It’s Cocktail Hour …. care to join me?




A friend of mine in Galena is an incredible mixologist.  She has the touch ..  It has been several years since I have photographed food or beverages, but I thought I’d give it a go …  Meghan was up for the task, sent me a grocery list, and showed up ready, willing, and able.

Without much thought put into this shoot, other than the ingredients, I set up shop on a black table top at BIG BILL’S SANDWICH SHOP in Galena Illinios.
I had ambient light to the left and right of the cocktails, a wall behind the spirits, and I stood to block the light coming from the front.  I must have remembered some things from my past.  Why you ask?  because I like the images and the angles came easily to me.
But on the other hand, shooting too close can be a problem and shooting too wide (short depth of field) can also hinder the image, and not to mention my old foe light some of you remember. However, this is the way I like to shoot … but I get it!





The Whiskey Sour

“The year: 1792. You: a sailor crossing the Atlantic for North America. Food is dried. Water is no good. And scurvy is a constant worry.

Enter, the Whiskey Sour!  Although the recipe wasn’t written down until 1862 by Jerry Thomas in The Bartender’s Guide, “sours” were a basic recipe for centuries.

According to Brian Petro of The Alcohol Professor Vice Admiral Edward Vernon of England began mixing a few ingredients together to serve to his crew, to help combat sea-sickness, malnutrition, and scurvy.

But because they didn’t want an entire ship of intoxicated sailors, they began to water it down with lemon or lime juice. While the British used Gin and Brandy, Americans favored Whiskey, and thus the Whiskey Sour was born.”  google.




The Whiskey Sour:
1.5 ounces of Blaum Brothers Bourbon
0.75 ounces of lemon juice
0.75 ounces of simple syrup
0.25 ounces of egg whites
garnish with a lemon peel and a cherry
Pour the ingredients into a shaker over ice. Shake well, then pour into a coupe glass. If you are using the egg white you can use as much or as little in the cocktail as you want. Dry shake (no ice) vigorously to get the white foamy element before adding other ingredients.




The Old-Fashioned

“The first documented definition of the word “cocktail” was in response to a reader’s letter asking to define the word in the May 6, 1806, issue of The Balance and Columbian Repository in Hudson, NY.

In the May 13, 1806 issue, the paper’s editor wrote that it was a potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar.

By the 1860s, it was common for other liqueurs to be added to the cocktail. The original concoction, in different proportions, came back into vogue, and was referred to as “old-fashioned”.

The most popular of the in-vogue “old-fashioned” cocktails were made with whiskey, according to a Chicago barman, quoted in the Chicago Tribune in 1882.”  google

Old-Fashioned is also the name of the glass that it is served in … but the drink came first.
The Mad Men Era is what catches my eye.  From architecture to furniture, hairstyles to dress, and  music to drink ware … I love it all.
Well, the Old-Fashioned glass that I wanted to use had a gold design on it, typical of the era. This particular design was of the world map. I really wanted to photograph using that glass …  but you couldn’t see the cocktail, it just didn’t work.
Therefore I used a showier glass that would compliment the toddy.




The Old-Fashioned
2 ounces of Blaum Brothers Bourbon
0.5 ounces of simple syrup
2 dashes of bitters
Garnish with an orange peel, a lemon peel, and a cherry

There Will Be Blood Orange




According to my mixologist, this cocktail was created by The Blaum brothers.

The brothers own BLAUM BROS DISTILLING in Galena, Illinois, and it happens to be Galena’s number one tourist attraction.

All the spirits used today are from Blaum Bros.

They named this toddy after the movie,

There will Be Blood.

And what a glass!  This is your typical Collins Glass from the era of my choice. I found this nifty classic at EZ SELL, also in Galena, Illinois.





There Will Be Blood
1.5 ounces of Blaum Brothers Hellfyre Vodka
1 ounce of lime juice
0.5 ounces of Agave
0.5 ounces of pineapple juice
top with Blood Orange San Pellegrino.
Use a lime to garnish


I hope you enjoyed Happy Hour with me. I am also hoping that you feel pretty good after imbibing with your eyes … taking it all in one blink after another. Leaving you feeling all mellow and calm ….

The images are colorful, they have some texture, and they include a bit of detail ….

Sounds like they were made just for me! 

Thank you Meghan!




12 thoughts on “It’s Cocktail Hour …. care to join me?

  1. Thanks for also including the recipes. Looking forward to enjoying “there will be blood” next time I visit Galena. Hugs, gf!!!

  2. Great pictures! We will have to visit Blaum Brothers in Galena. And yes, I think I will have a whiskey sour tonight. It used to be my favorite drink but my wife made fun of me so I switched…..

  3. Mitch….the images and the background context are great! I love how this blog teaches me something every time I read it! You really have a calling here! Salut!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: