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  1. A simple one I threw together last night; mighty tasty, though, I thought. Murmansk Convoy (Christened after the convoys that brought American and British armaments over the top of Norway, Sweden and Finland to the Soviet Union during World War II; one of the most dangerous sea duties there was.) Shake well with ice: 1 1/2 oz Tanqueray gin 3/4 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice 1/2 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch Scant 1/4 oz rich simple syrup 1 drop orange flower water Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Let 2 or 3 drops of Angostura bitters fall on top.
  2. My proportions are 15 ml Everclear and 1 ml Angostura orange bitters for every 100 ml Amaro Ciociaro. Very, very close, and easy.
  3. Painkiller can also point out that their logo is in no way derived from DKNY's and in fact is meant not to echo that or trade on it but rather the common NYC hardcore punk graffiti/logo/rallying symbol from the 1980s and 1990s, HCNY, with the letters grouped around an X in the same way.
  4. There's no hangover like a Regent's Punch hangover. It's like a turbocharged version of an ordinary champagne hangover, universally acknowledged to be one of the very worst of the species. It's the sweaty, desperate sleeplessness that contains its particular cruelty. You have my profoundest sympathies.
  5. Barrel aging was standard operating procedure for bottled cocktails, of which there were many brands back in the day, including the market leader, Heublein's Club, and Sazerac (they sold several kinds, not including an actual "Sazerac"). Cocktails had to be barrel aged, at least for a bit, as stainless steel wasn't introduced until 1917 or so and you had to mix and store them in something. But there was also a culinary claim. As a Club cocktails ad from 1912 said, "a new cocktail can never have the same flavor as an aged one." That said, this should not detract from the creativity of those wh
  6. Acquiring a taste doesn't mean abandoning discernment. It just means no longer writing off whole classes of things because they share a certain flavor element. Bundaberg--well, let's just say that it's educational. I've always found the best thing to motivate me to acquire the taste for something, be it epic poetry, marching band music or hogo-driven rum, is the belief that our ancestors were no dumber than we are. We know things they don't, but the corny or weird things they liked, they probably liked for a reason, and if we can't see that reason, then we haven't understood the thing. That
  7. Yeah, not the most useful or sophisticated definition of art there. In my understanding, art is whatever human creation that transports you out of yourself and into another person's way of seeing, whether it's Michelangelo showing you how he sees Mary cradling her dead son or the Ramones helping you imagine what it's like to be a juvenile delinquent out of a 1950s pulp comic. There are some chefs and drinks-mixers who can do that, others who are equally fine, or better, craftsmen and craftswomen but who are uninterested in doing that kind of heavy lifting. Given that, for me the culinary "arts
  8. Actually, I think it was the other way around. I used to be a musician and always liked stuff that broke boundaries--e.g., Funkadelic, where funk met acid rock. Then I studied literature and specialized in things that were difficult to categorize and took some getting to know. It just took me a while to apply the strategies and aesthetics I had learned in those fields to this one. 'Cause you know, 'I drink that and not this' is pretty ingrained. (And no, I still don't regularly drink Irish Car Bombs, Chocotinis or any of 'those' drinks; but I don't have a rule against it.) All art is universa
  9. Do you mean to say you've never had a real Irish Coffee? The kind where you dissolve a half teaspoon or so of raw sugar in 3 or 4 oz hot black coffee, add a shot of Powers and top it off with half an inch of unsweetened heavy cream that you have lightly whipped by hand? I envy you. And, Zachary, for my phoney-baloney for-the-sake-of-philosophical-example crafty carbomb, I did go so far as to suggest that the replacement Irish cream be encased in a test tube before being dropped into the stout so that theoretically it won't curdle and it will release itself depth-bomb style as you approach the
  10. Dan--just wanted to add that I reread some of your comments above and that your approach doesn't seem so rigid as I thought. Discretion is everything, and you realize that. As long as I'm correcting myself, I also want to add that in no way am I against homemade ingredients, hand-carved ice, Chartreuse, Pimiento Dram or vests. Some of the best drinks I've ever had have been in bars that deploy copious amounts of all of those, and some of the best times, too. I just don't think their use exempts one from normal judgments of quality.
  11. Actually, I did say the whiskey/cream/Demerara mix was "inserted" into the stout, as in not kept apart at all. But again, I'm puzzled. You say that this "might be delicious," but that's not enough to make it "craft" because a) the flavors don't work together and it will be curdled. But take the ingredients of this "Buama Gluaisteán" (that's 'car bomb' in Gaelic, since we're being fancy here). Irish whiskey and Demerara sugar work together, right? Irish whiskey and cream do, too, as proven by the Irish Coffee (and if you say that's not a craft drink I throw my hands up in despair). There are an
  12. I'm a bit confused here. . . . if gin in a glass can be considered a Martini, is vodka and Godiva liqueur a choco-tini, or Jager and Red Bull a Jager-tini? Where does it end? I think that intent and execution are inextricably linked in the definition of a craft cocktail. Without intent, you could execute an Irish Car Bomb perfectly and it doesn't make it Craft. Without execution, you get shaken Manhattans, which to me isn't Craft either. Neither are what I want to drink -- there are too many other interesting things to do with excess liver space! Here we run into some basic philosophical is
  13. I don't get the first part of this--are you saying the dry gin martini is a Ford Escort? There's no more elegant drink, and none with higher performance. Or perhaps that's not what you meant. The second part is a point well taken. Somebody had to set up the system, even if that somebody is long gone. And to address Zachary's point, I have had many shockingly palatable dry martinis in which no vermouth was used at all, in places that never heard of orange bitters. I've had many bad ones, too, to be sure. But I've also had many a bad drink in a "craft" cocktail bar. I don't think the craft lies
  14. Not convinced about this intent business. There are many, many bartenders who make cocktails without any thought whatsoever about the ingredients they're using. They use that gin and that vermouth because that's what they've been told to use; it's what's in the well. They put it in a shaker, stir it, strain it into a chilled glass (that's the way they learned the job--every Martini glass gets chilled) and stick an olive in it. Done. No intent there other than to finish their shift and get paid. And yet there's a dry Martini at the end of the process, cold, crisp and delicious. There are also q
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