Lucky Star


Lucky Star: One of the few songs not to make it into Stranger Things, I think you could call a Star the pop version of a Sazerac, which I did not expect when I made it.

Much of the taste derives from the bitters, while the kick comes from the apple brandy: pretty good stuff for a chilly winter night, with a slight aftertaste of anise.




1.5 ounces Apple Brandy (I used Laird’s)
2 dashes simple syrup
3 dashes Peychaud bitters
1.5 Sweet Vermouth (I used Tribuno)
Garnish with a twist of lemon peel

Combine brandy, simple syrup, bitters, and vermouth in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake until chilled. Pour into coupes or cocktail glasses; squeeze a lemon peel over the surface, and rub the glass rim with the peel.

Enjoy with or without a cat.

Pale Fire

Pale Fire with cats, while polishing a blaster part

Blade Runner 2049: much like the original in its time, the film is a love-it-or-hate-it proposition.

We loved it for the literary references, the quality of the cinematography, and the use of silence in the soundtrack (much like The Witch, Blade Runner 2049’s soundtrack uses more ‘ambient’ noise than orchestration to accompany the action). All those factors help underscore the film’s main questions about authenticity and what it means to be real, favorite topics of mine in a different arena.

Bonus: strong– nay, kickass– female characters, two over 40. Let’s raise a glass to that, at least, even if we cannot agree on other points.


Pale Fire
140 ml Cocchi Americano
28 ml Fernet Branca
4 dashes Hella Bitters citrus bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass.
Add ice and stir until chilled.
Strain into cocktail or coupe glasses.

makes two

Bound to make reading Nabokov’s work more tolerable, right?

Over the Hill(s) and Far Away

Over the Hill(s) in a glass.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Four hundred miles from the amazing cocktails at the Eddy, I find myself trying to figure out how to recreate- or at least imitate- the taste of some delicious concoctions. (This endeavor really is about the taste and not just the alcohol.)

The Eddy offers up “the hills are alive!” comprised of Haymans Old Tom gin, Cardamaro, Cocchi Americano, and Bittermens’ Scarborough Bitters. I finally found Cocchi Americano in a Delaware liquor store, but nothing else has turned up locally or in my (non-exhaustive) searches as I travel the mid-Atlantic.

So, what to do? Improvise, of course. So I offer you the Over the Hill(s), complete with a song.

1.5 ounces Catoctin Creek Gin
3 ounces Cocchi Americano
1 ounce cardamon syrup*
2-5 dashes Fee Brothers Bitters


Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into cocktail or coupe glasses. (Makes two).

To get you in the mood, or  to help you anticipate the mood you may be in after a couple of these, here’s a clip of the 17th and the 40th with followers and civilians enjoying the hospitality of 2nd Story Brewing in Occupied Philadelphia.

Many thanks to British Tars for permission to use this video

  • Add one cup sugar to one cup water; bring to a boil. Add a handful of green cardamon pods and lower heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until syrup is fragrant. Cool, and store refrigerated in a sealed glass jar.

Bonus Beverage: Curate What Ails You

Not just for museums anymore

I spent an informative but deeply uncomfortable day at the Smithsonian, attending their 2017 Digitization Fair, open to the general public for the first time. Among the things I learned? Everyone struggles with evaluating the impact of digitization, digital programs/products and tools (and every other humanities endeavor), but there is an interesting tool part out by the Europeana Foundation: The Impact Assessment Playbook. (The digital collections are here; Europeana is behind the Art Up Your Tab plugin that I really enjoy.)

It’s also really clear that even within the museum field, the words “curate” and “curator” (verb and noun) now seem to mean whatever they like to whomever is using them. It’s hard to get used to hearing “curate” used when “aggregate” or “interpret” seem more appropriate, but once a word goes rogue in language, you never get it back.

To salve my sore backside and wounded pride, I made a variation on a sherry cobbler, presented here:

Curate What Ails You

1 Tablespoon honey syrup*
2 Tablespoons amontillado sherry
2-3 dashes Hella Bitters Aromatic bitters (or Angostura bitters)
2-4 ounces hard cider, chilled (I used Jack’s Hard Cider Helen’s Blend)
Lime wedge

Combine all ingredients except the lime in a tall glass.
Add ice; stir until chilled.
Top with hard cider to taste – or – pour into an old fashioned glass and top with 2 ounces of hard cider.
Garnish with a lime wedge.

* Add equal parts honey and water to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stir until honey is completely dissolved. Let cool, store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Cat meets Seagull


Thursday was an unusually good day: positive interactions with humans, oh my! (Really, it’s about a job search) with a bonus of battery installation on Drunk Tailor’s Blade Runner watch. We celebrated, of course, with dinner and drinks, because Friday is for early bedtimes this week.

With what, you ask? Well, ask the cat– he’s in charge.

A Seagull, this evening, using up the last of the falernum. It’s also a summery drink, and this is one of the last likely weeks for those.

The recipe, if you please:
1.25 ounces Catoctin Creek Gin (or other herbal gin)
.5 ounce falernum
1 ounce Lillet Blanc
1 ounce lemon juice
Lime wedge

Combine all except lime wedge in a shaker and add ice. Shake until chilled. Pour into cocktail glass or coupe.

(Depending on your palate, you may find this a trifle bitter (lemon juice can do that) and find that adding .25 ounce simple syrup– a splash, really– improves the flavor.)

For the cat, garnish with a wing feather, but for the rest of us, a lime wedge will do.

Sweet Cinderella

Or, the Bitter Heiress variation.

A couple of weeks ago, I made actual Bitter Heiresses for brunch with friends. (What is the point of a long weekend if you can’t eat bacon and drink alcohol on a Sunday morning?) This week, making scalloped potatoes for dinner — fat is calming– I looked in the fridge and pondered an aperitif.

There was Lillet Blanc in the fridge, and an assortment of bottles on the counter, including Aperol and Campari.

No orange juice though, and no oranges, either (when I made these for brunch, I used fresh-squeezed juice that my wrists are still recovering from), and I didn’t want a Negroni. So, the cheap and cheerful Heiress variation:

3 ounces Lillet Blanc
Splash Campari
Tonic Water
Lime wedge

Pour Lillet over ice; add a healthy splash of Campari. Stir until chilled. Add tonic water, squeeze in lime and rub the peel on the rim of the glass. Voila: cocktail aperitif for a weeknight, that will not interfere with your ability to work in the kitchen.

I’ll Take Manhattan

Not that Manhattan; the kind you have *after* you cross this bridge.

The falernum Manhattan? Who knew how delicious it could be? Well, I do, now.

Food and Wine gives a pretty general recipe, but here’s what I found most delicious:

2 ounces Sazerac Rye
1 ounce Falernum
1 dash Fee Brothers aromatic bitters

Combine ingredients with ice in an old fashioned glass; stir until well chilled (30 to 60 seconds). Slice a lime wedge; hold skin-down over the drink and bend to release oil and rub on glass rim. A quick squeeze of lime juice and wedge garnish optional.

Consume while polishing a Blade Runner blaster or sewing a bonnet.



Two years ago, Tipsy Milliner was invented as an alter ego to Kitty Calash, but Kitty found a way to say what she wanted to, and the Tipsy Milliner languished in blog limbo.


But wait! Kitty’s got a new bag: cocktails. It started simply enough, making punch for His Excellency, but as time has gone on, Kitty’s taken a renewed interest in cocktails- they’re like miniature punch recipes, served in a glass or two at a time– and in the history of cocktails and liquor. So Tipsy Milliner is back, to talk about cocktails, share recipes, and probably wear some pretty awesome hats.

Join us weekly for a brief history of a cocktail, a recipe and a review.

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