Blood and Sand Cocktail

Blood and Sand Cocktail

1/4 Orange Juice (3/4 oz fresh Blood Orange Juice)
1/4 Scotch Whisky (3/4 oz Compass Box Asyla)
1/4 Cherry Brandy (3/4 oz Massenez Creme de Griotte)
1/4 Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This one is supposed to be named after the 1922 movie of the same name featuring Rudolph Valentino. The movie is the story of a bullfighter rising from a poor background only to be defeated by his own ambition.

As far as the cocktail goes, I think the Asyla is a bit too civilized for this company. The cocktail probably could have used a more assertive a Scotch. Also, while not syrupy, the Blood and Sand, especially made with the Massenez Creme de Griotte, is pretty sweet. If you make it yourself, I’d recommend picking up some Cherry Heering, as it is drier and definitely superior in this cocktail.

My use of blood orange wasn’t really planned. We have a couple kinds of oranges in the fridge, and I picked a small one thinking it was a valencia. When I split it, I realized it was a blood orange. Well, “apropos,” I thought. Also, these are very early season blood oranges, so still quite tart. The berry/musk doesn’t really start to overwhelm the fruit until later in the year.

Blood and Sand is another of those cocktails that had been on my list to try for quite a while. I usually have all the stuff for it in the house. It had just has never made it to the top of the list. First there’s the short list of regular cocktails then there’s the cool ones I read about in Gary Regan’s column or on the Internet… Any of those always seem more appealing than the BandS.

It certainly is an odd cocktail. Fairly mild on the alcohol front, not as sweet as a dessert cocktail, and neither dry nor aromatic enough to qualify as an aperitif or digestif. In a lot of ways, I’ve come to think of it as the blueprint for a lot of the modern, middle of the road cocktails.

Oh, and oddly, Patrick Gavin Duffy instructs this cocktail should be stirred, not shaken.

Here are a couple more links to much better writers than I tackling the mystery that is the Blood and Sand.

Professor gets some Education, Gary Regan, in a SF Chronicle Cocktailian column from 2003

Naming Names, Paul Clarke, from his Cocktail Chronicles blog in 2005

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.

Biter Cocktail

Biter Cocktail (6 People)

3 Glasses of Gin (3 oz Tanqueray Gin)
1 1/2 Glasses of Lemon Juice slightly sweetened (1 1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1 1/2 Glasses of Green Chartreuse ( 1 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse)
Before shaking add a Dash of Absinthe (Verte de Fougerolles)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

As usual with these 6 person cocktails, I’m using 2 oz per “Glass” and dividing it in half to make two drinks.

Might be my favorite Chartreuse cocktail so far. Perhaps related to the pleasant pale green color and dry, tart flavor. Quite herb-a-licious.

I didn’t really feel a need for extra sweetener, despite the fact that the recipe calls for it. As they say, your mileage may vary.

I do find this same cocktail is sometimes called the “Bitter Cocktail” in some sources. Might be another Savoy typo.

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.

Big Boy Cocktail

Big Boy Cocktail

1/2 Brandy (1 1/2 oz Korbel VSOP)
1/4 Cointreau (3/4 oz Cointreau)
1/4 Sirop-de-Citron (3/4 oz Homemade Limoncello)
(dash lemon juice)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

After finding a couple DIY recipes for “Sirop-de-Citron” I realized the procedure for making it is about the same as for limoncello, so, instead of buying a bottle of Monin Lemon Syrup, or making it myself, I subbed in limoncello.

I also couldn’t quite face drinking this without a dash of lemon juice. Still pretty sweet.

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.

Biffy Cocktail

Speaking of Mr. Darcy O’Neil…

A couple years ago, Darcy published an article about Arrack. Being as I thought Arrack was, at the time, completely unavailable to those of us in North America, I was quick to send him a note asking where on earth he’d found it.

Batavia Arrack is important because it is used as the base for a liqueur called Swedish Punch. Swedish Punch has not been available in the US for a number of years and has no direct substitute. If you want to make cocktails with it, your only real options are to either travel to Sweden or make it yourself. Unfortunately, as I noted, Arrack had also not been available in the US for a long time, so you couldn’t really even make it yourself.

After a little exchange of interests and ideas, a bottle of Very Special Old Arrack from Sri Lanka appeared on my doorstep.

In his article, Darcy also noted that Jerry Thomas had a few recipes for Arrack Punch. One involved Calves’ Foot Jelly, which seemed a little hard core for me, even if it really is the same stuff as Jello. The other two seemed fairly adaptable.

United Service Punch.
Take ½ pint of Arrack.
1 pint of Jamaica rum.
½ pound of loaf-sugar.
3 pints of hot tea.
6 lemons.

Rub off the peel of four of the lemons with some of the sugar. Dissolve the sugar in the tea; add the juice of all the lemons, and the Arrack. Serve cold.

Imperial Arrack Punch.
Take 1 quart of old Batavia Arrack.
6 lemons.
1 pound of loaf-sugar.
1 quart of boiling water.

Cut the lemons into thin slices, and steep them in the Arrack for six hours. Remove the lemons without squeezing them. Dissolve the sugar in the water, and add it while hot to the Arrack. Then let it cool. This makes a fine liqueur which should be thoroughly iced before serving.

I wasn’t sure about amounts for the liquids, since I have no idea what proof liquors Thomas might have been working with. I decided to shoot for something around 20% alcohol, since this seems to be where I see most Swedish Punch listed. I ended up doing a sort of hybrid of Thomas’ two recipes.

Trying to halve the recipe above, I steeped 2 thinly sliced lemon in 1/4 pint Arrack and 1/2 pint Mount Gay Eclipse Rum overnight.

I made a double strength cup of Darjeeling tea, dissolved a cup of Demerara sugar in it, cooled to room temperature, (the reason to cool to room temp before chilling is tea tends to cloud if chilled too quickly,) and chilled overnight.

In the morning I strained the alcohol mixture (not squeezing) and combined it with the tea syrup.

12 hours later, I ran the barely aged liqueur through a filter and bottled. The result wasn’t a bad tasting liqueur. A bit odd, it must be admitted. Still, tasty.

I had no idea, at the time, if it was remotely similar to real Swedish Punsch. But, that didn’t prevent me from making a Biffy Cocktail with it!

Biffy Cocktail

1/4 Lemon Juice (3/4 ounce Lemon Juice)
1/4 Swedish Punch (3/4 ounce homemade)
1/2 Dry Gin (1 1/2 Ounce Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

But, here’s the problem.

As I did more research about Arrack, I discovered that the Sri Lankan Arrack that Darcy had sent me is altogether different from Batavia Arrack. Sri Lankan Arrack is made by distilling Palm Wine.

The Batavia Arrack that Jerry Thomas is calling for, and that is used in Swedish Punch, is made in Indonesia and distilled from fermented Sugar Cane. It is basically a Rum. However, for a rum, it is unusual in that its fermentation is started with the addition of fermented red rice, giving it a hint of the unusual flavors, (for a Westerner,) that you find in Sake and some distilled Asian spirits.

The Biffy was tasty with my liqueur. If I’d had Batavia Arrack, I would have been making Swedish Punch. But with Sri Lankan Arrack, what I’d made wasn’t Swedish Punch.

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.

Between-The-Sheets Cocktail

Between-The-Sheets Cocktail

1 Dash Lemon Juice.
1/3 Brandy. (3/4 oz Germain-Robin Fine Alambic Brandy)
1/3 Cointreau. (3/4 oz Cointreau)
1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Flor de Cana Rum)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

So here’s the thing about the Between the Sheets. Aside from that dash of Lemon Juice, it is made up entirely of 80 proof spirits. That means it is sweet, eminently drinkable, and packs as much of a wallop as any dry martini or Whiskey Old-Fashioned.

It is my considered opinion that cocktails in the vein of the Between the Sheets are nothing more than attempts by the male half of the race to create a potent cocktail which they conceive will be palatable to the female half.

And, well, the name gives away where they hope that will lead.

For extra credit reading, check out my friend Rick’s BTS recipe comparison over at Kaiser Penguin:

Recipe Comparison: Between the Sheets

Talk about taking one for the team. One of these is enough to put me into a diabetic coma. Rick sampled several. He does not, however, tell us if the evening ended up “Between the Sheets” or if so, who ended up on top.

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.

Bennett Cocktail

Bennett Cocktail

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
1/4 Lime Juice. (Generous 1/2 oz Lime Juice)
3/4 Dry Gin. (Generous 1 1/2 oz Tanqueray Gin)
(Dash Rich Simple Syrup)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I couldn’t quite hang with this one without any sweetener at all. But, I kept it to a minimum, so as not to turn it into a Daiquiri. Short, sharp and tart, even with a bit of sweetener, this is a wakeup call of a cocktail. I was feeling fractionally challenged, so went with this size. It was a bit small, maybe. Next time I would re-do with 2 1/4 oz of gin and 3/4 ounce lime.

In his book “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” Robert Vermeire says about the Bennett, “This cocktail, which is very popular in Chile, is called after the well-known and popular land-owner and millionaire of that country.”

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.

Bass Wyatt

Bass Wyatt Cocktail
(5 People)

Beat up 4 (1 XL) Eggs, and add
4 Glasses of Dry Gin (4 oz Tanqueray Gin)
2/3 Glass of Cherry Brandy (2/3 oz Massenez Creme de Griotte)
1/2 Glass Lemon Juice (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
4 Dashes Orange Bitters (2 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters)
1/2 Tablespoon of Powdered Sugar (1/2 teaspoon Caster sugar)
1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Flavouring (Dash Vanilla Extract)

Shake well and strain into medium-size glass. Grate nutmeg on top. Frost glass with castor sugar.

As usual with these “party” cocktails, I’m going with the 2 oz per “glass” theory and then cutting the recipe in half. The drink is actually pretty nice. Sort of an enriched version of a Singapore Gin Sling. I did skip frosting the rim of the glass. I wasn’t able to uncover any information about who or what “Bass Wyatt” might have been, but if you’re looking for a change-up from your usual weekend brunch Ramos Gin Fizz, this might be a good place to start.

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.

Balm Cocktail

Balm Cocktail
(6 People)

1/2 Glass Orange Juice. (1/2 oz fresh squeezed)
1/2 Glass Cointreau (1/2 oz)
3 Glasses sherry. (3 oz Lustau Don Nuno Dry Oloroso)
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Regan’s)
2 Dashes Pimento Dram liqueur. (Homemade)

Fill up the shaker with cracked ice shake and serve with an olive.

The olive garnish doesn’t make any sense to me. Also not sure if this is the appropriate Sherry. But, I’m still coming to terms with Dry Sherries.

In any case, this isn’t a bad cocktail, if you like orange, spice, and sherry. Just isn’t quite as short and sharp as a the usual liquor based cocktails. A pleasant appetizer 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.

Bacardi Special Cocktail

Bacardi Special Cocktail*

1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (Homemade)
1/3 Burroughs Beefeater Gin. (3/4 oz Beefeater’s Gin)
2/3 Bacardi Rum. (1 1/2 oz Flor de Cana Extra Dry Gin)
The Juice of 1/2 Lime.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

*Made famous by Karl K. Kitchen, the well known New York Newspaper Columnist.

This is tastier than it really has any business being. A bit like Harrington’s Jasmine. Light and tart. Very similar to a glass of alcoholic grapefruit juice. It’s always fun to find some of these Savoy cocktails still have legs, so I was pleased to get some very positive reactions when I’ve served this drink at parties. Give it a try and let me know what response you get.

Nice to get back, after the Babbie Special, to something I can recommend.

Karl K. Kitchen was a bon vivant and journalist with the New York World in the early part of the 20th Century.

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.

Aviation Cocktail

Aviation Cocktail

1/3 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
2 Dashes Maraschino. (1/2 tsp. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur)
[2 Dashes Creme de Violette] (1/2 tsp. Rothman and Winter Creme de Violette Liqueur)
(1/2 teaspoon Rich Simple Syrup)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Garnish with cherry.)

In one of the Savoy Cocktail Book’s more famous typos or mistakes, Craddock (or the editors) left the Violette out of the recipe for the Aviation Cocktail.

This is the earliest recipe from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks.”

Aviation Cocktail

1/3 Lemon Juice
2/3 El Bart Gin
2 dashes Maraschino
2 dashes Creme de Violette

Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.

The Savoy and Ensslin Aviations are a pretty sharp tonics. Very sour with only those few little dashes of sweetener.

Generally, if you order an Aviation in a bar today, you’re more likely going to get something like this recipe from Gary Regan:

Aviation Cocktail

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice and add all of the ingredients. Shake for approximately 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Like Embury’s Apple Jack Rabbit Cocktail, this is getting a bit far from the original recipe for me. Depending on the Maraschino you’re using, this may also really be overkill on that ingredient. Especially if you’re using Luxardo, too much Maraschino is not a good thing. It will completely dominate a cocktail in a not very pleasant manner.

So I propose the solution above. Don’t skip the violette, don’t overdo the Maraschino, and add a bit of simple syrup to mellow this very tart Savoy Cocktail Book recipe.

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.