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Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2007–2008)


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#271 slkinsey

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 01:52 PM

Re gum Arabic and gomme syrup, buy the gum Arabic from these guys and make the syrup according to the instructions in this thread.
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#272 bostonapothecary

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 01:56 PM

Crema de mezcal seems to simply be mezcal sweetened with agave, yes. I don't know anything about it either, I just grabbed it recently under the simple impulse of not having ever seen it before.

My experiments with gum syrup have been mixed but I think it probably has to do with my source for gum arabic, at a little spice store in NYC, not being very consistent. It didn't say food grade but I tried it anyway and the viscosity was great. After another purchase, it seemed to give off a noticeable cardboard smell.

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the last pack of gum arabic i got from "angel brand" had seeds in it, a thorn, and some other random junk... it also didn't small that good. i'm a bigger fan of maltodextrin... clean, granular, easy to dissolve...

has anyone ever used something like saba in a cocktail?
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#273 eje

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 07:06 PM

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Havana Cocktail

1 Dash Lemon Juice.
1/4 Dry Gin. (1/2 oz Northshore Distillers #6)
1/4 Swedish Punch. (1/2 oz Swedish Punch, homemade)
1/2 Apricot Brandy. (1 oz R&W Orchard Apricot)

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

Not undrinkably sweet, but pretty darn close. And what are those Cubans doing with Gin, Swedish Punch, and Apricot Brandy?

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Havana Cocktail

1 Dash Lemon Juice.
1/4 Dry Gin. (1/2 oz Northshore Distillers #6)
1/4 Swedish Punch. (1/2 oz Swedish Punch, homemade)
1/2 Apricot Brandy. (1 oz Haus Alpenz Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)

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

With a dash of bitters, this would be absolutely delicious.

The amazing thing is how the Swedish Punch dominates the first cocktail, and the second tastes of nothing but Apricot.

I think it is unlikely that Apricot Eau-de-Vie was intended here, especially since the upcoming Hesitation is a nearly identical recipe with 3/4 Swedish Punch instead of the Apricot and Swedish punch. However, making it with Eau-de-Vie is worth a shot, if you've got it in the house. Very tasty.
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#274 eje

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 08:03 AM

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Hawaiian Cocktail

4 Parts Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
2 Parts Orange Juice. (3/4 oz fresj Orange Juice)
1 Part Curacao (or any other of the Orange Liqueurs) (Barspoon Brizard Orange Curacao)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Went a bit light on the Curacao, for the recipe. The orange I was using was pretty sweet.

A pleasant, non-demanding cocktail.
---
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#275 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 10:14 AM

I think it is unlikely that Apricot Eau-de-Vie was intended here, especially since the upcoming Hesitation is a nearly identical recipe with 3/4 Swedish Punch instead of the Apricot and Swedish punch.  However, making it with Eau-de-Vie is worth a shot, if you've got it in the house.  Very tasty.

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Baker's Hotel Nacional Special hails from Prohibition-era Cuba and specifies dry apricot brandy, so I don't think it's a stretch at all.
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#276 mkayahara

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 08:34 AM

the last pack of gum arabic i got from "angel brand" had seeds in it, a thorn, and some other random junk... it also didn't small that good. i'm a bigger fan of maltodextrin... clean, granular, easy to dissolve...

Does maltodextrin give the same viscosity effect as gum arabic? How much do you use?

has anyone ever used something like saba in a cocktail?

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No, but I'm about to start playing with saba in the near future, so I'll give it a try!
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#277 bostonapothecary

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 08:43 AM

the last pack of gum arabic i got from "angel brand" had seeds in it, a thorn, and some other random junk... it also didn't small that good. i'm a bigger fan of maltodextrin... clean, granular, easy to dissolve...

Does maltodextrin give the same viscosity effect as gum arabic? How much do you use?

has anyone ever used something like saba in a cocktail?

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No, but I'm about to start playing with saba in the near future, so I'll give it a try!

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maltodextrin was designed as a replacement for gum arabic because it was getting too scarce and too expensive for the prepared foods markets to use... this all happened before the turn of the century... J.T. days...

i think it performs the same and might even work better because you typically received a cleaner purer product that you dont' have to clarify...
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#278 slkinsey

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 08:43 AM

Maltodextrin offers some of the same benefits as gum arabic, but is considered a "low cost alternative." I personally wouldn't use maltodextrin in place of gum arabic, but one could experiment with a blend of gum arabic and maltodextrin.

Maltodextrin is a starch, not a gum.
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#279 bostonapothecary

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 08:44 AM

Maltodextrin offers some of the same benefits as gum arabic, but is considered a "low cost alternative."  I personally wouldn't use maltodextrin in place of gum arabic, but one could experiment with a blend of gum arabic and maltodextrin. 

Maltodextrin is a starch, not a gum.

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what benefits doesn't it offer? how would you differentiate its performance?
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#280 slkinsey

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 09:04 AM

Maltodextrin adds body through thickening, plus some sweetness and foam stabilization.

Gum Arabic is a excellent hydrocolloid emulsifier and foam stabilizer, adds both body and viscosity, reduces surface tension, helps to prevent crystalization. Because gum Arabic is a natural gum, it consists of not one but many different molecules (arabinogalactan oligosaccharides, polysaccharides and glycoproteins) which all contribute to its effects in different ways.

It's not so much that maltodextrin doesn't do anything good. But gum Arabic is considered the gold standard of gums. If it were possible for maltodextrin to do all the things in beverages that gum Arabic does, do you think soft drink companies wouldn't go over to maltodextrin? Consider that American soft drink companies immediately switched from cane sugar to corn syrup when they determined that it represented a significant cost savings at an acceptably low reduction in overall quality.
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#281 bostonapothecary

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 09:28 AM

Maltodextrin adds body through thickening, plus some sweetness and foam stabilization.

Gum Arabic is a excellent hydrocolloid emulsifier and foam stabilizer, adds both body and viscosity, reduces surface tension, helps to prevent crystalization.  Because gum Arabic is a natural gum, it consists of not one but many different molecules (arabinogalactan oligosaccharides, polysaccharides and glycoproteins) which all contribute to its effects in different ways.

It's not so much that maltodextrin doesn't do anything good.  But gum Arabic is considered the gold standard of gums.  If it were possible for maltodextrin to do all the things in beverages that gum Arabic does, do you think soft drink companies wouldn't go over to maltodextrin?  Consider that American soft drink companies immediately switched from cane sugar to corn syrup when they determined that it represented a significant cost savings at an acceptably low reduction in overall quality.

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i'm not making a soda that has to keep something thick and emulsified for four years on a shelf... i'm just trying to make an old fashioned that has the viscosity i want without being too sweet...
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#282 slkinsey

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 09:50 AM

If all you want it for is Old Fashioneds, and you're happy with the result, then there is no reason to usa anything else. My experience is that the viscosity obtained with maltodextrin is not quite the same as the viscosity obtained with gum arabic. The maltodextrin seems comparatively "thicker" to my palate, and not quite as "silky." YMMV, of course.

I also like gomme syrup for things like Pisco Sours that benefit from the emulsifying and foam stabilizing properties of gum Arabic. Gum Arabic also seems to have a unique effect of smoothing out cocktails and helping to integrate flavors that might otherwise have a little difficulty in playing together nicely.

Maltodextrin does many, if not all the things that gum Arabic does -- albeit perhaps not quite as well. Given the availability of gum Arabic, I don't see any compelling reason why a home mixologist wouldn't just use the real thing. I split a $20 bag of powdered gum Arabic into one batch each of white and demerara gomme syrup, and this supply has lasted me a year. That's a lot of cocktails! Perhaps if I were running a commercial operation I might decide on maltodextrin as a cost-cutting measure. But if I were going to all the trouble to make a special syrup just for Old Fashioned-type cocktails, I can't imagine that making up a few gallons of real gomme would add too much to the bottom line or create too terribly much work that I wouldn't still consider using gum Arabic. Perhaps I'd be inclined to have a real gomme syrup for special uses and include a touch of maltodextrin in my base simple.
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#283 bostonapothecary

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 10:04 AM

If all you want it for is Old Fashioneds, and you're happy with the result, then there is no reason to usa anything else.  My experience is that the viscosity obtained with maltodextrin is not quite the same as the viscosity obtained with gum arabic. The maltodextrin seems comparatively "thicker" to my palate, and not quite as "silky."  YMMV, of course.

I also like gomme syrup for things like Pisco Sours that benefit from the emulsifying and foam stabilizing properties of gum Arabic.  Gum Arabic also seems to have a unique effect of smoothing out cocktails and helping to integrate flavors that might otherwise have a little difficulty in playing together nicely.

Maltodextrin does many, if not all the things that gum Arabic does -- albeit perhaps not quite as well.  Given the availability of gum Arabic, I don't see any compelling reason why a home mixologist wouldn't just use the real thing.  I split a $20 bag of powdered gum Arabic into one batch each of white and demerara gomme syrup, and this supply has lasted me a year.  That's a lot of cocktails!  Perhaps if I were running a commercial operation I might decide on maltodextrin as a cost-cutting measure.  But if I were going to all the trouble to make a special syrup just for Old Fashioned-type cocktails, I can't imagine that making up a few gallons of real gomme would add too much to the bottom line or create too terribly much work that I wouldn't still consider using gum Arabic. Perhaps I'd be inclined to have a real gomme syrup for special uses and include a touch of maltodextrin in my base simple.

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the sensory evaluation doesn't seem very scientific... i would happily drink a cocktail using either either option... hopefully we will seeing it popping up on menus and then maybe a better educated opinion can be formed...
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#284 BlairF27

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 10:05 AM

Speaking of Old Tom Gin, What kind of recipes do you all have to recreate it? I have one from David Wondrich to make Swedish Punsch, and a few from Ted Haigh to make Genever.
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#285 slkinsey

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 10:33 AM

the sensory evaluation doesn't seem very scientific.

I've already outlined some of the important chemical differences, and am not equipped to do double-blind studies as to the perceptual differences. Suffice it to say that they are different, which seems incontrovertible, and that beverage companies in particular find the difference in results significant enough that they are not using maltodextrin as a lower cost alternative to gum arabic. My own sensory evaluations confirm those differences. If yours do not, or if your own sensory evaluations lead you to prefer maltodextrin over gum arabic, then you should of course use maltodextrin. But I would stop short at suggesting that maltodextrin-enhanced simple syrup is functionally the same as real gomme syrup.
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#286 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 10:35 AM

Speaking of Old Tom Gin, What kind of recipes do you all have to recreate it?  I have one from David Wondrich to make Swedish Punsch, and a few from Ted Haigh to make Genever.

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The standard approach seems to be to take either Junipero or Plymouth gin (I've also seen Tanqueray recommended) and add a dash or two of rich syrup to them per drink. Alternately, you can add 1/2 oz of rich syrup per bottle, making sure to shake it well to mix it up. For my preference, if you're going to sweeten the gin, you ought to be using something with some backbone, meaning leave the Plymouth for something else.
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#287 bostonapothecary

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 11:30 AM

Speaking of Old Tom Gin, What kind of recipes do you all have to recreate it?  I have one from David Wondrich to make Swedish Punsch, and a few from Ted Haigh to make Genever.

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The standard approach seems to be to take either Junipero or Plymouth gin (I've also seen Tanqueray recommended) and add a dash or two of rich syrup to them per drink. Alternately, you can add 1/2 oz of rich syrup per bottle, making sure to shake it well to mix it up. For my preference, if you're going to sweeten the gin, you ought to be using something with some backbone, meaning leave the Plymouth for something else.

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i think you just add sugar to gin... but is there any evidence to say what the botanical formula would taste like? if it is more of a primitive style gin would you want a more primitive formula like seagrams? so seagrams with sugar and your done... or is there more to it?
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#288 slkinsey

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 11:35 AM

It's never been clearly and definitively explainec to my satisfaction just what a historical old tom gin was like. Is it as simple as sweetening a London dry gin? I have heard this supposition a number of times, but it doesn't seem as though London dry simply consists of old tom minus the sugar. I'd be interested to hear any less speculative ideas as to what the old tom gins JT and others would have been using was like.
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#289 eje

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 01:44 PM

This is the Sixth in an ongoing series of bartender features in the Savoy Topic.

Previously, I had experimented by asking the bartender at Montgomery Place to make me a Bombay Cocktail No. 2. While it was more or less successful, it seemed like it would be better to give future bartenders some fair warning, as the recipes and ingredients in the Savoy can be obscure.

To make it less of a shock, I thought I would contact some local bartenders and give them a choice of the dozen or so Savoy Cocktails that might be coming up in the book.

Surprisingly, some actually were game.

---

When I met up with Erik Adkins at Flora, another bartender who was working that night was Thad Vogler. We talked about getting together and making some Savoy Cocktails. A few months later, I ran into Mr. Vogler again, and he told me he was working on reopening a restaurant for the owners of the space that used to be The Last Supper Club, (not to mention Radio Valencia, for those oldsters among the audience). The relaunch of this restaurant with a cocktail program composed of modern and classic drinks seemed like an auspicious time to get together and make some Savoy Cocktails.

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The concept for Beretta is a casual place with cocktails, Italian Food, and Pizza.

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Interestingly, like a few new restaurants I've been to in San Francisco and Portland, much of the dining room is taken up the bar and a large table for shared seating. They do have a few tables at the back for proper seated dining, and a large room downstairs for groups and possibly overflow.

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The drink menu is based primarily around New World Spirits and Citrus. Agave and Cane Spirits, Pisco, Whiskey. A very good selection of these spirits, some that I've never seen before. In addition, the roster of bartenders Mr. Vogler has assembled nearly reads like a who's who of San Francisco's advanced mixologists: Erik Adkins, Ryan Fitzgerald, Lane Ford, Eric Johnson, Jill Santer, Jon Santer, and Todd Smith.

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Thad Vogler is a Santa Cruz native who has been bartending for almost 20 years.  He has worked in the industry in Paris, Ireland, Tokyo, Guatemala, Cuba, Belize and San Francisco where he worked on the opening team of seven restaurants.  Most notably he helped design, open and then managed the bars at the Slanted Door in the Ferry Building, Coco 500, the Presidio Social Club, and the Lounge at the newly remodeled Jardinière.  Currently, he is helping to design the bar at Camino restaurant with Russel Moore, from Chez Panisse, as well as designing and reopening the bar at Beretta Restaurant in the Mission.  He has worked at Bourbon and Branch, one of the more famous bars in the country, and teaches a rum course for the Bourbon and Branch Beverage Academy.  A graduate in Literature from Yale University, Thad has always loved a good story.  The history of liquor in this world tells many beautiful stories, none richer than the history of rum in the Caribbean, the Americas and all over the world.


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Holland House Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Lemon.
1 Slice Pineapple. (handful sliced pineapple pieces)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 Vya Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
4 Dashes Maraschino. (barspoon Luxardo Maraschino)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

We had high hopes for this one, which were pretty much dashed immediately. It tastes pretty much like a flat Aviation. Thad tried a couple variations and neither were much good. The funky and unpleasant side of the Luxardo was definitely the dominant element in the cocktail. I have to admit the "1 Slice Pineapple" still puzzles me. Even being generous, it contributed not much at all to the cocktail. Maybe, if you did a whole, fresh, horizontal slice and muddled it? Or infused the Gin with Pineapple for an hour or two?

Q: How important are menus?

The real importance of the menu is to guarantee the quality of service and drinks for the customer.  You want 90% of your drink orders to come off the menu.  The fact then that your staff has been trained to make most of the drinks the customer then orders will allow you to attain a level of quality you otherwise can't.


I found this pretty interesting. It was an aspect of presenting a menu to the customer that I had never considered. Sure, I knew menus were often used to drive sales of certain spirits or highlight the creativity of the mixologist. But the idea that the menu was in the service of the restaurant and the customer was a philosophy I hadn't considered.

Honey-Moon Cocktail

The Juice of 1/2 Lemon*
3 Dashes Curacao. (Scant barspoon Cointreau)
1/2 Benedictine. (1 oz Benedictine)
1/2 Apple Brandy. (1 oz Occidental Road Gravenstein Brandy)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

*Some sensitive bartenders think it more tactful to substitute orange juice.


Licking our wounds after that first cocktail, this one seemed like a sure thing. Indeed, this is a pretty fantastic cocktail. I hadn't been familiar with this particular Apple Brandy, but I guess it was a contract distillation by St. George for some folks that own a Gravenstein Apple Orchard in Sonoma. Tasty stuff. Embarrassingly, I was having such a great time chatting with Thad, that I totally spaced taking a picture of this cocktail and the next one.

Q: Do you think bar menus should change periodically?

I do, but you have to weigh the importance of creativity against catering to repeat customers who expect to see the same drinks on the menu every time they come in.  To me, making the same menu for a month is a long time.  But not everyone who comes through the door is a cocktail geek.  You also have to consider the fact that a restaurant or bar is considered a new restaurant or bar for the first year it is open.


“Hoots Mon” Cocktail

1/4 Kina Lillet. (1/2 oz Cocchi Americano)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
1/2 Scotch Whisky. (1 oz Famous Grouse)

Stir well in ice and strain.

This might have been my favorite cocktail of the evening. Just an all around fantastic brown liquor cocktail. The quinine in the Americano combines fabulously with the Grouse. If someone could guarantee a proper supply of Kina Lillet, or something like it, I think this cocktail would take its place with the Bobby Burns, Rob Roy, and Affinity.

Recipe from Mr. Vogler:

Improved Whiskey Cocktail

2 oz high-proof rye (I use Wild Turkey)
3/4 oz Dubonnet
1/4 oz maraschino
2 dashes Peychaud's
3 dashes St. George Absinthe

Stir well, strain into a coupe.  Garnish with broad zest of lemon.


I almost feel like I should recuse myself from commenting on Beretta. Not only is most of the bar staff either an acquaintance or a friend, but I am also very biased towards wishing the restaurant continued success. It is the nearest outpost of advanced cocktail artistry to my house. The 67 MUNI Bus goes nearly directly from my front door to Beretta. In fact, I think it may be the only cocktail bar, I don't have to get a transfer to travel to. So, obviously, I really hope it succeeds!

Well, don't take my word for it, check out mkayahara's writeup over in the San Francisco Lounges Topic: "Beretta blew me away..."

Sheesh, I thought Canadians were supposed to be reserved in their opinions!
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
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#290 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 12:43 AM

Not to get off-topic, but I'm not quite sure where else to ask this: is St. George the distilling operation related to St. George the winery in any way?
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#291 Splificator

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 07:11 AM

It's never been clearly and definitively explainec to my satisfaction just what a historical old tom gin was like.  Is it as simple as sweetening a London dry gin?  I have heard this supposition a number of times, but it doesn't seem as though London dry simply consists of old tom minus the sugar.  I'd be interested to hear any less speculative ideas as to what the old tom gins JT and others would have been using was like.

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This is a tough one, particularly since gins were proprietary and formulae closely guarded. But Old Tom was a transitional style, and hence a moving target. As far as I know, it first starts turning up as a style of gin (and not a brand or nickname for gin in general) in the early mid-nineteenth century, when English distillers were supplementing, rather than replacing, the pot still with the continuous still, and also moving away from the older idea that any botanicals beyond juniper were likely to be there as adulterants and substitutes rather than as adjuncts to the flavor. At the time, the gin was still largely shipped and stored in oaken casks.

This would yield, for a mid-century style Old Tom, a spirit in between a London Dry/Plymouth gin and a Dutch-style gin, a thick-textured, slightly sweet spirit with a balance of botanicals, although with juniper dominant, and a bit of color from the barrel.

Later in the century and into the twentieth century, once continuous distillation moved to the fore, one would be likely to get what was essentially a sweetened London Dry gin, with no age on it.

Again, until we unearth a cache of mid-19th century Booth's, this is a matter of conjecture and (I hope somewhat informed) opinion.
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#292 slkinsey

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 08:06 AM

Interesting, Dave. So, for an approximation of a mid-century Old Tom replica, perhaps a mixture of juniper-forward London dry gin and oude genever?

Do you have any sense for how many of the recipes calling for Old Tom gin actually originate from the later 19th and early 20th century? One of the things that's tricky is that plenty of recipes in books such as the Savoy are that they're actually cribbed versions of much older recipes (which is a roundabout way of saying that just because a book published a recipe with Old Tom in the early 20th century doesn't mean that the recipe doesn't actually come from the middle 19th, and therefore be more appropriate with the earlier style of Old Tom).
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#293 eje

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 08:22 AM

Not to get off-topic, but I'm not quite sure where else to ask this: is St. George the distilling operation related to St. George the winery in any way?

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I didn't think so, but didn't know for sure, so sent them a note this AM.

They replied within a few minutes. I guess it must be a question they get pretty often.

No, there's no connection between Domaine St. George Wines and St. George Spirits.
---
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#294 jmfangio

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 07:19 PM

“Hoots Mon” Cocktail

1/4 Kina Lillet. (1/2 oz Cocchi Americano)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
1/2 Scotch Whisky. (1 oz Famous Grouse)

Stir well in ice and strain.

This might have been my favorite cocktail of the evening.  Just an all around fantastic brown liquor cocktail.  The quinine in the Americano combines fabulously with the Grouse.  If someone could guarantee a proper supply of Kina Lillet, or something like it, I think this cocktail would take its place with the Bobby Burns, Rob Roy, and Affinity.

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Just made one of these - same ingredients as above - and it's fabulous. And may I suggest an orange twist, as it plays nicely with the Cocchi.
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#295 eje

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 09:43 PM

Before the last time I was out East, I got a note fro LeNell's saying that they'd managed to find an Americano of some sort. It was Red, in some sense, unlike the Cocchi Americano.

But given recent Hercules information, it still seemed interesting.

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On its own the flavor is nice, if you like this sort of thing. Somewhere between Barolo Chinatos I've tried and Byrrh. To be honest I'm not entirely sure if it is a white wine or red wine base. Still, probably closer in bitterness to Barolo Chinato than Byrrh.

So when you've learned that Hercules was, "a cross between an aperitif and a bitters," this Americano seems like a good idea!

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Health Cocktail

1/3 Brandy. (1 oz Cerbois VSOP Armangac)
2/3 Hercules. (2 oz Americano of some sort)

Stir slightly in ice and strain.

Any desired spirit can be used instead of Brandy.


So, yeah, the idea of using this Americano, for this cocktail, seems pretty random, but on the other hand, like I've been led to do it.

Definitely enjoyable!

Interestingly, this Americano seems sweeter and less bitter after being mixed with the Armangac than before.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#296 BlairF27

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 06:41 AM

Based on my research, it appears that Old Tom was basically a bootleg gin appearing shortly after the Gin Act of 1736. Supposedly it was sold by Thomas Norris in Covent Garden in quantities less than government regulation, and named after Thomas Chamberlin; a prominent distiller of the day. It appears to have been barrel aged (how long is matter of question), giving it a coloured appearance.
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#297 Splificator

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 07:23 AM

Based on my research, it appears that Old Tom was basically a bootleg gin appearing shortly after the Gin Act of 1736.  Supposedly it was sold by Thomas Norris in Covent Garden in quantities less than government regulation, and named after Thomas Chamberlin; a prominent distiller of the day.  It appears to have been barrel aged (how long is matter of question), giving it a coloured appearance.

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These are two different Toms here--the 1730s one was a brand, if we can use that word, for gin bought at the sign of the cat; it later was appropriated by one of the makers of Old Tom-style gin, but much later.

Thomas Norris was, according to "Notes and Queries," the owner of a Covent Garden gin palace in the early 19th century who featured the reserve/extra-special "cordial" gin made by "Old Tom" Chamberlin, master distiller at Hodges' distillery in Millbank (in central London); Hodges' was the iconic gin brand of the Regency and reign of George the IV. This is the Old Tom that, according to people at the time, gave high-quality English gin its generic name.

According to G. B. Wilson's Alcohol and the Nation (1940), between 1830 and 1840 half the distillers in England had switched to continuous distillation for their raw spirit; by 1850, all of them had, but many (all the good ones) still used pot stills for rectifying the spirit with the botanicals. So for an early Old Tom, I think it would be very much like a jonge genever; for a later one, it all depends on the efficiency of the column distillation and the degree of neutrality of the spirit. If you could get an unaged grain whisky from Scotland and redistill it in a pot with botanicals, touch it with sugar and age it for a while in used oak, you'd pretty much be there.
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#298 eje

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 10:02 AM

Posted Image

Hell Cocktail
(6 People)

Shake (or stir, what does it matter?) 3 glasses of Cognac (1 1/2 oz Cerbois VSOP Armangnac) and 3 glasses of Green Crème de Menthe (1/2 oz Brizard White Creme de Menthe). Serve with a pinch of red pepper (Cayenne Pepper) on each glass.

Glasses are, of course, 2 ounces. 12 ounces, total, for 6 people, makes it 2 oz per serving.

A half an ounce of Creme de Menthe seemed like plenty to me so I upped the Brandy.

I put it in a liqueur glass, because, frankly, this is a shooter.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#299 JAZ

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 08:26 PM

Honey-Moon Cocktail

The Juice of 1/2 Lemon*
3 Dashes Curacao. (Scant barspoon Cointreau)
1/2 Benedictine.  (1 oz Benedictine)
1/2 Apple Brandy. (1 oz Occidental Road Gravenstein Brandy)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

*Some sensitive bartenders think it more tactful to substitute orange juice.


Licking our wounds after that first cocktail, this one seemed like a sure thing. Indeed, this is a pretty fantastic cocktail. I hadn't been familiar with this particular Apple Brandy, but I guess it was a contract distillation by St. George for some folks that own a Gravenstein Apple Orchard in Sonoma.

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I made one of these last night (using Laird's Applejack, because that's what I had). Nice nightcap -- I liked it enough to make another tonight. It's amazing how a drink with no honey in it can taste this much like honey.

#300 brinza

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 10:58 AM

Honey-Moon Cocktail

The Juice of 1/2 Lemon*
3 Dashes Curacao. (Scant barspoon Cointreau)
1/2 Benedictine.  (1 oz Benedictine)
1/2 Apple Brandy. (1 oz Occidental Road Gravenstein Brandy)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

*Some sensitive bartenders think it more tactful to substitute orange juice.


Licking our wounds after that first cocktail, this one seemed like a sure thing. Indeed, this is a pretty fantastic cocktail. I hadn't been familiar with this particular Apple Brandy, but I guess it was a contract distillation by St. George for some folks that own a Gravenstein Apple Orchard in Sonoma.

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I made one of these last night (using Laird's Applejack, because that's what I had). Nice nightcap -- I liked it enough to make another tonight. It's amazing how a drink with no honey in it can taste this much like honey.

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Doesn't Benedictine have honey in it?
Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes