Savoy Hotel Special Cocktail* (No. 1)

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Savoy Hotel Special Cocktail* (No. 1)
1 Dash Absinthe. (Sirene Absinthe Verte)
2 Dashes Grenadine. (5ml Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

* Peter ninth Earl of Savoy, brought to England, as his wards, eighty-three of the most wealthy and beautiful girls in France. He then married them to the most powerful nobles in England. That is why he wore armour.

On the Roselyn cocktail I complained about pointless and gratuitous en-pinkening of cocktails. Well, at least in the case of the Savoy Hotel Special (No. 1), there’s enough of interest here that you don’t mind it is slightly pink.

One thing I have noticed is a gross discrepancy in the size of bar spoons. To alleviate the questionable measuring in using them, I have decided to begin deploying a device called an Urban Bar Spoon. On one side it has a 5ml measure and on the other a 2.5ml measure. Going forward, for liquid items like grenadine, lemon juice, and others not typically kept in dasher bottles, I’m going to use a 2.5ml per dash standard. A bit large, I know, but I am also probably making the cocktails on the large side.

Edit: Fix typo in bar spoon size.

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.

Savoy Hotel Cocktail

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Savoy Hotel Cocktail
1/3 Crème de Cacao. (1/2 oz Mozart Black Chocolate Liqueur)
1/3 Benedictine. (1/2 oz Benedictine)
1/3 Brandy. (1/2 oz Chateau Pellehaut Reserve Armagnac)
Use liqueur glass and pour ingredients carefully so that they do not mix.

My goodness, it has been a while since I have had to make a layered cocktail!

This one was a symphony in brown and not all that unpleasant, as these sorts of things go.

In fact, I could see it complementing a cup of coffee quite nicely.

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.

Boothby’s Ten Commandments: VI. Sell all the liquor you can, but use as little as possible yourself.

Boothby

As I mentioned before, Anchor Distilling recently reprinted the 1891 edition of “Cocktail Boothby’s American Bar-Tender“.

As someone who is somewhat involved in the bartender trade, I always enjoy going through old books and reading the advice that appears. Usually, I am amazed at how little has changed. How valid pieces of advice contained in a book from 1891 can be 118 years later.

So I thought I would go through Boothby’s “Ten Commandments” for bartenders one by one and see which ones still make sense for the 21st Century.

Fernet.

VI. Sell all the liquor you can, but use as little as possible yourself.

Boy, this is a complicated one.

First, a few points.

As dealers in delicious alcoholic beverages, most bartenders, as a sort of career responsibility, do have a fine appreciation for booze.

From a management, loss prevention, perspective, the Boothby quote is entirely intuitive.

The more booze you sell, and the less your staff drinks, the better your bottom line.

On the other hand, there is a certain psychic toll to bartending.

Most people cannot maintain the appearance of liking everyone they talk to without a cost.

It isn’t possible. Different people handle it differently, but for many, a little alcoholic lubrication isn’t a bad idea.

Not to mention, as a manager, if you are too much of a stickler about booze consumption, your staff will just sneak and steal.

On the other hand, a drunk or surly bartender is never appealing to the guest.

Maybe there are some semi-psychic individuals who can appear perfectly sober, manage money, and the patrons in their venues while three sheets to the wind.  I’m not one of them, or, more accurately, not comfortable with going down that path.

Then there are the other personal issues.

Sadly, or happily, I am a light weight in several senses. First, I’m pretty darn skinny with almost no appreciable body fat, giving me a pathetic tolerance to almost any volume of alcoholic beverage.  Second, my body is not particularly fantastic at processing alcoholic beverages back into non-intoxicating substances.

What does all that mean?

While some of my compatriots may be able to imbibe while retaining their composure, I cannot. If I am to appear a professional of any sort, I cannot drink (much) while working.  Important to recognize your limitations, I think.

Satan’s Whiskers

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Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail (Straight)

Of Italian Vermouth (1/2 oz Carpano Antica), French Vermouth (1/2 oz Dolin Blanc), Gin (1/2 oz Plymouth Navy Strength Gin) and Orange Juice (1/4 oz Valencia Orange Juice, 1/4 oz Sour Lemon Orange Juice), two parts each; of Grand Marnier one part (1/4 oz Grand Marnier); Orange Bitters (Regan’s Orange Bitters), a dash. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

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Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail (Curled)
For the Grand Marnier in the foregoing Cocktail, substitute the same quantity of Orange Curacao (1/2 oz Bols Dry Orange Curacao). Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

To be honest, I’ve never really been all that thrilled with the Satan’s Whiskers cocktail. It’s a great name, but all too often it isn’t a well balanced or interesting cocktail. Kind of like the Bronx, the quality of orange juice is almost a little too important.

The Saturday before, I headed down to the Farmers’ Market with the idle goal of finding some sort of interesting orange related fruit for the drink. Anything. Clementines, Satsumas, whatever. In my heart of hearts, I really hoped for some seville oranges, as one of the suppliers often carries them during their brief season. No seville oranges, but there was an odd box of small citrus marked, “Sour Lemon Oranges”. When I picked them up to look at them, the farmer woman said something like, good for salads and cooking! Give them a try!

032cropped

The picture above shows them with a quarter of a navel orange behind. You can see they are quite small and quite seedy. The meat is off yellow and the inner fruit peel greenish. They are really sour. I think possibly even more sour than lemons. They made a pretty fantastic honey mustard marinade for a pork tenderloin.

Anyway, back to drinks.

The recipe is a bit odd, I can’t think of another in the book written in this “parts” style. I decided to base it on 1/4 oz “parts”, as that would get me near the usual 2 1/4 oz cocktails.

A fresh-ish bottle of Carpano gives this a nice spice to go along with the sweetness.

As far as the difference between 1/4 oz of Bols Orange Curacao and 1/4 oz of Grand Marnier, I’ll be darned if I could tell the difference with all the other ingredients in this cocktail. And since the gin is such a small proportion, I figured Navy Strength Plymouth wouldn’t be a bad idea. It definitely wasn’t.

Maybe Satan’s Whiskers aren’t so bad after all!

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.

Saucy Sue Cocktail

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Saucy Sue Cocktail.
1 Dash Apricot Brandy. (1 dash Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur)
1 Dash Absinthe. (1 dash Verte de Fougerolles Absinthe)
1/2 Calvados. (1 oz Calvados Groult Reserve)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac)
Stir well and squeeze orange peel on top.

Well, there’s an awful good reason why Sue is a bit Saucy: All she drinks is booze!

As much as I’d like to say this is awesome, it really doesn’t pass the test of, “Would I rather drink these spirits straight or in this cocktail?”

Maybe if I was using crap Brandy and bad Calvados, this might be an improvement. But with this Armagnac and this Calvados, this is just a sad waste of quality spirits. Not advised.

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.

Saratoga Cocktail

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Saratoga Cocktail.
2 Dashes Maraschino. (2/3 Barspoon Luxardo Maraschino)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
1/4 Slice Pineapple.
1 Glass Brandy. (2 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac)
(Muddle Pineapple in Maraschino.  Add Bitters, Brandy and…)  Shake well and strain, adding a little soda water.

I guess I probably picked the wrong glass for this. Nonetheless, this is a tasty cocktail. Mostly dry Armagnac flavor with just a hint of sweetness and exoticism.

Absolutely nothing wrong with that!

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–Monk’s Blood

Monk's Blood in a can.

Monk’s Blood (pdf link) was created for the BRU/SFO project and featured during a beer and food pairing dinner Sean Paxton, aka homebrewchef held at their restaurant.  Apparently this particular beer was so successful that they decided to brew and can a batch.

Though, even after reading Jesse’s praise of the beer on his blog, I was a little worried when I read the description, “Monk’s Blood is an 8.3% alcohol, dark Belgian-style ale brewed with eight malts, Belgian candi sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, dried local black mission figs and aged on oak.”  Oof!  That’s a lot of stuff!

While it is a bit on the sweet side, there is just a touch of sour character.  Enough, at least, for me not to be overwhelmed by its sweetness.  Nor are the potentially overwhelming spices, cinnamon and vanilla, overdone.

Fig, on the other hand, comes out loud and clear in both the nose and taste.

Great as an after dinner libation, or perhaps with a nice meaty duck leg as Sean did at the dinner, Monk’s Blood is definitely a beer worth searching out.

Plus, there’s probably some joke out there whose punch line is, “Monk’s Blood in a can”.  Just think how cool it will make you sound ordering it at the bar!  Though it does make me think of a friend who takes perverse joy in hearing her straight, male friends order Speakeasy Big Daddy IPAs, “I’d like a Big Daddy, thank you very much.”

Santiago Cocktail

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Santiago Cocktail
2 Dashes Grenadine. (1 teaspoon Small Hands Food Grenadine)
2 Dashes Lemon Juice. (1 teaspoon Lemon Juice)
1 Glass Bacardi Rum. (2 oz Barbancourt White Rum)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Being slightly generous here with the proportions of Grenadine and Lemon Juice in this Daiquiri-like cocktail. I’m also picking a slightly more flavorful r(h)um that I would typically, as the drink is basically all spirits.

It isn’t awful, exactly, as I am very fond of Barbancourt’s white rum in most contexts. It is not, however, the sort of drink that you would probably make for someone who doesn’t like the flavor of booze in their 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.

Sand-Martin Cocktail

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Sand-Martin Cocktail
1 Teaspoonful Green Chartreuse. (1 Teaspoonful of Yellow Chartreuse)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Beefeater Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

In his pre-prohibition book “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” Robert Vermeire notes regarding the “San Martin Cocktail”, “This well known South American drink must be well shaken. It contains no Bitters of any description, but: ½ gill of Gin; ½ gill of Italian Vermouth; 1 teaspoonful of Yellow Chartreuse; A little lemon peel is squeezed on top.”

Odd that Vermeire specifies the “San Martin” must be “well shaken”.

San Martin or Sand-Martin, I guess since this doesn’t have bitters, it really isn’t really a Martinez variation. More of a “Lone Tree” variation, I suppose. Well, however you decide to classify it, it is quite tasty, whether you make it with yellow or green chartreuse. Though I kind of lean towards yellow.

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.

Sanctuary Cocktail

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Sanctuary Cocktail*
1/4 Cointreau. (1/2 oz Cointreau)
1/4 Amer Picon. (1/2 oz Torani Amer, er, well, Homemade version of Boudreau’s Amer Picon replica, actually. The Torani Amer bottle was just better looking.)
1/2 Dubonnet. (1 oz Dubonnet Rouge)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

*So-called because the Savoy, together with The Clink, Deadman’s Place, Fulwood’s Rents, The Mint, Mitre Court, Baldwin’s Gardens and Stepney were the last places in London where the privilege of “Sanctuary ” existed. Unfortunately this privilege was abolished by in “The Escape from Prison Act” in 1697. But even to-day no Ladies are allowed in the Savoy’s inner American Cocktail Bar.

“The protection afforded by a sanctuary at common law a person accused of felony might fly for safeguard of to sanctuary and there within 40 days go clothed in sackcloth before the coroner confess the felony and take an oath of t lie realm whereby he undertook to quit the kingdom and not return without the king’s leave Upon was ipso facto convict of the felony suffered attainder and forfeited all his goods but had time allowed him his oath The abjurer started forth on his journey with a wooden cross bareheaded and clothed in a robe which made him conspicuous among medieval wayfarers He had to keep to the king’s highway was not remain more than two nights in any one place and his way to the coast quickly The time allowed for was not long In Edward III s reign only nine given an abjurer to travel on foot from Yorkshire to Dover.”

I believe this is a bit of a joke, conflating the legal right of “sanctuary” with the ability to go to a bar and avoid your wife.

The cocktail itself is better than I expected. The bitterness of the Amer Picon replica does a nice job in balancing out the sweetness of the Cointreau.

These sorts of drinks always seem very much like what would be drunk in a Cafe in France, as in the picon-citron-curacao from Marcel Pagnol’s movie “Marius”.

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.