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eje

Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2009–)

211 posts in this topic

A while back my fiancee got a rose called a 'Peggy Martin' which she found cool since it happened to be her grandmother's name. It is a very pale pink color, perhaps there is a connection with Peggy and roses or pink colors.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Peggy Martin rose is mending broken hearts and hurricane-ravaged coasts, By ELIZABETH CERNOTA CLARK / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

In 2003, two years before Hurricane Katrina, Dr. William C. Welch, a horticulturist and professor at Texas A&M University, took cuttings of an unnamed climbing rose from a friend's lush garden in Plaquemines Parish, near New Orleans. The friend, Peggy Rose Martin, had for years been nurturing a rose collection that was considered among the most important in the South...When Welch planted the mystery rose in his Texas garden, he dubbed it simply 'Peggy Martin'. As it grew, he recorded its growth pattern and special attributes.

Unfortunately, that doesn't seem likely, at least in terms of history. At least if that rose variety wasn't named Peggy Martin until after 2003.

Probably another red herring, but here's some more interesting tidbits regarding "Peggy Martin" from UsingEnglish.Com:

"Idiom Definitions for 'All my eye and Peggy Martin'

An idiom that appears to have gone out of use but was prevalent in the English north Midlands of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire from at least the turn of the 20th century until the early 1950s or so. The idiom's meaning is literally something said or written that is unbelievable, rumor, over embellished, the result of malicious village gossip etc."

Now if we can figure out who THAT Peggy Martin was, we might be on to something!


Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Not sure if it is cool to put up this whole quote from Cassel's Dictionary of Slang, but I shall try.

All my eye and Betty Martin phr. (also all in my and and Betty, that’s my eye (and Betty Martin)) [late 18C+] utter, absolute nonsense. [ext. of all my eye phr.; Better Martin herself continues to be a source of controversy.  E.P. suspects that she was a late 18C London character and that no record of her exists other than the catchphrase.  Bee and Hotten (1860) refer to the alleged Lat. Prayer, Ora pro milti, beate Martine (‘Pray for me Blessed Martin’), i.e. St Martin of Tours, the patron saint of publicans and reformed drunkards.  It has yet to be found in any version of the liturgy.  Writing in 1914, Dr L.A. Waddell suggests another Latinism, O mihi Britomartis (‘O bring help to me, Britomartis’), referring to the tutelery goddess of Crete.  More likely is the idea, proposed in Charles Lee’s Memoirs (1805), that there had once been ‘an abondoned woman called Grace’, who, in the late 18C, married a Mr Martin.  She became notorious as Better Martin, and all my eye was apparently among her favorite phrs.  A northern version of the phr. Has Peggy Martin]

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Very cool info about the roses, thanks! I had no idea the rose was affiliated with Texas A&M, which is right here in beautiful and exotic College Station, and also happens to be my own erstwhile house of learning as well.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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First, I suppose I should point out that Doug, over at The Pegu Blog, writes pretty much about nothing other than Pegu Club Cocktails. So if you need more information about the cocktail, you might want to check out his ruminations on the subject.

Searching through Google Books, I found a couple references.

From a 1971 article in the Atlantic by Paul Theroux:

Burma

“On Bogyoke Aung San Street (formerly Montgomery) the Central Jail is being pulled down. The workmen were surprised to get a visitor and willingly showed me around the six enormous cell blocks which radiate in clumsy spokes from a central courtyard and administration building. They pointed out scratchings on the cell floors made in the teak planks by bored prisoners, the Burmese equivalent of tic-tac-toe. One man told me the place was one hundred seven years old—the seven gave the date a certain credibility; in fact, I couldn’t imagine the Burmese pulling down a building less than a hundred years old. The only market in Mandalay is the Zegyo Bazaar, designed and built in 1903 by an Italian, Count Caldrari (who was also the first secretary of the Mandalay Municipality). I stole a small sign from over a cell door in the Central Jail. It reads: 56′ BY 26½’ BY 12′—CUBICAL CONTENTS 17967—ACCOMMODATION FOR 28. It is only a short hop from the Central Jail to the Pegu Club, now an Officers’ Mess of the Burmese Army. The Pegu Club was to Rangoon what the Selangor Club was to Kuala Lumpur and the Tanglin Club to Singapore (but these two are still going strong). The sentry said that he would have let me look around, but as it happened, a senior officer (the sentry bulged his eyes to illustrate how senior) had just arrived and was inside.”

Rudyard Kipling in his 1899 book, “From Sea to Sea”:

The River of the Lost Footsteps and the Golden Mystery upon its Banks. Shows how a Man may go to the Shway Dagon Pagoda and see it not and to the Pegu Club and hear too much. A Dissertation on Mixed Drinks.

“There must be a few hundred men who are fairly behind the scenes of the Burma War—one of the least known and appreciated of any of our little affairs. The Pegu Club seemed to be full of men on their way up or down, and the conversation was but an echo of the murmur of conquest far away to the north.”

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Pegu Club Cocktail.

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.

1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)

1 Teaspoonful Lime Juice. (1 teaspoon Fresh Lime Juice)

1/3 Curacao. (3/4 oz Bols Dry Orange Curacao)

2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The favourite cocktail of the Pegu Club, Burma, and one that has traveled, and is asked for, round the world.

So this is the Savoy recipe for this cocktail. To me, it doesn’t make much sense, from a flavor perspective. The mere teaspoon of lime juice, does very little for the cocktail, to balance against the sweetness of the orange curacao, making it very nearly an after dinner proposition.

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The oldest recipe anyone has found, at the moment, is from an edition of Harry’s ABC of Cocktails from 1929. It is as follows: 1 dash Angostura Bitters; 1 dash of Orange Bitters; 1 teaspoonful of Lime Juice (Rose’s); 1/6 Curacao; 2/3 Gin.

Ack! Though he does slightly reduce the volume of Curacao, he calls for Rose’s Lime Juice!

Well, what are you gonna do. The Rose’s got me thinking of Gimlets, so I gimlet-i-fied the cocktail, serving it over ice. You know what, it’s not bad!

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One of the other pre-Savoy citations for the Pegu Club Cocktail comes from a book I’ve only heard of in quotes from David Wondrich, “Cocktails by Jimmy, Late of Ciro’s” Its recipe follows:

Pegu Club

4 parts Dry Gin. (2 oz Gin)

1 part Curacao. (1/2 oz Curacao)

1 part Lime Juice. (1/2 oz Lime Juice)

1 Dash Angostura Bitters per cocktail.

1 Dash Orange Bitters per cocktail. (Angostura Orange Bitters)

This is a very dry cocktail! Though it has its fans, it is a little too dry and tart for my taste. At this point, I have to admit I’m also thinking I don’t really like Angostura Orange Bitters in this cocktail. I like them in Martinis and such, but there’s something in the spice component that just isn’t working for me in a sour.

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Finally, seeking solace for my frustration, I made the version of the Pegu Club Cocktail from the Heaven’s Dog bar book. Obviously, I’d have to kill you if I printed it here, but damn that hits the spot. Save yourself the trouble of all the above, and just go out and order the drink at Slanted Door or Heaven’s Dog. You’ll thank me.

Oh, and if that doesn’t convince you, and you really want to do your extra credit work, I highly recommend the gimlet-i-fied version made with Oude Genever instead of Dry Gin. Not at all traditional, but super tasty!


Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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One thing about the Pegu Club Cocktail and balance: If you are doing the version that contains more than a smidge of lime juice (which is the most common version served these days), the sweetness of the curacao is of paramount importance. For example, I find that a 2 : 3/4 : 3/4 Pegu Club is far too tart if you use Grand Marnier for the curacao, but works rather well with Marie Brizard.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Perfect Cocktail

1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Original Dry)

1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Punt e Mes)

1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Anchor Junipero Gin)

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

Well, after all that Pegu Club nonsense, it certainly is good to get back on solid ground!

Since the recipe is lacking bitters, I chose to use the more bitter vermouth, Punt e Mes. In fact, so bitter, some authors classify it as a Quinquina!

Well, it works in this cocktail in a quite a wonderful way, providing some bitter backbone to what might be a bit routine other wise. Of course, it never hurts to throw Junipero into the mix, especially in fifty-fifty type drinks. Or in this case, 33.3-33.3-33.3 type drinks!

Sometimes simpler and less complicated can be better.


Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Personality a La Roy Cocktail

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.

1/4 Hercules. (1/2 oz Underhill Hercules v.3version 3)

1/4 Applejack or Calvados. (1/2 oz Calvados Groult Reserve)

1/2 Dry Gin. (1 oz North Shore Distiller’s No. 6)

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

Actually gotten pretty good response both to Underhill Hercules Version 3 and to this cocktail made with it. Not sure where to go from here. Expand the spice component? I think I could slightly enhance the bitter elements as long as I continue to skip Wormwood.

The name is a bit odd, but I have no idea who Roy might have been and what about his personality might have attracted the name of this cocktail?

Perhaps South African poet Roy Campbell? The time is about right for whatever fame he might have generated for himself in South Africa and England.

Here’s an amusing section from his wikipedia entry, circa 1930 or so:

Roy Campbell (poet)

“…moving in literary circles, he was initially on friendly terms with the Bloomsbury Group but then became very hostile to them; he declared that they were sexually promiscuous, snobbish, and anti-Christian. His wife’s lesbian affair with Vita Sackville-West, the lover of Virginia Woolf, was a contributing cause to his changed attitude.”

Oh Vita, with her long legs, wolfhounds, and gardens. Who could resist?


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Could it be a corruption of "à la Roi"? Roi is always anglicized as Roy, and if it was penned by someone who was trying to make it sound French-ish, they could have also missed that 'la' should be 'le' in the case of 'le Roi'.

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Could it be a corruption of "à la Roi"?  Roi is always anglicized as Roy, and if it was penned by someone who was trying to make it sound French-ish, they could have also missed that 'la' should be 'le' in the case of 'le Roi'.

Sounds a bit more plausible to me, Mr. Turkey, even though it sort of deflates my english-majorey theorizing.

Will I be able to use this BA for nothing?


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Peter Pan Cocktail.

1/4 Peach Bitters. (1/2 oz Fee’s Peach Bitters)

1/4 Orange Juice. (1/2 oz Orange Juice)

1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)

1/4 Dry Gin. (1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I had some sort of idle hope that this would be at least interesting.

I suppose, after a fashion, it is.

The nice thing about it is the Peter Pan is, at least, a fairly dry cocktail. However, it really does taste, more or less, awful. That much peach bitters is just wrong.

Not only that, but I felt kind of bad after drinking it. Burping peach flavored burps, and feeling like it gave me an instant head ache. Maybe all that glycerine and propylene glycol doesn’t agree with me.

Should you order this cocktail at the next Savoy Night at Alembic Bar, July 26th?

Signs point to a definite, “No!”


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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However, it really does taste, more or less, awful. That much peach bitters is just wrong.

It is interesting, at least, in that it suggests that perhaps peach bitters were once something quite different from what is on the market now.


Edited by David Santucci (log)

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However, it really does taste, more or less, awful. That much peach bitters is just wrong.

It is interesting, at least, in that it suggests that perhaps peach bitters were once something quite different from what is on the market now.

Precisely. In this case it was probably something like the Dutch Hoppe's Peach Bitters, which is basically a low-proof, not-very-sweet liqueur with a slight bitter edge. It's meant to be drunk straight.


aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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It is interesting, at least, in that it suggests that perhaps peach bitters were once something quite different from what is on the market now.

Precisely. In this case it was probably something like the Dutch Hoppe's Peach Bitters, which is basically a low-proof, not-very-sweet liqueur with a slight bitter edge. It's meant to be drunk straight.

So, peach liqueur and a dash of angostura would be a better solution than fee's peach bitters?

Would certainly be a tastier cocktail.

And secondarily, if that is what is meant by "peach bitters" why did Fee's not make something similar? Just sayin...


Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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How about Rin Quin Quin?

I think that is even nominally available in the US.


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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How about Rin Quin Quin?

I think that is even nominally available in the US.

i was thinking of rin quin quin but couldn't remember the name. i've seen it around here in liquor stores but have never tried it or seen it behind a bar.

does it taste like peachy dubbonet?


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Peto Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Orange. (About a half an ounce of Fresh Squeezed)

1/4 French Vermouth. (1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)

1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Rosso Vermouth)

1/2 Plymouth gin. (1 oz Plymouth Gin)

2 Dashes Maraschino. (2/3 barspoon Luxardo Maraschino)

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

Another Bronx-ish cocktail and another Brunch possibility. Nicely refreshing with the touch of exoticism from the Maraschino. Nothing fantastic, but enjoyable.

I would guess the name of the cocktail refers to someone’s name. Painter John Frederick Peto, perhaps?

    The subject matter of Peto’s paintings consisted of the most ordinary of things: pistols, horseshoes, bits of paper, keys, books, and the like. He frequently painted old time “letter racks,” which were a kind of board that used ribbons tacked into a square that held notes, letters, pencils, and photographs.

Hard to say if he enjoyed the odd drink.

We’ve also got railway and harbor developer Sir Samuel Morton Peto, an acquaintance of Charles Dickens.

Peto is also another name for the fish currently more commonly called “Wahoo“.

...a large, swift mackerel, Acanthocybium solanderi, widespread in warm seas, of a steel blue to greenish blue above and silver below, often leaping from the water and occasionally schooling in great numbers: valued as a food and game fish.

Take your pick.

Should you order the Peto cocktail at the next Savoy Night at Alembic Bar, July 26th?

I would give this a, “Maybe.” It is refreshing and interesting. You could definitely do a lot worse.


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Philadelphia Scotsman Cocktail.

1 Hooker Applejack. (1 1/2 oz Germain-Robin Apple Brandy)

1 Hooker Port. (1 1/2 oz Sandeman 10 Year Tawny Port)

The Juice of 1 Orange. (2 oz Fresh Orange Juice)

Place in tumbler (with ice, stir,) and fill up with ginger ale (Fentiman’s Ginger Beer).

Well, OK, Fentiman’s Ginger Ale is a pretty odd substitution for “Ginger Ale”. However, this is a “Philadelphia Scotsman” cocktail. Presumably, in Philadelphia, they’d be mixing home made ginger beer, not some fancy carbonated “ginger ale”. And tawny port is probably a bit of a stretch, too. Presumably, a ruby port or similar would be more common.

Should you order this cocktail at the next Savoy Night at Alembic Bar, July 26th?

You know, this is pretty darn tasty, if you ask me. If it’s warm outside, this would make a very good hot weather drink.


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Erik, what's your thinking behind using the G-R apple brandy instead of Laird's? I wouldn't think that the G-R product would have the "whiskey bite" of applejack.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Erik, what's your thinking behind using the G-R apple brandy instead of Laird's?  I wouldn't think that the G-R product would have the "whiskey bite" of applejack.

The usual random reasons.

The G-R Apple Brandy was almost empty and I was trying to use it up. Also, too lazy to go down to the basement and get a new bottle of the Laird's.


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Erik, what's your thinking behind using the G-R apple brandy instead of Laird's?  I wouldn't think that the G-R product would have the "whiskey bite" of applejack.

Though, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "whiskey bite" of applejack.

I was under the impression that prior to Laird's adding neutral spirits to their "apple jack" product in the 1970s or 80s, that "apple jack" simply meant American-Style Apple Brandy.

The Germain-Robin Apple Brandy nicely qualifies as an American-Style apple brandy.

A bit refined, admittedly, but it's not like I used Calvados or something...


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Erik, what's your thinking behind using the G-R apple brandy instead of Laird's?  I wouldn't think that the G-R product would have the "whiskey bite" of applejack.

Though, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "whiskey bite" of applejack.

I was under the impression that prior to Laird's adding neutral spirits to their "apple jack" product in the 1970s or 80s, that "apple jack" simply meant American-Style Apple Brandy.

Yes, but the American style was not the smooth, suave "cognac-style" as exemplified by calvados. It was, rather, a rougher spirit closer in spirit to whiskey than to cognac. This seems readily apparent in Laird's bonded product, which is rough around the edges rather than refined and suave. Laird's bonded can substitute for whiskey well in almost any whiskey cocktail. This is not true for European-style apple brandy.

The Germain-Robin Apple Brandy nicely qualifies as an American-Style apple brandy.

A bit refined, admittedly, but it's not like I used Calvados or something...

I'd say that Germain-Robin qualifies as a French-style apple brandy that happens to be made in the United States. The G-R guys do go their own way, though. What would you say the character is like? Would you say it would seem like a cousin of Rittenhouse?


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I'd say that Germain-Robin qualifies as a French-style apple brandy that happens to be made in the United States.  The G-R guys do go their own way, though.  What would you say the character is like?  Would you say it would seem like a cousin of Rittenhouse?

Not sure about the Rittenhouse notion.

To me the big difference between Calvados and American Apple Brandy is that Calvados tastes like it is distilled from hard cider. Especially young Calvados.

Where American Apple Brandies have more of an eau-de-vie, pure fruit character, without the funk of hard cider.

I don't know if this has more to do with the type of apples used or the fermentation, distillation, and aging process for the respective products.

To me, the Germain-Robin is more in the Eau-de-Vie style, though they have presumably aged it oak, so it has mellowed some and taken on character and flavor from the wood. Anyway, it has an all around cleaner flavor than any French Calvados I've ever tasted. For better or for worse.


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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If you have any Laird's bonded, I'd be interested to hear your comparison.

WRT the whiskey connection... I just made a Red Hook with Laird's bonded instead of rye. It's different, of course, but still has all the bite that it does when made with whiskey. This drink is clearly a cousin of the same one made with rye. I couldn't say the same of this drink made with a suave cognac-style apple brandy.


Edited by slkinsey (log)

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Philomel Cocktail*

(6 People)

2 1/2 glasses of Sherry. (1 1/4 oz Don Nuno Dry Oloroso Sherry)

1 Glass Rum. (1/2 oz Inner Circle Green Rum)

1 1/2 Glasses Quinquina. (3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge)

1 1/2 Glasses Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Orange Juice)

Give one grind of the peppermill over this Shake: serve!

*After which they all sing like nightingales. Whence the name.

Whence the name?

Woo, now that’s a story.

From the wikipedia:

Procne’s husband, king Tereus of Thrace (son of Ares), agreed to travel to Athens and escort Philomela to Thrace for a visit. Tereus lusted for Philomela on the voyage. Arriving in Thrace, he forced her to a cabin in the woods and raped her…Philomela then wove a tapestry (or a robe) that told her story and had it sent to Procne. In revenge, Procne killed her son by Tereus, Itys (or Itylos), and served him to Tereus, who unknowingly ate him. When he discovered what had been done, Tereus tried to kill the sisters; they fled and he pursued but, in the end, all three were changed by the Olympic Gods into birds…Early Greek sources have it that Procne was turned into a nightingale, singing a beautiful but sad song in remorse for the death of her son; Philomela turns into a swallow, which has no song.

For some inexplicable reason, Philomel ends up being another name for the nightingale.

And, uh, well, like the Golden Slipper, that’s an odd myth to want to evoke with a cocktail!

That said, this isn’t an awful cocktail. Odd, it must be admitted, but rum, dubonnet, and sherry is an interesting flavor combination. I used the overproof, funk filled, and sadly no longer distributed in the US, Inner Circle Green, as it needed to stand up to all the rest of the ingredients in as a relatively small fraction of the cocktail. It worked quite well. Another interesting choice might be a spiced rum, if there were actually any of those worth drinking.

Maybe the New Orleans Cajun Spiced rum? Would fit right in with the grind of black pepper!

Should you order this cocktail at the next Savoy Night at Alembic Bar, July 26th?

Signs point to a definite, “Hmmm. Let’s think about that before ordering.”


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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