Sherry Twist Cocktail (No. 1)

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Sherry Twist Cocktail (No. 1)
(6 People)
1 Glass Brandy. (1/2 oz Germain-Robin Fine Alembic Brandy)
1 Glass French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
3 Glasses Sherry. (1 1/2 oz Williams Humbert Dry Sack)
2/3 Glass Cointreau. (1/3 oz Cointreau)
1/3 Glass Lemon Juice. (1/6 oz Lemon Juice)
1 Small Piece Cinnamon. (1 Small Piece Cinnamon)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Shave cinnamon over glass with microplane and serve.)

Just shaking with a “small piece of cinnamon” didn’t seem like it would get much character into the cocktail, so I added a little more as a garnish. As you can see, after all my complaining about pale dry sherries, I have gone ahead and gotten something a little closer to what I imagine might actually be used, Williams Humbert Dry Sack. Oddly, “Dry Sack” isn’t really “Dry” at all. It’s a medium sweet blend of several types of sherries. Not too sweet, not too dry. Also, not terribly expensive.

This was a drink I really had to make before I could even imagine what it would taste like.  The Sherry Twist (No. 1) is odd, but not bad. Really more of a single serving, a la minute, Sherry and Brandy Punch than a cocktail.  It is kind of intriguing, semi-dry, and spicy.  Not sure if I would make it again, but I would certainly not turn it down if it was offered.

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.

Sanctuary Cocktail

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Sanctuary Cocktail*
1/4 Cointreau. (1/2 oz Cointreau)
1/4 Amer Picon. (1/2 oz Torani Amer, er, well, Homemade version of Boudreau’s Amer Picon replica, actually. The Torani Amer bottle was just better looking.)
1/2 Dubonnet. (1 oz Dubonnet Rouge)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

*So-called because the Savoy, together with The Clink, Deadman’s Place, Fulwood’s Rents, The Mint, Mitre Court, Baldwin’s Gardens and Stepney were the last places in London where the privilege of “Sanctuary ” existed. Unfortunately this privilege was abolished by in “The Escape from Prison Act” in 1697. But even to-day no Ladies are allowed in the Savoy’s inner American Cocktail Bar.

“The protection afforded by a sanctuary at common law a person accused of felony might fly for safeguard of to sanctuary and there within 40 days go clothed in sackcloth before the coroner confess the felony and take an oath of t lie realm whereby he undertook to quit the kingdom and not return without the king’s leave Upon was ipso facto convict of the felony suffered attainder and forfeited all his goods but had time allowed him his oath The abjurer started forth on his journey with a wooden cross bareheaded and clothed in a robe which made him conspicuous among medieval wayfarers He had to keep to the king’s highway was not remain more than two nights in any one place and his way to the coast quickly The time allowed for was not long In Edward III s reign only nine given an abjurer to travel on foot from Yorkshire to Dover.”

I believe this is a bit of a joke, conflating the legal right of “sanctuary” with the ability to go to a bar and avoid your wife.

The cocktail itself is better than I expected. The bitterness of the Amer Picon replica does a nice job in balancing out the sweetness of the Cointreau.

These sorts of drinks always seem very much like what would be drunk in a Cafe in France, as in the picon-citron-curacao from Marcel Pagnol’s movie “Marius”.

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.

Queen Elizabeth Cocktail

Queen Elizabeth Cocktail

Queen Elizabeth Cocktail.
1 Dash Absinthe. (Absinthe Verte de Fougerolles)
1/4 Lemon Juice. (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Cointreau. (1/2 oz Cointreau)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The first of two cocktails called the “Queen Elizabeth Cocktail,”I was really kind of hoping this would be a super tasty variation on the White Lady Cocktail.  Unfortunately, it takes the simple elegance of that drink and muddies it with Absinthe.  And while I think Anise and Orange are often nice flavor combinations, they just don’t work for me here.

If you are really hot and bothered about making the Queen Elizabeth Cocktail, maybe you are a white collared Elizabethan at heart, I might suggest adding an egg white and then simply dotting small drops of absinthe on the top of the drink.  Or if you stick with the egg white free version, maybe just rinse the glass with absinthe.

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.

Orange Bloom Cocktail

Orange Bloom Cocktail

Orange Bloom Cocktail.

1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Dolin Rosso)
1/4 Cointreau. (1/2 oz Cointreau)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Beefeater 24)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass and add a cherry.

I am not sure if it was the combination of the somewhat hot character of the Cointreau and the Beefeater 24, but even after a nice long stir to a quite cold temperature this was a very strongly alcohol smelling and flavored drink.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I smell alcohol based hand sanitizer at work or on public transit, I always think someone is hitting the vodka.

To me, this had a similar character.

Maybe a stronger flavored and sweeter vermouth would have been better at mitigating the hot character of these two strong spirits.

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.

Opal Cocktail

Opal Cocktail

Opal Cocktail
(6 People)

3 Glasses Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
2 Glasses Orange Juice. (1 oz Blood Orange Juice)
1 Glass of Cointreau. (1/2 oz Cointreau)
A little Sugar. (very little caster sugar)
Add a little Orange-flower water. (drop orange flower water)

Shake and serve.

Of course, re-doing this for one by dividing 2 oz Glasses in half and then dividing in half again. Hey, I can enjoy a drink and a half.

The Opal is not entirely unpleasant, though far more ginny and a bit harsher than would be popular in a modern cocktail. I think part of it might be the heat of the Cointreau.

No idea why it is called the Opal, as even with regular orange juice this would bear no resemblance to those gold-green gems.

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.

Odd McIntyre Cocktail

Odd McIntyre Cocktail

Odd McIntyre Cocktail.

1/4 Glass Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Glass Kina Lillet. (3/4 oz Underhill Kina Clone)
1/4 Glass Cointreau. (3/4 oz Cointreau)
1/4 Glass Brandy. (3/4 oz Dudongon Cognac)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Third time we’ve made this exact cocktail. Previously we’ve known it as the “Frank Sullivan” and “Hoop La!“.  It still is a Corpse Reviver No. 2, with Brandy instead of Gin, and no Absinthe.

It is still an enjoyable, if not amazing, cocktail.

To quote from the Wikipedia:

Oscar Odd McIntyre (February 18, 1884, Plattsburg, MissouriFebruary 14, 1938, New York City, New York) was a famed New York newspaper columnist of the 1920s and 1930s. The Washington Post once described his column as “the letter from New York read by millions because it never lost the human, homefolk flavor of a letter from a friend.”

For a quarter of a century, his daily column, “New York Day by Day,” was published in more than 500 newspapers.

As regards cocktails, Mr. McIntyre was one of the founding members, along with Harry McElhone, of the I.B.F. or International Bar Flies, an organization started as a press stunt at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris some time around Christmas of 1924.  See the Mud Puddle books edition of Harry and Wynn’s “Barflies and Cocktails” for more information regarding that institution.

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.

Newton’s Special Cocktail

Newton's Special Cocktail

Newton’s Special Cocktail.

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1/4 Cointreau. (1/2 oz Cointreau)
3/4 Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Cognac Dudognon)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.  (Orange Peel).

Oddly despite the fact that this possesses no chocolate, one of the stronger implied notes was that of chocolate. I fought the urge to remake it with a splash of Creme de Cacao and allowed myself the luxury to enjoy the negative space implied by its absence.

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.

New Life Cocktail

Hercules remains, more or less, a mystery.

To summarize, for many years because of a description in Stan Jones’ Barguide which called it an Absinthe substitute, it was thought to be exactly that.  Something like Ricard or Pernod.

However, when I started making these Savoy recipes, none of them made taste sense when made with Pernod or Ricard.  They were just awful.

About this time, I saw an advertisement that popped up from time to time on the front page of the cocktaildb. It was for a Dutch product called Hercules which was a aromatized and fortified red wine. I made a couple cocktails which call for Hercules with Cocchi’s Barolo Chinato and they made a lot more sense.

I started doing more digging and turned up some advertisements in Google Books for a product called Hercules available at about the same time the Savoy Cocktail Book was published.

HERCULES “HEALTH – COCKTAILS ARE SERVED AT LEADING BARS. “Hercules” can be had plain, when so preferred, or as the chief and most fascinating ingredient…that Create Appetite and Stimulate Digestion “Hercules” Wine Aperitif contains the phenomenal properties of Yerba-Mate, which has won the high opinion…TO TEST “HERCULES” WINE APERITIF send fi/6 for a full-sired bottle, carriage paid.
We will despatch by return. Later supplies must be obtained of Wine…

Instead of being an Absinthe substitute, Hercules turned out to be a wine based aperitif one of whose ingredients was Yerba Mate!

In addition, a London friend, Jeff Masson asked around about it.  Turned out that a friend of his was acquainted with some of the ex-Savoy bartenders.  While the most recent bartender didn’t recall Hercules, his predecessor at the bar did!

From Jeff:

Did a little more research into this mystery ingredient but found nothing amazing.
I spoke to a friend who knows Peter Dorelli, the former head bartender of the Savoy, very well. I asked him to find out what he could.
Peter had never tasted the ingredient but called his former head bartender, Joe Gilmore, who is now around 85!
He remembered Hercules quite well and described it as a cross between an aperetif and a bitters. It was light pink in colour and bore no resemblance to Absinthe. He didn’t have any real suggestions for a substitute but mentioned Dubonnet would not be appropriate.
Not conclusive but quite interesting.

OK, a bitter wine based aperitif flavored with Yerba Mate.

Current try at reproduction:

1 bottle Navarro White Table Wine
1/4 cup Yerba Mate
1 tablespoon Gentian
1 clove
Dried Peel from 1 Seville Orange
1/2 stick Ceylon Cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Havana Club 8 Year Rum

Method: Combine all ingredients other than rum, bring to 140 degrees for 10 minutes. Strain off solids, cool, and add rum. Refrigerate.

I purposely kept this simple, to try and get more of a feel for appropriate taste combinations with the Yerba Mate. Initial thoughts are that it has too much gentian to be drunk on it’s own for pleasure. But it’s close. Tasting other vermouth I have around, I find many seem to have more culinary herbs in the middle flavors than this. Might have to experiment with including some thyme, mint, or oregano next time. I’m also not sure if the color came from the wine or if it was colored, so skipped that for the time being. Since most vermouth is made on a white wine base, I would guess it was colored, perhaps with cochineal or similar.

New Life Cocktail

New Life Cocktail

1/4 Hercules. (1/2 oz “Hercules”)
1/4 Bacardi Rum. (1/2 oz Montecristo Rum)
1/2 Cointreau. (1 oz Cointreau)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

That’s a lot of Cointreau, but every other recipe for the New Life I can find uses the same proportions, so I guess it isn’t a typo.

While it is sweet, it is kind of tasty. However, drinking it, I was reminded of the unique flavors of Armazem Viera’s Esmeralda Cachaca. Remaking it with Cachaca instead of the Montecristo rum did make for a much more interesting cocktail.  Interesting that these two South American flavors would compliment each other.

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.

Maiden’s Prayer Cocktail (No. 1)

Maiden's Prayer No. 1

Maiden’s Prayer Cocktail (No. 1)

1/8 Orange Juice. (1/4 oz fresh Orange Juice)
1/8 Lemon Juice. (1/4 oz fresh Lemon Juice)
3/8 Cointreau. (3/4 oz Cointreau)
3/8 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Annoying as hell to measure, but very tasty, well balanced, and drinkable.

The orange flavor really “pops” in this cocktail.

One of the better Savoy cocktails I’ve run across in a while.

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

Mah-Jonng Cocktail

Mah-Jonng

Mah-Jongg Cocktail

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

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

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

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

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

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