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Help for a Couple of Cocktail Novices (Part 1)


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#31 JAZ

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:32 PM





You could make a 20th Century

Tell me more.

It's gin, Lillet blanc, crème de cacao and lemon juice. You can either go 1 1/2 for the gin and 3/4 for everything else (2:1:1:1), or 2 for the gin and 1/2 for everything else (4:1:1:1), or 2 for the gin, 3/4 for the lemon and lillet, and 1/2 for the crème de cacao.

Samuel - how would you describe the taste of this? Sounds like an odd combination.

That's the beauty of it! You think to yourself, "gin, Lillet, lemon and . . . chocolate?" And that's pretty much the experience you have when drinking it. When it's balanced right, the chocolate kind of sneaks up on you during the finish.

I have to say I'm just not a fan. I really tried to like this, but lemon and chocolate doesn't appeal to me at all.

I would try the gimlet with fresh lime and simple. (2 oz gin, 3/4 lime, 3/4 simple (1:1)) I realize that Rose's is "traditional," but fresh lime is so much better.

I know I'm in the minority, but I like Rose's in the right application, of which a Gimlet is one. Gin, simple and lime is a fine drink, but it's not a Gimlet.

#32 mkayahara

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:43 PM

I have to say I'm just not a fan. I really tried to like this, but lemon and chocolate doesn't appeal to me at all.

I'm in the same boat. I tried it once, and decided it was a waste of good gin. I'll probably try it again the next time I open a bottle of Lillet, but more out of obstinacy than anything.


I would try the gimlet with fresh lime and simple. (2 oz gin, 3/4 lime, 3/4 simple (1:1)) I realize that Rose's is "traditional," but fresh lime is so much better.

I know I'm in the minority, but I like Rose's in the right application, of which a Gimlet is one. Gin, simple and lime is a fine drink, but it's not a Gimlet.

If you're in the minority, you're in good company! Gin, simple and lime is a delicious gin sour, but it is not a Gimlet. I'm fond of homemade lime cordial now, but I'll take Rose's if there's nothing else available.

One thing about that, Kerry: Gin purchased in Ontario is not to be trusted in a Gimlet. You really need the export-strength (47% abv) Tanqueray or Beefeater for it to sing.
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#33 Kerry Beal

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 04:19 AM

One thing about that, Kerry: Gin purchased in Ontario is not to be trusted in a Gimlet. You really need the export-strength (47% abv) Tanqueray or Beefeater for it to sing.

Oh dear - and it appears we need more gin!

#34 Kerry Beal

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 04:13 PM

Tonight was a two cocktail night (actually 2 for Anna - 1.05 for me cause I knocked my first one over very early in the game).

The first was the Pegu cocktail - very much enjoyed (what I had of it before the carpet enjoyed the rest) - followed the advice of less lime vs the orange liqueur. Finally got to use one of my two bottle of angostura bitters.

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Ran out and grabbed some more gin and made the 20th Century. I think I could be a fan. The smell reminds me of the vitamin cocktail that my mother used to give us on a spoon as children. Loved that stuff.

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#35 Kerry Beal

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 03:01 PM

Tonight - Intro to Aperol. One of our favourites so far!

As you can see we are a bit limited in our glass selection up here.

DSCN3646.jpg

#36 Steamtrain

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 08:05 PM

Besides, with Aperol I'd think that the Intro to Aperol is a no-brainer, and it's very approachable for those not experienced in cocktails.

2 oz Aperol
1 oz (Beefeater) Gin
¾ oz Lemon Juice
¼ oz Simple Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters


This should not be missed.

Edit: oops missed second page

Edited by Steamtrain, 19 July 2011 - 08:07 PM.


#37 Steamtrain

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 08:22 PM

A big bottle of Cointreau would make this a lot easier.

#38 Kerry Beal

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:39 AM

A big bottle of Cointreau would make this a lot easier.

Funny you should mention it - as of two days ago we do! And it is big as there are no smaller ones at the LCBO.

#39 Kerry Beal

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 05:02 PM

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Old Fashioneds tonight - muddled the lemon rind with a bit of sugar, added a bit of additional turbinado syrup, couple of nice big dashes of angostura, jigger of bourbon.

Had to use a tart tamper as my muddler.

#40 Kerry Beal

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 05:25 PM

Yesterday I smoked a little bourbon with my smoking gun. It came out pretty darn smokey.

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Decided to use a small amount of the smoked bourbon with some not smoked bourbon to make some Ward 8's tonight - not something I'm going to try again! Not sure if it was because it was just too smokey or if it's not a combination I enjoy. Guess I'm going to have to try it again at some point with regular bourbon.

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Guess the leftover smoked bourbon will go into the Kentucky BBQ sauce from MC that Anna's working on tomorrow.

#41 Sunny&Rummy

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:09 PM

Let me suggest two things to try with the smoked bourbon before you give up on it. They both use maple syrup which should help tam the smoke a bit. You might also cut the smoked bourbon with straight bourbon as you did before if the flavor is still too much.

Maple Leaf

PDT Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned

For the latter cocktail, you should be able to sub your smoked bourbon for the bacon-infused bourbon to nice effect.

#42 Kerry Beal

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:33 PM

Let me suggest two things to try with the smoked bourbon before you give up on it. They both use maple syrup which should help tam the smoke a bit. You might also cut the smoked bourbon with straight bourbon as you did before if the flavor is still too much.

Maple Leaf

PDT Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned

For the latter cocktail, you should be able to sub your smoked bourbon for the bacon-infused bourbon to nice effect.

Thanks for the ideas - I'll give them a try. I would have made a smoke 'n choke if I was at home where I have a bottle of Cynar.

#43 Make me a Cocktail

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:08 AM

Sorry for the self promotion (well I'm not that sorry as think it could really help :)) here but have a look at the MyBar feature on our site:
http://makemeacocktail.com/
It allows you to put in what you have to show you what you can make.

For instance the Pegu Club:
http://makemeacockta...creen/cid/6903/
Which is a favourite of mine!

We use some substitution filters as well to try and show you what you possibly could make with a small twist (ie Orange liqueur substituted for Triple Sec / Cointreau) - as we think it just opens up your results a little and allows you try slightly different twists on the classic recipe.

Anyway, keep on posting here your findings, I'm enjoying your journey through the cocktails.

Nick
P.S Just remember to add all your home ingredients and mixers to the list.

Edited by Make me a Cocktail, 22 July 2011 - 02:12 AM.


#44 Kerry Beal

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:30 AM

Sorry for the self promotion (well I'm not that sorry as think it could really help :)) here but have a look at the MyBar feature on our site:
http://makemeacocktail.com/
It allows you to put in what you have to show you what you can make.

For instance the Pegu Club:
http://makemeacockta...creen/cid/6903/
Which is a favourite of mine!

We use some substitution filters as well to try and show you what you possibly could make with a small twist (ie Orange liqueur substituted for Triple Sec / Cointreau) - as we think it just opens up your results a little and allows you try slightly different twists on the classic recipe.

Anyway, keep on posting here your findings, I'm enjoying your journey through the cocktails.

Nick
P.S Just remember to add all your home ingredients and mixers to the list.

Interesting Nick - but it has me making cocktails with ingredients I didn't tell it I had.

#45 Make me a Cocktail

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:32 AM

Hmm weird, it shouldn't do if you just go to MyBar and then click on "Find Cocktails Using My Bar Ingredients" (or infact if you hit Random Cocktail is uses MyBar).

I suspect its probably made some substitutions that weren't really obvious (ie substituted ingredient A for ingredient B and you're not aware of the substitution). I'll have a look at it and maybe show the substitution (by showing what you had and what it is telling you what you could use instead).

Always tweaking the algorithm to be more useful - thanks for looking and the feedback - and sorry it didn't quite do what you wanted it to at first glance.

Nick

Edited by Make me a Cocktail, 22 July 2011 - 09:32 AM.


#46 Kerry Beal

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 10:28 AM

Strangely it had me making a drink with peaches - and I know I didn't tell it I had peaches! But I love the concept and look forward to playing with it some more.

#47 Kerry Beal

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 06:01 PM

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Jungle Bird this evening - aperol in place of the campari. Time to get bottle of campari up here I think.

#48 Will

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 10:03 PM

Manhattan, and if you can get your hands on some Cynar, the "Little Italy".

For something a little less spirit-forward, I like the Blinker - grapefruit, rye or bourbon, and raspberry syrup (I think replaced with grenadine later on; if you can find a natural grenadine, it might be an Ok substitute, but I like the raspberry syrup). It's sweet and easy to drink, but still balanced.

If you don't have a good source for the syrup there (not the Italian soda kind; I think Ted Haigh swears by Smuckers brand Red Raspberry syrup), you can make your own, which is a bit of a pain, but will last for a while.

http://cocktailvirgi...r-cocktail.html

#49 Kerry Beal

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 06:54 PM

Sadly Cynar is not available anywhere near where we are now - when I come up in the fall I'll be sure to bring some along.

Today we added a bottle of Campari to our supplies and a few assorted bar items. I'll get a picture of our new additions up as soon as I can.

#50 Kerry Beal

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 07:26 PM

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Added to our supplies. Unfortunately the nice glass jigger didn't survive the trip, fortunately those two lovely coupes did, though we'll be washing them carefully by hand!

With a couple of exceptions most were thrift store finds.

#51 EvergreenDan

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 03:46 AM

I need to start looking for Campari at Goodwill. ;)
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#52 Anna N

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 02:40 PM

Tonight's cocktail the Romanza which I will be drinking alone. Bitter doesn't begin to describe it but with enough added ice it became quite drinkable.

romanza.jpg

No comments please on my pathetic orange twist - this is my very first do-it-yourself cocktail. :smile:
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#53 Tri2Cook

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 03:43 PM

Nothing wrong with that twist. I usually just twist it over the glass and drop it in with no attempt at pretty or sometimes just twist it and toss it in the trash. I haven't tried the Romanza, how does the bitterness stack up against something like the Negroni or the Eeyore's Requiem? I've discovered I like Campari-heavy drinks after the initial shock of the first time I had one passed and I really paid attention to what I was tasting. Have you tried the Jasmine (gin, cointreau, campari, lemon juice) yet? It balances the bitterness nicely and tastes remarkably similar to grapefruit juice.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#54 Anna N

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 05:14 PM

Nothing wrong with that twist. I usually just twist it over the glass and drop it in with no attempt at pretty or sometimes just twist it and toss it in the trash. I haven't tried the Romanza, how does the bitterness stack up against something like the Negroni or the Eeyore's Requiem? I've discovered I like Campari-heavy drinks after the initial shock of the first time I had one passed and I really paid attention to what I was tasting. Have you tried the Jasmine (gin, cointreau, campari, lemon juice) yet? It balances the bitterness nicely and tastes remarkably similar to grapefruit juice.


Thanks for being gentle with me about my twist! I really don't have much to compare as I have only just begun to try a few cocktails. Hope to try the Jasmine in the next day or so. Thank you.
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#55 Corinna

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 06:46 PM

Beautiful twist, Anna! I should give that drink a try.

It's wonderful to see an earnest appeal for advice solicit such good responses. A tribute to eG, I'd say.


Agreed! Such great suggestions, many of which I'm adding to my own list. (Especially the 20th Century, which sound like the perfect way to celebrate my third decade.)

My recommendation was going to be an Aviation, if you can get a mini bottle of Maraschino (or, perhaps, invest in a bottle for future baking, etc.) Refreshing and a revelation, cocktail-wise, for me. Greater the sum of its parts.

My question, from reading this discussion: I love Campari, and recently depleted my bottle making David Lebovitz's brilliant Grapefruit Campari Sorbet. Since summer is Campari season, I was planning to replace it tout de suite, but this thread makes me wonder if I shouldn't try a bottle of Aperol instead (I haven't ever had it.) Or should I finish my Cynar first?

Have fun, ladies! I always enjoy reading your posts.
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#56 Tri2Cook

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 07:12 PM

My question, from reading this discussion: I love Campari, and recently depleted my bottle making David Lebovitz's brilliant Grapefruit Campari Sorbet. Since summer is Campari season, I was planning to replace it tout de suite, but this thread makes me wonder if I shouldn't try a bottle of Aperol instead (I haven't ever had it.) Or should I finish my Cynar first?

Aperol is definitely worth getting. Not all that long ago I was deciding which one or two of those I wanted to go with. Now I can't imagine not having all three plus Fernet Branca in the cabinet.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#57 FWD

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 08:59 PM

It is stinking hot and humid where we are right now - Anna's sitting on the balcony sipping an iced ginger beer right now!


Ooh, you have ginger beer? Then you could do a Shady Grove, which is a great porch cooler. It's like a modified Tom Collins: 1.5 oz gin and 3/4 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice in a Collins glass with ice, then fill with ginger beer.

A lot of recipes call for simple syrup or a teaspoon of sugar, but I tend to like drinks less sweet, so I leave it out.
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#58 Kerry Beal

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 06:42 PM

DSCN3746.jpg

Jasmine's tonight - Anna truly enjoyed - I wasn't as big a fan. Added a little simple and enjoyed it a bit more.

#59 slkinsey

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:49 AM

romanza.jpg

No comments please on my pathetic orange twist - this is my very first do-it-yourself cocktail.

I think the twist is not that bad for a first try! If I may give a few pointers that may make things easier for the future:

First, as a generality a twist should only include the peel and none of the flesh underneath. The goal is to slice off a piece of peel from the outside of the fruit without actually cutting into the flesh of the fruit itself. Sometimes this may be difficult if it is a particularly thin-skinned citrus, in which case it is probably not well suited to using for twists. As a generality, thicker-skinned, pebbly-textured oranges are better for twists than thinner-skinned, smooth-textured oranges. So the technique is to use a sharp paring knife and try to slice off just a thin piece of peel with the smallest amount of pith as you can manage. As a matter of practicality, sometimes it's easier to slice off a piece with more pith on the back and then just trim off the pith if you're concerned about excess bitterness in the drink. Another, easier, technique is just to swipe off a strip of peel using a sharp vegetable peeler.

Second, I'd say that your twist is overall too narrow. If you're going for the long type of twist, I'd say that you want a strip of peel approximately 1/2 inch wide. The very thin strips of peel you have there, and elsewhere above, look more like 1/8 inch wide and possibly (probably?) made with a channel knife. This is not a width one would tend to use as an "all purpose cocktail twist." Rather, it's the width one normally sees in something called a "horse's neck" type of garnish, which is an extra-long thin spiral of peel that's usually slid down the side of a highball glass. More to the point, it's difficult to actually "twist" a peel so diminutive and get any oil out of it onto the surface of the drink.

Third, long isn't the only peel configuration for twists. A disk-shaped orange or lemon twist is one that's used by many of the best cocktail bars for "up cocktails" (the long type does tend to be more attractive in Old Fashioned-type and other rocks drinks where it can be slid in alongside the ice). Making the disk type is easy: just slice a round piece of peel off the side of the citrus. One advantage to this kind of twist is that it's easy to hold in one hand and bend over the drink, thereby shooting plenty of oil out of the twist and onto the surface of the drink. Here you can see Pegu Club's Kenta Goto using this type of twist over a Fitty-Fitty Martini.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#60 Anna N

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:37 AM

romanza.jpg

No comments please on my pathetic orange twist - this is my very first do-it-yourself cocktail.

....


Thanks, Sam. I was obviously misled as to what constitutes an "orange twist" as I followed this googled link.
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