Tuxedo Cocktail (No. 2)

Tuxedo Cocktail (No. 2)
1 Dash Maraschino. (2.5ml or 1/2 tsp Luxardo Maraschino)
1 Dash Absinthe. (2.5ml or 1/2 tsp Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (1 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth or Sutton Cellars Vermouth)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. Add a cherry. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

Interestingly, in “Barflies and Cocktails”, Harry McElhone calls for “Sir R. Burnett’s Old Tom Gin” in this cocktail.

Well, that give me an excuse to use a more interesting Gin! Yay, Ransom!

Aside from using the Ransom, this is a much more interesting cocktail, even if it is just a Martinez with French Vermouth. The Maraschino and the Orange Bitters really pump up the volume of the somewhat plain “Tuxedo No. 1″.

The Sutton vs. Noilly test was not so obvious with the Tuxedo Cocktail No. 2. I tasted the two cocktails, then put them into the fridge for Michele to taste when she got home. When we tasted them, I could tell they were different, but had a hard time deciding which was which, or which I preferred. I believe Michele even said she preferred the Sutton Cellars version this time. Basically, I think the more intense gin, bitters, liqueurs, and Absinthe just plowed the vermouth under.

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.

Turf Cocktail

Turf Cocktail
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
2 Dashes Maraschino. (2 Dash Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur)
2 Dashes Absinthe. (2 Dash Lucid Absinthe)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry or 1 oz Sutton Cellars Vermouth)
1/2 Plymouth Gin. (1/2 oz Junipero, 1/2 oz Genevieve)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I was reading a post over at Ummamimart about Perucchi Vermouth, which we sadly do not have in the Bay Area, and I noticed that Payman had mentioned Sutton Cellars Vermouth in a comment.

Later in the comment thread, Carl Sutton chimed in with some corrections.

Thinking about it, I realized I had never really given the old college try to using the Sutton Cellars Vermouth in Savoy Cocktails.

So I thought I’d pick up a fresh bottle of Sutton Cellars and a fresh bottle of Noilly Prat Dry and put them up against each other in cocktails.

The Turf Cocktail, which Robert Vermeire attributes to “Harry Johnson, New Orleans,” is actually one of my all time favorite aromatic Gin cocktails.  As usual, this is a combination of Gin and Dry Vermouth with a couple dashes of this and that.  In this case the this is Absinthe and the that is Maraschino Liqueur.  Like the Imperial Cocktail, this transforms a simple Fifty-Fifty Martini into something completely other.

Not relying on my own taste, I also ran both of these past Mrs. Flannestad in a blind tasting, even though aromatic gin cocktails are not her favorite.  The general consensus was, in the case of the Turf Cocktail, we preferred the cocktail made with Noilly Prat Dry to the one with Sutton Cellars.   While the Noilly Turf was balanced and smooth, the Sutton Cellars Turf seemed to have a tart character which overshadowed the other elements in the drink.

Didn’t hear from the specialist for a few days, so finally, two days before the Biopsy, I call the office to ask about my test results. The Doctor isn’t in, but the nurse tells me the numbers from one of the tests was “abnormal” .  I should still plan on coming in for the biopsy.

Ooof.

This was a pretty big let down. Needless to say, it put me in a pretty bad mood.

The morning of the appointment, I got ready as advised (don’t ask,) and Michele gave me a ride to the office. It was in one of the depressingly dingy San Francisco Kaiser offices, which always seem to be in some form of remodeling or another and filled with sick, or otherwise mutilated, senior citizens.

The nurse takes me to the office and tells me to take off my clothes and put on the surgical gown.

I sit in the office, mostly naked, shivering, for about 20 minutes, contemplating surgical devices which don’t look like they would have been out of place in the David Cronenberg film “Dead Ringers”. I eye the specimen jars with my name on them.

Finally, the Doctor finally comes in. He tells me they just got back some more blood results, and, in fact, my numbers are “normal”. In line with my results the year before. We don’t have to proceed with the biopsy, just keep an eye on this for the future.

Stunned and confused, I say, “Uh, What?”

“You can put your clothes back on and leave.”

“Uh, thanks. OK.”

As I’m leaving, the nurse says, “You got lucky today. I hope your numbers stay low.”

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.

Tropical Cocktail

Tropical Cocktail
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Bitters)
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Orange)
1/3 Crème de Cacao. (1 barspoon Bols Creme de Cacao)
1/3 Maraschino. (1 barspoon Luxardo Maraschino)
1/3 French Vermouth. (2 oz Noilly Prat Vermouth)

Stir well, strain into a cocktail glass, with cherry.

Well, if there is anything that might put me off of drinking, it’s probably this concoction. Jeez, equal parts of French Vermouth, Maraschino, and Creme de Cacao? It doesn’t even have any booze!

I had some idle hope that this could be saved, a la Chrysanthemum, to make a pleasant light aperitif Coctkail. Nope, this just doesn’t appeal, at all, even slightly dried out. I can’t imagine what this would taste like as the dessert cocktail it sounds like in the recipe.

After a few months of over doing it, what with the trips to Spain, Chicago, and Wisconsin, it was about time to cut back significantly on the drinking. There was just a little too much grease in the wheels, things were getting a little blurry.

I have a couple friends who manage to balance abstention with bartending, so I thought I would give that a try for a while.

Got through a couple weeks of drying out, started feeling pretty good. Michele was proud of me. I was only straw tasting at the bar, and only tasting Savoy Cocktails. It was quite pleasant not to have quite the adjustment on Mondays that I had been having, from the drinking to the sober life.

Feeling good, it seemed like it was about time to get some things out of the way: Visit the Dentist, Get a check-up from my Doctor.

Dentist visit went well, they even praised me for the job I had been doing flossing. Gum health good. Woo!

Visited the Doctor. Blood pressure good, cholesterol not bad, Doctor said I was seeming pretty healthy.

Then later in the week, I got a call. My Doctor would like to schedule a visit to a specialist, to follow up on some of the numbers in one of the tests. They were a little high for someone my age.

Yeah, that’s just great. Just like life. Mostly give up drinking, feeling healthy, good attitude. Then the Doctor tells you, “Oh, by the way, you might have cancer.”

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.

Trocadero Cocktail

Trocadero Cocktail
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange)
1 Dash Grenadine. (Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Dolin Dry)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Add cherry (Amarena Toschi Cherries) and squeeze lemon peel (or orange peel, if you’re out of lemons) on top.

Puzzlingly, Robert Vermeire notes the Trocadero is a, “Recipe of the Bremen Trocadero, 1910.”

I can’t find much information, there is a Trocadero Square in Bremen, Germany. Perhaps there was a club?

A pleasant, slightly sweet, mixture of Italian and French Vermouth, this is a nice, light diversion. Not earth shaking, but then, sometimes a drink doesn’t need to be.

As someone who has self medicated with alcohol for all of my adult life, I often wonder if I can teach myself new tricks.

I mean, sure, I haven’t been a truly bad dog for a number of years, but at some point in middle age isn’t a path towards more moderation a good idea?

My father-in-law recently mentioned, perhaps concerned about my recent dabbling in bartending, that as people he knew grew older, they either slowed down their drinking or tended to fall off the deep end.

But as someone who hasn’t believed in the existence of a higher power beyond the awestruck beauty of the random universe since high school, there won’t be any church basement meetings in my near future. I did my time in churches when I was growing up. I won’t be taking those 12 easy steps back into the chapel.

I mean, oddly, I do often see the groups of whatever Anonymous on their path from one meeting to another during my morning commute. Clutching their booklets filled with meeting schedules and locations. Glancing about nervously, concerned for the well being of their fellow man, and whether they will make it to the next meeting on time.

I do sometimes think they are better people, more caring, than the rest of us jaded commuters. They are certainly more willing to help a homeless person in need.

Maybe I have just been too lucky. I haven’t (so far) lost a house, a job, or a marriage because of my drinking.

Some time in our 30s, Michele and I decided having a few “alcohol-free days” a week would be a good idea.

Since then, we generally try to have at least 3 dry days a week, used to be Sunday through Tuesday.

This had been working pretty well until I started bartending on Sunday nights. Let’s just say, some bartenders drink more than others while they’re working, and they don’t like to drink alone.

And while it is easy to resist, say, the challenge to chug bottles of Pabst, when someone asks me if I would like to have a taste of some very tasty rum or whiskey with them, I do have a hard time saying, “no”. Weakness or character flaw on my part, I know.

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.

Trinity Cocktail

First, just a reminder that tongight Sunday, September 26, 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.

Trinity Cocktail
1/3 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
1/3 Dry Gin. (1 oz Miller’s Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I know, I know, this should be equal parts.

However, I wanted to use the Miller’s Gin and see how it did. Get away from using the Ransom and/or Junipero in all the cocktails.

But I was thinking about the fact that the Miller’s is only 80 proof and not particularly assertive, as gins go, I figured I should give it a fighting chance. 2-1-1, instead of equal parts.

At that ratio, this is pretty good. The gin gets a chance to shine, not overwhelmed by the Carpano. I still think some bitters or a garnish wouldn’t hurt this cocktail. Hard to say what to use, with the Miller’s. Maybe some thinly sliced cucumber would be nice.

Now, if you had Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin, that might be a different matter, altogether.

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.

Tipperary Cocktail (No. 2)

Tipperary Cocktail (No. 2)
1/6 Orange Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Orange Juice)
1/6 Grenadine. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Grenadine)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Martin Miller’s Gin)
2 Sprigs Green Mint. (2 sadly nearly decimated Sprigs “Julep Mint”, 1 Sprig “The Survivor” Lemon Balm)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I’ve been trying to grow Spearmint in my back yard for several years now.

Mint! Did you hear me? Trying to grow Mint! It’s crazy, everyone else I know has to beat the Mint back with a stick, it grows out of control without them even trying.

However, I have been foiled on every attempt. One turned black and just disappeared, one got dried out in a couple days of inexplicably hot weather, the last plant chewed down to the veins by some unnamed pest.

It’s just sad, I barely had enough to qualify as 2 sprigs in this drink, so I added some of the lemon balm that does grow like a pest in my back yard, self seeding and spreading everywhere.

This is a tad sweet, as a cocktail, really could use a dash of lemon or lime to balance out that Grenadine. On the whole, though, not so bad.

I suppose rather than being the tipple of choice among the Irish of Tipperary, this was more likely a beverage favored by the British Soldiers and Officers living in the Barracks.

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.

Three Stripes Cocktail

Three Stripes Cocktail
3 Slices Orange. (3 Slices Orange)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Corsair Gin)
(Muddle Orange Slices, add ice and…)  Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

A Martini with muddled slices of oranges? Yeah, that’s just a bit odd. However, it’s not exactly unappealing. In fact I think it is safe to say, I kind of prefer it to an Orange Blossom or Screwdriver, definitely on the dry and refreshing side.

A friend, David Driscoll, gave me this Corsair Gin to try, and I’m not quite sure what to think.  While fairly traditional in flavor profile, it’s very strongly aromatic.  Not at all unpleasant, there is still a little something in the middle flavor sensations that is a bit off putting to me.  It seems to be pretty well made, but there is something not as clean as I would like in the expression of the botanicals.

It is interesting that they say they make it in a method similar to Bombay Sapphire, with a “Head” to contain the botanicals instead of a direct steep.  Not sure if anyone else in America has experimented with that technique yet.

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.

Third Degree Cocktail

Third Degree Cocktail

A peek into the always exciting night life of a cocktail blogger.

Third Degree Cocktail
2/3 Burrough’s Plymouth Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin, 3/4 oz Bols Genever)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
4 Dashes of Absinthe. (1 tsp Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe Superior)
Shake well and strain into old-fashioned whisky glass.

We discussed the Third Degree a bit when we made the Fourth Degree Cocktail.

To recap, Robert Vermeire, in his book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” considered both the Third and Fourth Degree cocktails to be variations on the Martinez. About the Third Degree he states, “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.”

The recipe for the Martinez (Continental Style) is as follows:

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 European style Martinez’ from the “English” style Martinez, which is as follows:

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.

Interesting that all of Vermeire’s Martinez call for French Vermouth!

In any case, since it uses Plymouth Gin, the Savoy Third Degree appears to be more closely based on the “English” Martinez, than the “Continental” version.

As we discussed earlier, there is some new evidence regarding the early 20th Century version of Plymouth Gin, in that it is said to have been “flavour[ed] with the wash of whisky distilleries”.  What that exactly means, will have to wait until I am able to taste a vintage sample, but until then, I am splitting the difference in the drinks which call for Plymouth Gin between Bols Genever and modern Plymouth Gin.

The fairly large pour of Absinthe in this cocktail, causes it to be the dominant element.  Luckily the malty character of the Genever brings a bit more interest to the party than simple, modern, GNS based Plymouth would.  While I favor the Fourth Degree slightly, this is also quite a tasty beverage!

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.

Tango Cocktail

Tango Cocktail
2 Dashes Curacao. (5ml/1tsp Brizard Orange Curacao)
The Juice of 1/4 Orange. (Juice and peel 1/4 Navel Orange)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Tanqueray Dry Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Garnish with long ribbon Orange Peel.)

Harry McElhone, the likely source for the recipe, formats it slightly differently in his book, “Barflies and Cocktails” : 1/6 Curacao; 1/6 Orange Juice; 1/3 Italian Vermouth; 1/3 Plymouth Gin. He also notes this is a, “Recipe by Harry, Bartender Palermo, Rue Fontaine, Paris.”

Hm, I hate to mention this to the Harrys, but isn’t the Tango the same cocktail as the Satan’s Whiskers?

Anyway, when we served the Satan’s Whiskers at Heaven’s Dog for our special Halloween menu last year, Erik Adkins had the insight to note, “Don’t over shake this drink.  Most of the ingredients have a low abv plus there is oj.  The drink should have a strong middle.”

That piece of advice has significantly improved my opinion of the Satan’s Whiskers as a cocktail. Well, that along with including a piece of orange peel in the shaker for added citrus ooomph.

I still think Satan’s Whiskers is a better name than it is a cocktail, per se, but for those occasions when a stiff drink might be a little too stiff, it is a nice option to have.

At Heaven’s Dog, we also sometimes make another rather amusingly named variation on this theme, “Satan’s Soul Patch”, which substitutes Bourbon for Gin and has a flamed orange peel as a garnish.

Don’t tell the manly men who usually order this drink, Satan’s Whiskers, or Satan’s Soul Patch that they are mostly drinking Vermouth and Orange Juice!

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.

The Violet Hour

Well, you might have noticed that there were a few “S” cocktails missing from the Savoy Stomp…

Chicago’s a funny city. One of the largest cities in the country, it is also one of the hardest drinking party towns in the Midwest. Gangsters and Speakeasies played a big part during prohibition, but after prohibition, like elsewhere, there was a bit of a lull in cocktail culture.

Even after new classic cocktail bars started opening in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, the Midwest has lagged behind, caught in the culture of bigger is better.

Chicago, though, seemed like it could do better. A fabulous culinary destination, arguably one of the best in the whole of the United States.  How long until a bar in Chicago took cocktails as seriously as restaurants like Alinea, avec, or blackbird?

With thoughts along those lines, Toby Maloney and his partners opened The Violet Hour in late June of 2007.

Toby,

I’ll be in Chicago for a dinner at Alinea on Thurs.  We’re staying
through the weekend to relax.

Hoping to stop by The Violet Hour (finally!)

Do you still have anything to do with that venue?

I do need to photograph at least this week’s 5 Savoy Cocktails (Star
through Stinger) somewhere in Chicago.

Seemed like The Violet Hour might be a fun place to do it.

Think anyone there would be interested?

Best,

Erik E.

Hey Erik,

I am happy to say I am an owner of The Violet Hour so I will always have my fingers in it. It would be my pleasure to get you a rezo at TVH anytime you want. Many people find a cocktail after Alinea is the perfect thing to decompress and settle the stomach. YAY Cynar.

I am checking with one of my people to see when they can make time for your photo shoot. Do you want the place to be open?

As soon as I hear back I will shoot you an other email.

Cheers,
Toby

Hey Toby,

Alinea is on Pernod-Ricard’s dime and there are quite a few bartenders
in tow, so perhaps we’ll make it over afterwards. I’ll suggest it,
unless they have already been in contact. Those Amaro based cocktails
were looking pretty darn appealing to me, and it is only 11:00AM here.

Usually before open or during a bit of a slow time is best for
photography. If such a thing exists at TVH. Is Saturday jammed from
open? I hate to get in the way of opening chores. Sunday at 5 or 6?
Whatever works.

Would be nice to do a bit of an interview and such, if they don’t
mind, and get some pictures of the atmosphere. Always curious about
the cocktail scene in other locales.

Erik E.

Toby,

Simon Ford appears somewhat taken with the idea of visiting TVH for a
post-prandial nightcap.

Our Alinea reservation is on Thurs at 7, I guess that means some time
around 11 or 12?

I will text closer to the time, if the idea gains traction.

Erik E.

I might need a little more notice than hours. Lynette is in I know, You, your wife and Simon make enough for me to make you a rezo in the back room. Any new info should be txted to me to insure prompt action to this fluid situation.

Cheers,
Toby

Well, nothing like rolling in with a bunch of high profile bartenders who have already been drinking, to put a place on edge. I know I always get nervous. Will they break anything? What will my hangover be like tomorrow morning?

Fortunately, we did not break anything, and all went well. Delicious post-prandial libations, perfect to sate our stuffed stomachs.

The next night Mrs. Flannestad and I traveled back to The Violet Hour in Wicker Park, this time to try a few Savoy Cocktails. Unfortunately, among the next 12, or so, cocktails, there wasn’t a lot of greatness. Michael Rubel did his best to maintain his cool and make the cocktails work. But some were just not that great.

Star Cocktail (No. 1)
1 Teaspoonful Grape Fruit Juice.
1 Dash Italian Vermouth.
1 Dash French Vermouth.
1/2 Calvados or Apple Brandy.
1/2 Dry Gin.
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.
Harry McElhone notes this was, “A very popular cocktail at the Plaza, New York.”

Tastes, I guess, change. We first tried it with Carpano Antica, Noilly Prat Dry, Busnel V.S.O.P. Calvados, and Anchor Junipero Gin. Pretty close to undrinkable. Michael, not being one to admit defeat, had to mix it again, this time massaging the amounts a bit and using Bombay Gin instead of the Junipero. As he said, “it isn’t going to rock your world,” but it was at least drinkable.

Messing around later, I found a version made with 1 teaspoon M&R Bianco, 1 teaspoon Carpano Antica, 1 teaspoon Grapefruit, 1 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy, and 1 oz Krogstad Aquavit to be actually enjoyable. Your mileage may vary, but, made literally, this classic cocktail is definitely one of questionable merit.

Star Cocktail (No. 2)
1/2 Italian Vermouth.
1/2 Applejack or Calvados.
(dash House “Aromatic Elixir”)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Michael went with 1/2 Carpano Antica, 1/2 Laird’s Bottled in Bond, and, after a brief query, “I’d put bitters in this, wouldn’t you?” he suggested we add Violet Hour House Aromatic Elixir to the cocktail. Maybe it was the previous Star Cocktails, but what a relief to be drinking an Apple Brandy Manhattan! Whew!

Stomach Reviver Cocktail
5 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
1/6 Fernet Branca.
2/3 Brandy.
2/3 Kummel.
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This cocktail just seemed so appropriate for a bar which has a section of its cocktail menu based on Amaros! Plus, it’s just odd to find a bar with Kummel on the back bar! We used Maison Surrene Petit Champagne Cognac, Kaiser Kummel, Fernet and around an eighth of an ounce of Angostura!

And nice it was, a fine example of extreme Fernet Mixology. About our only criticism would be, it was almost nicer before it was chilled and diluted. Maybe I’m just used to drinking Fernet at room temp, but the flavors seemed a bit muted after the cocktail was cold.

Stinger Cocktail
1/4 White Crème de Menthe.
3/4 Brandy.
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to drink a Stinger, but as we were talking, Michael had a funny story. He mentioned that it was one of Dale DeGroff’s favorite cocktails, and when he was working in New York, he got an order from the great man. For some reason, which I fail to exactly recall, he decided to make it, instead of with Cognac, but with a (very nice) Spanish Brandy.

The next Saturday night Michael was working, in the height of the evening’s rush, Mr. DeGroff came back to talk to him, and explain in no uncertain terms, without concern for how busy Mr. Rubel was, precisely why it was wrong to use Spanish Brandy and exactly the way he preferred his Stingers, thank you very much.

Well, after that story, how could I not finish the evening with a Stinger prepared by Mr. Rubel?

This evening we made the stinger with Brizard White Creme de Menthe and Maison Surenne Petit Champagne Cognac.  You can’t say Michael did not learn his lesson. We did serve it up, per the Savoy Cocktail Book, and I believe Mr. DeGroff prefers his over cracked ice. FYI, just in case you get an order for one from him one busy Saturday night.

I can’t say I entirely see the appeal of the Stinger, I did think it could use a bit less Creme de Menthe. I also believe I agree with Mr. DeGroff and prefer it over cracked ice.

This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affections glow again and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen magically along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn.
- Bernard DeVoto “The Hour”

I have to thank Toby and especially Michael and Maura of The Violet Hour staff for making me welcome and putting up with a couple pretty awful Savoy Cocktails. The most inspiring thing, as a bartender and customer, that I took away from our evenings at The Violet Hour, was that the staff were great hosts. I loved watching the truly professional way they interacted with each other, the customers, and kept their bar top in order. Amazing. Although I didn’t see the unicorn this time, I certainly hope it won’t be another 3 years before I get a chance to return and look for it again!

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.