Maiden’s Blush Cocktail (No. 1)

Maiden's Blush Cocktail

Maiden’s Blush Cocktail (No. 1)

1 Dash Lemon Juice. (1/3 tsp Lemon Juice)
4 Dashes Orange Curacao. (generous 1 tsp. Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
4 Dashes Grenadine. (generous 1 tsp. Homemade Grenadine)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Luxardo Cherry.)

Apparently Maidens of yore were made of sterner stuff than they are today. It looks like a Cosmo, but it’s mostly a glass of cold gin.

And this one definitely needs a cherry.

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.

Uh, Could You Repeat That?

Iron Chef America

“Watch David Kinch battle Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America on Sunday, March 15. Chef Kinch challenges resident Iron Chef Bobby Flay on the popular Food Network cooking competition TV show.”

No, really, what did you say?  I seem to be having a hard time hearing.  I thought I heard you say Manresa Restaurant‘s chef  DAVID KINCH was going to battle BOBBY FLAY on the Food Network’s show IRON CHEF.

Well, I know I’ll be setting the DVR when I get home tonight.

But if Kinch doesn’t mop the floor with that wannabe cowboy…

Mah-Jonng Cocktail


Mah-Jongg Cocktail

1/6 Cointreau. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Cointreau)
1/6 Bacardi Rum. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Montecristo White Rum)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 6)

Shake (stir please, very!) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Orange Peel.)

For being a big glass of 80+ proof spirits and liqueurs, this isn’t half bad.

I couldn’t quite decide between orange peel and cherry. Glad, in the end, that I went with the orange peel. The bitter orange oils provide a nice counter point to the mellower orange flavor of the Cointreau.

North Shore No. 6 is a modern gin, but I find it to be very well made. Also, it seems to complement fruit flavors very nicely, thus my choice of using it in this 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.

Magnolia Blossom Cocktail

Magnolia Blossom

The Magnolia Blossom Cocktail

1/4 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Cream. (1/2 oz Cream)
1/2 Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)
1 Dash Grenadine. (1/2 tsp. Homemade)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Another cocktail ripped from the pages of Judge Jr’s prohibition era tome, “Here’s How”. Mr. Jr. notes that this cocktail was “Originated by Finley White of Durham, N.C., where the bull comes from.”

Interesting in that most cream based cocktails are on the sweet side. The Magnolia Blossom, on the other hand, tastes mostly like gin flavored yoghurt. Kind of nice if, like me, you enjoy that sort of thing.

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.

McClelland Cocktail

McClelland Cocktail

McClelland Cocktail

1 Dash Absinthe. (1/3 tsp. Kübler Absinthe)
1/3 Curacao. (3/4 oz Bols Dry Orange Curaçao. Thanks Philip!)
2/3 Sloe Gin. (1 1/2 oz Lindisfarne Sloe Gin)

Shake (or stir?) well and strain into cocktail glass.

You would think this would be pretty darn close to undrinkable. It is pretty inky. However, the bitterness and sweet tart nature of the Sloe Gin puts it not far from a Late Bottle Vintage Port. An enjoyable combination of flavors, but definitely an after dinner drink.


The last time I was in England I stopped at Gerry’s Wines & Spirits and asked about Plymouth Sloe Gin. Unfortunately, they were out of stock at the time. They suggested perhaps trying the Lindisfarne and whispered, “it’s better anyway.” I dunno if it is better, but it is more intensely Sloe flavored.

Interestingly, Lindisfarne is a tidal island only accessible by boat or by road just some of the time.

A TIDAL ISLAND: Holy Island is linked to the mainland by a long causeway. Twice each day the tide sweeps in from the North Sea and covers the road. Tide times and heights can be accurately predicted from the phases of the Moon. Severe weather can produce offsets, particularly with strong winds from the North and Northeast. The causeway crossing times are forecasted ‘safe’ crossing times. Nevertheless, travellers should remain vigilant if crossing near the extremeties.

Apparently, Lindisfarne also played an important role in the Christian Church’s early days in England somewhere around 635 AD.

The Golden Age of Lindisfarne: The period of the first monastery is referred to as the “Golden Age” of Lindisfarne. Aidan and his monks came from the Irish monastery of Iona and with the support of King Oswald (based at nearby Bamburgh) worked as missionaries among the pagan English of Northumbria. In their monastery they set up the first known school in this area and introduced the arts of reading and writing, the Latin language and the Bible and other Christian books (all in Latin). They trained boys as practical missionaries who later went out over much of England to spread the Gospel.

Not sure which McClelland this cocktail might refer to. Joe McClelland seems like an English possibility. McClelland Barclay seems like a good American possibility.

Or perhaps George B. McClelland, aka Diamond Dick?

“DIAMOND DICK” IS DEAD.; George B. McClelland, Known to Boys as Hero of Many a Dime Novel.

NY Times
December 16, 1911, Saturday

Page 18, 380 words

OGDENSBURG, N.Y., Dec. 15. — Word was received here to-day of the death last night in Kansas of George B. McClelland, better known as “Diamond Dick,” famous in dime novel lore, from injuries received in being run down by a train while driving over a railroad crossing.

I guess my money’s on the last…

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.

Macaroni Cocktail

Macaroni Cocktail

Macaroni Cocktail

1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
2/3 Absinthe. (1 1/2 oz Kübler Absinthe)

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

To be honest, this isn’t the world’s most attractive cocktail. Kind of looks like a cup of tea with milk. Maybe if you’re from the other side of the pond, this is somehow appetizing?

It is, however, somewhat more tasty than it is appearing or sounding. Do give it a nice long stir, though. That’s a lot of Absinthe.

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.

The Other Pressure

This is kind of related to the Baker quote regarding lazy drink makers and also to an excellent post I read over on line cook called “Pressure“.

Sure there is a lot of pressure at any fast paced food service job.  And there are good nights and bad nights.  We’re all humans, allegedly, and some shifts are just going to suck.  You’re hung over, slammed, not prepared, just had your heart broken, whatever.

But the thing that Richie didn’t talk about in his post is the pressure that you get to just put something out, even if you know it is wrong.  To compromise your own or the restaurants standards.

The wait staff wanted their order 10 minutes ago.  The customers are sick of waiting and you can see the look on their faces when you glance into the dining room.

The printer is clicking away and you just want to get some of these damn tickets off your back.

You over cooked the steak or messed up the proportion of the drink.

The wait person is standing there looking at you.  You just tasted the drink or felt the steak.  You know it is wrong.  You may even say to them, “I screwed this up, let me remake it.”  And they reply, “No, I’ll just take it out.  They won’t even know.”

What do you do?

Do you give in and just send it out?

Or do you have the character to gather up what little strength you have, regroup, and maintain your standards?

For better or for worse, the new model of nearly instant reviews by almost anyone on the internet has changed the balance of power between restaurant and critic permanently.

In the old days it was pretty easy to spot the one or two restaurant critics or VIPs in your town.

Sending that badly proportioned drink or overcooked steak out to Joe Schmoe, in town from Iowa, wasn’t likely going to have much consequence.

Today, Joe Schmoe may be Iowa’s most famous steak connoisseur or drink blogger.

His opinion may have more weight than the local restaurant critics.

Throw out the drink or refire the steak.  You owe it to yourself, your profession, your coworkers, and to your employer.

MxMo XXXVI: Hard Drinks for Hard Times


Matt Rowley over at Rowley’s Whiskey Forge is hosting this month’s MxMo and his theme is Hard Drinks for Hard Times:

If your 401(k) has taken a beating, or if you or a spouse or friend have been laid off, or if you’re simply hanging on to your wallet for dear life, you’ve probably given some thought to how the economy is affecting your basic expenditures—such as those you make for booze. Here’s a chance to share how you’re drinking during the downturn; whether it’s affordable booze, ways you’re cutting corners, or things you’ve figured out how to mix or make on the cheap, we need to hear it.

Uh, so this is almost a week late.  Sorry Matt, I’ve had it mostly written in my notebook for over a week, but haven’t gotten a chance to get it turn it into a blog post until now.


As you may have noticed, I have a small problem with compulsively purchasing spirits.

This is not really a new thing, just sort of a different expression of my spendthrift ways.

When I was a kid, I spent what little money I made from my paper route and selling coke at football games on collecting comic books.  When I got a bit older, I started purchasing records.  After I reached drinking age, I went through a period of wine obsession.  As time flew on, I moved to CDs.  Then for a period I was completely obsessed with computer games.

I am a compulsive collector of sorts and our house is cluttered with the paraphernalia of my various and sundry obsessions.

Which also means, I have never really been good at prioritizing budgets, keeping track of my spending, or coming up with real career plans for myself.  In fact, after moving to California and failing to find a well paying job, I was probably on the fast track towards accumulating a very nasty credit card debt.  Were it not for some success at finding decently paying jobs in technology, I am not really sure where I would be today.

But after a couple of the tech companies I worked for failed, I took a job with a local University.  Taking a significant pay cut in exchange for what I hoped would be job security and decent benefits.  The job security thing didn’t initially turn out to be quite the case I was hoping for, but I am still working for the same University, albeit in another job.

Since starting at the University, I’ve made enough to cover the bills and been quite religious about not accumulating more debt that I can cover on a monthly basis.

But the spirits purchases related to the Savoy project have always put a pretty big dent in my monthly income.  And, for something like 4 out of the last 7 years I have worked for the University, we have had pay freezes or limits on increases in compensation.  When we have gotten raises, they haven’t even been at a rate commensurate with inflation.  Really, the only way to get a decent raise at the University is to switch jobs.  But now, with most departments having hiring freezes due to the California state budget situation…

One thing I’ve tried to do, from time to time, is to parlay my areas of intense interest into sources of income.

For example, during my intense period of interest in food, I worked as a cook in restaurants.  As an avid computer game player, I managed to get a job as a game tester for a video game company.  While at the same company, I became interested in Information Technology and moved to the tech support department.  I even tried to get a job in a record store when I was totally obsessed with jazz and made enough money to pay for our moving van to California by selling some of my old comic books.

Mrs. Flannestad calls me a “conniver”.  I may not have had a career plan in mind at any point in my life, but somehow things do happen from time to time, which from the perspective of hindsight, look like some sort of twisted and rocky path.

Since becoming interested in cocktails, I’ve been trying to figure out some way to actually bring in some cash with whatever meager expertise I have accumulated in the field.

A number of folks have suggested that I write a book about the Savoy adventure.  Unfortunately, whenever I talk to friends who have actually written books, they tell me writing a book, is not, in fact, a very good way to make money.

From what I can tell, most blogs don’t really make money either.  Oh, a few, with tremendous readership may make their authors enough cash to get by.  Some “celebrity bloggers” may actually be rewarded well.  But really, is a geeky drink blog like mine going to have enough appeal to generate much ad revenue?  I suppose I could go for a sponsorship deal: “The Savoy Stomp, brought to you by Beefeater’s Gin”.  But then I would have to kowtow to some superior force instead of using whatever spirits I want.  No fun.

I could, I suppose, work in a liquor store.  But I already have a full time job during the hours that most liquor stores are open.  Besides, in my experience, retail doesn’t really pay that well for most employees.

Bartender, though?

There are a few things that appeal.  Being on the front lines of cocktail evangelism.  Doing something with my hands.  It’s a culinary profession.  It’s in food service, which I enjoyed previously.

Why not?  Most shifts are even at different times from my University job!

So here I am, working two jobs and trying to make my dream of supporting the Savoy blog and its expenses by working in a bar reality.

Is it fun?  Yes.  Is it rewarding?  Hell, yeah.

Is it hard?  Well, a bit. But it’s the only way I can think to get the experience.

Lutkins Special Cocktail

Lutkins Special Cocktail

Lutkins Special Cocktail

2 Dashes Orange Juice. (1 tsp. Valencia Orange Juice)
2 Dashes Apricot Brandy. (1 tsp. Haus Alpenz Blumme Marillen)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 6)

(I’m sure no one would even think of rinsing the chilled glass with orange bitters before straining the cocktail into it. Nope not me.) Shake (or stir?) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Since this cocktail seemed pretty balanced already, with no bitters (ahem) or significant acid character, I figured I’d use the Apricot Eau-de-Vie instead of Apricot liqueur.

A fairly enjoyable dry martini type thing. A bit on the tropical side, perhaps. No Leave it to Me Cocktail (No. 2), but pretty nice all the same.

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.

Loud Speaker Cocktail

Loud Speaker Cocktail

Loud Speaker Cocktail

1/8 Lemon Juice. (1/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/8 Cointreau. (1/4 oz Cointreau)
3/8 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz North Shore Distiller’s Gin #6)
3/8 Brandy. (3/4 oz Osocalis Brandy)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This it is what gives to Radio Announcers their peculiar enunciation. Three of them will produce oscillation and after five it is possible to reach the osculation stage. gives 4 possible definitions of “osculation”.

1. the act of kissing.
2. a kiss.
3. close contact.
4. Geometry. the contact between two osculating curves or the like.

The wikipedia gives an additional definition for osculate, “to bring into focus or tune, to attune.” Which makes the most sense to me, at least in this context.

Kind of a pain in the ass to measure, but an enjoyable light, dry cocktail, all the same.

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.