Addington Cocktail

Addington Cocktail

1/2 French Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Boisierre Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Italian Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat Sweet Vermouth)

Shake well with ice and strain into a medium size glass and fill with soda water. Squeeze orange peel on top.

I seem to have skipped the Addington, in my quest to document all the “Savoy Cocktail Book” cocktails I have made. Probably because it is not really a very exciting cocktail.

If you have some of the nicer vermouths, like Carpano Antica or Vya, it would pay off to use them here. Otherwise, this is a fine low alcohol cocktail for a hot day and not much more.

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.

Allen (Special) Cocktail

Allen (Special) Cocktail

Dash Lemon Juice. (Juice 1/6 Lemon)
1/3 Maraschino. (3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
2/3 Plymouth Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass (and garnish with a cherry).

First, let’s not confuse the bright red Maraschino Cherries you get in Shirley Temples with Maraschino Liqueur. You should not make this cocktail by dumping the syrup from your cherries in the shaker.

You’re going to have to hunt down some real Maraschino Liqueur before attempting this or an Aviation.

Maraschino Liqueur is made from cherries; but, somewhat indirectly.

The nice folks at Luxardo, (Maraska and Stock also make Maraschino liqueurs,) make a whole fruit Maraska Cherry Eau-de-Vie, age it briefly in Ash wood barrels, sweeten it, and then bottle it.

This is somewhat unusual, as most liqueurs are made by simply soaking fruit in alcohol and then filtering and bottling.

What you get from this process is an interesting and distinctive funky flavor. The use of the whole fruit including pits, definitely contributes some nutty almond-like notes.

Second, if you’re familiar with classic cocktails, you’ll note a striking similarity between this cocktail and the Aviation Cocktail. In fact, the only real difference between many formulations of the Allen and Aviation is the reversed proportions. The Aviation is 2/3 Gin and 1/3 Lemon Juice with a dash of Maraschino (and a dash of Violet Liqueur.) The Allen is 2/3 Gin and 1/3 Maraschino with a dash of lemon juice. This might seem a bit twiddly to us today, but, this sort of thing seems to have made a big difference to the drinkers of the early 20th Century.

In fact, I’d go on to say, that about 90% of the time when you order an Aviation in a modern bar, you’ll get something closer to an Allen than an Aviation.

In any case, the Allen cocktail is an enjoyable cocktail, and a fine feature for the Maraschino Liqueur.

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 — Stewart’s Root Beer

For some reason the taqueria where we typically get Tuesday night dinner (Taco Tuesday!) never seems to have the non-diet version of Root Beer. Tonight, for the first time in the 5 years we’ve been going there, they finally had it. Woo!

Anyway, it’s appropriate, as I’m skipping the booze for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

I was a bit disappointed to see that while Stewart’s does use natural cane sugar as a sweetener, they still use “natural and artificial flavors”.

It’s a pretty good Root Beer all the same. Could be a bit spicier for me. Still, not as syrupy as some. Carbonation a bit harsher than I’m used to. But, then, I almost never drink carbonated beverages other than beer.

The usual Papalote dinner for me. Chile Verde burrito with pinto beans and guacamole. Of special note is their delicious salsa. It is made with roasted tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, and, I believe, Chile d’Arbol. Spicylicious.

Alice, Mine Cocktail

Alice, Mine Cocktail

1/2 Italian Vermouth. (Generous 1 oz Italian Vermouth)
1/2 Russians Kummel. (Generous 1 oz Norwegian Aquavit, Dash Simple Syrup)
2 Dashes Scotch Whisky. (teaspoon Scotch Whisky)

Shake (Stir, please!) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Not having Kummel, a caraway liqueur, I cheated here and substituted Aquavit, a caraway flavored spirit.

It is all a bit confusing, in that there are about 3 cocktails with this same name and different ingredients. Sometimes the recipe is the exact same thing as the preceding Alfonso Special and sometimes it is just a Scotch Manhattan.

This version of the Alice, Mine Cocktail is actually surprisingly tasty.

There aren’t many Scotch cocktails, and it’s a shame this one isn’t known more.

The comma in the name of the cocktail puzzles me, otherwise I would say it might be named after the famous “Alice Mine” near Butte Montana and the part it played in the Silver rush of the 1870s.

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.

Chicken Saute

When I first lived on my own in college, I soon discovered I had almost no cooking skills.

At home or in the dorms, I had never so much as lifted a finger beyond making myself a sandwich from cold meat or baking some cookies. Fried potatoes with onions, eggs, and cheddar cheese were pretty much the extent of my culinary skill set. But, by this time, I was working for a caterer, learning more, and was looking for some supplemental learning materials.

So the next time I was home, I raided my Mom’s bookshelf looking for something to help me out.

I was lucky and found this book. It covered all the basics, including well illustrated knife and cooking techniques. Best of all, the author’s slightly sarcastic voice was present throughout the slim volume. I’d still recommend it to anyone as a great first cookbook.

With a few techniques and some basic recipes, I was soon able to at least make myself a hamburger or steak. Over the years, I think I have made most of the recipes in the book, from the breads to the main courses.

Random cat photo of my personal number one fan, Miss Sweetpea.

For last night’s dinner, I made one of the simple chicken sautes from Mr. Claiborne’s book. Served it with tuscan kale and a baked potato.

These aren’t the most wonderfully or evenly cut shallots. But, doing them, always reminds me of one of my happiest professional kitchen moments. I’d been pretty successful early on in my kitchen career. Ended up as the supply kitchen manager for a small chain of restaurants. But, I was drinking a lot, and not particularly happy in the job, so I quit. Ended up doing a bunch of odd jobs before going back to food service with my tail between my legs, basically starting over from the bottom. After a while of working for a local restaurant, I heard that a bunch of the more talented service and cooking staff were jumping ship to open a new Italian restaurant. It was going to be new, exciting food, with an emphasis on fresh. When they started dinner service, I interviewed to be on the staff. I have to admit I was out of my depth, at that point. I’d done catering, semi-fast food, and short order cooking, stuff like that, never anything upscale. But they liked me, I was a hard worker, and I got the job. Mostly I started in the pantry, prepping the ingredients for the chef and learning as I went. I was really lucky to work with a chef who was interested in sharing her knowledge and expertise and hold us all to the highest standards. One of the best jobs of my life.

Anyway, back to shallots, I’d been doing pantry prep for a while, and getting better at it. Learning the menu and techniques. One day the chef came by my station and picked up the shallots I’d been working on. She looked astounded and told me that they were the most perfectly cut shallots she had ever seen. Just that one casual moment of praise did so much for my confidence that I’ll never forget it.

Some Things Get Better With Age

I was hoping this would be the Beer of the week post. Unfortunately, this stout didn’t do much for me. A bit thin, with the coffee flavor really only present as an aftertaste.

Believe it or not, I’ve really had this wok since 1985. Asian IGA on Park Street in Madison, Wisconsin. And, yes, it does seem to get better with age.

Minced seasonings.

Cornstarch dissolved in water.

Marinating chicken.



Cooked Chicken.

Stir fried chicken with cashews and spinach.

Alfonso (Special) Cocktail

Alfonso (special) Cocktail

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
4 Dashes Italian Vermouth. (1 tsp Italian Vermouth)
1/4 Dry Gin. (Generous 1/2 oz Dry Gin)
1/4 French Vermouth. (Generous 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Grand Marnier. (Generous 1 oz Grand Gala)

Shake (Stir!) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Here’s another of those puzzles, where you wonder what one Alfonso cocktail has to do with the other. Or what makes this one “special”.

In this case, I much preferred the not so special plain old Alfonso to the “Special”. This Satan’s Whiskers with inverted proportions is naturally quite sweet, and ended up getting a bit tiresome before I reached the end.

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.

Alfonso Cocktail

Alfonso Cocktail
Put 1 lump of sugar in a medium-sized wine-glass, 2 dashes of Secrestat Bitter (substitute Angostura for the defunct Secrestat) poured on to the sugar, l lump of ice, 1/4 of a glass of Dubonnet, fill remainder with Champagne, squeeze lemon peel on top and stir slightly.

This is an interesting variation on the traditional Champagne Cocktail.

Dubonnet Rouge is a French Red Wine based aperitif. It is bittered with Quinine, has some spice to it, is fortified, and sweetened slightly. Not dissimilar to slightly fruitier Sweet Vermouth.

According to Eric Felten, in his new book, “How’s Your Drink,” it is the highest selling aperitif wine in the United States.

Both Mrs. Underhill and I quite enjoyed this cocktail. It’s a light aromatic aperitif and the champagne makes it a bit festive. Be quite nice for the opening salvo of the evening or to accompany appetizers at a dinner party.

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.