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Orgeat


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#241 bartenderkyle

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:50 AM

Here's a thing ...

Is it common for orgeat to curdle once it's in a drink? Made another Mai Tai last night and it was quite noticeable. (This prompted memories of our early cocktail experiments, when one of our friends consumed a Brain Haemorrhage [Baileys and peach schnapps with a drizzle of Grenadine, served in a shot glass. It's supposed to curdle and look revolting - think zombie brains!] and insisted on a second. Shortly afterwards he felt the need for some fresh air ...)

It had no effect on the taste, but it looked a bit odd. Any suggestions?

In other news, I've nearly finished my first batch of orgeat. Have to make another one. Sigh.

 

Funny this is mentioned, I had this happen to me for the first time last night. I had made myself a Mai-Tai and was drinking it slowly as I was making beef bourguignon, and after I put it in the oven I looked into my glass and notice the orgeat was definitely curdled. I'm not sure if it was because it was exposed to the lime juice for so long (I can usually finish Mai-Tais in 2.5 seconds flat) or because I added .5 oz more than I usually do, but I found it very odd.



#242 lesliec

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 06:37 PM

Thanks, Kyle.  Glad I'm not imagining it!  Seems to me it has to be either the acid (from the limes) or the alcohol that's doing it, but how come only you and I have noticed?

 

[Edit: 'limes' doesn't have an 'n' in it ...]


Edited by lesliec, 07 April 2013 - 06:38 PM.

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#243 Keith Orr

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 07:37 PM

I've never had an issue with orgeat curdling. I wonder if it's a brand specific thing.

#244 Moto

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:47 PM

Mine always curdles if i have not finished the drink in about 20 minutes. I have only used homemade orgeat

#245 bartenderkyle

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:59 AM

Same here, I've only used homemade orgeat.



#246 bostonapothecary

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 01:42 PM

orgeat is basically a sweetened nut milk. nut milks can have very high fat content unless they are centrifuged. commerical products are likely either centrifuged or have an added emulsifier to keep them together.

 

i started centrifuging mine to get rid of the nut solids and was astounded by how much fat also separated. i started saving the fat to make nut milk heavy creams. and turned the remainder into syrups. the fat-free syrups still have a ton of favor.

 

in the absence of a centrifuge, adding an emulsifier may help. i also really enjoy adding sugar to commercial almond milks to make a quick cheater orgeat.


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#247 lesliec

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:36 PM

An emulsifier is an interesting idea.  I finished my last batch of orgeat last night, so when I do a new one I might include a bit of lecithin.  Any thoughts on the amount?  It wouldn't be much - I'm thinking half a teaspoon or less for the size batches I make.


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#248 slkinsey

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:03 AM

I don't think what we're talking about here is curdling.  When something curdles, it comes out of emulsion and forms lumps.  With dairy products, weak acids start to denature the casein proteins and this causes curdling.  We don't have the casein protein in orgeat, so the only way to make curdling happen would be for some other effect to cause the fat to come out of emulsion.
 
One thing we can note is that it's only homemade oregeat that seems to curdle.  Commercial orgeat is made by emulsifying sugar, water and almond oils together, and this doesn't curdle.  Even if we hypothesize that homemade orgeat has a much higher fat content compared to commercial orgeat, consider that heavy cream at around 36% fat doesn't curdle.  It is unlikely that homemade orgeat approaches the fat content of heavy cream.  Curdling also typically produces a characteristic "gritty" or "lumpy" texture, as the flocculated particles form lumps that are discernable to the tongue.  Again, typically homemade orgeat is either already gritty or it never gets that way.
 
Rather, what I think is happening here results from the fact that homemade orgeat contains lots of suspended nut solids.  These particles are suspended, but they aren't emulsified.  This is because the typical hardware available to the homemade orgeat maker is not sufficient to reduce the particles down to a size at which they could form a colloidal suspension.  For this, we would need something like a rotor-stator homogenizer or colloid mill.  Because the nut particles are not emulsified in a colloidal suspension, gravity causes them to eventually settle out and fall out of suspension.  This is why homemade orgeat typically separates and has to be shaken up before use.  When we shake it up, we are re-suspending the nut particles.  We can add things to the homemade orgeat (I have found a combination of gum arabic and xanthan gum to be particularly useful in this regard) to help keep the nut particles in suspension and slow down separation, but eventually gravity will have its way and the nut particles will settle out.
 
So what happens to cause this curdle-like effect?  I think what happens is that the orgeat (along with its nut particles) is diluted when it is mixed with all the other liquids, and the suspended nut particles begin to settle out in the glass.  If you let the drink sit for a while, of if it is a crushed ice drink so you have millions of tiny little pockets of water melting into the drink and not quite mixing with the nut particles that are coming out of suspension, it will create a mottled "curdle-like" appearance.  The reason bostonapothecary's centrifuging technique works, I believe, is primarily because it removes the nut particles.  I've always wanted to see what would happen if we took the other path and made an orgeat using a homogenizer to reduce the nut particles to the size of colloids.

Edited by slkinsey, 09 April 2013 - 07:05 AM.

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#249 bostonapothecary

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:39 AM

I don't think what we're talking about here is curdling.  When something curdles, it comes out of emulsion and forms lumps.  With dairy products, weak acids start to denature the casein proteins and this causes curdling.  We don't have the casein protein in orgeat, so the only way to make curdling happen would be for some other effect to cause the fat to come out of emulsion.
 
One thing we can note is that it's only homemade oregeat that seems to curdle.  Commercial orgeat is made by emulsifying sugar, water and almond oils together, and this doesn't curdle.  Even if we hypothesize that homemade orgeat has a much higher fat content compared to commercial orgeat, consider that heavy cream at around 36% fat doesn't curdle.  It is unlikely that homemade orgeat approaches the fat content of heavy cream.  Curdling also typically produces a characteristic "gritty" or "lumpy" texture, as the flocculated particles form lumps that are discernable to the tongue.  Again, typically homemade orgeat is either already gritty or it never gets that way.
 
Rather, what I think is happening here results from the fact that homemade orgeat contains lots of suspended nut solids.  These particles are suspended, but they aren't emulsified.  This is because the typical hardware available to the homemade orgeat maker is not sufficient to reduce the particles down to a size at which they could form a colloidal suspension.  For this, we would need something like a rotor-stator homogenizer or colloid mill.  Because the nut particles are not emulsified in a colloidal suspension, gravity causes them to eventually settle out and fall out of suspension.  This is why homemade orgeat typically separates and has to be shaken up before use.  When we shake it up, we are re-suspending the nut particles.  We can add things to the homemade orgeat (I have found a combination of gum arabic and xanthan gum to be particularly useful in this regard) to help keep the nut particles in suspension and slow down separation, but eventually gravity will have its way and the nut particles will settle out.
 
So what happens to cause this curdle-like effect?  I think what happens is that the orgeat (along with its nut particles) is diluted when it is mixed with all the other liquids, and the suspended nut particles begin to settle out in the glass.  If you let the drink sit for a while, of if it is a crushed ice drink so you have millions of tiny little pockets of water melting into the drink and not quite mixing with the nut particles that are coming out of suspension, it will create a mottled "curdle-like" appearance.  The reason bostonapothecary's centrifuging technique works, I believe, is primarily because it removes the nut particles.  I've always wanted to see what would happen if we took the other path and made an orgeat using a homogenizer to reduce the nut particles to the size of colloids.

 

that explanation sounds pretty good. I have a small colloid mill at my disposal. I stopped playing with it because the experiments got too expensive. I was generating all sort of stuff with no place to sell it. If you come up with an idea I'd love to give it a try.

 

I had really good success running coconut cream through the colloid mill to homogenize it. I could make cocktails without any globs of fat clinging to the glass. the drinks had a beautiful fluidity and the emptied glasses were film less. but when I tried another recipe where I integrated alcohol into the coconut cream to produce a sort of liqueur version, It didn't work the same way. the fat would clump in the usual way. the difference I cannot explain.


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#250 bartenderkyle

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:19 AM

That makes sense. Adding xantham gum or gum arabic wouldn't affect the flavor much, would it?



#251 slkinsey

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:38 AM

I have a small colloid mill at my disposal. I stopped playing with it because the experiments got too expensive. I was generating all sort of stuff with no place to sell it. If you come up with an idea I'd love to give it a try.

 

I think the thing to try would be to make some assumptions as to how much nut solids you want in your orgeat.  I think you could arrive at a reasonable ballpark assumption by making a regular batch of almond milk for orgeat and weighing the liquid yield and the spent almonds.  Once you have your assumption as to how many grams of almonds go with however many grams of sugar syrup, you would just mill almonds together with the syrup until you got a colloidal suspension.  Potentially you might want to dose it with a little bitter almond oil, etc.  And then see how it tastes and how it behaves.


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#252 Hassouni

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:40 PM

Just made an Army & Navy, from Bartender's Choice, thanks to FrogPrincesse's post. I'm using the Orgeat I made back in October 2011 (see page 7). It smells like it might have refermented, but it hasn't gone black or fuzzy or anything. I'll be OK, right? 

 

In any case, the cocktail is TIP TOP! (And also, probably time to make new orgeat)



#253 Tri2Cook

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:30 PM

Just made an Army & Navy, from Bartender's Choice, thanks to FrogPrincesse's post. I'm using the Orgeat I made back in October 2011 (see page 7). It smells like it might have refermented, but it hasn't gone black or fuzzy or anything. I'll be OK, right? 

 

In any case, the cocktail is TIP TOP! (And also, probably time to make new orgeat)


How did you get homemade orgeat to last 1 1/2 years?


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#254 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:51 PM

Just made an Army & Navy, from Bartender's Choice, thanks to FrogPrincesse's post. I'm using the Orgeat I made back in October 2011 (see page 7). It smells like it might have refermented, but it hasn't gone black or fuzzy or anything. I'll be OK, right? 

 

In any case, the cocktail is TIP TOP! (And also, probably time to make new orgeat)

Glad you liked it! It's one of my favorite drinks as well. It's excellent with a juniper-forward gin. I am craving one but I just finished my orgeat last night.

 

When orgeat gets bad you can tell right away by the smell (and the mold) so you should be ok.


Edited by FrogPrincesse, 10 April 2013 - 05:52 PM.


#255 Hassouni

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:26 PM

Just made an Army & Navy, from Bartender's Choice, thanks to FrogPrincesse's post. I'm using the Orgeat I made back in October 2011 (see page 7). It smells like it might have refermented, but it hasn't gone black or fuzzy or anything. I'll be OK, right? 

 

In any case, the cocktail is TIP TOP! (And also, probably time to make new orgeat)


How did you get homemade orgeat to last 1 1/2 years?

 

i made 750ml of it and didn't use much of it...

Just made an Army & Navy, from Bartender's Choice, thanks to FrogPrincesse's post. I'm using the Orgeat I made back in October 2011 (see page 7). It smells like it might have refermented, but it hasn't gone black or fuzzy or anything. I'll be OK, right? 

 

In any case, the cocktail is TIP TOP! (And also, probably time to make new orgeat)

Glad you liked it! It's one of my favorite drinks as well. It's excellent with a juniper-forward gin. I am craving one but I just finished my orgeat last night.

 

When orgeat gets bad you can tell right away by the smell (and the mold) so you should be ok.

Great drink for sure. And I'm still alive! Score!



#256 Tri2Cook

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:41 AM

 

Just made an Army & Navy, from Bartender's Choice, thanks to FrogPrincesse's post. I'm using the Orgeat I made back in October 2011 (see page 7). It smells like it might have refermented, but it hasn't gone black or fuzzy or anything. I'll be OK, right? 

 

In any case, the cocktail is TIP TOP! (And also, probably time to make new orgeat)


How did you get homemade orgeat to last 1 1/2 years?

 

i made 750ml of it and didn't use much of it...


:biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin: 

I should have seen that answer coming. Nice! But what I meant was, even if I do a 2:1 sugar : base orgeat (which I don't, but I tried it just to see how much it helped shelf life) and keep it in a very cold fridge, I've never got anywhere close to that shelf life. Now you have me thinking maybe I'm being over-cautious and tossing it too soon. I have a batch in the fridge that's been in there for 3 months or so that I was planning to dump. I just went and checked it and there's no funky smell or mold, just a layer of fat that's separated out at the top. Now I'm almost tempted to give it a good shake and try it. Maybe I'll wait until Saturday night though. That way, if I have to spend the next day with the porcelain lay-z-boy, at least I won't be at work.

 


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#257 Kevin Liu

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:13 AM

 

 

Just made an Army & Navy, from Bartender's Choice, thanks to FrogPrincesse's post. I'm using the Orgeat I made back in October 2011 (see page 7). It smells like it might have refermented, but it hasn't gone black or fuzzy or anything. I'll be OK, right? 

 

In any case, the cocktail is TIP TOP! (And also, probably time to make new orgeat)


How did you get homemade orgeat to last 1 1/2 years?

 

i made 750ml of it and didn't use much of it...


:biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin: 

I should have seen that answer coming. Nice! But what I meant was, even if I do a 2:1 sugar : base orgeat (which I don't, but I tried it just to see how much it helped shelf life) and keep it in a very cold fridge, I've never got anywhere close to that shelf life. Now you have me thinking maybe I'm being over-cautious and tossing it too soon. I have a batch in the fridge that's been in there for 3 months or so that I was planning to dump. I just went and checked it and there's no funky smell or mold, just a layer of fat that's separated out at the top. Now I'm almost tempted to give it a good shake and try it. Maybe I'll wait until Saturday night though. That way, if I have to spend the next day with the porcelain lay-z-boy, at least I won't be at work.

 

I'd be seriously wary of doing that! I've kept orgeat in the fridge for just over a month and it already started growing mold.  In the future, if you're looking to keep your orgeat or any syrup for longer, consider dosing it with a little sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate, generally recognized as safe (GRAS) preservatives.

 

Also, the curdling problem upthread I think has to do with the fat vs. carbohydrate ratio.  Commercial milks usually add a few hydrocolloids to keep everything dispersed nicely, which is another reason I vouch for simply using commercial almond milk as a base rather than making my own orgeat.


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#258 Hassouni

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:37 AM

 

 

Just made an Army & Navy, from Bartender's Choice, thanks to FrogPrincesse's post. I'm using the Orgeat I made back in October 2011 (see page 7). It smells like it might have refermented, but it hasn't gone black or fuzzy or anything. I'll be OK, right? 

 

In any case, the cocktail is TIP TOP! (And also, probably time to make new orgeat)


How did you get homemade orgeat to last 1 1/2 years?

 

i made 750ml of it and didn't use much of it...


:biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin: 

I should have seen that answer coming. Nice! But what I meant was, even if I do a 2:1 sugar : base orgeat (which I don't, but I tried it just to see how much it helped shelf life) and keep it in a very cold fridge, I've never got anywhere close to that shelf life. Now you have me thinking maybe I'm being over-cautious and tossing it too soon. I have a batch in the fridge that's been in there for 3 months or so that I was planning to dump. I just went and checked it and there's no funky smell or mold, just a layer of fat that's separated out at the top. Now I'm almost tempted to give it a good shake and try it. Maybe I'll wait until Saturday night though. That way, if I have to spend the next day with the porcelain lay-z-boy, at least I won't be at work.

 

 3 months? Bah! Go for it! 



#259 Rafa

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:54 AM

Also, the curdling problem upthread I think has to do with the fat vs. carbohydrate ratio.  Commercial milks usually add a few hydrocolloids to keep everything dispersed nicely, which is another reason I vouch for simply using commercial almond milk as a base rather than making my own orgeat.

 

This method is so quick and simple that I now just make small batches of orgeat as needed rather than keep a supply in the fridge. Seriously, it can take less than a minute. 


Edited by Rafa, 11 April 2013 - 08:55 AM.

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#260 Moto

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:03 AM

I've never had problems storing orgeat in the fridge for several months at a time.  The longest I usually use them is for about 4 months. I make fairly small batches because I do see a quality fall off around 6 to 8 months.  I have never seen any evidence of mold growth



#261 Hassouni

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:32 PM

A shop by me has the 1883 orgeat, is anyone still using that? I got their passion fruit syrup and it's AWESOME



#262 Czequershuus

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 06:52 PM

So my bottle of B.G. Reynolds Orgeat has arrived! Up until now must admit I have been using Fee's Orgeat(heresy, I know). I tried making my own, which alone among my syrup adventures was a spectacular failure. I finally decided to splurge the 15 bucks to order the good stuf from Amazon, and today the package arrived at my door.

 

My first experiment was a Mai Tai according to this recipe:

 

1 Oz Rhum Agricole (Depaz Blue Canne - the last of my bottle I'm afraid)

1 Oz Applecton V/X

0.5 Oz B.G. Reynolds Orgeat

0.5 Oz Cointreau

0.75 Oz Lime Juice

0.25 Oz Simple Syrup

 

Perfect. An utter delight. I am glad I was not to used to the very sweet Fee's Orgeat. 

 

Next up was a Japanese Cocktail, using this recipe

 

2 Oz Cognac (De Marsy is what I have)

0.5 Oz Orgeat

2 ds Angostura

 

Wow, this syrup is much less sweet than what I have used before. I must admit I needed a dash of simple to balance out. I never have this problem, but at least it is a good problem to have. It is so much easier to make a cocktail sweeter than to reduce sweetness. 

 

More experimentation is called for.



#263 EvergreenDan

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 06:50 AM

Insert "Bitter" before Mai Tai. You will thank me.


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#264 Czequershuus

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:49 AM

Insert "Bitter" before Mai Tai. You will thank me.

 

Oh, I have tried this before. Even with cheaper ingredients it is a lovely cocktail. Problem is I still don't have access to Smith and Cross :(



#265 mkayahara

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:08 AM

Insert "Bitter" before Mai Tai. You will thank me.

 

Oh, I have tried this before. Even with cheaper ingredients it is a lovely cocktail. Problem is I still don't have access to Smith and Cross :(

You can always try it with J Wray white overproof!


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#266 Czequershuus

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:33 PM

 

Insert "Bitter" before Mai Tai. You will thank me.

 

Oh, I have tried this before. Even with cheaper ingredients it is a lovely cocktail. Problem is I still don't have access to Smith and Cross :(

You can always try it with J Wray white overproof!

Now that is a fantastic idea. I must try this soonish.



#267 EvergreenDan

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:33 AM

 

 

Insert "Bitter" before Mai Tai. You will thank me.

 

Oh, I have tried this before. Even with cheaper ingredients it is a lovely cocktail. Problem is I still don't have access to Smith and Cross :(

You can always try it with J Wray white overproof!

Now that is a fantastic idea. I must try this soonish.

Shake in old hiking boot to complete the JWray -> S&C substitution.


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#268 campus five

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:59 AM

My wife doesn't really dig aged rum, so I made a Bitter Mai Tai with Plymouth Navy Strength instead.

It was delicious. 



#269 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:27 AM

Last night I was looking for something with orgeat and a dark spirit, but not a Mai Tai. And I was not after something like the Japanese or its bourbon cousin, the Attorney Privilege, both very good cocktails when I am in the mood for a sweeter flavor profile.

 

After trying one of Chris McMillians' creation with the End of the Road recently, I tried a cocktail that was named after him, the McMillian which incorporates some of his favorite ingredients: rye, orgeat, curacao, Benedictine, lemon juice, Angostura bitters, and mint.

 

10164462823_eec1ed62da_z.jpg
 

After a mint aroma, the first impression is that this is a strong rye-forward cocktail. It tastes sharp even though there is only a small amount of lemon (I used a Meyer lemon as I was out of regular lemons). It has a strong spice and orange oil finish. Interestingly, the mint blended with the other ingredients to add another layer of flavor, but there was no mint flavor per se.

 

It was perfect for the first day of fall weather in San Diego (rain for the first time in months and 65F today... brrr).


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#270 Tri2Cook

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 02:01 PM

It was perfect for the first day of fall weather in San Diego (rain for the first time in months and 65F today... brrr).


That drink sounds tasty. I can't get Rittenhouse but I suppose I could try a less potent version with the Sazerac 6 I have. It actually warmed up to 67F here today after a couple weeks of hovering in the 35F - 45F range. Feels like summer again.
 


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.