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Everything posted by kvltrede

  1. In this "house brands" thread JAZ wrote: There was plenty of useful info in the resulting thread but not much in the way of answering Janet's question. Brandy and cognac were mentioned only in passing by some posters and no one recommended a brandy or cognac specifically for use in a Sidecar. So, how about it? Also, is Cointreau a must? I mixed up a Sidecar with El Presidente brandy, Hiram Walker orange curacao and lemon juice a week or so ago and enjoyed it. The amounts of each that I used needs some tweaking but it wasn't bad for a first try. I imagine Cointreau and a better brandy or cognac could only improve the drink. However, I wonder if there's an unwritten rule as to just how fine a brandy or cognac should be used in a Sidecar or other cocktails or mixed drinks calling for them. I'll admit that I'm a little bit of a snob when it comes to using finer (and pricier) hooch in mixed drinks (usually) or cocktails (depends) but mostly I'm just cheap. My scotch & coke-drinking friends get MacCallans while my scotch-drinking friends get Knockando, for example. As I know next to nothing about cognac and brandy I have no standard of reference. Is there a brandy equivalent of Bacardi or Beefeaters? The El Presidente seemed nice enough. Is there a cognac that's good on it's own but not "too good" to be put in a cocktail? Thanks. Kurt
  2. I just found a nice copy of the reissued Savoy Cocktail Book. Some recipes are written for more than a single cocktail, usually for "six people", and a "glass" is a common measurement in these . Anybody know how many ounces that is? I thought it might simply indicate an eight oz cup but that usually adds up to well over a three or four oz cocktail per person. Perhaps my assumption that the recipe means to provide one drink per person is in error... Anybody know what Mr. Craddock intended? Thanks. Kurt
  3. Hey, now. That's a great idea. Thanks, Robert. Would you say that a dash is roughly equivalent to about a quarter-inch if using a standard drinking straw? Also, what do you do when the bottle is nearly empty? My bottle of Luxardo is still plenty full for the straw-trick but someday it won't be. I find an emptier bottle easier to manipulate but if you have a different trick for the last third or so of the bottle I'd love to hear it. Anybody want to chime in as to whether a dash and a splash are equal amounts? Some resources say yes. Others define a "dash" as 1/32 oz and a "splash" as 1/8 oz. I consider a splash to be more than a dash myself. Thanks again. Kurt
  4. Bitters comes in bottles with the plastic insert with the tiny hole. That makes it exceedingly simple to add a dash to a cocktail. But what if I want to add a dash of something in a bottle without the plastic insert? Is there a better way to add a "splash" or a "dash" of an ingredient than covering the bottle-opening with my thumb? I certainly hope so. What's your trick? Thanks. Kurt
  5. Yep, different strokes... I don't find Fris or Absolut remotely harsh but I find Skyy to be slightly so and with the faintest smell of rubbing alcohol that you find in Absolut. Weird. I agree that Finlandia is a better choice than Fris, Absolut and Skyy if the price is roughly the same but Finlandia is several dollars more in Chi so Svedka is an easy choice. I'm very interested in trying Luksusowa sometime soon. I've had the 3 Olives raspberry and liked it quite well. I think the Stoli raspberry is as good but slightly different. I don't know that I would pick one over the other except by price. It was interesting to note just how superior both were to the Smirnoff raspberry. A Cosmo-style drink with raspberry vodka is a nice change of pace. Somewhere in the 'hood of 2.5 oz rasp. vodka, 1 oz cranberry juice, .5 oz Roses, shaken, strained and garnished with lime should work well enough. Rasp. vodka, and soda (or 7up or tonic) with a wedge of lime is a refreshing summer drink. Kurt
  6. I think Svedka is a very good vodka, maybe even an excellent one. I find it to be quite similar to Belvedere and, as such, will likely never purchase a bottle of "premium" vodka for my home. Fris is also quite good. Both Svedka and Fris are about $20 per 1.75l in Chicago. I use both in vodka martinis and have no complaints at all I'm no expert but I've tried quite a few of the big names, Turi, Ciroc, Vox, Van Gogh, Chopin, et al., and, so far, I think Van Gogh is my fave. I think Skyy's okay, Absolut I like a little more. I once had a Smirnoff rocks with a lime that was tough to get down... I strongly urge you to pick up a $10 liter of Svedka. You may not like it as much as I do but I'd be very surprised if you found it to be less than adequate for mixed drinks. Your mileage may vary... Kurt
  7. Call me a cynic but I've always considered the New Coke fiasco to have been a deliberate attempt at stealing some of Pepsi's market share AND stealing millions of dollars in free publicity. I've never done any research on the topic but my theory is that Coca-Cola knew there would be a huge uproar over New Coke and counted on that. They hoped some Pepsi drinkers would switch to the sweeter New Coke but, regardless, had Classic Coke planned all along. How long was the world without the soon-to-be-called Classic Coke anyway? A few weeks? A month or so? You suppose Coca-Cola hired people to design the Classic Coke logos and produce millions of cans and bottles in that short amount of time? Adding "classic" to the name of the original version added cache to the product allowing Classic Coke drinkers to feel smugly old school. New Coke drinkers felt smugly new school and, better yet, the topic was all over newspapers, tv news, magazines and talked about around the water cooler for weeks. It's win-win for Coke while Pepsi gnashes it's teeth at the audacity of Coke's marketing people. I imagine it was a very, very small percentage of Coke drinkers who felt so betrayed as to never drink a Coca-Cola product again. Would one of the best-known products in the world really do a complete make-over on it's flavor without knowing what it was doing? Well, maybe but I doubt it happened in this case. You think Coca-Cola said, "Pepsi is right, sweeter is better"? I don't recall if Coke was up or down the percentage point or so that usually separates Coke and Pepsi drinkers but I find it highly unlikely that Coca-Cola was willing to go all or nothing on New Coke. Either they steal all of Pepsi's drinkers with the sweet New Coke and gain complete control of the cola market or they lose all of market share as Coke drinkers abandon ship en masse as their cola of choice abandons them. I just don't see it. Anybody who remembers the taste of New Coke likely remembers that it made a poor Pepsi substitute. Um, not that I care about any of this... You think Coca-Cola succeeded in capturing my attention during the New Coke "fiasco"? As for the mid-calorie bevs, well, no thanks. To my tastebuds, Diet Coke got rid of the aftertaste years ago. Once they licked that problem it became my cola of choice. Now, if they decided to make regular Coke with real sugar again I might be tempted... Kurt
  8. Wow. Far be it for me to tell you how wrong you are about PBR and Miller High Life. Different strokes etc. But, boy, if these are the two worst beers you've ever tasted you either drink nothing but fancy-pants beers or simply haven't tasted very many beers. I'm guessing it's the latter 'cos there are plenty of lousy fancy-pants beers too. Had a couple this weekend as a matter of fact... At worst, PBR and MHL are drinkable. At best, say, on a hot summer day fresh from an ice-filled cooler, they're damn fine examples of American-style beer. I feel safe in assuming you've never had an Old Milwaukee, Milwaukee's Best, Carlings Black Label, Rhinelander, Old Style, Michelob, Busch or even a Miller Lite. Miller Lite, now there's an example of a popular beer that I simply cannot abide. Other fine, cheap, drinkable American beers include Hamms, Schlitz and Blatz. Gimme an ice cold Hamms ANY summer day. Frank Booth was right. Kurt
  9. I've owned a Solis Maestro Plus for about ten days. The grounds, so far, are almost static-free. I won't know until next fall or winter if dryer air will have an effect on this--not to mention the potential impact of burr-wear creating an inconsistent grind... The quality and consistency of the grind is great and it's at least as quiet as our old Krups blade grinder. I'm very pleased. If I were more serious about espresso I would probably have sprung for the Rocky. I ordered the MP from Aabree Coffee. I understand that their customer service is impeccable. All I know about that is that I received a very prompt and helpful answer to an email I sent prior to my purchase. YMMV. Kurt
  10. Anybody use the Filtron or Filtron Jr.? They look to be very similar but they don't appear to be made by the same company. Both have been available at eBay lately but google doesn't turn up too much info on either. There is some info (and links to retailers) for the Filtron . If anyone has experience with either system I'd be interested in a review. If anyone has the Filtron Jr. I'm curious as to where you are getting your filter supplies and/or whether the Filtron filters and pads are the same for both units. Thanks. Kurt
  11. [i accidentally posted this at the end of the old vermouth thread. I deleted it there and brought it here where I meant to post it in the first place. I apologize for the inconvenience if I made you read it twice. Kurt] My dad enjoys a Perfect Manhattan just about every day. He starts with Canadian Club but I don't know what vermouths he uses. I imagine it's standard, widely-available stuff. I use M&R and Cinzano in martinis but beyond that I don't know much about vermouth other than what I've read here. I'm thinking I'd like to pick up a bottle of Vya for my dad, maybe one each of the sweet and the dry. Does this sound like a good idea? Will my dad notice the difference? If he's used to M&R or Tribuno do you think the Vyas (or King Eider) might be too much? You know how some people can be when introduced to something new... Thanks! Kurt
  12. beans, Thanks so much for the welcome. I'm absolutely stunned that your search turned up a link to that article. I've plugged at least a half-dozen word combos into that engine on at least a half-dozen occasions and come up empty every time. Obviously I didn't read the how-to closely enough to determine the best word combo. ...Okay, after a quick trip to the NY Times search engine I find that I may simply have overlooked that article. Now that you've pointed it out, though, I'm fairly certain that you are correct. This must be it. I'm pretty cheap so I'll probably give it a few days before sending the NYT any $$$. Maybe I'll turn it up with another look through my various piles and boxes of pack rat miscellany or maybe somebody here knows the recipe. I will be sure to report once I've tracked it down or paid the NYT for it. Thanks again. Kurt
  13. I ripped a drink recipe out of either a men's mag (Men's Health maybe) or the Sunday NY Times a couple years ago for a tequila drink called a Trotsky. Now I can't find it and I'm hoping someone here might know what I'm talking about. I've searched a bunch of online bar sites with no success. The drink is similar to a margarita but it's pinkish. I think it had cranberry juice in addition to the tequila, fresh lime juice and fresh lemon juice. I believe it also required a sour mix--which now strikes me as overkill--and probably had triple sec too. Now that I think about it, it had vodka in it too. (IIRC the drink's name refers to the time Trotsky spent in Mexico after leaving Russia.) Anybody else know this drink? If you can confirm the ingredients and pass along the amounts used I'd be most grateful. Thanks. Kurt
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