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Everything posted by Libationgoddess

  1. Here is an absolute beauty by one of my bartenders, Chad Solomon. I'm putting it on the menu shortly: Velvet Harvest 2 oz Clear Creek Poire William 1/2 oz Velvet Falernum 1/2 oz Berentzens or Schonaer Apple Schnapps 1/2 oz Lemon Juice 1/4 oz Maple Syrup 2 dashes Robert Hess's House bitters (sub Angostura bitters) 1 egg white. Shake / Strain / up Top with 3 drops of Clove Tincture. Garnish with Pear slice or star anise Someone suggested it would go well with wild boar, or a game course. It truly is fall in a glass. Enjoy! Audrey
  2. I keep Rittenhouse in the well at Pegu, and we make one Whiskey smash after another. It makes a kick-ass Manhattan too. I've got a new variant I'm calling "Little Italy", which will go on the menu shortly: Little Italy: 2 oz Rittenhouse 1/2 oz Cynar 3/4 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth Garnish with luxardo cherries. I'm going through a case of Rittenhouse a week at this point, plus an additional case of other ryes as well. The distributors just chuckle----along with the cases of Punt e Mes, they've probably sold us more rye in the last 8 weeks than they've sold to all of NYC in the last 8 years...I'm sure they're moving those cases out of cobwebbed corners, and blowing the dust off them. Audrey
  3. If you add mint to the gin/pomegranate/lime mix you have Jerri Bank's fabulous Juneperitivo cocktail (utilizing Junipero Gin). A Ward 8 utilizing lime juice instead of lemon juice? we should try it. My experiences have always led me to toward lemon juice with brown spirits, and lime juice with white spirits. Not a rule set in stone, but more of a guide which Dale put out there to me years ago--which continually affirms itself. Audrey
  4. I really love the Goya manzanilla olives. They are little, flavorful babies which taste so much better (for commercial service) than the giant, queen olives you always see in bars. Also a lot of fun are Tomolives. These are not real olives, but pickled green tomatoes. Audrey
  5. Yes, "Juniper-infused" vodka. I have had it listed that way as one of the ingredients in my recipe for "Pinoy Lemonade"---I didn't add it to the first Pegu menu because I'm re-working it. I also offered it that way up at Bemelmans, and cosmo drinkers loved it. The vodka drinker's general concern with gin is that it will be too predominant and overwhelming---they didn't mind the "juniper-infused vodka" after trying it because the flavors worked really well together. When working with a cosmo drinker, flavorful "sours" are a good start: Floridita #3 always works, as does the Gin-Gin Mule. Also the Corpse Reviver #2, the Pisco Sour, and our Champagne Apricato (French 75 with apricot liqueur). Coming soon in the next couple of months (with the arrival of white grapefruit season): Pisco Punch---Pineapple-infused Pisco, White Grapefruit Syrup, Lime Syrup, Lemon Juice. Audrey
  6. I couldn't agree more; bartender suits me just fine. I'm almost fascinated by how uncomfortable so many people are with the term. There shouldn't be any need for exhaltations; we should be focusing more on how to reestablish a sense of pride and dignity for the title. Maybe start with perfecting something simple like a whiskey sour?
  7. Please let me know what night you were with us. That you got bad vibes is completely unacceptable and I want to address this with the staff immediately. Actually, if you could send me a direct email through egullet and elaborate a bit, I'd greatly appreciate it. It's only through this sort of feedback that we will be able to maintain the level of service that we wish to provide. Audrey
  8. I have good news! I received a call from Ryan at Blenheims. The toll-free number is good, and you can order as little as a case---the cost is $14.00 per/cs. Shipping is expensive though; add on Fed Ex at approx $16.00 per case to NYC, for approximate total of $30.00 per case But then again who cares....so well-worth it when you taste that rye & ginger!
  9. Has anyone ordered directly from Blenheim's Bottlers in South Carolina recently? I have been trying to get a hold of some for my new place, but they never seem to answer the phone. I've called both their toll-free number as well as their local number a few times, but get some non-descript message that offers no information. I've left messages on that voicemail, but nobody has returned a call, to date. 1.800.270.9344 is the number I've got. I'm looking to purchase directly, as I'm reselling the product. I'd appreciate any insight anyone has about them. Thanks. Audrey
  10. I did an "all out" one for the Ritz in London a couple of year ago, making it intentionally excessive in a fun, elaborate way. Instead of using coca cola, I went with champagne: I found that when using the champagne, it was nice to have the headiness of the anejo rum, grand marnier, and the intensity of Tanqueray. Add a dash of bitters & maraschino. Garnish with gold leaf, and think back to the 80's. Dynasty, baby! The Full Monte 1/4 oz vodka 1/4 oz Tanqueray 1/4 oz Bacardi 8 Yr 1/4 oz Herradura Silver 1/4 oz Grand Marnier 1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur 1/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice Dash Simple Syrup Dash Angostura Bitters. Shake and strain into a champagne flute, and top with a high-quality champagne Garnish: 24 Karat Gold leaf flecks Audrey
  11. I know just how much you're enjoying this one, Sam; it's been a favorite of mine for a couple of years now. I'm a very big fan of Enzo's; I think he's one of the best bartenders out there...a real artist: Red Hook (By Enzo Errico) ½ oz. Punt e Mes ½ oz. Maraschino 2 oz. Rye Stir / strain / up Glass: Small Cocktail Also, next time you're in there, ask him to make you an Enzoni.... Audrey
  12. I was told that they use a fairly liberal amount of bitter-sweet vermouth in the base of Plymouth fruit cup (i.e., Punt e mes). After hearing that, it made sense.
  13. I'm sorry that I wasn't clearer on this, Dave. I'm glad you brought this up as these are important scenarios that should be kept in mind when preparing drinks. Thanks for prompting me to elaborate. When I create a new cocktail, (and in addition to the flavor profile of the spirit I choose), I also take into consideration the proof; especially with gin. In cocktails that have softer flavor profiles (Aviation, French 75, or Corpse Reviver #2), or in drinks which are not going to be diluted or "lengthened", I'll lean toward an 80 proof. When utilizing the lower proof in these drinks, it will generally not overpower the softness of the other ingredients (i.e., maraschino, lillet, etc). When creating cocktails that utilize ingredients which are sharper, or more intense, I prefer a bolder gin with a higher proof. An example of this is a drink I call a "Gin Gin Mule". For all intents and purposes, think of it as a gin mojito with ginger. I specified a higher proof gin for this as it can stay in the boxing ring with the ginger and mint; both of which are prominent, more agressive flavors. The higher proof is a much better match here than an 80 proof could ever be. Here's another scenario where I think proof plays an important role. When we think in terms of the "Daisy De Santiago' (technically a daiquiri with a float of yellow chartreuse; served over crushed ice and gets a squirt of soda), or anything else where the "base" of the cocktail will be "lengthened" (extended), a higher proof is extremely helpful. The further dilution by melted ice or soda will only make for a watery cocktail with a blander flavor profile. The higher proof will help these drinks maintain their posture; their spine. I'll go one step further with a Tom Collins or any other lengthened drink, and gently intensify the rest of the foundation, as well----meaning, I will probably add a bit more lemon juice and a dash more syrup to the base---so that the sour flavor doesn't get washed away as the soda gets added. We -do- want the refreshing sparkle of a collins or fizz when we add soda, but we don't want it so watter-logged that the flavors drown. At the end of the day, the whole point of considering proofs translates into the desire to achieve further balance in cocktails. It's not only the sum of the ingredients that you use, but how good a host the primary spirit will be to them. Audrey
  14. I have a number of these----The shape of the handles are really key here. I've tried the mexican one, and the first time I squeezed it, it hurt my hand because the handles were squared off (as in Daves very first photo) , and the corners painfully pressed into my palms as I applied pressure. This is very important if you plan on squeezing lots of fruit, as it was uncomfortable enough to make me stop juicing. Splificator gave me an OXO hand press---I helped him with a lecture he was doing a few months back, and we handsqueezed lemons for approximately 100+ drinks. I found it to be very comfortable, and I had no problem doing the numbers with it. You want to be able to go the distance in one session, so the contour of the handles and the coating make a big difference. The wooden reamer is good for the occasional lemon or lime, but can get messy as the juice can run over your hands. I also like OXO's free-standing manual juicer (someone posted a photo of it), because it has two sized reamers (one for lemons, one for limes) built right in, on either side of each other. The juice gets squeezed right into its own measuring cup, which has a small pour spout. Now if we were to get fancy, I'd assume there was a mixmaster sitting on a countertop somewhere in the kitchen. I have one, and when I'm doing a decent amount of juicing, I put the juicer attachment on. Love that! Audrey
  15. Pisco, Amigo....Pisco. Like a bullfighter in the final act, you will simply -push- the blades through everyones shoulders with the Pisco sour! And of course, cachaca....who doesn't enjoy the refreshment of a simple caipiriinha during the summer heat? If you are going to double up on the gin, then get one bottle of 80 proof, and another at least 92+. And I wholeheartedly agree with Janet about Campari. Special occasions and summer rentals are the perfect time to explore the selection of mini (50ml) bottles on your liquor store's shelves. Invaluable especially are the small-fry sized bottles of Chartreuse, Pernod, etc. A small, well-rounded selection of minis can practically "double" your bar's capacity without breaking the bank! Also pick up 375 ml bottles of vermouth. Audrey Charles Baker (author of The Gentleman's Companion) wrote of the "Daisy de Santiago", a recipe that he received from the offices of Facuno Bacardi----basically a daiquiri with reduced sugar, and a float of chartreuse. Splash with soda if you like. And then do it all over again, but this time, try it with gin (and go 90+ proof)...because you can. I know we've gone over the limit, but don't forget the champagne...
  16. For the month of July, pick up a bottle of maraschino liqueur, and prepare Floridita Daiquiri #3. White rum, maraschino liqueur, lime juice, grapefruit juice, dash of simple syrup. Delish! For the gin drinkers, that maraschino liqueur will also come in handy in Aviation cocktails (Gin, maraschino, lemon juice). For an elegant evening, prepare Dale's Ritz Coctkail---it has a "sidecar" base (cognac, cointreau, and lemon juice) with the addition of maraschino, and then topped with champagne. They'll be putty in your hands! Audrey
  17. I dig Aperol in a big way---imagine something along the lines of campari, but orange-flavored, and a little softer. Of course you can't get it here, though.
  18. Actually, this is not at all a new concept. The idea of vinegar as a refresher in drinks goes way back in time, commencing as part of the base in the original "shrub" recipes from our foremothers. I've always thought it was an interesting idea, especially when you practice a "less is more" attitude. My 3 favorite words of late are, dash, smidge, and pinch. I've been futzing around for the past year with balsamic, sherry, and cherry vinegars. It's been an interesting process, so far. Audrey Edited to add that raspberry and vinegar was supposedly a favorite shrub combination...but an "oil and vinegar martini? In dashes? Sure---why not? Which gin are you using? I'm also feeling a dash of sherry in there somewhere to act as a conduit for all the flavors, and tie them all together. If you want to get fancy, top it with champagne, and serve it with raw oysters.
  19. I don't think the pendulum need swing so severely here---in most instances an older bottling is much too soft and mellow, and won't add as much detail to a cocktail as a younger sibling would. It gets, "lost in the mix". It has much more to do with the various bottlings, then age. Meaning I would always use a premium brand (Courvoisier) as opposed to a lesser quality brand. Good ingredients are essential in a good cocktail. Ditto Marie Brizard or another premium fruit liqueur (which costs me approx $25.00 ea) as opposed to a cheaper brand costing $3.00 (and tastes like pure sugar). Single malts in cocktails? Absolutely, but again I would not use a 30 year---its beauty would get lost. But a 10 year bottling? Sure. Ditto XO cognacs, Anejo tequilas, etc.. As Gary Regan says, "nothing is ever written in stone", but these are sensible guidelines. Save the XO's, the 30 years, and the Anejos for sipping. It's more about the quality of the brand than the age, here. Audrey
  20. This stuff is not easy to find, but a real treat if you come across it Their Brut de Fut 1974 is beautiful, as is their 5 yr. And almost impossible to uncover, but a real -treat- of treats....they have a blanche calvados which is so much fun to play with in cocktails! Audrey
  21. It just came into New York through Southern Wine & Spirits last month, so you'll begin to see it popping up around town. I'm surprised at the $11.00 retail though----it costs $11.46 per unit to industry here in NY, with no listed quantity discounts. Audrey
  22. Gloat away.....I know just happy how you feel. I'm still feeling smug about my South American GC score a few weeks ago. Much scarcer than the 1st set, and I got it for a song. It's going to be one of the treasures that sits on the back bar shelf. Better than Prada, every day of the week. Audrey
  23. How ironic....Gary created the Debonaire (with one -n-) years ago. A blend of scotch and canton ginger liqueur... a truly delicious drink. Audrey
  24. In the case of the Tantris Sidecar, I tried to list it in an efficient manner. With that many ingredients, I didn't want to have to bounce back and forth between different jiggers----i.e., using jigger #1, then putting that one down, and picking up jigger #2 (another size), and then having to revert back to jigger #1 again. This way, I streamline the use of the same jigger. In service, every second counts! Audrey
  25. The Brandy Library is a true GEM in Tribeca. They have a couple of hundred bottles on the wall; not just brandy, but pick your favorite rum. scotch, bourbon, or rye, and they'll have it. The walls surrounding the entire room are literally lined with bottles from top to bottom...the selection is extraordinary. Ask for Ethan, who is a walking encyclopedia. Ask him to share his thoughts on any particular bottling, and he'll offer an A-1 flavor profile on it. He is conducting a series of classes on various spirits which certainly look worthwhile. For more information on it, click here. It's become one of my favorite places to enjoy a civilized libation, and is well worth the trip. Audrey
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