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"House" Selections


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#1 campus five

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 08:29 PM

Some cocktails work better with one brand over another, but I'm curious to see what people's standard house pours are for various base spirits and other standard ingredients. I'm especially curious to see if there are any other great bargains that make good house brands.

For me:
Gin - Plymouth
Bourbon - Elijah Craig 12 yr
Rye - Rittenhouse BIB
Light Rum - ?
Gold Rum - Flor de Cana 7 yr
Dark Rum - ?
Cognac - ?
Sweet Vermouth - Carpano Antica
Dry Vermouth - Noily Pratt
Orange Curacao - Marie Brizzard
Maraschino - Luxardo

Plymouth, EJ 12, Rittenhouse and FDC 7 are all available in California for under $20 if you know where to look, and each one seems like a great bargain. Are there similar great examples?

#2 Katie Meadow

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 09:58 PM

Winter gin (for martinis): Bombay Dry
Summer gin (for G & T's): Tanqueray
Dry Vermouth: Noilly Prat
Sweet Vermouth: Martini and Rossi Red (I like it for an aperitif)
Vodka: Skyy (mainly for Bloody Marys)--love that Noxema-blue bottle.
Scotch: Cluny. Perhaps in my next life Macallan 18 yr will be my house pour. But we're house poor. And the scotch sees more action than anything else. If anyone knows a cheap scotch that's better value than Cluny lemme know!

#3 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 10:05 PM

Some cocktails work better with one brand over another, but I'm curious to see what people's standard house pours are for various base spirits and other standard ingredients. I'm especially curious to see if there are any other great bargains that make good house brands.

For me:
Gin - Plymouth
Bourbon - Elijah Craig 12 yr
Rye - Rittenhouse BIB
Light Rum - ?
Gold Rum - Flor de Cana 7 yr
Dark Rum - ?
Cognac - ?
Sweet Vermouth - Carpano Antica
Dry Vermouth - Noily Pratt
Orange Curacao - Marie Brizzard
Maraschino - Luxardo

Plymouth, EJ 12, Rittenhouse and FDC 7 are all available in California for under $20 if you know where to look, and each one seems like a great bargain. Are there similar great examples?

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I don't have a "house" bourbon at my house, but at work we pour the 8 year old Jim Beam, which I like quite a bit. My go-to rye is the Wild Turke, Rittenhouse BIB not being available in Texas. For that matter, Carpano antica isn't either, but I find Cinzano and Martini & Rossi more than adequate for everyday use. For white rum, definitely the Flor de Cana 4 year for me and lately I've been getting a good deal on the Hardy VS cognac, but otherwise I like Martell. I think dark rums vary so much that it's hard to put out one that works well in all, or even most, situations, but Appleton Extra is very good, and a go-to for me for punches and the like.
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#4 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 10:07 PM

If anyone knows a cheap scotch that's better value than Cluny lemme know!

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Not familiar with Cluny, but for a blend Famous Grouse seems to be the favorite around here. I don't drink a lot of Scotch, but the Balmore Legend isn't bad for an everyday-priced malt.
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#5 Robert Heugel

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 12:27 AM

Some cocktails work better with one brand over another, but I'm curious to see what people's standard house pours are for various base spirits and other standard ingredients. I'm especially curious to see if there are any other great bargains that make good house brands.

For me:
Gin - Plymouth
Bourbon - Elijah Craig 12 yr
Rye - Rittenhouse BIB
Light Rum - ?
Gold Rum - Flor de Cana 7 yr
Dark Rum - ?
Cognac - ?
Sweet Vermouth - Carpano Antica
Dry Vermouth - Noily Pratt
Orange Curacao - Marie Brizzard
Maraschino - Luxardo

Plymouth, EJ 12, Rittenhouse and FDC 7 are all available in California for under $20 if you know where to look, and each one seems like a great bargain. Are there similar great examples?

View Post


I don't have a "house" bourbon at my house, but at work we pour the 8 year old Jim Beam, which I like quite a bit. My go-to rye is the Wild Turke, Rittenhouse BIB not being available in Texas. For that matter, Carpano antica isn't either, but I find Cinzano and Martini & Rossi more than adequate for everyday use. For white rum, definitely the Flor de Cana 4 year for me and lately I've been getting a good deal on the Hardy VS cognac, but otherwise I like Martell. I think dark rums vary so much that it's hard to put out one that works well in all, or even most, situations, but Appleton Extra is very good, and a go-to for me for punches and the like.

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Andy, any idea why we can get the Rittenhouse 21 here in Texas, but the BIB is unavailable?
Robert Heugel
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#6 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 08:57 AM

Andy, any idea why we can get the Rittenhouse 21 here in Texas, but the BIB is unavailable?

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I was asking Jeff Merrill (Houston-area manager) from Glazer's about that last week, he wasn't sure but said he'd check into it again since he'd tasted them all recently at the distillery and was impressed (get the impression he may b hearing a few more requests for it too). I also told him to check out your place, he seemed very interested. Very cool guy, good man to know.
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#7 slkinsey

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 09:07 AM

I have the impression that the demand for Rittenhouse BIB is so much higher than expected, that there are shortages and they are having to ramp up production to meet demand. But, of course that won't be ready for several years. So, it's possible that they are confining distribution to certain markets for the time being.
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#8 jsmeeker

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 09:20 AM

Some cocktails work better with one brand over another, but I'm curious to see what people's standard house pours are for various base spirits and other standard ingredients. I'm especially curious to see if there are any other great bargains that make good house brands.

For me:
Gin - Plymouth
Bourbon - Elijah Craig 12 yr
Rye - Rittenhouse BIB
Light Rum - ?
Gold Rum - Flor de Cana 7 yr
Dark Rum - ?
Cognac - ?
Sweet Vermouth - Carpano Antica
Dry Vermouth - Noily Pratt
Orange Curacao - Marie Brizzard
Maraschino - Luxardo

Plymouth, EJ 12, Rittenhouse and FDC 7 are all available in California for under $20 if you know where to look, and each one seems like a great bargain. Are there similar great examples?

View Post




No vodka?? :wink:

If you are looking for one, get Tito's Handmade (from Texas) if you can. Pretty sure it's available in L.A. Some of my L.A. friends buy it.

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#9 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 09:42 AM

I have the impression that the demand for Rittenhouse BIB is so much higher than expected, that there are shortages and they are having to ramp up production to meet demand.  But, of course that won't be ready for several years.  So, it's possible that they are confining distribution to certain markets for the time being.

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Concur. I have to admit though that after having a friend bring me some back from Chicago I think I still prefer the Wild Turkey overall. I think the Rittenhouse is probably a bit more versatile, however.
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#10 slkinsey

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 10:36 AM

There's a thread on this topic from 2004 that makes for some interesting comparisons. There's been such an explosion in the availability of certain spirits, certain brands and bitters, etc. Back in 2004, for example, practically everyone uses Bacardi. Here's mine from 2004:

Staples for mixing.  Hmmmm.  I usually have around:

  • Gin: Gordon's for general-purpose mixing, at least one of Hendrick's, Plymouth or Boodle's for martinis
  • Vodka: Luksusowa
  • Bourbon: Maker's Mark
  • Rye: Old Overholt
  • Rum: Bacardi Silver (or off-brand reasonable facsimile thereof), Myer's
  • Scotch: Famous Grouse
  • Vermouth: Vya Extra Dry (white), Vya Sweet (red), Noilly Pratt (white)
  • Bitter drinks: Campari, Cynar, Carpano Punt e Mes, Fernet Branca, Branca Menta
  • Bitters: Angostura, Fee Brothers Orange, Fee Brothers Aromatic, Peychaud's
  • Etc.: Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Luxardo Maraschino, Cherry Heering, Limoncello (brand differs), absinthe substitute (usually Richard or Pernod), white creme de cacao, cognac or some kind, Calvados, Poire William, Cachaca
  • Stuff I happen to have around for specific drinks: Green Chartreuse, Pineau des Charantes
That's all I can think of at the moment in terms of stuff I try to have around pretty much all the time for the purpose of mixing.

Not only have my brands changed, but other categories have radically expanded. Today this is what I have around for all-purpose mixing right now (doesn't include expensive single malts and 20 year old rye, etc):
  • Gin: I always have Tanqueray as my all-purpose mixer and Junipero for special applications. Boodles, Beefeater, Plymouth and Gordon's from time to time.
  • Genever: Boomsma Jonge (whish I could do better & will stock Genevieve when it comes to NYC).
  • Vodka: Luksusowa or Smirnoff. One 1.75L bottle lasts me at least a year.
  • Aquavit: Krogstad, Aalborg, OP Anderson, Linie is what I have around. Once these run out (which will take a very long time) I'll probably stick with Krogstad.
  • Tequila: Heradura Silver -- a good 100% agave mixing tequila. I also have plentiferous Patron and Don Julio Añejo that I received as gifts or swag (and replenish the same way).
  • Pisco: Barsol
  • Cachaça: Mãe de Ouro
  • Rum: Flor de Caña and Brugal white (Cuban-style white), La Favorite (rhum agricole), Lemon Hart (demerara), Appleton and Myers (Jamaican), Inner circle (overproof)... plus some other ones I can't quite recall. Rum is a category where I find you really need to have quite a few to make the cocktails right. A Queens Park Swizzle made with Flor de Caña just isn't going to taste right.
  • Batavia Arrack van Oosten
  • Applejack: Laird's Bonded
  • Calvados: Busnel
  • Cognac: Courvoisier VS and VSOP
  • Rye: Rittenhouse Bonded and Old Overholt are my mainstays. I usually have some Wild Turkey rye around, and the occasional bottle of Baby Saz.
  • Bourbon: Wild Turkey 101 is always on hand. After that, it can vary a lot. I usually have a few other bottles of bourbon around, although I easily drink 8 bottles of rye to each bottle of bourbon.
  • Scotch: The Famous Grouse. Still sticking with the old reliable.
  • Irish: Red Breast, Powers
  • Aromatized Wine: Carpano Antica Formula, Martelletti Classico and Martini & Rossi (red vermouth), Noilly Prat and Vya (white vermouth), Martini & Rossi (bianco vermouth), Carpano Punt e Mes, Lillet Blanc and Rouge (would love to get some Cocchi Aperitivo Americano); Cocchi Barolo Chinato
  • Liqueurs: Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Curaçao of Curaçao, Marie Brizard orange curaçao and Clément Créole Shrubb as orange liqueurs; Luxardo maraschino; Green and Yellow Chartreuse; Bénédictine D.O.M; Licor 43 (vanilla/herbal); Drambiue (scotch/herbal); Marie Brizard crème de cacao; Cherry Heering; Luxardo amaretto; Frangelico; Marie Brizard Apry and Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot liqueur; Rothman & Winter crème de violette; St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram; Velvet Falernum; Saint Germain elderflower liqueur; Strega; Belle de Brillet (pear cognac); etc. I want to buy some Gilka Kümmel and would love to get my hands on some Cherry Marnier.
  • Amari: Cynar, Campari, Fernet Branca, Branca Menta, CioCiaro, Averna Amaro Siciliano, Ramazzotti Amaro, Amaro Nonino, Torani Amer. Plan to add Luxardo Bitter
  • Absinthe: Nouvelle Orleans, Kubler
  • Eaux de vie: Zwack Barack Pálinka, kirschwasser, Poire Williams
I feel liks I'm forgetting something. Unless otherwise noted, these are things I would tend to replace after running out. I didn't bother listing bitters, because that would just get ridiculous. :smile:

(ETA: I remembered a few more)

Edited by slkinsey, 28 February 2008 - 09:21 PM.

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#11 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 11:12 AM

[*]Cognac: Cointreau VS and VSOP

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Courvoisier?
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#12 slkinsey

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 12:18 PM

You haven't heard that Cointreau is making cognac now?


(D'oh! Fixed.)
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#13 eje

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 01:54 PM

OK, I'll play. This is just stuff for cocktails. No sipping booze listed.

Gin: Pretty much always have Tanqueray, Beefeater's, Plymouth, and Junipero. Aviation, North Shore No. 6, Death's Door, No. 209, etc. as I go through bottles and try them and replace or not.
Dutch Style Gin: VanWee's Oude, Anchor Genevieve, Boomsma Jonge and Oude.
Vodka: Luksusowa for drinking and mixing, Finlandia for liqueurs
Bourbon: Weller 12 year, Eagle Rare
Rye: Rittenhouse Bonded, Sazerac Straight, Wild Turkey 101
Rum: Flor de Cana Extra Dry, La Favorite Blanc, St. James Ambre, Inner Circle Green, Lemon Hart overproof, Wray & Nephew Overproof, Appleton V/X, Pusser's, Haus Alpenz Arrack van Oosten.
Cachaca: Mãe de Ouro
Pisco: Alto del Carmen
Tequila: Herradura Blanco 92 proof, Corralejo Reposado
Apple Brandy: Laird's Bonded, Germain-Robin, Clear Creek, Calvados Roger Groult
Eau-De-Vie: (Thank God I'm nearly out of...) Trimbach Kirsch, (...and can soon start using...) Clear Creek Kirsch, Aqua Perfecta Pear, Haus Alpenz Pear, Haus Alpenz Apricot, Zwack Barack Palinka
Scotch: Compass Box Asyla, Famous Grouse
Brandy: Generally one bottle of decent grape brandy. Currently Cerbois VSOP Armangac.
Aquavit: Linie
Arak: Razzouk
Sochu: Some Awamori or another
Absinthe & Absinthe-a-like: Herbsaint, Henri Bardouin, Verte de Fougerolles, Lucid, Kubler Blanche, Marteau Verte Classique, Jade PF 1901, Duplais Balance
Liqueurs: Cointreau, Brizard Orange Curacao, Luxardo Triplum, Senior Curacao of Curacao, Clement Creole Shrubb, Grand Marnier, Benedictine, Green and Yellow Chartreuse, Gilka Kummel, Cherry Heering, Luxardo Amaretto, Licor 43, Velvet Falernum, Averna Sambuca, Averna Limoni, Brizard Creme de Menthe, Bols Creme de Cacao, Mozart Black Chocolate, Brizard Apry, Benoit Serres Liqueur de Violette, Brizard Cassis, Chambord, St. Germain, Luxardo Maraschino, Chouffe Coffee Liqueur, R&W Orchard Apricot, R&W Violette, R&W Pear, homemade stuff, things I can't remember, etc.
Bitters: Angostura, All the Fee's Bitters, Regan's Orange, all the Bitter Truth Bitters
Other wine based stuff: Punt e Mes, Cocchi Americano, Cocchi Barolo Chinato, Lillet Blanc, Dubonnet Rouge
Other Bitter and Herbal Stuff: Cynar, Campari, Fernet Branca, Branca Menta, CioCiaro, Averna Amaro Siciliano, Ramazzotti Amaro, Strega, Suze
Vermouth: M&R Rosso, M&R Bianco, Dolin Dry
Syrups: Monin Orgeat, Lemon, Passion Fruit, and Raspberry, Fee's American Beauty Grenadine, Homemade Grenadine, Rose's Lime, D'Arbo Elderflower Syrup

Edit - Oh yeah, pretty much the whole Haus Alpenz and Rothman and Winter line. They should have some sort of gold star or frequent buyer program... Can't wait for the Scarlet Ibis Rum and St. Elisabeth Allspice.

Edited by eje, 28 February 2008 - 04:43 PM.

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#14 eje

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 01:57 PM

[...]
[*]Aquavit: Krogstad, Aalborg, OP Anderson, Linie is what I have around.  Once these run out (which will take a very long time) I'll probably stick with Krogstad
[...]

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Really, you like the Krogstad better than the Scandinavian brands?
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#15 slkinsey

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 02:10 PM

For cocktailing, I like Krogstad. I think it has an appealing freshness and softness. Aalborg, in particular, really hits you over the head and I've had difficulty getting it to play nice with other ingredients -- much more difficulty than, say, equally assertive gins. (I've had some frustration with aquavit cocktails, which seem like they should work better on paper.)
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#16 misterdyer

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 04:53 PM

I have found, that for most cocktail applications, that all of my base liquor and liqueur needs are entirely met by a carefully picked selection of Fleishmann's and Old Mr. Boston products. However, when that inventory is running low, my house base spirits tend towards:

Gin~ Tanq, Plymouth
Pisco~ Barsol Acholado
Bourbon~ Eagle Rare 10, Elijah Craig 12 (both criminally undervalued corn likkers), Bulleit
Rye~ Rittenhouse BIB, Baby Saz
Scotch~ Asyla, Oak Cross, White Horse (I'll take this over most big name blends)
Rum~ Appleton V/X, Goslings, Havana Club 3 year, Barbancourt 5 star, Lemon Hart
Cachaca~ Mae de Oro
Tequila~ Crissakes! I'm out of tequila!
Calvados~ Daron Fine
Cognac~ Chalfonte, Hennessy VS
Vermouth~ Cinzano Rosso, NP Dry, M&R Bianco
Vodka~ Svedka

In addition, I prefer either Finest Call or Lemon-X as my house sweet and sour mix.
It's just cold booze in a glass. Drink it, dammit.

#17 Marmish

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 08:04 PM

What's a Dutch style gin?

#18 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 08:32 PM

Ok I named a few things earlier but this is too much fun not to throw down and list my whole inventory. I would say this excludes sipping grade but I have so little that I consider in that way and practically nothing I haven't made a drink with at some point. Here we go:

-Gins: Plymouth (wish this came in 1.75s), Tanqueray, Junipero (rounding out the most used brands), Beefeaters, Boodles, Tanq10 for rare occasions, Bellringer for when my dad visits and wants a G&T, and I think there's a dusty bottle of Sapphire somewhere around here. Oh yeah, most of a bottle of Citadelle, too.
-Bourbon: WT 101, Weller 12, Evan Williams with a vanilla bean in it, AH Hirsch 16yr being reserved at this point.
-Rye: WT 101 (go-to), Saz6 (other go-to), Old Overholt, Rittenhouse 80 and 100, Thomas Handy
-Blended: Crown Royal as a Christmas present from 05. Still have most of it.
-Scotch: Famous Grouse, JW Black, Balmore Legend cos my girl likes malts.
-Irish: Powers, theres a little Bushmills somewhere too. Redbreast is on my to-get list.
-Cognac: Martell VS, Hardy VS, Kelt VSOP.
-Other Brandy: Fundador, Raynal, Quiero Pisco
-Fruit Brandies: Caron Calvados, Laird's BIB, Laird's Applejack, Barack Palinka, Schladerer Kirschwasser.
-Tequila: A little Sauza blanco and some Tequila por mi Amante in the fridge (made with Hornitos). Finally coming around to tequila, so probly some Hornitos Plata in the near future.
-Rum: Flor de Cana 4 yr white and gold, 5 yr dark, 7 year coming soon, Appleton V/X and Extra, Goslings, Meyers', Barbancourt 5 star, Mt. Gay Eclipse, Lemon Hart 80 and 151, Cruzan Amber, coconut, Single barrel, Pussers, 10 Cane, W&N Overproof, Bacardi Gold, 151, 8, St. James Hors d'Age, Pitu Cachaca. (Think I got them all)
-Vodka: Some Tito's my dad left here. I confess to having some quantity of lemon and vanilla Smirnoff vodkas, though I had actually forgotten about them til now. Probably a splash of plain Smirnoff hiding somewhere as well.
-Wines: Cinzano Rosso (at the moment), Noilly Prat dry, Lillet blanc, Dubonnet Rouge, Gautier Pineau de Charantes, Punt e Mes, Dow's Ruby Port, Savory & James Sherries do double duty for cocktails and cooking, open to brand recommendations on sherries.
-Liqueurs: Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Luxardo Maraschino, Green & Yellow Chartreuse, Marie Brizzard: Curacao, Apry, Poire William, Parfait Amour, Cassis de Bordeaux, Grand Orange, DeKuyper (for shame): Cacao, Menthe (G&W), Blackberry and Peach brandy, Razz, Hazelnut, Peppermint, Sloe Gin, Cassis, Blue Curacao, and perhaps a splash of triple sec, Bols Banana, Boulaine Peppermint (dont ask), Van der Hum, Benedictine, Cherry Heering, Drambuie, St. Germain, Gilka Kummel, Denise Klanguer Liqueur de Violette, Pimm's No. 1, Starbucks coffee liqueur, SoCo 80 (from the way-back machine), Licor 43, Tuaca, Wray & Nephew Allspice and my homemade too, Henri Bardouin Pastis, and I'm pretty sure some Herbsaint somewhere. I think I have a bit of homemade limoncello around as well. phew
-Potable Bitters: Campari, Ramazotti, Fernet Branca, Cynar, Torani Amer, Jade Edouard Absinthe, and tiny amount of Jaegermeister procured for one drink.
-Dasher Bitters: Angostura, Peychauds, Regans, Fee's Orange, also a 50/50 mix of these, Fee's: Aromatic, Peach, Lemon, Mint (why?), The Bitter Truth: Aromatic, Orange, Hermes: Aromatic, Orange.

I could list the syrups I have, too, but that would just be excessive :wacko:


-Andy

Edited by thirtyoneknots, 28 February 2008 - 08:36 PM.

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#19 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 08:34 PM

What's a Dutch style gin?

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Dutch gin, aka "Hollands" is a lightly sweetened, old-fashioned style of gin made in pot still on a base of what is essentially unaged whiskey. Or so I'm told. None is currently imported to the United States, aside from Boomsma, which those in the know say is not terribly indicative of the style.
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#20 Dave the Cook

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 09:36 PM

There's a thread on this topic from 2004 that makes for some interesting comparisons.  There's been such an explosion in the availability of certain spirits, certain brands and bitters, etc.  Back in 2004, for example, practically everyone uses Bacardi.  Here's mine from 2004 . . . .

There's been some expansion in availability, but -- and I don't want to speak for everyone -- I think there's also simply a greater awareness of what's available. When I look at people's lists, I don't see so many new products as I see products that in 2004 might have been considered obscure but are now the focus of cocktail enthusiasts' interest.

. . . . .
Plan to add Luxardo Bitter
. . . . .

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Isn't Luxardo Bitter a Campari knock-off? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

What's a Dutch style gin?

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Dutch gin, aka "Hollands" is a lightly sweetened, old-fashioned style of gin made in pot still on a base of what is essentially unaged whiskey. Or so I'm told. None is currently imported to the United States, aside from Boomsma, which those in the know say is not terribly indicative of the style.

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Damrak?

To get back to campus five's original inquiry, here's what I keep around as "standard house pours" (like everyone else, my sheves have accreted a lot of crap that doesn't get regular use):

Gin - Beefeater or Citadelle; I've started keeping Plymouth around, too, for softer drinks.
Bourbon - I've got Wild Turkey 100, but I haven't touched it in months. I don't care for bourbon all that much.
Rye - Wild Turkey 101; Rittenhouse BIB
White Rum - Flor de Cana 4 yr
Gold Rum - I'm not sure what this is. Someone give me a clue!
Dark Rum - Bacardi 8 (why does no one else mention this? It's the one objectively great product Bacardi makes); Inner Circle 115
Cognac - Landy
Apple: I keep both Laird's Applejack and Laird's Bonded on hand. I think they serve different purposes. I've also got a bottle of decent Calvados (cant' remember the name right off hand), but I'm not sure where it works better than one or the othe of the Laird's products.
Tequila, silver: Milagro. It's not as good as Herradura, but the Herradura is not $10 a bottle better. When I can find it, I buy El Grito, a 100-proof silver that beats anything short of 40 bucks per 750 ml.
Tequila, reposado: Milagro or Cazadores.
Sweet Vermouth - Carpano Antica
Dry Vermouth - Noily Pratt
Orange Curacao - I've been working through Prunier, Grand Marnier, Creole Shrubb, MB Grand Orange and MB Orange Curacao. I think I'm going to settle on the last.
Triple Sec - Marie Brizard typically; Citronge or Cointreau if MB isn't available, depending on how business has been going.
Apricot: Marie Brizard Apry
Maraschino - Luxardo (not that I have a choice)
Herbsaint, Regan's and Fee's Orange bitters, Angostura, Fee's Grapefruit and Lemon bitters, Campari (and a bottle of Luxardo Bitter that I bought for comparison), Lillet, Taylor's Velvet Falernum. Oh, a bottle of Belle de Brillet that gets tapped regularly for experiments.

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Eat more chicken skin.


#21 Mayur

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 01:15 AM

eje, you suck! You California people and your easy-to-get spirits! Breaks the heart...

London Dry Gin: Beefeater, Broker's, Boodle's, currently a bottle of Aviation that I'm learning to hate. I'm cheap, and I hate Tanqueray. What more to say?
Dutch Style Gin: Amsterdams Oude (the BEST!), Genevieve although I have only one bottle and can't wait to get more (this stuff is the spirit sensation of the year).
Vodka: None unless for housemade infusions, in which case Stoli 100.
Bourbon: None though Buffalo Trace makes it in (and out!) for parties at $17.99/750.
Rye: Rittenhouse Bonded or Wild Turkey 101 (TBH I never use it, preferring...)
Apple Brandy: Laird's Bonded (my go-to spirit for anything whiskey-related); if we're talking *serious* brandy, it's Coeur de Lion '61 or '77 as needed.
Rum: Zacapa 23 (this is what actually gets drunk) plus Flor de Cana Extra Dry, Inner Circle Green, Lemon Hart Demerara 151, Appleton V/X, Pusser's, Haus Alpenz Arrack van Oosten..
Cachaca: Mãe de Ouro
Tequila: Herradura Silver, flavor-of-the-day (currently Chinaco) reposado (if I could afford it, I'd go Partida on everything, but price performance is tricky)
Eau-De-Vie: Maraska slivovitz, Zwack barack palinka, HA blume marillen, some nameless quetsch
Scotch: Oh god. One of the too-many bottles I have lying around; umpteen JW vertical tasting samples, the entire island of Islay, etc. Whatever fits fancy. If I had to actually pay for it: Famous Grouse. I may be the only person in the cocktail community to be underwhelmed by Compass Box.
Brandy: Another "oh god," but at minimum: Maison Surenne Petit, Pierre Ferrand Ambre, and hopefully something decent by Darroze.
Aquavit: Krogstad.
Absinthe & Absinthe-a-like: Herbsaint, Henri Bardouin, Verte/Blanche de Fougerolles (you actually load up on all those, Erik?)
Liqueurs: Maison Prunier orange brandy (subs for cointreau, GM, etc), R&W apricot, R&W pear, homemade violette, Benedictine, Green and Yellow Chartreuse, Velvet Falernum, Bols Creme de Cacao, St Germain, Luxardo maraschino, chambord, St Elizabeth's allspice dram, Drambuie
Bitters: Bittermens (mole, grapefruit, curo 13), Angostura, All the Fee's Bitters, Regan's Orange, all the Bitter Truth Bitters, Peychaud's
Vermouths etc: Noilly Prat dry, Vya sweet, Martelleti "classico," Carpano Antica Formula, Punt e Mes, Cocchi Americano, Lillet Blanc, Dubonnet Rouge, homemade "Kina lillet" and "Noilly Prat ambre" analogues
Other Bitter and Herbal Stuff: Amer Picon (homemade), Averna Amaro Siciliano, Luxardo bitter, Ramazzotti Amaro, Strega, Suze
Syrups: Monin Lavender; house-made ginger, lemon, lime, raspberry, sour cherry; house-made grenadine; (friend's) house-made Thai basil (an almost perfect Chartreuse analogue)
Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

#22 Mayur

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 01:20 AM

Isn't Luxardo Bitter a Campari knock-off? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Yes it is. But it costs $14.99 a bottle at Warehouse around the corner, and it IMO is absolutely the equal of ye name brand (artificial color notwithstanding).
Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

#23 J_Ozzy

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 02:31 AM

Following slkinsey's lead, let's compare then with now

(from the 2004 thread)

Being in the college-student boat, I have some pretty big holes in my cabinet (which actually happens to be a shelf in my kitchen). On the plus side, I live near the Quebec border, so I have both the LCBO and SAQ to choose from.

Gin: 1.75L of Beefeater. Originally intended for Singapore Slings, now doing duty in G&T's.
Vodka: Grey Goose (Christmas present) Absolut Citron (cosmos) and "SAQ Alcool 94%" (for large batch drinks at parties)
Rye: Alberta Premium
Rum: HC3, Appleton VX, Rhum Saint James, Wray and Nephew Overproof
Vermouth: Martini (red), Noilly Pratt (white)
Bitter drinks: Campari
herbal: Benedictine
Bitters: Angostura
Etc.: Cointreau, white creme de cacao, Courvoisier VS, Calvados Boulard, Cachaca, Pisco, Pineau des Charentes, Apricot liqueur, creme de banane, blue curacao, Chambord,
Of special note: Meaghers "Grand Curacao"; as good as Cointreau for the price of triple sec.  Unfortunately not available in Ontario.
Cherry Heering: I bought some originally for singapore slings (see Gin section), but found that it overpowered the drink completely. I now have 2 bottles gathering dust...
I hope to add some Maker's Mark and Un Emile 68 absinthe to my collection over the summer.


Well, I'm now safely out of school, and my inventory has massively increased, so I'll keep my answers to funtional most-often-used house pours.

Gin: Beefeater and Plymouth are my go-to's depending on the drink (still haven't tried Junipero)
Vodka: I've still got that bottle of 94% alcohol, and that same bottle of grey goose ... I guess I'm not much of a vodka drinker
Rye: Alberta Premium/Springs when I'm feeling patriotic, Old Potrero when I need to be technical (value brand and mid-range American rye is still impossible to find out here).
Rum: St James, HC and Appleton's for mixing (still have the W&N overproof, too).
Cachaca: 51 (same bottle from previous post)
Bourbon: Maker's Mark and Evan Williams, depending on the drink
Scotch: Famous Grouse
Irish: Redbreast
Tequila: Sauza Hornitos
Brandy: Courvoisier VSOP, Pisco ABA (same bottle from previous post)
Apple: Michel Jodoin Apple Brandy (Quebec), as close as I can come to applejack
Orange: Still a huge fan of Meagher's Gran Curacao
Vermouth: Cizano Red, Noilly Pratt white
Aperatif: Campari, Lillet, amaro Ramazzotti
Herbal: Benedictine, Chatreuse
Absinthe: Jade N-O (no value brands in this category, might as well aim high)
Bitters: Everything currently in commercial production except Regan's Orange (will fix that soon) and the Hermes line.
Etc: loads of eau-de-vie, cremes, liqueurs, misc spirits and ingredients required to build obscure cocktails. (It's tough to find value here if you're exploring. If you've got a set drink repetoire, then it's much more manageable).

#24 slkinsey

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 08:26 AM

There's a thread on this topic from 2004 that makes for some interesting comparisons.  There's been such an explosion in the availability of certain spirits, certain brands and bitters, etc.  Back in 2004, for example, practically everyone uses Bacardi.  Here's mine from 2004 . . . .

There's been some expansion in availability, but -- and I don't want to speak for everyone -- I think there's also simply a greater awareness of what's available. When I look at people's lists, I don't see so many new products as I see products that in 2004 might have been considered obscure but are now the focus of cocktail enthusiasts' interest.

Awareness certainly makes a difference. But if today one can get Luxardo maraschino in the hinterlands, I'm betting it wasn't so in 2004. For example, everyone was using Bacardi back in the day because you just couldn't walk into a liquor store and see bottles of Flor de Caña and Brugal alongside the Bacardi.

To name a few that are either new, have recently seen radically increased availability or radically increased variety since 1994: Laird's bonded, Rittenhouse bonded and any number of other ryes, several new high-end bourbons, rhum agricole, decent cachaça, decent pisco, crème de violette, pimento dram; Saint Germain elderflower liqueur, absinthe!, Bitter Truth orange, lemon and aromatic bitters, Hermes orange and aromatic bitters, Fee's lemon, grapefruit, peach and barrel-aged bitters, Regan's bitters, Angostura orange bitters, homemade bitters too countless to name, Bittermens bitters for those who can get 'em, radically expanded rum choices, etc, etc, etc.

. . . . .
Plan to add Luxardo Bitter
. . . . .

Isn't Luxardo Bitter a Campari knock-off? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I suppose it's a knock-off in the same way that Luxardo's amaretto is a knock off of Amaretto Disaronno. What I get out of Luxardo Bitter is that it's like the "Punt e Mes" version of Campari, with more of everything.

What's a Dutch style gin?

Dutch gin, aka "Hollands" is a lightly sweetened, old-fashioned style of gin made in pot still on a base of what is essentially unaged whiskey. Or so I'm told. None is currently imported to the United States, aside from Boomsma, which those in the know say is not terribly indicative of the style.

Damrak?

Not really. Damrak has some genever-like qualities (softer, wetter), but fundamentally it's still within the universe of dry gin.

Edited by slkinsey, 01 March 2008 - 11:14 AM.

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#25 Marmish

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 09:45 AM

What's a Dutch style gin?

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Dutch gin, aka "Hollands" is a lightly sweetened, old-fashioned style of gin made in pot still on a base of what is essentially unaged whiskey. Or so I'm told. None is currently imported to the United States, aside from Boomsma, which those in the know say is not terribly indicative of the style.

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Thanks. I'm neither knowledgeable enough nor opinionated enough (read: I'll drink just about anything) to add to this thread other than to ask questions, but I'll be adding many of your favorites to my shopping list to try and enjoy reading your lists.

#26 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 10:06 AM

Damrak?

...

Dark Rum - Bacardi 8 (why does no one else mention this? It's the one objectively great product Bacardi makes


I dont think Damrak is quite the same thing. I haven't tried it, but the impression I get is that it's something closer to Boomsma

And I did list Bacardi 8! I like the stuff, but I like Flor de Cana 7 better.
Andy Arrington

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#27 eje

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 12:12 PM

eje, you suck! You California people and your easy-to-get spirits! Breaks the heart...
[...]

View Post

Well, I've been accumulating for a few years now. Fortunately, the nature of my Savoy project means, aside from Gin and Vermouth, I seldom have to replace more than a bottle at a time. And yeah, I somehow seem to have amassed a bunch of Absinthe.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#28 jmfangio

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 04:25 PM

I'm lazy. Can I just submit a class photo?

Posted Image

Edited by jmfangio, 01 March 2008 - 04:30 PM.

"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

#29 JAZ

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 09:53 PM

Some cocktails work better with one brand over another, but I'm curious to see what people's standard house pours are for various base spirits and other standard ingredients. I'm especially curious to see if there are any other great bargains that make good house brands.

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Back to the subject of "house brands," mine are pretty fixed:

Gin: Beefeater, and Plymouth for drinks where a softer gin is better
Tequila: I've settled on Milagro, although I occasionally splurge on El Tesoro reposado.
Brandy: Landy VS
White rum: Flor de Cana
Dark rum: Bacardi 8, Inner Circle green (when I can find it)
Rye: Rittenhouse Bonded or Wild Turkey
Apple brandy: Laird's Applejack and Laird's bonded
Scotch: I tend to buy whatever vatted malt is available and relatively inexpensive.
Triple sec: Marie Brizard (sometimes I splurge on Cointreau)
Maraschino: Luxardo
Vermouth: Noilly Prat (dry) and Carpano Antica (sweet). Also Lillet Blanc.
Various other liqueurs: Chartreuse, Campari, Drambuie, Benedictine, Herbsaint, MB Apry.

That's not everything in my bar, but it's the stuff I use most often. I'll switch from my usual brands if something else good is on sale or I feel like splurging, but these tend to be the best values I can find. Are there "better" brands? Undoubtedly, but these work for me.

#30 Nathan

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 03:51 PM

I'll play:

Gin: Plymouth, Gordon's (usually have Citadelle instead), Junipero, Zuidam Genever.
Rye: Rittenhouse Bonded
Bourbon: Eagle Rare
Scotch: Peat Monster. Asyla and Lagavullin 15 for sipping.
Cognac/Brandy: basic Pierre Ferrand. have a Spanish brandy ready for when that runs out.
Irish Whiskey: Jamesons.
Orange Liqueur: Citronge, Gran Gala.
Maraschino: Luxardo
Chartreuse: regular green.
Apricot: Apry
Rum: Barbancourt, Appleton White.
Violette: Deniset.
Absinthe: Edouard 72
Pastis: Pernot, Absente
Liqueurs, etc.: La Perique Tobacco, St. Germain, Benedictine, Wild Turkey Honey, Fernet Stock, Fernet Stock Citrus, Creme de Cassis, Pisco, some Amaro, Ouzo, Parfait Amour, Pontiane Gentian, Batavia Arrack, Zirbenz, Limoncello, Heering Cherry, white Creme de Cacao, dark Creme de Cacao, and a bunch of others...

Edited by Nathan, 03 March 2008 - 03:51 PM.