Yokohama Cocktail

First, just a reminder that 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, “EIGHT!”

Yokohama Cocktail
1 Dash Absinthe. (1 dash Duplais Absinthe Verte)
1/6 Grenadine. (1/2 oz Grenadine)
1/6 Vodka. (1/2 oz Awamori)
1/3 Orange Juice. (1 oz Orange Juice)
1/3 Dry Gin. (1 oz Beefeater’s Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, it does have a Japanese name, so I figured I should mix this with Japanese “Vodka”.

The Japanese were another culture which, as far as anyone knows, did not discover distillation until it was introduced from abroad.

The Japanese, being a particularly closed society for much of its history, were pretty late to the game, with the earliest written records showing up some time in the mid-1500s.

Distillation was probably introduced via the slightly looser federation of Islands to the South of Japan. These Islands were often in flux between Indonesia and Japan, so developed a more independent spirit and had contact with the various traders plying those waters. Like the Scottish Highlands, each Island would often have a distillery and a specialization.

Among the oldest traditions of Distilled spirits in the Islands near Japan are those of the Islands around Okinawa. Usually made from Rice, the Okinawan Spirits, called Awamori, are often aged for lengthy periods in clay jars.

While mildly flavored, this is really, by no stretch of the imagination anything near a “vodka”. With a good amount of character and flavor, this actually contributes far more than just Ethanol to the drink.

A close relative of the Monkey Gland, also from Harry McElhone’s 1928 “ABC of Cocktails”, the Yokohama is not bad. There is some interesting thing going on between the Grenadine, Orange and Awamori. I can see why people often mix Shochu with fruit juice!

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.

Yodel Cocktail

First, just a reminder that 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, “NINE!”

Yodel Cocktail
1/2 Orange Juice. (Juice 1/2 orange.)
1/2 Fernet Branca. (Same amount of Fernet Branca.)
Use medium size glass, and fill with soda water.

I like Fernet so I had some idle hope that this would be appealing.

It is not.

As my friend Blair remarked, “kind of like drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth.”

Yeah, that’s about right. Yodel all you want, but I just say, “Ugh.”

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.

Yellow Rattler Cocktail

First, just a reminder that 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.

Thus begins the countdown to the last “Cocktail”.

Say it with me, “TEN!”

Yellow Rattler Cocktail
1/4 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Fresh Orange Juice)
1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Perucchi White Vermouth)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1/4 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Anchor Genevieve Gin)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass, with small crushed pickled onion.

In his 1922 book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” Robert Vermeire notes, “This Cowboy’s cocktail is similar to the Cooperstown Cocktail, but, a small bruised white onion is used instead of the bruised fresh mint sprigs.”

I guess your average Cowboy Bar didn’t have, say, Mint around, so instead, they’d substitute a pickled onion. Makes TOTAL sense to me.

*cough*

Uh, anyway, this is pretty much a Bronx cocktail with a pickled onion as a garnish.

As such, not entirely awful, and to be honest, the Anchor Genevieve, hey, Cowboy Gin if there ever was one, goes a long way towards salvaging this cocktail.

Still, unless you REALLY like pickled onions, its not one of those things that you’re probably going to be making any time soon.

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.

Wyoming Swing Cocktail

Wyoming Swing Cocktail
The Juice of 1/4 Orange. (Juice 1/2 Clementine)
1/2 Teaspoonful Powdered Sugar. (1 tsp Homemade Orgeat)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 oz Vya Vermouth)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
Shake well and strain into medium size glass, and fill with soda water.

One of those nights where I could really use a drink after work. Looking forward to a cocktail called “Wyoming Swing”! Surely it must at least have whiskey!

Wait!?

Crap, it’s a not-tail! Vermouth, Orange Juice, and Soda.

Damn it.

Well, I chose to spice it up a bit with Orgeat, just for varieties’ sake, instead of plain sugar. Why not?

Actually, it surprised me how enjoyable a drink this was.

Didn’t stop me from pouring myself a glass of whiskey afterward.

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.

Will Rogers Cocktail

Will Rogers Cocktail
1/4 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Orange Juice)
1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Vya Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Plymouth Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin, 3/4 oz Bols Genever)
4 Dashes Curacao. (1 tsp Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I’m not quite sure how to handle a figure quite so mythic to the early part of the 20th Century as Will Rogers.

The best thing I could find about him is this kind of long video segment from some time in the 50s, but I still don’t think it conveys the extent of his influence on popular culture during the depression as the Cowboy Poet, Philosopher and voice of reason.

Well, if there’s a cocktail named after him, the first thing I tried to find was some information about whether he did in fact take a drink now and then.

I did find a google book result from a speech he gave shortly after the enactment of prohibition, it comes from a book, “In Our Own Words: Extraordinary Speeches of the American Century”.

I have often said that wish the wets would become so soused they would be speechless and couldn’t say anything, and that the drys would become so perfect that the Lord would come down and take them away from here–and that would leave the country to the rest of us who are tired of listening to both of them.

Aside from this sensible bon mot, I find not a whole lot of evidence against Will Rogers either as a dry or wet, particularly, though some other quotes indicate he may have had some familiarity with Whiskey.

The cocktail itself is an inoffensive draught, a slightly orangey Dry Martini.

I am bulking up the the bog standard modern Plymouth with a bit of Bols Genever for body and maltiness.

I hadn’t tried the Vya Dry Vermouth for a few years, and this evening it was either that or Martini & Rossi Extra Dry at the Grocery. I am unclear I made the right choice. It was, as usual for me, the more expensive choice. But, I don’t know, there is a surprising amount of bitter character to the Vya dry vermouth. And, as a friend once remarked, “it doesn’t really taste like Vermouth. More like mulled wine.”

Well, it doesn’t really hurt anything in the Will Rogers.

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 Rose Cocktail

White Rose Cocktail
The Juice of 1/4 Orange. (Juice 1/4 Orange)
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime. (Juice 1/4 Lemon)
The White of 1 Egg.
1/4 Maraschino. (1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
3/4 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Bols Genever)
Shake well and strain into medium size glass.
Source: Hugo Ensslin, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” 1916-1917

I’ve made this cocktail a few times at Alembic Bar Savoy Nights, and customers always really enjoy it.

Having been there, and done that, I thought I’d change up the gin.

I’ve been intrigued by the use of Genever in Sour cocktails, but hadn’t really tried one with egg white and/or Maraschino liqueur. However, given the friendliness of Genever to these ingredients, it didn’t seem like that big a chance to take.

After trying it, though, I have to say I definitely preferred the dry gin version I’ve made at Alembic. The well gin there is Beefeater, and this is a great Beefeater cocktail. Maybe not so much a great Genever Sour, but your mileage may vary.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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.

Welcome Stranger Cocktail

Welcome Stranger Cocktail
1/6 Grenadine. (1/2 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/6 Lemon Juice. (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1/6 Orange Juice. (1/2 oz Orange Juice)
1/6 Gin. (1/2 oz Junipero Gin)
1/6 Cederlund’s Swedish Punch. (1/2 oz Underhill Punch)
1/6 Brandy. (1/2 oz Dudognon Cognac Reserve. Talk about over kill, eh? Sadly, it is all I have in the house at the moment.)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This cocktail is likely from Harry McElhone’s “ABC of Cocktails”, in which Harry notes, “Invented by the author.”

Wow, 6 ingredients and a great name! An interestingly proto-exotic drink from Mr. McElhone, eh? Orgeat, instead of Grenadine, with a float of sherry and you’re pretty much got Trader Vic’s Fog Cutter!

The use of Swedish Punch gives this an interesting character and is the dominant element in this equal parts cocktail.

Maybe I’ve gone crazy and Savoy Cocktails have warped my brain and palate, but this isn’t bad at all.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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.

Wedding Belle Cocktail

Wedding Belle Cocktail
1/6 Orange Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Orange Juice)
1/6 Cherry Brandy. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Cherry Brandy)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Junipero Gin)
1/3 Dubonnet. (3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.
Source: Harry McElhone’s “ABC of Cocktails”, 1928-1929

Like the Vanderbilt Cocktail, this is on the sweet side for me, even with early season Valencia Oranges.  Still, not unpleasant, and fairly light.

I chose Junipero, first because it is a high proof, intense gin.  Being only 1/3 of the cocktail, I knew the gin would have to have some spine to cut through the other ingredients.  I also used it, instead of a more traditional London Dry Gin, because I like the way it works with darker flavors like Cherry Heering and Dubonnet Rouge.

I would be tempted to add some bitters to the Wedding Belle to punch this cocktail up a bit, but afraid that would tilt it towards Robitussin-ish type flavors.

Maybe just a dash of orange bitters?  Or even Absinthe, which would bring it within spitting range of the similar, and delicious, Chas Baker, Jr. Cocktail, the Remember The Maine.

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.

Ward 8 Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, November 28th, 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.

Ward Eight Cocktail
1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (1 generous tsp. Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/4 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Orange Juice)
1/4 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/2 Rye Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Michter’s US 1 Straight Rye)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I suspect The Savoy Cocktail Book may have cribbed this from Robert Vermiere’s “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”. Vermeire notes, “This cocktail originates from Boston (U.S.A.), a city divided into eight wards.”

On his writeup of a couple years ago, fellow blogger Paul Clarke, of Cocktail Chronicles, further informs:

The Ward Eight purportedly dates back more than a century, to a time when politics could be truly bare-knuckle. Rumored to have been created at the Locke-Ober (the second oldest restaurant in Boston) to celebrate the victory of Martin Lomasney’s 1898 campaign for a seat representing Boston’s Eighth Ward—a celebration that suitably took place the night before the election—the Ward Eight is a simple twist on a whiskey sour.

For me, it reminds me of the first or second time young Thomas Waugh served me when he was working at Alembic Bar. I asked for the Ward Eight from the Classic side of the menu and he said something like, “I like to make this on the sour side, is that all right?” I replied in the affirmative, as I preferred nicely tart drinks to over sweetened concoctions. What I got, though, was a bit beyond the sour that I was used to making for myself and slightly into uncomfortable territory.

Drinking this now, I think what Thomas was making was probably exactly this recipe, with only a teaspoon of grenadine as sweetener.

The problem we have, though, is that the recipe is proportional, yet the sweetener is called for in an absolute volume.

Fortunately, while Craddock was mostly proportional in his recipe writing, Robert Vermeire was not, calling for his cocktails to be based on a half gill of total volume. A half Gill ends up somewhere a bit more than 2 ounces, so I was being generous here with my 3 oz pour. So sue me, I like Whiskey Sours.

Ultimately, the amount of grenadine you use falls to personal taste, but I think you should try put this one near the edge of your tolerance for tartness. It shouldn’t be a rich drink, it should be a tart tonic.

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.