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  1. Woohoo! Slipping in just under the deadline, here's my entry: Dizzy Dairy. I prepared two cocktails for the event: the first, an ill-conceived amaro-based take on that old holiday classic: Ferneggnog And the second, a more successful revamping of that emerald-green piece of cocktail frippery, the Grown-up Grasshopper. Thanks to Chris for offering to host, and to everyone who took the time to participate.
  2. Ten01 Bistro with Kelley Swenson behind the bar is pretty good. Heard good things about 50 Plates, though they were too mobbed the last time I was in town and I didn't get a chance to visit the bar. Jeffrey Morgenthaler just started working at Clyde Common, which already had a decent bar. And best of all, these are all within a few blocks of each other (and of Teardrop).
  3. Jamie Boudreau was serving some nice raspberry & blackberry shrub cocktails at Vessel in Seattle last fall. My favorite, which I'm proud to say bears my name (given my fondness for the ingredients), was the Clarke's Conundrum, made with the shrub, Rittenhouse rye and Pedro Ximenez. Good lord, those were nice. Here's Jamie's writeup: Berry Shrub
  4. Washington state keeps jiggling with Benedictine's availability, but when I was in the Capitol Hill store at 12th & Pine this weekend, I saw plenty on the shelf without the "closeout" tag, so maybe cooler heads have prevailed. Anyway, it's around in Seattle for now.
  5. Spirited Dinner tickets & info will be available May 1, I'm told. Previews of Tales sessions, events and goings-on are being featured at Blogging Tales of the Cocktail: 2008, a new group blog produced by around 30 cocktail-lovin' bloggers, including eGullet's very own eje. In July, the blog will feature frequent live updates from New Orleans. And since johnder is too modest to mention it, I'll note that he and eje will be joining me and Jamie Boudreau in presenting a session entitled "Making Your Own Cocktail Ingredients," on Saturday afternoon. edited to correct one of those devilish details
  6. 'Course, this whole "making your own" point may be moot come February, when Haus Alpenz rolls out their St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram in New York & Massachusetts.
  7. How is this different (or is it) from a damson gin?
  8. I haven't tried Chad & Christy's recipe, but I have done side-by-side comparisons between Chuck Taggart's recipe and the Wray & Nephew. The commercial version is a little smoother in flavor, with more edge taken off the spice, and it has a thicker mouthfeel (glycerin?). Mixing, though, I like the homemade -- the more ragged allspice flavor carries through in the cocktail better, IMHO. Also, I recently dug out a bottle of the Taggart formula that had been aging for two years (read: I found a bottle I'd forgotten about at the back of the liquor cabinet). It does mellow more over time, and thicker mouthfeel aside, I think flavorwise it's almost indistinguishable from the W&N. Of course, I'm now waiting anxiously to see how the Alpenz allspice dram works out. Tasted a prototype in July, and it was pretty good, much spicier and more "alive" than the W&N.
  9. Oh, I downsized the recipe -- considering the look my wife gave me when I proposed the idea, and the general squeamishness of the extended family, it sounds like I'm drinking this myself -- so I'm only gambling about a cup of bourbon, plus an ounce or two of rum and cognac. Plus, y'know, my health.
  10. I put up a batch of the aged eggnog from CHOW last night; if I wait the suggested three-week minimum, that means it'll be ready to dip into on Christmas Eve. After reading old food & drink manuals in which our ancestors related eating and drinking much, much dodgier-sounding concoctions (Cock Ale, anyone?), I figured I'd take a stab at the eggnog, keeping a wary eye on it throughout the aging process and prepared to bail out at the faintest whiff of something gone awry.
  11. I need to try mixing up the bitters like that. Typically I'll have the drink as you describe, but use 2 dashes of The Bitter Truth aromatic bitters, which seem to work exceptionally well with the Antica. Oh, and the dash of absinthe -- this has become de rigueur for my Manhattan mixing lately. Just a dab, but oh, what it does for the drink.
  12. Jamie Boudreau at Vessel makes several types of bitters, and would be a good source. At Zig Zag Cafe, co-owner Kacy Fitch has also done some experimentation with bitters. Licorous, on Capitol Hill, had some house-made bitters when I was there last, but I'm not sure who's doing their bar program right now. It may also be worthwhile to check in with the folks at Sambar, in Ballard.
  13. You're not blowin' smoke there -- I just made up one of these to your specs, and it's a keeper. Not having any Apry on hand, I couldn't tackle the Flatiron original, but the R&W works just as you say -- plenty of apricot flavor, but not cloying. Thanks for putting up this recipe.
  14. The Rothman & Winter creme de violette debuted in New York in July; last I heard, it was supposed to be available in California beginning this month. Details on distributors & other products available from Haus Alpenz.
  15. Yes, of course -- sorry to muddy the waters. Carry on.
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