Salome Cocktail

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Salome Cocktail.
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Junipero Gin)
1/3 Dubonnet. (3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

While I am unclear exactly what this combination of Dry Vermouth, Dubonnet Rouge, and Dry Gin has to do with the beheading of John the Baptist, it is a fine, light libation.

An orange or lemon twist wouldn’t kill anyone, nor would a dash of bitters. Still, this is quite pleasant.

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.

St. Mark Cocktail

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St. Mark Cocktail
1/6 Groseille. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/3 Burrough’s Beefeater Gin. (3/4 oz Beefeater Gin)
1/6 Cherry Brandy. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Cherry Heering)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Still no Groseille (aka Red Currant) syrup, so am using Grenadine. Haven’t found a commercial source, and I just can never quite get the timing right to make it myself. Red currants are only available at the Farmers’ Markets for, like, a day in California.

Interestingly, Jennifer Colliau has made Groseille every year and we even briefly had it at Heaven’s Dog. However, the timing was just not right for the St. Mark Cocktail. Well, besides, she describes the flavor in this blog post as tasting, “more like fake grenadine. Real grenadine, as I make it anyway, is very rich and pomegranate-y, and the groseille is more red fruit flavored and floral.”  So that is not all that compelling a reason to search it out or make it.

Speaking of Jennifer, I’ve finally gotten too lazy to make my own grenadine and am using Small Hand Foods Grenadine instead.  Hers is better anyway.

The St. Mark Cocktail is very intensely cherry and red berry flavored.  To be honest, I think it is probably a little too intense.  If I were making it for anyone else, I would make it slightly larger and turn it into a long drink, straining it over ice and topping it up with soda.  Oh wait, then it would just be a Singapore Sling!  Ha!

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.

St. Germain Cocktail

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St. Germain Cocktail.
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
The Juice of 1/4 Grapefruit.
The White or 1 Egg.
1 Liqueur Glass Green Chartreuse. (1 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Woo! On to the “S” Cocktails! I may actually finish this damn Stomp Through the Savoy Cocktail Book, afterall!

The odd thing about the St. Germain cocktail, is the Green Chartreuse is so high proof that it really doesn’t get much foam. The egg white contributes body, but very little else.

If you like Green Chartreuse, this is a nice sour. If you don’t like Green Chartreuse, this may not be a cocktail for you. It’s no Last Word, not a cocktail to convert anyone.

Tasty, though.

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 Anniversary

Wow! Who would have thunk it? A year of Savoy Nights at Alembic Bar have come and gone.

Not to mention, a year of bartending on a semi-regular basis.

As Danny Louie put it a few Sundays ago, “I bet you’ve learned a lot!”

Gah!  Sometimes I think I’ve learned so much I don’t remember a thing.  Recipes, service standards, names, drink preferences, POS operation, etc. have claimed a big section of my brain.

The major things that have defined this year have been bartending and Michele and I adopting our dog.

Beyond that, much has been business as usual.

Since my birthday, in October, I have been struggling a bit, cough, as a “man of a certain age”, wondering where this is all going, and what I was hoping to accomplish. Getting myself in a bit of a lather, thinking about what I’m actually getting out of any of this cocktail junk and what I “deserve”. I need to let go of that way of thinking, as it is nothing but destructive.

I think I’ve gotten past that in the last few days, and am back to my typically midwestern way of looking at life, “things could be worse.”

I’m pleased with the direction the photos have taken on the blog and want to get more involved with photography in general. It was something I had put on a back burner in my life a while ago. Put a bookmark in that part of my life. I’m enjoying re-examining the photos I take with a more critical eye, instead of just taking snap shots of cocktails.

Maybe I’ll even bring the camera to the next Savoy Night at Alembic!

Oh, speaking of, the next Savoy Night at Alembic will be December 20th. We’re still ironing out exact details on what cool things we’re going to make, but hopefully we’ll have a couple punches and maybe some hot drinks.

Stop by, say hi, and order some cocktails from guys in goofy suits.

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Forward Into the Past!

Rye Whiskey Cocktail

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Rye Whiskey Cocktail.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
4 Dashes Syrup. (1 barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Thomas Handy Rye)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Add 1 cherry.

If the ocean was whisky,
And I was a duck,
I’d dive to the bottom
To get one sweet suck.

Well, gosh darn it, I forgot the cherry and used an orange peel instead. And I call myself a cocktail enthusiast. Well, I never said I was detail oriented.

I believe this is the 2006 edition of Buffalo Trace’s Thomas Handy Rye Whiskey.  Pretty hot, so give it a nice long stir.

Rye whisky, rye whisky,
Rye whisky, l cry,
If you don’t give me rye whisky,
I surely will die.

So many of these simple cocktails are so perfectly enjoyable. It’s fun to use obscure ingredients, lots of juices, etc. But a lot of the time, even Sugar, Bitters, and water, seems a bit excessive.

But the ocean ain’t whisky
And l ain’t a duck,
So we’ll round up the cattle
And then we’ll get drunk.

With a perfectly delicious whiskey, do you really need anything else?

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.

Russian Cocktail

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Russian Cocktail.
1/3 Crème de Cacao. (3/4 oz Bols White Creme de Cacao, errr, no, 3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse!)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Beefeater Gin)
1/3 Vodka. (3/4 oz Crystal Head Vodka)
Shake well, strain into cocktail glass, and tossitoff quickski.

To be honest, I don’t really get the combination of Gin and Creme de Cacao, Vodka or no. And to be perfectly honest, you could probably sub in any other relatively clear liqueur and be happier. I know I was, using Yellow Chartreuse instead of Creme de Cacao.

The goofy Crystal Head vodka came in the mail from some company promoting the brand. It is a perfectly fine, if somewhat bland vodka.  I think it retails for something like $45 US, more than I ever pay for vodka.  Nice skull, though.

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: V. Dry and polish all the glassware and tools which you have used on your watch

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.

Packed and RTG

V. When going off watch always dry and polish all the glassware and tools which you have used on your watch, and see that everything is in its proper place, so that your relief can work to advantage as soon as he arrives at his post.

You’ve had a killer shift and are dead tired. Just shooed the last of the hangers on out the door. Rousing yourself to do the closing cleaning tasks, well, can be a challenge.

But if you don’t your replacement, or the next day’s opener, is going to be in a world of pain, spending the first portion of shift cleaning sticky bottles and running around looking for supplies.

It’s professional courtesy, pure and simple, to do your best to make sure that your station, and the bar, is clean and in decent shape to do business after you have left.

Rouse yourself and remember that kindness given is usually returned.

Russell House Cocktail

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Russell House Cocktail.
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
2 Dashes Syrup. (1/2 bar spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
3 Dashes Blackberry Brandy. (1 bar spoon Leopold Bros. Mountain Blackberry Liqueur)
1 glass Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Wiser’s Very Old)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

About a million years ago, someone told me that they thought Wiser’s Very Old was a pretty good substitution for pre-prohibition or prohibition era Canadian Whiskey.

Well, I don’t know, not having tasted vintage Canadian Whiskey, but this is a pretty unappealing cocktail and Wiser’s Very Old is a not very appealing Whiskey. And for gosh sakes, it’s just a Whiskey cocktail with a dash of Raspberry Liqueur! Like the Palmer Cocktail before it, this has no business being as bad as it is.

A bunch of people gave me a hard time about using 40 Creek Barrel Select and the Alberta Springs Whiskies, but boy, I just don’t know. Those two are just about the only Canadian Whiskies I’ve tried and can even remotely enjoy on their own or in 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.

Roy Howard Cocktail

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Roy Howard Cocktail.
1/2 Glass Kina Lillet. (1 oz Lillet Blanc)
1/4 Glass Brandy. (1/2 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac)
1/4 Glass Orange Juice. (1/2 oz Orange Juice)
2 Dashes Grenadine. (Dash Homemade Grenadine)
(dash Angostura)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This is actually quite enjoyable, despite its low alcohol content. Not enough juice to make it overly fruity, beyond the wine. And, indeed, the sweet/sour balance is closer to that of a wine that a sour cocktail.

Roy W. Howard, if indeed it is his namesake cocktail,was a correspondent for the Scripps McRae Newspapers and the president of United Press.

He moved to Scripps newspapers in 1920, and, by 1922, he was leading the company. He bought and consolidated newspapers and instituted a practice of investigative and public service journalism that, over the next decades, led to breaking union racketeering, uncovering bank scandals, exposing political corruption and prompting governmental safety regulations in the workplace.

Quite a lot of accomplishments, really. I can see why you would want a relatively low voltage cocktail to be able to keep your wits about you.

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.

Royal Clover Club Cocktail

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Royal Clover Club Cocktail.
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1 Tablespoonful Grenadine. (Generous Tablespoon homemade Grenadine)
The Yolk of 1 Egg.
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Beefeater’s Gin)
Shake well and strain into medium size glass.

An enjoyable cocktail. Sadly the last of the Clover Club family, including the Clover Club, Clover Leaf, and Grand Royal Clover Club.

Though, I suppose I could go through and re-do them all with Small Hand Foods Raspberry Gum instead 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.