Opera Cocktail

Opera Cocktail

Opera Cocktail.

1/6 Maraschino. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/6 Dubonnet. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Beefeater 24)

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

This version of the Opera is too sweet for me. Tastes like perfumey, wine candy. My first instinct was to increase the Dubonnet Rouge to 3/4 oz and reduce the Maraschino to a bar spoon. That version lacked zest. I think somewhere around a quarter ounce of Maraschino would be about right. A dash or two of Angostura bitters wouldn’t hurt, either.

Beefeater 24

Received the Beefeater 24 from the folks promoting its launch in the US. Nice bottle, eh? It’s a pleasant gin, a bit more citrus forward than the regular Beefeater and perhaps a bit sweeter. I don’t get much flavor from the much ballyhooed inclusion of Japanese Green Tea. Perhaps the subtle character of green tea would show up in a simpler drink.

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.

Opening Cocktail

Opening Cocktail

Opening Cocktail.

1/4 Grenadine. (1/2 oz Homemade Grenadine)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Punt e Mes)
1/2 Canadian Club Whisky. (1 oz Alberta Premium Canadian Whisky)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Again, this seemed a bit sweet without some bittering agent. Stretched the rules a bit and used Punt e Mes. It’s just about the only Sweet vermouth we use at Alembic. Blame Daniel Hyatt. He’s a bad influence.

Like the “One Exciting Night” I enjoyed this more than I expected, with the Punt e Mes providing enough contrast and bitterness to counter the sweetness of the homemade grenadine. Enjoyable flavors too. Though if making it for myself again, I’d probably use 1 1/2 oz whiskey, 3/4 oz Punt e Mes, and a barspoon of Grenadine.

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.

Opal Cocktail

Opal Cocktail

Opal Cocktail
(6 People)

3 Glasses Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
2 Glasses Orange Juice. (1 oz Blood Orange Juice)
1 Glass of Cointreau. (1/2 oz Cointreau)
A little Sugar. (very little caster sugar)
Add a little Orange-flower water. (drop orange flower water)

Shake and serve.

Of course, re-doing this for one by dividing 2 oz Glasses in half and then dividing in half again. Hey, I can enjoy a drink and a half.

The Opal is not entirely unpleasant, though far more ginny and a bit harsher than would be popular in a modern cocktail. I think part of it might be the heat of the Cointreau.

No idea why it is called the Opal, as even with regular orange juice this would bear no resemblance to those gold-green gems.

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.

Oom Paul Cocktail

Oom Paul Cocktail

Oom Paul Cocktail.

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1/2 Caperitif. (1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth)
1/2 Calvados. (1 oz Germain-Robin Apple Brandy)

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

I’ve struggled with various substitutions for “Caperitif” over the course of these cocktails, and I don’t know if it’s just that I really like Dolin Blanc, but it was a very interesting foil for the flavors of the Apple Brandy in this relatively simple cocktail.

Intrigued enough with the results, I remade it with Calvados Groult Reserve and enjoyed it even more. I’m not sure if I agree with one friend’s assertion that, “Calvados is always better,” but in this case it was definitely more interesting than the American Apple Brandy.

If you like Apple Brandies as much as I do, this is a great cocktail to become familiar with their character.

Another unusually named cocktail with Caperitif.  I should know by now that pretty much any cocktail with some weird ass name and Caperitif is going to have something to do with the Anglo Boer Wars.

From the Wikipedia entry for “Paul Kruger“:

Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904), better known as Paul Kruger and affectionately known as Oom Paul (Afrikaans: “Uncle Paul”) was State President of the South African Republic (Transvaal). He gained international renown as the face of Boer resistance against the British during the South African or Second Boer War (1899-1902).

More information here: “Who Was Paul Kruger

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.

One Exciting Night Cocktail

One Exciting Night Cocktail

One Exciting Night Cocktail.

1 Dash Orange Juice. (1 Dash Blood Orange Juice)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Original Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Punt e Mes)
1/3 Plymouth Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into Port Wine glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top. Frost edge of glass with castor sugar.

As always, your life will be much easier if you frost the edge of the glass before straining the cocktail into it.

However, faced with mandatory glass frosting in a not very tart cocktail, I opted for the more bitter flavors of Punt e Mes in this Bronx-like Cocktail. This at least provided some interesting contrasts between the bitter and sweet elements of the construction. Fairly enjoyable, but I would leave out the caster sugar, if making it for myself, even if it cut down on the excitement for the evening.

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.

Olympic Cocktail

Olympic Cocktail

Olympic Cocktail.

1/3 Orange Juice. (1 oz Fresh Moro Blood Orange Juice)
1/3 Curacao. (1 oz Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
1/3 Brandy. (1 oz Dudognon Cognac)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

A pleasant enough beverage, it was a bit of a waste of this rather nice Cognac. Between the Blood Orange Juice and the Curacao, I could have been using Korbel in this instead of the Dudognon. Cocktails like this are a good reason to keep a couple bottles around.

In any case, the Olympic beats the hell out of a Screwdriver.

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.

Olivette Cocktail

Olivette Cocktail

Olivette Cocktail

2 Dashes Syrup. (Scant barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
3 Dashes Absinthe. (Verte de Fougerolles)
2/3 Glass Plymouth Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass with olive and squeeze lemon peel on top.

More or less just an Improved or Fancy Plymouth Gin Cocktail, this is some pretty serious business. Lesser men need not apply.

If you have an appreciation for slightly adulterated straight spirits, on the other hand, this is not bad at all. Do give it a nice long stir, however, make it small, and drink it while it is very cold.

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.

Hercules Recipes

We last talked about Hercules while making the New Life Cocktail.  I’ve since made two iterations of the recipe.

Hercules #2

1 bottle Navarro Chardonnay
1/4 cup Yerba Mate
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp Gentian
2 tsp Cinchona Powder
1/2 tsp Wormwood flowers and leaves
4 whole cloves
Dried Peel from 1 Seville Orange
1 stick Ceylon Cinnamon
1/2 tsp whole coriander seed
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Apple Brandy

Method: Combine all ingredients other than brandy, bring to 140 degrees for 10 minutes. Strain off solids, cool, and add Brandy. Refrigerate.

This version received many, uh, ambivalent responses.  “I’ve never tasted anything like this before.” “Boy is that bitter.”  “That flavor really sticks with you!”  More constructive criticism was that a stronger spice component would be more enjoyable.  I also thought it would benefit from a richer wine base.

Hercules #3

1 Stick Cassia Cinnamon, crushed
2 tsp. Coriander Seed, crushed
8 Whole Cloves, crushed
1 tsp. Quinine Powder
1 tsp Gentian Root
1/4 Cup Yerba Mate
1 bag peppermint tea
Rind 2 Seville Oranges
Rind 1/2 Valencia Orange
1/2 cup Raw Sugar
750ml Quady Elektra Orange Muscat
1/4 cup Osocalis Brandy

METHOD: Combine spices, peel, yerba mate and wine. Heat to 140 degrees. Add mint and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Filter through chinois and add Brandy. Let stand for at least a day. Pour liquid off of sediment and through a coffee filter and bottle.

While there is no way I can judge whether I am getting closer to what Hercules might have tasted like, this is actually a fairly enjoyable beverage.  I’ll have it along for tonight’s Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic.  Stop by after 6 and ask for a taste.

“Old Pal” Cocktail

"Old Pal" Cocktail

“Old Pal” Cocktail

1/3 Canadian Club Whisky. (1 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey)
1/3 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Original Formula Dry)
1/3 Campari. (1 oz Campari)

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

This “Old Pal” comes from the 1922 edition of “Harry’s ABC of Cocktails”. As far as I can tell, it appears to be one of the earliest recipes in print, at least in English, calling for Campari.

It doesn’t quite make sense to me, however, with the French Vermouth and Rye. Really you just end up with very little balancing out the flavors of the Campari and Rye Whiskey.

By McElhone’s 1927 “Barflies and Cocktails“, the “Old Pal” had disappeared in favor of the Boulevardier*, aka the Bourbon Negroni. A much more sensible beverage, if you ask me.

*If you can’t find the Boulevardier initially, it’s no wonder. Check the “Cocktails Round Town” section at the back of the book. “Now is the time for all good Barflies to come to the aid of the party, since Erskinne Gwynne crashed in with his Boulevardier Cocktail: 1/3 Campari, 1/3 Italian Vermouth, 1/3 Bourbon Whisky.”

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.

Rum Hibiscus Milk Punch

Hibiscus Milk Punch

Continuing with my series of photos deemed “too dark” or “poorly composed” for tastespotting.

;-)

Le Sigh.  I will attempt to move on from my bitter, bitter disappointment at having all my photo submissions rejected by tastespotting.  If they don’t want them, so be it.

This is a follow up to the Rum Hibiscus Milk Punch post of a few days ago.

The general consensus is Drink’s Rum Hibiscus Milk Punch is very tasty.  It’s ridiculously drinkable.

Almost no one can identify the dairy character before being told the “secret ingredient”.  After being told they are usually able to identify the slight lactic acid tang and smell.  My boss at work thought we should make it for the week that sommeliers gather in San Francisco for some exam, just to screw with them.  “Looks like Rose Wine, tastes like, uh, delicious punch.”  “But can you tell us the secret ingredient?”

About all I’d say is I get a bit tired of it after a couple glasses.  It’s complex, but kind of unidirectional.  I think it would be significantly improved by using a Rum with more character than the El Dorado White.  Maybe the Barbancourt White, some portion of White Rhum Agricole, or even Wray & Nephew Overproof.