Rule 37: Three Miller

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.

So Squirrelfarts has been a bit lax on the posts lately. Mostly all Rule 37 cocktails. Well, the thing about that is the official primary Squirrelfart photographic device (um, my camera) had a bit of a fall, and it took Nikon over a MONTH to repair it. You know how some people wear a watch every day, then suddenly forget to put it on one day, and they’re all out of sorts and claim to feel naked? That’s what I’ve been like for the past MONTH. And it’s really put a damper on various Portland boozing adventures (well, there are still adventures) because if I’m going to do a particular distillery/brewery/bar/what have you then I’m going to do it right, with a proper review and proper photography. The past several Rule 37s have been photographed with the Lady Friend’s bright pink Sony CyberShot, which is all well and good except I can’t do a thing about the lighting. Quite challenging to use natural light when my normal operating hours are rather nocturnal. But the real camera is back, and with it, proper pictures. I hope.

“What a piece of junk!”
She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.
I’ve made a lot of special modifications myself.

So yeah. Expect a bit more variety coming from Squirrelfarts HQ. Plus there’s a large backlog of things I still have to actually write about like Blatant Brewing, Newport Storm Brewery, drinking at the oldest tavern in America, more Milwaukee shenanigans, and a German absinthe review which came in a package with cool foreign words on it like “luftpost” and “zusatzleistungen.” What an elegant language.

Anyway, tonight’s cocktail was going to be something tropical once more, as it is still 80 or so degrees inside, incredibly humid, and torrential downpours outside. Who knew that Maine had such an equatorial climate? It was going to be the Bacardi Cocktail, with all its associated legalities, but then I sliced a lemon instead of a lime, and had to do some scrambling. While perusing rum drinks in the Esquire drinks database (featuring the venerable David Wondrich) I came across the Three Miller, which I had added to my “to-drink” list awhile back. Turns out there’s a bit of history there.

Paraphrased from Wondrich’s writeup and various other sources, the gist is that during Prohibition, the US stated that International Waters started at a point three miles from land. So, all the boozers and rum runners would simply sail out three miles and have a party. Or pick up some booze to bring back. The Coast Guard caught on an eventually upped the limit to TWELVE miles, but there was already a cocktail named for the original distance, The Three Mile Limit. That got shortened to the Three-Miler, and someone (Harry Craddock) probably picked up a typo somewhere and began calling it the Three MILLER. Strange.

Three Miller
From Wondrich’s Esquire Drinks.

– 2oz cognac
– 1 oz light rum
– 1/4 oz lemon juice
– Dash of grenadine

Wondrich’s recipe switches from ounces to teaspoons, so I’ve done the conversion for you. I hate when there’s two different units of measurement. Put it all in a mixing glass, shake it, and strain into a cocktail glass, preferably chilled. Some recipes flip the amounts of rum and cognac, and some others suggest a cherry garnish, but I went with Wondrich on this one.

Well, there’s three ounces of liquor in this one, and not much else. Let’s see what happens.

The nose is all booze. Mostly the grapey darkness of the cognac. The rum I used (DonQ) isn’t particularly flavorful, so it’s hard to get any sort of aroma from it as well. The taste is pretty much what you’d expect: a mouthful of cold cognac, with a little rum bite to it. Very boozy, but it burns off quickly. The little hint of lemon and grenadine sweetness aren’t so much there in the flavor, but rather in the roundness of the drink. Without them the booze burn would linger throughout the finish, but as-is they take the edge off. The grape flavor of the cognac lingers in the mouth, and is actually quite pleasant. Though I prefer my cocktails a tad more balanced, this one wasn’t bad. A bit more powerful than modern tipples, but cold, tasty, and full of booze. Which is pretty much all I wanted tonight.

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