None but the Brave, continued

Some more “interesting” information about the None But the Brave Cocktail.

The use of Jamaica Ginger makes it seem like a prohibition era drink to me.

A google book search turns up that a book titled “None but the brave” was published in 1902, written by Joseph Hamblen Sears.

“An exciting tale of adventure and a charming story of love turning upon the attempt to capture Benedict Arnold after he has betrayed his country and escaped to the enemy, then in possession of New York City. It opens with the rescue of the heroine by means of a forced marriage and after many exciting episodes closes with a voluntary repetition of the ceremony.  In the working out of the plot, social life in New York under the British contrasts vividly with the horrors endured by American prisoners in the old Sugar House Prison.”

Oddly, according to the title page, the book is, “Copyright, 1901, by Frank A. Munsey, as ‘In the Shadow of War.’”  I wonder if that is the same Frank A. Munsey who is often cited as publishing the first pulp magazine, “The Argosy”?

In 1926, Arthur Schnitzler‘s “Lietenant Gustl” was originally published in English as “None But the Brave”.  According to the ABE Books Summary:

Originally translated as None But the Brave in 1926, Lieutenant Gustl is one of the great Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler’s most acclaimed novels. Written entirely in the form of an interior monologue, the novel recounts the moment-to-moment experiences of a swaggering Austrian military man. In a cloakroom after a concert, Gustl gets into an argument with a baker who, reacting to Gustl’s rudeness, grabs his sword and orders him to have a little patience. Convinced he has been completely dishonored, Gustl ponders suicide and wanders through Vienna wishing for the baker’s death. When he learns that the baker has, in fact, died that evening from a stroke, he immediately returns to his aggressive and hateful nature, and relishes a duel he had entered into days before. A tour-de-force of modernist point-of-view, Lieutenant Gustl is highly critical of Austria’s militarism, and resulted in anti-Semitic attacks on Schnitzler when it was first published in 1901. But Schnitzler’s influence was enormous; James Joyce is said to have been influenced by this book in the writing of Ulysses.

Actually, that second book sounds kind of cool!

Parisian Blonde Cocktail

Parisian Blonde Cocktail

Parisian Blonde Cocktail.

1/3 Sweet Cream. (3/4 oz Sweet Cream)
1/3 Curacao. (3/4 oz Cartron Curacao Triple Sec)
1/3 Jamaica Rum. (3/4 oz Appleton Extra)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.  (Well, no.  Using a Milk Frother, whip cream until slightly thickened.  Stir rum and curacao with ice to chill.  Strain into cocktail glass.  Carefully pour lightly thickened cream over the back of a spoon to float on top.  Garnish with finely grated cinnamon.)

As in the Panama Cocktail, again deploying the Clover Club method of agitating the cream separately from the other ingredients, then spooning on top.  Done that way, this is an enjoyable after dinner cocktail, along the lines of a Brandy Alexander.

Cartron Curacao Triple Sec

Found the Cartron Curacao at a liquor store in Napa.  May be my new favorite orange liqueur.  Nice complex intense orange flavor, good proof level, and very little harshness or burn.

Cartron Curacao Back Label

The interesting part, here, is that the name of the product uses both “Curacao” and “Triple Sec”, hearkening back to the origins of orange liqueurs.

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.

Parisian Cocktail

Parisian Cocktail

Parisian Cocktail.

1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Original Dry)
1/3 Crème de Cassis. (3/4 oz Brizard Creme de Cassis)
1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Beefeater Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Nothing particularly earth shattering here in another Cocktail likely sourced from the 1929 edition of Harry’s McElhone’s “Harry’s ABC of Cocktails”. How enjoyable this cocktail is to you will likely wholly depend on how interesting you find your bottling of Creme de Cassis.

However, the Parisian is definitely a cocktail with “good bones”. For an up cocktail, you might just adjust the proportions slightly and come up with something outstanding.

I do sometimes wonder if some of the cocktails, like the Parisian, lost their soda in translation. Or if they were adaptions of French drinks for American Bars.

Building something like Cassis, gin, and vermouth in a glass and then topping it up with soda just seems so very French.

Not to mention, build it over crushed ice and you’re a dash of lemon juice away from something like Dick Bradsell’s famous Bramble.

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.

Sea Fizz

seafizz

Sea Fizz

1 1/2 oz Absinthe
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 egg white
1 tsp caster sugar (or 1 tsp 2-1 simple syrup)

Shake ingredients for 10 seconds in a cocktail shaker without ice. Add large ice and shake well. Strain into glass and top up with soda water.

There are few drinks with a lot of Absinthe that I truly like.  This is one of them.

The Sea Fizz is not in the “Savoy Cocktail Book,” but appears without the egg white in later editions of Patrick Duffy’s “Official Mixer’s Manual” as the “Seapea Fizz”.

Apparently, it was created by Frank Meier, at the time of the Gambon bar and later of the Ritz in Paris, for Cole Porter (C.P., thus “Seapea”) some time around 1933.

If you use Pernod, Ricard, or another sweetened anise liqueur, reduce, or eliminate, the sugar.

Basically an Absinthe sour, this is a delicious and dangerously refreshing beverage.

Robin Wood

I was recently perusing Camper English‘s article on Scotch in the most recent issue of Imbibe Magazine, when I ran across an appealing sounding cocktail:

Robin Wood

2 oz Auchentoshan 10 Year
1/2 oz Madeira
1/2 oz Aperol
1 tsp Grand Marnier
3 drops Orange bitters

Stir with ice to chill, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist and raisins.
Created by Humberto Marques for Oloroso bar in Edinburgh.

Scotch cocktails, aside from the Rob Roy, Blood and Sand, Bobby Burns, and Affinity are pretty rare, but this one sounded right up my alley, so…

Robin Wood

2 oz Highland Park 12
1/2 oz Justino’s Rainwater Madeira
1/2 oz Aperol
1 tsp. Grand Marnier
3 drops Angostura Orange Bitters

Stir, strain, Meyer Lemon Zest, Port Plumped Cherry.

I don’t have a bottle of Auchentoshan, which is a Lowland Scotch, and am not entirely sure that substituting Highland Park, which is an Orkney Scotch, is a great choice. But I’m not about to run out and buy another bottle of Single Malt Scotch just to experiment with this cocktail.

They didn’t say what sort of Madeira to use, but the Justino’s Rainwater Madeira seemed appealing.

Aperol is an Italian bitter aperitif (or Amaro) similar to Campari. It’s a bit sweeter, milder, and more orangey than Campari. Some people describe it as a “gateway” Amaro.

Along with Cointreau, Grand Marnier is one of the grand old French Orange liqueurs. Because the orange perfume is blended with Cognac, it is often thought to be a more elegant spirit than the sharp, single noted orange of Cointreau. To my mind, they both have their places in the mixologists arsenal. Some suggest that Grand Marnier is the best choice when confronted with the term “Curacao”, especially in 19th Century cocktail recipes.

The Angostura Orange Bitters are only recently available in the US, and are a very fine choice.

I had meyer lemons around the house for something I was making for dinner, so they seemed like an interesting choice for the zest. Indeed, their piney funk combined intriguingly with the peaty flavors of the Highland Park Scotch.

I was making a Port and Cherry sauce for some duck breasts. I had combined about a dozen dried bing cherries with a cup of Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Port, a half cup of Cherry Heering, a half cup of Lustau Brandy, and a quarter cup of sugar. Reduced it by half. The sauce and cherries were hanging out on the stove waiting for the duck to be done. The cherries turned out to be pretty darn delicious, so in one went instead of the raisins. They were actually tasty enough, I might have to use them as house cherries going forward!

Also picked up these nice Fostoria glasses on our recent trip to Arizona. I’d really liked this pattern when Neyah brought out some similar glasses making Savoy Cocktails at NOPA, so I was particularly pleased to run across a few stems at an Antique store in Scottsdale.

This is a very nice cocktail! I think a slightly milder scotch combined with a more assertive Madeira might kick it up just a notch, but I liked it just fine as it is.

Election Cocktails

Cocktails from last night’s party, in case you want to make them yourself at home…

Park Slope:1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey, 3/4 oz Punt e Mes, 3/4 oz Apricot Brandy. Stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Cherry.
Northern Spy:1 1/2 oz Apple Brandy, 1 oz Apple Juice, 1/2 oz Lemon Juice, 1/4 oz Apricot Brandy. Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Last Word:3/4 oz Dry Gin, 3/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur, 3/4 oz Green Chartreuse, 3/4 oz Lime Juice. Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.
Final Ward:3/4 oz Rye Whiskey, 3/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur, 3/4 oz Green Chartreuse, 3/4 oz Lemon Juice. Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Gin-Gin Mule:3/4 oz Lime Juice, 1 oz Simple Syrup, 6 Sprigs Mint, 1 1/2 oz Dry Gin. Lightly Muddle Mint in Syrup and Lime Juice. Add Gin and ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Fill with ginger beer.

The only change I made from the canonical recipes for these cocktails, was to go a bit light on the Simple in the Gin-Gin Mule. I was using Rich Simple in it, so 1 oz seemed a bit much. Oh and don’t tell Audrey, but aside from being Rich Simple, it was a Rosemary Flower Simple Syrup that I used in the Gin Gin Mule. So maybe it should be a “Gin Pine Mule” or something?

Underhill Punsch–Tales Version

Underhill Punsch

Underhill Punsch–Tales Version

2 750ml Bottles of El Dorado 5 Year Demarara Rum
1 750ml Bottle Batavia Arrack van Oosten.
8 lemons, sliced thin and seeded.
750ml Water.
8 teaspoons Yunnan Fancy China Black Tea.
2 crushed cardamom pods.
4 cups Washed Raw Sugar.

This makes a bit more than 3 litres.

Put sliced lemon in a resealable non-reactive container(s). Pour Rum and Batavia Arrack over lemons. Cover and steep for 6 hours.

Heat water and steep tea and cardamom in it for the usual 6 minutes. Pour through cheesecloth to remove tea leaves and cardamom pods.

Dissolve sugar in hot tea and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.

After 6 hours, pour rum off of sliced citrus, without squeezing fruit.

Combine tea syrup and flavored rum. Filter and bottle in a clean sealable container(s). Age at least overnight and enjoy where Swedish Punch is called for.

A more traditional version of Swedish Punsch than the previous Underhill Punsch II.

(By the way, that El Dorado 5 is a really tasty rum for the price!)

We’ll be serving this during the Tales of the Cocktail panel I’ve somehow snuck on with the following esteemed gentlemen: Jamie Bourdreau(!), Paul Clarke(!), and John Deragon(!). Huh, that is odd, B, C, D, and E? Were they just going alphabetically? I’m not entirely sure what exact cocktails the other gentleman are making, but I’ve heard rumors of a new version of Jamie’s Amer Picon replica, some whispering from John about Bacon Fat Washed Bourbon, and Paul seems to be infusing enough Tequila por Mi Amante to make nearly the whole remaining population of New Orleans a drink.

Hope to see you there!

Making Your Own Cocktail Ingredients

Goombay Smash

When I was thinking about a Mixology Monday drink a while ago, it reminded me of my parents, and specifically my Dad. My parents took their honeymoon in the Bahamas. It was there that my Father discovered both the wonder and pain of strong drink. I don’t know the details; but, for him, whatever cocktail he had there confirmed what he had been taught. That what was too tasty and too fun, was also bad. While, later in life he would occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner, to my knowledge, he didn’t drink hard liquor again in his life.

A quick read through Jeff Berry’s Intoxica and Grog Log, revealed only a glancing reference to the “Queen’s Park Swizzle” as a drink which might have been served in the Carribean in the 50s. Worried that I might have to make a Bahama Mama, I asked a couple people what cocktails might have been likely served during that era in the Bahamas. Martin Cate of Forbidden Island suggested the “Goombay Smash” and Ted Haigh agreed the Goombay Smash or a Planter’s Punch might be a good choice. Both Mr. Cate and the Doctor dismissed the Queen’s Park Swizzle as far too strongly tasting of liquor, to appeal to young midwestern tourists.

The Goombay Smash is a specialty of Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar in the Bahamas. While the exact formulation of the Goombay Smash remains a secret of that establishment, Mr. Cate suggested the following from the UK sauceguide publication.

Goombay Smash

Goombay Smash

1.5 oz Pusser’s Navy Rum
.75 oz coconut rum (Cruzan)
3 oz pineapple juice
.25 oz fresh lime juice
.25 oz Cointreau
.25 oz simple syrup
(dash drinkboy house bitters)

Shake and pour over (crushed) rocks.

Fine and tasty it is. My only embellishment was to add a generous dash of homemade drinkboy house bitters, whose ginger-spice kick I thought would nicely complement the tropical flavors. For an extra touch of exotica, I garnished it with a couple sprigs of lemon balm and a cup and saucer vine flower.

While I don’t know if the Goombay is truly that “exotic”, it certainly is quaffable. Just the sort of thing that goes down easy during the afternoon on a hot Carribean island. And the Pusser’s certainly packs enough of a punch to make you regret having one too many.

Dad

Dad, this one’s for you.

Gin and Wormwood

It’s odd, I still find otherwise sensible people parroting the “thujone hype” about Wormwood and Absinthe.

A couple points which I will repeat.

Wormwood contains a compound called Thujone. This compound is toxic in large doses, (as is most everything you can possibly consume, including water.) Experiments with lab animals show large doses may cause convulsions. However, the LD50 (Median Lethal Dose) for Thujone is around the same as that of Caffeine and many other substances which are “Generally Regarded as Safe”. No scientific evidence has ever been found for any sort of hallucinatory experience resulting from consumption of Absinthe or Thujone. Unless you count Delerium Tremens.

It would be impossible to consume enough of Absinthe (or similar) to result in a large enough dose of Thujone to reach anywhere near toxic levels for humans. Even with those Absinthe (or Absinthe-like substances) which tout their high levels of Thujone. Alcohol is far more toxic than Thujone (or Caffeine,) meaning, you would die of alcohol poisoning long before you reached anywhere near toxic levels of Thujone in your system.

Another point, Wormwood (Artemesia absinthium) is very, very bitter. A substance in it called “Absinthin” is among the most bitter substances known. Of those plants commonly consumed or used medicinally, only Rue is more bitter than Wormwood. Placing a piece of wormwood leaf on your tongue is not a pleasant experience. However, because properly made Absinthe is a distilled spirit, not unlike Gin, most of the organic substances, including the Absinthin are left behind in the still. Thus Absinthe is not a particularly bitter beverage, (depending on your perspective and whether or not you’re a “super taster”.) In any case, it’s no Campari or Aperol.

A last point, proper distillation of Absinthe leaves almost no trace of Thujone in the final product. Almost all modern distilled Absinthes, and all vintage Absinthes which have been tested to date, fall below the levels of Thujone which the EU declares safe. Most would even probably test safe by the standards which the TTB (US Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau) currently requires. Thujone does not like to be carried by the alcohol vapors along with the other desired elements. It only starts to come across in the still very late in the distillation, as the temperature rises enough for water and other undesirable elements to make their way into vapor. The only practical way to make a beverage with a large amount of Thujone is either by infusion or by adding Wormwood extract.

Interestingly, however, many old bar books contain recipes like the following, from from a 1934 edition of “Harry Johnson’s 1882 New and Improved Bartender’s Manual and a Guide for Hotels and Restaurants”.

Gin and Wormwood: (Use a small bar glass.) Take six to eight sprigs of wormwood, put these in a quart bottle and fill up with Holland gin; leave this stand for a few days, until the essence of the wormwood is extracted into the gin. In handing out this, pour a little of the above into a small whiskey glass and hand it with the bottle of gin to the customer to help himself. This drink is popular in the eastern part of the country, where the wormwood is used as a substitute for bitters.

My initial impression is these recipes were really more intended as hair of the dog type tonics than recreational beverages, but I’m game.

Gin and Wormwood

I infused about a cup of Tanqueray Gin with a sprig of wormwood and a sprig of the indomitable mint which grows in our community garden for a couple weeks.

1 tsp wormwood infused gin and 2 oz Oude Genever. That was OK. Kind of bitter, ginny, and, well frankly, room temp.

I moved a few years forward, adding a teaspoon of cane syrup, and things started getting better.

I added ice and a lemon twist, stirred it up for a few minutes.

Goddamn if that isn’t compelling in some inexplicable way.

Certainly not a modern cocktail by any stretch. But I like it. Funnily, the wormwood infusion seems to have real flavor comparisons to the Picholine olives I’ve been using lately in my cocktails.

Additional Resources:

Wormwood Society
Thujone: Separating Myth from Reality
The Virtual Absinthe Museum

Cocktails for Cat Sitters

Had a party last night for the folks who took care of our cats the last time we were out of town.

Here’s the cocktail menu and recipes, in case any of those folks want to make the drinks at home…

Cocktails for Catsitters:

Last Word: 3/4 oz Plymouth Gin; 3/4 oz Green Chartreuse; 3/4 oz Lime; and 3/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur. Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.
Rathbone Sour: 2 oz Plymouth Gin; 1/2 oz Lemon; 1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup; Basil; and Cucumber. Muddle cucumber in Simple. Add basil and lightly press. Add remaining ingredients, shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.
Elderflower Fizz: 2 oz Plymouth Gin; 1 oz Lemon; 1/2 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur; 1/2 oz Rich Simple Syrup. Shake with ice and strain into champagne flute or wine glass. Top with soda water or selzer.
Park Slope: 1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse bonded Rye Whiskey, 3/4 oz Punt e Mes, 3/4 oz Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur. Stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass.
Mojito: 1 1/2 oz Havana Club Anejo Blanco Rum, 1 oz Lime Juice, 3/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup, Mint Leaves. In a double old fashioned glass, press Mint leaves in Simple Syrup with muddler. Add Rum, Lime Juice and stir. Add ice, stir again, and top with soda water or selzer.