Frankenjack Cocktail


The Frankenjack Cocktail

1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz North Shore No. 6)
1/3 French Vermouth. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/6 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Haus Alpenz Blumme Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)
1/6 Cointreau. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Cointreau)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

About a million years ago (OK less than a year) we made this very same cocktail as the Claridge Cocktail. At the time, there was some speculation about whether Apricot Liqueur or Apricot Eau-de-Vie was the appropriate “Apricot Brandy”. Knowing the Frankenjack was coming up eventually, I put off giving it a try.

I also asked Matt Rowley what he thought the appropriate substance would be. He thought neither distilled Apricot Eau-de-Vie or imported Apricot Liqueur were particularly likely for a prohibition era cocktail. He felt, more likely, it was a home made concoction made from rehydrated dried apricots macerated in alcohol and sweetened enough to take the edge off.

This time, though, I was going to use the Apricot Eau-de-Vie. I gave the Blume Marillen a smell, and tried to imagine which gin would go best with it. Tanqueray was handy and didn’t seem promising, nor did No. 209. Aviation seemed kind of close. Then I checked the smell of a recently purchased bottle of North Shore Distillery Gin No. 6. “Ding! Ding! Ding!” as Mario Batali would say.

Initially, I didn’t really have a lot of hope that this cocktail would be very good, but the unusual flavors of the No. 6 work really well with the Apricot Eau-de-Vie. The No. 6 is not at all a traditionally flavored gin, but it has some floral-fruit flavors and smells that really complement the Blume Marillen. The flavor of the cocktail brought back real or imagined memories of some half remembered European hard candy from my youth. I was actually kind of chortling as I was tasting it.

I think a dash of orange bitters, a decent cherry garnish, and this would be a real winner of a cocktail.

According to Judge Jr, the Frankenjack was:

Invented by the two proprietors of a very, very well-known speakeasy in New York City.

Hmmm…. I wonder if they were Frank and Jack of the legendary Frank and Jack’s?

From “On the Town in New York” by Michael Batterberry:

More typical was Frank and Jack’s, a jolly place where there were generally a hundred people jammed into a tiny kitchen barely large enough to hold three tables. Among those struggling for air and room enough to laugh might be Jimmy Durante, Pat Rooney, or Peggy Hopkins Joyce. It was Frank and Jack who perfected the gambit of getting rid of one drunk by asking him to assist another out the door.

And, uh, oops! I didn’t realize until I wrote up this post, that I had gotten the amounts for the Vermouth and Apricot Brandy flipped. Well, damn it, it looks like I have made a new cocktail. Maybe the FrankErikJack?

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.

Fifth Avenue Cocktail

Fifth Avenue Cocktail

1/3 Crème de Cacao. (Mozart Black Chocolate Liqueur)
1/3 Apricot Brandy. (Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)
1/3 Sweet Cream.

Use liqueur glass and pour carefully, so that ingredients do not mix.

This was actually pretty yummy, as these sorts of things go. But, then, I enjoy drinking the R&W Orchard Apricot straight. So, no problem there. Heck, I’d probably have it with my toast in the morning, or on my pancakes, if I didn’t have a pesky job to go to.

I got the Mozart Black Chocolate liqueur a while ago and have failed in my imagination to find uses for it. This was really pretty good. Certainly beats the heck out of Bols Creme de Cacao. I’m just glad that the specific gravities worked out between the two liqueurs.

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.

“Everything But” Cocktail

“Everything But” Cocktail

1/4 Whisky. (3/4 oz Compass Box blended Asyla Scotch Whisky)
1/4 Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/4 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Fresh Orange Juice)
1 Egg.
1 Teaspoonful of Apricot brandy. (1 teaspoon Rothman & Winter Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)
Powdered Sugar. (scant teaspoon caster sugar)

(Combine ingredients in shaker without ice and shake for 10 seconds. Add big ice…) Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Bunch of new technology here. First off, I finally scored a few 18oz cheater tins to top my 28 oz boston shakers. These are spiffy and seem nominally less messy when making egg drinks. Second we have the big sturdy tovolo ice cubes being employed instead of regular refrigerator ice. Third, I’m continuing my experiments with dry shaking. Fourth, given the size of this cocktail, I got to get out my bigger coupes.


Now, if the lovely texture of the egg in the first picture wasn’t enough, this second one with a clear half inch of delicious foam should indicate progress is being made.

Regarding ingredients, many of the cocktails calling for simply “Whisky” in the “Savoy Cocktail Book” are from Judge Jr.’s 1927 “Here’s How”. In that book Scotch is specified. I went with the Apricot Eau-de-Vie instead of liqueur, as there was already plenty of sugar here, and I like Eau-de-Vies in egg cocktails.

I kind of thought I was getting tired of sour cocktails, but this one is quite tasty and fairly complex. “Velvety,” would be a good word for it. I really enjoyed it.

Regarding the name, Judge Jr. sez, “This little drink is christened thusly because it contains everything but the kitchen stove!”

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.

Erik Adkins

This is the third in an ongoing series of bartender features on the Underhill-Lounge.

Previously, I had experimented by asking the bartender at Montgomery Place to make me a Bombay Cocktail No. 2, but this just seemed to result in a grumpy bartender.

To make it less of a shock, I thought I would contact some local bartenders and give them a choice of the dozen or so Savoy Cocktails that might be coming up in the book.

Surprisingly, some actually were game.

When I was giving Josey Packard my spiel trying to convince her to appear in Savoy topic, it turned out another of the patrons at the bar was a bartender, Mr. Erik Adkins.

Mr. Adkins is the bar manager at The Slanted Door here in San Francisco.

I told him how impressed I was with the bar program at the Slanted Door and he said he reads eGullet. Oh ho!

We exchanged contact info, and I filed him away as someone to contact for participation in the Savoy Topic.

After I finished the last bartender feature, I started mailing around looking for someone to participate next.

Of the people I mailed, Mr. Adkins responded and said he was opening a new bar in Oakland with a classic cocktail menu. Let’s meet there!

Flora is a new restaurant in a beautiful deco building a block away from the 19th Street BART station in Oakland. When Mr. Adkins and I met up early Friday evening, it had been open for exactly 6 days! The cocktail menu is composed of about a dozen pre-prohibition classics and a few original cocktails.

Erik is the bar manager at the Slanted Door in San Francisco. He is also working as a bar consultant for Flora, a cocktail bar in a vintage deco building in downtown Oakland.

Doctor Cocktail

1/3 Lemon Juice or Lime Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
2/3 Swedish Punch. (1 1/2 oz Carlshamm’s Flagg Punsch)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I continue my Swedish Punsch evangelizing, toting the Carlshamm’s Flagg Punsch a friend smuggled back from Sweden from bar to bar.

This is a pretty rich cocktail, modernizing would probably be a matter of slightly drying it out with a decent white rum, say 1 oz Flagg Punsch, 1/2 oz rum.

Erik Adkins’ comments:

dr. cocktail was good. not subtle or complex but that exotic arrack flavor came through without too much of the ‘agricole rhum’ harshness that the 100 proof arrack delivers.

Dolly O’Dare Cocktail

6 Dashes Apricot Brandy. (1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz)

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

For this one, we tried two variables. Tanqueray 10 Gin, Plymouth Gin, Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot, and Haus Alpenz Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie.

For my money, the Tanqueray 10 and Orchard Apricot was the most enjoyable. Others preferred the drier, more martini-esque nature, of the Plymouth and the Eau-de-Vie. Interestingly, the other two, the Plymouth/liqueur and Tanqueray/Eau-de-Vie fared the worst. An interesting illustration of how relatively minor tweaks such as the brand and character of gin can have a big impact.

Erik Adkins’ Comments:

the dolly o dare! great name and a good drink. i made one for gus, an alembic regular and one of the soms at the slanted door, and he loved it. i agree with you that the tanq 10 with the apricot liquor worked the best. although the 10 with the eau-de-vie wasn’t bad either. the liquor gave the drink some needed body and the orange peel lent a lot too. the alpine complexity of the gin , with a hint of richness from the apricot, with the dry vermouth finish worked for me. a nice light aperitif style cocktail.

Q: What are the biggest challenges to presenting classic cocktails to modern audiences?

one of the big challenges with selling classic cocktails is getting people to take the first sip of something new. most people have only had gin in tepid overly large martinis and maybe a gin and tonic from a syrupy soda gun. and almost no one knows that vermouth is delicious. if they have ever had more than a few drops in a drink it has almost surely been oxidized. sadly the more drinks that i put on the list at the slanted door with gin, cognac, whiskey or rum the more people order the ‘safe drinks’. as bartenders we are being forced to be subversive to sell good drinks. i’ve been quietly pouring 4 to 1 martinis and gin drinkers love them. there’s nothing greater than watching a group of young ladies drinking clover clubs because you don’t carry midori.

Finally, Mr. Adkins was kind enough to send along one of the drinks he created for Flora:

carter beats the devil

2 oz el tesoro reposado
1 oz lime
1/2 oz organic agave nectar (rainbow bulk)
1/2 oz del maguey minero mescal
20 drops (eye dropper) of chile tincture

served up

chile tincture: fill a jar with de-stemmed intact thai chilles and cover with wray & nephew overproof for two weeks.

carter was a 1920s era magician from oakland. his biography is entitled carter beats the devil.

The magician aspect seems particularly apt.

Flora had been open only 6 days before I was in to meet up with Mr. Adkins and had only received their liquor license the day before. I was there early in the evening, and was fascinated to watch as experienced bartenders tried to transform the awkwardness of unfamiliarity into the graceful dance of professional bar service. I don’t know if they quite succeeded that night, but, I have no doubt that, within the month, patrons will be startled as magically re-animated suits of armor crash up to the bar to enjoy one of Flora’s well made Martinis and bartenders offer them bunches of flowers pulled from their sleeves.

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.

Josey Packard

This is the second in an ongoing series of bartender features on the Underhill-Lounge.

Previously, I had experimented by asking the bartender at Montgomery Place to make me a Bombay Cocktail No. 2, but this just seemed to result in a grumpy bartender.

To make it less of a shock, I thought I would contact some local bartenders and give them a choice of the dozen or so Savoy Cocktails that might be coming up in the book.

Surprisingly, some actually were game.

NOTE: Since writing this up, Josey has moved back to the East Coast. When I last talked to her, she was looking for a bartending gig in the Boston area. I will post an update when I know more. I still, however, recommend putting Alembic on your short list of bars to visit in the San Francisco Bay Area.

After about a month of travel, sickness, and scheduling conflicts, I finally was able to get together with Josey Packard at The Alembic Bar to make some Savoy Cocktails. While we were at it, I asked her a couple questions.

Josey’s BIO: I’m a frequent victim of agape: widely varying passions have led me to several different occupations. A vocalist by training, day jobs for me have included that of seamstress, auto mechanic, office manager, carpenter, editor, audio producer, and flooring installer. A keen interest in cocktail history led me to take up work behind the bar, and it is there where I find myself able to marry both vocation and avocation; I’m proud to call myself a bartender. I developed the signature cocktail for the Boston Athenaeum’s 200th anniversary celebration, and have finalized the recipe for two original cocktails, the Wolfhound and the Northern Spy.

Diki-Diki Cocktail

1/6 Grape Fruit Juice.
1/6 Swedish Punch. (Carlshamm’s Flaggpunsch)
2/3 Calvados. (Le Merton Vieux Calvados)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

For comparison, Josey wanted to try this with both white grapefruit and ruby red grapefruit juice.

I think Josey’s first comment was, “Wow, that’s an adult cocktail!” and her second was, “I could drink the hell out of this!” Given the relatively small amount of Grapefruit juice, we were both a bit surprised that the we preferred the touch of sweetness and additional fruitiness that the Ruby Red Grapefruit brought to the cocktail. It was a subtle difference; but, enough to be noticeable. In any case, I agree with Josey about this cocktail. Definitely one of the highlights so far of the letter “D.”

From Google, as far as I can tell, “Diki-Diki” is a Filipino adjective used to convey “very small.” There is also a small African Antelope called a “Dik-Dik.”

Robert Vermeire, in his book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” notes the following regarding this cocktail:

Diki-Diki is the chief monarch of the Island Ubian (Southern Philipines), who is now 37 years old, weighs 23 lb., and his height is 32 in. The author introduced this cocktail at the Embassy Club in London, February 1922.

Q: What ingredient have you been experimenting mixing with lately?

A: I’ve been experimenting with the Luxardo and Maraska Maraschino liqueurs. I was really surprised to discover how differently they work in cocktails and which gins work best with either one.

We had wanted to try the Desert Healer cocktail as well; but discovered the bar was out of ginger beer.

Devonia Cocktail
(6 People)

Pour into the shaker 4 glasses of Sparkling Cider (2 oz Two Rivers Gravenstein Apple Hard Cider) and 2 glasses of Gin (1 oz Gin.) Add some ice and a few drops of Orange Bitters. Shake lightly and serve.

The Devonia was particularly appealing as The Alembic Bar currently has a very nice Hard Cider from Two Rivers on tap. We first tried it with Plymouth Gin; but it was maybe a bit too adult. The Two Rivers Gravenstein cider is a very dry cider, almost like one of the French champagne-style ciders in character. Interesting, however, to compare the cider on its own with the cider, gin, orange bitters mix. Mixing the cider with the gin, really brought out the earthy, apple peel flavors of the cider, especially in the smell.

For a second try, Josey had the idea to try the Devonia with Anchor Distilling’s new Genevieve Genever-style gin. Even though we had no illusions that this cocktail is really a Devonia, we both preferred it. The complexity of the Genevieve worked well with the cider. And, I might add, the Genevieve is a really interesting taste all on its own. The young whisk(e)y character of the distillate comes across loud and clear in the smell, taste, and body of this new gin. Personally, I can’t wait to get a bottle myself and start experimenting with it.


Q: As Alembic is a restaurant and bar, have you found any particularly good food and cocktail pairings?

A: The obvious one is a Martini with our Catfish Cakes. The chef uses Gin in his Catfish cakes and Tonic in his tartar sauce. With a wet martini, it is a great combination. Another pairing that works very well is the Opera Cocktail with the Oxtails.

Q: Do you have an original cocktail or an old favorite you feel represents you and your style of mixing?

Northern Spy
2 oz. Applejack
1 oz. fresh apple cider (flash-pasteurized ok but no preservatives!)
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/4-1/2 oz. apricot brandy (amount depending on brand/sweetness)
Rim glass with cinnamon-sugar. Shake and strain into rimmed glass. Add a cranberry as garnish.
Note: this cocktail responds well to “royale” treatment, a.k.a. topping with champagne.

I am impossibly biased towards both The Alembic Bar and Josey Packard, so it is tough for me to even pretend impartiality here. Alembic is a great bar and Josey is a wonderfully engaged and engaging bartender.

If you’re in San Francisco and into cocktails, Alembic should be one of the two or three “musts” that goes on your “to do” list. You’ll find Josey there, usually earlier in the evening or during the day, 5 days a week.

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.

Darb Cocktail

Darb Cocktail

Darb Cocktail

1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Bombay Dry Gin)
1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)
4 Dashes Lemon Juice. (Juice 1/8 Lemon)

Shake (Stir?) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I also tried this with Zwack Barack Palinka in place of the apricot liqueur. While that combination is, uh, interesting, and sort of like a vaguely apricot flavored Casino Cocktail, I really understood why some friends have said said, “as it started to warm it became somewhat harsh,” about the Culross Cocktail when made with Zwack’s Apricot Eau-de-Vie. I think any cocktail with more than a little Zwack Barack Palinka, and you’re going to want it plenty cold.

Anyway, I stirred this, and double strained to get any stray lemon pulp out. I thought it was a quite attractive. A shimmery translucent peach in color.

According to Bartleby.com, quoting “The Columbia Guide to Standard American English”, “Darb is an Americanism probably nearly obsolete today, a slang word from the 1920s meaning ‘something or someone very handsome, valuable, attractive, or otherwise excellent.’”

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.

Culross Cocktail

Culross Cocktail

The Culross Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Lemon.
1/3 Kina Lillet. (3/4 oz Cocchi Americano)
1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Flor de Cana Extra-Dry)
1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Blume Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Since the Americano is a bit sweet and there isn’t much lemon in this, I thought I might take a friend’s suggestion to heart and give this one a try with an Apricot Eau-de-Vie instead of Apricot liqueur.

Wow! Really tasty, and very interesting flavors. The cinnamon and spice of the Americano are quite nice in combination with the dark apricot flavor of the Blume Marillen. One of those cocktails that leaves me smelling the glass, intrigued.

I also tried it with apricot liqueur and modern Lillet. A lot less interesting. I suppose I should have gone on with the variations and tried Lillet/Eau-de-Vie and Americano/liqueur; but, the first one was so good, I really didn’t see the need.

If Apricot Eau-de-Vie and Americano is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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.

Cuban Cocktail (No. 2)

Cuban Cocktail (No. 2)

The Juice of 1/2 Lime or ¼ Lemon. (Juice 1/4 Lemon)
1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Apricot liqueur)
2/3 Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Maison Surrenne Petite Champagne Cognac)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I thought I would take this opportunity to do a bit of an Apricot liqueur taste off.

Liqueur Line UP

From left to right we have Brizard Apry, Vedrenne Liqueur de Abricot, Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot, and homemade.

Apry

First we tried the Brizard Apry. I’m not all that familiar with the Brizard Apry, only having used it a couple times now. Every time I’m struck by the cherry scent and flavor. Not quite sure what that is about. Reminds me a bit of Apricot flavored candies.

Vedrenne Apricot

Sigh, the Vedrenne Apricot liqueur reminds me of Apricot pancake syrup. There is am almost maple-ish flavor there, and that of concentrated dried apricots.

R&W Apricot

Again struck by the fresh apricot smell of the Orchard Apricot. Mrs. Underhill actually thought this cocktail seemed a bit sweeter than the Brizard cocktail. Again, though, a stronger flavor of fresh apricot, rather than apricot-cherry-almond candy.

Homemade Apricot

My homemade apricot liqueur was one of the first that convinced me that, in some cases, commercial producers can often do a much better job than I. Very little apricot flavor despite it being a whole fruit infusion.

Apricot Cocktails

Not sure what this means; but, the Apry and the Vedrenne cocktails were foamier than those made with the R&W and homemade liqueurs.

Cocktail itself is all right. The flavors didn’t really compel me to finish any of the 4 versions; but, I didn’t resent tasting it. Not entirely convinced by the Maison Surenne as a mixing brandy. I think something with a few more teeth might make for more interesting cocktails. Maybe investigate some of the more reasonable Armagnac.

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.

Claridge Cocktail

Claridge Cocktail

Claridge Cocktail

1/3 Dry Gin (1 oz Boodles Gin)
1/3 French Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/6 Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot)
1/6 Cointreau (1/2 oz Cointreau)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I just got this new Apricot liqueur from Rothman and Winter. I was really hoping with it’s delicious fresh taste of apricots, and wonderful scent of apricot eau de vie, the Claridge would be a home run.

In some ways, it is a very good feature of the Apricot Liqueur. You can really taste it. On the other hand, the cocktail itself is a bit subtle and single noted.

I felt like a little something was missing. I was a little worried, though, if you added a lemon twist, you would lose the delicate smell of the apricots. And if you added peach bitters, you might lose the delicate balance between the cointreau and apricot liqueur.

Maybe a different gin or a dash of one of the lighter orange bitters?

I believe Harry Craddock was also involved at the bar at the Claridge Hotel in London, so perhaps named after the bar in that hotel?

A cocktail with the same ingredients and proportions is called the “The Frankenjack” in Judge Jr’s “Here’s How” and in the Savoy Cocktail Book. Judge Jr. sez “The Frankenjack” was, “Invented by the two proprietors of very, very well-known Speakeasy in New York City.” Further investigation is necessary!

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.

Babbie’s Special Cocktail

Babbie’s Special Cocktail
1 Dash Gin. (1/2 teaspoon Beefeater’s Gin)
1/3 Sweet Cream. (3/4 oz Cream)
2/3 Apricot Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Vedrenne Liqueur de Abricot)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I really hope Babbie was special for some other reason than her taste in cocktails. Beautiful? Rich?

I found the drink much improved with a dash of peach bitters and a garnish of freshly ground nutmeg. Still, not something I would ever make again.

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.