Meyer Lemon Rickey

A friend recently came back with some pictures from Pouring Ribbons in New York. Apparently, the talented bartenders there have been doing interesting things with ice.

In one case, they make puck shaped ice circles which nearly perfectly fit in an old fashioned type rocks glass. They build a portion of the drink, place the cube in the glass, then pour another portion of the drink on top of the cube. As the drink sits, the two parts slowly come together as the ice melts.

Dammit, Joaquin, you are making us look like we are not trying!

The idea of a drink that evolves as you consume it has always appealed to me, whether it was layers or flavors which come out as it warms, or through some other physical process.

At Alembic, where I sometimes work, they have been making ice made from water lightly flavored with cucumber for one of their drinks.

I like tea, so I was wondering about making ice from tea. Could you make a drink evolve by using ice made from strong tea?

I have a comical comment in my notebook, “Long Island Tea Ice,” which cracked me up when I first thought of it.

A few weeks ago, Erik Adkins had asked me about some posts I had written on eGullet in 2007 regarding the Rickey. I had to do some internet autopsy action to even remember what I had written.

The Rickey is a simple drink: Spirit, Lemon (or lime), and Soda. A very literal Highball with Lemon.

From Gary Regan’s writeup of the Rickey:

Whiskey Joe Rickey is Cool, Lemon or Lime

Joe Rickey disavowed the drink, though, saying in an interview published in an Ohio newspaper in 1900, “The ‘rickey’ originated in Washington, and I was in a sense responsible for it. You see, it was like this: I never drank whisky neat – it’s a mighty injurious system – but whisky diluted with a little water won’t hurt anybody. Of course, a carbonated water makes it brighter and more palatable, and for that reason I always took a long drink, usually whisky and water with a lump of ice.

“This is the highball of common commerce, and has been known to thirsty humanity for many generations. To this, however, I added the juice of a lemon in my desire to get a healthful drink, for the lemon acid is highly beneficial and tones up the stomach wonderfully.

“This combination became very popular at Shoomaker’s in Washington, where I did most of my drinking, and gradually the folks began asking for those drinks that Rickey drinks. About this time the use of limes became fairly common, and one afternoon an experimenter tried the effect of lime juice instead of lemon juice in the drink, and from that time on all ‘rickey’ were made from limes.

“I never drink the lime juice combination myself because I think the lemon acid is mellower and more beneficial.”

That may be, but the juice of a whole regular modern lemon makes for a pretty tart drink.

Thinking about that, myself, I thought of Meyer Lemons and their slightly lower acid content. Plus, I’ve always liked the gamey-thyme like flavor of their peel with Rye Whiskey.

Also, what if I upped the complexity of the drink a bit, by using the tea flavored ice?

If you’re using tea flavored ice, you might as well use a strong flavored tea…

Meyer Lemon Rickey

Rye Whiskey Rickey, with Meyer Lemon and Tea Ice

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey
Juice 1 Meyer Lemon
1 Lapsang Souchong Tea Ice Cube*
Soda Water

Pour the Rye Whiskey and Lemon over the ice cube in a highball glass (smallish is better, 8 oz is best). Stir briefly. Top with a little soda and stir once.

*Lapsang Souchong Tea is a black tea dried by smoking over a fire. It displays strong campfire notes. Brew a double strong batch of tea (2 tsp per cup) and pour into ice cube molds. Freeze.

At first you don’t really notice the smoke notes of the ice, but by the end, you wonder, “Is this a Scotch Rickey”?

Stay tuned for Long Island Tea Ice…

Beer-Fashioned #4

One of the classic combinations in certain regions of France is Picon Biere, that is a Pilsener or Wheat beer with a splash of Amer Picon poured in.

Unfortunately, we don’t get Amer Picon here in these United States.

However, even if Diageo refuses to send us Amer Picon, we do get a lot of other Amaros…

With this series of posts we shall explore the possibilities we do have available.


2008 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout & Angostura Bitters

To be honest, I’m not over fond of most examples of beers aged in spirits barrels. They are usually too alcoholic and too sweet. If you want a beer and a shot, pour yourself a beer and a shot.

Brewer’s Notes:
Brewed in honor of the 1000th batch at our original Clybourn brewpub. A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer.

Recipe Information:
Style: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
International Bitterness Units: 60
Color: Midnight
Hops: Willamette
Malt: 2-Row, Munich, Chocolate, Caramel, Roast Barley, Debittered Black

The Goose Island Bourbon County Stout is a well regarded example of the style, but I still find it cloying and over alcoholic.

What do bartenders do when they find things cloying and alcoholic? Why, we add water (ice) and bitters.

Angostura Bitters is one of the two bitters brands which survived both prohibition and the great cocktail drought of the 50s through the 80s, the other being Fee’s. Angostura is made in Trinidad, my famous writer friend Camper English visited and wrote about them in detail on his website Alcademics in the article, “The History and Production of Angostura Bitters.”

An important, and somewhat arbitrary, distinction in bitters, and a relic of prohibition, is the difference between “potable” and “non-potable” bitters. During prohibition, if your bitters were considered “non-potable”, that is, undrinkable, you could continue to sell them, while “potable” bitters fell under the same bans as regular booze. In modern times, the difference comes down to, if your bitters are “non-potable”, you can sell them in grocery stores, and if they are “potable”, they have to be sold in liquor stores. Gary “Gaz” Regan tells the story that the early iterations of his Regan’s Orange Bitters were just too damn tasty and the TTB sent him back to the drawing board to make them less drinkable. Not that I don’t know people who drink Angostura bitters shots, but then, I do sometimes run with a rough crowd. On the other hand, Angostura bitters are a lot more intense than most Amari, so I will slightly reduce the amount I am using in this version of Amaro and Beer.

METHOD: Place a large ice cube into the mason jar or glass of your choosing. Pour in a quarter ounce of Angostura Bitters. Pour over a Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. Stir briefly. Garnish optional.

Tasting this, sacrilege though it may be, I don’t think it is a horrible idea to serve the Bourbon County Stout on the rocks. The spice and bitterness from the bitters are kind of interesting, too. I skipped the fruit salad, aka garnish, probably best if you do too.

I still couldn’t finish the whole bottle.

Pere Cecchini’s Gin & Tonic

I’m currently reading, “Cosmopolitan: A Bartender’s Life,” by Toby Cecchini.

While a lot of the passages are entertaining and interesting, the following regarding his father’s gin & tonic ritual was one of the most vivid.

“One of my fondest running memories I have of growing up is arrival in his kitchen after the long, stuffy Greyhound bus ride from Madison and sitting to chat with him while he prepared drinks. He would take down a tall crystal pitcher and pour it almost a quarter full of gin. For years we had an ongoing polemic about which gin to use. He used to claim all gin was simply grain neutral spirits spiked with juniper and that it made no difference which one you used. One visit, then, I brought up a bottle of Tanqueray and won that argument handily. Taking fat limes at room temperature, he would need them in the ball of his hand against the cutting board, setting the intoxicating aroma tumbling through the room. This brings the citrus oil to the surface, he explained, and allows the gin to act as a solvent, removing and incorporating it into the drink. He He would cut them in half, juice them, and set the juice aside. He would slice the rinds into thin strips, which he then dumped into the gin and pummeled a bit with a pestle. The juice was added to cause further extraction. At this point he would invariably swirl the pitcher under my nose and declare solemnly, ‘You could wear this as cologne!’

“While that marriage was left to macerate for a few minutes, he would then take large ice cubes and, palming them lightly, thwack them expertly with the back of a heavy spoon, just once, whereupon they would obediently crumble into perfect shards, which he would scatter into the pitcher until it was half full or so with aromatic lime granita. I always marveled at the elan with which he pulled off that simple action; my efforts at duplicating this maneuver always end with me bludgeoning the recalcitrant glacier mercilessly as chips fly helter skelter.

“He would remove the tonic from its chilling and pour it gingerly, on a slant, down the side of the pitcher, stirring it cursorily with a tall glass want, just so the gin, which rises to the top, gets distributed; you don’t want to jostle that life-giving fizz out of it. We would take glasses from the freezer, garnished with fresh lime rounds for aesthetics, and carry the whole works like an Easter processional on a try out to the front porch. In the late-norther twilight with my first drink as a young man, chatting with my dad, I could feel the tie to civilization, the history in this lovely laying down of one’s burdens at the day’s close.”

Who could read that and NOT desire a Gin & Tonic?

The Gin & Tonic is an interesting bird. You’ll never really find a recipe or method for making one in a cocktail book. Like the Pimm’s Cup, I guess it is just too simple to be included with more complicated cocktails.

On the other hand…

When we were in Spain a few years ago, we were trying to get in to the Dry Martini Bar. Unfortunately, they had a private event, so we went across the Street to Peter’s Tavern and ordered Gin & Tonics. The ritual with which the bartender prepared 4 Gin & Tonics rivaled the Sazerac in its complexity. I was totally blown away by the grace and elegance with which he prepared the seemingly ‘simple’ drink. First the frilled beverage napkins were placed upon the bar in front of us. Then the bartender pulled out chilled glasses and hand selected cubes with tongs to fill each glass. Placing the glasses in front of him, he first poured the gin. A lot of Gin. Then he gently poured the tonic (Schweppe’s Indian) down the side. He stirred each gently, then, using tongs added the straws and lemon garnish. Finally he placed each glass in front of us to enjoy.

So let’s try and translate Mr Cecchini, the younger’s, rather large block of text into a recipe.

First, there are four components in a Gin and Tonic.

Gin: Other types of Gin are interesting, but when making a Gin & Tonic, I’m afraid I have to insist on a stiff, Juniper forward, traditional London Dry Gin, made in England. In the US, your choices of traditional London Dry Gin made in England are basically Beefeater, Plymouth, and Tanqueray. As we can see above, Mr Cecchini, the younger, favors Tanqueray, and I do not disagree. (If you must use an American Gin, about the only two, (I’ve tried,) which hew fairly closely to the London Dry blueprint are Anchor’s Junipero and Death’s Door Gin.) Regarding the amount of Gin, you will often find people rather overpour the Gin & Tonic. I prefer to stick to 1 1/2 oz per person and a highball glass on the smaller size. Otherwise, the drink waters down before you finish.

Tonic: The classic Tonic is Schweppes Indian Tonic, but it is rather hard to come by in the US and also tends to be priced at a premium. As a rule, when possible, I avoid anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup or Agave Nectar, so this leaves me with Fever Tree or Stirrings, which are also not cheap. I personally prefer Fever Tree, but your mileage may vary.

Ice: As Mr Cecchini, senior, cracked his ice, so shall we. I make cubes in my Tovolo King Cube Ice trays and then crack them into shards and cubes with a lovely japanese ice pick, purchased from Cocktail Kingdom.

Citrus Garnish: In some parts of Europe, you are far more likely to find your Gin & Tonic garnished with lemon than the lime more common in America. I prefer lime, I guess because it is what I am used to, though lemon is ok in a pinch. Mr Cecchini, senior’s, recipe is the first I’ve seen where the juice is quite literally separated from the skins in the drink. Interesting, I’ll give it a try. Also, do note you will get more juice out of a lime if it is at room temperature.

Gin & Tonic for Two

Gin & Tonic for Two a la pere Cecchini

3 oz London Dry Gin
1 Lime
about 7 oz Tonic (or one 200ml bottle)
Lime Wheel for Garnish (optional)

METHOD: Peel limes longitudinally (from top to bottom). Squeeze peels into a mixing glass or pitcher and drop in. Add Gin to mixing glass. Juice lime and add to mixing glass, should be between 1/2 to 3/4 oz lime juice. If your limes are sad and dry, you may need more than 1. Crack ice and add to mixing glass. Ice two collins glasses, no more than 12 oz. Stir gin and lime juice briefly and strain into two glasses. Pour tonic down the side of the glasses to nearly fill and stir gently. Garnish with lime wheels and serve immediately.

To be honest, one of my favorite things about this recipe is that it is for two. Individual cocktails are cool, but making pitchers of cocktails is even better, especially for loved ones and friends. And this is quite delicious, almost more like a Gin Rickey with Tonic than what I usually associate with GNT. However, I’m not going to be a stickler when the results are this appealing.

Arborio with Winter Squash, Salad and Sausage

Especially when served as an aperitif before a classic Flannestad fall dinner for two like: Arborio Rice with Butternut Squash and Mushrooms. Grilled Sausages. Red Romaine salad with Fuyu Persimmon in a white wine, sage, and scallion dressing.

Bonus picture of Monty the Dog at Fort Funston! Ball!


From the Savoy Cocktail Book:


The cobbler is, like the Julep, a drink of American origin, although it is now an established favourite, particularly in warm climes. It is very easy to make, but it is usual to make it acceptable to the eye, as well as the palate, by decorating the glass after the ingredients are mixed. The usual recipe for preparing Cobblers is given below. To make a Whisky Cobbler substitute Whisky for Gin, For a Brandy Cobbler, substitute Brandy, and so on.

Fill glass half full with cracked ice.
Add 1 Teaspoonful of Powdered Sugar.
Add 1 Small Glass of Gin (or Whisky, or Brandy, as above).
Stir well, and decorate with slices of orange or pineapple.

The above comes mostly verbatim from Jerry Thomas’ “Bartender’s Guide”.

The Cobbler was probably an old fashioned drink by the time Jerry Thomas got around to writing about it in 1862. He includes 7 variations in his 1862 book, basically all identical: Sherry Cobbler, Champagne Cobbler, Catawba Cobbler, Hock Cobbler, Claret Cobbler, Sauterne Cobbler, and Whiskey Cobbler.

98. Sherry Cobbler

(Use large bar glass.)

2 wine-glasses of sherry.
1 table-spoonful of sugar.
2 or 3 slices of orange.
Fill a tumbler with shaved ice, shake well, and ornament with berries in season. Place a straw as represented in the wood-cut.

I wasn’t really feeling the Sherry Cobbler and am unclear about if I could even find Hock or Catawba. Champagne seemed a little hackneyed and the Whiskey Cobbler like Thomas was throwing a bone to modern taste by including a Cobbler based on spirits instead of wine.

I thought about a Port Cobbler, which sounded nice, but my favorite old fashioned wine is Madeira. So, over my lunch hour, I dropped by to pay the lovely women of Cask Store a visit and scored a new bottle of Madeira.

Madeira Cobbler.
4 oz Blandy’s 10 Year Malmsey Madeira
1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup

Half fill a mixing glass with cracked ice. Add Madeira and simple Syrup. Pour back and forth between mixing glass and serving glass a couple times, finishing in serving glass. Ornament with slices of orange and berries, in season. Serve with a straw.

In “Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash…” David Wondrich makes a couple notes regarding Cobblers in Imbibe, and I’ve been re-reading another couple things online. First off, it was one of the couple first American drinks to really make an impact on European and especially English drinkers. There are several references to Cobbler drinking in the works of authors as notable as Charles Dickens. Second, it was THE drink that introduced the straw to the world.

If there is a mistake that modern mixers make with the cobbler, it is that they make it too strong, either by using spirits in the drink, or by making it too concentrated with additional citrus juice or liqueurs and syrups. The Cobbler, like punch, is a sort of “session drink”. The Cobbler, especially, should be a light, refreshing, cold drink that you can enjoy at lunch on a hot day and still go about your business for the rest of the afternoon.

Americans, with our obsession with intense, strong flavors, often have a hard time wrapping our minds around the aesthetics of subtlety or mild flavors in drinks and food. One of the hardest lessons for us to learn is when to stop adding ingredients, flavors, and additional complexity to our beverages or dishes. We tend to say, “If it’s good, it’s better with bacon. If it’s better with bacon, it’s would be really awesome with cheese. If it’s good with bacon and cheese, it really could use some avocado to make it pop… Oh hell, just put some Foie Gras on it.”

If you are a bartender, or a drink mixer, the Cobbler is a pretty good place to start to teach yourself to appreciate austerity and simplicity, as long as you resist the temptation to add any additional ingredients. Save your creativity for the garnish.

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.

Gin Fix

Gin Fix
Use small bar glass.
1 Tablespoonful Sugar.
1/4 Lemon.
1/2 Wineglass Water.
1 Wineglass Gin.
Fill 2/3 full of shaved ice. Stir with a spoon and ornament the top with fruits in season.

OK, so those instructions are kind of hopelessly munged. First, this is an old recipe, so we’re definitely using Genever, not Dry Gin. Second, remembering the caveat from the Brandy Fix, “In making fixes be careful to put the lemon skin in the glass,” but let’s punch-i-fy further (oleo sacharum baby!) and muddle the peel of the lemon in the sugar.

How about the following:

Genever Fix

1 Generous teaspoonful sugar.
Rind and juice of 1/2 lemon.
2 oz Bols Aged Genever.
Fruit, in season, to garnish.

In heavy double old fashioned glass (or similar), muddle lemon rind in sugar until fragrant. Add water, and muddle until sugar is dissolved. Pour in Genever and lemon juice. Stir to mix. Fill with fine ice and swizzle until well frosted. Garnish with fruits, in season.

Ah, yes, delicious! And Kiwis are in season here in California, so there!

Mr. Angus Winchester, man about town and global ambassador for Tanqueray Gin, was kind enough to come out to one of our recent Savoy Nights at Alembic Bar.

When I was chatting with him, I quizzed him about what he thought was notable about the category of drinks called “Fix”.

Interestingly, he said his theory was the name “Fix” referred to the fact that the drink was “Fixed in the glass”. And went on to say that he considered one of the more important Dick Bradsell drinks,the Bramble, an elaborate “Fix”.

Hrm, well, Mr. Bradsell doesn’t exactly see it that way, he considers it a Singapore Sling variation, nor does he mix his bramble in the glass, but in a way, it works. Let’s “Fix” a Bramble.

Fixed Bramble

Rind and Juice 1/2 Lemon.
1 generous teaspoon Sugar.
2 oz Dry Gin.
1/2 oz Blackberry Liqueur.
Blackberries or other seasonal fruit, for garnish.

In a heavy old fashioned glass muddle the peel of a lemon in sugar. Add water, and muddle to dissolve. Add Gin and Lemon juice. Mix to combine and add ice. Swizzle until glass well frosted. Drizzle on Blackberry liqueur and garnish with fresh fruit and lemon slice.

Swizzle Stick courtesy Samurai Bartender, Chris “Rookie” Stanley.

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.

Remsen Cooler

Remsen Cooler
l Glass Dry Gin.
1 Split of Soda.
Peel rind of lemon in spiral form, place in long tumbler with 1 lump of Ice, add Gin and fill with soda water.

The Remsen Cooler is about the only of these Coolers to have survived over the years, but there is still some confusion. The drink came to be made frequently with Gin, but some maintain it is properly made with Scotch.

Cocktail Bill Boothby relates the following in his 1906 version of his bar book. It is a nice story. Note, Old Tom Cordial Gin was a type of sweetened Old Tom Gin which apparently was available for a brief few years around 1900.

“Some years ago, the late William Remsen, a retired naval officer and a popular member of the Union Club, N.Y., introduced a beverage to the members of that swell organization which has since taken his name and is now known to all clubmen by the appellation of Remsen cooler.”

“Pare a lemon (a lime will not answer the purpose) as you would an apple, so that the peel will resemble a corkscrew, place the rind in a long thin glass and pour over it a jigger of Old Tom cordial gin; with a bar-spoon now press the peel and stir it thoroughly, so the liquor will be well flavoured with the essence of the skin and fill the glass with plain soda off the ice. English club soda is highly recommended for this drink. Be sure the soda is cold.”

Hugo Ensslin, in his 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” takes a middle path, by allowing either Gin or Scotch:

Remsen Cooler
1 drink Dry Gin or Scotch Whiskey;
1 Lemon;
1 bottle Club Soda.

Peel off rind of lemon in spiral form, place in Collins glass with cube of ice, add Gin or Scotch and fill up with Club Soda.

Well, if you can use Gin OR Whisky in a drink recipe, why not use something in between? Say Dutch Genever?

Remsen Cooler
2 oz Bols Aged Genever*.
1 Split of Soda.
Peel rind of lemon in spiral form, place in long tumbler with 1 lump of Ice, add Genever and fill with soda water.

A couple years ago, Bols brought a 19th Century style Genever to America. Based on a recipe from 1820 it soon became the darling of many bartenders. However, they weren’t quite sure what would happen with it in cocktails. There are not a ton of cocktail recipes for Genever. Would people try to mix it like Dry Gin?

What they found, especially with a lot of stumping from cocktail and punch classicists like David Wondrich, was that people were mixing with it like it was Whiskey. Making Improved Holland Gin Cocktails, Sazeracs, Holland Sours, and the odd Holland House Cocktail.

So if people were mixing with it like it was a Whiskey, what if Bols introduced the category of Genever which was even more like Whiskey, Aged Genever?

From Instant Upload

I was lucky enough to attend an event where they launched the new product in San Francisco and introduced it to us in a couple drinks.

Aged a minimum of 18 months in used and new Cognac casks, Bols Barrel Aged Genever is in interesting contrast to the original Bols 1820 recipe. While it doesn’t seem to take anything away from the 1820, the aging and slightly different production process seems to heighten the spicy characteristics of the Genever. To me, the Juniper is even clearer in the Barrel Aged Genever than it is in the rather mildly flavored unaged 1820 Genever.

They had us try it in several drinks including a Collins and a Manhattan, but to me the real winner was the Barrel Aged Genever in a julep. I’ve made and enjoyed Genever Juleps before, but the spice and intensity of the Barrel Aged Genever made it stand out in the drink and really complement the flavor of the mint.

For what it’s worth, it’s not bad in an even simpler drink, The Remsen Cooler. On the ice or off the ice, little simple syrup wouldn’t hurt this drink, but note that none of the recipes include any juice at all, only lemon peel.

*The Bols Aged Genever used in this post was provided to me by a firm promoting the brand.

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.

Controversial Ice Cutting

So apparently, cutting ice with a big knife is controversial. I’ve gotten more comments about that video than pretty much any other post I’ve done.

Anyway, here are some video demos of the techniques. Camper English took them while Andrew Bohrer was visiting San Francisco.

Sculpting Ice Cubes with a Knife:

Shaving Ice with a Knife:

Sculpting an Ice Ball with a Knife:

And, oh yeah, some old guy cutting an ice block with a chainsaw:

For more information, and further videos, check Camper’s post on Alcademics:

Ice Meets Chainsaw

Ice Capades

I’ve admired Andrew Bohrer’s writing on his website Cask Strength for a couple years now.

Last year, I finally got to meet the man when we both participated in the B.A.R. Advanced seminars and testing when it was held in San Francisco.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been to Seattle for a few years, so had yet to experience his stylings behind the bar.

When Amanda Womack, of Cask Store, mentioned that they were going to bring him down for a special event at Bourbon and Branch, I was pretty psyched that I would finally get to taste some of Andrew’s drinks.

When I further received a note from Andrew, asking if he thought Heaven’s Dog would be able to help him score some clear ice for ice spheres in one of his drinks, I quickly sent a note to Erik Adkins. He was as into the idea as I was.

Two 300 pound blocks of Sculpture grade ice.

Really, there’s a bar called Heaven’s Dog back there.  I don’t know why you don’t stop by more often, we have really good cocktails…

At this point, Erik A. said, “I just realized I can’t leave this ice out here unattended, because someone will probably pee on it.”

Andrew scores the ice, so we can cut it in even slices.

Chainsaw Tuesday.

Scoring the slices for further cutting.

The press was even in attendance!  Local clear ice savant Camper English takes notes for his article Ice Meets Chainsaw. Check out the action videos of middle aged wanna be bartenders risking life and limb sawing ice with a chainsaw.

Andrew was also cool enough to give us a little seminar on cutting ice for spheres, cubes, and “diamonds”.

If you get up to Seattle, please do visit Andrew at his current place of business, Mistral Kitchen. I hear the cocktails and food are outstanding.

Toddy’s Cocktail

Toddy’s Cocktail
Dissolve 1 lump of Sugar in water (1 tsp. Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup). Use 1 glass of any Spirit desired (2 oz Old Forester Birthday Bourbon), 1 lump of ice. Use medium size glass and stir well.

If you believe David Wondrich in his book, “Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar,” formulations similar to this, Spirit, Sugar, Water, and maybe a garnish, were one of the most popular drinks in the early years of this country.

Interestingly, as he puts it, even though Toddies and Slings are pretty much synonymous, it has certainly become more common to think of Toddies as hot drinks, and Slings as cold drinks. But it wasn’t at all uncommon, as here, for Toddies to be cold, or Slings Hot.

As I am a bit lazy, and here we are in the 21st Century, I have skipped a step by using Gum Syrup, instead of the whole muddling a sugar cube business. I discarded that during February’s Sazerac exercise and just am not going back.  I was also a bit lazy about choice of spirits.  I was down in the basement, thinking of “any spirit desired”.  What a hard question! Initially I thought I would make the Toddy with Mezcal or Tequila, then this little bottle of Old Forester called out to me. A friend gave it to me a few years ago, and I so rarely have an excuse to drink Bourbon…

A little nutmeg or a lemon peel wouldn’t kill anyone, but it is perfectly satisfactory without.

Whether you call this a Sling or a Toddy, it is quite tasty, and perhaps my new favorite drink. Try it with some other spirits or sweeteners, and let me know how it comes out.

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.

If You Show Me Yours…

While not an ice nerd, quite on Camper English’s scale, the  top shelf gets dedicated mostly to cold, cocktail related stuff.

Useless refrigerator ice on the left.  Tovolo cubes for long and shaken drinks.  Hockey puck size pieces from the silicon cupcake molds for cracking.  Chilled Yarai Mixing glasses for stirred drinks.  Frozen Jägermeister for whenever Jeffrey Morgenthaler decides to drop by.  Because you never know when to expect him.  Or wait, is that the Spanish Inquisition?