Jump to content

The Hersch

participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by The Hersch

  1. Wikipedia, of course, has an article HERE. The half-smoke (which I don't find particularly appealing--I'd rather have a really good natural-casing hot dog) is distinguished from the hot dog by its greater girth and its more coarsely ground meat. It is, in essence, a fat, coarse hot dog, and a dubious recommendation for the city of Washington.
  2. Please don't go to that horrible place. When I say "horrible", I mean "unspeakably horrible".
  3. A bigger difference than the gin, I think, is the brandy-based orange liqueur instead of Cointreau. Peach bitters aside, I think this drink is miles better with Cointreau.
  4. I've just been sipping a modified Pegu Club that I love. It's a 4:2:1 ratio of gin:Cointreau:lime juice, the gin being some private label stuff that's similar to Beefeater. Angostura bitters, Regan's orange bitters. Then on a whim, I threw in a dash of Fee Bros. peach bitters. I have to tell you, that took it into a whole nother dimension. Just lovely.
  5. DC has its own full-blown set of liquor-related (and everything-else-related) statutes. As Article I of the US Constitution gives Congress exclusive legislative authority over the federal district, in a sense all DC laws are federal laws, and we don't get a vote. In practice, most enactments of our City Council are unmolested by Congress, other than the city budget, which has to be passed by Congress as an appropriations bill and gets fiddled with by grandstanding and pandering Congresscritters to score points back home.
  6. As far as what an ABC store in NC stocks is concerned, it's at the county level, so I wouldn't expect another Wake County store to have a better selection of kirsch. As I posted somewhere, I recently fled Wilson County back to DC, but down there I had to go to Wake County to get Campari. Washington DC is liquor-and-wine-store heaven, on the other hand. We actually have some of the most untrammeled commerce in the country when it comes to alcohol. For example, if a retailer wants to sell a particular wine from Spain, say, and no importer/distributor carries it, the retailer can import it directly. There's also a lot of competition in retail sale of spirits, so prices are low.
  7. I fled North Carolina more than a year ago, but when I was still there the Whole Foods Market in Raleigh had Vya sometimes. As to mail order, I had no trouble at all getting spirituous liquors shipped from Raeder's in New York. Was that against the law? If so, I'm glad that I didn't know it at the time. I was actually kind of surprised that I was able to do it, what with the state monopoly on spirits. But I placed the order, and the booze arrived in due course. I chose Raeder's because they carry Luxardo maraschino, which I was particularly looking for. They have a pretty good selection of stuff, and fairly good prices, although with liquor the shipping is always going to be expensive because of the weight. For bitters, Surfas carries the whole range of Fee Brothers products. Buffalo Trace carries Regan's and Peychaud's. But where can one find The Bitter Truth products? (Actually, I'm planning to be in Munich in December, so I can probably find them there, but that's December and this is June.) Finally, on the subject of Punt e Mes, I'm not sure what this means, if anything, but the name "Carpano" no longer appears on the label. Raeder's carries it (although the picture of the bottle on their website still shows the Carpano name).
  8. Pearson's has it in Washington DC. I haven't seen it anywhere else in town, but haven't really been looking.
  9. No idea about Vermont, but back in 1974 in Washington DC there was certainly a similar law. I don't remember exactly when it was changed, but it was illegal to have a drink in your hand in a bar or restaurant if you were standing up. So you had to be seated at a table or on a bar stool, and you couldn't move from one to the other or from one table to another. If you did, the establishment could be shut down. I think this was changed by 1976, but I'm not sure. I imagine it had been in place since Prohibition repeal.
  10. Nope, not really. Michael Landrum has apparently made a gallant effort to put together a good and affordable wine program at his new Ray's the Classics restaurant in Silver Spring (I haven't been). But in general the ambitious restaurants are all in Washington and Virginia. I think it's not only Montgomery County's limited catalog and high prices, but also their business practices that scare restaurateurs away. There's a discussion here. For those who may not know, the contributor with a lot to say named Mark Slater is the renowned sommelier at Michel Richard Citronelle, probably Washington's best restaurant (and best wine program).
  11. Oh, I completely agree. The state (plus one county) monopolies totally suck. I was...er...stuck in North Carolina for a couple of years, and they have the whole ABC store thing, with infuriatingly narrow selections and sky-high prices. If I wanted a bottle of Johnny Walker red, it cost as much as Johnny Walker black does here in Washington DC. As mentioned upthread, you're limited to what's on the meager state list, but it's actually even worse than that. The stores are run by the counties, and different stocking decisions are made by different county bureaucrats. Campari, for example, is on the state list, but not carried in Wilson County, where I was stuck. I had to go to Raleigh, in Wake County, to get it. Luckily, I was able to make it up to my home in Washington fairly often, so I'd stock up on things and smuggle them into North Carolina.
  12. Regarding the Lapin Agile: ultimately just too sweet for my taste. But here's a cocktail made with Aperol that I've been playing with. (It seems like a pretty obvious combination, so maybe this already exists as a canonical cocktail. Surprisingly, a search for ingredient Aperol gets no hits on cocktaildb.) I haven't given it a name.2 oz gin 1 oz lemon juice 1 oz Cointreau 1/2 oz Aperol 2 dashes Regan's orange bitters Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Now, I suppose you could cavil that my cocktail actually has more sweet stuff in it than the Lapin Agile, but the lemon juice balances it.
  13. According to this Wikipedia article, which I think is pretty accurate, there are 18 states plus Montgomery County MD that exercise a monopoly over the wholesaling and/or retailing of some or all categories of alcoholic beverages. Quite a few of the jurisdictions are not involved in retail sales at all. In peculiar Montgomery County MD, the state has a total monopoly over distilled spirits, selling them in its own stores, but limits itself to a wholesale monopoly on wine. One byproduct of the county wholesale wine monopoly is that there are essentially no fine-dining "destination" restaurants in the county, which contains some of the wealthiest suburbs of Washington DC. The Johnstown flood was in 1889. The flood that provoked the tax also affected Johnstown, but that 1936 disaster is known as the Pittsburgh Flood of 1936, according to this Wikipedia article.
  14. That sounds really good, and as it happens I have all of the ingredients in the drinks cupboard, but no oranges. (Well, I have Luxardo maraschino.) Do you suppose this is worth making with a substitution of lemon peel for orange, or should I just wait till I can get an orange?
  15. I think the constituent of Byrrh is this one. That is, Jateorhiza calumba rather than Frasera carolinensis. The former seems to have more Latin names than Elizabeth Taylor has had husbands, and among other things is used in cases of arsenic poisoning. Who knew?
  16. I see that Park Avenue Liquor in NYC has Byrrh available via mail-order at $24 for 750ml, plus $12 shipping (the per-bottle shipping cost drops radically as you order more bottles). Leaving shipping costs aside, is $24 a fair price? I've looked at some of their other prices and they seem really high. ETA: On Byrhh's own website, they list the aromatics used in Byrhh as colombo (or chasmanthera palmata, which doesn't help me; I have no idea what this is), bitter orange peel, camomile, cinnamon, quinquina, coriander, cocoa, coffee, gentian, and elder. That's a lot of stuff being subtle!
  17. I think the finest drink in this category is Scotch and soda. A good blended young Scotch like JW Red mixed about 60 percent good fizzy soda to 40 percent whisky. Or does the lack of flavoring in soda water put this drink out of the category?
  18. Pier 1 has lots of inexpensive barware. I see on their website that they have a straightforward "classic" martini glass for $2. You could get three dozen for $72, which isn't all that much (although it would be plus shipping or plus sales tax). I doubt you could rent for much less, and this way you have a large supply of cheap cocktail glasses when you're done. (Okay, that might not be a good thing.)
  19. I think a disdain for America in general was common in England at the time. Try Martin Chuzzlewit, for instance.
  20. The Hersch

    Dinner! 2007

    That sounds (and looks) delicious. But what do you do with the potato skins?
  21. Back in the days when I used to get hangovers, I always found the surefire remedy to be a big liverwurst sandwich with mustard and onions washed down with a beer. (Much like the sausage and beer remedy mentioned above.)
  22. I don't know where in NC you might have been, but I spent strawberry season of 2004 and 2005 in the bustling metropolis of Wilson, which is about 40 miles east of Raleigh. They grow a LOT of strawberries around there, and there are pick-your-own places, most of which also sell already-picked fruit--a far more appealing option to me. The differences between one farm and another with respect to quality of the berries were just amazing. Some were barely better than supermarket strawberries--i.e., not worth eating. Others were amazing little mouth-bombs of intense flavor and juiciness, with that characteristic vivid red all the way to the middle of the berry. 2005 was a long, cool spring in that area, with the result that the strawberries kept coming in for weeks and weeks, and some of the fruit I got at Maggie's Farm was among the best I've ever eaten anywhere. (Maggie's is a bit east of the Wilson exit from I-95, about a mile off Alt-264 on Merck Rd., for anyone near there who wants to give them your business. Very nice folks.) Still no strawberries around here (Washington DC), but I imagine they're coming in bountifully in North Carolina now.As to the size aspect: My theory is that each strawberry gets the same amount of flavor, but in larger berries it's diffused across so much territory that the total effect is one of flavorlessness. I really do find that among strawberries from the same crop, the larger ones will have less intense flavor than the smaller ones. Gosh, I wish I had some strawberries. I would gladly pay $20 a pound for good ones.
  23. If you have a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child et al., her recipe is a real confidence-giver. Try following it. I don't think you can go wrong. If you don't have a copy, you should buy one.
  24. The Hersch

    Dinner! 2007

    I can't speak for Chufi, of course, but Marcella Hazan has a recipe for something along these lines (a Ligurian dish called marò). I think it's in "Marcella Cucina". I found a recipe here that's very similar. I've made this a number of times, and came to dislike the mint after a while. It cloys. I usually replace it with parsley.
  • Create New...