Yellow Daisy Cocktail

Yellow Daisy Cocktail*
(6 People)
2 Glasses Gin. (1 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
2 Glasses French Vermouth. (1 oz Vermouth Perucchi Blanc)
1 Glass Grand Marnier. (1/2 oz Clement Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur)
Before shaking add a dash of Absinthe. (1 dash Duplais Verte Absinthe)

*Not only the favourite drink, but also the one made famous, if not invented, by Richard William (” Deadwood Dick ”) Clark, recently deceased (84): onetime Custer scout, Pony Express rider, Deadwood Gulch stage coach guard, Inspiration for all the (64) Deadwood Dick novels of E. L. Wheeler ; friends off Wild Westerners, Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill, Poker Alice Tubbs, Calamity Jane, Madame Mustache and Diamond Dick Turner or Norfolk, Neb. : Clark is buried on Sun- rise Mountain overlooking Deadwood Gulch, S. Dak.

So, let me get this straight, this Gin drink, which probably came from Nina Toye and A.H. Adair’s 1925 “Drinks Long & Short” is a Cowboy drink?

I did my best to rough it up a bit, using the vaguely whiskey flavored Ransom Old Tom. I suppose I could have gone a bit further and used Anchor’s thoroughly rambunctious Genevieve Gin, but I killed that bottle trying to breath some life into the White Wings Cocktail.

On the other hand, this isn’t bad at all, along the lines of a Martinez. My notes for the drink were, “If this is what the Cowboys were drinking, count me in for some pony breaking.”

I was reading Ummamimart the other month, and Payman Bahmani wrote about Perucchi Vermouth from Catalonia: Happy Hour: Vermouth Perucchi. I was intrigued enough to comment on the post, and later when I wrote up the Turf Cocktail, I lamented the fact that Perucchi wasn’t available in the Bay Area. Shortly thereafter, David Driscoll commented on the post saying, “Uhhhhh…….we sell Perucchi at K&L. Just ask!” I guess between the time of Payman’s post and when I wrote about the Turf, unbeknownst to me, Perucchi had become available in the Bay Area. So ask I did, and shortly thereafter picked up a bottle of the Blanc and Red Vermouth from Perucchi.

Vermouth Perucchi is new to me. From what I can tell, they make three Vermouths: Red, Blanc, and Extra Dry. This is definitely the Blanc, not the Extra Dry. I really like it, but it is very much along the lines of a White Carpano Antica. Fairly sweet, with a strong vanilla element. Not as herbally intense as many of the Italian Bianco Vermouths, or even the Dolin Blanc. I’ve found myself drinking a lot of it with a splash of Cocchi Americano, or an Italian Amaro, and soda.

Anyway, the Perucchi Blanc works really well in the Yellow Daisy, complementing both the Clement Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur and Ransom Old Tom.

Oh yeah, why not Grand Marnier? Laziness. I would have had to trek all the way down to the basement to track it down and the Creole Shrubb was handy. Well, also, Creole Shrubb just seemed a bit more Cowboy-esque, than Grand Marnier. Or at least Pirate-ey.

When I was mentioning the Yellow Daisy on the book of faces, Erick Castro made the amusing comment, “I love the Yellow Daisy. Especially, cause it’s not a daisy & not very yellow.”

Which got me thinking: Oh, uh, yeah. What’s the oldest Gin, French Vermouth, and Orange Bitters Cocktail recipe, predating the Martini? The Marguerite. What kind of flower is a Marguerite? Why it is a Yellow Daisy.

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.

Van Dusen Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 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.

Van Dusen Cocktail
2 Dashes Grand Marnier. (1 tsp. Grand Marnier)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Unlike the very well known Vanderbilts, I am unclear whom the Van Dusen might have been named after. The cocktail is from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks,” so that would make it early century New York, possibly society.

The most interesting character, kind of contemporary with that time, was Harry Van Dusen, aka Van Denmark (1881–1948). An author who was well known for children’s serials, “Just prior to World War I, Van Demark began to write mystery stories, including “The Vanishing Diplomat,” which appeared in Black Cat. This was followed by a thirty­ year avalanche of stories of action and crime with the Western story formula predominating.”

Whomever, the Van Dusen refers to, it isn’t a bad cocktail at all.  A slightly sweetened Martini, I chose to use Hayman’s given its friendliness to citrus flavors, and indeed, it worked well with the Curacao.

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.

Up-To-Date Cocktail

Up-To-Date Cocktail
2 Dashes Grand Marnier. (5ml or 1 tsp. Grand Marnier)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters. (2 dashes Angostura Bitters)
1/2 Sherry. (1 oz Solear Manzanilla Sherry)
1/2 Canadian Club Whisky. (1 oz 40 Creek 3 Grain Canadian Whisky)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Hey, this cocktail from Hugo Ensslin’s 1917 cocktail book “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” is pretty darn tasty.

I was afraid it would be a little plain, or that the sherry would get overwhelmed, but it is quite nice, with both the whisky and sherry showing nicely.

With computers, it is always important to keep up-to-date, so it goes with cocktails.

Gotta keep up with what the kids are up to. Heck, sherry is even a trendy ingredient again, you could make this fairly mild whisky cocktail and still seem up to date.

Plus, one of the very few cocktails, outside of the Cadillac Margarita, which gives you a justified reason to use Grand Marnier. If you can’t find decent Canadian Whisky, use Rye. You’ll thank me later.

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.

Satan’s Whiskers


Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail (Straight)

Of Italian Vermouth (1/2 oz Carpano Antica), French Vermouth (1/2 oz Dolin Blanc), Gin (1/2 oz Plymouth Navy Strength Gin) and Orange Juice (1/4 oz Valencia Orange Juice, 1/4 oz Sour Lemon Orange Juice), two parts each; of Grand Marnier one part (1/4 oz Grand Marnier); Orange Bitters (Regan’s Orange Bitters), a dash. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.


Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail (Curled)
For the Grand Marnier in the foregoing Cocktail, substitute the same quantity of Orange Curacao (1/2 oz Bols Dry Orange Curacao). Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

To be honest, I’ve never really been all that thrilled with the Satan’s Whiskers cocktail. It’s a great name, but all too often it isn’t a well balanced or interesting cocktail. Kind of like the Bronx, the quality of orange juice is almost a little too important.

The Saturday before, I headed down to the Farmers’ Market with the idle goal of finding some sort of interesting orange related fruit for the drink. Anything. Clementines, Satsumas, whatever. In my heart of hearts, I really hoped for some seville oranges, as one of the suppliers often carries them during their brief season. No seville oranges, but there was an odd box of small citrus marked, “Sour Lemon Oranges”. When I picked them up to look at them, the farmer woman said something like, good for salads and cooking! Give them a try!


The picture above shows them with a quarter of a navel orange behind. You can see they are quite small and quite seedy. The meat is off yellow and the inner fruit peel greenish. They are really sour. I think possibly even more sour than lemons. They made a pretty fantastic honey mustard marinade for a pork tenderloin.

Anyway, back to drinks.

The recipe is a bit odd, I can’t think of another in the book written in this “parts” style. I decided to base it on 1/4 oz “parts”, as that would get me near the usual 2 1/4 oz cocktails.

A fresh-ish bottle of Carpano gives this a nice spice to go along with the sweetness.

As far as the difference between 1/4 oz of Bols Orange Curacao and 1/4 oz of Grand Marnier, I’ll be darned if I could tell the difference with all the other ingredients in this cocktail. And since the gin is such a small proportion, I figured Navy Strength Plymouth wouldn’t be a bad idea. It definitely wasn’t.

Maybe Satan’s Whiskers aren’t so bad after all!

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.

Marny Cocktail

Marny Cocktail

Marny Cocktail

1/3 Grand Marnier. (3/4 oz Grand Marnier)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz North Shore No. 6)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Really pimping the North Shore, lately!

Sorry, I really dig their gin, even though it isn’t very widely available.

Anyway, obviously, this cocktail pre-dates the Hitchcock movie of the similar (“Marnie”) name by about 35 years. So no connection there.

Not exactly awful, neither is the Marny particularly compelling. That is, unless you like slightly sweet, cognac and orange flavored gin. A dash of bitters or a twist would likely go a long way towards improving it.

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.

Leap Year Cocktail

Leap Year Cocktail

Leap Year Cocktail

1 Dash Lemon Juice. (OK, it was close to a teaspoon)
2/3 Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/6 Grand Marnier (1/2 of 3/4 oz Grand Marnier)
1/6 Italian vermouth. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Carpano Antica)

Shake (stir, I thought) well and serve in cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

This Cocktail was created by Harry Craddock, for the Leap Year celebrations at the Savoy Hotel, London, on February 29th, 1928. It is said to have been responsible for more proposals than any other cocktail that has ever been mixed.

First, I’m not quite sure this picture adequately conveys the loveliness of the color of this cocktail.

Second, wacky, I can’t quite explain the flavor. Initially, it was the vanilla/caramel of the Antica which dominated. But as I settled in to enjoying it, it became stranger and kind of chocolate-ish. Definitely drier than I expected, but still pretty sweet at the same time. Cool.

I know there’s been a lot of revision of this cocktail and cocktails like it.

Just want to encourage anyone to give it a try as written first, then work on variations. I dunno, maybe it doesn’t need improvement.

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.

Robin Wood

I was recently perusing Camper English‘s article on Scotch in the most recent issue of Imbibe Magazine, when I ran across an appealing sounding cocktail:

Robin Wood

2 oz Auchentoshan 10 Year
1/2 oz Madeira
1/2 oz Aperol
1 tsp Grand Marnier
3 drops Orange bitters

Stir with ice to chill, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist and raisins.
Created by Humberto Marques for Oloroso bar in Edinburgh.

Scotch cocktails, aside from the Rob Roy, Blood and Sand, Bobby Burns, and Affinity are pretty rare, but this one sounded right up my alley, so…

Robin Wood

2 oz Highland Park 12
1/2 oz Justino’s Rainwater Madeira
1/2 oz Aperol
1 tsp. Grand Marnier
3 drops Angostura Orange Bitters

Stir, strain, Meyer Lemon Zest, Port Plumped Cherry.

I don’t have a bottle of Auchentoshan, which is a Lowland Scotch, and am not entirely sure that substituting Highland Park, which is an Orkney Scotch, is a great choice. But I’m not about to run out and buy another bottle of Single Malt Scotch just to experiment with this cocktail.

They didn’t say what sort of Madeira to use, but the Justino’s Rainwater Madeira seemed appealing.

Aperol is an Italian bitter aperitif (or Amaro) similar to Campari. It’s a bit sweeter, milder, and more orangey than Campari. Some people describe it as a “gateway” Amaro.

Along with Cointreau, Grand Marnier is one of the grand old French Orange liqueurs. Because the orange perfume is blended with Cognac, it is often thought to be a more elegant spirit than the sharp, single noted orange of Cointreau. To my mind, they both have their places in the mixologists arsenal. Some suggest that Grand Marnier is the best choice when confronted with the term “Curacao”, especially in 19th Century cocktail recipes.

The Angostura Orange Bitters are only recently available in the US, and are a very fine choice.

I had meyer lemons around the house for something I was making for dinner, so they seemed like an interesting choice for the zest. Indeed, their piney funk combined intriguingly with the peaty flavors of the Highland Park Scotch.

I was making a Port and Cherry sauce for some duck breasts. I had combined about a dozen dried bing cherries with a cup of Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Port, a half cup of Cherry Heering, a half cup of Lustau Brandy, and a quarter cup of sugar. Reduced it by half. The sauce and cherries were hanging out on the stove waiting for the duck to be done. The cherries turned out to be pretty darn delicious, so in one went instead of the raisins. They were actually tasty enough, I might have to use them as house cherries going forward!

Also picked up these nice Fostoria glasses on our recent trip to Arizona. I’d really liked this pattern when Neyah brought out some similar glasses making Savoy Cocktails at NOPA, so I was particularly pleased to run across a few stems at an Antique store in Scottsdale.

This is a very nice cocktail! I think a slightly milder scotch combined with a more assertive Madeira might kick it up just a notch, but I liked it just fine as it is.

Gloom Chaser Cocktail

Gloom Chaser Cocktail

1/4 Lemon Juice. (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Grenadine. (1/2 oz Homemade Grenadine)
1/4 Grand Marnier. (1/2 oz Grand Marnier)
1/4 Curacao. (1/2 oz Senior Curacao of Curacao)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Really puzzling. Two kinds of orange liqueur and grenadine? Even more puzzling if you consider Grand Marnier to actually be a type of Curacao liqueur.

Unforuntately, I can find no indication that this recipe is incorrect. I kind of hoped that would be the case. Maybe someone swapped Curacao for Cognac or something.

But no, this ridiculously sweet recipe appears to be correct.

And, yeah, this is ridiculously sweet. The flavors aren’t bad but it turned out to be one of those few Savoy cocktails I couldn’t finish. Just too sweet. Makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it again.

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.

Alfonso (Special) Cocktail

Alfonso (special) Cocktail

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
4 Dashes Italian Vermouth. (1 tsp Italian Vermouth)
1/4 Dry Gin. (Generous 1/2 oz Dry Gin)
1/4 French Vermouth. (Generous 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Grand Marnier. (Generous 1 oz Grand Gala)

Shake (Stir!) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Here’s another of those puzzles, where you wonder what one Alfonso cocktail has to do with the other. Or what makes this one “special”.

In this case, I much preferred the not so special plain old Alfonso to the “Special”. This Satan’s Whiskers with inverted proportions is naturally quite sweet, and ended up getting a bit tiresome before I reached the end.

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.