Melba Cocktail

Melba Cocktail

Melba Cocktail

2 Dashes Grenadine. (2/3 teaspoon Homemade Grenadine)
2 Dashes Absinthe. (2/3 teaspoon Verte de Fougerolles Absinthe)
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime. (Juice 1/2 lime)
1/2 Glass Bacardi Rum. (1 oz Montecristo Silver)
1/2 Glass Swedish Punch. (1 oz Homemade Swedish Punsch)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (If desired add a cherry, preferably Luxardo or Toschi.)

I had high hopes for the Melba, but I’m not quite sure it lived up to them.

A very good cocktail, that I could imagine being popular, it just doesn’t quite have the magic of the very similar Corpse Reviver No. 2 (with Swedish Punsch).

By pushing the sweet/sour focus out a bit further, it loses the refreshing lightness of the Corpse Reviver. Ends up being a bit heavy.

Still, all in all, a tasty cocktail. One of the few I can think of involving Absinthe and Rum. Definitely some promise there!

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.

Mary Pickford Cocktail

Mary Pickford Cocktail

Mary Pickford Cocktail

1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 oz Montecristo White Rum)
1/2 Pineapple Juice. (1 oz Knudsen Pineapple)
1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (1 barspoon Homemade Grenadine)
6 Drops Maraschino. (6 drops Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur)

Oddly another Savoy Cocktail which lacks directions. I’m gonna say shake, because it is so much more fun to get that nice little head you get with shaking pineapple juice.

Way back when we talked about the Fairbanks cocktail we talked about the tension in the Fairbanks/Pickford house. Mary Pickford, “America’s Sweetheart”, enjoyed the odd drink. Douglas Fairbanks did not and did not approve of her drinking.

I don’t know who could argue with a fine, light, and enjoyable drink like this. I doubt even Fairbanks would notice it was alcoholic!

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.

Margato Cocktail (Special)

Margato Special

Margato Cocktail (Special)

1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Montecristo White Rum)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1 Dash Kirsch. (1/3 tsp. Trimbach Kirsch)
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
The Juice of 1/3 Lime.
A little sugar (scant teaspoon caster sugar) dissolved in soda-water.

Shake well and serve in cocktail glass.

Uh right. If this recipe makes sense to anyone, feel free to let me know. Who measures “The Juice of 1/3 Lime”?

It’s pretty OK. Tasting mostly like a slightly vermouth-ey glass of tart lemonade. Certainly, the alcohol is well disguised. Maybe that is the point?

There is a Cuban rum cocktail with dry vermouth and lime. Not El Presidente, I can’t think of what it is called. I suppose this is sort of a “perfect” version of that cocktail.

Oh right, to answer my own question, it is the “Presidente Vincent” 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.

Mah-Jonng Cocktail

Mah-Jonng

Mah-Jongg Cocktail

1/6 Cointreau. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Cointreau)
1/6 Bacardi Rum. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Montecristo White Rum)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 6)

Shake (stir please, very!) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Orange Peel.)

For being a big glass of 80+ proof spirits and liqueurs, this isn’t half bad.

I couldn’t quite decide between orange peel and cherry. Glad, in the end, that I went with the orange peel. The bitter orange oils provide a nice counter point to the mellower orange flavor of the Cointreau.

North Shore No. 6 is a modern gin, but I find it to be very well made. Also, it seems to complement fruit flavors very nicely, thus my choice of using it in this 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.

Little Princess Cocktail

Little Princess

Little Princess Cocktail

1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica)
1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 oz Montecristo White Rum)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Similar to the Fair and Warmer or Fluffy Ruffles this is a Rum Manhattan. Or really, Rum Lone Tree. But we’ll get to the details of that in a couple cocktails.

This desperately needs something. A rum with more character, bitters, or a twist.

As it is, it tastes like slightly juiced up Carpano Antica. Not a bad thing, but not exactly a cocktail either.

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.

Little Devil Cocktail

Little Devil

Little Devil Cocktail

1/6 Lemon Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/6 Cointreau. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Cointreau)
1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Montecristo White Rum)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz North Shore No. 6)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

In Harry McElhone’s “Barflies and Cocktails” he sez this recipe comes “from Fitz, Ciro’s Bar, London, my late apt pupil.”

A bit similar to the Blue Devil or Bacardi Special, it’s not bad. Dry and mostly ginny. The Montecristo White seems to act mostly as an extender to the gin. I have to admit lately, at Cointreau kind of sweetness levels, I do kind of prefer giving a slight advantage to the liqueur lately rather than the lemon. Something like 3/4 oz of Cointreau and 1/2 oz of Lemon would be about right at my sweet spot at this point in my life for this 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.

Kicker Cocktail

Kicker Cocktail

Kicker Cocktail

2 Dashes Italian Vermouth (1 teaspoon Carpano Antica)
1/3 Calvados. (3/4 oz Calvados Reserve Roger Groult)
2/3 Bacardi Rum. (1 1/2 oz Flor de Cana Extra Dry)

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

Again, something from the 1920s for the fans of the Super Extra Dry Cocktail.

I get cocktails like this from time to time when I order Manhattans, and I have to admit I just kind of wonder what the bartender is thinking (or not.) This combination of decent rum, a very good young Calvados, and Carpano Antica certainly beats the heck out of a luke warm Maker’s with a dash of stale M&R. All the same, it doesn’t beat it by much.

I’d rather just sip a glass of the Calvados.

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.

Gradeal Special Cocktail

Gradeal (Special) Cocktail

1/4 Dry Gin. (1/2 oz Northshore Gin #6)
1/4 Apricot Brandy. (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)
1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 oz Havana Club Anejo Blanco)

Shake (I’d stir) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Tasty and sophisticated? Another drink that goes against the usual stereotypes of rum drinks.

Most of the google references I find to “Gradeal” are to this drink. Interestingly, though, according to this article from an Australian paper, Rising to the Occasion, “Gradeal” was the name given to the stones Scots cooked their oatcakes on.

In Roman times in the north of Scotland, she says, the native Gaels baked cakes of oats on stones set round the open fire. These stones were called gradeal and from this was derived the Scottish word girdle. The more modern girdle was a thin round plate of cast iron with a semicircular handle, and was first invented and manufactured in Culross in Fife, Scotland.

Especially interesting, in that the Gradeal Cocktail is pretty similar to the “Culross 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.

Daiquiris, A Cautionary Tale

“The moment, now, had arrived for a Daiquiri: seated near the cool drip of the fountain, where a slight stir of air seemed to ruffle the fringed mantone of a bronze dancing Andalusian girl, I lingered over the frigid mixture of Ron Bacardi, sugar, and a fresh vivid green lime.

“It was a delicate compound, not so good as I was to discover later at the Telegrafo, but still a revelation, and I was devoutly thankful to be sitting, at that hour in the Inglaterra, with such a drink. It elevated my contentment to an even higher pitch ; and, with a detached amusement, I recalled the fact that farther north prohibition was formally in effect. Unquestionably the cocktail on my table was a dangerous agent, for it held, in its shallow glass bowl slightly encrusted with undissolved sugar, the power of a contemptuous indiffernce to fate ; it set the mind free of responsibility; obliterating both memory and tomorrow, it gave the heart an adventitious feeling of superiority and momentarily vanquished all the celebrated, the eternal, fears.

“Yes, that was the danger of skilfully prepared, intoxicating drinks. . . . The word intoxicating adequately expressed their power, their menace to orderly monotonous resignation. A word, I thought further, debased by moralists from its primary ecstatic content. Intoxication with Ron Bacardi, with May, with passion, was a state threatening to privilege, abhorrent to authority. And, since the dull were so fatally in the majority, they had succeeded in attaching a heavy penalty to whatever lay outside their lymphatic understanding. They had, as well, made the term gay an accusation before their Lord, confounding it with loose, so that now a gay girl certainly the only girl worth a ribbon or the last devotion was one bearing upon her graceful figure, for she was apt to be reprehensibly graceful, the censure of a society open to any charge other than that of gaiety in either of its meanings. A ridiculous, a tragic, conclusion, I told myself indifferently: but then, with a fresh Daiquiri and a sprig of orange blossoms in my buttonhole, it meant less than nothing.”

A short extract from Joseph Hergesheimer’s 1920 book, “San Cristobal de la Habana.”

For me, it is tough to improve on that, other than just giving a recipe for a Daiquiri.

The traditional Daiquiri recipe is as follows:

The Juice of 1/2 lime
1 Teaspoonful of castor or superfine sugar
2 oz Bacardi Rum (Ideally Havana Club Añejo Blanco. However, given the current US embargo of Cuban products, another Cuban-Style Rum like Flor de Cana Extra Dry, Appleton White, or Matusalem Platino, will likely have to do.)

Juice lime into mixing glass. Drop spent lime shell into mixing glass. Measure sugar and rum. Add ice, cap your shaker and shake until the outside of the shaker frosts. Strain into cocktail glass.

According to Wayne Curtis, in his informative and entertaining book, “And A Bottle of Rum,” Ernest Hemingway visited “El Floridita” in Cuba. When he saw Constantino Ribalaigua Vert making Daiquris he asked to taste one. He then said, “That’s good, but I prefer it without sugar and double rum.” This version became known as the “Papa Double.” Later in life, it is said Hemingway became fond of another version with a splash of grapefruit juice and a dash of Maraschino Liqueur. This is sometimes called the “Hemingway Special.”

We’ll try that.

Hemingway Special

2 oz Flor de Cana Extra Dry Rum
Juice 1/2 Lime
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

A portion of a track from David Torn’s excellent new ECM recording “Prezens” accompanies the cocktail making today.

This ended up a tad on the tart side for me. However, I think it has plenty of Maraschino, so perhaps, if you don’t like tart cocktails, add a half teaspoon of simple syrup or Caster Sugar.

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.