The Montshire Museum of Science asked if I'd donate a cocktail to be auctioned off in the museum's annual fundraiser. The winner happened to be The New York Times' parenting blogger, KJ Dell'Antonia. She and the family recently went to the Caribbean, where she found a love for rum-based tropical drinks. So I made her a rum-based tropical drink named in honor of her blog, The Motherlode. The biscuits are Effie's oatcakes, KJ's favorites. I'm serving the drink at a birthday party for KJ next month.

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Big Hig

To celebrate publication of Peter Heller's acclaimed novel, The Dog Stars, I created a drink inspired by the main character and served it in a party in Pete's honor. If you haven't read this book, you should. It's an astonishingly beautiful love story. A post-apocalyptic love story, but don't let that turn you off.

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Blue Finn

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A pure Finn with an icy plunge. 

After serving the Jim Collins at a birthday party for the Collins-Laines, Jim's wife, Kristen, asked if I'd make a cocktail for her father. Erick Laine was born in Finland, loves saunas and plunges in icy water. So I made him a whale of a cold one, using blueberries I picked from New Hampshire's Mount Cardigan the previous summer.

  • 2 Parts Vodka
  • 1/2 Part Sweet Sherry
  • 1 Part Limoncello Liqueur
  • Soda Water
  • Wild Blueberries
  • Fresh Lemon

The day before, make blueberry ice cubes by freeziing berries in water with an ice cube tray. Fill a shaker with regular ice. Add vodka, sherry, limoncello, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass filled with blueberry ice cubes. Top with soda water. Serve wearing nothing but a towel—but only if your first name is Erick.


The Jim Collins


A traditional Collins with a hardwood twist

To celebrate a friend's 50th birthday, I made this version of the Tom Collins. Jim is a skilled outdoorsman and a New Hampshire native. Hence the maple syrup. Every year, Jim and a few friends read the story "The Devil and Daniel Webster." Webster, one of America's greatest orators, was born in NH.

Even if you're not from the Northwoods, you'll find this drink briskly refreshing. Like New England without the blackflies. 

  • 4 Parts Gin
  • 2 Parts Lime Juice
  • 2 Parts Locally Sourced Maple Syrup
  • Soda Water
  • Lime slice or rind

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add lime juice, gin, and maple syrup. Shake and strain into a chilled glass filled with ice. (A Swamp Yankee will use an old jar.) Top up with soda water. Garnish with lime. Best served with a reading of Stephen Vincent Benét’s “The Devil and Daniel Webster.”