Vie Rose Cocktail

Vie Rose Cocktail
1/6 Lemon Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/6 grenadine. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Miller’s Gin)
1/3 Kirsch. (3/4 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Another cocktail from Harry McElhone’s 1928 book, “ABC of Cocktails”, Harry notes this is a, “Recipe by Dominique, New York Bar, Nice.”

The French expression, “Vie Rose” or more fully, “La Vie en Rose,” means literally, “life in the pink”. To say something like, “Elle voit la vie en rose,” means, “She is an optimist,” looking at life in a possibly slightly over-optimistic way. It is often used to describe persons newly in love, and not entirely unlike the English expression, “Rose Colored Glasses.”

The Vie Rose Cocktail is in the vicinity of the other “Rose” cocktails, except it has no French Vermouth.  I have to admit my favorite of the bunch remains the “Rose Cocktail (English Style)“, with its interesting use of Apricot Brandy instead of Kirsch.  Of course, I think that particular English Rose is best made with Apricot Eau-de-Vie, not Apricot Liqueur.

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.

Victory Cocktail

Victory Cocktail
1/2 Grenadine. (1/2 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/2 Absinthe. (1/2 oz Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe)
(Juice 1/2 small Lemon, or about 1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass, and fill with soda water (Cavas Hill Cava, what else?). (Garnish with long lemon twist, horse’s neck or shoestring.)

Right, I’m just not going to make this as written, that’s all there is to it.

1 oz Absinthe and 1 oz Grenadine diluted with soda?

Bleah.

So I decreased the amounts and added some lemon juice. Filled with Sparkling Wine and added a lemon twist.

Damn. That’s tasty. So tasty, I immediately sent the recipe to Jennifer Colliau, of Small Hand Foods, saying, “Is this a cocktail you know? If it isn’t it should be.”

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

For the first Victor Cocktail, (stay tuned,) I tried to wrack my brain to think of a Dry or New World Gin that would possibly go with Brandy.

Eventually, my brain just gave up and told me to, “Use Genever, you idiot!”

Uh, right.

This is tasty, I guess basically just a slightly extended Brandy Manhattan, nothing wrong with that. The maltiness and mild botanical notes of the Bols Genever function slightly to add some additional elements to the cocktail.

Eventually, I would say it is more of an interesting exercise in tastes than a delightful cocktail, but all the same, not unpleasant.

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.

Vermouth and Curacao Cocktail

Vermouth and Curacao Cocktail
1 Glass French Vermouth. (2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Liqueur Glass Curacao. (3/4 oz Clement Liqueur Creole Shrubb)
Use medium size glass and fill with soda water (Err, Cavas Hill Cava. What?).

Like this Vermouth and Cassis Cocktail, this is another from Harry McElhone’s 1928 “ABC of Cocktails”, and like the Vermouth and Cassis, there really isn’t too much to get excited about.

Using Champagne ups the ante slightly, but I dunno, there just isn’t that much to the combo of Vermouth and Curacao. Nothing wrong with it exactly, just not that exciting.

If you make it, I’d at least spice it up with some Orange Bitters.

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.

Vermouth and Cassis Cocktail

Vermouth and Cassis Cocktail
1 Glass French Vermouth. (2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1 Liqueur Glass Crème de Cassis. (1 1/2 oz Brizard Creme de Cassis)
Use medium size glass and fill with soda water (Err, Cava Hill Cava). (Garnish with long lemon peel.)

Right, a poor man’s Kir Royale!

Well, I couldn’t resist juicing up this rather unremarkable sparkling vermouth cocktail from Harry McElhone’s 1928 “ABC of Cocktails” with a little champagne.

So sue me!

I’ve written about my Fish Provencal-ish before, but this was a particularly tasty version with local rock cod.  We had a bounty of fantastic fresh Dry Farmed Tomatoes from the Farmers’ Market, so I blanched them to remove the skin and made the whole deal from scratch.  so tasty.  Served it with a Quinoa Pilaf and Spicy Braised Greens.  Yum.

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.

Shaking vs. Stirring

Received an email from a reader:

Hi Erik,

I picked up a copy of the Savoy Cocktail book this summer after realizing that a number of my favorite drinks were cribbed right from it. I more or less stumbled through the recipes until I found blog a few months ago. It’s been a revelation – both in terms of execution and tasting notes – and it’s helped me actually use the book in a real way. So thanks.

I had a question though – shaking vs. stirring, when and why? Alot of the cocktails call for shaking that I would instinctively stir. How do you decide when to do which?

Thanks again for the blog – keep up the good work.

Hey, thank you for reading!

Yeah, if you go from the Savoy, it would seem, in 1930s London, it was trendy to shake just about every cocktail, no matter the ingredients.

On the other hand, the editing is so sloppy, it is possible they just took the easy route and typed “Shake and strain into a cocktail glass” instead of differentiating between shaken and stirred drinks.

Since I have to drink, or at least try, these recipes, I let my personal preferences determine what to do for shaking vs. stirring.

If drinks have any significant amount of citrus, egg, or dairy, I always shake.

If drinks are “up” cocktails composed of all proof spirits, I often, but not always, shake, just for the added chill and extra dilution. An example here would be the Earthquake cocktail.

If drinks are “up” cocktails composed of spirits, liqueurs, and/or amaros or other bittering components, I usually stir.

If drinks have vermouth, I usually stir, unless they have a significant citrus, egg, or dairy component.

There are some drinks that are borderline, like the bronx, with vermouth and a small amount of citrus. I have to admit I have become fond of stirring these drinks, just because they look so much nicer clear.

Hope this helps!

Vermouth Cocktail

Vermouth Cocktail
1 Glass Italian or French Vermouth. (2 oz Carpano Antica)
4 Dashes Orange or 1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (4 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, that certainly is very literally a Vermouth Cocktail!

Not sure what else to say about it, but that is what it is.

It is tasty, if you like whatever Vermouth you are using. And it would definitely suck mightily with a not very tasty Vermouth. Fortunately, I am very fond of Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth, so had no trouble tossing this back.

I would say, it really isn’t all that necessary to give this a long stir, especially if your Vermouth is already chilled.

Which reminds me, sometimes I get the odd question about where to keep opened bottles of Vermouth.

The sad fact is, the best place to keep open Vermouth is the refrigerator. It will quickly oxidize and lose herbal complexity after it is opened if kept at room temperature.

Not sure if I would go so far as to agree with Kingsley Amis’ argument that a man needs his own refrigerator, but at least come to some sort of understanding with your significant other about those stray bottles of Syrup and Vermouth.

And if you don’t go through a lot of Vermouth, do try to buy 375ml bottles, if it is possible, especially of Dry Vermouth, and maybe have only one bottle of French and one bottle of Italian style vermouths open at one time.

One thing I have found is that Dry Vermouth makes excellent cooking wine and braising liquid, which helps turnover, at least in our house. I’m always deglazing pans and such.

I haven’t ever figured out any culinary use for Sweet Vermouth, so perhaps a brace or two of “Vermouth Cocktails” every so often wouldn’t be a bad thing.

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.