Barbary Coast Cocktail

The Barbary Coast Cocktail

1/4 Gin. (1 oz Beefeater’s Gin)
1/4 Scotch Whisky. (1 oz Compass Box Asyla Scotch Whisky)
1/4 Crème de Cacao. (1 oz Bols White Creme de Cacao)
1/4 Cream. (1 oz Cream)
Cracked Ice.

Serve in a highball glass. (Fill highball glass with crushed ice, build ingredients in glass, stir until outside of glass frosts over.)

Most other cocktail books seem to either make the Barbary Coast as a shaken “up” cocktail (1/2 oz each ingredient) or as a highball (2oz whiskey, 1/2 oz rest, built over ice, topped with soda).

However, since this is one of the few Savoy cocktails that doesn’t include the instruction, “Shake well and strain into cocktail glass,” I’m pretty sure that wasn’t intended. There is also no mention of soda. I decided to treat it as a “swizzle”. Also, I didn’t have dark Creme de Cacao at the time, but it might be a better choice, just for coloration reasons, than the White. Or if you’ve got it, Mozart Black Chocolate Liqueur will bring both color and some nice dark chocolate flavor.

As an aside, with many of the cream cocktails I’m afraid I must admit the routine is, shake, strain, sip, dump. They’re usually too sweet and my doctor has told me to avoid dairy. For what it is worth, against my own best interests, I finished this one.

Also, based on the assumption that this cocktail is named after the San Francisco’s Gold Rush era Barbary Coast neighborhood, I will include the following quote, from Benjamin Estelle Lloyd, writing in 1876:

The Barbary Coast is the haunt of the low and the vile of every kind. The petty thief, the house burglar, the tramp, the whoremonger, lewd women, cutthroats, murderers, all are found here. Dance-halls and concert-saloons, where blear-eyed men and faded women drink vile liquor, smoke offensive tobacco, engage in vulgar conduct, sing obscene songs and say and do everything to heap upon themselves more degradation, are numerous. Low gambling houses, thronged with riot-loving rowdies, in all stages of intoxication, are there. Opium dens, where heathen Chinese and God-forsaken men and women are sprawled in miscellaneous confusion, disgustingly drowsy or completely overcome, are there. Licentiousness, debauchery, pollution, loathsome disease, insanity from dissipation, misery, poverty, wealth, profanity, blasphemy, and death, are there. And Hell, yawning to receive the putrid mass, is there also.

Nice to know things haven’t changed too much…

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.

Barbara Cocktail

Barbara Cocktail

1/4 Fresh Cream. (1/2 oz Cream)
1/4 Crème de Cacao. (1/2 oz Bols White Crème de Cacao)
1/2 Vodka. (1 oz Rain Vodka)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Shake on some Cocoa Powder to garnish.)

This Alexander variation is one of the only 4 uses of Vodka in the Savoy Cocktail book. I admit, I prefer my Alexanders made with Brandy. But, that’s not really saying much.

By the way, if anyone has advice on better brands of white Crème de Cacao, please let me know. The Bols (US) isn’t bad; but, not the greatest, either. Not a very intense chocolate flavor. I suspect these cocktails would be better with a more full flavored liqueur. Brizard, maybe?

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.

Balm Cocktail

Balm Cocktail
(6 People)

1/2 Glass Orange Juice. (1/2 oz fresh squeezed)
1/2 Glass Cointreau (1/2 oz)
3 Glasses sherry. (3 oz Lustau Don Nuno Dry Oloroso)
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Regan’s)
2 Dashes Pimento Dram liqueur. (Homemade)

Fill up the shaker with cracked ice shake and serve with an olive.

The olive garnish doesn’t make any sense to me. Also not sure if this is the appropriate Sherry. But, I’m still coming to terms with Dry Sherries.

In any case, this isn’t a bad cocktail, if you like orange, spice, and sherry. Just isn’t quite as short and sharp as a the usual liquor based cocktails. A pleasant appetizer cocktail.

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.

Bacardi Special Cocktail

Bacardi Special Cocktail*

1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (Homemade)
1/3 Burroughs Beefeater Gin. (3/4 oz Beefeater’s Gin)
2/3 Bacardi Rum. (1 1/2 oz Flor de Cana Extra Dry Gin)
The Juice of 1/2 Lime.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

*Made famous by Karl K. Kitchen, the well known New York Newspaper Columnist.

This is tastier than it really has any business being. A bit like Harrington’s Jasmine. Light and tart. Very similar to a glass of alcoholic grapefruit juice. It’s always fun to find some of these Savoy cocktails still have legs, so I was pleased to get some very positive reactions when I’ve served this drink at parties. Give it a try and let me know what response you get.

Nice to get back, after the Babbie Special, to something I can recommend.

Karl K. Kitchen was a bon vivant and journalist with the New York World in the early part of the 20th Century.

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.

Babbie’s Special Cocktail

Babbie’s Special Cocktail
1 Dash Gin. (1/2 teaspoon Beefeater’s Gin)
1/3 Sweet Cream. (3/4 oz Cream)
2/3 Apricot Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Vedrenne Liqueur de Abricot)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I really hope Babbie was special for some other reason than her taste in cocktails. Beautiful? Rich?

I found the drink much improved with a dash of peach bitters and a garnish of freshly ground nutmeg. Still, not something I would ever make again.

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.

Sweet Potato, Parsnip, and Tofu Curry

Another easy, old favorite. You can make it with any root vegetables you like.

You’ll need a couple sweet potatoes, a couple parsnips, tofu, an onion, 3 tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic, an inch piece of fresh ginger root and curry powder.

I usually make my own curry powder by toasting 1 teaspoon of whole fennel seed, cumin seed, fenugreek, coriander, mustard seed, cardamom, and 3 cloves over low heat in a dry pan on top of the stove. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, and the whole is quite aromatic, remove from heat, cool, and grind in a coffee grinder or spice mill. Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, cayenne, and tumeric.

Cut up your veggies and tofu. Mince the garlic and ginger.

Heat a large pan very hot, add a bunch of oil of your choice, and add the garlic and ginger. Once those start to smell nice, add the onions and continue cooking until soft. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until they more or less disappear. Add the root vegetables and half the curry powder. Add a bit of water or stock to loosen, cover and cook until the vegetables are close to done. Add the tofu and a bit more liquid, if necessary.

Serve with rice. A nice addition is some yoghurt thinned out with lemon juice and chopped fresh cilantro on top.

Aviation Cocktail

Aviation Cocktail

1/3 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
2 Dashes Maraschino. (1/2 tsp. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur)
[2 Dashes Creme de Violette] (1/2 tsp. Rothman and Winter Creme de Violette Liqueur)
(1/2 teaspoon Rich Simple Syrup)

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

In one of the Savoy Cocktail Book’s more famous typos or mistakes, Craddock (or the editors) left the Violette out of the recipe for the Aviation Cocktail.

This is the earliest recipe from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks.”

Aviation Cocktail

1/3 Lemon Juice
2/3 El Bart Gin
2 dashes Maraschino
2 dashes Creme de Violette

Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.

The Savoy and Ensslin Aviations are a pretty sharp tonics. Very sour with only those few little dashes of sweetener.

Generally, if you order an Aviation in a bar today, you’re more likely going to get something like this recipe from Gary Regan:

Aviation Cocktail

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice


Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice and add all of the ingredients. Shake for approximately 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Like Embury’s Apple Jack Rabbit Cocktail, this is getting a bit far from the original recipe for me. Depending on the Maraschino you’re using, this may also really be overkill on that ingredient. Especially if you’re using Luxardo, too much Maraschino is not a good thing. It will completely dominate a cocktail in a not very pleasant manner.

So I propose the solution above. Don’t skip the violette, don’t overdo the Maraschino, and add a bit of simple syrup to mellow this very tart Savoy Cocktail Book recipe.

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–Pliny the Younger, 2008

Out with friends last night at Alembic Bar here in San Francisco, I was thrilled to see Russian River’s Pliny the Younger on tap.

Pliny the Younger is a triple IPA (India Pale Ale) Russian River only brews in limited amounts, once a year. This is the first time I’ve had a chance to try it.

Hopped three times more than their standard IPA, and dry hopped 4 times, you would expect this to be a hop bomb. Oddly, it seemed more well balanced and drinkable (Oops! 10% ABV!) than the Racer 5 I’d had earlier in the evening. Well, some in our party did think the Racer 5 might have been defective. In any case, Pliny the Younger is a wonderful example of the West Coast Style IPA. Grapefruit and pine out front in the scent, and a nice malty sweetness that isn’t cloying. A lot of hops, but well balanced with a bitterness that isn’t overbearing.

OK, it wasn’t really wise, per se, to down one of these babies at the end of a night of drinking. But, I did sleep very well last night. Definitely recommended, if you run across it on tap.

Regrets, I’ve had a few…

Well, that’s pretty much it for New York.

Another breakfast at Kitchenette, a little loitering, and a cab ride back to the airport.

We hardly made a dent in the long list of places we had wanted to get to or, especially, people to visit.

Thanks to anyone who helped Mrs. Underhill and I out with advice, bought us a drink, or was just nice.

Next time I hope we get to stay for a bit longer, but hopefully we’ll see some of you out here in San Francisco or New Orleans this July for Tales of the Cocktail. We’ll be pleased, and honored, to repay the many kindnesses we received on this trip.

“But then again, too few to mention…”

ATTY Cocktail

ATTY Cocktail

1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
3 Dashes Absinthe. (1/2 tsp Verte de Fougerolles Absinthe)
3/4 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Mild Dry Gin, Beefeater’s and Aviation are current faves in this cocktail)
3 Dashes Crème de Violette. (1/2 tsp Rothman and Winter Creme de Violette)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze lemon peel on top.)

This was the first cocktail that convinced me there might be some merit to this whole Savoy project. A combination I never would have thought of in a million years, resulting in a pleasing and amazingly sophisticated cocktail.

There’s just something about how the violette and absinthe interact, where it seems like it is slightly different with every sip. Intriguing and tantalizing at the same time. One of my absolute favorites in the Savoy Cocktail Book.

As a note, I slightly up the Vermouth to Gin ratio. It really should be something like a generous 1 1/2 oz Gin and generous 1/2 oz Vermouth. However, I think the extra vermouth really helps to tame the flavors of the Violette and Absinthe. As frequently is the case, the Savoy neglects to mention the garnish. I do not recommend that you do.

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.