Savoy Hotel Rickey

Savoy Hotel Rickey
Use medium size glass.
1 Lump of Ice.
The Juice of 1/2 Lime or 1/4 Lemon. (Juice 1/4 Lemon)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz North Shore No 6)
4 Dashes Grenadine. (1 Teaspoon of Small hand Foods Grenadine)
Fill with Carbonated Water and leave Rind of Lime or Lemon in glass.

A Gin Rickey, slightly enpinkened, the Savoy Hotel Rickey isn’t anything particularly fancy.

On the other hand, it is really easy to make and quite refreshing.

A good drink for lazy summer afternoons, when actually shaking something is a little too much effort. Build it over the ice, give it a stir or two. Top up with soda and you’re done.

Hard to beat!

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.

Rickey

RICKEYS.

Most Rickeys are made with the following recipe:

Use medium size glass.
1 Lump of Ice.
The Juice of 1/2 Lime of ¼ Lemon.
Then add 1 glass of any Spirit or Liqueur fancied, Whisky, Gin, Rum, Bourbon, Calvados, Caperitif, etc. Fill with Carbonated water and leave rind of Lime or Lemon in glass.

So much controversy about the Rickey.

Weird that a drink that is basically a highball (Remember! Highballs go in 8 oz glasses!) with a dash of lemon or lime is so controversial.

Anyway, I’m not going to be too thorough with this, feel free to search the Internets and draw your own conclusions.

Attempting to grok the various sources on the Internets:

In the late 1800s there was a Washington lobbyist named Colonel Joe Rickey who drank at Shoomaker’s Bar. He enjoyed his Bourbon Highballs with a bit of “healthful” lemon juice and a lemon rind garnish in the glass.

When people noticed his beverage being prepared, they would ask to have, “What Colonel Rickey is having.” Eventually this was shorted to, “I’ll have a Rickey”.

Towards the beginning of the 20th Century, as Dry Gin began to become more popular than Bourbon, people started asking for the drink with Gin. At some time around then, someone made the Rickey with lime instead of lemon. From then forward, everyone, except Colonel Rickey, who stuck with Bourbon and Lemon, began enjoying the drink with Gin and Lime.

I’ve returned to the drinks roots, and made it with Wathen’s Bourbon, lemon juice, and lemon peel.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this drink, it is bracing, tart and refreshing.

On the other hand, while I see the magic of Gin and Lime, I think I prefer my Whisk(e)y Highballs with just Bourbon and a mere splash of Soda.

You can keep the lemon and save it for your Daisies and Whiskey Sours.

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.

Remsen Cooler

Remsen Cooler
l Glass Dry Gin.
1 Split of Soda.
Peel rind of lemon in spiral form, place in long tumbler with 1 lump of Ice, add Gin and fill with soda water.

The Remsen Cooler is about the only of these Coolers to have survived over the years, but there is still some confusion. The drink came to be made frequently with Gin, but some maintain it is properly made with Scotch.

Cocktail Bill Boothby relates the following in his 1906 version of his bar book. It is a nice story. Note, Old Tom Cordial Gin was a type of sweetened Old Tom Gin which apparently was available for a brief few years around 1900.

“Some years ago, the late William Remsen, a retired naval officer and a popular member of the Union Club, N.Y., introduced a beverage to the members of that swell organization which has since taken his name and is now known to all clubmen by the appellation of Remsen cooler.”

“Pare a lemon (a lime will not answer the purpose) as you would an apple, so that the peel will resemble a corkscrew, place the rind in a long thin glass and pour over it a jigger of Old Tom cordial gin; with a bar-spoon now press the peel and stir it thoroughly, so the liquor will be well flavoured with the essence of the skin and fill the glass with plain soda off the ice. English club soda is highly recommended for this drink. Be sure the soda is cold.”

Hugo Ensslin, in his 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” takes a middle path, by allowing either Gin or Scotch:

Remsen Cooler
1 drink Dry Gin or Scotch Whiskey;
1 Lemon;
1 bottle Club Soda.

Peel off rind of lemon in spiral form, place in Collins glass with cube of ice, add Gin or Scotch and fill up with Club Soda.

Well, if you can use Gin OR Whisky in a drink recipe, why not use something in between? Say Dutch Genever?

Remsen Cooler
2 oz Bols Aged Genever*.
1 Split of Soda.
Peel rind of lemon in spiral form, place in long tumbler with 1 lump of Ice, add Genever and fill with soda water.

A couple years ago, Bols brought a 19th Century style Genever to America. Based on a recipe from 1820 it soon became the darling of many bartenders. However, they weren’t quite sure what would happen with it in cocktails. There are not a ton of cocktail recipes for Genever. Would people try to mix it like Dry Gin?

What they found, especially with a lot of stumping from cocktail and punch classicists like David Wondrich, was that people were mixing with it like it was Whiskey. Making Improved Holland Gin Cocktails, Sazeracs, Holland Sours, and the odd Holland House Cocktail.

So if people were mixing with it like it was a Whiskey, what if Bols introduced the category of Genever which was even more like Whiskey, Aged Genever?

From Instant Upload

I was lucky enough to attend an event where they launched the new product in San Francisco and introduced it to us in a couple drinks.

Aged a minimum of 18 months in used and new Cognac casks, Bols Barrel Aged Genever is in interesting contrast to the original Bols 1820 recipe. While it doesn’t seem to take anything away from the 1820, the aging and slightly different production process seems to heighten the spicy characteristics of the Genever. To me, the Juniper is even clearer in the Barrel Aged Genever than it is in the rather mildly flavored unaged 1820 Genever.

They had us try it in several drinks including a Collins and a Manhattan, but to me the real winner was the Barrel Aged Genever in a julep. I’ve made and enjoyed Genever Juleps before, but the spice and intensity of the Barrel Aged Genever made it stand out in the drink and really complement the flavor of the mint.

For what it’s worth, it’s not bad in an even simpler drink, The Remsen Cooler. On the ice or off the ice, little simple syrup wouldn’t hurt this drink, but note that none of the recipes include any juice at all, only lemon peel.

*The Bols Aged Genever used in this post was provided to me by a firm promoting the brand.

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.