Oriental Cocktail

Oriental Cocktail

Oriental Cocktail.
1/2 Rye Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth)
1/4 White Curacao. (3/4 oz Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
The Juice of 1/2 Lime.
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

In August, 1924, an American Engineer nearly died of fever in the Philippines, and only the extraordinary devotion of Dr. B– saved his life.
As an act of gratitude the Engineer gave Dr. B– the recipe of this Cocktail.

To me, the Oriental Cocktail is a very modern tasting cocktail. Compared to many vintage cocktails, it has a fairly large portion of both sweet and sour, making it quite rich in flavor. If it didn’t have pesky Sweet Vermouth, it could go on just about any modern cocktail menu and be quite the crowd pleaser.

Personally, I find it a bit rich, but am never quite sure where to go with that. More Vermouth and less curacao and lime? 2 oz booze, 1/2 oz of everthing else? Certainly can think of worse ways to spend an evening than tweaking the proportions of the Oriental.

In any case, as enjoyable as the Oriental Cocktail is, I’m pretty sure Dr. B– got the better end of this deal!

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.

King Cole Cocktail

King Cole Garnish

King Cole Cocktail

1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Bonded Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey)
2 Dashes Syrup. (1/2 teaspoon Depaz Cane Syrup)
1 Dash Fernet Branca.
1 Lump of Ice.

Stir well and decorate with slices of orange and pineapple.

Oh happy day, I get to make an Old-Fashioned!

And not only that, but one with fruit and Fernet. Oh how very California! Or is that how very New York?

I took the opportunity to, “decorate with berries, in season,” as Harry Johnson or Jerry Thomas would say.

King Cole Cocktail

Mmmm… Booze soaked fruit! I dare you to call that “garbage”.

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.

Duppy Cocktail

Duppy Cocktail

Pour 4 1/2 glasses of Whisky (2 oz Asyla Scotch) into a large glass and soak in this a few cloves (for an hour or two). Add 5 or 6 drops of Orange Bitters (Healthy Dash Regan’s, Healthy Dash Fee’s), and lastly put in 1 1/2 glasses of Curacao (3/4 oz Brizard Curacao). Place the lot in the shaker; shake (stir, strain) and serve.

This is a cocktail that got a lot more interesting as it warmed. Chilled, it just tasted pretty much like cold Scotch. As it warmed, the clove and other spices of the orange bitters expressed themselves more fully.

Duppy, from what I can tell, in Jamaican folklore refers to, “restless spirits of the dead that are believed to haunt the living.”

Not sure what Jamaican ghosts have to do with Scotch, cloves, bitters, and curacao. I noticed no otherworldly effects resulting from consuming the cocktail. Perhaps it helps to get rid of them?

However, here’s an odd thing!

Over last years’ holiday I found a 1934 edition of Patrick Gavin Duffy’s “Official Mixer’s Manual”. In this book he gives the “Duppy Cocktail (6 People)” as:

Soak in 4 1/2 Glasses Whiskey; Few Leaves of Clover; 5 or 6 Dashes Orange Bitters; 1 1/4 Glasses Curacao; Shake well in ice, strain and serve.

Given that Mr. Duffy is often far more accurate with recipe transcription than Mr. Craddock, this does give me a bit of pause. From what I remember I didn’t think clover leaves have a great deal of flavor. The flowers, though, appear to sometimes be used to Flavor Syrups and other such things. Puzzling. Well, it appears to be fairly commonly available as an herbal remedy, so I will have to give the Duppy another try!

Red Clover: Herbal Remedies

Red clover also contains the blood-thinning substance coumarin. Coumarin is not unique to red clover; it is found in many other plants, including common grass. In fact, the pleasant sweet smell of freshly cut grass is due to the coumarin compounds. People on anticoagulant drugs such as Coumadin should be cautious of using red clover, as the blood may become too thin.

But, maybe not as crazy sounding as it seems. I mean, Buffalo Grass Vodka has some of these same substances.

So, I soaked a few red clover flowers and a couple leaves…

…in a half cup of wild turkey rye for 12 hours.

2 oz Clover infused Rye
1 oz Luxardo Triplum
generous dash fee’s orange bitters
generous dash regan’s orange bitters

Stir with cracked ice, strain into cocktail glass.

Unfortunately, that was the last of my Wild Turkey Rye, so no side by side comparison of clover vs. non-clover drinks was possible. But, it definitely changed the character of the Rye. More sweet herbal and vanilla-ish notes, I think.

All in all, I think I liked the Scotch/Clove Duppy a bit more. But, I dunno, there was something compelling about the flavors of the clover infused rye…


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.

Wisconsin Old-Fashioneds, In the Wild

As I mentioned, I recently took a trip to Wisconsin.

Thought I might document a couple of the Old-Fashioneds in the wild.

While the default Wisconsin Old-Fashioned is a Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet (Brandy with 7-Up) you can always ask for Bourbon or Rye with water instead of soda or 7-up.

This is my father-in-law’s typical Old-Fashioned:

Wisconsin Old-Fashioned

Jim Beam Rye, Sugar, Water, Angostura Bitters, Lemon Twist. Yes, that is a 14 oz Luminarc Working Glass. There were many hangovers before I got the hang of sipping my father-in-law’s Old-Fashioneds. The trick is to sip slowly and add more ice as you go. You do have the option of adding more spirits, but I do not recommend it.

Wisconsin Old-Fashioned

(This picture by Mrs. Flannestad.)

“Rye Old-Fashioned, water” at the Norwood Pines Supper Club, Minocqua, WI. Not sure what brand of Rye. I ordered a Bourbon Old-Fashioned, then said, “Wait a Sec, do you have Rye?” Amazingly, they did. To be honest, it tasted like Sazerac Rye, but that seems unlikely. Definitely not the Beam Rye. Note the cherry boat, which is typical of a Wisconsin Old-Fashioned.

Couple additional notes:

Almost all cocktail drinking at these sorts of supper clubs in Wisconsin is “on the rocks”. You will almost never see an “Up” drink.

At the Norwood Pines I saw the bartender playing with some green substance, ice cream, and a blender.
Oh my gosh! The legendary ice cream version of the Grasshopper! My only regret is I didn’t get a picture of the lovely couple lustily enjoying their Margarita Coupes filled with mountains of neon green, grasshopper flavored ice cream.

Creole Cocktail

Creole Cocktail

Creole Cocktail

1/2 Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (1 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica)
2 Dashes Benedictine. (2/3 tsp. Benedictine)
2 Dashes Amer Picon. (2/3 tsp. homemade)

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

A very good cocktail, that, like the Brooklyn, has a real problem in the lack of a key ingredient: Amer Picon.

Amer Picon is a french bitter orange aperitif brand that is owned by Diageo. For some inexplicable reason Diageo refuses to import it into the United States. I dunno why. We’re not worthy, they don’t think there’s enough of a market, they just don’t like America. Something like that.

So if you want to try a Creole, or a Brooklyn, you’ve got a couple choices.

You can travel to France and buy Amer Picon. Unfortunately, even this is fraught with danger, as a few years ago Diageo changed the recipe for the product, reducing its proof. Maybe they aren’t hating on America at all. Perhaps they are just sparing us from a mediocre modern version of the product!?

You can try to make it yourself using Jamie Boudreau’s recipe, Amer Picon.

Last, you can try for a replacement.

Your first choice for a replacement, as I did previously with the Brooklyn, is to use Torani Amer. Torani Amer is a nice product, but unfortunately, as far as I can tell, doesn’t taste all that much like Amer Picon. It’s a bit too vegetal and not orangey enough. It makes a good Brooklyn or Creole, but not a great one.

A second choice of replacement is an obscure Italian Amaro called CioCiaro. It is more common in some US markets than others. It’s good, but not quite as bitter or orangey as Amer Picon. If you can find it, add a dash of Regan’s or Angostura orange bitters to your cocktail and you should be in business.

Another option is to make Jamie Boudreau’s recipe. Jamie’s recipe isn’t too hard. He is, after all, very lazy. Basically you modify a less obscure Italian Amaro called Ramzotti by pumping up the oranginess. The only annoying part is that it takes two months to make the orange tincture. Oh, and you have to find a source for bitter orange peels.

Being nearly as lazy as Jamie, but slightly less patient, I worked out this adaption of his recipe:

7 oz vodka
1 orange
10 oz Ramzzotti Amaro
2 oz Stirring’s Blood Orange Bitters
1 drop orange oil

Microplane the zest of 1 orange into the vodka. Let stand a few minutes. Filter through 4 layers of cheese cloth into a clean bottle, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.

Pour Ramzotti Amaro through cheese cloth and orange zest, again squeezing out as much liquid as possible.

Add Blood Orange bitters and orange oil.

Shake to mix. It’s probably best to let it sit for a day or so.

I’m not totally sold, I think it might slightly overdo the fresh orange flavor. But it isn’t bad and doesn’t take 2 months to make. Definitely prefer it to Torani Amer.

Anyway, so you’ve done all that, and you’ve got some form of Amer Picon replacement. What’s up with the cocktail? It’s kind of hilarious. To be honest, the Creole is one of the most inexplicably fruity and, dare I say it, silly whiskey cocktails going. The intersection between the orange of the Amer Picon, the vermouth (I think especially if you use Carpano Antico), the whiskey and the lemon peel is almost comical. Comical and delicious.

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.

Artist’s Special

Artist’s (Special) Cocktail

1/3 Whisky. (3/4 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey)
1/3 Sherry. (3/4 oz Lustau Solera Reserva Dry Oloroso Sherry “Don Nuño”)
1/6 Lemon Juice. (1/3-1/2 oz lime juice)
1/6 Groseille Syrup. (bar spoon D’Arbo Red Currant Preserves)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This is the genuine ‘Ink of Inspiration’ imbibed at the Bal Bullier Paris. The recipe is from the Artists Club, Rue Pigalle, Paris.

Well, I’ve take quite a lot of liberties for this one. However, with such unspecific ingredients its hard to know where to start. First, the whisky is not specified. Second the type of Sherry is not specified. Third, I realized, when I was looking through the refrigerator, we were out of lemons. Fourth, I could find no Red Currant syrup.

But, the description is so inspiring, I had to give it a try.

The Saz Jr is my go-to rye for mixing, so I started there. Sometimes it is a little too assertive to play well with other ingredients. But there was enough going on here, I thought it might be interesting.

I didn’t particularly care for the fino sherry I’d recently tried in my cobbler experiment, so I thought I’d get something a little richer. Didn’t want a cream, though. Given the fairly meager local selection of sherry, the Lustau Dry Oloroso seemed like a good choice.

My wife has a cold and she used up all the lemons in her tea. Thank goodness, we still had regular limes. I don’t think I could have lived with myself if I had been forced to substitute key limes or calamansi.

Apparently, Groseille syrup is red currant syrup. I can find no trace of it in the modern world. Black currant, yes, Red currant, no. Fortunately, you can still buy red currant preserves. What are preserves, but, thickened fruit syrup?

What’s the verdict?

It’s quite a tasty cocktail and well worth all that pondering. Everything is there; but, none of the ingredients are fighting. Rye, currants, citrus, and sherry complement each other. Who knew?

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.

Approve Cocktail

Approve Cocktail

3/4 Wineglass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Sazerac Straight Rye)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
2 Dashes Curacao. (1/2 teaspoon Brizard Curacao)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into wineglass. Squeeze lemon and orange peel on top.

Oddly, when I look back at my notes for this one, I said I would have preferred a glass of straight Rye. I guess I can kind of see my point. Still, I kind of wonder if my perspective might have changed since originally making this. It really is just a “Fancy Whiskey Cocktail.” Surely, there can be nothing wrong with that?

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.