allows for better integration of the burlier flavors. With the dry vermouth, I could see this being a winner for Martini or Bijou drinkers looking to adventure beyond their standbys, as well as a worthwhile aperitif for the beta cocktails crowd. Note: if Douglas Fir can’t be had, a good botanically rich gin should work fine; I recommend St. George Terroir, both because it’s delicious and because it numbers Doug Fir among its botanicals. 

Because this is a slightly older drink (dating to August), and because I like to come up with a new drink for each Mixology Monday, here’s a bonus recipe:

Blackthorn Bramble
by Rafa García Febles, NYC.

1 1/4 oz Gin, Plymouth
1 1/4 oz Sloe gin, Plymouth
1/2 oz Lemon juice
1/4 oz Honey syrup
2 Blackberry (muddled)

Muddle, shake, fine strain, cracked ice, garnish with two more blackberries on a pick.

Notes: this is a hybrid of the bourbon-based Black Hawk Cocktail from the 70s and my own Bramble Bee (itself just a honey and fresh blackberry twist on the neo-classic Bramble). With the large amount of sloe gin, the result is resinous, tart, fruity, and dark, a great stepping stone for Bramble drinkers, less immediate than that drink but more complex and flavorful. 

Thanks to Christa and Shaun for hosting! And apologies for my lateness.


MxMo LXXVIII: Intercontinental


The theme of this month’s Mixology Monday, hosted by Stewart of Putney Farm, is Intercontinental, defined by him thus:

[L]et’s celebrate the global reach of cocktails with an “Intercontinental” Mixology Monday challenge. Create a cocktail with “ingredients” from at least 3, but preferably 4,5 or 6 continents. And if you can include Antarctica, then you get a Gold Star. And remember, sometimes the tools used, glassware, names or back stories of cocktails are important “ingredients”. Creativity and a bit of narrative exploration are encouraged. 

Rather than scour the globe for ingredients from disparate continents, I thought I’d focus on drinks that have travel as a theme. (They all happen to meet Stewart’s criteria anyway.) Let’s get to it. 

  1. Pan Am



No, the hostess doesn’t come with the drink.

Pan Am

by Rafa García Febles, NYC.
1 oz Rum, Banks 5 Island
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Dry vermouth
1/2 oz Passion fruit syrup
1/2 oz Lime juice
1 ds Rhubarb bitters
1 wdg Lime (scored)

Shake, strain, coupe, garnish with scored lime.

My notes: Like a passion fruit Hemingway Daiquiri. Nicely tart. Experiment with different ratios; dry vermouth only shows up at the very end. Sweet sip, sour and lightly bitter swallow with a grapefruit accord. Peychaud’s is nice too.

Here we have a cheater ingredient in Banks 5 Island: a rum blended from spirits from three different continents (North America, South America, and, through the presence of Indonesia Arrack, Asia). I mix it up with European vermouth and amaro and passion fruit and bitters from the US. 

What’s that? That’s Smith & Cross in the photo up top, not Banks 5 Island? Shut your mouth.

  • Émigré


by Rafa García Febles, NYC.
1 1/2 oz Demerara Rum, El Dorado 15
3/4 oz Plum Brandy, Clear Creek
3/4 oz Pineau des Charentes
1/4 oz Unicum Plum

Stir, strain, up, optional lemon or grapefruit twist.

Featuring a South American rum, a North American plum brandy, a French aperitif, and a liqueur created by a family forced to flee Hungary for the Bronx. Inspired by the flavors of plum and Armagnac ice cream. It would probably work very well with (Spanish) PX sherry in place of the pineau for a rum raisin and plum effect.

  • Pearl of Tangier

[photo forthcoming.]

Pearl of Tangier
by Rafa García Febles, NYC.
2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Mint syrup (Moroccan Mint Tea, 1:1 or to taste)
1/2 oz Lime juice
1 t Absinthe
1 ds Bitters, Angostura
2 dr Bitters, Bitter End Moroccan Bitters
1 dr Rose water
1 spg Mint (small; as garnish)

Shake, strain, up, garnish with small slapped mint sprig and, optionally, another drop of rose water.

Here’s a cosmopolitan, complex take on a French Pearl themed after the international hive of spycraft and intrigue that was the interzone. Ingredients from or themed after Africa, Europe, North America, Asia, and the Caribbean.

And, bonus:

Inherent Vice
by Rafa García Febles, NYC.

2 oz Virgin Islands Rum, Pusser’s
1 oz Amarula Cream
1/2 oz Coffee liqueur, Coffee Heering
1/2 oz Galliano
2 oz Stout
4 oz Crushed ice
1 pn Nutmeg (as garnish)

Blend, pour without straining into whatever’s handy, garnish with a cinnamon stick and nutmeg, decorate lavishly with fruit that’s not quite fresh.

Sort of a White Russian gone tropical, a Caucasian on vacation, if you will. Themed after a peripatetic and ambling book, though not one strictly about travel. Still, look at that: African cream liqueur, Virgin Islands rum, Italian and Dutch liqueurs, stout from the continent of your choice. Hardly provincial, and not too shabby.

Thanks to Stewart for hosting!


Hi there.

Welcome again to DrunkLab. I’m Rafa García Febles, drinks mixer, bartender, and principal investigator here at DrunkLab.

I’m a cocktail enthusiast with over 500 drinks uploaded to drinks database Kindred Cocktails, including 100+ of my own. You can also find my work on BarNotes and ShakeStir, and I post frequently on the eGullet spirits forum.

Recently we have secured the funding required to commence the next phase of our investigation. Let’s begin, shall we?

Welcome to DrunkLab.

DrunkLab is a service that applies the latest in scientific methods and microgastronomic-mixological technology to the task of getting you drunk.

DrunkLab conducts monthly trials involving dozens of thirsty subjects subjected to only the most nourishing and delicious dosages of hooch. DrunkLab is a novel hybrid of standard research models and experimental methodologies, employing both classic paradigms and cutting-edge tech in its studies of the effects of bibulation.

We at DrunkLab pride ourselves on our rigor, dedication, and high tolerance to booze.

DrunkLab is available for private experiments and studies. Send inquiries to DrunkLabNY@gmail.com.

Our Team

Rafa García Febles, Principal Investigator.

Joseph dL, Lab Technician #1. 

Hannah X, Lab Technician #2.

Our latest findings and public health advisories will be posted at DrunkLab.com in the very near future. 

Until then, observe responsible protocols in your imbibing. 

Cordially yours,

Rafa G-F and the DrunkLab team