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Help for a Couple of Cocktail Novices (Part 1)


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#61 slkinsey

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:46 AM




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.

Yikes. Yea, you should delete that from your bookmarks. :smile:

This gives a pretty good view of how to cut a piece of orange for a garnish, and also how to do a neat trick:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewJmflUKjA8
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#62 Kerry Beal

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 02:49 PM

Negronis this evening -

Anna's -

DSCN3759.jpg

Mine -

I'm going out and need to be able to drive.

DSCN3760.jpg

Sam you'd be proud of the 'twists'.

#63 Beebs

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:25 PM

Thanks for starting this topic, Kerry Beal & Anna N! :smile:

I've been following this with a lot of interest. I like a good cocktail, but I'm a bit of a newbie at making them at home and need to expand my repetoir. Gimlets, 20th Century, Sidecar, Pimms are all on my list of favourites. I need to get another bottle of Aperol for the Intro to Aperol, since I left my almost-full bottle with my folks, who've been cheerfully guzzling away at it.

To the experts out there - what can I do with bottles of creme de cassis (other than kir royal), limoncello, luxardo amaretto, and bols cherry- & apricot- flavoured brandies that are sitting around gathering dust? I have about the same collection as Kerry. Thanks!

#64 Tri2Cook

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:48 PM

To the experts out there - what can I do with bottles of creme de cassis (other than kir royal), limoncello, luxardo amaretto, and bols cherry- & apricot- flavoured brandies that are sitting around gathering dust? I have about the same collection as Kerry. Thanks!

I'm far from being an expert but a summer drink I like with creme de cassis is the El Diablo.

1 1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz creme de cassis
3/4 oz fresh lime juice

Build in a highball glass with ice. Top with ginger ale, lime twist.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#65 mkayahara

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:41 PM

+1 on the El Diablo for cassis. I also like it as a substitute for blackberry liqueur in a Gin Bramble, as well as in the CEO from Joy of Mixology, and Jamie Boudreau's "Angel's Share": 1.5 oz. Bourbon, 0.5 oz. Ramazzotti amaro, 0.25 oz. cassis, dash of Fee Brothers orange bitters. Stir, strain, lemon twist.

Amaretto is good as an amaretto sour and in a Godfather.

Cherry brandy is good in Singapore Slings and Blood & Sand.

Apricot brandy is good in a number of things. (I learned the other night that the Millionaire is not one of them.) One of my favourites is the Stone Fruit Sour. Barnum (Was Right) is a good one, too, and there are a bunch of options in Joy of Mixology. It also makes a good sweetener in a Tom Collins variation, though better with lime juice than lemon.

To date, I have not found a good application for limoncello in cocktails, though I haven't tried really hard. I know eje uses it as a substitute for sirop de citron in some of the old cocktails that call for that with kola tonic.

Edited by mkayahara, 26 July 2011 - 06:42 PM.

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#66 Beebs

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:48 PM

Thanks for the suggestions! Time to get a bottle of tequila!

#67 Sunny&Rummy

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:52 PM

The El Diablo is a winner, especially once I located a bottle of Marie Brizzard creme de cassis and could retire the Hiram Walker. I prefer ginger beer (Barritt's) to ginger ale in mine though, even if it goes against the standard recipe.

The Teresa (Campari, lime and cassis) and the Mississippi Mule (Gin, lemon and cassis) are also a good creme de cassis cocktails to try. A version of the Teresa halving the Campari and adding gin that frederic posted on his blog a couple of months ago is quite good.

#68 Make me a Cocktail

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 02:27 AM

One of my favourite cocktails - The Lemon Meringue Pie - uses Frangelico but I reckon it will probably taste good with your Amaretto instead.

2 parts limoncello
1 egg white
1/2 part sugar syrup
1 part lemon juice
1/2 part frangelico (/amaretto)

Shake up with ice, strain into a glass filled rocks glass.

Sweet, but so so good.

#69 Make me a Cocktail

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 07:27 AM

That should probably say "ice filled rocks glass" not "glass filled rocks glass" which could be nasty :)

#70 slkinsey

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 08:22 AM

One of my favourite cocktails - The Lemon Meringue Pie - uses Frangelico but I reckon it will probably taste good with your Amaretto instead.

2 parts limoncello
1 egg white
1/2 part sugar syrup
1 part lemon juice
1/2 part frangelico (/amaretto)

Shake up with ice, strain into a glass filled rocks glass.

Sweet, but so so good.

Everyone has a different palate, of course, but this sounds incredibly sweet to me.

As a generality, I try to stay away from any drink with the word "pie" in its name.
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#71 Kerry Beal

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 05:03 PM

DSCN3795.jpg

Tonight's cocktail - Old Pal. Bourbon, campari and dry vermouth. Lemon twist. Very well received though I did add a touch of turbinado simple to mine. And extra ice. I'm discovering that my favourite part of a cocktail isn't necessarily when it's first poured - it's after the ice starts to melt a bit and it become more dilute.

Ran in to a little hitch. Used the boston shaker glass - tried first to stir this one - didn't find a bar spoon stirs particularly well (perhaps too much ice?) So I took the stainless cup of the boston shaker and applied it to the glass and shook - then couldn't get the two apart! Finally had to knock the top of stainless cup with the back of a big knife to get them to separate.

#72 KatieLoeb

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 06:04 PM

If the lemon meringue pie drink is too sweet for you either skip the simple syrup or up the proportion of lemon juice to dial back the sweetness.

Kerry a good smack with the heel of your hand usually breaks the seal on stubborn shakers.

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#73 Tri2Cook

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 06:25 PM

Tried a swizzle tonight that features Campari if you ladies aren't Campari-ed out at this point. I've been working my way through some tiki stuff and I'm not really clear on whether swizzles are tiki or not but, regardless, I liked it.

Witchy Woman

1 1/2 oz Campari
1 oz white rum
1 oz orange juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz orgeat
1 dash Angostura bitters

Build on crushed ice. Swizzle.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#74 Corinna

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 07:43 AM

You ladies are certainly being industrious trying new drinks. It's inspirational!
I'd like to give the 20th century a try. Any particular brand(s) of White Creme de Cacao I should look for? Thanks!
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#75 Zachary

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 07:57 AM

Corinna,

Marie Brizard makes a very good creme de cacao.

Thanks,

Zachary

#76 Beebs

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 09:45 AM

I made the Intro to Aperol last night - oh my deliciousness, I could have tossed down three more of those!!

#77 Kerry Beal

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:18 PM

DSCN3811.jpg

Tonight we took the River Cafe's Strawberry Sorbet from Food 52, put it in a glass with some ice and topped with Lillet Blanc. A little disappointing - not sure what might have made it better. I suspect it needed a little more complexity.

#78 Beebs

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 09:29 AM

So I made the El Diablo last night - and wasn't wild about it. I think it's the tequila I bought (it's the first one I've ever bought). I used a reposado tequila (El Jimador) - should I have used a non-aged tequila instead?

I don't know a whole lot about tequila, but figured, hey, since I like amber rum better than white rum, I'll probably like aged tequila better than non-aged. Nothing wrong with the reposado, it was fine on its own, but it didn't taste totally delicious with the cassis.

#79 mkayahara

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 09:56 AM

No, that's a solid tequila... what brand of cassis did you use? And how long has the bottle been open? Crème de cassis doesn't have a terribly long shelf life once it's opened.

Of course, it's also possible you just don't like this drink!
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#80 Beebs

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 10:12 AM

Oooh it might be the cassis then - mine's been open for 8 months or so. It's L'Heritier Guyot (only one of two brands available at the gov't liquor store).

#81 Anna N

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 01:55 PM

Kerry is working emerg today so no drink for her! But before she headed off she made me this Sidecar. Have yet to fully make up my mind on this one. Hoping it grows on me.

Sidecar.jpg
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#82 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:12 PM

Sidecars! I love these! I think this was the first cocktail I ever made successfully (I had found the recipe in one of Jamie Oliver's early books, of all places, when I knew absolutely nothing about cocktails). Hopefully it will grow on you.

I am thinking a Tantris sidecar is in my near future.

A good tip that I found on eGullet was to only rim half of the glass with sugar. That way you can savor your cocktail both with and without sugar.

#83 Tri2Cook

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:39 PM

I am thinking a Tantris sidecar is in my near future.


The Tantris Sidecar is a little on the sweet side but it is tasty. Well worth a try in my opinion.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#84 mkayahara

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 03:37 PM

Oooh it might be the cassis then - mine's been open for 8 months or so. It's L'Heritier Guyot (only one of two brands available at the gov't liquor store).

Yup, 8 months is more than enough time for it to take on "off" flavours. Might not be noticeable in cooked applications (I like it in cranberry sauce), but it'll come across as funny in a drink.
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#85 mkayahara

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 03:39 PM

Kerry is working emerg today so no drink for her! But before she headed off she made me this Sidecar. Have yet to fully make up my mind on this one. Hoping it grows on me.

The Sidecar is a wonderful cocktail, but please, for the love of all that is holy, invest in a better brandy! :raz:
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#86 Kerry Beal

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 03:49 PM


Kerry is working emerg today so no drink for her! But before she headed off she made me this Sidecar. Have yet to fully make up my mind on this one. Hoping it grows on me.

The Sidecar is a wonderful cocktail, but please, for the love of all that is holy, invest in a better brandy! :raz:

Ah, so that raises the question - what brandy should we be purchasing?

#87 mkayahara

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 04:14 PM



Kerry is working emerg today so no drink for her! But before she headed off she made me this Sidecar. Have yet to fully make up my mind on this one. Hoping it grows on me.

The Sidecar is a wonderful cocktail, but please, for the love of all that is holy, invest in a better brandy! :raz:

Ah, so that raises the question - what brandy should we be purchasing?

It all depends on your price point, I guess. I'm not a huge brandy connoisseur, so I don't go all out on the expense. I tend to stick to Gaston de Lagrange VS Cognac, De Montal Armagnac or the quite decent Kittling Ridge brandy.
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#88 Kerry Beal

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 04:19 PM




Kerry is working emerg today so no drink for her! But before she headed off she made me this Sidecar. Have yet to fully make up my mind on this one. Hoping it grows on me.

The Sidecar is a wonderful cocktail, but please, for the love of all that is holy, invest in a better brandy! :raz:

Ah, so that raises the question - what brandy should we be purchasing?

It all depends on your price point, I guess. I'm not a huge brandy connoisseur, so I don't go all out on the expense. I tend to stick to Gaston de Lagrange VS Cognac, De Montal Armagnac or the quite decent Kittling Ridge brandy.

Wonder if I could get a deal at the Kittling Ridge distillery - actually I think I recall that you can't buy their spirits there - just the Ice Wine and Brandy. Humm ... wonder who I know who works there?

#89 mkayahara

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 04:25 PM





Kerry is working emerg today so no drink for her! But before she headed off she made me this Sidecar. Have yet to fully make up my mind on this one. Hoping it grows on me.

The Sidecar is a wonderful cocktail, but please, for the love of all that is holy, invest in a better brandy! :raz:

Ah, so that raises the question - what brandy should we be purchasing?

It all depends on your price point, I guess. I'm not a huge brandy connoisseur, so I don't go all out on the expense. I tend to stick to Gaston de Lagrange VS Cognac, De Montal Armagnac or the quite decent Kittling Ridge brandy.

Wonder if I could get a deal at the Kittling Ridge distillery - actually I think I recall that you can't buy their spirits there - just the Ice Wine and Brandy. Humm ... wonder who I know who works there?

Last time I was there, they had the full range. They even had a tasting room. If you're going to go, let me know - I'll join you! I've always wanted to meet John Hall. :biggrin:
Matthew Kayahara
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#90 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 04:50 PM


Kerry is working emerg today so no drink for her! But before she headed off she made me this Sidecar. Have yet to fully make up my mind on this one. Hoping it grows on me.

The Sidecar is a wonderful cocktail, but please, for the love of all that is holy, invest in a better brandy! :raz:


I made a decision to bite my tongue and not comment on the cognac in my earlier post, so I would not sound like a complete snob. :laugh: But Matt is right, since it's such a simple cocktail, the cognac quality does make a difference. I use Remy Martin VSOP after being disappointed with cheaper cognacs I experimented with.

Edited by FrogPrincesse, 29 July 2011 - 04:52 PM.