Whisky Daisy

Here’s the Savoy Cocktail Book’s Whiskey Daisy:

Whisky Daisy.
Use small bar glass.
3 Dashes Gomme Syrup.
The Juice of 1/2 Small Lemon.
1 Wineglass Bourbon or Rye Whisky.
Fill glass 1/3 full of shaved ice.
Shake thoroughly, strain into a large cocktail glass, and fill up with Apollinaris or Seltzer Water.

Well, OK, but here’s my adaption:

Flannestad Whiskey Daisy.

1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup;
Juice 1/2 Lemon;
2 oz Hudson Four Grain Bourbon;

Peel half a lemon as for an apple, and place in a cocktail glass. Shake thoroughly on cracked ice and strain over fresh ice in the glass. Garnish with fresh fruit, in season, and fill with soda water.

One of the biggish questions about the Daisy family of drinks is whether or not the ice should be included in the final drink. In the Savoy recipes for the Gin and Santa Cruz Rum Daisies, it seemed like the drinks should either be built over crushed ice or shaken and strained over new crushed ice.

As you’ll recall, in his 1914 book, Hugo Ensslin described the Daisy as follows:

All…Daisies are made as follows: Juice of ½ Lime and ¼ Lemon; 1 teaspoonful of Powdered Sugar; 2 dashes of Grenadine; 1 drink of liquor desired; 2 dashes Carbonated water. Use silver mug, put in the above ingredients, fill up with fine ice, stir until mug is frosted, decorate with fruit and sprays of fresh mint and serve with straws.

Which sounds, more or less, like a Julep with some Citrus in it.

However, when we get to the “Whisky Daisy” we find this is not the case, picture above to the contrary.

So I thought I would check some other early cocktail books and see how they advised the construction of the Daisy.

First off, I will note, that there are no recipes for Daisies in the original 1862 edition of Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide.

However, in the 1900 edition of Harry Johnson’s “New and Improved (Illustrated) Bartenders’ Manual and a Guide for Hotels and Restaurants”, he includes the following recipe for a Whiskey Daisy:

Whiskey Daisy.
(Use a large bar glass.)
1/2 table-spoonful of sugar;
2 or 3 dashes of lemon juice;
1 dash of lime juice;
1 squirt of syphon, vichy, or selters; dissolve with the lemon and lime juice;
3/4 of the glass filled with fine shaved ice;
1 wine-glass of good whiskey;
Fill the glass with shaved ice;
1/2 pony-glass chartreuse (yellow).

Stir up well with a spoon; then take a fancy glass, have it dressed with fruits in season, and strain the mixture into it and serve.
This drink is very palatable and will taste good to almost anybody (see illustration, plate No. 10).

Unfortunately, here we see Mr. Johnson is fairly clear that the Whiskey Daisy’s ingredients are stirred and then strained into another glass.

He even goes so far as to present an illustration with the drink on ice ready to be strained and the glass prepared for the drink to be strained into:

The 1908 edition of Cocktail Bill Boothby’s “The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them” also agrees with Mr. Johnson, his drink is shaken and strained into another glass.

Brandy Daisy.

Half fill a medium-sized mixing-glass with cracked ice, add the juice of one lemon, three dashes of orange cordial and a jigger of brandy. Shake, strain into a punch-glass, fill up with siphon seltzer and serve.

One of the questions I’ve always had, though, is where the 19th Century drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book come from. They don’t appear to be Johnson, nor do they appear to be Boothby. And there are drinks in it, which aren’t in the original edition of Jerry Thomas.

However, around 1928, Herbert Ashbury edited and published an expanded version of Jerry Thomas’ guide, complete with many of the stories and legends about Mr. Thomas, which we would also later come to think of as fact.

I personally suspect that this rather high profile reprint of the book, perhaps half remembered, is the basis for the 19th Century-ish drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book.

The recipes are still not exactly the same as the Savoy Cocktail Book, but it does include a Santa Cruz Rum Daisy, a (Holland!) Gin Daisy, and a Whiskey Daisy.

Whiskey Daisy
Use small bar glass.
Three dashes gum syrup.
Two dashes orgeat syrup.
The juice of half a small lemon.
One wineglass of Bourbon or rye whiskey.

Fill glass one-third full of shaved ice.

Shake thoroughly, strain into a large cocktail glass, and fill up with Apollinaris or selzer water.

Well, using orgeat, instead of the more typical Maraschino is a bit odd, but it does underscore the odd seemingly random nature of the sweeteners used in the Daisy family. I think it’s best not to get too strict about the sweeteners in a Daisy. Feel like using Orgeat to sweeten your Daisy? Why not? Jerry Thomas did.

But anyway, other than the addition of the Orgeat in the 1928 Thomas, the Savoy recipe is verbatim from Thomas, down to the usage, ingredients, and measures.

But what about the ice? Unfortunately, for me, since I sort of prefer these drinks on cracked ice, it appears that almost all of the early recipes I can find for Daisies are shaken, or stirred, on ice and then strained into another glass.

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.

S-A-Z…

Oh boy!

S.a.z.e.r.a.c.

Just about my favorite cocktail, and arguably the single cocktail that started me on this whole cocktail crazy train!

Oh, but January.

January, we traditionally take as a month of rest, no cocktails and drinking.  Or, well, not much, anyway.

But February, hm…  February contains: Mardi Gras. King Cake.  New Orleans.  Gumbo.  Fat Tuesday. Po Boys…

What to do to celebrate?

I have a lot of Rye Whiskey, I bet I could almost fill half the month just making Sazeracs with every different Rye.  Maybe get some friends to participate!  Video!  Photo shoots!

What about 28 days, 28 Sazeracs?!  Sounds just crazy enough to suit my ambition.

I’ll see you in a few weeks!

Rye Whiskey Cocktail

003

Rye Whiskey Cocktail.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
4 Dashes Syrup. (1 barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Thomas Handy Rye)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Add 1 cherry.

If the ocean was whisky,
And I was a duck,
I’d dive to the bottom
To get one sweet suck.

Well, gosh darn it, I forgot the cherry and used an orange peel instead. And I call myself a cocktail enthusiast. Well, I never said I was detail oriented.

I believe this is the 2006 edition of Buffalo Trace’s Thomas Handy Rye Whiskey.  Pretty hot, so give it a nice long stir.

Rye whisky, rye whisky,
Rye whisky, l cry,
If you don’t give me rye whisky,
I surely will die.

So many of these simple cocktails are so perfectly enjoyable. It’s fun to use obscure ingredients, lots of juices, etc. But a lot of the time, even Sugar, Bitters, and water, seems a bit excessive.

But the ocean ain’t whisky
And l ain’t a duck,
So we’ll round up the cattle
And then we’ll get drunk.

With a perfectly delicious whiskey, do you really need anything else?

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.

Manhattan Cocktail (Dry)

Manhattan Cocktail Dry

Manhattan Cocktail (Dry)

1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1/2 Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey)
(dash angostura bitters)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

I saved the Sazerac Rye for last, as it is one of my favorite Manhattan Whiskies.

Oddly, I didn’t care for it. The drier blend of vermouths really accented the musty character of the whiskey.

When examining various Manhattan recipes, the instructions from this Manhattan recipe from the Mud Puddle Books reprint of the 1900 edition of Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual stuck out:

Manhattan Cocktail
(Use a large bar glass.)
Fill the glass up with ice;
1 or 2 dashes of gum syrup, very carefully;
1 or 2 dashes of bitters (orange bitters);
1 dash of curacao or absinthe, if required;
1/2 wine-glass of whiskey;
1/2 wine-glass of vermouth;

Stir up well; strain into a fancy cocktail glass; squeeze a piece of lemon peel on top, and serve; leave it for the customer to decide, whether to use absinthe or not.  This drink is very popular at the present day.  It is the bartender’s duty to ask the customer, whether he desires his drink dry or sweet.

I just love how nearly every ingredient is optional.  The final instruction, “It is the bartender’s duty to ask the customer, whether he desires his drink dry or sweet,” remains good advice to this day.

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.

Manhattan Cocktail (Sweet)

Manhattan Sweet

Manhattan Cocktail (Sweet)

1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)
1/2 Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Michter’s, U.S. #1 Straight Rye)
(dash Angostura Bitters)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. (Luxardo Cherry.)

Couldn’t leave out the bitters, sorry.

This Manhattan was also really tasty, I must say.

Well integrated and harmonious flavors.

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.