Corpse Reviver, Revisited

When I wrote about the Corpse Reviver No. 2, I explored the variation with Swedish Punsch instead of Lillet (or Cocchi Americano) and found I preferred the version with Cocchi Americano.

However, recently a friend mentioned they’d been enjoying the same cocktail with the version of Arrack Punch I made for Tales. I wanted to revisit same.

So when Brian Ellison, from Death’s Door Spirits, called me and asked if I wanted to help out with his booth at the Slow Food Expo here in San Francisco, the first drink that came to mind was a Corpse Reviver with my home made Arrack Punch.

I mean, c’mon, if there is a more appropriate drink to make with Death’s Door Gin than a Corpse Reviver, I have no idea what it is. Plus, it has a whole home made angle…

So I made another 3 liter batch of Arrack Punch, sent him the list of other ingredients, and put it on my calendar.

We served them Saturday night and Sunday morning. This evening my arms and shoulders are still sore from shaking cocktails. But, wow, what a great response! Many folks just surprised that they would even enjoy a cocktail made with gin. Others who were coming back, and some telling me that their friends had told them they had to try that “Corpse drink”. And a group from Chow.com, I probably should have cut off, as they were probably responsible for drinking a quarter of the Corpse Reviver mix I had prepared. But hey, they kept coming back and telling me how great it was…

So anyway, if you’re keeping track:

Corpse Reviver No. 2a

3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Homemade Swedish Punch
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
dash Absinthe

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

For what it is worth, the earliest I find this variation on the Corpse Reviver No. 2 is in the 1948 edition of Patrick Gavin Duffy’s “The Official Mixer’s Manual” edited, revised, and expanded by James Beard.

In earlier editions of Duffy’s book, the more traditional Kina Lillet is called for.

Dixie Cocktail

Dixie Cocktail

1/2 Dry Gin. (Generous 1 oz Beefeater’s Gin)
1/4 French Vermouth. (Generous 1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/4 Absinthe. (Generous 1/2 oz Marteau Verte Classique)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

As someone who is, well, “Middle Aged,” I am fascinated by people who re-invent themselves and their careers “later” in life.

Instead of accepting the status quo and “keep on, keepin’ on”, they find a new enthusiasm, or one that has been with them all along, and turn what was a passion into a business plan.

“Foodie” Steve Sando turned a passion for good ingredients into Racho Gordo. Eric Seed (though, he’s a bit younger than the rest of us!) left a career in banking and business to launch Haus Alpenz.

Gwydion Stone is another.

A long time proponent of Absinthe, and founder of The Wormwood Society, he has turned his passion for well made Absinthe into a business venture, Gnostalgic Spirits.

Last year he launched his first commercial product, Marteau Verte Classique, an Absinthe based on tradition recipes and made in accordance with recipes from the 19th Century. It is currently distilled in Switzerland by the Matter-Luginbühl Distillery who also manufacture the Duplais Absinthes among others. Some time this year, he is hoping to launch an Absinthe produced in the US.

The interesting thing about the Verte Classique, is that has been specifically designed to be cocktail friendly.

Which brings us back to the “Dixie Cocktail.”

Because they can use some of the same botanicals, the combination of Absinthe and Gin is always interesting. Depending on the Gin, sometimes interesting is good and sometimes interesting is bad.

I tried the Marteau on its own, diluted with water, as is traditional. It is a very well balanced Absinthe, with the wormwood flavors in harmony with the other botanicals and the anise more reserved than many other modern style Absinthes.

In the Dixie Cocktail, it was interesting, in that it seemed like the Wormwood was out front in the scent of the cocktail and the other botanicals more expressed in the flavor or later taste sensations. The licorice of the Beefeaters, (a proven Absinthe friendly Gin,) is particularly prominent the flavor. This isn’t a cocktail for those who aren’t sure if they like Absinthe or Anise.

Sources indicate this cocktail, like the Aviation, came from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”. I also note a striking similarity to the “Obituary Cocktail” as served at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop in New Orleans.

But, if you enjoy Anise and her friends, raise a Dixie Cocktail in honor of second chances rather than Obituaries.

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.

Diplomat Cocktail

Diplomat Cocktail

1 Dash Maraschino. (Luxardo)
2/3 French Vermouth. (Noilly Prat)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (Punt e Mes)
(Splash Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Build over ice, stir to chill.) Add cherry and squeeze lemon peel on top.

As usual, going with the build over cracked ice method for these vermouth heavy cocktails.

I guess, diplomats would have to keep their cool. Not drink too much strong “likker”.

Fortunately I do not have the weight of the world weighing down upon my shoulders, and can feel free to add a splash of Rye Whiskey to this. Significantly improved my diplomatic relations with the world and the cocktail, I must say.

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.

Dinah Cocktail

Dinah Cocktail

First put 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh mint (1 sprig) in the shaker and bruise them lightly against the sides of the shaker by stirring with a silver spoon. Pour into the shaker 3 glasses of Whisky (2 oz W.L. Weller 12 Year) and let it stand for some minutes. Add 3 glasses of sweetened Lemon Juice (Juice 1/2 Lemon, 1 teaspoon Caster Sugar) and some (cracked) ice. Shake very carefully and for longer than usual. Serve with a mint leaf standing in each glass.

Is “sweetened Lemon Juice” sour mix? Or lemonade?

I decided to make this basically as a whisk(e)y sour with mint.

Really, how can you go wrong?

Absolutely delicious!

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.

Vodka Menace

3 Major Accidents Strain Bay Area Commute, LIVERMORE (CBS 5 / BCN)

“Meanwhile, in Santa Clara County, two lanes of southbound U.S. 101 in Sunnyvale reopened at about 9:15 a.m., following a crash in which a big rig transporting vodka overturned and spilled the product onto the roadway, city spokesman John Pilger said.”

Too bad a tanker of Rose’s Lime Juice, a truck of ice, and a food service supply truck weren’t also involved. Could have been an early morning Gimlet Break for Apple employees…

Diana Cocktail

Diana Cocktail

Use Port Wine Glass.
Fill with shaved ice.

Fill Glass 3/4 full with White Crème de Menthe (Brizard) and top with Brandy (Maison Surrenne Petite Champagne Cognac).

Ya know, I expected to hate this.

A glass 3/4 full of Crème de Menthe topped with Brandy.

An inverse stinger! How could that be good?

It’s actually kind of nice, in a peppermint life-saver kind of way. Cooling. Not to mention quite attractive visually.

I can only imagine it would be significantly spiffier with the legendary dry French Crème de Menthe, Get.

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.

Diabolo Cocktail

Diabolo Cocktail
(6 People)

Pour into the shaker 3 glasses of Brandy (Generous 1 oz Maison Surrenne Petite Champagne Cognac) and 3 of French Vermouth (Generous 1 oz Noilly Prat Dry). Add a spoonful of Angostura (2 dashes Angostura) and 2 spoonsful of Orange Bitters (2 dashes Fee’s Orange Bitters, 2 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters). Shake (stir, please) and serve with piece of lemon rind and an olive, or, if preferred a cherry.

This is the last of the diabolical cocktails. The generous amount of bitters in this one, I guess, made it seem like the most satanic of the bunch.

“Diabolo” is the name of a couple things. First off, as far as I can tell, it is one of the Greek names for the Devil. It is also the name for those bobbin shaped Chinese tops that you manipulate using two sticks attached by a string.

It is my understanding the Chinese top type Diabolos were quite the trendy item in America and England of the 1800s and early 1900s, so I’m guessing it may have been named after the them, rather than the devil.

The cocktail amounts to a Dry Brandy Manhattan (or Martini) with a goodly amount of bitters. Tried with a stuffed green olive and found I preferred the cocktail without. An enjoyable, if not outstanding, aperitif cocktail.

I have to admit as I near the bottom of the Maison Surrenne Petite Champagne Cognac I am getting a bit tired of it. It’s perfectly fine, just a bit lightweight for cocktails, and, I dunno, lacking in complexity. Of the 4 bottles of Brandy/Cognac I’ve gone through since starting the Savoy topic, I think the only one which has really held my interest was the Pierre Ferrand Ambre. Maybe an Armagnac next?

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.

Wisconsin Old-Fashioneds, In the Wild

As I mentioned, I recently took a trip to Wisconsin.

Thought I might document a couple of the Old-Fashioneds in the wild.

While the default Wisconsin Old-Fashioned is a Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet (Brandy with 7-Up) you can always ask for Bourbon or Rye with water instead of soda or 7-up.

This is my father-in-law’s typical Old-Fashioned:

Wisconsin Old-Fashioned

Jim Beam Rye, Sugar, Water, Angostura Bitters, Lemon Twist. Yes, that is a 14 oz Luminarc Working Glass. There were many hangovers before I got the hang of sipping my father-in-law’s Old-Fashioneds. The trick is to sip slowly and add more ice as you go. You do have the option of adding more spirits, but I do not recommend it.

Wisconsin Old-Fashioned

(This picture by Mrs. Flannestad.)

“Rye Old-Fashioned, water” at the Norwood Pines Supper Club, Minocqua, WI. Not sure what brand of Rye. I ordered a Bourbon Old-Fashioned, then said, “Wait a Sec, do you have Rye?” Amazingly, they did. To be honest, it tasted like Sazerac Rye, but that seems unlikely. Definitely not the Beam Rye. Note the cherry boat, which is typical of a Wisconsin Old-Fashioned.

Couple additional notes:

Almost all cocktail drinking at these sorts of supper clubs in Wisconsin is “on the rocks”. You will almost never see an “Up” drink.

At the Norwood Pines I saw the bartender playing with some green substance, ice cream, and a blender.
Oh my gosh! The legendary ice cream version of the Grasshopper! My only regret is I didn’t get a picture of the lovely couple lustily enjoying their Margarita Coupes filled with mountains of neon green, grasshopper flavored ice cream.

Diabola Cocktail

Diabola Cocktail

2/3 Dubonnet. (1 1/2 oz Dubonnet Rouge)
1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Junipero Gin)
2 Dashes Orgeat Syrup. (Monin)

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

This is a fine and enjoyable cocktail, significantly improved by the addition of a dash of Angostura Bitters. If you choose to make it yourself, I would advise picking a more aggressively flavored Gin, given the ratio of Dubonnet to spirit.

“Diabola” may be Latin for “Evil One.” It certainly is used as part of the “Latin” binomial for various menacing looking plants and animals like the “Dracula Lily” (Dracula diabola) and “DEVIL’S RIVER BLACKHEAD SNAKE” (Tantilla rubra diabola). Diabola also appears to be a common name among certain, how shall we say, sub-cultures which frequent some of the more colorful corners of the Internet. Fair warning: in case you are drawn to Google it yourself, these pages are of the sort which you really probably shouldn’t dig in to while at work.

Again, like the Devil’s Cocktail, I can’t say I found this cocktail particularly evil, menacing, or deceptive.

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.

Devil’s Cocktail

Devil’s Cocktail

1/2 Port Wine. (1 1/4 oz Ficklin Old Vine Tinta Port)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 1/4 oz Noilly Prat)
2 Dashes Lemon Juice.

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

Well, this is an appropriately named cocktail for Halloween.

Though, it really doesn’t seem particularly satanic to me.

It is refreshing, light, and somewhat wine-like.

Aside from the color, perhaps it is a “Devil’s Cocktail” because it doesn’t really seem like it has any alcohol?

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.