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eje

Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2006–2007)

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the cocktail apparently is civilization and is therefore the only thing seperating us from the animals....

We are always looking for that uniquely human trait that separates us from the animals, and are always finding that the trait that we supposed made us special exists somewhere else in the animal kingdom. Our brains, for example are not the largest relateve to body size (squirrel monkeys' are), or even the most convoluted (dolphins'). Chimpanzees and crows fashion and use tools. So too with the ingestion of unpalatable botanicals for medicinal purposes. Chimpanzees eat bitter leaves to ward off parasites. Elephants seek out and eat a particular tree to induce labor. Nor are we unique in the method of self-medication favored in this forum. Chimps and gorillas will travel for miles seeking out alcohol-rich rotting fruit (which, admittedly, also has a high nutritional content). And, apparently coffee and coca were discovered by humans by observing their effects on goats and llamas, respectively.

But, as far as I know, we are the only species so far that has been observed mixing cocktails.

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But, as far as I know, we are the only species so far that has been observed mixing cocktails.

Good enough for me!

As to wether the question of types of bitters and so forth, it's pretty clear in my mind that the different types of bitter, aperitif and cocktail, are inextricably linked in their heritage. From my understanding the original cocktail bitter would have been Stroughton's, which was also a more dilute bitter, requiring doses measured in parts of an ounce instead of dashes like Bokers, Abbotts, Angostura, etc. I have never tasted Stroughton's, but I would imagine it's bitter potency to be somewhere in line with Fernet Branca (or perhaps other Eastern European things I have not personally tasted). To my taste, and this is completely open to dispute, Fernet Branca is one of the more bitter things sold as 'potable' and so forms a somewhat useful dividing line between potable bitters like Campari, Cynar, Secrestat, etc (it was a potable bitter no?) and Peychaud's, Bokers, Abbott's, Angostura, etc on the other end. More or less a spectrum of medicines with varying degrees of bitterness that the more 'evolved' of us now cheerfully take preventatively :biggrin:

-Andy

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Stomp


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

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[...]

And eje, "absinthe bitters" were just absinthe just as "Campari Bitters" or "Bitter Campari" were just Campari. Just another way they were expressed among bartenders and devotees that found its way, occasionally and piecemeal, into barguides of previous eras.

Not sure, Doc!

I knew there was a reason I was asking. But, didn't remember until I looked at the upcoming recipes in the Savoy tonight, that it was the appealingly named Choker Cocktail (6 people): 4 glasses Whisky, 2 glasses Absinthe, and 1 dash Absinthe Bitters.

Maybe Whisky, Absinthe, and Peychaud Bitters?

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[...]

And eje, "absinthe bitters" were just absinthe just as "Campari Bitters" or "Bitter Campari" were just Campari. Just another way they were expressed among bartenders and devotees that found its way, occasionally and piecemeal, into barguides of previous eras.

Not sure, Doc!

I knew there was a reason I was asking. But, didn't remember until I looked at the upcoming recipes in the Savoy tonight, that it was the appealingly named Choker Cocktail (6 people): 4 glasses Whisky, 2 glasses Absinthe, and 1 dash Absinthe Bitters.

Maybe Whisky, Absinthe, and Peychaud Bitters?

Does the Savoy refer at all to pastis? I can't recall reading any reference to it here. Perhaps 'absinthe bitters' refers to proper absinthe, and 'absinthe' really means pastis? A bit of a stretch, I know, but any better idea?

For that matter, are Peychaud's bitters ever mentioned by name in the Savoy? I really ought to get me a copy of that book.

-Andy

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Does the Savoy refer at all to pastis? I can't recall reading any reference to it here. Perhaps 'absinthe bitters' refers to proper absinthe, and 'absinthe' really means pastis? A bit of a stretch, I know, but any better idea?

For that matter, are Peychaud's bitters ever mentioned by name in the Savoy? I really ought to get me a copy of that book.

-Andy

The Sazerac calls for "Angostura or Peychana" bitters.

Anisette, Hercules, Anis del Mono and Absinthe are the anis flavored liquors and liqueurs called for. I don't know if it's worthy of note; but, Absinthe was never actually illegal in Britain.

I don't think Pernod had yet released its eponymous wormwood free product concurrent with most of the recipes in the book.

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Troublemaker! What I would propose is that you saw a typo. Duffy's Manual also repeated that recipe, and I know there wasn't anything called "absinthe bitters" in the States. Moreover, Duffy was largely a reprint of Savoy. Subsequent guides publishing the recipe saw Angostura indicated instead. If there WERE such a thing as absinthe bitters, my mind springs to a substance like Chartreuse Elixir Vegetal....a concentrate. Every other ref I've seen to absinthe bitters (or bitter absinthe) by proportions seemed to infer absinthe - just as similar phrasing did for Campari.

And as deep into bitters as I am, it would frankly amaze me never to have heard even a whisper of such a thing. One other thought, though: the Waldorf guides mention "Manhattan Bitters" and we take that to mean generic aromatic bitters, suited to a Manhattan. In Jerry Thomas we saw "Bogart's Bitters" a mistranscription of Bokers. Such phantoms gather over time, but neither of those two, so-named, have ever been documented either.

Then again, maybe Mr. Craddock was making his own private bitters! :wink:

Oh, and a final observation: with the legality of absinthe a changing and moving target arount the world these days, we note the term "absinthe bitters" as currently referring to labeling standards for real absinthe being sold in France where it is required that they be labeled as bitters or amer.

--Doc.

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Does the Savoy refer at all to pastis? I can't recall reading any reference to it here. Perhaps 'absinthe bitters' refers to proper absinthe, and 'absinthe' really means pastis? A bit of a stretch, I know, but any better idea?

-Andy

Interesting conjecture. I don't believe the term "pastis" was even in the public parlance in 1930.

--Doc.

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thirtyoneknots... The vast majority of the recipes in the Savoy Cocktail book were culled from pre-prohibition sources. Absinthe was banned in the US in 1912 and in 1920 in France. Pernod's wormwood-free product didn't really exist until around 1928 (unconfirmed date), so most of the recipes would have pre-dated both the ban and the existence of Pernod's Pastis. According to the cocktaildb, Hercules was an Absinthe substitute. If I see Hercules in recipes, I conclude I should use use "Pastis" instead.

I'll quote Martin Doudoroff's previous post:

The Savoy is one of the most prominent, early examples of "shovelware" cocktail books. These recipes are seldom fine-tuned or refined. It's quantity, not quality. The point was to produce a big cocktail recipe book for the English market, and the bulk of the book is recipes copied wholesale (accurately or not--for example, the Aviation recipe in Craddock omits the violet liqueur that made the original drink both more interesting and also gave it a hue that was more pertinent to its name) from an assortment of other sources Craddock had from his pre-prohibition days in the USA.

Edited by eje (log)

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Troublemaker! What I would propose is that you saw a typo. Duffy's Manual also repeated that recipe, and I know there wasn't anything called "absinthe bitters" in the States. Moreover, Duffy was largely a reprint of Savoy. Subsequent guides publishing the recipe saw Angostura indicated instead. If there WERE such a thing as absinthe bitters, my mind springs to a substance like Chartreuse Elixir Vegetal....a concentrate. Every other ref I've seen to absinthe bitters (or bitter absinthe) by proportions seemed to infer absinthe - just as similar phrasing did for Campari.

And as deep into bitters as I am, it would frankly amaze me never to have heard even a whisper of such a thing. One other thought, though: the Waldorf guides mention "Manhattan Bitters" and we take that to mean generic aromatic bitters, suited to a Manhattan. In Jerry Thomas we saw "Bogart's Bitters" a mistranscription of Bokers. Such phantoms gather over time, but neither of those two, so-named, have ever been documented either.

Then again, maybe Mr. Craddock was making his own private bitters!  :wink:

Oh, and a final observation: with the legality of absinthe a changing and moving target arount the world these days, we note the term "absinthe bitters" as currently referring to labeling standards for real absinthe being sold in France where it is required that they be labeled as bitters or amer.

--Doc.

Thinking about this, this morning on the way to work, I remembered there are some current Absinthe-like products that add Gentian into the mix of herbs. Versinthe is the one I am most familiar with.

Though, the text which accompanies the cocktail, makes me wonder if it wasn't something like a bitters based on a wormwood maceration.

It says something like, "If you can drink this you can drink anything -- A newly laid egg placed in it will immediately become hard boiled."

Sounds really appealing doesn't it?


Edited by eje (log)

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I did know that about the Savoy recipe timeline and about the legal status of absinthe in the UK (though not about the release timeline of Pernod, I only knew it had been around long enough to appear in the Gentleman's Companion). All I claimed is that I had a theory. I didn't say I had a good theory :-P

-Andy

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gallery_27569_3038_12345.jpg

Cecil Pick-Me-Up Cocktail

The Yolk of 1 Egg

1 Glass Brandy (2 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre)

1 Teaspoonful Castor Sugar

Shake well and strain into medium-size wine glass and fill balance with Ayala (Louis Bouillot, Cremant de Bourgogne Rose ''Perle d'Aurore'', a bit past its prime. - eje) Champagne.

This is quite eggy.

It is tasty, and all. Still the first impression is a big taste of egg yolk.

Later the champagne and brandy make themselves apparent.

Weird, really. A breakfast drink, I suppose!

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gallery_27569_3038_24104.jpg

C.F.H. Cocktail

1/6 Grenadine (1/2 oz homemade)

1/6 Cederlund's Swedish Punch (1/2 oz Facile Swedish Punch)

1/6 Calvados (1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy)

1/6 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz fresh lemon juice)

1/3 Burrough's Beefeater Gin (1 oz Boodle's Gin)

(Shake and strain into cocktail glass - eje)

Oddly, this recipe has no method instructions and I couldn't dig up anything on the name.

Anyway, it's really quite tasty. A sort of more sophisticated Jack Rose.

Really enjoyed the interplay of the spice elements of the gin and Swedish Punsch with the Apple Brandy and Lemon.


Edited by eje (log)

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Facile Swedish Punch?

Yeah, it's a Swedish Punsch made by Henrik Facile in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Facile Swedish Punch?

Yeah, it's a Swedish Punsch made by Henrik Facile in Stockholm, Sweden.

Don't suppose there's any chance he'd be willing to reveal his methodology? I could bake him cookies :-P

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Don't suppose there's any chance he'd be willing to reveal his methodology? I could bake him cookies :-P

It is a commercial product. A friend who travels more widely than I, gave me a bit to taste.

Hopefully, with the impending release of Haus Alpenz Batavia Arrack, (July 15 according to their website,) some recipes for Swedish Punsch will surface!

Mostly, from this version, I get the flavor of Arrack and a hint of cardamom.

I have another friend who is traveling to Sweden this summer, and I've given him the assignment of bringing me back a bottle of Carlshamm's Flaggpunsch.

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When I told my Swedish friends I was desperately seeking a bottle of Punsch they looked at my like I was crazy. They can't stand the stuff, because it's so sweet. When I told them it was to be mixed in cocktails they agreed that perhaps that would be palatable. Anyway, they did promise to bring me a bottle.

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gallery_27569_3038_1594.jpg

Champagne Cocktail

Put into a wine glass one lump of Sugar, and saturate it with Angostura Bitters. Having added to this 1 lump ice, fill the glass with Champagne (Cremant de Limoux, J. Laurens Brut), Squeeze on top a piece of lemon peel, and serve with a slice of orange.

For a little over $10, this is a pretty reasonable Champagne substitute.

Cocktail itself is a fine sophisticated aperitif.

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Facile Swedish Punch?

Yeah, it's a Swedish Punsch made by Henrik Facile in Stockholm, Sweden.

I'm told he no longer makes it. Any truth to this?

And definitely not distributed in the States, right?

Thanks! --Doc.

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Facile Swedish Punch?

Yeah, it's a Swedish Punsch made by Henrik Facile in Stockholm, Sweden.

I'm told he no longer makes it. Any truth to this?

And definitely not distributed in the States, right?

Thanks! --Doc.

I don't know any details of the product, as a friend gave it to me.

Yes, to the best of my knowledge there is no Swedish Punsch available in the states. The closest I've found is a "Punsch" mix from Sweden, to which you must add alcohol.

edit - by the way, Dr. Cocktail, do you know any mail order sources for Swedish Punsch which will ship to the US? I've had no luck with Northerner.com.


Edited by eje (log)

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gallery_27569_3038_12345.jpg

Cecil Pick-Me-Up Cocktail

The Yolk of 1 Egg

1 Glass Brandy (2 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre)

1 Teaspoonful Castor Sugar

Shake well and strain into medium-size wine glass and fill balance with Ayala (Louis Bouillot, Cremant de Bourgogne Rose ''Perle d'Aurore'', a bit past its prime. - eje) Champagne.

This is quite eggy.

It is tasty, and all.  Still the first impression is a big taste of egg yolk.

Later the champagne and brandy make themselves apparent.

Weird, really.  A breakfast drink, I suppose!

What size egg were you using?


Edited by mbanu (log)

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What size egg were you using?

Extra Large, I think.

I usually go for large browns; but, we got down to the farmers' market a bit late last Saturday, and XL white were all they had left.

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I'm told he no longer makes it. Any truth to this?

And definitely not distributed in the States, right?

Thanks!  --Doc.

Oh, rats, I suppose that means I shouldn't use the last bit of it in cocktails, so I can attempt to replicate it later.

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What size egg were you using?

Extra Large, I think.

I usually go for large browns; but, we got down to the farmers' market a bit late last Saturday, and XL white were all they had left.

whoops. eggs were significantly smaller 50 years ago, let alone 75 years ago.

try the smallest egg you can buy or only use half of an XL. that should balance out any egg drink a great deal.

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edit - by the way, Dr. Cocktail, do you know any mail order sources for Swedish Punsch which will ship to the US?  I've had no luck with Northerner.com.

Northerner changed their rules and won't even entertain a discussion regarding it. When I wrote Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails they WERE shipping. Now, there is no one doing so. I'm working on it. Stay tuned.

--Doc.

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