…from the California Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? Edna Earle’s Fog Cutter was of of my father’s favorite Hollywood restaurants in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. Located on North La Brea between Sunset and Hollywood boulevards, every night was a great night at the Fog!
Food and drink specials were everyday priced… you couldn't afford to go anywhere else. I was only there once and not for a cocktail, but I do remember (as an eleven-year-old) a filet and lobster tail was a paltry $5.50 (see advertisement below). The Fog Cutter featured entertainment nightly. Or, if you were feeling lucky you could play the slots in the back room for a chance to win big! That may be the reason the restaurant was closed. By the way, Edna Earle was born in McPherson, Kansas. She was a silent screen actress, known for The Studio Girl (1918), How Could You, Caroline? (1918) and The Eagle (1918).
The Fog Cutter Cocktail is a delicate, fruity combination of different spirits and juices. It’s a mix of orange juice, lemon juice, brandy and gin. According to tradition, it’s topped with a float of sherry. However, you can add syrups if you want to make your drink more personalized.
The Fog Cutter is sometimes called the Long Island Iced Tea of tiki drinks and for good reason. Tempered by the acids of citrus juices--sweetness of orange juice and the tartness of lemon juice, along with orgeat syrup and sherry, this classic tiki cocktail isn't messing around. The Fog Cutter abandons that philosophy, and instead harbors an uncommon mix of rum, gin, brandy, and sherry. This combination may strike some as overkill, but it’s a handy recipe if you mean to clear the bar of near empty bottles. Fortunately, it also turns out to be rather tasty.
This seemingly innocuous orange-yellow long, fruity cocktail packs a serious punch. A version of a Tiki classic, credited to Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber. Vic remarks in his Bartender's Guide (1972 revised edition), "Fog Cutter, hell. After two of these, you won't even see the stuff."
1-1/2 ounces freshly-squeezed orange juice
1-1/2 ounces white rum
1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/3 ounce Cognac
1/3 ounce Pisco
1/2 ounce dry gin
1/2 ounce orgeat syrup
1/2 ounce sweet sherry
ChefSecret: Pisco is a colorless or yellowish-to-amber colored brandy produced in winemaking regions of Peru and Chile. Made by distilling fermented grape juice into a high-proof spirit, it was developed by 16th-century Spanish settlers as an alternative to orujo, a pomace brandy that was being imported from Spain.
Orgeat is a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar and rose water or orange flower water. It was originally made with a barley-almond blend. It has a pronounced almond taste and is used to flavor many cocktails. Orgeat syrup is an important ingredient in the Mai Tai and many Tiki drinks.
Quip of the Day: The hard part about being a bartender is figuring out who is drunk and who is just stupid.
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