Tinton Cocktail

Tinton Cocktail
1/3 Port Wine. (sink 3/4 oz Warre’s Warrior Porto)
2/3 Applejack or Calvados. (1 1/2 oz MONTREUIL RESERVE CALVADOS)
(dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
Shake (Stir, please) well (the Calvados and orange bitters) and strain into cocktail glass. (Over the back of a spoon, pour the Port Wine down the side of the glass as a “sink”.

When I first made the Princeton Cocktail, I didn’t realize that properly made, the Port Wine should be added as a “sink”. Attempting to rectify that situation, I have applied that methodology to the Tinton. I think it looks, and tastes, kind of cool.

A few years ago, when I was first getting to know my mother-in-law, I discovered her displeasure at having her Old-Fashioned glasses cleared before she felt she was finished with them. She enjoyed lingering over the dregs of the cocktail, the diluted bitters and whiskey, which collected in the bottom of her glass. Woe betide the waiter, who cleared that glass without asking.

When thinking about that, I started thinking about the tautology of the life of a cocktail. You want it to be enjoyable to the drinker for the whole time they have it, not everyone is “one and done” with their drink.

Which also got me to thinking about cocktails which evolve while you drink them.

The Old-Fashioned is a good example. Usually, when it is put in front of you, the ice has only begun to melt. It should sting a little. As you savor, the ice melts further, chilling and diluting the drink. By the end, you are left with mostly water, which on a hot, humid day in Wisconsin, isn’t a bad thing.

In a similar way, ‘Ti Punch is another drink which can be a bit of a bear the first few sips, the heat and fire of the Rhum Agricole needs time to be tamed by the melt from the cubes and to blend with the cane syrup and lime peel.

In a more obvious way, the Princeton changes as you drink it. The first few sips will be almost entirely cold Gin. Then as you tilt it back, you find it being more mixed with the Port. The last few sips will mostly be Port.

This works just as well, orignal recipe intention or not, with the Tinton. And I do think the Orange Bitters were a nice addition.

Admittedly, most cocktail drinkers, we hope, down their cocktails quickly, while they are still cold.

But some drinks are meant to be lingered over, to enjoy the puzzle provided by the evolution of the spirits, ice, and flavor as they mingle over time.

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.


To be honest, variations on the Manhattan Cocktail are just about my favorite cocktails in the whole world. So when I heard Lindsey from the blog, “Brown, Bitter, and Stirred,” was hosting a Mixology Monday, I knew I had no choice but to participate.  But what to feature?  Well perhaps my favorite new bitter substance, Gran Classico, from Tempus Fugit Sprits.

Gran Classico

According to the importers, Gran Classico is a “Bitter of Turin”, as is Campari.  It is a bit similar to Campari in some ways, but in others more interesting.  Campari’s bitterness is very single noted, almost entirely Quinine and Gentian, without much additional subtlety.  Gran Classico, on the other hand, is deliciously complex, with quite a bit more varied herbal notes than Campari.

With the recent release of Gran Classico, a lot of people have been resurrecting the Old Pal Cocktail: Equal parts Rye, Campari, and Dry Vermouth, but replacing the Campari with Gran Classico. It is gosh darn delicious.

While I was thinking about which Campari recipes worked well with Gran Classico and which didn’t, another of my favorite cocktails came to mind: The Brooklyn.

Now I’ve been known to mess up the Brooklyn recipe, it is true, making it by accident, or intention, with Sweet Vermouth or Punt e Mes instead of Dry Vermouth.

So I thought I’d mess with it a bit more.

Eighteenth Cocktail

2 oz Rye
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc
1/2 oz Gran Classico Bitter
1 barspoon Luxardo Maraschino

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel over glass and drop in.

As it is traditional to name Brooklyn variations after neighborhoods or districts, I cast about for some inspiration. I made up the cocktail at our house, in Bernal Heights. As much as I love Bernal Heights, this really didn’t seem like a “Bernal Heights” cocktail. Maybe after the area where Heaven’s Dog is located? Nope, “SOMA Cocktail” even less appealing than Bernal Heights.

I asked the importer of Gran Classico the name of the neighborhood he lived in. He replied, “Bahia”. I was like, wha? Maybe if this was made with aged Cachaca or Pisco instead of Rye Whiskey…  After a long bit of back and forth involving home towns, neighborhoods, and other sundry geographical designations, I finally asked him the neighborhood where his business partner lived in Paris. “He lives in the 18th, or Dix-Huitième in French.” Whew, finally, something I can hang with! The Eighteenth Cocktail. Mysterious enough to be puzzling, but not obscure.  The fact that it was his partner’s neighborhood even gives it a good story. That works!

Now I like this cocktail as it is, but some have said it is a tad sweet. It’s not far from most modern Brooklyn variations, like the Slope or Greenpoint, but if you are a person who prefers aperitif type drinks, it is also good as a more literal Brooklyn, using Dry Vermouth instead of Blanc.  Give the Eighteenth Cocktail a try either way, and let me know what you think.

Thunderclap Cocktail

First, just a reminder that tonight, Sunday, August 29, 2010, we are holding our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Thunderclap Cocktail

Thoroughly shake up 2 Glasses of Brandy (3/4 oz Marolo Grappa Moscato), 2 of Gin (3/4 oz Bols Genever), and 2 of Whisky (3/4 oz DD White Whiskey). –Serve!

To the six people. Then run for your life.

Well, another fun one from Judge Jr’s prohibition era recipe book, “Here’s How”. Equal parts Brandy, Gin, and Whisky… I set myself the challenge of somehow making the damn thing tasty.

The following facebook exchange was helpful:

Erik Ellestad: Wondering if the Thunderclap Cocktail, equal parts Gin, Whiskey, and Brandy, can be salvaged. Thinking not.
July 30 at 9:54am
Genie Gratto: Whoa. That’s a fairly frightening combination.
July 30 at 9:55am
Brian Mac Gregor: I think it could. Use an extremely mild gin, a bourbon or rye that is over 10 years old, and a really rich brandy such as armagnac… I will be working on this at the Jardiniere tonight.
July 30 at 10:02am
Erik Ellestad: I was thinking unaged whiskey, unaged grape spirit, and geneve. And maybe a dash of gum syrup. Might be cheating.
July 30 at 10:05am
Louis Anderman: Doubtful. But at least it sounds better than the Earthquake.
July 30 at 10:06am
Erik Ellestad: Brian, I do have to stop by HD on my way home… Hm, not too far from Jardiniere!
July 30 at 10:19am
Jenny Adams: shudder ….
July 30 at 10:36am
Neyah White: add 1/2 oz of a honey liqueur or benedictine, it will smooth right out for ya.
July 30 at 10:46am
Brian Mac Gregor: would love to have ya sitting at my bar tonight…
July 30 at 11:13am
Erik Ellestad: Damn, change of plans, won’t be downtown tonight after all. We shall have to work separately and compare notes later. I look forward to hearing what you come up with!
July 30 at 12:44pm
Jason Randell: sounds wasteful
July 30 at 2:01pm
Erik Ellestad: 3/4 oz DD White, 3/4 oz Bols Genever, 3/4 oz Grappa Marolo Moscato… If you like super dry martinis you can stop there, however I found it significantly improved with a half teaspoon small hand foods gum and a dash of some old fashioned cardamom heavy bitters.
July 30 at 5:50pm

Going from the Previous “New Car” Cocktail, I knew there was some hope with a bit of re-imagining. First, I pretty much decided on Unaged Whiskey and Genever, which left only one variable, the Grape Spirit.

Having used Pisco in the New Car, I knew that was an option which would work OK, but wasn’t over sold. Casting about a bit for other grape based spirits, I came across a box I had received from a firm promoting various Marolo Grappas. I sniffed through them and found the floral nature of the Moscato Grappa the most appealing.

I mixed it without sweetener and gave it a try. Tasty, but whew, that certainly is a Thunderclap of booze. Tossed it back in with the ice and a barspoon of Small Hand Foods Gum. Better. A dash of Bitter Truth Repeal Day Bitters, and we were cooking with gas. Actually, quite nice.

Nice to get some input, and even better to be able to salvage this very unpromising 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.

Thunder and Lightning Cocktail

First, just a reminder that this Sunday, August 29, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Thunder and Lightning Cocktail
The Yolk of 1 Egg. (1 Egg Yolk)
1 Teaspoonful Powdered Sugar. (1 teaspoon Caster Sugar)
1 Glass Brandy. (2 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac)
Shake well and strain into medium size glass. Dash of Cayenne Pepper on top.

Well, aside from the use of Gum Syrup instead of powdered sugar in the Thunder and the instruction to put the Cayenne Pepper on top of this one, there’s really no difference between the Thunder and Thunder and Lightning Cocktails.

The use of a Medium size glass for a Savoy recipe, however, usually means that the cocktail has a dash of selzer on top. So I added one. Kind of lightened things up a bit, so there you go! If you really wanted to add some zip to this, you might add some Champagne. You’ll be seeing stars!

In light of the recent Salmonella in eggs news, I suppose I should say something about eggs in cocktails.

Some people maintain that Salmonella only comes from contamination on the outside of the egg. This is not true, if the egg laying chickens are sufficiently infected, the whole egg will contain Salmonella bacteria.

Other people maintain there is some “disinfecting” property in alcohol that kills the bad bacteria in eggs. While high proof alcohol is an effective topical disinfectant, the odds of contaminated egg material being exposed to high enough proof alcohol for sufficient time to kill all bacteria in a contaminated egg are slim, as far as I can tell.

I buy my eggs from a chicken farmer at the Alemany Farmers’ Market. Organic, Free Range, Cage Free, Pot Smoking, Happy, Hoppy, Hippy Chickens. Blah, blah, blah, do I live in California or what?

I guess I would say, if the thought of a minor bout with Salmonella puts you off, unless you know where your eggs come from, it’s best to go with Pasteurized in the shell eggs for cocktails.

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.

Thunder Cocktail

First, just a reminder that this Sunday, August 29, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Thunder Cocktail
1 Teaspoonful Gomme Syrup. (1 Teaspoon Small Hands Food Gum Syrup)
The Yolk of 1 Egg. (The Yolk of 1 Egg)
1 Glass Brandy. (2 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac Reserve)
1 Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper (1 Sprinkle S&B Nanami Togarashi)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, that’s a bit odd, a Brandy Flip with Cayenne? I guess this would have been some sort of morning Pick-Me-Up.

Chuckle, well, why not use this interesting Japanese Pepper blend? Sure, it has Seaweed and Black Sesame Seeds, but what the heck? A little Umami never killed anyone.

It’s not a drink I will likely make again soon, but neither is it bad. Other than heat, the spice blend doesn’t contribute a lot to the cocktail, but it is enough to be noticeable.

A spicy flip? Why not?

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.

Three Stripes Cocktail

Three Stripes Cocktail
3 Slices Orange. (3 Slices Orange)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Corsair Gin)
(Muddle Orange Slices, add ice and…)  Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

A Martini with muddled slices of oranges? Yeah, that’s just a bit odd. However, it’s not exactly unappealing. In fact I think it is safe to say, I kind of prefer it to an Orange Blossom or Screwdriver, definitely on the dry and refreshing side.

A friend, David Driscoll, gave me this Corsair Gin to try, and I’m not quite sure what to think.  While fairly traditional in flavor profile, it’s very strongly aromatic.  Not at all unpleasant, there is still a little something in the middle flavor sensations that is a bit off putting to me.  It seems to be pretty well made, but there is something not as clean as I would like in the expression of the botanicals.

It is interesting that they say they make it in a method similar to Bombay Sapphire, with a “Head” to contain the botanicals instead of a direct steep.  Not sure if anyone else in America has experimented with that technique yet.

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.

Three Miller Cocktail

Three Miller Cocktail

1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (1 Teaspoon Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1 Dash Lemon Juice. (1 Dash Lemon Juice)
2/3 Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Cognac Park V.S.O.P.)
1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Rene Alambic Rum)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

In Harry McElhone’s book “Barflies and Cocktails”, a drink with these ingredients is called “The Three Mile Limit”, referring to the distance a ship had to be from shore to evade the long arm of the law. McElhone also notes, “This cocktail was invented at Harry’s New York Bar, Paris, by “Chips,” Brighton, the popular Bartender. One of the effects of the Volstead Act, people get busy when outside of the three miles.”

While, “The Three Mile Limit” is a fine, if somewhat literal, name for a cocktail, it doesn’t really roll off the tongue. You can certainly imagine that name being shortened rather quickly to, “The Three Miler”. What happened for Craddock to rename it “The Three Miller”, we will never know, but it is a rather better name than either Three Miler or Three Mile Limit.

The cocktail itself is of the mostly booze sort, which, aside from the Super Extra Dry Martini, has largely gone out of fashion with modern drinkers. Probably, if someone were to ask me for this in a bar, I would make something like: 1 1/2 oz Brandy, 1/2 oz Rum, 1/2 oz Lemon, 1/2 oz Grenadine. Or if they were young, maybe even, 1 oz Brandy, 1/2 oz Rum, 3/4 oz Lemon, 1/2 oz Grenadine, 1/2 oz Simple Syrup. But either way, we’re getting pretty far from the almost all booze of the original formulation, which I even found a bit hard going, basically a glass of cold Brandy.

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.

Some Reservations

Was recently watching an episode of No Reservations where Anthony Bourdain traveled to Kerala, India.

In the episode he visited two establishments which gave me pause, a Toddy Shop and a Tea Shop.

While I know the idea of “Punch” was likely adapted by the British from Indian Roots and the Indians have a pretty good claim on being among the first to distill spirits for consumption, I hadn’t given much thought to what else they may have contributed to drink culture.

Toddies and Slings, (more about Toddies and Slings in another post shortly,) are booze plus water, sugar, and maybe a garnish.  Along with Punch, they were among the most popular drinks in America during the early years of the country.

In India, Toddy Shops are bar-like places that serve Palm Wine and food.  Palm Wine is a fermented beverage made by harvesting the sap of Toddy Palm Trees.  It spontaneously ferments, making a low alcohol beverage similar to Mexican beverage Pulque.  These shops are gathering places for men, and often serve food as a sop to their Toddy, or maybe Toddy as a salve to the spicy Indian Food.  One way, or another, they are gathering places, where men, food, and alcoholic beverages converge.

It puzzles me how the word “Toddy” may have migrated to or from India, to refer to a ubiquitous American beverage of the 18th and 19th Century.

Another interesting visit was to a Tea Shop.  Much like the Toddy Shop, the Tea Shop was a social gathering place, where you would go to get your tea, have a snack, and converse with your neighbors and the proprietor to get the most recent local news and gossip.  Aside from this similarity to Taverns, I was struck by another interesting technique used by the women making the tea.  When they are pouring and mixing it they aerate it by pouring it between two metal mixing cups.  Called Yard Long Tea it was strange to see the mixing technique from the Blue Blazer and other famous 19th Century Bartenders being used to mix tea in India.

While Wayne Curtis’ recent article in the Atlantic, “Who Invented the Cocktail?“, traced some of the roots of bar culture and cocktails back to England, this episode of No Reservations got me wondering how much of what he credits to England in the article was borrowed from Indian culture.

Feeling Italian (Part 2)

As I continue to work Sunday through Friday, it has been a bit of a struggle to make my one day a week off count. Get all the errands run, get some posts written, and, most importantly, spend some quality time with Mrs. Flannestad and our dog Monty.

A while ago Michele got me a copy of David Tanis’ cookbook, “A Platter of Figs“.

I promised to make her some things from it, but after a persimmon cake which wasn’t as good as our usual recipe, I hadn’t gone back and tried anything else.

So for this Saturday night, the first we’ve had together in a while, I opted to do a whole menu.

Feeling Italian (Part 2)

Steamed Fennel with Red Pepper Oil
Roasted Quail with Grilled Raddicchio and Creamy Polenta
Italian Plum Cake

First things first, headed to the Alemany Farmers’ Market Saturday “morning”, with the hopes of finding as much of the produce as possible.

Stopped at the Tomatero Farms stand and were thrilled to find Raddicchio.

Dapple Dandy Plums (my favorites!) from Ferrari Farms.

We only found some questionable looking Fennel, so I hedged our bets with beautiful beets from Blue House Farms.

Also some Maitake Mushrooms from Far West Fungi, part of a sekrit plan to “improve” Tanis’ menu.

After some fortifying Sopes and squash blossom Quesadillas from El Huarache Loco, we headed home with our spoils.

A bit later in the afternoon, we headed up to Cortland, to Avedano’s Holly Park Market, where we perused our meat options.

No quail today, so we consoled ourselves with a whole Chicken (head on!) from Soul Food Farms.  As is usual, there was a little sticker shock with the price of a Soul Food Farms product.  “I just paid what for a whole chicken!?”  As this was our first time with this producer, we crossed our fingers that the flavor, and good feelings from supporting a small producer, would make it worth the price.

Monty and Squeaky Blue Ball (his favorite).

A nice family dog walk at Crissy Field, then back home to start cooking dinner.

Got home, Michele put on the music, while I cut up the chicken and started a simple stock with the chicken neck and back bones.

Made the Plum Cake.

Washed the beets and started them in the oven to roast.

The Fennel was indeed questionable, so decided to reprise a recent invention.

Nose to Tail Beets (or perhaps “Leaf to Root”?)


1 bunch beets
2 cloves Garlic, sliced
chile flakes
raisins, chopped
olive oil
Chicken or Vegetable Stock.


Pre-heat oven to 400.  Cut stems and leaves from beets.  Wash and clean.  Wrap in aluminum foil package, salting and adding a bit of olive oil.  Roast until tender.

Wash Beet greens and stems.  Chop stems into 1/8 inch pieces.  Slice Leaves.  Heat saute pan and add a couple tablespoons olive oil.  Add garlic slices and cook a couple.  Add Beet stems, Oregano, Thyme, salt, and Chile flakes.  Saute until tender.  Add beet leaves and splash in some stock.  Add raisins, cover, and cook until leaves are tender.  Check salt and add more if needed.

When Beets are cooked, rinse under cold water and remove outer skin. Cut into Eighths and add beets to pan with greens and stems.  Toss to mix and serve warm.

Started the Polenta. Roasted the Maitake Mushrooms.

Roasted Chicken.  One of my big issues with the recipe for the Squab was that they didn’t bother to use the fond from the roasting pan.  David! You’ve got a Pancetta and Squab fond, and you’re not going to at least make a pan sauce? Lazy!

So after the chicken was done, I started dripping based roux in roasting pan. Added the Chicken Stock I’d made. Finished pan sauce with Roasted Maitakes and some of pancetta which had been used to wrap the chicken.

Opened the wine.

Drin that bottle.

Carved the chicken and served it forth, perhaps not as beautiful as it would be at David Tanis’ house or Chez Panisse, but what can you do? I’m just a home cook! If it tastes good, I’m done.


And it was a really tasty chicken.  Totally worth the price, for flavor alone.  The good feeling of supporting a small producer, and happiness from making an amazingly delicious special dinner for my wife, were just icing on the cake.  An awesome Saturday night, I definitely made this one count!

Thistle Cocktail

Thistle Cocktail
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters. (2 dashes Angostura Bitters)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
1/2 Scotch Whisky. (1 oz MacAllan Cask Strength)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze Lemon Peel over glass and drop in.)

Robert Vermeire changes the ratio slightly and also makes a note regarding the name:

2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters; 1/6 gill of Italian Vermouth; 2/6 gill of Scotch Whisky. Stir up well, strain into a cocktail glass and squeeze lemon-peel on top. This cocktail is also called “York Cocktail”.

The big question being, what’s the difference between the Rob Roy, Thistle, and York.

As far  as I can tell, nothing.  I guess, if you prefer one of the names, go for it.  I am sort of partial to Thistle, but then I’m an obscurist.  Obviously, the way to go about ordering it in a bar, would be to stick with the common denominator Rob Roy.

As with most Fifty-Fifty type cocktails, I think it is best to go with strongly flavored and high proof spirits for the “base”.  In this case, the Macallan Cask Strength is quite delicious and isn’t going to roll over for the Carpano.  A really enjoyable cocktail, among my current top 10.

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.