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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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  1. TAPrice

    Steven Shaw

    So sad to hear about this. Steven was one of those people who, even though we never met, I felt that I knew well. His passion and curiosity were always breathtaking to behold.
  2. Does anyone know about (or can point me to articles about) the history of bottled cocktails? I'm particularly interested in commercially available bottled cocktails.
  3. Any recommendations for a high-quailty raspberry syrup that can be purchased online? I've tried to order Small Hand Foods' raspberry syrup, but it seems to be out of stock everywhere. Are there other good options? As often as raspberry syrup comes up in old cocktail recipes, I'm surprised that there isn't more of it on the market.
  4. They'll still exist daily on Nola.com, but it's not quite the same. In case you hadn't heard, Brett Anderson--along with half the paper's newsroom--was fired yesterday. Sad day.
  5. You can use Amazon's "Search Inside the Book" feature to look for specific ingredients. There appears to be a glitch, where Amazon doesn't always pull up the right pages. But each search provide a list of page numbers on the left-hand column, so you can look up the recipes in the physical book. At the moment, I'm working through some of the recipes that require Dubonnet, since I picked up a bottle last week. The PDT Opera cocktail is quite nice. I've never much liked this drink before, since I don't think the standard combo of Dubonnet and maraschino works well together. In PDT, they substitute Mandarin Napoleon for the maraschino, which they say is close to the original "creme de mandarine." In general, I've liked (or loved) every drink I've tried from the PDT book. A few have been too hot for me, but otherwise no complaints. I'm particularly impressed with how great some of the PDT takes on the classics are. I've always enjoyed Rusty Nails, for example, as a bit of a guilty pleasure. But the PDT version (2 oz Famous Grouse and .75 Drambuie) is good enough that I wouldn't be embarrassed to serve it to friends.
  6. My impression, backed with no hard data, is that it depends. Today a pint of strawberries was down to $2 a pint. Pretty sure that beats the grocery store. Meat and chicken is way more at the market. Local shrimp is probably a wash at roughly $6/lb. I'll keep track the next few weeks and try to get some hard numbers. Estabrook says the best deals at the farmers market can be found on organic produce. Do your market have much organic produce? Mine doesn't. Perhaps that price difference says more about how corporate chains realize they can charge on organics.
  7. I got a chance to taste two whiskies from the "Holy Grail" project (as they call) at special tasting last summer at Tales. Presumably these were whiskies that are included single oak project, but I'm not certain of that. In this case, the only difference was in the spacing of the wood rings in the oak used to make the barrel. The taste was dramatically different. (Unfortunately, I can't find my notebook from that tasting). One funny note from that presentation: they did one experiment with all organic ingredients. They wanted to release it as certified organic in the Experimental series, but initially the government was requiring that they prove the oak used in the barrel had been raised organically. They were appealing that decision, but I'm not sure how it finally came out. Here is a brief item I did for our daily paper, the Times Picayune, on the series. If I can find the notes from my interview with Harlen Wheatley, then I'll post more details:
  8. Apparently there were issues with the sound in the room as well. They're working on improving the audio and posting an archived version of Gaz's talk. In the near future, I was told today, they'll have most of the previous talks posted and gathered in one spot. For the moment, you catch Eben Freeman's April presentation on using ratios in cocktails here. He also goes off a bit at the end on brand ambassadors who aren't serious enough about the craft of cocktails.
  9. The first Monday of the month, the Museum of the American of the American Cocktail in New Orleans hosts a lecture series that brings in bartenders from around the world. Past presenters include Dale DeGroff, Dave Wondrich and Eben Freeman. Most months the talks are broadcast live on NOLA.com, the affiliated website of the Times Picayune. At the moment, the video is not archived, but they hope to add that feature in the future. Tonight at 7 p.m. you can hear Gary Regan's talk on the "Best Bartenders I've Ever Know." I'll try to post reminders about these broadcasts in the future.
  10. If I were paying attention, I'd probably say "AB-sinth." When I'm not paying attention, I'm pretty sure I say "AB-sənth." Most American tend to reduce non-stressed syllables to schwas, don't they?
  11. Has anyone had much luck making a White Negorni? After hearing about this, I made one like a Negroni with equal parts gin, Lillet (I subbed in Cocchi Americano) and Suze. Not bad, but the Suze is too dominant. I tried the recipe above, and it's really out of whack to my taste. The botanicals in the gin (I tried with both Tanquery and Plymouth) are far too dominant. Another element (perhaps the Suze) seems to be making the gin botanticals stronger than they would be on their own.
  12. Planned to make a Jack Rose with these measures: 1.25 Bonded Apple brandy .75 lemon juice .5 simple syrup .25 grenadine I had everything in the mixing glass except grenadine, but when I reached into my frig I found mold floating in my homemade batch. I admit that I consider forging ahead with the drink. After all, I was making it for myself. In the end, I substituted Hum for the grenadine (they're both red--I'm so sophisticated). You know, I probably like this drink better than the Jack Rose. Dry, tart and lots of complexity from the Hum. This mistake might be a keeper. [Moderator note: This topic continues in Drinks! (2011–2012)]
  13. The old Lemon Hart 151 is back for a limited time and only in eight states. Mr. "Ministry of Rum" Ed Hamilton is distributing the last of 481 cases of Pernod Ricard stock. I've heard reports that bars are snapping this up, so not sure how easy it will be to find at stores. I worked out a deal with the local distributor, who sent a bottle over to my grocery store liquor department. As Wayne Curtis details on his blog Slow Cocktails, once the Pernod Ricard stock is sold out Hamilton will be distributing Lemon Hart 151 with a new label and a different rum inside. The distiller claims the recipe is better than the original. Perhaps I'll regret snapping up one of these old bottles, but I least I now have one on my liquor shelf.
  14. Finally got a bottle of Lemonhart 151. Maybe tomorrow I can take it for a spin.
  15. Herbsaint was introduced in 1934. As early as 1937, Legendre was producing both a 100 and 120 proof version. I can't remember the exact dates, but I seem to recall that the 120 proof version was phased out quite early in its history. As for why Sazerac Company, which bought Herbsaint from Legendre ages ago and also owns Buffalo Trace, produced the 100 proof version, a representative said the lower proof fit the philosophy of the company. I didn't fully understand the explanation, particularly given that Buffalo Trace has put out whiskeys as powerful as 141 proof. Jay Hendricks, the Houston-based Herbsaint collector, provided Sazerac with unopened vintage bottles to check against the new version. He and the distillers both thought the recreation was an exact match for the 100 proof version. Maybe the 120 version was something else entirely?
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