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Who didn’t love strolling along the boardwalk as a child? If you were deprived of that wonderful experience, it was a place full of magic, excitement, sweet delicacies and adventure. If not, then you know what I mean. One of the most enjoyable sections was the arcade, where skee ball and air rifles tested your skill. Thomas Cummings, who makes wonderful puzzle boxes from his home workshop in Georgia, recalls the boardwalk fondly – especially the old ‘penny arcade’ games of his youth. He has created a “Penny Arcade” puzzle box which revives the nostalgia.

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To continue the theme we will reference another boardwalk favorite, the carousel. Whirling its way around and around, the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone is famous for the Vieux Carre, an old New Orleans classic. This update to that old classic swaps the cognac for pear brandy and the Drambuie for apricot jam. Adding preserves to cocktails is a wonderful way to bring new flavors and textures to the drink, and no one does it better than star mixologist Jeff Morgenthaler at Clyde Common in Portland Oregon. His “Copper Penny” ode to the Vieux Carre hits all the right targets and wins the prize. Here’s to old times, new times, and fond memories both old and new. Cheers!

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Copper Penny by Jeff Morgenthaler

  • ¾ oz. rye whiskey
  • ¾ oz. pear brandy, preferably Clear Creek
  • ¾ oz. sweet vermouth, preferably Punt e Mes
  • 1 ½ tsp. apricot preserves
  • ¼ tsp. Angostura bitters

Shake ingredients together well with ice and strain into a favorite glass. Lemon peel garnish. Take aim and set your sights on sipping.

For more about the modern vintage Penny Arcade puzzle box see:

Boxes and Booze: Pennies From Heaven