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Scaffa?

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angus posted on 16 Aug 2009 1:17 AM

Dear All,

what do you define a Scaffa as please? Its a style of drink but seems poorly documented,

Thanks

aw

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am not sure if this answers it 'cos it seems a little vague but here is what my chum BH Simpson opines:

"A spirit of any kind, generally mixed with Benedictine and Bitters; no ice, the drink may be mixed in the glass in which it is served, and for obvious reasons usually is. The exception being a Brandy Scaffa* which uses Maraschino instead of Benedictine. There are some Scaffa recipes which use Chartreuse instead of Bitters and the drink is layered as one would a Pousse Cafe (perhaps another concept worthy of consideration for your challenge). Scaffa, as far as I can tell is an old English word for 'cupboard' thus suggesting that a Scaffa style of drink is simply any mixture served from the cupboard and into the glass. I often play the 'Scaffa Game' at work whereby the challenge is to combine any number of alcoholic ingredients and serve the final result in an appealing manner, the drink must be made in the glass in which it is served, and of course no ice may be used. Anything else goes."

Thoughts?

The * is mine as every recipe I find for a Brandy Scaffa is mixed with ice.

aw

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Well, except Jerry Thomas's Brandy Scaffa, which has no ice--in which it's just like any other 19th-century Scaffa, as far as I've been able to discern. I don't think the Benedictine is definitive of the class. Brandy, maraschino and/or another liqueur (Harry Johnson's, e.g., calls for maraschino and Chartreuse), layered, with bitters (although Johnson calls for raspberry syrup instead).

I think the cupboard theory is reaching, FWIW. Far more likely that this variant on the Pousse Cafe took its name from someone named Scaffa (it's a common enough Italian name).

As always with cocktail history, though, you never know.

Oh the Bartender is just like a mother to me / And I am his favorite child. --Slim Gaillard

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Hi Angus; 

 

Sorry, but I fear you are confusing your Simpson's. 

The post, yes it was a little vague,  it was facebook wall post; albeit your facebook wall, I will remember to have references ready next time, or in the interest of efficienty include them in anything i post.

I have my brother, a linguistics student, researching the word origin of Scaffa.  But yes, it is also a fairly common Italian family name.  And also yes I am probably reaching on the cupboard explanation, but I will hold to it, and attempt to find hard proof to back me up.

From what I could tell the recipe cited iby Jerry Thomas and Harry Johnsons in their bartender manuals are both made without ice (the two earliest published examples I could find).  Thomas is mixed in a sherry glass, and Johnson layers his in a sherry glass.  In addition to this their ingredients differ as well.  Thomas mixes Base Spirit with Benedictine (save for Brandy which is mixed with Maraschino) and adds a dash of bitters.  Johnsons' Brandy Scaffa recipe is  ¼ Sherry Glass of Raspberry Syrup, ¼ Sherry Glass of Maraschino, ¼ Sherry Glass of Green Chartreuse, layered in a Sherry Glass and Topped with Brandy (Martell).

But it would be good to know why it is the case that Thomas' recipe differs from the Johnson.

 

More thoughts??

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Kyle-- I think you're getting your Scaffas mixed up with your Champarelles. The Scaffa is brandy and maraschino, half of each, with bitters. In the 1862 edition, the Champarelle is brandy, curacao and Boker's bitters, one-third each. In the 1887 edition, reedited two years after Thomas's death, the Champarelle switches to brandy, curacao and Benedictine, one-third each, with a couple dashes of bitters.

In 1862, both appear among the Pousse-Cafes, where, one must conclude, they belong.

Oh the Bartender is just like a mother to me / And I am his favorite child. --Slim Gaillard

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To back up what Dave has said, the Brandy Scaffa from Thomas' book is listed as;

167. Brandy Scaffa

(use wine-glass)

1/2 brandy

1/2 maraschino

2 dashes bitters

and comes immediately after the Brandy Champerelle and four different Pousse Cafes, suggesting it is also layered (the way the recipe is written also backs this up in my opinion).

The Scaffa is found in the Fancy Drinks section of the book.  In the preface to this section it says, "The following miscellaneous collection of facy beverages, embraces a number of French, Spanish, English, Russian, Italian, German and American recipes."

With that in mind there is the possibility that this is an Italian recipe, which makes sense bearing in mind Scaffa is an Italian name.

The drinks in this section are;

162. Santina's Pousse Cafe
163. Parisian Pousse Cafe
164. Faivre's Pousse Cafe
165. Pousse l'Amour
166. Brandy Champerelle
167. Brandy Scaffa
168. Sleeper
169. Claret And Champagne Cup, à la Brunow
170. Ratafias
171. Balaklava Nectar
172. Crimean Cup, à la Marmora
173. Crimean Cup, à la Wyndham
174. Tom And Jerry
175. White Tiger's Milk
176. White Lion
177. Locomotive
178. Bishop
179. Bishop
180. Archbishop
181. Cardinal
182. Pope
183. A Bishop
184. Knickerbocker
185. Rumfustian
186. Claret Cup
187. Porter Cup
187. Porter Cup
188. English Curaçao
189. Italian Lemonade
190. Quince Liqueur
191. Claret Cup, or Mulled Claret
192. Bottled Velvet
193. Champagne, Hock or Chablis Cup
194. Cider Nectar
195. Badminton

Which are the Italian drinks?

Consultancy, training and events - www.evo-lution.org

Boker's Bitters and Dandelion & Burdock Bitters - www.bokersbitters.co.uk

The Jerry Thomas Project - www.thejerrythomasproject.blogspot.com

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Dear Kyle,

 

(yes, sorry... I was indeed confusing my Simpsons... sorry for my addled memory and failing eyesight.)

To transfer the info from my Facebook wall here is what Blair Reynolds had to say about the Scaffa:

"I got my info from the old Trader Vic's Bar Guide:

"An old time drink is the Scaffa, enjoyed more by men than by women, since they are merely mixtures of strong liquor pointed up with a bit of liqueur or cordial or a dash of bitters and served without ice."

He took these out of the revised edition, citing getting rid of drinks that noone ordered anymore."

aw

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Leo Engel's book 'American and other drinks' from 1878 also lists the Scaffa as Thomas did...

126 BRANDY SCAFFA.

Use Wine Glass.

One-half brandy;

one-half Maraschino;

two dashes of bitters

The Scaffa appears to have went the same way as the Pousse Cafe, with bartenders adding various ingredients to make their own mark on the drink, for better or worse, as the majority of older recipes I've come across have a base of brandy and maraschino with at least one other ingredient. 

Googlebooks throws up the following for example;

Modern American Drinks (1900) - George Kappeler - Brandy Scaffa. Pour into a cordial-glass one-third maraschino, one-third green
chartreuse, one-third brandy.

Consolidated libray of modern cooking and household recipes (1905) - Christine Terhune Herrick - Brandy Scaffa One-half fine old brandy, one-half maraschino, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters. Serve in a small wineglass.

What Shall We Drink? (1934) - Magnus Bredenbek - Peach Brandy Scaffa. Fifth equal parts Strawberry Syrup, Green Chartreuse, White Creme De Menthe, Maraschino Cordial and Peach Brandy

What Shall We Drink? (1934) - Magnus Bredenbek - Cognac Brandy Scaffa. Quarter equal parts of Raspberry Syrup, Yellow Chartreuse, Green Chartreuse and Cognac Brandy.

Here's a quote from the same book...

"From these formulas you may devise your own Champarelles and Scaffas, which, to my mind, might all be included under the general name of Pousse Cafes"

Take from that what you will.

 

Consultancy, training and events - www.evo-lution.org

Boker's Bitters and Dandelion & Burdock Bitters - www.bokersbitters.co.uk

The Jerry Thomas Project - www.thejerrythomasproject.blogspot.com

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Quickly going through some of my books...

Bartender's Guide by Trader Vic (1948), pages 398-99 - Scaffas. An old time drink is the Scaffa, enjoyed more by men than by women, since they are merely mixtures of strong liquor pointed up with a bit of liqueur or cordial or a dash of bitters and served without ice.

Brandy Scaffa 1 - 1oz brandy, 1oz maraschino liqueur, 1 dash Angostura bitters. Stir and serve in a cocktail glass

Brandy Scaffa 2 - 1/2oz cognac, 1/2oz green chartreuse, 1/2oz maraschino liqueur. Stir and serve in a cocktail glass

Gin Scaffa - 1oz benedictine, 1oz gin, 1 dash Angostura bitters. Stir and serve in a cocktail glass

Rum Scaffa - Substitute rum for gin in Gin Scaffa

Whisky Scaffa - Substitute whisky for gin in Gin Scaffa

The Official Mixer's Manual by Patrick Gavin Duffy (1956), page 141 - SCAFFAS are served unchilled, undiluted, in cocktail glasses.

Brandy Scaffa - Place in a cocktail glass 1 dash Angostura Bitters and 1/2 each Maraschino and Brandy.  Stir and serve.

Gin Scaffa - Place in a cocktail glass 1 dash Angostura Bitters and 1/2 each Benedictine and Gin.  Stir and serve.

Rum Scaffa - Place in a cocktail glass 1 dash Angostura Bitters and 1/2 each Benedictine and Rum.  Stir and serve.

Whiskey Scaffa - Place in a cocktail glass 1 dash Angostura Bitters and 1/2 each Benedictine and Bourbon or Rye Whiskey. (A blend will do.).  Stir and serve.

The Fine Art Of Mixing Drinks by David Embury (1958) page 260 - The Scaffa is the same as the Champerelle, (page 229).  It is usually called a BRANDY SCAFFA.  The usual liquors, served in a sherry glass and poured carefully to keep them separate - like a Pousse-Cafe - are as follows: raspberry syrup, maraschino, green Chartreuse, cognac.  A dash of Angostura is sometimes used to top the drink

[The Champerelle is essentially noted in the book to be a large Pousse-Cafe, served in a sherry glass in place of a Pouse-Cafe glass, with any combination of liquor]

Consultancy, training and events - www.evo-lution.org

Boker's Bitters and Dandelion & Burdock Bitters - www.bokersbitters.co.uk

The Jerry Thomas Project - www.thejerrythomasproject.blogspot.com

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David - I think I know what happened.  I first came across the Brandy Scaffa in The Artistry of Mixing Drinks, Frank Meier, 1936.  In this book the recipe is listed as:

Brandy Scaffa - In a cocktail glass : a dash of Angostura Bitters, half Maraschino, half Brandy, stir and serve.

No ice is mentioned, and all other beverages that do contain ice also contain instructions to add ice in any recipe provided.

It should also be noted that the Pousse-Cafe dose not feature in The Artistry of Mixing Drinks. It is however the case that two drinks: The Encore, and the Rainbow (both lovely I am sure) are featured, whereby the reader is instructed to prepare them in a Pousse-Cafe glass, in the style of a Pousse-Cafe. 

______

I do however concede that the pre prohibition literature would definitely seem to indicate that Scaffa's were originally categorized as fancy drinks made in the style of the Pousse-Cafe. 

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Was kindly forwarded a Boker's recipe by Michael Edmonds which he created for the recent Australian Bartender of the Year awards and it reminded me of this thread as I remembered AW talking about a style of drink made without ice;

Christmas Cake Scaffa

 

60ml Remy Martin VSOP

20ml Romate Olorosso sherry

1 Barspoon of Agave (uncut) Partida

4 Dashes Dr Adam Elmegirab’s Boker’s Bitters

1 Lemon peel

 

Method: Add all ingredients to a wine decanter and swill until the flavours marry
Glass: Stemmed
Garnish: Lemon peel (snap and discard)
Ice: N/A

 

Consultancy, training and events - www.evo-lution.org

Boker's Bitters and Dandelion & Burdock Bitters - www.bokersbitters.co.uk

The Jerry Thomas Project - www.thejerrythomasproject.blogspot.com

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