Pineapple Julep

Pineapple Julep
(6 People)
Take a large glass jug and fill it 1/4 full of crushed ice. Pour in the juice of two oranges, a glass of Raspberry Vinegar, a glass of Maraschino, a glass and a half of Gin, and a bottle of Sparkling Moselle or Saumur. Pull a pineapple to pieces with a silver fork and place the pieces in the jug. Stir the mixture, add a little fruit for appearances’s sake, and serve.

The Pineapple Julep has always been a drink that has intrigued me. Why is it a Julep? What on earth is that Raspberry Vinegar doing in there? I didn’t think people started adding vinegar to drinks until the 21st Century! Not to mention, what’s that business with pulling a pineapple to pieces with a “silver fork”?

Since it is my suspicion that many of the older drinks came from some edition of Jerry Thomas’ “Bon Vivant’s Companion”, I thought I would check for the recipe there and see how it compares:

92. Pineapple Julep

Peel, slice, and cut up a ripe pineapple into a glass bowl, add the juice of two oranges, a gill of raspberry syrup, a gill of Maraschino, a gill of old gin, a bottle of sparkling Moselle, and about a pound of pure ice in shaves; mix, ornament with berries in season, and serve in flat glasses.

Uh, whoops, that’s quite a bit different, even if it contains most of the same elements. The biggest difference, being the Savoy’s change from “Raspberry Syrup” to “Raspberry Vinegar”. Bizarre. Typo? Intentional change?

Regarding the Sparkling Moselle in the Julep, I did some searching on the Internets and discovered that the Moselle is a region along the Mosel River in France and Germany. Sparkling wines are, or were, produced in both France (Crémant de Luxembourg) and Germany (Mosel Sekt).

Not sure which to look for a sent a quick note to Heaven’s Dog’s Wine Director, Gus Vahlkamp.

Erik: Gus, If a punch recipe from 1862 called for “Sparkling Moselle”, what
modern wine would you recommend?

Gus: Hi Erik, nice to hear from you. Yes, sekt is your best bet, although most of it comes from the Rheingau these days and not so much from Mosel. Solter is probably the easiest producer to find in SF, but I would check either at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants or K&L for others. Also I’d imagine that 19th century sekt was probably a little sweeter than the majority of most modern products. I hope that helps. Cheers, Gus.

Well, I never mind a trip to K&L Wines, where I found a single Sekt from the Rheingau, Latitude 50 N Sekt Trocken Weiss, described as follows:

This Methode Champenoise sparkler is made from a combination of pinot blanc, muller-thurgau and silvaner. It is dry, bright and made for food, especially oysters, and this would be just the ideal sparkler to usher in a brand new 2012.

Sparkling German Wine in hand, the only thing which remained to reproduce the original Pineapple Julep Recipe was Raspberry Syrup.

I really liked the Raspberry Syrup I made for the Albemarle Fizz, so I searched the site for the recipe and whipped up another batch:

Raspberry Syrup
1/2 cup Water
1 Cup Washed Raw Sugar
1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. When sugar is dissolved, add raspberries and Balsamic Vinegar. Strain through chinois or cheesecloth, mashing to get as much of the liquid as possible. Cool and refrigerate. Makes about 12 ounces.

Regarding the amounts in the Jerry Thomas recipe, a “Gill” is about 4 ounces. Not sure whether Mrs. Flannestad would be up to split the Julep, I decided to make a half batch.

Lastly, depending on the wine you use and the level of sweetness in your ingredients, you may find the Julep comes out too sweet for modern tastes. I know I did, and found it significantly improved with the addition of the juice of 1/2 Lemon.

Pineapple Julep
1/2 Pineapple, peeled and chopped
2 oz Bols Aged Genever
2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 oz Raspberry Syrup
Juice 1 Orange
Juice 1/2 Lemon
1/2 Bottle Sparkling Wine

METHOD: Combine Pineapple, Gin, Liqueur, Raspberry Syrup, and Juice in a bowl. Fill half way with crushed ice and top with Sparkling Wine. Stir gently, garnish with berries in season, and ladle into appropriate glassware.

My coworkers and I have occasionally joked, with the horrible ingredients that are often mixed up and sold as “nutcracker” or “crunk juice”, we should get together and bottle a high quality equivalent.

Tasting the Pineapple Julep, I believe I have a starting place for that endeavor! Alize and X Rated Fusion look out, this is some exotically tasty and easy sipping beverage! Pineapple Juleps for all my friends!

Bonus Beer of the Week! Some of my favorite Belgian Beers are actually the less strong ones. Designed to be drunk during the day by the Monks, these are tasty examples of the Belgian style, without so much alcohol.

The Witkap Pater Singel, now called “Stimulo” is one of my favorites.

Witkap·Pater Stimulo (Alc. 6% vol.) is a refreshing gold-colored beer of high fermentation and with fermentation on the bottle – thus a living beer with evolving taste. Pored with care you get a rich, white and stable foam collar with a creamy structure and sticking to the glass. You can smell the aromatic hop flowers of Erembodegem near Aalst (Belgium), a local natural product. You can also smell a strong ferment typically for the Witkap-Pater. Their are no other taste-makers used. During degustation you get a taste sensation starting with a soft mouth filling taste, passing in the a refreshing taste and ending with a tasty hop-bitter after taste.


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.

Saratoga Cocktail


Saratoga Cocktail.
2 Dashes Maraschino. (2/3 Barspoon Luxardo Maraschino)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
1/4 Slice Pineapple.
1 Glass Brandy. (2 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac)
(Muddle Pineapple in Maraschino.  Add Bitters, Brandy and…)  Shake well and strain, adding a little soda water.

I guess I probably picked the wrong glass for this. Nonetheless, this is a tasty cocktail. Mostly dry Armagnac flavor with just a hint of sweetness and exoticism.

Absolutely nothing wrong with that!

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.

Raymond Hitch Cocktail

Raymond Hitch Cocktail

Raymond Hitch Cocktail.
The Juice of 1/2 Orange.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
1 Slice Pineapple.
1 Glass Italian Vermouth. (2 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
(Muddle Pineapple in orange juice and…) Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

A tasty, light and slightly exotic Low Alcohol Cocktail, the Savoy Raymond Hitch would be a pleasant before dinner diversion.

In his 1917 book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks,” Hugo Ensslin gives this the clever name, “Raymond Hitchcocktail”.


Raymond Hitchcock

“Hitchcock, Raymond (1865–1929), comic actor and producer. Described by Stanley Green as “a lanky, raspy?voiced comic with sharp features and straw?colored hair that he brushed across his forehead,” he was born in Auburn, New York, and came to the theatre after some unhappy years in other trades. From 1890 on he began to call attention to himself in musicals such as The Brigands and The Golden Wedding. His performance in King Dodo (1901) made him a star…”

Interestingly, his last great theater role may have been as Clem Hawley in the stage version of Don Marquis’ The Old Soak.

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.

Queen’s Cocktail

Queen's Cocktail

Queen’s Cocktail.

1/2 Slice of Crushed Pineapple.
1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin French Vermouth)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Martini and Rossi Sweet Vermouth)
1/2 Gin. (1 1/2 oz Sarticious Gin)

(Muddle pineapple in shaker. Add ingredients and ice…) Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.
According to Robert Vermeire, this recipe was, “by Harry Craddock, New York.” Nice to get an actual verified Craddock cocktail. But wait, isn’t The Queen’s Cocktail just a slightly dried out version of The Plaza Cocktail?

In the case of the Queen’s I actually splurged and bought a fresh pineapple and muddled half a slice in the drink. Can’t say that the substitution made that much difference between them. I think possibly the fresh pineapple was slightly more flavorful and gave a bit better foam.  Both the Plaza and The Queen’s are fairly tasty, in a vaguely tropical, punch-like way.  Amazing how a couple pieces of fruit can take a cocktail a long way from being a perfect Martini!

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.

Plaza Cocktail

Plaza Cocktail

Plaza cocktail.
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Martini and Rossi Sweet Vermouth)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Sarticious Gin)
1 Slice of pineapple. (1/2 oz Pineapple Juice)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Again, hitting another of the pretty much extinct vaguely exotic martini variations.

Neglected to get a pineapple, so substituted a half ounce of juice. The Sarticious seemed like an interesting choice, given the semi-tropical nature of the cocktail.

I was initially thinking, “pineapple in a perfect martini, how can that be good?” But you know, it’s not bad. Fairly subtle, it must be admitted, but an interesting enough variation. Not something I’ll probably make again, but certainly more interesting than you think.

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.

Pineapple Cocktail

Pineapple Cocktail

Pineapple Cocktail
(6 People)
First take a glass of fresh pine-apple juice (1 oz Pineapple Juice). Soak the fruit from which this juice has been extracted for two hours in 2 glasses of Dry White Wine (1 oz Bonny Doon Erbaluce White Wine). Mix these together, adding as well the juice of a quarter of a lemon (Juice 1/8 lemon); and pour the whole into the shaker with 3 glasses of Sherry (1 1/2 oz Bodega Dios Baco Fino Sherry). Stand the shaker in ice, but do not put any ice into the mixture. Shake, strain and serve with a small piece of pineapple in the glass. This is a very mild cocktail.

This certainly is a “very mild cocktail”! Luckily enough, along with being mild, it is tasty. Another one you could make in a bar or restaurant without a full liquor license.

Never having used actual fresh squeezed pineapple juice before, I was totally stunned by the generous, long lasting, foam this cocktail developed when shaken. Without the added agitation factor of ice, even!

I’ve known pineapple juice created foam in liquids, but never seen it work to this extent. This certainly bears more investigation.

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.

Milk Punch No. 1

You may remember that a couple weeks ago I made a Hibiscus Milk Punch based on a recipe I read on another blog.

The whole thing was a bit of a leap of faith, given I’d never made anything similar or even tried it.

However, it turned out so well, I thought I should turn back the clock a bit further and investigate an older recipe for Milk Punch. So when Daniel Hyatt suggested we make some punches for one of our Savoy Cocktail Book night at Alembic, I thought I would make Savoy Milk Punch No. 1. Upon investigation, it turns out it is based on a recipe from the 1862 version of Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide.

The recipe from Mr. Thomas is as follows.

California Milk Punch.
(For Bottling.)
Take the juice of four lemons.
The rind of two lemons.
½ pound of white sugar, dissolved in sufficient hot water.
1 pineapple, peeled, sliced and pounded.
6 cloves.
20 coriander seeds.
1 small stick of cinnamon.
1 pint of brandy.
1 pint of Jamaica rum.
1 gill of Batavia Arrack.
1 cup of strong green tea.
1 quart of boiling water.
1 quart of hot milk.

Put all the materials in a clean demijohn, the boiling water to be added last; cork this down to prevent evaporation, and allow the ingredients to steep for at least six hours; then add the hot milk and the juice of two more lemons; mix, and filter through a jelly-bag; and when the punch has passed bright, put it away in tight-corked bottles.

This punch is intended to be iced for drinking. If intended for present use filtering is not necessary.

California Milk Punch

Using Mr. Thomas recipe as a starting point:

Bernal Heights Milk Punch
1 qt Osocalis Brandy.
1 pt Appleton V/X.
1 pt Coruba.
1 pt Batavia Arrack von Osten.
Peel 4 lemons.
Juice 6 lemons, strained
1/2 pineapple, chopped and crushed.
6 cloves.
1 cinnamon stick (cassia).
5 Green Cardamom Pods, Crushed.
4 teaspoons Lung Ching Dragonwell Tea.
16 oz Water
1/2 # Florida Crystals.
1 quart Straus Family Creamery Whole Milk.

Peel lemons and add to Brandy.  Juice 4 lemons and crush pineapple.  Add to rums (including Arrack).  Allow both to infuse for 48 hours.

Heat water and add spices and tea. After it has steeped for 10 minutes, strain. Add sugar, stir to combine, and cool.

Juice other two lemons and add to pineapple, lemon, and rum mixture. Heat milk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to Rum, lemon, and pineapple mixture. Allow to stand for 30 minutes and filter through cheesecloth. Strain brandy mixture off peels. Combine Rum mixture, brandy mixture, and syrup. Cool, bottle in clean containers, and chill over night. Filter again through coffee filters, leaving any sediment which has collected in the bottom of the containers behind.  Makes about 3 quarts.

Perhaps not so oddly, I misremembered the recipe and used Cardamom instead of Coriander. But I really like the clove/cardamom nexus, so not a bad thing.  I needed some pineapple and pineapple juice for another cocktail this week, so only used half for the punch.  More pineapple wouldn’t hurt.  The initial division of the infusions was just a result of the size of my containers, but actually seemed to help with getting a firmer curd from the milk solids.  If I had to do it again, I’d do it the same way.

The water amounts didn’t really make sense to me for starting with 80 proof booze. My guess is Thomas was working with cask strength liquors, to require that much dilution. So I adjusted a bit. Perhaps a bit too much, as according to Mrs. Flannestad, this ended up a bit strong and boozy.  Depending on your perspective, that may be bad or good.

Very good response to the punch at Alembic’s Savoy Cocktail Book night last Sunday, so if you’re feeling adventurous give it a try.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.  We just served it over ice with a splash of soda.  It would make a fantastic highball!

Even though I can now cross this off the list of Savoy punches I need to make, I have a feeling I’ll be making this Milk Punch again some time soon.

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.

Knickerbocker Special Cocktail

Knickerbocker Special Cocktail
Knickerbocker Special Cocktail

1 Teaspoonful Raspberry Syrup. (Monin Raspberry Syrup)
1 Teaspoonful Lemon Juice.
1 Teaspoonful Orange Juice.
1 Chunk of Pineapple.
2/3 Rum. (1 1/2 oz Inner Circle Green Rum)
2 Dashes of Curacao. (2/3 tsp. Luxardo Triplum)

(Muddle pineapple in juices and spirits. Ice, shake, and double strain into a cocktail glass.)

According to Mr. Wondrich’s book, “Imbibe!” The Knickerbocker was a popular cocktail in the mid to late 19th Century.

Jerry Thomas included a version of the drink in his 1862 book, which went like so:

(Use Small Bar-Glass.)
1/2 a lime or lemon, squeeze out the juice, and put rind and juice in the glass.
2 tea-spoonsfuls of Raspberry Syrup.
1 Wine-Glass Santa Cruz Rum.
1/2 Teaspoonful of Curacao.

Cool with shaved ice; shake up well, and ornament with berries in season.  If this is not sweet enough, put in a little more raspberry Syrup

Uh, oops. Well, if I had known that when I was making it, I would have given this drink the same controversial treatment I gave the King Cole!

Wondrich goes on to add about the Knickerbocker, “With its rum and its lime juice, its syrups and liqueurs, the Knickerbocker is the spiritual progenitor of the Tiki Drink. Think of it as an 1850s Mai Tai–similar drink, different island.”

Even in its, “somewhat bastardized form,” here in the Savoy Cocktail Book it is a very good drink for a hot day. A tad girly with the raspberry syrup, but with a pleasing and harmonious flavor that belies the seriousness of the rum lurking in the background.

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.

Cubano Cocktail

Cubano Cocktail

The Cubano Cocktail

1/2 Gin. (1 oz Bombay Gin)
1/2 vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
4 Drops Kummel. (very little Kaiser Kummel)
4 Drops Charbreux. (very little Green Chartreuse)
2 Drops Pineapple Syrup. (even less pineapple juice)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Another cocktail mostly verbatim from Judge Jr.’s “Here’s How!”.

The note in “Here’s How!” goes on to say, “Contributed by Owen Hutchinson and it explains why Cuba is a free country.” I’ve really no idea what that means.

This is a very subtle affair. I’ve also no idea if I could even tell it from a “Fifty-Fifty” if it they were both presented to me, other than to say, “this one seems a bit different from the other one.”

Picked some borage blossoms while at the garden today for garnish. Cool, eh? They have a slight cucumber-ish flavor when consumed. Went well with the drink.

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.

Goombay Smash

When I was thinking about a Mixology Monday drink a while ago, it reminded me of my parents, and specifically my Dad. My parents took their honeymoon in the Bahamas. It was there that my Father discovered both the wonder and pain of strong drink. I don’t know the details; but, for him, whatever cocktail he had there confirmed what he had been taught. That what was too tasty and too fun, was also bad. While, later in life he would occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner, to my knowledge, he didn’t drink hard liquor again in his life.

A quick read through Jeff Berry’s Intoxica and Grog Log, revealed only a glancing reference to the “Queen’s Park Swizzle” as a drink which might have been served in the Carribean in the 50s. Worried that I might have to make a Bahama Mama, I asked a couple people what cocktails might have been likely served during that era in the Bahamas. Martin Cate of Forbidden Island suggested the “Goombay Smash” and Ted Haigh agreed the Goombay Smash or a Planter’s Punch might be a good choice. Both Mr. Cate and the Doctor dismissed the Queen’s Park Swizzle as far too strongly tasting of liquor, to appeal to young midwestern tourists.

The Goombay Smash is a specialty of Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar in the Bahamas. While the exact formulation of the Goombay Smash remains a secret of that establishment, Mr. Cate suggested the following from the UK sauceguide publication.

Goombay Smash

Goombay Smash

1.5 oz Pusser’s Navy Rum
.75 oz coconut rum (Cruzan)
3 oz pineapple juice
.25 oz fresh lime juice
.25 oz Cointreau
.25 oz simple syrup
(dash drinkboy house bitters)

Shake and pour over (crushed) rocks.

Fine and tasty it is. My only embellishment was to add a generous dash of homemade drinkboy house bitters, whose ginger-spice kick I thought would nicely complement the tropical flavors. For an extra touch of exotica, I garnished it with a couple sprigs of lemon balm and a cup and saucer vine flower.

While I don’t know if the Goombay is truly that “exotic”, it certainly is quaffable. Just the sort of thing that goes down easy during the afternoon on a hot Carribean island. And the Pusser’s certainly packs enough of a punch to make you regret having one too many.


Dad, this one’s for you.