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Everything posted by scratchline

  1. You can spend the entire summer perfecting the julep. -Mike
  2. Nein. No reference to korn. -Mike
  3. We're back, and with more than our given liquor allotment. Luckily no problems with customs, they didn't even make us pay the extra duty! We couldn't find Liquore Erbe Luiga anywhere--no one had heard of it. We were told it was probably a regional Italian specialty and therefore only available in that region. Didn't see Cocchi Americano anywhere either. Perhaps these are just available in southern Italy--we were just in north & central. The Zieglers were ferociously expensive (gorgeous packaging), so we just picked up a couple minis, the pear william and the raspberry. There was lots of Schladerer, but many of those are avail in the US--so we got a sauerkirsch that is a special "rare" edition that we'd never seen here, and a box of minis at the airport that had some flavors we hadn't seen in the US. The Farmacia Santa Maria Novella is an incredible place--we went for the perfume, not knowing they also made "medicinal" liqueurs. It's a monastery/convent--the nuns started out distilling rosewater hundreds of years ago. Unbelievable building. Ended up finding an underpriced trove at another store & had to get them. If anyone is interested we will post more information & descriptions of the histories of each of the liquors. Find of the trip! The Millefiori is something we saw in only one place--a GREAT store, the Enoteca Chianti Classico in Panzano. (Not the same as ones in Greve & Florence.) Amazing proprietor. The Carpano was also from there, and we got some wines too. Now we have to taste it all...
  4. "Feine Spirituosenspezialitat aus Wein" I think you're right, Erik. So basically a kind of German Pisco with less punch?
  5. Okay, here's some more info. The bottle is from Lucas Bols but from the Neuss branch so it's made in Germany. It's 32% alcohol and crystal clear. Some kind of flavorless schnapps, maybe. German vodka more or less? The copy on the back reads: Aus edlem Wein entstand in einem sorgfaltigen Brennverfahren eine aussergewohnliche Geschmackskomposition. Sie verspricht einen Genuss besonderer Art, der gekennzeichnet ist durch harmonische Milde und Reinheit. Any German speakers care to enlighten us? Pics below. We'll post more soon of our other European finds.
  6. I'm in Dusseldorf, Germany for a few more days and came across an unfamiliar bottle of Bols Recept No. 8. The shop owner has little English and I have less German so he was unable to tell me more than it is a bottle suited to the German palate. He couldn't identify the flavor for me. My internet searches have come up dry. Just wondering if this stuff might have some cocktail applications? I've already secured some of the Oude Genever but if anyone knows anything about the Bols No 8 I'd be grateful if they could pass it on. Thanks.
  7. Thanks everyone for your great suggestions!
  8. Hello All, We will shortly be visiting Germany and Italy and of course will be looking for interesting bottles to add to our bar. We'd love to hear any recommendations for things we can't get in America. (Maybe we'll have to get a bottle of the Cocchi Americano now that our government is holding that up.) We hear the Ziegler eaux-de-vie are really good--if anyone has a specific rec from their line that'd be great. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
  9. Fantastic thread! Toby, your work is both humbling and inspiring. On top of everything else, your stirring technique is lovely. And what to say about the Chris Millian Mint Julep? Now I have something to commit to memory. Oh, and something to forget...the Woodford Reserve Mint Julep is like watching a 20-car smash-up in super-slow motion. "Don't forget your Sprite!!" -Mike
  10. I definitely prefer a strainer with a short handle so it stays put when left atop the shaker. Long handled strainers have a tendency to tip off and just generally clutter up the work area more than their compact cousins. -Mike
  11. So where can I get the Angostura Orange? -Mike
  12. Definitely, Eje. Next week when I'm off work, I'll sit down and pull out the orange bitters and give it a try, but I think the CiaCiaro with a healthy dose of orange bitters should bring it very close to the Picon. -Mike
  13. Give a Whiskey Smash a try substituting St Germain for the sugar syrup. You may need to blend a little elderflower cordial in to get the sweetness just right, but I think this really kicks the drink up a notch. The perfume of the elderflower is a nice layer with the tang of the lemon and the leather of the rye. Enjoying my second of the evening and am seriously considering a third. -Mike
  14. Here are a couple more bottles of Picon. Pre-metric tax-strip 3/4th quarts bottled in Lawrenceville, NJ unlike our previous bottles that are from NY. As you can see in the pics, the labels are badly faded, but the contents taste great. This is the 78 proof formula and probably dates from the 60's some time. Never expected to find more of this, but now we can start mixing it more freely. Re the CioCiaro: we like it. Doesn't taste like root beer to us. Good substitute for Picon, but lacks the bitterness. Available at several stores in Brooklyn, we picked ours up at Smith & Vine. -Mike and Jenny
  15. Have to put in a plug for the Red Hook Fairway. As a long-time West Side Fairway shopper, I was blown away by the store in Brooklyn. Spacious and MUCH more lightly trafficked than the Manhattan stores, it was a great experience. And items that were long gone from my local store were still on the shelves in Red Hook. As they have so much more floor space than the 74th Street store, I'd be curious to know if they carry all the same items or more? Anyway if you have a car, it's worth the schlep and if you go the next few weekends, you can hit the Ball Fields! -Mike
  16. This is an old tax-strip bottle (4/5 qt.) of the 78 proof Picon. We found it in a dusty liquor store in California, and brought it to its current happy home in NYC. Wish we had more... Mike & Jenny
  17. Beautiful bottles on this thread! Here are a couple we like. The Four Roses Small Batch has the labels put on by hand, so they fit around the raised glass roses. The Lairds is their 12-year apple brandy--a very nice gift for those thinking ahead to the holidays. -Mike & Jenny
  18. Have yet to crack the bottle but I have some Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Almond Infused Simple Syrup. It's sub-titled "All natural 'orgeat'". Ingredients are: cane sugar, water, vanilla extract, natural almond extract, orange flower water, citric acid. If it's anywhere near as good as their Lemon Sugar Syrup, it will be very good indeed. I think I remember seeing the Fee Bros. orgeat and passing on it since it contained a lot of artificial stuff, but I might be confusing it with their falernum. -Mike
  19. At a recent cocktail party, I found myself in the weeds thanks to the limited capacity of my standard Boston shaker. Fortunately I had an oversized cobbler shaker to go to, but now I really want a BIG Boston shaker. What can people recommend? I've seen some mention of the WSM or the Rosle, but I'm really looking for size here. Any pointers will be much appreciated. Thanks.
  20. I encourage everyone to go out and secure some 100 proof applejack and some Briottet Wild Peach Liqueur and make this cocktail from Ted Haigh's Vintage Cocktail book: Delicious Sour 2 oz applejack 2 oz peach brandy Juice of 1 lime 1 egg white 1 teaspoon sugar (I used sugar syrup but demarara syrup would be even better) Shake and strain into a chilled glass. Top with a squirt (1 oz) of soda. I was getting a little worn out on my whiskey sours and their various permutations, but this has renewed my faith. Aptly named, it's the finest cocktail I've offered myself in quite some time. -Mike
  21. St. Paddy's Day started early for us, and it's all because of jury duty. When I was called for jury duty in Manhattan in November, I spent my breaks wandering Chinatown & Little Italy, and happened to find two dusty bottles of Erin Go Bragh ($28 apiece) in a little Chinatown liquor store. I'm not usually the whiskey purchaser in our household, so I didn't get it, but that evening we reread the Asimov piece (mentioned earlier in the thread) and thought we should go back. Somehow, though, we didn't, until today! And miraculously, the two bottles were still there. We made a Tipperary (Gary Regan's version), which was SPECTACULAR: Chill glass, and rinse it with green Chartreuse. Stir for 30 seconds: 2 oz Erin Go Bragh Irish whiskey 1 oz sweet vermouth (we used Vya, yum) ...and strain into the chilled glass. Balanced and beautiful. Tomorrow we're going to try the Weeski (Dave Wondrich). What are y'all drinking for the holiday?
  22. Has anyone tried the Maison Prunier VS or VSOP cognac? We too are looking for a French brandy to use in cocktails--not so good or expensive that it feels wasted in a cocktail. The Prunier VS & VSOP are $19-25. We have tried the Prunier orange liqueur (based on cognac), which LeNell carries and really likes ("It kicks Grand Marnier's ass!"), and we liked it too. Haven't had the opportunity to try any of their other products.
  23. Andy, Buffalo Trace is a VERY good mid-shelf bourbon. To my taste, it's on the simple side, but among bourbon aficionados, it has many champions. You should definitely get a bottle. -Mike
  24. From what I can gather here: http://www.jwine.com/pear/ and from the back of the bottle, it's distilled from California pears. I find most liqueurs, not that I've made a study of it, pretty aggressive and sugary. This is much more rounded than Apry to me. Definitely far from it's eau-de-vie origins, but more subtle than many of its fellow liqueurs. Sounds like the current winery kind of backed into the product. It's marked as limited. I'll probably pick up another bottle.
  25. Last night we had a chance to try the Pear Liqueur from J Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg, CA. It is outstanding. Aged ten years in oak, it is sweet without being cloying or syrupy. Vanilla and caramel notes accompany the pear. Great both straight and in a pear sidecar. Looking forward to giving it a try as a cointreau substitute in a number of cocktails. -Mike and Jenny
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