About Cocktails & Cologne

What do cocktails and cologne have in common? Both are careful concoctions designed to delight our senses, and in different ways, to intoxicate. Beyond my passion for these elixirs, one for the palate and the other for the nose, they are connected as expressions of masculinity and refinement.

I’ve been gratified to find that people entrenched in either world — that of spirits or that of fragrances — immediately grasp the connection between the two. When I had the pleasure of meeting cocktail writer and historian David Wondrich, a friend explained this blog to him. “Ah, botanicals,” he said, getting it right away. It isn’t a coincidence that the makers of Bombay Sapphire gin commissioned a perfume using the same ingredients. Nor that many perfumers moonlight as mixologists.

This blog is a place for writing about both. I’ll be covering men’s colognes and drinks (and occasionally other things, like wine), adding recipes, reviewing bars and books, and interviewing interesting people.

I won’t always make the connection between cocktails and cologne explicit, but it’s there in the background whenever I describe the taste of a good drink, trying to explain how it is I could taste chocolate in an obscure Chinese tonic wine, or realize that a fragrance is so bewitching I can almost taste it.

With any luck, I’ll find a drinkable cologne in the process.

Harry Sheff

Contact: harrysheff [at] yahoo [dot] com

2 Responses to About Cocktails & Cologne

  1. Rich Merly says:

    I would appreciate any insight you could lend on my situation. I recently inherited about thirty bottles of liquor, ranging in types and ages. For example, one of the bottles is Very Very Old Fitzgerald.

    After hours of looking around online, I cannot find anywhere to appraise any of the bottles. Whats more, I can’t really locate anywhere to even post them for sale. Do you know of any places that I could find prices or list them for sale?

    I even came across a few posts that said it was illegal to sell alcohol in the US without a liquor license (which sounds legitimate, but really makes my goal of offloading my newly found collection seemingly impossible!)…Are there any liquor stores/sites which purchase liquor?

    Like I said, any advice you may have is greatly appreciated! I hope to hear back from you…

  2. Hi Rich,
    Boy, I don’t know. While I’m sure you’re right, strictly speaking, about needing a liquor license to sell booze, I don’t think that would necessarily apply to your situation. After all, wine collectors buy and sell vintage bottles and cases all the time, and they don’t need to become wholesalers to do it. I’ve got to believe that there’s an equivalent community of collectors in the spirits world, so to speak.

    If you search “vintage spirits” online, you’ll find some interesting sites, like this one: http://www.finestandrarest.com/. It sounds like the thing you need, but it’s based in the UK, and I wouldn’t know how trustworthy they are.

    If I were in your situation, I might contact one of a number of experts like Ted Haigh, who writes a column about old cocktail recipes and vintage spirits for Imbibe Magazine. If anyone out there would know, it’s him. His website is: http://www.drcocktail.com/. Paul Pacult, the editor of Spirit Journal, which reviews spirits and specializes in whiskeys, would be good for advice as well: http://www.spiritjournal.com/.

    Good luck!

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