Frank Sullivan Cocktail

Frank Sullivan Cocktail

1/4 Glass Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Glass Kina Lillet. (3/4 oz Cocchi Americano)
1/4 Glass Cointreau. (3/4 oz Cointreau)
1/4 Glass Brandy. (3/4 oz Cerbois VSOP Armagnac)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I guess Frank preferred Brandy in his Corpse Reviver No. 2!

This is a fine, light cocktail, but I have to admit I really missed the dash of Absinthe.

Not sure entirely which Frank Sullivan this was named after, but there was an American journalist, humorist, and author associated with the New Yorker magazine for much of the 20th Century with that name. Sullivan also had some associations with the Algonquin Round table of the 1920s. According to this website, Guide to the Frank Sullivan Collection, he was a Cornell Grad and corresponded with the likes of P.G. Woodhouse, E.B. White, James Thurber, and even James Cagney and Eleanor Roosevelt(!).

Seems like you might need a drink after composing the New Yorker Christmas Poem for half 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.

Frankenjack Cocktail

The Frankenjack Cocktail

1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz North Shore No. 6)
1/3 French Vermouth. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/6 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Haus Alpenz Blumme Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)
1/6 Cointreau. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Cointreau)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

About a million years ago (OK less than a year) we made this very same cocktail as the Claridge Cocktail. At the time, there was some speculation about whether Apricot Liqueur or Apricot Eau-de-Vie was the appropriate “Apricot Brandy”. Knowing the Frankenjack was coming up eventually, I put off giving it a try.

I also asked Matt Rowley what he thought the appropriate substance would be. He thought neither distilled Apricot Eau-de-Vie or imported Apricot Liqueur were particularly likely for a prohibition era cocktail. He felt, more likely, it was a home made concoction made from rehydrated dried apricots macerated in alcohol and sweetened enough to take the edge off.

This time, though, I was going to use the Apricot Eau-de-Vie. I gave the Blume Marillen a smell, and tried to imagine which gin would go best with it. Tanqueray was handy and didn’t seem promising, nor did No. 209. Aviation seemed kind of close. Then I checked the smell of a recently purchased bottle of North Shore Distillery Gin No. 6. “Ding! Ding! Ding!” as Mario Batali would say.

Initially, I didn’t really have a lot of hope that this cocktail would be very good, but the unusual flavors of the No. 6 work really well with the Apricot Eau-de-Vie. The No. 6 is not at all a traditionally flavored gin, but it has some floral-fruit flavors and smells that really complement the Blume Marillen. The flavor of the cocktail brought back real or imagined memories of some half remembered European hard candy from my youth. I was actually kind of chortling as I was tasting it.

I think a dash of orange bitters, a decent cherry garnish, and this would be a real winner of a cocktail.

According to Judge Jr, the Frankenjack was:

Invented by the two proprietors of a very, very well-known speakeasy in New York City.

Hmmm…. I wonder if they were Frank and Jack of the legendary Frank and Jack’s?

From “On the Town in New York” by Michael Batterberry:

More typical was Frank and Jack’s, a jolly place where there were generally a hundred people jammed into a tiny kitchen barely large enough to hold three tables. Among those struggling for air and room enough to laugh might be Jimmy Durante, Pat Rooney, or Peggy Hopkins Joyce. It was Frank and Jack who perfected the gambit of getting rid of one drunk by asking him to assist another out the door.

And, uh, oops! I didn’t realize until I wrote up this post, that I had gotten the amounts for the Vermouth and Apricot Brandy flipped. Well, damn it, it looks like I have made a new cocktail. Maybe the FrankErikJack?

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.

What Are Artisanal Spirits?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of “Artisanal Spirits”.

When wrestling with making sustainable food decisions there are a lot of choices which it seems like a consumer can make which can directly impact the way our food is grown.

You can buy directly from food producers and distributors whose philosophies you share.

You can buy from food producers and distributors which source ingredients from within your geographic area.

With spirits and cocktails, it gets a bit more tricky. Not only are the final products more far removed from the Farmers, but often products only come from specific regions. Armagnac only comes from the Armagnac region of France. Cachaca only from Brazil.

I mean sure, there are grape brandies produced in the US. And some are even good. But few are close to those produced in France.

So what’s a body to do?

Well, first, I suppose, do source as much of your ingredients locally as possible. I have a somewhat precious idea about the fruits and herbs I use for cocktails. As much produce as possible is purchased from the Farmers’ Market. It is either organic or no spray. If I have to, I’ll purchase some products from independent groceries or markets, preferably also organic.

I really distrust “Organic” ingredients from the larger stores. From what I’ve read, it seems like the food industry in the US has gutted so much of the legislation related to the organic standard to give corporate farms and suppliers an edge, that I’m no longer sure that the label “Organic” means anything on food. To me, “Organic” should also mean “Sustainable”, not simply factory produced food created with organic fertilizers and pesticides.

Sugar is hard. Sugar is darn near impossible.

Cocktails are made using lots of sugar and there’s no getting around the fact that something like 99% of the sugar in the world is made by a few companies none of which are particularly admirable. For example, about 20 years ago I stopped buying refined white sugar. For a while I labored under the notion that somehow “brown” sugar was better than white sugar. That is until I discovered that what is sold as “brown sugar” in the US is simply refined white sugar with a bit of the molasses added back in. Ooops. Since then I’ve stuck with washed raw sugar. It’s usually in kind of large crystals, but if you give it a spin in a food processor or blender, you can easily make it smaller.

Spirits are even harder.

I mean, how much do the raw materials matter in something that is so highly processed and distant from its original source?

Vodka is distilled to basically chemically pure ethanol before it is diluted back down to strength and sold to the consumer.  If something is 99% pure ethanol, does it matter if the source material is organic or not?

I guess the only way I can look at it, is how I look at Coffee.

I have no direct impact on the plantations in South America that grow the beans I use for my coffee.

But I can buy it from a distributor and roaster who believes in similar ideas that I do. Supporting small farmers. Supporting sustainable farming.

Likewise, I think the same mindfulness can be applied to spirits and alcoholic beverages.

Everybody sez it’s just booze, don’t take it so seriously.

But ultimately alcoholic beverages are agricultural products, the same as the flour or grape juice that you are so carefully select.  If you’re going to bother thinking about those, why not think about your booze?

Or more importantly, if you don’t want to think about it, buy it from bars, retail outlets, distributors, and producers who do have the interest to think about these issues.

Fox Trot Cocktail

Fox Trot Cocktail

The Juice of 1/2 Lemon or 1 Lime. (Juice 1/2 lemon)
2 Dashes Orange Curacao. (1/2 teaspoon Luxardo Triplum)
Bacardi Rum. (1 1/2 oz Flor de Cana Extra Dry)
(1/2 oz Inner Circle Green Rum)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The “character rum” which I had previously been deploying in cocktails calling for Bacardi rum was a flop here. I added too much of it for such a lightly sweetened and flavored cocktail. Just use the Flor de Cana, or keep it down to a dash.

Another proto-Margarita?

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.


In the midst of a clean up and cooking operation yesterday, I had to run to BevMo to get more lump Mesquite Charcoal.

Perhaps it is a sign of my dysfunction, but I can never go to BevMo and then leave with just one thing. I have to stare at things in the Rum aisle, the whiskey aisle, the liqueur aisle, etc. for a while. Eventually I often end up in the beer aisle. Today I couldn’t help but notice that Dogfish Head‘s Seasonal Pumpkin Beer, Punk, was available.  How could I leave without picking up a four pack?

We have a bit of a disagreement here at the Underhill-Lounge about the “best” Pumpkin Ale.  Mrs. Flannestad is very fond of Buffalo Bill’s Brewery Pumpkin Ale.  I am a bit more fond of the Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale.

To me, the Buffalo Bill is almost more of a “spice” beer.  The Dogfish, at least to me, allows a bit more of the pumpkin character to come through.  It’s also a bit less sweet than the Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale.

Don’t get me wrong, they are both good beers.  I just happen to prefer the Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale.

Some fresh cranberry beans from the Farmers’ Market this morning.  Couldn’t resist making them part of tonight’s dinner.

Grilled Porterhouse Steak.  Yellow Potatoes slow roasted in olive oil with garlic and herbs.  Fresh Cranberry Beans braised with Collard Greens.

Fox River Cocktail

Fox River Cocktail

4 Dashes Peach Bitters. (1 tsp Fee’s Peach Bitters)
1 Lump of ice.
1/4 Crème de Cacao. (1/2 oz Mozart Black Chocolate Liqueur)
3/4 Canadian Club Whisky. (1 1/2 oz 40 Creek Barrel Select)

Use wineglass and squeeze lemon peel on top.


Looking at this now, it seems like it should be built, old fashioned style, rather than stirred with ice and strained into a glass as I did.

All the same, I was OK with everything here except the lemon twist. I just didn’t like how the lemon combined with the chocolate, peach, and whiskey.

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.

Fourth Degree Cocktail

Fourth Degree Cocktail

1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Tanqueray Dry Gin)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Martini & Rossi Rosso)
4 Dashes of Absinthe. (1 tsp. Absinthe Verte de Fougerolles)

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

I was all set to say I preferred this cocktail with the proportions dried out a bit. I’ve made it in the past with 2 oz Junipero, 1/2 oz French Vermouth, and 1/2 oz Italian Vermouth and really enjoyed it. I’ve made that version for friends and they’ve really enjoyed it. Other times, I’ve made the equal parts version with different ingredients and not enjoyed it as much.

This time, for whatever reason, this particular combination of ingredients was fantastic. There was a cherry/almond flavor that seemed to come out of nowhere, blindsiding me, and daring me to replicate it. What do you call that? Flavor harmonics?

The Savoy version of this Harry McElhone Cocktail doesn’t include the lemon peel garnish, but it really takes the drink to another level. I don’t recommend skipping it.

In regards the name of this cocktail:

Robert Vermeire, in his 1922 book “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” includes the Third and Fourth Degree in a group of cocktails along with the Martinez.

Saying, “The Fourth Degree is a Martinez Cocktail (Continental Style) with a dash of Absinthe and a cherry, but 1/4 gill of Gin, 1/8 gill of French Vermouth, 1/8 gill of Vermouth should be used.”

About The Third Degree, he says, “The Third Degree is a Martinez Cocktail (Continental Style) with a dash of Absinthe and an olive, but 2/6 gill of Gin and 1/6 gill of French Vermouth should be used.”

He gives the “continental style” of Martinez as:

Fill the bar glass half full of broken ice and add:

2 dashes Orange Bitters
3 dashes of Curacao or Maraschino
1/4 gill of Old Tom Gin
1/4 gill of French Vermouth

Stir up well, strain into a cocktail-glass, add olive or cherry to taste, and squeeze lemon-peel on top. This drink is very popular on the Continent.

He uses the term “Continental” to differentiate from the English style of Martinez:

In England the Martinez Cocktail generally contains the following ingredients:

2 dashes of Orange Syrup
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1/4 gill of Plymouth Gin
1/4 gill of French Vermouth

The whole stirred up in ice in the bar glass, strained into a cocktail-glass with a lemon peel squeezed on top. Olive or Cherry according to taste.

Odd that he uses French instead of Italian Vermouth in his Martinez, but I guess it was popular that way at this time in Europe and England.

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.

Four Flush Cocktail

Four Flush Cocktail

1 Dash Grenadine or Syrup. (homemade)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/4 Swedish Punch. (1/2 oz Carlshamm’s Flaggpunsch)
1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 oz Flor de Cana Rum)
(1/4 oz Inner Circle Green Rum)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Drop in a cherry garnish.)

Again unable to resist the urge to add a touch of “character rum” to a cocktail calling for Bacardi.

Quite sweet, but not unpleasant. I’m always surprised by how dominant the Swedish Punsch is in the cocktails which contain it.

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.

Flying Scotchman Cocktail

Flying Scotchman Cocktail
(6 People)

2 1/2 Glasses Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Martini & Rossi Rosso)
3 Glasses Scotch Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Compass Box Asyla Scotch)
1 Tablespoonful Bitters. (Generous couple dashes Angostura Bitters)
1 Tablespoonful Sugar Syrup. (1/2 teaspoon Depaz Cane Syrup)

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

A slightly sweetened and rather heavily bittered Rob Roy?

Perfectly enjoyable cocktail, as far as I am concerned.

“The Flying Scotchman” train running between Edinburgh and London, was, for a time in the 1800s, the fastest train in the world. It appears it was only bested in 1888 by a train called the “West Coast Flyer”:


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.

Fluffy Ruffles Cocktail

Fluffy Ruffles Cocktail

1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 oz Flor de Cana Extra Dry, 1/4 oz Inner Circle Green)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Martini and Rossi Rosso)
The Peel of 1 Lime or Piece of Lemon. (Peel from a lime)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (For extra fun, I added the peel to the drink for the picture. It looked neat, but made it difficult to drink.)

OK, I couldn’t resist slipping a little “character rum” in to zip up the flavor of the Flor de Cana in this cocktail. If Havana Club is any indication of the flavor vintage Bacardi Rum had, it probably had a little more funk than the very clean Flor de Cana.

The Fluffy Ruffles is a pleasant, lime tinged, rum Manhattan. I dare you to order it out at a bar!

A quick google tells me “Fluffy Ruffles” was a musical comedy by Hattie Williams which made its theatrical debut at New York’s Criterion Theatre in the fall of 1908. Many of the songs in this production were co-written by Jerome Kern. Also, I find sheet music from earlier dates than that, so it appears it was first a ragtime song, or perhaps just that it was a popular name for songs, well, being that it refers to the fluffy ruffles of women’s petticoats.

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.