Oh Harry! Cocktail

Oh Harry! Cocktail
Saturate 1 lump of Sugar with Raspberry Syrup or Grenadine. (sugar cube saturated with Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/3 Vermouth. (Dolin Blanc Vermouth)
2/3 Hooch Whisky. (Buffalo Trace Unaged Whiskey)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I needed to pick up something from Slanted Door this last Friday, so I thought I would take the chance to annoy the bar staff there, with a particularly annoying Savoy recipe.

“Hooch Whiskey”? What is that? The recipe doesn’t say what sort of vermouth. Doesn’t even really tell you what to do with the sugar cube, or the point of saturating it with syrup.

Fortunately, Jennifer Colliau, of Small Hand Foods was behind the bar and said, “What if we use Blanc Vermouth and just make this a “White Man” with a sugar cube?”

I dunno, as much as I like White Manhattans, this didn’t quite work. A bitters soaked cube would have made a lot more sense, or as Jennifer pointed out, some sort of sparkling wine to act upon the cube and circulate the flavors.

Maybe if we had muddled the cube into the drink?

I dunno, I still think even then the “Oh Harry!” doesn’t quite live up to its name.

It’s definitely no, “Oh sweet mystery of life, I have found you,” type of drink.

But maybe, you took what you could get during prohibition.

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 Car Cocktail

As “White Whiskey” is a sort of trendy object these days, I’ve been puzzling over some uses for it.

One of my favorite whiskey cocktails is the “Vieux Carre”.

It is traditionally composed of equal parts Rye Whiskey, Brandy, and Sweet Vermouth with dashes of Benedictine and bitters.

As others have already gotten to making White Whiskey versions of Old-Fashioneds and Manhattans, I figured why not a clear Vieux Carre?

I’ve experimented with just about every unaged whiskey and unaged fruit brandy and eau-de-vie at my disposal.

Eau-de-Vies, while initially promising, I have found too dominating for the somewhat laid back character of most white whiskey. With them, the cocktail just tastes of the eau-de-vie and not the whiskey.

I also experimented some with lightly aged apple brandy and found those fairly promising. If you have access to Clear Creek’s young apple brandy, it is quite good in this cocktail. But, unfortunately, rather hard to come by.

After a lot of experimentation, I ended up taking the absolutely most obvious route with this cocktail: unaged whiskey, pisco, and blanc/bianco vermouth.

New Car Cocktail

1 oz White Whiskey
1 oz Pisco (or Pisco style California Brandy)
1 oz Blanc/Bianco Vermouth
2 dash The Bitter Truth Repeal Bitters (Or other relatively clear, spicy, old fashioned bitters. Trying to avoid a pink drink here. Boker’s maybe?)
5ml Benedictine (aka 1 barspoon. Mine is 5ml, I don’t know what size yours might be.)

Stir briefly with ice and strain over fresh cube(s). Squeeze orange peel over drink and drop in.

At work, I have had rather good response to the combination of Death’s Door White Whiskey, Marian Farms Pisco Style California Brandy, Dolin Blanc, and Bitter Truth Repeal Bitters.

Last night, I found the combination of Tuthilltown Hudson Corn Whiskey, Don Cesar Pisco Pura, Cinzano Bianco Vermouth, and TBT Bitters to be appealingly funky and high powered.

Let me know what combinations you come up with.

As far as the name goes, as we discussed before, “Vieux Carre” means something like, “old square,” in French. So a cocktail with unaged spirits obviously has to be “new”. Most Americans pronounce the second word in “Vieux Carre” as they do the word for automobile, “car”. Also, for some reason, “new car smell” comes to mind.

Manhattan Cocktail (No. 1)

Manhattan Cocktail (No. 1)

Use small Bar glass.
2 Dashes Curacao or Maraschino.
1 Pony Rye Whisky.
1 Wineglass Vermouth (Mixed).
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
2 Small Lumps of ice.

Shake up well, and strain into a claret glass. Put a quarter of a slice of lemon In the glass and serve. If preferred very sweet add two dashes of gum syrup.

The Savoy Manhattan Cocktail (No. 1) is pretty much verbatim from the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas’ Bar-tender’s Guide:

Manhattan Cocktail.
(Use small bar-glass.)
Take 2 dashes of Curacoa or Maraschino.
1 pony of rye whiskey.
1 wine-glass of vermouth.
3 dashes of Boker’s bitters.
2 small lumps of ice.

Shake up well, and strain into a claret glass. Put a quarter of a slice of lemon in the glass and serve. If the customer prefers it very sweet use also two dashes of gum syrup.

The only real differences being the directive to use “1 Wineglass Vermouth (Mixed)”, which I can only assume to mean a mixture of Dry and Sweet Vermouth and Angostura vs. Boker’s.

I was trying to think of way to make this a little more than, as David Wondrich describes it, “a vermouth cocktail with a stick.” The first thing that occurred to me was to use a cask strength whiskey. I contemplated the Handy, and then decided to go with the…

George T. Stagg

Yeah, well, sorry about that. On the bright side, the new Buffalo Trace Antique Collection should be available again soon. And, well, speaking of things that it is unlikely that many other people have…

Bitter Truth Boker's Bitters

Yeah, the bitter truth guys made a stab at a Boker’s replica a while ago. It’s a nice old-school bitters with a strong cardamom element.

At this point, I’m thinking, heck if I’m going to use 2 obscure ingredients, I might as well use 3…

Bols Dry Orange Curacao

So, the cocktail is:

1 teaspoon Bols Dry Orange Curacao
1 oz George T. Stagg Whiskey
1 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth
1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1 tsp. Bitter Truth Boker’s Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Lemon Peel.

Manhattan Cocktail

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this cocktail. I have to admit I’ve never gone this far into whiskey debt when making a Manhattan, nor have I ever had the courage to add that much bitters.

To be honest, it doesn’t really taste like what I think of when I imagine a Manhattan. But it is, actually, a very nice cocktail. Very complex with only a little hint of the brawn of the whiskey towards the end of the cocktail when it warms up.

Very drinkable.

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.

Gibson Cocktail

Gibson Cocktail.

1/2 French Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Dolin Dry)
1/2 Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake (well, I’d stir) well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top. (Garnish with cocktail onion.)

Interesting that the Savoy Recipe neglects the cocktail onion garnish. Or maybe they just forgot it.

Colleen Graham over at About.com has written a nice piece debunking some of the stories about the Gibson Cocktail.

The Real Gibson Story

According to Miss Graham, she received a note from the family of W.D.K. Gibson, claiming he invented the cocktail around 1898 at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco, some 30 years before Charles Dana Gibson claimed to have invented it.

The story goes that WDK Gibson objected to the way the bartender at the Bohemian made martinis. He preferred them stirred, and made with Plymouth Gin. He also believed that eating onions would prevent colds. Hence the onion. In his version–which I’ve not seen in later bar books, a twist of orange was held over the glass so that a bit of the oil would fall on the top.

With Plymouth this would have been better around 60-40 than 50-50.

It is just too soft to stand up to that much vermouth.

Regarding the onion, since Craddock and the Savoy editors are often lax when it comes to remembering to include garnishes I was checking through various Gibson recipes.

Amusingly, P.G. Duffy, who does tend to be fastidious about accurately transcribing recipes and including garnishes, suggests a cherry(!) in the 1934 edition of “The Official Mixer’s Manual.” By the Beard edited 1960s edition that has changed to an onion.

The Gibson is also one of the cocktails pointed out in Beard’s introduction to the newer edition. He says something like, “we don’t make our Gibsons with that much vermouth any longer.” Oh how I dread reading “expanded and revised” on the cover of an edition of a classic cocktail book.

In any case, it seems, onion or not, at the time of the Savoy, the real differentiating point between a Gibson and a Martini is the lack of orange bitters in the Gibson.

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.

Gazette Cocktail

Gazette Cocktail

1 Teaspoonful Syrup. (1 tsp. Depaz Cane Syrup)
1 Teaspoonful Lemon Juice
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Martini & Rossi Rosso)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Cerbois VSOP Armangac)

Shake (stir?) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Could go either way, shaking or stirring with this one.

A bit odd and pretty OK as cocktails go. Don’t know of too many cocktails that combine sweet vermouth and citrus, aside from the Bronx. As with the Bronx, I found it significantly improved with a drop or two of Aromatic Bitters (Bitter Truth in this case).

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.

Full House Cocktail

Full House Cocktail

1/4 Swedish Punch. (generous 1/2 oz homemade)
1/4 French Vermouth. (generous 1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/2 Bacardi Rum. (generous 1 oz Flor de Cana Extra Dry)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze Lemon Peel over glass.)

You may recognize this as the Four Flush Cocktail without the grenadine. I suppose, nominally less sweet than that ridiculously sweet cocktail.

I dunno, as much as I preferred the flavor of the homemade punch, this cocktail seemed to show an unpleasant aspect of the Flor de Cana Rum, pumping up some of the harsher alcohol smells and tastes as I finished the drink.

I’m going to have to try this again side by side with commercial punch. Maybe the next time I have low blood sugar.

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.

Froupe Cocktail

Froupe Cocktail

l Teaspoonful Benedictine.
1/2 Italian vermouth. (generous 1 oz Martini & Rossi Rosso)
1/2 Brandy. (Generous 1 oz Cerbois VSOP Armangac)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Another Savoy typo, it appears. Robert Vermeire calls this the “Fioupe Cocktail” and states, “Monsieur Fioupe is a familiar figure known all along the Riviera, by everybody, from prince to cabman.”

Sadly, I can’t find any more information than that regarding Monsieur Fioupe.

The cocktail, though, being basically a Brandy version of the Bobby Burns, is right in my comfort zone. Yum.

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.

Fluffy Ruffles Cocktail

Fluffy Ruffles Cocktail

1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 oz Flor de Cana Extra Dry, 1/4 oz Inner Circle Green)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Martini and Rossi Rosso)
The Peel of 1 Lime or Piece of Lemon. (Peel from a lime)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (For extra fun, I added the peel to the drink for the picture. It looked neat, but made it difficult to drink.)

OK, I couldn’t resist slipping a little “character rum” in to zip up the flavor of the Flor de Cana in this cocktail. If Havana Club is any indication of the flavor vintage Bacardi Rum had, it probably had a little more funk than the very clean Flor de Cana.

The Fluffy Ruffles is a pleasant, lime tinged, rum Manhattan. I dare you to order it out at a bar!

A quick google tells me “Fluffy Ruffles” was a musical comedy by Hattie Williams which made its theatrical debut at New York’s Criterion Theatre in the fall of 1908. Many of the songs in this production were co-written by Jerome Kern. Also, I find sheet music from earlier dates than that, so it appears it was first a ragtime song, or perhaps just that it was a popular name for songs, well, being that it refers to the fluffy ruffles of women’s petticoats.

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.

Five Fifteen Cocktail

Five-Fifteen Cocktail

1/3 Curacao. (3/4 oz Luxardo Orange Triplum)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Sweet Cream. (3/4 oz Cream)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I knew I’d made something like this before: Bud’s Special Cocktail. This is nominally closer to the idea of a Creamsickle in drink form than the Bud’s Special had been and a bit more pleasant. Still, not really the sort of drink I can finish.

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.

Fantasio Cocktail (No. 1 and No. 2)

Fantasio Cocktail (No. 1)

1/6 White Crème de Menthe.
1/6 Maraschino.
1/3 Brandy.
1/3 Dry Gin.

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Fantasio Cocktail. (No. 2.)

1/6 White Crème de Menthe. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Creme de Menthe)
1/6 Maraschino. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Maraschino)
1/3 Brandy. (3/4 oz Brandy)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I’ve stared and stared at these two Savoy Cocktail Book recipes for Fantasio No. 1 and No. 2 and can find no difference between them, aside from the shaking detail. In the 1934 edition of Patrick Gavin Duffy’s “Official Mixer’s Manual” they are actually both stirred, but the No. 2 gets a cherry. God knows why there are two versions of this cocktail in either book.

Gin and Brandy isn’t one of those things that really pops into my head as a great combination, so I thought about this one for a while, comparing the gins I had in the house. Eventually, I decided to go with a Jonge Genever. It seemed like the slight maltiness would complement the brandy well.

I also nominally cheated on the recipe ratio. Just couldn’t quite face that much liqueur.

Fantasio, slight variation

1/4 oz Brizard White Crème de Menthe
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
3/4 oz Cerbois VSOP Armagnac
1 oz Boomsma Jonge Genever

Stir, strain, cherry.

Maybe I’m on crack, but this isn’t half bad. Sort of a more complex Stinger. The cherry is a nice touch and I like the flavors it brings towards the end of the cocktail after soaking in the booze.

…Some time later…

Well, this is rather embarrassing.

While the Fantasios in the Savoy Cocktail Book are exactly the same, (excepting the stirring/shaking detail,) I was looking through 1934 Patrick Gavin Duffy for the umpteenth time, and noticed the two Fantasios are slightly different:

Fantasio Cocktail No. 1
1/6 White Creme de Menthe (1/2 of 3/4 oz Brizard Creme de Menthe)
1/6 Maraschino (1/2 of 3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/3 Brandy (3/4 oz Señor Lustau Solera Reserva Brandy de Jerez)
1/3 French Vermouth (3/4 oz French Vermouth)
Stir well and strain.
Use glass Number 1.

Fantasio Cocktail No. 2
1/6 White Creme de Menthe
1/6 Maraschino
1/3 Brandy
1/3 Italian Vermouth
Stir well in ice and strain. Add a cherry.
Use glass number 1.

Uh, oops! I’ve no explanation for completely missing the fact that he calls for vermouth instead of Gin. I guess sometimes you see what you want to see!?

So that makes it more of a Brandy Manhattan variation, than a, well, whatever the hell the Savoy Brandy and Gin concoction is.

But the big question, is it any better with vermouth?  I tried No 1 exactly as written and unfortunately my answer is, “No, not really.”  Still disgustingly sweet.

However, again, something like this ain’t bad:

2/3 Brandy (1 1/2 oz Señor Lustau Solera Reserva Brandy de Jerez)
1/3 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1 tsp Creme de Menthe
1 tsp Maraschino Liqueur

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add a cherry (preferably Luxardo or Toschi).

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.