Yellow Parrot Cocktail

Yellow Parrot Cocktail
1/3 Absinthe. (3/4 oz Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe Superior)
1/3 Yellow Chartreuse. (3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Blumme Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

First off, there was no way I was making this cocktail as written, 2/3 liqueur and 1/3 Absinthe. Just NO way.

So, instead, I made it 1/3 liqueur, 1/3 booze, 1/3 Absinthe.

As such, it’s not exactly bad. I like the Blumme Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie, I like Yellow Chartreuse, and I like the Greenway Distillers Absinthe.

However, it is a pretty stiff drink, and, to be honest, it doesn’t quite pass the true test of a cocktail. “Does the combination of ingredients somehow elevate the drink beyond any of the single ingredients?”

Nope, instead of enjoying this rather bizarre combination, I kept thinking, “Greenway Distillers Absinthe and Water. Now, that would have been nice.”

Oddly, though, this drink does seem to have a bit of a “second life”, at least going from the number of websites it has been reproduced upon. Makes you wonder if anyone else is actually tasting the drinks they publish on their websites.

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.

Xanthia Cocktail

Xanthia Cocktail
1/3 Cherry Brandy. (3/4 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
1/3 Yellow Chartreuse. (3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz North Shore Gin, No. 6)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, first off, there’s no real question that this drink should probably be made with something like Cherry Heering and not Kirsch.

But, I just couldn’t face a drink that was composed of 2/3 liqueur and no citrus, so I used Kirsch instead.

Hey, if Kirsch isn’t “Cherry Brandy”, nothing is!

Anyway, with Kirsch, this ends up a somewhat more interesting version of the Alaska Cocktail.  OK, it’s pretty much all booze, but surely we’re all used to that by now, right?  And Yellow Chartreuse and Kirsch make a surprisingly (or maybe not) nice combination. Herbal, floral goodness, with a kick.

If you want to get all sticklery, and make this one with Cherry Heering instead of Kirsch, feel free. Let me know how it comes out.

I’m sticking with Kirsch for the Xanthia.

As far as the name goes, it appears Xanthia is a modernization of the greek word, “Xanthe”, which, according to Behind the Name, is “Derived from a Greek word xanthos meaning “yellow” or “fair hair”. This was the name of a few minor figures in Greek mythology.”

It’s also the name of a Genus of American Moths and appears to be a popular nom de guerre for buxom, red haired female Internet exhibitionists. Ahem. Google at your own risk.

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.

Widow’s Kiss Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, Jan 30, 2010, 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, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Widow’s Kiss Cocktail
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Angostura)
1/2 Liqueur glass Chartreuse. (1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
1/2 Liqueur Glass Benedictine. (1/2 oz Benedictine)
1 Liqueur Glass Calvados or Apple Brandy. (1 oz Calvados Montreuil)
Shake well (I stirred) and strain into cocktail glass.

“And if you close the door, the night could last forever.”

For some reason, the Widow’s Kiss Cocktail reminds me of the song, “After Hours” by the Velvet Underground.

As written, half Calvados and half liqueurs, it is rather sickly sweet. I have re-jiggered the ratios somewhat, a common tactic, and still find it too sweet for me. You could take them down to a quarter oz each, and I would be much happier.

Another tactic, sometimes taken, is to add some citrus to the drink, to balance out the intense sweetness of the Benedictine and Chartreuse liqueurs. That gets a bit far from the origins of the drink for me, but it also works and is tasty.

By the way, this is a drink, in my opinion, which should be made with Calvados. American Apple Brandies just don’t have the weight or interest to carry the drink. (Well, unless you choose to add some citrus, in which case American Apple Brandy will probably be fine. But then you’re just making an Herbal Jack Rose.)

I’m ambivalent about the Widow’s Kiss. It is a really good drink, and one of the best cocktail names of all times, but it is also far too sweet.

I suppose, properly, it is an after dinner, (Or After Hours?) digestive type cocktail, and enjoying it with coffee might be one way of coping with its extreme sweetness.

Otherwise, drying out the proportions works, though then it heads towards boozy-landia, basically being just a cold glass of Calvados.

Another treatment might be to take a Stinger type strategy, and serve it over crushed ice.

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.

Sunrise Cocktail

Sunrise Cocktail
1/4 Grenadine. (1/3 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/4 Crème de Violette. (1/3 oz Benoit-Serres Liqueur de Violette)
1/4 Yellow Chartreuse. (1/3 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
1/4 Cointreau. (1/3 oz Cointreau)
Use liqueur glass and pour ingredients in carefully so that they do not mix.

Odd to have two Pousse Cafe style cocktails so close together.

I tried to pour this in the order given, only to discover that the Yellow Chartreuse preferred to be under the Liqueur de Violette. Well, if you pour these things steadily and slowly enough, they usually self correct.

Can’t say that there is anything in particular to recommend this combination, other than maybe that the orange of the Cointreau and the Violette of the Benoit-Serres are a pretty interesting combo.

Other than that, it’s just a pretty drink, even if it is slightly out of order.

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.

Triomphe Cocktail

Triomphe Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz 1-1 Simple Syrup

Shake well with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

At work, we often get asked for vodka cocktails. We have a few in the bar book, and quite a few of the gin cocktails can be made to work well enough with vodka.  But I still try to struggle to think up new and interesting vodka cocktails that customers enjoy.  I’ve gotten good response to this one.

The Triomphe is a variation on the Savoy Cocktail, Champs Elysees, made with vodka instead of Brandy.  And to be honest, I kind of prefer it to the original Brandy version.  It turns out less busy, and is a better feature for the Yellow Chartreuse.  Not entirely happy with the name, but the Arc de Triomphe is on the Champs Elysees in Paris, so that’s why I gave it that name.  It’s also something of a personal “Triumph” for me, whenever I think of a vodka cocktail I actually like.

Of course, smart aleck servers like to point out that another way of looking at the “Triomphe” is as a slightly herbal Lemon Drop.

Rainbow Cocktail

Rainbow Cocktail

Rainbow Cocktail.
1/7 Crème de Cacao. (1/4 oz Mozart Black Chocolate Liqueur)
1/7 Crème de Violette. (1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Violette)
1/7 Yellow Chartreuse. (1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
1/7 Maraschino. (1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/7 Benedictine. (1/4 oz Benedictine)
1/7 Green Chartreuse. (1/4 oz Green Chartreuse)
1/7 Brandy. (1/4 oz Chateau de Pellehaut Reserve Armagnac)
Use liqueur glass and pour ingredients carefully so that they do not mix.

For those of you keeping track, the ingredients arranged themselves in the following order, bottom to top: Mozart Black, Luxardo Maraschino, Benedictine/YellowChartreuse, R&W Violette, Green Chartreuse, Brandy.

Every once in a while someone orders this during Savoy Cocktail Nights at Alembic Bar and we all groan. Why, oh why?

It’s true these are all perfectly palatable liqueurs, but this is just such a pain in the ass to concoct.  And the whole thing together, while not entirely unpleasant, is a bit of a shock to the system, if you are sensitive to sugar.

I finished it, it is true, more out of curiosity than anything else.

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.

Balthazar Cocktail

I’ve been making this cocktail for a while when cocktail geeky or bartender type people ask me for a Mezcal, Tequila, or Agave “Dealer’s Choice Cocktail”.  It’s just kind of fun to mess with people and not make a shaken citrus or fruit based cocktail.  For obvious reasons, I usually just call it a “Death and Company” or “Phil Ward” style cocktail.  However, checking with one of the bartenders at Death and Co, it turns out it isn’t actually a Death and Company cocktail.  Damn.  That meant I had to think of a name.

A guest the other night quite enjoyed it and suggested calling it the “Balthazar Cocktail”.  Odd.  The Donkey or the Getty?  The Burro or the Ass?  I didn’t ask, so I leave it up to you to make the call.

Balthazar Cocktail
1 1/2 oz El Tesoro platinum tequila
1/4 oz Benesin Mezcal
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse Liqueur
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
dash orange bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.  Squeeze orange peel over glass and discard.

Golden Slipper Cocktail

Golden Slipper Cocktail

1/2 Liqueur Glass Yellow Chartreuse. (1 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
The Yolk of 1 Fresh Egg.
1/2 Liqueur Glass Eau de Vie de Danzig. (1 oz Danzig Goldwasser)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I guess an interesting point, if yer a cocktail geek, about the Golden Slipper, is that Robert Vermeire places it in with his Pousse Cafe drinks. But, but by the 1930s, both Craddock and Duffy are saying it is a shaken drink.

Being an old-school kind of guy, I figured pousse cafe. Plus, if you’re shaking the thing, it sort of negates the point of using the gold wasser.

Golden Slipper Cocktail, Old School

1/2 Liqueur Glass Yellow Chartreuse. (1 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
The Yolk of 1 Fresh Egg.
1/2 Liqueur Glass Eau de Vie de Danzig. (1 oz Danzig Goldwasser)

Pour Yellow Chartreuse into a sherry glass. Gently drop in whole egg yolk. Pouring over the back of a spoon, slowly add Danzig Goldwasser, so the two liquids do not mix.

It doesn’t seem like there is a huge visual difference between yellow Chartreuse and Danzig Goldwasser, but the flavors are fairly distinct. The Gold Wasser is not as sweet with more of a gin-like edge than the chartreuse.

On the “golden slipper” front, “The Golden Slipper” appears to be a folk tale of Asian origin. The best, and spookiest, google I found, was this vietnamese version:

A Cinderella Tale from Vietnam

Wow, it’s got ghosts, skeletons, murder, cruelty, etc. Anyway, yeah, that’s Cinderella, all right. Amazing the whitewashed stuff we Anglos get stuck with.

Also, “Golden Slipper” was the name of a charity formed by a group of Jewish Masons in 1922.

Golden Slipper Club

Perhaps they enjoyed the odd cocktail?

Update regarding Goldwasser, I received a question, “but is the dantzig sweet? i thought it was just russian eau de vie that had gold flake in it…”

Everything I’ve read suggests that Eau-de-Vie de Danzig and Goldwasser are synonymous. The one I used, “Der Lachs Original Danziger Goldwasser,” is an 80 proof herbal/spice liqueur. It didn’t seem quite as sweet as Yellow Chartreuse, but I didn’t try them side by side, just together in the drink.

Nice article here:

Gdansk Goldwasser: Alchemic Elixir

Goldwasser liqueur (literally ‘gold water’ in German), has been a popular Gdansk tradition since 1598. And though other brands and distilleries have tried to copy it, Goldwasser continues to be inextricably linked to Gdansk. A strong (40%) root and herbal liqueur, Goldwasser’s famous feature is the small flecks of 22 karat gold flake that float in the beverage. Though the posh prestige of the alcohol has historically made it a favorite drink of such darlings as Russia’s Catherine the Great, the rather diminutive gold flakes suspended in Goldwasser fail to make its price inordinate or its health effects negligible.

Hope that helps!

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.

Club Cocktail

Club Cocktail

Club Cocktail

2/3 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Boodles Gin)
1/3 Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Carpano Antica)
1 Dash Yellow Chartreuse

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

Here’s one I expected to like a lot. While I found it fine, it didn’t jump out of the glass at me. I think the Boodles may have been a bad choice. Something like Tanqueray or Junipero would have fought it out more actively with the sweet vermouth and Chartreuse.

Remade with Junipero and Cinzano Rosso, I found I did enjoy it to a much greater extent. Sort of a light version of the Bijou/Jewel.

Really should double strain these stirred cocktails, as pieces of cracked ice sometimes get out around the side of the julep strainer. Not very attractive.

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.

Chocolate Cocktail (No 1)

Chocolate Cocktail (No 1)

Chocolate Cocktail (No. 1)

1 Teaspoonful of Powdered Chocolate (heaping teaspoon of Scharffen Berger cocoa powder)
1 Egg
1 Liqueur Glass Maraschino (1 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1 Liqueur Glass Yellow Chartreuse (1 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
(dash Pierre Ferrand Cognac)

Shake well and strain into large glass.

Now, I’m not sure if “Chocolate Powder” means something other than cocoa powder; but, if you’re going to use Cocoa Powder, it’s going to be a bit more complicated than the above instructions, unless you want a lumpy mess.

Extra equipment: 2 small bowls, rubber spatula, and a whisk or fork.

(Method: Dump a generous teaspoon of unsweetened Cocoa Power into one of your bowls. Add a teaspoon of water and mix until it starts to form a paste. Add a little more water at a time and continue mixing until it reaches the consistency of melted chocolate. Whisk up your egg in the other bowl and pour it into chocolate. Whisk together. Measure the liqueurs into your mixing tin or glass. Pour in the egg and chocolate mixture. Add ice and shake well. Strain into cocktail glass.)

Like the Cafe Kirsch Cocktail, I had no real hope that I would enjoy this. And like the Cafe Kirsch, I found it a really tasty cocktail. The Yellow Chartreuse and Maraschino combine in really interesting ways with the cocoa. Mrs. Underhill even enjoyed it.

The two ounces of liqueur might seemed like a lot. However, using unsweetened cocoa powder, that’s about what you’re going to need to balance the bitterness of the chocolate. It seemed on par or less sweet than most hot cocoa or cold chocolate drinks.

If you have a choc-a-holic friend, this might be a nice change for them from the usual “chocotini”.

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.