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Dan Ryan

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  1. Lavender goes pretty well with blueberries. Blackberries too, if your seasons overlap at all.
  2. Bumping the thread to say that cocktail lovers in Barcelona should try the Black Cafe at C/ Rabassa 39 in Gracia. A joy for the standard of service and the value for money. Nothing cutting edge, but a very friendly alternative to some of the other names above. Meanwhile I'm off to Madrid soon. I think Le Cabrera merits a visit. Any other options I should consider?
  3. Pedantic note: barnacles aren't molluscs either. They're crustaceans, rather surprisingly. Got to say the scallop and the octopus for me. Yes, I like my molluscs thick and meaty.
  4. Anybody got any feedback about Chop Chop? http://www.chop-chop.co.uk
  5. Right, going the festival, to perform in the Fringe for a Fiver (plug warning: name of the show is Que?, it's funny and different and great, come and see it, ok that's enough now), and need some recommendations to get me (and several impoverished fellow comics) through a few weeks. So think ethnic or the Scottish produce-driven equivalent of St John or Tom Ilic... I've trawled through this thread, but not really found anything other than a slight taming of my desire to go to 21212. I probably will, as I never made it to Juniper, and everyone I know who had the mixed fortune of living near Altrincham said they liked it. But there must surely be a good sub-Continental place or two? And perhaps even a reasonably authentic Chinese?
  6. What else is on your itinerary Marc?
  7. Those you've cited for Barcelona are all steady enough. Good, solid cocktails available, if a little short of innovation. Other options in a similar vein would be Tandem, Peter's Bar and Gimlet. The smaller Gimlet in the Born is very intimate and fun. Also, Boadas's sister bar Caribbean Club is perhaps a better option than the mothership.
  8. Monk's beard? (the green things, I mean...)
  9. I think roosterchef21 was simply using "jamon iberico" as a benchmark of excellence. And it is excellent. I'd say the finest ibericos are superior in flavour to any prosciutto (or culatello), and in that sense "better". But then Spain has nothing to quite match Lardo di Colonnata. I'm happy to eat all of them anyway...
  10. Sundays are always pretty limited anyway, and Easter will be even worse. For Saturday evening, why not try one of the other bistronomic places: Embat, Con Gracia or Gelonch (my current fave)? I'm not sure if any of them will be open, but they're all great places to eat.
  11. I love peppermint in juleps. It is strong, so you need a lot less, but it's ideal for putting a lot of menthol into the drink without grassiness.
  12. Even red mirto has more of a herbal / resin character than sloe gin. Both delicious when done well, but the sloe gin relies on the balance of sugar, acidity and tannin for a deep fruit flavour, while the mirto is more of a top note. Perhaps port would be a better sub for sloe gin... Do blackthorns not grow in the States?
  13. Next Tuesday is the plan. At the moment...
  14. A wonderfully open theme for Mixology Monday XXVI, but immediately we face the agonies of choice. So many fruit liqueurs, so many possibilities… should it be the funky Adriatic complexities of maraschino? Or the all-round grace of Cointreau? The sleek nubile kiss of apricot brandy? Or the joyous snog of framboise? As with so many other decisions in life, circumstances intervene: a broken ankle means I am unable to get quite as many ingredients as I might wish for. So I start with an old creation, an exhibition of that most lurid of liqueurs, crème de bananes. The Bellamy 1½ shots brandy (where a shot is 25 ml or so) 1 shot creme de bananes ¾ shot grapefruit juice ¾ shot lemon juice Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. The citrus provides enough sharpness to cut through the otherwise sickly banana, and the vanilla notes of the brandy bring it all together. I added a dash of grapefruit bitters to the second glass. No harm done, certainly. Up next, the latest experiment with tequila. There are some tortured souls who don’t like gin, or, rather, who don’t realise they like it yet. And we have to make drinks to please them too… This was inspired by a salad that combined pineapple and blackcurrant, and features not one but two fruit liqueurs, if I might bend the definition to include the very orangey, not-as-herbal-as-we-might-hope new-formula Picon. The Cassiopaea 3 shots tequila (I used Herradura blanco) ½ shot crème de cassis ½ shot Picon many tablespoons of salted pineapple foam First up, make your salted pineapple foam, by mixing fresh pineapple juice, a bit of salt, and the requisite amount of lecithin. Agitate with a stick blender, a milk frother or a hummingbird on a stick, and admire your copious quantities of foam. Check the salt level. Shake the first three ingredients with ice, serve straight up in a cocktail glass, and then spoon over a good amount of the foam. Your drink will resemble a fine ale, and should be equally provocative yet thirst-quenching, as the salt, the fruit and the bitter vegetal flavours mingle and meld. (A picture coming, if I can get the upload to work.)
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