The Defend Arrack


Before heading to work the other day, I was reading through Rogue and Beta Cocktails, looking for some improvements to my “Whiskey, Spirituous” game, and glanced at The Defend Arrack by Maksym Pazuniak. Looked cool, but whenever am I going to get a chance to make a, “Batavia Arrack, Bartender’s Choice”?

But then a bartender type came in Monday night, relatively new to the game, and asked if he could try Batavia Arrack, “…and maybe could I make him a cocktail?”

What sort of bizarre coincidence is this?

Well, then!

The Defend Arrack

1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
3/4 oz Marie Brizard Apry
3/4 oz lime Juice
1/8 oz St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
Orange twist (garnish)

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Express the oil from one orange twist onto the surface of the drink and discard.

“Batavia Arrack is a challenging spirit. Funky and pungent, this doesn’t mix easily. When encountering an animal like this, I like to turn to Apry, a magic liqueur that has an uncanny ability to reign in and blend disparate flavors. /Maks”

Note, Apry has been a bit thin on the ground in California recently, so I used the Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur. I found I needed to up the amount slightly, as it is not quite as assertive as the Apry is. Nothing near an ounce, but a generous 3/4 oz. Your Mileage May Vary.

Do give that a nice vigorous shake, as well.

I believe you will be surprised how, as the nouveau bartender put it, “more-ish” this seemingly unlikely combination proves to be.

Imperial Fizz

First, just a reminder that Sunday, July 31, 2011, 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, (they also have a great beer selection,) stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders, (and me,) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Imperial Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/3 Rum.
2/3 Canadian Club or Scotch Whisky.
1/2 Tablespoonful Sugar.
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with syphon soda water.

Another Fizz from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”, Ensslin gives the recipe as follows:

1/3 St. Croix Rum; 2/3 Whiskey; 4 dashes Lemon Juice; Juice ½ Lime. Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into a fizz glass and fill up with carbonated water or any sparkling water desired.

A few Savoy Recipes have called for “St. Croiix Rum.” I’ve never really seen much differential to using Cruzan or any other modern Rum from St. Croix. The Cruzan Single Barrel is a nice Rum, but there isn’t really anything in particular it brings to a drink. Or at least enough to justify calling for “St. Croix Rum” in particular.

However, once when I was talking to Martin Cate, (of Rum paradise Smuggler’s Cove) about this issue, he suggested he’d had good results using Spiced Rum when St. Croix Rum is called for. Well, if Martin Cate suggests it, I’ll give it a try. Besides, as this drink has no sweetener, it might be nice to use a sweetened product like most Spiced Rums.

Hey, some company promoting Kraken Spiced Rum was even kind enough to send me a bottle…

Damn! I was really hoping for a rubber squid.

Imperial Fizz

1 1/2 oz Macallan Cask Strength Scotch Whiskey
3/4 oz Kraken Spiced Rum
Light squeeze, juice 1/2 Lemon
Juice 1/2 Small Lime

Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into a fizz glass and fill up with carbonated water or any sparkling water desired.

Yeah, that is not very sweet at all. I believe I over estimated the sweetening power of spiced rum!

And, yes, in the video you can see the problem with using a soda syphon shortly after charging it. The CO2 does not have a chance to dissolve properly, so the first squirt is always too charged.

So this is pretty, “Meh”. A definite waste of perfectly good Scotch. Even stirring a little simple syrup into this, it was pretty blah. The Kraken Spiced Rum and Macallan Scotch aren’t a particularly interesting combination.

But I was thinking about this, and thinking I was just playing it too safe. If you’re going to do something, why not do it all the way? Go Big or Go Home!

Islay Imperial Fizz

1 1/2 oz Laphroaig 10
1/2 oz St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
Couple Dashes lemon Juice
Juice 1/2 small lime
dash Rich Simple Syrup

Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into a fizz glass and fill up with carbonated water or any sparkling water desired.

I may be on crack, but there is some real promise here. It’s kind of like a cross between Erik Adkins’ Rhum Agricole Punch and Sam Ross’ Penicillin. This is not bad, not bad at all. It’s lacking a little in middle flavors, but the combination of Smoky, Peaty Islay Scotch and Allspice Dram is kind of awesome. Definitely worthy of further experimentation!

Music in the first video clip from Efrim Manuel Menuck’s new recording, “Plays High Gospel,” maybe my current favorite CD. Music in the second video clip is from Craig Taborn’s new solo piano CD, “Avenging Angel”.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Laika Cocktail

Laika Cocktail

2 oz Vodka
Shy quarter ounce Lemon Juice
Quarter ounce 1-1 Honey Syrup
Allspice (aka Pimento) Dram

Stir with ice and strain into a glass coated with Allspice Dram. Squeeze thick swath of orange peel over cocktail and discard.

Another vodka cocktail I worked up for Heaven’s Dog.

I was trying to riff on the ingredients used in the Eastern European beverage calld Krupnik: vodka, lemon, honey, spice.

Trying to think of a name, Krupnik reminded me of Sputnik, which reminded me of the first animal to orbit the Earth, Laika.

If you have a vodka with some character, this cocktail will show it off.  I like to make it with the grape based vodka we have at work, CapRock.