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A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration
From the Knowledge Vault
From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie and Beyond, 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind them
Buy this book. What Ted Haigh lacks in title conciseness, he gives in content quality. The book leads off with a brief history of cocktails. This background provides a context in which to understand the slew of previously little-known cocktails that he selected from the prohibition era and before. These old-and-new-again classics have been adapted as needed for modern tastes and ingredients. Many of the recipes have an interesting history which my guests uniformly enjoy. Other recipes have “drink notes” providing serving ideas, ingredient options, and helpful tips.
With a wire-bound hardcover binding, handsome faux-vintage cocktail pictures, and period photographs, VS&FC can both spiff up a coffee table and lay flat in a bar. The ingredients are clear and presented in both US and metric units. The instructions are written for someone without extensive cocktail knowledge, but the few extra words don’t irritate the experienced cocktail-maker.
The main recipe section leads into a couple dozen concise “extra credit” cocktails. Many important better-known cocktails reside here, such as the Negroni, Sazerac, and Sidecar. These recipes broaden the appeal for the cocktail novice, although many readers will already have these recipes elsewhere. That said, it’s reassuring to read Ted’s take on appropriate ratios and ingredients. He is, after all, known as Dr. Cocktail.
Ted selected twenty-five “Pioneering Champions” — influential on-line writers. For those who follow blogs and social media, the names and websites will be familiar, but the biographies perhaps not. I found this unexpected bonus entertaining. These are writers worth seeking out and following.
- Capitán (Pisco) — Sweet vermouth, Pisco, Olive
- One Pedal Driving — Bourbon, Cardamom bitters, Lemon juice, Maple syrup, Egg white, Sage
- Holiday in the Mediterranean — Gin, Rosato Vermouth, Licor 43, Mastika
- Genepy Passion — Gin, Herbal liqueur, Cherry Liqueur, Lime juice, Passion fruit juice
- Persephone out of Hades — Pisco, Pear Vodka, Lime juice, Pomegranate juice, Rosemary
Updated the link, thank you both!
The site has changed to something else, but the original page can still be found using The Internet Archive Wayback Machine. The earliest image they captured of the page is from Aug. 2011, the URL for the link is: https://web.archive.org/web/20110820090553/http://lupecboston.com/2008/… I suggest replacing the old reference with the above so that it is not lost.
The LUPEC site is no longer. Here is the way Joy had it on the menu for her birthday bash night at the Franklin (2, 1/2, 1/2, 2d):
Should this be called "The Slope" rather than just "Slope"? That is the primary way I see it listed, and it refers to a neighborhood, so the emphasis would make sense here. There seem to be a LOT of slight variations of this cocktail including later versions (plural) attributed to Julie Reiner herself. There is a 2017 video by her using Maker's Mark bourbon (rather than rye) and Giffard Apricot--so it doesn't look like formula is set as one might expect. In various recipes on the web the base spirit is listed from 2 to 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 oz, while apricot is from 1/4 to 1/2 and Angostura bitters from 1 to 2 dashes.
I tried two different versions of this tonight based on a slightly different recipe and thought it was quite good (as did the others who sampled what I made.) I used "only" 2 oz of Rittenhouse Rye for both, with 3/4 Punt e Mes, and 1/4 R&W Apricot. This had plenty of peppery rye and alcohol heat which reinforced the bitter components in Punt e Mes. I used a single dash of Angostura for one, and a single dash of Abbott's bitters (my own bottling based on Darcy O'Neil's recipe) for the other.
The Angostura was pretty noticeable at only a dash, and this cocktail is a good candidate for experimenting with different aromatic bitters to appreciate the differences they provide. I somewhat preferred the cardamom/clove/fennel from the Abbott's over the more cinnamon baking spice of the Angostura, but others were evenly split as to preference.
Unique in that the Cocchi on the approach set my palate up for a sweeter finish than the Suntori Toki, which I used, delivered- in a good way. Good spine.