Victoria D’Amato-Moran

This is the first of what I hope is an ongoing series on the Underhill-Lounge.

I experimented by asking the bartender at Montgomery Place to make me a Bombay Cocktail No. 2 earlier this year; but, this just seemed to result in a grumpy bartender.

To make it less of a shock, I thought I would contact some local bartenders and give them a choice of one of the 5 of the Savoy Cocktails that might be coming up in the next week.

Surprisingly, some actually seemed game.

Victoria D'Amato-Moran

Victoria Damato-Moran’s Bio:

I was born and raised in San Francisco, North Beach, daughter of a bartender and craftsman.
Dancin’ Danny, they called him, the original bar top dancer !
We had a family bar called Damato’s on Broadway St, back in the 60’s, Dad was always tending bar, so I grew up in the business, watching him make the best Manhattans,
Side Cars, Pink Ladys, Grasshoppers, etc…….
At the age of 21, I thought that my Manhattans should be made in a bar legally, so in 1984,
I was hired by Jeramiah Tower as a cocktail waitress at Stars Restaurant and tend bar once and a while.
I really loved bartending and danced like my Dad, so I continued to work in the restaurant/bar biz.
I enjoy all forms of art, though creating cocktails in my art form now, in my spare time I make jewlery with vintage beads from my collection of beads from around the world.


Chanticle(e)r Cocktail

Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Tablespoon of Raspberry Syrup (Victoria made from scratch)
The White of 1 Egg
1 Glass Dry Gin (2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into medium size glass.

This seems to be a variation on the Breakfast or Pink Lady Cocktail with Raspberry Syrup instead of Grenadine. As Chanticleer is a rather well known rooster, (Nun’s Priest’s Tale from Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”,) I suspect this particular cocktail’s DNA comes from the Breakfast Cocktail. I have to say, even if raspberry syrup makes this a bit girly-er than the Grenadine version, the flavor of the fresh raspberry syrup definitely made this cocktail a keeper. Now if I can only get her to give me the recipe for the syrup…

Champs Elysees

Champs Elysees Cocktail (6 people)

3 Glasses Cognac (3 parts Hennessy Cognac)
1 Glass Chartreuse (1 part Green Chartreuse)
1 1/2 Glasses Sweetened Lemon Juice (A little more than 1 part Sour Mixer)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters

Shake well and strain into cocktail glasses.

There was some discussion here about which Chartreuse to use. Victoria thought yellow would probably make a more attractively colored cocktail with the Cognac. Unfortunately, we only had green on hand. With Green Chartreuse, the herbal character is pretty out front, overshadowing pretty much everything else in the cocktail.

All the same, if you like Green Chartreuse, this isn’t a bad cocktail at all. If you don’t know if you like Green Chartreuse, it may not be the best place to start.

While I was there, she also made me a really tasty tequila and watermelon smash with a touch of cayenne. Mmmmm!

If you’re lucky enough to find Victoria behind the bar from you, ask for one of her original cocktails. She is one of the rare bartenders who brings both the people skills to make anyone feel comfortable on the other side of the bar from her and the taste to make truly outstanding original cocktails like the following Valentino, which won her a bartending competition at Rye.


Makes 1 drink


1 ounce Aperol
1 ounce reposado Tequila
1 ounce rhubarb juice*
1/2 ounce Agave Pomegranate Ginger Syrup**
3 ounces grapefruit juice (Ruby Red or Texas)
1 fresh lime
Splash club soda
Grapefruit and lime garnish


Instructions: Pour the Aperol, Tequila, rhubarb juice, Agave-Pomegranate-Ginger syrup and grapefruit juice into a chilled tumbler. Shake and strain over ice into a chilled double-rocks glass (8 to 9 ounces). Add a slight squeeze of fresh lime juice. Top with a splash of club soda.

*To make rhubarb juice, cut fresh rhubarb into chunks, parboil, then steam, until the rhubarb is tender. Extract the juice by mashing the pulp through a fine-mesh sieve.

**Agave Pomegranate Ginger Syrup

2 cups agave nectar
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 large finger of ginger, sliced

Instructions: Pour agave nectar and pomegranate juice into a pot. Add ginger. Bring to a boil. Turn off and let steep until cool. Remove the ginger and store in a glass bottle in the refrigerator.

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.