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  • Writer's pictureJohn B. Reyna

Teakwood Tavern brings libations and smiles to friends

Updated: May 29, 2020

Finished gift bags for friends of Teakwood Tavern

Shen had a brilliant idea on Friday night--dropping off pre-made cocktail gift packages for some of Teakwood Tavern's best patrons. Here's how, in early April, Teakwood Tavern became known as Boozy Santa Clause. Bringing smiles to thirsty faces across the DFW metroplex.

Let's get to the important part first--SAFETY. We took the preparation, packaging, and delivery of these gift bags seriously. We washed our hands and used hand sanitizer over and over throughout this process. Plus, we wore masks! Then we sanitized all of our countertops. Next, we sanitized all of liquor bottles and the mason jars that were used to carry the pre-made cocktails. We wiped down all of the liquor bottles with Clorox wipes. For the mason jars, we sanitized them by dropping them in boiling water for ten minutes.

John on sanitizing duty.

Since we were building the cocktails in the mason jars directly, the only other pieces of equipment that we used were a metal jigger and a metal bar spoon, both of which were also sanitized in boiling water. Sorry, no picture of that. But here's the equipment laying out drying on a clean towel.

Four sanitized mason jars. Please notice the clorox wipes and hand sanitizer.

With every thing sanitized, we moved into production. We were delivering four gift bags to four of our favorite couples in the metroplex. We decided on two cocktails to send; however, three couples were receiving the same drink and one couple received something different. It's not because we like that one couple better; rather, they have a particular drinking style so we tailored their pre-made cocktail for them. So what were the cocktails?

Corpse Reviver #2


Red Hook

The Corpse Reviver #2 is one of our all-time favorite classic cocktails. We showcased this recipe in our cocktail and wine book, Teakwood Tavern's Guide to Empty Glasses and Full Hearts. And the name is perfect for this pandemic! This cocktail is from Harry Craddock's 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book. Craddock jokes, "Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again." It's a wonderful brunch drink for this reason.

Corpse Reviver #2

0.75 oz gin

0.75 oz Cointreau

0.75 oz Lillet Blanc vermouth or Cocchi Americano vermouth

0.75 oz lemon juice*

1 dash of absinthe (we actually prefer more, but we LOVE absinthe)

Shake with ice, then fine-strain into a chilled coupe

*Since we were pre-making these, we did not include the lemon juice to the liquor. Instead, we provided fresh lemons so they could juice the lemons to order.

The Red Hook might not be from the 1930's, but it has become a modern classic. Plus, its derived from the Brooklyn cocktail, which is from Jack Grohusko's 1908 Jack's Manual. Bartender Vincenzo Errico created the Red Hook at Milk & Honey in NYC in 2003. It's a beautiful cocktail for those who like them boozy. YES, PLEASE! The key, in our opinion, is the use of Punt e Mes vermouth. We've made it before with other vermouths and its still a fine drink. But the in your face nature of Punt e Mes matches gloriously with the rye.

Red Hook

2 oz rye whiskey (we prefer Rittenhouse for that 100 proof bite)

0.50 oz Maraschino liqueur (we prefer Luxardo)

0.50 oz Punt e Mes vermouth

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice.

Stir until the drink is chilled. Strain into a coupe.

The completed cocktails. Corpse Reviver #2 on the left and Red Hook on the right.

We delivered the four cocktails to everyone's doorstep, rang the doorbell, and then ran back 15 feet. Social distancing, people!

For all four couples, we were the first non-Amazon deliver they've had in quite a while. We were even told that one person had not left her house in 22 days. That's the world we live in now. Which is why we wanted to drop off some liquid happiness. The smiles on their faces when they answered the door were priceless. Later that evening, we received pictures from everyone enjoying their drinks. And for a few moments that day, we felt connected to our loved ones. It was wonderful. Kudos, again, to Shen for the idea.


The Reynas















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