Daniel Shoemaker–Part Three

This is the Seventh in an ongoing series of bartender features on the Underhill-Lounge. Previously, I had experimented by asking the bartender at Montgomery Place to make me a Bombay Cocktail No. 2, 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 the dozen or so Savoy Cocktails that might be coming up in the book. Surprisingly, some actually were game.


Continuing The Savoy “J” Stomp with Daniel Shoemaker at Teardrop Lounge in Portland, OR.

The participants:

Daniel Shoemaker: Bartender Extraordinaire at Teardrop Lounge in Portland, OR.
erik_flannestad: Your itinerant Savoy Stomper.
Humuhumu: Tiki goddess and web developer.
Trott: Talented musician, friend and co-worker. It was Trott whose quixotic quest to make all the recipes from the “Joy of Cooking” originally inspired me to take on the Savoy Cocktail Book.
Tradertiki: Portland, OR blogger, Tiki enthusiast, proprietor of his home bar Reynol├ęs Galley, and guide for the monthly “Tiki Tuesdays” at the Teardrop Lounge.

Also along for the ride were Mrs. Flannestad, who chose not to write up her thoughts and Trott’s friend Ken. Siobhan and her husband Ben stopped by a bit later.

J.O.S. Cocktail

J.O.S. Cocktail

1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Regan’s Orange)
1 Dash Lemon Juice or Lime Juice. (Lemon Juice)
1 Dash Brandy. (Christian Brothers)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)

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

Daniel stepped out for a moment, leaving us in the capable hands of Alyson for this and the next couple cocktails. This was perfectly fine, I suppose. A more assertive gin than the Plymouth might have saved this from being condemned as flat.

Humuhumu: I’m tired of vermouth. Tastes pretty flat.
Trott: J.O.S.=?? What could J.O.S. stand for? And who is Kaiser Solzheyn?
TraderTiki: A bit flat, flavor down low, watery.

Well, I’m pretty sure that J.O.S. doesn’t mean “Java Operating System,” but really have no other likely candidates. “Journal of Official Statistics”? There is a city in Nigerial called “Jos”, but that’s not an acronym.


Journalist Cocktail

2 Dashes Lemon Juice.
2 Dashes Curacao. (Bols Orange Curacao)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1/6 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/6 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
2/3 Gordon’s Dry Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

It’s always nice to come across a classic you have thus far avoided. I hadn’t tried the Journalist before and quite enjoyed it. Interesting to see the response among the group that a slight adjustment of proportions makes, as this is otherwise pretty identical to the J.O.S. Daniel mentioned that this was one of the classic cocktail specials that they’d run through lately, to good response. I can see why.

Humuhumu: Nice and Balanced.
Trott: Excellent ass-end. (Great Finish!)
TraderTiki: Balanced, spice at the finish.

Judge Jr.

The Judge Jr. Cocktail

1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Matusalem Platino)
1/3 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
Powdered Sugar. (1 tsp. Cane Sugar)
1 Dash of Grenadine. (House made Raspberry Syrup)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

In his 1927 book, “Here’s How,” Judge Jr. says about this cocktail, “This drink, I discovered later, was invented by someone else, but it’s good just the same!” I’m not sure which drink he’s referring to, but it is pretty similar to the Bacardi Special. Kind of funny that a guy would name such a pink drink after himself! I found it refreshing.

Humuhumu: Smells like watermelon, (the real stuff,) tastes too tart, without other flavors coming through->imbalanced.
Trott: I like that a lot, but I’m totally wasted.
TraderTiki: Too tart, grenadine not balancing.

Judgette Cocktail

The Judgette Cocktail

1/3 Peach Brandy. (3/4 oz Briottet Creme de Peche de Vigne)
1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1 Dash of Lime.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I actually found this one fairly pleasant. Definitely dessert-esque, Humu really pegs it as similar to a dessert wine. It is a cocktail I could see enjoying after dinner. Maybe with a dash of bitters?

Humuhumu: Too sweet, tastes like dessert wine.
Trott: Sweet. Dry peach brandy would be… Oh gosh, I’ve had a lot to drink.
TraderTiki: Muscat like sweetness. Very sweet, but not cloying.

Stir Action

About this time, I hear Humu exclaim something like, “Nooooo! Not more vermouth! I’m vermoooooothed out!” There may have been some sobbing.

And I thought the “J” cocktails were safe.

I guess this is what happens when you involve civilians.

Of course, to be fair, if we were in Humu’s milieu and drinking 20 Tiki cocktails in a row, about this time I would be exclaiming, “No! Not more Pineapple Juice! I can’t take any more Pineapple Juice!”

It does make me wonder how warped my palate has become from drinking all these vermouth heavy cocktails. If you ask me to taste a cocktail, and I say, “Well, it could use a little more vermouth,” now you know why.

Jupiter Cocktail

Jupiter Cocktail

1 Teaspoonful Orange Juice
1 Teaspoonful Parfait Amour Liqueur. (Brizard Parfait Amour)
1/3 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/3 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)

Stir well in ice and strain. Twist of Lemon Peel.

I’ve been putting off the Jupiter for some time now, as folks usually descripe it as difficult to make. But Daniel really pulls it off. Just the hint of the Parfait Amour flavor is very subtle and enjoyable. The sort of cocktail I really enjoy. Where even after all these cocktails, there is something curious in the flavors that makes you want to take another sip and figure out.

Humuhumu: Simple–I think I have vermouth burnout, though.
Trott: See above.
TraderTiki: Calm orange flavor.

The Cast*

Obviously, it would have been wise to stop at about this point, but, well, few people have ever accused me of being a wise man. We also tried a couple Teardrop cocktails and some things that Daniel was working on. Then we settled up our bill and wandered off in search of dinner and, hopefully, to sober up a bit before the concert we were attending later in the evening.

First, let me say how great it was that Daniel and the other bartenders at the Teardrop were willing to play along with this little game. I’ve sort of wanted to do something like this myself, in celebration of 2 years of Savoy Stomping, but how much more fantastic to have Portland Monthly’s 2008 Bartenders of the Year mix the drinks instead? Not to mention wash the dishes!

To be honest, when I was going over the drinks in preparation for the trip, and then looking at Teardrop’s menu online, I was thinking to myself, “What the hell am I thinking? Why are we just not going to Teardrop to enjoy their drinks?” But then, who knows, maybe no one would have tried the John Wood cocktail for another 30 years. I certainly expect this may have been the first time anyone has made it in the last 30 years!

Speaking from my side of the bar, I know everyone had a great time and came away with a real respect with what they are accomplishing there at the Teardrop Cocktail Lounge. Just about everyone in the group was already making plans to return the next time they were in Portland.

I count myself lucky to have met these talented men and women and truly look forward to tasting what interesting things they are up to the next time I see them. I promise, there will be no Savoy Cocktails involved!

*These pictures by Mrs. Flannestad.

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.