Kina Quest 2: Necromancing the Stone

After what happened with the Cocchi Americano, I’m not sure I should bring this up.

However, in the spirit of “share and share alike”…

As it turns out, the Lillet company does still make a product which may be more similar to Kina Lillet than to modern Lillet Blanc.  However, it is made only in small vintage dated lots and mostly stays in France.

Corti Brothers, a Sacramento importer of Gourmet wine and food, have managed to lay their hands on a small amount of what they describe as, “Kina Lillet is what Jean de Lillet was called before WWI. The ’04 Jean de Lillet that we exclusively have is sweeter than what Kina Lillet was. Kina Lillet no longer exists.”

In the Corti Brothers newsletter description of the product they also go into further detail.

Lillet’s Secret Reserve – Jean De Lillet

Réserve Jean de Lillet, always vintage dated, is produced from appellation controlée wines which, depending on the vintage, quality, and pricing, come from Entre-Deux-Mers, Graves, Première Côtes de Bordeaux and even from Sauternes. Peels of sweet and bitter oranges from Spain, Morocco, Haiti, Mexico and South America as well as other secret fruits, eight more, are cold macerated in brandy for four to six months, then blended with the wines and then further aged. For Jean de Lillet, aging is done in oak barriques, a third new and two thirds second use. Aging Jean de Lillet produces remarkable results, but you must do it. The bottling we offer is from the 2004 vintage, which has to be called “LOT 2004.” If you can keep your hands off it, it will age well for years.

Interesting that they mention “other fruits” but no other spices or herbs than the cinchona.

A couple bottles arrived on my doorstep over the weekend and I am looking forward to trying it later this week. At which point, I will report back about how it compares to modern Lillet Blanc and Cocchi Americano.

By the bye, Corti Brothers are currently out of stock on Cocchi Aperitivo Americano, but usually stock it and hope to have it available again soon.

Canadian Whisky Cocktail

Canadian Whisky Cocktail

Canadian Whisky Cocktail

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
2 Teaspoonful Gomme Syrup (2 teaspoons Depaz Cane Syrup)
1 Glass Canadian Club Whisky (2 oz 40 creek Barrel Select)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze lemon peel on top.)

I know, I know, this is the same as any other “name_the_spirit cocktail”.

What can I say, I like them. Pretty much all of them.

The funny thing is, this will taste different every time you make it, even if you use the exact same ingredients.

Maybe it’s partly a mood thing, or maybe one day you give it an extra shake of bitters, or a little more whisk(e)y, or a little less sugar.

It’s probably different if you’re a bartender, and can whip these out exactly the same, cocktail after cocktail; but, at home, sometimes the simplest cocktails can be the most interesting.

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.

Canadian Cocktail

Canadian Cocktail

Canadian Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Lemon
1/4 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar (no thanks, sweet enough already)
1 Liqueur Glass Curacao (about 1 1/4 oz Senior Curacao of Curacao)
3 Dashes Jamaica Rum (1/4 oz Inner Circle Green)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The big question here was what rum to use.

I knew it had to be something with enough oomph that it would be noticed in a very small amount. I’ve also read that Canadians and Newfundlanders allegedly enjoy that “Screech” sort of thing. I singed my nose hairs on a few of the usual suspects. Pusser’s, Lemon Hart 151, and the Inner Circle Green. Kind of wish I had some Wray and Nephew white in the house. But, anyway, ended up with the Inner Circle Green. It seemed to have the most interesting funk of the bunch.

Cocktail is alright. Making as I did, it’s really pretty close in sweetness to many of the cocktails served in the mainstream American bars. If I were to make it again, it would be more to my taste as: 1/2 oz Curacao, 3/4 oz Cuban style rum, 1/4 oz overproof rum, juice 1/4 lemon.

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

Dad, this one’s for you.

Campden Cocktail

Campden Cocktail

Campden Cocktail

1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/4 Cointreau. (1/2 oz Cointreau)
1/4 Kina Lillet. (1/2 oz Cocchi Americano)

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

It’s not exactly awful, but close.

I know it would be awful with a questionable gin and modern Lillet Blanc.

To be honest, it is only the edgy quinine bitterness of the Cocchi Americano that saves this cocktail for me.

It is on the edge of too much gin/cointreau hand sanitizer kind of flavor.

If you want to attempt it, chill it well, drink it quickly, and move on.

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.

Calvados Cocktail Variation

Calvados Cocktail Special

Calvados Cocktail

Variation of the above.

3 Glasses Calvados (2 oz Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy)
3 Glasses Sweetened Lemon Juice (Juice 1/2 Lemon)
(1 teaspoon Caster Sugar)

Shake very Thoroughly and serve.

Since this was just an Apple Brandy Sour, I didn’t feel quite justified in using the Germain-Robin Apple Brandy in it.

Perfectly tasty Apple Brandy Sour, and quite refreshing.

Dunno why it is called a “variation on the above” or why it isn’t named simply “Calvados Sour”.

Let me know why you think this interpretation might be incorrect.

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.

Calvados Cocktail

Calvados Cocktail

Calvados Cocktail (6 People)

2 Glasses Calvados (1 oz Germain-Robin Apple Brandy)
2 Glasses Orange Juice (1 oz Orange Juice)
1 Glass Cointreau (1/2 oz Cointreau)
1 Glass Orange Bitters (1/2 oz Aperol)

Add plenty of ice and shake carefully

Turned this into a single serving drink.

Two main puzzles here.

First, I would expect something called “Calvados Cocktail” to be a Calvados Cocktail. That is to say, Calvados, sugar, bitters, and a twist. What the orange juice is doing here, I don’t know.

Second, “1 Glass Orange Bitters”? The only thing I can think is they might mean an aperitif bitters like the Dutch Hoppe Orange Bitters. The closest thing I could think of was Aperol.

The flavors are there and interesting; but, as written above, it’s too sweet for me.

Suggestions? Thoughts?

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.

Cameron’s Kick Cocktail

Cameron's Kick Cocktail

Cameron’s Kick Cocktail

1/3 Scotch Whisky (1 oz Compass Box Asyla Scotch Whisky)
1/3 Irish Whiskey (1 oz Red Breast Irish Whiskey)
1/6 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz fresh)
1/6 Orgeat Syrup (1/2 oz Monin Orgeat)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze orange peel on top.)

I can’t really think of a funnier or wittier way to put this than Paul Clarke did in his Cocktail Chronicle blog a year or so ago, so I’ll just include a quote:

Cameron’s Kick

Remember the old saw about how, if you took a million monkeys and gave them each a typewriter, they’d eventually come up with the works of Shakespeare? Well edit “typewriter” to read “cocktail shaker,” and stick the monkeys in a well-stocked bar, and the banana-addled mixologists would come up with a Cameron’s Kick in about the same amount of time it’d take that set of simian scribes to work their way around to Titus Andronicus.

Like “Blood in the Sand” it’s another of those cocktails that didn’t really seem anywhere near likely enough that it would be tasty to work it’s way up the list.

Yet here it is, and I quite enjoyed it.

Sweet and tart. Puzzling and a bit exotic. Some elements of spice, and some elements of Scotch Whiskey.

It really doesn’t seem like it should work. But, it does.

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.

Café Kirsch Cocktail

Cafe Kirsch Cocktail

Café Kirsch Cocktail

The White of 1 Egg
1 Liqueur Glass Kirsch (1 oz Trimbach Kirsch)
1/2 Tablespoon of Sugar (1 teaspoon Caster Sugar)
1 Small Glass of Cold Coffee (1 oz Peet’s Kenyan AA, Melitta Drip)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Weird. I expected to like the last cocktail and expected to dislike this one.

Wrong on both accounts.

This is tasty and pretty! I’ll take this over a Red Bull and Vodka any day.

Of course I’m going to regret drinking it, when I can’t sleep tonight at midnight.

Couple Additional Notes:

If you don’t have decent strong drip coffee for it, use espresso.

In the US a number of the larger liqueur companies market something they call Kirschwasser. If you look at the ingredients on the back, you will discover that it is typically artificially flavored and sweetened neutral spirits. I’ve tried a couple (they’re cheap) and they are truly vile. Think, cherry cough drops dissolved in kerosene.

Kirsch or Cherry Eau de Vie is almost always sold in 375ml bottles and is relatively expensive. It is distilled from a “wine” made from fermented cherry juice and is (usually) an unaged clear spirit. In the US, Clear Creek, St. George Spirits, Peak Spirits, and others make acceptable versions.

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.