Shanghai Cocktail

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Shanghai Cocktail
2 Dashes Grenadine. (5ml Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
3/8 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/8 Anisette. (1/4 oz Anis del Mono Dulce a.k.a. Devil Juice)
1/2 Jamaica Rum. (1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Annoying measures, to be sure. I think I got it mostly right, though every time I look at it, I think it is wrong.

Amusingly, when Mrs. Flannestad was in High School, she traveled to France for an exchange trip. Probably one of the formative experiences of her life, as she met some of her best friends to this day. But anyway, for some reason, she took to swigging Marie Brizard Anisette, so much so, that some of her schoolmates started calling her “Marie Brizard”.

Sadly, the Brizard products seem to have evaporated from many of the local liquor stores. Not sure what is up with that, as I always meant to get some of their White Creme de Cacao. Anyone have a suggestion for another decent White Creme de Cacao brand? I haven’t been much impressed with any I have tried so far.

This is a very odd drink, a combination I would never make if it weren’t for the Savoy Cocktail Book Project, to be sure. A Jamaican Rum Sour sweetened with Grenadine and Anisette. I was drinking it, and thinking, “this is weird, but I sort of like it.” Fairly tart and with an interesting light sweetness from the anise, it is oddly refreshing. So odd, that I thought I should try and get a second opinion, so I ran it past Mrs. Flannestad. She also was of the not entirely unguarded opinion, “I kind of like it.”

Not a lost classic, by any means, but a pretty interesting flavor combination, and not entirely unlikeable.

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.

Laika Cocktail

Laika Cocktail

2 oz Vodka
Shy quarter ounce Lemon Juice
Quarter ounce 1-1 Honey Syrup
Allspice (aka Pimento) Dram

Stir with ice and strain into a glass coated with Allspice Dram. Squeeze thick swath of orange peel over cocktail and discard.

Another vodka cocktail I worked up for Heaven’s Dog.

I was trying to riff on the ingredients used in the Eastern European beverage calld Krupnik: vodka, lemon, honey, spice.

Trying to think of a name, Krupnik reminded me of Sputnik, which reminded me of the first animal to orbit the Earth, Laika.

If you have a vodka with some character, this cocktail will show it off.  I like to make it with the grape based vodka we have at work, CapRock.

Shamrock Cocktail

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Shamrock Cocktail
3 Dashes Green Crème de Menthe. (5ml Brizard White Creme de Menthe)
3 Dashes Green Chartreuse. (5ml Green Chartreuse)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Irish Whisky. (1 oz Bushmill’s Single Malt 10 Year)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Departures: First, I don’t have Green Creme de Menthe, and sorry, I’m not about to buy any. It tastes the same as the White, it’s just green, due to added artificial color. Second, I’m undersizing these dashes. Previously, I was holding out at 2.5ml for fluid dashes, but I know, with that 7.5ml Creme de Menthe, this would just taste like mouthwash.

And in fact, this does just taste like Mouthwash, as it is. There’s probably a much better drink here with 7.5ml Green Chartreuse and a wash of creme de menthe. Heck, a spanked mint sprig would be plenty of mint for this drink, and it would come by its green color naturally.

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.

S.G. Cocktail

010

“S.G.” Cocktail
1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (1 teaspoon Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/3 Canadian Club Whisky. (3/4 oz 40 Creek Three Grain)
1/3 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/3 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Blood Orange Juice)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This Cocktail is very popular in the Officers’ Mess of the Scots Guards, hence its name.

When I cut this orange open, I was surprised to discover it was a Moro Blood Orange. Lost in the back of the fridge door, I must have purchased it at some point in the past for a long forgotten project or cocktail.

Well, not to waste anything, I used it anyway.

Certainly, without the blood orange juice, the S.G. would be a far less colorful drink.

It is nice that it is colorful, tasty and refreshing. The minor amount of sweetener and relatively minor amount of whiskey make it a lot lighter than most cocktails made these days. I suppose it really is a whiskey screwdriver, but quite a bit tarter.

I find it a bit odd that the members of the Scots Guards were drinking something so mild and NOT involving Scotch Whisky. Maybe this is what they drink in the morning after the night before.

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.

Sevilla Cocktail (No. 2)

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Sevilla Cocktail (No. 2)
1/2 teaspoonful Powdered Sugar. (1/2 teaspoon caster sugar)
1 Egg (1 Large Egg)
1/2 Port Wine. (1 1/2 oz Warre’s Warrio Port)
1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 1/2 oz Havana Club Anejo Blanco)

Stir (I shook) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Stir this cocktail? Nearly every other drink in the book they direct you to shake, but this one has a whole egg and they tell you to stir? Ridiculous!

Didn’t particularly care for this drink, despite it being merely spitting difference from the thoroughly enjoyable Coffee Cocktail.  Not sure what is up with that.  I think maybe a darker rum might make it more enjoyable.

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.

HFCS (NOT!) Fun

You’d think I’d have learned by now, especially after that Agave Controversy post, not to post about Science stuff.

A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain

A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

Working at a University, I’ve met a lot of scientists who say things like, “Calories are Calories, if you’re fat, you’re just eating too many calories and not getting enough exercise.”

Personally, I’ve always thought that a pretty simplistic way of looking at things as complicated as diet, culture, and metabolism.

Interestingly, it appears that some Scientists are seeing further evidence from animal based experiments that High Fructose Corn Syrup, even in water solutions with similar calorie contents to those with sucrose sugar solution, may be far more likely to cause obesity and other fat related illnesses.

And again, I’ll point out that while Agave Nectar is nowhere near as ubiquitous as HFCS in the American diet, it shares many chemical characteristics with that substance.  Some brands of Agave Nectar may actually contain more fructose than High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Triomphe Cocktail

Triomphe Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz 1-1 Simple Syrup

Shake well with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

At work, we often get asked for vodka cocktails. We have a few in the bar book, and quite a few of the gin cocktails can be made to work well enough with vodka.  But I still try to struggle to think up new and interesting vodka cocktails that customers enjoy.  I’ve gotten good response to this one.

The Triomphe is a variation on the Savoy Cocktail, Champs Elysees, made with vodka instead of Brandy.  And to be honest, I kind of prefer it to the original Brandy version.  It turns out less busy, and is a better feature for the Yellow Chartreuse.  Not entirely happy with the name, but the Arc de Triomphe is on the Champs Elysees in Paris, so that’s why I gave it that name.  It’s also something of a personal “Triumph” for me, whenever I think of a vodka cocktail I actually like.

Of course, smart aleck servers like to point out that another way of looking at the “Triomphe” is as a slightly herbal Lemon Drop.

Sevilla Cocktail (No. 1)

003

Sevilla Cocktail (No. 1)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica)
1/2 Bacardi rum. (1 oz Havana Club 7)
1 Piece of Orange Peel.
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze another piece of orange peel over the drink.)

Similar to the Fair and Warmer, Fluffy Ruffles, Little Princess, and Palmetto Cocktail this is another Rum (or Cuban) Manhattan, and, as such, what’s not to like?  Pick your rum, pick your vermouth, and go to it.  Happened to have a bottle of Havana Club 7 around the house, so that’s what I went with.  Thoroughly enjoyable.

I am nominally confused what a Rum Manhattan has to do with Sevilla.  Maybe it should be stirred with Seville Orange (or bitter orange) peel in the drink, instead of sweet orange peel?

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.

Seventh Heaven Cocktail (No. 2)

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Seventh Heaven Cocktail (No. 2)

1 Tablespoonful Grapefruit Juice. (1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed Grapefruit Juice)
1/4 Maraschino. (1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
3/4 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Beefeater’s Gin)

Stir well and place a sprig of green Mint on top.

The Seventh Heaven (No. 2) is quite similar to the Colonial Cocktail, with the Grapefruit and Maraschino ratio inverted.  And, as such, boy is it pretty awful.  I had hope there would be some magic between the bitterness of the grapefruit and the funk of the Maraschino.  The Colonial is, after all, a pretty tasty cocktail.  But, unless you really like a Maraschino funky, sweet, bitter grapefruit, after dinner cocktail, I’d say avoid the Seventh Heaven (No. 2).

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.

House Manhattan (Well Shaken!)

If you know me at all, you know my favorite cocktails are Manhattans and variations thereupon.

Generally, the Manhattan is the first drink I ask for from a bartender I don’t know.  If they can manage to get something tasty in a glass involving bitters, whiskey, and a decent portion of fresh sweet vermouth I feel like maybe I can trust their judgement.

I also take great pride in the beautiful, clear, cold Manhattans I make for customers.  I think they are as good a Manhattan as you will get, anywhere in the world.

I even bring my personal Yarai mixing glasses to work and chill them in our glass freezers, for a little extra silkiness in stirred drinks like Manhattans and Martinis.

I was working the service well the other night and an order came back, “2 House Manhattan, Well Shaken”.

I flagged down the server and asked, “Really? Are you sure they don’t mean well stirred?” She said, “No, they said they wanted them Well Shaken.”

OK then.  I loaded the Manhattans up in two of my tins and shook the living hell out of them.

Poured the frothy, cloudy, monstrosities into cocktail glasses, garnished them with a lemon twist, and sent them out.

About a half an hour later, another ticket came back, “2 House Manhattans, Well Shaken”.

Again loaded up two of my tins and shook the living hell out of them.

I smiled and mentioned to the server, “You know, every time I do this, I die a little inside.” She laughed, nervously, unclear if I was joking.

A half an hour later, another ticket came back, “2 House Manhattans, Well Shaken”.

“I’m just trying to keep you in shape,” the server remarked.  I said, “Just as long as it is two at a time, I do need to practice shaking two drinks at once.”

I know some bartenders would have gotten all upset about making shaken Manhattans, maybe refused to do it, or tried to talk the customers out of it.  Unfortunately, it was for a table in the dining room, so I had no chance to interact with them.  But even if it was at the bar, look, we sold three rounds of House Manhattans to paying, happy customers.  If they’d been at the bar and I tried to get all up in their faces about shaken Manhattans not being “proper”, they might have ordered one drink and walked out.

If you first earn the customers trust, you have a chance of changing their mind as the evening progresses.  In my experience, if you first force your ideas onto them, they will have one drink, pretend to like it, pay, and leave.

I know some bars and tenders have the luxury of choosing who they want to serve.  They have lines of eager cocktail enthusiasts and trendy scenesters waiting behind a velvet rope, hanging on their every pronouncement and genius cocktail.

Lucky for them, I guess.

For me, I work in a restaurant, where just about anyone can get a reservation, walk in, and order a drink.  We don’t check your cocktailian references before serving you.