Sherry Cocktail

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Sherry Cocktail
4 dash Orange Bitters. (4 Dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters)
4 Dashes French Vermouth. (10ml Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1 Glass Sherry. (2 oz Solear Manzanilla Sherry)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

The few cocktails with these small amounts of French Vermouth puzzle me. With modern dry vermouth, I just don’t understand the function of even my relatively generous reading of 4 dashes. Did French Vermouth used to have more flavor?

Likewise, that’s a lot of orange bitters. Offhand, I can’t think of many drinks that call for 4 dashes. It kind of distracted from the other ingredients of the drink.

Last, but not least, I only had the Solear Manzanilla in the house when making this cocktail. For me, these pale dry sherries are not particularly interesting in most cocktails. I enjoy them on their own with cheeses and appetizers, but for cocktails they fade like ghosts.

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.

Scoff-law Cocktail

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Scoff-Law Cocktail.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 Dash Regan’s Orange Bitters)
1/3 Canadian Club Whisky. (3/4 oz 40 Creek Three Grains)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/6 lemon Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/6 Grenadine. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

For what it is worth, Harry McElhone’s Barflies and Cocktails calls for Rye, instead of the Savoy “Canadian Club”.  Even though, in deference to Mr. Craddock, I went with Canadian Whisky, generally, I agree with Mr. McElhone in these matters.

While researching the Scoff-Law, I turned up the following from the Chicago Tribune, January 27th, 1924: “Hardly has Boston added to the Gaiety of Nations by adding to Webster’s Dictionary the opprobrious term of “scoff-law” to indicate the chap who indicts the bootlegger, when Paris comes back with a “wet answer”—Jock, the genial bartender of Harry’s New York Bar, yesterday invented the Scoff-law Cocktail, and it has already become exceedingly popular among American prohibition dodgers.”

Made to the Savoy recipe, this is a pleasant, light, tart, easy drinking libation.  Many modern sources bump up the booze a bit more and often leave out the orange bitters.  I kind of like it the way it is, with the sweet/tart balance not dissimilar to a red wine.

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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.

Russell House Cocktail

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Russell House Cocktail.
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
2 Dashes Syrup. (1/2 bar spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
3 Dashes Blackberry Brandy. (1 bar spoon Leopold Bros. Mountain Blackberry Liqueur)
1 glass Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Wiser’s Very Old)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

About a million years ago, someone told me that they thought Wiser’s Very Old was a pretty good substitution for pre-prohibition or prohibition era Canadian Whiskey.

Well, I don’t know, not having tasted vintage Canadian Whiskey, but this is a pretty unappealing cocktail and Wiser’s Very Old is a not very appealing Whiskey. And for gosh sakes, it’s just a Whiskey cocktail with a dash of Raspberry Liqueur! Like the Palmer Cocktail before it, this has no business being as bad as it is.

A bunch of people gave me a hard time about using 40 Creek Barrel Select and the Alberta Springs Whiskies, but boy, I just don’t know. Those two are just about the only Canadian Whiskies I’ve tried and can even remotely enjoy on their own or 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.

Reform Cocktail

Reform Cocktail

Reform Cocktail.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange bitters)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Original Dry)
2/3 Sherry. (1 1/2 oz Bodega Dios Baco Amontillado Sherry)
Stir (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. Add a (Luxardo!) cherry.

When I made this, I thought, “this is tasty, but boy it could use some booze.”

So I redid it again, using the equal parts model of the Affinity.

1 Dash Orange Bitters
3/4 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz Noilly Prat Original Dry
3/4 oz Bodega Dios Baco Amontillado Sherry

Stir, strain, cocktail glass.

Wow! That is interesting! The whole thing comes across amazingly floral, not at all like I think of Rye Whiskey Cocktails. In fact, I think this might be the first Rye Whiskey and Dry Vermouth Cocktail I’ve made that I’ve truly enjoyed!

Of course that does mean I should think up a new name. Maybe “Reformed Cocktail”?

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.

Raymond Hitch Cocktail

Raymond Hitch Cocktail

Raymond Hitch Cocktail.
The Juice of 1/2 Orange.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
1 Slice Pineapple.
1 Glass Italian Vermouth. (2 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
(Muddle Pineapple in orange juice and…) Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

A tasty, light and slightly exotic Low Alcohol Cocktail, the Savoy Raymond Hitch would be a pleasant before dinner diversion.

In his 1917 book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks,” Hugo Ensslin gives this the clever name, “Raymond Hitchcocktail”.

From Answers.com:

Raymond Hitchcock

“Hitchcock, Raymond (1865–1929), comic actor and producer. Described by Stanley Green as “a lanky, raspy?voiced comic with sharp features and straw?colored hair that he brushed across his forehead,” he was born in Auburn, New York, and came to the theatre after some unhappy years in other trades. From 1890 on he began to call attention to himself in musicals such as The Brigands and The Golden Wedding. His performance in King Dodo (1901) made him a star…”

Interestingly, his last great theater role may have been as Clem Hawley in the stage version of Don Marquis’ The Old Soak.

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.

Racquet Club Cocktail

Racquet Club Cocktail

Racquet Club Cocktail.

1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin French Vermouth)
2/3 Plymouth Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

While I don’t enjoy the Angostura Orange Bitters in fruity cocktails, I do really enjoy them in Martinis.

As to what differentiates the “Racquet Club” from a Plymouth Martini (Dry) or any number of other 2-1 Gin to Dry Vermouth Cocktails in the book, I cannot help you.

On the other hand, there is never anything wrong with a nice Racquet Club Cocktail! Though, you might want to wait until after your match. I’ve heard those balls can smart.

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.

R.A.C. Special Cocktail

R.A.C. Special Cocktail

R.A.C. Special Cocktail.
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Dolin French Vermouth)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Punt e Mes)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.
Robert Vermeire has the following additional information in his book, Cocktails: How to Mix Them, “R.A.C. means Royal Automobile Club. This is the largest club in London, with over 16,000 members. (Recipe by Fred Faecks, 1914.)”

Unfortunately, I can find no trace of the honorable Fred Faecks on the Internet, so where he might have been bartending remains a mystery.

The Royal Automobile Club, on the other hand, is a bit less of a mystery.

If you know me, you know I enjoyed this cocktail. It is, after all, just a perfect Martini with an orange twist.

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.

Princeton Cocktail

Princeton Cocktail

Princeton Cocktail.
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Angostura)
1/3 Port Wine. (3/4 oz Ficklin Tinta Port)
2/3 Tom Gin. (1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

I thought that was pretty good. A sort of variation on the Martinez with Port instead of Sweet Vermouth. Lighter and a bit more winey. However, when I posted the picture of this drink on my flickr photostream, I got an unexpected comment from Michael Dietch (A Dash of Bitters)

I love this drink, but not made in this way. In Imbibe (the book, not the mag), Dave Wondrich has a variant in which he slides the port gently down the side of the cocktail glass, instead of stirring it all together. This way, the port layers underneath the gin, and gradually mixes with the gin as you drink.

I love when others do my research for me, especially those as erudite as Mr. Dietch!

And look how pretty it is when prepared in that way!

Princeton Cocktail*

*Hijacking this photo taken by Michael’s wife.

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.

Balthazar Cocktail

I’ve been making this cocktail for a while when cocktail geeky or bartender type people ask me for a Mezcal, Tequila, or Agave “Dealer’s Choice Cocktail”.  It’s just kind of fun to mess with people and not make a shaken citrus or fruit based cocktail.  For obvious reasons, I usually just call it a “Death and Company” or “Phil Ward” style cocktail.  However, checking with one of the bartenders at Death and Co, it turns out it isn’t actually a Death and Company cocktail.  Damn.  That meant I had to think of a name.

A guest the other night quite enjoyed it and suggested calling it the “Balthazar Cocktail”.  Odd.  The Donkey or the Getty?  The Burro or the Ass?  I didn’t ask, so I leave it up to you to make the call.

Balthazar Cocktail
1 1/2 oz El Tesoro platinum tequila
1/4 oz Benesin Mezcal
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse Liqueur
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
dash orange bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.  Squeeze orange peel over glass and discard.

Port Wine Cocktail No. 2

Port Wine Cocktail No. 2

Port Wine Cocktail (No. 2)

Squeeze orange peel on top.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
2 Dashes Curacao. (1/2 tsp. Brizard Curacao)
1 Glass Port Wine. (2 oz Ficklin Tinta Port)

Stir well and strain into Port Wine glass.

OK, now that is a cocktail, at least! Bitters, Curacao, and Port Wine!

And, as such, fairly enjoyable.

I have to admit being a bit fond of Ficklin’s Ports.  In 1941 UC Davis issued a report suggesting that it would be very possible to produce wines in California from Port varietals which were on par with those from their country of origin.  In 1948  Ficklin Vineyards accepted that challenge and began growing Portuguese varietals from UC Davis Cuttings for the production of Port Style wines.

The Ficklin Tinta is a lighter style Wine which doesn’t hit you over the head with sweetness, so I could see this cocktail working before or after dinner. I guess, especially, if you didn’t feel like dragging liquor into your night’s affairs.

Interesting Tidbit from an old “WineDay” Article, “When Ficklin was founded, Americans drank three bottles of Port and Sherry for every one of table wine such as “Pinot Chardonnay” or Zinfandel.”

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.