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.

Bobby Burns Cocktail

Bobby Burns Cocktail.*

1/2 Italian Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
1/2 Scotch Whisky (1 1/2 oz Compass Box Asyla)
3 Dashes Benedictine (Barspoon Benedictine)

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

*One of the very best Whisky Cocktails. A very fast mover on Saint Andrews Day.

I am inclined to agree with the authors of The Savoy. Boy, I enjoyed this cocktail. The complexity of the Bitter Vermouth, the briny Scotch, and the slight sweet herbaceousness of the Benedictine, all highlighted with the brightness of the lemon zest. Just about everything I like in a brown liquor cocktail in a single glass. It really doesn’t get much better than this.

I always make this cocktail in celebration of Burns Night, a fine tradition celebrating the life and works of Scottish Poet, Robert Burns. I first learned about Burns Night a few years ago while listening to the radio shows of the late John Peel.

From Burns’ Poem “A Bottle and Friend”:

Here’s a bottle and an honest friend!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o’care, man?

Then catch the moments as they fly,
and use them as ye ought, man.
Believe me, happiness is shy,
and comes not aye when sought, man.

Now I’m not sure if this cocktail, or the similar “Robert Burns Cockail”, were actually named after the poet in question. And Burns probably would disapprove of sullying Scotch with water and other questionable materials. Still, on Burns night, we put on Camera Obscura’s album of Burns’ Poetry and raise a glass to the memories of John Peel and Robert Burns.

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.

Blood and Sand Cocktail

Blood and Sand Cocktail

1/4 Orange Juice (3/4 oz fresh Blood Orange Juice)
1/4 Scotch Whisky (3/4 oz Compass Box Asyla)
1/4 Cherry Brandy (3/4 oz Massenez Creme de Griotte)
1/4 Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This one is supposed to be named after the 1922 movie of the same name featuring Rudolph Valentino. The movie is the story of a bullfighter rising from a poor background only to be defeated by his own ambition.

As far as the cocktail goes, I think the Asyla is a bit too civilized for this company. The cocktail probably could have used a more assertive a Scotch. Also, while not syrupy, the Blood and Sand, especially made with the Massenez Creme de Griotte, is pretty sweet. If you make it yourself, I’d recommend picking up some Cherry Heering, as it is drier and definitely superior in this cocktail.

My use of blood orange wasn’t really planned. We have a couple kinds of oranges in the fridge, and I picked a small one thinking it was a valencia. When I split it, I realized it was a blood orange. Well, “apropos,” I thought. Also, these are very early season blood oranges, so still quite tart. The berry/musk doesn’t really start to overwhelm the fruit until later in the year.

Blood and Sand is another of those cocktails that had been on my list to try for quite a while. I usually have all the stuff for it in the house. It had just has never made it to the top of the list. First there’s the short list of regular cocktails then there’s the cool ones I read about in Gary Regan’s column or on the Internet… Any of those always seem more appealing than the BandS.

It certainly is an odd cocktail. Fairly mild on the alcohol front, not as sweet as a dessert cocktail, and neither dry nor aromatic enough to qualify as an aperitif or digestif. In a lot of ways, I’ve come to think of it as the blueprint for a lot of the modern, middle of the road cocktails.

Oh, and oddly, Patrick Gavin Duffy instructs this cocktail should be stirred, not shaken.

Here are a couple more links to much better writers than I tackling the mystery that is the Blood and Sand.

Professor gets some Education, Gary Regan, in a SF Chronicle Cocktailian column from 2003

Naming Names, Paul Clarke, from his Cocktail Chronicles blog in 2005

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.

Barton Special Cocktail

Barton Special Cocktail*

1/4 Calvados or Apple Brandy. (3/4 oz Germain-Robin Apple Brandy)
1/4 Scotch Whisky. (3/4 oz Compass Box Asyla)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake (it would be proper to stir, but it really probably doesn’t matter) well and strain into cocktail glass.

*What has Bruce Barton got to do with this?

Bruce Barton was an inspirational writer, Christian, Republican, Politician, and Madison Avenue Adman. His most famous creation was Betty Crocker. He also worked on high profile ad campaigns for General Electric and General Motors. I’m guessing the above smart remark above was made before it was revealed he had had an affair with a female co-worker and she was blackmailing him. Instead of giving in to her demands, (a second time,) he turned her in to the police.

In any case, if Barton did enjoy a Barton Special now and then, he certainly didn’t like anything getting between booze and his stomach.

It is remotely possible that there might be some magical combination of brands of these spirits that might make this flavorful. But, uh, honestly, this is a big glass of cold, straight booze.

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.

Barbary Coast Cocktail

The Barbary Coast Cocktail

1/4 Gin. (1 oz Beefeater’s Gin)
1/4 Scotch Whisky. (1 oz Compass Box Asyla Scotch Whisky)
1/4 Crème de Cacao. (1 oz Bols White Creme de Cacao)
1/4 Cream. (1 oz Cream)
Cracked Ice.

Serve in a highball glass. (Fill highball glass with crushed ice, build ingredients in glass, stir until outside of glass frosts over.)

Most other cocktail books seem to either make the Barbary Coast as a shaken “up” cocktail (1/2 oz each ingredient) or as a highball (2oz whiskey, 1/2 oz rest, built over ice, topped with soda).

However, since this is one of the few Savoy cocktails that doesn’t include the instruction, “Shake well and strain into cocktail glass,” I’m pretty sure that wasn’t intended. There is also no mention of soda. I decided to treat it as a “swizzle”. Also, I didn’t have dark Creme de Cacao at the time, but it might be a better choice, just for coloration reasons, than the White. Or if you’ve got it, Mozart Black Chocolate Liqueur will bring both color and some nice dark chocolate flavor.

As an aside, with many of the cream cocktails I’m afraid I must admit the routine is, shake, strain, sip, dump. They’re usually too sweet and my doctor has told me to avoid dairy. For what it is worth, against my own best interests, I finished this one.

Also, based on the assumption that this cocktail is named after the San Francisco’s Gold Rush era Barbary Coast neighborhood, I will include the following quote, from Benjamin Estelle Lloyd, writing in 1876:

The Barbary Coast is the haunt of the low and the vile of every kind. The petty thief, the house burglar, the tramp, the whoremonger, lewd women, cutthroats, murderers, all are found here. Dance-halls and concert-saloons, where blear-eyed men and faded women drink vile liquor, smoke offensive tobacco, engage in vulgar conduct, sing obscene songs and say and do everything to heap upon themselves more degradation, are numerous. Low gambling houses, thronged with riot-loving rowdies, in all stages of intoxication, are there. Opium dens, where heathen Chinese and God-forsaken men and women are sprawled in miscellaneous confusion, disgustingly drowsy or completely overcome, are there. Licentiousness, debauchery, pollution, loathsome disease, insanity from dissipation, misery, poverty, wealth, profanity, blasphemy, and death, are there. And Hell, yawning to receive the putrid mass, is there also.

Nice to know things haven’t changed too much…

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.

Alice, Mine Cocktail

Alice, Mine Cocktail

1/2 Italian Vermouth. (Generous 1 oz Italian Vermouth)
1/2 Russians Kummel. (Generous 1 oz Norwegian Aquavit, Dash Simple Syrup)
2 Dashes Scotch Whisky. (teaspoon Scotch Whisky)

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

Not having Kummel, a caraway liqueur, I cheated here and substituted Aquavit, a caraway flavored spirit.

It is all a bit confusing, in that there are about 3 cocktails with this same name and different ingredients. Sometimes the recipe is the exact same thing as the preceding Alfonso Special and sometimes it is just a Scotch Manhattan.

This version of the Alice, Mine Cocktail is actually surprisingly tasty.

There aren’t many Scotch cocktails, and it’s a shame this one isn’t known more.

The comma in the name of the cocktail puzzles me, otherwise I would say it might be named after the famous “Alice Mine” near Butte Montana and the part it played in the Silver rush of the 1870s.

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.