Soyer au Champagne

Soyer-Au-Champagne Cocktail
1 Liqueur Glass Ice Cream. (Scoop Tahitian Vanilla Gelato)
2 Dashes Maraschino. (2 dash Luxardo Maraschino)
2 Dashes Curacao. (2 dash Brizard Curacao)
2 Dashes Brandy. (2 dash Germain-Robin Brandy)
Stir well together in medium size glass and fill with Champagne (Blanquette de Limoux, Cuvee Berlene 2005). Add slice of pineapple or orange, 1 cherry or strawberry.

Well, first off, First & Hope I’m afraid Soyer au Champagne did not, first appear, “in the 1949 Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts.” At the very least, both Harry McElhone’s “Harry’s ABCs” and “Barflies and Cocktails” contained it prior to the Savoy Cocktail Book.

In fact Ted Haigh in, “Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails,” the Soyer au Champagne, sez the drink is, “circa 1888,” well before any of the books above were published.  It certainly is similar to a lot of drinks put forward by the esteemed William “The Only” Schmidt in his awesome book, “The Flowing Bowl”.

Ted, though puts forth the idea of serving this in a coupe, instead of a chimney as I did, with a lot less ice cream.

Let’s examine Harry McElhone’s recipe, as I feel certain that is where Harry Craddock found this monstrosity.

Soyer au Champagne

In a large tumbler put 1 measure of Vanilla Ice Cream. 2 dashes Maraschino. 2 dashes Curacao. 2 dashes Brandy.

Fill balance with Champagne, stir well. and add a slice of Pineapple, a slice Orange, and a slice of Lemon. 2 Cherries. 2 Strawberries.
(A very popular beverage on the Continent.)

Hm, wow, Harry proscribes an f-ing baroque nightmare garnish scenario for this puppy! Geez, pineapple, orange, lemon, 2 cherries, and two strawberries!? Is he joking? In addition he sez, “large tumbler,” which I guess is more akin to a modern water glass?

Anyway, the other month at someone at Alembic ordered this. We hadn’t invested in Vanilla Ice Cream, so we made do with simple and cream. I didn’t think it was exactly awful, but Danny thought it was possibly the worst thing he had ever put in his mouth.

Making this again, I found it odd. When I first made it, I thought it was kind of tasty, but maybe too concentrated, so added more sparkling wine. Ooof, as I dried it out a bit more with the sparkling wine, it just got worse. There’s a balance here, surprisingly, and too much champagne really ruins the cocktail.

Maybe Ted is right, in picking the coupe. At least that way you can’t over pour the champagne.

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.

Sir Walter Cocktail

016

Sir Walter Cocktail
(Commonly known as the “Swalter”)
1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (1 teaspoon Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1 Teaspoonful Curacao. (1 teaspoon Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
1 Teaspoonful Lemon Juice. (1 teaspoon Lemon Juice)
1/3 Brandy. (3/4 oz Germain-Robin Fine Alambic Brandy)
1/3 Rum. (3/4 oz Barbancourt 15 Rum)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

It’s kind of hard to know which Sir Walter Raleigh this cocktail is named after. The Sir Walter Raleigh who was an “English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, and explorer who is also largely known for introducing tobacco to Europe,” or the Sir Walter Raleigh who was a “Scottish scholar, poet and author.”

Going from the dates of their lives and the date the Savoy Cocktail Book was published, it seems nominally more likely that this was named after the Scottish scholar, poet, and author, especially since he was well known during World War I.

On the other hand, the other Sir Walter, at least at this point in history, is far more well known.

To me, the ingredients don’t give much illumination, they could have been available in the 16th Century or the 20th Century.  In fact, it is kind of a punchy formulation, though probably in the 16th Century, not many barkeeps were bothering with single serving punches.

Fairly tasty, my advice would be to go long on the lemon juice, and short on the grenadine and Curacao.

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.

Satan’s Whiskers

028

Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail (Straight)

Of Italian Vermouth (1/2 oz Carpano Antica), French Vermouth (1/2 oz Dolin Blanc), Gin (1/2 oz Plymouth Navy Strength Gin) and Orange Juice (1/4 oz Valencia Orange Juice, 1/4 oz Sour Lemon Orange Juice), two parts each; of Grand Marnier one part (1/4 oz Grand Marnier); Orange Bitters (Regan’s Orange Bitters), a dash. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

031

Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail (Curled)
For the Grand Marnier in the foregoing Cocktail, substitute the same quantity of Orange Curacao (1/2 oz Bols Dry Orange Curacao). Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

To be honest, I’ve never really been all that thrilled with the Satan’s Whiskers cocktail. It’s a great name, but all too often it isn’t a well balanced or interesting cocktail. Kind of like the Bronx, the quality of orange juice is almost a little too important.

The Saturday before, I headed down to the Farmers’ Market with the idle goal of finding some sort of interesting orange related fruit for the drink. Anything. Clementines, Satsumas, whatever. In my heart of hearts, I really hoped for some seville oranges, as one of the suppliers often carries them during their brief season. No seville oranges, but there was an odd box of small citrus marked, “Sour Lemon Oranges”. When I picked them up to look at them, the farmer woman said something like, good for salads and cooking! Give them a try!

032cropped

The picture above shows them with a quarter of a navel orange behind. You can see they are quite small and quite seedy. The meat is off yellow and the inner fruit peel greenish. They are really sour. I think possibly even more sour than lemons. They made a pretty fantastic honey mustard marinade for a pork tenderloin.

Anyway, back to drinks.

The recipe is a bit odd, I can’t think of another in the book written in this “parts” style. I decided to base it on 1/4 oz “parts”, as that would get me near the usual 2 1/4 oz cocktails.

A fresh-ish bottle of Carpano gives this a nice spice to go along with the sweetness.

As far as the difference between 1/4 oz of Bols Orange Curacao and 1/4 oz of Grand Marnier, I’ll be darned if I could tell the difference with all the other ingredients in this cocktail. And since the gin is such a small proportion, I figured Navy Strength Plymouth wouldn’t be a bad idea. It definitely wasn’t.

Maybe Satan’s Whiskers aren’t so bad after all!

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 Curacao (1/3 teaspoon Brizard Orange Curacao)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Punt e Mes)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Osocalis Brandy)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Add 1 cherry. (Orange Peel.)

As the cocktail doesn’t call for any bittters, I cheated a bit and went with the Punt e Mes for this Queen Elizabeth Cocktail.

Nothing complicated or particularly deep, but quite tasty!

Definitely preferable to the previous Queen Elizabeth with Gin, Cointreau, Lemon, and Absinthe.

From the wikipedia, regarding the Queen:

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Elizabeth Angela Marguerite; 4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 1936 until 1952 as the wife of King George VI. After her husband’s death, she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. She was the last Queen of Ireland and Empress of India.

Assuming that that is the Queen Elizabeth we are talking about here, I’m a bit surprised. It is my understanding her favorite drink was Gin and Dubonet Rouge, rocks, with a slice of lemon.

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.

Port Wine Cocktail No. 2

Port Wine Cocktail No. 2

Port Wine Cocktail (No. 2)

Squeeze orange peel on top.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
2 Dashes Curacao. (1/2 tsp. Brizard Curacao)
1 Glass Port Wine. (2 oz Ficklin Tinta Port)

Stir well and strain into Port Wine glass.

OK, now that is a cocktail, at least! Bitters, Curacao, and Port Wine!

And, as such, fairly enjoyable.

I have to admit being a bit fond of Ficklin’s Ports.  In 1941 UC Davis issued a report suggesting that it would be very possible to produce wines in California from Port varietals which were on par with those from their country of origin.  In 1948  Ficklin Vineyards accepted that challenge and began growing Portuguese varietals from UC Davis Cuttings for the production of Port Style wines.

The Ficklin Tinta is a lighter style Wine which doesn’t hit you over the head with sweetness, so I could see this cocktail working before or after dinner. I guess, especially, if you didn’t feel like dragging liquor into your night’s affairs.

Interesting Tidbit from an old “WineDay” Article, “When Ficklin was founded, Americans drank three bottles of Port and Sherry for every one of table wine such as “Pinot Chardonnay” or Zinfandel.”

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.

Ping-Pong Special Cocktail

Ping-Pong Special Cocktail

Ping-Pong Special Cocktail.
(6 people)
Carefully shake (I stirred) together 3 glasses of Sloe Gin (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin) and 3 glasses of Italian vermouth (1 1/2 oz Martini and Rossi Sweet Vermouth), with half a dessertspoonful of Angostura Bitters (dash angosutura Bitters) and a dessertspoonful of sugar syrup or Curacao (dash Bols Dry Orange Curacao). Serve with a (Luxardo) cherry and a piece of lemon rind.

In his book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” Robert Vermeire tells us, “This is a Manhattan Cocktail with Sloe Gin instead of Rye Whiskey. (Recipe by Boothby of San Francisco.)”

A bit sweet, but this one I can get into much more than the previous “Ping-Pong”. Vermouth and Sloe Gin is a much preferable combination to me, than Creme de Violette and Sloe Gin.

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.

Pegu Club Cocktail

First, I suppose I should point out that Doug, over at The Pegu Blog, writes pretty much about nothing other than Pegu Club Cocktails.  So if you need more information about the cocktail, you might want to check out his ruminations on the subject.

Searching through Google Books, I found a couple references.

From a 1971 article in the Atlantic by Paul Theroux:

Burma

“On Bogyoke Aung San Street (formerly Montgomery) the Central Jail is being pulled down. The workmen were surprised to get a visitor and willingly showed me around the six enormous cell blocks which radiate in clumsy spokes from a central courtyard and administration building. They pointed out scratchings on the cell floors made in the teak planks by bored prisoners, the Burmese equivalent of tic-tac-toe. One man told me the place was one hundred seven years old—the seven gave the date a certain credibility; in fact, I couldn’t imagine the Burmese pulling down a building less than a hundred years old. The only market in Mandalay is the Zegyo Bazaar, designed and built in 1903 by an Italian, Count Caldrari (who was also the first secretary of the Mandalay Municipality). I stole a small sign from over a cell door in the Central Jail. It reads: 56′ BY 26½’ BY 12′—CUBICAL CONTENTS 17967—ACCOMMODATION FOR 28. It is only a short hop from the Central Jail to the Pegu Club, now an Officers’ Mess of the Burmese Army. The Pegu Club was to Rangoon what the Selangor Club was to Kuala Lumpur and the Tanglin Club to Singapore (but these two are still going strong). The sentry said that he would have let me look around, but as it happened, a senior officer (the sentry bulged his eyes to illustrate how senior) had just arrived and was inside.”

Rudyard Kipling in his 1899 book, “From Sea to Sea”:

The River of the Lost Footsteps and the Golden Mystery upon its Banks. Shows how a Man may go to the Shway Dagon Pagoda and see it not and to the Pegu Club and hear too much. A Dissertation on Mixed Drinks.

“There must be a few hundred men who are fairly behind the scenes of the Burma War—one of the least known and appreciated of any of our little affairs. The Pegu Club seemed to be full of men on their way up or down, and the conversation was but an echo of the murmur of conquest far away to the north.”

Pegu Club, Savoy

Pegu Club Cocktail
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
1 Teaspoonful Lime Juice. (1 teaspoon Fresh Lime Juice)
1/3 Curacao. (3/4 oz Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The favourite cocktail of the Pegu Club, Burma,
and one that has traveled, and is asked for, round the world.

So this is the Savoy recipe for this cocktail. To me, it doesn’t make much sense, from a flavor perspective. The mere teaspoon of lime juice, does very little for the cocktail, to balance against the sweetness of the orange curacao, making it very nearly an after dinner proposition.

Pegu Club, Gimlet Style

The oldest recipe anyone has found, at the moment, is from an edition of Harry’s ABC of Cocktails from 1929.  It is as follows: 1 dash Angostura Bitters; 1 dash of Orange Bitters; 1 teaspoonful of Lime Juice (Rose’s); 1/6 Curacao; 2/3 Gin.

Ack!  Though he does slightly reduce the volume of Curacao, he calls for Rose’s Lime Juice!

Well, what are you gonna do.  The Rose’s got me thinking of Gimlets, so I gimlet-i-fied the cocktail, serving it over ice.  You know what, it’s not bad!

Pegu Club, Jimmy's

One of the other pre-Savoy citations for the Pegu Club Cocktail comes from a book I’ve only heard of in quotes from David Wondrich, “Cocktails by Jimmy, Late of Ciro’s”  Its recipe follows:

Pegu Club
4 parts Dry Gin. (2 oz Gin)
1 part Curacao. (1/2 oz Curacao)
1 part Lime Juice. (1/2 oz Lime Juice)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters per cocktail.
1 Dash Orange Bitters per cocktail. (Angostura Orange Bitters)

This is a very dry cocktail!  Though it has its fans, it is a little too dry and tart for my taste.  At this point, I have to admit I’m also thinking I don’t really like Angostura Orange Bitters in this cocktail.  I like them in Martinis and such, but there’s something in the spice component that just isn’t working for me in a sour.

Pegu Club, Slanted Door

Finally, seeking solace for my frustration, I made the version of the Pegu Club Cocktail from the Heaven’s Dog bar book.  Obviously, I’d have to kill you if I printed it here, but damn that hits the spot.  Save yourself the trouble of the above, and just go out and order the drink at Slanted Door or Heaven’s Dog.  You’ll thank me.

Oh, and if that doesn’t convince you, and you really want to do your extra credit work, I highly recommend the gimlet-i-fied version made with Oude Genever instead of Dry Gin. Not at all traditional, but super tasty!

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.

Parisian Blonde Cocktail

Parisian Blonde Cocktail

Parisian Blonde Cocktail.

1/3 Sweet Cream. (3/4 oz Sweet Cream)
1/3 Curacao. (3/4 oz Cartron Curacao Triple Sec)
1/3 Jamaica Rum. (3/4 oz Appleton Extra)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.  (Well, no.  Using a Milk Frother, whip cream until slightly thickened.  Stir rum and curacao with ice to chill.  Strain into cocktail glass.  Carefully pour lightly thickened cream over the back of a spoon to float on top.  Garnish with finely grated cinnamon.)

As in the Panama Cocktail, again deploying the Clover Club method of agitating the cream separately from the other ingredients, then spooning on top.  Done that way, this is an enjoyable after dinner cocktail, along the lines of a Brandy Alexander.

Cartron Curacao Triple Sec

Found the Cartron Curacao at a liquor store in Napa.  May be my new favorite orange liqueur.  Nice complex intense orange flavor, good proof level, and very little harshness or burn.

Cartron Curacao Back Label

The interesting part, here, is that the name of the product uses both “Curacao” and “Triple Sec”, hearkening back to the origins of orange liqueurs.

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.

Oriental Cocktail

Oriental Cocktail

Oriental Cocktail.
1/2 Rye Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth)
1/4 White Curacao. (3/4 oz Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
The Juice of 1/2 Lime.
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

In August, 1924, an American Engineer nearly died of fever in the Philippines, and only the extraordinary devotion of Dr. B– saved his life.
As an act of gratitude the Engineer gave Dr. B– the recipe of this Cocktail.

To me, the Oriental Cocktail is a very modern tasting cocktail. Compared to many vintage cocktails, it has a fairly large portion of both sweet and sour, making it quite rich in flavor. If it didn’t have pesky Sweet Vermouth, it could go on just about any modern cocktail menu and be quite the crowd pleaser.

Personally, I find it a bit rich, but am never quite sure where to go with that. More Vermouth and less curacao and lime? 2 oz booze, 1/2 oz of everthing else? Certainly can think of worse ways to spend an evening than tweaking the proportions of the Oriental.

In any case, as enjoyable as the Oriental Cocktail is, I’m pretty sure Dr. B– got the better end of this deal!

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.

Olympic Cocktail

Olympic Cocktail

Olympic Cocktail.

1/3 Orange Juice. (1 oz Fresh Moro Blood Orange Juice)
1/3 Curacao. (1 oz Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
1/3 Brandy. (1 oz Dudognon Cognac)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

A pleasant enough beverage, it was a bit of a waste of this rather nice Cognac. Between the Blood Orange Juice and the Curacao, I could have been using Korbel in this instead of the Dudognon. Cocktails like this are a good reason to keep a couple bottles around.

In any case, the Olympic beats the hell out of a Screwdriver.

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.