Turf Cocktail

Turf Cocktail
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
2 Dashes Maraschino. (2 Dash Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur)
2 Dashes Absinthe. (2 Dash Lucid Absinthe)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry or 1 oz Sutton Cellars Vermouth)
1/2 Plymouth Gin. (1/2 oz Junipero, 1/2 oz Genevieve)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I was reading a post over at Ummamimart about Perucchi Vermouth, which we sadly do not have in the Bay Area, and I noticed that Payman had mentioned Sutton Cellars Vermouth in a comment.

Later in the comment thread, Carl Sutton chimed in with some corrections.

Thinking about it, I realized I had never really given the old college try to using the Sutton Cellars Vermouth in Savoy Cocktails.

So I thought I’d pick up a fresh bottle of Sutton Cellars and a fresh bottle of Noilly Prat Dry and put them up against each other in cocktails.

The Turf Cocktail, which Robert Vermeire attributes to “Harry Johnson, New Orleans,” is actually one of my all time favorite aromatic Gin cocktails.  As usual, this is a combination of Gin and Dry Vermouth with a couple dashes of this and that.  In this case the this is Absinthe and the that is Maraschino Liqueur.  Like the Imperial Cocktail, this transforms a simple Fifty-Fifty Martini into something completely other.

Not relying on my own taste, I also ran both of these past Mrs. Flannestad in a blind tasting, even though aromatic gin cocktails are not her favorite.  The general consensus was, in the case of the Turf Cocktail, we preferred the cocktail made with Noilly Prat Dry to the one with Sutton Cellars.   While the Noilly Turf was balanced and smooth, the Sutton Cellars Turf seemed to have a tart character which overshadowed the other elements in the drink.

Didn’t hear from the specialist for a few days, so finally, two days before the Biopsy, I call the office to ask about my test results. The Doctor isn’t in, but the nurse tells me the numbers from one of the tests was “abnormal” .  I should still plan on coming in for the biopsy.


This was a pretty big let down. Needless to say, it put me in a pretty bad mood.

The morning of the appointment, I got ready as advised (don’t ask,) and Michele gave me a ride to the office. It was in one of the depressingly dingy San Francisco Kaiser offices, which always seem to be in some form of remodeling or another and filled with sick, or otherwise mutilated, senior citizens.

The nurse takes me to the office and tells me to take off my clothes and put on the surgical gown.

I sit in the office, mostly naked, shivering, for about 20 minutes, contemplating surgical devices which don’t look like they would have been out of place in the David Cronenberg film “Dead Ringers”. I eye the specimen jars with my name on them.

Finally, the Doctor finally comes in. He tells me they just got back some more blood results, and, in fact, my numbers are “normal”. In line with my results the year before. We don’t have to proceed with the biopsy, just keep an eye on this for the future.

Stunned and confused, I say, “Uh, What?”

“You can put your clothes back on and leave.”

“Uh, thanks. OK.”

As I’m leaving, the nurse says, “You got lucky today. I hope your numbers stay low.”

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.

5 thoughts on “Turf Cocktail

    • Huh, I could have sworn I asked all my contacts in the Spirits business about Perucchi back in June, when I first read the article.

      But glad to hear you are carrying it! I can’t wait to try them!

  1. Great news! I’m so happy to hear the biopsy was averted at the last second. Not as much as you, to be sure, but happy nonetheless. And how exciting. I picture the lab tech sprinting breathlessly down the hall with test results in hand. He collapses with exhaustion as he hands the report to your doctor who is at that moment turning the doorknob to enter the room where you are shivering in your surgical gown. The doctor wipes away the small tear of joyous relief before entering the room.

    Looking forward to trying the Turf, but we’ve been out of Maraschino for a few weeks. Which we need to remedy because the Genevieve is sitting in the freezer crying out to be used in an Improved Gin Cocktail. So tonight it’s a Sazerac instead.

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