Monday Funday #3: The June Cleaver

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Well hello and good morning to you all, lovely readers! We hope you all had stupendous weekends (we know we did), and we hope you are as excited as we are that the wait is over–it’s Monday, and that means it is time for everyone’s favorite thing: Monday Funday Original Cocktails!

For this week’s creation, we’re going old school. So throw on your poodle skirt, grease back your hair, and head to the drive-in because it is time we introduce you to The June Cleaver.

Here’s the thing about the 1950s y’all, we tend to romanticize this period in our collective American past as if it was a simpler, better time. In reality, it was pretty messed up. And those perfect little housewives daintily cooking their husbands pot roasts and then knitting before bed? Yeah, not so much. Those ladies weren’t exactly singing tra-la-la and happily buffing their new refrigerators until their husband’s got home and they could hand the Manly Men a cocktail, those ladies were knockin’ em back too. And none of this fruity sorority girl frozen-sour-apple-tini-rita crap, those 1950s housewives? Chicks. Could. Throw. Down. And so, in the spirit of those women and the drinks they made and (surely) loved, we present to you The June Cleaver: classic, elegant, simple, strong, with a teensy bit of sassy sweetness thrown in.

For your drinking pleasure, you will need:

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  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 tspn vanilla simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 scruple spoon (1/8 tspn) Zwack
  • 2 dashes Aztec (spicy) chocolate bitters

Gather all of your ingredients plus your measuring spoons, jiggers, bar spoon, mixing glass, and serving glass (preferably a coupe).

First, throw your 2 dashes of aztec chocolate bitters into the bottom of your mixing glass. Remember to hold your bitters bottle vertically directly over your glass and vigorously shake once per dash.

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This is approximately 2 dashes-worth of bitters:

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Next, add in your teaspoon of vanilla simple syrup.

To make vanilla syrup, simply add 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (NOT imitation) into your 1:1 simple syrup. Shake to combine.


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Next, add in your Zwack. (Remember on Friday when we said you would want to buy some Zwack this weekend? Well, now you know why). For reference, a “scruple spoon” is equivalent to 1/8th of a teaspoon. Scruple spoon is a term of measurement used by mixologists, and although we could just say 1/8th a teaspoon, why would we when scruple spoon sounds so much more fun?

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Last, but certainly not least, add in your 1 1/2 oz (modern shot) of bourbon, and 1/2 oz sweet vermouth.

A note about Vermouth: Vermouth is actually a fortified wine, aromatized with various herbs. There are 2 different types: sweet and dry. Dry vermouth is what you would use in a martini–do not confuse these two. More importantly: because vermouth is made from wine, it will go bad much more quickly than your other liquors once it has been opened. You should keep your vermouth refrigerated to slow the oxidation process, but even still an open bottle can only be kept about 3 months before losing its flavor.


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Now, once you have all of your ingredients in your mixing glass, fill it about 3/4 full with ice, and begin to quickly but smoothly stir with your bar spoon until the ice has melted down to the liquid line (aprox. 45-60 seconds).













Now strain this baby into your glass, sit back, and enjoy! Just remember: those ladies in the 50s were not messin’ around… Cheers!

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