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Everything posted by scratchline

  1. Last night someone gave me a sample of the Henri Barduoin pastis. I will be getting a bottle and will not be using any other pastis. It is absolutely terrific. Much more subtle and complex than other brands, with an anis presence that is assertive without being cloying. I think I even prefer it to the absinthe I've managed to find. My first thought was, "I can't wait to try this in a Sazerac." -Mike
  2. I've been seeing Apry regularly in liquor stores around the country. Haven't had a problem finding it at all. (I don't know if these are leftover bottles, or if Heaven Hill is distributing effectively.) I'm in NYC, so I'll let you know the next time I see it here--maybe the problem is particular to NY. In LA, I found some unusual things at a downtown liquor store, among them an old bottle of apricot brandy (not eau-de-vie), made in Germany by Schladerer. Not manufactured any more as far as I could discover via internet research. Very sweet and very apricot-ty. Not to my taste alone on the rocks, but great in vintage cocktail recipes.
  3. Was in an old LA liquor store yesterday and was stunned to see a couple of old bottles of Amer Picon behind the register. These were pre-metric 78 proof 4/5 quarts. Needless to say I snapped them up. My girlfriend got me a bottle of Torani Amer for Christmas, and we mixed Brooklyns with it. They were very tasty and to my palate, there was a celery flavor to the Torani. I am very interested in comparing the flavor of the older Picon to the newer product. -Mike
  4. Just received an old tax strip 4/5 quart bottle of Schladerer Blackforest Apricot Liqueur as a gift while I'm visiting here in Los Angeles. The little old liquor marts in this part of the country are a gold mine of old forgotten bottles. The same store that provided this Schladerer also had a bottle of Noyau de Poissy that I had picked up earlier. I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on whether the older tax strip bottles of sloe gin are any better than the current offerings? I notice that the old bottles of Du Bouchett sloe gin indicate that it is produced with imported sloe berries. I don't know if the newer bottles carry this label or if it is anything more than a marketing play. Anyone have any info? Is older better? Thanks. -Mike
  5. Say, Jack, why not throw basil syrup into a Basil or Baker's bourbon whiskey sour. If it works in a julep it should work in a sour. I like that Basil connection you came up with. Now if you can just work in the 7% solution...
  6. Great post, Erik. Very interesting about the differences in the Saz 18 bottlings. I sampled the 2003 with a friend at Thanksgiving, and it was tremendous. Between the two of us we have now assembled bottles of the 01, 02, 03, and 05. I'm looking forward to completing the list and sampling them side by side. I've really liked this whiskey in the past but was amazed at how good that 03 was. Of course may be it was the season. I'm very pleased to see rye making a comeback since its spicier flavor is often more to my taste than bourbon. That said, I'm thoroughly enjoying exploring the wide world of bourbon. There are few things to compare to the nose of Old Rip Van Winkle 15 year old. Maybe the scent of the chocolate chip cookie batter from Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen. Thanks again for the tasting notes.
  7. Sorry to hear that about the Vya white since I just picked up a bottle today and was hoping it would be a solid mixer. You might want to add one of the Hirsch Canadian ryes (eight, ten and twelve years) to your long term list. They rated very high in the recent LA Times rye article. On the strength of that, I got the eight and the twelve and have sampled the younger one. Not to my taste at all. Very light in color and body. Unlike what I'm used to in American ryes. I've only had it the one time, so maybe it will grow on me. I'm looking forward to your tasting notes. Best.
  8. Say, Eje, when you finish that Noilly Pratt, pick up some Carpano Antica Formula. I like that one even better than their Punt e Mes which is nothing to sneeze at. Or give the Vya a try and tell me if it's as good as people say. You're not missing a lot with that list of ryes. The Pikesville would be a little tame in that company. I envy you that Van Winkle 12. Happy tasting. And, Birder, you can get the Rittenhouse in NYC at Crossroads Wine and Liquors on W. 14th St. It's not easy to come by, but when I was there a couple of weeks ago, they had several bottles. It's very good for the price, but I prefer to spend a little more for Wild Turkey.
  9. I assume the Williams Sonoma product you're talking about is the Sonoma Syrup Co Pomegranate Simple Syrup. Another option is Al Wadi Pomegranate Molasses. And Boulaine Grenadine is an acceptable commercial grenadine.
  10. 'Nuff said. Currently on order from my local provider and scheduled for delivery by Wednesday of next week. Thanks for the tip. Will mix and report back. Viva Antica.
  11. Haven't seen that stuff in years. Got some when it came out and loved it. From Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh aka Dr. Cocktail: Pink Gin 3 oz Plymouth Gin 6 goodly dashes Angostura Shake in an iced cocktail shaker. Strain into a stemmed cocktail glass sans garnish. "The only other brand that tastes right in a Pink Gin was Tanqueray Malacca--which adhered to an original 1839 gin formula, but in their infinite wisdom (heavy, HEAVY irony here) Tanqueray suspended its production. Plymouth and Malacca gins are the most valued in Doc's liquor cabinet, and I hope someone comes to their senses and produces the latter again." You're a lucky camper. Sip safe.
  12. And what, pray tell, is this Antica Formula? If it perfects the Manhattan it MUST be had.
  13. Just mixed my first Punt e Mes Manhattan with Wild Turkey Rye. Thanks to all on this board who pointed me toward this vermouth. The drink couldn't have been better. Okay maybe with Sazerac Rye. Looking forward to many more from this and other bottles. Happy imbibing.
  14. Aaaaah, that's mighty fine stuff. That's the favorite whiskey of a buddy of mine in Nashville, so I took him a bottle at Thanksgiving and we broke into it. Enjoy. I haven't seen that younger bottling either. If it's half as good as the 18yr., it'll be just fine.
  15. I've never seen the Olde St. Nick, and I've been searching out rye whiskeys nationwide for the past five years. Is that new Sazerac the younger bottling that I've heard rumors about or a special bottling of the 18 yr? Also what do those who've tried it think of the Canadian Lot 40? Not widely available in the Northeast, but I picked some up in Arkansas and think it makes a good Manhattan. It's stamped "made with malted rye". The Canadian Hirsch mentioned in the LA Times is very light rye. Have only sampled the 8 yr., but have some of the 12 yr on the shelf as well. I see it turning up in NYC now. What's the concensus on that one? Was very sorry to see the 12 yr old Van Winkle rye is a thing of the past. I preferred it to the Reserve. Sip safe.
  16. Had considerable success at a party tonight mixing a drink inspired by suggestions on this board. It went like hotcakes!! We have christened it Apple of My Eye: served stirred only, on the rocks 1 1/2 oz apple brandy or calvados or applejack 1/2 oz Berentzen Apfelkorn fill with sparkling cider (we used a nonalcoholic regional blush cider we found in Virginia, made with muscadine grapes as well as apples) generous squeeze of lemon to bring the sweetness down (about 1/4 lemon) This particular cider is especially good and complex, and also makes the drink a festive dark pink, but I bet it'd be good with other ciders too.
  17. I make a pecan recipe that always gets raves--there are never any left, and I make them for gifts too. They are both spicy and sweet. Dangerously addictive. You can find the recipe on epicurious.com as "Crisp Spiced Nuts." You will note in the cooks' comments section that various people recommend increasing the total amount of nuts to 6 cups, which is a very good recommendation that I always follow. (Too much batter otherwise.) Other suggestions include increasing the cayenne (also a good idea, depending on your desired level of heat). I generally make this recipe with pecans only, instead of 3 kinds of nuts. Here's how the recipe reads on epicurious: 2 large egg whites 1 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 cup sugar 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 2 TBSP paprika, preferably Hungarian sweet 1 1/2 tsp cayenne 1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds, about 1 1/2 lbs. ditto hazelnuts ditto pecans 3/4 stick (6 TBSP) unsalted butter, melted and cooled Preheat oven to 325. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with salt until very foamy and gradually beat in sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and cayenne. Stir in nuts and butter, combining well, and spread in a large shallow baking pan. Bake nuts in middle of oven, stirring every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden, about 30-40 minutes. Spread nuts on a sheet of foil, and cool. Break up nut clusters. [Other cooks say: use more cayenne, use less butter, use more nuts (about 6 cups)] Have a good party! I'm making these for a cocktail party tomorrow...
  18. Here is a recipe by George Delgado that sounds good--we haven't made it yet. THE CRAN-APPLE COCKTAIL 1 1/2 oz. Laird’s blended Applejack 1/2 oz. Apple Berentzen 1/2 oz. Apple Juice 1 1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice Shaken with ice and strained into a pre-chilled martini glass. Garnish with a slice of green apple.. Question: Berentzen makes two different apple schnapps, Apfelkorn and Green Apple. Is one made from red apples and the other from green? Has anyone tasted both? How do they compare?
  19. Thanks for the tip. Just picked up the last two bottles they had at Crossroads. Looking forward to giving it a try.
  20. Does anyone know if this rye is still available at Smith and Vine or anywhere else in NYC? Managed to locate some of the Hirsch Canadian Rye in Rhode Island, but haven't been able to lay my hands on the Rittenhouse. I was very disappointed that Van Winkle discontinued their 12 yr. old rye since I preferred it to the reserve, so maybe this Pennsylvania rye can fill the void. Thanks for any info. old scratch
  21. Wondering if there are any special South American markets in the DC area where I might be able to pick up culantro (recao), panca pepper paste and aji amarillo pepper paste? Checked a couple of latin markets in Falls Church with no luck. Thanks in advance for any advice. -Mike
  22. I got Douglas Rodriguez's Ceviche book and a Misono chef's knife for Christmas and am eager to put both to use. What kind of recommendations do people have for top notch fresh seafood in the DC area? I'm right across from Eastern Market and was wondering about the fishmonger there. I'm also assuming that Whole Foods is pretty solid. Any and all suggestions are appreciated. Thanks. -Mike
  23. Thanks for all the suggestions. I've already checked out Schneiders and tomorrow I'll hit Wine Specialist and Potomac. I'm leaning toward the Macallan Fine Oak 15 yr or the Aberlour abunadh but I'm curious to see what else is out there, particularly the cask strength. Thanks again everyone.
  24. I'm shopping for a special bottle as a Christmas present and wondered if there was a liquor store with an especially extensive selection of single malt scotches in Washington DC? Thanks up front for any tips.
  25. I've got a reservation for my birthday dinner at Pasion next week. Just wondering if Philly foodies in the know have any recommendations? Thanks much.
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