Darb Cocktail

Darb Cocktail

Darb Cocktail

1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Bombay Dry Gin)
1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)
4 Dashes Lemon Juice. (Juice 1/8 Lemon)

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

I also tried this with Zwack Barack Palinka in place of the apricot liqueur. While that combination is, uh, interesting, and sort of like a vaguely apricot flavored Casino Cocktail, I really understood why some friends have said said, “as it started to warm it became somewhat harsh,” about the Culross Cocktail when made with Zwack’s Apricot Eau-de-Vie. I think any cocktail with more than a little Zwack Barack Palinka, and you’re going to want it plenty cold.

Anyway, I stirred this, and double strained to get any stray lemon pulp out. I thought it was a quite attractive. A shimmery translucent peach in color.

According to Bartleby.com, quoting “The Columbia Guide to Standard American English”, “Darb is an Americanism probably nearly obsolete today, a slang word from the 1920s meaning ‘something or someone very handsome, valuable, attractive, or otherwise excellent.’”

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.

Cubano Cocktail

Cubano Cocktail

The Cubano Cocktail

1/2 Gin. (1 oz Bombay Gin)
1/2 vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
4 Drops Kummel. (very little Kaiser Kummel)
4 Drops Charbreux. (very little Green Chartreuse)
2 Drops Pineapple Syrup. (even less pineapple juice)

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

Another cocktail mostly verbatim from Judge Jr.’s “Here’s How!”.

The note in “Here’s How!” goes on to say, “Contributed by Owen Hutchinson and it explains why Cuba is a free country.” I’ve really no idea what that means.

This is a very subtle affair. I’ve also no idea if I could even tell it from a “Fifty-Fifty” if it they were both presented to me, other than to say, “this one seems a bit different from the other one.”

Picked some borage blossoms while at the garden today for garnish. Cool, eh? They have a slight cucumber-ish flavor when consumed. Went well with the drink.

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.

Crystal Bronx Cocktail

Crystal Bronx

Crystal Bronx Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Orange. (Valencia)
1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Pratt Dry)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso)
1 Lump Ice.

Use medium-size glass and fill up with Soda Water.

Seems like something is missing from this cocktail!

Like, the other 1/2!

Anyway, even though I find no recipes which call for it, I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to add 1 1/2 oz of Dry Gin to the Crystal Bronx. In fact, I think you would find it quite tasty.

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.

Creole Cocktail

Creole Cocktail

Creole Cocktail

1/2 Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (1 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Carpano Antica)
2 Dashes Benedictine. (2/3 tsp. Benedictine)
2 Dashes Amer Picon. (2/3 tsp. homemade)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel on top.

A very good cocktail, that, like the Brooklyn, has a real problem in the lack of a key ingredient: Amer Picon.

Amer Picon is a french bitter orange aperitif brand that is owned by Diageo. For some inexplicable reason Diageo refuses to import it into the United States. I dunno why. We’re not worthy, they don’t think there’s enough of a market, they just don’t like America. Something like that.

So if you want to try a Creole, or a Brooklyn, you’ve got a couple choices.

You can travel to France and buy Amer Picon. Unfortunately, even this is fraught with danger, as a few years ago Diageo changed the recipe for the product, reducing its proof. Maybe they aren’t hating on America at all. Perhaps they are just sparing us from a mediocre modern version of the product!?

You can try to make it yourself using Jamie Boudreau’s recipe, Amer Picon.

Last, you can try for a replacement.

Your first choice for a replacement, as I did previously with the Brooklyn, is to use Torani Amer. Torani Amer is a nice product, but unfortunately, as far as I can tell, doesn’t taste all that much like Amer Picon. It’s a bit too vegetal and not orangey enough. It makes a good Brooklyn or Creole, but not a great one.

A second choice of replacement is an obscure Italian Amaro called CioCiaro. It is more common in some US markets than others. It’s good, but not quite as bitter or orangey as Amer Picon. If you can find it, add a dash of Regan’s or Angostura orange bitters to your cocktail and you should be in business.

Another option is to make Jamie Boudreau’s recipe. Jamie’s recipe isn’t too hard. He is, after all, very lazy. Basically you modify a less obscure Italian Amaro called Ramzotti by pumping up the oranginess. The only annoying part is that it takes two months to make the orange tincture. Oh, and you have to find a source for bitter orange peels.

Being nearly as lazy as Jamie, but slightly less patient, I worked out this adaption of his recipe:

7 oz vodka
1 orange
10 oz Ramzzotti Amaro
2 oz Stirring’s Blood Orange Bitters
1 drop orange oil

Microplane the zest of 1 orange into the vodka. Let stand a few minutes. Filter through 4 layers of cheese cloth into a clean bottle, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.

Pour Ramzotti Amaro through cheese cloth and orange zest, again squeezing out as much liquid as possible.

Add Blood Orange bitters and orange oil.

Shake to mix. It’s probably best to let it sit for a day or so.

I’m not totally sold, I think it might slightly overdo the fresh orange flavor. But it isn’t bad and doesn’t take 2 months to make. Definitely prefer it to Torani Amer.

Anyway, so you’ve done all that, and you’ve got some form of Amer Picon replacement. What’s up with the cocktail? It’s kind of hilarious. To be honest, the Creole is one of the most inexplicably fruity and, dare I say it, silly whiskey cocktails going. The intersection between the orange of the Amer Picon, the vermouth (I think especially if you use Carpano Antico), the whiskey and the lemon peel is almost comical. Comical and delicious.

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.

Country Club Cooler

Country Club Cooler

Country Club Cooler
1 glass French Vermouth. (2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (Home made)
2 Lumps of ice.

Pour into tumbler and fill up with soda water.

Just didn’t do much for me.

I suppose the Country Club Cooler is fine and all. Might be a refreshing drink on a hot day. Or one of the fancy vermouths, like the Vya, could perk things up.

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.

Corpse Reviver (No. 1)

Corpse Reviver Cocktail (No. 1)

Corpse Reviver (No. 1)

1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1/4 Apple Brandy or Calvados. (3/4 oz Germain-Robin Apple Brandy)
1/2 Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Maison Surrenne Petite Champagne Cognac)

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

To be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed.

Apparently “Corpse Revivers” were a class of pre-prohibition drinks meant to be taken as “hair of the dog”.

By the time we get to the 30s only about 3 or 4 recipes survived.

In the Savoy Cocktail Book we have Corpse Revivers No. 1 and No. 2.

In Duffy we have Corpse Revivers 1-3, with a slight variation in No. 2 which we’ll cover in the next entry.

In European cocktail collections you will find another cocktail called the Corpse Reviver No. 2 (or sometimes No. 3). This drink is credited to Frank Meier of the Ritz, Paris and is identical to Hemingway’s “Death in the Afternoon”. A shot of Absinthe topped up with champagne. I’ve tried that cocktail, and it definitely is a way to build up a head of steam. Not sure about it as a brunch cocktail, unless you do plan to die in the afternoon.

The Corpse Reviver No. 1 is a perfectly fine and enjoyable cocktail. I did find it significantly improved with the addition of a drop or two of Angostura Bitters.

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.

Coronation Cocktail (No. 1)

Coronation Cocktail (No. 1)

Coronation Cocktail (No. 1)

1/2 Sherry. (1 1/2 oz Domecq La Ina Fino Sherry)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1 Dash Maraschino. (Luxardo)
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (1 dash Regan’s, 1 dash Fee’s)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Again, prefer to build these sorts of things over rocks, so there you go.

This was really nice. I think I am coming around to dry sherry.

Earlier in the evening, I had been experimenting with Aviation proportions and different violet liqueurs. Palate was pretty jaded from it all. This was a pleasant, simple, relief from all that perfumed nonsense.

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.

Cordova Cocktail

Cordova Cocktail

Cordova Cocktail
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Tanqueray)
1 Dash Absinthe. (Lucid Absinthe)
1 Teaspoonful Fresh Cream.
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I was making dinner and had some fennel fronds around, so I dropped a couple on top as a garnish.

This was kind of weird.

Cream, Gin, Sweet Vermouth, and Absinthe really isn’t a combination I would think of.

It’s not a bad cocktail; but, really didn’t do a lot for me, either. I’d say, probably, I would greatly prefer it without the cream, thank you very much.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Cooperstown Cocktail

Cooperstown Cocktail

Cooperstown Cocktail
1/3 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Cinzano Rosso)
1/3 Dry Gin. (1 oz Junipero Gin)

Shake (stir – eje) well and strain into cocktail glass. Add a sprig of Mint.

I first made this cocktail with another of our local gins, No. 209.

Unfortunately, it really didn’t have the Cojones to stand up to the dual vermouths in these proportions.

With the Junipero, it is a pretty enjoyable cocktail. A dash or two of bitters, and we’d be cooking with gas.

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.

Cold Deck Cocktail

Cold Deck Cocktail

Cold Deck Cocktail

1/4 White Crème de Menthe. (1/4 oz Brizard)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso)
1/2 Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Maison Surrenne Petite Champagne Cognac)

Shake (stir – eje) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Reduced Crème de Menthe a bit. Still the dominating element of the cocktail.

Not sure what I think about this one. It is very minty. Not exactly in an unpleasant way though. Was having some Elk Creamery Camembert de Chevre and crackers at the same time, and expected it would be a bad flavor combination, as many cocktails are. It was actually quite nice.

The Maison Surrenne is a very different Cognac from the Pierre Ferrand Ambre. Stronger in the wood and vegetal characteristics, where the Pierre Ferrand is fruity/citrus and white pepper. It will certainly be interesting to see how it works out in other cocktails.

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.