Raise a Glass Cocktail #1: Colonial Ties


Above, a step-by-step video on mixing Eric Alperin’s Raise a Glass cocktail, the Colonial Ties


—2 dashes orange bitters (50/50 blend of Regan’s and Fee Brothers Orange)

—2 dashes Absinthe (Emperor Norton – Absinthe Dieu)

—1 Demerara sugar cube

—1 oz Jamaican Rum (Appleton Estate V/X)

—1 oz Straight rye whiskey (Old Overholt)

—1 Strip of lemon peel


In an Old-Fashioned glass add the sugar cube, bitters, absinthe and a bar spoon of club soda. Muddle into a paste. Add the rum and rye. Stir and then gently add a large rock of ice to the glass. Stir again briefly and garnish with a long lemon peel.

David Wondrich, on the Colonial Ties:

For much of the twentieth century, Los Angeles’s cocktail lounges more or less defined the state of the art of American tippling. Eventually, though, style triumphed over substance: The places still looked good, but it was tough to get a good drink in one. Then, in 2009, Eric Alperin opened the Varnish, a back-to-the-basics cocktail bar that reclaimed the City of Angels legacy of epicurean drinking. It’s fitting, therefore, that his cocktail, the Colonial Ties, is a simple, elegant and delicious take on the most basic cocktail of all, the Old-Fashioned.