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eje

Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2007–2008)

551 posts in this topic

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Fernet Branca Cocktail

1/4 Fernet Branca. (Generous 1/2 oz Fernet)

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

1/2 Dry Gin. (Generous 1 oz Death's Door Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Note: One of the best "morning-after" cocktails ever invented.  Fernet-Branca, an Italian vegetable extract, is a marvelous headache cure. (No advt.)

The next time I have such a bad hangover that I feel like I'm standing on Death's Door, I'll have to give this a try. Unfortunately, tonight, I didn't start with a head or stomach ache, so can't vouch for any particular therapeutic effect. I guess I hope the Fernet Branca Cocktaill is good for me in some manner, as it isn't all that attractive looking or pleasant to drink. Pretty much just tastes like Fernet.

When checking for versions of this cocktail, I did see that other authors frequently call for Brandy instead of Gin. Might be an improvement?


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Fifth Avenue Cocktail

1/3 Crème de Cacao. (Mozart Black Chocolate Liqueur)

1/3 Apricot Brandy. (Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)

1/3 Sweet Cream.

Use liqueur glass and pour carefully, so that ingredients do not mix.

This was actually pretty yummy, as these sorts of things go. But, then, I enjoy drinking the R&W Orchard Apricot straight. So, no problem there. Heck, I'd probably have it with my toast in the morning, or on my pancakes, if I didn't have a pesky job to go to.

I got the Mozart Black Chocolate liqueur a while ago and have failed in my imagination to find uses for it. This was really pretty good. Certainly beats the heck out of Bols Creme de Cacao. I'm just glad that the specific gravities worked out between the two liqueurs.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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This is the Fifth 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, but this just seemed to result in a grumpy bartender.

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 in Oakland, he mentioned that one of his bartenders at the Slanted Door might be interested in participating in the Savoy topic.

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I've talked up the Slanted Door in various topic here on eGullet. I think they do a fantastic job with their bar program. They have a great menu and take an amazing amount of care, using all fresh juices and making many ingredients in house, including Jennifer Colliau's fantastic orgeat. Even though we hadn't met before, I was really psyched when I found out Jennifer was the bartender at the Slanted Door interested in participating.

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What a joy to take pictures in a relatively well lit bar for a change!

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Jennifer Colliau

Jennifer has worked in the restaurant industry her whole life, and began bartending as soon as she was legally allowed to do so.  She became bar manager of the Sonora Cafe, an upscale southwestern restaurant in Los Angeles, at age 23, where she soon found herself indoctrinated into the mysterious and intriguing world of the Agave.  When she is not tending bar, she designs and makes furniture and teaches woodworking in Oakland.

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Two Absinthes behind the bar! How great is that? A mere month or so ago, there would have been nothing.

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Fascinator Cocktail

2 Dashes Absinthe. (20 drops)

1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)

2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Tanqueray No. 10)

1 Sprig Fresh Mint.

Shake (stir) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Preferred the Kubler in this cocktail. Somehow it seemed less muddled and the other ingredients of the drink were more able to shine. Since we were stirring this and not shaking, we were both quite surprised how clearly the flavor of the mint came through in the Kubler version.

The first thing that came up here is the question of the "dash". Jennifer initially insisted on the small size, measuring dashes in drops, while I maintained my 2 dashes is half barspoon opinion (inarticulately and poorly.) I did mention my theory that not all "dashes" are necessarily equivalent. I.e. a dash from a bitters bottle not necessarily the same as a dash of lemon juice or curacao. This idea had some traction, especially as we progressed through the following recipes.

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Favourite Cocktail

1 Dash Lemon Juice. (10 drops)

1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz House Made Apricot Liqueur)

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

1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth)

Shake (stir) well and strain into cocktail glass.

This was nice, but is a hard one to balance. That single "dash" of Lemon Juice is really tough. A little too much will tip this cocktails towards flavors I would describe as "children's aspirin". Not enough and it is too sweet. As well, very dependent on the brand of apricot liqueur.

Q: What place do house made ingredients have in the commercial bar?

A: Ideally, a bar wouldn't have to make any ingredients in house.  Unfortunately, the quality isn't always there in commercial products, so if a bar wants to serve a drink of a certain level of quality, they often have no choice but to make some of the ingredients themselves.  The other aspect is, when I see house made ingredients on a bar menu I know that the bar is taking a certain amount of care.  That the staff are involved enough to take an interest in serving quality drinks.

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Fairbanks Cocktail (No. 1)

1 Dash Lemon Juice. (1/2 tsp)

1 Dash Grenadine. (1/2 tsp House Made)

1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz House Made Apricot Liqueur)

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

1/3 Dry Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass, with a cherry.

This was the favorite of the evening, a very nice cocktail. The grenadine makes this a bit easier to balance than the Favourite cocktail above. I think we went with an half teaspoon of each, perhaps a bit generous.

Two house made ingredients here, a wonderful Grenadine that Jennifer wakes up a bit by mixing 2-1 with fresh pomegranate juice, and an Apricot Liqueur that Erik Adkins makes by macerating whole apricots in Osocalis Brandy. Just sort of FYI, as Erik A. pointed out, while freezing the apricots probably does help to break the internal cell structure of the apricots, apricot skin is too tough for the skin cracking jackal10 details in his Autumn and Festive Preserves to work. Yer gonna want to poke those apricots with a fork before soaking them in booze. Erik Adkins' is a very nice apricot liqueur, with the taste of the apricot kernels a subtle addition, rather than the over the top cherry flavor of the Brizard Apry.

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Q: As we're located near wine country here in Northern California, do you ever try to sway wine or beer drinkers to try cocktails?

A: I don't usually try to steer people away from their beverage choices.  I view my job as providing people with a satisfying experience.  We have a lot of options for beer and wine at the restaurant and each has its place in the meal.  If someone orders a cosmo or vodka tonic, I might try to steer them towards something more interesting on the drink menu.  One of my favorite drinks, and a great drink to convert cocktail drinkers who don't think they like gin, is a Gin Gimlet topped with 3 drops of Absinthe.  We have so many special things we make in house, and great choices on the cocktail menu, that I will try to convince willing drinkers to have those instead of something more predictable.

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Fairy Belle Cocktail

The White of 1 Egg.

1 Teaspoonful of Grenadine. (House made)

1/4 Apricot Brandy. (generous 1/2 oz House made Apricot Liqueur)

3/4 Dry Gin. (generous 1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into port wine glass.

This was all right and an appealing looking cocktail to look at, but found I liked it less than I was expecting to. I have to admit that revisiting this recipe, I'm considering trying it with Apricot Eau-de-Vie, instead of the liqueur.

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‘Flu Cocktail

Juice of 1/4 Lemon.

1 Dash Jamaica Ginger. (5 drops Ginger Extract)

1 Teaspoonful Rock Candy Syrup. (Cane Syrup)

1 Teaspoonful Ginger Brandy. (Reisetbauer Ginger Eau-de-Vie)

1 Glass Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Canadian Mist 1885 Whisky)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass, but do not ice.

This is oddly enjoyable. It is a bit medicinal or theraputic in flavor. Still, quite nice. Probably be nicer with a good old fashioned American Rye Whiskey! And wow, is that Reisetbauer Ginger Eau-de-Vie something. Amazing!

Jennifer Colliau's Original Cocktail:

Reunion Cooler

1/2 oz (by volume) pink peppercorns

4 1-inch pieces ripe pineapple

1-inch by 8-inch strip grapefruit peel (no pith)

1/2 oz lime juice

1 barspoon agave syrup

1 3/4 oz silver tequila (preferably El Tesoro or Don Julio)

Crush peppercorns in the bottom of a mixing glass with a muddler. Add pineapple and grapefruit peel and muddle thoroughly. Add lime juice, agave and tequila, fill with ice and shake thoroughly. Strain through a julep strainer into a double old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice, but do not double strain. There should be flecks of pink from the peppercorns in the drink. Garnish with a horse's neck of grapefruit peel.

Slanted Door is a pretty high volume establishment, and there's no question that they serve a lot of Vodka Cranberries and Vodka Tonics. But, if you scratch a little beneath the surface, you'll find some of the best cocktails, highest quality ingredients, and most personable and knowledgeable bartenders in the Bay Area.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Fifty-Fifty Cocktail

1/2 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Tanqueray)

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

(A dash of Regan's and a dash of Fee's Orange Bitters)

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

Yep, that's tasty all right.

Sometimes there are few things better than a nice cold Tanqueray or Junipero Martini. Still really enjoying the Dolin in these vermouth heavy Martini-like cocktails.

The serendipity of going from the Fernet Cocktail to the Fifth Avenue to the Fifty-Fifty is pretty amusing. Nice to have a bit of variety in your cocktails.

What's the story with the "Fitty-Fitty"? Was it the addition of Orange bitters that made them decide to give it an updated name? It is much better with the bitters...


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Fantasio Cocktail (No. 1)

1/6 White Crème de Menthe.

1/6 Maraschino.

1/3 Brandy.

1/3 Dry Gin.

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Fantasio Cocktail. (No. 2.)

1/6 White Crème de Menthe. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Creme de Menthe)

1/6 Maraschino. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Maraschino)

1/3 Brandy. (3/4 oz Brandy)

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

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I've stared and stared at these two Fantasios and can find no difference between them, aside from the shaking detail.  In the 1934 edition of Patrick Gavin Duffy's "Official Mixer's Manual" they are actually both stirred, but the No. 2 gets a cherry.  God knows why there are two versions of this cocktail in either book.

[...]

Well, this is rather embarrassing.

While the Fantasios in the Savoy Cocktail Book are exactly the same, excepting the stirring/shaking detail, I was looking through 1934 Patrick Gavin Duffy for the umpteenth time, and noticed the Fantasios are different:

Fantasio Cocktail No. 1

1/6 White Creme de Menthe

1/6 Maraschino

1/3 Brandy

1/3 French Vermouth

Stir well and strain.

Use glass Number 1.

Fantasio Cocktail No. 2

1/6 White Creme de Menthe

1/6 Maraschino

1/3 Brandy

1/3 Italian Vermouth

Stir well in ice and strain. Add a cherry.

Use glass number 1.

Uh, oops! I've no explanation for completely missing the fact that he calls for vermouth instead of Gin. I guess sometimes you see what you want to see!?

"Glass number 1" looks like this, and is used for many "up" cocktails in Duffy:

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edit - So that makes it more of a Brandy Manhattan variation, than a, well, whatever the hell the Savoy Brandy and Gin concoction is. Damn, another cocktail I'm going to have to remake. I still think the Genever and Brandy was a fine combination...


Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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So, the Savoy Cocktail Book Duppy Cocktail was as follows...

Duppy Cocktail

Pour 4 1/2 glasses of Whisky into a large glass and soak in this a few cloves. Add 5 or 6 drops of Orange Bitters, and lastly put in 1 1/2 glasses of Curacao. Place the lot in the shaker; shake and serve.

But, it turns out, Patrick Gavin Duffy, who tends to be a bit more particular about recipes, writes it down as follows.

Duppy Cocktail

(6 People)

Soak in

4 1/2 Glasses Whiskey

Few Leaves of Clover

5 or 6 Dashes of Orange Bitters

1 1/4 Glasses Curacao

Shake well in ice, strain and serve.

Use glass number 1

Uh, wow, "clover" to "cloves" is kind of a big deal.

Red Clover: Herbal Remedies

Red clover also contains the blood-thinning substance coumarin. Coumarin is not unique to red clover; it is found in many other plants, including common grass. In fact, the pleasant sweet smell of freshly cut grass is due to the coumarin compounds. People on anticoagulant drugs such as Coumadin should be cautious of using red clover, as the blood may become too thin.

But, maybe not as crazy sounding as it seems. I mean, Buffalo Grass Vodka has some of these same substances.

So, I soaked a few red clover flowers and a couple leaves...

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...in a half cup of wild turkey rye for 12 hours.

2 oz Clover infused Rye

1 oz Luxardo Triplum

generous dash fee's orange bitters

generous dash regan's orange bitters

Stir with cracked ice, strain into cocktail glass.

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Unfortunately, that was the last of my Wild Turkey Rye, so no side by side comparison of clover vs. non-clover drinks was possible. But, it definitely changed the character of the Rye. More sweet herbal and vanilla-ish notes, I think.

All in all, I think I liked the Scotch/Clove Duppy a bit more. But, I dunno, there was something compelling about the flavors of the clover infused rye...

??


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Filmograph Cocktail

1/2 Brandy. (1 oz Cerbois VSOP Armagnac)

1/4 Kola Tonic. (1/2 oz Rose's Kola Tonic)

1/4 Sirop-de-citron. (1/2 oz Monin Lemon Syrup)

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

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

...

Earlier in the day, a friend had called. Asking if I happened to have any Armagnac. It isn't odd for him to ask me for a couple ounces of drink ingredients, as I know he is currently making drinks as part of his personal obsessive-compulsive project to make all the recipes from the "Joy of Cooking". But, I did think it a bit odd to ask about Armagnac. I mean, there really aren't that many cocktails that specify Armagnac. Why would they include one with the dozen or so cocktails in the Joy of Cooking? Turns out it is a Sidecar variation which they are inexplicably calling an "Armored Car," (every google I do for "Armored Car" and "cocktail" turns up tequila and amaretto.)

My friend came over, and I made him an Armagnac Sidecar (2-1-1) with the Cerbois, Cointreau, and fresh lemon juice. Damn, if it wasn't the best Sidecar I've ever made. I've actually always thought it a bit of a waste to use a too nice Brandy in Sidecars, as it often gets plowed over by the Cointreau and Lemon. The Armagnac really puts up a fight!


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I find that the Cerbois is great in a Sazerac. If you try it, try it with this variation...Scraping a vanilla bean onto a teaspoon of demara sugar, dousing the mixture (on the spoon) with absinthe and igniting it until the sugar melts. Kinda like cooking smack (I imagine). Dump the melted sugar/vanilla bean into your mixing glass with ice, armagnac, Peychauds. Stir and strain as usual. Edge glass with vanilla bean pod and lemon twist. It's a fun presentation mostly but the vanilla really works with the armagnac. Just use a spoon you don't mind charring.


"Wives and such are constantly filling up any refrigerator they have a

claim on, even its ice compartment, with irrelevant rubbish like

food."" - Kingsley Amis

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. . . sadly failed this drink.  At least with the Monin Lemon Syrup, this is the equivalent of some sort of very sweet hard candy with the Kola Tonic giving it a lovely medicinal edge.  Cough Drop in liquid form.  It's hard for me to see this as anything other than a waste of a delicious Brandy.

The Filmograph is one of the drinks featured in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. I believe Doc says something like "substitute lemon juice for the lemon syrup unless you enjoy drinking maple syrup straight from the bottle." In cases like this, it's never quite clear what was meant by "lemon syrup." It could mean a lemon-infused simple syrup, or simply fresh lemon juice with some sweetener added. Interestingly, cocotailDB has it with sirop de citron and cola (rather than kola tonic). And also interestingly, back in 2002 Doc said that "as I reckon, Kola Tonic (a brand name being Toni-Cola, made by the Secrestat Bitters folks) was kind of an aperitif beverage marketed similarly to Lillet or Dubonnet, or any of the aperitif spirits of the time." Since he (presumably) calls for the Rose's stuff in Forgotten Cocktails, perhaps he discovered new information?


Edited by slkinsey (log)

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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[...]

And also interestingly, back in 2002 Doc said that "as I reckon, Kola Tonic (a brand name being Toni-Cola, made by the Secrestat Bitters folks) was kind of an aperitif beverage marketed similarly to Lillet or Dubonnet, or any of the aperitif spirits of the time."  Since he (presumably) calls for the Rose's stuff in Forgotten Cocktails, perhaps he discovered new information?

The Cocktaildb doesn't seem to differentiate between Kola Tonic (as in Rose's or Clayton's) and Cola Beverages (as in Coca Cola). Some of the other cocktails which call for "Kola Tonic" are called things like "Clayton's Cocktail" and all show a picture of Cola Beverages on cocktaildb. I suspect it is a data management problem on the Cocktaildb side and have mentioned it to them in the past.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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The Filmograph is one of the drinks featured in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.  I believe Doc says something like "substitute lemon juice for the lemon syrup unless you enjoy drinking maple syrup straight from the bottle."  In cases like this, it's never quite clear what was meant by "lemon syrup."  It could mean a lemon-infused simple syrup, or simply fresh lemon juice with some sweetener added.

Well, no not really. The recipe calls for "Sirop-de-Citron" not Lemon Syrup, so it is pretty clear that is exactly what is intended. It is a well known ingredient in France and Europe. If the recipe called for "Sweetened Lemon Juice" or "Lemonade" it would be another matter.

There is a recipe for Sirop-de-Citron, in French, on this page:

Limoncello, sirop de citron, et financiers citronnes

What is a bit unclear is whether the current Monin Lemon Syrup marketed in the US bears any resemblance to homemade (or quality commercial) Sirop-de-Citron.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Hmm. Is the Savoy version the first in print? It seems unlikely to me that there would be a drink from that era calling for equal parts brandy and flavored syrup.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Hmm.  Is the Savoy version the first in print?  It seems unlikely to me that there would be a drink from that era calling for equal parts brandy and flavored syrup.

To the best of my knowledge, no one has found an earlier source for the Filmograph than the Savoy.

Chuckle, what you mean like these?

Clayton’s Special Cocktail

1/2 Bacardi Rum.

1/4 Kola Tonic.

1/4 Sirop-de-citron.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Elixir Cocktail

1/2 Kola Tonic.

1/2 Calvados.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Kola Tonic Cocktail

1/3 Dry Gin.

2/3 Kola Tonic.

2 Dashes Orange Bitters.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

RE-VIGORATOR COCKTAIL.

1/2 Gin.

1/4 Kola Tonic.

1/4 Sirop-de-citron.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Clayton’s Pussyfoot Cocktail

1/4 Sirop-de-citron.

1/4 Orange Juice.

1/2 Kola Tonic.

Shake well and serve in cocktail glass

Clayton’s Temperance Cocktail

1/4 Sirop-de-citron.

3/4 Kola Tonic.

Shake well and serve in cocktail glass.

And in that case, I was just looking for Kola Tonic. There're plenty that don't even have booze, just liqueur. For example:

Ethel Cocktail

1/3 Apricot Brandy.*

1/3 White Crème de Menthe.

1/3 Curacao

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

*Edit. I suppose there is some remote chance that the Ethel is calling for 1/3 Apricot Eau-de-Vie instead of Apricot liqueur. Even in that case, it's still 2/3 liqueur.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Erik, that is assuming that the historical Kola Tonic is identical (or similarly sweet) to the Rose's product today, yes? If it were more similar to what Doc describes as perhaps "an aperitif beverage" it wouldn't be so sweet, no? More like a sweet vermouth?

I'm not really sure what the deal is with respect to the Filmograph. Just speculating.

Doc's update for modern tastes and ingredients is

2 oz : brandy

3/4 oz : lemon juice

1/2 oz : kola tonic


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Not trying to shut you down, just pointing out that there are plenty of cocktails from that era which are very sweet. Cocktails of 1/2 liqueur or all liqueur are not uncommon.

I dunno how the current South African Rose's Kola Tonic compares to ToniCola. I do really wish I could compare it to Clayton's Kola Tonic, which I believe is still made, and apparently contributed its name to many of these cocktails containing Kola Tonic.

I'd also like to know how a decent homemade Sirop-de-Citron compares to the pretty crap, (by my own admission,) Monin Lemon Syrup.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I'd also like to know how a decent homemade Sirop-de-Citron compares to the pretty crap, (by my own admission,) Monin Lemon Syrup.

I dunno, but I'm guessing it won't be any better than just using fresh squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup and a twist.

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I dunno, but I'm guessing it won't be any better than just using fresh squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup and a twist.

The most interesting recipe for Sirop-de-Citron I reproduced in this eGullet post:

Sirop-de-Citron

You thinly slice three lemons, macerate them in 400kg of sugar for 4 days, briefly boil them, and then mash and strain. I've no idea why I haven't done that yet. Laziness. It seems like it would be a lot more intense than other versions I've read. Definitely get some of the bitter kick from the pith.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Erik, that is assuming that the historical Kola Tonic is identical (or similarly sweet) to the Rose's product today, yes?  If it were more similar to what Doc describes as perhaps "an aperitif beverage" it wouldn't be so sweet, no?  More like a sweet vermouth?

I'm not really sure what the deal is with respect to the Filmograph.  Just speculating.

Doc's update for modern tastes and ingredients is

2 oz : brandy

3/4 oz : lemon juice

1/2 oz : kola tonic

Many things Continental Europeans consider 'aperitifs' are quite sweet, especially by American standards. Pineau de Charentes, much Prosecco, even some of the (relatively) dryer styles of ports are considered aperitifs while not being dry by American standards. I think the kicker was how much bitterness perhaps was contributed by the kola nuts (and caffeine) and how much sugar was in it. Of course even being off-dry, it could still have functioned that way. I mean even modern Lillet does the trick and I don't think anyone would consider that stuff dry.

I bet that if the syrup was high quality and reigned in the sweetness a bit, and the tonicola was on par with Lillet, you could come up with something here on par with a de la Louisiane in the sweetness dept, which, while being something I personally prefer as a meal-closer, would not have been super unusual as a richer style aperitif in days gone by.

Just my take.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I dunno, but I'm guessing it won't be any better than just using fresh squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup and a twist.

The most interesting recipe for Sirop-de-Citron I reproduced in this eGullet post:

Sirop-de-Citron

You thinly slice three lemons, macerate them in 400kg of sugar for 4 days, briefly boil them, and then mash and strain. I've no idea why I haven't done that yet. Laziness. It seems like it would be a lot more intense than other versions I've read. Definitely get some of the bitter kick from the pith.

That's quite a bit of sugar, even for a syrup.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Er... that's a typo. It's 400 grams of sugar, not 400 kilograms of sugar. The 400 grams of sugar (roughly 1.75 cups) are macerated with three whole sliced lemons, which give up their liquid into the sugar, then the whole works is boiled for 5 minutes and the syrup strained off. Doesn't seem like it would be much more concentrated than a regular 1:1 simple syrup, and of course would have the bitterness from the pith as well as as the acid from the lemon juice to balance the sweetness.

Seems easy. I've got some extra lemons around, maybe I'll make some.


Edited by slkinsey (log)

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Erik, that is assuming that the historical Kola Tonic is identical (or similarly sweet) to the Rose's product today, yes?  If it were more similar to what Doc describes as perhaps "an aperitif beverage" it wouldn't be so sweet, no?  More like a sweet vermouth?

Perhaps kola tonic was a drink concentrate syrup? That would help explain the dual nature.

As to sirop de citron, I always figured it was a precursor to sour mix, maybe something like a lemon-based version of Rose's lime cordial. It's sweet, sure, but you can tell that its role in drinks is as a souring agent. Take the CocktailDB recipes for a White Baby and a White Lady, for instance. One is quite obviously a variant of the other.

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Er... that's a typo.  It's 400 grams of sugar, not 400 kilograms of sugar.  The 400 grams of sugar (roughly 1.75 cups) are macerated with three whole sliced lemons, which give up their liquid into the sugar, then the whole works is boiled for 5 minutes and the syrup strained off.[...]

Woops!

Thanks for the metric correction!

I'll have to pick up some lemons this Saturday and give it a try.

Erik


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Er... that's a typo.  It's 400 grams of sugar, not 400 kilograms of sugar.  The 400 grams of sugar (roughly 1.75 cups) are macerated with three whole sliced lemons, which give up their liquid into the sugar, then the whole works is boiled for 5 minutes and the syrup strained off.[...]

Woops!

Thanks for the metric correction!

I'll have to pick up some lemons this Saturday and give it a try.

Erik

i've gone threw quite alot of clayton's kola tonic but never had the roses... i don't think you could balance 1/2 of clayton's with 3/4 oz. lemon juice... it would be quite tart beyond the average of most people's tastes... clayton's is fairly complex stuff with lots of gingery notes. i don't really think it is challengingly bitter at all. i wonder if turn of the century tonics were comparable to jamaican "rootsman" tonics that you can get today. the are bitter, very complex, and usually have kola nuts as the dominant flavor.

i just helped my pastry chef to make bergamot orange sorbet... pretty wild stuff. the unchilled base of a lemon sorbet might be somewhat like syrup de citron... you peel your fruit thin and blanch them a couple times to remove the bitter which is seen as a negative... you often candy the peels as well. then all the syrup you candied them in which takes in a huge amount of flavor from the peel gets put into the sorbet with the juice of the fruit and we added martini and rossi bianco vermouth which turned out to be a phenomenal combo... i don't know if we added more acid or not by way of lemon juice or citric acid... but even with all the sugar going in alot of care was put to minimize the pith bitter...


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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i've gone threw quite alot of clayton's kola tonic but never had the roses... i don't think you could balance 1/2 of clayton's with 3/4 oz. lemon juice... it would be quite tart beyond the average of most people's tastes...

Interesting. Two questions:

1. Where do you get Clayton's

2. How do you think Clayton's would balance with an equal amount of sirop de citron (assuming that this is more tart/bitter than lemon syrup)?


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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i've gone threw quite alot of clayton's kola tonic but never had the roses... i don't think you could balance 1/2 of clayton's with 3/4 oz. lemon juice... it would be quite tart beyond the average of most people's tastes...

Interesting. Two questions:

1. Where do you get Clayton's

2. How do you think Clayton's would balance with an equal amount of sirop de citron (assuming that this is more tart/bitter than lemon syrup)?

i got clayton's at the tropico supermarket in roxbury. its a very large ultra ethnic market... i probably went through 24+ 750's over the course of last year. they have a halt on importation because they used dyes that turned out to be banned in the U.S. i was told they are reformulating. its about as sweet as sweet vermouth. 25 brix or so... i don't think it would balance or you'd have to use 2:1/2:1/2 kind of measurement...

a couple days ago i had some tart seville orange juice which was left over from making a batch of creole shrub... it was intensely tart and had awsome flavor. it made me wonder if many of the recipes calling for orange juice really meant a specific type like seville... there are quite alot of drinks where it would make a big difference from the ward eight to the st. james... i think i'm gonna get some more sevilles and see if those cocktails have better balance...


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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