Waldorf Cocktail

Waldorf Cocktail
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime. (Juice 1/2 Lime)
1/4 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Martin Miller’s Gin)
1/2 Swedish Punch. (1 1/2 oz Underhill Swedish Punsch)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Another cocktail, where the fractions don’t quite add up to a whole.

I guess in this case, maybe the juice from the Lemon or Lime is making up the other quarter of the drink.

Speaking of, a lot of people seem to find this sort of measure annoying, “Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime”.

It doesn’t work with their personal obsession of knowing exactly how much juice should go into a cocktail.

I think it is probably just a method indicator for the bar or bartender who authored the recipe.

That is to say, those recipes where lemon juice is measured as a portion of the fraction, were probably juicing ahead and had the juice in some sort of vessel they were pouring from. Those where citrus juice is listed as a fraction of the fruit were likely juicing to order.

The main problem with listing any absolute amount in these recipes along with fractions is that we don’t absolutely know what the total volume might have been. In a cocktail where the total volume is 2 oz or less, a teaspoon of sweetener may make sense. In a cocktail where the total volume adds up to 3 oz or more, as in most modern bar recipes, that teaspoon of sweetener is going to need to be increased.

The other main problem with citrus expressed as a fraction of the fruit is we don’t know how big the citrus might have been or how much juice might have been expressed from 1/2 of a lime. With modern citrus, I usually say a half a lemon or a whole lime is equivalent to about 3/4 oz.

However, in regards Limes, it is far more likely that what was being used, especially for Caribbean and South American Drinks, was Key Limes not modern Persian limes.

For example, I found this video of a modern Peruvian Bartender making a Pisco Sour, pretty cool. It appears that even to this day, Key Limes are used in an authentic Pisco Sour:

For those of you with no tolerance for watching video, his recipe for a Pisco Sour is as follows: Juice of 2 Key Limes; 3 oz Pisco; 1 oz Gomme Syrup; Egg White “to taste”. Shake and strain into sour glass. Garnish with a drop of bitters.

My friend Craig Hermann, over at Colonel Tiki has been doing a series about Citrus history and the appropriate varietals for cocktails. Essential reading, as far as I am concerned:

The Trouble with Orange Juice, Part I

In regards the Waldorf Cocktail, well, boy that’s a lot of Swedish Punch and only a little Citrus. In fact, this is a reverse proportion Biffy or Strike’s Off. Well, if you like Swedish Punch, this may be the drink for you. If you don’t, well perhaps the Biffy may be a better starting place.

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.

Ward’s Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, November 28th, 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.

Ward’s Cocktail
1/2 Liqueur Glass Chartreuse. (3/4 oz Green Chartreuse)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac)

Use cocktail glass. 1 piece of Peel in glass to form a circle. Fill with cracked ice. Pour the liquors very carefully so that they do not mix. Brandy must be poured in last.

I interpreted “Peel” to mean a Lemon Peel, as in a Crusta, and lined the glass with a horse’s neck of lemon.

This was OK, but I think my ice was not fine enough.

I used my swing-a-way ice crusher, which makes what might be called “pebble ice”. I think for this type of drink, or for juleps, this really isn’t adequate. You really need fine or shaved ice to do some of these drinks justice.

I mean, who doesn’t want a Green Chartreuse and Brandy Snow Cone?

If you say, “I will pass, thanks,” we may have irreconcilable differences.

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.

Warden Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, November 28th, 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.

Warden Cocktail
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/4 Hercules. (1/2 oz House Made Hercules #5a*)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Tanqueray Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

As Fifty-Fifty type Martini-like beverages go, this was all right. Sort of like adding a couple dashes of Angostura bitters to your regular Martini.

My all time favorite cocktail with Hercules is still the Personality a la Roy, but this isn’t bad either.

*Hercules #5a

1 Stick Cassia Cinnamon, crushed
2 tsp. Coriander Seed, crushed
3 Cardamom Pods, crushed
8 Whole Cloves, crushed
1 tsp. Quinine Powder
1 tsp Gentian Root
1/4 Cup Yerba Mate
Zest 2 Valencia Oranges
1/2 cup Raw Sugar
750ml Picpoul de Pinet
1/4 cup Osocalis Brandy

METHOD: Combine spices, peel, yerba mate and wine. Heat to 160 degrees. Filter through chinois and add Brandy. Let stand for at least a day. Pour liquid off of sediment and through a coffee filter and bottle.

Forgot the peppermint tea from Hercules #5, because I am a moron. Reading about Vermouth production, discovered that one of the commonly used wines in France was Picpoul de Pinet. Happy coincidence when a local grocery store started carrying it. Well, sort of happy. I still prefer the Quady Essencia Orange Muscat for the base of Hercules. Any time I’ve used drier wines, the final product is less appealing.

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.

Ward 8 Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, November 28th, 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.

Ward Eight Cocktail
1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (1 generous tsp. Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/4 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Orange Juice)
1/4 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/2 Rye Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Michter’s US 1 Straight Rye)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I suspect The Savoy Cocktail Book may have cribbed this from Robert Vermiere’s “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”. Vermeire notes, “This cocktail originates from Boston (U.S.A.), a city divided into eight wards.”

On his writeup of a couple years ago, fellow blogger Paul Clarke, of Cocktail Chronicles, further informs:

The Ward Eight purportedly dates back more than a century, to a time when politics could be truly bare-knuckle. Rumored to have been created at the Locke-Ober (the second oldest restaurant in Boston) to celebrate the victory of Martin Lomasney’s 1898 campaign for a seat representing Boston’s Eighth Ward—a celebration that suitably took place the night before the election—the Ward Eight is a simple twist on a whiskey sour.

For me, it reminds me of the first or second time young Thomas Waugh served me when he was working at Alembic Bar. I asked for the Ward Eight from the Classic side of the menu and he said something like, “I like to make this on the sour side, is that all right?” I replied in the affirmative, as I preferred nicely tart drinks to over sweetened concoctions. What I got, though, was a bit beyond the sour that I was used to making for myself and slightly into uncomfortable territory.

Drinking this now, I think what Thomas was making was probably exactly this recipe, with only a teaspoon of grenadine as sweetener.

The problem we have, though, is that the recipe is proportional, yet the sweetener is called for in an absolute volume.

Fortunately, while Craddock was mostly proportional in his recipe writing, Robert Vermeire was not, calling for his cocktails to be based on a half gill of total volume. A half Gill ends up somewhere a bit more than 2 ounces, so I was being generous here with my 3 oz pour. So sue me, I like Whiskey Sours.

Ultimately, the amount of grenadine you use falls to personal taste, but I think you should try put this one near the edge of your tolerance for tartness. It shouldn’t be a rich drink, it should be a tart tonic.

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.

MxMo LII: Warday’s Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, November 28th, 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.

Warday’s Cocktail
1 Teaspoonful Chartreuse. (1 tsp Green Chartreuse)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Miller’s Gin)
1/3 Calvados or Apple Brandy. (3/4 oz Montreuil Calvados Reserve)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Like the Victor Cocktail, you just kind of wonder what the Gin is doing in this cocktail.

Does it have an intended flavor contribution to the cocktail, or is it just an extender for the rather expensive other spirits in the drink.

In the case of the Warday’s, I think it does have a bit of a function, providing a bridge between the flavor of the Calvados and that of the Chartreuse, but I bet this cocktail would be even better with Aquavit!

Hm, and today’s Warday’s Cocktail cocktail coincides with November’s Mixology Monday, hosted by Denis over at Rock & Rye:

The challenge this month is to bring to light a drink that you think deserves to be resurrected from the past, and placed back into the spotlight. It could be pre-prohibition, post-war, that horrible decade known as the 80?s, it doesn’t really matter. As long as it is somewhat obscure, post it up. If possible try to keep to ingredients that are somewhat readily available. While we all appreciate the discovery of an amazing cocktail, if we can’t make it, it’s no fun for anyone.

Not sure if this is quite cool enough to be a truly awesome “Forgotten Cocktail”, but it is quite tasty, and as far as I can tell obscure enough to be included, especially since contributors in the comments have noted it is very similar to Jeffy Morgenthaler’s Norwegian Wood. Oh, and, apparently a version of the Warday’s is found in regular rotation at the New York City members only club, Milk and Honey.

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.

Volstead Cocktail

Volstead Cocktail
1/4 Lime Juice. (1/2 oz Lime Juice)
3/4 Orange Juice. (1 1/2 oz Orange Juice)
1 Dash of Hercules. (Dash Campari)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Crap! I was out of my home made Hercules when this puppy rolled around.

Anyway, I believe the whole point of this cocktail is that it is non-alcoholic, except for a little bit of potable bitters, so I went with Campari instead. Quite tart!

Interestingly, Harry McElhone’s “ABC of Cocktails”, contains a cocktail with the same name and completely different ingredients: 1/3 Rye Whiskey; 1/3 Swedish Punsch; 1/6 Orange Juice; 1/6 Syrup Framboise; 1 dash of anisette Marie Brizard.

About his nominally more appealing version of the Volstead, McElhone opines:

This cocktail was invented at the Harry’s New York Bar, Paris, in honor of Mr. Andrew J. Volstead, who brought out the Dry Act in U.S.A. and was the means of sending to Europe such large numbers of Americans to quench their thirst.

Not just to Europe, but Mexico, Canada, and Cuba all had their tourism industries jump started by Prohibition and American’s thirst for the hard stuff.

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.

Bachelor Pizza and Belgian Pale Ale

Michele was out of town, so time for some boy, dog, cat fun!

Beach Walk in the morning and a Bachelor Pizza and Belgian Pale Ale (Or B.P.A.B.P.A.) Night!

Crazy Day at Fort Funston!

Surf all the way up to the trail down to the beach, hardly room for a small dog to run, and only then between larger waves. We all agreed it was the highest we had ever seen the surf.

So a tramp through the woods and field were necessary.

Cats beware!

Still a beautiful day.

Decided to make some pizza and drink this lovely Belgian Pale Ale from Ommegang. A hybrid of Belgian Ale Yeast and American style hopping.

Toppings were corn, mushrooms, bacon herbs, and feta cheese with some last of the season small tomatoes.

Monty would like some pizza, too, please!

Turned out pretty well, but I was reminded that simple crusts made of just flour, water, and yeast, turn out much better with an overnight sponge or starter. More character. As a friend put it, “otherwise they just end up tasting like they’ve been baked on a pretzel.”

When I mentioned some of the dishes I usually make when Michele is away, one of the chefs at work asked, “Are you making Jambalaya because your wife doesn’t like it?” Hm, no, Michele loves Jambalaya.

I tried to think of something that all the bachelor dinners I’ve made for myself have had in common, and all I could think of was pork. Sausage, Bacon, Loin, Chops, you name it, a bachelor dinner must contain pork.

Virgin Special Cocktail

Virgin Special Cocktail
(6 People)
Take a glassful of red-currant juice, and a half glass of gooseberry syrup. In another vessel bruise a glassful of fresh raspberries, upon which pour successively a glass of Brandy, 2 glasses of Gin, then the currant juice and gooseberry syrup, and let stand for half an hour. Then add a glass of White Wine, the ice, and shake.
Serve, placing in the glasses either a raspberry or a small sprig of red-currants.

A very pleasant and refreshing summer cocktail.

Right, talk about absurd. Well, the next time I see Red Currants at the supermarket, I shall be sure and buy them so I can rush home, juice them, and use them as a garnish for an authentic version of this cocktail. Unfortunately, I almost never see them.

So, I shall be substituting a combination of Black Currant drink and Pom Wonderful Pomegranate juice for Red Currant juice. I am also fresh out of Gooseberry Syrup, so shall use some Gooseberry Jam I found at Roxie Market, instead.

1 oz Black Currant Ribena
1 oz Pom Pomegranate Juice
1/2 oz Gooseberry Preserves
2 oz Raspberries
2 oz Pellehaut Armagnac Reserve
4 oz Martin Miller’s Gin
Cavas Hill Cava Sparkling Wine

Combine Black Currant Ribena, Pomegranate juice, and Gooseberry Preserves. Add a 2 oz measure of fresh raspberries into another container and muddle, upon which pour successively a 2 oz of Brandy, 4 oz of Gin, then the currant juice and gooseberry syrup, and let stand for half an hour on ice. Add ice and shake briefly and pour into coupes. Top with sparkling Wine. Serve, placing in the glasses with a couple raspberries and a cut strawberry.

I split this between two glasses, one for me and one for my wife. We were both surprised how dry the cocktail was. With its pinkness and fruity garnishes, we were expecting it to be a lot sweeter and more girly than it is.

I generally hate muddled cocktails, just because of the mess they make in the sink and your shaker, but this was one for which I could see making an exception. Very different from a the modern take on this type of drink and quite enjoyable.

Breaking News!

Between the time I made this cocktail, and the publication of this post, I received word from David Wondrich of a new source for Savoy Cocktails.

It appears most of the “party” cocktails, those marked for “6 People” came from a 1925 book by Nina Toye and A.H. Adair called, “Drinks Long & Short”.

While David identified the source, Greg Boehm, of Cocktail Kingdom, was kind enough to scan the cocktail recipes section of the book so I could collate and check for Savoy inaccuracies. It’s good to have friends with deep libraries.

Scanning through, I discovered the “Virgin Special Cocktail” was in the book under another name.

Midsummer Cocktail: A very pretty and refreshing summer cocktail. One glass of the juice of fresh red currants, half a glass of Sirop-de-Groseille. Mash a cupful of fresh raspberries and pour over them a glass of brandy and two glasses of gin, add the currant juice and the Sirop and let stand half an hour. Add a glass of sweet white wine, ice, and shake. Serve with a raspberry or small bunch of currants in each glass.

Well, that’s pretty close to the Savoy Cocktail Book recipe. The only big difference being a common misunderstanding about “Sirop-de-Groseille”. While it seems like Groseille should be Gooseberry Syrup, it is, in fact, Red Currant Syrup. Well, Gooseberries and Currants are very closely related.

More information here, on Jennifer Colliau’s website, Small Hand Bartender: Sirop-de-Groseille

As for a substitution, if I had known the recipe called for Red Currant Syrup, I probably would have used a combination of Pomegranate Juice and Red Currant Jelly, and skipped the Black Currant Kool Aid.

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.

Virgin Cocktail

Virgin Cocktail
1/3 Forbidden Fruit Liqueur. (1 tsp. Home Made Forbidden Fruit)
1/3 White Crème de Menthe. (1/2 tsp. Brizard Creme de Menthe)
1/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Martin Miller’s Gin)
(3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The Savoy’s likely source for this gem of a cocktail was likely Harry McElhone’s 1928 “ABC of Cocktails”. In his book “Barflies and Cocktails”, he notes this is a “Recipe by Pete Ormart”.

I’ve no idea who Pete was or where he worked, but oof, that certainly sounds like a recipe for slightly grapefruity Mouthwash.

I did my best to slightly mitigate the damage by lengthening the recipe with French Vermouth and decreasing the amounts of the liqueurs, but it was still far too minty for me. Maybe just a glass rinse of Menthe would be enough?

Though, there is a bit of similarity between this and Harry McElhone’s original recipe for the White Lady:

White Lady
1/6 Brandy
1/6 Creme de Menthe
2/3 Cointreau
Shake well and strain.

So maybe he just liked that sort of thing, or at least thought White Ladies and Virgins did.

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.

Victor Cocktail

Victor Cocktail
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica)
1/4 Dry Gin. (1/2 oz Tanqueray Gin*)
1/4 Brandy. (1/2 oz Pellehaut Armagnac)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Wait, Victor Cocktail with Vermouth, Brandy and Gin, that is strangely familiar… Maybe, because I made it just two drinks ago.

Another fine example of the level *cough* care *cough* taken in transcribing and editing the Savoy Cocktail Book, there is the exact same “Victor Cocktail” on pages 167 and 168.

So, fine, a second chance to make this one, and I will not cheat and make it with Genever or Old-Tom, I will make it with a London Dry Gin. OK, THE London Dry Gin, as far as I am concerned, Tanqueray.

Better or worse?

Well, it isn’t as bad as I feared it would be, there is actually something interesting about this combo. But I would still declare the Victor made with Bols Genever Victorious. The Genever just makes for a more interesting taste combination.

*The half bottle of Tanqueray Gin used in this cocktail was sent to me by a firm promoting the brand, and, as you may have read on other blogs, the putative birthday of Charles Tanqueray, alleged inventor of the gin.

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.