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scratchline

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    Pisco

    Suggested a Pisco Sour at Attaboy a couple of nights ago and was given a Parasol. Can't vouch for the measurements but the ingredients here sound right (via Food and Wine): 1/2 oz lemon 1/2 oz lime 3/4 oz simple 1 oz pisco 2 oz Aperol egg white angostura bitters Shake. Strain. Coupe. I would guess that what I had wasn't quite so Aperol heavy. Maybe equal parts pisco and Aperol? Or 2 oz pisco/1 oz Aperol? Regardless, it was a fantastic cocktail. If you're in NYC get down to Attaboy. I've gone a little pisco crazy this summer. I think I've gathered 10+ different labels in the past few months. The variety is striking. I'd be interested in reviving this thread and exchanging tasting notes with fellow piscophiles while the warmer weather is still upon us. -Mike
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    Sasha Petraske (1973-2015)

    This loss can't be overstated. I'm going to put down the lack of comment here to shock. Although I never met Sasha Petraske, I drank happily at many of his bars. And at many other bars that never would have existed without him. The man described here http://www.grubstreet.com/2015/08/sasha-petraske-obit.html?mid=twitter-share-grubstreet is a very rare person of principle and vision. And a dedicated craftsman. That he achieved all that he did while largely eschewing a celebrity/social media identity is remarkable. In this Trump and Kardashian driven world, he and what he created are unusually fine. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. There will be a memorial daiquiri hour for him on August 31st: http://www.ravenwood.org/sasha/ Lift a glass if you can. -Mike
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    Drinks! 2014 (Part 2)

    Variation on the Alexis' Bordeaux Sour via the Saveur website: 1 oz. lemon juice 1 T maple syrup 5-6 blackberries (subbed for 2 maraschino cherries) 2 oz. whiskey (Wiser's Legacy) 3/4 oz. Licor Beirao (subbed for 1 oz. Lillet Rouge) 1 egg white 5 dashes orange bitters (Hermes) 1 oz. seltzer Muddle lemon juice, syrup and blackberries. Add whiskey, Beirao, egg white, bitters. Dry shake. Add ice and shake. Double strain into an ice filled glass and top with seltzer. Garnish with blackberries. An excellent sour. The Beirao is a nice addition. Not too dominated by the anise flavor but with some interesting herbal elements that also contribute. I often find absinthe a tricky cocktail ingredient. The Beirao is a more forgiving substitute. More wiggle room than with absinthe. I think this is good enough to have another! And so...once more unto the breach. -Mike
  4. I note on the Finnish site that El Dorado 12 has 45g/l of sugar, vs. Ron Zacapa 23 at 20g/l...interesting. More discussion of this at: http://www.alcademics.com/2014/01/how-much-sugar-is-added-to-your-rum.html
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    The Tiki Drink Discussion Topic

    The Sirocco 2 parts Flor de Cana Gran Reserva 7 1 part Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur 1 part fresh lime juice 1 part fresh orange juice 1 part passionfruit syrup .5 part Campari Shake ingredients with ice and strain over fresh ice in a Hurricane glass, garnish with a cocktail umbrella, and orange slice and an edible orchid. From the Solerno site. An excellent tiki style cocktail. Made it with Havana Club 7 and China Martini. And no orchid. Maybe a little sweet but other than that, well nigh perfect. -Mike
  6. Thank you, that site is great! Interesting to compare different spirits. Do you know what they mean by 'extract'? Also, does 'sugar' mean the amount of sugar in the finished product, whether naturally occurring or no?
  7. I read recently on the Whisky Exchange site: "Interestingly, now that industry giants Diageo are distributing Zacapa, the '23 years old' age statement has suddenly been dropped and replaced with a somewhat more plausible claim - the rums used are aged between 6 and 23 years old and are blended together in a solera." We recently picked up a bargain bottle of Ron Zacapa 23, and the above made us think we should compare this new "sistema solera" 23 with an old bottle pre-Diageo, which we happened to have in the bar. Our old bottle is really old--perhaps over 25 years old. Here's our take: In the glass: the old 23 is darker, more opaque, slightly more viscous, more chocolatey-looking. The new 23 is more amber in the glass, looks like a whiskey. On the nose: the old 23 is funky, dark, leather, dried fruit, some interesting perfumey floral notes. The new 23 is bright, sharp in comparison, some butterscotch; we might mistake it for a bourbon by the nose. On the tongue: the old 23 is way more complex, mysterious, deep, funky. The new 23, is brighter, sharper, shallower. More alcohol. (The proof is 80 on both bottles.) Finish: the new 23's is shorter and burns more. Old 23: hearth, dark fruits, long, warm and awesome. For a sipping rum, we found the old 23 to be distinctly superior to the new 23. But the new 23 is tasty as well. The old bottle says on the back [sic]: "Old Rum ripen for years in oak barrels, may produce a sedimentation, specially with temperature variations, this does not affect its excellent quality, but reafirms its genuinity. Serve slowly." The bottle is entirely encased in a "royal palm leaf" covering so we can't check the sediment visually. The new 23 doesn't have any sediment, perhaps it's chill-filtered. The new 23 was just opened, so it may change as it gets some air on it.
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    Drinks! 2014 (Part 1)

    Just made a Crafty and Elusive Elk. Absolutely delicious. Used Patron blanco and Los Danzantes reposado. Great recipe. Now I'm going to make another!
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    All About Rye Whiskey (Part 1)

    Liquor prices make no sense whatsoever. Case in point, I'm now able to get Wiser's Legacy for 16 dollars (!) out the door at one store. Now it's not American rye but at 16 bucks and 90 proof, it's a no-brainer. Makes a fine cocktail. But I've seen plenty of prices the other way too. And I agree about the Knob rye. At 30 bucks it's a good deal. -Mike
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    Strega

    I really like this cocktail by Rick of KaiserPenguin and Marshall of Scofflaw's Den--it features Strega very nicely: Cilician Voyage 1oz Citadelle Reserve gin 1oz Strega 1oz lime juice 1/2oz grapefruit juice 1/2oz cinnamon syrup 1 dash Fee’s whiskey barrel-aged bitters 1 dash Fee’s grapefruit bitters ginger beer, to top Build in a glass with crushed ice. Give it a few twists of the spoon and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, lime twist, and some saffron if you’re feeling luxurious. One warning: do not, I repeat, do not use Fee's cinnamon syrup. Bleagh. I like Sonoma Syrup, and I'm sure there are other good brands out there. Might want to start with 1/2 the amount of cinnamon syrup and sweeten to taste. I have made this on the rocks as I'm not always motivated to crush ice... The Citadelle Reserve is not always easy to find--very good, though.
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    Top Philadelphia restaurants

    Just want to second the recommendation of the Oyster House. Several coworkers and I were lucky enough to make it over for happy hour last week and it was PHENOMENAL. The buck oysters and Katie Loeb's cocktails were both outstanding. And the new room is beautiful. Hope to make it back many more times before my work finishes in November. -Mike
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    Weber 22.5 Rotisserie Add On

    Jeffrey Steingarten is a complete ass. He should have spent some of his precious time learning to cook over fire rather than hating Weber grills because they lack an adjustable grate. At least the genius figured out that he could raise the cooking temp by dumping in more charcoal. Weber grills are great. The rotisserie attachment is wonderful. Weber customer service is second-to-none. If you don't want to spend the full retail price, check Craigslist. Weber stuff lasts forever and there are always deals to be had on used ones. There's a guy in Vermont offering the full setup: kettle and rotisserie for 40 bucks right now. I've been trying to get the hang of a Hasty-Bake for about a year now. It has an adjustable grate and a rotisserie and I'm still not turning out food as consistent as what comes off the Weber. It's all just practice when you come right down to it. -Mike
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    All About Rye Whiskey (Part 1)

    Here's one to keep an eye out for: http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2010/04/whiskeypig-and-other-tastes-of.html Chuck Cowdery knows his whiskey and his endorsement is highly regarded. I find Canadian rye (read Hirsch 8 and 12, Lot 40) to be light compared to most American ryes so the fact that Whistlepig is a potent flavoring whiskey piques my interest. The 10 years in wood helps too. Sometimes there are advantages to being in NYC, Chicago, or LA. -Mike
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    All About Rye Whiskey (Part 1)

    In the 60's, people were lucky enough to be drinking something like this: Draper had it good. Dave, is your 80's PA Overholt 100 proof or lower? I've had some 86 proof from that era that was very nice. I also have some 86 proof Pikesville that was distilled in PA that is one of the best ryes I've ever tasted. -Mike
  15. Another vote for Simplehuman Slim. Bought one several years ago for my girlfriend for Valentine's Day. She still says it's the best Valentine she's received.
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