Size Matters

After Dinner

1/2 Cherry Brandy (1 oz Massenez Creme de Griotte)
1/2 Prunelle Brandy (1 oz homemade plum liqueur)
4 dashes lemon juice

Shake well and strain into a sherry glass.

After Dinner (Special)

1/2 Apricot Brandy (1 oz Vedrenne Liqueur de Abricot)
1/2 Curacao (1 oz Gran Gala Orange liqueur)

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

There are lots of these “After Dinner” type cocktails in the “Savoy Cocktail Book.”

Generally, I try not to make them too large, so I avoid going into diabetic shock.

They look like they should be too sweet; but, some are fairly nice. Most are not particularly sweeter than your average carbonated beverage or after dinner fortified wine.

Probably the thing to do would be to serve them with a nice stiff cup of coffee.

Of these two, the plain old “After Dinner” was more enjoyable, with at least a touch of lemon leavening the liqueurs.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

BOTW–Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale

Beer of the Week!

Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale

Some of my favorite beers are “Fresh Hop” beers. That is, they are made with freshly harvested hops. These beers can only be made when the hop flowers are ready to be picked. Basically, the beer batch must be going and the hop flowers harvested simultaneously. Then the flowers rushed to the brewery to be added to the beer.

Toronado Pub has had a fresh hop festival for the last couple years, and it is one of the highlights, for me, of the fall beer drinking season.

One beer that I have missed nearly every year is the Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale. The nature of fresh hopped beers means that they are only available for a limited time each year, and I’ve just missed it every year.

I OD’d a bit on Sierra Nevada when we first moved to California. I was unemployed. Much TV was watched and many 24 packs of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale were purchased. Eventually I got a job and a bit tired of the flavor profile of Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale.

The interesting thing about Fresh Hop beers is that they are not necessarily more hoppy than your average West Coast IPA. But, that the hop character is different. It is more alive, vegetal and complex. Sometimes there can almost be a barnyard character.

The Sierra Nevada Harvest 2007 is a bit more traditionally hoppier than some of the other fresh hopped ales I’ve had. Grapefruit, pine, all those wonderful hop flavors are present. A good malt backbone to support the hops. Complex sweet notes combined with interesting bitters.

Yeah, that’s something to look forward to next year!

Fried dark meat chicken, marinated tomatoes and greens, roasted yukon gold potatoes with shitake mushrooms. Obviously I am struggling with depth of field and white balance issues with this camera. Sorry about that.

Mac and Cheese

Jennifer’s Mac and Cheese over at Last Night’s Dinner looked so good, that’s what I had to have for dinner.

Instead of bacon, I went with Chanterelle Mushrooms from Far West Fungi.

Well, that is a closeup, isn’t it! Well, at least it is in focus! Beggars can’t be choosers.

I’d post a recipe, except mine is pretty much the same as the one Jennifer posted earlier this year. If you want me to put it up, please post a comment.

Affinity Cocktail

Affinity Cocktail

1/3 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth)
1/3 Scotch Whisky. (1 oz Compass Box Asyla)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

Now, I haven’t really ever been much of a Scotch fan.

I know, I know, great world class whisky and all that. It’s some sort of personal failure on my part, I’m sure.

The Asyla, though, I quite enjoy.

Compass Box makes what is called “Vatted Scotch Whisky”. That is, Compass Box buys Scotch from other distillers, blends a bunch of them together with a particular flavor profile in mind, ages them, and then bottles them.

The Asyla is a pretty interesting Whisky. It is fairly mild, as Scotches go, with some nice briny notes. But, none of the extreme peat or smoke of the Islay type malts.

The Affinity Cocktail is basically a “Perfect” Scotch Manhattan. That is, Scotch Whisky with equal parts of Sweet and Dry Vermouth.

I was very tempted to reduce the Vermouths slightly; but, went out on a limb and let it stand as is.

Certainly glad I did!

As made, one of my favorite cocktails, so far, from the Savoy Cocktail Book.

The Vermouth and Bitters temper and accent the briny and savory notes of the whisky.


This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Giant Potatoes

Hey, there’s a burger in the background.

Ugh, I dropped Mrs. Underhill’s digital camera just before she went on a trip, so I had to sacrifice my camera for the greater good.

Now I am trying to make do with my barely functional old Konica Minolta Camera.

Ahem, I accidentally also dropped the Konica Minolta a couple years ago, just after Konica Minolta decided to exit the camera business. They sold their service and repair department to Sony, who will charge you the price you paid for your camera NEW to repair it for you.

After the fall, it no longer properly focuses. Basically, it will only focus at one distance, depending on the zoom of the lens.

It will be interesting to see if I can manage to get any half way decent photos out of it this week.

Plus, I am slightly grumpy because the sound on Bioshock doesn’t work properly on our new computer. It’s all breaking up and stuttery.

Well, the burger was tasty, even if you really can’t see it, and Bioshock seems pretty creepy cool so far, even with crappy sound.


You will, I’m sure, be thrilled to know I worked around my sound problems in Bioshock last night. I needed to install the OpenAL Libraries from creative labs, and then I had to set the “Bioshock.exe” application to run in “Windows XP SP2” compatibility mode. Now I get to start the game over again, so I can be even more creeped out.


Adonis Cocktail

Adonis Cocktail

1 Dash Orange Bitters (Regan’s Orange Bitters)
1/3 Italian Vermouth (1 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Sherry (2 oz Domecq La Ina Fino Sherry)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Uh, oops, I did obviously shake this cocktail, instead of stirring it, thus the foam.

These sorts of “light” cocktails are quite popular these days, especially of necessity in restaurants without liquor licenses, like The Little Owl in New York City.

Dry Sherry is one of those things that I am only now starting to appreciate as a cocktail ingredient or on its own. I guess I always have the expectation that it should be sweet.

It is, however, really great with cheese, especially pungent blue cheeses, which don’t go very well with many wines.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.