Ostend Fizz

Ostend Fizz
1/2 Liqueur Glass Crème de Cassis. (3/4 oz Brizard Cassis de Bourdeaux)
1/2 Liqueur Glass Kirsch. (3/4 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
(Dash Meyer Lemon Juice)
Shake well strain into medium size glass and fill with soda water.

The in the previous reference to “Ostend” was in a quote regarding the Vanderbilt Cocktail, “This drink was first made at the Kursaal in Ostend during a visit of Colonel Cornelius Vanderbilt, the American Millionaire…”

Kursaal Ostend

“Before World War II, Ostend was a highly frequented gambling resort for the upper-class British citizens, especially since Queen Victoria prohibited gambling in the ´20s. The gambling law was applied throughout the entire Kingdom, making it impossible for the British people to enjoy gambling in England or in any colonial territory serving under Union Jack. However, the Queen’s law never applied to Belgium, something that made the Kursaal Casino a very popular destination for the U.K. gamblers during the roaring twenties.”

A gambler’s fizz, I guess, definitely French-ish, with its Kirsch and Cassis and definitely upscale. Kirsch, after all, has always been an expensive spirit, at least the good stuff.

This isn’t bad, a tad Cherry soda-ish, certainly less interesting than a Singapore or Straits Sling. Even though I couldn’t resist a touch of citrus, you see people ordering Cassis and Soda in French movies all the time. I guess they didn’t mind the sweetness. To me, a Fizz just isn’t a Fizz without a little citrus.

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.

Vie Rose Cocktail

Vie Rose Cocktail
1/6 Lemon Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/6 grenadine. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Miller’s Gin)
1/3 Kirsch. (3/4 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Another cocktail from Harry McElhone’s 1928 book, “ABC of Cocktails”, Harry notes this is a, “Recipe by Dominique, New York Bar, Nice.”

The French expression, “Vie Rose” or more fully, “La Vie en Rose,” means literally, “life in the pink”. To say something like, “Elle voit la vie en rose,” means, “She is an optimist,” looking at life in a possibly slightly over-optimistic way. It is often used to describe persons newly in love, and not entirely unlike the English expression, “Rose Colored Glasses.”

The Vie Rose Cocktail is in the vicinity of the other “Rose” cocktails, except it has no French Vermouth.  I have to admit my favorite of the bunch remains the “Rose Cocktail (English Style)“, with its interesting use of Apricot Brandy instead of Kirsch.  Of course, I think that particular English Rose is best made with Apricot Eau-de-Vie, not Apricot Liqueur.

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.

Sunset Cocktail

Sunset Cocktail
(6 People)
Place in a large glass the thinly-cut rind of an orange, or of a tangerine if an orange cannot be obtained. Add a teaspoonful of peach preserve, a large apricot and its crushed kernel. Pour upon the whole a full glass of Brandy and a small spoonful of Kirsch. Let this soak for two hours. Then transfer the mixture into the shaker and add half a glass of White Wine, a glass and half of Gin, and a glass of French Vermouth. Add plenty of ice. Shake and Serve.

The next thing you know about is Sunrise.

Oh for cripes sake, talk about an annoying recipe!

Let’s fix it:

Sunset Cocktail.

Sunset Cocktail
1 apricot, Quartered
1 apricot pit, crushed
2 oz Germain-Robin Fine Alambic Brandy
1 tsp. Clear Creek Kirsch
2 tsp. We Love Jam Blenheim Apricot Jam
Whole Zest of 1 Orange
2 oz Noilly Prat Dry
3 oz Right Gin*
Sparkling Wine (Blanquette de Limoux, Cuvee Berlene 2005)

Method: Combine Apricot, Apricot Pit, Brandy, Kirsch, Jam, and Orange Peel. Let stand for a couple hours. Transfer to a large mixing tin, add the dry vermouth and gin. Ice and shake gently. Double strain into medium size glasses and top up with Sparkling Wine.

Sunset Cocktail.

Well, at least the recipe, if not the technique, is slightly less annoying.

I increased the jam quotient since I decided to include the sparkling wine. It has a tendency to dry out cocktails more than regular wine would. Suggest shaking gently or even rolling to prevent pulverizing the apricot. You will want to double strain to catch those apricot and fruit pieces. You may need a spoon to encourage the liquid’s passage through the strainer.

With all that work, you would hope that it was at least tasty, and indeed, it is pretty darn tasty.

In fact, the warning, “The next thing you know about is Sunrise,” seemed a bit apt, far more easy drinking than it’s alcohol content would suggest. I would not suggest drinking all “6″ Sunset Cocktails yourself, even if your wife is out of town and you aren’t driving anywhere. You will probably regret it.

*Right Gin was sent to me by a firm promoting the brand.

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.

Sonza’s Wilson Cocktail

Sonza’s Wilson Cocktail

1/2 Gin. (1 oz Square One Botanical*)
1/2 Cherry Brandy. (1 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
4 Dashes Lemon Juice or Lime Juice. (10ml Lemon Juice)
4 Dashes Grenadine. (10ml Small Hand Foods Grenadine)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, after using Tequila in the last cocktail, what do I have to lose?

This is another cocktail in the “Rose” family, which, by all rights should be composed of 1 oz of Gin, 1 oz of Cherry Heering, dashes of lemon, and dashes of Grenadine.

I’m sorry, but that didn’t sound very appealing at all. So I decided to throw that idea to the wind, and give this a twist.

Square One Botanical is a vodka infused with various botanicals and then distilled. But for the fact that it has no Juniper, it could almost be a gin. When I decided to use Kirsch for this, I also thought, hm, Square One Botanical!

However, as Square One Botanical did not exist in 1930, I suppose I should think of another name…

How about this?

Rosa californica**

1 oz Square One Botanical
1 oz Kirsch (Cherry Eau-de-Vie)
2 10ml/2tsp. Lemon Juice
2 10ml/2tsp. Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

And goddamn, I was as right with this idea as I was wrong with the Sonora. Floral, light, and delicious. Very nice. Though, technically, if I really want to make a cocktail called “Wild California Rose”, I should be using a Kirsch from this state. Doesn’t St. George make one?

Most importantly, should you order this cocktail during the next Savoy Night at Alembic Bar, May 23rd, 2010? Well, unless you ask specifically for the underhill version, you will probably get the rather sickly sweet sounding exact Savoy recipe. I am also not sure if Alembic even has Square One Botanical. Seems like pretty dodgy chances.

*The Square One Botanical in this cocktail was sent to me by Square One. It works quite well in this cocktail. Unfortunately, it’s fairly unique, so I have no real substitution suggestions. Hendrick’s maybe, though it would be a very different drink.

**The “Scientific” name for the Wild California Rose. Hrm. OK, fine, Mr. Stickler man, it’s actually the Linnaean classification for the Wild California Rose.

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.

Rose Cocktail (French Style Nos. 1-3)

As these Rose Cocktail (French Style) are all pretty much variations on the same thing, it seemed sensible to tackle them all in the same post.

The components seem to be booze (gin and/or kirsch), red sweet fluid (Cherry Heering, Grenadine, or Syrup Groseille) and French Vermouth.

Rose Cocktail (French Style No. 1)

Rose Cocktail (French Style No. 1)

1/4 Cherry Brandy. (1/2 oz Cherry Heering)

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

1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

The first of the French Rose Cocktails is the most “Martini-like”. Not bad, but a bit plain, along the lines of a slightly fruity Dry Gin Martini.

Rose Cocktail (French Style No. 2)

Rose Cocktail (French Style No. 2)

1/4 Cherry Brandy. (1/2 oz Cherry Heering)

1/4 Kirsch. (1/2 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)

1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

French Rose Cocktail No. 2 is the booziest, being 3/4 booze and 1/4 liqueur. If you make this, give it a good long stir. Even then, I didn’t find it all that appealing.

Rose Cocktail (French Style No. 3)

1 Teaspoonful Grenadine.
1/2 French Vermouth.
1/2 Kirsch.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

That sounds OK, but looking through Harry McElhone’s “Barflies and Cocktails”, I found the following receipt:

Rose Cocktail (French Style No. 3)

Rose Cocktail

2/3 French Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/6 Kirschwasser (1/2 of 3/4 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
1/6 Syrup Groseille (1/2 oz 3/4 oz Homemade Grenadine).

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass, with cherry. Original Recipe by Johnny, of the Chatham Bar, Paris.

Now to me that is something interesting, along the lines of the Rose Cocktail (English Style) or the Chrysanthemum Cocktail. A nice, light, vermouth heavy cocktail, not overly sweet. With a good quality vermouth, this makes quite a pleasant appetizer, and it is more than worthwhile messing around with the proportions to find the exact ratio which is exactly to your taste.

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.

Raspberry Cocktail

Raspberry Cocktail

Raspberry Cocktail.
(6 People)
Slightly bruise a cupful (4 Raspberries) of fresh raspberries and add 2 glasses of Gin (1 oz Plymouth Gin). Soak for two hours and strain. Complete the mixture by adding a liqueur glass of Kirsch (3/4 oz Clear Creek Kirsch) and 2 glasses of any White Wine (1 oz Bex 2007 Riesling) which is not too sweet. Such as Moselle, Graves or Chablis. Ice. Shake. Put a raspberry in each glass, and serve. This is a very refreshing summer cocktail.

This is, in fact, a very refreshing and quite tasty summer cocktail, arriving just in time for our usual fall Indian Summer. Unfortunately, with a very unimaginative name.

Personally, I struggled with not putting any sugar at all in this. If I were to make it again, I might add just a dash or so of simple.

If you don’t have time for the long steep of the raspberries, I can say from personal experience, muddling them in the gin works almost as well for an a la minute preparation.

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.

Nineteen-Twenty Cocktail

Nineteen-Twenty Cocktail

Nineteen-Twenty Cocktail

1 Teaspoonful Groseille Syrup. (1 teaspoon Brizard Creme de Cassis)
1/6 Pernod Kirsch. (1/2 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
1/6 Crystal Gin. (1/2 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 11)
2/3 French Vermouth. (2 oz Noilly Original Dry Vermouth)
1 Dash Absinthe. (Verte de Fougerolles)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Luxardo Cherry.)

Obviously very similar to the preceding “Nineteen Cocktail”. The only real difference being using the Groseille (aka Red Currant) Syrup as a sweetener instead of plain syrup. I’m substituting the Brizard Cassis for the Groseille. If you didn’t have that around, Grenadine would likely be your next best choice.

I enjoyed both of these light, low alcohol cocktails, but to be honest I kind of preferred the cleaner flavor of the Nineteen to the the Nineteen-Twenty.

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.

Nineteen Cocktail

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Nineteen Cocktail

1 Dash Absinthe. (Verte de Fougerolles)
1/6 Dry Gin. (1/2 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 11)
1/6 Kirsch. (1/2 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
2/3 French Vermouth. (2 oz Noilly Original Dry*)
4 Dashes Syrup. (1 tsp. Rich Simple Syrup)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.  (Lemon Peel.)

New Noilly Bottle

Noilly Prat recently redesigned the bottles for their Sweet and Dry Vermouths.  Along with the redesign of the bottles, they discontinued a formula of their Dry Vermouth which they had only been selling in America, standardizing on the “Original French Dry” which has been sold in the rest of the world for all this time.

To explain, some time in the 1960s, as Martinis were getting drier and drier, Noilly Prat launched a new forumula of their Dry Vermouth exclusively for the US.

This is the text of an ad from 1964, turned up by Mr. David Wondrich:

VERY VERY PALE
So pale that new Noilly Prat French Vermouth is virtually invisible in your gin or vodka. Extra pale and extra dry for today’s correct Martini. DON’T STIR WITHOUT NOILLY PRAT.

Well, as you can see from the picture of the drink above, Noilly Dry is invisible no longer! Most Martinis with more than a splash of vermouth, will now take on a distinct amber hue from the darker color of the Noilly Dry Vermouth.

The difference in the two versions that were sold was primarily a larger percentage of aged wine in the “Original French Dry”.

As far as taste goes, doing a side by side of the two Noilly, there is a stronger sherry like character in the “new” formula and slightly more pronounced herbal/floral flavor.

A lot of people have gotten up in arms about this, Feeling Noilly has ruined their Martinis forever.

From my perspective, however, we’re probably getting something closer to what Noilly Prat Vermouth would have tasted like in the early part of the 20th Century.  In addition we’re getting extra vermouth flavor.

How could that be a bad thing?

For example, I tried making this cocktail with the lighter American Noilly and again with Dolin Dry.  I found that I preferred the Original French Dry in this cocktail to either of the other two Dry Vermouths.

While there are other cocktails where I prefer the Dolin Dry, Dry Martinis for example, in more complex or vermouth forward cocktails, the Noilly Prat can bring a bit more interest to the drink.

In regards, the Nineteen Cocktail, it is a light cocktail along the lines of the Chrysanthemum.  A good before dinner drink which might even complement an appetizer without getting you totally blitzed on an empty stomach.  Or a nice civilized drink to get you back on an even keel after a few more potent potables.

*Noilly Original Dry was received from a marketing firm promoting its launch.

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.

Moonlight Cocktail

Moonlight Cocktail

Moonlight Cocktail
(6 People)

1 1/2 Glasses Grape-fruit Juice. (3/4 oz fresh Grapefruit Juice)
2 Glasses Gin. (1 oz Broker’s Gin)
1/2 Glass Kirsch. (1/4 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
2 Glasses White Wine. (1 oz Les Domains Tatins, 2007, Quincy/Domaine du Tremblay)

Add ice and shake thoroughly. Serve by placing in each glass a thin shaving of lemon peel.

A very dry cocktail.

I mentioned the ingredients to this cocktail to some drinky friends and they said, “That’s a Boudreauing Wine-tini!” Ahem. Well, as we all know by now, there truly is very little new under the sun, whether it is the use of fresh herbs and spices in cocktails or wine.

It is actually a pleasant cocktail, more along the lines of a punch, almost, than what I usually think of as the typical cocktail flavor palette. And, yes, it is a very dry 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.

Margato Cocktail (Special)

Margato Special

Margato Cocktail (Special)

1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Montecristo White Rum)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1 Dash Kirsch. (1/3 tsp. Trimbach Kirsch)
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
The Juice of 1/3 Lime.
A little sugar (scant teaspoon caster sugar) dissolved in soda-water.

Shake well and serve in cocktail glass.

Uh right. If this recipe makes sense to anyone, feel free to let me know. Who measures “The Juice of 1/3 Lime”?

It’s pretty OK. Tasting mostly like a slightly vermouth-ey glass of tart lemonade. Certainly, the alcohol is well disguised. Maybe that is the point?

There is a Cuban rum cocktail with dry vermouth and lime. Not El Presidente, I can’t think of what it is called. I suppose this is sort of a “perfect” version of that cocktail.

Oh right, to answer my own question, it is the “Presidente Vincent” 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.