Remsen Cooler

Remsen Cooler
l Glass Dry Gin.
1 Split of Soda.
Peel rind of lemon in spiral form, place in long tumbler with 1 lump of Ice, add Gin and fill with soda water.

The Remsen Cooler is about the only of these Coolers to have survived over the years, but there is still some confusion. The drink came to be made frequently with Gin, but some maintain it is properly made with Scotch.

Cocktail Bill Boothby relates the following in his 1906 version of his bar book. It is a nice story. Note, Old Tom Cordial Gin was a type of sweetened Old Tom Gin which apparently was available for a brief few years around 1900.

“Some years ago, the late William Remsen, a retired naval officer and a popular member of the Union Club, N.Y., introduced a beverage to the members of that swell organization which has since taken his name and is now known to all clubmen by the appellation of Remsen cooler.”

“Pare a lemon (a lime will not answer the purpose) as you would an apple, so that the peel will resemble a corkscrew, place the rind in a long thin glass and pour over it a jigger of Old Tom cordial gin; with a bar-spoon now press the peel and stir it thoroughly, so the liquor will be well flavoured with the essence of the skin and fill the glass with plain soda off the ice. English club soda is highly recommended for this drink. Be sure the soda is cold.”

Hugo Ensslin, in his 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” takes a middle path, by allowing either Gin or Scotch:

Remsen Cooler
1 drink Dry Gin or Scotch Whiskey;
1 Lemon;
1 bottle Club Soda.

Peel off rind of lemon in spiral form, place in Collins glass with cube of ice, add Gin or Scotch and fill up with Club Soda.

Well, if you can use Gin OR Whisky in a drink recipe, why not use something in between? Say Dutch Genever?

Remsen Cooler
2 oz Bols Aged Genever*.
1 Split of Soda.
Peel rind of lemon in spiral form, place in long tumbler with 1 lump of Ice, add Genever and fill with soda water.

A couple years ago, Bols brought a 19th Century style Genever to America. Based on a recipe from 1820 it soon became the darling of many bartenders. However, they weren’t quite sure what would happen with it in cocktails. There are not a ton of cocktail recipes for Genever. Would people try to mix it like Dry Gin?

What they found, especially with a lot of stumping from cocktail and punch classicists like David Wondrich, was that people were mixing with it like it was Whiskey. Making Improved Holland Gin Cocktails, Sazeracs, Holland Sours, and the odd Holland House Cocktail.

So if people were mixing with it like it was a Whiskey, what if Bols introduced the category of Genever which was even more like Whiskey, Aged Genever?

From Instant Upload

I was lucky enough to attend an event where they launched the new product in San Francisco and introduced it to us in a couple drinks.

Aged a minimum of 18 months in used and new Cognac casks, Bols Barrel Aged Genever is in interesting contrast to the original Bols 1820 recipe. While it doesn’t seem to take anything away from the 1820, the aging and slightly different production process seems to heighten the spicy characteristics of the Genever. To me, the Juniper is even clearer in the Barrel Aged Genever than it is in the rather mildly flavored unaged 1820 Genever.

They had us try it in several drinks including a Collins and a Manhattan, but to me the real winner was the Barrel Aged Genever in a julep. I’ve made and enjoyed Genever Juleps before, but the spice and intensity of the Barrel Aged Genever made it stand out in the drink and really complement the flavor of the mint.

For what it’s worth, it’s not bad in an even simpler drink, The Remsen Cooler. On the ice or off the ice, little simple syrup wouldn’t hurt this drink, but note that none of the recipes include any juice at all, only lemon peel.

*The Bols Aged Genever used in this post was provided to me by a firm promoting the brand.

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.

Yamazaki 12 Highball

There’s a bunch of stuff to get out of the way with the drink called the “Highball”.

First off, like with the Martini, there is a modern tendency to use the name “Highball” for a whole class of drinks. In the case of the Highball, people use it as a category name for any drink with spirits and a carbonated mixer served over ice. Gin and Tonics are Highballs, Dark and Stormies are Highballs, Bulldogs are Highballs, Sleepyheads are Highballs, Seven and Sevens are Highballs.

Personally, I tend not to be so inclusive.

Highballs are shortish drinks served over a rock or two of ice and composed of spirits and soda water. Maybe Ginger Ale, but only if you’re a girl.

There’s a letter to the New York Times in the archive attributed to one “Patrick J. Duffy” from October 25, 1927.

THE FIRST SCOTCH HIGHBALL; Claim of the Adams House, Boston, Disputed by a New Yorker.

To summarize the article, an English actor came in to Mr. Patrick J. Duffy’s bar in the early 1890s and asked for a “Scotch and Soda” and was surprised to discover that Mr. Duffy did not stock Scotch, except in casks and mostly for winter warmers. The actor provided a reference, or source, for Scotch, presumably in bottles, and soon Mr. Duffy was selling nearly nothing but Scotch and Sodas or “Scotch Highballs” as the actor called the new drink.

It doesn’t sound like Duffy invented the drink, as the English actor asked for it, or that he named it, as he also gives the credit to the actor for that.

Here’s the first paragraph of Mr. Duffy’s Letter:

An editorial in THE TIMES says that the Adams House, Boston, claims to have served the first Scotch highball in this country. This claim is unfounded. The honor not only of making the first Scotch highball but of first introducing “case” Scotch whisky into this country belongs to E. J. Ratcliffe, the actor, who came here in the early 90′s from London with Mary Anderson’s company of players and who later was a leading actor in the old Lyceum Stock Company when that theatre was between Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Streets on Fourth Avenue.

Highball
Use medium size glass.
1 Lump of Ice.
1 Glass of any Spirit, Liqueur or Wine desired. (2 oz Yamazaki 12*)
Fill glass with syphon soda water or split soda. Ginger Ale can be used if preferred. Add twist of lemon peel if desired.

So, as we talked about on the Collins Post, sometimes there is a problem with glassware.

As a cocktail geek, one of the notable things I like to check out in pictures of pre-prohibition bars is the large variety of glassware.

However, after prohibition, or at least by the 1970s, we were down to pretty much these three glasses for Drinks: Collins, Cocktail, and Bucket.

The modern tendency is to use the same tall 12-14 ounce Collins Glass for the Collins family and Highballs. However, Mr. Duffy, the person who allegedly introduced the Highball to American audiences, is very clear: The Highball is served in a 8 ounce glass.

So, two ounces of spirit, a large-ish hand cut cube, and maybe another two ounces of sparkling water in a rather short glass compose a Highball. I am lucky to have recently purchased this glass, as it is exactly 8 ounces.

Sadly, this glass size, which I really happen to like, has pretty much been extinct behind every bar in American since Prohibition.

Though, if you look, you will find lots of these glasses on eBay: shortish, straight sided glasses, often with the name of the bar or logo on the side. Usually, the eBay seller mistakenly calls them “water glasses,” but before prohibition, these were highball glasses.

As the first Highball was, in fact, a Scotch Highball, I figured I should at least make a gesture in that direction. However, as usual, I am being difficult. I decided to use Japanese Whisky, Suntory Yamazaki 12.

Quoting from the Suntory Yamazaki Website:

Both Suntory YAMAZAKI 12- and 18- year old single malts are aged in casks of three different kinds of oaks: American, Spanish and Japanese. This gives Suntory Whisky its unique quality. Each drink has a distinct taste.
YAMAZAKI Single Malt 12-Year Old Whisky
This is a medium-bodied whisky with the aromas of dried fruits and honey. It has a delicate, mellow taste with a lingering, woody, dry finish.

Interestingly, the Highball, or “Whisky-Soda”, is one of the most popular drinks in Japan, or at least one of the most common ways to drink Whisky. People who have been there tell me that Yamaki 12 is a more expensive whisky than anyone in Japan would typically drink in a Highball, they’d probably drink a cheaper blended Whisky, but it does make a fantastic and rediculously easy drinking Highball.

*I’m pretty sure I was sent this bottle of Yamazaki 12 some time ago by a publicity firm promoting the brand. Life doesn’t suck.

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.

Whizz-Doodle Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, Jan 30, 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.

Whizz-Doodle Cocktail
1/4 Scotch Whisky.
1/4 Sweet Cream.
1/4 Crème de Cacao.
1/4 Dry Gin
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Uh, yeah, right. I’m not making that.

Especially since I’ve already made it once, under another name: Barbary Coast Cocktail

Casting about for a Re-make/Re-model for this cocktail, I recalled the strategy I used for the Parisian Blonde, using a sort of divide and conquer method I learned from Erik Adkins at Heaven’s Dog.

I was chatting the other day in the Mixo Bar, grousing about having to make this horror. Between the insults to my Mom’s honor and comments about my own extreme age, I managed to sneak in a question, asking my compatriots which Scotch would go best with chocolate. Paul Clarke suggested Speyside, with its flavors of honey and heather. Unfortunately, (or fortunately,) the only Speyside Single Malt in the house at the moment is The MacAllan Cask Strength.

Hm, honey and Scotch is always a winning combo. But, do I have to use Creme de Cacao at all to get the chocolate flavor in this cocktail? Maybe another strategy for the Chocolate. And speaking of other strategies, does the Dry Gin have any function at all here, beyond a lengthener? Why not just use Vodka, and a single grain vodka at that, for the other spirit in this drink?

Whizz-Doodle Re-Make/Re-Model

1 oz Macallan Cask Strength Scotch;
1 oz Vodka Which Shall Not Be Named;
1 Barspoon JC Snyder Wild Buckwheat Honey*;
dash Bittermens Mole Bitters;
1/2 oz Cream;
Bittersweet Chocolate.

Dissolve Honey in Scotch and Vodka, add a Dash (or two) Mole Bitters, and stir with ice to chill. Strain into a cocktail glass. Whip cream to soft foam and float on top. Garnish with grated bitter chocolate.

Holy Crap! That is pretty decent, a dessert cocktail for Scotch and chocolate loving friends. It is certainly an improvement over the Barbary Coast.

*As a certified honey enthusiast and student of Botany, I will note that this is NOT the type of honey most often sold in the rest of the US as “Buckwheat Honey”. Most Buckwheat Honey comes from the same Buckwheat used to make Buckwheat Flour (aka Fagopyrum esculentum). The honey which Bees make from this type of Buckwheat is extremely dark and pungent. Some say unpleasantly so. However, in California there are several native plants also called Buckwheats: California Buckwheat. The honey Bees make from these plants is fairly lightly flavored and quite pleasant. If you don’t have access to California Buckwhat honey, choose another light, not too fruity honey. Clover would probably be a good choice.

Re-Made/Re-Modeled.

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.

“L.G.” Cocktail

L.G. Cocktail

“L.G.” Cocktail

1 glass Scotch Whisky. (2 oz Highland Park 12)
1 glass Beer as a chaser. (St. Ambroise Pale Ale, Brasserie McAuslan, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

My beer club notes describe the St. Ambroise Pale as follows:

The St-Ambroise Pale Ale pours into the glass with a crystal clear copper/amber color. The head is offwhite to beige in color, fairly light and frothy, and leaves a faint lace in the glass as it subsides. The nose shows crisp malt and toasted grains, with a strong citrus/hop note, and even a touch of grassiness. It is medium- to full-bodied on the palate, with pronounced nuttiness, toast, and hints of fruit. The hops are almost entirely missing from the middle of the palate, before returning in the finish with a pleasant bitter note, but very little citrus character.

Not exactly a cocktail, but a very enjoyable beer and a very enjoyable Scotch.

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.

Lemon Pie Cocktail

Lemon Pie Cocktail

Lemon Pie Cocktail

1 Glass Scotch Whisky. (2 oz Famous Grouse Scotch)
1 bottle Lemonade. (Fever Tree Bitter Lemon)

(Patrick Gavin Duffy: Stir gently with 1 ice cube.)

No instructions for this one, so initially I wasn’t sure if they were to be served separately or mixed together. Fortunately, Patrick Gavin Duffy included the above instructions in his “Official Mixer’s Manual”.

In the English vernacular, I’m told “Lemonade” refers to a carbonated beverage not dissimilar to 7-Up. Or perhaps those carbonated French Lemon Sodas.

In any case, I’ve wanted to try the Fever Tree Bitter Lemon for a while now, and this seemed like a fine excuse. As an experiment, I’d say it was a bit of a failure, as Scotch and Bitter Lemon didn’t quite work for me. The Scotch already has enough character going in and the bitterness kind of clashed with it. Would have preferred plain lemon soda or, to be perfectly honest, plain soda water.

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.

Robin Wood

I was recently perusing Camper English‘s article on Scotch in the most recent issue of Imbibe Magazine, when I ran across an appealing sounding cocktail:

Robin Wood

2 oz Auchentoshan 10 Year
1/2 oz Madeira
1/2 oz Aperol
1 tsp Grand Marnier
3 drops Orange bitters

Stir with ice to chill, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist and raisins.
Created by Humberto Marques for Oloroso bar in Edinburgh.

Scotch cocktails, aside from the Rob Roy, Blood and Sand, Bobby Burns, and Affinity are pretty rare, but this one sounded right up my alley, so…

Robin Wood

2 oz Highland Park 12
1/2 oz Justino’s Rainwater Madeira
1/2 oz Aperol
1 tsp. Grand Marnier
3 drops Angostura Orange Bitters

Stir, strain, Meyer Lemon Zest, Port Plumped Cherry.

I don’t have a bottle of Auchentoshan, which is a Lowland Scotch, and am not entirely sure that substituting Highland Park, which is an Orkney Scotch, is a great choice. But I’m not about to run out and buy another bottle of Single Malt Scotch just to experiment with this cocktail.

They didn’t say what sort of Madeira to use, but the Justino’s Rainwater Madeira seemed appealing.

Aperol is an Italian bitter aperitif (or Amaro) similar to Campari. It’s a bit sweeter, milder, and more orangey than Campari. Some people describe it as a “gateway” Amaro.

Along with Cointreau, Grand Marnier is one of the grand old French Orange liqueurs. Because the orange perfume is blended with Cognac, it is often thought to be a more elegant spirit than the sharp, single noted orange of Cointreau. To my mind, they both have their places in the mixologists arsenal. Some suggest that Grand Marnier is the best choice when confronted with the term “Curacao”, especially in 19th Century cocktail recipes.

The Angostura Orange Bitters are only recently available in the US, and are a very fine choice.

I had meyer lemons around the house for something I was making for dinner, so they seemed like an interesting choice for the zest. Indeed, their piney funk combined intriguingly with the peaty flavors of the Highland Park Scotch.

I was making a Port and Cherry sauce for some duck breasts. I had combined about a dozen dried bing cherries with a cup of Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Port, a half cup of Cherry Heering, a half cup of Lustau Brandy, and a quarter cup of sugar. Reduced it by half. The sauce and cherries were hanging out on the stove waiting for the duck to be done. The cherries turned out to be pretty darn delicious, so in one went instead of the raisins. They were actually tasty enough, I might have to use them as house cherries going forward!

Also picked up these nice Fostoria glasses on our recent trip to Arizona. I’d really liked this pattern when Neyah brought out some similar glasses making Savoy Cocktails at NOPA, so I was particularly pleased to run across a few stems at an Antique store in Scottsdale.

This is a very nice cocktail! I think a slightly milder scotch combined with a more assertive Madeira might kick it up just a notch, but I liked it just fine as it is.

Flying Scotchman Cocktail

Flying Scotchman Cocktail
(6 People)

2 1/2 Glasses Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Martini & Rossi Rosso)
3 Glasses Scotch Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Compass Box Asyla Scotch)
1 Tablespoonful Bitters. (Generous couple dashes Angostura Bitters)
1 Tablespoonful Sugar Syrup. (1/2 teaspoon Depaz Cane Syrup)

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

A slightly sweetened and rather heavily bittered Rob Roy?

Perfectly enjoyable cocktail, as far as I am concerned.

“The Flying Scotchman” train running between Edinburgh and London, was, for a time in the 1800s, the fastest train in the world. It appears it was only bested in 1888 by a train called the “West Coast Flyer”:

FLYING OVER THE RAILS; THE FAMOUS “FLYING SCOTCHMAN” OUTDONE.A TEST OF SPEED ON TWO GREAT ENGLISH RAILROADS–ATTAINING A RATE OF 75 MILES AN HOUR.

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.

“Everything But” Cocktail

“Everything But” Cocktail

1/4 Whisky. (3/4 oz Compass Box blended Asyla Scotch Whisky)
1/4 Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/4 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/4 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Fresh Orange Juice)
1 Egg.
1 Teaspoonful of Apricot brandy. (1 teaspoon Rothman & Winter Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)
Powdered Sugar. (scant teaspoon caster sugar)

(Combine ingredients in shaker without ice and shake for 10 seconds. Add big ice…) Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Bunch of new technology here. First off, I finally scored a few 18oz cheater tins to top my 28 oz boston shakers. These are spiffy and seem nominally less messy when making egg drinks. Second we have the big sturdy tovolo ice cubes being employed instead of regular refrigerator ice. Third, I’m continuing my experiments with dry shaking. Fourth, given the size of this cocktail, I got to get out my bigger coupes.


Now, if the lovely texture of the egg in the first picture wasn’t enough, this second one with a clear half inch of delicious foam should indicate progress is being made.

Regarding ingredients, many of the cocktails calling for simply “Whisky” in the “Savoy Cocktail Book” are from Judge Jr.’s 1927 “Here’s How”. In that book Scotch is specified. I went with the Apricot Eau-de-Vie instead of liqueur, as there was already plenty of sugar here, and I like Eau-de-Vies in egg cocktails.

I kind of thought I was getting tired of sour cocktails, but this one is quite tasty and fairly complex. “Velvety,” would be a good word for it. I really enjoyed it.

Regarding the name, Judge Jr. sez, “This little drink is christened thusly because it contains everything but the kitchen stove!”

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.

De Rigueur Cocktail

De Rigueur Cocktail

1/2 Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Famous Grouse)
1/4 Grape Fruit Juice. (3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice)
1/4 Honey. (1 teaspoon Jan C. Snyder’s Blue Curls Honey.)
Cracked ice.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Another cocktail ripped from the pages of Judge Jr.’s “Here’s How”.

Hark, ye lads! Here’s the very latest drink! Three of these will knock you for a row of aspirins:

1/2 scotch;
1/4 grapefruit juice;
1/4 honey;
cracked ice.

I first tried this with the usual Compass Box Asyla and California Buckwheat Honey. The California Buckwheat honey was a bit much for the Asyla.

The second version with the nominally milder Blue Curls honey and Famous Grouse was better. I’ve no idea about the ridiculous amount of honey this recipe calls for. A teaspoon was, if anything, still a bit too sweet for me. Oh yeah, “Wooly Blue Curls,” I just have to type that again, if there is a better plant name than, “Wooly Blue Curls,” I don’t know what it is.

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.