T.N.T. Cocktail

T.N.T. Cocktail
1/2 Canadian Club Whisky. (1 oz Forty Creek Three Grain)
1/2 Absinthe. (1 oz Kubler Absinthe)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

In name and spirit, an appropriate cocktail for the day the California Supreme Court ruled California Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

However, not really a very good cocktail, I’m sorry to say. I guess I would say it is nominally better than the Earthquake (aka Bunny Hug), just because it doesn’t have Gin. On the other hand, any cocktail that is half Absinthe is definitely a questionable cocktail.

Since this cocktail is another from Judge Jr.’s Prohibition era recipe book, “Here’s How”, it does beg the question exactly what sort of Absinthe would possibly have been served during Prohibition. Quite possibly it wouldn’t be entirely inappropriate to use “Steep-Sinthe” or “Bohemian” Style Absinthe in this one…

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.

Third Rail Cocktail (No. 2)

Third Rail Cocktail (No. 2)
1 Dash Absinthe. (1 dash Lucid Absinthe)
1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Montecristo White Rum)
1/3 Calvados or Apple Brandy. (3/4 oz Clear Creek Apple Brandy)
1/3 Brandy. (3/4 oz Pellehaut Armagnac)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Simply splendid. Better than 11,000 volts.

Splendid?! There are words which come to mind when trying this all booze concoction, but splendid isn’t really one of them.

However, for me, it mostly reminds me of a band called The Rain Parade who released an album called, “Emergency Third Rail Power Trip,” in the early 1980s.

At the time I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, and listening to a lot of the listener sponsored station WORT.  One of my favorite DJs was a woman who called herself Michele K-Tel and claimed to work at a Buddy Nut Squirrel Nut Shoppe.  She hosted a show called Earwax and was extremely fond of bands in the so-called Paisley Underground“.  Initially, it took me a while to grasp her fondness for the neo-psychedelic music of bands like Rain Parade, The Three O’Clock, Plasticland, Green on Red, and The Long Ryders, but sooner or later, she had me singing along to the radio on songs like, “This Can’t Be Today” and “Jetfighter”.

Little did I know, a few years later, when I worked up the courage to volunteer at WORT as a Jazz DJ, that I would meet Michele K-Tel, we would hit it off, date, and run off to California with our giant piles of Albums, Tapes, and those new fangled Compact Discs.

Some times touching the Third Rail can be worth it.

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.

Third Degree Cocktail

Third Degree Cocktail

A peek into the always exciting night life of a cocktail blogger.

Third Degree Cocktail
2/3 Burrough’s Plymouth Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin, 3/4 oz Bols Genever)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
4 Dashes of Absinthe. (1 tsp Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe Superior)
Shake well and strain into old-fashioned whisky glass.

We discussed the Third Degree a bit when we made the Fourth Degree Cocktail.

To recap, Robert Vermeire, in his book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” considered both the Third and Fourth Degree cocktails to be variations on the Martinez. About the Third Degree he states, “The Third Degree is a Martinez Cocktail (Continental Style) with a dash of Absinthe and an olive, but 2/6 gill of Gin and 1/6 gill of French Vermouth should be used.”

The recipe for the Martinez (Continental Style) is as follows:

Fill the bar glass half full of broken ice and add:

2 dashes Orange Bitters
3 dashes of Curacao or Maraschino
1/4 gill of Old Tom Gin
1/4 gill of French Vermouth

Stir up well, strain into a cocktail-glass, add olive or cherry to taste, and squeeze lemon-peel on top. This drink is very popular on the Continent.

He uses the term “continental” to differentiate European style Martinez’ from the “English” style Martinez, which is as follows:

2 dashes of Orange Syrup
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1/4 gill of Plymouth Gin
1/4 gill of French Vermouth

The whole stirred up in ice in the bar glass, strained into a cocktail-glass with a lemon peel squeezed on top. Olive or Cherry according to taste.

Interesting that all of Vermeire’s Martinez call for French Vermouth!

In any case, since it uses Plymouth Gin, the Savoy Third Degree appears to be more closely based on the “English” Martinez, than the “Continental” version.

As we discussed earlier, there is some new evidence regarding the early 20th Century version of Plymouth Gin, in that it is said to have been “flavour[ed] with the wash of whisky distilleries”.  What that exactly means, will have to wait until I am able to taste a vintage sample, but until then, I am splitting the difference in the drinks which call for Plymouth Gin between Bols Genever and modern Plymouth Gin.

The fairly large pour of Absinthe in this cocktail, causes it to be the dominant element.  Luckily the malty character of the Genever brings a bit more interest to the party than simple, modern, GNS based Plymouth would.  While I favor the Fourth Degree slightly, this is also quite a tasty beverage!

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.

Temptation Cocktail

Temptation Cocktail
1 Piece Orange Peel.
1 Piece Lemon Peel.
2 Dashes Dubonnet. (5ml/1tsp Dubonnet Rouge)
2 Dashes Absinthe. (5ml/1tsp Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe Superior)
2 Dashes Curacao. (5ml/1tsp Brizard Curacao)
1 Glass Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Forty Creek 3 Grains Canadian Whisky)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Very similar to the Dandy Cocktail, (and with a similar method to the Newbury,) I do wonder where these cocktails which use citrus peels as an ingredient come from, as we have not yet identified a cocktail book as a source.

Interestingly, there’s a quote from the Hon. Wm (Cocktail) Boothby, Premier Mixologist, that addresses  this very issue:

Some of my recipes for the manufacture of cocktails order the dispenser to twist a piece of lemon peel into the glass in which the drink is to be served; in some establishments this is forbidden, the bartenders being ordered to twist and drop the peel into the mixing glass and strain the peel with the ice when putting the ice when  putting the drink into the mixing glass.  This is merely a matter of form, however, as the flavor is the same in both cases.

So it appears that in the cases of some establishments, rather than serving the peels in the drinks, they would be stirred in.

I don’t exactly agree with Boothby that the end result is the same. Stirring with the peel in the drink primarily flavors the drink with citrus oils, while squeezing over the cocktail accents the smell. I suppose for the best of both world’s you would stir with the peel in the drink, then squeeze over the finished cocktail, and discard. Whew! A lot of work!

A very tasty cocktail, the Temptation is one, like the Dandy, I feel could use a bit of a revival, certainly among those customers who like their cocktails Brown, Bitter, and Stirred. Well, unless they hate Absinthe/Anise, in which case, it might be best to stick with the Dandy.

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.

Suisse Cocktail

Suisse Cocktail
The White of 1 Egg. (1/2 oz Egg White)
4 Dashes Anisette. (1/4 oz Anis del Mono Dulce)
1 Liqueur Glass Absinthe. (1 1/2 oz Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe)
Syrup or Sugar can be used instead of Anisette.
Shake well and strain into medium size glass. (Add a dash of Blanquette de Limoux, Cuvee Berlene 2005 on top.)

When you examine Harry MacElhone’s recipe for the “Swisess” from “Barflies and Cocktails” you see that, perhaps, Mr. Craddock missed something.

Swisess. 1 white of a Fresh Egg; 1 teapoonful of Anisette Syrup; 1 glass of Absinthe. Shake well together and strain into a small wineglass, and add a dash of syphon on top. This is a very good bracer for that feeling of the morning after the night before.

Ah, a dash of syphon! Hmmm… Wait, I think the soda water is a little tired, but I still have some fairly fresh Blanquette de Limoux. No, I couldn’t, that would be just too evil. Oh yes, yes I can.

Well, plus, I did have to include Harry MacElhone’s quote, as it is one of my all time favorite turns of phrase describing a hangover.

Still don’t have appropriate fizz glasses, so sad. This souvenir beer glass from Jesse Friedman’s Notoberfest 2009 is actually not all that bad. About the right size, and not a horrible shape for a fizz. Probably the best I have at the moment.

Is the cocktail any good?  Well, if you like Death in the Afternoon, this is a richer, anisier drink.  I enjoyed it, especially with the delicious complexity of the Germain-Robin/Greenway Distillers Absinthe Superior.  Quite nice.

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.

Special Rough Cocktail

Special Rough Cocktail

1 Dash Absinthe. (1 dash Lucid Absinthe)
1/2 Applejack (known in America as “Jersey Lightning”). (1 oz Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Germain-Robin Fine Alambic Brandy)

Serve very cold.

Cough, yes, that is a little rough!

And people claim that drinking all booze drinks is a modern phenomenon…

The Special Rough Cocktail is not awful, strictly speaking, but it’s also not, well, a subtle or delightful, sophisticated beverage. A short, sharp, shot of cold high proof booze is what it is.

Whether that is appealing to you, may depend on your philosophy of drinking, but as the bard says, “There are more things in heaven and earth,” Robert, “Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

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.

Some Moth Cocktail

Some Moth Cocktail
1 Dash Absinthe
1/3 French Vermouth.
2/3 Plymouth Gin.
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Add 1 pearl onion.

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Some Moth (take 1)

1 oz Plymouth Gin
1/2 oz Genevieve
3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
dash Greenway Distillers Absinthe
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. Add 1 pearl onion.

After making the trek to Roxie market before hand to get English Cocktail Onions, I can’t believe I forgot to include the onion the first time I made this cocktail!

Dammit!

Fortunately, it is no great hardship to make another Dry Martini with a dash of Absinthe.

Of course, I was again thinking of the Saveur article where David Wondrich mentions that Plymouth Gin used to taste more like a Genever, thus added a touch of Anchor’s Genevieve to spice things up.

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Some Moth (take 2)

1 oz Junipero Gin
1/2 oz Genevieve
3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
dash Greenway Distillers Absinthe
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. Add 1 pearl onion.

But when I was thinking about this cocktail, and the inclusion of Genvieve, I thought, “Why not use Junipero?” After all, being the hardcore kind of guy that I am, it is my favorite gin for Martinis.

Damn, if that isn’t a lot tastier! Maybe it is just that the flavors of Junipero and Genevieve are so complementary, but this really rocked.

As far as the cocktail onion goes, well, I’d prefer a lemon twist. It’s nice to have a little appetizer with your Martini, but the pickled onion is such a flavor explosion, it more or less decimates the rest of the cocktail when you eat it.

No idea on the cocktail name, “Some Moth,” even though I find it quite intriguing and appealing. About all I can find using Google for “some moth” is the phrase, “some moth damage,” on eBay.

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.

Self-Starter Cocktail

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Self Starter Cocktail.
1/8 Apricot Brandy. (1/4 oz Destillerie Purkhart “Blume Marillen” Apricot Eau-de-Vie)
3/8 Kina Lillet. (3/4 oz Jean de Lillet Reserve, 2004)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz North Short Distiller’s Gin No. 6)
2 Dashes Absinthe. (2 Dash Lucid Absinthe)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I guess I probably should have used Apricot Liqueur in this. It just seemed so much more appealing to me made with Apricot Eau-de-Vie. And indeed, I quite enjoyed it as above. A very enjoyable cocktail.  I suppose the Self-Starter would also be OK made with Lillet Blanc and Apricot Liqueur.

Figured I should finally start emptying this last bottle of Jean de Lillet, as Eric Seed has said that Cocchi Americano will finally be available from Haus Alpenz some time this spring. Heck, then he could have 2 products in this drink. Hm. I wonder if I can get a case discount?

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.

Sazerac Cocktail (Presidio Social Club)

Bonus Sazerac!

I challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February, but I’m not quite done. We’ve got a few bonus Sazeracs coming up that didn’t fit into the month of February.

I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar.
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters.
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (Pikesville Rye)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with 1 dash Absinthe (Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

I’ve known Mr. Tim Stookey for a few years now and he has always impressed me as a gracious host and stylish dresser. A couple months ago we both worked a cocktail catering event and shared a bar. Tim worked the early shift, and I closed down the night. When he was leaving, he left his nice cast aluminum ice scoop, not wanting me to be left with a pressed stainless number. I thanked him, and promised I would get it back to him as soon as I could.

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Unfortunately, the bar he works at, Presidio Social Club, is a bit out of the way for us unless we are attending a concert at the Palace of Fine Arts, so “as soon as possible” stretched into a couple months.  Fortunately, in recent months we’ve been to the Palace of Fine Arts to see a couple concerts, Tinariwen and Dodos, enabling us to stop by, enjoy some dinner, drinks, chat with Mr. Stookey and finally return his ice scoop.

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Clearly a Sazerac or two was in order at the Presidio Social Club’s gorgeous long marble bar!

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And a fine, delicious Sazerac it was, classic proportions with an unusual Rye Choice, Pikesville, and a great absinthe!

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Mrs. Flannestad enjoying a non-Sazerac favorite of hers, The Last Word Cocktail.  Tim actually introduced her to the Last Word several years ago, and it has become her go to choice for just about any occasion.

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.

Sazerac Cocktail (Jim Beam Rye)

Bonus Sazerac!

I challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February, but I’m not quite done. We’ve got a few bonus Sazeracs coming up that didn’t fit into the month of February.

I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me. Hopefully, if I can get my act together we’ll have some video.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (10ml Puerh Tea Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters.
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (Jim Beam Rye Whiskey)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with 1 dash Absinthe (Lucid) Squeeze lemon peel on top and discard or drop in as you prefer.

The nice thing about most Rye Whiskey is that there is a fairly direct relationship between cost and character. While the last couple years have seen the launch of some premium and super-premium brands, it remains a not particularly trendy spirit among whiskey connoisseurs.

Even though the Jim Beam Rye is pretty much the cheapest Rye Whiskey on the market, it isn’t at all a bad spirit at all. I definitely wanted to include it in the month of Sazeracs. However, in February when I went to the local BevMo, they were sold out of Beam Rye! Crap! Towards the end of the month, when I was shopping for Rye for the Rye Whiskey Milk Punch, they finally had it back in stock. Whew!

The night I was making the Rye Whiskey Milk Punch, I had a little too much Tea Syrup to fit into the container. If there is anything wrong with Beam Rye, it is that it lacks a bit of character. I thought, hey, Tea Syrup! Let’s make the Beam Sazerac with that!

Adding 10ml of the Tea Syrup is pretty subtle rectification, I don’t know that I would be able to identify it unless I were comparing the same drinks side by side, with and without. Still, I’d say it adds an element of interest to what otherwise would be a somewhat pedestrian Sazerac.

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.