Santa Cruz Rum Fix

Santa Cruz Fix
The Santa Cruz fix is made by substituting Santa Cruz Rum for Brandy in the Brandy Fix.

As I still have no real idea what is meant by “Santa Cruz Rum”, I’m going to use a strong, full flavored rum in this cocktail. I’m also going to add a little bit of Allspice Dram, just for variety.

Scarlet Ibis Fix

Peel of 1 Lemon
Generous Teaspoon Sugar
Splash of Water
Juice 1/2 Lemon

1 1/2 oz Scarlet Ibis Rum
1/4 oz St Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
Fine Crushed Ice

Place the lemon peel in the bottom of a heavy glass. Add a generous teaspoon of sugar. Muddle peel in sugar until it is fragrant. Add a splash of water and continue muddling until sugar is dissolved. Add the juice of 1/2 Lemon (about 3/4 oz), the Rum, and the Allspice dram. Add fine ice and swizzle until the glass is frosted. Garnish with a lemon slice.

My, that is quite a tasty mini-punch. A little bit of elbow grease is required, but definitely worth it!

Interestingly, I ran across a story called “The Scarlet Ibis” when I was looking for the rum one day. It is by James Hurst and was originally published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1960.

From the wikpedia article about the Scarlet Ibis:

James Hurst was born January 1, 1922, near Jacksonville, North Carolina. He attended Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia and studied chemical engineering at North Carolina State College. However, following military service in World War II, he decided to be an opera singer and studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and in Italy. In 1951, Hurst abandoned his musical career and became a banker in New York for the next thirty-four years. He wrote plays and short stories in his spare time. “The Scarlet Ibis” was his only piece that gained widespread recognition.

Now that is interesting, as a certain Mr. Eric Seed abandoned his banking career for a career in the spirits industry.

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, uh, Tequila Sling.

Gin Sling
Dissolve 1 Teaspoonful of Sugar in Water.
1 Glass Dry Gin.
1 Lump of Ice.
Served in long tumbler and fill with water or soda; if served hot a little nutmeg on top.

I just wasn’t feeling this recipe, so I did a little research.

First off, in drinky circles, probably the most famous reference to the Sling comes from one of the first published references to the Cocktail. From the May 13, 1806 edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository:

To the Editor of the Balance.
I observe in your paper of the 6th instant, in the account of a democratic candidate for a seat in the legislature, marked under the head of Loss, 25 do. cock-tail. Will you be so obliging as to inform me what is meant by this species of refreshment? Though a stranger to you, I believe, from your general character, you will not suppose this request to be impertinent.
I have heard of a forum, of phlegm-cutter and fog driver, of wetting the whistle, of moistening the clay, of a fillip, a spur in the head, quenching a spark in the throat, of flip & c, but never in my life, though have lived a good many years, did I hear of cock tail before. Is it peculiar to a part of this country? Or is it a late invention? Is the name expressive of the effect which the drink has on a particular part of the body? Or does it signify that the democrats who take the potion are turned topsycurvy, and have their heads where their tails should be? I should think the latter to be the real solution; but am unwilling to determine finally until I receive all the information in my power.
At the beginning of the revolution, a physician publicly recommended the moss which grew on a tree as a substitute for tea. He found on experiment, that it had more of a stimulating quality then he approved; and therefore, he afterward as publicly denounced it. Whatever cock tail is, it may be properly administered only at certain times and to certain constitutions. A few years ago, when the democrats were bawling for Jefferson and Clinton, one of the polls was held in the city of New York at a place where ice cream was sold. Their temperament then was remarkably adust and bilious. Something was necessary to cool them. Now when they are sunk into rigidity, it might be equally necessary, by cock-tail to warm and rouse them.
I hope you will construe nothing that I have said as disrespectful. I read your paper with great pleasure and wish it the most extensive circulation. Whether you answer my inquiry or not, I shall still remain,

[As I make it a point, never to publish anything (under my editorial head) but which I can explain, I shall not hesitate to gratify the curiosity of my inquisitive correspondent: Cock tail, then is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters it is vulgarly called a bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said also, to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because, a person having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else.
Edit. Bal.]

If a Cocktail, “is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters it is vulgarly called a bittered sling,” then, ipso facto, by rights, a plain, or unbittered, Sling is, “spirits of any kind, sugar, and water.” Same as a Toddy.

Further reading in early sources, Jerry Thomas, “Cocktail” Bill Boothby, and Harry Johnson, seems to indicate that generally, at least in late 19th Century bar parlance, the Sling was differentiated from the Toddy by the presence of a garnish. The is, a Toddy was generally served without a garnish, while a sling generally has nutmeg and/or citrus peel. Of course that is terribly amusing because no one today would serve a hot toddy without a garnish, and if you ordered a “Hot Sling” you’d probably get kicked out of the bar.

Anyway, I wasn’t feeling very Ginny last week, so I decided to spice things up a bit, after all the author does say, “Spirits of any kind,” with a little Tequila.

New World Sling

2 oz Charbay Tequila
1 teaspoon Caster (Or superfine) sugar
Splash of water
Big Ice Cube
Lemon Peel

Muddle Superfine sugar in water until it is dissolved. Add Big Ice Cube and pour in Tequila. Stir well and garnish with freshly grated Cinnamon. Squeeze Lemon Peel over drink and drop in.

Gosh that’s good. I swapped nutmeg out for cinnamon, as I know from the Promissory Note at Alembic Bar that Cinnamon has a good affinity for tequila.

When I wrote up the Toddy, a lot of people asked things like, “is there any reason to leave out the bitters and just make a Toddy?”

I’ll repeat myself, probably if you gave someone from the early 19th Century a Bourbon Old-Fashioned Cocktail, they would ask you, why on earth you are putting bitters in perfectly good booze.

And sure, you could add some bitters to this drink, and it probably wouldn’t hurt. But with a Tequila this good is it really necessary?

Music was from Bill Frisell and Vinicius Cantuaria’s CD “Lagrimas Mexicanas”.

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.

Ward’s Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, November 28th, 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.

Ward’s Cocktail
1/2 Liqueur Glass Chartreuse. (3/4 oz Green Chartreuse)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac)

Use cocktail glass. 1 piece of Peel in glass to form a circle. Fill with cracked ice. Pour the liquors very carefully so that they do not mix. Brandy must be poured in last.

I interpreted “Peel” to mean a Lemon Peel, as in a Crusta, and lined the glass with a horse’s neck of lemon.

This was OK, but I think my ice was not fine enough.

I used my swing-a-way ice crusher, which makes what might be called “pebble ice”. I think for this type of drink, or for juleps, this really isn’t adequate. You really need fine or shaved ice to do some of these drinks justice.

I mean, who doesn’t want a Green Chartreuse and Brandy Snow Cone?

If you say, “I will pass, thanks,” we may have irreconcilable differences.

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.

Thistle Cocktail

Thistle Cocktail
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters. (2 dashes Angostura Bitters)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
1/2 Scotch Whisky. (1 oz MacAllan Cask Strength)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze Lemon Peel over glass and drop in.)

Robert Vermeire changes the ratio slightly and also makes a note regarding the name:

2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters; 1/6 gill of Italian Vermouth; 2/6 gill of Scotch Whisky. Stir up well, strain into a cocktail glass and squeeze lemon-peel on top. This cocktail is also called “York Cocktail”.

The big question being, what’s the difference between the Rob Roy, Thistle, and York.

As far  as I can tell, nothing.  I guess, if you prefer one of the names, go for it.  I am sort of partial to Thistle, but then I’m an obscurist.  Obviously, the way to go about ordering it in a bar, would be to stick with the common denominator Rob Roy.

As with most Fifty-Fifty type cocktails, I think it is best to go with strongly flavored and high proof spirits for the “base”.  In this case, the Macallan Cask Strength is quite delicious and isn’t going to roll over for the Carpano.  A really enjoyable cocktail, among my current top 10.

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.

Temptation Cocktail

Temptation Cocktail
1 Piece Orange Peel.
1 Piece Lemon Peel.
2 Dashes Dubonnet. (5ml/1tsp Dubonnet Rouge)
2 Dashes Absinthe. (5ml/1tsp Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe Superior)
2 Dashes Curacao. (5ml/1tsp Brizard Curacao)
1 Glass Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Forty Creek 3 Grains Canadian Whisky)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Very similar to the Dandy Cocktail, (and with a similar method to the Newbury,) I do wonder where these cocktails which use citrus peels as an ingredient come from, as we have not yet identified a cocktail book as a source.

Interestingly, there’s a quote from the Hon. Wm (Cocktail) Boothby, Premier Mixologist, that addresses  this very issue:

Some of my recipes for the manufacture of cocktails order the dispenser to twist a piece of lemon peel into the glass in which the drink is to be served; in some establishments this is forbidden, the bartenders being ordered to twist and drop the peel into the mixing glass and strain the peel with the ice when putting the ice when  putting the drink into the mixing glass.  This is merely a matter of form, however, as the flavor is the same in both cases.

So it appears that in the cases of some establishments, rather than serving the peels in the drinks, they would be stirred in.

I don’t exactly agree with Boothby that the end result is the same. Stirring with the peel in the drink primarily flavors the drink with citrus oils, while squeezing over the cocktail accents the smell. I suppose for the best of both world’s you would stir with the peel in the drink, then squeeze over the finished cocktail, and discard. Whew! A lot of work!

A very tasty cocktail, the Temptation is one, like the Dandy, I feel could use a bit of a revival, certainly among those customers who like their cocktails Brown, Bitter, and Stirred. Well, unless they hate Absinthe/Anise, in which case, it might be best to stick with the Dandy.

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 Cocktail

Alfonso Cocktail
Put 1 lump of sugar in a medium-sized wine-glass, 2 dashes of Secrestat Bitter (substitute Angostura for the defunct Secrestat) poured on to the sugar, l lump of ice, 1/4 of a glass of Dubonnet, fill remainder with Champagne, squeeze lemon peel on top and stir slightly.

This is an interesting variation on the traditional Champagne Cocktail.

Dubonnet Rouge is a French Red Wine based aperitif. It is bittered with Quinine, has some spice to it, is fortified, and sweetened slightly. Not dissimilar to slightly fruitier Sweet Vermouth.

According to Eric Felten, in his new book, “How’s Your Drink,” it is the highest selling aperitif wine in the United States.

Both Mrs. Underhill and I quite enjoyed this cocktail. It’s a light aromatic aperitif and the champagne makes it a bit festive. Be quite nice for the opening salvo of the evening or to accompany appetizers at a dinner party.

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.