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Reed & Thistle

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34 posts in this topic

25 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:

 

You found a recipe for the Black Russian in the Savoy? My copy has the Russian (vodka, gin, crème de cacao) but I didn't think that the Black Russian had been invented until later.

 

 

Interesting link but then I have always been a fan of history, cocktail or otherwise, and David Wondrich in particular.

 

So the Black Russian evolved from a drink called the Russian that once had a rather odd combination of gin, vodka and cream de cacao that slowly evolved into vodka and Kahlua/coffee liqueur while the once rather ubiquitous White Russian started out as a "frilly" drink (to use the links term) called the "Barbara".

 

Will wonders (and Wondrich) never cease!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Posted (edited)

My copy lists the Black Russian (exactly as I have written it above) on page 29 between the Biltrong Dry Cocktail and the Black Velvet.  The Russian as you have described is the bottom of page 138.  There is no White Russian.  One thing worth noting which may be of interest is I have encountered another variation in the Savoy's printings.  My copy, the first pages of Cocktails (Page 16 and 17) are different than those appearing on the online amazon preview. My edition lacks the three Absinthe cocktails with page 16 having only the Abbey and the Addington (which appears on top of page 17 on the amazon preview).  Another variation occurs on page 25 with the B. AND B.  appearing between the Aviation and Babbies Special Cocktail, and lacks that Atty Cocktail and the Balm Cocktail. 

 

My edition is the paperback, where as the online preview is said to come from the hard cover.  there are other minor differences I can see too, mine lists the publisher and date on page 4, where this page in the Amazon preview appears as page 6 without the information, just the graphic.  So although there are no differences recorded in publishing dates, there are definitely two editions.

 

 


Edited by Reed & Thistle (log)

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Apparently the hard cover is published in 2015 from Gerard and Stewart, while the paperback was published 2013 from Lightning Source Inc

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Posted (edited)

You might want to source an edition that is closer to the original. There is no Black Russian cocktail in the original edition of the Savoy. Where you have that recipe (between the Bilton Dry Cocktail and the Black Velvet) is where the Bit(t)er Cocktail (an intriguing concoction with gin, lemon juice, green Chartreuse, absinthe) shows up (on page 29). And when in doubt, you can always check against Erik Ellestad's Savoy index of course...


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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I often wonder if Apricot and Cherry "Brandy" from historic recipes is actually fruit brandy, rather than fruit liqueur. Makes quite a difference.

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1 hour ago, EvergreenDan said:

I often wonder if Apricot and Cherry "Brandy" from historic recipes is actually fruit brandy, rather than fruit liqueur. Makes quite a difference.

 

Here is what Erik says on the subject...

 

Quote

Apricot Brandy: Usually apricot flavored liqueur, but it is sometimes worthwhile experimenting with Apricot Eau-de-Vie in recipes which call for “Apricot Brandy”.

 

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21 hours ago, FrogPrincesse said:

You might want to source an edition that is closer to the original. There is no Black Russian cocktail in the original edition of the Savoy. Where you have that recipe (between the Bilton Dry Cocktail and the Black Velvet) is where the Bit(t)er Cocktail (an intriguing concoction with gin, lemon juice, green Chartreuse, absinthe) shows up (on page 29). And when in doubt, you can always check against Erik Ellestad's Savoy index of course...

 

Definately different editions, but it's hard to speak against it's age as all its publication page says 1930.  I might suggest one possibility is that the version I have was the one released in the US market where Absinthe was illegal, while the other may have been the European publication? 

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6 hours ago, Reed & Thistle said:

Definately different editions, but it's hard to speak against it's age as all its publication page says 1930.  I might suggest one possibility is that the version I have was the one released in the US market where Absinthe was illegal, while the other may have been the European publication? 

That doesn't make much sense to me. The Black Russian wasn't invented until a couple of decades later.

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The discrepancies in the Savoys definately deserve a bit more attention, but there are some holes here, and I am not prepared to dismiss it based on the Black Russian by itself.  The assumption that the Black Russian wasn't invented until later, as asserted in the Wondrich take in the esquire article, is  based on a source dated 1961 which included a black Russian, and the presumption that naturally that it contrasts another drink, presumably a white Russian, to which wasn't listed. And the similarities between the two, it seems a pretty safe conclusion, .  But the hole that remains as Mr. Wondrich puts forth is that the white Russian came into being with the trendy Kahlua.  So taking that forward, if the edition of the Savoy that I have was printed after the invention and inclusion of kahlua drinks in the 1960's, then would it not be probable that other popular rinks invented in the next 30 years would also be recorded in it (which I am in the process of looking for in case there are, which would be a give away).  And then if these two drinks were concurrent why isn't the a White Russian in my Savoy?  One possibility is that the Black Russian is named to distinguish it from another drink as Wondrich suggests, but what if that is simply the Russian which likely used a white creme de' cacao considering the other components.  The other problem with that is that Craddock avoided using brand names unless they were truly pertinant to the cocktail, such as the Marnie.  Beyond that if a coffee liqueur was common in the market place he would have most likely just stated "coffee liqueur", particularly in that Kahlua is a rum base, why would he specify coffee flavoured brandy?  Could it not just as easily be that coffee flavoured brandy not being a product that could be acquired commercially the drink was essentially forgotten until the coffee flavoured Kahlua entered the market place.  Thought to ponder, and certainly I will be digging deeper into the two editions to search out any further discrepancies

 

Gary

 

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