Little Los Angeles Fizz

One of our regular guests dropped in and asked for something “Whiskey, bitter, and sour.” She reminded me, I had last made her the often unjustly ignored Los Angeles Cocktail.

Thinking of something along those lines, I improvised the following, an unholy, and unlikely, ménage à trois between a Cynar Fizz, The Little Italy, and the Los Angeles Cocktail.

Little Los Angeles Fizz

3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
3/4 oz Bonded Bourbon
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup (or to taste)
3/4 oz Egg White
Soda Water

Briefly shake vigorously without ice. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain half mixed drink into fizz glass. Add splash soda to remaining unstrained mixture and strain on top of drink. Squeeze lemon peel over drink and discard.

I delivered the cocktail with a comment that is was, “A Los Angeles Cocktail turned up to 11.”

…Where Angels Fear to Tread.

Mustachi-Ode West Coast Stylee

When Mrs. Flannestad and I were recently in NY, we stopped by momofuko ssäm bar for dinner.

After dinner, we traveled down the restaurant’s back corridor for a drink at their new bar space, Booker and Dax, known for its, “Cocktails you won’t make at home”.

From a New York Times Article, High-Tech Cocktail Lounge Is Opening at Momofuku Ssam Bar

Over the last few years, Mr. Arnold has won a reputation as the cocktail demimonde’s own Mr. Wizard, passing alcohol through a variety of elaborate gizmos and coming out with something purer, more potent, and arguably better on the other end. His experiments have influenced many modern bartenders, but Booker & Dax will be the first tavern where he’ll have direct control over the drinks program.

While I went with the safe choice of a bottled Manhattan, Mrs. Flannestad picked out the more adventurous Mustachi-Ode, described on the menu as follows.

“mustachi-ode – nardini amaro, becherovka, bourbon, egg-white, pistachio”

When she quite enjoyed the drink, I promised to do my best to make it at home.

Not knowing the proportions, I tweeted to the Booker and Dax account and, surprisingly, received a reply with a fairly exact recipe.

“1oz 101 bourbon .5 Becherovka .5 nardini .25 lemon 1 pistachio syrup (ours is centrifuged) ango decoration. Cheers!”

Becherovka is a Czech Herbal, well mostly spice, bitter:

Becherovka (formerly Karlsbader Becherbitter) is a herbal bitters that is produced in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, by the Jan Becher company. The brand is owned by Pernod Ricard.

Becherovka is flavored with anise seed, cinnamon, and approximately 32 other herbs. Its alcohol content is 38% ABV (76 proof). It is usually served cold and is often used as an aid to digestion. It may also be served with tonic water, making a drink that is known as a beton (BEcherovka+TONic) (Czech for “concrete”).

Amaro Nardini is an Italian Amaro made by the Nardini Company, which is known primarily for its Grappas:

DESCRIPTION Digestive after-dinner liqueur with a pleasant and distinctive liquorice finish. Can be served straight, chilled or with ice.
INGREDIENTS Grain alcohol, bitter orange aroma, peppermint and gentian.
APPEARANCE Intense color of dark chocolate.
NOSE Perfect balance of aromatic components, intense scent of liquorice and mint.
PALATE Bitter, with an excellent fruit and herbal balance. A fresh impact of mint, the gentian offers a pleasurable finish of liquorice.
SERVING SUGGESTION A pleasant after-dinner drink, can be served straight, chilled or with crushed ice and a slice of orange.

Since I already had both Becherovka and Amaro Nardini in the house, the only real challenge here is the Pistachio Syrup.

Having had success previously (Orgeat: Tales Version) making Orgeat based on Francis Xavier’s Almond Syrup recipe, I figured I would simply attempt to apply his FXCuisine Orgeat Recipe to Pistachios.

Pistachio Syrup

137g Pistachio
274g Washed Raw Sugar
(process a bit in blender)
2 cup water

Bring to a near simmer (at least 140 F), cool and steep overnight.

Strain out nuts with a cheesecloth.

Add equal amount of sugar for every 1gr of strained liquid. Put the pot on a low flame and stir to dissolve sugar. Bottle, cool, and refrigerate.

I guess I see why they Centrifuge this, given the kind of unappealing brown-green color.

The only real problem is I don’t know the sugar saturation level of Booker and Dax’s Pistachio Syrup. If that “1” in the recipe means 1 Ounce, I think they must be making more of a “Pistachio Milk” than a Pistachio Syrup.

However, the Orgeat Recipe from Francis Xavier at FXCuisine is crazy saturated, so there’s no way a whole ounce is going to work.

Pistachio Syrup in tow, I lugged my bottles of Pistachio Syrup, Amaro Nardini, and Becherovka in to work at Heaven’s Dog for some experimentation.

After a few variation on the Booker & Dax recipe, this worked pretty well and got good responses from customers and coworkers:

Mustachi-Ode, West Coast Stylee
1 oz Old Bardstown Estate Bourbon (101 Proof)
1/2 oz Amaro Nardini
1/2 oz Becherovka*
1/2 oz Homemade Pistachio Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Egg White

Dry Shake vigorously for a few seconds. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass and apply Mustache shaped Angostura Decoration.

I think the next step is the Mustachi-Ode Flip! Though, by that point, maybe it should be a Van Dyke!

*The Becherovka used in this post was provided by an agency promoting the brand.

Ruby Fizz

First, just a reminder that Sunday, August 28, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

Ruby Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Meyer Lemon)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (1/2 tsp Rich Simple Syrup)
The White of 1 Egg. (1 Egg White)
2 Dashes Raspberry or Grenadine syrup. (1 TBSP Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1 Glass Sloe Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with syphon soda water.
Starting to sound a bit like a Broken record! This is another Fizz from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”.

His recipe is pretty close to the Savoy recipe, except it does suggest Raspberry Syrup, not give you the choice between it and Grenadine: Juice ½ Lemon; 1 teasponful Powdered Sugar; White 1 Egg; 2 dashes Raspberry Syrup; 1 drink Sloe Gin. Shake and serve as directed for Gin Fizz.

I bounced the recipe a bit more towards the grenadine and a bit less towards the sugar.

One of the Fizzes we frequently get orders for on Savoy Nights, I never really feel any qualms at all about making it, as long as we have Plymouth Sloe Gin in the house. It is really a very tasty drink.

Though for some reason, I always think it has Port Wine in it until I look it up. I guess it is the “Ruby” in the name, as in Ruby Port.

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

New Orleans Fizz

Get home, prep for Gemelli with Chard and Hot Italian Sausage. Prep done, whip up the New Orleans Fizz, aka Ramos Gin Fizz.

New Orleans Gin Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon, Juice 1/2 Lime)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (generous 1 TBSP Rich Simple Syrup)
The White of 1 Egg. (1 Egg White)
1 Glass of Dry Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)
3 Dashes Fleur d’Orange. (1/2 tsp Orange Flower Water)
1 Tablespoonful of Sweet Cream. (1 TBSP Whipping Cream)
Shake well, strain into long tumbler and fill with syphon soda water.

One of the most iconic drinks of New Orleans, the Ramos Fizz is just a rather elaborate Gin Fizz. Instead of just including Cream or Egg White, it includes Cream AND Egg white.

Legendarily, Henry Ramos used to have a line of drink shakers standing on hand, each to do a portion of the shaking of the drink, it needs to be shaken so well and so long.

I did my best, giving it almost a full minute of shaking, making for a somewhat tedious video.

Well, you had New Orleans legend Mr. Dave Bartholomew to listen to while I was shaking, so how can you complain too much?

Finish making pasta:

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

Morning Glory Fizz

First, just a reminder that Sunday, July 31, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

Morning Glory Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon or 1 Lime. (Juice 1/2 Lemon, Juice 1/2 Lime)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (1 heaping teaspoon caster sugar)
The White of 1 Egg.
2 Dashes Absinthe (2 dash Absinthe Verte)
1 Glass Scotch Whisky (2 oz Highland Park 8, Gordon & MacPhail)
Shake well, strain into long tumbler and fill with syphon soda water.

The Morning Glory Fizz, (unrelated to the Morning Glory Cocktail,) is another Savoy Fizz from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”.
Interestingly, Ensslin gives the recipe as:

Juice of ½ Lime; Juice of ½ Lemon; 1 teasponful Powdered Sugar; White of 1 Egg; 2 dashes Absinthe; 1 drink Scotch Whiskey. Made and served as directed for Plain Gin Fizz.

While Ensslin suggests the juice of half a lemon and half a lime, the Savoy Cocktail Book suggests you choose between them, significantly altering the sweet/sour balance. I chose to follow Hugo Ensslin’s advice and found the results pleasant. Whether you will agree, I guess depends on where you fall on the whole, “not too sweet spectrum”.

As a drink maker, you have complete control over the level of sweetness in the drinks you make and it’s pretty easy to make the drinks you like. It’s more tricky when you have to figure out what someone else means by, “not too sweet”. I mean, almost no one ever asks for a Sweet Cocktail.

I remember one conversation I had that went something like:

Guest: If I asked you to make something with Baileys, what would you make?

Me: Unfortunately, we don’t have Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Guest: So you couldn’t make a White Russian?

Me: (Thinking: What? there’s no Bailey’s in a White Russian.) We do have cream and Coffee Liqueur, I would be happy to make you something similar to a White Russian.

Guest: Never mind, tell me about your cocktails. I don’t like anything too sweet.

Me: (Thinking: Same person who wants a White Russian with Bailey’s doesn’t like her cocktails too sweet? Does Not Compute.) Do you enjoy ginger flavor in a cocktail? I think you will find this cocktail refreshing and enjoyable.

I made her the Biarritz Monk Buck, a Brandy Cocktail with Lemon, Ginger and Yellow Chartreuse. She enjoyed it enough to thank me for my suggestion when her group was leaving the restaurant.

Ninety percent of the time, the challenge isn’t making the drinks, it’s interpreting from the guest what they really want.

I use the word “interpret” because there’s a lot of jargon around mixed drinks and bartending which I am nominally fluent in, such that it’s practically a dialect of its own, but I can’t really expect guests to understand. “Up”, “Rocks”, “Dry”, “Perfect”, “Sweet”, “Dirty”, etc.

But my idea of a “not too sweet” cocktail is often a long distance from what a guest might mean. If anything, all the cocktails I make, that aren’t after dinner stickies, fall into the category of “not too sweet”. Generally a guest isn’t going to want a cocktail any less sweet than the recipes we make at either place I sometimes tend bar.

But sometimes they do, I’ll make them a standard recipe for their first drink and they’ll say, “Could you make something a little less sweet for the next drink?” We even had one person at Alembic Savoy Nights who would always order a Crow Cocktail: 2/3 Bourbon, 1/3 Lemon, but ask for it without even the dash of Grenadine. Now that’s a Whiskey Sour! But more commmonly, I’ll get “That was good but a little too tart for me, could you make something a little sweeter”.

Either way, it’s not hard to tweak recipes a little this way or that, the hard part is making the guest comfortable enough that they feel like they can ask for what they want. While there are undoubtedly bars and establishments in San Francisco which employ a sort of S&M ethic to their customer relations, it’s not my thing. I would prefer that we all make it to the end of the night a little happier than when we started. No whips, no chains, and minimal scarring.

And, well, unless you are a Scotch Whisky Stickler, a Morning Glory Fizz with Highland Park 8, is a fine start. Think of it as a slightly peaty Rattlesnake, don’t worry about the bite. The cocktail doesn’t, and neither do I.

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

Holland Fizz

Holland Fizz
The Juice 1/2 Lemon. (Juice of 1/2 Lemon, Juice of 1/2 Lime)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (Generous Teaspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Bols Genever)
(Dash Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters)
The White of 1 Egg. (Uh, oops!)
Shake well strain into medium size glass and fill with sypon soda water. Add 3 sprigs of fresh Mint.

Wait, what? Egg White! Dammit, I forgot the Egg White!

Well, you will perhaps be thrilled to know that I did make this drink for a guest at Heaven’s Dog a couple weeks ago AND succeeded in including the Egg White. I hope they appreciated the effort that went into their, “Freedom From Choice: Gin, Citrus”. I will also be very happy to make it for you properly, should you happen to stop by Heaven’s Dog Saturday, July 23rd.

Even though I forgot the Egg White, I did decide to include some of the Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters, which went surprisingly well with the Bols Genever. Note to self, Genever Old-Fashioned in my very near future with Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters.

Oh yeah, why Genever, instead of any old Dry Gin?

Well, it is called a “Holland Fizz”, what are you going to make the Holland Fizz with OTHER than Genever?

Anyway, with or without Egg White, this is a nice drink and a pleasant change from the “Plain Gin Fizz”. Give it a try some time!

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

Apple Blow Fizz

First, just a reminder that Sunday, June 26, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

Apple Blow Fizz
The White of 1 Egg.
4 Dashes Lemon Juice. (Juice 1/2 small lemon)
1 Teaspoonful of Powdered Sugar. (1 tsp Caster Sugar)
1 Glass Calvados. (2 oz Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with soda water.

Source: Hugo Ensslin, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” 1916-1917, “1 drink Applejack; 4 dashes Lemon Juice; 1 spoonful Sugar; White of 1 Egg. Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into a fizz glass, fill up with carbonated or any sparkling water desired.”

While I would really love to make this with Calvados, it seems at odds with the spirit of the drink. And the original recipe does specify AppleJack. So we use the Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy.

Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy, woo! Nothing like an 100 Proof pick-me-up!

Anyway, another fizz which is light on the modifiers, only “4 dashes” of lemon juice and a teaspoon of sugar to ameliorate the potent influence of the Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, making this quite a potent tipple.

I don’t know if it is a sign of my incipient dipsomania, but I rather enjoyed the take no prisoners boozy approach of the Apple Blow Fizz.

I’ve pondered the name over the years and never really figured out the whole “Blow” thing. It just sounds vaguely salacious to me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the egg white creates a head which could be blown off the top in some sort of drunken salute to your fellow drinkers, as in the Froth Blower Cocktail and Ancient Order of Froth Blowers?

From the Wikipedia Article:

The Ancient Order of Froth-Blowers was a humorous British charitable organisation “to foster the noble Art and gentle and healthy Pastime of froth blowing amongst Gentlemen of-leisure and ex-Soldiers”. Running from 1924-1931, it was founded by Bert Temple, an ex-soldier and silk-merchant, initially to raise £100 (equal to £4,228 today) for the children’s charities of the surgeon Sir Alfred Fripp. One of the Order’s first meeting places was the Swan, Fittleworth, W. Sussex – the ‘No. 0 Vat’.

History

Temple founded the organisation in gratitude for life-saving stomach surgery by Fripp. Membership of this spoof order cost 5 shillings (equal to £11 today), each member receiving a pair of silver, enamelled cuff-links and a membership booklet and card entitling them to blow froth off any member’s beer “and occasionally off non-members’ beer provided they are not looking or are of a peaceful disposition“. The motto was “Lubrication in Moderation”.

That’s about all I can come up with.

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

White Rose Cocktail

White Rose Cocktail
The Juice of 1/4 Orange. (Juice 1/4 Orange)
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime. (Juice 1/4 Lemon)
The White of 1 Egg.
1/4 Maraschino. (1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
3/4 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Bols Genever)
Shake well and strain into medium size glass.
Source: Hugo Ensslin, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” 1916-1917

I’ve made this cocktail a few times at Alembic Bar Savoy Nights, and customers always really enjoy it.

Having been there, and done that, I thought I’d change up the gin.

I’ve been intrigued by the use of Genever in Sour cocktails, but hadn’t really tried one with egg white and/or Maraschino liqueur. However, given the friendliness of Genever to these ingredients, it didn’t seem like that big a chance to take.

After trying it, though, I have to say I definitely preferred the dry gin version I’ve made at Alembic. The well gin there is Beefeater, and this is a great Beefeater cocktail. Maybe not so much a great Genever Sour, but your mileage may vary.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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.

Waterbury Cocktail

Waterbury Cocktail*
2 Dashes Grenadine. (1 tsp Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/2 Teaspoonful Powdered Sugar. (1/2 tsp Caster Sugar)
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime. (Juice 1/4 Lemon)
The White of 1 Egg. (1/2 Egg White)
1 Glass Brandy. (2 oz Chateau Pellehaut Armagnac Reserve.)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

*Yes, Sir! A stem-winder.

A “stem-winder”? What on earth is a stem-winder?

From Word Detective.com:

It all goes back to the humble watch. Before there were electronic battery-powered wrist watches, before there were manually wound (or self-winding) mechanical watches, before there were even watches worn on one’s wrist, there were pocket watches. And if you go way back, those pocket watches were wound with a separate tiny key. This may sound cute, but it was a major drag, because the process was awkward and the key was easily lost. So in 1842, when the French watchmaker Adrien Philippe (co-founder of Patek-Philippe) invented a “keyless” watch that was wound by turning its “stem” (a knurled knob on the side of its case, today called the “crown”), it was such an improvement that it won Philippe a Gold Medal at the French Industrial World’s Fair.

It’s hard to imagine today, but the new “stemwinder” watch became an instant public sensation of almost delirious intensity, the iPod of its day. It was so popular, in fact, that within a few years the term “stemwinder” entered the lexicon as a synonym for anything excellent and exciting. By the end of the 19th century, “stemwinder” was being used to mean, first, an energetic person, then a rousing public speaker, and finally an especially inspiring speech itself.

Hm, is the Waterbury Cocktail, in fact, so “excellent and exciting”, as to justify the term, “stem-winder”?

Well, it is a nicely spirit forward sour, of the sort which has become largely unfashionable these days. Certainly, it would be more a la minute to make this with the juice of a half lemon (3/4 oz) rather than the juice of a quarter lemon and increase the sugar slightly.

But when you’ve got a nice Brandy, like this Pellehaut Armagnac, why cover it up with extra citrus?

It is interesting to play around with the sweet and sour ratios for a sour, rather than apply the same one to every spirit or drink.

PS. Bummed this is the last of my Pellehaut Armagnac. I think it will be back to the slightly cheaper Osocalis, at least for a little while.

PPS. Jesse informs me, there will be no Notoberfest this year. I am seriously bummed, but he did get married, I hear that takes a lot of time from planning other events, and is working on launching his own beer brand concentrating on barrel aged fruit beers: Old Oak Beer. I suppose I can cut him some slack. However, if you feel the need to get some Jesse learning and beering on, you might want to check out this workshop he is presenting Dec 12 in collaboration with Local:Mission Eatery, Holiday Beers. “At the December gathering, we’ll be focusing on holiday beers, and pouring some of my favorites, including Anchor’s Our Christmas Ale, Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale and He’Brew Jewbelation 14, plus a few more surprises, including bottles pulled from my own cellar…I’ll be working with Chef Jake to pair these beers up with some great treats, including a cheese pairing (the cheese pairing we’re serving is particularly exciting) and hearty winter fare. We’ll also be tasting the ingredients that go into beer, learning about the brewing process, and generally having a good time with beer, food and conversation.”  Sounds 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.

Twin Six Cocktail

Twin Six Cocktail
1 Dash Grenadine. (2.5ml or 1/2 tsp Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
4 Dashes Orange Juice. (10ml or 2 tsp Orange Juice)
The White of 1 Egg. (1/2 oz Egg White)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
3/4 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
Shake well and strain into medium size glass.
I can think of no reason, other than sheer perversity, and a burning question about how the Ransom Old Tom would work in an egg white drink, that I decided to mix up the Twin Six with that gin. There is no way this recipe, originally from Hugo Ensslin’s 1917 book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” could possibly be interpreted to include Old Tom.

The name, it appears, referred to a 12 Cylinder engine which the American Auto manufacturer Packard introduced in 1916.

From an article on Driving Today, Packard Twin Six:

The American public went wild over the Twin Six, which they saw as further proof that the United States was the best car-building nation on Earth. When the car was first put on display, some dealers had to call in the police to handle the curious throngs wanting to see the wondrous V-12 engine.

If the Twin Six Engine was noted for it’s, “smooth acceleration in high gear and sufficient power to propel some of the models to 70 mph,” the Twin Six Cocktail could be considered similar in many ways. A relatively strong cocktail, for a sour, it is mostly just the egg white and touch of Italian Vermouth which are smoothing over the power of the gin. I would definitely call this a “deceptively drinkable” 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.