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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by TAPrice

  1. TAPrice


    Any advice on how to make popsicles? I'm assuming any fruit puree can be frozen, but there has to be more to it than that. Any hints? Any combination that were particular good? I'm mainly making these for 1.5 year old, but I'm interested in popsicles for grownups as well.
  2. TAPrice

    Vinegar in your drink?

    The Washinton Times reports that mixing drinks with vinegar is all the rage: Trend stories always make me suspicious, but maybe vinegary cocktails will soon be more common than mojitos. Anyone tried vinegar as ingredient? Any success with drinks less baroque than those given in the article? This three-year-old topic touches on the same subject.
  3. Non-alcoholic cocktails? I know what you're thinking. Why bother? Well, I seem to be at that age when half my friends are pregnant on any given day. When I have people over for dinner, I'd like to include them in the pre-dinner cocktail. Poking around the forums, I found this thread on Mocktails for kids: Fancy Kid Mocktails That's a start, but I don't really want to serve grow-ups a Shirley Temple. Might be a little insulting. That same thread had a link to some non-alcoholic drinks by adults (he was looking out for the designated driver): King Cocktail: Non-alcoholic drinks Any other ideas?
  4. 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.
  5. TAPrice

    Unicum vs. Zwack

    I've got a bottle of Unicum by Zwack. Love the stuff. Makes Fernet Branca taste like Coca-Cola. My understanding was that the bottle labeled Zwack was a sweeter version for the American market, which is also known as Unicum Next outside the U.S. Recently I've seen a new bottle on the liquor store shelves labeled Zwack (looks the same, but doesn't say Unicum). 1) How can I identify the two products? 2) Is the sweeter Zwack or Unicum Next version worth owning? 3) Is the stronger, original Unicum still distributed in the U.S. (My bottle was old and dusty).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. TAPrice

    HBO's "Treme"

    On the first season of Treme, one of the main characters was chef with a small Uptown restaurant. The real chef Susan Spicer (Bayona, Mondo) served as the consultant. Season two won't start until April, but it leaked out a few weeks ago that Alan Richman, who infamously wrote a post-Katrina takedown of the New Orleans dining scene, will play himself in an upcoming episode. Today, the TV writer for the New Orleans Times Picayune reported that none other than Tony Bourdain wrote Richman's scenes: Today in 'Treme': Anthony Bourdain is writing restaurant scenes for season two Bourdain is working as a script consultant this season.
  9. 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.
  10. TAPrice

    Brett Anderson's Top 10

    The Picayune's big annual dining guide came out last week. For me, the most interesting part is Brett Anderson's picks for Top 10 restaurants. As far as I know (I should probably ask him), his first list appeared in the 2003 guide to 100 "great" restaurants. To give us a little historical perspective, I pulled up the older lists. Are these the best restaurants in New Orleans? Are worthy contenders being overlooked? What does it say about New Orleans dining that there is so little movement in this list? Note: The restaurants are listed in alphabetically order, not by rank. 2003 Bayona Brigsten's Commander's Palace Cuvée Emeril's Galatoire's Herbsaint Lilette Peristyle Restaurants August 2004 Bayona Brigsten's Cuvée Emeril's Galatoire's Gautreau's Herbsaint Lilette New Orleans Grill Restaurant August (Exit Commander's Palace, which never makes the list again. Any idea why? Exit Peristyle. Anne Kearney sold the restaurant in 2004, so I'm guessing the change bumped it off the list. Enter Gautreau's. Was that around the time that Mathias Wolf took over? Enter New Orleans Grill.) 2005 No list that year. I think you know why. 2006 Bayona Brigtsen's Cuvée Emeril's Galatoire's Herbsaint Lilette Long Branch Restaurant August Stella (Exit Gautreau's. It was still closed at this point. Exit New Orleans Grill, which lost chef Jonathan Wright after the storm and was still in serious limbo at that point. Enter Long Branch (since shuttered) and Stella.) 2007 Bayona Brigtsen's Emeril's Galatoire's Herbsaint Lilette Restaurant August Rio Mar Ristorante del Porto Stella (Exit Long Branch, because it closed. Exit Cuvée. Cuvée, along with Commander's Palace, are the only restaurants, as far as I can tell, to leave the list without major upheaval in the back of the house. Enter Rio Mar and Ristorante del Porto.) Did Brett publish a Top 10 list before 2003? Did previous critics keep a top ten list?
  11. TAPrice

    "The PDT Cocktail Book"

    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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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:
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. TAPrice

    Pronunciation of "Absinthe"

    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?
  17. 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.
  18. TAPrice

    Drinks (2009–2011)

    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)]
  19. 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.
  20. Finally got a bottle of Lemonhart 151. Maybe tomorrow I can take it for a spin.
  21. 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?
  22. Which "Herbsaint" do you mean? The 90 proof version made with extracts that until recently was the only version available? That formula wasn't introduced until the 1970s. The tiki gods were using something closer to the 100 proof Herbsaint Original that was introduced by the Sazerac Company recently.
  23. You don't want one with two metal cups. You want a clear mixing glass and a metal top. Just test them to make sure they seal well.
  24. I can't find either of these apps in the iTunes store. Have they been removed from sale? Any recently released apps that people have been using?
  25. TAPrice

    Drinks (2009–2011)

    Had some madeira left over from the prunes stuffed with blue cheese that I made for an Oscar's party. Thought I would try a Manhattan variation. Used a basic 2:1 ratio with Rittenhouse, added 3 dashes of Angostura, stirred, strained and added a lemon twist. Sadly, not good. Don't think the madeira is sweet or thick enough. And something isn't playing nice. Too much sharp, bitterness without a sweet base to balance it all. Oh well, at least the stuffed prunes were good. Any other ideas for mixing with madeira (not that I'm opposed to just drinking it straight).