News, Views, Happiness Pursued

Amateur Hour

by | Jul 17, 2020

Unless you’re one of the turds who’ve been flocking to the Old Port for overpriced drinks called “Trailer Park Trash” and “Walmart Parking Lot” at a yee-haw COVID bro-fest, you’ve probably been making your own cocktails for the past few months. Great! Keep doing that.

Perhaps you noticed that you’re restocking the vodka and bourbon a lot, but many other bottles never seem to need replacement. Maybe those are the only bottles you have. So I’ve thrown together a few cocktails you can make with those lonely liquors that somehow manage to be both bar staples and completely ignored.

Like mezcal! I always have a bottle or two of mezcal around, and the last half of a bottle will last a year on my shelf … that is, until today. I admittedly went overboard with the salt rim. Any normal margarita salt-rimmer will do, but if you have the ingredients (and yes, I did have citric acid just laying around), it’s easy to make a pro rim that really rounds out a refreshing Mezcalita.

Amaretto liqueur doesn’t last long on my shelf — my sweet tooth has had it out for me since I was a child — but it’s commonly a “forgotten bottle” in many others’ cabinets. My go-to is Disaronno for quality and quantity for the price. Try this version of an amaretto “whiskey” sour, and for bonus points, you get the health benefits of an egg and a cherry on top.

Being Mainers, it seems we can’t hold on to Fireball Cinnamon Whisky very long — perhaps because most of us consume it 50 milliliters at a time — but it’s an often-ignored liquor in other states. Try this Manhattan Fire — it’s like a Manhattan, but spicy.

For a bonus drink, I offer the Allen’s White Russian. Besides the coffee brandy, you only need vodka and cream to create the cocktail locals lovingly refer to as “Fat Ass in a Glass.”

Mezcalita. photo/Jessie Lacey


  • Salt rim: 2 parts sea salt, 1 part chili powder, ¼ part citric acid
  • 1 ½ oz mezcal
  • 2 oz fresh orange juice
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp agave simple syrup
  • Lime wedges

Rub a lime wedge along the rim, then roll the rim in the salt mixture to get a good coating on the glass. Fill the glass with ice, then place a lime wedge on the rim for garnish. Mix mezcal, orange juice, lime juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice, and pour.

Disaronno Sour

  • 2 oz amaretto
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Egg white
  • 1 tsp simple syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a cherry.

Manhattan Fire

  • 2 oz rye or bourbon
  • ½ oz Fireball
  • ½ oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Allen’s White Russian

  • 2 oz Allen’s Coffee Brandy
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz cream

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Or, if you really want to lean into laziness like I have, skip the shaking and just mix everything in the glass.

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