Sloe Gin Cocktail

025

Sloe Gin Cocktail
1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth)
1/2 Sloe Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin, 3/4 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

What the!? Now how did that happen? Someone cut the Plymouth Sloe Gin in this cocktail with half regular Plymouth Gin. Clearly, that is all wrong, and someone should be punished. Perhaps by drinking this cocktail made with all Sloe Gin.

As written above, this is quite nice, a sort of berry-ish light Negroni.  I suppose I should think of a new name.

Sloe Gin-Gin Cocktail?

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.

Sleepy Head Cocktail

023

Sleepy Head Cocktail
1 Glass Brandy. (2 oz Germain-Robin Fine Alambic Brandy)
1 Piece of Orange Peel.
4 Leaves of Fresh Mint.
Fill long (iced) tumbler with Ginger Ale (Sprecher Ginger Ale).

Over the last year or so, we’ve been making a fair number of Sleepy Head Cocktails at our Savoy Cocktail Book nights at Alembic Bar. We’ve developed this slightly elaborate presentation, with the horse’s neck of orange peel and sprigs of mint, just because we’ve got them around. Plus, it makes the cocktail look cool.

In fact, if there is any problem at all with the Sleepy Head, it is that it is far, far too easy to drink quickly. Tasting like a vaguely boozy glass of ginger ale, it is no problem to slurp these down like soda pop.

Next thing you know, your head is tilting sleepily towards your companion’s shoulder, and who knows whatever might happen after they help you to your cab.

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.

Sir Walter Cocktail

016

Sir Walter Cocktail
(Commonly known as the “Swalter”)
1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (1 teaspoon Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1 Teaspoonful Curacao. (1 teaspoon Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
1 Teaspoonful Lemon Juice. (1 teaspoon Lemon Juice)
1/3 Brandy. (3/4 oz Germain-Robin Fine Alambic Brandy)
1/3 Rum. (3/4 oz Barbancourt 15 Rum)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

It’s kind of hard to know which Sir Walter Raleigh this cocktail is named after. The Sir Walter Raleigh who was an “English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, and explorer who is also largely known for introducing tobacco to Europe,” or the Sir Walter Raleigh who was a “Scottish scholar, poet and author.”

Going from the dates of their lives and the date the Savoy Cocktail Book was published, it seems nominally more likely that this was named after the Scottish scholar, poet, and author, especially since he was well known during World War I.

On the other hand, the other Sir Walter, at least at this point in history, is far more well known.

To me, the ingredients don’t give much illumination, they could have been available in the 16th Century or the 20th Century.  In fact, it is kind of a punchy formulation, though probably in the 16th Century, not many barkeeps were bothering with single serving punches.

Fairly tasty, my advice would be to go long on the lemon juice, and short on the grenadine and Curacao.

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.

Silver Streak Cocktail

001

Silver Streak Cocktail
1/2 Kummel. (1 oz Krogstad Aquavit*)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Aviation Gin*)
(10ml Rich Simple Syrup)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

That Silver Bullet was the last straw. Kaiser Kummel sucks. I refuse to play with it any more.

So, instead I am sweetening Aquavit from here on out.

Since, in an unusual set of circumstances I had an Aquavit and a Gin from House Spirits in Portland Oregon, I figured it was a good chance to do some Prohibition era mixing and combine them.

I shall make this cocktail with 1/2 Gin and 1/2 Aquavit.

Strangely, this isn’t bad!  Super cold, refreshing, and boozy.

Ultimately, it’s a Sling: Booze, sugar and water.  I wish I’d thought to use Gum Syrup, it seems like this cocktail might have benefited.

Strangely, I’m not sure what this cocktail might have been named after.  Though, amusingly, I named my first ten speed, “The Silver Streak,” after the Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder movie of the same name.

*Both the Krogstad Aquavit and Aviation Gin were sent to me by House Spirits, the company which produces them.

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.

Silver Stallion Cocktail

028

Silver Stallion Cocktail.
1/2 Vanilla Ice Cream. (1 Ciao Bella Tahitian Vanilla gelato)
1/2 Gin. (1 oz Beefeater Gin)
Fill with Silver Fizz, q.v. p. 200. (Bubble Up)

What? Pour a Silver Fizz on top of more Gin and ice cream? That’s crazy talk!

Looking at what we suspect is the source for this recipe, Judge Jr’s Here’s How, I discovered that the Savoy editors may have misunderstood what he meant. The Savoy editors recommend filling the drink with another drink, the Silver Fizz.  Judge Jr’s recipe for the Silver Stallion Cocktail is: “1/2 vanilla ice cream; ½ Gin; fill with Silver King Fizz.” “Silver King Fizz” was a bottled lemon-lime mixer made by the Waukesha Mineral Water Company in Waukesha, Wisconsin in the early part of the 20th Century. To quote, “Silver King Fizz. A refreshing drink and the best mixer.” Bottles are still available on eBay dated from the 1920s. The same company also appears to have made a Silver King Lime Rickey.

So, a vanilla ice cream soda with gin? To be honest, I was really dreading this cocktail, but it isn’t all that bad. Kind of gross, I suppose, but on the other hand, kind of good, as my friend Anita described it, in a “19 year old in an ice cream store kind of way.”

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.

Silver King Cocktail

026

Silver King Cocktail
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon.
1 Teaspoonful Sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 Dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters)
The White of 1 Egg. (White of 1 egg)
1 Glass Plymouth Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin, 1 oz Bols Genever)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Genever? What the!?

David Wondrich has a big article about Gin in the April, 2010 issue of Saveur Magazine. He makes the point several times that the character of Plymouth Gin has significantly changed since the 19th Century. In the article he has a quote from William Terrington’s 1869, “Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks,” which describes historic versions of Plymouth Gin as a Gin which, “closely resembles Hollands” and another quote from 1867, which describes it as “flavour[ed] with the wash of whisky distilleries”.

With that in mind, I thought I would give what would end up a fairly plain gin sour a bit of interest by blending in some Genever with the Plymouth.

Never having made a Genver Sour, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

Pretty darn tasty, as a matter of fact! The Bols Genever gives the Silver King more malty complexity and a bit of earthy character.

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.

Silver Bullet Cocktail

018

Silver Bullet Cocktail
1/2 Gin. (1 oz Beefeater 24 Gin)
1/4 Lemon Juice. (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Kummel. (1/2 oz Kaiser Kummel)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Mrs. Flannestad was pretty amazed by the Kummel bottle. She was like, “Nazi Penguin Caraway Liqueur!? Where did you get this?” In fact, just BevMo, no special mail ordering necessary, not even expensive. And, for the record, I believe the “Kaiser” reference is more in line with World War I, than WWII.

Unfortunately, none of that trivia saves this cocktail from just not being very good. Before I purchased the Kummel, I would combine Aquavit with simple syrup, and I have to say, I greatly preferred any cocktail I made like that to any I’ve ever made with Kummel. I believe going forward, that shall have to be my path.

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.

Silver Cocktail

013

Silver Cocktail
2 Dashes Maraschino. (5ml Luxardo Maraschino)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 Dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Junipero Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

An Imperial Cocktail with Orange Bitters instead of Angostura?

Or a Fifty-Fifty with Maraschino?  A Dry Martinez?

There are all sorts of different ways to look at this cocktail, none of them particularly interesting.  What is true, is that the Silver Cocktail is delicious.  As always, I like to use a decently strong and strongly flavored gin when making Fifty-Fifty type cocktails.  If you don’t have Junipero, Tanqueray would be another good choice.

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.

Sidecar Cocktail

011

Sidecar Cocktail
1/4 Lemon Juice. (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Cointreau. (1/2 oz Cointreau)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Germain-Robin Fine Alambic Brandy)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

In his book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” Robert Vermeire notes, “This cocktail is very popular in France. It was first introduced in London by MacGarry, the celebrated bar-tender of Buck’s Club.”

There are numerous stories about who created the Sidecar, as far as I know none have been truly substantiated. It is also a cocktail which has evolved significantly over the years.

The earliest versions of the recipe are equal parts cocktails, that is 1/3 Cognac, 1/3 Lemon, 1/3 Cointreau. In the Savoy Cocktail Book, we see that evolve to two parts Cognac to 1 part each of Lemon and Cointreau. In the 1940s, David Embury would further dry it out, proposing a ratio of 8 parts booze, 2 parts lemon, and 1 part Cointreau. Modern drink mixers often go with something like 4 parts booze, 1 part Lemon, and 1 part Cointreau.

Personally, I like the Savoy version, it’s nicely light and tart. Though I tend to like just a touch more Cointreau than lemon.

The Sidecar is a great gateway cocktail and a good test of a bar or bartender. Do they use fresh juice or sour mix? Is the cocktail balanced? Too sweet? Too sour?

Hint: If you’re using Sour Mix, for some inexplicable reason, reduce or eliminate the Cointreau.

The Sidecar Cocktail often sports a sugar rim. I’m kind of unclear why or whom started that treatment, as none of the earliest sources for the recipe are frosted with sugar. I don’t really see the need, as the cocktail should be well balanced without it. Maybe, if you are making a particularly dry and Embury-esque version of the drink, I could see it. Otherwise, skip the sticky sugar rim.

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.

A Hendrick’s Cocktail

A guy was in the other night and wanted a “spirituous” cocktail featuring Hendricks.

I decided to do a variation on a tequila drink I’d worked up previously, to relatively positive response.

2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc (or other Bianco) Vermouth
2 dashes Grapefruit Bitters

Stir, strain, grapefruit peel garnish.

I really liked the way the rose of the Hendricks and grapefruit from the bitters worked together with the herbal flavors of the Dolin Blanc.

The customer’s response was, “that’s kind of subtle”. Hm, well, “subtle” is not bad, and, actually, exactly the sort of thing I aspire to in a spirituous cocktail. Present the spirit first and foremost, with some subtle accents.

A few days later, my boss came in to pick up some ice and paused for a couple drinks. He asked that I make him a gin cocktail, either a Savoy Cocktail or one of my own. Nothing like a little pressure.

Mulled a couple things, and decided to run this past him, but with Miller’s Westbourne instead of Hendricks. I thought I liked it better with the Miller’s than the Hendrick’s. Though it did need a bit longer stir to tame the heat of the Westbourne strength gin.

His comment was something like, “Well, it is kind of cheating, as pretty much 2 oz of anything with dolin blanc is going to taste great. But I like the way the grapefruit works in this. I could drink a lot of these.”