Brandy Fix

Fixes.

In making fixes be careful to put the lemon skin in the glass.

Brandy Fix
Pour into a small tumbler 1 teaspoonful of sugar, 1 teaspoonful of water to dissolve the sugar, Juice of 1/2 Lemon, 1/2 Liqueur Glass of Cherry Brandy, 1 Liqueur Glass of Brandy. Fill the glass with fine ice and stir slowly, then add a slice of lemon, and serve with a straw.

Oft times, people looking at the two pages of the Savoy Cocktail Book with the Daisies on one side and the Fixes on the other, will have the question, “What is the difference between a Fix and a Daisy?”

If we say a “Daisy” is Spirits, Citrus, Sweetener, Ice and Soda Water, then the only real difference between the Daisy and the Fix is the presence of Soda Water in the recipe for the Daisy.

Looking at some old recipe books:

While the 1862 edition of Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide did not include Daisies, he did include a section of “Fixes and Sours”.

Brandy Fix.
(Use Small Bar Glass)

1 table-spoonful of sugar;
1/4 of a lemon;
1/2 wineglass water;
1 wineglass brandy.

Fill a tumbler two-thirds full of shaved ice. Stir with a spoon and dress the top with fruit in season*

*The Santa Cruz fix is made by substituting Santa Cruz rum instead of brandy.

Gin Sour
(Use Small Bar Glass)

The gin Sour is made with the same ingredients as the gin fix, omitting all fruits except a small piece of lemon, which must be pressed in the glass.**

**The Santa Cruz sour is made by substituting Santa Cruz rum instead of gin. In making fixes and sours be careful and put the lemon skin in the glass.

For Jerry Thomas, then, a Sour is a Fix without a fruit garnish.

From Harry Johnson’s 1888 “Bartender’s Manual”:

Gin Fix
(Use a large bar glass)
1/2 tablespoonful of sugar;
3 or 4 dashes of lime or lemon juice;
1/2 pony glass of pineapple syrup; dissolve well with a little water, or squirt of selters;
Fill up the glass with shaved ice;
1 wine glass of Holland Gin.

Stir up well with a spoon, ornament the top with fruit in season, and serve with a straw.

As usual, Mr Johnson is slightly more ornamental than Mr Thomas with his sweetener choices, but the two recipes are more or less the same. Sugar, Citrus, and Spirits served on fine ice and ornamented with “fruit in season”.

While we are at it, we might as well check Cocktail Bill Boothby, from 1908:

Fix.

Fill a punch glass with fine ice and set it on the bar. Then take a medium size mixing-glass and put in it one dessertspoonful of sugar, the juice of one lemon, a jigger of whiskey and enough water to make a drink large enough to fill the punch glass containing the ice. Stir well, pour over the ice in the punch glass, decorate and serve with straws.

With Boothby, I think the words, “punch glass” are particularly telling. A Fix is a single serving punch, mixed a la minute, and served over fine ice.

OK, back to the Savoy. The most troubling part of the Savoy Brandy Fix recipe is the “Cherry Brandy”. What do the authors mean, Cherry Liqueur or Cherry Eau-de-Vie?

Well, let’s try it both ways and see what we get.

Brandy Fix (Kirsch)

1 1/2 oz Artez Folle Blanche Armagnac VSOP
3/4 oz Clear Creek Kirsch
Juice 1/2 Lemon
1 teaspoon Rich Simple Syrup
Peel 1 Lemon
Grapes
Lemon Slice

Shake on cracked ice and pour into a wine glass decorated with whole lemon peel. Garnish with fruit in season and lemon slice.

Huh, that’s actually not awful, in fact kind of tasty. The Cherry Eau-de-Vie diversifies the flavor and increases the intensity of the Brandy’s taste in the drink.

Brandy Fix (Heering)

1 1/2 oz Artez Folle Blanche Armagnac VSOP
3/4 oz Cherry Heering
Juice 1/2 Lemon
1 teaspoon Rich Simple Syrup
Peel 1 Lemon
Grapes
Lemon Slice

Shake on cracked ice and pour into a wine glass decorated with whole lemon peel. Garnish with fruit in season and a lemon slice.

On the other hand, this IS kind of awful. Maybe my Heering is past its prime, but this tastes rather too much like cough syrup for me to be comfortable with. I can only imagine this would be even more medicinal with Gin or Genever. I might be wrong, but I’m going to side with Eau-de-Vie for the Brandy Fix.

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.

Shady Grove Cooler

Shady Grove Cooler
1/2 Tablespoonful of Sugar. (1/2 Tablespoon of Rich Simple Syrup)
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Junipero Gin)
(Shake and Strain.) Use long tumbler, and fill with Ginger Beer (Fever Tree Ginger Beer).

The Gin Based predecessor to the Moscow Mule: Vodka, Lime and Ginger Beer?

Why is this a “Cooler” and that a “Mule”?

Well, as far as the Savoy Cocktail Book is concerned, the popular category of drinks we now call the Mule, (long drinks with citrus and Ginger Beer,) doesn’t really exist. Most of them are their own singularly named drinks, or they are “Coolers”.

So I suppose if you were putting this on a menu these days, you’d call it a Gin Mule instead of a Shady Grove Cooler. Of course, if you add Mint you’ve got something similar to Marco Dionysos’ Ginger Rogers or Audrey Saunders’ Gin Gin Mule.

Though I have a certain fondness for the name Shady Grove Cooler, perhaps due to its similarity to the name of a Pavement song.

Well, in any case, it’s a refreshing drink, a great song, and another section of the Savoy Cocktail Book done. On to the Rickey.

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.

Long Tom Cooler

Long Tom Cooler
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon)
1/2 Tablespoonful Sugar. (1/2 Tablespoon of Rich Simple Syrup, or to taste)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
(dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
Shake well, strain into long tumbler, add 1 lump of ice, and fill with soda water.

Again, the Savoy editors did not do a particularly good job of translating a recipe from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”:

Long Tom Cooler.
1 pony Sugar Syrup;
Juice of ½ Lemon;
1 drink El Bart Gin.
Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into a Collins glass, add a cube of ice and 1 slice of Orange, fill up with Club Soda.

And again, moronically, I failed to look at Ensslin’s book before making the drink, or this would have looked a bit different.

Anyway, the other Savoy Night at Alembic Bar, a friend asked me for a drink that was “not too alcoholic”, and this sprung immediately to mind. Basically a dry-ish lemonade with a generous pour of soda and a splash of gin, this is a very refreshing and mild hot weather drink.

However, there may be a slight problem with serving a drink called “Long Tom” to a male customer. My advice? Don’t do it, unless you’re sure your gesture won’t be misinterpreted.

And, yes, there is basically no difference between a Long Tom Cooler and a Tom Collins, maybe the Long Tom is a bit sweeter? Anyway, for the record, while there are many similar drinks to the Tom Collins in Ensslin’s book, he does not specifically include instructions for making one.

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.

Harvard Cooler

Harvard Cooler
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon or 1 Lime. (Juice 1/2 very large Meyer Lemon)
1/2 Tablespoonful Sugar. (Generous TBSP Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Glass Applejack or Calvados. (2 oz Montreuil Calvados Reserve)
(2 Dashes Miracle Mile Gingerbread Bitters)
Shake well, strain into long tumbler and fill with soda water.

Again, Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”, “1 pony Sugar Syrup; Juice of ½ Lemon or 1 Lime; 1 jigger Applejack. Made and served same as Apricot Cooler.”

Boy, I really like this!

It’s a little weird, at first, to get your head around a mixed drink which ends up about the same strength as beer or hard cider, but once you get past that, it’s really refreshing, especially with all the hot weather we’ve been having lately.

OK, fine, it’s a lemonade with a dash of Calvados, but what’s wrong with that? I’ve been making them all week, much to the dismay of the level on the side of the bottle. The bitters were a bit of a modification, but you’ll see them in quite a few of the upcoming Coolers, along with other weird and unpredictable items.

Speaking of Coolers, as far as I can tell the only real “category” delimitations regarding Coolers are that they should be served in a tall glass, say a 14 ounce Collins Glass, and that they should be sparkling. Some have citrus, some don’t. Some have bitters, some don’t. Some have a lump or two of ice, and some don’t. One even uses Ginger Ale instead of Soda Water. As far as I can tell, as long as it is fizzy and in a tall glass, it can be called a Cooler.

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.

New Orleans Fizz

Get home, prep for Gemelli with Chard and Hot Italian Sausage. Prep done, whip up the New Orleans Fizz, aka Ramos Gin Fizz.

New Orleans Gin Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon, Juice 1/2 Lime)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (generous 1 TBSP Rich Simple Syrup)
The White of 1 Egg. (1 Egg White)
1 Glass of Dry Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)
3 Dashes Fleur d’Orange. (1/2 tsp Orange Flower Water)
1 Tablespoonful of Sweet Cream. (1 TBSP Whipping Cream)
Shake well, strain into long tumbler and fill with syphon soda water.

One of the most iconic drinks of New Orleans, the Ramos Fizz is just a rather elaborate Gin Fizz. Instead of just including Cream or Egg White, it includes Cream AND Egg white.

Legendarily, Henry Ramos used to have a line of drink shakers standing on hand, each to do a portion of the shaking of the drink, it needs to be shaken so well and so long.

I did my best, giving it almost a full minute of shaking, making for a somewhat tedious video.

Well, you had New Orleans legend Mr. Dave Bartholomew to listen to while I was shaking, so how can you complain too much?

Finish making pasta:

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.

Imperial 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 on this blog have captured your fancy, (they also have a great beer selection,) stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders, (and me,) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Imperial Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/3 Rum.
2/3 Canadian Club or Scotch Whisky.
1/2 Tablespoonful Sugar.
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with syphon soda water.

Another Fizz from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”, Ensslin gives the recipe as follows:

1/3 St. Croix Rum; 2/3 Whiskey; 4 dashes Lemon Juice; Juice ½ Lime. Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into a fizz glass and fill up with carbonated water or any sparkling water desired.

A few Savoy Recipes have called for “St. Croiix Rum.” I’ve never really seen much differential to using Cruzan or any other modern Rum from St. Croix. The Cruzan Single Barrel is a nice Rum, but there isn’t really anything in particular it brings to a drink. Or at least enough to justify calling for “St. Croix Rum” in particular.

However, once when I was talking to Martin Cate, (of Rum paradise Smuggler’s Cove) about this issue, he suggested he’d had good results using Spiced Rum when St. Croix Rum is called for. Well, if Martin Cate suggests it, I’ll give it a try. Besides, as this drink has no sweetener, it might be nice to use a sweetened product like most Spiced Rums.

Hey, some company promoting Kraken Spiced Rum was even kind enough to send me a bottle…

Damn! I was really hoping for a rubber squid.

Imperial Fizz

1 1/2 oz Macallan Cask Strength Scotch Whiskey
3/4 oz Kraken Spiced Rum
Light squeeze, juice 1/2 Lemon
Juice 1/2 Small Lime

Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into a fizz glass and fill up with carbonated water or any sparkling water desired.

Yeah, that is not very sweet at all. I believe I over estimated the sweetening power of spiced rum!

And, yes, in the video you can see the problem with using a soda syphon shortly after charging it. The CO2 does not have a chance to dissolve properly, so the first squirt is always too charged.

So this is pretty, “Meh”. A definite waste of perfectly good Scotch. Even stirring a little simple syrup into this, it was pretty blah. The Kraken Spiced Rum and Macallan Scotch aren’t a particularly interesting combination.

But I was thinking about this, and thinking I was just playing it too safe. If you’re going to do something, why not do it all the way? Go Big or Go Home!

Islay Imperial Fizz

1 1/2 oz Laphroaig 10
1/2 oz St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
Couple Dashes lemon Juice
Juice 1/2 small lime
dash Rich Simple Syrup

Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain into a fizz glass and fill up with carbonated water or any sparkling water desired.

I may be on crack, but there is some real promise here. It’s kind of like a cross between Erik Adkins’ Rhum Agricole Punch and Sam Ross’ Penicillin. This is not bad, not bad at all. It’s lacking a little in middle flavors, but the combination of Smoky, Peaty Islay Scotch and Allspice Dram is kind of awesome. Definitely worthy of further experimentation!

Music in the first video clip from Efrim Manuel Menuck’s new recording, “Plays High Gospel,” maybe my current favorite CD. Music in the second video clip is from Craig Taborn’s new solo piano CD, “Avenging Angel”.

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.

Holland Fizz

Holland Fizz
The Juice 1/2 Lemon. (Juice of 1/2 Lemon, Juice of 1/2 Lime)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (Generous Teaspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Bols Genever)
(Dash Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters)
The White of 1 Egg. (Uh, oops!)
Shake well strain into medium size glass and fill with sypon soda water. Add 3 sprigs of fresh Mint.

Wait, what? Egg White! Dammit, I forgot the Egg White!

Well, you will perhaps be thrilled to know that I did make this drink for a guest at Heaven’s Dog a couple weeks ago AND succeeded in including the Egg White. I hope they appreciated the effort that went into their, “Freedom From Choice: Gin, Citrus”. I will also be very happy to make it for you properly, should you happen to stop by Heaven’s Dog Saturday, July 23rd.

Even though I forgot the Egg White, I did decide to include some of the Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters, which went surprisingly well with the Bols Genever. Note to self, Genever Old-Fashioned in my very near future with Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters.

Oh yeah, why Genever, instead of any old Dry Gin?

Well, it is called a “Holland Fizz”, what are you going to make the Holland Fizz with OTHER than Genever?

Anyway, with or without Egg White, this is a nice drink and a pleasant change from the “Plain Gin Fizz”. Give it a try some time!

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.

Golden Fizz

Golden Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon, Juice 1/2 Lime)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (2 tsp Caster Sugar)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
The Yolk of 1 Egg. (1 Farm Fresh Egg Yolk)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with syphon soda water.

As with most of the Fizzes, the Savoy Cocktail Book editors probably got the recipe for the Golden Fizz from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”. In his book, Ensslin gives the recipe as, “Made same as plain Gin Fizz, adding the yolk of an egg.”

Here’s Ensslin’s recipe for the Gin Fizz from the Cocktail Kingdom reprint:

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.

The interesting thing about Ensslin’s recipe for the “Plain Gin Fizz” is that he uses both Lemon and Lime in the drink! Well, interesting is, I suppose, relative, but the additional tart citrus does make the sugar amounts and dilution in the Fizz recipes a bit more sensible.

Anyway, I’ve been ignoring the lemon-lime combo information up until now, (I was out of limes,) but I thought it was finally time to put it into play with the Golden Fizz.

When I mentioned this to someone they said, “Are you kidding, that’s Sour Mix!” Well, it’s not really, it’s just that Lemons and Limes bring different things to the party. Lemons are more sour, limes are more bitter and aromatic. Put them together, especially with Gin, and you get a sum greater than the parts!

You give it a try some time with a Sour or Fizz and let me know if you don’t think it elevates a somewhat plain drink.

As we discussed in the Gin Fizz post, when you add Egg White to a Fizz, you get a Silver Fizz. When you add Egg Yolk you, naturally, get a Golden Fizz. Richer, fuller, more unctuous. Not an every day refreshing fizz, to be sure, but a satisfying beverage of a different sort.

Music in the video is from the Lean Left Album, “The Ex Guitars meet Nilssen-Love/Vandermark Duo, Vol. 2″.

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.