Mayfair Cocktail

So the Savoy cocktail book gives the Mayfair Cocktail as:

Mayfair Cocktail

1 Dash Clove Syrup.
1/4 Apricot Brandy.
1/4 Orange Juice.
1/2 Dry Gin.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

About the Mayfair, Robert Vermeire sez:

Mayfair Cocktail

¼ gill of Dry Gin;
¼ gill of Orange Juice;
3 or 4 dashes of Apricot Syrup flavored with a little Cloves Syrup.

This cocktail possesses a delicious flavor. I invented it at the Embassy Club in London, 1921. Mayfair is the aristocratic quarter of London, called so because under the reign of Charles II (seventeenth century) they used to hold a yearly fair there during the month of May.

Interesting evolution of the recipe between the source, Vermeire and the Savoy Cocktail Book.

To make both versions, being the incredibly lazy cuss that I am, I added a drop of clove oil to 2 oz of Aviation Gin (trying to finish a bottle) and proceeded as follows.

Mayfair Cocktail-2

1 oz Clove infused Aviation Gin
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot
1/2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel over glass and drop in.

Mayfair Cocktail-1

1 oz Clove infused Aviation Gin
1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. apricot syrup*

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel over glass and drop in.

Huh, they both have their good points.

The first is a bit better balanced, while the pectin of the apricot syrup in the second makes it a bit more interestingly textured drink. Oddly, the second seems far sweeter than the first.

Kind of digging the apricot syrup, though. Seems like a really interesting sweetener with a texture similar to gomme.

*1/2 Cup water
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup sliced dried apricot

Dissolve Sugar and water and add apricot. Cool and strain out apricot pieces.

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–Black Butte Porter

Black Butte Label

Every once in a while I get into beer moods, where I want to try every beer at the store of a certain style. Typically, in the summer it’s German Wheat Beers (He-llo Schneider Weisse!) and often in the winter it is the Stout/Porter family.

My understanding is that the Porter style originated in London, England. It is suspected the London river Porters were the original target audience, but no one really knows for sure where the name came from. Porter’s close relative, Stout, was originally called “Extra-Stout Porter”. Simply a reference to the strongest examples of the Porter style. And, well, a bit of a joke, eh? After a lifetime of drinking Porter, one imagines most River Porters might be on the Stout side. Eventually the Porter was dropped from the name, as that style of beer fell out of favor, and it came to be known simply as “Stout”.

According to the wikipedia article on them, Porters were originally fairly strong beers, at around 6.6% ABV. They were also the first beers to be aged at the brewery before being sent out to pubs. Porter’s day in the sun, as the most popular beer style was probably from the mid-1700s to 1800s. After that, lighter colored, less strong beers became far more popular.

Most modern American micro-breweries brew a stout or porter. These are often “Imperial” in style, meaning they are extra strong. North Coast Brewing’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is a fine example of this style. One friend described it as the equivalent of having a small shot of brandy dropped into your Guinness. Other breweries have taken this further by aging their Stouts or Porters in barrels which had been used to age Bourbon.

In the Flannestad house, Deschutes has been one of our go-to reliable West Coast breweries for a long time now. Mrs. Flannestad is particularly fond of their Mirror Pond Pale and Bachelor Bitter, while I am very, very fond of their Hop Trip Pale Ale.  And, well, it wouldn’t be the holidays without a six pack or three of their Jubelale.

Their Black Butte Porter is relatively mild, at 5.2% ABV, by modern Microbrew standards.  It is a well balanced, roasty, Porter, that doesn’t pound you over the head with extremes.  A very drinkable Dark Beer, perhaps a good one to introduce less experienced beer drinkers to the style.

Black Butte in the Glass

Since it was St. Patrick’s day this week, I thought I should do something kind of UK-ish to celebrate, beyond just drinking Porter.

British Style Bangers

So I cooked up some “British Style Bangers” and made Colcannon.

I’m still a bit unclear on what exactly comprises “Rusk”, but these were nicely tasty sausages.

Colcannon is a kind of bonus mashed potatoes.  Works as a starch and a veg, for those nights you don’t feel like doing both.

It is made by cooking some sort of cabbage or green, boiling potatoes, and then combining them.

This time I made them as follows, and feel it was one of my tastier iterations of the dish so far.

1# Red Potatoes, washed
1 bunch Collard Greens, stemmed, washed and chiffonaded roughly
1 Leek, washed and sliced
1 tsp. Fresh Thyme
Half and Half
Butter
Salt and Pepper
Chicken Stock (Vegetarians could use water or vegetable stock.)

Put the potatoes on to boil. While they are cooking, saute the sliced leeks in a bit of butter. When it is softened, add the Collard Greens, a splash or two of chicken stock, and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook until the collards are tender, adding more chicken stock if necessary. Add fresh Thyme. Peel and mash potatoes. Add butter and Half and Half to potatoes to reach desired consistency. Combine with Cooked Collard Greens and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve as a side with Corned Beef, Lamb Stew, or sausages.

Bangers and Colcannon

Mmm…  Sexy!

Maurice Cocktail

Maurice Cocktail
Maurice Cocktail
1 Dash Absinthe. (Verte de Fougerolles)
The Juice of 1/4 Orange. (1/4 smallish valencia orange squeezed into tin)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Bianco)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Aviation Gin)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

An interesting relative of the Monkey Gland and Bronx.

I’d finished off the last of my current bottle of Dry Vermouth and had an open bottle of the M&R Bianco. Thought it might lend some interest to this cocktail. Indeed, it does! Also thought the Aviation Gin, with it’s lavender, might mix well with the sort of culinary herb flavors I get from the M&R Bianco. Not traditional, but tasty with nice clean flavors.

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.

Mary Pickford Cocktail

Mary Pickford Cocktail

Mary Pickford Cocktail

1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 oz Montecristo White Rum)
1/2 Pineapple Juice. (1 oz Knudsen Pineapple)
1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (1 barspoon Homemade Grenadine)
6 Drops Maraschino. (6 drops Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur)

Oddly another Savoy Cocktail which lacks directions. I’m gonna say shake, because it is so much more fun to get that nice little head you get with shaking pineapple juice.

Way back when we talked about the Fairbanks cocktail we talked about the tension in the Fairbanks/Pickford house. Mary Pickford, “America’s Sweetheart”, enjoyed the odd drink. Douglas Fairbanks did not and did not approve of her drinking.

I don’t know who could argue with a fine, light, and enjoyable drink like this. I doubt even Fairbanks would notice it was alcoholic!

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.

Marvel Cocktail

Marvel Cocktail

The Marvel Cocktail

3/4 Jamaica Rum. (1 1/2 oz Coruba Rum)
1/8 Sirop-de-citron. (1/4 oz Monin Lemon Syrup)
1/8 Grenadine. (1/4 oz Homemade Grenadine)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Previously I have made these sorts of Grenadine and Rum drinks with Appleton V/X.

I have to admit, trying the Marvel with the Coruba Rum, the flavor combination makes a lot more sense.

It’s just a lot more funky and flavorful rum for this application than the Appleton is.

I’m gonna have to go back and try the Chinese Cocktail again.

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.

Martini (Special) Cocktail

Martini Special Cocktail

Martini (Special) Cocktail
(6 People)

4 Glasses of Gin. (2 oz Gin)
1 1/2 Glasses Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Italian Vermouth)
1/3 Glass Orange-flower water. (1/6 oz Orange-Flower Water)

Before shaking, add a dash of Absinthe and one or two dashes Angostura Bitters.

Another of those annoying recipes that includes ingredients in the instructions. For one person, I made it so:

Martini (Special) Cocktail, revised

1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth
2 drops Orange Flower Water
Bare Dash Verte de Fougerolles Absinthe Verte
Dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass. Twist Lemon Peel over glass and discard.

First, the Orange Flower Water made me think of the botanical intensity of the Old Tom.

However, the amount of Orange Flower Water seemed awfully generous. Working out in the single serving drink math to 1/6 of an ounce for the single cocktail. 2 drops really was plenty, lending a dry perfumey finish to the drink.

All in all, a pretty interesting Martini/Martinez variation.

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.

Martini Sweet Cocktail

Martini Sweet Cocktail

Martini (Sweet) Cocktail

1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
2/3 London Gin. (1 1/2 oz Junipero Gin)
(Dash Angostura Orange Bitters)

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

It’s funny, when you get to cocktails as iconic as the Martini, it really is kind of hard to think of anything new to say.

David Wondrich has tackled it exhaustively in “Imbibe!“. There are numerous whole books on the subject from Authors as diverse as Gary Regan and Barnaby Conrad, III.

What else is there to say about drinks this which are this ubiquitous?

We’ll probably never know who created it and where. The first version was likely one with Sweet Vermouth and Old-Tom Gin. Personally, I don’t think the bitters are optional in a Martini. Without them, it is, apparently, a Lone Tree.

Maybe you’ve been putting off a Martinez or Martini with Sweet Vermouth?

You know, it was funny, when I was on the Manhattan, I told my Mom about it and her comment was, “Oh, I don’t like cocktails which are that sweet.” This from a woman who drinks Peppermint Patties!

Really, this isn’t that sweet a drink, despite the fact that it contains “Sweet” vermouth. Buy yourself a fresh bottle of Sweet Vermouth, a decent gin, don’t skip the bitters, and give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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.

Martini (Medium) Cocktail

Martini Medium Cocktail
Martini (Medium) Cocktail

1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Broker’s Gin)
(Dash Angostura Orange Bitters)

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

I have to admit I’ve kind of fallen out of love with Broker’s Gin.

Initially, it seemed like an OK London Dry Style Gin, but going from the, “do I think to grab the bottle or not,” criteria, lately, I have not been grabbing it. Plus, I miss having Tanqueray around for this sort of fifty-fifty Martini.

Also, it seems to be pretty heavily sweetened for a London Dry Gin.

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–Ruben and the Jets

Beer of the Week was on a bit of hiatus due to travel and other obligations.  Pleased to announce its return this week with Lagunitas Brewing’s “Ruben & The Jets”.

LabelClose

As noted previously, Lagunitas Brewing has embarked on an interesting project to release a beer upon the Fortieth anniversary of the release of each of Frank Zappa and the Mother’s of Invention’s records.  I had read that the beer called “Ruben and the Jets” was a “Stout” of some sort, so was kind of excited to try it.

BoppaDoAyDoo

Well, Lagunitas really prefers not to refer to their beers with traditional beer style nomenclature.  Which is probably just as well for a company that releases beer with names like “Brown Shugga” and “Hairy Eyeball”.

Ruben doesn’t taste much like a Stout to me.  Trying it, the first thing that came to mind was a darker flavored Barley Wine.  But that wasn’t quite it.  After a couple more sips, I realized the other beer it most reminded me of: Spaten Optimator.  At a bit over 8%, Ruben is a bit higher alcohol than optimator and also is a bit less malt forward in flavor.  It’s actually pretty good, though I would say a 22 ounce bomber is probably a bit much for 1 person, given the sweetness and ABV of the beer.

Put on some Zappa, invite a friend over, split a bottle, and freak out.

BeerFromSide

Martini (Dry) Cocktail

Martini Dry Cocktail

Martini (Dry) Cocktail

1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

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

I certainly wouldn’t ever think, no, not at all, of rinsing the glass with orange bitters and twisting a lemon peel over the glass. That would just be wrong.

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.