Velocity Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, October 31st, 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.

Velocity Cocktail
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
2/3 Italian Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth)
1 Slice of Orange. (1 Slice Orange)
(Muddle Orange Slice, add remaining ingredients and…) Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

The Savoy Velocity likely originates in Robert Vermiere’s 1922 book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”. In that tome, he notes, “This drink is similar to the H.P.W., but the proportions of the ingredients are reversed. The “Velocity” contains a slice of orange and 2/6 gill of gin, and 1/6 gill of Italian Vermouth. Well shaken and strained into a cocktail-glass.”

I figured I would need some sort of an intense Gin to compete with such a lot of Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth in the Velocity. I know Ransom works well in Martinez, so I thought it would be a good choice, indeed, I can’t think of another more appropriate. Maybe Junipero, but it isn’t quite as citrus friendly.

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.

Sevilla Cocktail (No. 1)

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Sevilla Cocktail (No. 1)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica)
1/2 Bacardi rum. (1 oz Havana Club 7)
1 Piece of Orange Peel.
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze another piece of orange peel over the drink.)

Similar to the Fair and Warmer, Fluffy Ruffles, Little Princess, and Palmetto Cocktail this is another Rum (or Cuban) Manhattan, and, as such, what’s not to like?  Pick your rum, pick your vermouth, and go to it.  Happened to have a bottle of Havana Club 7 around the house, so that’s what I went with.  Thoroughly enjoyable.

I am nominally confused what a Rum Manhattan has to do with Sevilla.  Maybe it should be stirred with Seville Orange (or bitter orange) peel in the drink, instead of sweet orange peel?

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.

Homestead Cocktail

Homestead Cocktail

Homestead Cocktail

1 Slice Orange.
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Broker’s Gin)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Orange Peel.)

Note: Although this delightful drink is nowadays known as a Cocktail, it was known in the old homesteads of the Southern States long before the name Cocktail was coined.

The whole “1 Slice Orange” is a bit obscure. I just cut a horizontal mid-section out of a valencia orange, quartered it, and threw it in the tin.

I have to admit I kind of preferred it to the usual Bronx.

There’s definitely the bitter orange thing from the peel going on.

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.

Dandy Cocktail

Dandy Cocktail

Dandy Cocktail

1/2 Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (1 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye Whiskey)
1/2 Dubonnet. (1 oz Vergano Americano)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
3 Dashes Cointreau. (1 tsp. Cointreau)
1 Piece Lemon Peel.
1 Piece Orange Peel.

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass.

First, I find Dubonnet, at least as we have it here, made in the good old USA, to be a pretty boring ingredient. I’ve heard rumors that the stuff they have in France and other countries is superior, but I haven’t ever had it in France to know.

Anyway, since I’m out of Dubonnet Rouge and don’t have any Lillet Rouge, I thought I’d sub in the Vergano Americano. Not traditional, I suppose.

I interpreted the rest of the instructions literally, cutting two wide swaths of peel, squeezing them into the ingredients in the mixing tin and dropping them in. Then stirring them with everything else.

The use of peels as an ingredient makes me think of 19th century drinks like Cobblers, though the use of Cointreau and Dubonnet, seems to place the cocktail more squarely in the 20th Century. Perhaps a 20th Century adaptation of a 19th Century recipe?

One interesting note I found in the 1900 edition of “Cocktail Bill Boothby’s American Bartender”:

Some of my recipes for the manufacture of cocktails order the dispenser to twist a piece of lemon peel into the glass in which the drink is to be served; but in some establishments this is forbidden, the bartender being ordered to twist and drop the peel into the mixing glass and strain the peel with the ice when putting the drink into the serving glass. This is merely a matter of form, however, as the flavor is the same in both cases.

So, I guess, this recipe came from one of those establishments!

Anyway, this re-imagined Dandy is pretty fantastic. I’ve made it before with Dubonnet Rouge and thought it kind of “meh”. A slightly tweaked Manhattan. With the Americano, it ends up more similar to a Creole Cocktail, but is quite spicily distinct. With the Americano’s bitter Quinine bite giving more structure, at least to my taste, than the combination of sweet vermouth and Amer Picon in the Creole. The milder flavor of the Rittenhouse seemed more appropriate rather than the Sazerac Straight or Wild Turkey Rye, but I’m sure they would also be quite tasty.

Definitely something I’ll make 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.

Forbidden Island Field Trip

One of the drinks included in “Food & Wine Cocktails 2008″ is Martin Cate’s version of the classic Trader Vic drink the Fog Cutter

Forbidden Island

Taking the opportunity of a friend’s band (The awesome Project Pimento!) playing at Forbidden Island, I stopped by to try the drink in question.

Fog Cutter

Le Fog Cutter. Tasty! I’d not tried one before. It was fruitier than I expected, with a good amount of the drink’s character coming from the Orgeat. I don’t have the book handy, but it has always struck me as an unlikely combination of ingredients, especially for a Tiki Drink. Most recipes include: Brandy, Gin, Rum, Sherry, Orgeat Syrup, and Orange Juice. Sometimes lemon. Somehow it all works!

Martin & I*

I am such a bartender stalker! Anyway, Martin went on to explain how interesting it is to track the sweetness and different character of the Fog Cutter through the seasons. They’re on late season Navel oranges right now, giving the drink a sweeter character. He said pretty soon they’d be switching to Valencias, which would be quite tart in the early part of the season and then mellow as the summer went on.

FGCUTTR*

Martin even brought in his old FGCUTTR license plate for photographic documentation.

*Humuhumu took these pictures.

Cape Cocktail

Cape Cocktail

Cape Cocktail

1/3 Dry Gin (1 oz Boodles)
1/3 Caperitif (1 oz Dubonnet Blanc)
1/3 Orange Juice (1 oz Fresh Squeezed)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Again experimenting with Dubonnet Blanc as a Caperitif replacement.

The cocktail is pleasant enough; but, significantly improved by the addition of a few drops of Regan’s Orange Bitters.

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.

Calvados Cocktail

Calvados Cocktail

Calvados Cocktail (6 People)

2 Glasses Calvados (1 oz Germain-Robin Apple Brandy)
2 Glasses Orange Juice (1 oz Orange Juice)
1 Glass Cointreau (1/2 oz Cointreau)
1 Glass Orange Bitters (1/2 oz Aperol)

Add plenty of ice and shake carefully

Turned this into a single serving drink.

Two main puzzles here.

First, I would expect something called “Calvados Cocktail” to be a Calvados Cocktail. That is to say, Calvados, sugar, bitters, and a twist. What the orange juice is doing here, I don’t know.

Second, “1 Glass Orange Bitters”? The only thing I can think is they might mean an aperitif bitters like the Dutch Hoppe Orange Bitters. The closest thing I could think of was Aperol.

The flavors are there and interesting; but, as written above, it’s too sweet for me.

Suggestions? Thoughts?

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.

Dozier Cooler

It’s been a while since I last tortured you with a culinarily inspired original cocktail with at least one difficult or nearly impossible to obtain ingredient.

Since this is a sort of “variation” on the Bull-Dog Cocktail, I thought I’d put it up.

I was paging through the February, 2008, Gourmet magazine. You know, looking for recipes that wouldn’t involve a million steps, a million dollars, or a trip to the gourmet grocery store. I ran across a dessert topping (or is it a floor wax?) which involved Clementines in a Spiced Ginger Syrup.

I had clementines and all the spices required.

But, then, I thought, hey! if that’s not a drink, I don’t know what is.

So in the original recipe we’ve got a syrup spiced with ginger, star anise, and cardamom. Sliced Clementines. And a pomegranate seed garnish.

How to parse that out and translate it into drink-i-ness.

The easiest way would be to simply make the syrup as the recipe calls for, pick a spirit, add clementine juice, and away you go.

Ha, we do not take the easy way! (Actually, we do take the easy way, as there is no pesky pantry work involved here.)

Dozier Cooler*

4 Cardamom Pods
2 oz Pisco (I used Alto del Carmen)
Grenadine, hopefully homemade
1 oz Clementine Juice (or Mandarin)
1/8 oz Clandestine La Bleu Absinthe** (or another not too wormwoody Blanche)
Bundaberg Ginger Beer (or other spicy ginger beer or ale)
Cardamom Leaf (Yeah, I know. I’m probably one of three people in North America with a Cardamom plant. You can order one of your own from: Mountain Valley Growers. Failing Cardamom, use Thai Basil. Failing Thai Basil, Mint.)

Crush 4 cardamom pods and combine with 2 oz Pisco in a mixing glass. (Ok, we’ve got our cardamom.) After at least an half an hour, or whenever you finish making dinner, cover the bottom of a collins glass with grenadine. (Ok, we’ve got our pomegranate.) In a mixing tin, combine the Pisco, Clementine Juice, (Uh, duh, clementines,) and the Absinthe (OK, we’ve got our Anise.) Ice and shake. Add ice cubes to the highball glass and strain the Pisco mixture in. Top up the glass with ginger ale. (Ta da! We’ve got ginger!) Spank a cardamom leaf and add it to the glass. Serve with a straw and/or swizzle.

I think it was pretty true to the original Gourmet recipe and Mrs. Underhill gave it the thumbs up.

*According to this website, the Clementine, “…was created at the beginning of the 20th Century in Algeria by a French missionary by the name of Clément Dozier, hence the name Clementine.” Hence the name Dozier Cooler.

**The original recipe is supposedly based on the spices used in Algerian sweets. If you really wanted to stick to North Africa/Middle East, you could use Lebanese Arak instead of Absinthe.

Bull-dog Cocktail

Bull-Dog Cocktail

Put 2 or 3 lumps of ice into a large tumbler, add the juice of 1 Orange, 1 glass (2oz Boodles) Gin. Fill Balance with Ginger Ale (Reed’s Ginger Brew).

Stir, and serve with a straw.

Rollin down the street, smokin indo, sippin on gin and juice,
Laid back, (with my mind on my money and my money on my mind),

The Bull-Dog is a perfectly tasty drink, great for the warm weather we’ve had in San Francisco lately*. Gin, fresh orange juice, and ginger ale. How could that be bad?

*Of course the morning I post this, the fog and mist return, after a week or two of beautiful sunny, warm weather. Well, that’s summer in San Francisco for you. Still a good cocktail even in the fog.

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.

Bronx (Silver) Cocktail

Bronx (Silver) Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Orange
The White of 1 Egg
1/4 French Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/4 Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Boodles Gin)

Shake well and strain into large wine glass.

Haven’t quite decided what I think of the Boodles.

It was on sale, so I figured I had little to lose. Flavor-wise it seems most similar to Plymouth Gin. Much lighter, though.

The other night I tried it in my usual Martini (2 oz Gin, 1/2 oz Vermouth, dash orange bitters). To me the flavor of the Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth was really the dominant element in the cocktail. It also really seemed to call out for an olive, rather than my usual lemon twist.

Here, in the Bronx (Silver), something with a little more spine, like Tanqueray, might be more appropriate. Still, all in all, a fine Sunday 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.