Sea Breeze Cooler

Sea Breeze Cooler
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1 very small Lemon)
2 Dashes Grenadine. (1 teaspoon Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/2 Apricot Brandy. (1 oz Brizard ‘Apry’ Apricot Liqueur)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz North Shore Distiller’s No 6 Gin)
1 Lump of ice.
Use long tumbler and fill with soda Water. 2 sprigs fresh mint on top.

Usually, the modern Sea Breeze, which I associate with the 1970s for some reason, is made up of Vodka, Cranberry Juice, and Grapefruit, shaken and served on the rocks with a lime wedge garnish.

Well, this ain’t that drink, and I am unclear if there is any causal relationship between the two.

On the other hand, though the Sea Breeze Cooler is fairly mild, I actually quite enjoyed it. It is slightly girly with that name and the pinkness, but on a hot day it seems like it would be refreshing.

I chose the North Shore No. 6, as it has on many occasions proven to be friendly to citrus and apricot. It did not disappoint.

I did throw a few of the stripped mint leaves into the drink when I shook it. Then I did not strain it through a fine sieve, which was a serious error. You can now see a fine layer of pulverized mint leaves floating on top of the drink, just waiting to get stuck between your date’s teeth. Never good.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Apricot Cooler

Coolers:

Apricot Cooler
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon or 1 Lime. (Juice of 1/2 Lemon and 1/2 Lime)
2 Dashes Grenadine. (1 teaspoon Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1 Liqueur Glass Apricot Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Brizard Apry Apricot Liqueur)
Shake well, strain into long tumbler and fill with soda water.

My dependence on Hugo Ensslin continues into the next section. The Apricot Cooler appears to come from his influential 1916 cocktail book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”. In it, he gives the recipe as:

Juice of ½ Lemon; Juice of ½ Lime; 2 dashes Grenadine Syrup; ½ Drink Apricot Brandy. Shake in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into a Collins glass, add a cube of ice and fill up with Club Soda.

And as with most of the Fizzes, while the Savoy Cocktail book calls for, “Juice of 1/2 Lemon OR 1 Lime”, Ensslin calls for “Juice of 1/2 Lemon AND 1/2 Lime”.

In the case of the Apricot Cooler, the additional citrus doesn’t do much to moderate the rather soda-pop-esque nature of the Apricot Cooler. The way this tastes, the Apricot Cooler would not be at all out of place on the shelf with the various Bartles & Jaymes flavored beverages.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Yellow Parrot Cocktail

Yellow Parrot Cocktail
1/3 Absinthe. (3/4 oz Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe Superior)
1/3 Yellow Chartreuse. (3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Blumme Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

First off, there was no way I was making this cocktail as written, 2/3 liqueur and 1/3 Absinthe. Just NO way.

So, instead, I made it 1/3 liqueur, 1/3 booze, 1/3 Absinthe.

As such, it’s not exactly bad. I like the Blumme Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie, I like Yellow Chartreuse, and I like the Greenway Distillers Absinthe.

However, it is a pretty stiff drink, and, to be honest, it doesn’t quite pass the true test of a cocktail. “Does the combination of ingredients somehow elevate the drink beyond any of the single ingredients?”

Nope, instead of enjoying this rather bizarre combination, I kept thinking, “Greenway Distillers Absinthe and Water. Now, that would have been nice.”

Oddly, though, this drink does seem to have a bit of a “second life”, at least going from the number of websites it has been reproduced upon. Makes you wonder if anyone else is actually tasting the drinks they publish on their websites.

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.

Western Rose Cocktail

Western Rose Cocktail
1 Dash Lemon Juice. (1 dash Lemon Juice)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/4 Apricot Brandy. (1/8 oz Brizard Apry, 1/8 oz Blumme Marillen)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz North Shore No. 6)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Along the lines of the English Rose Cocktail, but with only Apricot Brandy and no Grenadine.

I’ve been out of Rothman & Winter Apricot for a while now, and kind of feel like my Brizard Apry has probably seen better days. I mean, it probably has been open for 4 years now. Whatever fruity youthfulness it might have had, are probably gone.

I figured one way to get back in the direction of the Rothman & Winter would be to use some Apricot Eau-de-Vie in this, instead of all liqueur.

Between the Vermouth, Gin, and aging apricot liqueur, this skates on the edge of some sort of children’s medicine. Not sure how to exactly move forward with this not entirely successful experiment.

There’s the direction of Julie Reiner’s Gin Blossom, using Bianco/Blanc Vermouth and no lemon.

Gin Blossom
From a recipe by Julie Reiner, Clover Club, Brooklyn, and Flatiron Lounge, New York,

45 ml (1.5 oz) Plymouth Gin
22.5 ml (.75 oz) Martini Bianco
22.5 ml (.75 oz) Blume Apricot Eau de Vie
2 dashes Orange Bitters
1 Lemon twist, as garnish
Stir over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add the garnish.

A lovely cocktail.

I’ve also really enjoyed re-imagining the Judgette Cocktail with Old World Spirits Indian Blood Peach Eau-de-Vie:

Judgette
3/4 oz Peach Eau-de-Vie,
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth,
3/4 oz DryGin
dash Lemon
dash simple.

Stir, Strain. Orange Peel.

They are all a tad finicky, with their dashes of this or that, very much the sort of cocktail I enjoy rocking, but other bartenders probably hate. Anyway, something about the Western Rose just didn’t quite do it for me. Either the Judgette or the Gin Blossom would be preferable.

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.

Wembley Cocktail (No. 1)

Wembley Cocktail (No. 1)
1 Dash Apricot Brandy. (1/2 tsp R&W Blumme Marillen)
2 Dashes Calvados (1 tsp Montreuil Calvados Reserve)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze lemon peel over glass and drop in.)

Kind of a strange bird, the Wembley (No. 1). Really just a Martini with a few dashes of Apple Brandy and, uh, Apricot Eau-de-Vie…

OK, I was cheating, I probably should have used Apricot Liqueur in this.

But it just seemed more pleasant, and more intense, to use an Eau-de-Vie.

It’s just a half teaspoon (generously) of either one, that little Apricot Liqueur is going to have very little impact.

How is it? Well a fairly dry, yet still somewhat fruity Martini.

How you feel about it, will likely depend on how you feel about Martinis and polluting them with ingredients other than Gin and Vermouth.

Certainly no more sacrilegious than the Dirty Martini, just going in another direction.

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.

Webster Cocktail

Webster Cocktail
1/8 Lime Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Lime Juice)
1/8 Apricot Brandy. (1/2 oz 3/4 oz Brizard Apry)
1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Sutton Cellars Brown Label Vermouth)
1/2 Plymouth Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin, 3/4 oz Bols Genever)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

A favourite cocktail at the bar of the S.S. Mauretania.

Well, I kind of feel like I have been a bit hard on the Sutton Cellars Brown Label Vermouth, so I thought, “Hey you! Blogger asshole! How about using a tart vermouth in a tart cocktail?”

With all these odd Savoy Cocktails, sours ostensibly, where you find French Vermouth in the place of what should be Lemon Juice, I have often wondered about the flavor character of historical French Vermouth. Was it tarter wine? Fresher Vermouth? Has all the industrial processing and filtering now applied to commercial vermouth changed its character?

Sutton Cellars, on the other hand, is fairly low tech. Herbs macerated in California White Wine, with a small amount of unaged Brandy and Agave Syrup.

So, is the Sutton Cellars closer to what Dry Vermouth might have tasted like in the 19th and early 20th Century?

Well, certainly, there was no Agave Syrup around 1900, and probably the spices and herbs used by Sutton Cellars are fairly distinct from European Vermouth making traditions.

My personal feeling is that much of the early French Vermouth was probably closer to what we now call Blanc or Bianco Vermouth, and that the Dry Vermouth, as featured in the modern Martini, didn’t evolve until later, in the early to mid-twentieth Century.

A puzzle for you, if Dry and Bianco/Blanc vermouth existed contemporaneously, why do no Cocktail recipes differentiate between these Vermouths? Why do most just call for “Italian” or “French”?

Anyway, I like the Sutton Cellars Brown Label Vermouth in the Webster. Its somewhat outre spice component, especially Vanilla and Christmas-like Spices work well. These ballsy flavors lend complexity to the drink where most other dry vermouths would just be bowled over by the Gin, Apricot Brandy, and Lime.

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.

Valencia Cocktail (No. 2)

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Valencia Cocktail (No. 2)
4 Dashes Orange Bitters. (4 dashes Angustura Orange Bitters)
1/3 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Fresh Orange Juice)
2/3 Apricot Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Brizard Apry Liqueur)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass, and fill with Champagne (Cavas Hill Cava). (Long Orange Peel Garnish.)

Hm, there really is the kernel of a good drink here, but this is far, far too sweet.

Let’s re-imagine this just a bit:

4 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
3/4 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Brizard Apry
3/4 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac
Cava

Ah, now that is much better, in fact pretty close to delicious and recommendable. Definitely an improvement over your bog standard Mimosa or Bellini. Brunch with a kick.

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.

Valencia Cocktail (No. 1)

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Valencia Cocktail (No. 1)
4 Dashes Orange Bitters. (4 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters)
1/3 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Valencia Orange Juice)
2/3 Apricot Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Brizard Apry)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, it isn’t bad, exactly, if it is a bit sweet. Just needs a little jolt, would some booze have killed anyone? At least you are allowed a rather generous hand with the bitters.

One of those cocktails, and there are many, which makes you wonder over the character of juice oranges in the early part of the 20th Century.

PS. There was no Whiskey in this cocktail, even though there is a bottle in the picture, and the cocktail could have used some. That was just leftover from the Up-To-Date.

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.

Tulip Cocktail

Tulip Cocktail
1/6 Lemon Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Lem, err, I was out of lemons, so Lime Juice)
1/6 Apricot Brandy. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Brizard Apry)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
1/3 Calvados or Apple Brandy. (3/4 oz Montreuil Reserve Calvados)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, as you might imagine, getting that sort of news isn’t super great for moderation or abstention. Not that I am making excuses.

Scheduled an appointment with the Specialist, and set about worrying.

Is this the end of my ridiculous string of luck? Payback for years of playing?

Should I be compiling lists of all my passwords and getting my keys together for Michele?

Why am I working 6 days a week, when I could be spending that time with my loved ones?

Dammit, why don’t I have a big pile of savings or insurance? By this time in his life, my Dad had created a huge pile of insurance pay outs, property and savings, in the event of his untimely demise. What have I managed to save? Pretty much nothing.

Moody would definitely be the way to describe me during this period. Sorry about that, if I ran into you and was even less garrulous than usual. Probably, maudlin and/or drunk, never a great combo.

As noted by Charles McCabe in his book, “The Good Man’s Weakness”:

My advice would be Chesterton’s: “Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable.” I’ve not always followed this counsel; but wish I had more often.

When you are on a real downer, chop some wood, paint some tables, anything so long as it’s a job. Drink when you’re filled with self-pity, and the next thing you’re drinking to get yourself through your work. Then, brother, you’re headed for trouble.

Go visit the Specialist, still no real bad news. He takes some more blood for more tests. Won’t know the answers to those tests for a week or so, but to be on the safe side, based on the previous test results and my family history, we schedule a biopsy for the next week.

The Tulip Cocktail is, in fact, quite delicious. It’s really nothing but a kind of an elaboration of the Jack Rose. Given that one of Michele’s favorite cocktails is the Jack Rose, I had her sample this, and she approved. I was surprised that the Carpano Antica worked in a sour. Unusual.

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.

Tempter Cocktail

Tempter Cocktail
1/2 Port Wine. (1 oz Warre’s Warrior Port)
1/2 Apricot Brandy. (1 oz Blumme Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I, uh, suppose I really should have made this with Apricot Liqueur. But that just sounded, well, like pancake syrup, and it was not yet dinner time when I made this cocktail.

So sue me, I swapped in Apricot Eau-de-Vie instead of liqueur.

Monty* doesn’t approve of all this attention going to cocktails instead of him, but he approves of the choice.

*You can blame the gratuitous dog photo on paystyle

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.