Rock & Rye

A Drink On The Rocks…..


November 2010

MxMo: Forgotten Cocktails Roundup

Well, despite being a busy time of the year and a short time frame to work with, we had a good turn out for Mixology Monday this month. The theme of Forgotten Cocktails, brought out plenty of delicious drinks, some I am familiar with, some I have heard of but never tried, and some that were completely new. Thanks to all the participants for digging deep and bringing up a drink that you think we should all get to know. Lets get on with the roundup.

First up we have Mark and his version of Curacao Punch. He finds the classic recipe as provided by Ted Haigh to be frighteningly sweet, and dials back the curacao while increasing the cognac. Looks like a well balanced, delicious punch!

Next up we have Fredrick over at Cocktail Virgin Slut, who introduces us to the Golden Cadillac. A interesting twist on an Alexander using Galliano instead of the traditional gin or brandy. Unfamiliar to me, and I’m sure many others, but looks like a drink worth trying.

Then we have Ed over at Wordsmithing Pantagruel, who would like to bring our attention to the 20th Century Cocktail. He provides us with 5 different versions of the cocktail, and as a bonus gives us an original cocktail based on the 20th century, but taunts me by using obscure ingredients.

Next we have Malty Puppy, who gives us the Cameo Kirby, a martini-like variation, named after a 1923 movie.

Keith at theSpeakista brings us back to the basics and highlights the Rusty Nail, a simple cocktail that he believes will arouse an interest in a spirit that many may not appreciate or enjoy.

The SpiritedRemix brings to us the Oriental Cocktail, a classic rye based drink with a modern flavor and ingredients that artfully battle together for flavor dominance.

Next up Ereich Empey over at Musings on Cocktails, would like to bring our attention to the Automobile Cocktail, a true prohibition-era cocktail that mixes scotch, holland’s gin, and vermouth with great success.

Rowen at the Fogged in Lounge, highlights the Blue Train Special, a pineapple royale with cognac that makes an excellent alternative to the over-popular mimosa.

Doug over at the Pegu Blog, takes this opportunity to remind us once again of the Pegu Cocktail. And why not. This is an excellent drink that really does need to be brought back into the mainstream drinkers repertoire.

Raised Spirits brings us the Vermouth Cocktail, and reminds us of good vermouth handling and storage procedures as well as recommends some good brands to try. While Vermouth is not something that the general public has yet to embrace, it is something that they should try.

Understanding Cocktails tempts us with the oft forgotten Satan’s Whiskers. This is a complex cocktail that requires some level of measuring skill to create a balanced drink, and comes in two flavors, straight and curled.

Andy at Sybaritic Wanderings highlights his house cocktail, The Claridge Cocktail. Hailing from the Savoy Cocktail Book, this yet another delicious vintage cocktail.

Old Town Alchemy digs deep into their back bar to bring us yet another Scotch based cocktail, the Adelle Special. While his cocktail doesn’t quite have the lasting appeal of the Rusty Nail, he is able to spice it up with the addition of some bitters. Everything is better with bitters!

Science of Drink takes this opportunity to remind us of the Jupiter Cocktail, which uses his favorite liqueur, Parfait Amour.

Marc, at A Drinker’s Peace, tries out the Fourth Regiment cocktail, an intriguing blend of rye, vermouth, and not one or two, but three flavors of bitters. Like I said before, more bitters is better.

Erik, at the Underhill Lounge continues his quest of mixing up every cocktail in the Savoy Cocktail Book, and in the process highlights the Warday’s Cocktail.

Felicia’s Speakeasy would like to draw our attention to the Gin Sangaree, although she apparently has a hatred for doing floats and/or flaming zests 😉

Jacob Grier mixes up a Clubland Cocktail, for him a rare Vodka based drink that is great to have in your pocket when your vodka drinking friends come a knocking.

Scofflaw’s Den brings us the Avenue Cocktail, which blends bourbon and calvados, along with several somewhat hard to find ingredients. A great cocktail, and he provides the links to obtain those ingredients as well.

AJ, from Done Like Dundee highlights Absinthe. He brings us a couple of drinks that would make good intro’s for anyone who has yet to try this rejuvenated spirit.

Dave, at The Barman Cometh would like to encourage us to revisit the Fish House Punch. One of the best punches I have had for a while, this is a true vintage punch that should definitely be revived.

Paul at The Cocktail Chronicles highlights California Brandy, and brings us two cocktails based upon the aforementioned ingredients; The Bombay Cocktail and the Brandy Scaffa.

Stevi over at Two at the Most asks us to check out the Alaska Cocktail, a chilling blend of chartreuse and gin. Yellow Chartreuse is the preferred variety, but can be made with either.

The Backyard Bartender brings us a trio of cocktails that will either revive you from last nights hangover, or maybe just kill you.

Finally, your host brings you a duo of cocktails featuring Applejack as the base spirit, the Delicious Sour and the Jack Rose.

So there you have it. A pile of unknown cocktails that deserve to be brought back to life. So pick several and mix them up. If you enjoy them, go ahead and spread the word! Thanks again to everyone who participated and to Paul Clarke for keeping this thing going. Cheers.


MxMo LII: Forgotten Cocktails = Delicious Cocktails

Here we are, another month of Mixology Monday. The level of variety and creativity of the participants of this blessed event never ceases to amaze me. This month’s theme, chosen by myself of course, was Forgotten Cocktails. The challenge was to bring to our attention a cocktail that may need to be forced upon the masses, because if someone doesn’t tell them what is good to drink, how will they ever know?

Perhaps straying outside the theme a small bit, (I apparently can’t even follow my own rules) I would like to bring your attention to that oft forgotten spirit called Applejack. What is Applejack? I am glad you asked.

Applejack is a spirit produced from apples, popular in the American colonial period and thought to originate from the French apple brandy Calvados. Applejack is made by concentrating hard cider, either by the traditional method of freeze distillation or by true evaporative distillation. From the fermented juice, the distilled result is slightly sweet and usually tastes and smells of apples. Freeze distilling concentrates all of the alcohol by-products of fermentation including ethanol, methanol and fusel alcohols, and during colonial times allowed farmers to distill a spirit with no more equipment than a barrel and a hammer. Distillation by evaporation can separates the methanol and fusel alcohols from the ethanol, since they have different boiling points, and is the obviously preferred method of the modern age. Due to the higher cost and lower yield of alcohol produced from fruit fermentation, commercially produced applejack may be composed of apple brandy diluted with grain spirits until the drink reaches the desired alcohol content.

Today, the go to brand for Applejack would be Laird’s Applejack. In fact, this is probably the only product available to most people under the name Applejack. Laird’s Applejack is comprised of 35% apple brandy, and 65% neutral spirits, technically making it a blended brandy. Laird’s also produces an Old Apple Brandy and a 12yr Old Rare Apple Brandy, which are both 100% apple brandy and aged for a minimum of 7 and 12 years respectively. Clear Creek Distilling in Portland, Oregon also produces both a 2yr and an 8yr Apple Brandy, both of which are excellent. Now for some reason this spirit seems to have fallen off the radar of many bars and bartenders. Here in Bellingham, none of the upper end bars have Applejack behind their bars, including the one bar that specializes in prohibition era cocktails. Mind you, the bartender didn’t know what an Aviation was either, but that’s another story. Either way, Applejack is a product that I definitely think deserves to be brought back into the eye of the general public.

Now, on to the cocktails. Today I will present you with two drinks, one of which will be known in many of the great classic cocktail bars around the world, and one which is all but unknown. Both of these drinks utilize Applejack as their base spirit. The first drink is the Jack Rose.

There are several theories on the name of the Jack Rose, It could be named after Jacque Rose, or the gangster in an early twentieth-century murder trial, or simply because it contains Applejack and it is rose colored. Either way, this is a simple, silky drink, that works well with either lemon or lime juice. sweetened simply by a few generous dashes of grenadine, this simple variation on an Applejack sour deserves to be brought back into the limelight. While this drink works well with the regular old Laird’s Applejack, the Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy as used by the Merchant Hotel Bar makes this drink exquisite. Also, please do yourself a favor and don’t use that overly syrupy grenadine found in most stores. It’s easy to make your own out of actual pomegranite juice, and it tastes so much better.

The Jack Rose
1 1/2oz Applejack
1 oz Lemon Juice
2 barspoons Grenadine

The next cocktail is the Delicious Sour. A truly forgotten cocktail which at first glance appears to be a pretentious, sickly sweet combination of ingredients, but in actually is very well balanced and in fact, Delicious. Created by William “The Only William” Schmidt, and as far as I know, found only in his book, The Flowing Bowl (1892), this drink takes a basic Applejack sour formulation, adds a good dose of peach liqueur, and still manages to provides several layers of depth, while remaining extremely well balanced and not overly sweet. William may not have come up with very many good drinks, but this one he nailed, and you would do yourself a great favor by trying it out yourself.

The Delicious Sour
2oz Applejack
2 oz Peach liqueuer
1 1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 Egg White
1 tsp Simple Syrup
Soda Water

There are several other great Applejack based drinks out there as well, and many more to be made, as people start experimenting with this spirit once again. Cheers, and be sure to come back for the MxMo roundup, which I should have posted up in a couple of days.

Vintage Cocktails #40: The Ritz Sidecar

While the Sidecar is really no stranger to the cocktail world, this particular variety is truly a vintage cocktail. This cocktail can (as far as I know) only be enjoyed at the birthplace of the Sidecar, the Hotel Ritz in Paris. What makes this cocktail unique is that is uses an extremely rare Ritz Reserve Cognac, produced from pre-phylloxera grapes. It has said that no wine or brandy produced since the great blight can match the former in taste and complexity.

In the late 19th century the phylloxera epidemic destroyed most of the vineyards for wine grapes in Europe, most notably in France. Phylloxera was introduced to Europe when avid botanists in Victorian England collected specimens of American vines in the 1850s. Because phylloxera is native to North America, the native grape species there are at least partially resistant. By contrast, the European wine grape Vitis vinifera is very susceptible to the insect. The epidemic devastated vineyards in Britain and then moved to the mainland, destroying most of the European wine growing industry. In 1863, the first vines began to deteriorate inexplicably in the southern Rhône region of France. The problem spread rapidly across the continent. In France alone, total wine production fell from 84.5 million hectolitres in 1875 to only 23.4 million hectolitres in 1889. Some estimates hold that between two-thirds and nine-tenths of all European vineyards were destroyed.

In France, one of the desperate measures of grape growers was to bury a live toad under each vine to draw out the “poison”. Areas with soils composed principally of sand or schist were spared, and the spread was slowed in dry climates, but gradually the aphid spread across the continent. A significant amount of research was devoted to finding a solution to the phylloxera problem, and two major solutions gradually emerged: grafting cuttings onto resistant rootstocks and hybridization.

Use of a resistant, or tolerant, rootstock, developed by Charles Valentine Riley in collaboration with J. E. Planchon and promoted by T. V. Munson, involved grafting a Vitis vinifera scion onto the roots of a resistant Vitis aestivalis or other American native species. This is the preferred method today, because the rootstock does not interfere with the development of the wine grapes, and it furthermore allows the customization of the rootstock to soil and weather conditions, as well as desired vigor. Unfortunately not all rootstocks are equally resistant. Between the 1960s and the 1980s in California, many growers used a rootstock called AxR1. Even though it had already failed in many parts of the world by the early twentieth century, it was thought to be resistant by growers in California. Although phylloxera initially did not feed heavily on AxR1 roots, within twenty years, mutation and selective pressures within the phylloxera population began to overcome this rootstock, resulting in the eventual failure of most vineyards planted on AxR1. The replanting of afflicted vineyards continues today. Many have suggested that this failure was predictable, as one parent of AxR1 is in fact a susceptible V. vinifera cultivar. But the transmission of phylloxera tolerance is more complex, as is demonstrated by the continued success of 41B, an F1 hybrid of Vitis berlandieri and Vitis vinifera. The full story of the planting of AxR1 in California, its recommendation, the warnings, financial consequences, and subsequent recriminations remains to be told. Modern phylloxera infestation also occurs when wineries are in need of fruit immediately, and choose to plant ungrafted vines rather than wait for grafted vines to be available.

The use of resistant American rootstock to guard against phylloxera also brought about a debate that remains unsettled to this day: whether self-rooted vines produce better wine than those that are grafted. Of course, the argument is essentially irrelevant wherever phylloxera exists. Had American rootstock not been available and used, there would be no V. vinifera wine industry in Europe or most places other than Chile, Washington State, and most of Australia. Cyprus avoided the phylloxera plague, and thus its wine stock has not been grafted for phylloxera resistant purposes.

If all else fails and you aren’t in Paris and can’t afford the $500+ price tag for the drink, any old good quality Cognac will suffice.

The Ritz Sidecar
5 parts Cognac
3 parts Cointreau
2 parts Lemon Juice

Vintage Cocktails #39: The Boulevardier

While prohibition did more harm than good, one of its few benefits was the expatriation of some of the best bartenders in America. They journeyed far and wide, many of them landing across the Atlantic. Harry McElhone was one of those bartenders and he eventually found his way to Paris, where he opened Harry’s New York Bar. Here, he made a name for himself serving up pre-prohibition era cocktails. One of the benefits of being located in mainland Europe was access to a wide variety of previously unavailable spirits. Harry took to experimenting with great gusto and here is one of his creations out of his book, Barflies and Cocktails (1927). Many will note this drinks similarity to the Negroni, however the Negroni would not be seen in print for at least 2 decades after this drink. Barflies and Cocktails has been out of print for years, but thanks to the efforts of Mud Puddle Books, you can now purchase reprints of many great cocktail books including Barflies and Cocktails here. While the Negroni is by far the more popular cocktail, I think I prefer the Boulevardier.

The Boulevardier
1 1/2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet Vermouth

Whiskey Plum

A couple weeks ago, while thinking of what to make for myself, I remembered watching a video session with Charlotte Voisey in which she talked about using jams and jellies as ingredients when fruits are not in season. So I took her advice and mixed up a twist on the whiskey sour. To the basic sour formula I added 2 barspoons of yellow plum jam that was given to me. The yellow plums pair really well with the bourbon as they have somewhat of a resemblance to apricots. Cutting back on the simple syrup helps balance out the extra sweetness of the plum jam.

The Whiskey Plum
2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice
2 barspoons yellow plum jam

Vintage Cocktails #38: Fred Collins Fizz

Appearing in the New Guide for the Hotel, Bar, Restaurant, Butler, & Chef (Bacchus & Cordon Bleu, 1885), the following cocktail is what may be perceived as the precursor to the Lynchburg Lemonade. While the name doesn’t really tell you whether it is a collins or a fizz, (I would contend that it is possibly neither) it is a great drink either way.

The Fred Collins Fizz
2 oz Bourbon or Rye
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp Orange Curacao
6 oz Lemonade

MxMo LII: Forgotten Cocktails

I am excited to be hosting the next round of Mixology Monday here at Rock & Rye. This month’s event will take place on Monday, November 22nd, and the theme will be: Forgotten Cocktails. There are many cocktail books out there, and even more that are no longer in print, filled with thousands of cocktails. Some are decent, some are crap, and some might be great.

The challenge this month is to bring to light a drink that you think deserves to be resurrected from the past, and placed back into the spotlight. It could be pre-prohibition, post-war, that horrible decade known as the 80’s, it doesn’t really matter. As long as it is somewhat obscure, post it up. If possible try to keep to ingredients that are somewhat readily available. While we all appreciate the discovery of an amazing cocktail, if we can’t make it, it’s no fun for anyone.

If you would like to take part in this month’s festivities, send me an email with a link to your post (Dennis (at), or post a comment to this thread by midnight on Nov 22nd. Remember to link back to the Mixology Monday site as well. If you don’t have your own blog, I would be glad to feature you as a guest blogger, as long as I receive your submission in a timely manner. Looking forward to discovering some new drinks.


Vintage Cocktails #37: The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail

The next cocktail on our list was created by the esteemed Trader Vic, and appears in his Bartender’s Guide (1947). The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club was established in 1844 by officers in the British Army. It is one of the three oldest clubs with a Royal Warrant outside the British Isles. As to why Victor named his creation after the club, your guess is as good as mine. You would think that he would be able to come up with a shorter name.

The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail is not quite what I would call a Tiki drink, however it is clearly caribbean based, and a delicious cocktail at that. I would recommend going with an aged Barbados Rum, the sweetness of the Cointreau and falernum balancing out the tartness of the lime perfectly.

The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail
2 oz Barbados Rum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2 dashes Cointreau
2 tsp Falernum

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