1 oz Gin (WireWorks, see history, but others will work)
1 oz Light rum (Privateer, see history, but others will work)
3⁄4 oz Dry vermouth
1⁄4 oz Falernum
1 rinse Apricot liqueur (See instructions)
1 twst Orange peel (As garnish)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe pre-rinsed with apricot liqueur (1/3 bsp Rothman & Winter), and garnish with an orange twist.


A few weeks ago, Boston's GrandTen Distillery announced its "Collab Cocktail Contest" in conjunction with the Massachusetts Distillers Alliance. They were seeking a cocktail using two or more Massachusetts distilled products with one of them being from GrandTen. Since I played a role in guiding the flavor profile of GrandTen's Wire Works Gin, that made for an obvious choice. I ended up choosing Privateer's Silver Rum as the other Massachusetts spirit, and I took things in a split base Georgetown Club direction. For a little extra panache, I added in a bell-ringer -- James Maloney's apricot liqueur rinse that was his signature move in his 1900 The Twentieth-Century Cocktail Guide for Mixing Fancy Drinks such as in his Martinez Bell-Ringer. For a name, I wanted to pay tribute to a local writer, and e.e. cummings grew up around a mile from our house, and dubbed this one after a line from one of his poems.

Cocktail summary
Picture of Life's Not a Paragraph
FRY 2020
Posted by yarm on 5/22/2020
Created by
Frederic Yarm, Boston, MA
Is the
author's original creation
Not yet rated
3.5 stars
(6 ratings)
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If we have to find subs for the spirits, would you suggest basics (London dry style gin? column-still rum?), or do yours have a character that would suggest a different direction? 

yarm commented on 5/22/2020:

For a rum, a quality white one with a touch of character. Plantation 3 Star would do well here and perhaps even El Dorado 3 Year. Even a solid, clean white rum can be gussied up by subbing in a half or a full barspoon of rhum agricole or cachaça. Overall, flavorful enough that you know you're drinking rum as opposed to something more neutral. Probitas might be interesting too. Privateer has some elegant tropical fruity notes and is a high quality distillated (meaning it never needed to be mellowed in a cask to make it taste alright).

For a gin, to describe Wireworks -- presence of juniper but not necessarily an aggressive one. Decent fruit notes with light spice. Drinkable neat. So perhaps a lighter style of dry gin like Plymouth or Aviation would work (less Beefeater or Tanqueray).

I didn't mean for this to be so brand specific -- it was just part of the drink's genesis.