Old Fashioned Cocktail

Bitters Soaked Sugar Cube

Old Fashioned Cocktail.

1 Lump Sugar.
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky.

Crush sugar and bitters together, add lump of ice, decorate with twist of lemon peel and slice of orange using medium size glass, and stir well. This Cocktail can be made with Brandy, Gin, Rum, etc., instead of Rye Whisky.

I’ve covered the Old-Fashioned a number of times before on the blog: Brandy Special, King Cole Cocktail, Wisconsin Old-Fashioneds, and Make it Another Old-Fashioned, Please. Whew!

Is there anything I haven’t said about them?


Well, one thing I have noticed is that graduates of the American Bartending School are often a bit confused about which end of the muddler goes into the cocktail and which end they should be holding.

Let’s be clear, in the photo above, grasp the top rounded end.

Grasping Muddler

The flat end of the muddler goes into the cocktail to crush your sugar, bitters and what have you.

Muddler in Glass

Also, if you buy a varnished muddler, it’s best to sand the varnish off and soak it in mineral oil.  If you don’t, flakes of varnish will eventually end up in the cocktails.  Varnish is never an appropriate garnish.  Now the above muddler is OK for things like Juleps and Old-Fashioned which are built in normal size glassware.  For those drinks which are muddled in pint glasses, and the like, you might want to think of something with a bit more heft.

Pug Muddler

For example you might talk to Chris Gallagher and get yourself one of his extremely attractive PUG!  Muddlers.  The one above is made from Mexican Rosewood.  Also, the slanted top end of pug muddlers makes them nearly impossible to hold the wrong way.  Or drop a note to David Nepove, aka Mr. Mojito, who also sells quite an assortment of muddlers and other bar equipment.

Old Fashioned Cocktail

Which version did I make this time, with all those options, “Brandy, Gin, Rum, etc.”? Well, I’m supporting the home team, of course!

Genevieve Old-Fashioned.

1 lump Demerara Sugar
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 oz Anchor Genevieve Genever Style Gin

In a medium size heavy bottomed glass, with a muddler, crush sugar and bitters together with a splash of water. Add Genevieve and stir to combine. Add ice and stir well.  Decorate with twist of lemon peel, a slice of orange, and serve.

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.

Old Etonian Cocktail

Old Etonian Cocktail

Old Etonian Cocktail

2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Angostura Bitters)
2 Dashes Crème de Noyau. (2/3 barspoon Rowley Noyau)
1/2 London Gin. (1 1/2 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 11)
1/2 Kina Lillet. (1 1/2 oz Homemade Lillet Clone)

Shake will and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.

Lot of homemade shit in this one, eh?

Homemade Noyah

Now you know when you get liqueur in a bottle as confidence inspiring as the above, you are in for a treat.

Matt Rowley, being the fearless man that he is, made a batch of Noyau earlier this year: If I had a Hammer. The minute after I read his post, I had an email out to Rowley asking if he was interested in a trade of Noyau for Nocino. He was amenable and soon a bottle of Noyau appeared in the mail.

Zyklon B or no, it is tasty stuff. If you don’t have an enterprising friend like Rowley, the usual substitution of Amaretto will likely be fine.

The cocktail is one of the more pleasing in recent memory. The bitter almond and cherry-like flavor of the Noyau combines quite well with the slightly sweet oranginess of the Kina Lillet Clone. I can only imagine it would be tastier with Cocchi Americano.

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.

OH Henry! Cocktail

Oh Henry! Cocktail

Oh Henry! Cocktail

1/3 Benedictine. (1 oz Benedictine)
1/3 Whisky. (3/4 oz Famous Grouse, 1/4 oz Jon Mark and Robbo Smokey Peaty One)
1/3 Ginger Ale. (1 oz Bundaberg Ginger Beer)

Stir well and serve.

This cocktail comes from Judge Jr.’s Prohibition era tome, “Here’s How.” In that book the recipe is given as: “1 jigger of Benedictine; 1 jigger of Scotch; 2 jiggers of ginger ale,” which seems a bit more sensible. Judge Jr. also notes this cocktail was, “Originated by Henry Oretel and believe us Henry knows his liquids!” I can dig up no information on Mr. Oretel.

While tasty, this is way too sweet for me. I think even with 2 parts ginger beer to 1 part Scotch and Benedictine. If I had to do it over, I would go with: 1/2 oz Benedictine, 1 1/2 oz Scotch. Build over ice and top up with Ginger Beer.

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.

San Francisco Cocktail Week 2009

San Francisco Cocktail Week will be happening starting tomorrow with an opening gala at Le Colonial.

If you’re in the area check the schedule for many exciting events:

Event Schedule

Of particular interest are the series of events they are calling “bar school classes” on Thursday.  Some of these are already sold out, but quite a few still have seats available.

Not to mention, Alembic is doing its monthly “Stomp Through the Savoy” event in conjunction with SF Cocktail Week on Sunday, May 17th.  We’d love to see you there!

Rum Hibiscus Milk Punch

A friend, and coworker, of mine recently wrote about a curdled milk experiment of hers on this post: Whey

Being, uh, a competitive sort, I couldn’t let this sort of thing go unchallenged.

Well, not really.

I’d read these sorts of “Milk Punch” recipes for a long time now, and always wanted to try one.  I just didn’t know if they were good or just weird.

I’d also recently read on Lauren Clarke’s blog, (Milk Punch,) that bartenders at Drink in Boston (well, Fort Point,) were experimenting with a Hibiscus Milk Punch. Frederic from Cocktail Virgin Slut also recently wrote up Milk Punches on their post: Hibiscus White Rum Milk Punch

With all these people making Milk Punches, there’s no way I could not experiment with one. I more or less followed the recipe from Drink.

1 bottle (750 ml.) White Demerara Rum
Pared rind of 1 orange
Pared rind of 2 lemons
1/4 cup tablespoon dried Hibiscus Flowers (Also called “Jamaica” or “Sorrel”. Available at Latin American and Caribbean stores.)
1 1/2 cup 2-1 Simple Syrup made from Natural Cane Sugar
1 cup fresh Lime juice, strained
2 cups Straus Farms Whole Milk
1/2 stick Mexican Cinnamon, crushed
4 whole Cloves, crushed

Place citrus peels in rum for 24 hours. Add Hibiscus flowers and let sit for another 24 hours.

Add cinnamon and cloves to Milk and heat to 180 degrees.

Strain citrus peels and hibiscus out of rum.

Add sugar syrup and lime juice to rum.

Add heated milk to rum and let stand until it curdles (1/2 hour or so).


Set a strainer over stainless container and line with layers of cheese cloth. Strain mixture through cheesecloth and then bottle in a clean container. I am not sure what to do with the curdled milk solids. It is more or less boozy, sweet, cottage cheese.

Freshly Strained

The next day, more milk solids will likely settle out.


Pour the clear liquid off, leaving the solids behind. Strain through a coffee filter or similar and bottle. The resulting liquid will be pretty clear and look more or less like Rose Wine.  The recipe makes a bit more than a liter of punch.

Racked Off

The folks at Drink suggest serving this in a small sherry type glass.

BOTW–Blue Apron

Blue Apron

Last week Mrs. Flannestad and I had the pleasure of traveling up to Napa for a long weekend.  We were celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary, so we decided to do it up a bit.  I even left work a bit early so we could make our dinner reservation at Ad Hoc in Yountville.

Ad Hoc is a restaurant concept from Thomas Keller & Co, of French Laundry fame.  Like the French Laundry, it only offers one menu a day.  Also, like the French Laundry, it sources much of it’s produce and supplies locally.  It is, however, a much less formal, and somewhat cheaper, restaurant than the French Laundry.

The two highlights of the meal were a salad of fava beans, haricot verte, and small lettuces from the French Laundry Garden and a bottle of Blue Apron Ale.

Blue Apron, so the story goes, was created for Mr. Keller’s New York outpost Per Se.  They asked Brooklyn Brewing to make them a special batch of beer as a special gift for their investors to celebrate some anniversary or another.   However, Brooklyn Brewing couldn’t make just 30 bottles, they had to do a whole batch.  Per Se didn’t really know what to do with the leftover beer, as it is a very upscale restaurant, so they shipped the remainder out to their more casual outpost, Ad Hoc.

As the label below states, it is a delightful Belgian-Style Brown Ale.  We found it a very nice accompaniment to both our salad, described above, and main course of roasted pork tenderloin.

Blue Apron Back Label

Odd McIntyre Cocktail

Odd McIntyre Cocktail

Odd McIntyre Cocktail.

1/4 Glass Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Glass Kina Lillet. (3/4 oz Underhill Kina Clone)
1/4 Glass Cointreau. (3/4 oz Cointreau)
1/4 Glass Brandy. (3/4 oz Dudongon Cognac)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Third time we’ve made this exact cocktail. Previously we’ve known it as the “Frank Sullivan” and “Hoop La!“.  It still is a Corpse Reviver No. 2, with Brandy instead of Gin, and no Absinthe.

It is still an enjoyable, if not amazing, cocktail.

To quote from the Wikipedia:

Oscar Odd McIntyre (February 18, 1884, Plattsburg, MissouriFebruary 14, 1938, New York City, New York) was a famed New York newspaper columnist of the 1920s and 1930s. The Washington Post once described his column as “the letter from New York read by millions because it never lost the human, homefolk flavor of a letter from a friend.”

For a quarter of a century, his daily column, “New York Day by Day,” was published in more than 500 newspapers.

As regards cocktails, Mr. McIntyre was one of the founding members, along with Harry McElhone, of the I.B.F. or International Bar Flies, an organization started as a press stunt at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris some time around Christmas of 1924.  See the Mud Puddle books edition of Harry and Wynn’s “Barflies and Cocktails” for more information regarding that institution.

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.

Nose-Dive Cocktail

Nose Dive Cocktail

The Nose-Dive Cocktail

Take one hooker of Gin (Beefeater’s), place in it an olive (Picholine Olive), then deposit the glass carefully in the bottom of an ordinary tumbler. Fill the said tumbler with Water, Ginger Ale, or What Have You (Fever Tree Bitter Lemon), until almost to the top of the small glass, then down the whole thing quickly. That is, everything but the small glass.

Note: This Cocktail is very among pilots on American Flying Fields.

Judge Junior tells us the cocktail was, “Contributed by “Billy” from Wheeler field, Hawaii. This is the aviator’s favorite—let’s go.”

A “hooker”, as far as I can tell, refers more to a type of glass than an actual measure. My guess is it is probably the type of small shot glass that is so common in antique and second hand stores. In any case, it has to fit inside an “ordinary tumbler”.

Every once in a while you hear some joker banging on about “The Golden Age of Cocktails” or some such.  Some mythic time when everyone drank civilly and comported themselves with dignity for the entire course of the evening.

The fact of the matter is, drinking, for various reasons, is sometimes about getting drunk, whether it is Vodka and Red Bull in 2009, a tequila slammer in 1990, or a Nose Dive Cocktail in 1930.

Really enjoying this Fever Tree Bitter Lemon, by the way.  Gin and Bitter Lemon is a great combo.

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.

Nineteen-Twenty Pick-Me-Up Cocktail

Nineteen-Twenty Pick-Me-Up

Nineteen-Twenty Pick-Me-Up Cocktail

2/3 Pernod Absinthe. (1 1/2 oz Henri Bardouin Pastis)
1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Beefeater’s Gin)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
1 Dash Gomme Syrup. (1/3 tsp. Rich Simple Syrup)

Shake well, strain into medium size wine-glass, and fill balance with soda water.

We’ve discussed “Absinthe” quite a bit previously, most recently on the Nine Pick and Monkey Gland Cocktails.

The question here is, “What would this cocktail have been made with? True Absinthe or a Wormwood free substitute like Pernod or Ricard?”

As we noted before, Absinthe was banned in most countries between 1910 and 1915. Therefore, in pretty much any cocktail recipe which dates from 1920 through to 2006 and calls for “Absinthe”, the author really means Pernod or Ricard.

Fortunately, in the case of this cocktail it is an easy call. The name suggests it is from 1920 and it uses the term “Pernod Absinthe” in the recipe. 1920 was the year France once again allowed anise flavored liqueurs to be manufactured and sold. Pernod et fils was one of the first out of the gate with a wormwood-free reformulation of its Absinthe.

So, yeah, this recipe should be made with a Wormwood-free anise flavored liqueur.

I’m using Henri Bardouin Pastis, which is one of my favorite Wormwood-free Anise flavored beverages. It’s a bit less sweet and more complex than Pernod, Herbsaint, or Ricard. The only downside to using Bardouin Pastis in cocktails is that some of the flavoring oils have a tendency to drop out of solution when it is shaken with ice and chilled rapidly. It’s still tasty, but the oils float to the top and form an ugly white film.

The big difference between Absinthe and most of the Wormwood-free substitutes, aside from the lack of Artemesia absinthium in the botanicals, is the presence of sugar in the product.

When making an Absinthe drip, most people add at least some sugar. When Pernod et fils developed their new products post-ban, it seems like they made a conscious decision to make the Absinthe ritual simpler. They added sugar to the products in the bottle. So instead of dripping water over sugar into the Absinthe, all you had to do was add water.

You can make this cocktail with Absinthe or with a Wormwood-free substitute. Simply take into consideration the lack of sugar in the Absinthe and go a bit heavier on the Sugar Syrup.

For some reason, maybe it’s the large portion of Absinthe, someone inevitably orders one of these every time we do Savoy Cocktail Book night at Alembic Bar.  It’s hard to mind too much, as the soda sort of mitigates the large portion of spirits.  Anyway, if you like Absinthe, it’s actually quite a pleasant drink to sip on a hot day.

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.

Signs of the Coming Apocalypse

Swine Flu, eh.  Twitter, maybe.

But Carne Asada Fries?

Carne Asada Fries

Frankly, if you’re going this route, why not go all the way?  To me, Chorizo, rather than Carne Asada would be doing it up in style.

Edit: My friends over at Married…With Dinner dropped me a note to tell me Carne Asada Fries are something of a Southern California phenomenon.  A friend of theirs recently wrote up a blog post about the subject.  Check it out: Carne Asada Fries. Bong Not Included.

In case you’re wondering where this mad mash up of Canadian Poutine and Mexican food can be had in San Francisco, I spotted it last Friday as a lunch special at Carmelina’s Taqueria in the Millberry Union on the UCSF Parnassus campus.  Perhaps next week, I will risk life and limb for an in the flesh photo.