Spencer Cocktail

Spencer Cocktail
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1 Dash Orange Juice.
1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Brizard Apry)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass Add a cherry (Toschi Amarena Cherry) and squeeze orange peel on top.

Very mellifluous: has a fine and rapid action: for morning work.

With such a positive description, I had high hopes for this one. I went with a relatively soft, fruit friendly gin with the Plymouth and hoped for the best.

I dunno, not sure if it is the gin choice, or the sad deserted 5 year old bottle of Brizard Apry, but I really wasn’t feeling this. Funny, I think Brizard Apry was one of my first great ingredient quests, predating the Savoy Project. Just as I started looking for a bottle, it disappeared from the shelves. I must have bothered the liquor store manager for 6 months before it finally became available again.

The Spencer is just kind of bland and sweet. Maybe a more generous hand with the bitters? Or perhaps the Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot would be an improvement. I have had very good luck with it in the past. Unfortunately, I need a new 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.

Sonora Cocktail

Sonora Cocktail
1 Dash Lemon Juice.
2 Dashes Apricot Brandy.
1/2 Applejack or Calvados.
1/2 Bacardi Rum.
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

So I actually got to making the Sonora Cocktail on May 5th this year, a.k.a. Cinco de Mayo, a holiday we in America tend to celebrate as if it were “Mexican Independence Day”. We eat fajitas with flour tortillas, drink slushy Margaritas, and slug down Corona with lime.  All very authentic.  If you are a tourist in Cancun.

To quote the wikipedia article about Cinqo de Mayo:

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a holiday held on May 5 that commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States. While Cinco de Mayo sees limited significance and celebration nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed nationwide in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.

I am unclear why we Americans always seem to celebrate holidays which are relatively insignificant in their countries of origin (see St. Patrick’s Day), but we do, so there really isn’t much to do about the whole thing. Either embrace the madness or stay away from the mobbed bars on those days.

Anyway, here we have another drink where a relatively neutral, and inexpensive, spirit is probably being used as an extender for the rather more expensive one, in this case Calvados.  I figured, what the heck, it’s Cinco de Mayo and the cocktail is called “Sonora”, why not use a relatively neutral tequila in this puppy instead of Rum?  Though I was a bit worried about the vegetal notes in the Tequila and the Calvados clashing in an unpleasant manner.

2.5ml Lemon Juice (aka a half barspoon. mine happens to be 2.5ml, yours may not be.)
5ml Brizard Apry (aka a barspoon. mine happens to be 5ml, yours may not be.)
1 oz Groult Reserve Calvados
1 oz Tequila Ocho Plata*

Oof, that was not good.  As I suspected, the vegetal notes of the Calvados and the tequila are too much for this basically all booze concoction.  Let’s try that again.

5ml Lemon (aka a barspoon. mine happens to be 5ml, yours may not be.)
5 ml Brizard Apry
1 oz Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy
1 oz Tequila Ocho Plata*

Hm, not bad, but too sour, and still awfully boozy.  Substituting the less vegetal Laird’s Apple Brandy definitely improves this cocktail.  I could see some people enjoying this, *cough*David Embury*cough* but it isn’t my style.

shy 1/4 oz Lemon
long 1/4 oz Brizard Apry
1 oz Laird’s Bonded
1 oz Tequila Ocho Plata*

OK, I think this is a far as I can stretch the original recipe and still call it a Sonora-ish cocktail.  It’s not bad.  Still, at this point, I’m beginning to think the Sonora is a lost cause.  Can I just have a Manhattan, stat?  Even a Tequila Sour (aka Tommy’s Margarita) would make me happy?  Please?

Most importantly, should you order this cocktail during the next Savoy Night at Alembic Bar, May 23rd, 2010?  Well, it’s probably better with rum than it is with Tequila, still, it will be made to the Savoy Spec at Alembic, that is, pretty much all booze.  Unless you’re looking for a quick buzz, I’d avoid it.

*The Tequila Ocho Plata was sent to me by a marketing firm promoting the brand. Score!

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

006

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.

Saucy Sue Cocktail

025

Saucy Sue Cocktail.
1 Dash Apricot Brandy. (1 dash Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur)
1 Dash Absinthe. (1 dash Verte de Fougerolles Absinthe)
1/2 Calvados. (1 oz Calvados Groult Reserve)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac)
Stir well and squeeze orange peel on top.

Well, there’s an awful good reason why Sue is a bit Saucy: All she drinks is booze!

As much as I’d like to say this is awesome, it really doesn’t pass the test of, “Would I rather drink these spirits straight or in this cocktail?”

Maybe if I was using crap Brandy and bad Calvados, this might be an improvement. But with this Armagnac and this Calvados, this is just a sad waste of quality spirits. Not advised.

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.

Rose Cocktail (English)

Rose Cocktail (English)

Rose Cocktail (English)
1 Dash Lemon Juice.
4 Dashes Grenadine. (1 Generous Bar Spoon Homemade Grenadine)
1/4 Apricot Brandy. (1/2 oz Rothman and Winter Blumme Marillen Apricot Eau de Vie)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Original Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Frost edge of cocktail glass with castor sugar.

OK, I cheated. While it is unclear whether this recipe should be made with Apricot Liqueur or Apricot Eau-de-Vie, I just couldn’t justify the sugar rim if I made it with Apricot Brandy. And boy is it good with Apricot Eau-de-Vie. Such a nice combination of flavors.

Just on the edge of tart with fruit coming from the grenadine and eau-de-vie. A balance near what you’d expect from a red wine like a Pinot, it is tart and dry enough that the sugar rim makes sense. Highly recommended, one of the tastier cocktails I’ve made in a while, despite the somewhat finicky measures and obscure ingredients.

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.

Prohibition Cocktail

Prohibition Cocktail

Prohibition Cocktail.

1/2 Plymouth Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/2 Kina Lillet. (1 oz Lillet Blanc, 1 Dash Angostura)
2 Dashes Orange Juice. (1/2 teaspoon Orange Juice)
1 Dash Apricot Brandy. (1 dash Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot)

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

Out of anything more interesting to use for Kina Lillet at the moment, so going with good old Lillet Blanc with a dash of Angostura Bitters.

Even without anything more interesting than Lillet Blanc, this is an enjoyable cocktail.  I can only imagine how much more tasty it would be with something like Cocchi Americano!

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.

Prince’s Smile Cocktail

Prince's Smile Cocktail

Prince’s Smile Cocktail.

1 Dash Lemon Juice.
1/4 Apricot Brandy. (1/2 oz Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot)
1/4 Calvados or Apple Brandy. (1/2 oz Groult Calvados Reserve)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 6)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. Lemon Peel.

I’ve always maintained the the North Shore Distiller’s No. 6 is a great foil for apricot and lemon flavors. It does not disappoint here.

The Prince’s Smile bit like the a cross between the Dolly O’Dare and the Between the Sheets cocktails.  As fond as I am of Apple Brandy, this might even be an improvement over either one of those two classics.

To counter the sweetness of the apricot liqueur, you might want to be a tad generous with that “dash” of lemon juice.

Note the swank new Japanese Yarai mixing glass, which I ordered from Cocktail Kingdom.  Still trying to exactly get a handle on this puppy.  It seems to have an incredible amount of thermal density, which resulted in some drinks being more dilute and less cold than I wanted.  At this point, I really recommend pre-chilling this Mixing glasses, or it is going to suck a lot of cold out of your 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.

Princess Cocktail

Princess Cocktail

Princess Cocktail.

3/4 Apricot Brandy. (1/2 oz Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot)
(1 oz Osocalis Brandy)
1/4 Sweet Cream. (lightly whip and float on top)

Use liqueur glass and pour Cream carefully so that it does not mix.

Just having dreadful luck with pictures this night. Not sure what happened. Barely serviceable picture of both the last and this cocktail.

Uh right.

So, Princess or not, there was no way I was making this as written. 1 1/2 oz Apricot Brandy with a cream float? Oh bleah! As much as I like the Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot, this needed some taming.

A little real actual brandy was just the thing.

Not normally a big cream fan, but found this quite enjoyable. Probably a little nutmeg grated on top would have further embellished the pleasure.

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.

Pooh-Bah Cocktail

Pooh-Bah Cocktail

Pooh-Bah Cocktail.

1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Ron Mathusalem Platino)
1 Dash Apricot Brandy. (1 dash Rothman and Winter Apricot Liqueur)
1/3 Swedish Punch. (3/4 oz Underhill-Punsch)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 6)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Add a Luxardo Chery.)

We always get a couple orders for these during Savoy Night at Alembic Bar. I guess because of the funny name and the fact that it contains Swedish Punch.  And, frankly you could do worse.

Still, it it is awfully sweet, so you could definitely do better, and you could definitely to a lot to improve it by making it with a more interesting rum than the Mathusalem Platino.

Personally, I’d be awfully tempted to grab the Appleton V/X or a mild Agricole like Barbancourt.

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.