Flip

Flips.

The Flip, particularly the variety made with Rum, is renowned as an old-fashioned drink of great popularity among sailors. It is usually made in the following manner:

Rum Flip

1 Egg. (1 whole Egg)
1/2 Tablespoon of Powdered Sugar. (Generous teaspoon Caster Sugar)
1 Glass of Rum (2 oz Ron de Jeremy), Brandy, Port Wine, Sherry, or Whisky.

Shake well and strain into medium size glass. Grate a little nutmeg on top. In cold weather a dash of Jamaica Ginger can be added.

Well, that was, as they say, a bit of a “clusterbleep”. Bizarre enunciation, flying ice cubes, running out of space on camera memory card, even forgetting to take a picture before sampling the drink. Sheesh.

Well, narration was an experiment, and considering drinking is involved, it’s kind of amazing this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often. Well, anyway…

The Flip, along with the Toddy, is a very old style drink which can be served hot or cold. The most basic form of the flip is nothing more than a Toddy with a whole egg added, shaken up, and strained. Like the Toddy, pretty much any form of alcoholic beverage can be used as a base, from Beer to Whiskey to Sherry.

Some delicious modern variations on the Flip include those based on Amaros, (Kirk Estopinal’s Cynar Flip comes immediately to mind,) and those flips based on Spirits which hadn’t really come to light in the 19th Century, like Tequila or Mezcal.

Regarding the Rum, apparently some Finns were sitting in a bar, joking around about how the Spanish word for Rum is Ron. Riffing on Rum names like Ron de Barrilito, Ron Abuelo, and Ron Zacapa, they cracked themselves up with an idea to name a Rum after 1970s Porn star Ron Jeremy. “Dude, Ron de Jeremy! How cool would that be!? F-Yeah! High Five, Bro! Rock on, let’s do it!” Or whatever the Finnish equivalent of that exchange might be.

Also, apparently with some money to burn, they called up Mr. Jeremy’s people with the idea, and he agreed. So, yes, this Rum, from the aptly named One Eyed Spirits, is named after Ron Jeremy. I guess the nice part, especially for a rum that appears to come in a container intended for urine samples or glucose supplements, is that it isn’t bad. It’s got enough character to stand up in a simple drink like this flip. I doubt it will find a place in my liquor cabinet, but I wouldn’t kick it out of bed.

Regarding safety: Clearly, holding ice cubes in your hand and cracking them with a 6 inch chef’s knife isn’t really, uh, wise? Don’t do that. Or if you do, don’t say you saw me do it here. You can, however, blame Andrew Bohrer, who showed me this technique. Also, as with any recipe containing uncooked eggs, there is some small chance of salmonella. If that risk bothers you, use pasteurized eggs.

Music in the background is from the excellent new Mountain Goats album, “All Eternals Deck”.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Why A Toddy

A question from AK: “General toddy question: Is there ever, in your opinion, a reason to make a cold toddy such as these rather than immediately reaching for the Ango and a twist?”

Well, if we put ourselves back in the pre-cocktail era, someone from that time might ask you the exact opposite question: “Why on earth are you putting bitters in perfectly good booze?”

Bitters were originally created as medicinal elixirs, things to put your stomach, or other organs, on the path to recovery.

You added sugar, (and maybe a little booze,) to your bitters to make them more palatable, not the other way around.

In those days, if you were going to modify your booze, you’d probably make a punch, a cobbler, a toddy, or if you were particularly forward thinking, a julep.

I sometimes wonder, if we are indeed in a golden age of quality spirits, why are we doing so much to disguise the character of these wonderful products of the distillers craft?

Apple Toddy

Apple Toddy
1 Teaspoonful of Powdered sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)
1/4 Baked Apple. (1/4 Baked Apple and a little of the juice from baking)
1 Glass Calvados or Applejack. (2 oz Calvados Montreuil Reserve)
Use stem glass and fill with Boiling water (about 2 oz). Grate nutmeg on top.

In case you hadn’t noticed, a lot of the recipes at the back of the Savoy Cocktail Book are really old. Punches, Toddies, Daisies, Rickeys, these are mostly cocktails which would date to the 19th Century or before.

I assume, many of these were not made with any particular regularity at the Savoy Bar, as they had long since gone out of fashion by the early 20th Century.

I will also be referring rather frequently to David Wondrich’s Imbibe! From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar, as it is pretty much THE source for information about the cocktails and drinks of that age.

According to Mr. Wondrich, the Apple Toddy, before the Cock-tail or Mint Julep ascended to primacy, was among the most quintessentially American drinks. Appearing well before the cocktail, it was also one of the most popular drinks right up until prohibition. However, unlike the cocktail, after Prohibition, it did not return to popular drinking culture.

Which really is too bad, as it a truly fantastic warming tipple for an autumnal day.

The other day, I was talking to a friend about a recent trip to a new-ish bar. I’d enjoyed the drinks I’d had, but after a couple found they were just too intensely flavored to be savored over the long term. Lots of flavored syrups, bitters, spices, and even more, were being used. In wine, they call red wines that are rather too intense for their own good “over extracted”, there was a certain similarness to these cocktails. They were so packed with elements and flavors that they were somewhat exhausting to the palate. After a couple, I just had a kind of sour feeling in my stomach, and wished for a beer or Whiskey on the rocks.

The Apple Toddy, and drinks like it, is rather the opposite.

Initially, it seems too simple to be enjoyable, just Apple Flavored Booze, Sugar, Hot Water, an Apple and Spice. But after a couple sips, you realize it is a warming antidote to those over driven modern cocktails. Give it a try and see what you think.

Though, first, you are going to have to bake some apples.

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Quarter and core a few apples. Tablespoon of sugar in the center of each apple. Spices to your preference. Cover and cook until the apples are soft.

On the plus, side, the apples also make an excellent dessert served with vanilla ice cream or make a great addition to your morning porridge.

Regarding execution, you have two choices, you can either smash up the apple quarter into the drink, making kind of a big mess, or you can skewer it and leave it whole. I lean towards skewering it and leaving it whole, that way you have a nifty booze soaked apple piece to enjoy after drinking your toddy.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Brandy Toddy

First, just a reminder that Sunday, April 24, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

Brandy Toddy
Dissolve 1 Lump of Sugar. (1 tsp Caster Sugar)
1 Lump of ice. (1 Big Ice Cube)
1 Glass of Brandy. (2 oz Cognac Dudognon Reserve) Use medium size glass (…and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg).

Coming from the land of Brandy Old-Fashioneds, Wisconsin, it is interesting to make an even older drink and probably its mixological forefather, the Brandy Toddy.

Again, all we’re doing here is making an old-fashioned and leaving out the bitters.

Given my Wisconsin heritage, I figured I should bypass my usual California Brandy, for something a bit more celebratory, maybe a Cognac. The Cognac Dudognon Reserve is about as celebratory as I get, that is, on a state employee’s wages.

The music in the video this week is somewhat unfamiliar to me, something Mrs. Flannestad brought home, a Dubstep entity named Mount Kimbie.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Whisky Toddy

First, just a reminder that Sunday, April 24, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

Toddies.



Whisky Toddy

1 Teaspoonful of Sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)
1/2 Wineglass of water. (Well, that should be 1 oz of water, I might have used a little less)
1 Wineglass of Whisky. (2 oz Four Roses K&L Single Barrel OBSO Cask Strength Kentucky Bourbon)
1 Small Lump of Ice.
(Muddle sugar into water until dissolved, add ice and…) Stir with a spoon (until chilled), (garnish with freshly grated nutmeg) and serve.

Such is the primacy of the “Hot Toddy” these days, that the idea of making one cold often perplexes my fellow Savoy bartenders when we get an order at Alembic Bar. However, when reading David Wondrich’s awesome book, “Imbibe!From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar.” he notes that the toddy and the sling were essentially the same drink: Spirits, sugar, water, maybe ice, and maybe a garnish. Over time, the name “Toddy” became primarily associated with the hot version of the drink, while the name “Sling” went on to pepper pink, cherry flavored, gin based abominations in the areas near Indonesia. But more about Slings later. What we primarily concern ourselves with today is the “Toddy”.

If a “Cock-tail” is a “Bittered Sling” a “Toddy” (or “Sling”) is, essentially, an Old-Fashioned without Bitters.

Dissolve some sugar in water, add ice cube(s), pour over a tasty measure of spirit, stir until chilled, and garnish as fancy takes you.

It’s not rocket science, and if you, as I have instructed, use a particularly Tasty Spirit, you may find yourself omitting the sugar altogether, though I am not sure if that is still a Toddy.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

BOTW–Hop Off!

First, just a reminder that Sunday, April 24, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

French Style Potato Salad.

Most potato salad in the US is made according to the mayonnaise dressed model. Another tasty way to make Potato Salad is, according to Julia Child, more French. I am not an expert in French Cuisine, so I cannot say. I do, however like this kind of Potato Salad. What are the characteristics? Start some potatoes boiling or steaming. While that is happening, make the dressing, (or maybe Marinade is a better term,) by finely mincing some shallots and herbs (Fresh Tarragon FTW! Fresh Dill is also great!). Splash in a little White Wine or Sherry vinegar, olive oil, a teaspoon of coarse mustard. Liberally dash in Salt and freshly ground black pepper. When the potatoes are just barely cooked, drain them and toss them in the marinade. Allow to stand for a bit, check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature. I embellished this version by also including steamed green beans along with the potatoes. Very tasty.

I like to add things to hamburgers.

Different people have different philosophies on Hamburgers. Are they just beef or do you season them? Fabio Viviani got dinged for hamburgers which were too much like, “Meat Loaf,” by the judges on this year’s Top Chef Season. Personally, I like to skirt the edge of Meat Loaf by adding some bread crumbs and seasonings.

Flannestad Hamburgers: In a large bowl wet a couple tablespoons of bread crumbs with wine and olive oil. Finely mince a couple cloves garlic and a teaspoon of onions. Decide on a regional seasoning theme. I like Spain lately, and season with Spicy Smoked Paprika, Thyme, and Oregano. Add a pound of ground beef and knead lightly until combined. Divide into three patties. Before cooking season with salt and pepper.

These Ledbetter’s English Muffins are my current favorite Hamburger Buns. However, they are a little thick, so I like to take about an eighth of an inch out of the middle when cutting them for burger accessories.

Wherein I deviate from my commute in search of beer.

The other Friday I was at work and remembered that we needed more beer at home. However, after a few years I have exhausted most of the typical choices at the two nearest stops on my commute. I thought to myself, “Man it would be awesome if there was some way I could stop off at one of this cities great bottle shops for some unusual beers on the way home.” Then I saw a comment from the manager of local bottle store Healthy Spirits, and thought to myself, “Wait, if I took the 6 MUNI Bus to Haight and Divis, then walked to Healthy Spirits, I could get some tasty beer. Then, the 24 MUNI Bus stops right in front of the store and takes me all the way to Cortland Avenue! Score! Cool beer, and it probably won’t take any longer than usual.”

I had been drinking dark beers recently, so I asked for a selection of Hoppy beers, thinking Mrs. Flannestad and I could do a bit of a taste off among a few we hadn’t yet tried.

Sierra Nevada, Hoptimum

A group of hop-heads and publicans challenged our Beer Camp brewers to push the extremes of whole-cone hop brewing. The result is this: a 100 IBU, whole-cone hurricane of flavor. Simply put —Hoptimum: the biggest whole-cone IPA we have ever produced. Aggressively hopped, dry-hopped, AND torpedoed with our exclusive new hop varieties for ultra-intense flavors and aromas.

Mr. Flannestad: I liked this, but found the finish a tad overpoweringly bitter for my liking.

Mrs. Flannestad: The most hoppy delicious beer of the evening. Winner and Grand Champeen!

Drake’s, Hopocalypse IIPA – 9.3% ABV, 100+ IBUs

Large amounts of American two-row malt and English Pale malt are combined with Vienna, Rye & Crystal malts, then balanced with German magnum, Simcoe & Chinook hops. Then, of course, we then dry hop it with additional Simcoe & Chinook. Finally, this deep orange monster is loosely filtered to keep the integrity of the malt and hops in tact. Enjoy the massive aromatic revelation and prophetic flavor of this beer now and forever after.

Mr. Flannestad: I seem to remember finding Hopocalypse my favorite of the evening, just enough hops to balance out the malt.

Mrs. Flannestad: Tasty, but a little too over-hopped to take the lead.

DET LILLE BRYGGERI, Humlemord

Humlemord er en ølserie, hvor vi bruger så store mængder humle, at vi kalder det humlemord. Facts om Passion of Hops: OG: 1104 FG: 1030 Alkohol 9,9% vol.Brygget d. 11. december 2009, tappet d. 8 februar 2010, IBU 160. Indhold 33 cl.Brygget på malt, vand, gær, sukker, humle (Sorachi, Amarillo, Chinook, Simcoe, Columbus, Palisade) Ufiltreret og upasteuriseret Bør opbevares mørkt og køligt. Mindst holdbar til: 10. marts 2012

Mr. Flannestad: This was kind of weird, not a great fusion of Belgian and American styles. More interesting than outstanding.

Mrs. Flannestad: I had high hopes for this one as I smuggled it home for Mr. Underhill from Denmark. The woman in the shop in Copenhagen told me that the translation was “HOP MURDER” so I was very intrigued.  However, the additional aging spent waiting for this HOPPY occasion was not kind to the carbonation. Note to self: drink souvenir beer immediately after landing in celebration of making it home alive.

Burgers were grilled over lump mesquite and garnished with arugula, tomato slices, and sauteed onions.

Firestone Walker, Double Jack

Double Jack IPA is our first ever Imperial IPA. It features a big malty middle to cloak the high alcohol and mouth puckering hop bitterness. Huge tangerine, grapefruit and juicy fruit aroma blossom over the herbal blue basil and malt earthiness of this aggressive beer. Best enjoyed in moderation.

Mr. Flannestad: The maltiest entry of the beers we tried this evening, very good. I would rank it No. 2 among those tried.

Mrs. Flannestad: This was my second favorite of the evening, but I felt that it could have used some HOP in the name to qualify for the competition.  Double Jack didn’t quite fit in, but was very delicious. and hoppy good.

Egg Sour

First, just a reminder that Sunday, April 24, 2011, 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.

Egg Sour
1 Teaspoonful of Powdered White Sugar. (I skipped the extra sugar)
3 Dashes of Lemon Juice. (Very generous 3 dashes Lemon Juice. OK, really the juice of 1/2 small lemon, about 1/2 oz)
1 Liqueur Glass of Curacao. (1 1/2 oz Clement Liqueur Creole Shrubb)
1 Liqueur Glass of Brandy. (1/2 oz Germain-Robin Craft Method Brandy, 1/2 oz Germain-Robin Coast Road Reserve Brandy, 1/2 oz Osocalis Alambic Brandy)
1 Egg. (1/2 large egg)
2 or 3 small Lumps of ice.
Shake well and remove the ice before serving. (Garnish with drops of Angostura Bitters.)

Right, I couldn’t even make a whole drink by combining 2 of the comically small, yet delicious, Brandy samples sent to me by Germain-Robin. I had to throw in a little Osocalis, sorry about that Germain-Robin. I understand smaller distilleries must struggle with sample requests, but how about enough to wet your tongue?

I couldn’t see the need for any extra sugar in a drink that is already half “Curacao” and only has “3 dashes Lemon Juice”. It certainly wouldn’t qualify as “Sour” if made to those specifications.

We only had “Extra Large” eggs at the moment, so using a whole egg seemed a little excessive.

On the whole, this is a tasty Egg Sour, I liked this drink quite a bit. I would definitely make it again for myself or even for a customer.

A lot of times, I find modern cocktail mixers will throw Lemon Juice into Flips, even though drinks in the “Flip” category traditionally contain no Citrus. I guess, thinking about it, what they’re making are Egg Sours for their customers. Tasty, but not a Flip.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Sour

Sours.
A Sour is usually prepared from the following recipe :

Sour.
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/2 Tablespoonful of Sugar. (I recommend using superfine, bar, or caster sugar when making drinks like this or the Daiquiri. If you don’t have any of those, just run your regular granulated sugar in your blender or food processor until it is pulverized nicely.)
Add 1 Glass of Spirit or Liqueur as fancy dictates, Gin, Whisky, Brandy, Rum, Calvados, etc.
Shake well and strain into medium size glass. One squirt of Soda water. Add one slice orange and a cherry.

So, “fancy” dictated to me, that I use St. George Spirits‘s Agricole-style R(h)um, Agua Libre for this sour!

I get into all sorts of discussions about the simplest drinks with my bar geeky friends. As far as I am concerned a “Sour” is: Spirits, Lemon (or Lime), and Sugar (or Simple Syrup). But I have gotten into heated discussions about whether the Egg White, which I consider an optional ingredient, is required.

The most common other optional ingredient is Egg Whites, which are required in certain Sours like the Boston Sour or Pisco Sour. Beyond that, you’re going to need another name. One of my favorite is the New York Sour, which includes a float of red wine on top of a traditional Whiskey Sour. Even more esoteric versions of the sour class of drinks are those like the Los Angeles Cocktail: a Whiskey Sour with egg white, which splits the sweetener with Italian Vermouth; and the Elk’s Own Cocktail: a Whiskey sour with egg white which splits the sweetener with Port Wine.

It is fun though, that the Savoy Cocktail book says, “Add 1 Glass of Spirit or Liqueur as fancy dictates.” So is a Fernet Branca Sour out of the question? What about an Elderflower Sour? Where does the sour stop and the Cocktail begin? Is it the moment you sub out the sweetener for something flavored? But if it is an actual “liqueur” sour, what is that?

My usual “Sour” recipe is 2 oz Spirit, 3/4 oz Lemon (or lime), and 1 oz of 1-1 simple syrup. I find it pleases just about everyone, unless they are among the 1 percent of drinkers who have a tweaked palates and truly prefer the aesthetic of actually “sour” drinks. This was far more spirit forward and light on sweetener and citrus than that recipe. I guess when you have a spirit you want to feature, like the St. George Agua Libre, this would be the way to go. However, I would also say this spirit forward, lightly sour formulation won’t be a crowd pleaser among 99% of modern drinkers. There’s also a pretty good chance they will be disappointed in the volume of this drink, especially if you’re pouring it into one of those giganto fishbowl cocktail glasses which are so popular these days.

One thing which is interesting is the use of superfine sugar instead of 1-1 sugar syrup (aka Simple) as a sweetener. On the sweetener front, this isn’t a big deal, but on the dilution front it may be. If you are using 1 oz of 1-1 syrup to balance your 3/4 oz of citrus, you are also adding approximately a half ounce of extra water to your drink. Though, in this case, the “squirt of soda” is a nice way to lighten the drink to the same place it would be if you were using simple syrup and add a touch of effervescence.

Music in the video from the new Lucinda Williams CD, “Blessed”. (Yes, I still buy CDs.)

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Special (Rough) Cocktail

Special (Rough) Cocktail
1 Dash Absinthe.
1/2 Applejack. (1 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Osocalis Alambic Brandy
Shake well and strain into cocktail.

Well, sometimes people are just drinking to get themselves somewhere else. Out of their head, out of their life, out of their city.

And I guess this is a fast train out of town.

On the other hand, the name is pretty accurate. This is a rough way to go, more like hopping a freight train than riding in a luxury sleeper cab.

I hesitate to call it a complete waste of perfectly good booze, but I will go on record saying I would have rathered just drunk the brandy on its own.

It’s also been made not too long ago, as the slightly differently punctuated, “Special Rough Cocktail“.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.