Wembley Cocktail (No. 2)

Wembley Cocktail (No. 2)
1/3 Scotch Whisky. (3/4 oz Famous Grouse Scotch)
1/3 French Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Pineapple Juice. (3/4 oz Pineapple Juice)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Harry McElhone notes in his 1928 “ABC of Cocktails” that this is a “Recipe by Charlie Forrester, Grafton Club, London.”

To be honest, this is just weird.

Being 2/3 mixers, it’s kind of watery, and with the not particularly assertive mixing Scotch, like this famous grouse, it tastes mostly like vermouth and pineapple.

Right, well, Wembley, then, from the wikipedia article:

Wembley is an area of northwest London, England, and part of the London Borough of Brent. It is home to the famous Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena.

Wembley is derived from the Old English proper name “Wemba” and the Old English “Lea” for meadow or clearing. The name was first mentioned in the charter of 825 of King Beornwulf.

Well, I seriously doubt they were juicing pineapples back in 825 AD, but I was just thinking of the arena, amazing that the history of this area goes back that far.

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.

Wembley Cocktail (No. 1)

Wembley Cocktail (No. 1)
1 Dash Apricot Brandy. (1/2 tsp R&W Blumme Marillen)
2 Dashes Calvados (1 tsp Montreuil Calvados Reserve)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze lemon peel over glass and drop in.)

Kind of a strange bird, the Wembley (No. 1). Really just a Martini with a few dashes of Apple Brandy and, uh, Apricot Eau-de-Vie…

OK, I was cheating, I probably should have used Apricot Liqueur in this.

But it just seemed more pleasant, and more intense, to use an Eau-de-Vie.

It’s just a half teaspoon (generously) of either one, that little Apricot Liqueur is going to have very little impact.

How is it? Well a fairly dry, yet still somewhat fruity Martini.

How you feel about it, will likely depend on how you feel about Martinis and polluting them with ingredients other than Gin and Vermouth.

Certainly no more sacrilegious than the Dirty Martini, just going in another direction.

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.

Welcome Stranger Cocktail

Welcome Stranger Cocktail
1/6 Grenadine. (1/2 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/6 Lemon Juice. (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1/6 Orange Juice. (1/2 oz Orange Juice)
1/6 Gin. (1/2 oz Junipero Gin)
1/6 Cederlund’s Swedish Punch. (1/2 oz Underhill Punch)
1/6 Brandy. (1/2 oz Dudognon Cognac Reserve. Talk about over kill, eh? Sadly, it is all I have in the house at the moment.)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This cocktail is likely from Harry McElhone’s “ABC of Cocktails”, in which Harry notes, “Invented by the author.”

Wow, 6 ingredients and a great name! An interestingly proto-exotic drink from Mr. McElhone, eh? Orgeat, instead of Grenadine, with a float of sherry and you’re pretty much got Trader Vic’s Fog Cutter!

The use of Swedish Punch gives this an interesting character and is the dominant element in this equal parts cocktail.

Maybe I’ve gone crazy and Savoy Cocktails have warped my brain and palate, but this isn’t bad at all.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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.

Weeseur Special Cocktail

Weeseur Special Cocktail.
4 Dashes Absinthe. (1 tsp. Absinthe)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
1/4 Orange Curacao. (1/2 oz Clement Creole Shrubb)
1/4 Dry Gin. (1/2 oz Junipero Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

As a variation on the Martini (Medium), or perhaps Fourth Degree, the Weeseur isn’t bad. I do like the Creole Shrubb and awful lot, it is one of my favorite Orange Liqueurs, so I rarely complain when I get a excuse to use it.

The name seems like it should be Dutch or Afrikaans, but I can find no trace of Weeseur on the web that makes any sense.

Note the presence of the exciting new Cocktail Kingdom measuring jigger!

Cocktail Kingdom Japanese Style Jigger 22ml/15ml

Finally a Japanese-style jigger with a 3/4oz side (or 22ml for those of you who are metrically inclined)! Been waiting for this for quite some time.

I also know that the gentlemen of Cocktail Kingdom went to quite some trouble to find a manufacturer who could deliver an accurate 3/4 oz jigger.

In fact, when I was in New York recently, another bartender showed me how badly calibrated some of the usual bar supplies conical stainless jiggers were. Some were off by as much as 1/8 ounce when compared withe the Cocktail Kingdom Jigger.

I checked mine at home with the Cocktail Kingdom Jigger and found them not quite that far off. Whew!

The big problem now is I usually use 3 jiggers: 1/2:1, 3/4:11/2, 1:2.

Now I have to get used to using only two jiggers: 1/2:3/4 and 1:11/2.

Well, if I ever want to work in NY, I guess I’ll have to.

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.

Wedding Belle Cocktail

Wedding Belle Cocktail
1/6 Orange Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Orange Juice)
1/6 Cherry Brandy. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Cherry Brandy)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Junipero Gin)
1/3 Dubonnet. (3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.
Source: Harry McElhone’s “ABC of Cocktails”, 1928-1929

Like the Vanderbilt Cocktail, this is on the sweet side for me, even with early season Valencia Oranges.  Still, not unpleasant, and fairly light.

I chose Junipero, first because it is a high proof, intense gin.  Being only 1/3 of the cocktail, I knew the gin would have to have some spine to cut through the other ingredients.  I also used it, instead of a more traditional London Dry Gin, because I like the way it works with darker flavors like Cherry Heering and Dubonnet Rouge.

I would be tempted to add some bitters to the Wedding Belle to punch this cocktail up a bit, but afraid that would tilt it towards Robitussin-ish type flavors.

Maybe just a dash of orange bitters?  Or even Absinthe, which would bring it within spitting range of the similar, and delicious, Chas Baker, Jr. Cocktail, the Remember The Maine.

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.

Webster Cocktail

Webster Cocktail
1/8 Lime Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Lime Juice)
1/8 Apricot Brandy. (1/2 oz 3/4 oz Brizard Apry)
1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Sutton Cellars Brown Label Vermouth)
1/2 Plymouth Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin, 3/4 oz Bols Genever)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

A favourite cocktail at the bar of the S.S. Mauretania.

Well, I kind of feel like I have been a bit hard on the Sutton Cellars Brown Label Vermouth, so I thought, “Hey you! Blogger asshole! How about using a tart vermouth in a tart cocktail?”

With all these odd Savoy Cocktails, sours ostensibly, where you find French Vermouth in the place of what should be Lemon Juice, I have often wondered about the flavor character of historical French Vermouth. Was it tarter wine? Fresher Vermouth? Has all the industrial processing and filtering now applied to commercial vermouth changed its character?

Sutton Cellars, on the other hand, is fairly low tech. Herbs macerated in California White Wine, with a small amount of unaged Brandy and Agave Syrup.

So, is the Sutton Cellars closer to what Dry Vermouth might have tasted like in the 19th and early 20th Century?

Well, certainly, there was no Agave Syrup around 1900, and probably the spices and herbs used by Sutton Cellars are fairly distinct from European Vermouth making traditions.

My personal feeling is that much of the early French Vermouth was probably closer to what we now call Blanc or Bianco Vermouth, and that the Dry Vermouth, as featured in the modern Martini, didn’t evolve until later, in the early to mid-twentieth Century.

A puzzle for you, if Dry and Bianco/Blanc vermouth existed contemporaneously, why do no Cocktail recipes differentiate between these Vermouths? Why do most just call for “Italian” or “French”?

Anyway, I like the Sutton Cellars Brown Label Vermouth in the Webster. Its somewhat outre spice component, especially Vanilla and Christmas-like Spices work well. These ballsy flavors lend complexity to the drink where most other dry vermouths would just be bowled over by the Gin, Apricot Brandy, and Lime.

Nice.

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.

Wax Cocktail

Wax Cocktail
3 Dashes Orange Bitters. (3 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters.)
1 Glass Plymouth Gin. (2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin.)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

This Savoy Cocktail probably originated from Robert Vermiere’s “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” in which he notes, “This cocktail is well known in Vancouver and also in British Columbia.”

Did you hear that, Matt and Darcy?  Yer ancestors were drinking cold gin and not much else to keep themselves warm up there on the tundra, not some sort of fancy drink with your Canadian so-called “Whisky”.

Yeah, this will warm you up, that’s for sure.

I don’t know why I made this with the Hayman’s, some sort of Brain Fart, I guess.  I should have stuck with my usual 1 oz Plymouth, 1 oz Bols, it probably would have been tastier. But it isn’t bad with the Hayman’s, either. I think I just didn’t feel like drinking high proof Gin, so the 80 Proof of the Hayman’s seemed, oh, comforting, compared to the hard justice of the 94 Proof Plymouth.

Some evenings just aren’t Film Noir evenings.

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.

Waterbury Cocktail

Waterbury Cocktail*
2 Dashes Grenadine. (1 tsp Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/2 Teaspoonful Powdered Sugar. (1/2 tsp Caster Sugar)
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime. (Juice 1/4 Lemon)
The White of 1 Egg. (1/2 Egg White)
1 Glass Brandy. (2 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac Reserve.)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

*Yes, Sir! A stem-winder.

A “stem-winder”? What on earth is a stem-winder?

From Word Detective.com:

It all goes back to the humble watch. Before there were electronic battery-powered wrist watches, before there were manually wound (or self-winding) mechanical watches, before there were even watches worn on one’s wrist, there were pocket watches. And if you go way back, those pocket watches were wound with a separate tiny key. This may sound cute, but it was a major drag, because the process was awkward and the key was easily lost. So in 1842, when the French watchmaker Adrien Philippe (co-founder of Patek-Philippe) invented a “keyless” watch that was wound by turning its “stem” (a knurled knob on the side of its case, today called the “crown”), it was such an improvement that it won Philippe a Gold Medal at the French Industrial World’s Fair.

It’s hard to imagine today, but the new “stemwinder” watch became an instant public sensation of almost delirious intensity, the iPod of its day. It was so popular, in fact, that within a few years the term “stemwinder” entered the lexicon as a synonym for anything excellent and exciting. By the end of the 19th century, “stemwinder” was being used to mean, first, an energetic person, then a rousing public speaker, and finally an especially inspiring speech itself.

Hm, is the Waterbury Cocktail, in fact, so “excellent and exciting”, as to justify the term, “stem-winder”?

Well, it is a nicely spirit forward sour, of the sort which has become largely unfashionable these days. Certainly, it would be more a la minute to make this with the juice of a half lemon (3/4 oz) rather than the juice of a quarter lemon and increase the sugar slightly.

But when you’ve got a nice Brandy, like this Pellehaut Armagnac, why cover it up with extra citrus?

It is interesting to play around with the sweet and sour ratios for a sour, rather than apply the same one to every spirit or drink.

PS. Bummed this is the last of my Pellehaut Armagnac. I think it will be back to the slightly cheaper Osocalis, at least for a little while.

PPS. Jesse informs me, there will be no Notoberfest this year. I am seriously bummed, but he did get married, I hear that takes a lot of time from planning other events, and is working on launching his own beer brand concentrating on barrel aged fruit beers: Old Oak Beer. I suppose I can cut him some slack. However, if you feel the need to get some Jesse learning and beering on, you might want to check out this workshop he is presenting Dec 12 in collaboration with Local:Mission Eatery, Holiday Beers. “At the December gathering, we’ll be focusing on holiday beers, and pouring some of my favorites, including Anchor’s Our Christmas Ale, Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale and He’Brew Jewbelation 14, plus a few more surprises, including bottles pulled from my own cellar…I’ll be working with Chef Jake to pair these beers up with some great treats, including a cheese pairing (the cheese pairing we’re serving is particularly exciting) and hearty winter fare. We’ll also be tasting the ingredients that go into beer, learning about the brewing process, and generally having a good time with beer, food and conversation.”  Sounds tasty!

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.

Washington Cocktail

Washington Cocktail
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters. (2 dash Angostura Bitters)
2 Dashes Syrup. (1 teaspoon Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup)
2/3 French Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Brandy. (3/4 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac Reserve)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

A Vermouth Cocktail with a stick, there is nothing wrong with this cocktail, in fact rather enjoyable. The combination of French Vermouth and Brandy makes more sense to me than the combination of French Vermouth and Whiskey.

In fact, it kind of reminds me of a light version of of my coworker’s drinks at Heaven’s Dog, Dion Jardine’s, amusingly named variation on the Brooklyn, Brandy Does Brooklyn:

Brandy Does Brooklyn
1.5 armagnac
.75 dry vermouth
Shy .5 maraska
Shy .5 picon or amaro nonino
Stir and strain into a cocktail glass.

Now, if only Dion would get his act together and launch the blog he has been threatening, “Drinking with Bartenders”.

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.