Yellow Parrot Cocktail

Yellow Parrot Cocktail
1/3 Absinthe. (3/4 oz Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe Superior)
1/3 Yellow Chartreuse. (3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Blumme Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

First off, there was no way I was making this cocktail as written, 2/3 liqueur and 1/3 Absinthe. Just NO way.

So, instead, I made it 1/3 liqueur, 1/3 booze, 1/3 Absinthe.

As such, it’s not exactly bad. I like the Blumme Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie, I like Yellow Chartreuse, and I like the Greenway Distillers Absinthe.

However, it is a pretty stiff drink, and, to be honest, it doesn’t quite pass the true test of a cocktail. “Does the combination of ingredients somehow elevate the drink beyond any of the single ingredients?”

Nope, instead of enjoying this rather bizarre combination, I kept thinking, “Greenway Distillers Absinthe and Water. Now, that would have been nice.”

Oddly, though, this drink does seem to have a bit of a “second life”, at least going from the number of websites it has been reproduced upon. Makes you wonder if anyone else is actually tasting the drinks they publish on their websites.

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.

Yellow Daisy Cocktail

Yellow Daisy Cocktail*
(6 People)
2 Glasses Gin. (1 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
2 Glasses French Vermouth. (1 oz Vermouth Perucchi Blanc)
1 Glass Grand Marnier. (1/2 oz Clement Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur)
Before shaking add a dash of Absinthe. (1 dash Duplais Verte Absinthe)

*Not only the favourite drink, but also the one made famous, if not invented, by Richard William (” Deadwood Dick ”) Clark, recently deceased (84): onetime Custer scout, Pony Express rider, Deadwood Gulch stage coach guard, Inspiration for all the (64) Deadwood Dick novels of E. L. Wheeler ; friends off Wild Westerners, Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill, Poker Alice Tubbs, Calamity Jane, Madame Mustache and Diamond Dick Turner or Norfolk, Neb. : Clark is buried on Sun- rise Mountain overlooking Deadwood Gulch, S. Dak.

So, let me get this straight, this Gin drink, which probably came from Nina Toye and A.H. Adair’s 1925 “Drinks Long & Short” is a Cowboy drink?

I did my best to rough it up a bit, using the vaguely whiskey flavored Ransom Old Tom. I suppose I could have gone a bit further and used Anchor’s thoroughly rambunctious Genevieve Gin, but I killed that bottle trying to breath some life into the White Wings Cocktail.

On the other hand, this isn’t bad at all, along the lines of a Martinez. My notes for the drink were, “If this is what the Cowboys were drinking, count me in for some pony breaking.”

I was reading Ummamimart the other month, and Payman Bahmani wrote about Perucchi Vermouth from Catalonia: Happy Hour: Vermouth Perucchi. I was intrigued enough to comment on the post, and later when I wrote up the Turf Cocktail, I lamented the fact that Perucchi wasn’t available in the Bay Area. Shortly thereafter, David Driscoll commented on the post saying, “Uhhhhh…….we sell Perucchi at K&L. Just ask!” I guess between the time of Payman’s post and when I wrote about the Turf, unbeknownst to me, Perucchi had become available in the Bay Area. So ask I did, and shortly thereafter picked up a bottle of the Blanc and Red Vermouth from Perucchi.

Vermouth Perucchi is new to me. From what I can tell, they make three Vermouths: Red, Blanc, and Extra Dry. This is definitely the Blanc, not the Extra Dry. I really like it, but it is very much along the lines of a White Carpano Antica. Fairly sweet, with a strong vanilla element. Not as herbally intense as many of the Italian Bianco Vermouths, or even the Dolin Blanc. I’ve found myself drinking a lot of it with a splash of Cocchi Americano, or an Italian Amaro, and soda.

Anyway, the Perucchi Blanc works really well in the Yellow Daisy, complementing both the Clement Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur and Ransom Old Tom.

Oh yeah, why not Grand Marnier? Laziness. I would have had to trek all the way down to the basement to track it down and the Creole Shrubb was handy. Well, also, Creole Shrubb just seemed a bit more Cowboy-esque, than Grand Marnier. Or at least Pirate-ey.

When I was mentioning the Yellow Daisy on the book of faces, Erick Castro made the amusing comment, “I love the Yellow Daisy. Especially, cause it’s not a daisy & not very yellow.”

Which got me thinking: Oh, uh, yeah. What’s the oldest Gin, French Vermouth, and Orange Bitters Cocktail recipe, predating the Martini? The Marguerite. What kind of flower is a Marguerite? Why it is a Yellow Daisy.

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.

Saturday Night Dinner: Feb 12, 2011

We’ve had some nice weather the last couple weekends, so Mrs. Flannestad has been lobbying for grilling.

The problem being, even with the nice weather, it still gets dark really early.

This weekend was so nice, though, that I couldn’t put it off any longer, even if I was grilling in the backyard with a flashlight.

Cut up and marinated a chicken with fresh Oregano, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Mustard, and Black Pepper.

Sliced an eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. Halved some small Zucchini. Salted liberally and basted both with olive oil. Two Red Peppers.

Started the coals, I’m a huge fan of grilling over Lazzari Lump Mesquite. I start them with a chimney starter and usually have them up and going much quicker than charcoal briquettes in a starter, or with, horror, lighter fluid.

Chiffonade half a bunch of basil, minced 2 cloves garlic, teaspoon hot pimenton de la vera, splashed in olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Grilled Red Peppers until evenly charred. Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini. Chopped and tossed with seasonings.

Made a two person batch of Cous Cous with Scallions, herbs, pine nuts and currants.

Grilled Chicken.

Pretty decent meal, served with a bottle of Emtu 2007 Russian River Vineyard Pinot Noir.

When I’ve made grilled chicken for in-laws, they have sometimes asked why my chicken turns out so well and theirs is always dry.

I don’t go in for brining. I maintain the best grilled chicken is first off, quality chicken. Best to buy it whole and cut it up yourself. I usually just quarter the chicken or maybe cut it in eighths. Then you have to leave the bones in and skin on, or it will dry out too quickly. Beyond that, just mind your fire and your meat while it is on the grill.

Yale Cocktail

Yale Cocktail
3 Dashes Orange Bitters. (3 Dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 Dash Angostura)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into small glass. Add a little syphon and squeeze lemon peel on top.

I guess this isn’t one of those cocktails that’s probably going to get a whole lot of new fans from me writing it up.

All booze with dashes of Orange and Angostura Bitters, this is not for the faint of heart. Even the “little syphon” doesn’t do much to soften the blow.

On the other hand, using a pleasant Gin, like the Hayman’s Old Tom, there is nothing wrong with this formulation, even if it is a little plain.

Odd that, who was it, Dashiell Hammett chose to give one of his characters a fondness for a drink as girly as the Gimlet. You’d think Gin and not much else would be closer to the hard boiled ethos, even if it is named after an Ivy League School.

I guess those jokers in the Skull and Bones Club know a thing or two about the proper way to drink.

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.

Pasta With Chard and Sausage

Pasta with Chard and Hot Italian Sausage

1 Hot Italian Sausage, par boiled, skinned and chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 White Onion, Chopped
1/2 bunch Rainbow Chard, washed and Chiffonaded
Stems from one bunch Rainbow Chard, Washed and Chopped
Crushed Red Chili Flakes
Dry Marjoram
Dry Thyme
1/2 Bay Leaf
1 Cup Pomi Strained Tomatoes
Fresh Marjoram
Olive Oil
Grated Parmesan

Method: Heat water for pasta. Heat a large saute pan. Add Olive Oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When it is hot, add garlic and briefly toss until fragrant. Add Chard Stems, Onions, Red Chile Flakes, Dry Marjoram, Dry Thyme, and Bay Leaf. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until onions are clear. Add wine, reduce until syrupy. Add tomato, sausage, fresh Marjoram, and chard leaves. Adjust salt to taste. Drop Pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and add to sauce, with some pasta water if the sauce is too reduced. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

This is actually one of my favorite winter pasta dishes.

Purchased Goods Feb 11, 2011

Right, well, so I was reading posts on the Chanticleer society forums and Martin Doudoroff, who recently launched a website devoted to Vermouth (Vermouth 101) proclaimed,”In the US, my benchmark Italian rosso-style vermouth is Martelletti.” What? I haven’t even had this vermouth! Martin is the technical driving force behind the cocktaildb and the author of several cocktail apps, (sadly only for iPhones,) so I figured he must know something about Vermouth. So I pointed my browser at drinkupny and searched for Martelletti.

Goddamn, they had the Martelletti Vermouth.

Well, if I’m going to order booze all the way from Brooklyn, I might as well get the free shipping. Hm, we don’t get Banks 5 Island Rum in CA, that should go in the cart, but it really isn’t very expensive. What else can I get to push me over $100?

Del Maguey Chichicapa, as endorsed by no less than the Old Grey Lady herself (Spirits of the Times: Mezcal, Tequila’s Spicy Cousin)? Why yes, that would do the trick quite nicely!

It’s San Francisco Beer Week!

For this week’s six pack, I went with Lagunitas Brewing’s Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale. “A Wheat Beer…the Brewers really like it because they can eat the malt for breakfast…it is packed with hops…It has every Hop in it that starts with the letter C”.

And a bottle of Bear Republic‘s Hop Rod Rye. Well, along with being SF Beer Week, it is Strong Beer Month, after all. I actually was hoping for Iron Springs’ Casey Jones, but sadly not at the grocery store this week.

Some nice cheese to go with my beer, according to the label it is Fougerus from Fromagerie Rouzaire, I assume, in France.

XYZ Cocktail

X.Y.Z. Cocktail
1/4 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Cointreau. (3/4 oz Clement Creole Shrubb)
1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 1/2 oz Solomon Tournour Rene Alambic Rum)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

A daisy? A daiquiri with Orange Liqueur?

In any case, I am happy to report this combination, is pleasantly dry, even with the Creole Shrubb standing in for Cointreau (no open bottles convenient).

The Rum, I suppose, is a bit of a stretch from Bacardi, of any decade, or century. Well, what are you going to do? Until I find a Dry Cuban Style Rum I actually like, rather than just tolerate, I shall feel free to improvise.

Banks 5 Island? Why not? Smoke ’em if you got ’em!

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.

Xeres Cocktail

Xeres Cocktail
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
1 Dash Peach Bitters. (1 dash Fee’s Peach Bitters)
1 Glass Sherry. (2 oz Blandy’s 5 Year Alvada Madeira)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

I just couldn’t find a Sherry I wanted to drink during the day before the night I had to make this.

On the other hand, I had this Madeira sitting around…

Swap one Old Wine for another?

Why not? I’ve never really bonded with most Sherry, anyway.

Wow, tasty!

Feel a little bad about messing with such a tasty Madeira, but all the same, a more than pleasing cocktail.

And, I got to share the rest of the bottle with Mrs. Flannestad after dinner!

A win for both of us.

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.

Taco Tuesday

Lately, we’ve been let down by our favorite Taquerias. They just aren’t doing it for us anymore. Prices have been raised and the waits can be long. Plus, I’ve been feeling like Burritos are overkill. I’m trying to be a bit healthier, so I really should be eating half a burrito. But who wants to eat the other half re-heated for lunch the next day? The hot/cold magic of a Burrito just doesn’t work re-heated.

In addition, Mrs. Flannestad’s commute has gotten longer, so we are now eating closer to 8 PM many nights of the week.

I’m not an Iron Chef, but I’ve been working on a few meals I can execute in the hour, hour and a half, between when I get home and she gets home.

The last couple disappointing Taqueria experiences led me to say to myself, I can do that in an hour.

Well, it’s not quite so easy, but not so bad, either.

Whatever you do, do not use canned Tomatillos or purchased tomatillo salsa. It is almost universally awful. Mexican citizens and immigrants have penetrated America to the extent that you can likely find most of these ingredients at your local mega-mart. If not, a trip to the ethnic grocery is always a nice way to spend the afternoon.

Salsa Verde

1 Pound Tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Serrano Chiles (or to taste)
1/4 onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon Minced Cilantro

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Place Tomatillos, Garlic Cloves, and Chiles in a roasting pan or other oven proof non-reactive container. Cook until Tomatillos are soft and starting to split. Remove from oven and add Chiles, Garlic, onion, and one tomatillo to the bowl of a food processor. Process until well pureed. Add rest of tomatillos and pulse to blend. Remove to a container, salt to taste and stir in Cilantro.

I like traditional Pico de Gallo, but I also like to mix it up a bit by adding some beans. If I am opposed to buying Tomatillo Salsa, I am vehemently opposed to buying Pico de Gallo. It’s 5 minutes of work, and if it’s canned, it’s not Pico de Gallo.

Pico de Gallo, with Beans

1/4 White Onion, Small Dice
2 Serrano Chiles, Minced (Or as spicy as you like, really. The chiles I’ve been finding at the grocery store lately have been ridiculously, weirdly, mild.)
1 clove Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, Minced
1 Tomato, Small Dice
1 cup Cooked Beans, drained (Ranco Gordo Yellow Indian Woman above) or drain a can of small-ish beans
Splash Olive Oil
Splash Vinegar (or lime)

Combine, onion, garlic, chiles and cilantro. Add Tomato and Beans. Splash in Olive Oil and a little Vinegar (or citrus). Salt liberally. If using canned beans, you may need to salt in a way that is no longer fashionable in the US. Think FDR or Jimmy Carter.

Fish Tacos

1/3 of a pound skinned Fish Fillet per person (Rock Cod and Tilapia are our current favorites)
Olive or other cooking oil

For seasoned Flour Mixture, place in a resealable bag:
1/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Cornmean
1 TBSP Salt
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Paprika (Spanish Smoked Paprika even better!)


Chopped Avocado and sliced lettuce

Corn Tortillas, 2 per taco

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Check Fillets for bones and remove if necessary. Pat dry with paper towels and salt generously. Drop into bag with seasoned flour mixture and shake, shake, shake. Remove fillets from bag, shaking off excess. The remaining flour can be refrigerated and reused if you aren’t too picky. Otherwise, make a smaller batch and discard. Heat a large enough pan on the stove to hold all your fillets and add oil. When oil is hot, gently add filets, good side down. Brown and flip. Remove from heat and place in oven to finish cooking. When they are cooked through remove. Using a spatula, break the fish fillets into serving size pieces, about 2 per 2/3 pound.

Heat the tortillas by steaming, on a griddle, or in the microwave.

Build the tacos:

Place two tortillas on a plate. Add a piece of fish and some lettuce. Spoon on pieces of Avocado. Top with Pico de Gallo and Tomatillo Salsa.

Re: Tilapia. I’ve been reading that the farmed version of same isn’t super healthy. It has good oil, but also bad oil because of the stuff they feed it. About on par with farmed catfish, I guess. Depending on the source, it also may or may not be farmed in a particularly happy way for the environment. But it is very tasty and pretty forgiving to cook with.

Xanthia Cocktail

Xanthia Cocktail
1/3 Cherry Brandy. (3/4 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
1/3 Yellow Chartreuse. (3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz North Shore Gin, No. 6)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, first off, there’s no real question that this drink should probably be made with something like Cherry Heering and not Kirsch.

But, I just couldn’t face a drink that was composed of 2/3 liqueur and no citrus, so I used Kirsch instead.

Hey, if Kirsch isn’t “Cherry Brandy”, nothing is!

Anyway, with Kirsch, this ends up a somewhat more interesting version of the Alaska Cocktail.  OK, it’s pretty much all booze, but surely we’re all used to that by now, right?  And Yellow Chartreuse and Kirsch make a surprisingly (or maybe not) nice combination. Herbal, floral goodness, with a kick.

If you want to get all sticklery, and make this one with Cherry Heering instead of Kirsch, feel free. Let me know how it comes out.

I’m sticking with Kirsch for the Xanthia.

As far as the name goes, it appears Xanthia is a modernization of the greek word, “Xanthe”, which, according to Behind the Name, is “Derived from a Greek word xanthos meaning “yellow” or “fair hair”. This was the name of a few minor figures in Greek mythology.”

It’s also the name of a Genus of American Moths and appears to be a popular nom de guerre for buxom, red haired female Internet exhibitionists. Ahem. Google at your own risk.

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.