Orgeat Fizz

Orgeat Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Meyer Lemon, Juice 1/2 Lime)
1 Liqueur Glass Orgeat. (1 1/2 oz Small Hand Foods Orgeat)
Shake well strain into medium size glass and fill with soda water.

Now, I normally say a “plain fizz” is composed of Spirits, Lemon or lime, Sweetener, and Soda water.

The Orgeat Fizz gives lie to that formula by leaving out the spirits altogether!

To be honest, prior to getting to this section of the book, I made this non-alcoholic drink all the time, maybe with a dash of Bitters or Absinthe for variety, on “alcohol free days”. It is very tasty!

However, one word of warning, I have had some problems occasionally. Some manufacturers include thickeners, (like Xanthan Gum, aka Cabbage Slime,) in their orgeat. These manufacturers do this to discourage the almond oils and solids from falling out of suspension. With these products, especially when just building an Orgeat Fizz, instead of shaking it, the thickened Orgeat sometimes forms capsules instead of mixing nicely with the soda water. Something about the citrus, almond fats, Xanthan Gum, and soda. Ends up being kind of gross, with little globules of Orgeat floating in your drink instead of the syrup being evenly distributed. Not good eats.

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.

Orange Fizz

Orange Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Orange. (Juice 1 Tangerine)
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime. (Juice 1 Meyer Lemon)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Leopold’s Gin)
(1 tsp. Rich Simple Syrup)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with syphon soda.

Another of the many Savoy Fizzes which seem to stem from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”, Ensslin gives the recipe as, “Juice ½ Orange; Juice ½ Lime; Juice ½ Lemon; Drink El Bart Gin. Made and served as directed for plain Gin Fizz.”

Ensslin’s Fizzes are very interesting, at least to me, for their use of multiple citrus. In this case, you’ve got Lemon, Lime, and Orange. Outside of so called “Exotic Drinks” you rarely see such variety of citrus called for in drink recipes. Interesting that Ensslin’s recipes pre-date the whole Exotic drink movement by about 30 years. Unlike Vic or Don, in 1916 New York City he probably wasn’t calling on a nostalgia for time spent in the South Sea or the Caribbean for these drinks. Makes you wonder where the inspiration came from.

I did slightly switch up the juices. I only had a Tangerine and some Meyer Lemons. Figured a whole Tangerine amounts to about the juice of a half orange.

Some friends have an enormous Meyer Lemon tree in their back yard which they think must date back at least to the 1940s. It is very nearly weighted down year round with a bumper crop of 100s of lemons. The peels are wonderfully fragrant, much more so than most super market Meyer Lemons, and the juice a tad more acidic than I usually expect from Meyers. I figured the juice of one medium size Meyer Lemon about equaled the souring power of the juice of 1/2 Lemon and 1/2 Lime.

Ensslin neglects to mention any sweetener in this recipe and I’m not sure if it is assumed from the direction, “Made and served as directed for plain Gin Fizz.”

However, I couldn’t quite hang with NO sweetener for the Orange Fizz. If you can, you’re a better man (or woman) than I.

An enjoyable, refreshing drink, I wouldn’t scold you if you embellished this with a touch of bitters, but on the other hand, with great citrus and a light hand on the soda and sweetener, it’s hard to argue with it on a hot day.

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.

May Blossom Fizz

First, just a reminder that Sunday, July 31, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

May Blossom Fizz
1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (1 teaspoon Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon)
1 Liqueur Glass Swedish Punch. (1 1/2 oz Forgotten Flavors Swedish Punsch)
(2 Dash Miracle Mile Gingerbread Bitters)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with soda water.

I think I got this small bottle of the Forgotten Flavors Swedish Punsch as a consolation prize for missing out on the CSOWG house at Tales a couple years ago. The Forgotten Flavors Punsch is pretty good, but it’s my understanding Haus Alpenz will shortly be importing my all-time favorite Facile Swedish Punch, so no reason to go spending all that money getting Punsch shipped from Germany. I mean, you can always make your own, a la Underhill-Punsch, it’s way less work than Milk Punch, trust me.

The Gingerbread Bitters were a nice improvisation, upping the spice and bitterness quotient in what might otherwise be a somewhat plain cocktail. Tasty, definitely a recommended use for Swedish Punsch.

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.

Gin Fizz

Gin Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (generous teaspoon Caster Sugar)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Junipero Gin)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with syphon soda water.

A while ago, my neighborhood blog Bernalwood was kind enough to feature one of my cocktail posts:

This Weekend’s Coktail is yesterday’s Tom Collins

In the comments section, someone remarked:

friscolex: “Hurray for good cocktails. I have to fight tooth and nail to get a gin fizz in SF so maybe I’ll just switch, although the Rob Roy IMO is the Perfect Manhattan.
In re: gin fizz dearth: I have tried EVERY schmancy cocktail joint and have basically given up because I inevitably get “schooled” by the bartender who gives me a Ramos fizz or silver fizz. I’ve stopped short of printing out a few copies of the recipes from a classic cocktail book because that just seems ridiculous. Luckily those bars usually have Anchor on tap!”

It’s always sort of interesting when a certain style of drink comes to represent a category and optional ingredients become de rigueur. How did muddled fruit end up in an old fashioned? Egg White in a Whisk(e)y Sour? And to the point, “How did Egg White end up the default in the Gin Fizz?”

So let’s get this out of the way, a properly made Plain Gin Fizz does not have egg white. A “Plain Gin Fizz” is Gin, Lemon Juice (maybe lime juice), Sugar, and Soda Water. If you add egg white to a fizz, you are making what is called a Silver Fizz.

A lot of people like egg white in their Gin Fizzes, and, as indicated above, some don’t.

But let’s face it, no one can know everything about drinks. But in this case, the customer seems to know more about Gin Fizzes than the bartender. But, even if the bartender was right about the default Gin Fizz having Egg White, it’s up to him (or her) to serve the customer the drink they want, not the drink the bartender likes to make. I mean, if all I did was serve drinks I like, everyone would get Beer, Manhattans, or a Slug of Booze. What fun would that be?

What I like to do, unless a drink is written on the menu as containing Egg White, is to make sure that the customer wants their Gin Fizz (or Whiskey Sour) with Egg White when they order the drink. Say something like, “The house Gin Fizz is made with Egg White, is that all right with you?” Just to be on the safe side. Alternatively, as a customer, you should be able to ask for a, “Plain Gin Fizz, no Egg White.” If you get hassled for that order, definitely stick with the Anchor Steam.

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.

Dubonnet Fizz

Dubonnet Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Orange. (Juice 1/2 Orange)
The Juice of 1/4 Lemon. (Juice 1/4 Lemon)
1 Teaspoonful Cherry Brandy. (teaspoon Cherry Heering)
1 Glass Dubonnet. (2 oz Dubonnet Rouge)
(Dash Miracle Mile Sour Cherry Bitters)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass. Fill with soda water.

Never a huge fan of Dubonnet Rouge, I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty this Fizz was, Mrs. Flannestad even approved, “Tastes like sour cherry soda! Yum!” A surprisingly tasty “low alcohol” libation.

About all I’d say is give it a pretty short shake. You’re already dealing with a low alcohol base and adding soda. There’s no reason to go all “hard shake” on this one.

I was thinking what a tasty addition Bar Agricole’s Stone Fruit Bitters were to their Tom Collins. If they can add bitters to a Collins, maybe I can add something similar to the Dubonnet Fizz. A friend of mine sent me these delicious Miracle Mile Sour Cherry Bitters. Seemed just the ticket! If you don’t have the Miracle Mile Sour Cherry Bitters at home, a dash of orange bitters instead, wouldn’t hurt.

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.

Cream Fizz

Cream Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (Generous teaspoon Caster Sugar)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)
1 Teaspoonful Fresh Cream. (1 teaspoonful Whipping Cream)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with soda water.

Still mucking about with the iSi CO2 soda siphon. Just haven’t figured out anything better.

I tried calling and emailing Selzer Sisters a couple weeks ago, and even though I see their delivery van in Bernal Heights every night, I haven’t heard back.

A lot of friends have recommended the Soda Stream option, but it’s a bit expensive, and I don’t like the fact that the closure is a screw top instead of a valve. Once you open, you’re pretty much committed to drinking the whole liter of soda.

Another option would be buying a case of Fever Tree Soda Water. Except I haven’t found anyone selling the Fever Tree Soda Water, just their Ginger Ale, Ginger Beer, Tonic, and Bitter Lemon. And I am certainly not going to pay to have fizzy water shipped from somewhere.

So, iSi soda siphon it is. I get decent results by a) using chilled and filtered water. b) allowing it to stand overnight after charging.

On the previous Brandy Fizz and here on the Cream Fizz, I went a little light on the sugar. I am coming to the conclusion, with the dilution and slight acidity of the soda water, you really can’t do that and have the drink have a full flavor. It just tastes like watery lemonade, not appealing.

Anyway, Cream in this one, instead of egg. There are a few fizzes like that, including the upcoming Peach Blow Fizz, not sure what the appeal is. It’s not a whole lot of cream, only a teaspoon, so it’s not like having a Milk Punch or anything. But it does foam slightly and give a dairy flavor to the drink. With the lemon, it’s almost yoghurt-ish. Again, another reason not to go light on the sugar, better custard than yoghurt.

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.

Brandy Fizz

First, just a reminder that Sunday, June 26, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

Brandy Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (1 tsp. Caster Sugar)
1 Glass Brandy. (2 oz Dudognon Cognac Reserve)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with syphon soda water.

Source: Hugo Ensslin, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” 1916-1917, “Made same as plain Gin Fizz*, using Brandy instead of Gin.”

*Gin Fizz. Juice of ½ Lime; Juice ½ Lemon; 1 tablespoon of Powdered Sugar; 1 drink Dry Gin. Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into fizz glass, fill up with carbonated or any sparkling water desired.

Right, so I’m a bit of a moron, here I was saying the Albemarle Fizz was a bit sweet, when, according to Hugo Ensslin, like the Plain Gin Fizz, it should have been made with the juice of “1/2 Lime and the Juice of 1/2 Lemon”.

And again, I failed to notice when making the Brandy Fizz.

Damn.

Well, I have to say, while it might have been OK with the Raspberry flavors of the Albemarle Fizz, I don’t think lime juice would have been awesome in the Brandy Fizz.

I was perfectly happy with this drink as it is, with its Cognac Flavor flag waving proudly.

Though, to be honest, with a Cognac as fine as the Dudognon, a plain soda and Cognac Highball would have been perfectly delicious.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, its the only Brandy I have in the house at the moment.

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.

Apple Blow Fizz

First, just a reminder that Sunday, June 26, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) 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.

Apple Blow Fizz
The White of 1 Egg.
4 Dashes Lemon Juice. (Juice 1/2 small lemon)
1 Teaspoonful of Powdered Sugar. (1 tsp Caster Sugar)
1 Glass Calvados. (2 oz Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with soda water.

Source: Hugo Ensslin, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” 1916-1917, “1 drink Applejack; 4 dashes Lemon Juice; 1 spoonful Sugar; White of 1 Egg. Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into a fizz glass, fill up with carbonated or any sparkling water desired.”

While I would really love to make this with Calvados, it seems at odds with the spirit of the drink. And the original recipe does specify AppleJack. So we use the Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy.

Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy, woo! Nothing like an 100 Proof pick-me-up!

Anyway, another fizz which is light on the modifiers, only “4 dashes” of lemon juice and a teaspoon of sugar to ameliorate the potent influence of the Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, making this quite a potent tipple.

I don’t know if it is a sign of my incipient dipsomania, but I rather enjoyed the take no prisoners boozy approach of the Apple Blow Fizz.

I’ve pondered the name over the years and never really figured out the whole “Blow” thing. It just sounds vaguely salacious to me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the egg white creates a head which could be blown off the top in some sort of drunken salute to your fellow drinkers, as in the Froth Blower Cocktail and Ancient Order of Froth Blowers?

From the Wikipedia Article:

The Ancient Order of Froth-Blowers was a humorous British charitable organisation “to foster the noble Art and gentle and healthy Pastime of froth blowing amongst Gentlemen of-leisure and ex-Soldiers”. Running from 1924-1931, it was founded by Bert Temple, an ex-soldier and silk-merchant, initially to raise £100 (equal to £4,228 today) for the children’s charities of the surgeon Sir Alfred Fripp. One of the Order’s first meeting places was the Swan, Fittleworth, W. Sussex – the ‘No. 0 Vat’.

History

Temple founded the organisation in gratitude for life-saving stomach surgery by Fripp. Membership of this spoof order cost 5 shillings (equal to £11 today), each member receiving a pair of silver, enamelled cuff-links and a membership booklet and card entitling them to blow froth off any member’s beer “and occasionally off non-members’ beer provided they are not looking or are of a peaceful disposition“. The motto was “Lubrication in Moderation”.

That’s about all I can come up with.

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.

Amer Picon Highball

Amer Picon Highball
1 Liqueur Glass of Amer Picon. (Amaro Ciociaro)
3 Dashes Grenadine. (1 teaspoon Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1 Lump of Ice.
Fill medium size glass with syphon soda water or split of soda. Ginger Ale can be used if preferred. Add twist of lemon peel if desired.

It’s a bit odd that the only highball listed specifically is the Amer Picon Highball. Maybe because it includes Grenadine? In any case, this is pretty much exactly a Picon Punch.

What exactly is a Picon Punch? Well, to quote Chuck Taggart, “It’s the most popular cocktail in Bakersfield, California. Why, you may ask? I did, and looked it up — it ‘s the “national drink” of the Basque people, and there are lots of Euskadi folk and Basque restaurants in B’field (known otherwise only for Buck Owens’ place and for being the hometown of a lot of people I know who couldn’t wait to move to L.A.)”

So feel free to order one in Bakersfield, Reno, or even San Francisco. I have to admit I did not see anyone drinking them when we visited the Basque country in Spain, though.

Why am I using Amer CioCiaro instead of Amer Picon? The big reason is, I just don’t have any. I do have Torani Amer, but I have to admit that the rather rubbing alcohol-esque nose on Torani Amer always puts me off. But back to Amer Ciociaro, about a million years ago, Mr. David Wondrich, (aka Splificator) took it upon himself to taste through all the considerable Amari he had in his closet to find the one closest to vintage Amer Picon. He documented this on eGullet: A Bitter Truth

Not too long ago, our own Scratchline was generous enough to give me a half-bottle of the original, 78-proof Picon (thanks again!). The other day, I rummaged through the various hidey-holes where I keep my aperitifs and amari and rounded up enough to do a comparative tasting, Amer Picon against the world.

After much nosing and not a little tasting, the closest match in aroma and taste proved to be the 60-proof Amaro Ciociaro. Now, it’s not a perfect match (it’s a little more herbal), and admittedly 60 proof isn’t the same as 78 proof, but it does a great job of evoking the clean orange notes of the old Picon without being nearly as watery as the new Picon. Plus it avoids the vegetal notes of the Torani, which are entirely absent in the old Picon.

So when Mrs. Flannestad took a trip to NY, one of the things I tasked her with was finding a bottle of the stuff. Little did I know she would trek all the way to the now legendary LeNell’s in Brooklyn to find it. I knew there was a reason I married her!

In any case, such fortitude is no longer necessary in California, as Amaro CioCiaro is now distributed here and carried in San Francisco by Cask and K&L Wines. Cask, in particular, seems hell bent on resurrecting the amazing array of bitter substances previously seen only at the late lamented LeNell’s.

By the way, there’s no particular reason you couldn’t make a Highball with just about any Amer or Amaro, leaving out the sweetener if they are already particularly sweet. In fact, Amaro Montenegro is another one pretty close to Amer Picon. Though, now that I think about it, Fernet Branca Highball anyone? Rick? Angostura Highball? Dion? Jaegermeister Highball? Jeffrey?

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.

John Collins

John Collins
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup)
1 glass Hollands Gin. (2 oz Bols Genever)
Shake well and strain into long tumbler. Add 1 lump ice and split of soda water

The last of the Collins family, for Savoy purposes, is the “John Collins”. I guess the interesting part is that in modern bar nomenclature, if you ordered a John Collins you’d likely get a Bourbon Collins, not a Genever Collins. It’s true that Genevers were rather thin on the ground for most of the 20th Century and that during most of that time, London Dry Gin was the dominant style. If you ordered a Genever Collins, you would likely get a blank look. Even in Europe, where Genever was still available, not many people were mixing with it.

Actually, strike that, as far as I know, no one was mixing with it.

To be honest, I’m not super sold on the John Collins as a good use for Genever. Because Genever doesn’t have the botanical intensity of London Dry or Old Tom, it doesn’t have a huge impact in the drink. Basically tastes like boozy, fizzy lemonade. There’s a little maltiness from the Genever, but it doesn’t have much presence in the drink.

It’s perfectly fine, but it doesn’t sell itself. You can definitely see why Genever went by the wayside for drinks of this nature.

No, if you’re going to mix with Genever, make yourself an Improved Holland Gin Cocktail or a Holland House. Those are drinks where the Genever shines.

In the previous Tom Collins Whisky post, I mentioned that I should try making a Collins with unaged Whisk(e)y.

So as a bonus round, I made a half Collins with the Low Gap Clear Whiskey.

Wow, was that good!

I am a little dubious about the whole “White Whiskey” category, but the Low Gap really shines in a Tom Collins. Pot Still for the win!

Highly recommended, maybe my favorite Collins of the bunch.

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.