Block and Fall Cocktail

Block and Fall Cocktail

1/6 Anis del Oso or Absinthe (1/2 oz Verte de Fougerolles Absinthe)
1/6 Calvados (1/2 oz Germain-Robin Apple Brandy)
1/3 Brandy (1 oz Korbel VSPOP)
1/3 Cointreau (3/4 oz Cointreau)

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

Another Savoy sweet-and-deadly in the style of the Between the Sheets. This one raises the ante slightly over the BTS by tossing some 140 proof Absinthe into the pot.

When reading through cocktail books, the name of this cocktail has often caught my eye and I’ve wondered what it meant.

Turns out, “Block and Fall” is another name for the rope and pulley device more commonly called, (at least in the US,) a “Block and Tackle”. Well, a couple of these will certainly get you “hoisted”.

Also, I found a reference to Prohibition (US) era speakeasies called “Block and Fall Joints”. According to some, these were the sorts of places serving low quality, high proof booze. Patrons would stop by for a cocktail, leave, walk a “block,” and “fall” into the gutter.

It’s actually a complex and interesting cocktail, everything is there and cooperating. I did slightly reduce the amount of Cointreau called for.

Don’t drink too many, if you want to make it home safely!

Edit – Oops! Forgot to include the picture!

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.

Blenton Cocktail

Blenton Cocktail

1/3 French Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)
2/3 Plymouth Gin (2 oz Plymouth Gin)
dash Angostura Bitters
(Twist Meyer Lemon Peel)

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

Another of the many, many 2/3 gin and 1/3 French Vermouth cocktails in the Savoy. A perfectly fine Martini variation, I felt improved with the addition of a twist of Meyer Lemon peel. The interesting savory elements of the Plymouth gin and Meyer Lemon Peel went well.

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.

Neige Ice Cider

As it happens, I enjoy a good dessert wine, (or “pudding wine” as our English friends call them,) from time to time.

I have an especial weakness for Sauterne and Tokaji Aszú. Well, not to mention Port, Trockenbeerenauslese,  Pedro Ximénez…

Anyway, given this unhealthy interest in sweet wines, and an especial fondness for apples, I was interested to learn of Canadian Ice Ciders a few years ago.

Like ice wines, ice ciders are made from the concentrated juice squeezed from frozen fruit.

Unfortunately, it didn’t really seem like many were imported into the US so I kind of gave up on the idea of trying it.

However, while perusing the dessert wines at a local liquor store recently, I was surprised to see a single bottle of La Face Cachée de la Pomme‘s Neige Ice Cider. I asked the store manager about it, and he said if I wanted to try it, I should buy it, because that was the only bottle he had.

We finally tried it last night after dinner and all I can say is, “Wow!”

I truly hope this isn’t the last time I get to try Ice Cider, as Neige is really fantastic stuff.

Super concentrated, delicious and complex, apple flavor.  Very sweet, but with enough acidity and complexity to keep it from being cloying.  The aroma seemed to just fill the glass with the essence of apple.  It went well with the carrot cake we had for dessert, but I could also see it pairing with a cheese plate, Foie Gras, or Pate.

BOTW–La Roja

Who could resist a beer with a label like this? Pirate cat on the label? I’m in!

Ran across this beer at the Harrison Street Whole Foods. They are also carrying Jolly Pumpkin’s Oro de Calabaza Ale. This is the first time I remember seeing Jolly Pumpkin Beer in California. Quite pleased to be able to sample one.

They call this a “Flanders” style ale. There is a bit of the sour character of Flanders Ales here, but very little of the wild yeast or Brett character typical of Flemish Ales.

All in all a tasty and well made beer.

Went very well indeed with tonight’s dinner of Pork Tenderloin roasted on red cabbage. Served it with herb roasted potatoes and apples and sauteed Asparagus and Tree Oyster mushrooms.

Pale Blue Eyes

Sometimes I feel so happy
Sometimes I feel so sad
Sometimes I feel so happy
But mostly you just make me mad
Baby, you just make me mad

My friend Lance from My Life on the Rocks reminded me that for a Blue Curacao drink challenge I made another cocktail based on the Blanche.

Pale Blue Eyes

2 oz Plymouth Gin
1/4 oz Blue Curacao
1/4 oz Anisette
Dash Orange Bitters

Stir to chill, strain into cocktail glass and garnish with long orange peel.

As it is blue, I named it after one of my favorite Velvet Underground songs.

Thought of you as my mountain top
Thought of you as my peak
I thought of you as everything
I’ve had, but couldnt keep
I’ve had, but couldnt keep

To be honest, the drink would probably be better with Brizard Orange Curacao, but then I’d have to think up a new name.

Linger on your pale blue eyes
Linger on your pale blue eyes

Dogfish Head in the vicinity

After a very long wait, Dogfish Head beers are finally just about available in the San Francisco Bay Area.

According to this post on William Brand’s blog, What’s on Tap, DBI Beverage Inc. are “…just beginning distribution…Whole Foods, Bev Mo and other independent retailers will start receiving product deliveries next week.”

If you can’t wait, you’ll be able to sample several Dogfish Head beers at Toronado next Monday night, April 21st.

Dogfishead Brewery Night At Toronado
Come celebrate the Northern California debut of
distribution for Dogfishhead beers. We will have six
Dogfishhead beers on draught and Sam Calagione the
owner will be on hand.

The beers will include:
Immort Ale
Midas Touch
Old School
90 Min IPA
Santo Paulo
And a surprise

Location: Toronado, 547 Haight, San Francisco, California
Time(s): 6:00pm

Blanche Cocktail

Blanche Cocktail

1/3 Anisette (1/2 oz Anis del Mono Dulce or as Mrs. Underhill calls it, “Devil Juice”)
1/3 White Curacao (1/2 oz Brizard Orange Curacao)
1/3 Cointreau (1/2 oz Cointreau)
(dash Regan’s Orange Bitters)

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

Still trying to make my peace with these pesky after dinner cocktails. Imagining they are intended to be served with coffee, I made my self a cup of tea to go with it. It’s actually pretty tasty trading leisurely sips of the darjeeling tea and Blanche Cocktail. I felt very “Euro”. Orange and Anis weren’t flavors I expected to go together quite this well. Still, very sweet.

There are a few different styles of Absinthe. Verte, which is colored, post distillation, by macerating various herbs in the distillate (primarily Petit Wormwood and Lemon Balm) and Blanche which is uncolored. The Swiss were, and still are, quite famous for the high quality of their Blanche Absinthes.

Fairly certain this cocktail is probably named after the “Blanche” style of Absinthe. If I had used white curacao, the cocktail would be a pearly, opalescent pale white like a Blanche Absinthe. Unfortunately, I only have orange curacao, so the cocktail is a pearly, opalescent pale orange.

BTW, I added the orange bitters because I suspect Curacao used to have more of a bitter orange kick than the style Brizard currently makes it in. One day I’ll have to try the stuff that actually comes from Curacao.

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.

Blackthorn Cocktail

Blackthorn Cocktail
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
3 Dashes Absinthe (Verte de Fougerolles)
1/2 Irish Whisky (1 1/2 oz Redbreast Irish Whiskey)
1/2 French Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)

Shake (stir – eje) well and strain into cocktail glass

The Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is a bushy, spiny relative of the plum. It is often planted as living barbed wire in rural landscaping. Its wood is quite hard and the one of the traditional materials from which Irish Shillelaghs are made. It is also used to make sturdy walking sticks. The fruit of the Blackthorn is called a sloe and is used to flavor sloe gin.

In the Cocktaildb there are 6 “Blackthorn” cocktails. Many, not surprisingly, involve sloe gin. This version is sometimes called the “Irish Blackthorn”.

It’s a pleasant cocktail, with the smell and taste of the Absinthe being the first thing you notice. The vermouth and Absinthe dominate the middle tastes. There seemed to be a phantom cherry-like taste in the finish. The Irish Whiskey, despite being fairly assertive and quite delicious, seemed to disappear into the 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.

Black Velvet

Black Velvet

1/2 Guinness Stout
1/2 Champagne (Navarro Brut)

Pour very carefully.

This one arrived rather coincidentally, as we had some Navarro sparkling wine in the house. Can’t really say I see the point. Rather have a glass of decent sparkling wine or enjoy my Guinness. Perhaps a sweeter wine would be more of a match?

But, then I’ve never really seen the point of any of the mixed beer drinks. Shandy, Snakebite, Lager and Lime… Why ruin a perfectly good pint?

When I was making the black velvet, it struck me that it seemed to be a gentrified version of the famous “Black and Tan”. Guinness, having a fairly low specific gravity, can be floated on top of heavier ales like Harp and Bass, if you are very patient and pour very carefully. I had hoped I would be able to float the Guinness on top of the sparkling wine. While it seemed to go well at first, I soon slipped, poured too quickly, and they combined. I still think it might be possible.

Supposedly this drink was first created as a sign of mourning after the death of Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria.

I guess then, they are adding the bitter guinness to darken their champange in mourning. Also named after the “black velvet” arm bands often worn in tribute to the dead.

Reading the wiki entries, it appears the black velvet may actually have pre-dated the black and tan. At least, according to the articles, the earliest documented reference to the black and tan is from around 1889. It is thought that the Black Velvet was created at the Brooks’s Club, in London, in 1861.

The Black Velvet may also go by the name “Bismarck” as it was apparently a favorite drink of Otto von Bismarck.


Black Velvet Wiki Article

Black and Tan Wiki Article

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–Keoki Sunset

I can’t say that this was the best beer I’ve ever had, but the view from the deck certainly made it a lot more enjoyable.

Anyway, yes, vacationing for the last week.

We now resume our regularly scheduled posting…