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Gary Regan

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Everything posted by Gary Regan

  1. That's right, Robert. Thanks. I was in touch with Ryan yesterday & found out that he's working at Holland America and with Kathy Casey, but not at Zoe. Sorry for the confusion.
  2. Hate to say it, but that's one of those things I generally ignore. I use whatever comes to hand.
  3. Fat Guy: I seriously think that there's little or no hope for you! Especially if you're forgetful and a poor listener. There's maybe one thing you could try, though. Go to a bar where you know the bartender makes good drinks, and watch him or her at work. Perhaps you'll get the hang of it visually and be able to recreate the drinks yourself. When I came to the USA in '73 I didn't have a clue about cocktails, and I did exactly that in order to get my first bartender gig in NY.
  4. Almost made it to 5 o'clock today but the dogs just asked me to go downstairs and let them out to play for a while. Honest. See you all tomorrow!
  5. Yes, the white inner pith is bitter, but it doesn't flavor the drink--honest.
  6. I've never heard of the Ame drinks before. I should investigate further. Thanks.
  7. I've just realized--after looking at your photograph--that there's another problem with the channel knife. It doesn't cut deep enough. You need a decent amount of the white inner pith on the back of a twist to make it sturdy enough to twist properly. I'd bet that the twist in the pic would render almost no oils, even when freshly cut--it's just too limp. Sorry, but that's how I see it As for how wide should a twist be, I cut mine from top to bottom of the fruit, and I make them as wide as possible. This varies depending on the size of the lemon, of course, but I like my twists to be at least 1/2", if not close to 3/4" wide if possible.
  8. You're not wrong, Doc, you just like a different style of Margarita than Magoo and me. Okay--you're wrong.
  9. Just kidding! For those of you who don't know Dr. Cocktail, I'll just say that we've known him for years, and he's one of the most knowledgable people around when it comes to spirits and cocktails--expecially in the history department. Given the choice I would always use blanco tequila in a Margarita--it's the sharp peppery bite that I'm looking for, and that nuance starts to fade after the spirit spends time in oak. That being said, though, most reposado tequilas will make very good Margaritas, and if that's what I have on hand I don't hesitate to use it. I'm sure that this will make Magoo happy since it was he who won me over to blanco in Margaritas many moons ago.
  10. You can keep them covered with a damp paper napkin until the party actually starts, but you should probably uncover them at that point since they won't look too good. I have a problem with you using a channel knife, though! Better to use a paring knife or something similar in order to get wider twists, and therefore, far more essential oils. They might not be quite as pretty, but they'lll do a better job for you.
  11. No, I wasn't at the dinner (invited but couldn't make it). I based the article on an interview I conducted with Patrick. He told me why he chose this or that bottling to go with each dish, etc., and waxed lyrical about Irish whiskey in general. He's a great guy. And since I now have the opportunity for another plug, I shoulld tell you that Patrick took the Cocktails in the Country course last year!
  12. No, it was just 13 different scotches--we needed 3 bottles from each distillery in order to conduct the tasting. Mind you, 13 ain't all that bad, either. The funny thing about the results was that some of the scotch people hated the fact that we found rancio. And some cognac people weren't too keen on it, either. The cognac producers were upset that rancio could develop in other products, and the Scots weren't sure whether rancio would be suitable for their consumers. Still, though, if it's there, it's there. I should add that I've tasted whiskies that have spent too long in the wood, and haven't developed rancio, but I think that sometimes, when an old bottling is proclaimed to be too "woody," it's actually rancio, but the taste is so foreign to most people they find it hard to pin down. My guessing that rancio was what we tasted in the 40-year-old Bowmore was exactly that--a lucky guess.
  13. I'm afraid that I haven't experimented much with nonalcoholic cocktails. Janet: your recipes look great, and I, too, love the San Pelligrino san bitter, et al. They are great for abstainers/drivers, etc. Spicy ginger beer (not ginger ale), and root beer/saspirilla, etc. are other good choices. They have more "adult" flavors and people tend to be able to drink more than one of them, whereas very sweet sodas get old too quickly. The only other thing that springs to mind is tonic water with a wedge of lime. This is far better if you add bitters to the drink, but Angostura is 45% alcohol, and Peychaud's is 35% alcohol, so you MUST check with the guest before adding them. Strict teetotalers will probably refuse, but designated drivers who usually drink can handle these without putting too much alcohol in their system (providing you don't add more than a dash or two of bitters, of course). Sorry I don't have any creative cocktails to suggest.
  14. I just wrote a column about the whiskey dinner at Seppi's for Nation's Restaurant News, and I really admire Patrick O'Sullivan's passion for Irish whiskey. My biggest problems with whisk(e)y dinners is that the chef has to come up with 4 or 5 courses, all of which match whiskey. And even though whsikeys can differ drastically, there's still one basic taste there. If you pair cocktails to food the chef has a much broader range to choose from. At Painters we simply let the chef compose the dinner, then we come up with drinks to match each course. As for spirits dulling the palate, well, I guess that's true, but I don't think they detract too much from the food.
  15. Sorry, her name is Kathy Casey of Kathy Casey Food Studios. You can find her at www.kathycasey.com. Ryan works with her, and I believe he also tends bar at Restaurant Zoe on Second Avenue. Robert--could you correct me if I'm wrong about this? Thanks
  16. You've opened a can of worms! Years ago I tasted the 40-year-old Bowmore which bore a flavor that I couldn't identify. On the way home with fellow spirits freak, Paul Pacult, I discovered that he'd had the same problem. "Suppose it was rancio?" I suggested. Rancio is a flavor found in old cognacs, best described as earthy, mushroomy, lactic, and perhaps a hint of soy sauce. Cognac producers treasure this flavor when it occurs. Paul & I decided that the only way to find out if rancio could exist in old single malts was to get as many old malts as possible and taste them. We approached the Rainbow Room in NY and suggested that we hold a tasting of the world's oldest malts there. They agreed so we then went to the scotch producers and asked them to go to the back of their warehouses and send us samples of the oldest drinkable malts they had. We ended up with 3 bottles from each of 13 distilleries. Sure enough, we found rancio in more than half of them. The J&B guy was right (though not in every case)--the spirit had transformed, and in some cases it was impossible to tell it apart from a cognac, or even a very old rum. As final proof of this, some years later I heard that a cognac producer had analized his brady to discover what was responsible for the flavor of rancio, and he pinned it down to 2 specific ketones. I asked him if he'd be willing to analize a scotch in the same way if I provided the whisky. Sure enough, thos ketones were present in the scotch. Why are they there? How do they get there? It's just a case of advanced oxidization. Some people hate rancio in scotch. I love it.
  17. I doubt that "craze" would be the right thing to call it, but we might see more of this sort of thing.
  18. It's not even 4:30, but I'm quitting for the day. See y'all tomorrow. Thanks for all the questions/comments, etc.
  19. I'm not a big fan of brown sugar, except sometimes in Irish Coffee. It's just a personal thing.
  20. ooops: Haven't tried King Eider--I must be slacking . . .
  21. Yes, I tend to use less Vya than I would Noilly Prat, and less Noilly Prat than I would M&R
  22. Wow! Shooters looks like quite a joint! Mardee's from Ohio--Akron/Canton
  23. slkinsey: I don't believe the contestants were allowed to pre-chill their ingredients, but you make a good point about dilution not being as important in a 50/50 Martini. wagyuboy: Martini Rosso is probably Martin and Rossi sweet vermouth on the rocks. You'll see the word Rosso (red) on the bottle. Janet: I love Noilly Prat, Vya, and Martini & Rossi.
  24. You have a great point about matching gins with differing amounts of vermouth. My advise when it comes to making any cocktail is to taste each ingredient before constructing the drink--ratios will change depending on what bottlings you're using. As a generalization I think that people should drink their Martinis however they wish. With a vermouth rinse, no vermouth at all, or 50/50 gin and vermouth is fine with me. However, those people who have never tried a Martini with a decent amount of vermouth--say 25 - 35%--I urge you to try just one. Last weekend a couple of friends came over for drinks. I've watched the guy make Martinis for himself, and he barely uses any vermouth at all, so it was great when he asked me how I'd made his Martini because he said it was better than the ones he made for himself. I'd used just about 25% vermouth--didn't want to push my luck. The other important aspect of Martinis is coldness. If you stir, stir for at least 30 seconds to incorporate enough water from the ice to dilute the drink properly and chill it sufficiently. The best martini I ever had. I mean that--the absolute best. Was made by Sasha Pertraski, owner of Milk and Honey in Manhattan. He used the regular bottling of Tanqueray, and M&R dry vermouth. This was at a Martini competition at the book party for Dave Wondrich's "Esquire Drinks" and he, along with the other bartenders, was required to use those products. We weren't allowed to see the bartenders make the drinks so we had no preconceived notion of the preparation, or of who had made each Martini. Sasha's Martini was the coldest Martini I've ever had, but I'm not sure exactly how he achieved that. What I do know, though, is that he used a 50/50 ration of gin to vermouth. I was blown away when he told me.
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