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.

Albemarle 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.

Albemarle Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (1 tsp Caster Sugar)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well strain into medium size glass and fill with syphon soda water. Add teaspoonful Raspberry Syrup (1 tsp Homemade Raspberry Syrup*).

You’re out with a girl, you order a Gin Fizz. “For the Lady?” Perhaps an enpinkened Gin Fizz? The Cosmo of its day, no doubt.

Source: Hugo Ensslin, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” 1916-1917, “Made same as plain Gin Fizz**, adding Raspberry Syrup.”

So I didn’t add Raspberry Syrup afterwards, as it appears the Savoy Cocktail Book is instructing you, I just shook it with the drink.

Albemarle, as in Albemarle North Carolina?

The Historic Albemarle Region

FOUR HUNDRED YEARS of History for North Carolina -indeed for the Nation- begins around the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.  From Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony to existing homes that stood decades before the Revolutionary War to modern-day river towns, this is a land of rich heritage.

Chartered to the Lords Proprietors before the colonies were formed with the Atlantic Ocean as its eastern boundary and encompassing much of the original colony in its domain, the original Albemarle Region now includes the Albemarle, the Pamlico-Neuse Region, and the Outer Banks region -and beyond.

The Lost Colony

In 1584, explorers Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe were the first English explorers to set eyes on the North Carolina. They had been sent to the area by Sir Walter Raleigh with the mission of scouting the broad sounds and estuaries in search of an ideal location for settlement. Amadas and Barlowe wrote glowing reports of the Albemarle Region, and when they returned to England a year later with two Natives, Manteo and Wanchese, all of Britain was abuzz with talk of the New World’s wonders.

Queen Elizabeth herself was impressed, and she granted Raleigh a patent to all the lands he could occupy. She named the new land “Virginia”, in honor of the Virgin Queen, and the next year, Raleigh sent a party of 100 soldiers, craftsmen and scholars to Roanoke Island.

Under the direction of Ralph Lane, the garrison was doomed from the beginning. They arrived too late in the season for planting, and supplies were dwindling rapidly. To make matters worse, Lane, a military captain, alienated the neighboring Roanoke Indians, and ultimately sealed his own fate by murdering their chief, Wingina over a stolen cup. By 1586, when Sir Francis Drake stopped at Roanoke after a plundering expedition, Lane and his men had had enough. They abandoned the settlement and returned to England.

Detained by a war with Spain, Lane would not return to Roanoke until 1590. When they arrived, they found the colony deserted with no sign of the settlers, only the work “Croatoan” carved mysteriously in a Pallisade Post.

Bonus Roanoke Trivia: The first child born in the Americas to English parents, Virginia Dare, was born in that colony three weeks after their arrival, on August 18, 1587.

In any case, this is another pleasant Fizz. My lemons are on the small side this time of the year and not particularly juicy, so the thing that is striking me about these fizzes so far, especially when making them in an 8 oz glass, is just how boozy they are. Not really tart, as they would likely be made today. Kind of nice, and frankly, drinkable.

*Raspberry Syrup
1/2 cup Water
1 Cup Washed Raw Sugar
1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. When sugar is dissolved, add raspberries and Balsamic Vinegar. Strain through chinois or cheesecloth, mashing to get as much of the liquid as possible. Cool and refrigerate. Makes about 12 ounces.

**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.

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.

Alabama 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.

Chicken, EdaMame, and Noodle Stir-Fry

“From “Fresh Flavor Fast,” by Everyday Food, from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living.”

Really, San Francisco Chronicle, a Stir-Fry, “from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living,” is the best you can do? Isn’t that sort of like making a French style recipe from Rick Bayless? A Creole recipe from Grant Achatz? A Mexican recipe from Sandra Lee?

Mrs. Flannestad was taken with the idea of an Edamame and noodle stir-fry, so I set about making this bland recipe a bit more interesting, without making it any less “Fast” or “Fresh”. I may also be a White Ghost, but I think I can push this dish a bit more in the direction of my concept of actual Chinese Food.

Revised Chicken, EdaMame, and Noodle Stir-Fry

INGREDIENTS:

Chicken Marinade
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Chinese Rice Wine
1 Tablespoon Water
dash Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Corn Starch

Sauce
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Chinese Rice Wine
2 Dashes Chinese Black Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch combined dissolved with 1 Tablespoon of water

Minced Seasonings
1 Tablespoon Ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Green Onions, minced

1 Tablespoon Hot Chile Bean Paste

1/2 Chicken Breast, trimmed and sliced
2 Baby Bok Choy heads, Washed and Sliced
1 package Eda Mame, thawed
1/2 package Udon Noodles
Cilantro, washed, stemmed and chopped
Peanut or other vegetable oil

Prep done, I started to get set up for the weekly video. If you look closely, you can see the marinating chicken in the upper left corner.

I was talking to Mrs. Flannestad about the recent videos and she was less than approving. She felt like I’d traded in what was cool about them for the same dumb talking head shit that everyone else who is making cocktail videos does. I see her point.

FIZZES.

Wow, the last big section of drinks. This has to be the Savoy Home Stretch: Fizzes. Coolers. Rickeys. Daisies. Fixes. Juleps. Smashes. Cobblers. Frappe. Punches. Cups!

Alabama Fizz
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (Generous Teaspoon Caster Sugar)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)
Shake well, strain into medium size glass and Fill with soda water. Add 2 sprigs of Fresh Mint.

As I was stripping the sprigs of mint to use as garnish, it occurred to me that I could throw the leaves into the mixing tin for a little extra mint zest in the drink. Shortly thereafter, I realized that the Alabama Fizz is pretty much exactly a South Side Cocktail.

As most of the Fizzes seem to come from Hugo Ensslin’s book and the South Side from Harry McElhone, I’m not sure who to exactly credit for the genius of this drink.

But, South Side Cocktail or Alabama Fizz, this is a delicious drink.

Music in the background is from the Harmonia album, “Tracks and Traces“.

Drink made, I set about to cooking dinner.

Revised Chicken, EdaMame, and Noodle Stir-Fry

METHOD:

Combine marinade with chicken, and toss to coat. Put on water to boil the udon noodles, while you do the rest of the prep. Cook until slightly underdone and rinse well. Set aside. Over medium heat, add 1 tsp peanut oil to your wok, and swirl to coat surface. When the peanut oil is heated until smoking, add 1/4 cup more oil to wok. Drain marinade from Chicken. When oil is smoking hot, add half the chicken to the oil and quickly cook. Remove chicken from oil and set aside. Heat oil again and add rest of chicken to cook. Remove chicken from oil, pour all but 1 tablespoon of oil from wok. Heat until smoking and add Minced Seasonings. Cook until fragrant and add Chile Bean Paste. Add Eda Mame and toss. Add Sauce and bring to a simmer. Add Chicken and simmer briefly. Add Bok Choy and when it is again hot, stir in corn starch slurry. Add noodles, toss to coat, and pour out onto serving plate. Sprinkle over Cilantro.

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.

Port Wine Sangaree

Port Wine Sangaree
1 1/3 Wineglasses of Port Wine. (Generous 2 oz Smith & Woodhouse 1999 Late Bottled Vintage Port)
1 Teaspoonful of Sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)
(1 oz Chilled Sparkling Water)
Fill tumbler 2/3 full of ice. Shake well and grate nutmeg on top. (Err, well, as in the previous two Sangarees, muddle sugar in a splash of soda water to dissolve. Add big ice cube, pour over port, stir briefly, and top with an ounce of Chilled Sparkling water. Garnish with Lemon Twist and Nutmeg.)

I’ve been annoying the wine clerk at Canyon Market this week, he keeps asking me what I need, hoping to make some swank and perceptive wine recommendation, and I say “Well, I need some Madeira for a 18th Century Drink I’m making.” Fortunately, they do have small, but decent, selection of fortified wines.

I had to explain the whole Sangaree thing, and he got it right away. “You mean something you could drink on your lunch our and your boss wouldn’t fire you?” Exactly. Just enough to take the edge off, but not enough to get much of a buzz.

Or, as David Wondrich remarked last night at the Cointreau event at the Boothby Center for Beverage Arts, “…They just didn’t have bottled soft drinks back then, and sometimes you’d want something a little milder than a cocktail.”

Anyway, I picked this Late Bottle Vintage Port, because I wanted a Port with enough “grip” to stand up to being diluted. So many of the modern Ruby Ports are being made in such a mild, sweet style, as to be nearly Sangarees without adding the extra water and sugar for dilution.

This Port Wine Sangaree and the Madeira Sangaree were definitely my favorites of the bunch. Give them a try some hot summer afternoon and tell me they are not great drinks.

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.

Sherry Sangaree

Sherry Sangaree
Use small bar glass.
1 Wineglass of Sherry. (2 oz Solear Manzanilla Sherry)
1 Teaspoonful of Fine Sugar. (1 Teaspon Caster Sugar)
Fill tumbler 1/3 with ice, and grate nutmeg on top.

Sorry, was kind of grumpy looking in the video. I made it once, and didn’t realize the batteries on my camera had given out. Then realized the spare batteries weren’t charged, either. Ran around the house looking for actual AA Batteries, only to find those were all dead, too. Fortunately, by that time, the rechargeables had gotten enough charge to record the brief video.

Anyway, after writing the last post, I thought to myself, “Hey, Self, you should look this up in David Wondrich’s Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar. and see if he has anything to say about Sangarees.”

And, even though the Sangaree was an Old Fashioned drink by the time Jerry Thomas wrote his book, they are covered.

This is my favorite part of Mr. Wondrich’s writeup, “As longtime East Coast bartender Jere Sullivan recalled in 1930, ‘In the Author’s experience it was found principally the order of the elderly business man, after the counters were closed in the late afternoon.’ But not every drink has to play the classic American go-getter, all youth and drive and swagger. The Sangaree maintains a certain Old-World courtliness that has its appeal.”

Well, that and his comment, “Sangaree…was drunk in Britain by gentlemen and sea-captains and in America by infants, invalids, and Indians.”

Chuckle.

Here’s Jerry Thomas’ version:

Sherry Sangaree.
(Use medium bar-glass.)
Take 1 claret glass of Sherry wine.
½ tea-spoonful of fine white sugar.
2 or 3 small lumps of ice.

Shake up well, strain into a small bar-glass, serve with a little grated nutmeg.

The one thing, I think that Thomas and the Savoy miss out on, is that the drink should be milder than just being shaken with ice. I mean look at the Miss Leslie version referenced in the Savoy Sangaree recipe, “2/3 Water, 1/3 Sherry”! That is a very mild drink. So, in both the Savoy Sangaree I made and this Sherry Sangaree, I’ve added about an ounce of Sparkling water to the 2 oz of fortified wine I’ve stirred briefly on a cube.

Maybe I’m heading towards “Elderly Business Man” status, myself, but I have to admit I quite enjoyed all the Sangarees I’ve made so far, including this one with Sherry.

The music is from a CD called “Moa Anbessa” by Dutch group The Ex and Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria.

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.

Low Gap Old-Fashioned

Old-Fashioned.

06-04-2011, Low Gap Whiskey Old-Fashioned with Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters.

2 oz Low Gap Clear Whiskey
1 tsp Caster Sugar
1 tsp Water
3 dash Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters
Lemon Peel

Add sugar, water and bitters to the bottom of a heavy glass. Muddle until sugar is dissolved. Add cracked ice and pour in whiskey. Stir until well chilled. Squeeze lemon peel over glass and drop in.

A friend sent me this sample from a line of bitters he is working on, the Forbidden Bitters are designed to be an Old Fashioned style bitters in the vicinity of Abbott’s Bitters.

Well, what better to do with Old Fashioned style bitters than make an Old-Fashioned?

And a delicious Old-Fashioned it is!

Savoy Sangaree

Savoy Sangaree
1 Teaspoonful Powdered Sugar. (1 tsp Caster Sugar)
1 Glass of Sherry or Port. (2 oz Cossart and Gordon 5 Year Bual Madeira)
Stir well and strain into medium size glass, add slice of orange or lemon peel, and a little nutmeg on top. (Errr… Muddle Sugar in a like amount of water until dissolved. Add piece of ice, pour over Madeira. Stir until chilled and top with 1 oz Chilled Soda Water. Drape on Horse’s Neck of Orange and freshly grated nutmeg.

Well, that’s interesting, the fact that the Savoy bothers to list a branded version of the Sangaree! To me, that seems to indicate that it was still being made at the Hotel, or at least lingered in their bar book, by the time the Savoy Cocktail Book was written in 1930!

For this post, I’m going to lean a bit heavily on the shoulders of two of my inspirations in the cocktail writing field, Paul Clarke and Ted Haigh.

The History of Sangaree Cocktails, Ted Haigh, Imbibe Magazine

According to this article, the earliest mention of the Sangaree was around 1736 as some sort of Madeira punch served in the Strand District of London (adjacent to the Theaters and Savoy Hotel!) Well, if that was the earliest version, I believe that base is where I will start, especially since Port Wine and Sherry Sangarees are covered in the next two drinks.

However, a more interesting description comes in 1785, where someone describes an Arrack Punch as a Sangaree.

Certainly by 1785 the strange drink, now called sangaree, was thoroughly equated with the Antilles islands and with Spain. Several dictionaries now listed the word and pointed to the West Indies as its place of residence. It had also achieved a fuller definition and one obliging it more to punch than wine. The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, published that year, wrote, “Sangaree: Rack punch was formerly so called in bagnios.” Well, a bagnio in this sense was a brothel, and the “rack” punch referred to the arrack that was the first of five elements in classic punch: arrack, citrus fruits, spices, cane sugar and water. The arrack in the dictionary was not the anise-tinged spirit of the Middle East but the father of modern rum, Batavia Arrack from the Antilles, Java specifically. Given this definition, the sangaree was a single-serving punch!

Well, not much to go on, but according to Ted, by 1837, recipes similar to the Sangaree had begun to appear in print as in, “Directions For Cookery In Its Various Branches” by a Miss Leslie, “Mix in a pitcher or in tumblers one-third of wine, ale or porter, with two-thirds of water either warm or cold. Stir in sufficient loaf-sugar to sweeten, and grate some nutmeg into it.”

Interesting really, that Wine, Ale or Porter can be used as a base for the Sangaree, but 2/3 water to 1/3 Wine, Ale or Porter? That’s some weak sauce to modern tastes, why on earth would you dilute beer, unless you were feeding invalids or children? In 1867, the Professor, Jerry Thomas is a bit more circumspect, prescribing that just about any base spirit may to be used as a base for a Sangaree, irrespective of that making it an identical recipe to his Slings. Well, due respect to Mr. Thomas, but that is just a bit Catholic of him.

As things go, I’m going to propose that the Sangaree be limited to non-spirituous bases: Wine, Fortified Wine, or, well, if you are feeling particularly perverse, beer. A little citrus peel won’t hurt anyone, or, as was the style of the 19th Century, maybe “berries, in season.” If you’re going to use distilled spirits, you might as well go ahead and call it a Sling (or Toddy).

The only thing I will further note, is that by 1867, when Jerry Thomas published his cocktail guide he offers one improvement over Ms. Leslie, using Ice to cool the drink, instead of water, and a fine, fine improvement that is, especially with a drink already somewhat dilute!

Port Wine Sangaree, Paul Clarke, Cocktail Chronicles

OK, at least half of the appeal of making this drink is the opportunity to say (or in this case, write) “Sangaree.” If you’re looking for a new way to get tossed out of a bar, you could do worse than making it a habit to stroll in, rap loudly on the bartop with your knuckles and shout, “Barman! A Port Wine SAN-GAREE, extra nutmeg, s’il vous plait — and keep ‘em comin’!”

And that’s why these men actually get paid to write articles!

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, uh, Tequila Sling.

Gin Sling
Dissolve 1 Teaspoonful of Sugar in Water.
1 Glass Dry Gin.
1 Lump of Ice.
Served in long tumbler and fill with water or soda; if served hot a little nutmeg on top.

I just wasn’t feeling this recipe, so I did a little research.

First off, in drinky circles, probably the most famous reference to the Sling comes from one of the first published references to the Cocktail. From the May 13, 1806 edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository:

To the Editor of the Balance.
Sir,
I observe in your paper of the 6th instant, in the account of a democratic candidate for a seat in the legislature, marked under the head of Loss, 25 do. cock-tail. Will you be so obliging as to inform me what is meant by this species of refreshment? Though a stranger to you, I believe, from your general character, you will not suppose this request to be impertinent.
I have heard of a forum, of phlegm-cutter and fog driver, of wetting the whistle, of moistening the clay, of a fillip, a spur in the head, quenching a spark in the throat, of flip & c, but never in my life, though have lived a good many years, did I hear of cock tail before. Is it peculiar to a part of this country? Or is it a late invention? Is the name expressive of the effect which the drink has on a particular part of the body? Or does it signify that the democrats who take the potion are turned topsycurvy, and have their heads where their tails should be? I should think the latter to be the real solution; but am unwilling to determine finally until I receive all the information in my power.
At the beginning of the revolution, a physician publicly recommended the moss which grew on a tree as a substitute for tea. He found on experiment, that it had more of a stimulating quality then he approved; and therefore, he afterward as publicly denounced it. Whatever cock tail is, it may be properly administered only at certain times and to certain constitutions. A few years ago, when the democrats were bawling for Jefferson and Clinton, one of the polls was held in the city of New York at a place where ice cream was sold. Their temperament then was remarkably adust and bilious. Something was necessary to cool them. Now when they are sunk into rigidity, it might be equally necessary, by cock-tail to warm and rouse them.
I hope you will construe nothing that I have said as disrespectful. I read your paper with great pleasure and wish it the most extensive circulation. Whether you answer my inquiry or not, I shall still remain,
Yours,
A SUBSCRIBER

[As I make it a point, never to publish anything (under my editorial head) but which I can explain, I shall not hesitate to gratify the curiosity of my inquisitive correspondent: Cock tail, then is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters it is vulgarly called a bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said also, to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because, a person having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else.
Edit. Bal.]

If a Cocktail, “is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters it is vulgarly called a bittered sling,” then, ipso facto, by rights, a plain, or unbittered, Sling is, “spirits of any kind, sugar, and water.” Same as a Toddy.

Further reading in early sources, Jerry Thomas, “Cocktail” Bill Boothby, and Harry Johnson, seems to indicate that generally, at least in late 19th Century bar parlance, the Sling was differentiated from the Toddy by the presence of a garnish. The is, a Toddy was generally served without a garnish, while a sling generally has nutmeg and/or citrus peel. Of course that is terribly amusing because no one today would serve a hot toddy without a garnish, and if you ordered a “Hot Sling” you’d probably get kicked out of the bar.

Anyway, I wasn’t feeling very Ginny last week, so I decided to spice things up a bit, after all the author does say, “Spirits of any kind,” with a little Tequila.

New World Sling

2 oz Charbay Tequila
1 teaspoon Caster (Or superfine) sugar
Splash of water
Big Ice Cube
Cinnamon
Lemon Peel

Muddle Superfine sugar in water until it is dissolved. Add Big Ice Cube and pour in Tequila. Stir well and garnish with freshly grated Cinnamon. Squeeze Lemon Peel over drink and drop in.

Gosh that’s good. I swapped nutmeg out for cinnamon, as I know from the Promissory Note at Alembic Bar that Cinnamon has a good affinity for tequila.

When I wrote up the Toddy, a lot of people asked things like, “is there any reason to leave out the bitters and just make a Toddy?”

I’ll repeat myself, probably if you gave someone from the early 19th Century a Bourbon Old-Fashioned Cocktail, they would ask you, why on earth you are putting bitters in perfectly good booze.

And sure, you could add some bitters to this drink, and it probably wouldn’t hurt. But with a Tequila this good is it really necessary?

Music was from Bill Frisell and Vinicius Cantuaria’s CD “Lagrimas Mexicanas”.

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.