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Gary Regan

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  1. I think there's a little confusion here. Blended scotch is single malt scotches blended with grain whisky, and as you say, the grain whisky spends time in oak, just like the malts, but grain whisky doesn't have to be made from malted barley. It's usually made using corn as the primary grain. This is almost correct, but any scotch labeled single malt, if "single barrel or single cask" isn't stipulated, is a blend of malts from the same distillery with no grain whisky added. The subject can be a little confusing, and I believe the pwoers that be are working on new terms and definitions to make it a little easier on us, but hey, all this stuff is what makes it interesting, right?
  2. Liquor stores in Manhattan aren't allowed to sell bitters, but Audrey sells the orange bitters, and peychaud's, at Pegu Club: The Pegu Club 77 West Houston Street (between West Broadway & Wooster St) (212) 473-7348 You can also get them shipped to UK by writing to Candy Charters: ccharters@buffalotrace.com Not sure about the gins, I'm afraid. Sorry.
  3. I, on the other hand, think that everyone should enjoy their Martini however they want to have it. I'm not above introducing "dry" freaks to the delights of a Martini with enough vermouth to be detectable, and this is the way I, personally, like my Martinis. But I think that the ratio should be left to the consumer in question. Each to his/her own. And it's such a great quote, anyway, I find it hard to believe that it could be viewed as "part of the problem."
  4. What was it that Auntie Mame said about children making Marinis? Something like, "It's improper, and they use too much verouth." Obviously not true in this particular case! Alchemist: Thanks for pointing me to that thread re CWall Negroni. Very interesting.
  5. The village of Cornwall-on-Hiudson, I believe . . . It is a GREAT drink, though. (Sorry, Sneakeater, but I guess we know each other. Do you have another name--one that I might recognize?)
  6. And let's not forget Phillip Ward's Cornwall Negroni, Aud! Cornwall Negroni Created by Phillip Ward, Pegu Club, New York, 2005. 2 ounces Beefeater gin 1/2 ounce Campari 1/2 ounce Punt e Mes 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth 2 dashes orange bitters 1 orange twist, as garnish Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add the garnish.
  7. I think that the Vodka Valentino might work pretty well for you, especially considering the date. I prefer the gin-based version of this drink, and the concept is nothing more than an adjustment of ratios on a Negroni, but it might work for you. The Valentino 2 ounces gin or vodka ½ ounce Campari ½ ounce sweet vermouth 1 orange twist, for garnish Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add the garnish.
  8. Hi Gary, Can I tempt you into answering one more question about drink names? Leaving aside the Dylan Collins and its creator, do you have any advice for people creating drinks, naming them, and convincing people to sample them? Last holiday season, a friend and I had a cocktail party with a set drink menu of 6 or so drinks. I brought what I thought were a couple great cocktails; but, everyone wanted "something with vodka" or "Satan's Whiskers". Sadly, the batches of pineapple infused rum and "Mother-In-Law" cocktails went nearly untouched. It seemed most people's interest in "Satan's Whiskers" had nothing to do with the cocktail itself; but, only with the name. As well, their lack of interest in trying the Mother-In-Law seemed to have nothing to do with the cocktail; but, with feelings about their own Mother in Laws. Do you have any guidelines you use yourself when coming up with names for cocktails? -Erik ← Hi Erik: I find coming up with names for drinks to be far harder than coming up with new recipes, though my friend FatDeko has some great ways of going about it. (How goes it, John?) Best example I can give you is my drink, The Debonair, a simple mixture of single malt scotch & Canton ginger liqueur that I came up with in the early 90s (thus enraging scotch aficionados). On the label of the ginger liqueur it said that ginger liqueurs had been around in China since the Xing (sp?) dynasty, so I just called it the whisky xing (pronounced "ching"). Nobody wanted a whisky xing. The drink went through a few other names until finally I took out my thesaurus, looked up "sophisticated" and came up with The Debonair. Within a month it was on the cocktail list at Rainbow Room, and Dale told me he was using a case of malt per month just on that drink. Everyone wanted a Debonair . . . I made cocktails for a party over the holidays, using up ingredients I had in house that I thought would work, so I wasn't making any classic drinks at all, though I used classics as my base for the new recipes (which I didn't record). At the party I made menus giving the drinks very simple names such as "Pear Cosmo," "Spicy Scotch Sour," etc. And this seemed to work quite well. People had a good idea what to expect since the name gave them a clue. John "fatdeko" Myers approach, though, is, I think, the best one. Hope this helps.
  9. Afraid you won't be able to come to one of my organized chaos events at my local, then! I tend to play the music pretty loud . . .
  10. As always, interesting and thought provoking stuff... To a certain extent, some of these reactions depend on one's store of knowledge, which I think we would agree is regretably low when it comes to cocktails, not only in the customer base but even among professionals. To return back to my original musical example... one reason I wouldn't like to see a freeform atonal piece for banjo and flute called "Piano Sonata in G Major" is that the word "sonata" has certain connotations as to musical structure (see here), which would not be satisfied by the freeform atonal piece. Now, that's something you might not know about, and therefore you might not care. Similarly, if I were in a bar and ordered a drink called a "collins," I would absolutely expect a tall drink on ice with citrus and fizz, and would probably be disappointed to be served an up drink in a V-glass. For most people, though, this wouldn't be the case because "collins" doesn't particularly mean anything to them. This all goes to my later point, and yours, about writing for a certain audience. . . I wonder if that's entirely true. My guess is that, if you were writing an article for Mixologist, or perhaps even something for an audience such as we have here in the eG Forums, you might have gone a little bit into talking about what a collins has been historically, how or whether this new drink is derrived from or related to that concept, etc. Certainly this is the kind of explaining you do in The Joy of Mixology. But, again, that book has a different goal and a different audience from the magazine article. Actually, I'd still be interested in hearing your thoughts on how, if at all, the Dylan Collins is related to or updated from the Collins category. To a large extent, and on all the important parts, I couldn't agree more. But -- and this is reflective of my personal biases -- I think there are an awful lot of potential cocktail names out there, and I think if someone is going to give a drink a name associated with an established category of cocktail (collins, julep, daisy, etc.) then it should respect those traditions. Otherwise, why not just pick another name? Absolutely. Audrey has made this point to me a number of times. If someone comes into the bar and wants a Ketel One tonic or whatever, you want to make them feel good and give them a great Ketel One tonic. That's job #1. ← I'll try to answer your points, Sam. Can't speak for the creator, but I think that the guy who came up with the Dylan Collins was, perhaps, thinking of the lemon aspect of the drink when he started to experiement. That's all I'm going to say on the subject of drink names in this thread. I think we've worn it out! Can we agree to disagree? You're right to say that if I was writing about the drink for Mixologist, I would have gone into more detail, etc. But it's not really the kind of drink I'd write about for Mixologist. In this year's edition, though, I do have a piece about the Cosmopolitan . . . You've "almost" got what I meant when I wrote about the core job of a bartender. Yes, if someone orders Ketel One & tonic, make the best K1 & T you can. But the real point I was trying to get across, is that some bartenders might serve me a lousy K1 & T in a cracked glass with lipstick on the rim, but if they make my experience at the bar enjoyable. If they have that certain something that puts a smile on my face, and makes me leave the bar feeling better than I did when I entered, then I've just encountered a great bartender. Don't you know some servers at neighborhood diners who do this sort of thing? You get canned corned beef hash and greasy eggs, but you go back time and time again because of the sassy server. There's room for lots of different types behind the stick, and much as I love Pegu, and I truly LOVE Pegu, I wouldn't enjoy it as much if I didn't have a good Blarney Stone to go to, too. This would be a boring world if all the bars were fancy cocktail bars . . .
  11. I save Noilly Prat for when I'm using the regular bottling of Tanqueray, and use the lighter M&R when working with No. TEN. I've also been making Cosomopolitans using T10 instead of citrus vodka, and these have gone over really well with my customers.
  12. Good thinking. And the need for specific amount of syrup might change depending on which brand of limoncello you use, too. George, can I ask where you work in London?
  13. I myself, and others too I would guess, have come up with recipes like this. From my standpoint of wishing to creating a "Margarita style" drink, I too fell upon using Limoncello. However I swapped the Cointreau for limoncello, and swapped the Tequila for Grappa. The point is not the drink but the name. I started from Margarita, and ended up at the drink I did. Fairly logical, and obviously linked. But how anyone can start at Collins and end up with basically the same drink as I did, is beyond me, and fail to see that it is not a Collins anymore to boot. For my own taste, I feel my drink still needs work, and an even better name. Cheers! George ← I kind of like the name for your drink, George. The formula looks well thought out, too, and I like the idea that you're working with grappa. This should add a nice spiciness to the cocktail. If you're going to re-work it, might I suggest that you try using a little more limoncello, and a little less syrup? (I use 1:1 ratio for simple syrup, too) It's just a thought, but whenever I'm experimenting with this sort of formula I always start out with 3 base 2 liqueur 1 sour Then I taste and adjust. Just an idea.
  14. Please do good sir. ← Hi Sam, Geaorge, et al. Well this is fun, huh? I really have to come visit more often. I'm not sure how to include individual quotes from you guys apart from clipping and pasting, but I'll do my best to answer your comments. Sam, I mis-spoke. I actually don't feel like I have to defend myself against anybody's comments in this thread. Like you, I believe everyone has a right to a different opinion. Fact is it could be that I could be a little too liberal for everyone's taste. I don't really believe that these names matter all that much. That's me. Nobody has to agree with me, but that's the way I feel. You can please some of the people all of the time . . . I LOVE your music analagy, Sam, and I think that if I went to a concert that promised me a concerto in G minor, and it was played in another key, I might feel as though I'd been duped (although I have a tin ear and probably wouldn't notice!). I don't think, though, that anyone was trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes re the Dylan Collins. I doubt very much that Mr. Mautone was thinking, "I know, I'll call it a Collins so everyone will expect a tall fizzy drink, then I'll really disappoint my customers by serving them a cocktail instead." And it's fairly obvious from this <<But not only did he add limoncello to the recipe, Mautone changed the base spirit, too, preferring to use Grey Goose Le Citron vodka rather than gin. And don’t look for any club soda in the Dylan Collins—it’s served straight up in a martini glass at Dylan Prime.>> that I wasn't trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes, either. As anyone can see, there was no skullduggery going on here. <<I'm sure there are things you would have to say to a hardcore cocktail audience that you wouldn't put in an article such as this.>> You know, Sam, this comment really made me think hard. (And my brain isn't used to that . . . ) I don't think I would have treated this drink much differently no matter who I was writing to. I might have thought differently 10 years ago, but now, after seeing what has happened in the cocktail world in the past decade, I've decided (at this point) to live and let live as long as intentions are pure. I get recipes sent to me from all over the world. Literally. I see the same drink masquerading under different names, and I see drinks with the same name that call for entirely different ingredients (I'm talking about new cocktails now). But I've never once had occasion to think, my God, someone's trying to fool me. Perhaps I'm too gullible, but I think not. Perhaps it's time for a statement: I believe that it's of great importance that bartenders know and understand the formulas used to make all classic drinks. Without that knowledge as a base, nobody gets anywhere. But after that, as I tell my students at Cocktails in the Country, "There are no rules." Make great drinks. Be creative. Call 'em whatever you like as long as your intentions are honorable. But make great drinks. Cocktailian bartenders in the first decade of the 21st century have raised the bar on the creative side. They are using ingredients that Jerry Thomas never dreamed of putting into drinks, and some of the resultant cocktails are incredible. Sure, some are terrible, too, but that's just the way it goes. The Dylan Collins is a great drink, though I'm not saying that it's a landmark cocktail. It's just a good use of ingredients that results in a very sippable potion. And I don't believe for a second that Mautone's intentions were anything less than honorable. Nuff said. Perhaps I should start a new thread with what I'm about to say, but what's been going through my head recently is, I believe, very important in the world of professional bartenders. Are we, perhaps, not giving enough attention to the "core job" of the bartender? I don't want to stop anyone in the world from keeping raising the creativity bar. I hope we continue to see more and more innovative drinks from bartenders who really understand flavors, but . . . The core job of a bartender, in my 'umble opinion, is this: A good bartender, no matter what his or her cocktailian skills are, makes sure that each and every customer leaves the bar feeling better than they did when they walked in. This can be achieved by making a great cocktail, and it can be achieved by pouring a shot and a beer and telling a good joke, commiserating with lonesome souls, bringing like-minded folk together, or just by making a customer feel welcome at the bar. There are millions of ways in which to achieve this goal, and I think that this might be a better world if all professional bartenders had this as their primary goal. Okay, them's me thoughts for this morning. Perhaps they'll change this afternoon!
  15. Sam has now won the Obscure Musical Reference Award for the day. Thanks to the rest of you for playing, but this was not a difficult decision for the judging panel to reach. Congratulations on this stellar achievement! ← Hi there: Guess I should weigh in on this subject! But where to begin? First off I should say that I believe it's the right of the creator to name a drink whatever he or she want to name a drink. And I don't believe that I have the right to make fun of them, point fingers, or anything like that. Next I think it might be good to explore the Martini phenomenon, and I should mention that I'm afraid I haven't been around here a great deal recently, so if you guys have been over this in the recent past, please forgive. When cocktails first started being called "Martinis" no matter what ingredients were called for, I didn't like it. It didn't take me long, though, to realize that there was nothing I could do about it, so I simply accepted it. And now it's part of the norm. I'll hazzard a guess that there are people here who aren't old enough to have been drinking cocktails before they were called Martinis. English is an ever-evolving language. The "Cocktail" itself was initially defined as a drink containing spirits, sugar, water, and bitters (1806), and it was a long time after that definition before drinks that strayed from that formula were known as cocktails. But it eventually became the norm to call almost any drink in a V-shaped glass a cocktail. I'm not going to defend myself on anything else that's been written in this thread, except to mention that, when I'm writing for a specific magazine I try to take into consideration my audience, and in the instance cited, I was writing for people who are far more interested in wine than cocktails. Wine Enthusiast is not an ideal platform to get into the intracasies of classic drink families, etc. And although I have great respect for the classics, as anyone who know me will tell you, I do not consider myself to be a classicist. I'd prefer to be known as a progressive, but that might not be entirely true, either. In closing, I'd like to add that I enjoy living in 2006, and I enjoy seeing things change as life goes on. How boring life would be if things never changed. I'll try to get back here more often. Promise.
  16. Ooopsie! I just looked again at the bitters on the buffalo trace web site, where it says that the price is $3.50 for a 10-ounce bottle, but I'm pretty sure that they've bottled only 5-ounce bottles thus far, and $3.50 sounds like the price for 5 ounces to me. Just don't want anyone to be disappointed. I've alerted B.T.
  17. Hi there: I'm just back from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in KY where I saw the first batch of bottles being filled and labeled. I must say that it's pretty weird to have your ugly mug on a commercial bottle. Especially when you no longer look like that (the beard's gone). The guys at Sazerac (the company that owns Buffalo Trace) were just great to work with--really enthusiastic about the whole thing, and determined to pull it off, despite numerous problems with the ATF who kept kicking back the formula saying it was too "potable." (In order to get approved as a bitters which, in the USA, makes it a food product despite the 45% alcohol by volume, the bitters must be deemed to be non-potable by the ATF.) The finished product, though, tastes, I think, better than my original formula for the Regans' Orange Bitters No. 4--this version, though very similar in style and taste, is more bitter, and more complex. I'd love to hear comments from anyone who tries it. There was talk at the distillery of introducing the bitters to both the U.K., and Australia, and I think that that might happen soon, but I have no control over the marketing, etc. (There are 12 bottles to a case) Meanwhile, you can order the bitters from the gift shop at www.buffalotrace.com . Click "gift shop," on "food" then on "mixes." Here's a direct link to the item itself: http://www.buffalotrace.com/giftshop/detai...MasterID=100113 For those of you who don't know this, the label was designed by none other than our own Dr. Cocktail, Ted Haigh. It's beauteous (apart from my face, of course ) Thanks, Robert, for posting this. This is all very exciting. Cheers, Gary
  18. I think of Mischief as more of an on-the-rocks drink, too, though it works when served straight up. It's really the combintion of the spiciness of the Herradura, and the fragrance of the Charbay Key Lime that shine through in this drink. It's far more exotic than I would have imagined. Mardee's really good at conceptualizing drinks in her head whereas I have to experiment over and over again. Guess it's a man thing!
  19. Hi Guys: Just when you thought we were never going to come up with a new drink for you . . . Here's what happened: Mardee has this "thing" for reverse drinks. Julia Child, for instance, enjoys Reverse Martinis--mostly dry vermouth with a floater of gin. If Mardee is planning on having more than one Manhattan, she uses around three parts sweet vermouth to one part bourbon, and copious quantities of bitters. It's a Reverse Manhattan. Earlier this year, though, Mardee made it her mission to come up with a Reverse Margarita. Not an easy task when you consider that, using our proportions (3 parts tequila, 2 parts Cointreau, 1 part fresh lime juice), only 1/6 of the drink--the lime juice--has no alcohol, and both other ingredients are 40% abv. She put on her thinking cap, though, and has been working on this drink in her head for many weeks. Yesterday she put it together. No second attempts, nothing was thrown away--she nailed it on her first try. It was heaven. Mischief is not like a Margarita at all--it's a fragrant drink that's very gulpable, and it isn't too high in alcohol. The flavors marry in complete harmony. This drink is perfect for summertime quaffing. Mardee also came up with the name, but that should be obvious. Here, then, created specially for e-gullet, is Mardee's new drink: Mischief 1 ounce Herradura Silver tequila 1 ounce Charbay Key Lime vodka 3 ounces fresh orange juice 1 orange wheel, for garnish Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice and add the tequila. Lime vodka, and orange juice. Shake for approximately 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or an ice-filled old-fashioned glass. Add the garnish. Apologies to those who can't get Charbay vodkas (www.charbay.com)--we haven't tried the drink with other lime vodkas, but we'd love to hear about it if you do.
  20. Recipe below from Joy of Mixology, or try Villa Massa brand--it's not too sweet at all. Limoncello Family: Infusions Yield: approximately 60 ounces Adapted from a recipe by George Germon and Johanne Kileen, Al Forno, Providence, Rhode Island, where Mardee and I were introduced to the drink in the 1990s. Limoncello is a traditional Sicilian after-dinner drink, and should be served neat, straight from the freezer. 12 medium lemons 1 liter grain alcohol 2 cups water 2 cups granulated sugar Carefully pare the zest from the lemons, taking care not to take any of the white pith along with the zest. Place the zest into a large glass container with a close-fitting lid, reserving the pulp and juice for another use. Pour in the grain alcohol and close the container. Leave the mixture to mellow for one week in a dark place. Combine the sugar and the water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature, add it to the lemon zest mixture, close the container again and allow the lemoncello to mellow for one more week. Strain the mixture through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth into bottles, and place the bottles in the freezer.
  21. The other "trademarked" drink that comes to mind is the Sazerac. The Sazerac Company claims to "own the intelectual rights" to the name.
  22. Trump has Trumped himself (or been Trumped) with the introduction of the You're Hired cocktail at the world bar in NY. This excerpted from a recent press release: But April 15th marks the end of the firing spree and the announcement of the show’s winner, who will finally hear the anticipated words “You’re Hired,” as he or she is invited to work for Mr. Trump. To toast to the newfound lifestyle of Trump’s newest employee, the World Bar in the Trump World Tower has created a “You’re Hired” cocktail fit only for Trump’s chosen apprentice– it comes with a price tag of $1000! L'Esprit de Courvoisier retails for $6,000, presented not in a bottle, but in a handcrafted and hand finished individual decanter made just for this precious spirit by world-renowned crystal maker, Lalique, so no two are alike. Each is numbered and hand engraved with the Lalique signature to confirm authenticity. “You’re Hired” Cocktail (aka French 1000) 2 oz. L'Esprit Courvoiser 1 1/2 oz. Chateau d'Yquem Sauterne 1 oz. Fresh Grape Juice Splash of Fresh Lemon Juice Splash of Simple Syrup 1 1/2 oz. Dom Perignon Served in a Champagne Flute.
  23. Guess we really should start working on that new cocktail, huh?
  24. Sorry I haven't been around--far too busy trying to come up with a new Martini for e-gullet . . . What's that? You wanted a cocktail? What's the difference? Yes, I'm with Doc on this one. The English language just keeps on evolving. Otherwise there'd be no room for words such as cocktailian, now, would there?
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