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Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2006–2007)


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#151 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:28 PM

Any idea why this drink is named "Big Boy"? Is it named after one of the A-bombs that were dropped on Japan?

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I thought of that, too, George. But, the Bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was named "Little Boy" (Nagasaki was "Fat Man"). Also, they weren't dropped until 1945.

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But you are using a modern edition of the Savoy, are you not? So it could be the bomb.

#152 BTR

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:38 PM

But you are using a modern edition of the Savoy, are you not? So it could be the bomb.

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Except that, as Erik said, neither of the bombs was named that.

#153 eje

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:45 PM

But you are using a modern edition of the Savoy, are you not? So it could be the bomb.

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I have tried to get more information about editions of the Savoy; but, haven't had much luck. My edition does have a few new recipes from Peter Dorelli at the begining; but, I don't think the core Savoy recipes have ever been "expanded", as so many others have.

I do know that in the editions in the 60s they rewrote many of the recipes to use fractions instead of 10ths. That has been continued in modern editions. I would like to find a reprint or edition that uses the original measures. Unfortunately, originals tend to be fairly expensive.

I seem to recall I've read elsewhere that at some point the recipes were re-arranged for one edition or another. Not sure if that is the case with the one I have.

Drink Boy Topic:

The Savoy Cocktail Book
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Erik Ellestad
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#154 eje

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:58 PM

But you are using a modern edition of the Savoy, are you not? So it could be the bomb.

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Except that, as Erik said, neither of the bombs was named that.

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Well, it is a pretty common mistake. Just doing a google search turns up a number of web sites that say the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was named "Big Boy".

I'll try to find more information about Savoy editions.
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Erik Ellestad
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#155 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 05:05 PM

I love the richness of the 1:1:1 Bijou, in the same way I love the richness of a Negroni, though sometimes I want that same flavor in a drier drink. I would suggest trying something like Boodles in it before adjusting the ratio too much. The first time I had a Bijou with Boodles it tasted almost like a different drink. It really begs for the dryness and powerful juniper that Boodles brings to the table. Also, I think Boodles is one of the best mixing gins going out there, though I was very unimpressed every time I made a Martini with it. Go figure.

As for 'Big Boy' being the Atomic bomb: highly, highly unlikely. If we are to operate on the notion that the recipe was added in a later edition, I would say it's more likely the drink was named for the enormous Big Boy locomotives, built during WW2.

http://en.wikipedia....Pacific_Big_Boy

Speculation, but moderately informed speculation.

-Andy

Edit: spelling

Edited by thirtyoneknots, 06 January 2007 - 05:06 PM.

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#156 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 05:31 PM

But you are using a modern edition of the Savoy, are you not? So it could be the bomb.

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Except that, as Erik said, neither of the bombs was named that.

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Curse my late night reading eyes!!!

#157 eje

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 10:20 AM

I asked Mr. Robert Hess about the edition of the Savoy I am using.

He said, aside from the additional introduction and the few new recipes from Peter Dorelli at the begining, it is an exact reproduction of the content of the original book.

Interestingly, he also said the following comment from the new introduction, which seems to imply the recipes were re-written in the sixties, is just plain wrong. The original version of the book used fractions just as this one does.

Peter Dorelli's cocktail recipes have been transcribed using tenths as measures, as this is how it was done in the original 1930s book.  (The one published in the 1960s used thirds, as today).


Whew! Glad I don't have to track down an original edition!
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Erik Ellestad
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#158 eje

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 01:03 PM

Posted Image

Biltong Dry Cocktail

1 Dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)
1/4 Dubonnet (3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge)
1/4 Gin (3/4 oz Tanqueray)
1/2 Caperitif (1 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc)

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

Well, I can tell you that Biltong is a type of dried meat, (beef, game or ostrich,) originally made by Dutch "Pioneers" in South Africa.

I've again substituted Lillet Blanc for the defunct South African aperitif wine, Caperitif.

The Biltong cocktail is alright. Pretty decent low alcohol before dinner drink, I should imagine. An olive would probably be a better garnish than the orange zest I used.

edit - I keep thinking the Biltong Dry would be better as a long drink over ice with a splash of soda or champagne.

Edited by eje, 07 January 2007 - 02:43 PM.

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#159 eje

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 01:44 PM

I have tried to get more information about editions of the Savoy; but, haven't had much luck.  My edition does have a few new recipes from Peter Dorelli at the begining; but, I don't think the core Savoy recipes have ever been "expanded", as so many others have.
[...]
I seem to recall I've read elsewhere that at some point the recipes were re-arranged for one edition or another.  Not sure if that is the case with the one I have.
[...]

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From what I can tell from the Alibris listings, it appears the version published in 1976 may have been the one where the recipes were re-arranged.

"Updated and expanded to include drinks and mixing techniques as yet undiscovered at the end of the Roaring 20s."

So, while the current one is an almost exact facsimile of the original edition, the one published in the 70s may not be. Or it may be a reproduction of the second edtion.

Be cool to track down a copy of the second edition Robert mentions on the DrinkBoy forums...
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Erik Ellestad
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#160 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 06:47 PM

I have tried to get more information about editions of the Savoy; but, haven't had much luck.  My edition does have a few new recipes from Peter Dorelli at the begining; but, I don't think the core Savoy recipes have ever been "expanded", as so many others have.
[...]
I seem to recall I've read elsewhere that at some point the recipes were re-arranged for one edition or another.  Not sure if that is the case with the one I have.
[...]

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From what I can tell from the Alibris listings, it appears the version published in 1976 may have been the one where the recipes were re-arranged.

"Updated and expanded to include drinks and mixing techniques as yet undiscovered at the end of the Roaring 20s."

So, while the current one is an almost exact facsimile of the original edition, the one published in the 70s may not be. Or it may be a reproduction of the second edtion.

Be cool to track down a copy of the second edition Robert mentions on the DrinkBoy forums...

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It was a copy of the 1976 edition of the Savoy that I was flicking through recently, it didn't seem that good. There seemed to be a mish-mash of style, measurement-wise, even on the same pages, referring to variations of the same drink. Very odd.

#161 eje

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 10:53 PM

Posted Image

Biter Cocktail (6 People)

3 Glasses of Gin (3 oz Tanqueray Gin)
1 1/2 Glasses of Lemon Juice slightly sweetened (1 1/2 oz Lemon Juice)
1 1/2 Glasses of Green Chartreuse ( 1 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse)
Before shaking add a Dash of Absinthe (Verte de Fougerolles)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

As usual with these 6 person cocktails, I'm using 2 oz per "Glass" and dividing it in half.

Might be my favorite Chartreuse cocktail so far. Perhaps related to the pleasant pale green color and dry, tart flavor. Quite herb-a-licious.
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Erik Ellestad
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#162 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 01:46 AM

That sounds pretty good, definitely going to have to try it.

Always on the lookout for more uses for Chartreuse.
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#163 eje

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:50 AM

Cheers, Adam, it's a nice cocktail, I didn't add any sweetener to the lemon juice, as I think Green Chartreuse is already plenty sweet.

I really couldn't find anything out about the name. Googling "Biter Cocktail" isn't very productive. Though, there are some modern cocktails with "interesting" names involving the word "biter". Name of a person? Description of the effect?

My edition of Duffy's "Official Mixer's Manual" calls it the "Bitter Cocktail".

Some versions of the cocktail call for Yellow Chartreuse instead of the green.
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#164 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:15 AM

Cheers, Adam, it's a nice cocktail, I didn't add any sweetener to the lemon juice, as I think Green Chartreuse is already plenty sweet.

I really couldn't find anything out about the name.  Googling "Biter Cocktail" isn't very productive.  Though, there are some modern cocktails with "interesting" names involving the word "biter".  Name of a person?  Description of the effect?

My edition of Duffy's "Official Mixer's Manual" calls it the "Bitter Cocktail".

Some versions of the cocktail call for Yellow Chartreuse instead of the green.

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From what I hear/ read there are a lot of spelling mistakes and transcription errors on Craddocks part when he was copying from other peoples books.

The Three Millers was supposed to be a Three Miler (refering to the three mile limit, so that you could be in international waters and drinking, during prohibition).

There are others.

#165 eje

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 07:30 PM

re: Savoy Errors
I've been meaning to write a post about this in the Cocktail Books forum. To me it's interesting to compare Duffy and Craddock. Duffy seems far more prone to a certain type of error and Craddock another type of oversight. For example, Duffy seems far more likely to just get a cocktail name attached to the wrong ingredients. On the other hand, Craddock seems to pay almost no attention to proper preparation (almost every instruction is "Shake and strain into cocktail glass") or garnish.

Posted Image

Black Velvet

1/2 Guinness Stout
1/2 Champagne (Navarro Brut)

Pour very carefully.

This one arrived rather coincidentally, as we had some sparkling wine left over from New Years Eve. Can't really say I see the point. Rather have a glass of decent sparkling wine or enjoy my Guinness. Perhaps a sweeter wine would be more of a match?

But, then I've never really seen the point of any of the mixed beer drinks. Shandy, Snakebite, Lager and Lime... Why ruin a perfectly good pint?
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Erik Ellestad
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#166 eje

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 11:15 AM

Posted Image

Blackthorn Cocktail

3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
3 Dashes Absinthe (Verte de Fougerolles)
1/2 Irish Whisky (1 1/2 oz Redbreast Irish Whiskey)
1/2 French Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)

Shake (stir - eje) well and strain into cocktail glass

The Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is a bushy, spiny relative of the plum. It is often planted as living barbed wire in rural landscaping. Its wood is quite hard and the one of the traditional materials from which Irish Shillelaghs are made. It is also used to make sturdy walking sticks. The fruit of the Blackthorn is called a sloe and is used to flavor sloe gin.

In the Cocktaildb there are 6 "Blackthorn" cocktails. Many, not surprisingly, involve sloe gin. This version is sometimes called the "Irish Blackthorn".

It's a pleasant cocktail, with the smell and taste of the Absinthe being the first thing you notice. The vermouth and Absinthe dominate the middle tastes. There seemed to be a phantom cherry-like taste in the finish. The Irish Whiskey, despite being fairly assertive and quite delicious, seemed to disappear into the cocktail.
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Erik Ellestad
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#167 eje

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 11:25 AM

re: black velvet

When I was making the black velvet, it struck me that it seemed to be a gentrified version of the famous "Black and Tan". Guinness, having a fairly low specific gravity, can be floated on top of heavier ales like Harp and Bass, if you are very patient and pour very carefully. I had hoped I would be able to float the Guinness on top of the sparkling wine. While it seemed to go well at first, I soon slipped, poured too quickly, and they combined. I still think it might be possible.

Anyone know anything about the specific gravity of sparkling wines?
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Erik Ellestad
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#168 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 01:42 PM

re: Savoy Errors
I've been meaning to write a post about this in the Cocktail Books forum.  To me it's interesting to compare Duffy and Craddock.  Duffy seems far more prone to a certain type of error and Craddock another type of oversight.  For example, Duffy seems far more likely to just get a cocktail name attached to the wrong ingredients.  On the other hand, Craddock seems to pay almost no attention to proper preparation (almost every instruction is "Shake and strain into cocktail glass") or garnish.

Posted Image

Black Velvet

1/2 Guinness Stout
1/2 Champagne (Navarro Brut)

Pour very carefully.

This one arrived rather coincidentally, as we had some sparkling wine left over from New Years Eve.  Can't really say I see the point.  Rather have a glass of decent sparkling wine or enjoy my Guinness.  Perhaps a sweeter wine would be more of a match?

But, then I've never really seen the point of any of the mixed beer drinks.  Shandy, Snakebite, Lager and Lime...  Why ruin a perfectly good pint?

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A cocktail in tribute to the late prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria.

#169 JerseyRED

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 03:14 PM

re: black velvet

When I was making the black velvet, it struck me that it seemed to be a gentrified version of the famous "Black and Tan".  Guinness, having a fairly low specific gravity, can be floated on top of heavier ales like Harp and Bass, if you are very patient and pour very carefully.  I had hoped I would be able to float the Guinness on top of the sparkling wine.  While it seemed to go well at first, I soon slipped, poured too quickly, and they combined.  I still think it might be possible.

Anyone know anything about the specific gravity of sparkling wines?

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I've never been able to make a proper Black & Tan at home until I purchased the bottle/can with the small CO2 cartridge built inside the Guinness.
I'm not sure if the pressure from the CO2 mimicks the beer when it's on draft?

Rich
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#170 eje

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 10:47 PM

A cocktail in tribute to the late prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria.

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Cheers, George thanks!

I guess then, they are adding the bitter guinness to darken their champange in mourning. Also named after the "black velvet" arm bands often worn in tribute to the dead.

Reading the wiki entries, it appears the black velvet may actually have pre-dated the black and tan. At least, according to the articles, the earliest documented reference to the black and tan is from around 1889 and it is thought that the Black Velvet was created at the Brooks's Club, in London, in 1861.

The Black Velvet also goes by the name Bismarck as it was apparently a favorite drink of Otto von Bismarck.

Black Velvet Wiki Article

Black and Tan Wiki Article
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#171 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 06:15 AM

Eje,

I wasn't aware that the Black Velvet was also referred to as the Bismarck. Apparently Otto Von Bismarck drank at the famous Adlon in Berlin, but it is a difficult hotel to find cocktail related info on.

As for preparing the Black Velvet, I was always told to pour in the champage up to the half-way point, then tilt the glass 45 degrees, and then pour the Guiness in. The guiness we used was in bottles, and was 8 percent alcohol. I tried the big bottles of 11 percent Guiness once, it was yucky.

Exactly why anyone would want two distinctive layers of guiness and champagne seems a little crazy. The customer will stir it up, and then voom, a huge top-hat of foam appears on the glass.

If the Black Velvet was invented in the 1860s, then would it not be more likely that a Marie Antoinette style of glass was used?


Cheers!

George

#172 eje

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 10:13 AM

[...]The guiness we used was in bottles, and was 8 percent alcohol. I tried the big bottles of 11 percent Guiness once, it was yucky.
[...]
If the Black Velvet was invented in the 1860s, then would it not be more likely that a Marie Antoinette style of glass was used?
[...]

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8-11% ABV? That's some crazy Guinness! The stuff we get here is either 4% (draft and draft cans) or 5% (bottles).

re: glassware. I suppose you are right about that. Sigh. I'm pretty sure they probably wouldn't have drunk them in 16oz pilsner glasses like the one I pictured. Sorry, man, I was thirsty!

Posted Image

Blanche Cocktail

1/3 Anisette (1/2 oz Anis del Mono Dulce)
1/3 White Curacao (1/2 oz Brizard Orange Curacao)
1/3 Cointreau (1/2 oz Cointreau)
(dash Regan's Orange Bitters)

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

Still trying to make my peace with these pesky after dinner cocktails. Imagining they are intended to be served with coffee, I made my self a cup of tea to go with it. It's actually pretty tasty trading leisurely sips of the darjeeling tea and Blanche Cocktail. I felt very "Euro". Orange and Anis weren't flavors I expected to go together quite this well. Still, very sweet.

There are a few different styles of Absinthe. Verte, which is colored, post distillation, by macerating various herbs in the distillate (primarily Petit Wormwood and Lemon Balm) and Blanche which is uncolored. The Swiss was, and still are, quite famous for the high quality of their Blanche Absinthes.

Fairly certain this cocktail is probably named after the "Blanche" style of Absinthe. If I had used white curacao, the cocktail would be a pearly, opalescent pale white like a Blanche Absinthe. Unfortunately, I only have orange curacao, so the cocktail is a pearly, opalescent pale orange.

edit - BTW, I added the orange bitters because I think Curacao used to have more of a bitter orange kick than the style Brizard currently makes it in. One day I'll have to try the stuff that actually comes from Curacao.

Edited by eje, 19 January 2007 - 10:36 AM.

---
Erik Ellestad
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#173 evo-lution

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:19 AM

Still trying to make my peace with these pesky after dinner cocktails.

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A lot of these 'after-dinner' drinks really look like they would benefit with the addition of some rye/scotch/bourbon/etc. :biggrin:

What do you think Erik?

Great work by the way. Love catching up with the goings on in this thread. Keep it up...

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#174 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:59 PM

I always thought that 'White Curacao' was once a generic name for what we would now call triple sec, though that would make for a very odd ingredient list with already having Cointreau in there.

-Andy
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#175 eje

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 03:19 PM

I always thought that 'White Curacao' was once a generic name for what we would now call triple sec, though that would make for a very odd ingredient list with already having Cointreau in there.

-Andy

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The recipe is a bit odd. On par with calling for Cointreau and Grand Marnier in the same cocktail. Why?

I believe all of these orange liqueur products are clear, without coloring. Curacao of Curacao still makes an Orange, Blue, and White Curacao. According to their website, all three are identical except for color.

I've read elsewhere that Bols (Europe) uses slightly different formulations for their different Curacao colors. Tweaking the Blue Curacao to cater to the tiki crowd.

The way I understand the history: The French orange liqueur brands started calling their products "Triple Sec" (Triple Dry) to differentiate themselves from the somewhat sweeter Curacao brands. Eventually, to differentiate themselves from the other Triple Secs, Cointreau began calling its product by it's brand name instead of "Triple Sec".

In the case of Brizard, they use a Brandy base for their Curacao and a neutral spirits base for their Triple Sec.

Ostensibly, I believe Curacaos should be slightly more bitter and sweet than Cointreau/Triple Sec. Whether this is true probably varies with the brands being compared. If I didn't already have a somewhat ridiculous number of orange liqueurs in my cabinet, I'd be tempted to pick up a bottle of the Curacao of Curacao to compare. Maybe, once I finish this bottle of Brizard.
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#176 eje

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 03:41 PM

A lot of these 'after-dinner' drinks really look like they would benefit with the addition of some rye/scotch/bourbon/etc.  :biggrin:

What do you think Erik?

Great work by the way. Love catching up with the goings on in this thread. Keep it up...
[...]

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Thanks!

Uh, yeah, I felt like some of these were too sweet. There have been a couple that I thought would be pretty undrinkable without tweaking them towards modern tastes.

On the other hand, the thing I like about the Savoy is there is a good variety of cocktails. Some really sweet, some really sour, some really bitter, some really strong, some kind of weak. To me it's cool to think about what occasion would be a proper venue for a certain cocktail.

There is a modern tendency, I think because of portion control and the like, to balance every cocktail the same. Every cocktail has to have the same amount of alcohol, be the same size, and be a balanced mix of sweet and sour or sweet and bitter.

Some of this perspective may be romantic delusion on my part, and another part of it may just be the "shovelware", (to use Doudoroff's word,) nature of the Savoy Cocktail Book.

But, it does seem like something of the idea of drinking the right thing for the right occasion got lost in prohibition (or the 70s or something). I get the impression 90% of people today just go to the bar and order the same "Vodka and Cran", whether the weather is hot or cold, they just got dumped or engaged, before dinner or after.

Sorry, that was a bit long winded. Obviously something I've been thinking about.
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Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#177 eje

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 10:38 PM

Posted Image

Blenton Cocktail

1/3 French Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)
2/3 Plymouth Gin (2 oz Plymouth Gin)
dash Angostura Bitters
(Twist Meyer Lemon Peel)

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

Another of the many 2/3 gin, 1/3 French Vermouth cocktails in the Savoy. A perfectly fine Martini variation, I felt improved with the addition of a twist of Meyer Lemon peel. The interesting savory elements of the Plymouth gin and Meyer Lemon Peel played nicely together.
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Erik Ellestad
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#178 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 03:11 AM

There is a modern tendency, I think because of portion control and the like, to balance every cocktail the same. Every cocktail has to have the same amount of alcohol, be the same size, and be a balanced mix of sweet and sour or sweet and bitter.


This is so true. 50ml of any spirit is a minimum for me when I concoct a recipe. The reasoning behind this, for me anyway, is the cost. I am not one to spend good money on a drink that, while historically correct as it might be, is just interesting when it comes to flavour. I love the taste of the spirits that go into the cocktails, so the rest of the drink is there to offer something else on top of that.

Cheers!

George

#179 eje

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 12:03 PM

Posted Image

Block and Fall Cocktail

1/6 Anis del Oso or Absinthe (1/2 oz Verte de Fougerolles Absinthe)
1/6 Calvados (1/2 oz Germain-Robin Apple Brandy)
1/3 Brandy (1 oz Korbel VSPOP)
1/3 Cointreau (3/4 oz Cointreau)

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

Another Savoy sweet-and-deadly in the style of the Between the Sheets. This one raises the ante slightly over the BTS by tossing some 140 proof Absinthe into the pot.

When reading through cocktail books, the name of this cocktail has often caught my eye and I've wondered what it meant.

Turns out, "Block and Fall" is another name for the rope and pulley device more commonly called, (at least in the US,) a "Block and Tackle". Well, a couple of these will certainly get you "hoisted".

Also, I found a reference to Prohibition (US) era speakeasies called "Block and Fall Joints". According to some, these were the sorts of places serving low quality, high proof booze. Patrons would stop by for a cocktail, leave, walk a "block," and "fall" into the gutter.

It's actually a complex and interesting cocktail, everything is there and cooperating. I did slightly reduce the amount of Cointreau called for.

Don't drink too many, if you want to make it home safely!
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Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#180 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 21 January 2007 - 01:54 PM

Thinking I needed a lighter, tarter cocktail to go with some of the richer, sweeter offerings on last night's cocktail menu, at the last minute, I added the Bacardi Special from the Savoy Cocktail Book.

Despite being among some very tasty competition, (Wet Spot, Le Demon Vert, Addam's Apple,) it turned out to be a real favorite with the guests.

I guess some of these cocktails do still have legs!
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Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA