Posts Tagged ‘Savoy Stomp’

Rule 37: Hanky Panky

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.

I didn’t know what I was getting into with this cocktail. I just wanted something simple, but this one comes with a lot of history. I’ll try to make it brief.

The Hanky Panky Cocktail is an old one, coming from the famed American Bar at the Savoy Hotel and head bartendress, Ada Coleman, wonderfully described in this LUPEC post. As for the cocktail, here’s the story, in her words:

“The late Charles Hawtrey… was one of the best judges of cocktails that I knew. Some years ago, when he was overworking, he used to come into the bar and say, ‘Coley, I am tired. Give me something with a bit of punch in it.’ It was for him that I spent hours experimenting until I had invented a new cocktail. The next time he came in, I told him I had a new drink for him. He sipped it, and, draining the glass, he said, ‘By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!’ And Hanky-Panky it has been called ever since.”

rule37hankypankybottlesSince it was an official Savoy cocktail, it got put into Harry Craddock’s (who was the head bartender at the Savoy after Ada) also-famous Savoy Cocktail Book. And since it’s in the Savoy Cocktail Book, it’s covered over on the Savoy Stomp blog, which attempts to go through the entire book, drink by drink. There’s also some further info over at Cold Glass, where the use of particular vermouths is discussed. Like the Historic Core Cocktail, I think this one would really benefit from a big, flavorful vermouth like Carpano Antica or Punt y Mes. I have Martini & Rossi. Work with what you have.

rule37hankypankyHanky Panky
Originally from Ada Coleman’s American Bar
Recipe from Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book

– 1 1/2 oz gin (GTD Wire Works)
– 1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Rosso)
– 2 dashes Fernet Branca

Stir (no juices involved) and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel. Don’t skimp on the garnish with this one… it’ll make a difference.

Sooooo… it’s basically a Sweet Martini with some Fernet in it. Ok then. Not my usual type of thing, but let’s give it a try. I’m using GrandTen’s Wire Works American Gin in this one to ease off the juniper a touch. Savoy Stomp suggests using “a gin with some spine” but I’m not the biggest fan of the London Dry juniper bombs. Plus, Wire Works is awesome.

Nose: Yup. Smells like orange. Must be all those orangy oils I spritzed over the top. Will have to reevaluate after sipping some off. There is a botanical gin quality below the orange… astringent, juniper, and a sweetness. There’s the barest hint of menthol/mint from the Fernet Branca, but it’s buried deep down.

Taste: Rounded pine and juniper. Herbs. Mint. Medicine. Eucalyptus. A boozy quality, but not burning… more warm than hot. Bittersweet and mouth-puckering, yet rounded out by the vermouth. Dry, herbal finish with woody spruce notes.


That’s an interesting tipple. I was worried that I either put too much or not enough Fernet in this one. It’s powerful stuff, and the recipe specifies two drops. I put the barest splash – a splish really – into the mixing glass and it comes through very well without overwhelming the drink. The Wire Works does get a bit weak in the mixture, which is what Savoy Stomp was referring to… you need a bigger gin. I’m still pleased with the Wire Works, as I think it creates a softer drink, but others might want that slap of pine from a London Dry style. Quite sippable.

Let’s see what SHE thinks:

rule37hankypankyalt“I still get orange peel in the smell, but I smell the juniper fragrance. Hmm. I’m initially shocked at how sweet and smooth it is. I get sort of a grapey sweetness balanced very well with that juniper floral… hmmm. It’s not bad, it could probably use just a touch less sweet vermouth, but that’s a very easy way to take gin. You want to appreciate a good gin, and I think I got a little too much of the vermouth. I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but I think it dominated. I forgot about Fernet Branca! …I don’t get much of that. Maybe I would pick up more of the Fernet if the vermouth wasn’t as much.”

Rule 37: The Trinidad Sour

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.

This one comes from one of the blogs I follow, The Savoy Stomp, in which the author chronicles his way through the Savoy Cocktail Book. The book is one of the Bibles of cocktaildom, and was written back in 1930 by famed bartender Harry Craddock, as he worked in London’s American Bar in the Savoy Hotel. Savoy Stomp attempts to recreate these Prohibition-era cocktails as written, instead of updating them for modern tastes. He had a couple variations of Angostura-based cocktails in a recent post, and I chose one that sounded tasty, The Trinidad Sour.

The recipe jumped out at me for a reason. Its primary ingredient, Angostura Bitters, was used in a proportion I had never seen before. See, bitters are like the seasonings of the cocktail world. Like salt and pepper, you add just a pinch, or in the case of bitters, a dash (or several). It’s an integral ingredient in a great many cocktails. Just try a Manhattan without the bitters to see what a difference it makes. In fact, the very notion of a cocktail itself is based on just four ingredients: spirit, water, sugar, and bitters.

While there are many different types and flavors of bitters (Fee Brothers makes a wide range), Angostura is the default, and you can likely even find it in your supermarket with an oversized label, and bright yellow cap. It’s 45% abv, which makes it 90 proof, though considered a non-potable bitter, meaning it’s too concentrated to drink straight. Angostura dates way back to 1824, when a doctor named Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert developed it as a healthful tonic, and named it for the town of Angostura in Venezuela. A distillery was soon built, and moved to the island of Trinidad in 1875 where it remains today. And it’s remained quite popular. According to their website, Angostura is the world leader in bitters and is available in 165 global markets. Yikes.

So. Bitters is normally used by the dash, which is why my current 4oz bottle is still kicking long after I bought it. Like eight years ago. This recipe is going to use a FULL OUNCE of the stuff, which should be interesting. That’s like seeing a recipe that calls for 17 pounds of salt. So I’m a bit wary, but intrigued. Be warned: Angostura bitters is quite concentrated (which is why it comes in 4oz bottles) and will stain the ever-loving holiness out of anything remotely porous that it touches. Like my shorts. And measuring cup. And countertop. And floor. Jaime Boudreau even used it as a wood stain to decorate his bar in Seattle. So when you’re doling out the full ounce, be careful.

The Trinidad Sour
As seen on Savoy Stomp.

– 1 oz Angostura Aromatic bitters. Yikes.
– 1 oz orgeat (Fee Bros. used)
– 3/4 oz lemon juice
– 1/2 oz rye whiskey (this time it was Pikesville Supreme)

Well, like any other cocktail, add the ingredients together in a mixing glass, add ice and a shaker tin, and shake away. You don’t need to pry off the little restrictor cap on the Angostura bottle; once you’ve got the bottle pointed straight down at whatever you’re using to measure, just shake the bottle, and that ounce mark will be hit fairly quickly. Again, be careful. Unless you like Angostura colored surroundings. And clothes.

I decided to garnish this with a big slice of lemon peel.

Nose: Well, not surprisingly, I smell Angostura and nothing else. The aromatic qualities are doing exactly what they’re supposed to. Dark spices, bark, cinnamon. It brings to mind the Carribean, and old timey sailing ships hauling a cargo of spices.

I’m kind of nervous about tasting this one, but here we go.

Taste: Surprisingly sweet to start, with almost a wine-like quality. Fruity and dark. Then the cinnamon kicks in. Whoa. Good, dark, powerful cinnamon. The first few chomps on a stick of Big Red gum comes to mind. There’s a slight lemon tart to cut through, though I’m having trouble picking out the rye except for a mild alcoholic bite in the finish. Though that could just as well be the Angostura’s 45% abv. It’s a lot better than I thought, as a full ounce of something considered “non-potable” called for a bit of hesitation. Very tasty if you like cinnamon and spices. It balances surprisingly well, and finishes a touch on the dry side. Nice.

What’s occurring to me now is that if Angostura goes for $8 in a 4oz bottle, this drink just cost me $2 worth of bitters. Yowza. Still the drink was surprisingly quite nice, and if you’re up for a cinnamon-spiced adventure, give it a try.

Rule 37: Champagne Night!

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.

Rule 37 Bonus Round: Champagne!
Well, sparkling wine.

The Lady Friend had acquired a quite economically priced bottle of Australian De Bortoli Sparkling Brut (Family Selection) from Bin Ends, on our last visit. Perfect for mixing cocktails. So we did, for a Very Special Wednesday Cocktail Night.

I started with a Spritz! which is a happy little word that requires an exclamation point to follow it.


– 1 1/2 oz Campari
– Prosecco (I used the sparkling we had on hand. Didn’t have any Prosecco)

Um. It’s pretty simple. Dump the Campari into a rocks/old fashioned glass over ice and top with the sparkling. I used a flamed orange peel rather than the suggested orange slice.

I got the recipe from one of the blogs I follow, the Savoy Stomp, which used to be called the Underhill Lounge. The author took a trip to Italy, the land of Campari, and did a few posts about it. This one happened to catch my eye. You can watch a video of him making it (along with an Americano) on his site here: What I Learned in Italy (Part 3).

As for the taste… Wowsers! It’s like they’re fighting in my mouth. The bitter Campari and the sweet wine are rastlin, and there’s no telling who is going to win. Certainly an interesting drink, and one worth trying. If you’re not a Campari fan, the sparkling helps take the edge off, though if you ARE a fan, there’s still plenty of flavor.

The Lady Friend arrived at SFHQ about 45 mins earlier than expected, so instead of finding me washing the dishes, she walked in to me sitting on the couch snacking on some BBQ chips. While I then attended to sorting out the kitchen, she started off with a Saranac Chocolate Lager and wanted to try one of those Manhattan things I’m always drinking. She’s not really used to the boozy cocktails, so I started her off with a lighter whiskey, Redbreast, instead of my preferred rye. Redbreast is a pot-distilled Irish whiskey (one of the only pot-distilled ones left) and the bottle was a gift from the Irish Lad and Wifey last year after I completed my black belt test. It’s quite good… much better than many standard Irish offerings, and I really don’t use it enough. The Lady Friend is getting interested in the difference between bitters, and the Manhattan is a good showcase. She got Angostura with this one. Finishing that, she moved on to her Rule 37 cocktail, the Long Hello.

The Long Hello

– 3/4oz apple brandy (Laird’s Applejack)
– 3/4oz St Germain
– 1 dash Fee Bros Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters
– Champagne to top
– Grated nutmeg garnish

Shake the brandy, St. Germain, and bitters, and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with champagne. Dust grated nutmeg over the top as garnish.

Apparently, she liked it, claiming it was “by far the most fall drink we’ve had, and besides the Bourbon Bramble, it’s my favorite this fall.” Ok then. Simple enough. I did manage to find whole nutmeg (turns out it IS in the spice aisle) and I think that helped the flavor quite a bit.
Onto my next drink.

The Typhoon

– 1oz gin (Bombay)
– Dash of Pernod
– 1/2oz fresh lime juice
– 4oz (top) champagne
– Lime Twist garnish

Shake the first three ingredients and strain into a cocktail flute. Top with champagne. Garnish with a lime twist.

I found it was a bit more liquid than expected, so I used a collins glass. The Lady Friend found this recipe somewhere, and it came with this bit of info: “At first glance, this cocktail may seem elegant and refined, but within the bubbly is a monsoon of flavors and a potency that suggests you hang on to that palm tree before you have another.” Strap yourselves in, we’re in for some chop.

Taste: Whoa. Strange. Definitely a tart lime taste, and a whole buncha licorice. I think I added more than a “dash” of Pernod. It was more like a splash. Sparkling adds a bubbly bite to the whole deal. Really interesting.

The French Revolution
From Gary Regan’s “The Bartender’s Bible”

– 2oz brandy
– 1/2oz framboise (Flag Hill raspberry liqueur)
– Top w Champagne

This one was for the Lady Friend. I believe this one was simply built in the glass. She made it, so I didn’t see what happened. Dump in the brandy and framboise, top with champagne and give it a stir. [UPDATE: The book says to stir the brandy and framboise in a mixing glass with ice, then strain into a champagne flute and add the wine.] The Francophile in her couldn’t resist the name, or an excuse to use her raspberry liqueur. I think we were watching some episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia by this point, so I didn’t hear how the drink tasted.

There you go. Four new recipes to try with a bottle of sparkling. Have at it.

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