Eeyore’s Requiem

When we visited The Violet Hour a couple years ago, one of the favorite drinks we tried there was called “Eeyore’s Requiem”.

It’s a little bit of an odd drink, most drinks are made with the bulk of their ingredients being Spirits.

With Eeyore’s Requiem, it is kind of the reverse. Most of the drink is various bitter Italian liqueurs, or Amaros, and vermouth with the minor part of the drink being Gin.

I later learned that the cocktail was created by Toby Maloney, aka Alchemist on eGullet.org, for The Violet Hour. The recipe was published in a few places, including Serious Eats and eGullet.org.

Eeyore's Requiem

Eeyore’s Requiem

Eeyore’s Requiem

1 1/2 oz Campari
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Dry Gin
1/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
15 drops Miracle Mile Orange Bitters

Stir on ice until well chilled and strain into a cocktail glass. Express a peel of an orange over the glass, and garnish with a ‘pig tail’ orange peel.

To make the ‘pig tail’ orange garnish, start with a whole orange. Using a channel knife cut, make continuous spiral cut of peel, as you can see in the picture above.

For all the rough and tumble of the bitter ingredients of this drink, it is surprisingly smooth.

For what is is worth, it’s a bit rich, maybe a better after dinner, than before, dinner drink.

Or if you’re serving it before, lighten it with a bit of sparkling water or wine.

In either case, it is delicious!

Buck’s Fizz

As usual, I got home and did the prep for this evening’s dinner. This time, arborio rice with fresh porcini mushroom and smoked salmon.

Soak dry mushrooms. Brunoise of carrots and onions. Washed and sliced leeks. Sliced fresh porcini. Drain Mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid. Mince dried mushrooms. Crumble smoked salmon. Chop fresh herbs.

After getting that in the can, I filmed the week’s cocktail, the Buck’s Fizz.

Bucks Fizz
Use long tumbler.
1/4 Glass Orange Juice.
Fill with Champagne.

My plan was to:

Rinse glass with Miracle Mile Orange Bitters, pour bitters into mixing glass.

Make Buck’s Fizz in bitters rinsed glass.

Then make a real drink with orange bitters, like a Martini… Oh crap, I have no Dry Vermouth.

Well, make the unjustly ignored Jabberwock Cocktail instead, since I have Gin, Sherry, and Cocchi Americano.

Jabberwock Cocktail*
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Miracle Mile Orange Bitters)
1/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Junipero Gin)
1/3 Dry Sherry. (3/4 oz Manzanilla Sherry)
1/3 Caperitif. (3/4 oz Cocchi Americano or Lillet Blanc)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon (er, orange) peel on top.
* This will made you gyre and gamble in the wabe until brillig all right, all right.

So, Buck’s Fizz. Isn’t that just a Mimosa? Well, sometimes you’ll see Buck’s Fizz variations which include Cherry Heering, Orange Liqueur, Gin, or Grenadine and most Mimosas are equal parts orange juice and champagne, but, yep, at it’s most basic, The Buck’s Fizz is a fairly dry version of the Mimosa. Or the Mimosa is a Orange Juice heavy Buck’s Fizz.

Is there anything wrong with spiking your champagne with a little Vitamin C?

Always a mess. Clean up, upload photos and video.

Make the dressing for the tomato salad. Slice Tomatoes. Wash greens.

Put reserved mushroom soaking liquid over low heat and add additional chicken or vegetable stock. Heat 2 saute pans. In one large enough to hold your rice dish, add oil and 1 cup arborio rice. Heat until toasted and fragrant. Add carrot and onion brunoise, toss and cook until tender. Add chicken stock and cook until rice is nearly tender, adding more stock as necessary. While this is going on, saute your porcini mushrooms, when they have given up most of their liquid, add the leeks. Remove from heat and reserve. When rice is nearly tender, add the minced dried mushrooms, sauteed mixture, and herbs. Stir in some grated cheese, if you like, and the crumbled salmon. Top with a little more grated cheese and serve while warm. Toss salad and serve with warm crusty bread.

Music in the video is from the new Amon Tobin CD, “ISAM”.

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.

Straits Sling

Can I just say, I have zero idea what the Raffles, Singapore, or Straits Sling have to do with the earlier beverage of the same name, aka the garnished toddy.

And as far as I can tell, no one else has much idea, either, even when they were popping up, seemingly around the early portion of the 20th Century.

In fact, I’d argue for a separate name for these tall, tropical-ish, pink beverages. How about “Colonial Slings”?

Straits Sling
(for 6)
Place in a shaker 4 glasses of Gin, 1 glass of Benedictine, 1 glass of Cherry Brandy, the Juice of 2 Lemons, a teaspoonful of Angostura Bitters, and one of Orange Bitters.
Shake sufficiently and serve in large glasses, filling up with Soda water.

So, I thought it would be interesting to look at a couple recipes for these “Colonial Slings”.

Trader Vic, in the 1948 edition of his “Bartender’s Guide” includes Slings in a section with Sangarees. About the grouping, he says:

Sangarees are tall drinks, made like Old-Fashioneds but without bitters, and are usually topped with a dash of nutmeg. Slings, on the other hand, in their simpler versions, are pointed up with bitters or a similar type of flavoring and resemble elongated Old-Fashioneds with the addition of a little lemon. With the exception of the Singapore Slings, this entire group of drinks has little merit.

Among these beverages of, “little merit,” he includes several recipes which follow the mold in his description including the Applejack Sling, the Brandy Sling, the Fancy Sling (with Brandy, benedictine, Lemon, Pernod, and Maraschino!) and finally one exotically named the Jungle Fire Sling:

Jungle Fire Sling.
1 oz Cherry Brandy
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Parfait Amour
1 oz Brandy
Stir in a 12 oz glass; fill with shaved ice, fill glass with ginger beer.

Wow, great name, but If you try that one, you might want to pre-book an appointment with the Dentist.

Of Trader Vic’s Singapore and/or Raffles Slings, there are three.

Raffles Sling
1 oz dry gin
1 oz cherry brandy
1 oz benedictine
Shake with cracked ice; strain into 12 oz glass containing several lumps of ice; fill with chilled club soda and garnish with the spiral peel of 1 green lime.

Another far too sweet one, there!

Singapore Sling–1
1 1/2 oz dry gin
1/2 oz Cherry Brandy
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 lime
1 tsp grenadine
1/4 oz sloe gin
1/2 oz Creme de Cassis
Squeeze lime and drop into 12 oz glass with cracked ice; add rest of ingredients and stir well; fill rest of glass with selzer.

7 Ingredients? Thank goodness I never worked for Trader Vic!

Singapore Sling–2
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 dash benedictine
3/4 oz cherry brandy
2 oz dry gin
Stir in a 12oz glass with cracked ice; decorate with slice of orange and sprig of mint; fill with selzer and serve with straws.

Well, all I can say is, thank goodness by 1972 Trader Vic only included 1 Sling in his revised edition of the “Bartender’s Guide”. Pretty much the same as the above Singapore Sling–1, with a little tweaking of the amounts of the different ingredients. Apparently the heyday of the Sling had passed.

Singapore Sling

1 lime
1 dash grenadine
1/4 oz creme de cassis
1/2 oz sloe gin
1/2 oz cherry liqueur
1 oz gin
Club soda
Cut lime, squeeze juice over ice cubes in a 12-ounce chimney glass, and save 1 lime shell. Add remaining ingredients except soda. Fill glass with soda. Stir. Decorate with spent lime shell, orange slice, and a cherry.

Down to 6 ingredients and a not too elaborate garnish. Whew, I guess by the 1970s things had calmed down a touch. Though I still question the cluster of cherry-berry flavors. Are Sloe Gin, Cherry Liqueur, Grenadine, and Creme de Cassis all really necessary in the same drink? I also want to note that in 1972 Trader Vic has opted for the less confusing, “Cherry Liqueur,” over the somewhat ambiguous “Cherry Brandy”.

Regarding Slings and Toddies, perpetual crank David A. Embury says the following in his 1948 book, “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks”.

The dictionaries define both Slings and Toddies as “mixtures of sweetened spirits and water.” While Slings have always been served both hot and cold, the toddy was originally a hot drink only. Today, however, Toddies, as well as Slings are served both hot and cold. Slings are usually made with lemon and either sugar or some sweet liqueur. Toddies usually contain a thin slice of lemon or a piece of lemon peel but no lemon juice. Also, they usually contain one or more spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg. These differences, however, are merely incidental and, when served hot, it is difficult, if not impossible, to distiguish between a Sling and a Toddy. One distinction between the cold drinks is that a Toddy is usually made with plain water, Slings with charged water or Ginger Ale.

SINGAPORE SLING Of alll the recipes published for this drink, I have never seen any two that were alike. Essentially it is a Gin Sling with the addition of cherry brandy. The following is typical of the various recipes.

1 teaspoonful Sugar Syrup
Juice of 1/4 large Lemon or 1/2 large Lime
1 pony Cherry Brandy (Kirsch)
1 1/2 jiggers Gin
1 dash Angostura

Shake and strain into 8 oz Highball glass or use 10 oz glass and leave 1 large ice cube in the glass. Fill glass with charged water. Some recipes call for the addition of Benedictine. Also, some call for ginger ale in place of the charged water. A slice of lemon peel should be twisted over and dropped in the drink.

Some good points, there, especially the comment, “Of alll the recipes published for this drink, I have never seen any two that were alike.” Also interesting that Embury is the only one I’ve seen, up until some modern authors, to specify “Kirsch”. Well, he did like his cocktails on the dry side. Though, you will see, as is typical of recipes which forgo Cherry Liqueur for Cherry Eau-de-Vie, that the authors find themselves adding sugar syrup to a recipe which usually doesn’t contain any.

Anyway, unless I’m working at Heaven’s Dog, where we make the Slanted Door Singapore Sling as our house recipe, I always make the following Charles Baker, Jr. recipe when I have a request for Straits or Singapore Slings.

The Paramaribo Park Club Gin Sling from the Dutch Guiana Capital City of Suriname

Actually this sling was something of an improvement over the sweetish Raffles job, to your Pastor’s present-day taste. It was a trifle dryer, had a bit more lime juice than average here in the United States; and, finally the inclusion of the crushed–seeded–lime hulls in the finished drink lent added aroma and flavor as they do in Gin Rickeys.

2 oz Best Dry Gin
1 Pony Cherry Brandy (1 oz Cherry Heering)
Juice & Hulls 2 small limes (1 oz Lime Juice)
1 tsp each Cognac & Benedictine

Shake with fine ice till quite cold, strain into short highball glass, letting some of the ice go in also. Cap with chilled club soda; garnish with ripe pineapple stick &/or cherry. Personally we float-on the Benedictine-Cognac after finished drink’s poured.

A lot of times Baker gets flack for drinks that need to be significantly massaged before they are palatable. Heh, well, if there was anyone who understood the appeal of the dying embers of Colonialism, it was Charles Baker, Jr. To me this version of the “Colonial Sling” just works. Give it a try and let me know if you think so too.

Addenda: while I was chatting via email with Erik Adkins about Slings, he suggested I also send a note to exotic drink expert Martin Cate, of Smuggler’s Cove, who he said had expended a fair amount of energy researching the recipe he uses for this drink.

I did a ton of digging before putting it on my menu, and I just couldn’t find anything resembling consensus on the issue. Between Dale, Difford, Regan, etc. etc. there were a lot of opinions. I’m reasonably confident in the role of Heering & Benedictine, I’m not confident in the role of pineapple juice. Below is what I went with, though I ended up calling it a Straits Sling on my menu, but still maintain that the Sing Sling was probably pretty close.

.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.25 oz simple syrup (or to taste)
.25 oz Benedictine
.5 oz Heering
1.5 oz Plymouth
dash orange bitters
dash Angostura bitters
2 oz seltzer.

I think the double bitters was something that B&B or Rickhouse was doing that I liked.

Which brings us back to something very close to a single serving version of the Straits Sling at the beginning of this post! Sounds delicious, I believe a field trip to Smuggler’s Cove shall be in order!

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.

Zazarac Cocktail

Wow, this cocktail, and one more and a major portion of this project completed.

Oh, wait, I will have to change the footer, if I am going to continue on after the Zed…

Zazarac Cocktail
1/6 Bacardi Rum. (1/2 oz 3/4 oz Barbancourt 8 Year)
1/6 Anisette. (1/2 oz 3/4 oz Anis del Mono dulce)
1/6 Gomme Syrup. (1/2 oz 3/4 oz Mesquite Bean Syrup)
1/3 Canadian Club Whisky. (1/3 oz Rittenhouse Bonded)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Bitters)
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters)
3 Dashes Absinthe. (3 dash Absinthe)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

Out of Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup, so instead substituting Mesquite Bean Syrup, which is made by extracting the juice from the mesquite bean pods that grow abundantly in the deserts of the southwestern United States.

As usual, in cocktails sourced from Harry McElhone’s 1928 “ABC of Cocktails”, that Harry Calls for Rye Whiskey instead of the Savoy Cocktail Book’s Canadian Club.

Such a long ingredient list, you just sort of wonder what was going on in the head of the person who threw all this together. Had they had a Sazerac many years ago and were attempting to recreate the flavor with ingredients they had at hand?

There is an interesting and somewhat unexpected spiciness, reminiscent of fruitcake. Still, there is no way this is anything other than way too sweet, even well stirred.

Spatchcock that chicken.

Really, I just like to say, “Spatchcock”. It’s probably a character flaw.

But it really is an awesome way to flatten out a chicken and roast it evenly. Works for Turkeys too!

The Roast Chicken with bread salad from Zuni Cafe, no matter how literally you take Judy Rodgers’ crazily detailed instructions, is a truly awesome presentation. One of the best dishes from that generation of chefs. Roast a chicken. Then deglaze your pan with wine and a little vinegar. Adjust seasonings. Fill a bowl with bitter greens, like Arugula, add some freshly toasted croutons. Pour the warm dressing over the greens and croutons and toss to combine. Serve your roast chicken pieces on top. So tasty!

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.

Zanzibar Cocktail

The countdown to the last “Cocktail” continues.

Say it with me, “FOUR!”

Zanzibar Cocktail
(6 People)
The Juice of 1 1/2 Lemons. (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1 Glass Gin. (1/2 oz Anchor Junipero Gin)
3 Glasses French Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Perucchi Vermouth Blanco)
1 or 2 Dessertspoonsful Sugar Syrup. (Pinch Caster Sugar)
If desired, 1 Spoonful Orange Bitters. (3 dash orange bitters)
Shake well and serve with a piece of lemon rind.

With the sweetness of the Perucchi Vermouth Blanco, I went light on the sweetener in the Zanzibar.

This is an interesting cocktail, essentially a Vermouth Sour with a touch of gin, it’s really quite enjoyable. Light and refreshing, it is nearly the polar opposite of the short sharp shock of a traditional Gin Sour. A great aperitif Cocktail, and another to add to the list of enjoyable Savoy Low Alcohol Beverages.

Since we were going light on the amount of Gin in this cocktail, I also didn’t feel shy about using something as strong and juniper heavy as the Anchor Junipero.

Recommended.

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.

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.

Yale Cocktail

Yale Cocktail
3 Dashes Orange Bitters. (3 Dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 Dash Angostura)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into small glass. Add a little syphon and squeeze lemon peel on top.

I guess this isn’t one of those cocktails that’s probably going to get a whole lot of new fans from me writing it up.

All booze with dashes of Orange and Angostura Bitters, this is not for the faint of heart. Even the “little syphon” doesn’t do much to soften the blow.

On the other hand, using a pleasant Gin, like the Hayman’s Old Tom, there is nothing wrong with this formulation, even if it is a little plain.

Odd that, who was it, Dashiell Hammett chose to give one of his characters a fondness for a drink as girly as the Gimlet. You’d think Gin and not much else would be closer to the hard boiled ethos, even if it is named after an Ivy League School.

I guess those jokers in the Skull and Bones Club know a thing or two about the proper way to drink.

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.

Xeres Cocktail

Xeres Cocktail
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
1 Dash Peach Bitters. (1 dash Fee’s Peach Bitters)
1 Glass Sherry. (2 oz Blandy’s 5 Year Alvada Madeira)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

I just couldn’t find a Sherry I wanted to drink during the day before the night I had to make this.

On the other hand, I had this Madeira sitting around…

Swap one Old Wine for another?

Why not? I’ve never really bonded with most Sherry, anyway.

Wow, tasty!

Feel a little bad about messing with such a tasty Madeira, but all the same, a more than pleasing cocktail.

And, I got to share the rest of the bottle with Mrs. Flannestad after dinner!

A win for both of us.

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.

Whizz-Bang 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.

Whizz-Bang Cocktail
2 Dashes Absinthe. (2 Dash Absinthe Duplais Verte)
2 Dashes Grenadine. (1 tsp. Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 Dash Angostura Orange)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Scotch Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Highland Park 8 Year Old, MacPhail’s Collection)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.
I suspect the source of this cocktail is Robert Vermiere’s 1922 recipe book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”. He notes, “Recipe by Tommy Burton, Sports’ Club, London, 1920. This cocktail is named after the high-velocity shells, so called by the “Tommies” during the war, because all you heard was a whiz and the explosion of the shell immediately afterwards.”

From the wikipedia article:

Tommy Atkins – or Thomas Atkins – has been used as a generic name for a common British soldier for many years. The precise origin is a subject of debate, but it is known to have been used as early as 1743. A letter sent from Jamaica about a mutiny amongst the troops says “except for those from N. America (mostly Irish Papists) ye Marines and Tommy Atkins behaved splendidly”. The surname Atkins means “little son of red earth”, a reference to the soldiers in their red tunics. Tommy (a diminutive of Thomas), meaning twin, has been a very popular English male name since Saint Thomas Becket was martyred in the 12th century.

For all the not so subtle menace implied by the name and the quote, this is a fairly easy going and drinkable cocktail. A sort of Rob Roy variation, the dry vermouth allows the Scotch to come more to the fore, even with the few embellishments. I got this Absinthe in a small tasting bottle a while ago, and am finding it pleasant, though a tad less assertive compared to other Absinthes I sometimes use. I suppose that isn’t entirely a bad thing for mixed drinks.

You sometimes get requests for Scotch Cocktails and there are not really all that many options. The Whizz-Bang would be a nice change up from the usual Bobby Burns, Rob Roy, Affinity, Blood and Sand, Laphroig Project, and Penicillin Cocktails.

Breaking News Update!

Between my making this cocktail and the post hitting the schedule, I heard from Craig Lane, of Bar Agricole. He wanted to put the cocktail on the menu there and was looking for source corroboration for the story related to its origin.

I provided the quote from Robert Vermeire and he asked if I was interested in the specifics of the version at their restaurant. Well, of course!

We decided to use the Sutton Cellars Brown Label vermouth, which synced up rather nicely with the palate of Famous Grouse. It was one of those recipes that didn’t require much tweaking after that. 1.5 oz Scotch, .75 oz Sutton Vermouth, 1 barspoon Grenadine, 2 dash Orange Bitters (ours), 2 dash Absinthe (Leopold’s).

Clearly a field trip to check out the Bar Agricole version is in order!

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 Cocktail

White Cocktail
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters)
2 Teaspoonsful Anisette. (2 tsp. Anis del Mono Dulce)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Junipero Gin)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

According to Robert Vermiere’s “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”, this is a, “Recipe by Harry Brecker, Antwerp.”

I guess Mr. Brecker was fond of the booze, as this is nothing but cold booze and Orange Bitters.

I also found myself enjoying it, though aware that this enjoyment was a somewhat dangerous, double edged sword, with potential consequences.

As to why Junipero Gin, sometimes there is no time for half measures.

Or as Winston Churchill said, “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.”

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.