Jump to content

eje

eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • Content count

    4,361
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by eje

  1. Is anyone familiar with Cocchi's Aperitivo Americano? Aperitivo Americano It has been staring at me from the shelf of the liquor store for a while now. Cocchi also makes an excellent red wine based "Barolo Chinato" digestiv, so I knew it would probably be good. Didn't know what I might do with it, though. However, when I read a description of it comparing it to Lillet, I began to wonder if it might be more like the original Lillet, pre-80s reformulation. It does have very similar flavors to Lillet Blanc. A much stronger quinine/bitter note, though. While it is more than enjoyable on its own, I'm definitely going to give it a try in some cocktail recipes that call for Lillet. Anyone have ideas why it might be called "Americano"? Googling, I see Gancia also makes an "Americano". However, it is bright red, like Campari.
  2. LindyCat, I just noticed you said you made your own grenadine. I love grenadine and pomegranate; but, understand many grenadines don't even involve them. How do you make your own? Thanks! Erik
  3. I've been looking for an excuse to buy some Campari, ever since seeing Bill Murray's Campari swilling Cousteau-a-like in "The Life Aquatic". Well, I've actually been looking for an excuse to buy some Italian bitter liqueur for quite a bit longer than that. In any case, the new Cocktailian column by Gary Regan contains a tasty looking recipe for something he calls the Romanza, so I have purchased some Campari. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...1.DTL&type=wine Now I'm looking for some other eGullet tested recipes using Campari. Please suggest your favorites. --------- Romanza Adapted from a recipe by bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout at Pesce restaurant in San Francisco. INGREDIENTS: 1 3/4 ounces Campari 1 1/4 ounces Grand Marnier 1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice 1 orange twist, for garnish INSTRUCTIONS: Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice. Pour in Campari, Grand Marnier and grapefruit juice. Shake for approximately 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add the garnish.
  4. eje

    Corpse Revivers

    When I explain Corpse Revivers to people, I usually say they were more of a class of drinks from the 19th Century than a specific drink. Drinks for, "the morning after the night before," to quote McElhone in "Barflies and Cocktails". But I find scant evidence of Corpse Revivers in any of the pre-prohibition cocktail books I have at hand. To the best of my knowlege there are about four known Corpse Revivers. 1) Vermouth, Apple Brandy, Grape Brandy 2) Gin, Kina Lillet, Cointreau, Lemon, Absinthe 2a) Gin, Swedish Punsch, Cointreau, Lemon, Absinthe 2b) Absinthe, Champagne (or when attributed to Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon.) Does anyone have pre "Savoy Cocktail Book" or "The Official Mixer's Manual" sources for these drinks? 2a) may have been a 20th Century innovation of Trader Vic. 2b) is usually attributed to Frank Meier at the Ritz Paris. Anyone got any solid ideas for 1 or 2? Is No. 2 a Harry Craddock drink? He did love using the Cointreau.
  5. [Moderator note: This topic became too large for our servers to handle, so we've divided it up; the earlier parts are here: Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2006–2007) and Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2007–2008)] Someone asked me, "What's up with the Savoy topic?" The short answer is, I'm taking a half time break. I've made approximately 450 out of the 900 or so cocktail in the book and the Savoy and I need some time apart. The longer answer is, this year I'm interested in accumulating a bit more real world experience in cocktail making. It's fun and interesting to make the cocktails, do the research, and publish them online. But after a while, I've gotten an urge to somehow apply this knowledge to some practical exercise. To that end, I've been helping Alembic Bar relaunch their monthly Savoy Cocktail Book nights. Follow the Alembic Blog for dates, details and information. The events are a blast and it's pretty crazy to see what drinks people will pick when confronted with a whole book of cocktails to choose from. Death & Co has 75 cocktails on their list? Piffle, we've got 900 on Savoy Night! Of course, Death & Co has 75 good cocktails... In addition, I've somehow convinced a bartender friend that I'm a good gamble and will be working as a bartender for him a night a week. I'm pretty excited about this as well, as it will scratch my itch to get back into the restaurant industry in some way, shape, or form. Not to mention a chance to learn from some of San Francisco's most talented bartenders. So there we are. I hope your New Year is as exciting and promising as mine! The Stomp will be back, never fear!
  6. I've made my way through "Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail" and one of the articles I found most interesting was Darcy O'Neil's, "The Definitive Guide to Simple Syrup". Some basic facts, as I understand them, from the article. I'm not a chemist, so feel free to correct what I get wrong. Simple Syrup (Gomme) is made by dissolving some quantity of sugar (sucrose) in water. The most basic is made by dissolving one part sucrose in one part water. Sucrose is a disaccharide, meaning it is a complex sugar made up of 2 molecules of simple sugars. Sucrose is made up of one molecule of Glucose bound to one molecule of Fructose. When Sucrose is dissolved in water, some sucrose molecules break down into their component simple sugars. The more energy which is applied to the dissolving of sucrose, the more molecules of the complex sugar which will break down into their component simple sugars. If you simmer Sucrose in water for an half an hour or so the majority of Sucrose molecules will have been broken down into Glucose and Fructose and you will have what is called an "Invert Sugar". Invert Sugars have significantly different physical and taste properties from Complex Sugars. For drink making the most important thing is consistency. Since I grew up in the 60s and 70s, and started cooking in the 80s, I inevitably was told "Refined Sugar is Bad". Initially, this made me try to increase the amount of brown sugar in my cooking. I have since discovered that brown sugar is nothing but refined sugar with some portion of its molasses mixed back in, so I was not avoiding refined sugar at all by using it! Lately, I have been taken with a product called Washed Raw Sugar. It is an amber colored free flowing large crystal sugar product which is made from unrefined cane syrup. In England it is called Turbinado. Demerara is the fanciest turbinado style sugar. I will also note that C & H's Washed Raw Sugar is their only product which does not pass through bone char filters made from the carbonized cattle skeletons. My method is to combine one cup of Washed Raw Sugar with one cup of water. I then bring it to a bare simmer, remove from heat, and stir until all the crystals dissolve. At this point I cool it to room temperature, pour into a clean sealable jar, and refridgerate. As you can see this makes an amber colored slightly viscous syrup. The only variations I make with any consistency are a lemon zest infused syrup for lemonade or my non-traditional juleps and a ginger infused syrup for cocktails. To make these, I simply add the ingredients to the cooling syrup, and then strain before refridgerating. What is your simple syrup method? Have you discovered any exciting or useful simple syrup infusions? Added original author attribution.
  7. We've talked about a bar's Pour Costs before, however, much has been made recently of the current high cost of cocktails in larger cities around the globe. I was wondering if anyone has ever undertaken research as to what cocktails would have cost in the past, adjusted for inflation and cost of living. It doesn't really make sense to me that cocktails should cost relatively more now, as almost all of the typical ingredients are easier to get, cheaper, and more consistently available. I remember my grandparents talking about the one time they received a gift of a box of oranges during the depression. They referred to it like they had been given a box of gold. It also seems unlikely that things like fresh lemons, oranges, and limes would even have been available year 'round until relatively recently. I don't believe conveniences like frozen concentrated juices were even invented until the 1940s. edit - add link to previous 'pour cost' topic.
  8. I've always nominally preferred the Naranja tins to the Koriko for one handed shaking. The diameter is slightly smaller. They still carry them at Umamimart. Umamimart Barware
  9. eje

    Creme Yvette

    Now that the Cooper Creme Yvette is available again, I thought I might start some discussion. How are people enjoying it? New Inventions with the product? Aside from a couple Pousse Cafes and the Ping Pong, what's good with Creme Yvette?
  10. Koriko tins are the usual size for metal tin sets, the large is 28oz and the smaller 18oz. You can definitely shake two modest size drinks in them, if you need to.
  11. Five drinks that bartenders just hate to make "Being in the hospitality industry, bartenders don't like to grumble. But there are certain drinks they hate to make." Lemon Drop, Manhattan, Cosmo, Mojito, and "another bar's specialty cocktails"? I can see being sick of making all those Lemon Drops and Cosmos, and that Mojitos are a bit of a pain. But, if you're a bartender and sick of making Manhattans or learning new drinks, it seems like maybe you're in the wrong field... Are there any drinks that spark fear or hatred in your spleen? Or, on the other hand, is there a drink order that brings a smile to your face and cheer to your heart?
  12. eje

    Unicum vs. Zwack

    From what was reported to me at Portland Cocktail Week, yes, Unicum will be reintroduced into the US some time in the near future, along with the plum flavored version.
  13. eje

    Lillet

    This morning, I sent a query to Jared Brown (of Mixellany fame) regarding Lillet, Craddock, and the US. In the message, I made the quip, "I guess Craddock was not just the world's largest Hercules and Caperitif fan at the time, but maybe the world's first Lillet Brand Ambassador." He replied, "Truer than you realize. Craddock appeared in 1930s ads for Lillet in a UK trade magazine."
  14. eje

    Amari

    I'm not quite sure it is quite that bad, but it does seem like a lot of importers with dollar signs in their eyes are looking rather hard to find the next Fernet. I recently tried a wine based beverage similar in flavor profile to Campari which Haus Alpenz is hoping to bring in, which was quite nice. Alpenz also had another very rooty Alpine Amaro which I quite enjoyed. A friend brought some Braulio and Braulio reserve from Italy, a very nice herbal Alpine Amaro. I understand it may be imported soon by Domaine Select. I don't think any of these will be the next Fernet, but they were definitely a cut above the typical commercial Amaros.
  15. eje

    Amari

    Regarding storage, generally, I only refrigerate wine based beverages. I've never had a commercial neutral spirits based amaro 'spoil'. I assume their flavor does change or evolve as they age, especially if they are infusion based, as most amaros are.
  16. eje

    Lillet

    Also, interestingly, though I have identified sources for many of the recipes in the Savoy Cocktail Book, (Ensslin, Thomas, McElhone, Judge Jr, etc.) up to now, none of the Kina Lillet/Lillet recipes have yet been identified as coming from any other source.
  17. eje

    Lillet

    Out of curiousity, this morning I took a look through Hugo Ensslin's "Recipes for Mixed Drinks", one of the last influential cocktail books published before prohibition in the US. No mention of Kina Lillet/Lillet at all. Plenty of Dubonnet and even some obscure bitters like Calisaya, but not a peep about Lillet. On the other hand, then, as now, brand name ingredients in a cocktail book were generally more of an indication of an advertising or sponsorship deal with the author or publisher, than anything else.
  18. eje

    Lillet

    Yeah, I wish I knew where and when the Corpse Reviver No. 2 was created. I'm pretty sure it is a Craddock original, but I don't know if anyone knows if it was something he made in the US or if he invented it after moving to England. As far as a survey of pre-prohibition cocktail books in the US, looking for Lillet, that's an interesting idea. Perhaps one that Greg Boehm or Cocktail Kingdom might have the resources to undertake! In general, I always think of one of the things that happened during prohibition was that American bartenders in exile started mixing drinks with a wider palate of European liqueurs. For me, the quote about English Lillet suggested the opposite. That the version in France was sweeter and more bitter than that sold in England. "In France we need the kina to have a little more substance and to be a little sweeter in order to withstand the mixtures that consumers unfortunately require to consume our product, because it is quite obvious that a gourmet would never blend our Kina with anything; in England we are told that our Kina is drunk with gin as a cocktail."
  19. eje

    Lillet

    Very nice frogprincesse, thank you for reporting! How do you think the "lillet dry type canadien" relates to the previous quote about availability of these varieties of Lillet: "Kina-Lillet Apéritif", "Français", "Dry Export" or "English-style Lillet"? My question remains: What version of Lillet would have been available in America before prohibition and in England during prohibition?
  20. It looks like I was using the tasting glasses from Greenwood Ridge, which are fairly small wine glasses. The Cremant de Bourgogne Rose I used is not super dry, despite being called a brut. I think definitely quite a bit more champagne than 1.5 oz, probably at least 3.
  21. Tried three white negroni variations last night using the PDT ratio as a starting point. 2 oz Plymouth Gin 3/4 oz Lillet Blanc 1/2 oz Suze 2 oz Plymouth Gin 3/4 oz Dolin Blanc 1/2 oz Salers 2 oz Plymouth Gin 3/4 oz Tempus Fugit Kina l'Avinion d'Or 1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Grand Classico Bitter I am gradually coming to the conclusion that either my Suze is tired, or I just don't like it. The original was my least favorite of the bunch. Second was a nice feature for the Saler's and a tasty cocktail. The Third was the most 'negroni' of the three, adding the herbal accents of the Gran Classico. Guests were about 50-50 between it and a classic negroni.
  22. eje

    Lillet

    Check Brinza's comment above. Another source of information I've found interesting is this seemingly well researched article originally from 'Flavors of France': Lillet: the classic Bordelais aperitif
  23. eje

    Lillet

    To the best of my knowledge, the timeline from the lillet website is accurate: 1872 Company founded 1887 Lillet formula created 1895 Lillet launched in Bordeaux 1895 In the US and West Indies "Lillet Export Double Quinine" marketed as a tonic wine 1909 Two products available in Europe, Kina Lillet and Sauternes Lillet 1920 "Lillet Dry" created and introduced in England, "to suit English tastes, especially when mixed with gin." 1962 Lillet Rouge created 1985-86 Lillet modernized its manufacturing facilities and Lillet Blanc reformulated, "...fresher, fruitier, less syrupy, less bitter... The Lillet company has no information or will not talk about the "LIllet Export Double Quinine", Kina Lillet or any other product, maintaining Lillet Blanc is the only white lillet they have produced. They also maintain no other bittering agent than Quinine has ever been used in their products, making Cocchi Americano's gentian-herb flavors a bit far afield from the much more tame Lillet. Others have tasted white lillet samples vintage pre-1985 and said they were nearly identical to modern Lillet Blanc. However, if you read David Embury (circa 1948), he talks about two versions of white Lillet being available in the US, "Kina Lillet" and "Lillet Vermouth", and espouses only using "Lillet Vermouth" for cocktails, as the other is too bitter and syrupy. My guess is some time between 1948 and 1986 the more bitter and syrupy version of lillet was discontinued and the company standardized on the Lillet Dry it had been marketing in England. Note, the company does still occasionally produce the delicious vintage dated Reserve Jean de Lillet, though to me, that product is no more perceptibly bitter than Lillet Blanc. I believe this product is the descendent of the 'Sauterne Lillet' mentioned in the timeline.
  24. eje

    An Ideal Negroni

    Hadn't noticed the Old Pal recipe in the appendix for Barflies and Cocktails, thanks for pointing that out: Uh, wait, Adam: "Eyetalian Vermouth"? Anyway, I quite enjoy the idea that an Old Pal made with Rye and Gran Classico is doubly transgressive for the true cocktail geek. If only I could do something about the Dry Vermouth. Imbue or Sutton Cellars, perhaps? Regarding the historic character of Canadian Whisky, Darcy O'Neil has published some articles. I suspect it was more like the juice Whiskey Pig and some of the other "negotiants" are currently selling as "Rye", than the "Canadian Club" of today.
  25. eje

    An Ideal Negroni

    Interesting. Well, I can tell you that P.G. Duffy, who tends to be quite anal about reproducing recipes exactly from their earlier sources, calls for Rye Whiskey in the "Old Pal" Cocktail.
×