Buck’s Fizz

As usual, I got home and did the prep for this evening’s dinner. This time, arborio rice with fresh porcini mushroom and smoked salmon.

Soak dry mushrooms. Brunoise of carrots and onions. Washed and sliced leeks. Sliced fresh porcini. Drain Mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid. Mince dried mushrooms. Crumble smoked salmon. Chop fresh herbs.

After getting that in the can, I filmed the week’s cocktail, the Buck’s Fizz.

Bucks Fizz
Use long tumbler.
1/4 Glass Orange Juice.
Fill with Champagne.

My plan was to:

Rinse glass with Miracle Mile Orange Bitters, pour bitters into mixing glass.

Make Buck’s Fizz in bitters rinsed glass.

Then make a real drink with orange bitters, like a Martini… Oh crap, I have no Dry Vermouth.

Well, make the unjustly ignored Jabberwock Cocktail instead, since I have Gin, Sherry, and Cocchi Americano.

Jabberwock Cocktail*
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Miracle Mile Orange Bitters)
1/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Junipero Gin)
1/3 Dry Sherry. (3/4 oz Manzanilla Sherry)
1/3 Caperitif. (3/4 oz Cocchi Americano or Lillet Blanc)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon (er, orange) peel on top.
* This will made you gyre and gamble in the wabe until brillig all right, all right.

So, Buck’s Fizz. Isn’t that just a Mimosa? Well, sometimes you’ll see Buck’s Fizz variations which include Cherry Heering, Orange Liqueur, Gin, or Grenadine and most Mimosas are equal parts orange juice and champagne, but, yep, at it’s most basic, The Buck’s Fizz is a fairly dry version of the Mimosa. Or the Mimosa is a Orange Juice heavy Buck’s Fizz.

Is there anything wrong with spiking your champagne with a little Vitamin C?

Always a mess. Clean up, upload photos and video.

Make the dressing for the tomato salad. Slice Tomatoes. Wash greens.

Put reserved mushroom soaking liquid over low heat and add additional chicken or vegetable stock. Heat 2 saute pans. In one large enough to hold your rice dish, add oil and 1 cup arborio rice. Heat until toasted and fragrant. Add carrot and onion brunoise, toss and cook until tender. Add chicken stock and cook until rice is nearly tender, adding more stock as necessary. While this is going on, saute your porcini mushrooms, when they have given up most of their liquid, add the leeks. Remove from heat and reserve. When rice is nearly tender, add the minced dried mushrooms, sauteed mixture, and herbs. Stir in some grated cheese, if you like, and the crumbled salmon. Top with a little more grated cheese and serve while warm. Toss salad and serve with warm crusty bread.

Music in the video is from the new Amon Tobin CD, “ISAM”.

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.

Albemarle 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.

Albemarle Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (1 tsp Caster Sugar)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well strain into medium size glass and fill with syphon soda water. Add teaspoonful Raspberry Syrup (1 tsp Homemade Raspberry Syrup*).

You’re out with a girl, you order a Gin Fizz. “For the Lady?” Perhaps an enpinkened Gin Fizz? The Cosmo of its day, no doubt.

Source: Hugo Ensslin, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” 1916-1917, “Made same as plain Gin Fizz**, adding Raspberry Syrup.”

So I didn’t add Raspberry Syrup afterwards, as it appears the Savoy Cocktail Book is instructing you, I just shook it with the drink.

Albemarle, as in Albemarle North Carolina?

The Historic Albemarle Region

FOUR HUNDRED YEARS of History for North Carolina -indeed for the Nation- begins around the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.  From Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony to existing homes that stood decades before the Revolutionary War to modern-day river towns, this is a land of rich heritage.

Chartered to the Lords Proprietors before the colonies were formed with the Atlantic Ocean as its eastern boundary and encompassing much of the original colony in its domain, the original Albemarle Region now includes the Albemarle, the Pamlico-Neuse Region, and the Outer Banks region -and beyond.

The Lost Colony

In 1584, explorers Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe were the first English explorers to set eyes on the North Carolina. They had been sent to the area by Sir Walter Raleigh with the mission of scouting the broad sounds and estuaries in search of an ideal location for settlement. Amadas and Barlowe wrote glowing reports of the Albemarle Region, and when they returned to England a year later with two Natives, Manteo and Wanchese, all of Britain was abuzz with talk of the New World’s wonders.

Queen Elizabeth herself was impressed, and she granted Raleigh a patent to all the lands he could occupy. She named the new land “Virginia”, in honor of the Virgin Queen, and the next year, Raleigh sent a party of 100 soldiers, craftsmen and scholars to Roanoke Island.

Under the direction of Ralph Lane, the garrison was doomed from the beginning. They arrived too late in the season for planting, and supplies were dwindling rapidly. To make matters worse, Lane, a military captain, alienated the neighboring Roanoke Indians, and ultimately sealed his own fate by murdering their chief, Wingina over a stolen cup. By 1586, when Sir Francis Drake stopped at Roanoke after a plundering expedition, Lane and his men had had enough. They abandoned the settlement and returned to England.

Detained by a war with Spain, Lane would not return to Roanoke until 1590. When they arrived, they found the colony deserted with no sign of the settlers, only the work “Croatoan” carved mysteriously in a Pallisade Post.

Bonus Roanoke Trivia: The first child born in the Americas to English parents, Virginia Dare, was born in that colony three weeks after their arrival, on August 18, 1587.

In any case, this is another pleasant Fizz. My lemons are on the small side this time of the year and not particularly juicy, so the thing that is striking me about these fizzes so far, especially when making them in an 8 oz glass, is just how boozy they are. Not really tart, as they would likely be made today. Kind of nice, and frankly, drinkable.

*Raspberry Syrup
1/2 cup Water
1 Cup Washed Raw Sugar
1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. When sugar is dissolved, add raspberries and Balsamic Vinegar. Strain through chinois or cheesecloth, mashing to get as much of the liquid as possible. Cool and refrigerate. Makes about 12 ounces.

**Gin Fizz. Juice of ½ Lime; Juice ½ Lemon; 1 tablespoon of Powdered Sugar; 1 drink Dry Gin. Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into fizz glass, fill up with carbonated or any sparkling water desired.

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.

Suffering Mixologist

You know what, the Suffering Bastard just isn’t really a very good drink. Bourbon, Gin, Lime, Angostura, and Ginger Beer?

Sounds about as bad as the hangover it was supposed to be curing.

But, as mixologists, I think we can do something about this, but we’ll need to plan ahead a bit.

I think we’re looking at about a year process, from start to finish.

First begin by aging your own Whiskey. Purchase a case of unaged whisky (White Dog) and a charred barrel. Both of these items are now for sale, conveniently, at many of your better liquor stores.

About 6 months in to your whisky aging process, you’ll want to start your gin. You can either go the infusion route, like Jeffrey Morgenthaler, or you can purchase a still and distill it yourself. Instructions for distillation are beyond the scope of this article, but there are many online forums which should be of help. You’ll be able to find all sorts of interesting spices and herbs at witchery stores and upscale groceries.

In either case, infusion or distillation, I suggest you discard the common knowledge about what a gin should be and feel free to improvise with whatever catches your fancy. Elderflower, go! Rangpur Lime, go! Lemon Verbena, why not?

Once your gin is ready, you’re going to want to pull your whiskey from the barrel, blend it with the gin, and return it to the barrel. The additional months, or years, you allow these spirits to marry will produce a truly superior end product.

About a month out from when you want to serve your cocktail, you’ll need to start the infusion for your bitters. Check any number of articles on doing this, from Jamie Boudreau to Robert Heugel. Once you’ve made your bitters, of course using a Buechner Funnel to vacuum filter them, you’ll want to again pull your gin and whisky from the barrel, add the bitters, and return the mixture to the barrel. I suggest erring on the side of generosity. Really, if it isn’t bitter, it isn’t a cocktail.

About this time, you’re going to want to start promoting your genius new version of the Suffering Bastard. I would suggest hiring a full time publicist and hitting the local bars. Maybe even take out a few ads in national papers or magazines. Of course you’ll want to attend the major trade shows, Tales of the Cocktail, Manhattan Cocktail Classic, etc. just to press the flesh and give that personal touch to your presence. You’re not just a brand, after all. Don’t forget to sponsor a few panels at these conferences. That kind of exposure, a bunch of drunk people in a hotel conference room, is worth its weight in gold.

After doing some publicity, you’ll probably have come onto the radar of the original creator of the drink, Trad’r Vick, and his organization. Be sure to ignore any and all communications from them. You are a drinks artist, not a business man, there’s no reason to talk to those suits.

Next you’ll need to make your Ginger Beer. After distilling your own gin, making ginger beer is a snap. Check this recipe from Good Eats: Making Ginger Beer 48 hours? Pah, most of that is just sitting around in your cabinet.

Why do Trad’r Vick and his lawyers keep calling you? Just ignore them.

You’ll want to start the last minute publicity for your drink unveiling. Be sure to rent a space of suitable gravitas and capacity for your needs. Invite everyone you know, sending simultaneous and identical tweets, facebook invitations, and email blasts.

Who is that knocking?

What? Trad’r Vick and a subpoena? Agh, they are trampling on your creativity! Saying they own the Tradermark to the Suffering Bastard! Not only that, but telling you your drink isn’t even a Suffering Bastard, the Suffering Bastard, they claim, properly contains: Trad’r Vick Mai Tai Mix, two kinds of Rum, and a cucumber peel garnish. Pah, don’t they know you are referencing the original Suffering Bastard, created by Joe Scialom during World War II at the Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo, Egypt? Philistines!

Well, you’ll show them, change the name of your drink, it bears no resemblance to their crappy “original” Suffering Bastard anyway. In honor of your self, you call it the Poor Long Suffering Mixologist, or P.L.S.M., for short.

Aged Spirits ready, Ginger Beer on tap, you’re ready to go. The last thing you need to do is source the fresh ingredients.

Be sure and spare no expense finding the exact correct variety of mint for this. Thyme Mint, Bergamot Mint, whatever you think will work best.

Not to mention finding the most obscure variety of lime or citrus. I’d suggest thinking about Seville Oranges or perhaps Rangpur Limes.

Nearly ready, all your friends have replied and are showing up. The bar or concert hall is primed for your 100% hand made, self aged, craft cocktail PLSM!

Oh, but we’ve forgotten the ice! Only the best! Be sure and only use the purest virgin spring water, and freeze it in such a way it is perfectly clear! Then hand carve it to order!

Last minute details, last minute details!

Maybe you should try the drink?

Oh, bleah, this really isn’t a very good drink. You know, the Suffering Bastard wasn’t very good to start out with, and it tastes like you’ve actually made it worse. What were you thinking?

Notify your publicist, stop the presses, call off your event. Well, when life hands you lemons, it’s time to, to… Write about it. You’re going to write a book (or blog) about your cocktail adventure, instead of actually serving drinks. That’s where the REAL money is!

I think that qualifies as a post about Niche Spirits, don’t you?

Thanks to Adventures in Cocktails for hosting!

MxMo LVIII: Favorite Niche Spirit

Check out their site for more posts on similar themes.

Straits Sling

Can I just say, I have zero idea what the Raffles, Singapore, or Straits Sling have to do with the earlier beverage of the same name, aka the garnished toddy.

And as far as I can tell, no one else has much idea, either, even when they were popping up, seemingly around the early portion of the 20th Century.

In fact, I’d argue for a separate name for these tall, tropical-ish, pink beverages. How about “Colonial Slings”?

Straits Sling
(for 6)
Place in a shaker 4 glasses of Gin, 1 glass of Benedictine, 1 glass of Cherry Brandy, the Juice of 2 Lemons, a teaspoonful of Angostura Bitters, and one of Orange Bitters.
Shake sufficiently and serve in large glasses, filling up with Soda water.

So, I thought it would be interesting to look at a couple recipes for these “Colonial Slings”.

Trader Vic, in the 1948 edition of his “Bartender’s Guide” includes Slings in a section with Sangarees. About the grouping, he says:

Sangarees are tall drinks, made like Old-Fashioneds but without bitters, and are usually topped with a dash of nutmeg. Slings, on the other hand, in their simpler versions, are pointed up with bitters or a similar type of flavoring and resemble elongated Old-Fashioneds with the addition of a little lemon. With the exception of the Singapore Slings, this entire group of drinks has little merit.

Among these beverages of, “little merit,” he includes several recipes which follow the mold in his description including the Applejack Sling, the Brandy Sling, the Fancy Sling (with Brandy, benedictine, Lemon, Pernod, and Maraschino!) and finally one exotically named the Jungle Fire Sling:

Jungle Fire Sling.
1 oz Cherry Brandy
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Parfait Amour
1 oz Brandy
Stir in a 12 oz glass; fill with shaved ice, fill glass with ginger beer.

Wow, great name, but If you try that one, you might want to pre-book an appointment with the Dentist.

Of Trader Vic’s Singapore and/or Raffles Slings, there are three.

Raffles Sling
1 oz dry gin
1 oz cherry brandy
1 oz benedictine
Shake with cracked ice; strain into 12 oz glass containing several lumps of ice; fill with chilled club soda and garnish with the spiral peel of 1 green lime.

Another far too sweet one, there!

Singapore Sling–1
1 1/2 oz dry gin
1/2 oz Cherry Brandy
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 lime
1 tsp grenadine
1/4 oz sloe gin
1/2 oz Creme de Cassis
Squeeze lime and drop into 12 oz glass with cracked ice; add rest of ingredients and stir well; fill rest of glass with selzer.

7 Ingredients? Thank goodness I never worked for Trader Vic!

Singapore Sling–2
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 dash benedictine
3/4 oz cherry brandy
2 oz dry gin
Stir in a 12oz glass with cracked ice; decorate with slice of orange and sprig of mint; fill with selzer and serve with straws.

Well, all I can say is, thank goodness by 1972 Trader Vic only included 1 Sling in his revised edition of the “Bartender’s Guide”. Pretty much the same as the above Singapore Sling–1, with a little tweaking of the amounts of the different ingredients. Apparently the heyday of the Sling had passed.

Singapore Sling

1 lime
1 dash grenadine
1/4 oz creme de cassis
1/2 oz sloe gin
1/2 oz cherry liqueur
1 oz gin
Club soda
Cut lime, squeeze juice over ice cubes in a 12-ounce chimney glass, and save 1 lime shell. Add remaining ingredients except soda. Fill glass with soda. Stir. Decorate with spent lime shell, orange slice, and a cherry.

Down to 6 ingredients and a not too elaborate garnish. Whew, I guess by the 1970s things had calmed down a touch. Though I still question the cluster of cherry-berry flavors. Are Sloe Gin, Cherry Liqueur, Grenadine, and Creme de Cassis all really necessary in the same drink? I also want to note that in 1972 Trader Vic has opted for the less confusing, “Cherry Liqueur,” over the somewhat ambiguous “Cherry Brandy”.

Regarding Slings and Toddies, perpetual crank David A. Embury says the following in his 1948 book, “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks”.

The dictionaries define both Slings and Toddies as “mixtures of sweetened spirits and water.” While Slings have always been served both hot and cold, the toddy was originally a hot drink only. Today, however, Toddies, as well as Slings are served both hot and cold. Slings are usually made with lemon and either sugar or some sweet liqueur. Toddies usually contain a thin slice of lemon or a piece of lemon peel but no lemon juice. Also, they usually contain one or more spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg. These differences, however, are merely incidental and, when served hot, it is difficult, if not impossible, to distiguish between a Sling and a Toddy. One distinction between the cold drinks is that a Toddy is usually made with plain water, Slings with charged water or Ginger Ale.

SINGAPORE SLING Of alll the recipes published for this drink, I have never seen any two that were alike. Essentially it is a Gin Sling with the addition of cherry brandy. The following is typical of the various recipes.

1 teaspoonful Sugar Syrup
Juice of 1/4 large Lemon or 1/2 large Lime
1 pony Cherry Brandy (Kirsch)
1 1/2 jiggers Gin
1 dash Angostura

Shake and strain into 8 oz Highball glass or use 10 oz glass and leave 1 large ice cube in the glass. Fill glass with charged water. Some recipes call for the addition of Benedictine. Also, some call for ginger ale in place of the charged water. A slice of lemon peel should be twisted over and dropped in the drink.

Some good points, there, especially the comment, “Of alll the recipes published for this drink, I have never seen any two that were alike.” Also interesting that Embury is the only one I’ve seen, up until some modern authors, to specify “Kirsch”. Well, he did like his cocktails on the dry side. Though, you will see, as is typical of recipes which forgo Cherry Liqueur for Cherry Eau-de-Vie, that the authors find themselves adding sugar syrup to a recipe which usually doesn’t contain any.

Anyway, unless I’m working at Heaven’s Dog, where we make the Slanted Door Singapore Sling as our house recipe, I always make the following Charles Baker, Jr. recipe when I have a request for Straits or Singapore Slings.

The Paramaribo Park Club Gin Sling from the Dutch Guiana Capital City of Suriname

Actually this sling was something of an improvement over the sweetish Raffles job, to your Pastor’s present-day taste. It was a trifle dryer, had a bit more lime juice than average here in the United States; and, finally the inclusion of the crushed–seeded–lime hulls in the finished drink lent added aroma and flavor as they do in Gin Rickeys.

2 oz Best Dry Gin
1 Pony Cherry Brandy (1 oz Cherry Heering)
Juice & Hulls 2 small limes (1 oz Lime Juice)
1 tsp each Cognac & Benedictine

Shake with fine ice till quite cold, strain into short highball glass, letting some of the ice go in also. Cap with chilled club soda; garnish with ripe pineapple stick &/or cherry. Personally we float-on the Benedictine-Cognac after finished drink’s poured.

A lot of times Baker gets flack for drinks that need to be significantly massaged before they are palatable. Heh, well, if there was anyone who understood the appeal of the dying embers of Colonialism, it was Charles Baker, Jr. To me this version of the “Colonial Sling” just works. Give it a try and let me know if you think so too.

Addenda: while I was chatting via email with Erik Adkins about Slings, he suggested I also send a note to exotic drink expert Martin Cate, of Smuggler’s Cove, who he said had expended a fair amount of energy researching the recipe he uses for this drink.

I did a ton of digging before putting it on my menu, and I just couldn’t find anything resembling consensus on the issue. Between Dale, Difford, Regan, etc. etc. there were a lot of opinions. I’m reasonably confident in the role of Heering & Benedictine, I’m not confident in the role of pineapple juice. Below is what I went with, though I ended up calling it a Straits Sling on my menu, but still maintain that the Sing Sling was probably pretty close.

.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.25 oz simple syrup (or to taste)
.25 oz Benedictine
.5 oz Heering
1.5 oz Plymouth
dash orange bitters
dash Angostura bitters
2 oz seltzer.

I think the double bitters was something that B&B or Rickhouse was doing that I liked.

Which brings us back to something very close to a single serving version of the Straits Sling at the beginning of this post! Sounds delicious, I believe a field trip to Smuggler’s Cove shall be in order!

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.

Singapore Sling

Singapore Sling
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon,
1/4 Dry Gin.
1/2 Cherry Brandy.
Shake well and strain into medium size glass, and fill with soda water. Add 1 lump of ice.

A lot of people get hung up on the Singapore Sling.

A famous drink from the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, so many people have written about it over the years, that I’m not sure there is anything to say.

The original recipe was secret and somehow lost. Eventually it was claimed found again by an ancestor of the barman who invented it, blah blah blah… Sounds like a made up story to me.

The drink the Raffles Hotel now serves after re-discovering the recipe is, reportedly, to most modern tastes, far too sweet and rather pink looking and artificial tasting.

So I think the response that people get, when they come across the Savoy recipe above is, “Uh, nope, I’m not going to make that, it sounds disgustingly sweet.” Well, right, that’s true, this does sound rather ridiculously sweet, and I’ve made it before to that exact spec, and I’m not doing it again. Tastes like vaguely medicinal fizzy cherry soda.

First off, there’s a red herring. Ahem. Or perhaps a Cherry Heering. Hoho.

Anyway, when confronted with this recipe, a lot of people grasp on to the idea of, “Cherry Brandy,” thinking perhaps that some confused editor, or author, meant to write, “Kirsch,” or “Cherry Eau-de-Vie” instead of Cherry Brandy, which is universally the cocktail recipe shorthand for Cherry Liqueur. And by subbing in Kirsch, they’ll be able to rescue the recipe from its syrupy origins.

One mixologist, in particular, Robert Vermeire, muddied the water by calling for, “Dry Cherry Brandy,” in his book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them” (originally published 1922).

Straits Sling

The well-known Singapore drink, thoroughly iced and shaken, contains:

2 dashes Orange Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
The juice of half a lemon
1/8 Gill of Benedictine
1/8 Gill of Dry Cherry Brandy
1/2 Gill of Gin

Pour into a tumbler and fill up with cold soda water.

“O ho!” you say, “I have an excuse to use Kirsch in this recipe! This might not be so sweet after all!”

Well, the bad news is, lots of liqueurs are called “Dry”, which does not mean they are Eau-de-Vies. Triple SEC springs immediately to mind. In fact, speaking of Orange Liqueurs, the Bols Company, to this very day, calls their Orange Curacao, “Dry Orange Curacao,” in Europe. Oh, hm, a Dutch Liqueur Company, a recipe in Singapore at a Colonial hotel, what are the chances, Bols might have marketed its Cherry Liqueur in the past as “Dry Cherry Brandy”?

I will also add, Mr. Robert Vermeire, elsewhere in his book actually calls specifically for “Kirsch” when he means Cherry Eau-de-Vie, not “Dry Cherry Brandy”, for example, in the recipe for the “Pollchinelle or Cassis-Kirsch” in the “French Aperitifs” section of his book.

(Hat Tip to Mr. David Wondrich, for reminding me about Bols’ use of the word “Dry” in their liqueur line. You’d think I would remember, having used their Dry Orange Curacao about a million times. Duh. I believe Mr. Wondrich should have a far more well written and informative article on the subject of Slings coming out some time soon.)

And, uh, maybe you didn’t notice, but if you leave out the Cherry Liqueur entirely, this recipe has no sweetener at all, basically a Dry Gin and Kirsch highball with a dash of lemon. You give that a try and let me know what you think. I’ve have tried that version, and while perhaps nominally more appealing than the Fizzy Cherry Soda version, it’s not one of those drinks that jumps out as something that would have mass appeal, nor that I am going to make again.

Anyway, a secret recipe and a questionable reinvention means, well, it means, everyone will make up their own version.

Things that are indisputable: It has Gin, it has Citrus, and it has “Cherry Brandy”, (however you interpret that,) and it is served in a tall glass.

Erik Adkins put the Singapore Sling on the Slanted Door menu a while ago, and it has been a staple of that restaurant’s cocktail menu ever since. He based his recipe on one he got from the Rainbow Room in New York City, which, it turns out, was adapted by Dale DeGroff from something he was faxed by the Raffles Hotel.

I had some business to take care of with Jennifer Colliau, in preparation for the next Savoy Night, so I figured, what better place to stop for a Singapore Sling? I mean, aside from the Rainbow Room or Raffles Hotel.

Slanted Door Singapore Sling
1 1/2 oz Dry Gin
1 oz Sling Business*
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
2 Dash Angostura bitters

Shake and pour into a Delmonico glass. Garnish with a cherry on a lime raft.

*Sling Business is a mixture of 1/2 Cherry Heering, 1/4 Benedictine, and 1/4 Cointreau. If mixing this recipe for yourself it would be, 1/2 oz Heering, 1/4 oz Benedictine, and 1/4 oz Cointreau per drink.

Among other things that The Slanted Door might have in advantage over the Rainbow Room or Raffles Hotel, is that they are currently experimenting with using fresh squeezed pineapple juice. This not only tastes fantastic in a Singapore Sling, way better than canned, but you can also see gives the drink a great, light foam at the top.

What do I think is the right recipe?

Honestly, I don’t know. The pineapple version served by the Slanted Door is a great drink. Even at its most basic, the Singapore Sling is a Tom Collins sweetened with Cherry Heering, which isn’t really bad, as long as you take a generous hand with the citrus.

The moral of the story, if there is one? If you keep the recipe for your cocktail secret, there’s a chance that everyone will make it wrong. FOREVER. And even if the right recipe eventually turns up, some people may never believe it.

It’s hard enough for most people to make cocktail recipes the way their creators intended, even if the recipe is known.

Heck, I’m still trying to get that version of the Last Word I saw with Midori instead of Green Chartreuse out of my mind…

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.

Mr. Manhattan Cocktail

Hey, wait, “Mr. Manhattan,” that sounds familiar! Why, yes, we made the Mr. Manhattan with Neyah White at NOPA a couple years ago. Well, who’s going to complain about making this Julep-ish cocktail again. Heck, it was so warm this week, I’m even going to leave it on cracked ice.

Mr. Manhattan Cocktail
Crush 1 Lump of Sugar in a little water. (1 Demerara Sugar Cube)
Crush 4 Leaves of Fresh Green Mint.
1 Dash Lemon Juice. (Squeeze Meyer Lemon Juice)
4 Dashes Orange Juice. (Squeeze Blood Orange Juice)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Bols Genever)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Or build and add crushed ice, stir, and garnish with mint sprigs.

I have a pretty serious, “one and done,” policy with Savoy Cocktails, and sometimes it is a struggle to get home, get everything together, and make the damn cocktail.

However, looking at this video, I see a lot of mistakes were made in the execution of this version of the Mr. Manhattan.

My first mistake was being literal and using a sugar cube. There’s no reason, really, to use a sugar cube in a cocktail. They just don’t dissolve well enough unless you spend about a half an hour muddling the damn thing. Use simple syrup, superfine, or at least caster sugar any time you are mixing drinks. My second mistake was that it’s really apparent I over squeezed the Meyer Lemon and undersqueezed the orange. I should have been using a measuring cup, so the juice wasn’t going right into the drink. Last, I used the stupid wrong spoon to mix with. I should have grabbed the spoon with the disk end, so I could do a good job of churning up this julep-ish version of the Mr. Manhattan.

All the same, this wasn’t bad at all, if a bit dry. There are definitely a lot of good points to the Genever Mr. Manhattan and I strongly recommend it as a drink. Just do a better job of mixing it than I did.

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.

Gin-Tastic Gin-i-nar

Notes and cocktail recipes from my Gin-Tastic Gin-i-nar at Heaven’s Dog.

Improved Holland Gin Cocktail

Take 2 dashes Boker’s (or Angostura) Bitters.
3 dashes gum syrup. (1 teaspoon 2-1 Simple Syrup)
2 dashes Maraschino. (Scant teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur)
1 dash Absinthe. (Absinthe is now available in CA! Stop Messing about with Absinthe Susbtitutes!)
1 small piece of the yellow rind of a lemon, twisted to express the oil.
1 small wine-glass of Hollands Gin. (2 oz Bols Genever or other Dutch style Gin)

Fill (mixing) glass one-third full of shaved (cracked is fine) ice, shake (stir please) well, and strain into a fancy cocktail glass, put the lemon peel in the glass and serve. The flavor is improved by moistening the edge of the cocktail glass with a piece of lemon.

Walk through history of Gin.
Families of flavored distilled spirits, anise in the Mediterranean, Caraway in Scandinavia, Juniper in Holland.
Sweetened infusions used medicinally.
Distillation adds to this, increasing shelf stability.
Holland Gin, based on essentially unaged pot still Whiskey.
Taste through common Gin botanicals.
English soldiers develops a taste for Gin while fighting for Holland during Eighty Years War, 1568–1648.
When they get back to England, English distillers and compounders begin to try to replicate the dutch gin with slim knowledge of the traditions. The result is the English Gin which has come to be called Old Tom.
Starting as a Genver Clone, it evolved into what would become London Dry Gin.
Ransom Old Tom closer to the early style of Old Tom Gin.

Martinez Cocktail (which may or may not be named after the California town of Martinez and may or may not have eventually evolved into the Martini.)

2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1 teaspoon Orange Curacao or Maraschino Liqueur (I used Cointreau)
2 Dash Orange Bitters
1 Dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice to chill and strain into a cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel over glass. Add a (preferably luxardo or toschi) cherry if you so desire.

Talk about the progression of Old Tom Gin, from Genever-like Ransom to a very nearly London Dry like, Hayman’s.
Plymouth, London Dry Gin
Plymouth is an interesting case, by all accounts it was a Genver style Gin up until some point in the 20th Century, “Flavored with the wash of whiskey distilleries”.

Aviation Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
teaspoon Creme de Violette
Generous teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake well with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Prohibition, instead of hiding the flavor of badly distilled whiskey, questionable alcohol.
After Prohibition, vodka and then tequila became the dominant clear spirits.
Aside from gin and tonics and the odd stickler bartender who still put well gin in their LIIT, Gin became again the disreputable property of Stickler Martini drinkers and alcoholic old women.
In the 1980-1990s, as the vodka market became saturated liquor marketers and manufacturers happened upon the “luxury” gin as a differentiating category. With back bars stocked with 10s of basically similar vodkas with only brand loyalty really separating them, Gin was a way to have flavor be a differentiator. Bombay introduced Sapphire followed by Tanqueray introducing Tanq 10, both downplaying the juniper flavor of the Gin.
The success of these two brands paved the way for the re-launch of classic gins like Plymouth and Beefeater and the wave of New Western Gins with their esoteric flavor profiles.

At this point, I had a couple ideas about what to make for a Modern Gin cocktail and wanted to use Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength for the Gin. But I threw it open to the attendees, to see what they were interested in drinking. Interestingly, they came back with “Gimlet”.

Well, all right, then, have I got a Gimlet for them!

You see, as it turns out, just at this moment, and only until it is gone, there is some Small Hand Foods Lime Cordial at Heaven’s Dog.

Nobody REALLY wants to use Rose’s Lime Juice. It is full of High Fructose Corn Syrup, “natural” flavors, and artificial color. To remedy that, Jennifer Colliau has been working, off and on, on a lime cordial to replace Rose’s. But she hasn’t figured a way to make the economics work.

This batch required a case of organic Bears limes, at about $85, and only resulted in 2 cases of 375ml bottles of Lime Cordial.

As far as she can tell, there is no way that she could sell her lime cordial at a price that people would be willing to pay for lime syrup.

So this experimental batch was purchased by Heaven’s Dog and fantastic Gimlets are on the menu until it runs out.

Unfortunately, there’s no way you could replicate them at home, unless you make your own Lime Cordial. If I were to offer advice on somewhere to start, you might try my Sirop-de-Citron recipe with Limes instead of lemons.

So I offer you this Gimlet recipe instead:

West Coast Gimlet

1 1/2 oz Martin Miller’s Gin
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake well with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with Lime Twist.

Gin Cocktail For Bottling

First, just a reminder that Sunday, March 27, 2011, 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.

Prepared Cocktails for Bottling.

I’m going to skip ahead to the next section, while I finish getting the Zed in order.

Unfortunately, I’m not going to make any of these cocktails, the batches are just too large and the amounts too weird.

If there are any bars or spirits reps who might want to work with me to give these a try, let me know. Until then I will wait for the grant for “Advanced Alcoholic Studies” to roll in.

Gin Cocktail for Bottling
5 Gallons Gin.
2 Gallons Water.
1 Quart Gomme Syrup.
2 Ounces Tincture of Orange Peel.
7 Ounces Tincture of Gentian.
1/2 Ounce Tincture of Cardamoms.
1/2 Ounce Tincture of Lemon Peel.
Mix together, and give the desired colour with Solferino and caramel, in equal proportion.

This recipe comes verbatim from the version of Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide which Dary has up over on Art of Drink.

Gin Cocktail for Bottling.
Take 5 gallons of gin.
2 gallons of water.
1 quart of gum syrup.
2 ounces of tincture of orange peeL
7 ounces of tincture of gentian.
½ ounce of tincture of cardamoms.
½ ounce of tincture of lemon peel.

Mix them together, and give the desired color with
Solferino and caramel, in equal proportions.

Yokohama Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, Feb 27, 2011, 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.

The countdown to the last “Cocktail” continues.

Say it with me, “EIGHT!”

Yokohama Cocktail
1 Dash Absinthe. (1 dash Duplais Absinthe Verte)
1/6 Grenadine. (1/2 oz Grenadine)
1/6 Vodka. (1/2 oz Awamori)
1/3 Orange Juice. (1 oz Orange Juice)
1/3 Dry Gin. (1 oz Beefeater’s Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, it does have a Japanese name, so I figured I should mix this with Japanese “Vodka”.

The Japanese were another culture which, as far as anyone knows, did not discover distillation until it was introduced from abroad.

The Japanese, being a particularly closed society for much of its history, were pretty late to the game, with the earliest written records showing up some time in the mid-1500s.

Distillation was probably introduced via the slightly looser federation of Islands to the South of Japan. These Islands were often in flux between Indonesia and Japan, so developed a more independent spirit and had contact with the various traders plying those waters. Like the Scottish Highlands, each Island would often have a distillery and a specialization.

Among the oldest traditions of Distilled spirits in the Islands near Japan are those of the Islands around Okinawa. Usually made from Rice, the Okinawan Spirits, called Awamori, are often aged for lengthy periods in clay jars.

While mildly flavored, this is really, by no stretch of the imagination anything near a “vodka”. With a good amount of character and flavor, this actually contributes far more than just Ethanol to the drink.

A close relative of the Monkey Gland, also from Harry McElhone’s 1928 “ABC of Cocktails”, the Yokohama is not bad. There is some interesting thing going on between the Grenadine, Orange and Awamori. I can see why people often mix Shochu with fruit 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.

Yellow Daisy Cocktail

Yellow Daisy Cocktail*
(6 People)
2 Glasses Gin. (1 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
2 Glasses French Vermouth. (1 oz Vermouth Perucchi Blanc)
1 Glass Grand Marnier. (1/2 oz Clement Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur)
Before shaking add a dash of Absinthe. (1 dash Duplais Verte Absinthe)

*Not only the favourite drink, but also the one made famous, if not invented, by Richard William (” Deadwood Dick ”) Clark, recently deceased (84): onetime Custer scout, Pony Express rider, Deadwood Gulch stage coach guard, Inspiration for all the (64) Deadwood Dick novels of E. L. Wheeler ; friends off Wild Westerners, Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill, Poker Alice Tubbs, Calamity Jane, Madame Mustache and Diamond Dick Turner or Norfolk, Neb. : Clark is buried on Sun- rise Mountain overlooking Deadwood Gulch, S. Dak.

So, let me get this straight, this Gin drink, which probably came from Nina Toye and A.H. Adair’s 1925 “Drinks Long & Short” is a Cowboy drink?

I did my best to rough it up a bit, using the vaguely whiskey flavored Ransom Old Tom. I suppose I could have gone a bit further and used Anchor’s thoroughly rambunctious Genevieve Gin, but I killed that bottle trying to breath some life into the White Wings Cocktail.

On the other hand, this isn’t bad at all, along the lines of a Martinez. My notes for the drink were, “If this is what the Cowboys were drinking, count me in for some pony breaking.”

I was reading Ummamimart the other month, and Payman Bahmani wrote about Perucchi Vermouth from Catalonia: Happy Hour: Vermouth Perucchi. I was intrigued enough to comment on the post, and later when I wrote up the Turf Cocktail, I lamented the fact that Perucchi wasn’t available in the Bay Area. Shortly thereafter, David Driscoll commented on the post saying, “Uhhhhh…….we sell Perucchi at K&L. Just ask!” I guess between the time of Payman’s post and when I wrote about the Turf, unbeknownst to me, Perucchi had become available in the Bay Area. So ask I did, and shortly thereafter picked up a bottle of the Blanc and Red Vermouth from Perucchi.

Vermouth Perucchi is new to me. From what I can tell, they make three Vermouths: Red, Blanc, and Extra Dry. This is definitely the Blanc, not the Extra Dry. I really like it, but it is very much along the lines of a White Carpano Antica. Fairly sweet, with a strong vanilla element. Not as herbally intense as many of the Italian Bianco Vermouths, or even the Dolin Blanc. I’ve found myself drinking a lot of it with a splash of Cocchi Americano, or an Italian Amaro, and soda.

Anyway, the Perucchi Blanc works really well in the Yellow Daisy, complementing both the Clement Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur and Ransom Old Tom.

Oh yeah, why not Grand Marnier? Laziness. I would have had to trek all the way down to the basement to track it down and the Creole Shrubb was handy. Well, also, Creole Shrubb just seemed a bit more Cowboy-esque, than Grand Marnier. Or at least Pirate-ey.

When I was mentioning the Yellow Daisy on the book of faces, Erick Castro made the amusing comment, “I love the Yellow Daisy. Especially, cause it’s not a daisy & not very yellow.”

Which got me thinking: Oh, uh, yeah. What’s the oldest Gin, French Vermouth, and Orange Bitters Cocktail recipe, predating the Martini? The Marguerite. What kind of flower is a Marguerite? Why it is a Yellow Daisy.

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.