Transvaal Cocktail

First, just a reminder that this Sunday, September 26, 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.

Transvaal Cocktail
3 Dashes Orange Bitters. (3 dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
1/2 Gin. (1 oz Ransom Old Tom)
1/2 Caperitif. (1 tsp Amaro Montenegro, 1 oz Dolin Blanc)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze Orange Peel over glass and drop in.)

Hm, a Fifty-Fifty type cocktail. Definitely going to want a fairly high proof, high intensity Gin to go in this one.

Hmm…

Ransom Old Tom it is! Ha! That will teach Harry Craddock to not specify what sort of Gin to use in the Cocktail!

Aromatic and Orange-tastic? The Orange peel may have been overkill with all that orange bitters.

Still, this is pretty nice, if you’re looking for some way to use up that Dolin Blanc and Old Tom.

From the Transvaal Colony Wikipedia Entry:

The Transvaal (Afrikaans, lit. beyond the Vaal River) is the name of an area of northern South Africa. Originally the bulk of the independent Boer South African Republic, which had existed since 1856, despite two previous attempts by the British of varying success to establish supremacy; after the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 it became the Transvaal Colony, and eventually one of the founding provinces of the Union of South Africa.

As is usual with Caperitif containing cocktails, the name refers to South Africa.

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.

Tinton Cocktail

Tinton Cocktail
1/3 Port Wine. (sink 3/4 oz Warre’s Warrior Porto)
2/3 Applejack or Calvados. (1 1/2 oz MONTREUIL RESERVE CALVADOS)
(dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
Shake (Stir, please) well (the Calvados and orange bitters) and strain into cocktail glass. (Over the back of a spoon, pour the Port Wine down the side of the glass as a “sink”.

When I first made the Princeton Cocktail, I didn’t realize that properly made, the Port Wine should be added as a “sink”. Attempting to rectify that situation, I have applied that methodology to the Tinton. I think it looks, and tastes, kind of cool.

A few years ago, when I was first getting to know my mother-in-law, I discovered her displeasure at having her Old-Fashioned glasses cleared before she felt she was finished with them. She enjoyed lingering over the dregs of the cocktail, the diluted bitters and whiskey, which collected in the bottom of her glass. Woe betide the waiter, who cleared that glass without asking.

When thinking about that, I started thinking about the tautology of the life of a cocktail. You want it to be enjoyable to the drinker for the whole time they have it, not everyone is “one and done” with their drink.

Which also got me to thinking about cocktails which evolve while you drink them.

The Old-Fashioned is a good example. Usually, when it is put in front of you, the ice has only begun to melt. It should sting a little. As you savor, the ice melts further, chilling and diluting the drink. By the end, you are left with mostly water, which on a hot, humid day in Wisconsin, isn’t a bad thing.

In a similar way, ‘Ti Punch is another drink which can be a bit of a bear the first few sips, the heat and fire of the Rhum Agricole needs time to be tamed by the melt from the cubes and to blend with the cane syrup and lime peel.

In a more obvious way, the Princeton changes as you drink it. The first few sips will be almost entirely cold Gin. Then as you tilt it back, you find it being more mixed with the Port. The last few sips will mostly be Port.

This works just as well, orignal recipe intention or not, with the Tinton. And I do think the Orange Bitters were a nice addition.

Admittedly, most cocktail drinkers, we hope, down their cocktails quickly, while they are still cold.

But some drinks are meant to be lingered over, to enjoy the puzzle provided by the evolution of the spirits, ice, and flavor as they mingle over time.

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.

Mr. Eric Sutton’s Gin Blind Cocktail

Mr. Eric Sutton’s Gin Blind Cocktail
6 Parts Gin. (1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin)
3 Parts Curacao. (3/4 oz Clement Creole Shrubb)
2 Parts Brandy. (1/2 oz Germain-Robin Fine Alambic Brandy)
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters, 1 Dash Fee’s)

Invented by THE Mr. Sutton. Chelsea Papers please copy. This is a very troublesome form of refreshment.

I went with a quarter ounce per “part”.

Well, if there was ever a cocktail that needed a “hard shake”, it’s this one, simply based on the proof of the ingredients involved. Though, aside from the measurements and strength, I’m don’t know what is so very “troublesome” about this “refreshment”. A tad sweet, but nothing particularly evil or insidious…

Looking up Eric Sutton, I’m not sure who this might be named after. Google is not particularly helpful.

There was a gentleman of that name who worked translating many books, notably Sartre and de Maupassant, into English in the 1920s through the 1950s. Though now that I look closer, it seems he translated books for Constable & Co, the publishers of the original version of the Savoy Cocktail Book! Oh ho!

One friend suggested that Carl Sutton, of Sutton Cellars fame, and myself should get together, drink a bunch of these, and get into some trouble. Knowing Carl, I believe that would be the outcome, no matter what we might be drinking.

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.

Southern Gin Cocktail

Southern Gin Cocktail
2 Dashes Curacao. (5ml/1tsp Brizard Orange Curacao)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Junipero Gin)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze Orange Peel over glass and drop in.)

Wow, well, while, like the Aviation Cocktail, this comes from Hugo Ensslin’s “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”. Unlike the Aviation, I don’t think you’ll be seeing it on any bar menus in the near future. Talk about your gin Cock-tails, this is exactly that, a literal 19th Century style “Gin Cocktail”. If you don’t really enjoy the gin you’re mixing with, this cocktail is not going to fix it.

Most importantly, should you order this cocktail tonight, May 23, during the next Savoy Night at Alembic Bar? You know, with an Old Tom or Genever, this might be an interesting cocktail. But with a Dry Gin, this is pretty much just a big, cold, glass of slightly orangey gin. Unless you’re ready to deal with that, this is probably not the cocktail for you.

Hope to see you tonight from 6PM on, at Alembic Bar, next to the Red Vic, in the Upper Haight!

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.

Black Prince Cocktail

While it is fun to go out to Smuggler’s Cove, I find I have a semi-low tolerance for tropical drinks.

Fortunately, Martin Cate’s menu encompasses more than just Exotic drinks. In fact, it is nearly a cross section of Rum Cocktails from the beginning of their history to the present day.

For example, the other day I rather enjoyed the Black Prince, which could only be described as a rum version of the NY “brown, bitter, and stirred”.

According to the Smuggler’s Cove menu it is, “A dark and complex concoction consisting of aged Guatemalan rum, Punt e Mes, Averna, and orange bitters. Created by Phil Ward at Death & Co. in NYC, this is an excellent showcase of rum’s versatility.”

In fact I enjoyed it so much, I decided to try to replicate it at home!

I don’t know the exact recipe, and also don’t have Punt e Mes in the house at the moment, but found this version of the drink quite enjoyable.

1 1/2 oz Zacapa 23
3/4 oz Carpano Antica
1/2 oz Averna
1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters, 1 dash Fee’s Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Hm, while I liked the Punt e Mes version at Smuggler’s Cove a lot, I think I may like it a bit more with Carpano Antica, as it is not quite so sweet. Gonna have to give it a try again when I get Punt e Mes back in the house.

If anyone knows the exact recipe, drop me a note or comment.

–Edit–

Thanks to Matt Browner Hamlin for the proper Black Prince, straight from Phil Ward:

2 oz dark aged rum
0.75 oz Punt e Mes
0.5 oz Averna
Dash orange bitters

Stir and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Snicker Cocktail

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Snicker Cocktail
The White of 1 Egg
2 Dashes Maraschino. (5ml Luxardo Maraschino)
1 Teaspoonful Syrup. (5ml Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup)
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well and strain into medium size glass.

As always, lemon-free drinks with egg whites puzzle me.

The Snicker is basically a Martini, or dry Martinez, with egg white.  We’ve made this the odd time during Savoy Cocktail Book nights at Alembic. I guess on the strength of the name?

Actually, the Millionaire No. 2, is another lemon free egg white drink, along with some of the Savoy “Pink” drinks.

In addition, some of the oldest Clover Club recipes have no lemon, only Dry Vermouth.  Most people interpret those Clover Club recipes’ lack of lemon as a typo, but given the number of other drinks with dry vermouth and egg white, I’m not so sure.

Alas, the Snicker has never made any sense to me when I tasted them it Alembic, and doesn’t make any sense to me now.

Did Dry Vermouth used to have a stronger acid component, to the point where this drink made taste sense to someone?

Or is the Egg White used simply as a textural element?

I have no answers to these questions.

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.

Sloeberry Cocktail

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Sloeberry Cocktail
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Angostura)
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters)
1 glass Sloe Gin. (1 oz Plymouth gin, 1 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Again!? Someone cut the Sloe Gin with Plymouth Gin! My god, what is going on here!?

I thought this was some sort of documentary effort?

Sadly, even cutting the Sloe Gin with regular Plymouth Gin didn’t help much here in the Sloeberry. Far too medicinal for my taste. Though, adding a dash of orange and a dash of ango to the previous Sloe Gin Cocktail, hm…

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.

Silver King Cocktail

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Silver King Cocktail
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon.
1 Teaspoonful Sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 Dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters)
The White of 1 Egg. (White of 1 egg)
1 Glass Plymouth Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin, 1 oz Bols Genever)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Genever? What the!?

David Wondrich has a big article about Gin in the April, 2010 issue of Saveur Magazine. He makes the point several times that the character of Plymouth Gin has significantly changed since the 19th Century. In the article he has a quote from William Terrington’s 1869, “Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks,” which describes historic versions of Plymouth Gin as a Gin which, “closely resembles Hollands” and another quote from 1867, which describes it as “flavour[ed] with the wash of whisky distilleries”.

With that in mind, I thought I would give what would end up a fairly plain gin sour a bit of interest by blending in some Genever with the Plymouth.

Never having made a Genver Sour, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

Pretty darn tasty, as a matter of fact! The Bols Genever gives the Silver King more malty complexity and a bit of earthy character.

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.

Silver Cocktail

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Silver Cocktail
2 Dashes Maraschino. (5ml Luxardo Maraschino)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (2 Dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Junipero Gin)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

An Imperial Cocktail with Orange Bitters instead of Angostura?

Or a Fifty-Fifty with Maraschino?  A Dry Martinez?

There are all sorts of different ways to look at this cocktail, none of them particularly interesting.  What is true, is that the Silver Cocktail is delicious.  As always, I like to use a decently strong and strongly flavored gin when making Fifty-Fifty type cocktails.  If you don’t have Junipero, Tanqueray would be another good choice.

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.

Ship Cocktail

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Ship Cocktail
(6 People)
4 Glasses Sherry. (2 oz Williams Humbert Dry Sack)
1 Glass Whisky. (1/2 oz Pig’s Nose Scotch*)
1 Glass Rum. (1/2 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum)
1 Glass Prune Syrup. (1/2 oz Prune Syrup)
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash Bitter Truth Orange Bitters)
A little Sugar if desired. (None desired)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Since the cocktail, doesn’t specify what sorts of Whisky or Rum to use, I decided to go a bit avant garde and use Scotch Whisky and Jamaican Rum. Anyway, it is a Ship Cocktail. You gotta use Pirate Rum in a Ship Cocktail!

Interestingly, this turns out to be tasty, if you enjoy the flavors of the component spirits. The Sherry and Prune Syrup seem to act like flavor enhancers, extending and complementing the others. Nice, actually, probably one of my favorite recent Savoy Cocktails. Not that I expect that this endorsement will have a host of other cocktail bloggers running for the kitchen to make themselves prune syrup. Yer missing out, I tell you! It’s a very tasty sweetener, and those prunes stewed in port are tasty! Regularity, it is important, as you get older.

*Note, the teeny, tiny bottle of Pig’s Nose Scotch was sent to me by a marketing firm promoting the brand.  Tasty stuff!  I bet it is even tastier when poured from a 750ml bottle!

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.