Moonlight Cooler

Moonlight Cooler
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (Rich Simple Syrup to taste)
The Juice of 1 Lemon. (Juice 1 Lime)
1 Glass Calvados. (2 oz Calvados Montreuil)
Shake well and strain into long tumbler. Fill with soda water and decorate with slices of fruit in season.

You may recognize this formulation from the Harvard Cooler, from which it differs only in the recommendation to “decorate with slices of fruit in season” and the fact that it specifically calls for Calvados, not “Calvados or Applejack”.

Not that I’m complaining, I really like this drink. It’s really fun to tweak the balance of tart, sour, and dilution so it falls just about where hard cider would fall.

If you get it just right, I think a lot of people, especially if you’re making it with Calvados, would have a hard time telling it from the real thing.

And if you’re a Apple fan, like myself, that is a very good thing.

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

Apple Toddy

Apple Toddy
1 Teaspoonful of Powdered sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)
1/4 Baked Apple. (1/4 Baked Apple and a little of the juice from baking)
1 Glass Calvados or Applejack. (2 oz Calvados Montreuil Reserve)
Use stem glass and fill with Boiling water (about 2 oz). Grate nutmeg on top.

In case you hadn’t noticed, a lot of the recipes at the back of the Savoy Cocktail Book are really old. Punches, Toddies, Daisies, Rickeys, these are mostly cocktails which would date to the 19th Century or before.

I assume, many of these were not made with any particular regularity at the Savoy Bar, as they had long since gone out of fashion by the early 20th Century.

I will also be referring rather frequently to David Wondrich’s Imbibe! From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar, as it is pretty much THE source for information about the cocktails and drinks of that age.

According to Mr. Wondrich, the Apple Toddy, before the Cock-tail or Mint Julep ascended to primacy, was among the most quintessentially American drinks. Appearing well before the cocktail, it was also one of the most popular drinks right up until prohibition. However, unlike the cocktail, after Prohibition, it did not return to popular drinking culture.

Which really is too bad, as it a truly fantastic warming tipple for an autumnal day.

The other day, I was talking to a friend about a recent trip to a new-ish bar. I’d enjoyed the drinks I’d had, but after a couple found they were just too intensely flavored to be savored over the long term. Lots of flavored syrups, bitters, spices, and even more, were being used. In wine, they call red wines that are rather too intense for their own good “over extracted”, there was a certain similarness to these cocktails. They were so packed with elements and flavors that they were somewhat exhausting to the palate. After a couple, I just had a kind of sour feeling in my stomach, and wished for a beer or Whiskey on the rocks.

The Apple Toddy, and drinks like it, is rather the opposite.

Initially, it seems too simple to be enjoyable, just Apple Flavored Booze, Sugar, Hot Water, an Apple and Spice. But after a couple sips, you realize it is a warming antidote to those over driven modern cocktails. Give it a try and see what you think.

Though, first, you are going to have to bake some apples.

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Quarter and core a few apples. Tablespoon of sugar in the center of each apple. Spices to your preference. Cover and cook until the apples are soft.

On the plus, side, the apples also make an excellent dessert served with vanilla ice cream or make a great addition to your morning porridge.

Regarding execution, you have two choices, you can either smash up the apple quarter into the drink, making kind of a big mess, or you can skewer it and leave it whole. I lean towards skewering it and leaving it whole, that way you have a nifty booze soaked apple piece to enjoy after drinking your toddy.

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

Zed Cocktail

Another month, another Savoy Night. Always great to work with the bar and service staff at Alembic. Over the couple years we’ve been doing them, getting to know these awesome people has been a highlight of this whole project.

In particular, I’ve learned a lot from a staff of bartenders that has been kind of enough to tolerate my awkward presence in their space once a month.

When I mentioned that I was just about done with the “Cocktails” section of the book, all but the “Zed”, Daniel Hyatt said, you have to save that one for us. So, after a medium Savoy Night I settled down on the other side of the bar and asked Danny Louie to whip me up a Zed Cocktail.

Half Calvados and Half “Hercules”, it’s a sort of Manhattan variation, I suppose.

Along with being one of the most technically gifted bartenders I know, Danny is working on getting a food truck together that will specialize in Asian Street Food. Called “TomKat” they are looking towards getting it up and running some time this spring. From what he’s told me, their chef will be tapping into some of his Mom’s recipes for the dishes and Danny plans to handle the front of the house.

Zed Cocktail
1/2 Hercules 5b.*
1/2 Calvados or Apple Brandy. (Chauffe Coeur Calvados VSOP)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze Lemon Peel over glass and drop in.)

Hm, you know this isn’t half bad. Maybe I just like Calvados and my take on “Hercules”, but this is a pretty good feature for both.

*Hercules #5b

1 Stick Cassia Cinnamon, crushed
2 tsp. Coriander Seed, crushed
3 Cardamom Pods, crushed
8 Whole Cloves, crushed
1 tsp. Quinine Powder
1 tsp Gentian Root
1/4 Cup Yerba Mate
Zest 2 Seville Oranges
1/2 cup Raw Sugar
750ml Quady Elektra
1/4 cup Osocalis Brandy

METHOD: Combine spices, peel, yerba mate and wine. Heat to 160 degrees. Filter through chinois and add Brandy. Let stand for at least a day and then enjoy chilled or where “Hercules” is called for.

Well, here it is, the Savoy Cocktail Index, with all entries, Abbey to Zed:

Savoy Cocktail Index

–End of the Cocktails.–

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. Hey, wait, this is the Zed. Well, all right, I might as well keep going through the rest.

Wow Cocktail

Wow Cocktail
1/4 Bacardi Rum. (1/2 oz Havana Club 7)
1/4 Hercules. (1/2 oz Hercules 5a)
1/4 Calvados or Apple Brandy. (1/2 oz Calvados Montreuil)
1/4 Brandy. (1/2 oz Osocalis Brandy)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Wow, indeed.

3/4 Booze and 1/4 Aperitif Wine, this is not awful, exactly, but not compelling. Mostly just boozy.

I thought maybe bye choosing Havana Club 7, that I could bring a bit of extra character to the drink, but I think it just distracted from the two brandies. A white rum would have been wiser, I think, in this case.

I guess some of the problem might be that this is not entirely my favorite batch of Hercules. Back to finding Quady Elektra for Hercules, and back to remembering to put the mint tea in.

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.

Widow’s Kiss Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, Jan 30, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Widow’s Kiss Cocktail
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Angostura)
1/2 Liqueur glass Chartreuse. (1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
1/2 Liqueur Glass Benedictine. (1/2 oz Benedictine)
1 Liqueur Glass Calvados or Apple Brandy. (1 oz Calvados Montreuil)
Shake well (I stirred) and strain into cocktail glass.

“And if you close the door, the night could last forever.”

For some reason, the Widow’s Kiss Cocktail reminds me of the song, “After Hours” by the Velvet Underground.

As written, half Calvados and half liqueurs, it is rather sickly sweet. I have re-jiggered the ratios somewhat, a common tactic, and still find it too sweet for me. You could take them down to a quarter oz each, and I would be much happier.

Another tactic, sometimes taken, is to add some citrus to the drink, to balance out the intense sweetness of the Benedictine and Chartreuse liqueurs. That gets a bit far from the origins of the drink for me, but it also works and is tasty.

By the way, this is a drink, in my opinion, which should be made with Calvados. American Apple Brandies just don’t have the weight or interest to carry the drink. (Well, unless you choose to add some citrus, in which case American Apple Brandy will probably be fine. But then you’re just making an Herbal Jack Rose.)

I’m ambivalent about the Widow’s Kiss. It is a really good drink, and one of the best cocktail names of all times, but it is also far too sweet.

I suppose, properly, it is an after dinner, (Or After Hours?) digestive type cocktail, and enjoying it with coffee might be one way of coping with its extreme sweetness.

Otherwise, drying out the proportions works, though then it heads towards boozy-landia, basically being just a cold glass of Calvados.

Another treatment might be to take a Stinger type strategy, and serve it over crushed ice.

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.

Whist Cocktail

Whist Cocktail
1/4 Bacardi Rum. (1/2 oz Havana Club 7 Year)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
1/2 Calvados. (1 oz Calvados Montrueil Reserve)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

This is a delightful drink that has been known in the West Indies for countless years. It might be described as a West Indies “Sundowner”.

Not quite sure why all these West Indies cocktails are showing up all of a sudden, but here’s another.

Described as a “Sundowner”, according to the Wiktionary, that means, “A cocktail consumed at sunset, or to signify the end of the day. A cocktail party in the early evening.”

Being 3/4 booze, this is a pretty stiff way to start the evening’s entertainment.

The cocktail called for “Bacardi Rum” for which I’d usually use a dry Cuban Style Rum. But I figured with the Italian Vermouth and Calvados, it wouldn’t hurt to use something with a bit more character.

I’ve always enjoyed the Havana Club 7 in Manhattans, it has just enough rough character that it makes sense to take the edges off with a bit of vermouth. Works here, lending a bit of aged character and sweetness to the drink.

Whist is a classic English trick-taking card game which was played widely in the 18th and 19th centuries. It derives from the 16th century game of Trump or Ruff, via Ruff and Honours. Although the rules are extremely simple, there is enormous scope for scientific play.

Apparently originating in the early 17th century, the now obsolete adjective “whist” and variant spelling “wist” (in which the word wistful has its roots), meant quiet, silent, and/or attentive. The adverb wistly is also defined as meaning intently.

In its heyday a large amount of literature about how to play whist was written. Edmond Hoyle, of “According to Hoyle” fame, wrote an early popular and definitive textbook, A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist. It is important to note that this game, called “French ruff” by Charles Cotton, is similar to écarté. English ruff-and-honours, also described by Cotton, is similar to whist. If we admit that ruff and trump are convertible terms, of which there is scarcely a doubt, the game of trump was the precursor of whist. A purely English origin may, therefore, be claimed for trump (not la triomphe). No record is known to exist of the invention of this game, nor of the mode of its growth into ruff-and-honours, and finally into whist.

Huh, now that I think about it, the Whist Cocktail is very similar to the Corpse Reviver No. 1, with Rum instead of Brandy. Well, if you start your day gaining steam from a Corpse Reviver No 1, I guess it makes sense to end it quietly, with its cousin the Whist 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.

Wembley Cocktail (No. 1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MxMo LII: Warday’s Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, November 28th, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Warday’s Cocktail
1 Teaspoonful Chartreuse. (1 tsp Green Chartreuse)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Miller’s Gin)
1/3 Calvados or Apple Brandy. (3/4 oz Montreuil Calvados Reserve)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Like the Victor Cocktail, you just kind of wonder what the Gin is doing in this cocktail.

Does it have an intended flavor contribution to the cocktail, or is it just an extender for the rather expensive other spirits in the drink.

In the case of the Warday’s, I think it does have a bit of a function, providing a bridge between the flavor of the Calvados and that of the Chartreuse, but I bet this cocktail would be even better with Aquavit!

Hm, and today’s Warday’s Cocktail cocktail coincides with November’s Mixology Monday, hosted by Denis over at Rock & Rye:

The challenge this month is to bring to light a drink that you think deserves to be resurrected from the past, and placed back into the spotlight. It could be pre-prohibition, post-war, that horrible decade known as the 80?s, it doesn’t really matter. As long as it is somewhat obscure, post it up. If possible try to keep to ingredients that are somewhat readily available. While we all appreciate the discovery of an amazing cocktail, if we can’t make it, it’s no fun for anyone.

Not sure if this is quite cool enough to be a truly awesome “Forgotten Cocktail”, but it is quite tasty, and as far as I can tell obscure enough to be included, especially since contributors in the comments have noted it is very similar to Jeffy Morgenthaler’s Norwegian Wood. Oh, and, apparently a version of the Warday’s is found in regular rotation at the New York City members only club, Milk and Honey.

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.

Twelve Miles Out Cocktail

Twelve Miles Out Cocktail
1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Vale d’ Paul Aguardiente Nove de Santo Antao)
1/3 Swedish Punch. (3/4 oz Underhill Punsch)
1/3 Calvados. (3/4 oz Monteuil Calvados Reserve)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.

When my friend Stephen Shellenberger (aka Boston Apothecary) was in town, he stopped by Heaven’s Dog for a drink.  As if a visit from this young drink visionary weren’t enough, he also brought in a couple bottles of Rum from Cape Verde called “Vale d’ Paul Aguardiente Nove de Santo Antao” for me to try.

At the time, I wasn’t really drinking, so didn’t get much of a chance to appreciate the gift.  But I was struck by the similarity of the Aguardiente to Agricole Style Rums.

A few nights later, Michael Lazar (aka Mr. Manhattan) stopped by, so I gave him a taste of the Aguardiente. Interestingly, he had first been introduced to Agricole Style Rums in Guadalupe, and really enjoyed them.  Since that time, he had tried many Agricole Rums from Martinique, but never quite gotten the same kick out of the Martinique Rum that he had gotten out of the Rums from Guadalupe.  The leaner nature of the Martinique Rums just didn’t jive with his memory of the fruity, delicious rums of Guadalupe. The Vale d’ Paul Aguardiente, he thought, was closer to the style of Rums he remembered from that Caribbean Island.

When I was trying to think of an interesting drink to use the in the Twelve Miles out, it was exactly that fruity character that I thought would match well with the Calvados in this drink.

For a mostly booze drink, this isn’t bad.  It should be almost as cold as you can possibly get it, or it will seem too sweet, but it is kind of nice. The Calvados, Rum, and Punch really mesh into something else which is quite interesting, yet at the same time all the elements are present and available.  The aroma from a generous piece of orange peel is definitely a critical element.

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

Tulip Cocktail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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