Great Pumpkin Punch

First, just a reminder that tonight, Sunday, October 31st, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

As a special celebration of the evening, I am bringing along the following fall inspired variation on my Bernal Heights Milk Punch.

Great Pumpkin Punch

1 Bottle Weller 12 Year Bourbon.
1 Bottle Landy Cognac.
1/2 Bottle Batavia Arrack.
4 Small-ish Sweet Potatoes, washed and roasted.
4 Oranges, Zested.
4 Lemons, Zested.
4 Cloves.
2 Sticks Cassia Cinnamon.

16 oz Water.
1/2 Pound Piloncillo.
1/4 Pound Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds), crushed.

1 quart Straus Family Creamery Whole Milk.

Method:
Zest citrus and add zest to Brandy, Bourbon, and Arrack. Juice Oranges and 2 Lemons, strain, and add to aforementioned liquid. Slice Roasted Sweet Potatoes and add to aforementioned liquid. Add Cinnamon and Cloves. Allow to infuse for at least 48 hours.

Heat water and add Piloncillo and Pepitas. Simmer below a boil for 10 minutes and refrigerate over night.

Carefully strain peels, Potatoes, and Spices out of Liquid, trying not to crush potatoes. Juice other two lemons and add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Heat milk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Allow to stand undisturbed for 30 minutes and filter through cheesecloth, removing milk solids. Filter Pumpkin Seeds out of Syrup, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible, and combine with Flavored Booze Mixture. Cool and allow to stand for a couple days. Rack liquid off of any accumulated sediment into clean bottles and chill well before serving. Makes about 3 quarts.

I will note that at this point, even though some solids have dropped out, this Milk Punch hasn’t cleared up as much as other I have made. I think some of the oils from the pumpkin seeds are in suspension, leaving a louche, like when you add water to orgeat (almond syrup).

I was a bit worried that this would be a horrible mistake, and I would have to throw the whole batch away as a failed experiment. Even some early tastes of the infusion left me worried. However, having tasted the final product, all I’ll say is I couldn’t stop laughing. Totally nailed pumpkin pie in punch form.

Additional note:

Interestingly, once I moved this punch to the refrigerator, the solids began to drop out of the liquid much more rapidly. It would appear chilling aids the “milk fining” process to work more effectively, something I hadn’t really been aware of before.

Velocity Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Velocity Cocktail
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
2/3 Italian Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth)
1 Slice of Orange. (1 Slice Orange)
(Muddle Orange Slice, add remaining ingredients and…) Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

The Savoy Velocity likely originates in Robert Vermiere’s 1922 book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”. In that tome, he notes, “This drink is similar to the H.P.W., but the proportions of the ingredients are reversed. The “Velocity” contains a slice of orange and 2/6 gill of gin, and 1/6 gill of Italian Vermouth. Well shaken and strained into a cocktail-glass.”

I figured I would need some sort of an intense Gin to compete with such a lot of Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth in the Velocity. I know Ransom works well in Martinez, so I thought it would be a good choice, indeed, I can’t think of another more appropriate. Maybe Junipero, but it isn’t quite as citrus friendly.

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.

Van Dusen Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Van Dusen Cocktail
2 Dashes Grand Marnier. (1 tsp. Grand Marnier)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Unlike the very well known Vanderbilts, I am unclear whom the Van Dusen might have been named after. The cocktail is from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks,” so that would make it early century New York, possibly society.

The most interesting character, kind of contemporary with that time, was Harry Van Dusen, aka Van Denmark (1881–1948). An author who was well known for children’s serials, “Just prior to World War I, Van Demark began to write mystery stories, including “The Vanishing Diplomat,” which appeared in Black Cat. This was followed by a thirty­ year avalanche of stories of action and crime with the Western story formula predominating.”

Whomever, the Van Dusen refers to, it isn’t a bad cocktail at all.  A slightly sweetened Martini, I chose to use Hayman’s given its friendliness to citrus flavors, and indeed, it worked well with the 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.

Vanderbilt Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Vanderbilt Cocktail
3 Dashes Syrup. (1 scant teaspoon Small Hand Food Gum Syrup)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters. (2 dash Angostura Bitters)
1/4 Cherry Brandy. (1/2 oz Cherry Heering)
3/4 Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Congnac Grande Champagne Dudognon Reserve)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

The source for this Savoy Cocktail was likely Robert Vermiere’s 1922 “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”. He notes, “This drink was first made at the Kursaal in Ostend during a visit of Colonel Cornelius Vanderbilt, the American Millionaire, who was drowned on the Lusitania during the war.”

I have to admit I was Very tempted to use Kirsch, this cocktail includes both syrup and “Cherry Brandy”. I resisted and instead used this rather nice Cognac, in recognition that it is, after all, a cocktail named after one of the most well known and wealthy families of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

However, it wasn’t one of the Cornelius Vanderbilts which perished on the Lusitania, but Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt.

From the Wikipedia article about his life:

“Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt I (October 20, 1877–May 7, 1915) was a wealthy sportsman and a member of the famous Vanderbilt family of philanthropists. He died on the RMS Lusitania.”

“Kursaal in Ostend” (or Oostend) probably refers to the rather well known Belgian Casino in that city.

Kursaal Casino

Before World War II, Ostend was a highly frequented gambling resort for the upper-class British citizens, especially since Queen Victoria prohibited gambling in the ´20s. The gambling law was applied throughout the entire Kingdom, making it impossible for the British people to enjoy gambling in England or in any colonial territory serving under Union Jack. However, the Queen’s law never applied to Belgium, something that made the Kursaal Casino a very popular destination for the U.K. gamblers during the roaring twenties.

Sounds like just the sort of place you would find a wealthy sportsman like Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt!

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.

Valencia Cocktail (No. 2)

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Valencia Cocktail (No. 2)
4 Dashes Orange Bitters. (4 dashes Angustura Orange Bitters)
1/3 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Fresh Orange Juice)
2/3 Apricot Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Brizard Apry Liqueur)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass, and fill with Champagne (Cavas Hill Cava). (Long Orange Peel Garnish.)

Hm, there really is the kernel of a good drink here, but this is far, far too sweet.

Let’s re-imagine this just a bit:

4 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
3/4 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Brizard Apry
3/4 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac
Cava

Ah, now that is much better, in fact pretty close to delicious and recommendable. Definitely an improvement over your bog standard Mimosa or Bellini. Brunch with a kick.

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.

Valencia Cocktail (No. 1)

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Valencia Cocktail (No. 1)
4 Dashes Orange Bitters. (4 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters)
1/3 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Valencia Orange Juice)
2/3 Apricot Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Brizard Apry)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, it isn’t bad, exactly, if it is a bit sweet. Just needs a little jolt, would some booze have killed anyone? At least you are allowed a rather generous hand with the bitters.

One of those cocktails, and there are many, which makes you wonder over the character of juice oranges in the early part of the 20th Century.

PS. There was no Whiskey in this cocktail, even though there is a bottle in the picture, and the cocktail could have used some. That was just leftover from the Up-To-Date.

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.

Up-To-Date Cocktail

Up-To-Date Cocktail
2 Dashes Grand Marnier. (5ml or 1 tsp. Grand Marnier)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters. (2 dashes Angostura Bitters)
1/2 Sherry. (1 oz Solear Manzanilla Sherry)
1/2 Canadian Club Whisky. (1 oz 40 Creek 3 Grain Canadian Whisky)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Hey, this cocktail from Hugo Ensslin’s 1917 cocktail book “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” is pretty darn tasty.

I was afraid it would be a little plain, or that the sherry would get overwhelmed, but it is quite nice, with both the whisky and sherry showing nicely.

With computers, it is always important to keep up-to-date, so it goes with cocktails.

Gotta keep up with what the kids are up to. Heck, sherry is even a trendy ingredient again, you could make this fairly mild whisky cocktail and still seem up to date.

Plus, one of the very few cocktails, outside of the Cadillac Margarita, which gives you a justified reason to use Grand Marnier. If you can’t find decent Canadian Whisky, use Rye. You’ll thank me later.

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.

Upstairs Cocktail

Upstairs Cocktail
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon. (Still out of lemons, so I used the juice 1/2 Lime)
1 glass Dubonnet. (2 oz Dubonnet Rouge)
Use medium size glass and fill with soda water.

This is actually a fairly refreshing cocktail, the added zest of the lime gives some interest. Nice for hot weather, I would say.

As I approach the “Fizz” section of the Savoy Cocktail Book, the “Soda Water” question is starting to eat away at me.

For most of the last several years, I’ve used an iSi Soda Siphon for my soda water. It works OK and is cheaper than buying bottles of Soda Water. Besides, the filtered Hetch Hetchy water I use tastes better than a lot of the rather salty stuff you get in commercial Selzer or Soda.

Some others of my friends have recommended the Soda Stream system as superior to the iSi Soda Siphon.

Maybe it is based on a youth mis-spent watching Three Stooges movies in bank basements, but I just think a Siphon is more fun to use than pouring Selzer out of a bottle with a screw on top.

What do you use for soda water in your mixed drinks?

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.

Union Jack Cocktail

Union Jack
1/3 Grenadine. (1/4 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/3 Maraschino. (1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/2 Green Chartreuse. (1/4 oz Green Chartreuse)
Use liqueur glass and pour ingredients carefully so that they do not mix.

Stupid battery still being a bit flaky. I’ve ordered some more, but will be taking the odd post with digital for the time being. If I can remember how.

I guess you should try to feel a bit patriotic about this one, but it’s not even blue, white and red. I guess there were no blue liqueurs at the time, as the book often calls for blue vegetable coloring.

Anyway, there’s nothing special here, as far as taste goes. As much as I enjoy Small Hand Foods Grenadine, I just can’t quite bring myself to drink it straight as more than a taste. I sucked the green chartreuse off the top of this one and tossed the rest down the drain after taking the photo.

Can anyone spot the brand on Mrs. Flannestad’s commemorative shot glass? I was hoping it would be more obvious.

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.

Ulanda Cocktail

Ulanda Cocktail
1 Dash Absinthe. (1 Dash Lucid Absinthe)
1/3 Cointreau. (3/4 oz Cointreau)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Martin Miller’s Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Sweet, and all 80 Proof Spirits and Liqueurs, the Ulanda is a bit of a dangerous proposition.

Probably more of the “knock your date out with booze” school of drink making, like the Between the Sheets, the Ulanda doesn’t really have a lot to recommend it beyond being strong.

It looks like the word Ulanda is either someone’s first name or refers to, “an administrative ward in the Iringa Rural district of the Iringa Region of Tanzania.”  I dunno, I’m guessing maybe first name.

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.