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The PDT Cocktail Book

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198 replies to this topic

#31 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:40 PM

Beautiful cocktail, mukki. I never had much chance with egg cocktails - I probably need to work on my shaking technique to achieve such a nice result.

Tonight I tried the Rio Bravo: Cachaça, lime, orgeat, and muddled ginger. Really fresh and an excellent vehicle to showcase homemade orgeat!

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#32 mukki

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:23 PM

The Rio Bravo is on my (long) list of cocktails to try.

Here's a Luau from the tiki genre (3 rums, lime, simple, orgeat, passionfruit, Angostura) that's been half consumed. Nice balance, strong drink.

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Edited by mukki, 05 February 2012 - 07:28 PM.


#33 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:12 PM

mukki - I love tiki drinks so I will have to try this one. It looks great!

A classic Martinez with the ratios from PDT: 1.5 oz each of Hayman's old tom gin and Dolin sweet vermouth, 0.25 maraschino, bitters (I used Angostura, the books calls for Boker's), twist (I substituted clementine for orange). Very enjoyable.

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#34 mukki

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:35 AM

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20th Century: gin, creme de cacao, lillet, lemon

#35 tanstaafl2

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:42 PM

So I have been thumbing through my recently arrived copy of the PDT Cocktail Book the last few days in anticipation of making a few of the many drinks listed (Have been battling a cold so not much cocktail-ing occuring at the moment).

I noticed more than few seem to use Deep Mountain Grade B Maple Syrup. Do I need to go out and track down a Grade B syrup? My understanding is the grades reflect the color as much as anything. I have lots of real maple syrup (not likely to find the specific Deep Mountain brand here) but most of it is Grade A (probably medium but not sure at the moment). Deep Mountain uses the Vermont grades which apparently are a bit more dense (slightly more sugar).

But in addition to being darker it seems to imply that Grade B also imparts more maple flavor.

So I suppose I need to go out and find a Grade B syrup (Vermont grade or otherwise) to best approximate the intended drink? Or can I use my scandalous Grade A syrup?

Edit: on further review I see on page 27 it notes that Grade A Dark Amber will do in a pinch. Odds are I don't have that either...

Edited by tanstaafl2, 23 February 2012 - 03:58 PM.

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#36 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:59 PM

Grade B Maple has a deeper, darker Maple flavor in addition to being darker in color. More like Maple Molasses if you will. It's not hard to understand why they're specifying it but you won't ruin a drink using a Grade A.

Personally, I never understood why Grade B isn't more popular. It's the jam.
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#37 tanstaafl2

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:58 PM

Turns out that although it is a Canadian sourced maple syrup it is listed as US Grade A Dark Amber rather than using Canadian grades (I guess because it is sold here in the US?) so I suppose it will do in a pinch.

In the meantime I will look around for a locally available Grade B syrup to try just out of curiosity.

4 drinks called for it and I hadn't even gotten past the Betula!

An ingredient index would have been a nice addition. Of course that is the case with most cocktail books, at least to me.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#38 EvergreenDan

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:05 AM

Maple grades date from with the best maple syrup has as little maple flavor as possible, imitating neutral cane sugar. I like grade B, too. It has the advantage of getting more maple flavor into the cocktail without adding so much sweetness.
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#39 weinoo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:15 AM

Personally, I never understood why Grade B isn't more popular. It's the jam.

I have a feeling it's probably a lot more expensive to produce.
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#40 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:55 AM


Personally, I never understood why Grade B isn't more popular. It's the jam.

I have a feeling it's probably a lot more expensive to produce.


Really? I thought it was a byproduct of maple sugar production. It's been a long time since I visited Vermont but I don't remember a significant price difference.
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#41 weinoo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:00 AM

I don't think it's a byproduct, but I also (after reading some more) found out it's not any more expensive to produce. There just appears to be a lot less of it produced.
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#42 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:40 AM

I don't think it's a byproduct, but I also (after reading some more) found out it's not any more expensive to produce. There just appears to be a lot less of it produced.


I would bet a significant majority of maple syrup consumers aren't even aware of Grade B, leading to low demand, answered by low production, vicious circle. It would certainly qualify as a specialty item here in Texas.
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#43 Dave the Cook

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:48 AM

Grade B isn't as prevalent as A, but it's not hard to find. When I lived in Houston (late 90s), it was available at all the major grocery stores. Here in Atlanta it's the same story: of the three or four brands on the shelf, at least one of them will be B.

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#44 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:54 AM

Grade B isn't as prevalent as A, but it's not hard to find. When I lived in Houston (late 90s), it was available at all the major grocery stores. Here in Atlanta it's the same story: of the three or four brands on the shelf, at least one of them will be B.


I need better grocers. I only seem to see more than one brand/type of maple at the ritzier places.
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#45 tanstaafl2

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:49 AM


Grade B isn't as prevalent as A, but it's not hard to find. When I lived in Houston (late 90s), it was available at all the major grocery stores. Here in Atlanta it's the same story: of the three or four brands on the shelf, at least one of them will be B.


I need better grocers. I only seem to see more than one brand/type of maple at the ritzier places.


Was planning to make a pass by Whole Foods here in Atlanta to see if they have it. But if it is fairly available I might look in the Publix or Kroger first to see. Don't recall a Grade B but I never really looked that close before. Usually just bought the least expensive pure maple syrup I could find. Even then it isn't exactly cheap!
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#46 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:18 AM

Trader Joe's sells both grades.

#47 slkinsey

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:31 AM

I don't think it's a byproduct, but I also (after reading some more) found out it's not any more expensive to produce. There just appears to be a lot less of it produced.

I think it may be a "time of the year" thing rather than a "production method" thing.
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#48 EvergreenDan

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:29 PM

I have fond childhood memories of maple syrup. First, my mom would sterilize glass jars -- the kind with a wire bale holding the glass lid on, with a rubber gasket. We'd take them to the sugar shack. There a horse team would pull a sled through the woods, with a tin tank in the sled. They would empty each tin bucket from the tree. The sap from the tank would go into a big enclosed boiling tank, fired by cord wood. The guy would take the jars and fill them with boiling syrup from a tap. We would also get some maple cream and maple candy. I remember the billows of steam and the smell of a nice campfire.

The jars would go in the "fruit cellar" in the basement. They often formed a little mold on top, which we'd scrape off before use. The supply would last the year.

In later years, plastic tubes replaced the buckets and sled, and gas replaced the firewood. It wasn't the same.
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#49 haresfur

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:40 PM

I think there is less demand for Grade B because an A is a better grade in most people's minds. Not a lot of choice here so I buy Costco Grade A medium amber.

Dan, what a great memory. I have heard of them throwing some fresh syrup onto the snow to make instant candy. We always felt cheated where I grew up because it was too cold for sugar maple trees.
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#50 weinoo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:44 PM


I don't think it's a byproduct, but I also (after reading some more) found out it's not any more expensive to produce. There just appears to be a lot less of it produced.

I think it may be a "time of the year" thing rather than a "production method" thing.

I don't know if it's either. The grade appears to be based on the translucency of the finished syrup.

But it does look like the darker syrups are produced later in the season...

As the season extends, the sap thins out and grows watery. More of it must be boiled down to yield a syrup of equal sweetness. The last of the sap may yield only a sixtieth of its weight in syrup. Concentrating the sugar also concentrates all the other substances in the sap, making late-season syrup also darker, thicker, and more flavorful.


Interesting article in The Atlantic.
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#51 EvergreenDan

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:50 PM

Had a Hemingway Daiquiri from PDT. No simple. Perfectly tart. I did use an agricole: Rhum JM white. Because, well, it's good.
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#52 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:18 PM

Rack & Rye: rye, batavia arrack, demerara syrup, angostura, angostura orange bitters, expressed lemon and orange peels (discarded).

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Edited by FrogPrincesse, 24 February 2012 - 08:24 PM.


#53 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:52 PM

His cocktail, the Rack & Rye, was really wonderful.

For mine I made the Rhum Club, a twist on the Pegu Club. I used La Favorite rhum agricole blanc (the book calls for Banks 5 Island rum), Clement Creole Shrubb, lime juice, Angostura bitters and Angostura orange bitters, simple.

Posted Image

They were both very nice (and completely different). If I had to choose one I would pick the Rack & Rye. Too bad I am almost out of Batavia Arrack!

#54 TAPrice

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:07 PM

An ingredient index would have been a nice addition. Of course that is the case with most cocktail books, at least to me.


You can use Amazon's "Search Inside the Book" feature to look for specific ingredients. There appears to be a glitch, where Amazon doesn't always pull up the right pages. But each search provide a list of page numbers on the left-hand column, so you can look up the recipes in the physical book.

At the moment, I'm working through some of the recipes that require Dubonnet, since I picked up a bottle last week. The PDT Opera cocktail is quite nice. I've never much liked this drink before, since I don't think the standard combo of Dubonnet and maraschino works well together. In PDT, they substitute Mandarin Napoleon for the maraschino, which they say is close to the original "creme de mandarine."

In general, I've liked (or loved) every drink I've tried from the PDT book. A few have been too hot for me, but otherwise no complaints. I'm particularly impressed with how great some of the PDT takes on the classics are. I've always enjoyed Rusty Nails, for example, as a bit of a guilty pleasure. But the PDT version (2 oz Famous Grouse and .75 Drambuie) is good enough that I wouldn't be embarrassed to serve it to friends.
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#55 Chris Amirault

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:14 PM

Just got the book and think it's fantastic: enjoying its wonderful design, loving the extra sections (on bar design especially), and, of course, making some terrific drinks.

The PDT gang always seemed to nail just the right spirit for a given drink, and part of what I'll enjoy is trying my hand at matching what I have and can get against what's preferred by the team. For example, right now I'm enjoying a Brown Bomber made with 2 oz Four Roses Small Batch (in for Dickel #12), 3/4 oz Cocchi Americano (in for Lillet blanc), and 1/2 oz Suze: an outstanding drink. I first made it with Henry McKenna, a very rye-forward bourbon, and that was very good indeed. However, subbing in the softer, more vanilla-y Four Roses brings out the sweetness necessary to nail the balance (especially with the additional bitterness of the Cocchi, sharper than Lillet blanc) and allow the Suze to shine in the long finish. I've never had the Dickel #12, but reading up on various tasting notes that emphasize the caramel and vanilla, well, I think that the FRSM is a spot-on substitute.
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#56 pkeibel

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 06:41 AM

Depending on the sap it will either yield a grade A, B or C. One can even let the sap sit around and let enzymatic activity change it to a Grade B. The amount of each grade made depends on the season

#57 Chris Amirault

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 05:36 PM

Really enjoying this Statesman, with the only modification being the gin (instead of Beefeater 24):

2 oz Junipero
1/2 oz R&W Orchard Pear
barspoon green Chartreuse
dash Regan's orange bitters

Stir, strain, lemon twist.

It's sublime (unlike most statesmen I know).
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#58 SJMitch

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:45 PM


An ingredient index would have been a nice addition. Of course that is the case with most cocktail books, at least to me.


You can use Amazon's "Search Inside the Book" feature to look for specific ingredients.


Or buy the PDT Barnes and Noble Nook ebook (readable on PC, Mac, IOS, Android). Oddly, Amazon doesn't have an ebook version.

I've found the fast easy searching of Cocktail ebooks so useful, that I bought ebook versions of ones I already had the hardcover in and now buy new ones ebook only.

Edited by SJMitch, 20 March 2012 - 08:45 PM.


#59 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:30 PM



An ingredient index would have been a nice addition. Of course that is the case with most cocktail books, at least to me.


You can use Amazon's "Search Inside the Book" feature to look for specific ingredients.


Or buy the PDT Barnes and Noble Nook ebook (readable on PC, Mac, IOS, Android). Oddly, Amazon doesn't have an ebook version.

I've found the fast easy searching of Cocktail ebooks so useful, that I bought ebook versions of ones I already had the hardcover in and now buy new ones ebook only.


Regarding an index for the book, pretty soon EatYourBooks should have finished indexing the book, so searching by ingredient will be a breeze.


Tonight we had the Astoria Bianco, a Martini variation with white vermouth.

2.5 oz gin (Tanqueray was specified, I used Beefeater)
1 oz white vermouth (M&R was specified, I used Dolin)
2 dashes orange bitters (instead of PDT's house orange bitters, I used 1 dash of Regan's and 1 dash of Angostura)
Orange twist

Posted Image

Very good. I had a very similar cocktail a few weeks ago, the Astoria Vecchio, which is really the same thing except that the gin is genever.

#60 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:39 PM

The Archangel: gin, aperol, muddled cucumber, lemon twist.

I did not have the Plymouth gin it called for, so I substituted Hendrick's because of its cucumber notes.

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It's crisp and refreshing. Very good use of Aperol!





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