Artist’s Special

Artist’s (Special) Cocktail

1/3 Whisky. (3/4 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey)
1/3 Sherry. (3/4 oz Lustau Solera Reserva Dry Oloroso Sherry “Don Nuño”)
1/6 Lemon Juice. (1/3-1/2 oz lime juice)
1/6 Groseille Syrup. (bar spoon D’Arbo Red Currant Preserves)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This is the genuine ‘Ink of Inspiration’ imbibed at the Bal Bullier Paris. The recipe is from the Artists Club, Rue Pigalle, Paris.

Well, I’ve take quite a lot of liberties for this one. However, with such unspecific ingredients its hard to know where to start. First, the whisky is not specified. Second the type of Sherry is not specified. Third, I realized, when I was looking through the refrigerator, we were out of lemons. Fourth, I could find no Red Currant syrup.

But, the description is so inspiring, I had to give it a try.

The Saz Jr is my go-to rye for mixing, so I started there. Sometimes it is a little too assertive to play well with other ingredients. But there was enough going on here, I thought it might be interesting.

I didn’t particularly care for the fino sherry I’d recently tried in my cobbler experiment, so I thought I’d get something a little richer. Didn’t want a cream, though. Given the fairly meager local selection of sherry, the Lustau Dry Oloroso seemed like a good choice.

My wife has a cold and she used up all the lemons in her tea. Thank goodness, we still had regular limes. I don’t think I could have lived with myself if I had been forced to substitute key limes or calamansi.

Apparently, Groseille syrup is red currant syrup. I can find no trace of it in the modern world. Black currant, yes, Red currant, no. Fortunately, you can still buy red currant preserves. What are preserves, but, thickened fruit syrup?

What’s the verdict?

It’s quite a tasty cocktail and well worth all that pondering. Everything is there; but, none of the ingredients are fighting. Rye, currants, citrus, and sherry complement each other. Who knew?

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.

Apricot Cocktail

Apricot Cocktail

1/4 Lemon Juice. (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Orange Juice. (1/2 oz Orange Juice)
1/2 Apricot Brandy. (1/2 oz Vedrenne Liqueur de Abricot)
1 Dash Dry Gin. (Beefeater’s)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I was afraid this mild proto-Fuzzy Navel would be too sweet. However, the lemon balances out the sweetness of the Apricot liqueur nicely and it ends up more sweet tart. Again, as in the Apple Jack Rabbit, the aromatic zing of fresh citrus juice makes this cocktail for me.

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.

Apple Jack Rabbit Cocktail

The Apple Jack Rabbit Cocktail

1 Hooker of Applejack. (1 1/2 oz Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy)
The Juice of 1 Lemon. (1 oz Lemon Juice)
The Juice of 1 Orange. (2 oz Fresh Orange Juice)
1 Hooker of Maple Syrup. (1 1/2 oz Maple Syrup)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This is a somewhat odd recipe for a few reasons. First, it uses the archaic measure “hooker”. A hooker, as far as I can tell, refers more to a particular type of glass than anything else. It is a small glass which holds a single shot of alcohol. The sort of glass you’d get on the side with a boilermaker.

Second, this recipe has an ungodly amount of maple syrup in it. I really have no idea how it would be remotely drinkable as written above. Maybe maple syrup was different in the 1920s?

Third, it is really large for a drink from this time. No way over 5 oz of liquid is fitting into a cocktail glass. In the picture above, I’ve scaled it down and still had a hard time fitting it in the glass. I’d suggest a double old-fashioned glass.

After all that, though, if you cut back the maple syrup and juice, this is a pretty good cocktail, especially with fresh juice.

In his book, “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks,” David A. Embury suggests the following:

6 part Apple Jack (1 1/2 oz)
1 part Lemon Juice (1/4 oz)
1 part Orange Juice (1/4 oz)
1 part Maple Syrup (1/4 oz)

I’m sure that’s fine, but it’s getting a bit too far from the original ratios of the drink for me.

The ratio I used was:

1 1/2 oz Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 oz Maple Syrup

Pretty tasty, and I think cuts a nice mid-way path between the candy coated nightmare of the original and the rather austere Embury version.

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.

Apple Pie Cocktail

Apple Pie Cocktail

1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 1/2 oz Flor de Cana Extra Dry Rum)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth)
4 Dashes Apricot Brandy. (1 teaspoon Vedrenne Liqueur de Abricot)
2 Dashes Grenadine. (1/2 teaspoon home made Grenadine)
4 Dashes Lemon Juice. (1 teaspoon Lemon Juice)

Shake (or stir? I’d lean towards stirring.) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Sort of an elaborate Rum Manhattan, I guess. Really quite an enjoyable cocktail.

No real idea what it has to do with Apple Pie, however. Anyone have an idea?

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.

American Beauty

American Beauty

1 Dash Crème de Menthe. (Brizard)
1/4 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Fresh)
1/4 Grenadine. (3/4 oz homemade*)
1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/4 Brandy. (3/4 oz Korbel VSOP)

Shake well and strain into medium size glass and top with a little port wine (Warre’s Warrior Porto).

I didn’t really have a lot of hope for this cocktail but it really surprised me. Probably using the homemade grenadine and fresh orange juice is a big advantage, as they are in any cocktail. The touch of mint really does provide a little something else exotic.

Aside from being the title of a Grateful Dead album and the name of an old garden rose variety, “American Beauty Rose” was the name of a song published around 1910. Mostly, it’s one of those, “Yeah, girls from other countries can be kind of hot; but, I prefer my good old fashioned American Beauty Rose,” type songs. No idea if there is a connection.

*1 Cup Pomegranate Juice (Knudsen Just Pomegranate)
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Pomegranate Concentrate
1/4 Cup Vodka

Combine sugar with juice and shake until dissolved. Add Pomegranate Concentrate and Vodka.

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.

Allen (Special) Cocktail

Allen (Special) Cocktail

Dash Lemon Juice. (Juice 1/6 Lemon)
1/3 Maraschino. (3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
2/3 Plymouth Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

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

First, let’s not confuse the bright red Maraschino Cherries you get in Shirley Temples with Maraschino Liqueur. You should not make this cocktail by dumping the syrup from your cherries in the shaker.

You’re going to have to hunt down some real Maraschino Liqueur before attempting this or an Aviation.

Maraschino Liqueur is made from cherries; but, somewhat indirectly.

The nice folks at Luxardo, (Maraska and Stock also make Maraschino liqueurs,) make a whole fruit Maraska Cherry Eau-de-Vie, age it briefly in Ash wood barrels, sweeten it, and then bottle it.

This is somewhat unusual, as most liqueurs are made by simply soaking fruit in alcohol and then filtering and bottling.

What you get from this process is an interesting and distinctive funky flavor. The use of the whole fruit including pits, definitely contributes some nutty almond-like notes.

Second, if you’re familiar with classic cocktails, you’ll note a striking similarity between this cocktail and the Aviation Cocktail. In fact, the only real difference between many formulations of the Allen and Aviation is the reversed proportions. The Aviation is 2/3 Gin and 1/3 Lemon Juice with a dash of Maraschino (and a dash of Violet Liqueur.) The Allen is 2/3 Gin and 1/3 Maraschino with a dash of lemon juice. This might seem a bit twiddly to us today, but, this sort of thing seems to have made a big difference to the drinkers of the early 20th Century.

In fact, I’d go on to say, that about 90% of the time when you order an Aviation in a modern bar, you’ll get something closer to an Allen than an Aviation.

In any case, the Allen cocktail is an enjoyable cocktail, and a fine feature for the Maraschino Liqueur.

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.