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Everything posted by kvltrede

  1. I'm confused. I know it's illegal to sell and to make absinthe in the US but I thought possision was legal. Is this incorrect? Kurt
  2. Wow. Really? I've only had the Basil Hayden once so I'm no expert--and I should probably keep my mouth shut--but I certainly wouldn't have guessed it had a substantial amount of rye in the mashbill. I found it to be a nice enough whiskey but mild and forgettable. In fact, my first thought was that the BH was a nice whiskey for people who don't really like whiskey. Now that I've read this I'm tempted to give it another shot but, really, between the whiskeys I know I prefer to the BH and those I haven't yet tried I couldn't say when that might happen. YMMV. Kurt
  3. OK, now I'm officially scared. I named all 3 in an instant!. What am I turning into??? ← A knowledgeable consumer? Oh, okay, I'll say it. You, my friend, are officially a cocktail geek. Welcome to the club! Kurt
  4. kvltrede

    MxMo X

    Erik, Plastic may not be particularly classy but it looks better than you might think and it's cheap. For the galfriend's b-day a couple years ago I did a rum punch and a sangria and we put 'em in $8 faux-crystal plastic punch bowls from a local party supply store. I won't insult our guests by suggesting that they weren't exactly a high-toned, high-brow group but I wouldn't think twice about using these again even for a more formal affair. Kurt
  5. It's almost 5pm CST. Dunno if any of y'all will see this in time to catch it but I'm told that Eric Asimov is the guest on the Rachel Maddow show today and the topic is rye whiskey. It's on in a couple minutes. Listen online at AirAmerica.com I have no idea how much liberal [claptrap/intelligent analysis] you'll have to sit through before Asimov shows up. Kurt UPDATE: the show just started. Sounds like Asimov will show up towards the end of the second hour, say, 6:30-7pm-ish CST. In addition to discussing rye whiskey there will be a cocktail created to toast the departure of Do-Nothing Congress of 2006. UPDATE #2: you can see the commemorative cocktail at Rachel Maddow's blog. It's nothing more than a Ward 8. I was hoping she and Asimov had come up with something original. She does, however, provide a link to two homemade grenadine recipes. I shouldn't have been surprised to find that the link took me to the very fine cocktail blog, The Cocktail Chronicles--the work of Paul Clarke aka limewine.
  6. I found a bottle of the Forest Floor bitters last year. I haven't used them lately but I remember thinking they bore an uncanny resemblance to Angostura. I was disappointed in not having a new weapon for my cocktail arsenal. As Wisconsin is one of the few places where Angostura bitters never disappeared from behind the bar it seemed to me that Wisconsin-based Forest Floor probably didn't want to deviate too far from what people were used to. I'll have to give them another head-to-head with the Angostura. Maybe I was a little hasty in my judgement. Regardless, it is a fine product. Kurt
  7. ~bump So, nobody knows nothin' nohow? There's a thread over at StraightBourbon.com but it's mostly guesswork. A couple tasting notes make it worth following the link. Shaggy likes both of the ryes: Kurt
  8. kvltrede

    MxMo IX

    Erik, I'm pleased to report that I was not stopped at the WI/IL border on my way home on Thanksgiving Day. Hopefully, it's not just that the State Patrol had limited staff due to the holiday. Then again, you can take the cheesehead off of the boy but you can't take the cheesehead from closet shelf to the dumpster so I think I'm okay regardless. Besides, my old man has been drinkin' Canadian Club Perfect Manhattans with olives for decades. He doesn't cotton to that Brandy Manhattan or Brandy highball masquerading as an Old-Fashioned nonsense so if being born in Wisconsin isn't sufficient I'm pretty sure that my dad's heresy makes me a legacy of sorts. And now that I think of it, it strikes me as very unlikely that Fightin' Bob LaFollette, William Proxmire or Vince Lombardi ever made an "Old-Fashioned" with brandy and 7-Up. Kurt
  9. kvltrede

    MxMo IX

    Can anyone answer Erik's question? Is Unicum similar to the long-lost Boker's bitters? Jörg? And, to add to the discussion of bitters and Old-Fashioneds, I'm rereading Embury and he mentions that brandy and Unicum go well together. He doesn't offer any Unicum recipes but as I have a dusty bottle of Unicum from a friend who spent a few years in Hungary I thought I'd rescue it from the Cupboard of Misfit Booze and put Mr. Embury to the test. Perhaps I shouldn't pat myself on the back but I think I hit a home run in my first at bat. I'm calling it the Magyar Old-Fashioned: The Magyar Old-Fashioned 2.5 oz brandy (or cognac or armagnac) .25 oz Unicum bitters .25 simple syrup Build in rocks glass . Stir. Add large ice cubes to fill. Stir. Lemon twist. I made three of these over the weekend and used three different brandies. The first was made with E&J VSOP brandy. Very nice. I'm not sure how or why Hungarians (almost exclusively) drink Unicum straight but this modest amount sure grabs the brandy by the lapels and gives it a good shake. The sweetness of the brandy and the simple syrup (2:1 turbinado) balance the pungent herbal bitterness of the Unicum quite well. For round two I used Chateau de Laubade bas armagnac VSOP. I don't know much about armagnac (or cognac for that matter) but I can say that I think Wine Enthusiast is right in calling this a best buy at $25. I like it a lot on it's own and it made for a better drink. That it's a little drier than the E&J, I think, allowed for the Unicum to come through a little more forcefully. While this was noticably better than the E&J version I wouldn't say it was significantly better. On Sunday I made another. This time I used Chalfonte VSOP cognac and I was surprised to find that this is the version I liked the best. It could be that it's a more perfect match with the Unicum or that a couple days time had dulled the memory of the previous two drinks or it could be that I was just that much more accustomed to the peculiar flavor of the Unicum. After all, I doubt Hungarians are born with a taste for the stuff. Regardless, the Chalfonte Magyar O.F. was quite delicious and, as the Chalfonte is a very modestly-priced cognac I couldn't be more pleased. Kurt
  10. 5:1 Plymouth Martini with a slice of lemon peel about the size of a 50¢ piece. Repeat as needed.
  11. So, because I'm a geek, I'm re-reading Embury. In the Aperitif wines section in the "Limes, Lemons, and Liquors" chapter (1963 ed., p79) what should I come across but this: I'm not sure what to make of it. It seems reasonably clear that Lillet and Kina Lillet are two separate products but "originally sold under the name Kina Lillet" suggests that Kina Lillet has a new name that might lead to some confusion at the liquor store. I don't think Embury is 100% accurate with every fact he presents--he's a little shaky on tequila IIRC--but he's revered for a reason and vermouth doesn't strike me as one of his blind spots. Not to mention that this edition is roughly contemporary with the publication of Casino Royale.... ...I just took another look at Lillet's homepage and found this in the "1920-1930" entry on the Lillet history page: I think this makes it quite clear that Kina Lillet and Lillet Dry--later called Lillet Blanc, I assume--are, in fact, two different products. The Lillet site doesn't say anything about the eventual demise of Kina Lillet but I think we can also assume that Kina Lillet was available through at least the early '50's and probably through whenever it was that Embury revised the 1963 edition of his book. ...Now, this is interesting. A little more googling and turned up this page. I don't recall seeing this before. It's another Bond page with some Lillet history that's probably cribbed from the Lillet homepage. Apparently Kingsley Amis doubts the use of Kina Lillet in The Vesper: I think it's fair to say that Fleming knew his way around a glass and wasn't mistaken in calling for Kina Lillet. Amis may not have found a Vesper made with Kina Lillet to his liking but if Dave Wondrich's attempt at recreating Fleming's original recipe works for Dave I don't have a problem dismissing the doubts of Mr. Amis (who also most certainly knew his way around a glass). Kurt
  12. Ummmm...so I went to make one of these tonight, and realized the recipe actually calls for dry vermouth and not gin So I tried the real royalist recipe, and it's also very good. Not sure if the gin version is a real drink, but I guess I've now got two for the price of one! Sorry for the total brain cramp. ← ...If Nishla's original version of the Royalist isn't the Royalist what is it?...Nishla, this is your baby whether you came up with it on purpose or not. What do you want to call it?.... I looked into what the term "royalist" means, and generally it's someone who supports a monarchy. In particular, it can refer to supporters of the House of Bourbon, which originally ruled in France (thus, the dry vermouth). Since gin is often associated with Britain, maybe we can call the gin version a Monarchist, which refers to supporters of the British monarchy. ← The Monarchist it is. Well done.
  13. Thanks for the update to this post, Ed. I had no idea a real Ti Punch could be had in Chicago. Kurt
  14. This sounded good to me so I mixed one up on Friday night with Gilbey's gin and Old Fitzgerald's 1849 bourbon . . . Thanks to Nishla for pointing this one out. I'll be adapting W.J. Tarling's recipe to my tastes but it's definitely a keeper. ← Ummmm...so I went to make one of these tonight, and realized the recipe actually calls for dry vermouth and not gin So I tried the real royalist recipe, and it's also very good. Not sure if the gin version is a real drink, but I guess I've now got two for the price of one! Sorry for the total brain cramp. ← What the . . . ? I double-checked that recipe at CocktailDB for cryin' out loud. How did I miss the gin/vermouth switcheroo? Okay, so now what? If Nishla's original version of the Royalist isn't the Royalist what is it? I checked CocktailDB and a few other drink recipe sites and came up empty in searching for something similar to Nishla's (and my) misreading of the Royalist recipe. So, I think that leaves us with only one option: to give Nishla's cocktail a name. I submit that it should be called The Nishla or, if she's feeling modest, The Royal Gin Cocktail. Nishla, this is your baby whether you came up with it on purpose or not. What do you want to call it? Kurt Edited to correct an obvious oversight in the proofreading department.
  15. David Wondrich revisits The Vesper in the November issue of Esquire. Here's an excerpt: I vaguely recall reading that Lillet had been reformulated [Aha. Here and confirmed here (see 1986 in the "Discovering" section).] and I wondered just how different a Kina Lillet Vesper tastes compared to one made with the "fresher, fruitier, less syrupy, less bitter, more homogenous, more harmonious, more solid" Lillet. I'm plenty satisfied with a modern Vesper. Maybe it is, as Mr. Wondrich suggests, a little more Lazenby than Connery but count me as one who thinks Lazenby is unfairly maligned. Also, I have no interest in making my own tonic water but this article certainly rekindles my interest in a Kina Lillet Vesper. I might have to track down some quinine powder. Dave, did you happen to add quinine powder to any other cocktails with Lillet that pre-date the '86 reformulation? I consider the 20th Century and the Corpse Reviver #2 to be two Hall of Fame level cocktails. I'm not sure what could be gained if they were slightly more bitter, especially if quinine is the cause of it. Kurt PS: the Bond's drinks site has a new article on why Fleming preferred his Martinis shaken.
  16. I saw three new bourbons and two new ryes at Sam's last weekend. They're from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd. I've heard of a couple of their products--Noah's Mill and Johnny Drum--but this "vintage collection" stuff was new to me. Considering the level of rye fanaticism here I'm surprised they hadn't come up prior to my seeing them at the store. FWIW the whiskeys certainly looked nice in their clear bottles but the labels were very ugly and cheap-looking. Sure, you can't judge a whiskey by its label any more than you can judge a book by its cover but at these prices I'm surprised they couldn't do better. The web site doesn't offer much info. As you can see the bourbons are 17, 21 and 23 years old and the ryes are 21 and 25 years old. This surprises me a little too. I guess I was under the impression that if there was good rye this long in the wood out there that somebody here or at Drinkboy would have been tipped to it. Anyone here know anything? Kurt
  17. I've been meaning to give this one a try but I haven't managed to get past the Fancy Gin Cocktail on my list. The FGC requires two fewer ingredients and gets built in a rocks glass and apparently I'm just too lazy and too enamored of the FGC to pull two more bottles from the cabinet and grab the shaker from the cupboard. Erik, how do you like the Boomsma? The only genever I've tried is the Zuidam. I have no idea where it stands in the genever hierarchy but it's incredibly delicious. Sam's just started carrying the young and old Boomsma genevers. They're a little cheaper than the Zuidam but I've heard both good and bad. What say you? Kurt PS. For me Peychaud's bitters is the only choice when making an Old Fashioned (or Fancy) Gin Cocktail. Angostura makes for a tasty drink but with Peychaud's the FGC is a classic.
  18. This sounded good to me so I mixed one up on Friday night with Gilbey's gin and Old Fitzgerald's 1849 bourbon. I liked it but I'd have liked it more with only a 1/4 or 1/2 ounce of the Benedictine. It was easily the dominant flavor of the drink. This worked for me because I like Benedictine and bourbon together (see the Manhattan Special) but this recipe didn't strike me as particularly well balanced. The Gilbey's is a nice junipery gin (particularly good for the price) and the Old Fitz is eight years old, 90 proof and full-flavored so I don't think the Benedictine's dominance was a matter of using wishy-washy spirits but YMMV. Another change I made, though, was to shake it instead of stir it. I saw at CocktailDB that the original recipe called for shaking so that's what I did. I'm not sure why shaking was called for but as the only real difference should be the texture I took the easy route. Thanks to Nishla for pointing this one out. I'll be adapting W.J. Tarling's recipe to my tastes but it's definitely a keeper. Kurt
  19. Cheap Blue Curacao is hideous stuff. I prefer to make my own by using blue food coloring and Luxardo Triplum, which is a dead ringer for Cointreau. You can use less too, because it tastes better. Katie's right, of course, but for those of us unfortunate enough to have a bottle of blue curacao languishing in the cupboard this is probably the best idea I've heard for getting rid of it. I've had one since well before I'd ever heard of eGullet, Drinkboy, Chas. Baker, Embury, Wondrich, DeGroff, Regan et al, and I can't quite bring myself to dump it down the drain. I wonder if mixing blue curacao with one of the good triple secs or curacaos will make for an equally black drink? IIRC the bottle I have is very, very blue. I imagine a 50/50 mix would still do the trick while leaving the drink only slightly marred. Kurt
  20. Check out eGulleteer eje's Chupacabra. Scroll down to post #17. Erik (aka eje) offers a little more info here in a jamaica/hibiscus thread. Kurt
  21. Thanks for the info on the reprint, Erik. I didn't get the feeling it was a new ed. but what I found online wasn't really clear either way. I find it curious, though, that the publisher wouldn't ask or insist that Calabrese give the book at least a minor tweaking and a new forward. The first ed. is nine years old. I can't imagine that Calabrese didn't find one error or hasn't modified one recipe. Also, wouldn't a 2nd ed. would be an easier sell than a reprint? I suppose that's why it's being offered at a bargain price.... Kurt
  22. Campari doesn't strike me as autumnal but knock yourself out. I'd recommend rye whiskey, brandy (or cognac or armagnac) and calvados in addition to your other purchases. Lots of wonderful fall/winter drinks can be made with these. Kurt
  23. That's my impression too, Erik, and, apparently it's also Mr. Calabrese's: "The bartender is an artist - think of me as Michelangelo...I'm an amazingly knowledgeable person, you know...." Hmm. As a fan of Martinis made at or around 5:1 I'll try not to hold that against him. He's an amazingly knowledgeable person, you know. Then again, anyone getting over $20 US for a cocktail certainly knows something I don't. Kurt
  24. Anyone seen the new edition of Salvatore Calabrese's Classic Cocktails? It came out earlier this year and is currently available for $7 at Amazon. I've heard good things about the 1997 ed. so it's been on my list of books to pick up (eventually) for some time. It appears that this is simply a reissue rather than an update but I haven't seen anything definitive. Anyone know for sure? Thanks. Kurt
  25. Pyewacket's post struck me as very familiar. Thankfully the eGullet search function is a pretty good one and I could find out why the absurd idea of Southern Comfort as the correct hooch in an Old Fashioned rang a bell. Pyewacket brought up the same quibble in a Pet Peeves thread a while back. I'm still curious, Pye, what part of the country do you call home? It's very odd, not to mention just plain wrong, that the Old Fashioned (formerly known as the Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail and before that as simply the Whiskey Cocktail) has come to be made without whiskey in your neck of the wape. Kurt
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