BOTW–High Tide

High Tide.

Port Brewing’s High Tide Fresh Hop India Pale Ale located at local bottle shop City Beer Store.  I can never pass up trying a Fresh Hop beer.

In glasses.

All about the grapefruit in the nose and taste.  Nicely balanced, though, and not sharp.  Very drinkable.

Dinner.

Experimental Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Risotto with sage.  Pretty tasty.  Salad of Arugula and Persimmons.  Portobello Mushroom Sausages.

Rob Roy Cocktail

Rob Roy Cocktail

Rob Roy Cocktail.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1/2 Scotch Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Pig’s Nose Scotch)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Lemon Peel.)

Particularly for Saint Andrew’s Day, to open the evening for the usual enormous annual gathering of the Clans at the Savoy.

First tried this with the well established Famous Grouse Scotch. Not sure if my bottle has gotten a bit tired, as it has been around a while, or what, but didn’t thrill me. Got a lot of high alcohol in the flavor and nose, and not much flavor.

Pig's Nose Scotch

Retried with the mini of Pig’s Nose sent to me by a firm promoting that brand, and found the cocktail much improved. Some nice pear-like flavor in that Scotch and better body. Not sure if it’s worth a third again the price of the Grouse, but if money were no object it would be a nice choice. Given I was mixing with Carpano Antica, I changed the Scotch to Vermouth ratio from fifty-fifty to two-one.

Lombardino's

I guess by now you’ve figured out that I’m kind of a weirdo.  I often order things just out of curiosity about how they taste, with nothing more than a rumor or a feeling.

Back when I was growing up in the Midwest, my family and people I knew didn’t really drink cocktails or go out to bars.  I had one uncle who always ordered a Gimlet when we were out for dinner and one aunt who always ordered a screwdriver.  Beyond that, I was in the dark.

When I got old enough to drink, we were talking about the TGIFridays and Chichis dark days of the cocktail.  In the 1980s, Long Island Iced Teas and blended Margaritas full of saccharine sweet sour mix were the order of the day, and I partook gladly.

However, one night I was out at a childhood favorite Italian Restaurant, Lombardino’s. It was an awesome place, with a model of the Trevi Fountain in the front, a little paper mache dog who barked when you pulled it’s chain, a wishing well, plastic grapes hanging from the ceiling, and little balconies on the walls with dolls dressed as Italian characters. I loved it. And frankly, the food was pretty good. I always ordered the Manicotti. But back to the story. One night I was out with some High School friends and the Rob Roy caught my eye and I ordered it, likely getting a big glass of scotch and sweet vermouth on the rocks. I would like to say my life changed at that moment, but I don’t really remember. I remember the big, bulky, amber colored glass it came in more than the cocktail itself. Still, it was the first proper cocktail I ordered in my life, and I like to think it aligned me a bit with the vermouth happy path I am currently on.

Lombardino’s has recently been reinvented by a Madison couple, who decided the time was past for the Italian American food of the 1940s and 1950s. They’ve made an attempt to bring some authentic Italian food into the still very cool looking restaurant. Well, OK, they took down a lot of the really cool and really kitschy decorations, for which I may one day forgive them, but the fountain and the wishing well are still there, and the food, I suppose, is technically better. Still, I kind of missed the Manicotti the last time I was in.

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.

Boothby’s Ten Commandments: I. Always be on time

Boothby

As I mentioned before, Anchor Distilling recently reprinted the 1891 edition of  “Cocktail Boothby’s American Bar-Tender“.

As someone who is somewhat involved in the bartender trade, I always enjoy going through old books and reading the advice that appears.  Usually, I am amazed at how little has changed.  How valid pieces of advice contained in a book from 1891 can be 118 years later.

So I thought I would go through Boothby’s “Ten Commandments” for bartenders one by one and see which ones still make sense for the 21st Century.

On time.

I. Always be on time to relieve the other watch. It is a good plan to make a practice of arriving a few minutes early so as to arrange your toilet and step to your station on time.

First, and probably most importantly, if you are late, you’re at the very least inconveniencing your coworkers.  If you’re not on time they will likely have to stay late or do some of your work for you.  Not a great way to win friends and influence people.

So here’s the other thing. When I go to my job at the University, I pretty much know what to expect ahead of time. Usually, most technology changes and meetings are scheduled weeks in advance.  Aside from hardware or HVAC failures there really aren’t many surprises.  Unless you have an early morning meeting, the consequences for being 15 minutes late are relatively minor.  Maybe you try to make it up by staying 15 mins late or coming in early another day.

With food service, you almost never know what is going to happen until you get to work and start your day.

You could get there and have 50 people walk in the door as soon as it is unlocked.  A full bar for all 8 hours of your shift.  Or you could have a good hour before business picks up.

If you’re not prepared to handle the worst the evening will throw at you the moment the door opens, you are just asking for a world of pain and grumpiness.

This is a 19th Century “Commandment” that still makes sense in  the 21st Century.

Richmond Cocktail

Richmond Cocktail

Richmond Cocktail.
1/3 Kina Lillet. (3/4 oz Lillet Blanc, Dash Angostura, Dash Clear Creek Kirsch, Dash Simple Syrup)
2/3 Plymouth Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

Unfortunately, still without Cocchi Americano or anything similar. And the latest rumors I’ve heard put Haus Alpenz release of Cocchi Americano at sometime early next year.

Well, until then, we’ll continue along with our substitutions.

I didn’t have the Luxardo Maraschino handy, so instead grabbed the Kirsch this time. Hm. Ended up OK, but probably not something I would revisit.

In a lot of ways, I think probably dry vermouth, angostura, orange peel, and maraschino is the best choice, instead of involving Lillet Blanc at all.

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.

Boothby’s Ten Commandments

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

(Cocktail) Boothby’s Ten Commandments.

I. Always be on time to relieve the other watch. It is a good plan to make a practice of arriving a few minutes early so as to arrange your toilet and step to your station on time.

II. See that your finger nails are always clean and your person presents a tidy appearance.

III. Always appear pleasant and obliging under all circumstances.

IV. Avoid conversations of a religious or political nature.

V. When going off watch always dry and polish all the glassware and tools which you have used on your watch, and see that everything is in its proper place, so that your relief can work to advantage as soon as he arrives at his post.

VI. Sell all the liquor you can, but use as little as possible yourself.

VII. If you are troubled with sore feet, bathe them regularly. Avoid patched or ragged hosiery, and wear a comfortable shoe with a heavy sole. Light soles, low cut shoes or slippers should never be worn behind a bar.

VIII. Keep the floor behind the bar as dry as possible. It not only looks better, but you will find your health greatly improved by following this rule. Many bartenders contract rheumatism, neuralgia and many other serious complaints through carelessness in this report.

IX. After using a bottle or tool always replace it before doing anything else. Make this a rule that should never be broken; and, when you are rushed with business, you will never be compelled to hunt for this or that, but you will always know just where it is.

X. After a party has finished drinking, remove the glassware from the bar as soon as possible, and dry and polish the bar top immediately, never allowing a particle of moisture to remain. This is a very important rule.

From “Cocktail Boothby’s American Bar-Tender“, recently reprinted by Anchor Distilling from a first edition, 1891 edition, at the California Historical Society.

Re-Vigorator Cocktail

Re-Vigorator Cocktail

Re-Vigorator Cocktail.
1/2 Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/4 Kola Tonic. (Scant 1/2 oz Rose’s Cola Tonic)
1/4 Sirop-de-citron. (1/4 oz Lemon Juice, 1/4 oz Monin Lemon Syrup)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Cheating slightly, as I just can’t face these Kola Tonic and Sirop-de-Citron cocktails without a little bit of citrus juice.

This isn’t, strictly speaking, awful. On the other hand, it isn’t that great, either. Definitely on the Saccharine side, like a vaguely medicinal lemon flavored hard candy.

Good name, though!

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.

Resolute Cocktail

Resolute Cocktail

Resolute Cocktail.
1/4 Lemon Juice. (generous 1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Apricot Brandy. (scant 1/2 oz Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 6)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Apricot liqueur probably the only sensible choice, with that much Lemon Juice. Almost one of my truly favorite Chas. Baker drinks, The Pendennis Club Cocktail, but not quite. Lime instead of Lemon, some Peychaud’s bitters, and this baby could be rocking.

As it is, it is perfectly fine refresher. Not outstanding, but tasty enough.

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.

Reform Cocktail

Reform Cocktail

Reform Cocktail.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange bitters)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Original Dry)
2/3 Sherry. (1 1/2 oz Bodega Dios Baco Amontillado Sherry)
Stir (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. Add a (Luxardo!) cherry.

When I made this, I thought, “this is tasty, but boy it could use some booze.”

So I redid it again, using the equal parts model of the Affinity.

1 Dash Orange Bitters
3/4 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz Noilly Prat Original Dry
3/4 oz Bodega Dios Baco Amontillado Sherry

Stir, strain, cocktail glass.

Wow! That is interesting! The whole thing comes across amazingly floral, not at all like I think of Rye Whiskey Cocktails. In fact, I think this might be the first Rye Whiskey and Dry Vermouth Cocktail I’ve made that I’ve truly enjoyed!

Of course that does mean I should think up a new name. Maybe “Reformed Cocktail”?

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.

Raymond Hitch Cocktail

Raymond Hitch Cocktail

Raymond Hitch Cocktail.
The Juice of 1/2 Orange.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
1 Slice Pineapple.
1 Glass Italian Vermouth. (2 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
(Muddle Pineapple in orange juice and…) Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

A tasty, light and slightly exotic Low Alcohol Cocktail, the Savoy Raymond Hitch would be a pleasant before dinner diversion.

In his 1917 book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks,” Hugo Ensslin gives this the clever name, “Raymond Hitchcocktail”.

From Answers.com:

Raymond Hitchcock

“Hitchcock, Raymond (1865–1929), comic actor and producer. Described by Stanley Green as “a lanky, raspy?voiced comic with sharp features and straw?colored hair that he brushed across his forehead,” he was born in Auburn, New York, and came to the theatre after some unhappy years in other trades. From 1890 on he began to call attention to himself in musicals such as The Brigands and The Golden Wedding. His performance in King Dodo (1901) made him a star…”

Interestingly, his last great theater role may have been as Clem Hawley in the stage version of Don Marquis’ The Old Soak.

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.

BOTW–La Goudale

My super hero wife was again away last weekend, this time in LA working on a ridiculously high profile project for what she calls “The Place”.

I had an evite to a fantastic party, but was feeling like I needed a bit of downtime.

Between B.A.R. certification, friends being in town, and birthday celebrations, recent events had gotten a bit off the rails.  Too many blurry nights.  I really needed a night at home with the dog and cats to regroup.

Everything better with pork.

But I was just feeling too lazy to put together my usual bachelor dinner, a pot of jambalaya.  Fortunately, bone-in chicken breasts were on sale at Good Life.  I rubbed them with Gremolata, put a sage leaf under the skin, and draped some, (unfortunately not Boccolone,) Pancetta over the top and threw them in the convection oven at 375F.  Then I covered some potatoes with water and set them to boil.

La goudale.

La Goudale appeared this week at our local grocery.  Interestingly, the brewers claim La Goudale is based on, “…an original medieval recipe, Goudale is a historic name.”

La Goudale.

I tend to like lighter Belgian Saisons and Singles, which seem to be relatively rarely brought into this country.  Just kind of tired of overly “big” beers.  You can keep your triples and your Imperials.  Just give me something nice that goes well with food and doesn’t hit me over the head with the hammer of sweetness and alcohol.  Goudale fits into this profile, being fairly dry, not overly sweet, or particularly strong.  Initially not seeming overly complex, it did show some enjoyable subtleties of flavor as it warmed.

Mmmmm.

Pulled the breasts out when they hit 145F.  Sauteed some sliced spring onions and spinach in butter.  Drained and smashed the potatoes.  Stirred the sauteed veg into them along with some sour cream.

Dinner.

Sliced the chicken breast and served it with the potatoes.  Shoulda maybe made a pan sauce, but like I said, this was a lazy, bachelor dinner, not an impress the significant other kind of thing.