Boothby’s Ten Commandments

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

(Cocktail) Boothby’s Ten Commandments.

I. Always be on time to relieve the other watch. It is a good plan to make a practice of arriving a few minutes early so as to arrange your toilet and step to your station on time.

II. See that your finger nails are always clean and your person presents a tidy appearance.

III. Always appear pleasant and obliging under all circumstances.

IV. Avoid conversations of a religious or political nature.

V. When going off watch always dry and polish all the glassware and tools which you have used on your watch, and see that everything is in its proper place, so that your relief can work to advantage as soon as he arrives at his post.

VI. Sell all the liquor you can, but use as little as possible yourself.

VII. If you are troubled with sore feet, bathe them regularly. Avoid patched or ragged hosiery, and wear a comfortable shoe with a heavy sole. Light soles, low cut shoes or slippers should never be worn behind a bar.

VIII. Keep the floor behind the bar as dry as possible. It not only looks better, but you will find your health greatly improved by following this rule. Many bartenders contract rheumatism, neuralgia and many other serious complaints through carelessness in this report.

IX. After using a bottle or tool always replace it before doing anything else. Make this a rule that should never be broken; and, when you are rushed with business, you will never be compelled to hunt for this or that, but you will always know just where it is.

X. After a party has finished drinking, remove the glassware from the bar as soon as possible, and dry and polish the bar top immediately, never allowing a particle of moisture to remain. This is a very important rule.

From “Cocktail Boothby’s American Bar-Tender“, recently reprinted by Anchor Distilling from a first edition, 1891 edition, at the California Historical Society.

The Intangibles

From dictionary.reference.com:

in-tan-gi-ble [in-tan-juh-buhl]
–adjective
1. not tangible; incapable of being perceived by the sense of touch, as incorporeal or immaterial things; impalpable.
2. not definite or clear to the mind: intangible arguments.
3. (of an asset) existing only in connection with something else, as the goodwill of a business.
–noun
4. something intangible, esp. an intangible asset: Intangibles are hard to value.

The other week I was out with Robby Virus, who plays in the band Project Pimento.  We were at the Rite Spot and he asked me what I found satisfying about bartending.

Since he is a musician, I tried to think about what would be similar between being a musician and tending bar.

The more I talked, and thought, about the job, the more I realized that it seemed like there were similarities.

There’s an “oevre” you have to master. Songs for musicians and drink recipes for bartenders.

There’s a craft you learn. Playing your instrument for musicians and making drinks for bartenders.

In both jobs, you are in the public eye, performing in some fashion. Appearance, style, and looking like you know what you are doing, (even if you don’t,) are important for both jobs.

In both jobs, you do your best to prepare. Then you just put yourself out there, without knowing what the evening will have in store. An empty bar or a zoo. A crowd that appreciates your craft or hecklers.

But what is it that makes bartending satisfying? The more I thought about it, the more I thought it was the interactions with your customers. It’s about the spark, the feelings, the interaction with the room. A night that is going well has an energy all its own. I coughed, and kind of half embarrassed that I would think something so “new agey”, said to Rob, “I think it is all about the Intangibles. The relationships you have the people you are serving and the feelings you get from doing it. It has to be similar for musicians, doesn’t it?”

Before Rob could answer, our waiter, who I hadn’t even known was listening to our conversation, said, “No, you’re right. I’ve done both jobs. I’ve been a musician and a bartender. That is what makes both jobs worth doing.”

Savoy Cocktail Book Night, June 2009

One Sunday a month, Alembic Bar is foolish enough to toss out their regular menu and instead hand you a Savoy Cocktail  Book.  Pick a cocktail, any cocktail.  We dare you.

This Sunday, June 21st, is the day. After 6 PM is the time.

Here are some of the ingredients for a punch I am working on:

1 qt Osocalis Brandy
1 pt Appleton V/X
1 pt Coruba
1 pt Batavia Arrack
peel 4 lemons
juice 6 lemons
1/2 pineapple, chopped and crushed
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
5 Cardamom Pods, Crushed
4 teaspoons Lung Ching Dragonwell Tea
1/2 # Florida Crystals
1 quart Straus Family Creamery Whole Milk

C’mon, step right in, the water’s fine.

shark

“If you will dare, I will dare!”

San Francisco Cocktail Week 2009

San Francisco Cocktail Week will be happening starting tomorrow with an opening gala at Le Colonial.

If you’re in the area check the schedule for many exciting events:

Event Schedule

Of particular interest are the series of events they are calling “bar school classes” on Thursday.  Some of these are already sold out, but quite a few still have seats available.

Not to mention, Alembic is doing its monthly “Stomp Through the Savoy” event in conjunction with SF Cocktail Week on Sunday, May 17th.  We’d love to see you there!

Neyah White

This is the Eighth 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 folks ask me which bars to go to in San Francisco, there are several restaurants which I routinely list along with bars. Among them is NOPA in the Western Addition neighborhood near the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park.

Nopa Front Door

When my wife and I lived in another part of San Francisco, one of our favorite restaurants was Chow. We were regulars there from the time it opened until we moved out of the neighborhood. Great, affordable food presented with heart. One of the astounding things to me was how long the staff stick around at Chow. We can still go back in, nearly 6 years later, and still recognize some of the same staff who waited on us.

Nopa Sign

A couple years ago, one of the guys who opened Chow split off to open NOPA. Slightly more expensive food, a bigger space, and a full bar. They were also one of the first restaurants in San Francisco to include a large table off the bar for communal dining.

Sky Bottles

One of the nifty things about Chow is that it is open fairly late. They have carried that even a bit further at NOPA, serving until 1:00 AM. Combine that with a bar, and you know it is going to be popular with the industry crowd.

As far as I can tell, like Chow, NOPA has been an incredibly successful restaurant and bar.

To get back to the bar, I’d run into Neyah White, the bar manager at NOPA, a few times around town. We’d talked. I’d insulted his taste in Absinthe. We talked some more. Eventually we got around to the idea of getting together to make some Savoy Cocktails. Finally, on a Saturday in October our schedules aligned and I met up with him on a Saturday afternoon to get together, chat, and try some Savoy Cocktails.

Neyah

Neyah White BIO:
Neyah finds himself lucky enough to be a part of the burgeoning cocktail scene in San Francisco. A transplant from the East Coast, he has been serving drinks for 15 years in some of the busiest and most well respected venues on both sides of the Country. In an effort to better understand the tools of his craft, he has spent time visiting distilleries all over the world as well as completing the Whisky Academy at Bruichladdich under the legendary Jim McEwan. This time in Scotland inspired him to use the bounty of ex-wine barrels available to him in Northern California to start enhancing his own Whiskey and Rum. Look for his independently bottled spirits to start showing up in the years to come, they are still sleeping now.
Neyah is currently the bar manager at Nopa in San Francisco where his program is well respected for its array of house produced bitters, tinctures and liqueurs. He is a believer in a passive approach to menu setting where the local farms and orchards determine what is used by season rather than forcing ingredients into drinks. These two aspects combine to produce many one-of-a-kind cocktails that cannot exist anywhere other than the bar at Nopa and that have been featured in the publications like the San Francisco Chronicle, Food and Wine, USAToday, Wine and Spirits, 7×7, Imbibe and Cheers.

When I asked Neyah what cocktails of the dozen I had sent he wanted to make he said, “Let’s make all of them. I’m painting my apartment and am really sore. I could use a break.”

Well, OK then… He even brought along some of his stash of vintage glassware to make the pictures more interesting.

melon

Melon Cocktail

1/8 Lemon Juice. (1/4 oz Lemon Juice)
3/8 Maraschino. (3/4 oz Maraska Maraschino)
1/2 Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)

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

Like the Allen, another Aviation-esque cocktail. Perfectly fine, but not particularly outstanding.

merry widow

Merry Widow Cocktail

2 Dashes Absinthe. (St. George)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
2 Dashes Benedictine. (1 teaspoon Benedictine)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz French Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel on top.

When we initially tasted this, it was just too dry. Neyah remarked,”That Widow is just not very merry!” A bit more benedictine seemed to bring it into somewhat more tasty territory, but to my tastes there was still something conflicting in this combination. Maybe the bitters and the Absinthe?

mikado

Mikado Cocktail

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
2 Dashes Crème de Noyau. (1/2 teaspoon Luxardo Amaretto)
2 Dashes Orgeat Syrup. (1/2 teaspoon Underhill Homemade Orgeat)
2 Dashes Curacao. (1/2 teaspoon Senior Orange Curacao
1/2 Glass Brandy. (1 oz Lustau Brandy)

Shake (stir!) well and strain into cocktail glass.

A Japanese Cocktail, more or less, and who can argue with that?

Q: It seems the question on everybody’s mind is, have you seen any change in people’s drinking habits due to the recent financial news?

A: We’re still doing good numbers, with busy dinners and the late night industry crowd still coming in (Note: NOPA, like Beretta serves dinner from open until close at 1:00 AM).

It isn’t so much what people are drinking where we’ve noticed a change, as when and who are drinking.

Up until now the bar had been banging from open until close.  We’ve seen a real drop off in happy hour drinkers.  The sort of business crowd who were coming in at 5:30 right after work.  They’re either staying at work longer or just not drinking out as much.

millionaire

Millionaire Cocktail (No. 1)

The Juice of 1 Lime.
1 Dash Grenadine. (NOPA House Made)
1/3 Sloe Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin)
1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)
1/3 Jamaica Rum. (3/4 oz Ron Barcelo Rum)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The Millionaire, to my mind, is a neglected classic. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any Jamaica Rum and subbed in the Puerto Rican Ron Barcelo. It’s definitely a lighter flavored rum then the Appleton V/X I usually make this with. This allowed the Apricot Brandy to really come to the fore.

Millionaire No 2

Millionaire Cocktail (No. 2)

1 Dash Anisette. (dash or two Sambuca)
The White of 1 Egg.
1/3 Absinthe. (3/4 oz Obsello Absinthe)
2/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Leopold’s Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Whatever you do, don’t leave out the sweetener if you are making this with traditional Absinthe. If you do so, it will likely end up fairly dry. With a healthy dash of Sambuca, we found this an interesting eye-opener type cocktail.

img_2789

Million Dollar Cocktail

Tablespoonful Pineapple Juice. (Knudsen)
Teaspoonful Grenadine. (NOPA House Made)
The White of 1 Egg.
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Martini & Rossi Rosso Vermouth)
2/3 Plymouth Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into medium size glass.

Egg white and Italian Vermouth cocktails always look like dishwater to me, so we were pleased to note combining the textures of Egg White and Pineapple presented a very interesting textural element. You almost can’t taste the pineapple, more feeling it. A somewhat tasty and bizarre drink, if not particularly visually appealing.

Q: Spirits and cocktail programs are currently being marketed as what I’d call luxury goods.  To me this is a self limiting strategy.  (Ooops, that wasn’t a question.)

A: A lot of this comes down to the money poured into and the money made by the vodka industry.  It’s not a new thing, I recently wrote a post on a similar theme on the blog (“I declare that I now own the word ‘cool’“).  To me, the Absolut ads from the 1980s are where it started.  It’s just more and more we’re seeing it seep into other spirits and even now bar programs.  I don’t envy young bartenders who are being asked by management to create serious drink programs without experience in the industry.  A lot of these really big corporations will just give you product, if they think it will get them on the back bar.

Minnehaha Cocktail

Minnehaha Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Orange. (3/4 oz Fresh Orange Juice)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Rosso Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Martin Miller Gin)
1 dash Absinthe. (St. George)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Aside from the fact that I just made this exact cocktail less than a week ago as the Maurice, it is fascinating how different this version is! I know I cheated last time and used the M&R Bianco Vermouth, but damn is this different. For me, it is the cucumber in the Martin Miller Gin, which really rises to the fore.

img_2794

Mickie Walker Cocktail.

1 Dash Grenadine. (House Made)
1 Dash Lemon Juice.
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Martini and Rossi Rosso)
3/4 Scotch Whisky. (John, Mark, and Robbo Smooth, Sweeter One)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Blind, we doubted we could tell this from a Rob Roy, but we both thought we would rather be drinking a Rob Roy.

Mississippi Mule

Mississippi Mule Cocktail

2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Broker’s Gin)
1/6 Lemon Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/6 Crème de Cassis. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Trenel Creme de Cassis)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

No idea why this is named “Mississippi Mule”. Don’t really see a connection to Mississippi nor does it contain ginger ale. It does appear to come from Harry McElhone’s book, but he is no more forthcoming than the Savoy authors. A fine, if somewhat plain cocktail. To be honest, I think it would be quite a bit better if you built it over ice and topped it up with ginger ale. But that’s just me…

Q: As we were talking, it came up that Neyah had worked for a period for a large corporate chain which shall remain nameless.  It seemed apropos to ask if this background served him well when running a bar program which does as much volume as NOPA does.

A: Absolutely.  Working for them was like a boot camp.  Not only that, but these big corporate programs understand how much of the business is about process rather than simply making drinks.  When I was working for them, I had three shifts behind the bar and then three days for other tasks.  Inventory, ordering, developing processes.

Mr. Manhattan

Mr. Manhattan Cocktail

Crush one lump of sugar in a little water.
Then crush four leaves of fresh green mint. and add –
1 Dash Lemon Juice. (1/2 teaspoon)
4 Dashes Orange Juice. (1/4 oz or so fresh Orange Juice)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Bols Genever)

(Muddle sugar cube in Lemon Juice and Orange Juice.  Add mint and gently press.  Add Gin and…)  Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

When we were thinking about this, it occurred to Neyah to try with Bols Genever. To me that totally made sense, given the 19th Century style recipe. Delicious! The winner of the afternoon. Neyah’s comment was, “I wish this had a better name, because I want to put it on the list!”

Modern No 1

Modern Cocktail (No. 1)

1 Dash Orange Bitters. (NOPA House Made)
2 Dashes Jamaica Rum. (Gosling’s Black Seal)
1 Dash Absinthe. (St. George)
2 Dashes Lemon Juice. (1/2 teaspoon or so)
1 Glass Scotch Whisky. (2 oz John, Mark, and Robbo, Rich and Spicy One)
(Dash Simple Syrup)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

We tasted this and it just wasn’t doing it for us. A touch of simple brought out both the richness of the scotch and the flavor of the rum.

Q: Talking about their ingredients at NOPA, I realized how much of what they make in house.  Grenadine, liqueurs, bitters, etc.  I asked how important house made ingredients were to his ideas for the bar at NOPA.

A: Originally it was my conception to have almost all the drink modifiers made in house.  While we make many bitters, syrups and liqueurs in house, I found I couldn’t keep up with the amounts needed for vermouth and some of the others.  I’m especially excited about an orange infusion which I started last year and is about ready.  It was an all season long infusion, where I added seasonal citrus to the batch as we progressed through the citrus season.  Starting with kumquats and clementines and then moving to navels, seville, etc.  I’m hoping to use it both for our house orange bitters and an orange liqueur.

Modern No. 2

Modern Cocktail (No. 2)

1 Dash Orange Bitters. (NOPA House Made)
1 Dash Absinthe. (St. George)
1 Dash Grenadine. (NOPA House Made)
1/3 Scotch Whisky. (3/4 oz John, Mark, and Robbo, Rich and Spicy One)
2/3 Sloe Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

We both thought this a fine, tasty cocktail. Definitely worth the try, if you have Sloe Gin and Scotch in the house.

Original Cocktail:
Dented Bently:
1 oz. Calvados
1 oz. Dubonnet
1/4 oz. Nocino

Stir gently with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Like the Slanted Door, NOPA is an incredibly busy restaurant. On a busy night the restaurant will do over 500 covers. One of the amazing things to me, when I go in, is how many mixed drinks I see out at tables. Their version of the Old Cuban seems to be at nearly every other table in the restaurant. Yet they hold the bar and service staff to an incredibly high standard. All fresh squeezed juice. Many homemade ingredients, High quality spirits, Jigger pouring, etc. Like the Slanted Door, NOPA is proof that, if the commitment is there from the staff and management, a high volume restaurant can successfully run a drink program without sacrificing quality.

For me, I can think of no higher praise for Mr. White, and the the drink program at NOPA, than to say, while there are many restaurants and bars in San Francisco, there are few I will as unreservedly recommend for cocktails as NOPA.

Also, the Pork Chop is one of the best I’ve ever had.

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.

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

The first Savoy Cocktail Book night of 2009 will be taking place this Sunday, January 25th, at Alembic Bar in the Upper Haight neighborhood of San Francisco.

On these nights, Alembic puts away its regular menu and (mostly) only makes drinks from Harry Craddock’s classic, “Savoy Cocktail Book”.

Stop bye any time after 4 PM, or so, and treat yourself to a Liberty or some other similarly celebratory themed cocktail.  Or just ask for a delicious Magnolia beer and chat with us as we attempt to hone our page turning and alphabetical skills.

Hope to see you there!

As always, for up-to-date information on events at Alembic, check out their blog: Alembic Bar

Daniel Shoemaker–Part Three

This is the Seventh 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.

danielreads*

Continuing The Savoy “J” Stomp with Daniel Shoemaker at Teardrop Lounge in Portland, OR.

The participants:

Daniel Shoemaker: Bartender Extraordinaire at Teardrop Lounge in Portland, OR.
erik_flannestad: Your itinerant Savoy Stomper.
Humuhumu: Tiki goddess and web developer.
Trott: Talented musician, friend and co-worker. It was Trott whose quixotic quest to make all the recipes from the “Joy of Cooking” originally inspired me to take on the Savoy Cocktail Book.
Tradertiki: Portland, OR blogger, Tiki enthusiast, proprietor of his home bar Reynolés Galley, and guide for the monthly “Tiki Tuesdays” at the Teardrop Lounge.

Also along for the ride were Mrs. Flannestad, who chose not to write up her thoughts and Trott’s friend Ken. Siobhan and her husband Ben stopped by a bit later.

J.O.S. Cocktail

J.O.S. Cocktail

1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Regan’s Orange)
1 Dash Lemon Juice or Lime Juice. (Lemon Juice)
1 Dash Brandy. (Christian Brothers)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well (well, stir, please) and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

Daniel stepped out for a moment, leaving us in the capable hands of Alyson for this and the next couple cocktails. This was perfectly fine, I suppose. A more assertive gin than the Plymouth might have saved this from being condemned as flat.

Humuhumu: I’m tired of vermouth. Tastes pretty flat.
Trott: J.O.S.=?? What could J.O.S. stand for? And who is Kaiser Solzheyn?
TraderTiki: A bit flat, flavor down low, watery.

Well, I’m pretty sure that J.O.S. doesn’t mean “Java Operating System,” but really have no other likely candidates. “Journal of Official Statistics”? There is a city in Nigerial called “Jos”, but that’s not an acronym.

Journalist

Journalist Cocktail

2 Dashes Lemon Juice.
2 Dashes Curacao. (Bols Orange Curacao)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1/6 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/6 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
2/3 Gordon’s Dry Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

It’s always nice to come across a classic you have thus far avoided. I hadn’t tried the Journalist before and quite enjoyed it. Interesting to see the response among the group that a slight adjustment of proportions makes, as this is otherwise pretty identical to the J.O.S. Daniel mentioned that this was one of the classic cocktail specials that they’d run through lately, to good response. I can see why.

Humuhumu: Nice and Balanced.
Trott: Excellent ass-end. (Great Finish!)
TraderTiki: Balanced, spice at the finish.

Judge Jr.

The Judge Jr. Cocktail

1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Matusalem Platino)
1/3 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
Powdered Sugar. (1 tsp. Cane Sugar)
1 Dash of Grenadine. (House made Raspberry Syrup)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

In his 1927 book, “Here’s How,” Judge Jr. says about this cocktail, “This drink, I discovered later, was invented by someone else, but it’s good just the same!” I’m not sure which drink he’s referring to, but it is pretty similar to the Bacardi Special. Kind of funny that a guy would name such a pink drink after himself! I found it refreshing.

Humuhumu: Smells like watermelon, (the real stuff,) tastes too tart, without other flavors coming through->imbalanced.
Trott: I like that a lot, but I’m totally wasted.
TraderTiki: Too tart, grenadine not balancing.

Judgette Cocktail

The Judgette Cocktail

1/3 Peach Brandy. (3/4 oz Briottet Creme de Peche de Vigne)
1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1 Dash of Lime.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I actually found this one fairly pleasant. Definitely dessert-esque, Humu really pegs it as similar to a dessert wine. It is a cocktail I could see enjoying after dinner. Maybe with a dash of bitters?

Humuhumu: Too sweet, tastes like dessert wine.
Trott: Sweet. Dry peach brandy would be… Oh gosh, I’ve had a lot to drink.
TraderTiki: Muscat like sweetness. Very sweet, but not cloying.

Stir Action

About this time, I hear Humu exclaim something like, “Nooooo! Not more vermouth! I’m vermoooooothed out!” There may have been some sobbing.

And I thought the “J” cocktails were safe.

I guess this is what happens when you involve civilians.

Of course, to be fair, if we were in Humu’s milieu and drinking 20 Tiki cocktails in a row, about this time I would be exclaiming, “No! Not more Pineapple Juice! I can’t take any more Pineapple Juice!”

It does make me wonder how warped my palate has become from drinking all these vermouth heavy cocktails. If you ask me to taste a cocktail, and I say, “Well, it could use a little more vermouth,” now you know why.

Jupiter Cocktail

Jupiter Cocktail

1 Teaspoonful Orange Juice
1 Teaspoonful Parfait Amour Liqueur. (Brizard Parfait Amour)
1/3 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/3 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)

Stir well in ice and strain. Twist of Lemon Peel.

I’ve been putting off the Jupiter for some time now, as folks usually descripe it as difficult to make. But Daniel really pulls it off. Just the hint of the Parfait Amour flavor is very subtle and enjoyable. The sort of cocktail I really enjoy. Where even after all these cocktails, there is something curious in the flavors that makes you want to take another sip and figure out.

Humuhumu: Simple–I think I have vermouth burnout, though.
Trott: See above.
TraderTiki: Calm orange flavor.

The Cast*

Obviously, it would have been wise to stop at about this point, but, well, few people have ever accused me of being a wise man. We also tried a couple Teardrop cocktails and some things that Daniel was working on. Then we settled up our bill and wandered off in search of dinner and, hopefully, to sober up a bit before the concert we were attending later in the evening.

First, let me say how great it was that Daniel and the other bartenders at the Teardrop were willing to play along with this little game. I’ve sort of wanted to do something like this myself, in celebration of 2 years of Savoy Stomping, but how much more fantastic to have Portland Monthly’s 2008 Bartenders of the Year mix the drinks instead? Not to mention wash the dishes!

To be honest, when I was going over the drinks in preparation for the trip, and then looking at Teardrop’s menu online, I was thinking to myself, “What the hell am I thinking? Why are we just not going to Teardrop to enjoy their drinks?” But then, who knows, maybe no one would have tried the John Wood cocktail for another 30 years. I certainly expect this may have been the first time anyone has made it in the last 30 years!

Speaking from my side of the bar, I know everyone had a great time and came away with a real respect with what they are accomplishing there at the Teardrop Cocktail Lounge. Just about everyone in the group was already making plans to return the next time they were in Portland.

I count myself lucky to have met these talented men and women and truly look forward to tasting what interesting things they are up to the next time I see them. I promise, there will be no Savoy Cocktails involved!

*These pictures by Mrs. Flannestad.

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.

Daniel Shoemaker–Part Two

This is the Seventh 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.

Humu Grins*

Continuing The Savoy “J” Stomp with Daniel Shoemaker at Teardrop Lounge in Portland, OR.

The participants:

Daniel Shoemaker: Bartender Extraordinaire at Teardrop Lounge in Portland, OR.
erik_flannestad: Your itinerant Savoy Stomper.
Humuhumu: Tiki goddess and web developer.
Trott: Talented musician, friend and co-worker. It was Trott whose quixotic quest to make all the recipes from the “Joy of Cooking” originally inspired me to take on the Savoy Cocktail Book.
Tradertiki: Portland, OR blogger, Tiki enthusiast, proprietor of his home bar Reynolés Galley, and guide for the monthly “Tiki Tuesdays” at the Teardrop Lounge.

Also along for the ride were Mrs. Flannestad, who chose not to write up her thoughts and Trott’s friend Ken. Siobhan and her husband Ben stopped by a bit later.

Jeyplak Cocktail

Jeyplak Cocktail
1 Dash Absinthe. (St. George Absinthe Verte)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
Shake well (well, stir, please) and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.
This is very similar to one of my favorite Savoy Cocktails (so far), the Fourth Degree. The big difference, being, in the Savoy Cocktail Book, the Fourth Degree is equal parts Gin, Sweet Vermouth, and Dry Vermouth. This is 2/3 Gin, 1/3 Sweet Vermouth. Interestingly, however, some people use this recipe for the Fourth Degree. In his book, “Imbibe!” David Wondrich uses the Fourth Degree recipe from the Waldorf Astoria Bar Book which is exactly this recipe.
I’ve no idea where the name comes from. All first 8 pages of Jeyplak googles end up at drink databases.
Humuhumu: Tastes way too much like NyQuil.
Trott: Absinthe Martini.
TraderTiki: Unusual, alcohol sweetness, absinthe pastis flavors are calmed.

Jimmy Blanc Cocktail

Jimmy Blanc Cocktail
3 Dashes Dubonnet. (Dubonet Rouge)
1/3 Kina Lillet. (3/4 oz Kina Lillet Approximation)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.
We were playing with a bottle of Noilly Prat which Daniel had infused with Orange and Cinnamon and then we were adding pinches of quinine trying to get something like Cocchi Americano. I think we got pretty close to modern Lillet Blanc, but it didn’t quite get to where Cocchi Americano lives. It’s an interesting challenge. Thinking back on it, it seems like the tinctures must be alcohol based. Orange, spice, quinine, mixed with the wine, and then aged.
Humuhumu: Balanced, but kind of not special. Meh.
Trott: Hmmm… Nah.
TraderTiki: Tastes like perfume.

Joburg Cocktail

Joburg Cocktail
4 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange)
1/2 Glass Caperitif. (1 oz Lillet Blanc)
1/2 Glass Bacardi Rum. (1 oz Matusalem Platino)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

I had to twist Daniel’s arm to get him to make this one with Lillet Blanc. He wanted to skip it as we didn’t have any solid knowledge about the flavor profile of Caperitif. It’s really a pretty decent light cocktail, even with Lillet Blanc. With a bit more full flavored white rum, this would probably be very good.
In regards the name, the Caperitif sort of gives it away. Joburg is the slang name for Johannesburg, as in South Africa.

Humuhumu: I like it! It tastes a bit like the oil-cured herbs de provence olives I get some times.
Trott: I knew a guy in High School named Joe Berg.
TraderTiki: Orange oil, lightly perfumey.

Jockey Club Cocktail

Jockey Club Cocktail
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. 2 Dashes Crème de Noyau. (1/2 tsp. Amaretto)
4 Dashes Lemon Juice.
3/4 Glass Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Daniel had called around trying to locate Crème de Noyau for this with no luck. I’ve tried to convince friends who travel to France to bring back some without any luck. I think I’m going to have to give up and just make it myself. It’s stone fruit season. Surely there must be a bunch of stone fruit pits laying around to play with.

Humuhumu: Smells like soap. Tastes very good, though…
Trott: Puzzling.
TraderTiki: Strong Citrus, sharp citrus on front taste.

Johnnie Mack Cocktail

Johnnie Mack Cocktail

3 Dashes Absinthe. (St. George Absinthe Verte)
1/3 Orange Curacao (3/4 oz Bols Orange Curacao)
2/3 Sloe Gin. (1 1/2 oz Lindisfarne Sloe Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Sigh, I’ve been waiting and waiting for the Plymouth Sloe Gin to show up in San Francisco. The launch party was months ago. And every week I call the liquor store which is hoping to carry it, they say, “soon,” or “It will be in next week.” And stupidly, every “next week” or “soon” I stop in the store and there is no Plymouth Sloe Gin. Well, at least I have my half bottle of Lindisfarne Sloe Gin which I personally imported in my suitcase.

Anyway, even with the interesting tannic tartness of sloe gin, this is too sweet. “Dessert anyone?” was Daniel’s comment. I also don’t quite get the combination of Absinthe and Sloe Gin.

Humuhumu: Grape Juicey, too sweet.
Trott: John Adams looks like George Washington, sort of.
TraderTiki: Tart and tangy with great, berry depth.

John Wood Cocktail

John Wood Cocktail

2 Parts Irish whisky. (Jameson’s Irish Whiskey)
4 Parts Italian Vermouth (Carpano Antica Vermouth)
2 Parts Lemon Juice.
1 Part Kummel. (Gilka Kummel)
1 Dash Angostura bitters.

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

I really liked this one. As Daniel put it, “Sometimes when you’re making cocktails, you come across one you just want to sit across from and puzzle over.” A really interesting Manhattan variation. Apparently, however, not a crowd pleaser!

Humuhumu: Unpleasantly sweet.
Trott: Vermouth waits.. Then Pounces!
TraderTiki: Flavor develops into a sweet bitter orange.

Thus endeth part the second of our adventure at Teardrop Lounge.
Things Are Piling Up*

*These pictures by Mrs. Flannestad.

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.

Daniel Shoemaker–Part One

This is the Seventh 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.

Teardrop Sign*
About a year ago Daniel Shoemaker and Ted Charak opened the Teardrop Cocktail Lounge. I visited Portland last fall and had a great time hanging out, geeking out about cocktails, and tasting the numerous bitters and elixirs they were making in house. I mean check out this fantastic Bitters and Tinctures holder they had custom made for the bar:

Bitters & Tinctures

Anyway, we’ve kept in touch after meeting at the bar. Turned out Daniel was a good friend of someone I knew in San Francisco. And as time passed I became acquainted with some other folks in the Portland bar and cocktail scene through various acquaintances.

A month ago some friends and Mrs. Flannestad hatched a plan to road trip up to Portland and catch a concert.

As usual, I started to plot ways that I could squeeze drinks at quality cocktail bars into the very short, long weekend in Portland.

I sent Daniel a note asking if he’d be interested in making some Savoy Cocktails while I was in Portland.

He agreed and I sent him the list of the next few cocktail recipes.

While I was thinking about that, it occurred to me that I would have at least three people with me who might be interested in at least trying some cocktails. I usually don’t involve civilians in these sorts of affairs, but the “J” cocktails seemed pretty harmless. So I floated the idea of doing all of the “J” cocktails to Daniel. I would bring forms for my friends to write down their notes on the cocktails and it would be a bit of a party.

He also agreed to that, amazingly.

So I started to do a bit of calling around of Portland friends to see if they would be willing to come out and help, or at least stop by and say, “Hi”.

The participants:

erik_flannestad: Your itinerant Savoy Stomper.
Humuhumu: Tiki goddess and web developer.
Trott: Talented musician, friend and co-worker. It was Trott whose quixotic quest to make all the recipes from the “Joy of Cooking” originally inspired me to take on the Savoy Cocktail Book.
Tradertiki: Portland, OR blogger, Tiki enthusiast, proprietor of his home bar Reynolés Galley, and guide for the monthly “Tiki Tuesdays” at the Teardrop Lounge.

Also along for the ride were Mrs. Flannestad, who chose not to write up her thoughts and Trott’s friend Ken. Siobhan and her husband Ben stopped by a bit later.

Daniel Shoemaker*

Daniel Shoemaker’s BIO:

Tended bar in San Francisco for 13 years, running the bar at ThirstyBear Brewing Co. for almost 10 of those.  Re-located to Portland, OR to open up Teardrop Cocktail Lounge, as a town that truly appreciates the hands-on, homemade & farm-to-table approach to food and drink.  In the intervening 1 1/2 years it took us to open our doors, threw myself into the research & archaeology that led us to create such a wide array of bitters, tonic & homemade elixirs.

Jack Kearns

Jack Kearns Cocktail (No. 1)

1 Dash Lemon Juice.
1 Dash Syrup.
1/4 Bacardi Rum.
3/4 Dry Gin.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Jack Kearns Cocktail (No. 2)

1/4 Bacardi Rum. (1/2 oz Matusalem Platino)
1 Dash Lemon Juice.
1 Dash Syrup. (House “Gum” Syrup based on maltodextrin)
3/4 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Kind of one of those where you stare at them for a while and wonder if you have gone crazy. Nope, they’re exactly the same. I did find one recipe for the Jack Kearns, in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s “Official Mixer’s Manual,” which uses more syrup (3 more dashes) for the No. 1 than the No. 2.

From his wikipedia article, “Jack “Doc” Kearns (August 17, 1882 – June 17, 1963) was an American boxing manager from the state of Washington. He is most famous for managing Jack Dempsey, who was World Heavyweight Champion from 1919 to 1926. He also managed Mickey Walker, Joey Maxim, and Archie Moore. He was given the nickname “Doc” from Dempsey.”

I guess if you were dealing with a boxing manager who could handle the Manassa Mauler, you’d probably give them what they want. “Feeling a bit sweet today, Jack?”

Humuhumu: “Taste is very fruity, but still dry.”
Trott: “Refreshing, awesome, dry, but fruity.”
Tradertiki: “Subtle floral notes. Drier rum may crisp it up.”

img_2224

Jack Pine Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Orange.
1 Slice Pineapple.
3/4 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

As in the Holland House we have a stray piece of pineapple.

Is it a garnish? Or does it go in the cocktail?

Daniel initially interpreted this as a garnish, so we tried that.

As cocktails go, not that interesting. A dry vermouth version of the Bronx.

However, having recently run across a 1930s era recipe for the “Hugo Special”, which calls for you to, “Place slices of orange and pineapple in a mixing glass muddle well,” I asked Daniel to give that a try. Daniel’s comment was, “that’s a completely different cocktail.” Others in the group were not that impressed, but I kind of liked it. Might have to revisit the Holland House and try it with muddled pineapple.

Humuhumu: “Pre-muddle version-> Thin. Post-muddle version-> Better, but sort of blah.”
Trott: “Best light tiki drink ever.”
Tradertiki: “Slightly flat. Better with muddled pineapple.”

Jack Rose

Jack Rose Cocktail

The Juice of 1/2 Lemon or 1 Lime.
1/4 Grenadine. (1/2 oz Teardrop Lounge Housemade Raspberry Syrup)
3/4 Applejack or Calvados. (1 1/2 oz Boulard Calvados)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The bar at Teardrop had just finished off the last of their house grenadine a few months before, so instead we’re using raspberry syrup for the Jack Rose. For the first try we went with Lemon, Raspberry, and Calvados. When this wasn’t met with unanimous approval, as a proper jack rose should be, we went for a second try with lime, raspberry, and Laird’s AppleJack. Met with nearly unanimous aproval, with Mrs. eje proclaiming it to be her favorite cocktail of the evening.

Humuhumu: “Dry, apple comes through strong->too sweet? With AppleJack and lime ->balanced and yum!”
Tradertiki: “Apply and fruity. Could use some understatement. AppleJack and lime creates a subtler, less cloying sweetness.”

Jackson Cocktail

Jackson Cocktail

2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange)
1/2 Orange Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin, Drops House Orange Tincture)
1/2 Dubonnet. (1 oz Dubonnet Rouge)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

My second try of the Angostura Orange Bitters and I am still liking them a lot. Strong bitter note, intense orange taste, a bit of spice (I was picking up a strong coriander flavor and maybe chamomille).

Cocktail is nothing special to write home about.

Humuhumu: “Tastes like tea. Specifically, some orange tea from Pike Place Market. Not all that good.”
Trott: “Way, way, orangey. Hmmm…”
TraderTiki: “Dry Burgundy Orange.”

Jack Withers

Jack Withers Cocktail

The Juice of 1/2 Orange.
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, as a Bronx is exactly the same with half as much orange juice, there’s not much too surprising here. A light and rather vermouthy cocktail. Daniel insisted on re-making it again with Punt e Mes instead of Carpano, which certainly improves things.

No real clues as to who Jack Withers may have been. Another boxer?

Humuhumu: “First version tastes like licking someone’s grandmother who has just put on a bunch of perfume.”
Trott: “Vermouth-a-rama. Hmmm…”
TraderTiki: “Sweetness on the end, lots of citrus and melon notes. Version 2: More bitterness, punchier flavor.”

Jewel Cocktail

Jewel Cocktail
(6 People)

2 Glasses Green Chartreuse. (3/4 oz Green Chartreuse)
2 Glasses Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
2 Glasses Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/2 Dessertspoonful Orange Bitters. (Healthy dashes Angostura Orange)

Shake thoroughly and serve with a cherry, squeezing lemon peel on top.

A medium-dry fast-working cocktail.

A Bijou Cocktail by any other name. One of a few “Savoy Cocktail Book” examples where the “party size” version of the cocktail goes by a different name. Others have noted that “Bijou” is the French word for “Jewel”. Daniel also insisted we try a version of the Bijou he’d been making lately with Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey. Oh boy was that tasty!

Humuhumu: “Very full bodied->Strong flavor, sweet. Could stand to be cut with some water, maybe should be served with an ice cube.”
Trott: “Muscular, bad-ass, Hell’s Angel of Jaeger-like cocktails.”
TraderTiki: “A Bijou in disguise, Chartreuse brought out, then centered with the vermouth.”

Thus endeth part the first of our adventure at Teardrop Lounge.

Silhouette*

*These pictures by Mrs. Flannestad.

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.

Bartender Benefit

Just a reminder that tonight is the benefit for Tony Devencenzi at Enrico‘s.

Details from the press release:

San Francisco Bartenders Unite to Help Tony Devencenzi
Fundraiser at Enrico’s on January 5th Raises the Issue of
Affordable Health Insurance as well as the dedicated bond the bar community has for one another!

San Francisco, CA–December 29, 2008—The United States Bartenders Guild, San Francisco Chapter (SF USBG) and friends and family of Tony Devencenzi have united to put together a benefit to raise funds to defray Tony’s rising medical costs. An affable barman at The Clock Bar, Tony was struck by a car on Sunday December 14, 2008. He is in stable condition and is expected to recover entirely over time; however, his lack of health insurance and loss of work time only equates to escalating bills.

The SF USBG established a Bartender Relief Fund earlier this year to help uninsured bartenders in times of need.

“In the past couple of years we have seen a few of our colleagues suffer traumatic situations with no insurance and loss of work,” stated USBG Vice President H. Joseph Ehrmann. “Sadly, we did not expect to use the funds we have raised so soon after establishing the fund. The need for affordable health insurance is once again brought to light amongst career bartenders.”

The benefit will be on this Monday, January 5, 2009 at Enrico’s Sidewalk Café from 6:30-11:30 p.m. Enrico’s has generously donated the space and food for the event. Donations are welcome at the door, $10 raffle tickets will be sold onsite and a silent auction will begin at 6:30 and end at 10:30 p.m. Key raffle and auction items include magnums of wine, top notch spirits, cocktail book as well as, restaurant gift certificates and a night of Chef Joey Altman cooking at one’s home…and much much more!

Live Music by The Backstreet Burner Blues band with headliner Joey Altman from 8:30-10:00 p.m.

The bars will be staffed by some of the best in the Bay—donating 100% of all tips and proceeds to the fund. Additionally, bars across the city have set up Tips for Tony jars including Levende Lounge and Clock Bar.

All donations can be made out to USBG and mailed to the USBG at 95 Fairmont Dr., Daly City, Ca 94015 or email the USBG at NorCalUSBG(a)gmail.com with the amount you would like to donate via credit card.

About the USBG:
The U.S.B.G. is an association of bartenders who come together to share their common interest: the craft of mixology.
Our Guild is made up of exceptional bartenders who take great pride in the cocktails we serve. At every opportunity we use only the freshest ingredients and quality spirits to craft a well-balanced, professional product.

For more information, go to Celebration for Tony on Facebook or email darizzo(a)gmail.com.