It's San Francisco Cocktail Week! Time for another episode of cocktail talk! After such a fantastic session with Erik Adkins, Thad Vogler, and Eric Johnson, I had to get Jennifer Colliau and Erik Ellestad together for a second part to this "Talking About Booze" series. Listening to San Francisco's best bartenders talk about the drinks they make is fascinating for anyone who takes their mixing seriously. I've learned so much over the past few years from my conversations with Jennifer and Erik, so I thought filming one of these encounters might be helpful to budding cocktailians. If you didn't know already, Jennifer is the brain behind Small Hand Foods, a company dedicated to recreating lost syrups and sweeteners once indespensable to the world's best bartenders. Erik is the man behind Savoy Stomp, the über-popular blog documenting every single recipe from the famed Savoy Hotel Cocktail Book. Erik's blog was so influential, they actually gave him a job at Heaven's Dog! I met them both by chance in 2009 while sitting with my wife at the HD counter, looking to learn a bit more about what they do. Since then they've become good friends, people I count on when I need help and trusted companions of the liquor industry who share my ideas about education and contagious passion.
Since whisk(e)y from forgotten and lost distilleries has become quite the rage, I thought we could talk about the cocktail equivalents. Absinthe, Creme de Violette, and Orgeat were not all that accessible in 2007. Since then there has been a concerted effort to recreate and reintroduce these products into a market hungry for cocktail history. Jennifer has played a large role in this genre herself with the Small Hand Foods products. Erik is a concerted historian who spends his time delving through old manuals in search of more information and lost recipes. There are no two bartenders more equipped to tackle this subject than Erik and Jen.
If you're looking to recreate some of these drinks at home, here are the recipes for a few "forgotten" cocktails mentioned in the video:
The Army Navy Cocktail
- 2 oz. gin
- 1/2 oz. Small Hand Foods Orgeat
- 1/2 oz. lemon juice
Shake with ice and double-strain into a cocktail glass
The Brooklyn Cocktail
- 2 oz. rye whiskey
- 1 oz. dry vermouth
- 1/4 oz. maraschino liqueur
- 1/4 oz. Amer Picon (or Paolucci CioCiaro since Amer Picon is not available in the U.S.)
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.
- 2 oz. Pisco
- 3/4 oz. lemon juice
- 3/4 oz. Small Hand Foods pineapple gum syrup
Shake vigorously with ice and double-strain into a cocktail glass.
From the Savoy Cocktail Book (adapted by Erik Ellestad)
- 3/4 oz Italian Vermouth
- 3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
- 3/4 oz Sherry (Manzanilla)
- 3/4 oz Dry Gin (Navy Strength is fun)
- Barspoon Orgeat
- Dash Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Barbary Coast Cocktail
- 3/4 oz Scotch
- 3/4 oz Dry Gin
- 3/4 oz Creme de Cacao
- 3/4 oz Cream
Shake with ice and pour down the sink.