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Everything posted by Heikki

  1. I also have now tasted the new Boker's Bitters and my feeling is that these are the most bitter of the various bitters I have (apart from my first orange bitters try). Strong bitter backbone was already mentioned, but I feel the bitterness needs a special mention. Also, there is something that reminded me of strong and cold black tea now when I just tasted again. It's a good time to be a bitters user these days.
  2. Here is a modification of Last Ward that I intend to serve during the Christmas holidays. Compared to Last Ward, Cherry Heering is substituted for Maraschino and a little more lime is used. The reason for this substitution is that I was running out of Maraschino which is not easily available here, so a liqueur that is flavorful enough to take Maraschino's part was needed. Also, the amount of lime was increased a little for a better balance. 3 parts rye 3 parts Chartreuse 3 parts Heering 4 parts lime juice Shake and garnish with lime twist. Besides the essential oils, lime twist is also visually pleasing since the drink is muddy brown because of Heering. About the taste, Rye and Heering play together very well and rye can be identified as the base. Chartreuse brings its flavor to the whole as with Final Word or Last Ward. In my opinion, the way rye and Heering interact is something that I did not expect but am very pleased with. I also tried making the drink with lemon instead of lime, but lime seems to work better. The rye I have been using is Wild Turkey. This is also a good way to consume all that Heering many of us surely have somewhere among their lesser used bottles. -- Heikki Vatiainen Tampere, Finland
  3. Heikki


    My suggestion is to contact the makers, Lignell & Piispanen, directly. The web page is http://www.lignellpiispanen.fi/. The pages are in English too and I am very sure that responding to English language queries is not a problem to them. However, I do not know how fast or if they answer email questions at all, but language should not be a problem. Regarding the topic, they also have one liqueur that could be considered very much a Finnish specialty. The liqeueur is made of Arctic bramble (Rubus Arcticus) and the packaging claims that it has been made with unchanged recipe for about 120 years. I have tried it with some cocktails, but the taste seems to be too delicate to show itself when mixed. E.g. making an Aviation with Arctic bramble instead of Maraschino was not successful. You will not find information about this liqueur from the makers' web page because at 27.5% it is over 21% which is the limit of what can advertised in Finland. Product information is considered as advertising. -- Heikki
  4. Perhaps the Bacardi Cocktail? It built up a head of steam during this time. ← In one of the Chandler's books, I think it was "Farewell, My Lovely" but I am not completely sure and do not have the book here, Philip Marlowe had a Bacardi Cocktail. Wikipedia says that book is from 1940 and in any case it was in one the four well known books Wikipedia says Chandler wrote between 1939 and 1943. Maybe this helps to place Bacardi Cocktail to the right decade.
  5. About a year ago we were attending a dinner party where the aperitif was simply vermouth bianco (sweet white) combined with tonic water in a cocktail glass. It was surprisingly tasty and will probably work with dry white vermouth if bianco feels too sweet. Note that it was not stirred with ice, so you may want to use chilled glass, vermouth and tonic. Also, if Campari is not out of question, Americano [1] is good or if you can get Suze [2], try Suze with tonic for something different. [1] Combine Campari and sweet red vermouth over ice in a tall glass, top with fizzy water and garnish with a slice of orange. See e.g. Cocktaildb for the recipe or Paul Harrington describing the drink more throughly. [2] Cocktaildb's listing about Suze
  6. That is a good call. As a category, I currently prefer rum, but if I would have to choose a single spirit that would probably be Highland Park 18. The sad thing is that our household is currently out of it.
  7. This Easter, three weeks ago, I served Aviations to seven people with ages varying from 19 to 75. In other words, it was interesting to see if I could come up with a recipe that pleases the whole age and taste spectrum. The recipe I used was this: 6 cl (2 oz) gin (Plymouth gin) 2 cl (2/3 oz) Maraschino 3 cl (1 oz) lemon juice (normal, not very sour) This was shaken as one amount and then strained into two small cocktail glasses. For garnish I used cocktail cherries that were first rinsed under running water to keep them making the cocktail finish too sweet. I also snapped a small lemon twist on top of the drink but did not add the twist into the drink. The drink was very well received and described as refreshing, not too sweet and simply just "good". I also think that 6/2/3 works well unless you want to highlight any of the components. With 6/2/3 you can tell it is alcoholic and gin based, 2 of marschino does not come through overpowering while it mixes well with lemon to keep the whole drink not becoming too sour. -- Heikki Vatiainen
  8. For home use, I have made passion fruit syrup by rubbing passion fruit pulp through sieve to get nectar and then adding one part of simple syrup (sugar:water two:one) to two parts of nectar. In other words, for each ounce there are 2/3 of passion fruit nectar and 1/3 of simple sugar. This works very well e.g. for Intoxica's Don The Beachcomber Zombie, in my opinion one of the best recipes in Intoxica or Grog Log, or any other drinks where passion fruit syrup is called for. The recipe gives strong passion fruit taste with enough sweetness. One wrinkled passion fruit seems to yield 0.5 cl of nectar, so for one ounce about six passion fruits are needed. If the fruits are very wrinkled, more fruit are needed. I recently juiced seven very wrinkled fruits and got only 2.5 cl of nectar. The amount of wrinkles seems to have inverse correspondence to nectar yielded, since even the most wrinkled fruit still tasted good but gave only a little nectar. The color has been always bright yellow, so I have not run into fruit that gives nectar of green or brown tones. I guess the color depends on the fruit variety, http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/passionfruit.html shows that there is plenty of choose from. If I remember correctly, at least some of the passion fruits I have bought have come from southern parts of Africa. -- Heikki Vatiainen
  9. Heikki


    Vermouth does change even in the fridge over the time. The change is easy to note when one buys a new bottle to replace the old. When tasted side by side the vermouth from the old bottle is more bitter and there are some other changes too which are for me harder to classify. At least the added bitterness is easy to notice. I second the idea of buying the smallest bottle and since we only have .750 size bottles of red here I have even thought about rebottling .750 bottles into two .375 bottles to make the red vermouth last longer. -- Heikki Vatiainen
  10. Glögg, or glögi as we spell it, is very common here in Finland too. The article mentions that it is highly alcoholic and that can be true, but not always. The alcohol content varies from non-alcoholic to highly alcoholic. Many places from public establishments such as libraries to private homes serve glögg to their guests before Christmas, and when in doubt people just ask how much alcohol is in the glögg. Usually if not always, the glögg that shops and other such places serve is non-alcoholic but the raisins, almonds and the spicy taste are always there. Heikki Vatiainen
  11. ludja, I mixed the Nevada Cocktail for myself and the wife today, and we liked it very much. It is very tasty. The recipe seems to also be in the Savoy cocktail book (Savoy goes Tiki?) and the Cocktaildb. Cocktaildb uses only half of the amount of grapfruit juice, but it will probably depend on the type of grapefruit how much is needed. The yellow grapfruit we had was fairly sweet so I only used 1 cl of 2:1 simple sugar for sweetener. Due to our glassware size I used this recipe: 4 cl white rum 4 cl grapfruit juice 2 cl lime juice 1 cl simple sugar 3 dashes (shakes) of Angostura The amount of Angostura is more than the other recipes specify, but it seems to go very well with this drink. Maybe it is the amount of fruit juice that absorbs the bitters, but I think less would not have been enough. Usually this much Angostura would be quite a lot for a single drink. The drink has many Daiquiri qualities, but grapefruit and bitters give it a nice character of its own. Heikki Vatiainen
  12. Do the ones in the Savoy cocktail book count? Some are numbered or otherwise differentiated, such as Rose (English) and Rose (French Style No. 1) and some just have the same name such as the two Queen Elizabeth cocktails which I first noticed when I just opened the book, but none of the same incredients. Actually, the French versions of Rose cocktails are not that different but at least the Corpse Revievers are :) Heikki
  13. I second that. So far I have tasted the following rye whiskeys: Jim Beam, Old Overholt, Rittenhouse (100 proof) and Van Winkle. One thing I noticed is that rye whiskey has a lot in common with bourbon and very little common with rye products such as rye bread. Rye bread is very common in this country, but I would not say rye whiskey brings rye bread in mind. I think I would be able to pick rye from scotch or irish whiskey in blind tasting (some rums being much harder), but correctly identifying rye from bourbon would be very, very hard in blind tasting. When I first tasted rye, I was surprised how similar it was to bourbon. I was expecting a more pronounced rye taste (what ever that might be). The spice in rye vs sweetness in bourbon sounds familiar from the limited comparing I have done this far. About the 51% rule: As a theoretical standpoint, is it possible to have 51%/49% rye/corn rye whiskey and 51%/49% corn/rye bourbon? The real grain mixtures are probably not that simple, but somehow it feels like rye and bourbon could sometimes be fairly close relatives. Heikki Vatiainen
  14. Heikki


    Last night I was attending a dinner party where the aperitif was simply bianco vermouth topped with tonic and served in a cocktail glass. The combination was very delightful. -- Heikki Vatiainen
  15. My drink related pages and pictures are here: http://www.iki.fi/vatiainen/drinks.html Here is a picture of a Bacardi cocktail displaying the nice color from home made grenadine. Only a splash of grenadine was needed since I was lucky to get good pomegranates. Please forgive the pale garnish and the bread crumbs on the table. That was one of my first cocktail pictures and since that I have worked more on the setting -- Heikki Vatiainen
  16. Heikki


    In my home bar experiments I have used cane sugar with caipirinhas and people have actually liked when there is some undissolved sugar in the bottom of the glass. I did try to get all the sugar to dissolve, but cane sugar seems to require more work than normal white fine surgar. Undissolved sugar seems to add to the possibility to "sample" a little while drinking by moving the straws around and getting different amounts of cachaça, lime, sugar or more or less watered combination of all. I do agree that undissolved sugar is usually an untidy sight, but caipirinha seems to be forgiving in that aspect. Does anyone have comments about Nêga Fulô cachaça? That is what I have been using and I think it works well. I do not have previous experience with cachaça, but at least it makes tastier caipirinha than what I was once previously served. -- Heikki Vatiainen
  17. I would like to add Suze and tonic in the list of summer cocktails. Some of the tall effervescent drinks very already discussed earlier under this topic, but I would not like to see Suze to go unnoticed. As many of us already know, Suze is known for its pronounced taste of yellow gentian Gentiana lutena. As a drinks and gentian related topic, Lena Struwe of the Rutgers University maintains an interesting page titled Beverages with gentians Here is a picture from the weekend of first full week in this May. This weekend literally is warmly remembered since thus far it has had the only days in this year when we got temperatures that were over 25 C (or 77 F). 1/3 Suze, 2/3 Tonic, plenty of cold ice and a warm afternoon [Fixed the image hyperlink]
  18. I agree. That is the reason I was not interested in sangria drinks until I started broadening my knowledge in drinks. Quite soon it became clear that sangria is a worthy family of drinks and not just some concoction of red wine (no white wine, always read and cheap) and something sweet topped with fruit. Thanks for clarifying the measures. Now it is easy to start trying and tuning. Thanks! Heikki Vatiainen
  19. Miguel, your sangria recipe sounds very good. Could you clarify a little how much is the quarter, as in a quarter-bottle? Also, wine-glass is sometimes 4 ounces. Is that the wine glass size you are thinking? Sangria is mostly known in this country from the trips people make to Iberian countries and the Canary islands, so there is very little first hand knowledge about how to make it as opposed to just buying something and then drinking it. Also, if you buy Cointreau in Finland it is only available in 0.35 liter bottles. This makes me think that a quarter of a 0.35L bottle is not what you had in mind :) [Edited to remove the quoting] Thanks, Heikki Vatiainen
  20. The second batch is now done and the result, after mixing with some of the bitters from the first try, is much better than with the first try. There is more spice in the taste and the bitter seville orange taste is not as strong-tasting as with the first try. The seville oranges have a very strong and long lasting bitter taste and using only them may not be the best method. Additionally, the seville orange peel I used had very thick pith that managed to decompose and cause plenty of cloudiness while simmering the peel and spice. Our household now has an electronic scale which makes it possible to actually to measure the spice. This should make the soon to be started third batch once again a little closer to the "real thing". Thanks again for the informative discussion! Heikki Vatiainen
  21. While looking for information about Maker's Mark in general, I found a very interesting mint julep recipe from their recipes page. They also start with mint & bourbon tincture which they subsequently add to bourbon and simple sugar mix. Heikki Vatiainen
  22. I am currently making my second batch of orange bitters. This time I have been documenting the process by making a web page which has the recipe, notes and pictures of different phases. This batch is not finished yet, but I think there is enough information on the page so that it can made generally available. Besides making notes for myself, my idea was to make a page that people find useful if they want to experiment with making bitters. I would appreciate seeing any comments you might have about the method, recipe and other subjects. Hopefully I am on the right track :) The link is http://www.iki.fi/vatiainen/orange-bitters/ Heikki Vatiainen
  23. Thanks, it does make very much sense, both the text above and below of what I quoted. I would also like to thank the forum members for their hearty welcomes! Your comment clarified a lot of what I had in mind about the flavor; what it should be like and how much to use the flavoring agents. The "pinch" I used was quite small, something you could hold between your thumb and forefinger. Now I conclude the aromatic flavor vs. bitter orange base ratio was not blanced at all and the Seville oranges completly overtook that batch. It looks like a good way to proceed with the second try is to add some sweet orange peel, with peel containing both zest and pith, and increase the amount of the spices. Increasing the amount of spices is actually quite obvious now knowing the strong taste of Seville oranges and re-reading the recipe where it says to crush the seeds and peel with a muddler. I did notice that my small pinches were completly lost among the orange peel and it was wery hard to tell if they were there or not and especially if they were crushed at all! This discussion has been very enlightening. The goal (what to expect for orange bitters) is now much more visible.
  24. If I remember correctly, orange bitters have been recognized to blend well with whisky just like ginger based wines and liqueurs. Using ginger as an ingredient of orange bitters sounds like quite a good idea. Heikki Vatiainen
  25. Greetings from a new member! The orange bitters discussion has been very interesting, so I thought about joining in with my own experience on making orange bitters. Last year I made orange betters using the recipe I found from Paul Harrington's column on Hotwired. The original recipe is attributed to Charles H. Baker. The recipe calls for finely chopped dried orange peel and Seville oranges (Citrus aurantium or pomeranssi in Finnish) in particular. When I was done following the recipe, I had in my bottle very bitter, non-potable liquid that starts with a fairly easy taste and then becomes very bitter in the end lasting for a long time. The aftertaste is about the same as what I get if I chew a little of the dried peel by itself. When comparing it to Angostura, my version of orange bitters lacks the strong taste Angostura initially has but wins with the longer aftertaste. I have not had a possibility to taste any other orange bitters so I would be interested in hearing if my description sounds even remotely orange bitterish. When using the bitters with drinks, I have noticed that the addition of my orange bitters mostly affects the aftertaste, not surprising based on the above description, and I am wondering how other versions of orange bitters blend in. Or in other words, should I go for another batch and try to achieve a more evely distributed taste? Heikki Vatiainen
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