Pain and Fame

I don’t normally put up links to articles, but there were a couple articles this week on local sources that you might not see if you aren’t in the Bay Area.

First off, over at line cook, Richie has an absolutely fantastic post called “A Day in the Life” documenting a typical shift at the restaurant he works in. All I can say is “ouch”.

Second, Duggan McDonnell, proprietor of Cantina Bar wrote a great article about fame and bartending for Marcia Gagliardi’s weekly ecolumn Tablehopper. I liked this paragraph particularly:

On a recent Saturday as I closed the bar I was thinking more and more about all of this. I’d returned earlier in the week from Miami where I was awarded a Rising Star at the Cheers Beverage Conference. I’d worked and traveled all week; and this night, I’d been on my feet for fourteen hours. I sat and looked around the place, at my back-bar full of bottles, several hundred strong, shelves lined with boutique and imported spirits, and there I sat with the lights all up, the saccharine scent of crushed citrus and burnt wax in the air; broken glass, matches and mint underfoot. And I recalled Toby Cecchini’s words from Cosmopolitan, A Bartender’s Life: “There is an ephemeral hour then when the bar, like a woman d’un certain age, cleverly cloaked in evening light to conceal flaws she knows are beneath consideration, glows with an imperfect, hard-used loveliness.” This was not that hour.

Brandy Vermouth Cocktail

Brandy Vermouth Cocktail

1 Dash Angostura Bitters
1/4 Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso)
3/4 Brandy (2 1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac Ambre)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass

For some reason I didn’t have much hope for this cocktail. Maybe the not very original name? Or perhaps I expected the Italian Vermouth to overpower the Cognac?

In any case, here’s another Savoy cocktail that defied my expectations.

Tasty and complex. The vermouth nicely underscores elements of the Cognac without overpowering it. The dash of bitters punches it up slightly. The elements combine for some subtle cherry-ish flavors you wouldn’t expect from any of the components. Nice.

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.