Smashes.

Smashes.

The ‘Smash’ is in effect a Julep on a small plan.

To prepare it the following recipe is usually used:

Smash
Use medium sized glass.
Dissolve 1 Lump of Sugar. Add 4 leaves of Green Mint, and crush Mint and sugar very lightly together. Place lump of ice in glass. Then add one small glass of either Bacardi Rum, Brandy, Gin, Irish Whisky or Scotch Whisky as fancy dictates. Decorate with a slice of Orange, and squeeze Lemon peel on top.

This recipe, and the quote regarding the “Julep on a small plan,” come almost verbatim from Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide, going back to the original 1862 version of the book.

As is usual with these 19th Century cocktails, before making the Savoy version of the drink I first consulted David Wondrich’s “Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash…” where he notes:

“Thomas’s cursory assessment of the drink leaves one with insufficient appreciation of its importance. From its first appearance in the mid-1840s until after the Civil War, the Smash was just about the most popular thing going. In the 1850s, at the height of the Smash’s popularity, all the “pert young men,” the Broadway dandies, San Francisco swells, and junior New Orleans grandissimes, seemed to spend the warm months of the year with a smash glued to one hand and a “segar” to the other.”

However, to me what was more interesting was the illustration which accompanies the writeup, a picture of the “Fancy Brandy Smash” from Harry Johnson’s 1888 edition of his “New and Improved Illustrated Bartender’s Manual”.

One of the cool things about many of the illustrations from Mr. Johnson’s book is he gives you two pictures, one of the preparation of the drink and another of the serving glass. Looking at his illustration, though, I realized it looked like he was serving his “Fancy Brandy Smash” as an “up” Cocktail.

Fancy Brandy Smash.
(Use a large bar glass.)
1/2 tabelspoonful of sugar;
1/2 wine glass of water or selters;
3 or 4 sprigs of fresh mint; dissolve well;
1/2 glass of shaved ice;
1 wine glass of brandy (Martell);

Stir up well with a spoon, strain it into a fancy bar glass, and ornament it with a little fruit in season, and serve. (See illustration, plate No. 9.)

And indeed, his instructions here are clear, the “Fancy Brandy Smash” is not served over ice.

However, going through the book a bit further, I discovered he also had a recipe for an “Old Style Whiskey Smash”.

Old Style Whiskey Smash.
(Use an extra large whiskey glass.)
1/4 tablespoonful of sugar;
1/2 wineglass of water;
3 or 4 sprigs of mint, dissolve well, in in order to get the essence of the mint;
Fill the glass with small pieces of ice;
1 wine glass of whiskey;
Put in fruit in season, mix well, place the strainer in the glass and serve.

So the “Fancy” version of the drink gets strained into another glass, while with the “Old Style” version of the drink, the guest is simply served the drink with a julep strainer in the glass!

Well, as a moderist, I will choose to make the “Fancy” version of the drink!

Fancy Brandy Smash.
(Use a large bar glass.)
generous 1/4 oz Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup;
3 or 4 sprigs of fresh mint; dissolve well;
1/2 glass of finely cracked ice;
2 oz brandy (Artez Folle Blanche Armagnac);

Stir up well with a spoon, strain it into a fancy bar glass, and ornament it with a little fruit in season, and serve.

Well, I have to say that does have a certain simple charm! Not only that, but you don’t have to contend with the ice when you swilling the drink. I could understand why this would be a more modern, let’s get down to drinking, kind of version of the drink.

However, if you order a “Whiskey Smash” today, the one you are most likely to be served has lemon in addition to the mint. This version of the drink was popularized by Dale DeGroff at the bars he ran in NY and in his book, “The Craft of the Cocktail”. According to Mr. DeGroff, he never really understood the appeal of the Julep, so he started adding muddled lemon slices in with the mint in the Smash, sort of crossing the Smash with the Fix.

DeGroff Whiskey Smash

2 lemon pieces
2 to 3 mint leaves
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 1/2 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1 oz of water
Sprig of fresh mint

Muddle the lemon, mint leaves, water, and Simple Syrup in the bottle of a mixing glass. Add the bourbon and shake. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with the mint sprig.

Personally, I hate muddling fruit. Especially, since I’ve already got lemon juice, muddling fruit is just messy. Gets your sink full of cloggy fruit pulp. The mint is bad enough.

So how about this little solution?

Fixed Modern Brandy Smash

Peel 1/2 Lemon;
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar;
Splash Water;
2 oz Spirit of Choice, I used the Artez Folle Blanch Armagnac above.
Juice 1/2 Lemon;
1/2 teaspoon Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup;
3 or 4 leaves mint;
Mint Sprigs for garnish;

Muddle lemon peel and granulated sugar in a heavy glass until fragrant. Splash in some water and continue muddling until sugar is dissolved. Fill with finely cracked ice. In a mixing tin, combine lemon juice, brandy, mint leaves, and gum syrup. Shake with ice and strain into iced glass. Stir to combine, garnish with mint sprig and serve.

You get the aromatics from the peel in the drink without the bitterness of the pith. Not bad at all!

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.

Southern Mint Julep

Southern Mint Julep
4 Sprigs Fresh Mint.
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar.
1 Glass of Bourbon, Rye, or Canadian Club Whisky.

Use long tumbler and crush the Mint leaves and dissolved sugar lightly together, add Spirits and fill glass with cracked ice; stir gently until glass is frosted. Decorate on top with 3 Sprigs of Mint.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about the proper way to make a Mint Julep. From mint flavored simple syrup to mint infused Bourbon, there are 1001 ways to skin this cat.

Even among the more basic recipes, as with the Mojito, there is disagreement about how crushed, or muddled, the mint leaves should be. Some people muddle the mint up into a paste, others leave the leaves more intact.

Interestingly, Issue 3 of McSweeney’s Lucky Peach magazine has an article by food science guru Harold McGee called, “On Handling Herbs”, in which he talks about how to get the best flavor out of herbs when using them in cooking.

One of the first things he notes is, “Ripe fruits are delicious as is, because the parent plant has evolved to encourage animals to eat them and spread their seeds far and wide. Herbs and spices can make foods delicious, but they’re usually not delicious in themselves, because plants don’t want animals to chew up their leaves and seeds and roots…most herb and spice flavors are actually chemical weapons.”

He goes on to say, “How you handle herbs can also affect their flavor. The defensive chemicals responsible for plant flavors are usually concentrated in fine, hairlike glands on leaf surfaces (the mint family, including basil, oregano, sage, shiso, and thyme) or in special canals within the leaves (most other herbs). If you leave the herbs pretty much intact, what you get is mainly the characteristic flavor of that herb. But if you crush the herb, or cut it very finely, you damage a lot of cells and cause the release of the green, grassy, vegetal defensive chemicals.”

I’ve known this anecdotally, but never had it explained quite so clearly. If you muddle the mint in your Mojito or Julep, it tastes grassy and bitter. If you handle the mint gently, you get light, clear, mint flavor and scent.

To me, this argues against truly “crushing”, “pulverizing”, or “muddling” the mint (or other herbs) in any drink.

To make a mint Julep these are my usual instructions:

Mint Julep

4 fresh and lively sprigs mint (there is nothing sadder than a julep made with wilted mint)
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (generous 1/4 oz Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup)
2 oz Bourbon and a little extra for garnish (2+ oz Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, bottled 2003)
Fine Ice

METHOD: Strip the leaves from the lower stems of the mint and place in julep cup. Reserve upper sprigs for garnish. Pour in your simple syrup and use a spoon or muddler to gently rub the mint and syrup up and down the sides of the cup. Add Bourbon and ice to fill half way up the cup. Vigorously mix together mint leaves, syrup, bourbon, and ice. Top up with more fine ice and sprinkle a little extra bourbon over ice. Slap the reserved sprigs against your palm, form into a bunch, and insert into ice. Poke straws in ice near the mint sprigs, serve, and inhale.

Also, if you aren’t reading Lucky Peach, you really should be. For my money, it’s the best writing about food, cooking, and working in restaurants that you can currently find. If you have to, cancel your cable subscription to the Food Network, and subscribe to Lucky Peach instead.

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.

Champange Julep

First, just a reminder that Sunday, February 26, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

Champagne Julep
Use long tumbler.
1 Lump Sugar. (1/2 oz Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup)
2 Sprigs Mint.
Fill glass with Champagne (Delmas Blanquette de Limoux). Stir gently and decorate with slices of fruit in season.

I guess the odd thing about the Champagne Julep is that the recipe omits the inclusion of any ice in the glass. I’m chalking that up to carelessness, as it wouldn’t really seem like a julep to me without the fine ice.

Regarding various Sparkling Wines, in my opinion, most Champagne is a little low on the value per dollar scale. Others often recommend using Prosecco or Cava instead of Champagne. While there are good examples of these wines, a lot of the more common ones are only OK. Decent examples of American Sparkling Wines tend to be nearly as expensive as their French counterparts.

My favorite value per dollar Sparkling wines are French sparkling wines from other regions than Champagne. Just about every region of France makes a sparkling wine, but, as with American Sparkling Wine, they can’t call it Champagne. There the wines go by names like “Crémant d’Alsace”, “Crémant de Bourgogne”, “Crémant de Jura”, “Crémant de Luxembourg”, or “Blanquette de Limoux”.

As far as the Champagne Julep goes, well, it is refreshing, cold, and light.

Maybe the sort of drink for those times when an Old Cuban might be a little too much.

What? You don’t know what an Old Cuban is?

Well, let’s rectify that situation right now!

Old Cuban

3/4 oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
6 leaves mint
muddle and add ice
1 1/2 oz Cruzan Estate Dark Rum
2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Top with champagne.

Recipe cribbed (Old Cuban) from Robert Hess, over at The Cocktail Spirit.

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.

Mint Julep

Juleps.

Mint Julep
The Julep is a delightful potion that originally came out of the Southern States of America, and many great men have sung its praises through the years. It was the famous Capt. Marryatt, skipper and novelist, who introduced the beverage into the British Isles and below we quote his recipe in his own words : — “ I must descant a little upon the mint julep, as it is, with the thermometer at 100 degrees, one of the most delightful and insinuating potations that ever was in- vented, and may be drunk- with equal satisfaction when the thermometer is as low as 70 degrees. There are many varieties such as those composed of Claret, Madeira. etc., but the ingredients of the real mint julep are as follows. I learned how to make them, and succeeded pretty well. Put into a tumbler almost a dozen sprigs of the tender shoots of mint. upon them put a spoonful of white sugar, and equal proportions of Peach and common Brandy so as to fill it up one-third, or perhaps a little less. Then take rasped or pounded ice, and fill up the tumbler.
“Epicures rub the lips of the tumbler with a piece of fresh pineapple, and the tumbler itself is very often encrusted outside with stalactites of ice. As the ice melts, you drink. I once overheard two ladies talking in the next loom to me, and one of them said, ‘Well, if I have a weakness for any one thing, it is for a mint julep!’ a very amiable weakness, and proving her good sense and good taste. They are, in fact, like the American ladies, irresistible.”

Most of the above comes, verbatim, from Jerry Thomas, however Mr. Thomas’ exact recipe for the Mint Julep is a bit more advanced:

88. Mint Julep

1 table-spoonful of white pulverized sugar.
2 1/2 table-spoonful of water, mix well with a spoon.

Take three or four sprigs of fresh mint, and press them well in the sugar and water, until the flavor of the mint is extracted; add one and a half wine=glass of Cognac brandy, and fill the glass with fine shaved ice, then draw out the sprigs of mint and insert them in the ice with the stems downward, so that the leaves will be above, in the shape of a bouquet; arrange berries, and small pieces of sliced orange on top in a tasty manner, dash with Jamaica rum, and sprinkle white sugar on top. Place a straw as represented in the cut, and you have a julep that is fit for an emperor.

Well, I’ll give it a shot, combining both.

First off, a couple points. First, as related by many authors including Mr. David Wondrich, the “Peach Brandy” in the Southern Mint Julep, is NOT a liqueur, it was an actual Brandy made from peaches and aged in wood. Unfortunately, this is a hard commodity to come by in the modern age, and when you do find it, often costly.

A while ago, a friend made up a batch of Pear Brandy and aged it in Oak, of which I purchased a small bottle. So I will use this instead.

Second, regarding Mr Thomas’ elaborate mint ritual, as I’m stripping leaves from the mint, I usually just use those pieces in the bottom of the julep cup, and leave them there.

Lastly, the julep should technically be made with “shaved” ice, which is hard to do at home, unless you have a ice shaving machine. I don’t, so I just beat the crap out of some ice cubes. It’s not quite shaved, but close enough.

Mint Julep

1 1/2 oz Artez Folle Blanche Armagnac
1 1/2 oz Aged Pear Brandy
generous 1/4 oz Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup

Strip the lower leaves from several sprigs of mint. Place the leaves the bottom of a julep cup and add the gum syrup. Press gently into the gum syrup to extract flavor. Add Brandies and fill with fine ice. Stir until the sides of the cup frost and garnish with fresh sprigs of mint and slices of orange.

So, the Julep is a funny drink. Often, people see the mint and think the Julep is similar to a Mojito. Then they’ll order one and discover it is a big, cold, glass of slightly sweetened and minty Brandy (or Whiskey). A great Julep is a fantastic drink, but without the citrus and soda, it can be a bit of a shock to the system of someone expecting a mild drink like the Mojito.

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.

Sea Breeze Cooler

Sea Breeze Cooler
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1 very small Lemon)
2 Dashes Grenadine. (1 teaspoon Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/2 Apricot Brandy. (1 oz Brizard ‘Apry’ Apricot Liqueur)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz North Shore Distiller’s No 6 Gin)
1 Lump of ice.
Use long tumbler and fill with soda Water. 2 sprigs fresh mint on top.

Usually, the modern Sea Breeze, which I associate with the 1970s for some reason, is made up of Vodka, Cranberry Juice, and Grapefruit, shaken and served on the rocks with a lime wedge garnish.

Well, this ain’t that drink, and I am unclear if there is any causal relationship between the two.

On the other hand, though the Sea Breeze Cooler is fairly mild, I actually quite enjoyed it. It is slightly girly with that name and the pinkness, but on a hot day it seems like it would be refreshing.

I chose the North Shore No. 6, as it has on many occasions proven to be friendly to citrus and apricot. It did not disappoint.

I did throw a few of the stripped mint leaves into the drink when I shook it. Then I did not strain it through a fine sieve, which was a serious error. You can now see a fine layer of pulverized mint leaves floating on top of the drink, just waiting to get stuck between your date’s teeth. Never good.

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.

South Side Fizz

First, just a reminder that Sunday, August 28, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

South Side Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon, Juice 1/2 Lime)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (1-ish Tablespoon Rich Simple Syrup, or to taste)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Anchor Junipero Gin)

Shake well strain into medium size glass and fill with syphon soda water.  Add fresh mint leaves.

As I noted a couple years ago, The South Side, even though it is often now served without soda, has its roots in a Fizz. That is, a Gin Fizz with mint and sprigs of mint for garnish.

The recipe for the South Side Fizz is a little oblique as far as instructions go.

My advice as far as METHOD goes:

Combine Gin, Citrus, Syrup, and a few Mint Leaves in a shaker tin. Shake well and fine strain into an 8 oz Juice or Fizz Glass. Top with Soda Water and garnish with fresh sprigs of mint.

Any drink with leaves of fresh herbs in the shaker tin should always be fine strained. Little green specks of mint look no good in anyone’s teeth, especially when they’re trying to impress their date.

The South Side is another classic cocktail, which really only became possible to make properly with the advent of the modern bar and the return of fresh mint and citrus to the bar set up. It is truly one of the GREAT drinks and a crowd pleaser, tunable for almost any guest, even those that think they don’t like Gin. Also one of my wife’s favorites, give it a try on yours.

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.

Alabama Fizz

First, just a reminder that Sunday, June 26, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

Chicken, EdaMame, and Noodle Stir-Fry

“From “Fresh Flavor Fast,” by Everyday Food, from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living.”

Really, San Francisco Chronicle, a Stir-Fry, “from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living,” is the best you can do? Isn’t that sort of like making a French style recipe from Rick Bayless? A Creole recipe from Grant Achatz? A Mexican recipe from Sandra Lee?

Mrs. Flannestad was taken with the idea of an Edamame and noodle stir-fry, so I set about making this bland recipe a bit more interesting, without making it any less “Fast” or “Fresh”. I may also be a White Ghost, but I think I can push this dish a bit more in the direction of my concept of actual Chinese Food.

Revised Chicken, EdaMame, and Noodle Stir-Fry

INGREDIENTS:

Chicken Marinade
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Chinese Rice Wine
1 Tablespoon Water
dash Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Corn Starch

Sauce
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Chinese Rice Wine
2 Dashes Chinese Black Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch combined dissolved with 1 Tablespoon of water

Minced Seasonings
1 Tablespoon Ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Green Onions, minced

1 Tablespoon Hot Chile Bean Paste

1/2 Chicken Breast, trimmed and sliced
2 Baby Bok Choy heads, Washed and Sliced
1 package Eda Mame, thawed
1/2 package Udon Noodles
Cilantro, washed, stemmed and chopped
Peanut or other vegetable oil

Prep done, I started to get set up for the weekly video. If you look closely, you can see the marinating chicken in the upper left corner.

I was talking to Mrs. Flannestad about the recent videos and she was less than approving. She felt like I’d traded in what was cool about them for the same dumb talking head shit that everyone else who is making cocktail videos does. I see her point.

FIZZES.

Wow, the last big section of drinks. This has to be the Savoy Home Stretch: Fizzes. Coolers. Rickeys. Daisies. Fixes. Juleps. Smashes. Cobblers. Frappe. Punches. Cups!

Alabama Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (Generous Teaspoon Caster Sugar)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and Fill with soda water. Add 2 sprigs of Fresh Mint.

As I was stripping the sprigs of mint to use as garnish, it occurred to me that I could throw the leaves into the mixing tin for a little extra mint zest in the drink. Shortly thereafter, I realized that the Alabama Fizz is pretty much exactly a South Side Cocktail.

As most of the Fizzes seem to come from Hugo Ensslin’s book and the South Side from Harry McElhone, I’m not sure who to exactly credit for the genius of this drink.

But, South Side Cocktail or Alabama Fizz, this is a delicious drink.

Music in the background is from the Harmonia album, “Tracks and Traces“.

Drink made, I set about to cooking dinner.

Revised Chicken, EdaMame, and Noodle Stir-Fry

METHOD:

Combine marinade with chicken, and toss to coat. Put on water to boil the udon noodles, while you do the rest of the prep. Cook until slightly underdone and rinse well. Set aside. Over medium heat, add 1 tsp peanut oil to your wok, and swirl to coat surface. When the peanut oil is heated until smoking, add 1/4 cup more oil to wok. Drain marinade from Chicken. When oil is smoking hot, add half the chicken to the oil and quickly cook. Remove chicken from oil and set aside. Heat oil again and add rest of chicken to cook. Remove chicken from oil, pour all but 1 tablespoon of oil from wok. Heat until smoking and add Minced Seasonings. Cook until fragrant and add Chile Bean Paste. Add Eda Mame and toss. Add Sauce and bring to a simmer. Add Chicken and simmer briefly. Add Bok Choy and when it is again hot, stir in corn starch slurry. Add noodles, toss to coat, and pour out onto serving plate. Sprinkle over Cilantro.

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.

Mr. Manhattan Cocktail

Hey, wait, “Mr. Manhattan,” that sounds familiar! Why, yes, we made the Mr. Manhattan with Neyah White at NOPA a couple years ago. Well, who’s going to complain about making this Julep-ish cocktail again. Heck, it was so warm this week, I’m even going to leave it on cracked ice.

Mr. Manhattan Cocktail
Crush 1 Lump of Sugar in a little water. (1 Demerara Sugar Cube)
Crush 4 Leaves of Fresh Green Mint.
1 Dash Lemon Juice. (Squeeze Meyer Lemon Juice)
4 Dashes Orange Juice. (Squeeze Blood Orange Juice)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Bols Genever)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Or build and add crushed ice, stir, and garnish with mint sprigs.

I have a pretty serious, “one and done,” policy with Savoy Cocktails, and sometimes it is a struggle to get home, get everything together, and make the damn cocktail.

However, looking at this video, I see a lot of mistakes were made in the execution of this version of the Mr. Manhattan.

My first mistake was being literal and using a sugar cube. There’s no reason, really, to use a sugar cube in a cocktail. They just don’t dissolve well enough unless you spend about a half an hour muddling the damn thing. Use simple syrup, superfine, or at least caster sugar any time you are mixing drinks. My second mistake was that it’s really apparent I over squeezed the Meyer Lemon and undersqueezed the orange. I should have been using a measuring cup, so the juice wasn’t going right into the drink. Last, I used the stupid wrong spoon to mix with. I should have grabbed the spoon with the disk end, so I could do a good job of churning up this julep-ish version of the Mr. Manhattan.

All the same, this wasn’t bad at all, if a bit dry. There are definitely a lot of good points to the Genever Mr. Manhattan and I strongly recommend it as a drink. Just do a better job of mixing it than I did.

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.

Tipperary Cocktail (No. 2)

Tipperary Cocktail (No. 2)
1/6 Orange Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Orange Juice)
1/6 Grenadine. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Grenadine)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Martin Miller’s Gin)
2 Sprigs Green Mint. (2 sadly nearly decimated Sprigs “Julep Mint”, 1 Sprig “The Survivor” Lemon Balm)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I’ve been trying to grow Spearmint in my back yard for several years now.

Mint! Did you hear me? Trying to grow Mint! It’s crazy, everyone else I know has to beat the Mint back with a stick, it grows out of control without them even trying.

However, I have been foiled on every attempt. One turned black and just disappeared, one got dried out in a couple days of inexplicably hot weather, the last plant chewed down to the veins by some unnamed pest.

It’s just sad, I barely had enough to qualify as 2 sprigs in this drink, so I added some of the lemon balm that does grow like a pest in my back yard, self seeding and spreading everywhere.

This is a tad sweet, as a cocktail, really could use a dash of lemon or lime to balance out that Grenadine. On the whole, though, not so bad.

I suppose rather than being the tipple of choice among the Irish of Tipperary, this was more likely a beverage favored by the British Soldiers and Officers living in the Barracks.

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.

South Side Cocktail

South Side Cocktail
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon)
1/2 Tablespoonful of Powdered Sugar. (Heaping teaspoon Caster Sugar)
2 Sprigs Fresh Mint.
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Tanqueray Gin)
Shake well and strain into medium size glass. Add dash of siphon soda water.

These days, the South Side is almost always made as an up cocktail, with no soda. A mint Gimlet.

However, the Savoy version of the drink includes, “a dash of siphon soda water,” which is more or less how I made it.

Looking at Harry McElhone’s recipe for the South Side makes the drink’s origins as a minty Fizz even clearer:

“Juice of 1 Lemon, 1 teaspoon of Sugar, 2 or 3 sprigs of Fresh Mint, 1 glass of Gin (Gordon). Shake well and strain into a medium-size tumbler, and add Syphon.”

Double the lemon, decrease the sugar, and serve it in a “medium-size” tumbler. Basically a fizzy, ginny, minty, lemonade.

Depending on the weather, I can see the merits of either version. A hot day, you’re sitting on the porch in the country. Sipping the long version sounds awfully appealing. Dark day in a metropolitan city, sitting at the bar, who has time for that sort of thing? All we need is the flavored booze, thank you very much, and we will be on our way to our next engagement.

Guess it depends on your mood.

Are you just passing through or here to stay?

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.