Angel’s Tip Cocktail

Angel’s Tip Cocktail

3/4 Liqueur Glass Crème de Cacao.
1/4 Fresh Cream.

Use liqueur glass and float cream.

Another layered after dinner cocktail.

The Angel’s Tip is not nearly as vile as the Angel’s Kiss. I would call this one at least “drinkable.”

I still recommend you have a glass of coffee or tea nearby to cut the sweetness.

Heck, if it wasn’t so much work to layer the stupid thing, (this one’s really not,) I’d say pour it right in your coffee!

Some books recommend chilling the liqueurs and/or liquors before making layered cocktails. Seems a bit persnickety to me, but it is probably not an horrible idea.

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.

Angel’s Kiss Cocktail

Angel’s Kiss Cocktail

1/4 Crème de Cacao. (Bols)
1/4 Prunelle Brandy. (Home made Sugar Plum liqueur)
1/4 Crème de Violette. (Benoit-Serres Liqueur de Violette)
1/4 Sweet Cream.

Use liqueur Glass and pour carefully, so that ingredients do not mix.

I try to give Savoy Cocktail Book cocktails a fair shake, but this is just vile. I can’t imagine anyone enjoying it. Bleah!

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.

BOTW–Holiday Travel Edition

I mentioned our Holiday tradition of a flight of Anchor’s beers, another perhaps more enjoyable tradition we have is buying a bottle of the holiday beer from Brasserie d’Achouffe, N’Ice Chouffe. This is a strong, dark holiday beer. Quite sweet and lightly flavored with spices, thyme, and Curacao Orange peels.

The thing I like about the N’Ice Chouffe is that first and foremost it is a delicious, if somewhat sweet, Belgian beer. Unlike a lot of flavored American beers, the flavor of the beer is first and the flavor of the spices is an accent, not the dominant element. Definitely one of my favorite winter warmers.

This is the travel edition of Beer of the Week, because for the holidays we traveled to the Midwest to visit our family and friends. So much great beer was drunk over the 10 days we were in Wisconsin, that I’ve sort of lost track of all of it. The beer I look forward to having every time I get back to the Midwest is Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. It’s a delicious IPA in a style that marries the less aggressive hopping of East Coast IPAs to the strongly hopped West Coast style Ales. It is just wonderfully complex, and one of my favorite beers. Along with Bell’s, much beer from New Glarus Brewing was drunk. Fat Squirrel, Spotted Cow, and many others include a delicious special Smoked Porter called, “Smoke on the Porter”. Yum! We also sampled beers from many other breweries, including some that were new to me like, Lake Louie Brewing.

Lest this be all beer, here is last night’s dinner, a nice braised chicken with root vegetables served over tagliatelle.

In any case, the best part of traveling to the Midwest is getting to see friends and family. We had a great New Year’s Eve Party with a group of our closest friends. An event which included sledding, braised pork, homemade soda bread, rum balls, exclusive videos, absinthe, and a midnight bonfire to usher in the New Year! Whew!

Not to mention, one of our friends confessed that her newest guilty pleasure is Peach Lambic! Back in San Francisco, last night, we raised a glass in a toast to good friends, good food, good beer! Here’s to all of my old and new friends! May your New Year be a happy one!


First, I want to apologize to David Wondrich for not writing up his new book “Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar” before Christmas, depriving him of whatever paltry sales a blog post here will generate. Sorry David.

In any case, the book had been covered so well by such stellar writers as Paul Clarke over at the Cocktail Chronicles, (“IMBIBE! (no, the other one)”,) and Jeff Berry over at Beachbum Berry’s Grog Blog, (“AN EDUCATED THIRST: PROFESSOR JERRY THOMAS, REMIXED”,) that I figured anyone with even a passing interest cocktails would have purchased it before Christmas. Heck, they should have pre-ordered the thing!

Plus, I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for many of my friends and family, as they were getting a copy for Christmas whether they wanted one or not.

Recently, though, it has come to my attention that some of my acquaintances (<cough>Rick<cough>) have not yet purchased a copy for themselves.

Now, I know perhaps you are thinking, “Why do I need a book about 19th Century cocktails and bar culture? I can make an Old-Fashioned as well as the next man. There’s nothing else to it, is there?”

Indeed, when I heard that Mr. Wondrich was working on this book, I wondered how he would make such things interesting to those of us already familiar with the subject matter.

The beautiful thing about Mr. Wondrich’s writing is that it is a joy to read. Indeed, I suspect if he applied himself to the subject of paint drying, he could, somehow, bring it to life.

He not only brings the culture of the 19th Century Saloon to vivid life, he provides seemingly endless amusing anecdotes about the cocktails themselves and the characters that created them. Boothby, Schmidt, and especially Thomas all get some time in the sun here.

Indeed, if I have any criticism of the book, it is that it spends too much time on cocktails, and not enough on the colorful characters and histories of the 19th Century. After reading the wonderful first chapter on the the life of Jerry Thomas, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed to get down to the business of cocktails, punches, and fancy drinks.

Sigh, I guess, ultimately, it is a cocktail recipe book, after all.

But, lest I also worry about that, Mr. Wondrich’s research and writing about those recipes is thoroughly fascinating and well worth going through. Not to mention, every recipe I have made so far has been outstanding. They may take a bit more work than modern cocktails, but the results are well worth the effort and the instructions impeccable.

Crack open your stingy wallet, mix yourself a drink, enjoy Mr. Wondrich’s prose, and smile.

Full disclosure: After I had pre-ordered a copy of “Imbibe!” the publisher sent me a copy. I didn’t cancel my pre-order, instead giving it to a friend. So, I figure we’re about even.

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday season!

I know I had a great holiday, visiting with friends and family.

Snowiest year in recent memory, however!

Haunting Midwestern bookstores turned up the following:

I couldn’t resist the suave allure of this copy of “Playboy’s Host & Bar Book” from 1971. Might have to finally get that bottle of Galliano!

1948 edition of “Bartender’s Guide…By Trader Vic”. Lots of fun recipes here and some pretty amusing insights in this early edition of Trader Vic’s Guide.

And finally, a vintage copy of Patrick Gavin Duffy’s “The Official Mixer’s Manual” from 1934. I’ve already noticed some discrepencies between this version and the 1956 James Beard edited version I had previously been relying on. For one thing, the Aviation Cocktail recipe in the older book is a verbatim copy of the Hugo Ensslin’s Aviation, calling for Creme de Violette and Maraschino. In the Beard edition it calls for Maraschino and Apricot Brandy. Certainly an odd substitution and one I’ve always wondered about. Nice to know it wasn’t Mr. Duffy’s choice.

I anticipate some fascinating reading in the coming months!

I hope Santa was as good to you, as he was to me, and wish you an exciting an eventful new year!


edit – typos