Breakfast Egg Nogg

Breakfast Egg Nogg
1 Fresh Egg.
1/4 Curacao. (1/2 oz Clement Creole Shrubb Liqueur)
3/4 Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Osocalis Fine Alambic Brandy)
1/4 Pint Fresh Milk. (4 oz Meyenberg Goat’s Milk)
Shake well and strain into long tumbler. Grate nutmeg on top.

Continuing with the out of season Noggs, we have another example, this one with a slightly unusual sweetener, Orange Curacao.

Though I am unclear about exactly why sweetening with Orange Liqueur instead of Sugar makes this appropriate for breakfast.

The implication of Vitamin C?

Nothing wrong with the Breakfast Nogg, but my favorite remains the Baltimore Egg Nogg.

Safety Note: As with any recipe containing uncooked eggs, there is some small chance of salmonella. If that risk bothers you, use pasteurized eggs.

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.

Fava Beans…

To be honest, late Winter and early Spring are about my favorite time to live here in San Francisco. The rains are over, the hills are green, and there’s tons of delicious produce. It is just hard to hold too many grudges against the universe this time of year.

One of my favorite late winter treats is fresh fava beans. Though whomever discovered the best way to prepare them was ambitious. Maybe not quite as ambitious as the first person who ate an Oyster or an Artichoke, but still, they’re kind of a lot of work. Not hard work, but slightly tedious work. First you have to get the beans out of their out of their fuzzy shells.

Then you have to blanch and peel the individual beans. Put the water on for your pasta and start shelling. By the time you finish getting the beans out of their shells, the water should be boiling. Drop the shelled beans into the pasta water for a minute or two. Prepare an ice bath. Pull the beans out of the water and drop into ice bath. Now for the fun part. Using a paring knife, slit the skin of the bean opposite the stem. Squeeze the stem end of the bean and pop the meat out of the bean. It may take some practice so the bean meat does not fly across the room. Repeat until all beans are peeled. Some beer and music will be necessary.

One of my favorite fava bean dishes is pretty simple: Fava Bean Pasta with Pancetta. Put on some water for pasta. Clean the beans (see above). Chop some onion, garlic, and fresh herbs (Marjoram or Mint are nice complements to the flavor of fava beans.) Chop some fairly thickly sliced Pancetta. Sweat the pancetta until it releases its tasty fat. Remove the pancetta from the pan and raise the heat. Add the garlic and cook briefly until fragrant. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add fava beans and return the pancetta to the pan, (a little crushed red chile if you like it spicy.) Add a splash of chicken stock (if you are being strictly Italian, Water). Cover and cook until the fava beans are tender. In the meantime, cook your pasta (Note: for some reason, after blanching fava beans, your water will turn an ugly green brown. As far as I know, this is harmless.) Pull the pasta from the water and add it to fava bean mixture. Add minced herbs and toss, loosening with pasta water if necessary. Top with freshly grated parmesan. Serve with crusty bread and, of course, a nice Chianti.


The other day I was again at Healthy Spirits chatting with the nice gentlemen of the store.

I mentioned I was in the market for a dark beer, (more about that later,) and an IPA. We went over the beers I’d sampled for the “Hop Off“, and David Hauslein mentioned in addition to those, now would be the time to sample Avery’s Maharaja.

Beer Style: Imperial India Pale Ale
Hop Variety: Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial and Chinook
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, caramel 120L, victory
OG: 1.090 ABV: 10.24% IBUs: 102
Color: Dark Amber
Availability: Seasonally produced from March through August. 22oz. bombers, 1/6BBL and 1/2BBL kegs.

Maharaja is derived from the sanskrit words mahat, – “great” and rajan – “king”. Much like its namesake, this imperial IPA is regal, intense and mighty. With hops and malts as his servants, he rules both with a heavy hand. The Maharaja flaunts his authority over a deranged amount of hops: tangy, vibrant and pungent along with an insane amount of malted barley – fashioning a dark amber hue and exquisite malt essence.

Mrs. Flannestad had tried Maharaja on one or another of her out-of-state trips and I’d been on the lookout for it in the San Francisco area, but hadn’t found it before that afternoon at Healthy Spirits.

But, Mr. Hauslein’s point was that Avery had announced that it was pulling its beers from a number of states, including California. It turns out expansion and demand isn’t always a good thing, and Avery had slightly over extended itself.

Which led us to jaw a bit about the problem of expansion. Expansion is good up to a point, but when demand oustrips your ability to produce, it can become a problem. Alternatively, a presence in a larger state may require a lot of inventory, but if demand is low, beer is a perishable item. Unlike Whiskey or Tequila, it can’t sit indefinitely on a shelf. And if it does, your product may not be presented in its best light.

So what do you do? Purposely limit your distribution (a la New Glarus Brewing) or expand? If you expand, where does the capital come from and how will you maintain both your businesses internal culture and quality control in a larger, more industrial enterprise?

Which brought up Goose Island. Goose Island was recently acquired by shareholder, and multinational corporation, Anheuseur-Busch/In-Bev. A lot of people are up in arms that their favorite small-ish brewery has been wholly aquired by a multinational. The devil will be in the details, but neither of us were entirely sure this was a bad thing. If In-Bev allows Goose Island the Independence and latitude to produce the same beers they always have, is it a bad thing?

Isn’t it better that the multinationals invest and acquire smaller brewers than they produce fake micro brews, a la Blue Moon, and dilute the consumer’s perceived value of micro brewers?

On the other hand, at least in the distilled spirits industry, few spirits producers seem to manage to continue to produce the same quality product for very long after being acquired. A couple tequila producers come to mind. First there are new bottles, then there are new ad campaigns, then the product line is expanded, then what’s in the bottle seems to change. For the worse.

I guess it remains to be seen whether these beer companies are in this for a quick cashout or for the long haul.

But, for the time being, our first delicious bottle of Maharaja in California, may be our last.

Baltimore Egg Nogg

Baltimore Egg Nogg
1 Fresh Egg.
1/2 Tablespoonful Sugar. (1/2 tablespoon Caster Sugar)
1/4 Glass Brandy. (1/2 oz Osocalis Fine Alambic Brandy)
1/4 Glass Jamaica Rum. (1/2 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum)
1/2 Glass Madeira. (1 oz Cossart and Gordon 5 Year Bual Madeira)
1/2 Pint Fresh Milk. (4 oz (I am cheating) Goats Milk)
Shake well and strain into long tumbler. Grate nutmeg on top.

I like to pretend that I have some sort of insight into the Savoy Cocktail Book, but it is a big book. I had been ignoring most of the back of the book until relatively recently. Janiece Gonzalez found this recipe and started making the Baltimore Egg Nog for people about a year ago after a couple Savoy nights. It totally caught me by surprise. Maybe my favorite egg nogg ever and has been really popular with whomever we have made it for.

If there is any trick to it, it is to go with a Madeira with some character, not that bullshit “Rainwater” Madeira. Well, that and a flavorful and funky Jamaican Rum, like the Smith & Cross.

Yes, I once again display a brazen disregard for personal safety, by cracking ice with a chef’s knife. I do have an ice pick, but it scares me. I don’t really know how to use it and feel fairly certain that the first time I tried it, I would have it sticking in my palm. So I use the knife I am comfortable with to crack ice. Your Mileage May Vary. In deference to Frederic’s good point and Chris’ squeamishness, I promise not to show this technique in any future videos.

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 is from the Dodos new CD, “No Color”.

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.

Controversial Ice Cutting

So apparently, cutting ice with a big knife is controversial. I’ve gotten more comments about that video than pretty much any other post I’ve done.

Anyway, here are some video demos of the techniques. Camper English took them while Andrew Bohrer was visiting San Francisco.

Sculpting Ice Cubes with a Knife:

Shaving Ice with a Knife:

Sculpting an Ice Ball with a Knife:

And, oh yeah, some old guy cutting an ice block with a chainsaw:

For more information, and further videos, check Camper’s post on Alcademics:

Ice Meets Chainsaw

Egg Nogg

Egg Noggs.

The Egg Nogg is essentially an American Beverage, although it has been appreciated throughout the world for many years. Its introduction throughout Christmas time in the Southern States of America is traditional. In Scotland it is known as “Auld Man’s Milk.”

Egg Nogg
1 Egg.
1 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (Generous Teaspoon Caster Sugar)
1 Glass of any Spirit desired. (2 oz Banks 5 Island Rum)
Fill glass with Milk. (2 oz Meyerberg Goats’ Milk)
Shake well and strain into long tumbler. Grate a little nutmeg on top.

So, if a “Flip” is a Toddy (or Sling) plus an Egg, Egg Nogg is a Cold Toddy (or Sling) plus an egg and a good amount of Milk. Served Hot, Egg Nogg is a Tom and Jerry. Generally, you’ll see these with 1 to 2 (or more) times the Milk as the amount of spirits included. I try not to drink Cows Milk, so I am using equal parts Goats Milk to the Spirits.

Initially I was hoping to split the Spirits between the Banks 5 Island Rum and Barbancourt 5. Sadly, a miscalculation resulted in 2 oz of Banks 5 Island being poured into the mixing tin. Damn it! Well, I can’t say I was entirely pleased, as much as I like Banks 5 Island, I was really looking forward to a bit more of the aged rum taste.

To be honest, Barbancourt 5 Star is about my favorite rum for Egg Nogg, so I was pretty disappointed to have mis-measured the Banks 5 Island. I guess I could have made two Noggs.

Still, the Batavia Arrack in the Banks 5 Island gave this version of Egg Nogg a lot of character, for better or for worse.

Regarding safety: As with any recipe containing uncooked eggs, there is some small chance of salmonella. If that risk bothers you, use pasteurized eggs.

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–Ale Flip

Ale Flip
Put on the fire in a saucepan one quart of Ale (16 oz Speedway Stout), and let it boil; have ready the whites of two eggs and the yolks of four (er, one egg separated, yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon of caster sugar, and the white beaten to soft peaks), well beaten up separately; add them by degrees to four tablespoonsful of moist sugar, and half a nutmeg grated. When all are well mixed, pour on the boiling Ale by degrees, beating up the mixture continually; then pour it rapidly backward and forward from one jug to another, keeping one jug raised high above the other; till the flip is smooth and finely frothed.

Note: This is a good remedy to take at the commencement of a cold.

The last time I made this, thinking I would make it with a Traditional London Ale, I tried it with Fuller’s London Pride Ale and it was pretty dreadful.

While contemplating making the Ale Flip again, I trying to think of some way to salvage the drink, and it occurred to me that this very old drink was likely made with a beer which was to a certain extent sour, as fermentation with wild yeast was much more common in the time previous to the industrialization of beer production and a better understanding of what exactly yeast is.

However, that would have required me to purchase more beer, and Mrs. Flannestad has lately complaining about the slight build up of undrunk Stouts and Porters in the house. She does not generally enjoy that style of beer, so I only ever drink them on my own.

Anyway, a while back we got this Speedway Stout, and I thought instead of buying some sour beer, I’d try the Ale Flip with Stout. My reasoning went something like Flip->Eggs->Breakfast->Coffee->Espresso Stout!

AleSmith Speedway Stout

A HUGE Imperial Stout that weighs in at an impressive 12% ABV! As if that’s not enough, we added pounds of coffee for a little extra kick….Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel.

And my am I glad I did. I may not have enjoyed this drink with London Pride, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with an Spiced Warm Whipped Espresso Stout Custard, essentially what this drink is. In fact, I enjoyed it so, I was kind of bummed when I ran out of flip and had to drink the rest of the beer all on its own.

Just don’t ask us to make this for you during the next Savoy Night at Alembic Bar, as the bartender may react strongly after they read the bizarre recipe.

Though, hm, if we warmed the beer with the wand on the espresso machine, whipped the eggs with the little cream whipping wand, it might not be too bad.

Well, anyway, order it at your own risk. It certainly is a drink which gives you a good amount of respect for what was going on in the 19th Century, (well more like 15th-18th,) Century Tavern.

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.

SF Chefs Unite

SF Chefs Unite

On May 7th & 8th a line up of top San Francisco chefs will create a meal you can’t get anywhere else. Join us for a cocktail reception, a 6 course Japanese inspired meal with beer, sake, wine and cocktail pairings from some of the best in the business, while perusing the silent auction for local goodies. It’s a night to mix and mingle with some people in your community while helping a great cause.

Leaving aside the worthiness of the cause, if someone asks you if you would like to help out at a benefit featuring chefs which include: Michael Black (Sebo), Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese Food), Jake Godby (Humphry Slocombe), Jordan Grosser (Stag Dining), Robbie Lewis (Bon Appetit), Richie Nakano (Hapa Ramen), and Chat Newton (American Box) you really don’t say no. These are some of the most important names among San Francisco’s Restaurant and chef scene. What I’ve seen of the menu looks off the charts!

I’ll be contributing a punch to be served during the Cocktail Hour and silent auction which precedes the dinner. There will also be beer pairings by Jesse Friedman (of Beer and Nosh and Sodacraft), Wine and Sake pairings from Alex Fox and Alex Finberg, and Cocktails from Scott Baird and Josh Harris of Bon Vivants.

Whenever I’ve made my variations on Jerry Thomas’ California Milk Punch, I’ve always been struck by how similar the ingredients are to the famous San Francisco drink known as “Pisco Punch”.

While most people these days make Pisco Punch a la minute, especially since we have Small Hand Foods Pineapple Gum Syrup at hand, it was originally a real Punch, prepared in a large batch and served out of a bowl.

When they asked me to contribute a Punch for the SF Chefs Unite Benefit, I returned to the quintessential San Francisco Beverage, and decided to return it to its roots.

I called up Encanto Pisco, and they agreed to donate some of their most excellent Pisco for the cause.

Here’s the plan, in a slightly smaller volume recipe:

SanFranPisco Punch

2 Bottles Encanto Pisco
1/2 Bottle Batavia Arrack

1 TBSP Coriander Seed, Crushed
6 Whole Cloves, Crushed
2 Cassia Cinnamon Stick

6 Lemons

16 oz Water
16 oz Sugar
4 tsp Japanese Sencha Green Tea

1 Quart Straus Farms Milk

Zest citrus and add zest to Pisco and Batavia Arrack. Juice Lemons and add to aforementioned liquid. Add Spices. Allow to infuse for 48 hours.

Heat water and add tea. Steep 6 minutes and stir in sugar. Strain tea leaves out of syrup and chill.

Strain Peels and Spices out of Liquid. Juice other two lemons and add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Heat milk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Allow to stand undisturbed for 30 minutes and filter through cheesecloth, removing milk solids. Add Tea Syrup to filtered booze mixture and pour into clean containers. Allow to stand for a couple days. Rack clear liquid off of any accumulated sediment into clean bottles and store. Chill well before serving. Serve on ice and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Makes about a gallon.

I hope to see you there!