Morning Glory Cocktail

Repeal Bitters

One of the really spiffy things about writing this pesky Savoy topic is that occasionally people you’ve met send you really cool stuff.

The other day I got an email from Stephan Berg, one of the proprietors of The Bitter Truth asking for my address. Having met him at Tales of the cocktail, he didn’t seem particularly menacing. So I figured it would be safe to send him my contact info.

Repeal Bitters Back Label

The Bitter Truth Guys, Alexander Hauke and Stephan Berg, had recently released a Celery Seed Bitters and a reproduction of Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters. I suppose I had an idle hope that they might send me some of those.

Instead they sent a brand new product, which they have created to honor the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition.

The Repeal Day bitters are quite complex. The initial flavors and scents are clove which give way to a front of mouth bitter flavor. Secondary flavors which come forward after that initial bitter burst are similar to root beer. I don’t get much, if any citrus. Instead other flavors similar to culinary herbs and more bitterness linger in the aftertaste.

If you should desire to purchase these bitters, you can either mail order them from The Bitter Truth in Germany or I’ve heard a rumor that a certain cocktail book publisher may soon be distributing them in the US.

Morning Glory Cocktail

Morning Glory Cocktail

3 Dashes Gomme Syrup. (1 tsp. rich simple syrup)
2 Dashes Curacao. (2/3 tsp. Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
2 Dashes Bitters. (2 dashes Bitter Truth Repeal Bitters)
1 Dash Absinthe. (1 dash North Shore Sirene Absinthe)
1 Liqueur Glass Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Lustau Reserve Brandy)
1 Liqueur Glass Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Anchor 2006 Hotaling’s Whiskey)
1 Piece Lemon Peel, twisted to express the oil.
Two Small Pieces of Ice.

Stir thoroughly and remove the ice. Fill the glass with seltzer water or plain soda, and stir with a teaspoon having a little sugar in it.

Well if you’ve got old-school bitters, handily, here’s an old school drink.

As we have seen, much of the Cocktail’s development was intimately connected to the search for a better hangover cure…When confronted by the “Cold grey light of dawn”, the toper recognized it as “the great necessity of the age” the he should at once take some sort of “anti-fogmatic”…”eye-opener”…”bracer”…”corpse reviver” or “morning glory”.

Quoting here from David Wondrich’s introduction to the Morning Glory Cocktail in his book, “Imbibe!

According to Wondrich, the Morning Glory Cocktail first appears in print in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas’ Book and is pretty much verbatim as above.

The “remove the ice idea” is a bit silly. Perhaps sensible when ice was at more of a premium than it is today. I recommend, as does Mr. Wondrich, that you simply follow a procedure similar to a Sazerac. Chill a medium size serving glass with ice and water. Stir your cocktail in ice in a mixing glass or tin. Dump the ice from the chilled serving glass. Strain your cocktail into the chilled glass. Top up with soda.

While I was getting all old-school, I figured I might as well use Anchor Distilling’s Hotaling’s Whiskey in this cocktail. Seemed like it would combine well with brandy.

And indeed. Uh, wow. After a couple sips, it felt like my scalp was floating a few feet above the top of my head.

No idea what might happen, if you follow Mr. Wondrich’s other piece of advice and listen to that, “anarchic little voice in your head that suggests substituting champagne for the selzer.”

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.

Morning Cocktail

Morning Cocktail

Morning Cocktail

2 Dashes Curacao. (2/3 tsp Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
2 Dashes Maraschino. (2/3 tsp Luxardo Maraschino)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters)
2 Dashes Absinthe. (1/2 tsp Sirene Absinthe Verte)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Lustau Reserve Brandy)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)

Shake (well, if you really want to shake, shake. Recommend stirring, myself.) well and strain into cocktail glass. Add a (Mmmm… Luxardo) cherry and squeeze lemon peel on top.

This recipe is verbatim from Harry McElhone’s “Barflies and Cocktails” (and more likely “Harry’s ABCs”). McElhone credits the recipe to “Harry Johnson of New Orleans”. And indeed, it is to be found in the 1900 edition of Harry Johnson’s “Bartenders’ Manual” (Handily published by Mud Puddle Books: “Bartender’s Manual”.)

The only difference between Mr. McElhone’s and Mr. Johnson’s recipes is that Mr. McElhone calls for the Orange Bitters and Mr. Johnson calls for “3 or 4 dashes of bitters (Boker’s Genuine Only)”. Well, times change, and Boker’s Bitters probably weren’t available in London or Paris.

The recipe is a bit twiddly, with all the dashes of this and that.

In addition, I’m growing dissatisfied with the Lustau Brandy. It just doesn’t have much presence in a drink or much length or depth on its own.

Despite that, I found the Morning Cocktail genuinely enjoyable. I was really surprised how dominant the citrus flavors of the cocktail were. There’s some sort of interesting interaction going on between the Dry Vermouth, Curacao, and Lemon Twist.

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.

Moonshine Cocktail

Moonshine Cocktail

Moonshine Cocktail
(6 People)

3 Glasses Gin. (1 1/2 oz Martin Miller’s Gin)
2 Glasses French Vermouth. (1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1 Glass Maraschino. (1 barspoon Luxardo Maraschino)

Before shaking add a drop of Absinthe Bitters (Gin and Wormwood). (Add an Olive.)

OK, I cheated slightly on the Maraschino amount. It should have been 1/2 oz, not a barspoon. Just seemed like it would be a bit much, and frankly, 1 teaspoon was plenty.

A fine, but not outstanding 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.

Moonraker Cocktail

Moonraker Cocktail

Moonraker Cocktail
(6 People)

Pour into the shaker 2 glasses of Brandy (3/4 oz Lustau Reserve Brandy), 2 of Quinquina (3/4 oz Lillet Rouge) and 2 of Peach Brandy (3/4 oz Massenez Creme de Peche). Add 3 dashes of Absinthe (drop or two of North Shore Sirene Absinthe), shake (I stirred) vigorously and serve.

Moonraker seems like such an evocative name, I have always wondered a bit what it referred to. The two main possibilities seem to be a certain type of sail or a reference to a British folk tale.

The Legend of the Moonrakers (link to swindonweb site)

A pair of Wiltshiremen, engaged in smuggling brandy, hide a barrel of the contraband from the excisemen in a nearby pond and when they return at some later time, in the dark, they are caught in the act of raking the barrel back to land. They immediately claim that they are trying to rake cheese – the reflection of the moon – from the pond and the excisemen, amused by the apparently simple-minded rustics, leave them to it.

Why on earth Ian Fleming would name a book about a plot to use a nuclear weapon to destroy London after this legend, I have no idea.

I was also puzzled by the use of the generic term “Quinquina” for an ingredient. Notes to friendly cocktail experts unfortunately yielded no results, leaving me to rely on my own google-rific conclusions. When examining the results of an image search for “Quinquina” almost all the products which come up seem to be dark or red colored. Dubonnet Rouge comes up quite frequently, but it seems there were a number of other Quinquinas available.

Some friends were cleaning their liquor cabinet and gave me a barely used bottle of Lillet Rouge. Thought it would be appropriate, given the results of my searches.

Used Peach Liqueur, as I don’t really have anything else peachy in the house. Hard to say if this should be peach eau-de-vie, aged peach brandy, or peach liqueur.

With the peach liqueur, this is a pretty sweet cocktail. It is, however, pretty tasty. If you were casting about for after dinner options, you could certainly do a lot worse.

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.