St. Germain Cocktail


St. Germain Cocktail.
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
The Juice of 1/4 Grapefruit.
The White or 1 Egg.
1 Liqueur Glass Green Chartreuse. (1 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Woo! On to the “S” Cocktails! I may actually finish this damn Stomp Through the Savoy Cocktail Book, afterall!

The odd thing about the St. Germain cocktail, is the Green Chartreuse is so high proof that it really doesn’t get much foam. The egg white contributes body, but very little else.

If you like Green Chartreuse, this is a nice sour. If you don’t like Green Chartreuse, this may not be a cocktail for you. It’s no Last Word, not a cocktail to convert anyone.

Tasty, though.

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.

Polo Cocktail No. 2

Polo Cocktail No. 2

Polo Cocktail (No. 2).
1/6 Grape Fruit Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice)
1/6 Orange Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Orange Juice)
2/3 Plymouth Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The Polo No. 2, on the other hand, I think you can keep. A big glass of citrus and Gin, I’m not that much of a fan.

I might go for it, but only if you served it in tall glass over rocks with a spritz of soda. But I think that’s about the only way I can see myself trying this one again.

In any case, this seems a bit dangerously potent to accompany horse croquet. At your own risk!

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.

Pink Pearl Cocktail

Pink Pearl Cocktail

Pink Pearl Cocktail.
(6 People)
Take 1 1/2 glasses of grapefruit juice (1 1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice), a dessertspoonful of lemon juice (dash lemon juice), 1/2 a dessertspoonful of grenadine syrup (dash grenadine) and the white of one egg. Add plenty of crushed ice and shake thoroughly.

Weird. If glasses equal 2 oz, this cocktail only has a little more than 3 oz for 6 people. Savoy Cocktails for 6 almost always amount to 12 oz. Seems like something is seriously missing.

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me like it is the booze.

I might recommend trying something like the following:

Pink Pearl Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 1/2 oz Mild White Agricole Rhum (Barbancourt white, Batiste White, or 10 Cane Rum)
dash Lemon Juice
dash Grenadine
1/2 oz egg white

Dry shake ingredients, add ice and shake to chill. Garnish with dashes of peychaud’s bitters on top.

Ah, yes, quite nice. Hmmm… The Pink Baby may be given a run for its money!

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.

Nevada Cocktail

Nevada Cocktail

The Nevada Cocktail

1 Hooker of Bacardi Rum. (1 1/2 oz Montecristo White)
The Juice of 1/2 Grapefruit. (Shoot, should have measured.)
The Juice of 1 Lime. (Juice 1/2 lemon)
Powdered Sugar. (Scant teaspoon caster sugar)
1 Dash Bitters. (1 dash Angostura)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This is another one from Judge Jr.’s prohibition era tome, “Here’s How!”

Actually probably the best drink of any from that book so far. Really highlights the floral flavors of the rum, grapefruit, and bitters.

About all I’d say is it’s a bit too large. Divided in two, this would be a good appetizer cocktail. Bittersweet and tart. This large and it gets a bit acid-ey on the stomach by 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.

Moonlight Cocktail

Moonlight Cocktail

Moonlight Cocktail
(6 People)

1 1/2 Glasses Grape-fruit Juice. (3/4 oz fresh Grapefruit Juice)
2 Glasses Gin. (1 oz Broker’s Gin)
1/2 Glass Kirsch. (1/4 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
2 Glasses White Wine. (1 oz Les Domains Tatins, 2007, Quincy/Domaine du Tremblay)

Add ice and shake thoroughly. Serve by placing in each glass a thin shaving of lemon peel.

A very dry cocktail.

I mentioned the ingredients to this cocktail to some drinky friends and they said, “That’s a Boudreauing Wine-tini!” Ahem. Well, as we all know by now, there truly is very little new under the sun, whether it is the use of fresh herbs and spices in cocktails or wine.

It is actually a pleasant cocktail, more along the lines of a punch, almost, than what I usually think of as the typical cocktail flavor palette. And, yes, it is a very dry 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.

Ideal Cocktail

Ideal Cocktail

Ideal Cocktail

3 Dashes Maraschino. (1 tsp. Luxardo Maraschino)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Aviation Gin)
1 Tablespoonful Grapefruit Juice. (1 TBSP Fresh Ruby Grapefruit Juice)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Grapefruit Peel.) Serve with a small nut.

This is actually rather unexpectedly good! I dunno if I would quite rate it as “Ideal”, but certainly above average.

The Aviation Gin, is, of course, a non-traditional choice. Just seemed like it would be an OK in this drink, and, indeed it was.

I did add a quarter of a pickled walnut after I took the picture. Not bad, but it was kind of distracting, blowing away the rest of the drink flavors. I’d recommend sticking with the Grapefruit Peel alone unless you’re a real fan of pickled nuts.

This was a really neat color which the picture doesn’t quite capture. Kind of a glowy pink-ish tan.

I know I’m kind of going against the grain by stirring this drink which has fruit juice in it. But, it has such a small amount of juice and it has vermouth… Just seemed like a stirry kind of drink. Can’t wait to see what kind of controversy I generate by stirring the Income Tax in a couple days…

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.

Grapefruit Cocktail (Variation)

Grapefruit Cocktail (variation)
(6 People)

The following Cocktail although apparently harmless, is sometimes liable to be snappy. It is a variation of the Grapefruit Cocktail:- Take three and a half glasses of Gin (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin) and the juice of 1 1/2 good-sized Grapefruit (1 1/2 oz freshly squeezed white grapefruit juice). Sugar to taste (1 tsp caster sugar), plenty of ice. Shake and serve.

This is another good simple cocktail, but I used too much sugar. A half teaspoon (or less) would have been plenty.

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.

Josey Packard

This is the second in an ongoing series of bartender features on the Underhill-Lounge.

Previously, I had experimented by asking the bartender at Montgomery Place to make me a Bombay Cocktail No. 2, but this just seemed to result in a grumpy bartender.

To make it less of a shock, I thought I would contact some local bartenders and give them a choice of the dozen or so Savoy Cocktails that might be coming up in the book.

Surprisingly, some actually were game.

NOTE: Since writing this up, Josey has moved back to the East Coast. When I last talked to her, she was looking for a bartending gig in the Boston area. I will post an update when I know more. I still, however, recommend putting Alembic on your short list of bars to visit in the San Francisco Bay Area.

After about a month of travel, sickness, and scheduling conflicts, I finally was able to get together with Josey Packard at The Alembic Bar to make some Savoy Cocktails. While we were at it, I asked her a couple questions.

Josey’s BIO: I’m a frequent victim of agape: widely varying passions have led me to several different occupations. A vocalist by training, day jobs for me have included that of seamstress, auto mechanic, office manager, carpenter, editor, audio producer, and flooring installer. A keen interest in cocktail history led me to take up work behind the bar, and it is there where I find myself able to marry both vocation and avocation; I’m proud to call myself a bartender. I developed the signature cocktail for the Boston Athenaeum’s 200th anniversary celebration, and have finalized the recipe for two original cocktails, the Wolfhound and the Northern Spy.

Diki-Diki Cocktail

1/6 Grape Fruit Juice.
1/6 Swedish Punch. (Carlshamm’s Flaggpunsch)
2/3 Calvados. (Le Merton Vieux Calvados)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

For comparison, Josey wanted to try this with both white grapefruit and ruby red grapefruit juice.

I think Josey’s first comment was, “Wow, that’s an adult cocktail!” and her second was, “I could drink the hell out of this!” Given the relatively small amount of Grapefruit juice, we were both a bit surprised that the we preferred the touch of sweetness and additional fruitiness that the Ruby Red Grapefruit brought to the cocktail. It was a subtle difference; but, enough to be noticeable. In any case, I agree with Josey about this cocktail. Definitely one of the highlights so far of the letter “D.”

From Google, as far as I can tell, “Diki-Diki” is a Filipino adjective used to convey “very small.” There is also a small African Antelope called a “Dik-Dik.”

Robert Vermeire, in his book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” notes the following regarding this cocktail:

Diki-Diki is the chief monarch of the Island Ubian (Southern Philipines), who is now 37 years old, weighs 23 lb., and his height is 32 in. The author introduced this cocktail at the Embassy Club in London, February 1922.

Q: What ingredient have you been experimenting mixing with lately?

A: I’ve been experimenting with the Luxardo and Maraska Maraschino liqueurs. I was really surprised to discover how differently they work in cocktails and which gins work best with either one.

We had wanted to try the Desert Healer cocktail as well; but discovered the bar was out of ginger beer.

Devonia Cocktail
(6 People)

Pour into the shaker 4 glasses of Sparkling Cider (2 oz Two Rivers Gravenstein Apple Hard Cider) and 2 glasses of Gin (1 oz Gin.) Add some ice and a few drops of Orange Bitters. Shake lightly and serve.

The Devonia was particularly appealing as The Alembic Bar currently has a very nice Hard Cider from Two Rivers on tap. We first tried it with Plymouth Gin; but it was maybe a bit too adult. The Two Rivers Gravenstein cider is a very dry cider, almost like one of the French champagne-style ciders in character. Interesting, however, to compare the cider on its own with the cider, gin, orange bitters mix. Mixing the cider with the gin, really brought out the earthy, apple peel flavors of the cider, especially in the smell.

For a second try, Josey had the idea to try the Devonia with Anchor Distilling’s new Genevieve Genever-style gin. Even though we had no illusions that this cocktail is really a Devonia, we both preferred it. The complexity of the Genevieve worked well with the cider. And, I might add, the Genevieve is a really interesting taste all on its own. The young whisk(e)y character of the distillate comes across loud and clear in the smell, taste, and body of this new gin. Personally, I can’t wait to get a bottle myself and start experimenting with it.

Q: As Alembic is a restaurant and bar, have you found any particularly good food and cocktail pairings?

A: The obvious one is a Martini with our Catfish Cakes. The chef uses Gin in his Catfish cakes and Tonic in his tartar sauce. With a wet martini, it is a great combination. Another pairing that works very well is the Opera Cocktail with the Oxtails.

Q: Do you have an original cocktail or an old favorite you feel represents you and your style of mixing?

Northern Spy
2 oz. Applejack
1 oz. fresh apple cider (flash-pasteurized ok but no preservatives!)
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/4-1/2 oz. apricot brandy (amount depending on brand/sweetness)
Rim glass with cinnamon-sugar. Shake and strain into rimmed glass. Add a cranberry as garnish.
Note: this cocktail responds well to “royale” treatment, a.k.a. topping with champagne.

I am impossibly biased towards both The Alembic Bar and Josey Packard, so it is tough for me to even pretend impartiality here. Alembic is a great bar and Josey is a wonderfully engaged and engaging bartender.

If you’re in San Francisco and into cocktails, Alembic should be one of the two or three “musts” that goes on your “to do” list. You’ll find Josey there, usually earlier in the evening or during the day, 5 days a week.

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.

Daiquiris, A Cautionary Tale

“The moment, now, had arrived for a Daiquiri: seated near the cool drip of the fountain, where a slight stir of air seemed to ruffle the fringed mantone of a bronze dancing Andalusian girl, I lingered over the frigid mixture of Ron Bacardi, sugar, and a fresh vivid green lime.

“It was a delicate compound, not so good as I was to discover later at the Telegrafo, but still a revelation, and I was devoutly thankful to be sitting, at that hour in the Inglaterra, with such a drink. It elevated my contentment to an even higher pitch ; and, with a detached amusement, I recalled the fact that farther north prohibition was formally in effect. Unquestionably the cocktail on my table was a dangerous agent, for it held, in its shallow glass bowl slightly encrusted with undissolved sugar, the power of a contemptuous indiffernce to fate ; it set the mind free of responsibility; obliterating both memory and tomorrow, it gave the heart an adventitious feeling of superiority and momentarily vanquished all the celebrated, the eternal, fears.

“Yes, that was the danger of skilfully prepared, intoxicating drinks. . . . The word intoxicating adequately expressed their power, their menace to orderly monotonous resignation. A word, I thought further, debased by moralists from its primary ecstatic content. Intoxication with Ron Bacardi, with May, with passion, was a state threatening to privilege, abhorrent to authority. And, since the dull were so fatally in the majority, they had succeeded in attaching a heavy penalty to whatever lay outside their lymphatic understanding. They had, as well, made the term gay an accusation before their Lord, confounding it with loose, so that now a gay girl certainly the only girl worth a ribbon or the last devotion was one bearing upon her graceful figure, for she was apt to be reprehensibly graceful, the censure of a society open to any charge other than that of gaiety in either of its meanings. A ridiculous, a tragic, conclusion, I told myself indifferently: but then, with a fresh Daiquiri and a sprig of orange blossoms in my buttonhole, it meant less than nothing.”

A short extract from Joseph Hergesheimer’s 1920 book, “San Cristobal de la Habana.”

For me, it is tough to improve on that, other than just giving a recipe for a Daiquiri.

The traditional Daiquiri recipe is as follows:

The Juice of 1/2 lime
1 Teaspoonful of castor or superfine sugar
2 oz Bacardi Rum (Ideally Havana Club Añejo Blanco. However, given the current US embargo of Cuban products, another Cuban-Style Rum like Flor de Cana Extra Dry, Appleton White, or Matusalem Platino, will likely have to do.)

Juice lime into mixing glass. Drop spent lime shell into mixing glass. Measure sugar and rum. Add ice, cap your shaker and shake until the outside of the shaker frosts. Strain into cocktail glass.

According to Wayne Curtis, in his informative and entertaining book, “And A Bottle of Rum,” Ernest Hemingway visited “El Floridita” in Cuba. When he saw Constantino Ribalaigua Vert making Daiquris he asked to taste one. He then said, “That’s good, but I prefer it without sugar and double rum.” This version became known as the “Papa Double.” Later in life, it is said Hemingway became fond of another version with a splash of grapefruit juice and a dash of Maraschino Liqueur. This is sometimes called the “Hemingway Special.”

We’ll try that.

Hemingway Special

2 oz Flor de Cana Extra Dry Rum
Juice 1/2 Lime
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

A portion of a track from David Torn’s excellent new ECM recording “Prezens” accompanies the cocktail making today.

This ended up a tad on the tart side for me. However, I think it has plenty of Maraschino, so perhaps, if you don’t like tart cocktails, add a half teaspoon of simple syrup or Caster Sugar.

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.