Remsen Cooler

Remsen Cooler
l Glass Dry Gin.
1 Split of Soda.
Peel rind of lemon in spiral form, place in long tumbler with 1 lump of Ice, add Gin and fill with soda water.

The Remsen Cooler is about the only of these Coolers to have survived over the years, but there is still some confusion. The drink came to be made frequently with Gin, but some maintain it is properly made with Scotch.

Cocktail Bill Boothby relates the following in his 1906 version of his bar book. It is a nice story. Note, Old Tom Cordial Gin was a type of sweetened Old Tom Gin which apparently was available for a brief few years around 1900.

“Some years ago, the late William Remsen, a retired naval officer and a popular member of the Union Club, N.Y., introduced a beverage to the members of that swell organization which has since taken his name and is now known to all clubmen by the appellation of Remsen cooler.”

“Pare a lemon (a lime will not answer the purpose) as you would an apple, so that the peel will resemble a corkscrew, place the rind in a long thin glass and pour over it a jigger of Old Tom cordial gin; with a bar-spoon now press the peel and stir it thoroughly, so the liquor will be well flavoured with the essence of the skin and fill the glass with plain soda off the ice. English club soda is highly recommended for this drink. Be sure the soda is cold.”

Hugo Ensslin, in his 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” takes a middle path, by allowing either Gin or Scotch:

Remsen Cooler
1 drink Dry Gin or Scotch Whiskey;
1 Lemon;
1 bottle Club Soda.

Peel off rind of lemon in spiral form, place in Collins glass with cube of ice, add Gin or Scotch and fill up with Club Soda.

Well, if you can use Gin OR Whisky in a drink recipe, why not use something in between? Say Dutch Genever?

Remsen Cooler
2 oz Bols Aged Genever*.
1 Split of Soda.
Peel rind of lemon in spiral form, place in long tumbler with 1 lump of Ice, add Genever and fill with soda water.

A couple years ago, Bols brought a 19th Century style Genever to America. Based on a recipe from 1820 it soon became the darling of many bartenders. However, they weren’t quite sure what would happen with it in cocktails. There are not a ton of cocktail recipes for Genever. Would people try to mix it like Dry Gin?

What they found, especially with a lot of stumping from cocktail and punch classicists like David Wondrich, was that people were mixing with it like it was Whiskey. Making Improved Holland Gin Cocktails, Sazeracs, Holland Sours, and the odd Holland House Cocktail.

So if people were mixing with it like it was a Whiskey, what if Bols introduced the category of Genever which was even more like Whiskey, Aged Genever?

From Instant Upload

I was lucky enough to attend an event where they launched the new product in San Francisco and introduced it to us in a couple drinks.

Aged a minimum of 18 months in used and new Cognac casks, Bols Barrel Aged Genever is in interesting contrast to the original Bols 1820 recipe. While it doesn’t seem to take anything away from the 1820, the aging and slightly different production process seems to heighten the spicy characteristics of the Genever. To me, the Juniper is even clearer in the Barrel Aged Genever than it is in the rather mildly flavored unaged 1820 Genever.

They had us try it in several drinks including a Collins and a Manhattan, but to me the real winner was the Barrel Aged Genever in a julep. I’ve made and enjoyed Genever Juleps before, but the spice and intensity of the Barrel Aged Genever made it stand out in the drink and really complement the flavor of the mint.

For what it’s worth, it’s not bad in an even simpler drink, The Remsen Cooler. On the ice or off the ice, little simple syrup wouldn’t hurt this drink, but note that none of the recipes include any juice at all, only lemon peel.

*The Bols Aged Genever used in this post was provided to me by a firm promoting the brand.

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.

Porkpourri

It’s funny, a lot of my friends got the Momofuku cookbook and the first thing they tried to make was the ridiculously complicated Ramen recipe.

To me, though, the first thing that stood out was the Bo Ssäm.

All you do is order a pork shoulder from your favorite butcher, say Avedano’s Holly Park Market. Make a sugar and salt rub for a pork shoulder.

Let it sit in your fridge for a day or two. I will warn you, the smell of the semi cured pork shoulder will draw neighborhood dogs. Ignore their pleading eyes and throw it in the oven at 300F.

Get the rest of your dinner in order, like a Plum Frangiapani tart from Mission Pie.

Baste the roasts every hour. Really, who needs air fresheners when you can slow roast a pork shoulder?

And something like 6 hours later, you have a delicious dinner. This was about half way.

Discussing exactly how much longer for the roast. Seemed pretty tender to the fork.

Have some friends over who know how to shuck oysters.

Get set up…

Have them teach you how to shuck.

Though you have to be careful not to stab yourself.

Get rolling on the shucking…

Have some friends over who make beer. My favorite comment of the evening: “You have no idea how hot it is watching my Jewish wife learn to shuck oysters.”

Heck, it never hurts to have a scientist around to remind you about the potential dangers of eating raw shellfish…

Unfortunately, after this things got a little greasy and somehow none of the rest of the photos turned out. Suffice it to say, a good time was had by all.

Moonlight Cooler

Moonlight Cooler
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (Rich Simple Syrup to taste)
The Juice of 1 Lemon. (Juice 1 Lime)
1 Glass Calvados. (2 oz Calvados Montreuil)
Shake well and strain into long tumbler. Fill with soda water and decorate with slices of fruit in season.

You may recognize this formulation from the Harvard Cooler, from which it differs only in the recommendation to “decorate with slices of fruit in season” and the fact that it specifically calls for Calvados, not “Calvados or Applejack”.

Not that I’m complaining, I really like this drink. It’s really fun to tweak the balance of tart, sour, and dilution so it falls just about where hard cider would fall.

If you get it just right, I think a lot of people, especially if you’re making it with Calvados, would have a hard time telling it from the real thing.

And if you’re a Apple fan, like myself, that is a very good thing.

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.

Mint Cooler

First, just a reminder that Sunday, September 25, 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.

Mint Cooler
1 Glass Scotch Whisky. (2 oz 40 Creek 3 Grain Canadian Whisky)
3 Dashes Crème de Menthe. (1 teaspoon Brizard Creme de Menthe)
Use tumbler. 1 lump of Ice and fill with soda water.

Sorry, I don’t have any cheap blended Scotch in the house, and I couldn’t bring myself to make this with Single Malt.

So I made it with Canadian “Whisky” instead. Hey! At least they spell it the same.

It’s kind of like a Whisky Stinger, which, I guess, isn’t exactly a bad thing. At least the creator of the drink was somewhat stingy with the Creme de Menthe.

Still, it tastes kind of like kissing someone who was trying to cover their long afternoon at the distillery tasting room by brushing their teeth.

Kind of cute, but I prefer the straight whisky flavor. You don’t have to lie to me.

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–Ryed Piper

First, just a reminder that Sunday, September 25, 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.

Picked up Ryed Piper on the recommendation of the staff at Healthy Spirits.

Ale Industries, Rye’d Piper 5.8% ABV

This hoppy red rye is a rich and flavorful beer with a touch of rye spice that compliments the roasty chocolate flavors of the malt. This beer will speak to the hop head in all of us.

This is the second beer I’ve had from Ale Industries, the first was the delicious Sour Peche they donated to the SF Chefs Unite dinner.

I tend to be a bit dubious about Rye based beer, about 9 out of 10 times they end up with an extreme alcohol nose. I also am not usually a fan of most “Red” beers, most of those are just far too sweet.

So it was a little trepidation that I approached Ryed Piper.

Those concerns proved to be completely unfounded.

This is a delicious, well balanced, hoppy California beer. Definitely worth searching out.

Come to me, my little hops, listen to my siren song…

…and into the kettle with you!

Love the label, love the beer!

Reform Club

First, just a reminder that Sunday, September 25, 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.

One of the nice things about working in restaurants, is when you can go out and enjoy the fruits of your friends labors.

In this case, a popup in the Specchio space called Reform Club. The meal and beverage pairings below were done by Allyson Harvie (Citizen Cake, Ragazza), Becky Pezzullo (Undercover Supper, Bar Bambino), and Dion Jardine (Slanted Door, Heavens Dog). I don’t know Allyson or Becky very well, but I worked many, many nights with Dion when he was working at Heaven’s Dog.

corn soup, eggplant caponata,
tomato, basil, balsamic
(and pork)

Dry Gin, Blackberry puree, Sherry.

roasted fig salad,
ham, almonds, ricotta salata

Aged Rum, Lime, Ginger Syrup, Egg White.

mixed heritage pork roast: belly, sausage, loin,
mustard spätzle, braised chard, market fruit

baked gravenstein apple
cinnamon, raisins, butter, brown sugar
(and pork)
Paired with a Chenin Blanc from Chatueau Soucherie.

There may also have been shots of Angostura Bitters…

The next Reform Club Dinner is planned for October 16, with a menu and chef soon to be announced. Join the mailing list, follow the twitter, “like” them on facebook, read their tumblr, support my friends’ labor of love, and have some awesome food and drink!

Chicken Soup with Kale, Potatoes, and Sweet Corn

Sometimes you have to make your own damn chicken soup…

Chicken Soup with Kale, Potatoes, and Corn

INGREDIENTS:

1 Chicken Breast, Bone in
Chicken Stock

Olive Oil
3 slices bacon, diced
2 Tablespoons Flour

1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
dried Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Spanish Spicy Smoked Paprika
Dry White Wine (or Dry Vermouth)

1 bunch Russian Kale, leaves chopped
2 Baking potatoes, peeled and diced
2 ears Sweet Corn, shucked and kernels removed from cob
Fresh Sage leaves, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste

METHOD:

Place Chicken Breast in a pot large enough to hold it. Cover with Chicken stock, bring to a near simmer, reduce heat, and cook until done. Remove Chicken Breast from stock, debone, and dice meat. Reserve stock. In the bottom of a pot large enough to hold about 2 quarts of soup, brown bacon in olive oil. When crispy, remove bacon and reserve 2 tablespoons cooking oil. Return oil to pot, and saute onion, carrot, and celery until tender. Deglaze with White Wine and reduce until syrupy. Stir in flour and cook until fragrant. Slowly stir in Reserved Chicken Stock, stirring to prevent clumping. Bring to a simmer, when it gets close it should thicken. Add Kale Leaves, Thyme, and Paprikas. Bring back to a simmer. Add Potatoes and cook until almost done. Stir in sweet corn, sage leaves, and bacon. Check seasonings and when potatoes are tender, serve with crusty bread.

As usual this was an improvisation based on standard techniques and what was available at the grocery store but, Mrs. Flannestad liked this version so much she said I had to write it down.

BOTW–Late Harvest 2010 v.2

First, just a reminder that Sunday, September 25, 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.

With both of us working more than full time jobs, some weekends it is nice to get away. Leave everything behind and stay somewhere with “No Service”. Fortunately, there are still places as close as Western Marin County which have resisted the siren song of comprehensive cell coverage.

Upright Brewing Late Harvest 2010 v.2

Just last week we released a second blend of Late Harvest, a brew we like to call a provision beer because while it’s quaffable now, is bottled with the intention of cellaring for up to 3 years. This batch uses the Six as a base. It’s a blend of 4 former pinot noir barrels: one with chocolate syrup from Alma here in Portland, two with different forms of black pepper and one straight up, each filled at different times ranging from as little as several weeks to nearly a year ago. The peppercorns, long pepper and Tasmanian peppercorn, are very aromatic, the first being remarkably fruity and bright while the latter are earthy and intense while also lending a numbing sensation to the mouthfeel. The finished beer is very tart and dry with lots of bite from the pepper as well as some from the rye and hops. That bite will mellow with age and the beer will round out with more chocolate and oak flavors coming through down the road.

When visiting Portland in early December 2010, we were had the good sense to visit the Upright Brewing Tasting Room. While there, we tasted a number of fantastic beers, but one of the standouts was this Late Harvest v.2. We knew we had to get a bottle to take home. Chocolate and Peppercorns at first seems like an unusual taste combination, though when you think about it, Chocolate and Chiles is a classic combo, so maybe Chocolate and Peppercorns, not so odd.

Even last December, I remembered the Peppercorns being more dominant in this. 10 months down the line, it is the mild sour character and chocolate which stand out. Not sweet enough to be a dessert beer, this is still a very rich tasting brew. Delicious and a treat to enjoy it in Northern California.

It wouldn’t be a trip to West Marin, without a nice hike. This time we hiked with a friend along the Bolinas Ridge. We spotted this mystery herb at the beginning of our hike and saw it throughout the trip. Smelled delicious, minty with a hint of camphor. I suspect it is Pennyroyal. If so, it’s fortunate we only smelled it, as it appears Pennyroyal is fairly poisonous.

These are the flowers of the mystery herb, probably Pennyroyal.

I didn’t take a picture, but it was nice to also notice for the first time Yerba Buena growing along the trail. One of my favorite native mint-ish plants.

Hm, wait, if we are walking in a quadrangle, and this juncture is the second corner, that means it’s half way?! Wait, if I add that up, it comes to about 8 miles… About half my friends will think I am a wimp for finding 8 miles is on the edge of my hiking tolerance, and the other half will think I was crazy for walking it.

Well, it was very beautiful. A great weekend (not too far) away.

Manhattan Cooler

Manhattan Cooler
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon or 1 Lime. (Juice 1/2 Lemon)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (dash Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Wineglass Claret. (2 oz Smith and Woodehouse Late Bottled Vintage Port)
3 Dashes Rum. (1 teaspoon Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum)
Shake well and strain into medium size glass. Decorate with fruit in season.

Didn’t have any French Wine in the house, so substituted Port and reduced the sweetener. Figured I should use a Rum with some spine, as it was in such a small amount. Just built it over a cube of ice, since the port was already chilled and added a splash of soda. Fresh out of fruit at the moment.

Then I thought to check Hugo Ensslin, for his take on the Manhattan Cooler…

Manhattan Cooler

Juice of 1 Lime
1/2 spoonful of Powdered Sugar
1 wine glass of Claret
3 dashes of St. Croix Rum

Stir well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, pour into a stem glass, decorate with fruit and serve with straws.

First, I do think it’s kind of funny that the only actual “Wine Cooler” in this section is named the “Manhattan Cooler”, what with New Yorkers’ near obsessive insistence on overproof spirits and ridiculously large and potent drinks.

The use of St. Croix Rum is a bit interesting. As you may recall, Martin Cate had once told me he felt using a Spiced Rum where St. Croix Rum is called for provides more interest than actual St. Croix Rum.

However, I have yet to meet a spiced rum I particularly care for. But, wait, isn’t Allspice Dram, well, spiced rum?

2 oz Bordeaux Wine
1/2 Tablespoon Allspice Dram
1 Tablespoon Rich Simple Syrup
Juice 1 Lime

Shake and strain into a tall-ish glass, uh, wait, there’s no soda in this Cooler nor is it served in a tall glass!

Well, I did add a splash of soda to my adaption and to be honest, kind of enjoyed it. Not that I think it would fly in the Manhattan of today.

About the only way I could see them drinking this there would be if you reversed the proportions, maybe 4 oz of navy strength rum, swizzled, with lime and a float of wine.

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–Jack D’Or


Pretty Things Jack D’Or

Inspired by some of our favorites saisons like Saison DuPont, but also DeRanke’s XX Bitter, De Dolle’s Arabier, and local table IPAs like Smuttynose, our Jack D’Or starts off with North American Pils, Vienna, Wheat and Malted Oats (among others) and is hopped with a combination of four hops, finishing with Palisade and Nugget. The bitterness is the real backbone of the Jack D’Or. It’s a proper plant-like bitterness with all of its jagged edges, beginning deep in the soil, then to the stem of this beer and up into to the very tippity heights.

Definitely, as they describe it, a “Table Beer”, it went well with cheese and proved a satisfying aperitif.

Miso Glazed Black Sea Bass, Quinoa Pilaf, Braised Russian Kale and Merry Edwards 2008 Olivet Lane Pinot Noir. I even garnished the fish this time, with scallions and black sesame seeds, how about that?