In the back of our printed menus, we include a glossary so people can choose their own level of engagement. We’re always at hand to answer questions and tell stories, but in case you’re uncomfortable asking questions we want you to have access to everything you need to make the right choice or satisfy your curiosity. For the same purpose, here is an electronic version of our glossary from Volume 6.
Absinthe is a high-proof spirit distilled from anise, fennel, and wormwood, and it is bottled between 110 and 144 proof. Incidentally, you can relax. It’s not illegal. The whole mess comes down to a tiny chemical named thujone. FDA regulations require food and beverages to contain thujone levels less than ten parts per million, and since government officials thought absinthe had tons of thujone (from the wormwood), it couldn’t be sold in the United States. By 2007, modern research had proven most absinthes contain only a trace amount of thujone. In other words, absinthe won’t make you hallucinate, but it will get you drunk. [See also: Absinthe Is…] [See also: Other Related Posts]
A mixture of calcium, magnesium, and potassium phosphate salts which produces the taste of a freshly squeezed lime. Essential to recreating classic “phosphate sodas.”
An allspice-flavored liqueur. We make ours from a blend of overproof rums, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, and turbinado sugar. Also known as “pimento dram.”
A bittersweet liqueur produced in Italy from a maceration of bitter herbs, spices, fruit, or vegetables, then sweetened with sugar and sipped as an after-dinner drink. Plural: amari.
A type of aromatic bitter produced in Trinidad and Tobago. Sold since 1824. [See also: Related Posts]
An anise-flavored liqueur.
A dry alcoholic beverage consumed before a meal to stimulate the appetite.
A low-alcohol amaro from Italy. Lightly bitter with vibrant orange flavor. [See also: Related Posts]
A brandy distilled from apples rather than grapes. In northern France, apple brandy is known as “calvados,” named for the region in Normandy where it is produced. [See also: Related Posts]
An apricot-flavored brandy-based liqueur. An essential ingredient in classic cocktails. [See also: Related Posts]
A thick liquid which results from soaking or cooking legumes, such as chickpeas, for a long time. Odorless and tasteless, we use it as a substitute for egg whites. [See also: Related Posts]
An herbal liqueur created in nineteenth century France, consisting of twenty-seven secret botanicals. [See also: Related Posts]
A compound tincture derived from bitter herbs and spices. Originally used as a medicine. We developed our own line of house-prepared bitters at West Main Crafting Co, including a barrel-aged monk bitters, bogart bitters, orange bitters, and hazlenut bitters.
A type of sparkling wine produced in Limoux, France, and made primarily with the Mauzac grape. Believed to be the oldest type of sparkling wine in France.
A floral, citrusy cocktail bitter with a sharp cardamom note. Based on the flavor profile of Boker’s, a lost bitters brand, from 1883. [See also: Related Posts]
A spirit distilled from sugarcane and made exclusively in Brazil. [See also: Related Posts]
An Italian amaro invented in 1860. Campari is famous for its intense orange aroma, bright red color, and distinctive bitter edge. An essential ingredient in the Negroni cocktail. [See also: Related Posts]
A type of colorless sweet vermouth which originates in Chambéry, France. The most famous producer is Dolin. [See also: Related Posts]
A genus of tree from South America. The bark of the cinchona tree contains alkaloids, like quinine, which are used for medicinal purposes.
A type of aromatic wine made with bittersweet notes of gentian root. Used as a substitute for Kina Lillet, a brand no longer being produced. [See also: Related Posts]
A type of sweet red vermouth produced in Italy. [See also: Related Posts]
A mixed drink from the late eighteenth century made with spirit, sugar, water, and a dash of bitters. Appears in print for the first time in 1806. More generally, a modern phrase meaning ANY kind of mixed drink. [See also: Our Current Featured Cocktail Menu]
A type of triple sec. [See also: Related Posts]
A type of preserved citrus juice prepared with sugar.
A sweet and floral liqueur flavored and colored with violet flowers.
A type of orange liqueur produced from the peels of bitter oranges which grow on the island of Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles. [See also: Related Posts]
An Italian amaro created in 1949 and named for Cynara scolymus, or artichoke. [See also: Related Posts]
A medium- to full-bodied style of rum produced in Guyana. [See also: Related Posts]
A type of aromatized wine categorized as a quinquina, since it is bittered with the addition of quinine rather than wormwood. Popularized during the Golden Age.
A clear, colorless brandy fermented from any fruit other than grapes. Distilled twice. [See also: Related Posts]
A mark used to signify the end of a transcript. [Instagram: @the_end_mark]
A compound syrup consisting of autumnal flavors, i.e., cinnamon, allspice, clove, nutmeg, and toasted peppercorns. [See also: Related Posts]
Also known as
Quercus robur, a European relative of North America’s Quercus alba. Has a very distinct toasted flavor.
Also known as Holland or Dutch gin, genever is the original juniper-flavored spirit, produced from malt wine in the Netherlands. [See also: Related Posts]
A spicy ginger-based soda. Ours is made from fresh ginger, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, lime, and lemongrass. We carbonate it, keg it, and serve it on tap. [See also: Related Posts]
A twenty-two proof ginger-flavored liqueur produced in house. [See also: Related Posts]
This page. A glorified excuse for the Beverage Director to ramble on and on and on about his favorite topics at everyone’s expense. Buckle up, children.
The period between 1862 and 1920, when celebrity bartenders reigned supreme from “behind the stick.” During the Golden Age, bartenders perfected the Cocktail, the Daiquiri, and the Vermouth Cocktail, including its variations: the Manhattan and the Martini. We draw our inspiration from the Golden Age. [See also: Related Posts]
French for “gum,” our gomme syrup is a rich concentration of white and Demerara sugars combined with gum arabic, a natural emulsifier harvested from the sap of the acacia tree. [See also: Related Posts]
A classic French syrup made from fresh pomegranate juice. Contrary to popular belief, true grenadine is not made from cherries. [See also: Related Posts]
A clear, perfumed by-product from the distillation of plant matter. Also known as flower water, blossom water, or herbal water.
A juniper-forward gin with a hint of citrus. Popularized in the early twentieth century. [See also: Related Posts]
A type of dry, pungent, cherry-flavored liqueur produced from the Marasca cherry. An essential ingredient in classic cocktails. [See also: Related Posts]
An aromatic bitter based on the flavor profile of the extinct Abbott’s bitters. Our recipe uses nearly twenty ingredients, and we barrel age it for a minimum of six months. [See also: Related Posts]
Also “Amaro Nonino Quintessentia.” An oak-aged amaro made from grappa. [See also: Related Posts]
A sweeter version of gin lacking the piney, juniper punch of its kid brothers, London dry gin and Plymouth gin. An essential ingredient for nineteenth century cocktails. [See also: Related Posts]
A mixture of muddled cane sugar and citrus peels. The sugar naturally leeches oil from the peels, creating an oily, fragrant syrup. [See also: Related Posts]
A citrus-forward cocktail bitter made from sweet orange peels and baking spices. Ours is based on a recipe by Charles Baker, Jr., from 1939. [See also: Related Posts]
A hydrosol made from orange blossoms.
A classic French almond syrup. [See also: Related Posts]
A type of bittersweet liqueur developed in 1837 in France with flavors of orange, cinchona, and caramel. The historical recipe has been lost to time. We make a sixty-five proof version of picon based on modern research and our tasting notes of the original. [See also: Related Posts]
A type of brandy produced in Peru and Chile. Usually unaged, the regulations and standards for this regional spirit vary by country. [See also: Related Posts]
Our ninety-six-proof house blend of three Jamaican rums: a column-still “black” rum, a column-still gold rum, and a pot-still Navy strength gold rum. During the nineteenth century, it was common practice to add a few dashes of Jamaican rum to cocktails. [See also: Related Posts]
An Italian sweet vermouth with a distinct bitter note. [See also: Related Posts]
A type of aromatized wine which uses cinchona bark as its primary flavoring and bittering agent.
A French phrase for rum made with fermented cane juice rather than molasses. Rhum agricole is produced in the French West Indies. [See also: Related Posts]
We have an eighty-page book filled with cocktails. What’s wrong with you? Bust also, see the entry for “Endmark.”
A fortified wine produced from grapes grown near Jerez in Andalusia, Spain. Sherry comes in three styles: dry (Manzanilla or Fino); medium (Amontillado or Oloroso); and sweet (Pedro Ximenez). [See also: Related Posts]
A type of Japanese spirit distilled from grains or vegetables, including kome—rice. Shochu is typically bottled between 25-37% abv. Shochu should not be confused with sake, which is a rice-based fermented wine. [See also: Related Posts]
A method of preserving fresh fruit or vegetables using vinegar as an acidulate. The resulting syrup is both sweet and sour. [See also: Related Posts]
Originally a typo in Volume #2, “snaphot” now refers to an unexpected, uncomfortable rise in body temperature. For example, “I just realized the new menu is due in two days. I think I’m having a snaphot.” [See also: Urban Dictionary: Snaphot]
A type of Mexican spirit distilled from an evergreen shrub, Dasylirion wheeleri. [See also: Related Posts]
Naturally occurring compounds in plant matter which taste dry and slightly bitter.
A concentrated extract made from steeping herbs or spices in high-proof alcohol to extract their flavor. Used in very small dosages.
A compound syrup made in house from quinine, gentian root, lemongrass, and grapefruit peels, among other botanicals. Very bitter. [See also: Related Posts]
A sweetened Curaçao liqueur meaning “triple dry” in French. The most recognizable triple sec on the market is Cointreau.
The fifth sense of taste along with sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Described as savory, meaty, or brothy. [See also: Related Posts]
A type of aromatized wine which traditionally uses wormwood as its bittering agent. [See also: Related Posts]
A light, zesty blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon with musty mineral and citrus notes. Produced in the Bordeaux region of France. [See also: Related Posts]
A compound tincture with savory flavors of morel, oak, and bay leaf. [See also: Related Posts]
Developed in 1838, Yellow Chartreuse is one of the oldest existing herbal liqueurs; still produced today by Carthusian monks from over 130 different ingredients. [See also: Related Posts]