BOTW–Double Duty

As I was remiss, and did not do a Beer of the Week last week, this week I’ll cover two beers.

In my opinion, one of the coolest things about the craft beer revolution, such that it was, is that in just about every US state you visit you can find a delicious and unique craft beer.

One of my favorite Midwestern beers is Bell Brewery’s Two Hearted Ale.  It is an IPA that is sort of half way between the extremely hoppy west coast IPAs and the mellower Pacific Northwest and East Coast IPAs.

Delicious!  Any trip to the Midwest would be a failure in my book, if I didn’t drink at least one bottle, or preferably, draft pint of Two Hearted Ale.

In San Francisco, a fun local Brewery is Speakeasy.  They are located in the shadow of the Bayview Housing Projects on Evans off of Third Street here in San Francisco.

They often have parties or events at the Brewery, which can be pretty fun to attend.

Be warned, though, that the guys are pretty big heavy metal fans.  The last time we were out, they had an acoustic metal jam going on.  It’s a bit different feel than the mellow, grateful dead influenced vibe of the Magnolia Brew Pub.

They call the Untouchable Ale and American Style Pale Ale.

I suppose along the lines of Sierra Nevada Pale, Untouchable is a bit hoppier and also slightly heavier beer than the Sierra Nevada.

They make several other beers which they don’t bottle.  One of my favorites of those is the Hunter’s Point Porter.  If you ever see that on cask, don’t hesitate to order it.

Anyway, as you travel, my advice is to experiment.  If you’re out at a bar or restaurant that seems to take care with their beer, pick a beer you haven’t seen before.  I think you’ll find, local beer is almost always the best beer.

Saturday Night Dinner

It’s been a while since I posted a Saturday night dinner. I figure most folks read for the drinks, but this dinner was to celebrate Mrs. Flannestad’s triumphant return from her travels, so I’ll put it up.

Figs, Plouts, and Plum arranged in the pan for upside down cake.

Batter into cake pan. I based the batter on this one from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine: Cranberry Upside-Down Cake. It was a bit of a pain to make, but quite tasty.

Cleaned Maitake Mushrooms.

Sauteed Maitake Mushrooms with shallots and herbs.

Beautiful Tigerella tomatoes from a Japanese couple at the Farmers’ Market. Thyme and Thai Basil.

Gorgeous!

Tomatoes in a Sherry vinegar and Olive Oil dressing.

Cake Landscape.

Chicken Breasts with a generous amount of sauteed Maitake Mushrooms under the skin.

I like this orzo preparation. You make it more or less like a risotto.

Roasted Chicken Breasts.

Ms. Sweetpea wants to know why I’ve been spending so much time in the kitchen instead of paying attention to her.

I’ve never been much for presentation, at least when I’m cooking at home.

Depanned upside down cake.

Sorry, this is a bit out of focus. We’d had a bit to drink (sentimental favorite, Lazy Creek Anderson Valley Pinot Noir!) and were a little tipsy by the end of the meal.

Yay! My lovely partner in crime is back home!

Desert Healer Cocktail

Desert Healer Cocktail

The Juice of 1 Orange. (Juice 1 1/2 Honey Tangerine)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz No. 209 Gin)
1/2 Liqueur Glass Cherry Brandy. (3/4 oz Cherry Heering)

Shake well and strain into long tumbler and fill with Ginger Beer (Bundaberg).

In his book, “Barflies and Cocktails”, Harry McElhone notes that this cocktail, “Recipe (is) by Hon. H. Grayson.”

I’ve been meaning to try the Bundaberg Ginger Beer for a while. The Desert Healer seemed a fine excuse to pick up a 4 pack. Very natural tasting, if a bit sweeter than I expected.

With the Bundaberg, Heering, and Tangerine Juice, this cocktail ends up a bit on the sweet side for me. Quite tasty all the same. One interesting idea I had was, instead of shaking the Heering with the cocktail, to add it after shaking and then top with ginger beer. I bet you could get a nice Tequila Sunrise type effect. Will have to try that next time.

I suppose there is the question of Cherry Eau-de-Vie vs. Cherry Liqueur. I tried it both ways, and didn’t really care for the Kirsch version. Almost all the sweetness here comes from the juice and ginger beer. Swapping Heering for Kirsch didn’t make that much difference in sweetness and the Trimbach Kirsch I used brought out an unpleasant “Children’s Aspirin” flavor in the cocktail.

Anyway, after the not very good Kirsch version of this cocktail, which went down the sink, I still had a half a bottle of Ginger Beer. 2 oz of Rittenhouse Rye, a couple ice cubes, topped with cold Ginger Beer. C’mon. To me, it was tastier than either version of the Desert Healer. Rye and Ginger Beer, what a combination. Sometimes simpler is better.

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.

De Rigueur Cocktail

De Rigueur Cocktail

1/2 Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Famous Grouse)
1/4 Grape Fruit Juice. (3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice)
1/4 Honey. (1 teaspoon Jan C. Snyder’s Blue Curls Honey.)
Cracked ice.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Another cocktail ripped from the pages of Judge Jr.’s “Here’s How”.

Hark, ye lads! Here’s the very latest drink! Three of these will knock you for a row of aspirins:

1/2 scotch;
1/4 grapefruit juice;
1/4 honey;
cracked ice.

I first tried this with the usual Compass Box Asyla and California Buckwheat Honey. The California Buckwheat honey was a bit much for the Asyla.

The second version with the nominally milder Blue Curls honey and Famous Grouse was better. I’ve no idea about the ridiculous amount of honey this recipe calls for. A teaspoon was, if anything, still a bit too sweet for me. Oh yeah, “Wooly Blue Curls,” I just have to type that again, if there is a better plant name than, “Wooly Blue Curls,” I don’t know what it is.

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.

Derby Cocktail

Derby Cocktail

2 Dashes Peach Bitters. (Fee’s Peach bitters)
2 Sprigs Fresh Mint.
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Bombay Gin)

Shake(*) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Can you imagine what a bartender would say about you if you ordered this? “Oh, I’ll have 2 oz of gin shaken with a couple sprigs of mint and a dash or two of peach bitters.” Hell-lo, Alcoholic!

Of course, really, it is no different than the modern “super-extra-dry vodka martini,” alcohol-wise, and quite a bit tastier. According to Harry McElhone’s book, “Barflies and Cocktails” this “Recipe (is) by E.G. De Gastreaux, of Canal and Vine Streets, Cincinnati, 1903.”

Minty, peachy, cold gin. (Yeah, it does need to be really cold.)

Quite refreshing and vaguely medicinal seeming.

Might even be good for you, if you have a cold!

*I would suggest that instead of shaking the Derby, that you roll it with cracked ice. That is to say just pour it back and forth for 15 seconds or so between two shaker tins or glasses. Not quite shaking, but not quite stirring. If you shake it you’re going to pulverize the mint and all you’ll taste is bitter plant guts.

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.

Forward, Into the Past!

Don’t normally post Political stuff, but this article caught my eye on the train this AM.

Bush plan would blunt state birth control law, Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

“A proposed Bush administration regulation on contraception and abortion would stop California from enforcing a state law that requires Catholic hospitals and charities to provide birth control coverage for thousands of female employees, state Attorney General Jerry Brown and family-planning advocates said Wednesday.”

More importantly, check the language a bit later:

“The U.S. Health and Human Services Department regulation, still in draft form, would define abortion as including certain methods of contraception and would prohibit states and other recipients of federal funds from penalizing health care workers who refused to provide those services because of religious or moral beliefs.”

…and a bit further on:

“That language, and other portions of the regulation, cover the most common oral contraceptives and intrauterine devices, said Ellen Golombeck, a national Planned Parenthood spokeswoman.”

…and…

“It would define abortion as any procedure or drug that terminates a human life after conception, ‘whether before or after implantation.'”

So under this law, the language of the law would change to consider almost every form of birth control, other than prophylactics, abortion.

How long until we’re all singing “Every Sperm is Sacred”?

Depth Bomb Cocktail

Depth Bomb Cocktail

Depth Bomb Cocktail


Depth Bomb Cocktail

1 Dash Lemon Juice.
4 Dashes Grenadine. (Homemade)
1/2 Calvados or Apple Brandy. (Calvados Roger Groult, Réserve 3 years old)
1/2 Brandy. (Maison Surrenne Petite Champagne Cognc)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Two favourite War-time Cocktails. They owed their inspiration to the activities of the famous M.L. Submarine Chasers during the hostilities.

Ostensibly, this is about the same cocktail as the Depth Charge Brandy (6 People); but, what a world of difference the Calvados makes!

In the Depth Charge Brandy made with the Clear Creek Apple Brandy, the Cognac dominated. In this one, I would be hard pressed to detect the Cognac in the cocktail!

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.

Depth Charge Brandy Cocktail

Depth Charge Brandy Cocktail

Depth Charge Brandy Cocktail

Depth Charge Brandy Cocktail (6 People)

Carefully shake together 2 1/2 glasses of Brandy, and the same amount of Calvados to which has been added 2 dessertspoonsful of Grenadine and 4 of Lemon Juice.

Adapted For 1.

Generous 1 oz of Maison Surrenne Petite Champagne Cognac
Generous 1 oz Clear Creek Apple Brandy
Teaspoon Homemade Grenadine
Juice 1/4 Lemon

Shake and strain into cocktail glass.

The Cognac is really the dominant element here, with the other ingredients playing supporting roles. Really an enjoyable cocktail, being much more spirit forward than the traditional Sidecar or Jack Rose.

I guess I am puzzled as to what it might have to do with the preceding “Depth Charge Cocktail“.

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.

Depth Charge Cocktail

Depth Charge Cocktail
Depth Charge Cocktail

2 Dashes Absinthe. (Verte de Fougerolles)
1/2 Glass Kina Lillet. (Generous 1 oz Cocchi Americano)
1/2 Glass Dry Gin. (Generous 1 oz Junipero Gin)

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

This is the first time I’ve used the Cocchi Americano in a cocktail and not been pleased with the results.

Something about this combination just didn’t quite work for me.

Especially odd, considering how much I enjoyed the very similar Deep Sea Cocktail.

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.

Dempsey Cocktail

Dempsey Cocktail

Dempsey Cocktail

2 Dashes Absinthe. (2/3 tsp. Verte de Fougerolles)
2 Dashes Grenadine. (2/3 tsp. Homemade)
1/2 Gin. (Generous 1 oz Bombay Gin)
1/2 Calvados. (Generous 1 oz Clear Creek Apple Brandy)

Shake (it would probably be more attractive stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I’m not sure what Steve McCarthy, the proprietor of Clear Creek, will be more angry about, the crappy photo of his product or the fact that I used his Apple Brandy in this 1930s era “shooter”.

Anyway, I dropped my Mrs. Flannestad’s digital camera just before she was off for a trip to New York City. It seemed like the only civilized thing to do was to buy a new one and give her mine for the trip. Unfortunately, that means I’m stuck with my semi-working crappy old camera, which I also dropped about 2 years ago. At least until her new camera arrives. So you’ll have to bear with me for a couple kind of crap looking cocktails while I figure out if I can get this thing to work.

The Dempsey Cocktail is just booze. I assume it is named after boxer Jack Dempsey, “The Manassa Mauler.” In the general vicinity of the “Bunny Hug,” “Earthquake,” and “Hurricane,” compared to those potent concoctions, the Dempsey Cocktail is actually fairly enjoyable. There’s an almost “holiday” spiciness from the combination of flavors that I didn’t expect.

However, unless you want to be hugging the canvas later in the evening, I don’t recommend over indulging in Dempsey Cocktails.

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.