Rattlesnake Cocktail

Rattlesnake Cocktail

Rattle-Snake Cocktail.
(6 People)
4 Glasses Rye Whisky. (2 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey)
The Whites of 2 Eggs. (1/2 oz Egg White)
1 Glass Sweetened Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice, 1/2 oz Rich Simple Syrup)
A Few Dashes Absinthe. (Dash Verte de Fougerolles Absinthe)
(Dry shake ingredients in cocktail shaker for 15 seconds.  Add ice and…)  Shake very thoroughly and serve by straining it through a fine sieve.

It will either cure Rattlesnake bite, or kill Rattlesnakes, or make you see them.

This is a really good cocktail! The Absinthe really adds an interesting complexity to what is nothing more than a basic whiskey sour.  I also find it interesting that the instructions specifically tell you to strain it through a fine sieve.  Especially when double straining is seems so very au currant.

Interestingly, when I first worked at Flora Erik Adkins had a drink on the menu called the Fillibuster. Basically a Rye Whiskey sour with egg white, sweetened with Maple Syrup. Then when Thad Vogler opened Beretta, he put a similar drink on the menu there; changing the Whiskey and also the bitters called for. He called it the Rattlesnake.

So when I make Savoy Rattlesnakes for customers, I’m always afraid people are going to expect the Beretta version of the Rattlesnake. Especially with critics like Michael Bauer going around singing the praises of the Beretta Rattlesnake.

Maybe we should adopt the old (No. 1) and (No. 2) nomenclature to differentiate these species of Rattlesnake.

WMF Parisian Shaker

The pretty device above is a WMF Parisian shaker I got from Cocktail Kingdom. I’ve wanted a Parisian Shaker for some time, but the only way to get them was to order them from incredibly expensive restaurant suppliers in Europe.

Now that I’ve got one, I’m not sure.  Definitely an egg white cocktail wasn’t the place to start. The reverse pressure created by dry shaking the egg white, resulted in a fair bit of leakage. Not pretty. This is a device I am going to have to adjust my shaking style to, before I am willing to use it in public. So the jury is still out. It is very shiny and fancy looking!

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.

Raspberry Cocktail

Raspberry Cocktail

Raspberry Cocktail.
(6 People)
Slightly bruise a cupful (4 Raspberries) of fresh raspberries and add 2 glasses of Gin (1 oz Plymouth Gin). Soak for two hours and strain. Complete the mixture by adding a liqueur glass of Kirsch (3/4 oz Clear Creek Kirsch) and 2 glasses of any White Wine (1 oz Bex 2007 Riesling) which is not too sweet. Such as Moselle, Graves or Chablis. Ice. Shake. Put a raspberry in each glass, and serve. This is a very refreshing summer cocktail.

This is, in fact, a very refreshing and quite tasty summer cocktail, arriving just in time for our usual fall Indian Summer. Unfortunately, with a very unimaginative name.

Personally, I struggled with not putting any sugar at all in this. If I were to make it again, I might add just a dash or so of simple.

If you don’t have time for the long steep of the raspberries, I can say from personal experience, muddling them in the gin works almost as well for an a la minute preparation.

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.

Ramon Newton Cocktail

Ramon Newton Cocktail

Ramon Newton Cocktail.

1/4 Hercules. (1/2 oz “Hercules No. 4*”)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Original Dry)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with this cocktail. A sort of Bitter Spicy Martini. Still, it’s not going to surpass the Personality A La Roy as my favorite Hercules Test Cocktail.

Doubling the Gentian in Hercules No. 4 was probably a mistake. I kind of like it. But I am a bitter, bitter man. Most likely others will prefer Hercules No. 3.

*Hercules #4

1 Stick Cassia Cinnamon, crushed
2 tsp. Coriander Seed, crushed
8 Whole Cloves, crushed
1 tsp. Quinine Powder
2 tsp Gentian Root
1/4 Cup Yerba Mate
Rind 1 Valencia Orange
1 bag peppermint tea
1/2 cup Raw Sugar
750ml Quady Elektra Orange Muscat
1/4 cup Osocalis Brandy

METHOD: Combine spices, peel, yerba mate and wine. Heat to 140 degrees. Add mint and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Filter through chinois and add Brandy. Let stand for at least a day. Pour liquid off of sediment and through a coffee filter and bottle.

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.

Rainbow Cocktail

Rainbow Cocktail

Rainbow Cocktail.
1/7 Crème de Cacao. (1/4 oz Mozart Black Chocolate Liqueur)
1/7 Crème de Violette. (1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Violette)
1/7 Yellow Chartreuse. (1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
1/7 Maraschino. (1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/7 Benedictine. (1/4 oz Benedictine)
1/7 Green Chartreuse. (1/4 oz Green Chartreuse)
1/7 Brandy. (1/4 oz Chateau de Pellehaut Reserve Armagnac)
Use liqueur glass and pour ingredients carefully so that they do not mix.

For those of you keeping track, the ingredients arranged themselves in the following order, bottom to top: Mozart Black, Luxardo Maraschino, Benedictine/YellowChartreuse, R&W Violette, Green Chartreuse, Brandy.

Every once in a while someone orders this during Savoy Cocktail Nights at Alembic Bar and we all groan. Why, oh why?

It’s true these are all perfectly palatable liqueurs, but this is just such a pain in the ass to concoct.  And the whole thing together, while not entirely unpleasant, is a bit of a shock to the system, if you are sensitive to sugar.

I finished it, it is true, more out of curiosity than anything else.

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.

Racquet Club Cocktail

Racquet Club Cocktail

Racquet Club Cocktail.

1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin French Vermouth)
2/3 Plymouth Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

While I don’t enjoy the Angostura Orange Bitters in fruity cocktails, I do really enjoy them in Martinis.

As to what differentiates the “Racquet Club” from a Plymouth Martini (Dry) or any number of other 2-1 Gin to Dry Vermouth Cocktails in the book, I cannot help you.

On the other hand, there is never anything wrong with a nice Racquet Club Cocktail! Though, you might want to wait until after your match. I’ve heard those balls can smart.

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.

The Intangibles

From dictionary.reference.com:

in-tan-gi-ble [in-tan-juh-buhl]
–adjective
1. not tangible; incapable of being perceived by the sense of touch, as incorporeal or immaterial things; impalpable.
2. not definite or clear to the mind: intangible arguments.
3. (of an asset) existing only in connection with something else, as the goodwill of a business.
–noun
4. something intangible, esp. an intangible asset: Intangibles are hard to value.

The other week I was out with Robby Virus, who plays in the band Project Pimento.  We were at the Rite Spot and he asked me what I found satisfying about bartending.

Since he is a musician, I tried to think about what would be similar between being a musician and tending bar.

The more I talked, and thought, about the job, the more I realized that it seemed like there were similarities.

There’s an “oevre” you have to master. Songs for musicians and drink recipes for bartenders.

There’s a craft you learn. Playing your instrument for musicians and making drinks for bartenders.

In both jobs, you are in the public eye, performing in some fashion. Appearance, style, and looking like you know what you are doing, (even if you don’t,) are important for both jobs.

In both jobs, you do your best to prepare. Then you just put yourself out there, without knowing what the evening will have in store. An empty bar or a zoo. A crowd that appreciates your craft or hecklers.

But what is it that makes bartending satisfying? The more I thought about it, the more I thought it was the interactions with your customers. It’s about the spark, the feelings, the interaction with the room. A night that is going well has an energy all its own. I coughed, and kind of half embarrassed that I would think something so “new agey”, said to Rob, “I think it is all about the Intangibles. The relationships you have the people you are serving and the feelings you get from doing it. It has to be similar for musicians, doesn’t it?”

Before Rob could answer, our waiter, who I hadn’t even known was listening to our conversation, said, “No, you’re right. I’ve done both jobs. I’ve been a musician and a bartender. That is what makes both jobs worth doing.”

R.A.C. Special Cocktail

R.A.C. Special Cocktail

R.A.C. Special Cocktail.
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Dolin French Vermouth)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Punt e Mes)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.
Robert Vermeire has the following additional information in his book, Cocktails: How to Mix Them, “R.A.C. means Royal Automobile Club. This is the largest club in London, with over 16,000 members. (Recipe by Fred Faecks, 1914.)”

Unfortunately, I can find no trace of the honorable Fred Faecks on the Internet, so where he might have been bartending remains a mystery.

The Royal Automobile Club, on the other hand, is a bit less of a mystery.

If you know me, you know I enjoyed this cocktail. It is, after all, just a perfect Martini with an orange twist.

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.

Quelle Vie Cocktail

Quelle Vie Cocktail

Quelle Vie Cocktail

1/3 Kummel. (3/4 oz Kaiser Kummel)
2/3 Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Osocalis Brandy)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Brandy gives you courage and Kummel makes you cautious, thus giving you a perfect mixture of bravery and caution, with the bravery predominating.

Well, that really is a good quote. As Kummel is often considered a Russian liqueur and Brandy could represent France, the only thing I can think is that it might be a reference to France’s alliance with Russia before the First World War. However, sadly, a drink that doesn’t really live up to the promise of that quote. Interestingly modern, I suppose, being just booze and liqueur.

In any case, some Vermouth would go a long way towards making this a much more palatable drink. Some bitters wouldn’t hurt either.

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.

Queen Elizabeth Cocktail

Queen Elizabeth Cocktail

Queen Elizabeth Cocktail.

1 Dash Curacao (1/3 teaspoon Brizard Orange Curacao)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Punt e Mes)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Osocalis Brandy)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Add 1 cherry. (Orange Peel.)

As the cocktail doesn’t call for any bittters, I cheated a bit and went with the Punt e Mes for this Queen Elizabeth Cocktail.

Nothing complicated or particularly deep, but quite tasty!

Definitely preferable to the previous Queen Elizabeth with Gin, Cointreau, Lemon, and Absinthe.

From the wikipedia, regarding the Queen:

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Elizabeth Angela Marguerite; 4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 1936 until 1952 as the wife of King George VI. After her husband’s death, she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. She was the last Queen of Ireland and Empress of India.

Assuming that that is the Queen Elizabeth we are talking about here, I’m a bit surprised. It is my understanding her favorite drink was Gin and Dubonet Rouge, rocks, with a slice of lemon.

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.

Queen Elizabeth Cocktail

Queen Elizabeth Cocktail

Queen Elizabeth Cocktail.
1 Dash Absinthe. (Absinthe Verte de Fougerolles)
1/4 Lemon Juice. (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Cointreau. (1/2 oz Cointreau)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The first of two cocktails called the “Queen Elizabeth Cocktail,”I was really kind of hoping this would be a super tasty variation on the White Lady Cocktail.  Unfortunately, it takes the simple elegance of that drink and muddies it with Absinthe.  And while I think Anise and Orange are often nice flavor combinations, they just don’t work for me here.

If you are really hot and bothered about making the Queen Elizabeth Cocktail, maybe you are a white collared Elizabethan at heart, I might suggest adding an egg white and then simply dotting small drops of absinthe on the top of the drink.  Or if you stick with the egg white free version, maybe just rinse the glass with absinthe.

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.