Port Wine Sangaree

Port Wine Sangaree
1 1/3 Wineglasses of Port Wine. (Generous 2 oz Smith & Woodhouse 1999 Late Bottled Vintage Port)
1 Teaspoonful of Sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)
(1 oz Chilled Sparkling Water)
Fill tumbler 2/3 full of ice. Shake well and grate nutmeg on top. (Err, well, as in the previous two Sangarees, muddle sugar in a splash of soda water to dissolve. Add big ice cube, pour over port, stir briefly, and top with an ounce of Chilled Sparkling water. Garnish with Lemon Twist and Nutmeg.)

I’ve been annoying the wine clerk at Canyon Market this week, he keeps asking me what I need, hoping to make some swank and perceptive wine recommendation, and I say “Well, I need some Madeira for a 18th Century Drink I’m making.” Fortunately, they do have small, but decent, selection of fortified wines.

I had to explain the whole Sangaree thing, and he got it right away. “You mean something you could drink on your lunch our and your boss wouldn’t fire you?” Exactly. Just enough to take the edge off, but not enough to get much of a buzz.

Or, as David Wondrich remarked last night at the Cointreau event at the Boothby Center for Beverage Arts, “…They just didn’t have bottled soft drinks back then, and sometimes you’d want something a little milder than a cocktail.”

Anyway, I picked this Late Bottle Vintage Port, because I wanted a Port with enough “grip” to stand up to being diluted. So many of the modern Ruby Ports are being made in such a mild, sweet style, as to be nearly Sangarees without adding the extra water and sugar for dilution.

This Port Wine Sangaree and the Madeira Sangaree were definitely my favorites of the bunch. Give them a try some hot summer afternoon and tell me they are not great drinks.

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.

Windy Corner Cocktail

Windy Corner Cocktail
1 Glass Blackberry Brandy.
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. A little nutmeg on top.

Yeah, that doesn’t make any sense to me either. Cold Blackberry Liqueur with a grating of Nutmeg?

That’s not even at the level of the only marginally tolerable Poop Deck Cocktail.

Shall we re-envision the Windy Corner slightly?

Breezy Corner Cocktail

1 oz Leopold Brothers Rocky Mountain Blackberry Liqueur
1 oz Osocalis Brandy
Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Grate on a dusting of nutmeg.

Still, no, no thank you.

Without the Poop Deck’s port to leaven the weight of the Blackberry Brandy, this is pretty undrinkable, even mixed 50-50 with booze.

If this sort of thing is interesting, just go with Dick Bradsell’s Bramble and save yourself the pain.

From Paul Clarke’s column over on Serious Eats:

Bramble Cocktail

* 1 1/2 ounces gin (Plymouth recommended)
* 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 ounce simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, mixed until sugar dissolves)
* 3/4 ounce creme de mure (blackberry liqueur)

Combine gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in an old-fashioned glass and stir to mix. Fill with crushed ice and briefly stir. Gently pour liqueur atop ice. Garnish with fresh blackberries and a slice of lemon.

You’ll thank me (and Paul) later.

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.

Whiskey Special Cocktail

Whisky Special Cocktail
(6 People)
3 Glasses Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon)
2 Glasses French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Glass Orange Juice. (1/4 oz Orange Juice)
Pour into the shaker and shake, adding a little nutmeg serve with an olive.

This is a very dry cocktail.

Sorry about the picture there, exposure problem due to pushing the film and forgetting to turn on the meter.

So, not only is this a “very dry” cocktail, but it is also a very weird cocktail.

Dry Manhattan with a bit of orange juice, nutmeg, and an OLIVE?

Really?

All right, there we go, we’ll do it.

Shudder!

Well, if you like Dry Manhattans, I guess this might be an interesting, uh, change of pace for you. If not, you can probably give this not very Special cocktail a skip.

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.

Tom & Jerry Cocktail

Tom and Jerry.*
1 Egg.
1/2 Glass Jamaica Rum. (1/2 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum)
1 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (Heaping Teaspoon Caster Sugar)
1/2 Glass Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Pellahaut Armaganac Reserve)
Beat up yolk and white of egg separately. Then mix the yolk, and white together. Use stem glass or china mug, adding the spirits, then fill with boiling water, grating nutmeg on top.

*The Tom and Jerry was invented by Professor Jerry Thomas — rise please — over seventy years ago, in the days when New York was the scene of the soundest drinking on earth. The Tom and Jerry and the Blue Blazer — the latter a powerful concoction of burning whisky and boiling water– were the greatest cold weather beverages of that era.

Well, from reading David Wondrich’s fine book, “Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar,” we know that Jerry Thomas probably did not invent this drink. It really isn’t anything more than a hot flip, a pretty darn common drink, though flips were more likely made with Ale or Fortified Wine in the early days of our country.

For some reason this cocktail is one which, like Egg Nog, provokes a pretty strong response when you mention it to people. I’m not really exactly sure why, as it is nothing more than boozy custard in a glass, something I am totally down with. Heck, the eggs are even cooked. I guess, like Egg Nog, it probably has to do with people’s bad experiences with Tom & Jerry made from pre-packaged, over sweet, “batters”.

I got some flack from friends, when I mentioned I was making a Tom and Jerry in August. Suffering through horrible hot summers on the East Coast or in the Midwest, they were like, “Are you crazy?” Let me assure you, Tom & Jerrys are perfectly appropriate drinks for the fog shrouded, misty, cold nights that pass for “summer” here in San Francisco. It wasn’t for naught that Mark Twain was (incorrectly) attributed with the following quote, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

As far as method goes, this worked pretty well for a bar friendly method the other night: Add the egg, booze, and sugar to a mixing tin with the spring from a hawthorne strainer. “Dry Shake” vigorously for 10 seconds. Break the seal. Remove the spring.  Into the tin without the eggs, add about an ounce of hot water from the hot water tower. Pour the hot water into the whipped eggs, then quickly back and forth between the tins several times. Pour into a glass, and top with freshly grated nutmeg.

Instant Tom & Jerry, and boy, the Smith & Cross and Armagnac combination is freaking delicious.

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.

Pauline Cocktail

Pauline Cocktail

Pauline Cocktail
(6 People)

3 Glasses Rum. (1 1/2 oz Barbancourt White Rum)
3 Glasses Sweetened Lemon Juice. (1 oz Lemon Juice, 1/2 oz Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Absinthe Bitters.  (1 Dash Verte de Fougerolles Absinthe)
A little Nutmeg, grated.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I tried this one both with Gin and Wormwood and plain old Absinthe. I found I preferred the regular Absinthe.

Since it doesn’t specify what type of rum to use here, and I’ve really been digging Barbancourt’s white rum lately, I chose to use it in this cocktail. Barbancourt’s rums are produced from Cane Juice so they have a bit of flavor in common with the Rhum Agricoles from Martinique and elsewhere. However, their white rum has less of the harshness and funk of the white rums from those areas.

Proves to work quite well in this Daiquiri-like cocktail.

No idea who the eponymous Pauline might have been, but I like her taste in 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.

Grace’s Delight Cocktail

Grace’s Delight Cocktail
(6 People)
Fill a large glass with broken ice and place in it 2 glasses of Whisky, 2 ½ glasses of French Vermouth and half a glass of Raspberry Brandy. Add the juice of half an Orange, a teaspoonful of Orange-flower water, 3 Juniper berries, a bit of Cinnamon and a little Nutmeg.
Stir well with a big silver spoon, pour the mixture, straining it, into a cocktail shaker holding about a pint. Shake and keep for an hour on ice. Serve.

Grace’s Delight Cocktail, revised

1 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
1 1/4 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/4 ounce Chambord
Juice 1/8 Orange
Dash Orange Flower Water
2 Juniper Berries
Pinch Cinnamon
Pinch freshly ground Nutmeg

Crush Juniper berries in the bottom of a mixing glass or tin. Add Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Rye. Let stand for at least an hour. Add remaining ingredients, shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

I have to admit I’ve been looking forward to Grace’s Delight since I first read through the Savoy Cocktail Book a few years ago. However, the instructions never really made much sense to me. I’ve done my best to render them into a semblance of order. Sorry Grace, I don’t have a big silver spoon, and, I guess, technically, Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur, not red raspberry.

In any case, the result of the above procedure is actually quite tasty. Albeit in a sort of odd, fruity, spicy way. More like a mini punch than a cocktail. I’d certainly drink it again.

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.