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Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2006–2007)


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#1 eje

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 08:54 PM

Inspired by my friend who is attempting to cook his way through "Joy of Cooking" from begining to end, I thought I might try the same with a cocktail book and try to gain a larger perspective on the world of cocktails.

Rob's already working on the "Mixer's Manual" so I thought I might try Craddock's "The Savoy Cocktail Book". I'll try to make as many as I reasonably can with what ingredients are currently available and post pictures. If you want to help, let me know. My liver will thank you.

I will work on my velvet light box, I promise.

First up is "The Abbey".

1/2 dry gin (1/5 oz. Beefeaters)
1/4 Lillet (3/4 oz.)
1/4 orange juice (3/4 oz.)
dash angostura bitters

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

Posted Image

I really like the translucent orange color of the cocktail. It almost seems to glow from within. Flavor is light, orangey and a little bit bitter. Like other Lillet based cocktails I've had in the past, I don't seem to notice that I'm drinking spirits. Something about Lillet seems to transform gin into spring water. Could be dangerous.
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Erik Ellestad
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#2 Chris Amirault

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 08:57 PM

Oh, man, I'm going to be following this topic. Erik, what kind of oj did you use? I wonder if orange bitters would be lost in this -- or just the thing.....
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#3 eje

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 09:30 PM

[...]Erik, what kind of oj did you use?[...]

View Post

Is "Valencia" a good answer? 1/4 of a valencia orange, handily enough, seems to give about 3/4 ounce of juice. I just chopped it in half and then quarters and squeezed it in to the measuring cup.

I'm a bit worried about the letter A, since I don't have real absinthe, and am not sure about Alexanders or any of those awful sounding "After Dinner" or "Angel Wings" cocktails.

Learning experience, I'm sure.

Next up, various Absinthe cocktails murdered with Henri Bardouin Pastis.
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#4 eje

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 11:50 AM

Sorry for the delay.

The next cocktails are Absinthe based, and my plan was to make them with Henri Bardouin Pastis.

As much as I like Bardouin Pastis, Absinthe cocktails made with it, aren't doing it for me.

When you chill Bardouin Pastis down to proper cocktail temp, before I can get a photo, some of the essential oils precipitate out in a most unattractive manner.

I suspect I am going to have to break down and get a more accurate Absinthe substitute.

The two most available are La Muse Verte pastis and Absente. Any advice on which to choose?
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#5 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 01:55 PM

Why not just get some absinthe?

#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 01:57 PM

PS in re the absolutely delicious-looking "The Abbey" --

This is probably a stupid question, but I'm assuming Lillet blanc (as opposed to rouge)?

Edited by Sneakeater, 17 June 2006 - 01:57 PM.


#7 eje

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 02:39 PM

PS in re the absolutely delicious-looking "The Abbey" --

This is probably a stupid question, but I'm assuming Lillet blanc (as opposed to rouge)?

View Post

The recipe doesn't specify. I think in "Vintage Cocktails..." or some other source, I read that Lillet was initially only blanc and Dubonnet only rouge. They later introduced products to compete with each other; but, unless a recipe specifies you should assume that Lillet is blanc and Dubonnet rouge.

RE: Absinthe

Well, I suppose. I would like to try the Jade products. Hard to spend that ~$100 on faith that you will like them, though.

Edited by eje, 17 June 2006 - 02:45 PM.

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#8 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 03:17 PM

I think in "Vintage Cocktails..." or some other source, I read that Lillet was initially only blanc and Dubonnet only rouge.  They later introduced products to compete with each other; but, unless a recipe specifies you should assume that Lillet is blanc and Dubonnet rouge.

View Post


That's REALLY interesting and useful. Thanks.

In re absinthe -- that's true, of course. But on the other hand, it beats agonizing over finding a good substitute.

Edited by Sneakeater, 17 June 2006 - 03:18 PM.


#9 eje

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 04:18 PM

That's REALLY interesting and useful.  Thanks.

In re absinthe -- that's true, of course.  But on the other hand, it beats agonizing over finding a good substitute.

View Post

Here's a quote re: Lillet from the recipe for the Corpse Reviver #2 from "Vintage Spirits...", "...Lillet. Like Dubonnet, it has two varieties, red and white. One always chooses red Dubonnet, conversely, always choose Lillet Blanc."

I can't recall where I read the about the two companies introducing the other varieties to compete with each other.

Edited by eje, 17 June 2006 - 04:20 PM.

---
Erik Ellestad
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Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#10 Snowy is dead

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 12:09 AM

la muse verte is funky. Much different than pernod, et al. Never had "real" absinthe, so who knows...

what about Neveau Orleans? Reverse engineered using pre-ban absinthe and "original" equipment.

#11 birder53

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 01:05 PM

Inspired by my friend who is attempting to cook his way through "Joy of Cooking" from begining to end, I thought I might try the same with a cocktail book and try to gain a larger perspective on the world of cocktails.

Rob's already working on the "Mixer's Manual" so I thought I might try Craddock's "The Savoy Cocktail Book".  I'll try to make as many as I reasonably can with what ingredients are currently available and post pictures.  If you want to help, let me know.  My liver will thank you.

View Post


This will be fun! We haven't attempted this is such a logical manner. We do try to make one new cocktail each week to keep things interesting. Keep up the good work. You are a brave man to take on such a challenge, particularly when you know there will be drinks to be made that you would otherwise never attempt. I'm looking forward to your posts.
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#12 H. du Bois

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 01:39 PM

They still sell real absinthe in the Czech Republic, so if you know anyone who's going there, ask them to bring you back a bottle. Or (and this is really obscure, but what the heck), if you know any chemists ... some time ago, Scientific American published the original recipe for absinthe. I know someone who actually made it from that. As I recall, it's made from distilled spirits, anise seed and wormwood. Anyway, it can be gotten - just depends on the lengths to which you're willing to go!

Edited by H. du Bois, 18 June 2006 - 02:34 PM.


#13 eje

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 09:58 PM

Well, I'll "put a bookmark" in the 3 Absinthe cocktails for the time being.

---

Addington

1/2 French Vermouth
1/2 Italian Vermouth

Shake well with ice and strain into a medium size glass and fill with soda water. Squeeze orange peel on top.

---

Made with Boissiere dry & Noilly sweet it is an OK but not very exciting drink. I wouldn't turn it down, but, can't imagine I would ever order it. However, with Vya dry and Noilly sweet it is quite a bit more tasty. I bet it would be even more interesting with Vya sweet or Carpano Antica instead of the Noilly.

Seems to me like a watching tennis on a hot summer afternoon with Muffy and Biff while Jeeves makes cucumber sandwiches kind of beverage.

Edited by eje, 21 June 2006 - 10:32 PM.

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Erik Ellestad
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Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#14 trillium

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 10:54 AM

I know these as Half and Halfs or Red and Whites when they are on the rocks with a twist of lemon or orange. I make mine with Noilly dry (I'm a die-hard Noilly dry fan, but don't like their sweet stuff) and either Vya sweet or Antica. I didn't care for the Vya dry at all, but that's because I have a low tolerance for cinnamon, which I taste too much of in Vya dry.

It's a nice aperitif during summer, right before a meal. Or a digestif, I suppose, but it needs to still be hot and light outside.

regards,
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#15 eje

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 07:02 PM

Trillium, I was thinking ice might be nice (and maybe some whiskey)!

Addington:

Posted Image


PS. Small bonus at work this week due to my, "exceptional commitment to customer service," has resulted in the reception of an email with the following subject, "Liqueurs de France Ltd : Order shipped".


edit - oops, wrong cocktail name.

Edited by eje, 22 June 2006 - 09:06 PM.

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#16 Sneakeater

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 07:22 PM

Glad THAT's resolved.

Edited by Sneakeater, 22 June 2006 - 07:22 PM.


#17 eje

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 09:22 PM

Adonis

1 dash orange bitters
1/3 Italian Vermouth
2/3 Dry Sherry

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Posted Image

Whew, finally finished that Noilly sweet vermouth last night and have switched to actual Italian vermouth.

As far as the Adonis goes, I have to admit I've never really acquired a taste for dry sherry of any sort, so this drink puzzles me. It's not through lack of trying. I mean, practically since reading Poe's, "A Cask of Amontillado," in grade school, I have been buying bottles of dry sherry hoping to get it. Then I taste them and realize, I just don't get it. Possibly I need to travel to Spain some time. Oh, and I realize now I shook this cocktail when the instructions clearly stated it was to be stirred.

I did think this drink would be a lot nicer with a nice thick lemon peel twisted over it.

Edited by eje, 22 June 2006 - 09:33 PM.

---
Erik Ellestad
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Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#18 birder53

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 05:32 AM

Adonis

1 dash orange bitters
1/3 Italian Vermouth
2/3 Dry Sherry

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Posted Image

Whew, finally finished that Noilly sweet vermouth last night and have switched to actual Italian vermouth. 

As far as the Adonis goes, I have to admit I've never really acquired a taste for dry sherry of any sort, so this drink puzzles me.  It's not through lack of trying.  I mean, practically since reading Poe's, "A Cask of Amontillado," in grade school, I have been buying bottles of dry sherry hoping to get it.  Then I taste them and realize, I just don't get it.  Possibly I need to travel to Spain some time.  Oh, and I realize now I shook this cocktail when the instructions clearly stated it was to be stirred.

I did think this drink would be a lot nicer with a nice thick lemon peel twisted over it.

View Post


It looks icy cold and I actually like the little bits of ice that you get from a well shaken drink. You're using Gary Regan's bitters and Gary always says "There are no rules!". So shake away. :wink: I have some dry sherry, nothing very good, so maybe I'll give it a try. Do you think adding a bit more bitters would have helped this drink or is it just overwhelmed by the dry sherry.
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#19 eje

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 10:22 AM

It looks icy cold and I actually like the little bits of ice that you get from a well shaken drink.  You're using Gary Regan's bitters and Gary always says "There are no rules!".  So shake away. :wink:  I have some dry sherry, nothing very good, so maybe I'll give it a try.  Do you think adding a bit more bitters would have helped this drink or is it just overwhelmed by the dry sherry.

View Post

I was generous with the "dash" of orange bitters, thinking the same thing, taking them to the edge of detectability. Didn't hurt. I think the oils from a nice thick piece of lemon peel would do a lot more to give the Adonis a little snap and play nicely with the sour aspect of dry sherry.
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Erik Ellestad
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#20 eje

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 09:38 PM

Affinity

1/3 French Vermouth
1/3 Italian Vermouth
1/3 Scotch
2 dashes Angostura bitters

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

Posted Image

I did remember to stir this one to chill, and a fine, fine cocktail it is. I'm not normally a big scotch guy, but, here it is quite nice. With the vermouth and bitters both tempering and accenting the briny and savory notes of the whisky.
---
Erik Ellestad
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Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#21 Chris Amirault

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 05:14 AM

Following this with interest, Erik. I haven't been very eager to incorporate scotch into cocktails either, preferring it neat, but that looks like an interesting drink.
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#22 eje

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 05:47 AM

Well, you could take me to task for using a too nice whisky (Compass Box's Asyla) in this cocktail. But, I'm more of a bourbon and/or rye drinker and, strangely, I don't even have any friends or aquaintances who are scotch drinkers, so this is the only token Scotch in my bar. At least it's a blend and not over expensive.

It's a fairly mellow whisky, though, at least by Scotch standards.
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Erik Ellestad
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Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#23 slkinsey

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 07:49 AM

Well, you could take me to task for using a too nice whisky (Compass Box's Asyla) in this cocktail.

Want to know something crazy? That's the well scotch at Pegu Club now. Actually a very good one to use for cocktails. You don't want something to terribly assertive or smokey.
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#24 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 09:32 AM

Affinity

1/3 French Vermouth
1/3 Italian Vermouth
1/3 Scotch
2 dashes Angostura bitters

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

Posted Image

I did remember to stir this one to chill, and a fine, fine cocktail it is.  I'm not normally a big scotch guy, but, here it is quite nice.  With the vermouth and bitters both tempering and accenting the briny and savory notes of the whisky.

View Post


are we, essentially, looking at a perfect Scotch Manhattan w/ increased vermouth? or am I missing some thing?
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#25 JAZ

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 10:57 AM

Some might say a Perfect Rob Roy.

Although my guess is that the proportions of the vermouths to the Scotch really would make this an entirely different drink.

I love Scotch -- it used to be my drink of choice before I discovered cocktails. But I hardly ever drink it these days, because I find it doesn't lend itself to cocktails. Nice to hear of a drink that uses it successfully.

#26 slkinsey

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 12:52 PM

In the Savoy era, there are a lot of cocktails that are fairly similar but have different names. Back then, there was no calling something a "Perfect Scotch Manhattan" or a "Perfect Rob Roy" or a "Calvados Sidecar" or whatever. These would (and did) all have different and unique names. Calvados, Cointreau and lemon at 2:1:1 was called the Royal Jubilee, for example.

If the proportions changed enough to fundamentally change the taste of the cocktail, it would often have a different name. Thus, in Savoy we have the Allen (Special) Cocktail, consisting of 2/3 Plymouth gin, 1/3 maraschino and 1 dash of lemon juice, and the Aviation Cocktail, consisting of 2/3 dry gin, 1/3 lemon juice and 2 dashes maraschino.

Sometimes just the addition of bitters created a change of name. For example, the Astoria Cocktail is 2/3 gin, 1/3 French vermouth and 1 dash of orange bitters, while the Martini (Dry) Cocktail is 2/3 dry gin and 1/3 French vermouth. And the Hoffman House Cocktail is 2/3 Plymouth gin, 1/3 French vermouth and 2 dashes of orange bitters.

The last cocktail above is illustrative of the understanding that, with fairly elemental combinations such as gin-and-French-vermouth, even a change in the base spirit is sometimes enough to make a completely different cocktail.
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#27 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 03:05 PM

Thanks, I think I first asked about the "Allen" in the Maraschino thread when I noticed the similarities between it and the "Aviation" and was actually going to ask about the "Hoffman House" when I spotted a receipt for it in a book I recently purchased and noticed its similarities to what most of us make as a martini. Such name changes make sense I suppose but will drive bar tenders nuts, "No! I did not ask for an "Affinity"! I asked for a perfect Rob Roy w/ equal parts of vermouths and Scotch!" (I once had a customer become angry when I presented a perfect Scotch Manhattan and called it a "Rob Roy" claiming he did not want a "Rob Roy" and would I please bring him what he wanted.)
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#28 eje

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 07:09 PM

Not that the Savoy is consistent or anything.

Take the After Dinner and After Dinner (Special).

After Dinner

1/2 Cherry Brandy (1 oz Massenez Creme de Griotte)
1/2 Prunelle Brandy (1 oz homemade prune plum liqueur)
4 dashes lemon juice

Shake well and strain into a sherry glass.

After Dinner (Special)

1/2 Apricot Brandy (1 oz Vedrenne Liqueur de Abricot)
1/2 Curacao (1 oz Gran Gala Orange liqueur)

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

Posted Image

Same name, and almost nothing to do with one another. Both are very sweet. I guess not so bad as a sort of port substitute or alcoholic liquid lolipop. Certainly, 3 oz is about the right size for these cocktails. The lemon in the After Dinner makes it a bit nicer for me.

Edited by eje, 26 June 2006 - 09:13 PM.

---
Erik Ellestad
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#29 eje

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 08:18 PM

And then to add to the confusion there is the After Supper.

After Supper

1/2 Apricot Brandy (1 oz Vedrenne Liqueur de Abricot)
1/2 Curacao (1 oz Rhum Clément Liqueur Creole Shrubb)
4 dashes Lemon Juice

Posted Image

OK, this is still really sweet; but, it is also really tasty.

Of the three "After..." cocktails, this is my favorite formulation. Yum!

BTW, Some recipes for the "After..." cocktail with Cherry Brandy, use Swedish Punsch instead of Prunelle. Also, In my edition of Duffy's "Official Mixer's Manual", the Cherry Brandy and Punsch version is the "After Dinner (Special)" and the half apricot half Curacao is the "After Dinner". Sheesh, how confusing is that?

edit - post-absinthe mistakes corrected.

Edited by eje, 29 June 2006 - 10:12 PM.

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Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
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#30 eje

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 08:30 PM

Absinthe Drip Cocktail

1 liqueur glass absinthe

Dissolve 1 lump of sugar, using the French Drip spoon and fill glass with cold water.

Posted Image

So, here we have three competitors, from left to right, Absinthe Verte de Fougerolles, Henri Bardouin Pastis, and an Arak. I didn't add sugar to the Bardouin or the Arak.

Sadly, I tasted the Absinthe Verte first. Totally blew out my taste buds.

Bardouin tasted like candy and the Arak tasted like anise scented water.
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Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA