Sloeberry Cocktail

035

Sloeberry Cocktail
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Angostura)
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters)
1 glass Sloe Gin. (1 oz Plymouth gin, 1 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Again!? Someone cut the Sloe Gin with Plymouth Gin! My god, what is going on here!?

I thought this was some sort of documentary effort?

Sadly, even cutting the Sloe Gin with regular Plymouth Gin didn’t help much here in the Sloeberry. Far too medicinal for my taste. Though, adding a dash of orange and a dash of ango to the previous Sloe Gin Cocktail, hm…

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.

Seventh Heaven Cocktail (No. 1)

026

Seventh Heaven Cocktail (No. 1)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
2 Dashes Maraschino. (5ml Luxardo Maraschino)
1/2 Glass Caperitif. (1 oz Dolin Blanc)
1/2 Glass Dry Gin. (1 oz North Shore Distiller’s #6)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top. Add a cherry (Amarena Fabri Cherry).

I still have no real information about what Caperitif might have been. As far as I know, it was thought to be a deep golden Quinquina made in South Africa (thus CAPE, as in Cape Town, peritif.) Lately I have been sticking to the Dolin Blanc mostly because, well, I like Dolin Blanc, and the cocktails which call for Caperitif are tasty when made with it.

This is no exception. In fact, if a Manhattan made with White Whiskey and Dolin Blanc is a “White Manhattan”, this is pretty darn close to a “White Martinez”, no?  Actually, it IS nearly identical to one of my favorite Martini variations, The Imperial Cocktail, and I prefer the amarena cherry as a garnish to the olive.

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.

Saratoga Cocktail

020

Saratoga Cocktail.
2 Dashes Maraschino. (2/3 Barspoon Luxardo Maraschino)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
1/4 Slice Pineapple.
1 Glass Brandy. (2 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac)
(Muddle Pineapple in Maraschino.  Add Bitters, Brandy and…)  Shake well and strain, adding a little soda water.

I guess I probably picked the wrong glass for this. Nonetheless, this is a tasty cocktail. Mostly dry Armagnac flavor with just a hint of sweetness and exoticism.

Absolutely nothing wrong with that!

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.

Rye Whiskey Cocktail

003

Rye Whiskey Cocktail.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
4 Dashes Syrup. (1 barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Thomas Handy Rye)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Add 1 cherry.

If the ocean was whisky,
And I was a duck,
I’d dive to the bottom
To get one sweet suck.

Well, gosh darn it, I forgot the cherry and used an orange peel instead. And I call myself a cocktail enthusiast. Well, I never said I was detail oriented.

I believe this is the 2006 edition of Buffalo Trace’s Thomas Handy Rye Whiskey.  Pretty hot, so give it a nice long stir.

Rye whisky, rye whisky,
Rye whisky, l cry,
If you don’t give me rye whisky,
I surely will die.

So many of these simple cocktails are so perfectly enjoyable. It’s fun to use obscure ingredients, lots of juices, etc. But a lot of the time, even Sugar, Bitters, and water, seems a bit excessive.

But the ocean ain’t whisky
And l ain’t a duck,
So we’ll round up the cattle
And then we’ll get drunk.

With a perfectly delicious whiskey, do you really need 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.

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.

Ray Long Cocktail

Ray Long Cocktail

Ray Long Cocktail.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Bitters)
4 Dashes Absinthe. (3 dashes Verte de Fougerolles Absinthe)
1/3 glass Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
2/3 Glass Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Junipero Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Uh, oops! How did that happen? Somehow I got it into my head this was a Gin cocktail! Well, it’s really tasty, if you like Fourth Degree type things. Ahem. However, I guess I need to make it over!

Ray Long Cocktail

Ray Long Cocktail.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Bitters)
4 Dashes Absinthe. (3 dashes Verte de Fougerolles Absinthe)
1/3 glass Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
2/3 Glass Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Chateau de Pellehaut Armagnac Reserve)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Ok, that’s better, an Absinthe spiked Brandy Manhattan!

From a Time Magazine article from 1935:

The Press: Peak Passed

Of all the careers which reached their tragic peak in the fateful year 1929, none had been more exciting than Ray Long’s. A poor boy from a small town in Indiana, he had quickly made his mark in the newspaper business as “boy editor” of the Cincinnati Post and Cleveland Press. Then he splashed brilliantly into the fiction magazine field, running through the spectrum of Red Book, Bine Book, Green Book. On Armistice Day 1918, William Randolph Hearst succeeded, after several years’ dickering, in hiring Editor Long for his Cosmopolitan. In the eleven years that followed. Editor Long made a great success. Explaining “All I know is what I like,” he nevertheless showed an uncanny eye for the weather of public preference. When the public wanted Westerns, he gave it Curwood & Kyne. When it wanted Knowledge, he gave it Will Durant. When it wanted Russians, he gave it Russians. Prodigally sowing Big Names and New Names with talent in his slick and shiny monthly, Editor Long reaped a 1,700,000 circulation harvest in 1929. That was the year he printed perhaps his greatest coup: The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge.

He would have been riding high in 1930, still 5 years from being found, “in his Beverly Hills bedroom…dead in his pajamas, a hole in the roof of his mouth, a small-bore rifle nearby.”

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.

Port Wine Cocktail No. 2

Port Wine Cocktail No. 2

Port Wine Cocktail (No. 2)

Squeeze orange peel on top.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
2 Dashes Curacao. (1/2 tsp. Brizard Curacao)
1 Glass Port Wine. (2 oz Ficklin Tinta Port)

Stir well and strain into Port Wine glass.

OK, now that is a cocktail, at least! Bitters, Curacao, and Port Wine!

And, as such, fairly enjoyable.

I have to admit being a bit fond of Ficklin’s Ports.  In 1941 UC Davis issued a report suggesting that it would be very possible to produce wines in California from Port varietals which were on par with those from their country of origin.  In 1948  Ficklin Vineyards accepted that challenge and began growing Portuguese varietals from UC Davis Cuttings for the production of Port Style wines.

The Ficklin Tinta is a lighter style Wine which doesn’t hit you over the head with sweetness, so I could see this cocktail working before or after dinner. I guess, especially, if you didn’t feel like dragging liquor into your night’s affairs.

Interesting Tidbit from an old “WineDay” Article, “When Ficklin was founded, Americans drank three bottles of Port and Sherry for every one of table wine such as “Pinot Chardonnay” or Zinfandel.”

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.

Pink Gin Cocktail

Pink Gin 1

Pink Gin Cocktail.

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz North Shore No. 11)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Uh, how about “Add gin to crushed ice. Stir briefly. Dash on bitters and enjoy the show.”

Pink Gin 2

Interestingly, Ted Haigh, aka Dr. Cocktail, tackles the Pink Gin in the new re-release of his book, “Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails“. In his opinion, there are only 2 gins to make it with, Plymouth and Tanqueray. Any thing else is sub par.

Pink Gin 3

I don’t know if I’ll go quite that far, but I can see how Plymouth would be a good choice.

Pink Gin 4

I’m kind of borrowing the crushed ice from Hemingway’s Death in the Gulf Stream, which is usually made with genever, lime, and bitters.

To quote Charles H. Baker Jr. regarding Hemingway’s cocktail, “It’s tartness and its bitterness are its chief charm. It is reviving and refreshing; cools the blood and inspires renewed interest in food, companions and life.”

I think this applies equally to the Pink gin 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.

Ping-Pong Special Cocktail

Ping-Pong Special Cocktail

Ping-Pong Special Cocktail.
(6 people)
Carefully shake (I stirred) together 3 glasses of Sloe Gin (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin) and 3 glasses of Italian vermouth (1 1/2 oz Martini and Rossi Sweet Vermouth), with half a dessertspoonful of Angostura Bitters (dash angosutura Bitters) and a dessertspoonful of sugar syrup or Curacao (dash Bols Dry Orange Curacao). Serve with a (Luxardo) cherry and a piece of lemon rind.

In his book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” Robert Vermeire tells us, “This is a Manhattan Cocktail with Sloe Gin instead of Rye Whiskey. (Recipe by Boothby of San Francisco.)”

A bit sweet, but this one I can get into much more than the previous “Ping-Pong”. Vermouth and Sloe Gin is a much preferable combination to me, than Creme de Violette and Sloe Gin.

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.

Piccad Cocktail

Piccad Cocktail

Piccad Cocktail.
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
1/2 Caperitif. (1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 11 Gin)
Shake well with two or three pieces of lemon rind and strain.

Still no real idea what Caperitif might have been, beyond a rich yellow quinquina, similar in character to vermouth.

Dolin Blanc, though a bit sweet, remains my current favorite substitution. And one of my current favorite vermouths. With its relatively large proportion of bitters (3 dashes!) this is a great cocktail to showcase both the character of angostura as a flavoring and that of Dolin Blanc.

Happy to report that North Shore’s products are now starting to show up in some liquor stores and bars! Even the Distiller’s No. 11, which remains one of my favorite new American gins.

Should you order this cocktail at tomorrow’s Savoy Night at Alembic Bar?

Did I mention this is a great cocktail?  Yes?  Well, let me just say it again, “this is a great 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.