Victor Cocktail

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

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

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

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

Better or worse?

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

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

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

Victor Cocktail

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

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

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

Uh, right.

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

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

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

Vermouth Cocktail

Vermouth Cocktail
1 Glass Italian or French Vermouth. (2 oz Carpano Antica)
4 Dashes Orange or 1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (4 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, that certainly is very literally a Vermouth Cocktail!

Not sure what else to say about it, but that is what it is.

It is tasty, if you like whatever Vermouth you are using. And it would definitely suck mightily with a not very tasty Vermouth. Fortunately, I am very fond of Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth, so had no trouble tossing this back.

I would say, it really isn’t all that necessary to give this a long stir, especially if your Vermouth is already chilled.

Which reminds me, sometimes I get the odd question about where to keep opened bottles of Vermouth.

The sad fact is, the best place to keep open Vermouth is the refrigerator. It will quickly oxidize and lose herbal complexity after it is opened if kept at room temperature.

Not sure if I would go so far as to agree with Kingsley Amis’ argument that a man needs his own refrigerator, but at least come to some sort of understanding with your significant other about those stray bottles of Syrup and Vermouth.

And if you don’t go through a lot of Vermouth, do try to buy 375ml bottles, if it is possible, especially of Dry Vermouth, and maybe have only one bottle of French and one bottle of Italian style vermouths open at one time.

One thing I have found is that Dry Vermouth makes excellent cooking wine and braising liquid, which helps turnover, at least in our house. I’m always deglazing pans and such.

I haven’t ever figured out any culinary use for Sweet Vermouth, so perhaps a brace or two of “Vermouth Cocktails” every so often wouldn’t be a bad thing.

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

Velocity Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

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

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

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

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

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.

Tulip Cocktail

Tulip Cocktail
1/6 Lemon Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Lem, err, I was out of lemons, so Lime Juice)
1/6 Apricot Brandy. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Brizard Apry)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
1/3 Calvados or Apple Brandy. (3/4 oz Montreuil Reserve Calvados)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, as you might imagine, getting that sort of news isn’t super great for moderation or abstention. Not that I am making excuses.

Scheduled an appointment with the Specialist, and set about worrying.

Is this the end of my ridiculous string of luck? Payback for years of playing?

Should I be compiling lists of all my passwords and getting my keys together for Michele?

Why am I working 6 days a week, when I could be spending that time with my loved ones?

Dammit, why don’t I have a big pile of savings or insurance? By this time in his life, my Dad had created a huge pile of insurance pay outs, property and savings, in the event of his untimely demise. What have I managed to save? Pretty much nothing.

Moody would definitely be the way to describe me during this period. Sorry about that, if I ran into you and was even less garrulous than usual. Probably, maudlin and/or drunk, never a great combo.

As noted by Charles McCabe in his book, “The Good Man’s Weakness”:

My advice would be Chesterton’s: “Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable.” I’ve not always followed this counsel; but wish I had more often.

When you are on a real downer, chop some wood, paint some tables, anything so long as it’s a job. Drink when you’re filled with self-pity, and the next thing you’re drinking to get yourself through your work. Then, brother, you’re headed for trouble.

Go visit the Specialist, still no real bad news. He takes some more blood for more tests. Won’t know the answers to those tests for a week or so, but to be on the safe side, based on the previous test results and my family history, we schedule a biopsy for the next week.

The Tulip Cocktail is, in fact, quite delicious. It’s really nothing but a kind of an elaboration of the Jack Rose. Given that one of Michele’s favorite cocktails is the Jack Rose, I had her sample this, and she approved. I was surprised that the Carpano Antica worked in a sour. Unusual.

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.

Trilby Cocktail (No 2)

First, just a reminder that this 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.

Trilby Cocktail (No. 2)
2 Dashes Absinthe. (2 dash Lucid Absinthe)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 dash Angostura Orange)
1/3 Parfait Amour Liqueur. (3/4 oz Pages Parfait Amour)
1/3 Scotch Whisky. (3/4 oz Famous Grouse Scotch)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Wow, this is possibly THE least appealing cocktail I’ve made so far from the Savoy Cocktail Book. Not only does it taste and smell like Grandma Squeezins’, but it is also a most unappealing inky black color, as if you had spilled squid ink into a glass. Who knew Grandma had such a black heart? I can’t really think of anything to recommend it.

You know those folks who tell you to make a Martini by just looking at the vermouth bottle? They’re wrong. But believe me, you’ll be better off if you make a Trilby Cocktail (No. 2) by pouring yourself a glass of nice Scotch. Say, something like this Murray McDavid bottling from Clynelish suggested to me by Amy at Cask Store.  Then just look at a roll of Violet Candies. Preferably from across the room. Actually, I think the candies are a little dangerously close to the Scotch in this picture, chance of violet contamination. Get them this close, at your own risk.  If you’re really feeling daring, maybe make yourself a Rob Roy, just leave the violets out of it.

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

Trilby Cocktail (No. 1)

First, just a reminder that this 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.

Trilby Cocktail (No. 1)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Anchor Junipero Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with a Martinez, as I always say. I’ve made about a hundred cocktails nearly or exactly like this one, and never really get tired of them. Endless subtle variation, just due to vermouth, gin, or bitters choices.

Absolutely nothing wrong with minor variation, and the Trilby No. 1 is absolutely tasty.

Note the top from my spiffy new Audio Technica ATH-M50 Headphones. (No advt.) We’ve had construction going on at work which has made my life kind of miserable. While not actively noise cancelling, these have pretty good insulation which allows me to listen to music instead of drilling. Very comfortable too, with natural sound and good bass response. A significant quality of life/work upgrade and worth the investment.

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.