A dark drink to cap the scary night


Our cocktail of the day for Halloween is of course black and orange, but does not contain pumpkin or any of the other usual candy suspects.

It's designed to be your night cap after either hunting for candy through the neighborhood or fighting off  Trick or Treaters at your front door.

It's dark, soothing, warms you up if needed, and also helps digest the candy you might have nibbled. Maybe as important after a busy night, it's easy to prepare and asks for only two ingredients and an easy garnish.

Our 'Dark is the Night' is basically a full bodied, slightly bitter Manhattan, where we substitute Amaro for the Sweet Vermouth.

As base spirit we chose the new 2017 Release of Basil Hayden's 'Dark Rye', which is a blend of Kentucky Rye and Canadian Rye with a touch of California Port. It is full bodied and gives our creation just that slight sweetness back that we traded off with the addition of the Amaro for the Vermouth.

Our Amaro of choice is the Amaro delle Terme from Cantine Bellini, a vineyard in the Chianti region of Italy. It is made with a variety of herbs and roots, including cinchona, juniper and rhubarb, and has a very full bodied, yet smooth character.

As usual, your favorite Bourbon or Rye with any Amaro will work and give this easy two ingredient cocktail your signature flavor.

The orange twist garnish adds a fresh and fruity note and provides the Orange to the Black. No pumpkins were harmed for this cocktail.


Dark is the Night

2 oz. Bourbon or Rye, such as Basil Hayden's Dark Rye

1 oz. Amaro, e.g. Amaro delle Terre from Bellini

Stir for 30 sec. in a mixing glass or shaker tin and strain over ice in a Rocks glass

Twist a slice of Orange zest gently over your glass to release its essential oils, then drop it into the drink


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Upgrade your Gin and Tonic!

Happy Gin & Tonic Day!

We have had a lot of fun watching the growing popularity of Gin and Tonic in Germany, our second home, over the previous years. May restaurants and 'Kneipen' (pubs) who would only serve beer and wine, or just a few basic cocktails have started to list a great variety of high quality craft gins and some good tonics on their menus. Also, this 'New Gin Wave' has prompted the birth of many new Gin distilleries, one of which we are featuring today.


Gin Sul, is the only Gin that is distilled in Hamburg, the second home of The Elan Collective. It is made from Portuguese lemons and botanicals, most prominently cistus ladanifer, also called gum rock rose or laudanum (Lack-Zistrose in German). It produces a resin, that lends Gin Sul its unique flavor, along with the lemons, rosemary and juniper berries.

We were thrilled as family visitors from Hamburg recently brought us one of the unique clay bottles, since it is not easily available here in the Boston area.



So for Gin and Tonic Day, of course we use Gin Sul and Fever-Tree tonic, add a squeeze of lime and enjoy it on the Rocks. A perfect drink for a crisp early fall day.

But wait, there's that bottle of Shiso liqueur on the top shelf of our home bar, from National Liqueur Day earlier this week. Citrusy and herbal... That could work well..



We added just a dash of the Shiso to our G&T and wow, it worked spectacularly well. The herbaceous, citrusy flavors of the Gin Sul and the Shiso really complement each other, the drink somehow becomes lighter and more complex at the same time.

If you don't have Shiso Liqueur handy, invent your own twist on your G&T, look through your bar and let us know how you elevated your drink today.


To build a quick cocktail, right in your glass, with style and fun, get our European Style Bar Spoon, a fun and versatile addition to your home bar


Happy National Liqueur Day

We're celebrating National Liqueur Day today in the US. For us that's almost like every other day!

Often Liqueur is considered sticky, too sweet and not really an ingredient in a high end cocktail. While this can be true, if you look a little closer into this drink category, there are fantastic finds to make that elevate your cocktails and should certainly part of your home bar.

Here at The Elan Collective we are big fans of liqueurs. Many of our favorites come from Europe and have an herbal base, but also high quality fruit liqueurs are often featured in our signature drinks.

Today we want to share a recent find that might not be widely available in your area, but is definitely worth a try if you can get a hold of it. We're talking about the Shiso liqueur from the Sidetrack Distillery in Seattle, WA.


The beautiful bottle with the glass stop and the bright green color is what caught our eye first in the liquor store shelf. It is made from the Asian herb 'Shiso' (perilla leaf in English), which is a staple primarily in the Japanese kitchen often used for garnishing meat or fish dishes. Shiso is part of the mint family and has a fresh, citrusy, herbaceous taste.

This flavor is also very noticeable in the Sidetrack Distillery Liqueur. It is less sweet than you might expect and has a unique, refreshing taste. 

Here's our favorite recipe featuring our National Liqueur Day bottle, the


Shiso Gimlet

2oz. Gin (we used Gin Sul, also to be featured later this week)

1 oz. Shiso Liqueur

1/2 oz. Simple Syrup

Juice of 1/2 lime

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain in a Rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.


We're sure you will love this one, enjoy!


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Top 4 Classic Cocktails

Creating new drinks for yourself or at a cocktail party is always great fun. The best inspiration for that comes often from the tried and true cocktail staples. Try some of these classics that always deliver on taste and satisfaction, either just the way they were intended to be or as the basis for your next signature drink.


                The Manhattan has been a staple drink throughout the decades and this drink is quite easy to make. Be sure to have some bourbon or rye whiskey on hand along with some sweet vermouth, then add some orange bitters for taste, and finally add a maraschino cherry for the garnish. The actual recipe is listed below.

  • 2 ½ ounces of Bourbon or Rye whiskey (Michters for example)
  • 1 ounce of sweet Vermouth (such as Punt e Mes)
  • 2 dashes of Orange Bitters

Stir for 30 seconds over ice in a mixing glass or shaker tin. Strain in a chilled coupe and garnish with a maraschino cherry or also try it over ice in a Rocks glass


Classic Martini

        Okay, so this drink is definitely a must have on many different occasions, and it is one of the easiest drinks to make for a new mixologist. Check it out below.

  •   3 ounces of Vodka or Gin (Grey Goose works great)
  •   ¾ ounce of dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat is a classic)        

Stir the drink for 30 seconds over ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled coupe or Martini glass. Garnish with green olives (we love them stuffed with blue cheese)


Side Car


        Many of you have probably heard of the side car, but do you know how to properly make it? This is another great classic drink that is easier to make than it sounds. Just be sure to have some fresh lemons on hand! Triple Sec is an orange liqueur that gives this drink its characteristic taste and works so well with the Brandy or Cognac.

  •     Fill cocktail shaker with ice
  •     Combine ½ ounce of fresh lemon juice with 1 ounce of triple sec and 2 ounces of Brandy.

Shake very well and strain the drink right into a coupe. Garnish with an orange twist.


Rob Roy

        This cocktail was invented in 1894 and many people still love to drink it today, and for good reason. This drink just tastes delicious. It's basically a Manhattan with Scotch instead of Bourbon, which gives the drink a smoky flavor. Check out the recipe below.

  • Add 2 ounces of scotch (try Monkey Shoulder) and
  • 1 ounce of sweet vermouth (Punt e Mes or Dolin for example) with ice to your shaker tin
  • Add 1 dash of orange bitters

Shake well for about thirty seconds and strain into a chilled coupe. Drop a maraschino cherry in for garnish.