K.C.B Cocktail

KCB Cocktail

K.C.B. Cocktail

1 Dash Apricot Brandy. (1/3 tsp. Rothman & Winter Orchard vs. Haus Alpenz Blumme Marillen)
1 Dash Lemon Juice. (1/3 tsp. Lemon Juice)
1/4 Kirsch. (1/2 oz Trimbach Kirsch)
3/4 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 6)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Patrick Gavin Duffy suggests you, “Stir well in ice and strain. Twist of Lemon Peel.” I tried it both ways, and to be honest, I’m not sure the stirring matters that much, (I know I should have double strained,) but I do suggest you follow his advice for the lemon peel.

Among the possibly meanings of “K.C.B.” is that of the Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.

Oddly, it does appear, to mean literally “bath” as in bathing.

The second highest order of chivalry in England. The title of the Order is late medieval in origin, it arose from the ritual washing (inspired by the ritual of baptism), a symbol of spiritual purification, followed by a night of prayer and meditation before the Knights of the Bath attended the mass and then receive there accolade. Medieval knights frequently carried out there vigil of fasting, prayer and purification in the Chapel Royal of St John the Evangelist in the Tower of London. There is an account of this ceremony in the reign of King Henry IV which remained until the time of King Charles II.

More information on wikipedia: Order of the Bath

Pretty serious stuff!

Ahem, well, it’s too bad for Humuhumu we didn’t make it to this drink in Portland, as there is no trace of vermouth!

I tried it with both Apricot Liqueur and Apricot Eau-de-Vie. There’s so little volume, that the liqueur had very little impact in the cocktail. The Eau-de-Vie seemed to contribute more. If you’ve got it around, I’d suggest it.

Though, I don’t know who to suggest making this cocktail for. Maybe lovers of Super Extra Dry Gin Martinis looking for a little spice in their cocktail life?

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.

Eton Blazer Cocktail

Eton Blazer Cocktail

The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/2 Tablespoonful of Powdered Sugar. (1 teaspoon Caster Sugar)
1/4 Kirsch. (1/2 oz Kirsch)
3/4 Plymouth Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into long tumbler; fill up with sodawater.

Michael Jackson, in his “Bar and Cocktail Companion,” says, “A metaphorical name, no doubt, since Eton College doesn’t have a blazer. Nor is the college’s color, black, evident in this drink. Not a blazer in the Blue sense.”

A perfectly fine and enjoyable long drink. I could have maybe been a bit more generous with the sugar. Thinking about it now, it might be more interesting to top it up with Kirsch, instead of shaking it with together the Gin, sugar and lemon. That way you would get the scent carried up on the bubbles as a kind of greeting when you first sip the cocktail.

Coincidentally, when I visited Slanted Door recently, Mr. Erik Adkins was working on adapting the Eton Blazer from the recipe in Harry McElhone’s “Barflies and Cocktails“.  The interesting thing about McElhone’s version of the drink is that instead of sugar as a sweetener it uses an obscure cocktail ingredient named “Groseille Syrup”.  Groseille Syrup is a Grenadine-like sweetener made from Red Currants.  This summer Jennifer Colliau, as part of her Small Hand Foods business, experimented with making a Red Currant Syrup.  She’s been on the lookout for drinks, other than the Artist’s Special, with which to showcase the ingredient.

The McElhone recipe goes like this: “In a large tumbler put 3 or 4 lumps of ice, the juice of one lemon, 1 glass of Gilbey’s Gin, ½ glass Groseille Syrup, ½ glass Kirsch. Fill balance with soda. Stir well and serve with straws.”  I didn’t take a picture of Mr. Adkins’ experiment, but, as you might imagine, the Groseille Syrup does make the drink taste a bit more interesting than using plain sugar.  However, it also colors it a lovely shade of pink.  So, you know, unless you’re secure in your manhood, you might want to stick with sugar.

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.

Café Kirsch Cocktail

Cafe Kirsch Cocktail

Café Kirsch Cocktail

The White of 1 Egg
1 Liqueur Glass Kirsch (1 oz Trimbach Kirsch)
1/2 Tablespoon of Sugar (1 teaspoon Caster Sugar)
1 Small Glass of Cold Coffee (1 oz Peet’s Kenyan AA, Melitta Drip)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Weird. I expected to like the last cocktail and expected to dislike this one.

Wrong on both accounts.

This is tasty and pretty! I’ll take this over a Red Bull and Vodka any day.

Of course I’m going to regret drinking it, when I can’t sleep tonight at midnight.

Couple Additional Notes:

If you don’t have decent strong drip coffee for it, use espresso.

In the US a number of the larger liqueur companies market something they call Kirschwasser. If you look at the ingredients on the back, you will discover that it is typically artificially flavored and sweetened neutral spirits. I’ve tried a couple (they’re cheap) and they are truly vile. Think, cherry cough drops dissolved in kerosene.

Kirsch or Cherry Eau de Vie is almost always sold in 375ml bottles and is relatively expensive. It is distilled from a “wine” made from fermented cherry juice and is (usually) an unaged clear spirit. In the US, Clear Creek, St. George Spirits, Peak Spirits, and others make acceptable versions.

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.

Almond Cocktail

Almond Cocktail

(6 People)

Slightly warm 2 Glasses of Gin (2 oz Beefeaters Gin). Add a teaspoonful of powdered sugar (1/2 tsp. Caster Sugar). Soak in this six peeled almonds (4 halved and lightly roasted almonds) and if possible a crushed peach kernel (crushed plum kernel), and allow to cool. When the mixture is cold add a dessertspoonful of Kirsch (1 tablespoon Trimbach Kirsch), one of Peach Brandy (1 tablespoon Massenez creme de peche), a glass of French Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Pratt) and 2 glasses of any sweet White Wine (2 oz Bonny Doon Riesling). Shake thoroughly with plenty of ice.

Patrick Gavin Duffy gives this the lascivious sounding alternate name, “A Young Girl’s Fancy,” in his “Mixer’s Manual”. For all the work, my wife and I both thought this an odd tasting cocktail. Nutty, peachy and slightly but not overly sweet. Not bad, just kind of odd.

I also had some pyro fun, lighting the gin and pouring a long burning stream over the almonds. Mrs. Underhill did not approve. Something about burning down the house.

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.

Albertine Cocktail

In older cocktail books there are many cocktails for 4-6 people.

I guess these are intended for dinner parties and the like.

In “The Savoy Cocktail Book” these are almost always measured using the “glass” measure. In the parlance of late 19th and early 20th century cocktail bar the “glass” or “wineglass” amounted to approximately 2 ounces.

So, if Mrs. Underhill is interested, I’ll just use the number of “glasses” as ounces, effectively cutting the recipe in half, making 3 small or two medium drinks.

If my wife isn’t interested, I’ll half it again, and turn it into a “large” single serving. But, really, again the drinks back then were not very large.

This one is especially illustrative as the math is easy.

You’ve got 6 glasses or 12 oz of total liquid. That’s a 2 oz cocktail per person before dilution.

After shaking or stirring with ice, it is probably 2 1/2 or 3 oz per person. Not a large drink at all.


Albertine Cocktail
(Six People)

2 glasses Kirsch (1 oz Trimbach kirsch)
2 glasses Cointreau (1 oz Cointreau)
2 glasses Chartreuse (1 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
A few drops Maraschino

Shake (Stir please – eje) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I think the size is about right for 2 as an after dinner cocktail. Complex and more palatable than I imagined, given the amount of liqueur. Still, very sweet! I found it much improved with a squeeze of orange peel over the top.

I couldn’t really find a definitive answer in regards to the type of Chartreuse in this cocktail, yellow or green. I found different recipes calling for either one. Another contemporary guide with “The Savoy Cocktail Book,” Patrick Gavin Duffy’s “Official Mixer’s Manual” calls for yellow, so I went with that. Green Chartreuse would be interesting; but, as it is even higher proof than the yellow, it would put this cocktail in the dangerous to consume range.

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.

Charleston Cocktail

When I was growing up, my Mother would tell me stories of her parents when they were younger.

She thought my grandfather was the best dressed and most handsome man she knew. Apparently he was quite the snappy dresser, as she always remembered his spotless spats.

My grandmother, I’m told, was a bit of a flapper.

They apparently did well enough and had a lot of fun until the depression caught up with them.

By that time, they had three kids and no real prospects.

For them, the only help they got, came from a very conservative church.

No dancing, no cards, no drinking.

They took this very seriously and chose to live their life in accordance with that church.

By the time us grandkids hit the scene, that was how we all grew up.

Some of us have drifted away, and some of us have stayed with the flock.

This Savoy Cocktail Book cocktail, I assume named after dance of the same name, reminds me a bit of the colorful, carefree stories of my grandparents’ early days of marriage.

Charleston Cocktail

1/6 Dry Gin (1/2 oz Boodles Gin)
1/6 Kirsch (1/2 oz Trimbach Kirsch)
1/6 Maraschino (1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/6 Curacao (1/2 oz Senior Curacao of Curacao)
1/6 Italian Vermouth (1/2 oz Cinzano Vermouth)
1/6 French Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)

Shake (stir, please – erik) well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

Regarding the video, I seldom count time or mixing strokes when I am stirring a cocktail, I just look for the consistency of the drink. I was a bit shocked, upon viewing the video, that I stirred for nearly a full minute. Cocktail was very cold and didn’t seem over-diluted to me; but, then, as I am using a mixing glass chilled in the freezer and cracked ice at approximately 5 below zero. I probably need to stir for a full minute to get any water into the cocktail at all! Also, forgot to turn off the music, so you have the pleasure of listening to a portion of Louis Sclavis’ 2005 recording, “L’imparfait des langues”.

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.