Scoff-law Cocktail

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Scoff-Law Cocktail.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 Dash Regan’s Orange Bitters)
1/3 Canadian Club Whisky. (3/4 oz 40 Creek Three Grains)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/6 lemon Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/6 Grenadine. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

For what it is worth, Harry McElhone’s Barflies and Cocktails calls for Rye, instead of the Savoy “Canadian Club”.  Even though, in deference to Mr. Craddock, I went with Canadian Whisky, generally, I agree with Mr. McElhone in these matters.

While researching the Scoff-Law, I turned up the following from the Chicago Tribune, January 27th, 1924: “Hardly has Boston added to the Gaiety of Nations by adding to Webster’s Dictionary the opprobrious term of “scoff-law” to indicate the chap who indicts the bootlegger, when Paris comes back with a “wet answer”—Jock, the genial bartender of Harry’s New York Bar, yesterday invented the Scoff-law Cocktail, and it has already become exceedingly popular among American prohibition dodgers.”

Made to the Savoy recipe, this is a pleasant, light, tart, easy drinking libation.  Many modern sources bump up the booze a bit more and often leave out the orange bitters.  I kind of like it the way it is, with the sweet/tart balance not dissimilar to a red wine.

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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.

Morning Cocktail

Morning Cocktail

Morning Cocktail

2 Dashes Curacao. (2/3 tsp Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
2 Dashes Maraschino. (2/3 tsp Luxardo Maraschino)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters)
2 Dashes Absinthe. (1/2 tsp Sirene Absinthe Verte)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Lustau Reserve Brandy)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)

Shake (well, if you really want to shake, shake. Recommend stirring, myself.) well and strain into cocktail glass. Add a (Mmmm… Luxardo) cherry and squeeze lemon peel on top.

This recipe is verbatim from Harry McElhone’s “Barflies and Cocktails” (and more likely “Harry’s ABCs”). McElhone credits the recipe to “Harry Johnson of New Orleans”. And indeed, it is to be found in the 1900 edition of Harry Johnson’s “Bartenders’ Manual” (Handily published by Mud Puddle Books: “Bartender’s Manual”.)

The only difference between Mr. McElhone’s and Mr. Johnson’s recipes is that Mr. McElhone calls for the Orange Bitters and Mr. Johnson calls for “3 or 4 dashes of bitters (Boker’s Genuine Only)”. Well, times change, and Boker’s Bitters probably weren’t available in London or Paris.

The recipe is a bit twiddly, with all the dashes of this and that.

In addition, I’m growing dissatisfied with the Lustau Brandy. It just doesn’t have much presence in a drink or much length or depth on its own.

Despite that, I found the Morning Cocktail genuinely enjoyable. I was really surprised how dominant the citrus flavors of the cocktail were. There’s some sort of interesting interaction going on between the Dry Vermouth, Curacao, and Lemon Twist.

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.

Martini (Dry) Cocktail

Martini Dry Cocktail

Martini (Dry) Cocktail

1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I certainly wouldn’t ever think, no, not at all, of rinsing the glass with orange bitters and twisting a lemon peel over the glass. That would just be wrong.

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.

Holland House Cocktail

The Holland House Cocktail we made at Beretta was pretty lackluster.

Holland House Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Lemon.
1 Slice Pineapple. (handful sliced pineapple pieces)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 Vya Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
4 Dashes Maraschino. (barspoon Luxardo Maraschino)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

However, more recent information suggests that it was not, originally, a “London Dry Gin” Cocktail, but instead, a Holland Gin Cocktail.

Indeed, in conjunction with the launch of their new reformulation of Holland Gin, Bols has been pimping a version of the Holland House Cocktail to bartenders and cocktail fanatics far and wide.

Holland House Cocktail
1 3/4 Shot Bols Genever
3/4 Shot Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1/2 Shot Lemon Juice
1/4 Shot Maraschino Liqueur

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Lemon Peel.

Aside from the inexplicable use of “shot” as a measure, having sampled this at a recent Bols event, I can say that it is a significant improvement over the same cocktail with Dry Gin. Even flirting, as it does, with things which really shouldn’t go together. Genever and Dry Vermouth not to mention Dry Vermouth and Lemon Juice.

I really don’t know how to read “shot” notation, so I just pretended they were ounces and went with the home town team for the gin.

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Holland House Cocktail

1 3/4 oz Anchor Genevieve Gin
3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Lemon Peel.

The Anchor Gin does truly dominate this cocktail, but using a Genenver style Gin takes the Holland House from a puzzling waste of booze to a pretty interesting combination of flavors.

Fourth Degree Cocktail

Fourth Degree Cocktail

1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Tanqueray Dry Gin)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Martini & Rossi Rosso)
4 Dashes of Absinthe. (1 tsp. Absinthe Verte de Fougerolles)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze lemon peel on top.)

I was all set to say I preferred this cocktail with the proportions dried out a bit. I’ve made it in the past with 2 oz Junipero, 1/2 oz French Vermouth, and 1/2 oz Italian Vermouth and really enjoyed it. I’ve made that version for friends and they’ve really enjoyed it. Other times, I’ve made the equal parts version with different ingredients and not enjoyed it as much.

This time, for whatever reason, this particular combination of ingredients was fantastic. There was a cherry/almond flavor that seemed to come out of nowhere, blindsiding me, and daring me to replicate it. What do you call that? Flavor harmonics?

The Savoy version of this Harry McElhone Cocktail doesn’t include the lemon peel garnish, but it really takes the drink to another level. I don’t recommend skipping it.

In regards the name of this cocktail:

Robert Vermeire, in his 1922 book “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” includes the Third and Fourth Degree in a group of cocktails along with the Martinez.

Saying, “The Fourth Degree is a Martinez Cocktail (Continental Style) with a dash of Absinthe and a cherry, but 1/4 gill of Gin, 1/8 gill of French Vermouth, 1/8 gill of Vermouth should be used.”

About The Third Degree, he says, “The Third Degree is a Martinez Cocktail (Continental Style) with a dash of Absinthe and an olive, but 2/6 gill of Gin and 1/6 gill of French Vermouth should be used.”

He gives the “continental style” of Martinez as:

Fill the bar glass half full of broken ice and add:

2 dashes Orange Bitters
3 dashes of Curacao or Maraschino
1/4 gill of Old Tom Gin
1/4 gill of French Vermouth

Stir up well, strain into a cocktail-glass, add olive or cherry to taste, and squeeze lemon-peel on top. This drink is very popular on the Continent.

He uses the term “Continental” to differentiate from the English style of Martinez:

In England the Martinez Cocktail generally contains the following ingredients:

2 dashes of Orange Syrup
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1/4 gill of Plymouth Gin
1/4 gill of French Vermouth

The whole stirred up in ice in the bar glass, strained into a cocktail-glass with a lemon peel squeezed on top. Olive or Cherry according to taste.

Odd that he uses French instead of Italian Vermouth in his Martinez, but I guess it was popular that way at this time in Europe and England.

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.

Four Flush Cocktail

Four Flush Cocktail

1 Dash Grenadine or Syrup. (homemade)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/4 Swedish Punch. (1/2 oz Carlshamm’s Flaggpunsch)
1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 oz Flor de Cana Rum)
(1/4 oz Inner Circle Green Rum)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Drop in a cherry garnish.)

Again unable to resist the urge to add a touch of “character rum” to a cocktail calling for Bacardi.

Quite sweet, but not unpleasant. I’m always surprised by how dominant the Swedish Punsch is in the cocktails which contain it.

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.

Fifty-Fifty Cocktail

Fifty-Fifty Cocktail

1/2 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Tanqueray)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Dolin French Vermouth)
(A dash of Regan’s and a dash of Fee’s Orange Bitters)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Garnish with Olive.)

Yep, that’s tasty all right.

Sometimes there are few things better than a nice cold Tanqueray or Junipero Martini. Still really enjoying the Dolin in these vermouth heavy Martini-like cocktails.

The serendipity of going from the Fernet Cocktail to the Fifth Avenue to the Fifty-Fifty is pretty amusing. Nice to have a bit of variety in your cocktails.

What’s the story with the “Fitty-Fitty”? Was it the addition of Orange bitters that made them decide to give it an updated name? It is much better with the bitters…

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.