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Everything posted by plattetude

  1. The Germans and Austrians are awfully good at making fruit eaux-de-vie, but I imagine you were looking for from decent, cocktail-friendly and affordable! Edit: Either way, what you ended up with does sound good. If only I had a bottle of Aperol... Yeah, like I said, I considered toying with an obstler (apple/pear eaux de vie), which to my mind is as much Austrian as German in terms of cultural relevance, but I wasn't about to spring for several bottles of it to feed the unwashed masses, particularly when it would likely be a *very* finicky ingredient. I bet Campari would make a reasonable substitution, if a bit more bracing. (The beauty of Aperol for this occasion is that it's still low enough profile that people don't make a face when they see it as a cocktail ingredient, unlike Campari, which definitely has a reputation as "eww, I can't drink that stuff.") Christopher
  2. In the vein of FatGuy's Stocking the nursery-school bar, take 2, I put myself on the hook a month or so ago to devise a signature cocktail for a benefit held by and on behalf of the avocational chorus I preside over, celebrating our 85th anniversary season. I limited myself to a single cocktail that could be easily batched and would appeal to a wide range of palates. My immediate initial thought was a champagne- (or sparkling wine-) based cocktail, which would be (a) relatively low-proof, (b) festive, and © potentially just interesting enough to make people think twice about what cocktails can taste like. So I mulled for a week or two over potential ingredients, trying first to come up with something not only hitting the mark flavor-wise, but also have some cultural significance (the choir's founder was born in Vienna and grew up in Frankfurt before coming to NYC as an adult). The list of decent, cocktail-friendly liquors and spirits from Austria and Germany isn't all that compelling (Jagermeister and champagne? no thanks), and that which might've been workable would be spendy (I toyed with the idea of Obstler eau de vie, but no way). So ultimately I trashed the "cultural" angle and went strictly to flavor. I had four paths of possible ingredients to test and tweak (and my wife has the liver damage to show for it), which resulted in this: The Margarete 3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse 3/4 oz Plymouth gin 1/2 oz Aperol 2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters 1 dash Angostura bitters 3-4 oz sparkling wine (Gruet Blanc de Noirs for this occasion) Stir spirits and bitters over ice. Strain into flute and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist. It was, I am happy to report, not only a gorgeous looking drink, with a rich orange hue, also a delicious and well-received drink. (And I have lots of cocktail base left over, so it looks like I'll be playing with other things to do with that stuff too, without having to crack open a bottle of sparkling wine every time.) Christopher
  3. Not to stray off-topic Campari-wise, but I've liked tequila, R&W Orchard Apricot, and Benedictine together, with or without dry vermouth. Or dry sherry. Christopher
  4. 1 oz Laird's bonded 1/2 oz Cocchi Barolo Chinato 1/4 oz Benedictine 4 dashes Bitter Truth Xocolatl Mole bitters I could've had several of these. Christopher
  5. Sorry for taking you on a misguided tangent. I saw a listing on a website that touted Aperol as kosher, but I suppose you can find almost anything on the web, right or wrong, if you look long enough. Christopher
  6. I noticed the lack of alcohol but figured in the Champagne cocktail with the Bourbon that wouldn't be a problem. But I've never tasted the product so I wasn't aware of the intensity/complexity issue. Do Stirrings bitters just suck or will they work well enough as part of a Bourbon-and-bitters mixture for a Champagne cocktail? Might be worth trying, since you know it's certified, and I wouldn't expect it'd be bad, but I just wonder how much of it you'd have to use to make it come through. At $6 or so per 12oz bottle, if you need to use as much of a 1/2 oz per cocktail, you may as well go with Aperol, which I do believe is kosher, and brings a good bit more complexity and bite to the table. Christopher
  7. Stirrings bitters have no alcohol, so they lack the intensity, let alone complexity, of other brands. By a long shot. Like, you wouldn't dash them but use them by the spoonful. Christopher
  8. Cocktails Manhattan Chrysanthemum Cocktail Twenty-First Century Cocktail Monte Cassino Yeoman Warder Negroni Tredici Reveillon Perfect Parallel Champs Elysées Seelbach The Benediction ChamPino Amuse shot of Rabbit consomme w/ shiitake duxelle and parsley oil First Course Rabbit terrine w/ warm radicchio in mustard vinaigrette Main Course Oxtail Ragu w/ potato gnocchi Dessert Tart Noir (dark chocolate tart on a shortbread crust) Mmmmm.
  9. You mean "not necessarily 100% rye," don't you? Anchor's Old Potrero line of whiskeys, for instance, all have 100% rye, as I understand it. Christopher
  10. Thanks to the NY Times recent "Shaken and Stirred" column on Benedictine, my New Year's Eve cocktail list included the Monte Cassino. Based on the Last Word template, it's equal parts rye, Benedictine, yellow Chartreuse, and lemon, and good lord it's fantastic. I thought the Benedictine and Chartreuse might be overkill together, but they play together very nicely, each playing off the honeyed aspect of the other. I believe it's the brainchild of our own MisterDyer. Good stuff! Christopher
  11. plattetude

    Removing Salt

    Seems to me that all one is doing here is taking out some liquid that's too salty and replacing it with water. Why use a loaf of bread instead of a ladle? And let a perfectly useful pudding muslin go to waste?
  12. I've used it in a riff on a Negroni -- 1 oz Beefeaters 1 oz Campari 1/2 oz Carpano Antica (or whatever sweet vermouth you've got) 1/2 oz Pama I tried some other things too, none of which were memorable (it was a couple years ago, when I'd been given a box of mini bottles of Pama to play with). Christopher
  13. There's John's Pizza at 44th between B'way and 8th, which is not great but better than a reheated slice at any of the various Famous Ray's and their variants. If you're strictly staying in that part of town, options are very limited. Christopher
  14. He was not a favorite when the season began, but by the time of the finale he was clearly at parity with the other two. By what (or whose) measure was Kevin not a "favorite" from the early part of the season? To my eyes, he was clearly near the top, both in terms of food and in terms of humility and respect, from week 1. All in all, pretty awesome talent at the top this season. Christopher
  15. I'd also suggest that the results on Open Table are not necessarily the last word. A couple months back, I was looking to book Corton for my birthday, and Open Table listed an early and a late seating. I grabbed something at, like 6pm. Then, on a whim, I called the reservation line and very easily scored an 8pm reservation. So don't assume. If there's someplace you'd like to try, don't rely solely on the online reservation results. Christopher
  16. Eleven Madison Park has two private balcony rooms looking out over the dining room and the park. The smaller balcony seats up to 18. Christopher
  17. All this criticizing of the judges is wayyyy misplaced. You're not seeing/hearing all their comments; you're seeing how the producers have had the comments *edited*, very likely in some cases deliberately overstating strengths and weaknesses of the contestants' efforts to make it seem like more of a horse race, or to make the results more of a "gotcha." Same thing with Top Chef. Like gfweb said, drama. Christohper
  18. Also, if you want to try to lock in at least one option, you can call for a reservation at PDT, 3pm day of. Not sure how quickly the rez's are filled up, but that may be your best bet. C
  19. There's nothing remotely like D&C near Per Se (or if there is, it's way under the radar). In a 2-3 block radius of the East Village, you've got D&C, PDT, and Mayahuel, each of which is fantastic in its own way. And not too far afield of those three, you've got Pegu Club. By their nature, most of the great cocktail bars don't have massive capacity (Pegu being the leader size-wise, for sure), and once you talk about arriving at 9 or later, you're taking your chances with getting in without a substantial wait. Christopher
  20. The WSJ noted that subscriptions to Gourmet have stayed at historical peak levels (of just under a million), but that newsstand sales were down 25% year-on-year. That doesn't sound so bleak to me, but I'm not in publishing. Maybe if they'd invested what they paid McKinsey in keeping the thing alive... Subscription sales and newsstand sales are a paltry contributor to revenues (with the standard deep-discounts offered to most subscribers, I'd be surprised if a subscription even pays for the paper, let alone postage, for a given magazine). It's all about ad sales. This year, according to the NY Times, Gourmet took at 43% hit in ad pages this year, through October, and showed no sign of climbing back up in the current economy. That's too deep to sustain. Christopher
  21. It's *old* media killing old media. Publishing is gasping for air, and this is simply a way to shore up the bottom line. Having two upscale food magazines in their portfolio (Bon Appetit as well as Gourmet) means one magazine may necessarily be cannibalizing the ad sales of the other. This will allow a clear focus on one title (and they do intend to maintain the Gourmet brand in publishing, TV, and on epicurious.com). Christopher
  22. isn't the brizard just a vanilla-citrus-violet...? vanilla is not my favorite violet contrast. for me in general vanilla is just as bad as too much anise. are any of the bottlings drastically different in chosen contrast? Yeah, and I'd say pretty much in that order too. Tastes kind of like a lightly floral marshmallow, really. Which is okay if you mix accordingly, but still, not exactly a go-to in my liquor cabinet. Christopher
  23. I'm curious, Florida, where do you draw the line (if anywhere at all)? Is it okay for someone to stumble into someplace where, oh gosh, they'll really appreciate the food, while wearing, say, flip-flops, grimy sweatpants, and a t-shirt with some lame obscenity emblazoned on it? Or are there some restaurants where you wouldn't necessarily expect to see that? The notion of appropriateness seems to have died for many. Give a inch.... Christopher
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