Weeseur Special Cocktail

Weeseur Special Cocktail.
4 Dashes Absinthe. (1 tsp. Absinthe)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
1/4 Orange Curacao. (1/2 oz Clement Creole Shrubb)
1/4 Dry Gin. (1/2 oz Junipero Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

As a variation on the Martini (Medium), or perhaps Fourth Degree, the Weeseur isn’t bad. I do like the Creole Shrubb and awful lot, it is one of my favorite Orange Liqueurs, so I rarely complain when I get a excuse to use it.

The name seems like it should be Dutch or Afrikaans, but I can find no trace of Weeseur on the web that makes any sense.

Note the presence of the exciting new Cocktail Kingdom measuring jigger!

Cocktail Kingdom Japanese Style Jigger 22ml/15ml

Finally a Japanese-style jigger with a 3/4oz side (or 22ml for those of you who are metrically inclined)! Been waiting for this for quite some time.

I also know that the gentlemen of Cocktail Kingdom went to quite some trouble to find a manufacturer who could deliver an accurate 3/4 oz jigger.

In fact, when I was in New York recently, another bartender showed me how badly calibrated some of the usual bar supplies conical stainless jiggers were. Some were off by as much as 1/8 ounce when compared withe the Cocktail Kingdom Jigger.

I checked mine at home with the Cocktail Kingdom Jigger and found them not quite that far off. Whew!

The big problem now is I usually use 3 jiggers: 1/2:1, 3/4:11/2, 1:2.

Now I have to get used to using only two jiggers: 1/2:3/4 and 1:11/2.

Well, if I ever want to work in NY, I guess I’ll have to.

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.

Wedding Belle Cocktail

Wedding Belle Cocktail
1/6 Orange Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Orange Juice)
1/6 Cherry Brandy. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Cherry Brandy)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Junipero Gin)
1/3 Dubonnet. (3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.
Source: Harry McElhone’s “ABC of Cocktails”, 1928-1929

Like the Vanderbilt Cocktail, this is on the sweet side for me, even with early season Valencia Oranges.  Still, not unpleasant, and fairly light.

I chose Junipero, first because it is a high proof, intense gin.  Being only 1/3 of the cocktail, I knew the gin would have to have some spine to cut through the other ingredients.  I also used it, instead of a more traditional London Dry Gin, because I like the way it works with darker flavors like Cherry Heering and Dubonnet Rouge.

I would be tempted to add some bitters to the Wedding Belle to punch this cocktail up a bit, but afraid that would tilt it towards Robitussin-ish type flavors.

Maybe just a dash of orange bitters?  Or even Absinthe, which would bring it within spitting range of the similar, and delicious, Chas Baker, Jr. Cocktail, the Remember The Maine.

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.

Waldorf Cocktail

Waldorf Cocktail
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime. (Juice 1/2 Lime)
1/4 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Martin Miller’s Gin)
1/2 Swedish Punch. (1 1/2 oz Underhill Swedish Punsch)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Another cocktail, where the fractions don’t quite add up to a whole.

I guess in this case, maybe the juice from the Lemon or Lime is making up the other quarter of the drink.

Speaking of, a lot of people seem to find this sort of measure annoying, “Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime”.

It doesn’t work with their personal obsession of knowing exactly how much juice should go into a cocktail.

I think it is probably just a method indicator for the bar or bartender who authored the recipe.

That is to say, those recipes where lemon juice is measured as a portion of the fraction, were probably juicing ahead and had the juice in some sort of vessel they were pouring from. Those where citrus juice is listed as a fraction of the fruit were likely juicing to order.

The main problem with listing any absolute amount in these recipes along with fractions is that we don’t absolutely know what the total volume might have been. In a cocktail where the total volume is 2 oz or less, a teaspoon of sweetener may make sense. In a cocktail where the total volume adds up to 3 oz or more, as in most modern bar recipes, that teaspoon of sweetener is going to need to be increased.

The other main problem with citrus expressed as a fraction of the fruit is we don’t know how big the citrus might have been or how much juice might have been expressed from 1/2 of a lime. With modern citrus, I usually say a half a lemon or a whole lime is equivalent to about 3/4 oz.

However, in regards Limes, it is far more likely that what was being used, especially for Caribbean and South American Drinks, was Key Limes not modern Persian limes.

For example, I found this video of a modern Peruvian Bartender making a Pisco Sour, pretty cool. It appears that even to this day, Key Limes are used in an authentic Pisco Sour:

For those of you with no tolerance for watching video, his recipe for a Pisco Sour is as follows: Juice of 2 Key Limes; 3 oz Pisco; 1 oz Gomme Syrup; Egg White “to taste”. Shake and strain into sour glass. Garnish with a drop of bitters.

My friend Craig Hermann, over at Colonel Tiki has been doing a series about Citrus history and the appropriate varietals for cocktails. Essential reading, as far as I am concerned:

The Trouble with Orange Juice, Part I

In regards the Waldorf Cocktail, well, boy that’s a lot of Swedish Punch and only a little Citrus. In fact, this is a reverse proportion Biffy or Strike’s Off. Well, if you like Swedish Punch, this may be the drink for you. If you don’t, well perhaps the Biffy may be a better starting place.

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.

Warden 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.

Warden Cocktail
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/4 Hercules. (1/2 oz House Made Hercules #5a*)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Tanqueray Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

As Fifty-Fifty type Martini-like beverages go, this was all right. Sort of like adding a couple dashes of Angostura bitters to your regular Martini.

My all time favorite cocktail with Hercules is still the Personality a la Roy, but this isn’t bad either.

*Hercules #5a

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 Valencia Oranges
1/2 cup Raw Sugar
750ml Picpoul de Pinet
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. Pour liquid off of sediment and through a coffee filter and bottle.

Forgot the peppermint tea from Hercules #5, because I am a moron. Reading about Vermouth production, discovered that one of the commonly used wines in France was Picpoul de Pinet. Happy coincidence when a local grocery store started carrying it. Well, sort of happy. I still prefer the Quady Essencia Orange Muscat for the base of Hercules. Any time I’ve used drier wines, the final product is less appealing.

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.

Virgin Cocktail

Virgin Cocktail
1/3 Forbidden Fruit Liqueur. (1 tsp. Home Made Forbidden Fruit)
1/3 White Crème de Menthe. (1/2 tsp. Brizard Creme de Menthe)
1/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Martin Miller’s Gin)
(3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The Savoy’s likely source for this gem of a cocktail was likely Harry McElhone’s 1928 “ABC of Cocktails”. In his book “Barflies and Cocktails”, he notes this is a “Recipe by Pete Ormart”.

I’ve no idea who Pete was or where he worked, but oof, that certainly sounds like a recipe for slightly grapefruity Mouthwash.

I did my best to slightly mitigate the damage by lengthening the recipe with French Vermouth and decreasing the amounts of the liqueurs, but it was still far too minty for me. Maybe just a glass rinse of Menthe would be enough?

Though, there is a bit of similarity between this and Harry McElhone’s original recipe for the White Lady:

White Lady
1/6 Brandy
1/6 Creme de Menthe
2/3 Cointreau
Shake well and strain.

So maybe he just liked that sort of thing, or at least thought White Ladies and Virgins did.

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.

Victor Cocktail

Victor Cocktail
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica)
1/4 Dry Gin. (1/2 oz Tanqueray Gin*)
1/4 Brandy. (1/2 oz Pellehaut Armagnac)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Wait, Victor Cocktail with Vermouth, Brandy and Gin, that is strangely familiar… Maybe, because I made it just two drinks ago.

Another fine example of the level *cough* care *cough* taken in transcribing and editing the Savoy Cocktail Book, there is the exact same “Victor Cocktail” on pages 167 and 168.

So, fine, a second chance to make this one, and I will not cheat and make it with Genever or Old-Tom, I will make it with a London Dry Gin. OK, THE London Dry Gin, as far as I am concerned, Tanqueray.

Better or worse?

Well, it isn’t as bad as I feared it would be, there is actually something interesting about this combo. But I would still declare the Victor made with Bols Genever Victorious. The Genever just makes for a more interesting taste combination.

*The half bottle of Tanqueray Gin used in this cocktail was sent to me by a firm promoting the brand, and, as you may have read on other blogs, the putative birthday of Charles Tanqueray, alleged inventor of the 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.

Victor Cocktail

Victor Cocktail
1/4 Brandy (1/2 oz Pellehaut Armagnac)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica
1/4 Dry Gin. (1/2 oz Bols Genever)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

For the first Victor Cocktail, (stay tuned,) I tried to wrack my brain to think of a Dry or New World Gin that would possibly go with Brandy.

Eventually, my brain just gave up and told me to, “Use Genever, you idiot!”

Uh, right.

This is tasty, I guess basically just a slightly extended Brandy Manhattan, nothing wrong with that. The maltiness and mild botanical notes of the Bols Genever function slightly to add some additional elements to the cocktail.

Eventually, I would say it is more of an interesting exercise in tastes than a delightful cocktail, but all the same, not unpleasant.

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.

Velocity Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 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.

Velocity Cocktail
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
2/3 Italian Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth)
1 Slice of Orange. (1 Slice Orange)
(Muddle Orange Slice, add remaining ingredients and…) Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

The Savoy Velocity likely originates in Robert Vermiere’s 1922 book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”. In that tome, he notes, “This drink is similar to the H.P.W., but the proportions of the ingredients are reversed. The “Velocity” contains a slice of orange and 2/6 gill of gin, and 1/6 gill of Italian Vermouth. Well shaken and strained into a cocktail-glass.”

I figured I would need some sort of an intense Gin to compete with such a lot of Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth in the Velocity. I know Ransom works well in Martinez, so I thought it would be a good choice, indeed, I can’t think of another more appropriate. Maybe Junipero, but it isn’t quite as citrus friendly.

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.

Van Dusen Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 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.

Van Dusen Cocktail
2 Dashes Grand Marnier. (1 tsp. Grand Marnier)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Unlike the very well known Vanderbilts, I am unclear whom the Van Dusen might have been named after. The cocktail is from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks,” so that would make it early century New York, possibly society.

The most interesting character, kind of contemporary with that time, was Harry Van Dusen, aka Van Denmark (1881–1948). An author who was well known for children’s serials, “Just prior to World War I, Van Demark began to write mystery stories, including “The Vanishing Diplomat,” which appeared in Black Cat. This was followed by a thirty­ year avalanche of stories of action and crime with the Western story formula predominating.”

Whomever, the Van Dusen refers to, it isn’t a bad cocktail at all.  A slightly sweetened Martini, I chose to use Hayman’s given its friendliness to citrus flavors, and indeed, it worked well with the 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.