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    Davis, CA
  1. from what i understand it also helps keep very saturated syrups from falling out of solution. never tried more than 2:1 so i can't say how high you could go. someone here probably could, though.
  2. Real Grenadine is expensive. ...but actually pretty easy to find at specialty grocers (i remember being able to find it at Whole Foods), kitchen stores like Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table, and all over the internets. it's not necessarily cheaper to make yourself if you have a good local source, but way more satisfying (plus you can make it to your own taste). i've had the Stirrings. it was way better than food-colored sugar syrup, but not as good as the stuff i made myself. it was more expensive to buy the pomegranates i had to juice to make my own though (but only by $2-3).
  3. hmm... i add some to all of my syrups to prevent re-crystallization and add texture - always at 2:1::sugar:water. i have noticed a slight flavor from it, but rather than think it was off-putting, i think it is rather nice - maybe malty and smooth. the syrups are think, but i never have trouble pouring (from a syrup pourer) or mixing them. i wholeheartedly agree with the demerara/sazerac comment above.
  4. yeah... i read in a article on tequila (or maybe it was pisco... don't remember where) that the spouts prevent the bottle from being refilled and resold either as a full bottle or in bars that want to cut costs by replacing with rotgut. i've never been able to get the annoying things out. i bet their super annoying to pros who want to put speed pourers in.
  5. 80 even... you get to a lot of these by working through Dr. Cocktail's Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails and Wondrich's Imbibe! there is a fair amount of repetition, but the bases are covered. sometimes simple substitutions/additions drastically change a drink, though. a toddy and a skin might look like the same drink, but that lemon peel makes the difference for me. drop the toddy if you drop one. dying drink: manhatten with a great rye and punt e mes. i can't think of many things that are more satisfying.
  6. very nice bottles, but i've given up on bottles with speed-pourer type tops for any of my syrups. they clog after 2 or 3 pours (it's the little tube that's supposed to let air in that gets stopped up) and cleaning them is a pain. instead, i use syrup pourers -- the kind normally used for maple/corn syrup. they aren't too expensive, you can easily find them (Target), they pour fast, don't clog easily, and are painless and fast to clean. need more than 12?
  7. um... so simple, but it should be mentioned at least: the smash. 1.5 oz booze of your choice (bourbon and rye are great, a tasty white rum is perfect -- love flor de cana white in this) simple syrup to taste (~tsp, a good gum syrup with demarara is best) mint fizzy water muddle mint with booze and syrup. add ice. top with fizzy water. give the garnish bunch of mint a good wump. sip with short straw.
  8. Oh... I feel your pain. I just moved to CA from Pittsburgh. Going to the border wasn't even an option for me. I just had to deal with the PA LCB. Often I checked out their website inventory to see if there was a local store with Overholt or WT101, and then went there to buy 2-3 bottles (Beam Rye is ok, but my least favorite of the readily available ryes). Here in CA, the local grocery store has Beam, Overholt, WT101 and both Rittenhouse 80 and 100 -- choice bliss. For me, I just like having one of the 100 proofs and then either Overholt or Rittenhouse 80 available. They're cheap and ta
  9. don't underestimate quality of eggs as a factor, either. i was buying normal big-brand grocery store eggs (from who knows where and who knows how old) and having a hell of a time getting anything but the smallest bit of foam. recently, i started getting locally produced eggs and, without changing my technique at all (dry-shake with spring, etc.), i can consistently get a ton of foam. also, the local eggs tend to be smaller, which might be a factor. i wish i knew what it was about these eggs that makes them so much better for meringue. i've even let them get pretty old in my fridge and they
  10. when the weather gets cold, i start to crave a whiskey skin. use a good islay and the steam coming off the mug makes the whole house smell like a salty breeze coming off the sea (or iodine, as my wife insists). also, mulled apple cider (the brown non-alcoholic kind that comes in gallon milk jugs that you can get all over the east coast), with a generous shot of homemade rock and rye. why can't you get cider on the west coast (just moved there)?
  11. yeah... i just saw it on the shelf, too, and was tempted until i saw the price. there's a review at drinkhacker. it's made by Beam, who also makes Old Overholt (and, of course, Beam Rye). the reviewer liked it, but for $48/750ml i haven't been able to justify making the purchase. Old Overholt (at $16/750ml) works just fine for me or Baby Saz. if i come across it at a bar, i might try it out. interestingly, the review says a (ri)2 and (ri)3 are on the way. stupid name that seems to be going for "hot and edgy", but that doesn't mean it's not a good whiskey. anyone with personal experienc
  12. yeah... some of that Verpooten story seems questionable, but avocados made the trip from Central America (and Mexico) to the Caribbean right around the same time as the Dutch were colonizing there (and in Suriname and Brazil) in the early 17th century. they most definitely would have come in contact with the fruit by 1654. i'll do a little more research and see what i can find (i'm taking a graduate seminar on peasant rebellion in Latin America right now). still no credible sources that say there was a avocado drink, alcoholic or not.
  13. seems like the avocado story may be true. according to the Verpoorten company, Eugen Verpoorten invented the company's eggnog recipe in 1876, based on generations of Dutch recipes and originally on a drink the Dutch invented by adding alcohol to an avocado drink made by Tupi Guarani Indians in what is now Brazil (and maybe Suriname Guyana, etc.). its all right here:http://www.verpoorten.de/C1256CEF0045B53A/...5KTKBB273MSEREN. i'll ask my Latin American history professor if he's ever heard of an avacado drink (he studies indigenous South American populations), but it looks legit on the surface
  14. i wasn't saying that the origins of the words for lawyer (abogado) came from the Nahuatl word for avocado, but the mishearing and association of the Nahuatl word with the spanish word for lawyer... yes... but the path from ahuacatl to avocado (and aguacate, or the portuguese abacate) was serpentine and doubled back on itself a few times. in the literature of the time there are many spellings and variations (seems europeans didn't exactly know what to call the green pear-shaped fruit), some of which are homonyms for the spanish word for lawyer: abogado (which i'm sure came from the latin).
  15. well the origin of the word avocado is the Nahuatl word ahuacatl, meaning testicle. through all sorts of mishearing and mistranslation it became the Spanish word for lawyer: abogado. and eventually avocado (and sometimes avocado-pear). so, it's not a stretch to think that advocaat would refer to the avocado. however, it's also true that native populations didn't have a way to distill until the Europeans came, so any sort of avocado-alcohol beverage wouldn't be traditional. many of the native peoples (Inca, Nahuatl, and i believe Aztec) considered the avocado an aphrodisiac (it does look li
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