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The James Cup

“Yesterday brought the beginning, tomorrow brings the end, and somewhere in the middle we became the best of friends.”



1 1/2oz Glenlivit 12 Scotch

1oz Pimms No. 1

1oz St. Germain

3 drops of Bitter Bitches Pipe Tobacco Bitters

Splash of Tonic Water

Combine Scotch, Pimms, St. Germain and bitters in a rocks glass. Add ice and stir until smooth. Top with a splash of tonic water. Rub an orange peel along the edge of the glass and make it into a twist for garnish.


The James Cup was created in honor of a very important person in my life, in celebration of the birth of his first child, baby Karis. In 2009, I moved to Los Angeles from New York City and eventually discovered a new and kindred spirit- Dustin James ( ). There was an instant depth and chemistry in our newfound friendship. Within the month, we moved into a studio apartment in Westwood where we were soon to share the final years of our bachelorhood together. At our housewarming, a friend presented us with a bottle of Glenlivet 12 Scotch.

One night, after a particularly exhausting week of life events, relationship episodes and stressful encounters with our mutual mission in Westwood, we settled in for a nightcap. We locked the doors, dimmed the lights and sat on the floor on either side of our coffee table with shot glasses and our newly opened bottle of scotch. The rules were that during this quality time, no questions were off the table. Our confidence was sacred and could not leave the room.

Thus began our regular ritual of “scotch nights.” An indescribable brotherhood was formed while the bottle of Glenlivit got us though many conflicts, heartaches, joys, and milestones of calling, love, marriage preparation and the entrance into our 30s. Scotch Nights were comprised of emotional release, hard lessons, mindless banter, and hysterical laughter. Cigars also accompanied many of these scotch nights and “bro trips” on the open road.


The delicate and complex flavor of the Glenlivit 12 derives from it’s maturing process in a mixture of cask types, including American and European oak. Its smoky vanilla notes gives the whisky it’s smoothness. Our second ingredient, Pimms is a gin-based drink containing a secret mixture of herbs and liqueurs. It was derived in England by Pimm, a farmer’s son from Kent and was produced large scale in 1851. The pimms cup became popular after World War II.

In the James Cup, the rich complexity of scotch is blended with the fruitful

abundance of Pimms, the floral gentility of St. Germain, and the bittersweet notes of Bitter Bitches bitters in memory of our raw and truthful conversations over cigars by an open fire.

With this concoction, I celebrate my friend’s journey into fatherhood, and honor the “scotch & cigar nights” which became formative to the lives we live today.


Read Dustin’s writings and reflections at

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