Whisky Cocktail

Whisky Cocktail

1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Boker’s Bitters)
4 Dashes Syrup. (1 tsp Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup)
1 Glass Canadian Club Whiskey. (2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon)

Stir well and strain in cocktail glass. Add a cherry (Ooops, my cherries are in questionable shape, so I couldn’t face putting one in. Instead I Squeezed a Lemon Peel over the glass and dropped it in.)

Boy, this Buffalo Trace Bourbon isn’t for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. I guess I’m used to Bourbon with a bit more finesse, like the Eagle Rare or Evan Williams Single Barrel, but the Buffalo Trace had a harshness I wasn’t used to in this simple preparation.

I also thought it would be kind of fun to whip out Adam Elmegirab‘s reproduction of Boker’s Bitters, (Available online from Cocktail Kingdom,) for this old school cocktail.

I went a little light, I guess, with the Boker’s. Found them pretty mildly flavored, at least compared to Angostura. Could have gone with at least 2 dashes to stand up to the flavor of the Bourbon. Nicely old fashioned flavor, though, and good in this cocktail.

Anyway, this is a “Cocktail” all right, nothing complicated, but delicious 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.

Sun Lakes Cocktail Menu

My Mom asked me to make cocktails for her friends in the Ocotillo Womens League. Fun was had by all!

Big Spender (DeGroff)
1 oz Reposado Tequila
1 oz Citronge Liqueur (Or Clement Creole Shrubb, if you’re lucky enough to be somewhere you can get it.)
1/2 oz Blood Orange Juice (or 4 parts Orange Juice mixed with 1 Part Pomegranate Juice)

Shake briefly and strain into champagne flute. Flame orange peel over glass and drop in. Top with Brut (dry) Sparkling Wine.

Super Trooper (This Bee Has Flown)

1 1/2 oz Krogstad Aquavit
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Honey Syrup (1-1 mixture of Clover honey and warm water)

Shake and strain into cocktail glass.

Corpse Reviver (No. 2)

3/4 oz Dry Gin
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) Absinthe (or other Anise flavored spirit: Lebanese Arrack, Herbsaint, Absinthe, Pastis, Pernod, Ricard, Ouzo, etc.)

Shake and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with Cherry (or not).

Recent Savoy/Underhill Press

Some recent press for the Underhill Lounge and Savoy Cocktail Book Project:

San Francisco Chronicle, Nov 28, 2008

Do-It-Yourself Cocktail Ingredients, Jane Tunks

Erik Ellestad, who is blogging his way through the “The Savoy Cocktail Book” at Underhill Lounge (savoystomp.com), has been toying around with making his own bitters and other concoctions for several years. Among the advantages of making your own ingredients, Ellestad says, is the ability to play around with flavors and spices that he can’t find in off-the-shelf products.

Tin House Magazine No. 39, Appetites

Cocktailians, by Audrey Ference

Imbibe Magazine, July/August, 2010

Characters: By the Book, Jenny Adams

A peek into Erik Ellestad’s refrigerator reveals several kinds of obscure, imported colas, soda waters and vermouths. His garage is packed with a managerie of bottles ranging from homemade liqueurs to dusty imported Absinthes. And his kitchen counter, which serves as the set and stage for mixing cocktails, can get so crowded with bottles that sometimes the microwave is completely out of reach. Several nights a week, his wife, Michele, arrives home from work to find the tall, slender 45-year-old hunkered down behind the lens of his camera, snapping a shot of a freshly made drink before handing it off to her for a  taste and heading to his computer to blog about the recipe.

Food Network Dish

More Food on the Web, Julia Simon

Shaken, stirred, up, with a twist – no matter how you like your cocktail, there’s a smart one awaiting you at this blog. While some posts start out with a warning (“dangerous cocktail geekery ahead!”), we wager all the sips featured here will go down smooth.

California Report

Bringing Back Classic Cocktails, Deirdre Kennedy

The classic cocktail craze is changing the way people drink. Adventurous bartenders have resurrected vintage cocktails that were in vogue before and during the Prohibition years. The resurgence of interest in the refined beverages started in New York, but San Francisco has become a center of expertise among bartenders and drinkers alike.

Imbibe Unfiltered

Turkey Time Tipples

Nearly finished with his Savoy Project, this recipe for Great Pumpkin Punch, which will grace his holiday table, is an adaptation of a classic recipe. Combining sweet potatoes, citrus and spices with bourbon, Cognac and Batavia Arrack, Ellestad describes this potent sipper as, “pumpkin pie in punch form.”


Our Official Complicated Cocktail for Winter 2010

Erik Ellestad runs a sweet blog called Underhill Lounge that’s about “Cocktails, Food, and Gardening South of the Hill in Bernal Heights.” The cocktail part comes first because Erik is serious about his mixology — so serious, in fact, that he created a special cocktail for the 2010 holiday season called (wait for it…) Bernal  Heights Milk Punch.

And according to online friend Hayden Lambert, of the Poetry of Bartending and an alumnus of the Merchant Hotel in Belfast, my guest bartending stint at Dram in Brooklyn (Thanks Tom!) made enough of an impression on the writer from Class Magazine that I got a mention in a Winter 2010 issue, along with the Underhill Lounge and Alembic Bar. Though, amusingly, Hayden noted that he feels certain that the writer is convinced that the Underhill Lounge is an actual bar. Maybe I should work on that!

Whip Cocktail

Whip Cocktail
1 Dash Absinthe.
3 Dashes Curacao.
1/4 French Vermouth.
1/4 Italian Vermouth.
1/4 Brandy.
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

When I was researching this cocktail, I discovered it in Robert Vermiere’s 1922 “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”.

In that he says, “This cocktail is well known amongst the naval officers of the Mediterranean Squadron. It is composed of: 1/8 gill Absinthe Pernod; 1/8 gill of French Vermouth; 1/8 gill of Brandy; 1/8 gill of Curacao; Shake until Frozen. In Egypt they call it “Kurbag,” which is the Arabic word for whip.”

So, in Vermeire’s world, the Whip is an equal parts cocktail.

Figured I’d give that a go.

Whip Cocktail

1/2 oz Jade PF 1901 Absinthe
1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Clement Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz Osocalis Rare Alambic Brandy

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

Just coming off of the nearly undrinkable Which Way Cocktail, it’s interesting to see how much difference the moderation of a bit of vermouth adds to the enjoyment of the drink.  Well, that and some variety of taste from Orange Liqueur instead of Anisette.

This isn’t bad, not bad at all, and it didn’t need the rejiggering given to it by the Savoy editors.

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.

Which Way Cocktail

Which Way Cocktail
1/3 Absinthe (3/4 oz Kubler Absinthe)
1/3 Anisette (3/4 oz Anis del Mono dulce)
1/3 Brandy (3/4 oz Osocalis Brandy)
Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

Which Way?

I believe, yes, you may have some problems with directionality after a couple of these sweet boozy treats.

Which way did he go?

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.

West Indian Cocktail

West Indian Cocktail
1 Teaspoonful Sugar in medium-sized Tumbler. (1 teaspoon Small Hand Foods Gum)
4 Dashes Angostura. (4 dashes angostura bitters)
1 Teaspoonful Lemon Juice. (1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice)
1 Glass Burrough’s Beefeater Gin. (2 oz Beefeater Gin)
1 Lump of ice.
Stir and serve in same glass.

Oddly, we run into a spate of “West Indian” attributed cocktails in the Double Youse. This one appears to originate in Harry McElhone’s 1928 “ABC of Cocktails”.

Like the original Pegu Club or the Crustas, this is an actual Cock-Tail with only a minor amount of citrus, not a sour. Heck, they even tell you to stir this one!

I also like the rather large proportion of bitters given for this recipe. 4 Dashes! Woo!

Gives lie to those that say, “If you can taste the bitters, it is a bad cocktail.”

In the West Indian Cocktail, the bitters are a major flavor element of the cocktail.

Others might disagree, but I rather enjoyed it, not at all dissimilar to something along the lines of the ‘Ti Punch. Like that drink, I could see how this would be pleasant on a hot day in the West Indies, preferably with the trade winds blowing up, and a bit of salt sea spray in the air.

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.

Western Rose Cocktail

Western Rose Cocktail
1 Dash Lemon Juice. (1 dash Lemon Juice)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/4 Apricot Brandy. (1/8 oz Brizard Apry, 1/8 oz Blumme Marillen)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz North Shore No. 6)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Along the lines of the English Rose Cocktail, but with only Apricot Brandy and no Grenadine.

I’ve been out of Rothman & Winter Apricot for a while now, and kind of feel like my Brizard Apry has probably seen better days. I mean, it probably has been open for 4 years now. Whatever fruity youthfulness it might have had, are probably gone.

I figured one way to get back in the direction of the Rothman & Winter would be to use some Apricot Eau-de-Vie in this, instead of all liqueur.

Between the Vermouth, Gin, and aging apricot liqueur, this skates on the edge of some sort of children’s medicine. Not sure how to exactly move forward with this not entirely successful experiment.

There’s the direction of Julie Reiner’s Gin Blossom, using Bianco/Blanc Vermouth and no lemon.

Gin Blossom
From a recipe by Julie Reiner, Clover Club, Brooklyn, and Flatiron Lounge, New York,

45 ml (1.5 oz) Plymouth Gin
22.5 ml (.75 oz) Martini Bianco
22.5 ml (.75 oz) Blume Apricot Eau de Vie
2 dashes Orange Bitters
1 Lemon twist, as garnish
Stir over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add the garnish.

A lovely cocktail.

I’ve also really enjoyed re-imagining the Judgette Cocktail with Old World Spirits Indian Blood Peach Eau-de-Vie:

3/4 oz Peach Eau-de-Vie,
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth,
3/4 oz DryGin
dash Lemon
dash simple.

Stir, Strain. Orange Peel.

They are all a tad finicky, with their dashes of this or that, very much the sort of cocktail I enjoy rocking, but other bartenders probably hate. Anyway, something about the Western Rose just didn’t quite do it for me. Either the Judgette or the Gin Blossom would be preferable.

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.

Small-ish Orgeat Recipe

The last time I wrote down a successful Orgeat recipe, it was for the batch I made for Tales of the Cocktail in 2008. It was rather large.

Orgeat–Tales Version

I recently made a much smaller version for Savoy Night at Alembic Bar, and it turned out well.

Mostly writing this down so I don’t forget.

Orgeat On a Small Scale

16 ounces Water
16 ounces (by weight) sugar
4 ounces (by weight) Whole Almonds, Pulsed to coarse grind in food processor

1 Tablespoon Brandy
1/2 tsp Natural Almond Extract
A couple drops Orange Flower Water

Dissolve sugar in water over low flame. Add almonds and bring up to 140 degrees. Hold it at 140 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate over night. Filter almonds out of syrup, squeezing to remove as much liquid as possible. Add Brandy, Almond Extract, and Orange Flower Water. Bottle in a clean sanitized bottle and refrigerate. Makes a bit less than 750ml.

Notes: I did not blanch and remove the skins from the almonds this time. Some “friends” had suggested blanching was an unnecessary step, as they detected no tannic or bitter character from. the skins. Well, this is true, there is no detectable tannic or bitter character from the skins, however there is a lot of pigment. Unless it is cool with you that your orgeat is the color of porter and the drinks made with it look like dishwater, I would recommend blanching.

A lot of people these days recommend roasting the almonds before using them to make your orgeat. I’m on the fence about that. It does give it a more intense flavor, but I think it covers up some of the floral and cherry notes of the pure almond flavor. However, I have yet to give it a try myself, maybe with the next batch.

Bernal Heights Milk Punch, Holidays 2010

Been making variations on Jerry Thomas’ California Milk Punch since June of 2009.

This is a citrus centric Milk Punch, not unlike 2009’s ‘Sconnie Punch.

Bernal Heights Milk Punch, Holidays 2010

1 Bottle Osocalis Brandy
1/2 Bottle Batavia Arrack
1/3 Bottle Coruba Jamaican Rum
2/3 Bottle Barbancourt White Rum
Peel 4 Grapefruit
Peel 8 Lemon
Peel 1 Orange
2 teaspoon Cardamom Pods, crushed
2 teaspoon Coriander Seed, crushed
2 Cassia Cinnamon Sticks
20 oz Water
16 oz Sugar
4 tsp. Hubei Silver Tip Green Tea

1 Quart Straus Farms Whole Milk

Zest citrus and add zest to Brandy, Rums, and Arrack. Juice Oranges, Grapefruit and 6 Lemons, strain, and add to aforementioned liquid. Add Spices. Allow to infuse for at least 48 hours.

Heat water and add tea. Steep 6 minutes and stir in sugar. Strain tea leaves out of syrup and chill.

Strain Peels and Spices out of Liquid. Juice other two lemons and add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Heat milk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Allow to stand undisturbed for 30 minutes and filter through cheesecloth, removing milk solids. Add Tea Syrup to filtered booze mixture and pour into clean containers. Allow to stand for a couple days*. Rack clear liquid off of any accumulated sediment into clean bottles and store. Chill well before serving. Serve on ice and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Makes about 3 quarts.

*If you have space in your refrigerator, storing the punch chilled will greatly accelerate the separation of the remaining milk solids from the other liquids.

Westbrook Cocktail

Westbrook Cocktail
(6 People)
3 1/2 Glasses Gin. (1 1/4 oz Bols Genever)
1 1/2 Glasses Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1 Glass whisky. (1/2 oz Famous Grouse)
Before shaking (I stirred), add a little castor sugar. (Dash Rich Simple Syrup.)

Not sure where this oddity came from, it doesn’t seem to be among the party cocktails in “Drinks–Long and Short”, but anyway, Gin, Whisky, and Italian Vermouth. Hm.

Well, if I have to make this cocktail, and it doesn’t specify “Dry Gin”, I’m making it with Genever, instead.

Going from the Genever, Scotch seemed like an easy choice, Malt based Gin with Malt based whiskey. At the moment, my “mixing” Scotch is usually Famous Grouse, well, unless I feel like splurging.

I dunno, the Westbrook isn’t really awful, slightly tarted up Genever Manhattan, with Scotch instead of bitters. Makes sense in a twisted kind of way.

Gosh darn it, I would like to try it with Brucchladdich‘s new Gin and their Scotch! (Hint! Hint! Hello, in case you liquor companies hadn’t noticed, I like Scotch. Send Whisk(e)y, not mediocre Cachaca, I already have more of that than I will likely use in this lifetime.)

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.