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Everything posted by kvltrede

  1. I wish we could get Plymouth Navy Strength. That would be my default Gimlet gin. For a variety of reasons, it's good to have a higher proof gin for Gimlets. Junipero is high proof, and a good gin. But it seems a bit of a waste to use something that costs that much in a Gimlet. I'm not sure that an Aviation has any requirements that especially lend it to one brand of gin or another -- although Kurt's comments make me want to try it with Broker's. Tanqueray or Gordon's would be my first thought, depending on how much money I felt like pouring into the glass and which was at the front of the liquor closet. But I'm just as likely to make it with Plymouth or Boodle's or any of the usual suspects. Well, Sam, the good news is that Broker's is a reasonably priced gin. It's $15 for 750 ml here in Chi so it won't break the bank if you want to pick some up. Also, it's 94 proof so you may well find it to be good for your "Gimlets" also. I must admit that I've never had a Gimlet. I used to drink Tequila Gimlets and Vodka Gimlets back in the day but I've never had one as God (and Raymond Chandler) intended. There are so many ingredients with far more appeal than Rose's that I haven't quite gotten around to it. As for Plymouth Navy Strength, I have a couple friends doing some international travel in a couple months. I'm hoping at least one of them can pick up a bottle of the Navy Strength for me. [fingers crossed] Kurt
  2. Plymouth for Martinis. 5:1 with a slice of lemon peel the size of a fifty-cent piece. That said, I wouldn't dream of turning down a Martini made with any of the gins you have on hand. Broker's for Aviations. I've made Aviations with Beefeater, Gordon's, Gilbey's and Broker's. I think that Broker's Gin is easily my favorite gin for this drink with Beefeater a solid second. I think it's the prominence of the citrus notes in the Broker's that I like. The Gordon's and Gilbey's-based Aviations were very drinkable but not memorable. With Brokers it's one of my absolute favorite cocktails. Kurt
  3. Well, one might think that Mojitos are idiot-proof but one would be mistaken. I attended a "Mojito party" a month or so ago hosted by a gal who considers herself an expert on the subject of Mojitos. In fact, at one point she tossed out an already muddled drink for which my pal only needed to add fizzy water simply because she hadn't made it. Oy. In her favor she had plenty o'mint and nifty chunks of actual sugar cane to be used as stirring rods (and for gnawing on after suitably stewed in hooch). Not in her favor was the use of 7-Up and ginger ale in place of fizzy water and her extremely indifferent mixological skills. I'm hardly opposed to "eyeballing" or free-pouring but this gal was really wingin' it. She also ran out of 7-Up, ginger ale and ice but that could happen to any host, I suppose... I made it through about a half a Mojito and switched to under-iced beer. I will say, though, that she had a great spread of food available so all was not lost. Kurt
  4. Didn't I read about that one in Dr. Cocktail's Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Spirits? Ummm, on second thought, maybe not... Kurt
  5. This reminds me of a drink from Killer Cocktails, the Paloma, which uses grapefruit soda instead of the grapefruit juice, and includes a pinch of salt in the drink. It's great, as well. ← Interesting, any clue how one procures grapefruit soda or even makes it themselves? Would it just be a simple combination of soda water and grapefruit juice? ← I'm sure grapefruit juice and some fizzy water would work just fine as a replacement for grapefruit soda. It might well be an improvement. It shouldn't be difficult, though, to scare up a grapefruit soda. You can probably find Fresca and Squirt at any supermarket. In the Upper Midwest we also have Canfield's 50/50 and Jolly Good Sour Power. The Mexican brand Jarritos also has a good grapefruit soda. I don't know how widely it's distributed but as I can't swing a dead cat* without hitting a mercado or carniceria it's a pretty easy find for me. Palomas are an exceptionally fine and refreshing summer beverage. Kurt Note: that dead cat comment is a joke. I rarely, if ever, swing dead cats.
  6. I believe there are 16 Binny's stores in the Greater Chicagoland area. I suppose it's likely that inventory at each store is somewhat different. That's too bad. The Binny's near downtown is where I picked up my first bottle. They had it on sale at the time and I remembered that Dave had mentioned it in a Manhattan thread so I stopped in. One of the salesguys saw me pick up a bottle and made a point of mentioning how good it was. He wasn't kidding. Kurt
  7. I ordered two bigs for me and five smalls to be given as gifts to my cocktail-loving friends. The package arrived within days and was quite well-packaged. Unfortunately, somehow, the plastic cap had split on one of the 5 oz. bottles and the bitters had leaked out. Because of all the heavy paper used in wrapping the bottles there was surprisingly little mess. The best news though is that all it took was a quick email to the BTrace gift shop to get the bottle replaced. BTrace answered promptly and I expect to see the replacement next week. A fine company and a great product. Congrats to Gary and a big thanks to Buffalo Trace. Kurt [edited for clarity]
  8. I recently got my hands on some of the bonded stuff. It's amazing, with real apple flavor and still with that "whiskey-like" character. Interesting to read that they only started blending with neutral spirits in the 70s. Makes me think that the bonded stuff is a much better choice for the classic applejack drinks. Anybody know anything about a brand called Captain Applejack or how it compares to the 100 proof Laird's? Apparently Captain Applejack is also a Laird product. One of my local shops carries the 80 proof Laird's, the Laird's 7-yr and the Laird's 12-yr but instead of carrying the Laird's 100 proof they carry the Captain Applejack 100 proof. At $16 I was thinking of giving it a shot. Thanks. Kurt
  9. Google turned up a nice article on Pikesville rye. It's from the Fall '04 Baltimore Style magazine. Here's a taste: Sure would like to know more about this: Anyone heard of this drink? Looks damned refreshing in the photo. Kurt
  10. Sam, those are indeed the prices for the bonded. The 80 proof is two bucks less. If you're at all familiar with the Rittenhouse rye this may explain why I haven't gotten around to trying the somewhat pricier Beam or WTurkey ryes. If $11 is substantially cheaper than what they're asking in Brooklyn you might want to check on the s/h costs at the stores I linked to. Both do mail order. Kurt
  11. Is Rittenhouse tough to find in NYC? If so, yes, be sure to run out and grab a couple bottles. It's really, really great stuff. It's dry, kinda spicy, lots more going on than you'll find in the otherwise perfectly adequate Old Overholt and, even better, in Chicago it's the same price as Old Overcoat. It's so good and so cheap that I haven't gotten around to trying the Beam and Wild Turkey ryes--at half-again and twice as much--let alone the really pricey ones. So, while I can't tell you that Rittenhouse is better than Beam, WTurkey, Michter's, et al, I can say that you absolutely can't beat it on value. It's $11 at Sam's and $12 at Binny's. I haven't seen it at any of the smaller stores I've visited but there are Binny's stores all over Chicagoland. Note, however, that Binny's carries both the 80 proof and the 100 proof so double-check the label. Sure, I'm looking forward to trying Michter's and Old Potrero's ryes but Rittenhouse makes the wait pretty easy to take. Kurt
  12. kvltrede

    Lawnmower Beer

    You don't say. Weird. I had a roommate in the early '90s who was from Rhinelander. We certainly didn't spend a lot of time sitting around discussing super-nasty beers but I know her "hometown brew" came up once or twice. I don't think she knew that Rhinelander was no longer brewed nearby. I imagine there was enough of a market for Huber to send plenty of their version up nort', eh. Ah, yes, "kraeusening". I forgot all about that. Not that I ever had the faintest idea what it was exactly but, yes, "kreusening". I don't recall that Special Ex was "kraeusened" though. Was it? If so, that could very well explain why the last couple Special Ex's I had weren't very good. Then again, I never liked Old Style so who knows? Thanks for the links. It seems I was also wrong in remembering that Pabst owned Hamm's in the mid/late-80's. They didn't enter the picture in LaX until '99. Go figure. I'm gonna keep my eyes open for the current LaX products. I'd be happy to give their City and LaCrosse lagers a try and support a fine business in a fine town. Kurt PS. what can't google turn up?: Kraeusening "To preserve the integrity of your organic beer, one option is to use organic malt extract or unfermented wort to bottle your beer. The most economical method is to use unfermented wort (called gyle), a process called krausening. True kraeusening actually involves adding freshly fermenting wort into a finished beer. This method is more time consuming but the carbonation period is significantly less."
  13. kvltrede

    Lawnmower Beer

    Rhinelander hasn't been brewed in Rhinelander in decades - it's brewed by Huber in Monroe - the opposite end of the state. ....Point is probably my favorite lawnmower beer (hefeweizens can be be as or more refreshing, but they're so good, they need to be savored - they need more thought. I think of lawnmower beers as the type you just swig and enjoy). ← Thanks for the info. Do you know when Rhinelander stopped being produced in Rhinelander? The case of skunk juice I'm referring to was purchased in 1983 or thereabouts. If it was produced by Huber I don't know what to say. I like Huber and Huber Bock so it wouldn't seem to be a problem with the brewery but who knows. This was a loooong time ago and there's been lots of beer under the bridge. I agree completely that some beers are too good to be chugged on a hot day. And to answer Erik's post, I used to be quite fond of Augsburger. It's probably been ten or fifteen years since I had one but I vaguely recall that it had a nice bite to it. If memory serves I wouldn't include it in my list of ideal lawnmower beers. It's not (or wasn't) an innocuous chugger. Special Ex is a weird one. Back in the day (again) my pals and I used to consider it a step above Miller High Life, Bud et al. I think it was better and was also a bit more expensive. We didn't drink it too often that's for sure. I've had a couple, though, over the last few years and I can't say it tasted anything like I remembered. I assume Heileman's (or whoever owns Heileman's now) has screwed it up but it's certainly possible that my memory has failed me. Kurt
  14. Oh, for pete's sake. While I'll admit that I wouldn't likely have outbid you I'm darned annoyed that this book was posted in the "Collectibles" section rather than the "Books" section. I have this book listed in one of my saved eBay searches but the search only covers books. Rats. Oh, well, I guess I'll have to console myself with the Australian edition of The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks that I snagged for a ridiculously low price the other day. Considering that a first edition went for almost $150 this morning I'm feeling pretty good about my $13 paperback. Congrats! Kurt
  15. kvltrede

    Lawnmower Beer

    So sad that a number in your list are no longer brewed in Wisconsin... Boy, you got that right. It's really a damn shame. One thing I got wrong was calling Hamms a Wisconsin beer. I was thinking of the days when Pabst owned it and brewed it in LaCrosse. It's originally a Minnesota beer. Oh, well, most people outside the midwest think MN and WI are the same state anyway. Once during my college years a pal and I hit the liquor store and we each bought a case of longnecks. He bought Rhinelander and I bought Blatz. I think he saved an extra dime or two. I don't think either case cost more than four bucks. It wasn't long before he was offering to trade me two-for-one. If I could possibly have stomached the Rhinelander I would have taken him up on it. That he was willing to trade two-for-one shows just how nasty that beer was. Maybe you were close enough to Rhinelander to get it at it's "best" but, if not, you are a better man than I for drinking it anyway. Kurt
  16. kvltrede

    Lawnmower Beer

    I commend all y'all who drink pricier, tastier beers during or after sweaty summer activities but I definitely have to side with the folks who go for the cheap American-style lagers. With a few exceptions based only on my personal preferences, just about any ice cold can of beer will do. Yes, I said "can". If it's from a cooler full of ice and beer more the better. Frankly, I think a so-called "good" beer is wasted on a hot summer afternoon. I find ice cold cheapies to be far more refreshing. I imagine it's the lack of all that flavor that works for me. My preference would be for most any of the beers that originated in Wisconsin: Hamms, Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, Leinenkugels, Point, Huber et al. I wouldn't be too excited by Old Style or Old Milwaukee but on a really hot day I wouldn't say no. I'd have to be pretty desperate, though, to drink a Rhinelander. I'm told it's good in and around Rhinelander but it sure doesn't travel well. Kurt
  17. Thanks, Sam, I might have guessed as much but I appreciate the confirmation. Also, as I haven't had the opportunity to try Maraska I appreciate your thoughts on the differences between the two "biggies". I know there are at least a few folks here who prefer Maraska to Luxardo. Any of you mind sharing your thoughts as to why? Thanks. Kurt
  18. There are a couple mentions of Stock brand Maraschino liqueur in the Aviation cocktail thread and neither dismisses Stock out of hand. Having just seen the Stock maraschino locally for the first time I'm curious if anyone's done a taste-off between Stock and Luxardo and/or Maraska maraschinos. The Stock version is $8 cheaper than the other two. I don't mind paying more for a better product but if I can get in the ballpark with the cheaper product I'm all for it. Anyone familiar enough with two or three of these brands to offer a comparison? Here's what Dave Wondrich had to say: Thanks. Kurt
  19. What can I say? My dad is a man who had a lot of input in the designing of his last two homes and he knew what he wanted. Both had at least one sizable wetbar, each about ten to twelve feet, I'd say. The latest home got the second wetbar--also sizable--when he finally got around to finishing the basement about fifteen years ago. How he got along with just the one bar for the first fifteen years he lived there I don't know. If you find yourself in the Milwaukee area consider yourself invited for a drink. I'll drive up from Chicago and take you out to my dad's house. I'm sure we can get him to dust off his cocktail shaker. Well, for what it's worth, all those Brandy Old Fashioneds are also on the rocks. I think it's a convenience thing. My pop's "CC Perfect Man rocks/olive" is a large drink. He'd rather enjoy it on the rocks than go through the hassle of shaking up two or three cocktail glass-sized drinks. I personally enjoy the "shaking and straining" but I'm not opposed to a (rye) Manhattan on the rocks. That said, if I want an Aviation, Pegu Club or some such I'll stick to the shaker or build a Gin Rickey instead. We all have to draw the line somewhere, I suppose. Kurt
  20. I'm also unsure whether WI is still number one but I remember reading that somewhere. I also vaguely recall that WI was number one in Angostura bitters consumption but don't quote me on that. However, I've said it before but I'll say it again, I haven't found brandy Old Fashioneds to be common in WI, just brandy Manhattans. I'll also repeat, though, that this doesn't mean you shouldn't double-check with the bartender before ordering an Old Fashioned in WI. Maybe it's common in other parts of WI, just not southeastern WI where I spent most of my first thirty-plus years. ...Then again, maybe I was just hanging with the wrong crowd and a Brandy Man-swilling family. I just googled up this article from the Madison weekly, The Isthmus. Here's a taste: And there's this article from BeverageNet.net: Me, I'll stick with old-fashioned Old Fashioneds and Manhattans. Kurt edited to add 2nd link
  21. Ha! That's kinda funny. I'm in Chicago now but I spent my first thirty-plus in Wisconsin. We do enjoy our libations. Sure, Milwaukee used to be the beer capital of America but it isn't likely you'll find too many folks turning down a nice cocktail if one is offered. Of course, I should qualify this by pointing out that most Manhattans in WI are made with brandy and on the rocks but I hope you won't hold that against an otherwise fine state. Many of my older relatives and family friends were solidly in the Brandy Man rocks camp but my pop is a Perfect Manhattan guy who likes his with Canadian Club (rocks/olive). I gave my pop a bottle each of Vya dry and sweet and Wild Turkey rye for his birthday last year but I doubt he'll touch 'em until the next time I'm sitting at one of the two bars he has in his home. Yes, he has a bar upstairs and another in his basement "sports bar"/rec room. I'm hardly opposed to CC and Stock vermouths but I'm interested in what he'll think of a real rye and fancypants vermouth Manhattan. My preference is dry or perfect with Rittenhouse Rye and a nice slice of lemon peel but, while I came to social drinking via my family (and, by extension, my WI roots), I came to cocktails from a different direction. I've always had an interest in cocktails but I was more of a beer or mixed drinks guy until a few years ago. When I did finally delve deeper into cocktails I decided to start from a more classical perspective rather than from the slightly odd perspective of WI cocktail culture. Kurt (edited because it was Wild Turkey rye, not Jim Beam rye. duh)
  22. Robert Hess (aka DrinkBoy) did a fine job answering this question at the new online food mag, Saucy. Robert's answer isn't much different from Christopher's or Sam's but you might like the additional detail, the digression on Rose's lime juice and the fine Margarita recipe he provides. Kurt
  23. The Zuidam is not bad--nice body, good, malty flavor, but I get a bit too much vanilla in it, which sorta dominates. Some may like that, though... Dave, Thanks very much for the quick response. Would you pick Zuidam over Damrak or vice versa? I'm hoping that galfriend + Duty Free = Bols but I won't be holding my breath. Thanks again. Kurt
  24. Zuidam is available in Chicago (as is Damrak). Mr. Wondrich is on board with Damrak as an acceptable sub for Bols Genever. Anyone know how Zuidam Genever compares? Also, the galfriend is going to have access to the Duty Free shop at O'Hare on Monday. I have no idea if they'll have Bols Genever but, if so, is there a particular style that works best in the "Improved Holland Gin Cock-Tail"? It's my understanding that there are three styles made, "young", "very old", and "Corenwyn". It strikes me as unlikely that Duty Free will have more than one style, if any, but if forced to choose, which should she grab? Thanks. Kurt [edited to add Bols question]
  25. What's interesting to me, Sam, is how many people claim to know something about James Bond's liquor preferences without having done any research. I think all of the books are in print and, if not, they're easily found in any used book store. You didn't have any trouble finding the excerpt from Casino Royale that discusses the Vesper for your post above. Not to mention that this guy already did all the research and a little googling might have prevented Hamilton from looking foolish in the eyes of geeks like me. Unless I'm overlooking something I haven't the faintest idea where or how Hamilton came up with the idea that Bond "was originally a gin drinker" and I find it particularly idiotic for him to say that the Vesper had anything to do with a Smirnoff marketing campaign. The Vesper appears once--in the 1953 novel--and the only thing said about the vodka is Bond's suggestion that a grain vodka would be better in the drink than a potato vodka. Sure, Smirnoff got involved when the movies started getting made but that has nothing to do with The Vesper. I assume Hamilton is confusing The Vesper with the "vodka martini, shaken not stirred" but it's hard to imagine how he managed to do so in the span of a couple sentences. As for Bond being a gin drinker "originally", well, Bond's first drink in the first novel is an Americano and his second is a straight whiskey. We may as well say that Bond is originally a Campari drinker. Oh, yeah, as for The Pravda version of The Vesper, well, if it's 3:1 Vodka to gin, that ain't a Vesper. A Vespertini, perhaps... Whatevah. This is hardly an important topic but it's amazing to me how some of this stuff perpetuates. It's not like old cocktails whose histories are lost to the mists of time. The Bond books and movies are widely available and, for the most part, more than entertaining enough so that doing the research is largely painless. Kurt
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