Beta Cocktails

  • Recipes made so far: 30/55
  • Difficulty level: 3/5
  • Originality: 5/5

Beta Cocktails was originally published as Rogue Cocktails in 2009 by bartenders Kirk Estopinal and Maksym Pazuniak who were both working at Cure in New Orleans at the time. It was a little pamphlet of 40 irreverent and boundary-changing cocktails, many of them exploring the bitter end of the spectrum. After its success, it was revised and reissued as Beta Cocktails (due to a trademark infringement claim) at TOTC in 2011.

Boring damned people. All over the earth. Propagating more boring damned people. What a horror show. The earth swarmed with them.

Charles Bukowski

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Sometimes it’s the middle of an already long week and you feel tired. You need a pre-dinner cocktail but you don’t have any desire to press citrus, prepare elaborate syrups, or measure complicated ratios. rogue beta cocktails, the little cocktail booklet published by Kirk Estopinal and Maksym Pazuniak (Maks) in 2011, has a lot of cocktails with unusual and bold flavor profiles. Fatigue, an equal parts cocktail, was designed for bartenders suffering from palate fatigue after a long shift.

Fatigue: Tennessee whiskey, maraschino liqueur, Angostura bitters, grapefruit twist
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The Milano Swizzle, Bitter Giuseppe, and the Search for Delicious

Most nights I make cocktails for two, but when my husband is out of town I almost always reach for the amari (he is not a bitter lover and that is an understatement). Campari, Cynar, Fernet-Branca – it’s all fair game, and the more bitter the better as far as I am concerned (I wonder, is there such a thing as a bitterness scale for amari, similar to IBUs for beer?).

Last night, I decided to try a riff on a Cynar + sweet vermouth combination, Christian Siglin’s Milano Swizzle.

Milano Swizzle (Christian Siglin): cynar, sweet vermouth, gin, lemon juice, salt
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