Imbibe – May/June 06 – Part III

I keep finding myself picking up Imbibe over and over again, leafing through to find something I haven’t read yet. If it isn’t obvious by now, I’ve definitely subscribed; I’ve always found it amazing how much joy you can get out of less than $20 when it comes to magazine subscriptions. It’s time to delve a bit deeper into the magazine; I’ve got a Corn ‘n Oil in hand (see recipe below) and strangely enough, some festive pirate music playing from the cd, Battle Songs of the Toucan Pirates. Hey, at least I’m not wearing a pirate hat. Kaiser Penguin is.


What better topic for a first issue than bitters? This edition of Elements is interesting to someone who is packing for their first journey into the world of cocktails and someone who is looking for more shelf space for their massive collection of bitters. The little snippet titled “Truth in Labeling” is a nice snippet, letting us in on why Angostura doesn’t know how to buy the right size labels for their bottles. Three recipes are listed as well, and although classics, they are extremely tasty and a great entry point for those getting their first legs with bitters. I would have liked to have seen Wokka Saki (the main ingredient in a super tasty martini) sub-labeled as vodka for those who haven’t heard of it, but beyond that, I greatly look forward to my next dose of elements.


Dr. Cocktail is like no other. This man’s bar is bigger than most commerical bars and guaranteed more historic and rare. Just from the first spread, I can note at least ten bottles I’ve never seen before. A nice bitters shelf includes Angsostura, Regan’s No. 6, and at least two of the Fee Brother’s variety not to mention the few that are unidentifiable. Ted Haigh simply has a massive liquor collection; seriously, it’s huge.

The article itself is engaging and written quite to my liking. I’ll give you a few lines to showcase both the writer, our fine Paul Clarke from Cocktail Chronicles and the quality of the article:

“Gracious and self-effacing, on favorite topics he [Dr. Cocktail] speaks rapidly with unbridled enthusiasm, wrapping his mouth around each syllable and stretching out his vowels for emphasis.”

[Quoting Haigh] “If you get the recipe the way they made it back then, you can be tasting something no one has tasted in 50 years. You can open an American whiskey bottled in 1916, and it’s almost as though you’re drinking time. That, to me, is the fascination–that, and it tastes good.”

As usual, this is getting a bit long, and I’ve only discussed a few topics, but I did promise to leave you with the oh-so-tasty recipe for the Corn ‘n Oil…

Corn ‘n Oil

  • 2oz Barbados rum or Cruzan Black Strap Rum
  • 1/4 lime squeed and dropped in (or 1/2oz lime juice)
  • 1/2oz falernum (homemade)
  • 1 dash Fee’s Aromatic Bitters

Build in a rocks glass filled with ice. Stir.


Depending on which rum you use, the flavor is quite different. But both have this strange allure to them. Though they taste nothing like corn, the name is quite appropriate. My desire to grill eight ears of corn, slather them with butter, and sprinkle on way too much salt grows with every sip. Each time I draw from the glass it’s like silky, smooth bliss.

3 Responses to “Imbibe – May/June 06 – Part III”

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3 Comments to “ Imbibe – May/June 06 – Part III”
  1. paulNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Rick — Doc was a great source to interview, and he made it a real pleasure to work on this story.

    Perhaps I misunderstood your earlier comment on the falernum — the Corn ‘n Oil (based on the recipe from the Velvet Falernum bottle) is equal parts Barbados rum and falernum, with a dash or two of bitters, built over ice. Too sweet, to my taste, but you can tinker with the proportions to find something acceptable.

    The drink made with Cruzan blackstrap rum and lime juice was introduced to me by Murray Stenson at Zig Zag, and I believe he came up with it himself, or perhaps in conjunction with a cocktail geek (and I mean that in a positive way, of course) named John Pyles. I had the pleasure of meeting John several months after I posted the recipe, and he referred to this drink as the “Nightwatch.” For this one, you can build it over ice, but I also like to give it a brief shake and then pour it (unstrained) into a rocks glass. Excellent drink, though the strong flavor of the blackstrap rum just kind of bats the bitters aside, so I’ve stopped using them in this. Hmmm, maybe I’ll make one of these tonight….

  2. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Ah, this makes sense now!

    I’m actually glad I confused the situation, though. The Corn ‘n Oil with the Cruzan Blackstrap iss very tasty. I almost prefer it to the milder Barbados rum.

    Do you put any lime juice in your Corn ‘n Oils?

  3. […] rum, falernum, and Angostura bitters. The rum option of choice among enthusiasts who have written about this cocktail previously is Cruzan’s Black Strap, a very dark and deep rum. Cruzan’s […]

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