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Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2009–)


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#1 eje

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 11:35 AM

[Moderator note: This topic became too large for our servers to handle, so we've divided it up; the earlier parts are here: Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2006–2007) and Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2007–2008)]

 

 

 

Someone asked me, "What's up with the Savoy topic?"

The short answer is, I'm taking a half time break. I've made approximately 450 out of the 900 or so cocktail in the book and the Savoy and I need some time apart.

The longer answer is, this year I'm interested in accumulating a bit more real world experience in cocktail making. It's fun and interesting to make the cocktails, do the research, and publish them online. But after a while, I've gotten an urge to somehow apply this knowledge to some practical exercise.

To that end, I've been helping Alembic Bar relaunch their monthly Savoy Cocktail Book nights. Follow the Alembic Blog for dates, details and information. The events are a blast and it's pretty crazy to see what drinks people will pick when confronted with a whole book of cocktails to choose from.

Death & Co has 75 cocktails on their list? Piffle, we've got 900 on Savoy Night! Of course, Death & Co has 75 good cocktails...

In addition, I've somehow convinced a bartender friend that I'm a good gamble and will be working as a bartender for him a night a week. I'm pretty excited about this as well, as it will scratch my itch to get back into the restaurant industry in some way, shape, or form. Not to mention a chance to learn from some of San Francisco's most talented bartenders.

So there we are.

I hope your New Year is as exciting and promising as mine!

The Stomp will be back, never fear!


---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#2 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 11:39 AM

Posted Image

Filmograph Cocktail

1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Cerbois VSOP Armagnac)
1/4 Kola Tonic. (1/2 oz Rose's Kola Tonic)
1/4 Sirop-de-citron. (1/2 oz Monin Lemon Syrup)

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

Posted Image

I know I promised to make my own Sirop-de-Citron the next time one of the cocktails called for it.  And it is even lemon season.  Sadly I have failed.  And sadly failed this drink.  At least with the Monin Lemon Syrup, this is the equivalent of some sort of very sweet hard candy with the Kola Tonic giving it a lovely medicinal edge.  Cough Drop in liquid form.  It's hard for me to see this as anything other than a waste of a delicious Brandy.

...

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Was going through this thread yesterday looking for something and came across this, got to thinking more about the Filmograph and Tonicola. The idea has seemed so cool since I first saw it in Dr. Cocktail's book, but I could never quite make the Rose's work right in these kinds of drinks for my palate. I did, however, figure out a while back how to draw syrup out of the gun without any soda and have a bottle of Coke syrup at work. Yesterday I made one of these with 1.5 of Martell, .75 lemon juice (couldnt hang with the syrup), .5 of Dubonnet, and .25 of Coke syrup. It wasn't quite right so I added a dash of absinthe (Lucid) that really helped the thing come together. Not quite a classic but to my palate (and the guy I made it for) and pretty decent drink. Could probably use more tweaking still.
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#3 bostonapothecary

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:01 PM

i've spent the last year or so periodically checking in at tropico in roxbury for clayton's kola nut tonic but have had no luck...

i just saw it available on www.barbadosmarketplace.com based out of hyde park on the edge of boston which i'm pretty sure is also the importer that sells clayton's to the local caribbean markets. i placed an order for a couple bottles so hopefully it will ship.

clayton's had to reformulate because their coloring was acceptable in the UK but banned in the U.S. so hopefully they are back in action. the product is affordable yet highly amusing and i've had a blast with it.
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#4 eje

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:00 AM

...and we're back.

Posted Image

Newbury Cocktail.

1 Piece Lemon Peel.
1 Piece Orange Peel.
3 Dashes Curacao. (1 tsp. Bols Dry Orange Curacao)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Dolin Rouge Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz Junipero Gin)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Kind of similar to the Dandy Cocktail, it make me wonder if those two recipes might have the same source.

Check out the new vintage glassware, fresh from the wilds of central New Jersey, courtesy of Chris over at An Exercise in Hospitality! So cool, and beautifully retro! Thanks Chris!

Anyway, a very nice cocktail, despite being basically a slightly citrus-ier Lone Tree.

Edited by eje, 14 April 2009 - 08:08 AM.

---
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#5 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 11:08 PM

I take it the pieces of citrus peel were stirred with the drink, not used as a garnish? Do you think shaking would have imparted some bitterness to mitigate the sweetness that looks to be present?

Glad to see this project up and running again! And that is indeed a fabulous glass.

Edit: misread post.

Edited by thirtyoneknots, 14 April 2009 - 11:11 PM.

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#6 eje

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 07:30 AM

I take it the pieces of citrus peel were stirred with the drink, not used as a garnish? Do you think shaking would have imparted some bitterness to mitigate the sweetness that looks to be present?
[...]

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My general rule, is, if it's in the ingredient list, it goes in the cocktail shaker. The Savoy Cocktail book never, to my knowledge, includes garnishes in the ingredient list, only in the method section of the cocktail recipe. Heck, compared to other authors, it rarely includes garnishes, full stop.

Interestingly, Cocktail Bill Boothby talks a bit about this in the early editions of his cocktail guides. Saying something like, "certain establishments require bartenders to squeeze twists into the mixing tins, while others allow bartenders to squeeze the twists over the drinks before serving," he claims it makes no difference in the end cocktail, though his preference is for squeezing them over the cocktail.

Squeezing them into the tin, and stirring the twists with the drink, does tend to cloud the drink slightly, as well as give more citrus flavor and a bit less scent impression.
---
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#7 eje

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:44 AM

Hercules remains, more or less, a mystery.

To summarize, for many years because of a description in Stan Jones’ Barguide which called it an Absinthe substitute, it was thought to be exactly that. Something like Ricard or Pernod.

However, when I started making these Savoy recipes, none of them made taste sense when made with Pernod or Ricard. They were just awful.

About this time, I saw an advertisement that popped up from time to time on the front page of the cocktaildb. It was for a Dutch product called Hercules which was a aromatized and fortified red wine. I made a couple cocktails which call for Hercules with Cocchi’s Barolo Chinato and they made a lot more sense.

I started doing more digging and turned up some advertisements in Google Books for a product called Hercules available at about the same time the Savoy Cocktail Book was published.

HERCULES “HEALTH - COCKTAILS ARE SERVED AT LEADING BARS. “Hercules” can be had plain, when so preferred, or as the chief and most fascinating ingredient…that Create Appetite and Stimulate Digestion “Hercules” Wine Aperitif contains the phenomenal properties of Yerba-Mate, which has won the high opinion…TO TEST “HERCULES” WINE APERITIF send fi/6 for a full-sired bottle, carriage paid.
    We will despatch by return. Later supplies must be obtained of Wine…


Instead of being an Absinthe substitute, Hercules turned out to be a wine based aperitif one of whose ingredients was Yerba Mate!

In addition, a London friend, Jeff Masson asked around about it. Turned out that a friend of his was acquainted with some of the ex-Savoy bartenders. While the most recent bartender didn’t recall Hercules, his predecessor at the bar did!

From Jeff:

    Did a little more research into this mystery ingredient but found nothing amazing.
    I spoke to a friend who knows Peter Dorelli, the former head bartender of the Savoy, very well. I asked him to find out what he could.
    Peter had never tasted the ingredient but called his former head bartender, Joe Gilmore, who is now around 85!
    He remembered Hercules quite well and described it as a cross between an aperetif and a bitters. It was light pink in colour and bore no resemblance to Absinthe. He didn’t have any real suggestions for a substitute but mentioned Dubonnet would not be appropriate.
    Not conclusive but quite interesting.


OK, a bitter wine based aperitif flavored with Yerba Mate.

Current try at reproduction:

1 bottle Navarro White Table Wine
1/4 cup Yerba Mate
1 tablespoon Gentian
1 clove
Dried Peel from 1 Seville Orange
1/2 stick Ceylon Cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Havana Club 8 Year Rum

Method: Combine all ingredients other than rum, bring to 140 degrees for 10 minutes. Strain off solids, cool, and add rum. Refrigerate.

I purposely kept this simple, to try and get more of a feel for appropriate taste combinations with the Yerba Mate. Initial thoughts are that it has too much gentian to be drunk on it’s own for pleasure. But it’s close. Tasting other vermouth I have around, I find many seem to have more culinary herbs in the middle flavors than this. Might have to experiment with including some thyme, mint, or oregano next time. I’m also not sure if the color came from the wine or if it was colored, so skipped that for the time being. Since most vermouth is made on a white wine base, I would guess it was colored, perhaps with cochineal or similar.

Posted Image

New Life Cocktail

1/4 Hercules. (1/2 oz “Hercules”)
1/4 Bacardi Rum. (1/2 oz Montecristo Rum)
1/2 Cointreau. (1 oz Cointreau)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

That’s a lot of Cointreau, but every other recipe for the New Life I can find uses the same proportions, so I guess it isn’t a typo.

While it is sweet, it is kind of tasty. However, drinking it, I was reminded of the unique flavors of Armazem Viera’s Esmeralda Cachaca. Remaking it with Cachaca instead of the Montecristo rum did make for a much more interesting cocktail. Interesting that these two South American flavors would compliment each other.
---
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If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
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#8 bostonapothecary

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:37 PM

Hercules remains, more or less, a mystery.

To summarize, for many years because of a description in Stan Jones’ Barguide which called it an Absinthe substitute, it was thought to be exactly that.  Something like Ricard or Pernod.

However, when I started making these Savoy recipes, none of them made taste sense when made with Pernod or Ricard.  They were just awful.

About this time, I saw an advertisement that popped up from time to time on the front page of the cocktaildb. It was for a Dutch product called Hercules which was a aromatized and fortified red wine. I made a couple cocktails which call for Hercules with Cocchi’s Barolo Chinato and they made a lot more sense.

I started doing more digging and turned up some advertisements in Google Books for a product called Hercules available at about the same time the Savoy Cocktail Book was published.

HERCULES “HEALTH - COCKTAILS ARE SERVED AT LEADING BARS. “Hercules” can be had plain, when so preferred, or as the chief and most fascinating ingredient…that Create Appetite and Stimulate Digestion “Hercules” Wine Aperitif contains the phenomenal properties of Yerba-Mate, which has won the high opinion…TO TEST “HERCULES” WINE APERITIF send fi/6 for a full-sired bottle, carriage paid.
    We will despatch by return. Later supplies must be obtained of Wine…


Instead of being an Absinthe substitute, Hercules turned out to be a wine based aperitif one of whose ingredients was Yerba Mate!

In addition, a London friend, Jeff Masson asked around about it. Turned out that a friend of his was acquainted with some of the ex-Savoy bartenders. While the most recent bartender didn’t recall Hercules, his predecessor at the bar did!

From Jeff:

    Did a little more research into this mystery ingredient but found nothing amazing.
    I spoke to a friend who knows Peter Dorelli, the former head bartender of the Savoy, very well. I asked him to find out what he could.
    Peter had never tasted the ingredient but called his former head bartender, Joe Gilmore, who is now around 85!
    He remembered Hercules quite well and described it as a cross between an aperetif and a bitters. It was light pink in colour and bore no resemblance to Absinthe. He didn’t have any real suggestions for a substitute but mentioned Dubonnet would not be appropriate.
    Not conclusive but quite interesting.


OK, a bitter wine based aperitif flavored with Yerba Mate.

Current try at reproduction:

1 bottle Navarro White Table Wine
1/4 cup Yerba Mate
1 tablespoon Gentian
1 clove
Dried Peel from 1 Seville Orange
1/2 stick Ceylon Cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Havana Club 8 Year Rum

Method: Combine all ingredients other than rum, bring to 140 degrees for 10 minutes. Strain off solids, cool, and add rum. Refrigerate.

I purposely kept this simple, to try and get more of a feel for appropriate taste combinations with the Yerba Mate. Initial thoughts are that it has too much gentian to be drunk on it’s own for pleasure. But it’s close. Tasting other vermouth I have around, I find many seem to have more culinary herbs in the middle flavors than this. Might have to experiment with including some thyme, mint, or oregano next time. I’m also not sure if the color came from the wine or if it was colored, so skipped that for the time being. Since most vermouth is made on a white wine base, I would guess it was colored, perhaps with cochineal or similar.

Posted Image

New Life Cocktail

1/4 Hercules. (1/2 oz “Hercules”)
1/4 Bacardi Rum. (1/2 oz Montecristo Rum)
1/2 Cointreau. (1 oz Cointreau)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

That’s a lot of Cointreau, but every other recipe for the New Life I can find uses the same proportions, so I guess it isn’t a typo.

While it is sweet, it is kind of tasty. However, drinking it, I was reminded of the unique flavors of Armazem Viera’s Esmeralda Cachaca. Remaking it with Cachaca instead of the Montecristo rum did make for a much more interesting cocktail. Interesting that these two South American flavors would compliment each other.

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your missing the menthe...
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#9 plattetude

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:47 PM


HERCULES “HEALTH - COCKTAILS ARE SERVED AT LEADING BARS. “Hercules” can be had plain, when so preferred, or as the chief and most fascinating ingredient…that Create Appetite and Stimulate Digestion “Hercules” Wine Aperitif contains the phenomenal properties of Yerba-Mate, which has won the high opinion…TO TEST “HERCULES” WINE APERITIF send fi/6 for a full-sired bottle, carriage paid.
    We will despatch by return. Later supplies must be obtained of Wine…


Instead of being an Absinthe substitute, Hercules turned out to be a wine based aperitif one of whose ingredients was Yerba Mate!

From Jeff:

    Did a little more research into this mystery ingredient but found nothing amazing.
    I spoke to a friend who knows Peter Dorelli, the former head bartender of the Savoy, very well. I asked him to find out what he could.
    Peter had never tasted the ingredient but called his former head bartender, Joe Gilmore, who is now around 85!
    He remembered Hercules quite well and described it as a cross between an aperetif and a bitters. It was light pink in colour and bore no resemblance to Absinthe. He didn’t have any real suggestions for a substitute but mentioned Dubonnet would not be appropriate.
    Not conclusive but quite interesting.


OK, a bitter wine based aperitif flavored with Yerba Mate.



your missing the menthe...

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Based on what source, exactly?

Christopher

#10 bostonapothecary

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:12 PM


HERCULES “HEALTH - COCKTAILS ARE SERVED AT LEADING BARS. “Hercules” can be had plain, when so preferred, or as the chief and most fascinating ingredient…that Create Appetite and Stimulate Digestion “Hercules” Wine Aperitif contains the phenomenal properties of Yerba-Mate, which has won the high opinion…TO TEST “HERCULES” WINE APERITIF send fi/6 for a full-sired bottle, carriage paid.
    We will despatch by return. Later supplies must be obtained of Wine…


Instead of being an Absinthe substitute, Hercules turned out to be a wine based aperitif one of whose ingredients was Yerba Mate!

From Jeff:

    Did a little more research into this mystery ingredient but found nothing amazing.
    I spoke to a friend who knows Peter Dorelli, the former head bartender of the Savoy, very well. I asked him to find out what he could.
    Peter had never tasted the ingredient but called his former head bartender, Joe Gilmore, who is now around 85!
    He remembered Hercules quite well and described it as a cross between an aperetif and a bitters. It was light pink in colour and bore no resemblance to Absinthe. He didn’t have any real suggestions for a substitute but mentioned Dubonnet would not be appropriate.
    Not conclusive but quite interesting.


OK, a bitter wine based aperitif flavored with Yerba Mate.



your missing the menthe...

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Based on what source, exactly?

Christopher

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good point. i don't have a source but the savoy book is menthe happy and the classic mate pairing is with menthe... i just believe its the most probable explantion of what hercules would taste like...
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#11 slkinsey

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:40 PM

By "menthe" one assumes you are referring to what we in the English-speakling world call "mint" flavor, and not the naiad from Greek mythology?


I'm curious as to your basis for asserting that the Savoy Book is "menthe happy." From what I can tell there are 24 cocktails in the Savoy with crème de menthe (the Alexander's Sister Cocktail, the American Beauty, the Caruso Cocktail, the Castle Dip Cocktail, the Cold Deck Cocktail, the Diana Cocktail, the Dixie Whisky Cocktail, the Ethel Cocktail, the Fallen Angel Cocktail, the Fantasio Cocktail No. 1, the Fantasio Cocktail No. 2, the Hell Cocktail, the Hurricane Cocktail, the Knock Out Cocktail, the Mint Cocktail, the Mint Cooler, the Monte Carlo Imperial Cocktail, the Pall Mall Cocktail, the Pousse Cafe, the Shamrock Cocktail, the Snowball Cocktail, the Stinger Cocktail, the Virgin Cocktail and the White Wings Cocktail). Now, 24 cocktails seems like an awfully large number. But in reality it works out to only around 3 percent -- and perhaps even less when we consider that 5 of these cocktails are variations of brandy with crème de menthe. We'd hardly call a book of 100 cocktail recipes that contained 3 calling for crème de menthe "menthe happy."


I'm curious as to your basis for asserting that "the classic mate pairing is with menthe." Do you have a reference somewhere to this effect?

Classically I would think that yerba mate isn't paired with anything at all, but is rather consumed by itself. After that, it's not clear to me that mint has a place of preference when it comes to combining yerba mate with other flavors. For example, a google search for yerba mate mint yields 54,200 results. But a search for yerba mate orange yields 186,000 results. Even yerba mate grapefruit yields significantly more results than mint, clocking in with 143,000. Other than the fact that yerba mate and mint are both asterids, they don't even seem particularly related from a botanical standpoint. They are in entirely different Orders (yerba mate being a kind of holly, while mint is a flowering herb). The sole google hit relating yerba mate with "menthe" is... well, from bostonapothecary.com. This doesn't give me a lot of confidence that mint is "the" classic pairing with yerba mate.

Edited by slkinsey, 15 April 2009 - 05:03 PM.

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#12 bostonapothecary

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 08:56 PM

By "menthe" one assumes you are referring to what we in the English-speakling world call "mint" flavor, and not the naiad from Greek mythology?


I'm curious as to your basis for asserting that the Savoy Book is "menthe happy."  From what I can tell there are 24 cocktails in the Savoy with crème de menthe (the Alexander's Sister Cocktail, the American Beauty, the Caruso Cocktail, the Castle Dip Cocktail, the Cold Deck Cocktail, the Diana Cocktail, the Dixie Whisky Cocktail, the Ethel Cocktail, the Fallen Angel Cocktail, the Fantasio Cocktail No. 1, the Fantasio Cocktail No. 2, the Hell Cocktail, the Hurricane Cocktail, the Knock Out Cocktail, the Mint Cocktail, the Mint Cooler, the Monte Carlo Imperial Cocktail, the Pall Mall Cocktail, the Pousse Cafe, the Shamrock Cocktail, the Snowball Cocktail, the Stinger Cocktail, the Virgin Cocktail and the White Wings Cocktail).  Now, 24 cocktails seems like an awfully large number.  But in reality it works out to only around 3 percent -- and perhaps even less when we consider that 5 of these cocktails are variations of brandy with crème de menthe.  We'd hardly call a book of 100 cocktail recipes that contained 3 calling for crème de menthe "menthe happy."


I'm curious as to your basis for asserting that "the classic mate pairing is with menthe."  Do you have a reference somewhere to this effect?

Classically I would think that yerba mate isn't paired with anything at all, but is rather consumed by itself.  After that, it's not clear to me that mint has a place of preference when it comes to combining yerba mate with other flavors.  For example, a google search for yerba mate mint yields 54,200 results.  But a search for yerba mate orange yields 186,000 results.  Even yerba mate grapefruit yields significantly more results than mint, clocking in with 143,000.  Other than the fact that yerba mate and mint are both asterids, they don't even seem particularly related from a botanical standpoint.  They are in entirely different Orders (yerba mate being a kind of holly, while mint is a flowering herb).  The sole google hit relating yerba mate with "menthe" is... well, from bostonapothecary.com.  This doesn't give me a lot of confidence that mint is "the" classic pairing with yerba mate.

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many good points. but to me even relative to the egullet chatter, the savoy book seems menthe happy. i don't own a bottle of creme de menthe and i don't know anyone that champions the flavor on their list.

google does reveal quite a lot of menthe-mate tea products on the market. i wish culinary history was advanced enough to explain such pairings and how far they go back. i will say that i enjoy the tea and the two flavors in general are tasty in a cocktail.

hopefully someday we will resolve this hercules issue.
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#13 eje

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 08:35 AM

Posted Image

New 1920 Cocktail.

1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Orange)
1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Martini and Rossi Sweet Vermouth)
1/2 Canadian Club Whisky. (1 oz Alberta Premium Canadian Rye Whisky)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

Posted Image

A while ago Darcy O’Neil, of The Art of Drink, and I did a trade, resulting in me being in possession of Alberta Premium Canadian Rye Whisky. It’s really tasty stuff. It’s a 100% Rye Whiskey, but made in the Canadian style. That is to say, much of the Rye is distilled to a very high proof, nearly vodka, and then blended with a more flavorful “character spirit” and aged. In its smooth rye flavor, the Alberta Premium reminds me more of Irish Whiskey than other Canadian Whiskies or American Ryes.

So this is basically a perfect Canadian Whisky Manhattan with a dash of orange bitters. Who can complain about that?
---
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If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#14 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 11:43 AM

Is this method representative of historical Canadian practice in any way? Sounds like nice stuff at any rate.
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#15 eje

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 01:51 PM

Is this method representative of historical Canadian practice in any way? Sounds like nice stuff at any rate.

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Canadian Whisky experts can correct me, but it is my understanding that this is more or less the way almost all Canadian Whisky is made. Similar to Scotch Blended Whiskys. I believe there is almost no "single malt" or "straight" whisky bottled in Canada.
---
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If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
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#16 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 02:20 PM

Is this method representative of historical Canadian practice in any way? Sounds like nice stuff at any rate.

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Canadian Whisky experts can correct me, but it is my understanding that this is more or less the way almost all Canadian Whisky is made. Similar to Scotch Blended Whiskys. I believe there is almost no "single malt" or "straight" whisky bottled in Canada.

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I was referring specifically to the 100% rye bill and the 'malty' character I inferred from the comparison to the Irish Wiskey.
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#17 mkayahara

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 02:32 PM

Canadian Whisky experts can correct me, but it is my understanding that this is more or less the way almost all Canadian Whisky is made.  Similar to Scotch Blended Whiskys.  I believe there is almost no "single malt" or "straight" whisky bottled in Canada.

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There is at least one: Glen Breton. And boy have they gotten into legal trouble with the Scotch Whisky Association for the name!

I was referring specifically to the 100% rye bill and the 'malty' character I inferred from the comparison to the Irish Wiskey.

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No, most Canadian whisky is not a 100% rye mash bill; it's actually a distinguishing characteristic of the Alberta Premium/Alberta Springs line. Personally, I get a weird rum-like feel out of the Premium 25-year-old. I'm generally a fan of Alberta Springs, which is the 10-year expression, but I don't really drink Canadian whisky that often.
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#18 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 04:44 PM

I was referring specifically to the 100% rye bill and the 'malty' character I inferred from the comparison to the Irish Wiskey.

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No, most Canadian whisky is not a 100% rye mash bill; it's actually a distinguishing characteristic of the Alberta Premium/Alberta Springs line. Personally, I get a weird rum-like feel out of the Premium 25-year-old. I'm generally a fan of Alberta Springs, which is the 10-year expression, but I don't really drink Canadian whisky that often.

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I guess I'm not being very clear, I was curious as to wether Canadian Whisky that would be contemporary with the Savoy recipes was commonly of a mashbill like this. Would at least make sense as to why it came to be known as 'rye'.
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#19 Alcuin

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 07:25 PM

Would at least make sense as to why it came to be known as 'rye'.

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I thought this was because rye wasn't available during prohibition and Canada produced the closest substitute that had some rye in it, but not 100%.
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#20 haresfur

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 08:20 PM

Canadian Whisky experts can correct me, but it is my understanding that this is more or less the way almost all Canadian Whisky is made.  Similar to Scotch Blended Whiskys.  I believe there is almost no "single malt" or "straight" whisky bottled in Canada.

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There is at least one: Glen Breton. And boy have they gotten into legal trouble with the Scotch Whisky Association for the name!

I was referring specifically to the 100% rye bill and the 'malty' character I inferred from the comparison to the Irish Wiskey.

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No, most Canadian whisky is not a 100% rye mash bill; it's actually a distinguishing characteristic of the Alberta Premium/Alberta Springs line. Personally, I get a weird rum-like feel out of the Premium 25-year-old. I'm generally a fan of Alberta Springs, which is the 10-year expression, but I don't really drink Canadian whisky that often.

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Tangle Ridge Canadian also is 100% rye but retains the smoother Canadian character so I would guess it is distilled in a similar fashion. I think it is finished in sherry casks. I like the stuff, but then I was brought up in Canada and still find American Rye a bit challenging.

But good question as to when Canadian rye went to having so little rye in the mash.
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#21 eje

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 09:41 PM

I'm not sure, but for me the Canadian Whisky angle is a bit of a dead end. I enjoy experimenting with interesting modern Canadian whisky, sure. But I don't know how relevant it is.

The Savoy Cocktail Book is a compendium, right?

When they compiled it, they sometimes changed ingredients.

When you look at any of the source material, even up to McElhone's "Barflies and Cocktails" in 1927, none of those recipes included in the Savoy Cocktail Book call for Canadian Club. They call for Rye or Bourbon.

Even Judge Jr., published during prohibition, does not call for Canadian Whisky.

Whether Craddock called for Canadian Club out of personal preference or economic necessity is probably beside the point. Or if it was becoming more fashionable to use smoother whisky by 1930. Smoother blended whisky would certainly be the fashion for the next 30 or 40 years.

The short answer is, before the Savoy Cocktail Book, almost all of these recipes called for Rye or Bourbon.

I will admit, there are a few Savoy or European recipes which seem to make more sense with the milder Canadian Whisky than with the rougher American straight rye or bourbon. The Byrrh Cocktail springs to mind.

Edited by eje, 18 April 2009 - 11:11 AM.

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#22 eje

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 08:06 AM

Posted Image

Newton’s Special Cocktail.

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1/4 Cointreau. (1/2 oz Cointreau)
3/4 Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Cognac Dudognon)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Orange Peel).

Oddly despite the fact that this possesses no chocolate, one of the stronger implied notes was that of chocolate. I fought the urge to remake it with a splash of Creme de Cacao and allowed myself the luxury to enjoy the Negative Space implied by its absence.
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#23 Wild Bill Turkey

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:14 AM

Somehow, the name Newton makes me think the brandy should be calvados.

#24 AccidentalHedonist

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:48 AM

Is this method representative of historical Canadian practice in any way? Sounds like nice stuff at any rate.

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If I may throw in a comment from the sidelines, if the recipe calls for Canadian Club, then the use of Alberta is probably not a fair substitute. Back in the later part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th, Canadian Club Whisky as made by Hiram Walker, was only one of several different types of whisky made in Windsor. The one we're familiar with came into popularity because it was popular with various bars, taverns, and yes, clubs, throughout the midwest and Ontario. Hence the name "Club Whisky". It was likely popular because not only did it have a pleasant taste, it was also likely economical when compared against other quality whiskies available.

This means it was likely cheaper, which in turn means that it was likely a made from a mash with a grain composition that included corn, wheat, and/or barley, rather than a pure malted rye. Canadian Club Whisky from 1920 was likely to be more akin to the whiskies of turn of the century Pennsylvania, than a uniquely all-rye, all-the-time one.
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#25 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 08:52 AM

Doesn't Beefeater produce an orange gin? (Not that it's necessarily any good...)

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From The Young Housewife's Daily Assistant, 1862.

924. Curacao.

To make half a gallon, have ready the following ingredients:
--Five Seville and six tangerine oranges, two lemons, one pound and a half of fine sugarcandy, in powder, and three pints and a quarter of French brandy. Peel the oranges and lemons with a sharp knife, only taking off the yellow part; squeeze out the juice, and strain it through muslin; put the peel, juice, sugarcandy and brandy into a half gallon spirit jar; cork it closely, and let it remain for three weeks; shake the bottle frequently; strain, and put it into long-necked glass bottles, cork securely, and keep it a year or longer before using.

925. Orange Gin.

Follow the preceding receipt, omitting the Tangerine oranges, using gin instead of brandy, and barley sugar instead of sugarcandy.


So it is basically Gin Curacao? or is it?

#26 eje

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 08:11 AM

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New York Cocktail.

1 Lump Sugar. (1 Demerara sugar cube)
The Juice of 1/2 Lime or ¼ Lemon. (1/4 lemon squeezed into tin)
2 Dashes Grenadine. (1 tsp homemade)
1 Piece Orange Peel.
1 Glass Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Rittenhouse Bonded)

(Muddle sugar cube in lemon juice and grenadine. Squeeze orange peel over drink and drop in. Add Whiskey and…) Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (If you feel inspired, add a cherry.)

Similar method and ingredients to the Mr. Manhattan Cocktail. Even though sources indicate this cocktail is from Hugo Ensslin, it makes me wonder if they might originally have come from the same source.

A perfectly delightful old fashioned preparation of a Whiskey sour.
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#27 eje

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:28 AM

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Nick’s Own Cocktail.

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1 Dash Absinthe. (Verte de Fougerolles)
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 oz Dolin Rouge)
1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Cognac Dudognon)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass Add cherry and squeeze lemon peel on top.

Robert Vermeire, in his “Cocktails: How to Mix them” tells us this is a, “Recipe by A. Nicholls, London, 1922.”

A very enjoyable cocktail, and the first cocktail I’ve found where Dolin Rouge is a clear winner as a sweet vermouth.

Also the one of the first uses of the Dudognon Cognac in the Savoy Stomp. There’s a bit of a story there.

I was called for my annual Jury Service last fall. Fortunately after about 2 days of dithering they released the lucky few unselected jurors and let us go home. It was about 3 in the afternoon and I was downtown. A beautiful and unusually hot San Francisco day. I thought to myself, “Self, I could use a Pimm’s Cup after all that!”

So I headed down to the source for the best Pimm’s Cups in the world, The Slanted Door. No, I’m not biased at all. Anyway, after availing myself of a Pimm’s Cup and maybe another drink or two, a gentleman came in to the bar with a couple bottles of wine, Armagnac, and Calvados for the bar manager to try. Luckily he sat right next to me.

Turned out, it was Charles Neal, of Charles Neal Selections, an importer of some wonderful French products. We got to talking. I mentioned my eternal Brandy dilemma asking, “Is there a good brandy at a reasonable price?” About all I could get out of him was, “You get what you pay for.”

Not willing to let it rest there, I brought up the Cognacs and Armagnacs of a relatively well known commercial firm, saying I didn’t think they were so bad. I won’t mention the name of the firm or his exact words, but the brand did incite some excited comments from Mr. Neal. Suffice it to say, he did not think much of the firm’s products and did not hesitate to express himself explicitly.

As the discussion and drinking continued, the bartender ordered us some food saying, “I’m not going to let either of you go home to your families, having drunk so much on an empty stomach.” The food was, as usual, quite tasty. If the spot prawns are still on the menu, order them!

As I was heading out, the bartender handed me a worn copy of Mr. Neal’s book, “Armagnac: The definitive Guide to France’s Premier Brandy,” perhaps, so I would be better prepared the next time we met. Mr. Neal and I exchanged good byes, parted in good spirits, and went home to make dinner for our families.

Reading Mr. Neal’s Book, I really started to understand more of his perspective. How so many of the small distillers and growers of Cognac and Armagnac have fallen out of fashion, out of style, or been squeezed out of business. Not to mention how important it is to support the people who make or import a product you can truly respect.

After my interrogation, I figured I at least owed it to Mr. Neal to try one of his Cognacs, especially since he struck me as someone whose point of view I could respect.

So here we are, making a cocktail with the Dudognon Cognac he imports. It certainly is not cheap, but neither is it much more expensive than most other decent Cognacs.

To get back to the Dolin Rouge, I find it is a lighter not so sweet vermouth, so it doesn’t do much to obscure the spirit in the cocktail. One of the distributors recently went so far as to say, “A Manhattan with Carpano Antica is a Vermouth Cocktail. A Manhattan with Dolin Sweet is a Whiskey Cocktail.” That sounds a bit too much like they had been drinking the Haus Alpenz “Kool-Aid”, but it is a fair point.

In this case, the Dolin Rouge does just provides just some small accent, allowing the Dudognon Cognac to be the star of the drink.

Which is a very good thing.
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#28 slkinsey

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:10 AM

One of the distributors recently went so far as to say, “A Manhattan with Carpano Antica is a Vermouth Cocktail.  A Manhattan with Dolin Sweet is a Whiskey Cocktail.”  That sounds a bit too much like they had been drinking the Haus Alpenz “Kool-Aid”, but it is a fair point.

Of course it's also fair to point out that the Manhattan is supposed to be a vermouth cocktail. :wink:
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#29 eje

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 01:21 PM

Of course it's also fair to point out that the Manhattan is supposed to be a vermouth cocktail. :wink:

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Ha, yeah, I know, and I really enjoy the Thomas Manhattan, especially after dinner.

Strangely, we seem to sell at least a couple of the Savoy Version of that drink (Manhattan No. 1) every time we do Savoy night at Alembic. Last time someone ordered both no. 1 and no. 2 on the same order, I guess to do a taste off. So cool.
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#30 eje

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 08:22 AM

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Nicolaski Cocktail

2/3 Brandy. (1 1/2 oz Dudognon Cognac)
1 Slice Lemon with a little castor sugar spread over it.

Drink Brandy through the prepared lemon.

I have to admit the method here has puzzled me for a long time.

But during one of the opening parties for Heaven's Dog one of the waiters came up and asked me if I knew what a Nicol-something Cocktail was. He described it a bit and told me the customer said it was a traditional cocktail. I said, well yes, as a matter of fact I did know the cocktail, but I’d never made one, so I’d do my best. I dredged a lemon in sugar, put it on the plate with a shot of Armagnac and sent it out.

The server came back, the patron wanted instead, a slice of lemon, a pile of sugar, and a shot of brandy.

So there you go.

I’m still unclear on the exact method of imbibing the Nicolaski.

Do you take a sip of brandy and then suck on the lemon, like old school Vodka Lemon Drops? Put the sugar coated lemon in your mouth and then suck the brandy through it? Dredge the lemon in sugar, float it in the brandy and drink it through the lemon?

I tried all three and the first seemed the most sensible to me.

Edited by eje, 25 April 2009 - 08:23 AM.

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Erik Ellestad
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