Biter Cocktail – Savoys 1934 Beautiful Peridot Cocktail

The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London

Opened in 1893 The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American style cocktails in London to the British upperclass. The American Bar has always been a high end bar but what really set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became it’s head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high end hotel bars, but Harry found himself out of work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the american prohibition was coming to an end the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar and a year later they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934 The Savoy Cocktail Book documents all of the bars best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era, European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there though. A cocktail cost around $250 there and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book.

How Does The Biter Cocktail Taste

The Biter cocktail is very similar to the last word and if you like the last word then you will like this one too. The Biter is a bit more boozy, complex and herbal than the last word but again they are very similar. This is a really hard one to describe. Its herbal, slightly sweet, a little sour. Don’t be fooled by its pretty color its very strong and very herbal.

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Biter Cocktail – Savoys 1934 Beautiful Peridot Cocktail

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

241

kcal
ABV

34%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a Biter Cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Absinthe

  • 1/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/3 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2/3 oz Green Chartreuse

  • 1.5 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes

Improved Midori Sour – A Balanced Herbal Twist on the Midori Sour

This isn’t a classic cocktail it’s just a really good cocktail. The Midori sour is pretty awful drink. If you google it you’ll find many different recipes for it (also trying to improve it) but the official Beam Suntory recipe is half Midori and half sweet and sour mix. It comes in around 10% ABV and taste as bad as it sounds. This late 70s drink reeks of sweaty polyester suits at studio 54 looking to fuck.

This improved one keeps the same flavor and intent as the original, but isn’t as sweet and the herbal flavors make it much more palatable.

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Improved Midori Sour – A Balanced Herbal Twist on the Midori Sour

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

252

kcal
ABV

28%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the an Improved Midori Sour.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 oz Midori

  • 1 tsp Green Chartreuse

  • 2 oz Vodka

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards

Notes

Last Word – Original Detroit Athletic Club Cocktail Recipe

History Of The Last Word

Invented at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC), sometime before 1916, the last word survived thanks to a New York stage actor. The last word is often credited with having been invented by Frank Fogarty, but, after research done by the DAC itself, the last word was actually invented sometime before Frank Fogarty brought it to New York. Frank Fogarty was a vaudeville actor in New York during the earlier part of the 20th century and is credited in Ted Saucier’s 1951 book “Bottom’s Up!” for having “introduced [The Last Word] around here [New York] about thirty years ago”. (Ted Saucier took over historical records and publications for The Waldorf-Astoria after Albert Stevens Crockett. A.S. Crockett is the person who compiled the original Waldorf-Astoria’s bars cocktail recipes into the famous Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book.) Due to the drinks present day popularity the DAC did a bit of research and found an old 1916 decorative souvenir menu with the last word listed for 35 cents. The menu was most likely printed to celebrate the clubs much larger and much more impressive new building on Madison Avenue in 1915. It is unknown if the last word predates the 1916 souvenir menu and if so, by how much. The club first opened in 1887, so somewhere between those two years the drink was invented. The Detroit Metro Times has a very good article about the Last Word it reprinted with the DAC permission that was first published in a 2015 edition of The Detroit Athletic Club Magainze.

The cocktail wasn’t commonly made again until 2003 when Seattle bartender Murray Stenson found a copy of “Bottoms Up!”. He added this forgotten cocktail to his Seattle bar’s drink menu and it was a hit. The Last Word became popular in the Pacific Northwest, eventually was made on television as the hot new Seattle cocktail and soon spread to the rest of the country.

How Does It Taste

I personally love the taste of this cocktail. The Last Word has a clean bright herbal, cherry, citrus flavor that is wonderful but unfortunately not for everyone. If you have ever had Green Chartreuse before and are not a fan then this cocktail will not change your mind. the Green Chartreuse flavor is not too strong but its still the most forward flavor.

Most important Ingredient

The most important ingredient in the Last Word cocktail is the gin. The dryness of the gin is what saves this cocktail from being way too flavorful and herbaceous. The drier and cleaner the gin is the better. Don’t use a fancy flavorful sipping gin in this cocktail, because the Green Chartreuse is already such a strong unique herbal flavor that any more strong herbal flavor is just too much. The lime juice and Maraschino Liqueur help cut that flavor and add more complexity but its the clean dryness of the gin that mellows the drink. I personally feel using vodka instead of gin makes for a more balanced cocktail, but the classic recipe calls for dry gin. Something like a Bombay dry gin (normal Bombay, not Sapphire) and Beefeater work very well in this.

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Last Word – Original Detroit Athletic Club Cocktail Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

184

kcal
ABV

31%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Last Word.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lime Juice

  • 2/3 oz Maraschino Liqueur

  • 2/3 oz Green Chartreuse

  • 2/3 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes

Champs Élysées Cocktail – Original 1934 Savoy Recipe

History Of The Champs Élysées

Champs Élysées is French for Elysian Fields and is named after the famous French avenue that terminates at the Arc de Triomphe. This cocktail was invented by Harry Craddock in London and comes from the 1934 Savoy Cocktail book. I absolutely love this drink and I personally feel this is one of the best cocktail from the Savoy book. The Savoy cocktail book was printed in 1934 mostly for an American audience that was recently able to legally order cocktails again with the repeal of Prohibition. The Savoy Cocktail book is regarded as one of the best European cocktail books to come out of the time period and is an example of how cocktails changed in during the American prohibition era. It helped introduce Americans to less common liqueurs and aperitifs such as Chartreuse that were more common to European cocktails.

I do not speak French and the first time I said the name of this cocktail I called it the Champs like champions and said elysees like Ulysses. needless to say this is not how you pronounce this cocktail. The phonetic way to say it is shaanz eh·lee·zei. Before order one of these you should google how to properly pronounce it to save you any embarrassment. This also isn’t really a drink you can just order anywhere, high end bars or bars that pride themselves around unique craft cocktails will know what how to make this but any normal to even mid level bar will not know what this is, even if they have all the ingredients.

So How Does It Taste

The oaky wine flavor of the brandy is perfectly balanced by the herbal flavor of the Green Chartreuse, and the acidic citrus is cut perfectly by the syrup. It taste like an herbal brandy sour, but its proportions are what make it balanced and tasty. If you have never had this then you don’t know what you are missing. One of the top 5 drinks I have ever had for sure.

The Most Important Ingredient

The most important ingredient in the Champs Élysées is the Green Chartreuse. It’s unique green herb flavor totally shapes the drink. Any normal brandy will work and in fact I wouldn’t use a really nice sipping one. It would be a waste since the Chartreuse becomes the primary flavor. Fortunately for you there is only one Green Chartreuse so you can’t really make this wrong since its a pretty straight forward list of ingredients. Unfortunately Green Chartreuse cost around $60 a bottle so it makes this a pretty pricy drink to make at home.

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Champs Élysées Cocktail – Original 1934 Savoy Recipe

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

202

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Champs Élysées Cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 1/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/3 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse

  • 1.5 oz Brandy

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards

Notes

Bijou Cocktail – Original 1900 Harry Johnson Recipe

History Of The Bijou Cocktail

This drink was invented by Harry Johnson and was first published in his 1900 edition of The Bartenders Manual. The name Bijou means jewel in French, and is meant to represent the three spirits in this cocktail. The sweet vermouth represents a ruby, the chartreuse represents an emerald, and the dry gin represents a diamond. The original Harry Johnson recipe is stirred, but this cocktail can also be done pousse-café. A layered pousse-café Bijou looks very nice but doesn’t go down the easiest. I will say it’s magical to look at the side of a layered bijou and see the color of individual ingredients. If you layer this cocktail the order to layer in is first:

  1. Sweet Vermouth
  2. Green Chartreuse
  3. Dry Gin

Layering order is pretty easy to figure out for most drinks. Simply put, the sweetest item goes to the bottom and the driest item goes at the top. The sweet vermouth is the sweetest so it goes on the bottom, followed by the Chartreuse and obviously dry gin is the driest of the 3 so it goes at the top. Layering is usually determined by an ingredients gravity, which is a measurement of both sugar content and ABV/ABW. In practical application though ABV is negligible and sugar content is the main contributor to gravity, unless it’s 151 or some other crazy high ABV spirit. Which is why you can add grenadine to a tequila sunrise and it drops to the bottom but 151 will float on top of a zombie cocktail.

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Bijou Cocktail – Original 1900 Harry Johnson Recipe

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

229

kcal
ABV

37%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Bijou cocktail first printed in the 1900 edition of Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual. 

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 1 oz Green Chartreuse

  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes