Royal Cocktail (No. 3)


Royal Cocktail (No. 3)
1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Cherry Brandy. (3/4 oz Cherry Heering)
1 Dash Maraschino. (1 dash Luxardo Maraschino)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass, with cherry.

In “Barflies and Cocktails”, Harry McElhone notes this is a “Recipe by Otis Mackinney, from the Hotel Royal, Nice, 1908.”

I liked this a lot more than the previous Royal Cocktail, but it is still not quite there for me.

A dash of Peychaud’s Bitters, or maybe even Absinthe, would go a long way towards making this a truly exciting 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.

Royal Cocktail (No. 2)


Royal Cocktail (No. 2)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/3 Cherry Brandy. (3/4 oz Cherry Heering)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Went with Plymouth, as it seemed like it’s slightly dark flavor profile would complement the Cherry Heering.

While I stick with that decision, this cocktail just isn’t that interesting. It’s perfectly fine and all, but just doesn’t do much for me.

Sorry for the crap photo. Wrestling with the new paradigm, and not inspired enough with this slightly insipid cocktail to re-do the photo. Insipid cocktail, insipid photo.

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.

Serious Glass.

So you’ve probably noticed a bit of a change in the photos on the blog.

Lately, I’ve been shooting Black and White film and scanning the negatives.

First, I’ve never really liked my point and shoot digital cameras. It always feels like you are having to trick the camera to get the to photo you want.

I like SLR cameras, but Digital SLRs seem so complicated, not to mention heavy and expensive.

In general, I am the sort of person who enjoys having complete control over a few simple variables.

I got bit by the camera bug when I was a boy.

When I was in High School, I got my first SLR camera, an Olympus OM-10. However, as the photographer for our High School paper, I used an Olympus OM-1.

There was nothing automatic on the OM-1 camera. You controlled the focus, aperture, and shutter speed. That was all there was to taking photos, aside from picking a subject, lens, and film.

Even with film, I always shot Kodak Tri-X Black and White film, so not a lot of variation.

When I graduated from High School, I asked my parents to loan me the money to buy a similar camera. By that time, the OM-1 had been discontinued and there were still (barely) a few of the newer OM-1n models on the market. I managed to score one of the snazzy ones with a black body.

Serious Glass.

Lurking on eBay netted me these few styling vintage Zuiko Lenses.  On the camera is my current favorite, the G-Zuiko AUTO-S 55mm f/1.2.  It is a super fast lens, with a wonderful softness at the wider aperatures, especially with long exposures.  Amusingly, one of the reasons it was discontinued by Zuiko is that it contains “rare elements”.  I also picked up the wide angle Zuiko Auto-W MC 28mm f/2.8, a slower Zuiko MC MACRO 50mm f/3.5 lens, a very fast Zuiko MC MACRO 90mm f/2.0 lens, and a telephoto zoom lens, the Zuiko AUTO-Zoom 75-150mm f/4.0.

The thing that I most needed, with all the low light cocktail photography that I do, was a new tripod.  I had one I’d been toting along with me since my days in high school, but the legs were now malfunctioning badly making it nearly useless.  I really like this new Manfrotto tripod, but am not overly fond of the ball head.  Just doesn’t make sense to me that a single tension screw controls adjusting both the X and Y axis.


I actually also have most of the equipment for a Black and White darkroom, but setting one up is a hassle. I think in California they give you a hard time not just about the water use necessary, but the chemicals.

Instead of doing it myself, I’ve been having Photoworks develop (and scan) the negatives.  They are good people and it’s less of a hassle than developing and scanning myself.  They are far less likely to get dust on the negatives than I am.  Hm, though I am noticing they appear to be scanning my B&W negatives as color, giving them a slightly sepia tone.  Gonna have to mention that next time.

Let me know what you think of the new look for the photos.

Royal Cocktail (No. 1)

Royal (No. 1)-3

Royal Cocktail (No. 1).
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Caster Sugar)
1 Egg.
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Aviation Gin)
Shake well and strain into medium size glass.
Haven’t had Aviation Gin in the house for a while, but the generous folks at House Spirits in Portland, Oregon were kind enough to send this bottle along.

I don’t like it for everything, but it was tasty enough in this simple Gin Sour with an egg.

Like a lot of modern (or New Western) style gins, they include some non-traditional botanicals in their flavorings.  In Aviation’s case, the big departure is Lavender.  Nice, but it just doesn’t work in some drinks.  Actually, IMHO, its namesake the Aviation, is one of those drinks where it really doesn’t work all that well.  But that is neither here nor there.

I enjoyed it in this drink, the Royal Cocktail (No. 1), and also think it makes a fine ATTY.  Other than that, you’re on your own.  Let me know what you find out.

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.

BOTW–Maredsous Brown

Maresous Brown-1

First, I really like the spiffy Belgian Beer bottles that come wrapped in paper. They are just fun. Second, I am very fond of Maredsous’ Blonde Beer.

Maredsous Brown-2

That said, Maredsous Brown was very good, but didn’t stick out in any particular way to me. There was no really interesting or unusual thing about it. Just a very good, well made beer. And that is fine, but I probably wouldn’t buy it again.

Roulette Cocktail


Roulette Cocktail.
1/4 Swedish Punch. (1/2 oz Underhill-Lounge Homemade)
1/4 Bacardi Rum. (1/2 oz Montecristo White Rum)
1/2 Calvados. (1 oz Roger Groult Reserve Calvados)
Shake (I stirred) will and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, this is quite sweet. Still, it is kind of interesting as a vehicle for Calvados and Swedish Punch. It would not be a horrible after dinner drink. The Montecristo White seems to simply serve as filler here, not really contributing much, at least in the face of such strong flavors as the Calvados and Swedish Punch.

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.

Rosington Cocktail


Rosington Cocktail.

1/3 Italian Vermouth, (3/4 oz Punt e Mes)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.

Well, I was kind of thinking of the Lone Tree Cocktail and remembering how it was made with Old Tom instead of Dry Gin.  Seemed like Old Tom would be a sensible substitution in the Rosington.

The Ransom Old Tom is an interesting choice here.  Conceived as a sort of half way point between later style Old Tom Gin and earlier styles which may have used some portion of Malt Wine, this is an interesting product.  It also packs quite a wallop at 88 Proof!

I also went with the Punt e Mes, since the cocktail had no bitters.

Woo!  A two ingredient Cocktail.  And a tasty one, at that.

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.

Hercules No. 5

Making a batch of Hercules for tonight’s Savoy Night at Alembic.

Stop by for a warming beverage on this cold, dreary San Francisco Fall night.

Hercules #5

1 Stick Cassia Cinnamon, crushed
2 tsp. Coriander Seed, crushed
3 Cardamom Pods, crushed
8 Whole Cloves, crushed
1 tsp. Quinine Powder
1 tsp Gentian Root
1/4 Cup Yerba Mate
1 bag peppermint tea
Rind 2 Seville Oranges
Rind 1/2 Valencia Orange
1/2 cup Raw Sugar
750ml Quady Elektra Orange Muscat
1/4 cup Osocalis Brandy

METHOD: Combine spices, peel, yerba mate and wine. Heat to 160 degrees. Add mint and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Filter through chinois and add Brandy. Let stand for at least a day. Pour liquid off of sediment and through a coffee filter and bottle.

Roselyn Cocktail

Roselyn cocktail

Roselyn Cocktail.

2 Dashes Grenadine. (Bar Spoon Homemade Grenadine)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Beefeater’s Gin)

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

For some reason, I just felt like going with the actual instructions for a change and shaking this.

Only a very, very slight difference from the preceding “Rose Cocktail (French Style No. 1)”, I can’t say the Roselyn is exactly anything ground breaking. Another slightly sweetened and en-pinkened Dry Martini. Not that there is anything wrong with that, per se. It’s just if you’re going to go around pinkening Martinis, doing it with Peychaud’s or Angostura Bitters would be a lot more flavorful than grenadine.

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.

Exploratorium: Science of Cocktails

I don’t know what “Meebo” is, but, oh my, this does sound right up my alley!

November 20, 2009

Dear Erik,

I thought you might be interested in the following information.  Images are available upon request.

Science of Cocktails
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Exploratorium transforms into a cocktail laboratory at Science of Cocktails.  Guest mixologists from 15 Romolo, 83 Proof, Orson, Alembic, Annabelle’s Bistro, and other popular San Francisco bars mix delicious cocktails, while guests participate in hands-on science experiments about alcohol, inebriation, hangovers, cocktail creation, and more.  Science of Cocktails presents the artistry of master mixologists shaken with the science behind the craft. Taking an in-depth, hands-on look at the physics, chemistry, and biology of cocktails, this first-time Exploratorium fundraising event engages guests in an exploration of their favorite libations like they’ve never experienced before.  This event is sponsored by Meebo.

General Admission — $50 +

Ticket includes hors d’oeuvres, one free cocktail, samples of all Science of Cocktails signature drinks, access to all Science of Cocktails programs and Exploratorium exhibits, discounted drink tickets for additional cocktails, and a free general admission pass for a future Exploratorium visit.

Top-Shelf Admission — $75 +

Ticket includes all general admission benefits plus access to our exclusive Top-Shelf lounge with special activities, cocktail offerings, and food, the opportunity to meet our guest bartenders and speakers, one additional free cocktail, and a Science of Cocktails gift bag.