Pineapple Julep

Pineapple Julep
(6 People)
Take a large glass jug and fill it 1/4 full of crushed ice. Pour in the juice of two oranges, a glass of Raspberry Vinegar, a glass of Maraschino, a glass and a half of Gin, and a bottle of Sparkling Moselle or Saumur. Pull a pineapple to pieces with a silver fork and place the pieces in the jug. Stir the mixture, add a little fruit for appearances’s sake, and serve.

The Pineapple Julep has always been a drink that has intrigued me. Why is it a Julep? What on earth is that Raspberry Vinegar doing in there? I didn’t think people started adding vinegar to drinks until the 21st Century! Not to mention, what’s that business with pulling a pineapple to pieces with a “silver fork”?

Since it is my suspicion that many of the older drinks came from some edition of Jerry Thomas’ “Bon Vivant’s Companion”, I thought I would check for the recipe there and see how it compares:

92. Pineapple Julep

Peel, slice, and cut up a ripe pineapple into a glass bowl, add the juice of two oranges, a gill of raspberry syrup, a gill of Maraschino, a gill of old gin, a bottle of sparkling Moselle, and about a pound of pure ice in shaves; mix, ornament with berries in season, and serve in flat glasses.

Uh, whoops, that’s quite a bit different, even if it contains most of the same elements. The biggest difference, being the Savoy’s change from “Raspberry Syrup” to “Raspberry Vinegar”. Bizarre. Typo? Intentional change?

Regarding the Sparkling Moselle in the Julep, I did some searching on the Internets and discovered that the Moselle is a region along the Mosel River in France and Germany. Sparkling wines are, or were, produced in both France (Crémant de Luxembourg) and Germany (Mosel Sekt).

Not sure which to look for a sent a quick note to Heaven’s Dog’s Wine Director, Gus Vahlkamp.

Erik: Gus, If a punch recipe from 1862 called for “Sparkling Moselle”, what
modern wine would you recommend?

Gus: Hi Erik, nice to hear from you. Yes, sekt is your best bet, although most of it comes from the Rheingau these days and not so much from Mosel. Solter is probably the easiest producer to find in SF, but I would check either at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants or K&L for others. Also I’d imagine that 19th century sekt was probably a little sweeter than the majority of most modern products. I hope that helps. Cheers, Gus.

Well, I never mind a trip to K&L Wines, where I found a single Sekt from the Rheingau, Latitude 50 N Sekt Trocken Weiss, described as follows:

This Methode Champenoise sparkler is made from a combination of pinot blanc, muller-thurgau and silvaner. It is dry, bright and made for food, especially oysters, and this would be just the ideal sparkler to usher in a brand new 2012.

Sparkling German Wine in hand, the only thing which remained to reproduce the original Pineapple Julep Recipe was Raspberry Syrup.

I really liked the Raspberry Syrup I made for the Albemarle Fizz, so I searched the site for the recipe and whipped up another batch:

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.

Regarding the amounts in the Jerry Thomas recipe, a “Gill” is about 4 ounces. Not sure whether Mrs. Flannestad would be up to split the Julep, I decided to make a half batch.

Lastly, depending on the wine you use and the level of sweetness in your ingredients, you may find the Julep comes out too sweet for modern tastes. I know I did, and found it significantly improved with the addition of the juice of 1/2 Lemon.

Pineapple Julep
1/2 Pineapple, peeled and chopped
2 oz Bols Aged Genever
2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 oz Raspberry Syrup
Juice 1 Orange
Juice 1/2 Lemon
1/2 Bottle Sparkling Wine

METHOD: Combine Pineapple, Gin, Liqueur, Raspberry Syrup, and Juice in a bowl. Fill half way with crushed ice and top with Sparkling Wine. Stir gently, garnish with berries in season, and ladle into appropriate glassware.

My coworkers and I have occasionally joked, with the horrible ingredients that are often mixed up and sold as “nutcracker” or “crunk juice”, we should get together and bottle a high quality equivalent.

Tasting the Pineapple Julep, I believe I have a starting place for that endeavor! Alize and X Rated Fusion look out, this is some exotically tasty and easy sipping beverage! Pineapple Juleps for all my friends!

Bonus Beer of the Week! Some of my favorite Belgian Beers are actually the less strong ones. Designed to be drunk during the day by the Monks, these are tasty examples of the Belgian style, without so much alcohol.

The Witkap Pater Singel, now called “Stimulo” is one of my favorites.

Witkap·Pater Stimulo (Alc. 6% vol.) is a refreshing gold-colored beer of high fermentation and with fermentation on the bottle – thus a living beer with evolving taste. Pored with care you get a rich, white and stable foam collar with a creamy structure and sticking to the glass. You can smell the aromatic hop flowers of Erembodegem near Aalst (Belgium), a local natural product. You can also smell a strong ferment typically for the Witkap-Pater. Their are no other taste-makers used. During degustation you get a taste sensation starting with a soft mouth filling taste, passing in the a refreshing taste and ending with a tasty hop-bitter after taste.

Yum!

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.

York Special Cocktail

First, just a reminder that today, 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, “SIX!”

York Special Cocktail
4 Dashes Orange Bitters. (4 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters)
1/4 Maraschino. (3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur)
3/4 French Vermouth. (2 1/4 oz Perucchi Blanc)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze Lemon Peel over glass and drop in.)

Well, it isn’t exactly a Chrysanthemum Cocktail, but it isn’t bad. It’s probably too sweet with the Perucchi Blanc Vermouth and that much Maraschino Liqueur.

A question I’ve had, that no one seems to be able to answer, is: When did “Extra Dry Vermouth” become the dominant style?

You’d think, if something is called “Extra Dry” it would be differentiating itself from something else. Say, plain old “Dry” Vermouth.

I often wonder if the Blanc/Bianco style might have been dominant for longer than we generally admit.

If so, the transition from Martinez to Martini would have been not such a big deal, mostly about changing the color of the drink.

Blanc/Bianco Vermouth does mix A LOT better with Genever than “Extra Dry” Vermouth.

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.

Willie Smith Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, Jan 30, 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.

Willie Smith Cocktail
1 Dash Lemon Juice. (Very Generous Dash Lemon Juice)
1/3 Maraschino. (1/2 oz Maraschino)
2/3 Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Osocalis Brandy)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Sort of a Brandy heavy Sidecar, sweetened with (too much) Maraschino Liqueur, the Willie Smith Cocktail might have been named after Willie the Lion Smith…

From an Answers.com Article:

Willie the Lion Smith was a pianist who stood at the center of the New York City jazz world in the roaring 1920s. He performed at the most fashionable nightclubs in New York City’s predominantly African-American Harlem neighborhood, accompanied other musicians on recordings, and inspired and mentored a host of younger musicians. Smith is regarded as a pioneer of stride piano, the first important solo piano style in the jazz tradition. He is less well known than other pianists of the 1920s such as James P. Johnson and Thomas P. “Fats” Waller, primarily because he made few recordings under his own name until later in his career.

You can listen and learn more here on this NPR piece:

Jazz Profiles from NPR: Willie “The Lion” Smith

William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff Smith, aka Willie The Lion Smith, was a piano player who greatly influenced many future Jazz greats during the early part of the 20th Century.  A contemporary of Fats Waller he bridged the “Stride” piano style with the Chamber and Swing Jazz styles that were to come. He made his true fame playing Harlem house parties during prohibition, influencing other more famous players like Duke Ellington.

Interestingly, he felt the legalization of liquor did more harm to Harlem, than Prohibition ever did, as White people with money no longer had a reason to frequent the clubs and house parties where many in that neighborhood made their money.

“It was legal liquor that did to Harlem what scarcer tips and shuttered warehouses had failed to do.”

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.

White Rose Cocktail

White Rose Cocktail
The Juice of 1/4 Orange. (Juice 1/4 Orange)
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime. (Juice 1/4 Lemon)
The White of 1 Egg.
1/4 Maraschino. (1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
3/4 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Bols Genever)
Shake well and strain into medium size glass.
Source: Hugo Ensslin, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” 1916-1917

I’ve made this cocktail a few times at Alembic Bar Savoy Nights, and customers always really enjoy it.

Having been there, and done that, I thought I’d change up the gin.

I’ve been intrigued by the use of Genever in Sour cocktails, but hadn’t really tried one with egg white and/or Maraschino liqueur. However, given the friendliness of Genever to these ingredients, it didn’t seem like that big a chance to take.

After trying it, though, I have to say I definitely preferred the dry gin version I’ve made at Alembic. The well gin there is Beefeater, and this is a great Beefeater cocktail. Maybe not so much a great Genever Sour, but your mileage may vary.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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.

White Plush Cocktail

White Plush Cocktail
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin)
1 Liqueur Glass Maraschino. (1 1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/2 Pint of Milk. (8 oz Meyenberg Whole Goat Milk)
Shake well and strain into long tumbler.

Gin, Maraschino, and Milk? My stomach churned at the thought.

My constitution doesn’t really get along with regular milk in any quantity. I stopped drinking Milk way back in college, so there was no way I was making this as written. However, when I was examining the Dairy at our local grocery, I noticed this Whole Goats Milk. Hey! If I have to drink it, I bet I could drink the White Plush with Goats Milk.

Oof, though, Mrs. Flannestad took many pictures, trying to get them to turn out on her digital camera. She kept saying, “Again! Again! I didn’t get the picture. Drink more Milk! Again! Again!”

Got Milk?

Eventually, I had to say, “enough!” I just couldn’t drink any more Milk, even Goat Milk. Not that the White Plush was bad, exactly, but jeez. Enough Milk, is enough.

The main executional problem with the White Plush is that this is just too much volume for most shakers, especially after it is all foamy. And who knew Goat Milk would be so foamy? Didn’t really work at all in the usual 18/28 double metal tin. Maybe with a Mako Shaker on top of a 28 oz tin?

Definitely in the, “It could have been worse, but I wouldn’t do it again, unless you were paying me,” category of Savoy Cocktails.

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.

Union Jack Cocktail

Union Jack
1/3 Grenadine. (1/4 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/3 Maraschino. (1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/2 Green Chartreuse. (1/4 oz Green Chartreuse)
Use liqueur glass and pour ingredients carefully so that they do not mix.

Stupid battery still being a bit flaky. I’ve ordered some more, but will be taking the odd post with digital for the time being. If I can remember how.

I guess you should try to feel a bit patriotic about this one, but it’s not even blue, white and red. I guess there were no blue liqueurs at the time, as the book often calls for blue vegetable coloring.

Anyway, there’s nothing special here, as far as taste goes. As much as I enjoy Small Hand Foods Grenadine, I just can’t quite bring myself to drink it straight as more than a taste. I sucked the green chartreuse off the top of this one and tossed the rest down the drain after taking the photo.

Can anyone spot the brand on Mrs. Flannestad’s commemorative shot glass? I was hoping it would be more obvious.

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.

Tuxedo Cocktail (No. 2)

Tuxedo Cocktail (No. 2)
1 Dash Maraschino. (2.5ml or 1/2 tsp Luxardo Maraschino)
1 Dash Absinthe. (2.5ml or 1/2 tsp Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (1 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth or Sutton Cellars Vermouth)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. Add a cherry. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

Interestingly, in “Barflies and Cocktails”, Harry McElhone calls for “Sir R. Burnett’s Old Tom Gin” in this cocktail.

Well, that give me an excuse to use a more interesting Gin! Yay, Ransom!

Aside from using the Ransom, this is a much more interesting cocktail, even if it is just a Martinez with French Vermouth. The Maraschino and the Orange Bitters really pump up the volume of the somewhat plain “Tuxedo No. 1″.

The Sutton vs. Noilly test was not so obvious with the Tuxedo Cocktail No. 2. I tasted the two cocktails, then put them into the fridge for Michele to taste when she got home. When we tasted them, I could tell they were different, but had a hard time deciding which was which, or which I preferred. I believe Michele even said she preferred the Sutton Cellars version this time. Basically, I think the more intense gin, bitters, liqueurs, and Absinthe just plowed the vermouth under.

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.

Turf Cocktail

Turf Cocktail
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
2 Dashes Maraschino. (2 Dash Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur)
2 Dashes Absinthe. (2 Dash Lucid Absinthe)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry or 1 oz Sutton Cellars Vermouth)
1/2 Plymouth Gin. (1/2 oz Junipero, 1/2 oz Genevieve)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I was reading a post over at Ummamimart about Perucchi Vermouth, which we sadly do not have in the Bay Area, and I noticed that Payman had mentioned Sutton Cellars Vermouth in a comment.

Later in the comment thread, Carl Sutton chimed in with some corrections.

Thinking about it, I realized I had never really given the old college try to using the Sutton Cellars Vermouth in Savoy Cocktails.

So I thought I’d pick up a fresh bottle of Sutton Cellars and a fresh bottle of Noilly Prat Dry and put them up against each other in cocktails.

The Turf Cocktail, which Robert Vermeire attributes to “Harry Johnson, New Orleans,” is actually one of my all time favorite aromatic Gin cocktails.  As usual, this is a combination of Gin and Dry Vermouth with a couple dashes of this and that.  In this case the this is Absinthe and the that is Maraschino Liqueur.  Like the Imperial Cocktail, this transforms a simple Fifty-Fifty Martini into something completely other.

Not relying on my own taste, I also ran both of these past Mrs. Flannestad in a blind tasting, even though aromatic gin cocktails are not her favorite.  The general consensus was, in the case of the Turf Cocktail, we preferred the cocktail made with Noilly Prat Dry to the one with Sutton Cellars.   While the Noilly Turf was balanced and smooth, the Sutton Cellars Turf seemed to have a tart character which overshadowed the other elements in the drink.

Didn’t hear from the specialist for a few days, so finally, two days before the Biopsy, I call the office to ask about my test results. The Doctor isn’t in, but the nurse tells me the numbers from one of the tests was “abnormal” .  I should still plan on coming in for the biopsy.

Ooof.

This was a pretty big let down. Needless to say, it put me in a pretty bad mood.

The morning of the appointment, I got ready as advised (don’t ask,) and Michele gave me a ride to the office. It was in one of the depressingly dingy San Francisco Kaiser offices, which always seem to be in some form of remodeling or another and filled with sick, or otherwise mutilated, senior citizens.

The nurse takes me to the office and tells me to take off my clothes and put on the surgical gown.

I sit in the office, mostly naked, shivering, for about 20 minutes, contemplating surgical devices which don’t look like they would have been out of place in the David Cronenberg film “Dead Ringers”. I eye the specimen jars with my name on them.

Finally, the Doctor finally comes in. He tells me they just got back some more blood results, and, in fact, my numbers are “normal”. In line with my results the year before. We don’t have to proceed with the biopsy, just keep an eye on this for the future.

Stunned and confused, I say, “Uh, What?”

“You can put your clothes back on and leave.”

“Uh, thanks. OK.”

As I’m leaving, the nurse says, “You got lucky today. I hope your numbers stay low.”

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.

Tropical Cocktail

Tropical Cocktail
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Bitters)
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Orange)
1/3 Crème de Cacao. (1 barspoon Bols Creme de Cacao)
1/3 Maraschino. (1 barspoon Luxardo Maraschino)
1/3 French Vermouth. (2 oz Noilly Prat Vermouth)

Stir well, strain into a cocktail glass, with cherry.

Well, if there is anything that might put me off of drinking, it’s probably this concoction. Jeez, equal parts of French Vermouth, Maraschino, and Creme de Cacao? It doesn’t even have any booze!

I had some idle hope that this could be saved, a la Chrysanthemum, to make a pleasant light aperitif Coctkail. Nope, this just doesn’t appeal, at all, even slightly dried out. I can’t imagine what this would taste like as the dessert cocktail it sounds like in the recipe.

After a few months of over doing it, what with the trips to Spain, Chicago, and Wisconsin, it was about time to cut back significantly on the drinking. There was just a little too much grease in the wheels, things were getting a little blurry.

I have a couple friends who manage to balance abstention with bartending, so I thought I would give that a try for a while.

Got through a couple weeks of drying out, started feeling pretty good. Michele was proud of me. I was only straw tasting at the bar, and only tasting Savoy Cocktails. It was quite pleasant not to have quite the adjustment on Mondays that I had been having, from the drinking to the sober life.

Feeling good, it seemed like it was about time to get some things out of the way: Visit the Dentist, Get a check-up from my Doctor.

Dentist visit went well, they even praised me for the job I had been doing flossing. Gum health good. Woo!

Visited the Doctor. Blood pressure good, cholesterol not bad, Doctor said I was seeming pretty healthy.

Then later in the week, I got a call. My Doctor would like to schedule a visit to a specialist, to follow up on some of the numbers in one of the tests. They were a little high for someone my age.

Yeah, that’s just great. Just like life. Mostly give up drinking, feeling healthy, good attitude. Then the Doctor tells you, “Oh, by the way, you might have cancer.”

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.

Stars and Stripes Cocktail

Stars and Stripes
1/3 Crème de Cassis. (1/2 oz Brizard Cassis)
1/3 Maraschino. (1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/3 Green Chartreuse. (1/2 oz Green Chartreuse)
Use liqueur glass and pour carefully so that ingredients do not mix.

My favorite Chartreuse story happened one Savoy Night at Alembic.

A few New York bartenders were in town and stopped by to celebrate the birthday of a local bartender. One of the gentlemen who stopped by was Mr. Toby Maloney. Mr. Maloney took it as his prerogative to attempt to drink us out of Cynar, one glass at a time. However, later in the evening, as he was talking to a young lady at the end of the bar, he discovered she had not, thus far in her life, experienced the joys of Green Chartreuse. A situation he felt should be rectified immediately. I grabbed the bottle of Chartreuse from the back bar and poured the young lady a shot. When I brought it over, Toby gave me a look and asked where our shots were, because surely a lady should not drink alone. Goddamn! While I agree young women should not drink alone, I was going to have to drink a shot of 110 proof Green Chartreuse! Back to the backbar, grab the chartreuse, pour two more shots. As I was bringing the shots of Chartreuse back to Toby, Daniel Hyatt noticed and asked me what we were drinking. I handed him a glass, he took a sniff, growled, “Psychopaths!” and handed back the glass. We did run out of Cynar before the night’s end.

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.