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eje

Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2006–2007)

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Some time ago I tried the Culross as written up on The Gumbo Pages with my then-new Apry, which ups the lemon slightly (though it could have gone higher, for my taste). Tonight I decided to give it a go with the ol' Barack Palinka, using the following recipe:

(for two small-ish drinks)

scant 1/2 oz lemon juice (from half a dried out fruit)

1.5 oz Flor de Cana white

1.5 oz Lillet

1.5 oz Zwack Barack Palinka

shake/strain/up

So very fascinating of a drink. The play between the floral notes of the rum and that of the eau de vie is remarkable. Also unique in recipes where I have used the BP (admittedly not many) is that you can actually taste apricots, somewhat faintly, in the back of the mouth. The small amount of citrus perfectly balanced the slight sweetness from the Lillet. The only gripe I had was that as it started to warm it became somewhat harsh, so best to make this one small and drink it quickly, while you have no distractions. I am going to try to track down some of the Americano for when my Lillet is gone, but the drink is well worth making regardless. I would definitely classify this one as a wake-up call for the jaded palate. Just tasting the difference makes clear to me what is intended by 'apricot brandy' in this recipe, though if you up the lemon to equal parts, using apry makes a pleasant enough drink as well.

Thanks, Erik!

-Andy

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The Crow Cocktail

1/3 Whisky. (1 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey)

2/3 Lemon Juice. (1 1/2 oz fresh squeezed) 

1 Dash Grenadine. (homemade)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

[...]

Uh, oops!

I was looking through Judge Jr.'s "Here's How" this evening, and noticed that the "The Crow" was among the drinks in that 1927 book.

However, Judge Jr. calls for the much more sensible, 2/3 Scotch, 1/3 Lemon Juice, and dash grenadine. His smart alecky remark for this drink is, "This drink is guaranteed to make you fly; like the crow, if you fly too far you will get shot!"

It appears that the unbalanced nature of the Savoy Crow Cocktail is another typo.

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Some time ago I tried the Culross as written up on The Gumbo Pages with my then-new Apry, which ups the lemon slightly (though it could have gone higher, for my taste). Tonight I decided to give it a go with the ol' Barack Palinka, using the following recipe:

(for two small-ish drinks)

scant 1/2 oz lemon juice (from half a dried out fruit)

1.5 oz Flor de Cana white

1.5 oz Lillet

1.5 oz Zwack Barack Palinka

shake/strain/up

So very fascinating of a drink. The play between the floral notes of the rum and that of the eau de vie is remarkable. Also unique in recipes where I have used the BP (admittedly not many) is that you can actually taste apricots, somewhat faintly, in the back of the mouth. The small amount of citrus perfectly balanced the slight sweetness from the Lillet. The only gripe I had was that as it started to warm it became somewhat harsh, so best to make this one small and drink it quickly, while you have no distractions. I am going to try to track down some of the Americano for when my Lillet is gone, but the drink is well worth making regardless. I would definitely classify this one as a wake-up call for the jaded palate. Just tasting the difference makes clear to me what is intended by 'apricot brandy' in this recipe, though if you up the lemon to equal parts, using apry makes a pleasant enough drink as well.

Thanks, Erik!

-Andy

i can't wait for the rothman and winter aprict eau de vie... i really hope to try out that cocktail via your proportions. i'm saving the rest of my flor de cana white for it!

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[...]

Thanks, Erik!

-Andy

Thank me? Thank you! It was your idea, after all, and quite an astonishingly tasty one, too, I might add.

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gallery_27569_3038_12035.jpg

Daiquiri Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime. (1/2 Lime)

1 Teaspoonful Powdered Sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)

1 Glass Bacardi Rum. (2 oz Flor de Cana Extra-Dry)

(Drop the lime shell into the cocktail shaker. - eje) Shake well and (double - eje) strain into cocktail glass.

"The moment, now, had arrived for a Daiquiri: seated near the cool drip of the fountain, where a slight stir of air seemed to ruffle the fringed mantone of a bronze dancing Andalusian girl, I lingered over the frigid mixture of Ron Bacardi, sugar, and a fresh vivid green lime.

"It was a delicate compound, not so good as I was to discover later at the Telegrafo, but still a revelation, and I was devoutly thankful to be sitting, at that hour in the Inglaterra, with such a drink. It elevated my contentment to an even higher pitch ; and, with a detached amusement, I recalled the fact that farther north prohibition was formally in effect. Unquestionably the cocktail on my table was a dangerous agent, for it held, in its shallow glass bowl slightly encrusted with undissolved sugar, the power of a contemptuous indifference to fate; it set the mind free of responsibility; obliterating both memory and tomorrow, it gave the heart an adventitious feeling of superiority and momentarily vanquished all the celebrated, the eternal, fears.

"Yes, that was the danger of skilfully prepared, intoxicating drinks. . . . The word intoxicating adequately expressed their power, their menace to orderly monotonous resignation. A word, I thought further, debased by moralists from its primary ecstatic content. Intoxication with Ron Bacardi, with May, with passion, was a state threatening to privilege, abhorrent to authority. And, since the dull were so fatally in the majority, they had succeeded in attaching a heavy penalty to whatever lay outside their lymphatic understanding. They had, as well, made the term gay an accusation before their Lord, confounding it with loose, so that now a gay girl certainly the only girl worth a ribbon or the last devotion was one bearing upon her graceful figure, for she was apt to be reprehensibly graceful, the censure of a society open to any charge other than that of gaiety in either of its meanings. A ridiculous, a tragic, conclusion, I told myself indifferently: but then, with a fresh Daiquiri and a sprig of orange blossoms in my buttonhole, it meant less than nothing."

A short extract from Joseph Hergesheimer's "San Cristobal de la Habana," which contains much wisdom concerning Drinks, Cigars, and the Art of Fine Living.

I was able to track down the Full Text of Hergesheimer's "San Cristobal de la Habana" on the Internet archive. The Savoy editors chose to edit the passage in some pretty interesting, and fairly predictable ways. I've added the deleted text back in, in bold.

It's kind of funny, I've made versions of the Hemingway Special, (with Maraschino and Grapefruit Juice,) a lot; but, I don't think I've ever sat down and made myself a regular Daiquiri. I guess it seemed too simple to be extraordinary.

The relatively small amount of lime and sugar, leaves it a pretty dry and sophisticated cocktail. The flavor of the Rum and scent of the lime are front and center with just enough sweetness to take the edge off.

Simply delightful.

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It's kind of funny, I've made versions of the Hemingway Special, (with Maraschino and Grapefruit Juice,) a lot; but, I don't think I've ever sat down and made myself a regular Daiquiri.  I guess it seemed too simple to be extraordinary.

The relatively small amount of lime and sugar, leaves it a pretty dry and sophisticated cocktail.  The flavor of the Rum and scent of the lime are front and center with just enough sweetness to take the edge off.

Simply delightful.

I had the same revelation, a while back. One of the very best drinks known to mankind. I generally use the proportions Bacardi was pushing back in the 1930s:

1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar, dissolved in the juice of 1/2 lime (generally 1/2 oz), then 2 oz of rum. Ambrosial.

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I agree wholeheartedly with cutting the sugar back to 1/2 tsp. The balance of this cocktail is so delecate; at 1 tsp of sugar the flavor of the drink is mostly about the lime, the combination of sour and sweet. Cut it down to 1/2 tsp and suddenly it is transformed into a show about the play between the rum and lime; a combination so sublime as to rival gin and vermouth. When a good quality white rum is used, the lime enhances it's characteristics and nuances, much in the way that lime does for the gin in a rickey. Of course in the absence of soda in a short drink, some sweetening helps to soften the drink, but in general it should be as dry as the drinker can tolerate. And when done correctly it is as dry, suave, and sophisticated as any mixture ever shaken or stirred.

-Andy

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True enough!

I suppose I should have written "scant teaspoon," as that's what I usually use in these, "Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime," type drinks. Definitely not "heaping."

Though, it does depend on the size of the lemon or lime, to a certain extent.

I get my favorite limes (jackfruit, avocados, lichis, pineapple, cherimoya, guava, etc.) at the Farmers' Market from an exotic fruit grower who drives up from Palmdale every week. They are generally on the small side, with very thin skins. Wonderfully aromatic.

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I agree wholeheartedly with cutting the sugar back to 1/2 tsp. The balance of this cocktail is so delecate; at 1 tsp of sugar the flavor of the drink is mostly about the lime, the combination of sour and sweet. Cut it down to 1/2 tsp and suddenly it is transformed into a show about the play between the rum and lime; a combination so sublime as to rival gin and vermouth. When a good quality white rum is used, the lime enhances it's characteristics and nuances, much in the way that lime does for the gin in a rickey. Of course in the absence of soda in a short drink, some sweetening helps to soften the drink, but in general it should be as dry as the drinker can tolerate. And when done correctly it is as dry, suave, and sophisticated as any mixture ever shaken or stirred.

-Andy

I wish I had written that. Well said.

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Wow. Now I really want a Daiquiri. I've never made one with sugar; I always use simple syrup. Is it a vastly different drink that way?

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Not vastly different. But when you're measuring sugar this precisely and in these small amounts, it's difficult to do with simple syrup. How do you get a half teaspoon's worth of sugar out of a 1:1 simple syrup?

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It's definitely different, and I don't really know why.

It could be, as Sam says, a measuring thing, although I don't think so--I always just squeeze the lime into the shaker and stir the half-teaspoon of sugar into it, so there's rarely a precise sugar-lime juice ratio (what with the variation in limes).

It could also be a dilution thing, with the syrup adding a little more water. But shake a little more or a little less or use slightly different ice and you'll have a similar variation in the amount of dilution. Although I suppose if you use a full half-ounce of 1:1 (or more) and then factor in the variations in dilution from the ice, you have the possibility of getting a significantly more watery drink.

If only we could pull a team of crack lab researchers off of whatever trivial disiease they're trying to cure and point them at something really important....

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Or those million monkeys that are busy trying to type Shakespear... When it comes to a gimlet, Sidecar, Daq, Martini, Manhattan there is not a right way to do it. Or there is only one way to do it...yours. If one tries for balance, there will be nay-sayers that will say nay.

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At home I almost always use a 2:1 syrup of either white or turbinado (depending on the drink) sugar in lieu of granulated or superfine sugar. I keep it in a Fee's dasher bottle and find that 1 dash is pretty dang close to 1/8 tsp, which makes measuring pretty straightforward. Though I use it at work, I've never really grown to like 1:1 syrup. 2:1 syrup is shelf stable, and can pretty much be subbed in for an equal amount of granulated sugar. I have made Daiquiris both ways and found no appreciable difference, so perhaps it is a dilution issue.

-Andy

Edit because periods aren't commas.


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

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If only we could pull a team of crack lab researchers off of whatever trivial disiease they're trying to cure and point them at something really important....

The thing to do would be to determine exactly how much 1:1 (or 2:1) simple syrup has the same weight of sugar as a half teaspoon of superfine. Then have someone else make two Daiquiris (several Daiquiris would provide a more convincing result, but would be wasteful) and serve them to you. See if you can taste a difference between the two.

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If only we could pull a team of crack lab researchers off of whatever trivial disiease they're trying to cure and point them at something really important....

The thing to do would be to determine exactly how much 1:1 (or 2:1) simple syrup has the same weight of sugar as a half teaspoon of superfine. Then have someone else make two Daiquiris (several Daiquiris would provide a more convincing result, but would be wasteful) and serve them to you. See if you can taste a difference between the two.

2:1 syrup of granulated sugars (but not brown sugar, etc) is pretty spot-on to sub for an equal amount of sugar by volume. If you really want it to be precise, measure 2 cups sugar and dissolve over low heat into 1 cup water. Pour the syrup into a measure that holds at least 2 cups and add water (and/or splash of neutral spirits) to make up the 2 cups. You start with 2 cups of sugar and are left with 2 cups of syrup, so it's a 1:1 substitution.

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thirtyoneknots' method seems foolproof to me -- it is exactly what "crack researchers" do in the lab every day. For those that simply must have something more "scientific", I wasted a bit of time one day a while back making the following calculations based on density info for sucrose solutions from the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, and I am only too happy to share them with my fellow geeks here:

Pure Sugar

1 cup sugar = 200 g

volume = 236.6 mL

sugar content = .845 g/mL

1:1 Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar = 200 g

1 cup water = 236.6 g

density = 1.2079

volume = 361.5 mL

sugar content = .553 g/mL

2:1 Simple Syrup

2 cups sugar = 400 g

1 cup water = 236.6 g

density = 1.3036

volume = 488.3 mL

sugar content = .819 g/mL

To get .845 g/mL, you want a 64.4% (by mass) solution, or 2.14:1

edited to add more (and more accurate) geekiness


Edited by David Santucci (log)

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gallery_27569_3038_5276.jpg

Damn-The-Weather Cocktail

3 Dashes Curacao (Brizard Orange Curacao)

1/4 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz fresh Orange Juice)

1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth)

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

(Dash Regan's Orange Bitters)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

If there is any single type of Savoy Cocktail Book cocktail that I'm getting a bit bored with, it's probably these Bronx type things. They're perfectly fine and all, they just never really seem exceptional.

For example, I know I would prefer the Damn-The-Weather without the orange juice.

Heck, then it's a Martinez! Yum!

Are these type cocktails supposed to be Breakfast/Brunch picker-upper type things?

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related to the daiquiri isn't the most important variable the lime?

i used to mix some drinks with the "juice of a lime" and i got what i got... my sugar content was measured out but the lime acid component was at the mercy of size, seasonal consistency, etc. the spread was so large that i stopped doing it... in theory it seemed like the rural, rustic and romantic way to make one...

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related to the daiquiri isn't the most important variable the lime?

i used to mix some drinks with the "juice of a lime" and i got what i got...  my sugar content was measured out but the lime acid component was at the mercy of size, seasonal consistency, etc.  the spread was so large that i stopped doing it...  in theory it seemed like the rural, rustic and romantic way to make one...

Absolutely. I find that by dint of constant repetition I've learned to eyeball it in the glass; since the lime goes in first, if it looks significantly over or under the half-ounce average for a half lime I can tweak the sugar to match. I think it's worth putting up with the variation since (for me, anyway) that rustic romance is an important part of the drink; its flair. For vast crowds, however, I'll juice in advance and use a standard half ounce of lime juice. It just doesn't look (or feel) the same, though.

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related to the daiquiri isn't the most important variable the lime?

i used to mix some drinks with the "juice of a lime" and i got what i got...  my sugar content was measured out but the lime acid component was at the mercy of size, seasonal consistency, etc.  the spread was so large that i stopped doing it...  in theory it seemed like the rural, rustic and romantic way to make one...

Absolutely. I find that by dint of constant repetition I've learned to eyeball it in the glass; since the lime goes in first, if it looks significantly over or under the half-ounce average for a half lime I can tweak the sugar to match. I think it's worth putting up with the variation since (for me, anyway) that rustic romance is an important part of the drink; its flair. For vast crowds, however, I'll juice in advance and use a standard half ounce of lime juice. It just doesn't look (or feel) the same, though.

but that is just volume... i wonder how acidity fluctuates... i was gonna try to buy different limes all over the city and see how they fluctuated in both volume and PH. all those apple-tini drinking people are in danger of getting scurvy. i'm just fighting the good fight. i wonder if i could put a lime tree in a green house? when i was a kid growing up in the menenite area, the greenhouse up the road and down the dirt path on the other side of a corn field had a banana tree... it was completely magical to see. middle of nowhere, horse and buggies, fresh bananas...

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but that is just volume... i wonder how acidity fluctuates... i was gonna try to buy different limes all over the city and see how they fluctuated in both volume and PH. 

I'd be very curious to see the results of that experiment. I definitely notice fluctuations in acidity, with the older, more tired limes having more, I believe, but nothing consistent or qualifiable. In general, with fresh-ish limes, I havent had enough fluctuation to experience real problems, but then again I've got a pretty good tolerance for tartness.

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Interestingly, lately I've been getting limes with almost two ounces of juice, and lemons that barely have a half-ounce.

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One thing I do wonder about is the availability of citrus.

Citrus are pretty seasonal fruits. Right now, here in CA, we seem to be at the tail end of the lime season, and the very beginning of the lemon season.

(Generally, in North America, Citrus season starts in the fall, with the smaller, tarter harvested fruit, picked first, and progressing through early spring for the larger, sweeter harvested fruit.)

In England of the 1920s or America pre-prohibition, could you really expect to have limes, lemons, and oranges year around?

If not, what would you use when you didn't have fresh? Syrup? Chemical fabrication? Shubs?

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If not, what would you use when you didn't have fresh?  Syrup?  Chemical fabrication?  Shubs?

Gin. Vermouth.

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