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eje

Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2006–2007)

610 posts in this topic

Some might say a Perfect Rob Roy.

Although my guess is that the proportions of the vermouths to the Scotch really would make this an entirely different drink.

I love Scotch -- it used to be my drink of choice before I discovered cocktails. But I hardly ever drink it these days, because I find it doesn't lend itself to cocktails. Nice to hear of a drink that uses it successfully.

I made myself a variation of the Affinity last night, 2 scotch, half each dry and sweet vermouth and some orange bitters, which I thought was more like a perfect Rob Roy. (That's what I called it in fact in the other thread.) I guess I didn't really trust the traditional proportions of a third-third-third, but tonight I will give that a go. I have a bottle of Compass Box Orangerie which might be fun in here, and I will skip the bitters.

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46 cocktails into the Savoy Cocktail book, we’ve finished with the letter “A”.

Of those cocktails, I thought the following were outstanding: Affinity, Alice Mine, Artist's (Special), Astoria, ATTY, and, of course, Aviation.

There were a surprising number that fell into the very good category. I'd say at least 15 or so, including the Alfonso, Allen, American Beauty, and all the "Apple" Cocktails.

Of the “dessert” cocktails I thought the After Supper was the tastiest.

To my taste, the only spit-out awful cocktail was the pousse café style Angel's Kiss. Perhaps I should have had a cup of coffee to go with it.

In regards the Aviation with or without violet liqueur, I’m not sure where I come down on that issue. It definitely adds an ethereal floral complexity to the drink. But, unlike both the Absinthe and violet liqueur in the ATTY, I don’t know if I think it is essential. Also, as an ingredient, it is one of those which must be handled carefully. Too much, or even the wrong Gin, and its bitter side starts to show itself.

I hope you have so far enjoyed our journey through the Savoy. The “Bs” look quite exciting, with star cocktails like the Bronx and Brooklyn to look forward to. For some inexplicable reason, the Bass Wyatt is the cocktail which has really caught my eye.

On to the Babbie's Special...


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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This is great thread, eje. You write beautifully, and I love your comments on using the different brands of spirits.

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I made myself a variation of the Affinity last night, 2 scotch, half each dry and sweet vermouth and some orange bitters, which I thought was more like a perfect Rob Roy. (That's what I called it in fact in the other thread.)  I guess I didn't really trust the traditional proportions of a third-third-third, but tonight I will give that a go.  I have a bottle of Compass Box Orangerie which might be fun in here, and I will skip the bitters.

Bricktop,

Do you consider the Orangerie a liqueur? I haven't tried it and can't quite tell from the press materials and reviews whether it is sweetened or just flavored.

Would you use all Oragerie or a mix of Orangerie and other Scotch?

I'll be curious to see what you think of the traditional Affinity with or without the Orange.


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Erik, I really don't consider the Orangerie a liqueur, certainly more of a spirit. The bottle says it is "infused with tiny shavings of fresh orange peel and spices". The orange is VERY subtle straight, and was completely lost in the Affinity. A waste of the Orangerie's attributes to have used it this way, IMO. You live, you learn.

A dash of Fee's Orange Bitters livened up the drink, but I think the Affinity in the "traditional" proportions needs a very aggressive scotch to balance the vermouths. My preferred ratio (at least using Chivas) is the 4:1:1 I used for the Perfect Rob Roy.

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Erik, I really don't consider the Orangerie a liqueur, certainly more of a spirit.  The bottle says it is "infused with tiny shavings of fresh orange peel and spices".  The orange is VERY subtle straight, and was completely lost in the Affinity.  A waste of the Orangerie's attributes to have used it this way, IMO.  You live, you learn.

A dash of Fee's Orange Bitters livened up the drink, but I think the Affinity in the "traditional" proportions needs a very aggressive scotch to balance the vermouths.  My preferred ratio (at least using Chivas) is the 4:1:1 I used for the Perfect Rob Roy.

Bummer...

I don't really think of the Compass Box Asyla as an "aggressive" whiskey, at least compared to the bourbons and ryes I enjoy. I can't compare it to Chivas, though, so I don't have an opinion there.

I do think the Asyla works well in the cocktails I've tried it in so far. It's got a briny-savory element that I find particularly fascinating.

But, yeah, you gotta balance your cocktails to what you're working with.

My general starting place for manhattans is 2 oz of whiskey, 2 dashes of bitters, and 1/2 oz of sweet vermouth. However, I have a bottle of Binny's barrel select Buffalo Trace Bourbon which is very strongly flavored. I don't even really enjoy it straight. But, at 1 1/2 oz bourbon, 1/2 oz sweet vermouth, 1/2 oz dry vermouth, 2 dashes bitters, it makes a fine Manhattan. It doesn't really taste like any other Manhattan I make; but, it's a good cocktail.


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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B is for Beligerent.

I apologize for the alphabetical delay. Taking a brief break from the tyranny of the Savoy.

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Babbie's Special Cocktail

1 dash Gin (1/4 oz Beefeater's)

1/3 Sweet Cream (3/4 oz Half and Half)

2/3 Apricot Brandy (1 1/2 oz Vedrenne Liqueur de Abricot)

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass

I hope Babbie was special for some other reason than her taste in cocktails. Beautiful? Rich? Found the drink much improved with a dash of peach bitters and a garnish of freshly ground nutmeg. Still, not something I ever would order.


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Bacardi Special Cocktail*

1 teaspoonful Grenadine (homemade)

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

2/3 Bacardi Rum (2 oz Flor de Cana Extra Dry)

The Juice of 1/2 lime

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass

*Made famous by Karl K. Kitchen, the well-known New York Newspaper Columnist

Huh, this is tastier than it really has any business being. A bit like Harrington's Jasmine. Light and tart. Very similar to a glass of alcoholic grapefruit juice.


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Balm Cocktail (6 People)

1/2 Glass Orange Juice (1/2 oz fresh squeezed)

1/2 Glass Cointreau (1/2 oz)

3 Glasses Sherry (3 oz Lustau Don Nuno Dry Oloroso)

1 Dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

2 Dashes Pimento Dram Liqueur (Homemade)

Fill up the shaker with cracked ice, shake and serve with an olive.

The olive garnish doesn't make any sense to me. Also not sure if this is the appropriate Sherry. But, I just don't really like dry fino sherry.

In any case, this isn't a bad cocktail, if you like orange, spice, and sherry. Just isn't quite as short and sharp as a liquor based cocktail.


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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eje,

I just started through this thread and it is amazaing. Keep up the great writing!

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tdk7, thanks for the kind words!

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Barbara Cocktail

1/4 Fresh Cream (1/2 oz Half and Half)

1/4 Creme de Cacao (1/2 oz Bols)

1/2 Vodka (1 oz Rain Vodka)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Garnish with sprinkling of cacao powder - eje)

This Alexander variation may be the only use of Vodka in the Savoy Cocktail book. I admit, I prefer the Brandy version.

BTW, if anyone has advice on better brands of white creme de cacao, please let me know. The Bols (US) isn't bad; but, not the greatest, either. Not a very intense chocolate flavor. I suspect these cocktails would be better with a more full flavored liqueur.

edit - Found two more Vodka cocktails in the Savoy by cross referencing from Duffy's "Mixer's Manual", the Blue Monday and Russian. Duffy also gives an alternate name for the Barbara, the "Russian Bear".


Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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The Barbary Coast Cocktail

1/4 Gin (1 oz Beefeater's)

1/4 Scotch Whisky (1 oz Compass Box Asyla)

1/4 Creme de Cacao (1 oz Bols)

1/4 Cream (1 oz Half and Half)

Cracked Ice

Serve in a highball glass. (Fill highball glass with crushed ice, build ingredients in glass, stir until outside of glass frosts over. -eje)

Most other cocktail books seem to either make the Barbary Coast as a shaken "up" cocktail (1/2 oz each ingredient) or as a highball (2oz whiskey, 1/2 oz rest, built over ice, topped with soda).

However, since this is one of the few Savoy cocktails that doesn't include the instruction, "Shake well and strain into cocktail glass," I'm pretty sure that wasn't intended. There is also no mention of soda. I decided to treat it as a "swizzle".

As an aside, with many of the cream cocktails, I'm afraid I must admit the routine is, mix, snap, sip, dump. They're usually too sweet and my doctor has told me to avoid dairy. For what it is worth, against my own best interests, I finished this one.

Also, based on the assumption that this cocktail is named after the San Francisco's Gold Rush era Barbary Coast neighborhood, I will include the following quote, from Benjamin Estelle Lloyd, writing in 1876:

The Barbary Coast is the haunt of the low and the vile of every kind. The petty thief, the house burglar, the tramp, the whoremonger, lewd women, cutthroats, murderers, all are found here. Dance-halls and concert-saloons, where blear-eyed men and faded women drink vile liquor, smoke offensive tobacco, engage in vulgar conduct, sing obscene songs and say and do everything to heap upon themselves more degradation, are numerous. Low gambling houses, thronged with riot-loving rowdies, in all stages of intoxication, are there. Opium dens, where heathen Chinese and God-forsaken men and women are sprawled in miscellaneous confusion, disgustingly drowsy or completely overcome, are there. Licentiousness, debauchery, pollution, loathsome disease, insanity from dissipation, misery, poverty, wealth, profanity, blasphemy, and death, are there. And Hell, yawning to receive the putrid mass, is there also.

---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Barney Barnato Cocktail

1 Dash Angostura Bitters

1 Dash Curacao (1 barspoon Marie Brizard Curacao)

1/2 Caperitif (1 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc)

1/2 Brandy (1 1/2 oz Germain-Robin Fine Alembic Brandy)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Sometimes you get nothing when researching cocktails, and sometimes it feels like you've stepped into the deep end.

Barney Barnato was born Barnett Isaacs in the Whitechapel neighborhood of London in 1852. His father was a shop keeper on Petticoat Lane. He was a comedian, boxer, and probably a huckster. After hearing how well some of his relatives had done in South African "Diamond Rush", he followed them there, with naught but a box of cigars. Somehow he was able to prosper, and went on to found one of the two largest diamond mining firms in the history of that country. Due to some faulty business decisions, after a long struggle, in 1888 he was forced to allow his main competitor to buy him out. The check written to him at that time, for some £5,338,650, was the single largest check written up to that time in human history. The company, part of which he founded, went on to become De Beers. He operated in politics, for a while; but, events got ahead of him, and he left the country in 1897, shortly before the start of the Anglo-Boer war. He died as a result of falling from, being thrown from, or throwing himself from, the ship on the way back to England. Opinions differ.

The problem with this cocktail is "Caperitif". The coctaildb ingredient database describes it as, "Defunct proprietary South African sweet deep golden quinquina from Capetown - along the lines of Lillet blanc." Fortunately, the recent resurgence of the Vesper should make Lillet blanc an easy commodity to come by in most bars. Many cocktail receipts suggest Dubonnet for this. I guess, unlike most recipes, in this case, they probably mean Dubonnet blanc.

The Barney Barnato cocktail, itself, is a fairly subtle and sophisticated affair. A bit sweet, a little bitter, a little orange. None of the elements really dominate. Very nice.

One last point, the Tiffany Diamond was likely discovered in a mine owned by Barnato in 1877 or 1878. I think there is a striking resemblance between the color of this drink and the color of that most impressive gem.


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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BTW, if anyone has advice on better brands of white creme de cacao, please let me know.  The Bols (US) isn't bad; but, not the greatest, either.  Not a very intense chocolate flavor.  I suspect these cocktails would be better with a more full flavored liqueur.

If you can find the Brizzard cacao you should pick it up. I have tried the Bols, H. Walker and Brizzard and the MB is by far the best of the 3 I think.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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re: Brizard Creme de Cacao. Thanks John, I'll have to keep a look out for it.

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Baron Cocktail

6 Dashes Curacao (3 Barspoons Brizard Orange Curacao)

2 Dashes Italian Vermouth (1 Barspoon Carpano Antica)

1/3 French Vermouth (3/4 Ounce Noilly Prat Dry)

2/3 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Tanqueray)

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

Couple dashes of Regan's orange Bitters livened this up a bit. Still nothing earth shaking. Slightly sweet and orangey Martini.


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Barton Special Cocktail*

1/4 Calvados or Apple Brandy (3/4 oz Germain-Robin Apple Brandy)

1/4 Scotch Whisky (3/4 oz Compass Box Asyla)

1/2 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake (stir - eje) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Garnish with lemon twist - cocktaildb).

*What has Bruce Barton got to do with this?

Bruce Barton was an inspirational writer, Christian, Republican, Politician, and Madison Avenue Adman. His most famous creation was Betty Crocker. He also worked on high profile ad campaigns for General Electric and General Motors. I'm guessing the above smart remark above was made before it was revealed he had had an affair with a female co-worker and she was blackmailing him. Instead of giving in to her demands, (a second time,) he turned her in to the police.

In any case, if Barton did enjoy a Barton Special now and then, he certainly didn't like anything getting between booze and his stomach.


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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re: Brizard Creme de Cacao.  Thanks John, I'll have to keep a look out for it.

Erik, I saw MB Creme de Cacao at John Walker not too long ago.


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
Manager
jzimmerman@eGullet.org
eG Ethics signatory
Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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But what did you think of the Barton Special? Or should we assume that when no commentary is given, the commentary is an implicit "meh"?

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But what did you think of the Barton Special?  Or should we assume that when no commentary is given, the commentary is an implicit "meh"?

I just got the Germain-Robin Apple Brandy and was pretty impressed with its flavor.

The Barton tastes pretty much like you would expect a big glass of cold mixed booze (with a twist) to taste. To me, there wasn't any real magic in this particular combo. I thought to tone it down a bit by using a softer gin in the plymouth. But, the flavors in the gin seemed to clash with the other two spirits, creating some bitter aftertastes I didn't enjoy.

There are a few "nothing but booze" mixed drinks in the Savoy. The one which has always amused me is the Bunny Hug. That's made up of Whiskey, Gin, and Absinthe. Ouch. What it did to get that cute name, I have no idea.


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I think the Bunny Hug was some sort of raunchy dance, which may explain the decadence evident in the mixing.

Maybe it'd be called a 'Bump & Grind' if invented today.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I think the Bunny Hug was some sort of raunchy dance, which may explain the decadence evident in the mixing.

Maybe it'd be called a 'Bump & Grind' if invented today.

Oh, indeed!

Bunny Hug on Wikipedia

The Bunny hug was a dancing style performed by young people, especially flappers, in the early 20th century. It is thought to have originated in San Francisco, California in 1911 at the Fairmont Hotel along with the Texas Tommy, Turkey Trot and Grizzly Bear.

Invented at the Fairmont Hotel here in San Francisco, no less!


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Bass Wyatt Cocktail (5 People)

Beat up 4 (1 XL) Eggs, and add

4 Glasses of Dry Gin (4 oz Tanqueray Gin)

2/3 Glass of Cherry Brandy (2/3 oz Massenez Creme de Griotte)

1/2 Glass Lemon Juice (1/2 oz Lemon Juice)

4 Dashes Orange Bitters (2 Dashes Regan's Orange Bitters)

1/2 Tablespoon of Powdered Sugar (1 teaspoon sugar)

1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Flavouring (Dash Vanilla Extract)

Shake well and strain into medium-size glass. Grate nutmeg on top. Frost glass with castor sugar.

As usual with these "party" cocktails, I'm going with the 2 oz per "glass" theory and then cutting the recipe in half. The drink is actually pretty nice. Sort of an enriched version of a Singapore Gin Sling. I did skip frosting the rim of the glass. I wasn't able to uncover any information about who or what "Bass Wyatt" might have been, but, if you're looking for a change-up from your usual weekend brunch Ramos Gin Fizz, this might be a good place to start.


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Belmont Cocktail

1/3 Grenadine (3/4 oz Homemade Grenadine)

2/ 3 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater's Gin)

1 Teaspoonful Fresh Cream

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I can't say I had much hope for this one. Gin, grenadine, and cream. I think, however, I am again saved by homemade grenadine. I have no doubt I probably wouldn't have enjoyed this cocktail made with Rose's or Fee's Grenadine. However, with my moderately sweet and pretty darn flavorful home made version of grenadine, it's not bad at all. In fact, it's another in the relatively small club of Savoy cocktails with dairy that I actually finished.


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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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