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eje

Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2006–2007)

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Not to throw fuel on the fire, but the small preportion of citrus makes me wonder if that recipe would even work with a dry eau de vie, like Barak Palinka. Would be a much different drink, but maybe not in a bad way (may need a dash of simple syrup or grenadine though).

-Andy

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I would love to know the history of this one. CocktailDB lists eight different Cuban recipes.

I originally tried this one:

1 oz light rum

1 oz apricot flavored brandy

1/2 oz fresh lime juice

which is actually really good, in spite of how much liqueur it has in it.

Then I saw this recipe in Embury

All the rums blend perfectly with fruit flavors. Hence any fruit brandy can be used to advantage in combination with rum as a cocktail base. This is especially true of peach and apricot brandies.

CUBAN APRICOT or CUBAN PEACH

1 part Sugar Syrup

2 parts Lime Juice

4 parts White Cuban Rum

4 parts Apricot Brandy or Peach Brandy

which led me to believe that the original was probably with "Apricot Brandy", meaning the eau de vie, and later someone switched it to Apricot Flavored Brandy, the liqueur. Or maybe it went the other way around. Perhaps when the Apricot Flavored Brandy got into the drink, this opened the door for the Cognac to get in too. To quote Embury again

Still another version omits the pineapple and substitutes apricot liqueur for the curaçao and cognac for the rum. This is high treason! How could any drink be truly Cuban unless made with rum?

Embury's Cuban (curaçao, lime juice, pineapple juice, rum) is in CocktailDB as the Cuban Special. Embury also lists one of the six Cuban Cocktail Variations in CocktailDB (grenadine, maraschino, lime, rum). Then there is a version that substitutes lemon for the lime and adds orange bitters. Still another splits the difference and combines rum AND cognac with apricot brandy. Then there is the oddball, with rum, sweet vermouth, orange juice and Angostua. What gives?

Maybe Cuban was just the name everybody gave to their favorite rum drink.

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Cool stuff, David!

I got so obsessed with my idea of an apricot liqueur taste off, that I didn't really look into Cuban Cocktail variations.

That "Cuban Apricot" does look tasty.

Though, I will point out that there are plenty of cocktails with country or geographical names, which seemingly have absolutely nothing to do with those countries referenced.

Is the Chinese Cocktail particularly "Chinese"? Is the Japanese Cocktail even remotely Asian in nature?

Besides, the Cuba of the 1920s and 30s was a pretty cosmopolitan place, what with the influx of American drinkers, gamblers, and gangsters. I see no reason the bartenders there couldn't mix with Cognac or Apricot liqueur, if they so desired.


Edited by eje (log)

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I asked Jeff Berry ("Sippin' Safari") about an appropriate rum substitution for Cuban Rums from the 1930s. He gave me permission to post his response:

You are absolutely correct to sub Flor De Cana for contemporary Bacardi, especially in 1930s-era recipes!  Today's Bacardi white rum is total garbage -- and Bacardi has been deliberately turning it into garbage over the years.  Since the early 1960s they've been chasing the vodka market -- "Bacardi, the mixable one" was their old ad line from back then -- by taking all the rum flavor out of their white rum to make it as neutral and tasteless as vodka.  This is especially heinous because their original white rum was glorious -- I tasted some 1920s Bacardi white two years ago and it was a revelation:  rich, floral, distinctive, "rummy."  Finally I understood why anyone ever bothered drinking traditional Daiquiris, which taste like nothing when made with today's white rums...Havana Club's white rum is good, if you can get it, but for my money Flor De Cana's white comes closest to the body and bouquet of pre-WWII white rums.

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I like Flor de Caña as well. Brugal white is not bad for this purpose either.

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gallery_27569_3038_14980.jpg

The Cubano Cocktail

1/2 Gin. (1 oz Bombay Gin)

1/2 vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry)

4 Drops Kummel. (very little Kaiser Kummel)

4 Drops Charbreux. (very little Green Chartreuse)

2 Drops Pineapple Syrup. (even less pineapple juice)

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

Another cocktail mostly verbatim from Judge Jr.'s "Here's How!".

The note in "Here's How!" goes on to say, "Contributed by Owen Hutchinson and it explains why Cuba is a free country." I've really no idea what that means.

This is a very subtle affair. I've also no idea if I could even tell it from a "Fifty-Fifty" if it they were both presented to me, other than to say, "this one seems a bit different from the other one."

Picked some borage blossoms while at the garden today for garnish. Cool, eh? They have a slight cucumber-ish flavor when consumed. Went well with the drink.

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Cherry Blossom (6 people)

To a glass half full of cracked ice add a tablespoon of dry Curacao (dash senior Curacao of Curacao), one of Lemon Juice (1 TBSP fresh), one of Grenadine (Fee's American Beauty), 2 1/2 glasses of Cherry Brandy (1 oz Cherry Brandy) and 2 of brandy (1 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre).

...

As made, it tastes pretty much like drinking a glass of cold cherry juice.

I bet this is another example where "Brandy" meant eau-de-vie instead of liqueur. This would probably be a whole lot more interesting (and palatable) with Kirsch.

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re: Cherry Blossom & Kirsch

Generally, when Kirsch is called for, it seems to be specified, as in the Charleston. However, given the diverse sources for the recipes, it is probably hard to know. Give it a try both ways and let us know! Though do try to follow the recipe more exactly than I did...

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The Culross Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Lemon.

1/3 Kina Lillet. (3/4 oz Cocchi Americano)

1/3 Bacardi Rum. (3/4 oz Flor de Cana Extra-Dry)

1/3 Apricot Brandy. (3/4 oz Blume Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Since the Americano is a bit sweet and there isn't much lemon in this, I thought I might take thirtyoneknots suggestion above to heart and give this one a try with an Apricot Eau-de-Vie instead of Apricot liqueur.

Wow! Really tasty, and very interesting flavors. The cinnamon and spice of the Americano are quite nice in combination with the dark apricot flavor of the Blume Marillen. One of those cocktails that leaves me smelling the glass, intrigued.

I also tried it with apricot liqueur and modern Lillet. A lot less interesting. I suppose I should have gone on with the variations and tried Lillet/Eau-de-Vie and Americano/liqueur; but, the first one was so good, I really didn't see the need.

If Apricot Eau-de-Vie and Americano is wrong, I don't want to be right.


Edited by eje (log)

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I had tried the Culross before with Apry and upped the lemon to equal parts since just looking at the recipe gave me a toothache. The drink was ok but still a bit sweet for me and the Apry was more or less what you tasted (though it did have an interesting interplay with the floral notes in the rum). I think I'll have ot go back and try it again with the Barack Palinka. Sadly no Americano available around here though.

-Andy

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Apparently "Corpse Revivers" were a class of pre-prohibition drinks meant to be taken as "hair of the dog".

By the time we get to the 30s only about 3 or 4 recipes survived.

Back to Corpse Revivers for just a moment...

I was just browsing through the Google book search feature, and found a book from 1871 that I hadn't seen mentioned before, The Gentleman's Table Guide, by E. Ricket and C. Thomas, which includes yet another Corpse Reviver variation (from page 50, if you care to download the PDF):

Use a wineglass.  Half wineglass of brandy, half glass of Maraschino, and two dashes of Boker's bitters.

There are some beautiful illustrations in the book. I'm in love with this one:

gallery_24380_4394_33855.jpg


Edited by jmfangio (log)

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Cupid Cocktail

1 Glass Sherry. (2 oz Lustau Don Nuno Dry Oloroso)

1 Fresh Egg.

Teaspoonful Powdered Sugar. (1 tsp. caster sugar)

A little Cayenne Pepper.

Shake well and strain into medium size glass.

Sherry Flip, essentially. The cayenne pepper give it an interesting little kick.

Not overly complex or anything; but, enjoyable all the same.


Edited by eje (log)

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gallery_27569_3038_196.jpg

Curacao Cocktail (6 People)

½ Glass Brandy (1/4 oz Maison Surenne Petit Cognac)

2 1/2 Glasses Dark Curacao (1 oz Brizard Orange Curacao)

2 1/2 Glasses Orange Juice (1 oz Orange Juice)

1/2 Glass Gin. (1/4 oz Bombay Gin)

Broken Ice.

Shake and serve in glasses rinsed out with Orange Bitters (Regan's).

Going with the 2 oz per glass, and then dividing in half to create a portion and a half.

Yeah, no, that's not drinkable, even very cold with a generous pour of bitters, unless you consider straight maple syrup drinkable. Express train to diabetic coma.

I'd give it a try with Grand Marnier or another Curacao, except even a couple sips have ruined me for the evening. Yuck.

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gallery_27569_3038_196.jpg

Curacao Cocktail (6 People)

½ Glass Brandy (1/4 oz Maison Surenne Petit Cognac)

2 1/2 Glasses Dark Curacao (1 oz Brizard Orange Curacao)

2 1/2 Glasses Orange Juice (1 oz Orange Juice)

1/2 Glass Gin. (1/4 oz Bombay Gin)

Broken Ice.

Shake and serve in glasses rinsed out with Orange Bitters (Regan's).

Going with the 2 oz per glass, and then dividing in half to create a portion and a half.

Yeah, no, that's not drinkable, even very cold with a generous pour of bitters, unless you consider straight maple syrup drinkable.  Express train to diabetic coma.

I'd give it a try with Grand Marnier or another Curacao, except even a couple sips have ruined me for the evening.  Yuck.

The worst part is that this looks so much like something you'd see on the drink list at so many otherwise respectable establishments nowadays (of course sub liqueur du jour for the curacao and flavor x of 'superpremium' vodka for the gin). So much for Progress.

Edit to add: No, the worst part is that it would probably be a top seller at said establishment.


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

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[...]

Curacao Cocktail (6 People)

[...]

Yeah, no, that's not drinkable, even very cold with a generous pour of bitters, unless you consider straight maple syrup drinkable.  Express train to diabetic coma.

[...]

I suppose I should qualify this and say it wasn't an awful drink, just much sweeter than I expected. I was hoping that the orange juice would cut some of the sweetness of the Brizard Orange Curacao. It did not, instead just adding to it, making it pointedly an after dinner drink.

If you were to serve The Curacao Cocktail in a small glass alongside a cup of coffee, it wouldn't be unappealing. However, its single minded orange-i-ness would make it a bit more boring than something like the Blanche Cocktail.

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Related to thirtyoneknots comment, I was out in the real world, ("in re-al time,") and a restaurant offered a 2 page brunch cocktail menu. The second page was yer traditional brunch drinks, Bloody Mary, Greyhound, etc.

The first full page, probably 18 drinks, was all dessert or "shooter" type drinks. B-52, etc.

I have to admit I was completely flabbergasted that anyone would order one of those drinks at Brunch.

But, I guess, given the amount of maple syrup folks normally put on their pancakes, it's not that much of a stretch.

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Related to thirtyoneknots comment, I was out in the real world, ("in re-al time,") and a restaurant offered a 2 page brunch cocktail menu.  The second page was yer traditional brunch drinks, Bloody Mary, Greyhound, etc.

The first full page, probably 18 drinks, was all dessert or "shooter" type drinks.  B-52, etc.

I have to admit I was completely flabbergasted that anyone would order one of those drinks at Brunch.

But, I guess, given the amount of maple syrup folks normally put on their pancakes, it's not that much of a stretch.

Not trying to get too far off-topic here but I think the most disappointing thing about the drinking culture in America (or what passes for it) is the near-complete lack of context. It's not at all uncommon for people to start off their meal with a "Chocolate Martini" and have a glass of Merlot with their sashimi. And this is at nice places even! To me the most fun part of a meal is the context of the drinks. Cocktails before, lighter wines to start, heavier wines with the main course, sweet wines and spirits afterwards (and of course you've been drinking highballs since lunch :wink: ). Of course that much booze with a meal is an occasional extravagance for most people, myself included, but I don't think it's too much to expect some effort in that area. Far too many people come in to where I work and drink 2-3 cosmopolitans with their meal. Bacchus wept.

-Andy

Edit for gratuitous adjective usage.


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

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I just wanted to say how inspiring this thread has been. Today I went to the liquor store to get a few things to try some of these cocktails. Charleston, WV doesn't have the greatest selection as you can imagine, but I was able to come away with Lillet (Blanc), and Pernod to bolster what I have at home. I also stocked up on vermouth and sherry.

As he was boxing it up, the young fellow at the counter asked, "is this for the game tomorrow?" :blink:

Also, a quick question. I can only get Mr. Boston or DeKuyper's apricot "flavored" brandy. Would this work in cocktails that call for apricot brandy or should I just wait until I get somewhere with a better selection?

Thanks again.

Edit for speeling.


Edited by Darcie B (log)

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Thanks Darcie!

It's not exactly bacon cookies...

:wink:

...but, it's fun for me and I'm glad you enjoy it!

As far as I can tell, the DeKuyper products are among the best of the lower priced, liqueurs available widely in the US. I haven't tried their apricot flavored brandy; but, I would expect it to be at least OK. Brizard's Apry or the Rothman & Winter would be preferable.

The hard part about recipes which call for "apricot brandy" is it is pretty hard to know if they mean apricot liqueur or Apricot Eau-de-Vie.

We've talked a lot about that and other things in this topic:

Apricot Brandy: Apry, Etc.

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"Apricot Brandy" is quite possibly the most confusing classic cocktail ingredient. It appears in a good number of recipes, and there really is no good way to tell whether it means sweet, brandy-based apricot liqueur or dry apricot eau-de-vie. Probably the best way to guess is instinct. If the recipe already calls for liqueur and/or sugar and seems like it would be sickeningly sweet with another liqueur, then probably you should try using an eau-de-vie. On the other hand, if they drink doesn't call for any other liqueur or sugar, and seems like it might be too sour or too dry, then you should probably use a liqueur, such as Apry (or Mr. Boston). I don't have any experience with DeKuyper's or Mr. Boston, but have found Jacquins Apricot Flavored Brandy quite acceptable. Generally, with liqueurs, you use such small amounts that, as long as the other spirits are good, you can often get away with lesser-quality stuff (exception: Cointreau).

Based on my Googling, it looks like West Virginia allows direct-to-consumer shipping of alcohol. You are in luck! Apricot eau-de-vie is not easy to find, but there are a few online retailers that carry it. I endorse both of Zwack's products from Hungary: Pescetes and Kecskemeti Barack Palinka.

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Thanks for the responses. Looks like I have some experimenting to do :wink:.

I have avoided ordering online because of the steep shipping prices and because I escape to Chicago, DC and Minneapolis a few times a year and find things there. It's getting better here, though. I can now get Plymouth gin, Appleton Estates rum and other things that I used to have to go out of state to find.

I'm not doing bacon cookies right now, but I am getting ready to experiment with liquor in my pie crusts (based on Cook's Illustrated's recent publication).

But mostly, I am looking forward to a Corpse Reviver II!!

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I do not recommend DeKuyper Apricot Brandy. Hold out for something better, you'll be glad you did (particularly if you ever compare the two side-by-side).

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Cherry Blossom (6 people)

To a glass half full of cracked ice add a tablespoon of dry Curacao (dash senior Curacao of Curacao), one of Lemon Juice (1 TBSP fresh), one of Grenadine (Fee's American Beauty), 2 1/2 glasses of Cherry Brandy (1 oz Cherry Brandy) and 2 of brandy (1 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre).

...

As made, it tastes pretty much like drinking a glass of cold cherry juice.

I bet this is another example where "Brandy" meant eau-de-vie instead of liqueur. This would probably be a whole lot more interesting (and palatable) with Kirsch.

re: Cherry Blossom & Kirsch

Generally, when Kirsch is called for, it seems to be specified, as in the Charleston.  However, given the diverse sources for the recipes, it is probably hard to know.  Give it a try both ways and let us know!  Though do try to follow the recipe more exactly than I did...

Okay, I went ahead and did the head-to-head. My ingredients: Trimbach Kirsch, Arrow Cherry Brandy, Landy VS Cognac, Brizard Orange Curaçao, Homemade Grenadine, Lemon Juice. I did 4 parts Cherry Brandy, 3 parts Brandy, 1 part each Curaçao, Lemon and Grenadine. Then I put a LOT of ice in both and let it melt for a minute or so.

The version with the Cherry Flavored Brandy was awful, of course. The Arrow is okay for something like a Blood and Sand, but it definately can't stand on its own. Sadly, I don't have any Cherry Heering or anything decent like that. So, I doubled the Cognac, let it melt a little bit, and it was okay.

The version with the Kirsch was still pretty sweet, but quite delicious. I am a big fan of Kirsch anyway. I guess this would qualify as a Daisy -- lemon juice and Grenadine, served Frappé-style.

This is quite a nice flavor combination, definitely worthy of more experimentation.

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[...]

The version with the Kirsch was still pretty sweet, but quite delicious. I am a big fan of Kirsch anyway. I guess this would qualify as a Daisy -- lemon juice and Grenadine, served Frappé-style.

[...]

Cool!

I would expect Heering is quite a bit drier than the Arrow Cherry Brandy. As liqueurs go, it's not all that syrupy.

The version with the Kirsch does sound pretty close to the Charleston Cocktail, so I'm sure it would be fine.

Not sure about the use of the Brizard Curacao. The recipe does say "dry Curacao", so maybe Triple Sec would be more appropriate?

Also, even though the Savoy Cocktail book leaves out the "strain into glasses" step, every other cocktail book I have with "The Cherry Blossom (For 6)" says to strain it into cocktail glasses, including Patrick Gavin Duffy's "Official Mixer's Manual".

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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.

I was looking through Eddie Clarke's "Shaking in the Sixties" and found the following in the "Recipes of 100 Years Ago" section of the book.

Wormwood Bitters

Put three to four sprigs of wormwood into a pitcher, and pour over them a bottle of gin.  Cover the pitcher and let it stand for three weeks, after which time the bitters are ready to be bottled, the wormwood having been removed.  This recipe is from Bermuda, whose inhabitants, we are told, used these bitters almost exclusively.

Think this is what they meant by "Absinthe Bitters"?

They would indeed be very, very bitter, and without question get the "Choker Cocktail" closer to its described effects.

According to a document I've gotten from the folks at the Savoy Hotel, Eddie Clarke joined the Savoy Group in 1934. When Harry Craddock left the Savoy to go the the Dorchester in 1939, Clarke succeeded him as Head Barman. He worked there until he was called into service in 1942.

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Wow, at long last we have finished the letter "C".

From the Cabaret Cocktail to the Curacao Cocktail, going back through them I was quite surprised by the number that I had fond feelings for:

Cafe Kirsch

I do need to retry the Calvados Cocktail with the appropriate amount of Bitters.

Cameron's Kick

Capetown Cocktail

Casino Cocktail

C.F.H. Cocktail

Champagne Cocktail

Charles Cocktail

Charleston Cocktail

Chicago Cocktail

Chocolate Cocktail (No. 1)

Chyrsanthemum Cocktail

I enjoyed the Champs Elysees Cocktail; but, even more the chance to meet up with Victoria, and take my little obsession into the outside world. Hope to do more of that soon!

Clover Club

Club Cocktail

Coffee Cocktail

Colonial Cocktail

The Corn Popper isn't something I will probably make again, unless I am able to secure a safe and reliable source for "Corn". Still, it was pretty cool to work with Mr. Rowley on decoding the recipe.

Coronation Cocktail (No. 1)

Corpse Reviver (No. 2)

I quite enjoyed my re-invention of the Cota Cocktail. Hopefully some time in the near future, we will track down the true nature of "Hercules"!

I need to re-do the Creole Cocktail with a more apropriate Amer Picon substitute.

Cuban Cocktail (No. 1)

Culross Ccoktail

Cupid Cocktail

Whew! Lots of good stuff in there!

Looking forward to the "Ds", from Daiquiri, (maybe I'll even learn to pronounce it correctly,) to Duppy.


Edited by eje (log)

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