“Hawaiian Punch”

“Could you make me something tall, refreshing and non-boozy?”

“No problem…”

Minutes later, “Ha, I think I have inadvertently discovered the secret formula for ‘Hawaiian Punch’!”

“Hawaiian Punch”

2 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine

Shake and strain over ice cubes in a 14-16 oz glass. Top with chilled soda water.

Pineapple Fizz

Pineapple Fizz
2 Tablespoonsful Pineapple Juice.
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar.
1 Glass Bacardi Rum.
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with syphon soda water.

So I asked for a Pineapple Fizz at a restaurant in San Francisco.

The recipe didn’t seem entirely promising to me, but the restaurant has fresh pressed pineapple juice, so I was curious to see how that would work.

I said something to the bartender like, “Hey, wanna make a Savoy Cocktail? The Pineapple Fizz is Rum, 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice, and sugar. I leave the rum up to you. It is my feeling it might need a little extra tartness, but I’m not sure.”

He was interested in the idea.

He walked to his station down the bar. Gave the idea some thought, looked up, and came back.

He asked, “This is a fizz, right?”

To which I said, “Yes,” and as he was walking away, immediately thought, “Oh crap, he’s going to put egg white in the drink.”

So we ended up with Barbancourt 8 Year old Rum, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, Pineapple Gum Syrup, Lime, and Egg White.

With similar proportions to Heaven’s Dog’s Gin Fizz Tropical, we both admitted this version of the Pineapple Fizz is just not very good. The combination of juice and pineapple gum syrup puts the pineapple out there too strongly. Instead of being a light refreshing Fizz, it was tart and cloying at the same time, in the way that only too much pineapple can be. Sits on your stomach badly. They can’t all be winners.

Though to be honest, I think there might be an OK drink here, but more of a slightly pineapple-ey Rum and Soda Water kind of thing than what most people think of as a modern, intense, citrus driven Fizz. And as much as I like Barbancourt 8, I think the unaged Barbancourt might be a better choice. To be continued…

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.

Singapore Sling

Singapore Sling
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon,
1/4 Dry Gin.
1/2 Cherry Brandy.
Shake well and strain into medium size glass, and fill with soda water. Add 1 lump of ice.

A lot of people get hung up on the Singapore Sling.

A famous drink from the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, so many people have written about it over the years, that I’m not sure there is anything to say.

The original recipe was secret and somehow lost. Eventually it was claimed found again by an ancestor of the barman who invented it, blah blah blah… Sounds like a made up story to me.

The drink the Raffles Hotel now serves after re-discovering the recipe is, reportedly, to most modern tastes, far too sweet and rather pink looking and artificial tasting.

So I think the response that people get, when they come across the Savoy recipe above is, “Uh, nope, I’m not going to make that, it sounds disgustingly sweet.” Well, right, that’s true, this does sound rather ridiculously sweet, and I’ve made it before to that exact spec, and I’m not doing it again. Tastes like vaguely medicinal fizzy cherry soda.

First off, there’s a red herring. Ahem. Or perhaps a Cherry Heering. Hoho.

Anyway, when confronted with this recipe, a lot of people grasp on to the idea of, “Cherry Brandy,” thinking perhaps that some confused editor, or author, meant to write, “Kirsch,” or “Cherry Eau-de-Vie” instead of Cherry Brandy, which is universally the cocktail recipe shorthand for Cherry Liqueur. And by subbing in Kirsch, they’ll be able to rescue the recipe from its syrupy origins.

One mixologist, in particular, Robert Vermeire, muddied the water by calling for, “Dry Cherry Brandy,” in his book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them” (originally published 1922).

Straits Sling

The well-known Singapore drink, thoroughly iced and shaken, contains:

2 dashes Orange Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
The juice of half a lemon
1/8 Gill of Benedictine
1/8 Gill of Dry Cherry Brandy
1/2 Gill of Gin

Pour into a tumbler and fill up with cold soda water.

“O ho!” you say, “I have an excuse to use Kirsch in this recipe! This might not be so sweet after all!”

Well, the bad news is, lots of liqueurs are called “Dry”, which does not mean they are Eau-de-Vies. Triple SEC springs immediately to mind. In fact, speaking of Orange Liqueurs, the Bols Company, to this very day, calls their Orange Curacao, “Dry Orange Curacao,” in Europe. Oh, hm, a Dutch Liqueur Company, a recipe in Singapore at a Colonial hotel, what are the chances, Bols might have marketed its Cherry Liqueur in the past as “Dry Cherry Brandy”?

I will also add, Mr. Robert Vermeire, elsewhere in his book actually calls specifically for “Kirsch” when he means Cherry Eau-de-Vie, not “Dry Cherry Brandy”, for example, in the recipe for the “Pollchinelle or Cassis-Kirsch” in the “French Aperitifs” section of his book.

(Hat Tip to Mr. David Wondrich, for reminding me about Bols’ use of the word “Dry” in their liqueur line. You’d think I would remember, having used their Dry Orange Curacao about a million times. Duh. I believe Mr. Wondrich should have a far more well written and informative article on the subject of Slings coming out some time soon.)

And, uh, maybe you didn’t notice, but if you leave out the Cherry Liqueur entirely, this recipe has no sweetener at all, basically a Dry Gin and Kirsch highball with a dash of lemon. You give that a try and let me know what you think. I’ve have tried that version, and while perhaps nominally more appealing than the Fizzy Cherry Soda version, it’s not one of those drinks that jumps out as something that would have mass appeal, nor that I am going to make again.

Anyway, a secret recipe and a questionable reinvention means, well, it means, everyone will make up their own version.

Things that are indisputable: It has Gin, it has Citrus, and it has “Cherry Brandy”, (however you interpret that,) and it is served in a tall glass.

Erik Adkins put the Singapore Sling on the Slanted Door menu a while ago, and it has been a staple of that restaurant’s cocktail menu ever since. He based his recipe on one he got from the Rainbow Room in New York City, which, it turns out, was adapted by Dale DeGroff from something he was faxed by the Raffles Hotel.

I had some business to take care of with Jennifer Colliau, in preparation for the next Savoy Night, so I figured, what better place to stop for a Singapore Sling? I mean, aside from the Rainbow Room or Raffles Hotel.

Slanted Door Singapore Sling
1 1/2 oz Dry Gin
1 oz Sling Business*
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
2 Dash Angostura bitters

Shake and pour into a Delmonico glass. Garnish with a cherry on a lime raft.

*Sling Business is a mixture of 1/2 Cherry Heering, 1/4 Benedictine, and 1/4 Cointreau. If mixing this recipe for yourself it would be, 1/2 oz Heering, 1/4 oz Benedictine, and 1/4 oz Cointreau per drink.

Among other things that The Slanted Door might have in advantage over the Rainbow Room or Raffles Hotel, is that they are currently experimenting with using fresh squeezed pineapple juice. This not only tastes fantastic in a Singapore Sling, way better than canned, but you can also see gives the drink a great, light foam at the top.

What do I think is the right recipe?

Honestly, I don’t know. The pineapple version served by the Slanted Door is a great drink. Even at its most basic, the Singapore Sling is a Tom Collins sweetened with Cherry Heering, which isn’t really bad, as long as you take a generous hand with the citrus.

The moral of the story, if there is one? If you keep the recipe for your cocktail secret, there’s a chance that everyone will make it wrong. FOREVER. And even if the right recipe eventually turns up, some people may never believe it.

It’s hard enough for most people to make cocktail recipes the way their creators intended, even if the recipe is known.

Heck, I’m still trying to get that version of the Last Word I saw with Midori instead of Green Chartreuse out of my mind…

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.

Wembley Cocktail (No. 2)

Wembley Cocktail (No. 2)
1/3 Scotch Whisky. (3/4 oz Famous Grouse Scotch)
1/3 French Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Pineapple Juice. (3/4 oz Pineapple Juice)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Harry McElhone notes in his 1928 “ABC of Cocktails” that this is a “Recipe by Charlie Forrester, Grafton Club, London.”

To be honest, this is just weird.

Being 2/3 mixers, it’s kind of watery, and with the not particularly assertive mixing Scotch, like this famous grouse, it tastes mostly like vermouth and pineapple.

Right, well, Wembley, then, from the wikipedia article:

Wembley is an area of northwest London, England, and part of the London Borough of Brent. It is home to the famous Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena.

Wembley is derived from the Old English proper name “Wemba” and the Old English “Lea” for meadow or clearing. The name was first mentioned in the charter of 825 of King Beornwulf.

Well, I seriously doubt they were juicing pineapples back in 825 AD, but I was just thinking of the arena, amazing that the history of this area goes back that far.

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.

Mary Pickford Cocktail

Mary Pickford Cocktail

Mary Pickford Cocktail

1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 oz Montecristo White Rum)
1/2 Pineapple Juice. (1 oz Knudsen Pineapple)
1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (1 barspoon Homemade Grenadine)
6 Drops Maraschino. (6 drops Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur)

Oddly another Savoy Cocktail which lacks directions. I’m gonna say shake, because it is so much more fun to get that nice little head you get with shaking pineapple juice.

Way back when we talked about the Fairbanks cocktail we talked about the tension in the Fairbanks/Pickford house. Mary Pickford, “America’s Sweetheart”, enjoyed the odd drink. Douglas Fairbanks did not and did not approve of her drinking.

I don’t know who could argue with a fine, light, and enjoyable drink like this. I doubt even Fairbanks would notice it was alcoholic!

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.

Lindstead Cocktail


Linstead Cocktail
(6 People)

3 Glasses Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Sazerac Straight Rye)
3 Glasses Sweetened Pineapple Juice. (1 1/2 oz Knudsen Pineapple Juice)
Finish off before shaking with a dash of Absinthe Bitters. (dash Gin and Wormwood)

Shake and serve, squeezing a little lemon peel on top of each glass.

Since finding a recipe for “Wormwood Bitters” in Eddie Clarke’s “Shaking in the Sixties”, I have gone so far as to purchase two wormwood plants, grow them in my community garden plot, and infuse a small amount of gin with a few sprigs from the plants. The resulting substance is indeed very bitter, but not entirely unpleasant.

I didn’t have a lot of hope that the Linstead Cocktail would be all that tasty. I mean, Whiskey, Pineapple, and bitters, how could that even be good? But, somehow it actually is. Oddly found myself savoring and puzzling over the flavors in the cocktail. Far more interesting than those three ingredients have any real right to be.

If you don’t have your own wormwood plants or don’t want to go to the trouble of infusing gin, you could probably substitute “Gorki List” if you’ve got it around.

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.

Honolulu Cocktail (No 1)

Honolulu Cocktail No1

Honolulu Cocktail (No. 1)

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1 Dash Orange Juice. (1/2 tsp Orange Juice)
1 Dash Pineapple Juice. (1/2 tsp Pineapple Juice)
1 Dash Lemon Juice. (1/2 tsp Lemon Juice)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Broker’s Gin)
A little Powdered Sugar. (1/4 tsp Caster Sugar)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Orange Peel.)

A bit like the Harrovian, this seems to be a style of cocktail that has not survived to the 21st Century.

Sort of a vaguely exotic tasting glass of cold gin, it’s kind of puzzling and enjoyable at the same time.

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.