Sharkbait’s Cocktail of the Week: Bleeding Hearts

Happy Friday everyone. Today is Valentines day, which can be a stressful day all around. Did you forget a card? Remember the flowers? Make a reservation? There is a lot to think about today. What if we keep this week’s cocktail simple and just do some shots?


On second thought, maybe not. How about a cocktail I’ve been sitting on for a while? The Sahara Glowing Heart cocktail from The Gentleman’s Companion by our good buddy Charles Baker seems extra fitting this week. In the description, Baker says the original recipe is a little too sweet for him. So he provides a modified recipe alongside the original. Normally I don’t go for sweet drinks, but how bad could it be?

Sahara Glowing Heart Version 1:

1 pony (1 oz) Dry gin

1 pony (1 oz) Absinthe 

1 pony (1 oz) Dry apricot brandy

1/2 pony (.5oz) grenadine

Add all ingredients to a shaker with lots and lots of ice. Shake and strain into a large saucer champagne glass

I know it’s not in the proper glass. I don’t have champagne coupes…yet.

Housekeeping note before we begin, I subbed anise liqueur for the absinthe. Now, to the drink. Holy. Fuck. This is sweet as hell, and barely drinkable, if that. When offered to Mrs. Sharkbait, she said it “tastes like Robitussin” and promptly took a swig of water to remove any traces of the concoction from her palate.

Every time I every sip I take to try and articulate the flavors, my taste buds immediately become offended at what I am subjecting them to, and I feel like I need to shave my teeth by the time the sip ends.

Ok, going back in for another sip. For science

I can barely detect the gin through the overpowering grenadine flavor. The absinthe substitute barely comes through at all.

I don’t think I can finish this. As much as I hate wasting alcohol, this is beyond reproach and unfortunately, must be sacrificed to the drinking gods.

Version 2:

Ignore the grenadine

1 Jigger (1.5 oz) Gin

Reduce the absinthe to a dash or two inside the glass

(Not specified in the recipe, but keep the brandy the same)

This is better, but still not the best. the extra half ounce of gin now is in the driver’s seat. The reduction in the anise is welcome. The brandy sticks out like a sore thumb here. I can’t really figure out what it brings to the table. In an effort to salvage this variation (and to not waste the last of my gin), I squeezed in the juice from a lemon wedge. The acid in the juice worked it’s magic and improved it. The gin is subdued, as is the anise. The brandy flavor is muted, but only slightly. Which helps balance everything out. This one was at least drinkable.

Admittedly I had high hopes for this, as Mr Baker hasn’t steered me wrong yet. Unfortunately, I think this is a miss from the world traveler.

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Sharkbait has not actually been bitten by a shark, but has told people in bars that he was for free drinks. Lives in Boston, married to a Giants fan, he enjoys whisk(e)y, cooking, the Rangers, and the Patriots.
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Every ingredient sounds horrible there. Sometimes that works magic and sometimes it is ass.

BC Dick

Depending on whose, I’d be at the bar all night.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Weird that different forms get you drunk differently; mine are:
Gin; jellohead
Vodka; I must sit down in a plush chair and….. hey, nice tits.
Whiskey of various sipping types; “I am sooooo smooth. Listen to this, everybody”
Beer and wine being more gradual; smile followed by “man, my jokes are HILARIOUS”, then “I gots this round, people.”, then when in the restroom looking in the mirror “Oh yeah, I still got it, hellooooo ladies.”


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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Full length mirror is even more deceptive….

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Vodka: Wow, I’m really drunk, but let’s keep going. Let’s go somewhere and do something.
Tequila: Whoooooo!!!!!!! I hope I’m the only drinking it.
Whiskey: I am so sophisticated. Two drinks later; Shots, shots, shots. Okay, now I drink out of the bottle and get depressed.
Beer: Yummy. Let’s drink more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and moreandmoreandmoreandmfoddksljrekwneajhsoigjaerioghioagh;;fdgdgigh
Wine: I want to Kiss You Suzy.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

This make sense.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Or makes, whichever.

yeah right

I think it’s great that you can be critical when a recipe misses. It really helps the good recipes stand out when you share them.

Apricot brandy sounds fucking horrifying.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Too sweet makes me react in a similar way; it tends to take over.

My experience with apricot brandy was in high school when it was the only thing in a friends parents’ liquor cabinet; it tastes even worse in the opposite direction of consumption.


I think the big problem is the substitution of anise for absinthe. Anise liquor is VERY sweet whereas absinthe is more focused on the alcohol content.

I would try this again with absinthe instead of anise.


First time I’ve seen you shy away from the anise.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh


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Game Time Decision

Two weeks in a row with a new drink. Well done sharky

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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