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Everything posted by MikeInSacto

  1. This one comes off as an orange-ish Manhattan. The Calisaya adds the orange flavor but with some bitterness and not much extra sugar, so it doesn't come off as cloying. 1.5 oz. rye 0.75 oz. sweet Vermouth (we usually use Vya) 0.75 oz. Calisaya 2 dashes orange bitters (I use a homemade version but the Arizone Bitters Lab Orange Sunshine works well.) Stir, with ice, strain, serve on a big ice cube. Garnish with an orange twist.
  2. OK, groan, cringe, laugh all you want, but my wife and I drink this often when it's cold and wet outside: 4 oz. milk 2 oz. half and half 0.5 - 1 oz. Frangelico 1.5 oz. brandy (Korbel or Christian Bros.) 2 heaping Tbsp. Ovaltine Stir in a mug, heat in the microwave until hot.
  3. Have been making a cocktail lately with 1-1/2 rye (Pepper's 1776), 3/4 Calisaya, 3/4 sweet vermouth (M&R), a couple of dashes of Fee's orange bitters, and an orange peel garnish. Pretty much the bitter orange Manhattan it would seem to be, but very tasty. I'd give credit to whoever came up with this, but I can't remember where I came across the recipe.
  4. Another vote for the well made Manhattan. Nothing takes the edge off of a rough day quite the way that one of these does. The Negroni would be a close second.
  5. Interesting. Is that rum with the Campari and soda on the side or are they mized?
  6. Along the lines of the rye-and-Bonal, it makes a great sub for Punt e Mes in a Red Hook.
  7. Wow. I'm uncharacteristically speechless over that one. There are no words for that... There is only one word for that: MOUSETRAP!!! (You may need to be of a certain age to get the reference....)
  8. I'm passing on this year's harvest, but I poured some of the 2010 vintage for some friends on Sunday night. It's tasting very good right now.
  9. Have been working on making a good Red Hook using the Maraska maraschino I unwittingly bought in a large format some time ago. Tonight's was perfect. 2 oz. Catoctin rye 1/2 oz. Punt e Mes 1 tsp. Maraska Stir for an extra long time before straining into a cocktail glass.
  10. I like it. As was mentioned, the categories are necessarily a bit fuzzy and this is something that you'd never get 100% agreement on. Still, it's a very solid guide for those just starting to build up their bars. I particularly like the "unique" designation. That's both a sign that you're not looking at something that will work in every cocktail and a spur to get the reader to look up the drinks that go with that particular spirit.
  11. I like a couple of dashes of the grapefruit bitters in my G&Ts. Have't tried them in much else.
  12. My wife picked up a bottle of each many years ago on a trip to Europe. The bitter is wonderful and was the first one to be emptied. The yellow is as you say, the green is something like Benedictine, and the white is a sweet berry liqueur. It would be nice to have them here.
  13. My first thought would be a Manhattan (with the Brandy Manhattan as a variation). Along the vein of Negroni variations as proposed by Sam, you could try subbing a Reposado tequila for the gin. Very different drink and one you may like a lot (or maybe not like, but it's worth a shot).
  14. I couldn't quite wrap my brain around this one, so I thought I'd try a variant with what I had on hand. Mine was: 2 oz. homemade nocino 1 oz. Korbel brandy dash Fee's grapefruit bitters dash Fee's Old Fashioned bitters Tried it first without the Old Fashioned bitters but it needed that extra edge. My nocino has a definite bitterness to it but it's not up there with Cynar. This went over well - my wife took a sip of mine and demanded one of her own. Good stuff.
  15. I've never had mine come out anything but dark brown/black, so I don't know what could have happened to your yellow batch. Were all of the batches from the same walnuts? I strained mine off the nuts a couple of weeks ago. Interestingly, the batch that came from the tree that ripens earlier was black, but clear in the sense that it wasn't cloudy. The smaller batch (from two trees that ripen a few weeks later every year) was black but cloudy. It looked like it contained a lot of suspended gunk. It doesn't taste bad, so I figure it'll settle out sooner or later. Both batches are in the basement in their non-sealed containers. They've had a good dose of syrup added but further adjustments are expected in that department.
  16. Agree strongly with the Gin-Gin Mule. You could also use the ginger ale in Horse's Necks and/or Dark and Stormy's. The rye from the Horse's Necks could go into Manhattans as well. Sazeracs seem a little advanced for gateway drinks but I guess it depends on the crowd. Maybe you could serve them on the final evening as a "graduation drink"? And I definitely have a soft spot for the Sidecar as a gateway beverage as that was my first-ever cocktail.
  17. For the record, here's a portion of the Corti Brother Summer Newsletter:
  18. Wow - I think you came up with even more than I did! My first batch was picked from the tree across the street from my house on June 12 (which is pretty late for around here). I ended up with about 16 lbs of walnuts in 5 1/2 1.75 liter bottles of vodka. A week later, I picked another 5 lbs or so from a couple of other trees in the neighborhood that always ripen later. (I think the early tree is an English walnut and the two late ones are black walnuts, but that's an uneducated guess on my part.) They're all soaking away as of now. My aim for this batch is to let it age for at least a year after straining out the nuts. I've had some indications that extending the aging period will be good for it. I'm thinking of aging some of it in unsealed containers to promote some oxidation. I guess we'll see what happens...
  19. Man, I could swear I've seen it there several times (and considered buying it myself). I'll make it a point to check in there next weekend and find out for sure. (BTW, great store, isn't it?)
  20. I believe that Corti Brothers in Sacramento has carried it for quite some time now. I'll doublecheck next time I'm there.
  21. Last night, it was a variation of Gary Regan's version of the Scofflaw: 2 oz. rye (Russell's Reserve) 1 oz. dry vermouth (I was out of this, so in went Lillet Blanc) 1/4 oz. lemon juice 1/2 oz. grenadine (homemade, just a touch shy of the 1/2 oz. mark) 2 dashes orange bitters Liked it a lot.
  22. If you have a fireplace, they make handy holders for those long fireplace matches. Other than that, I got nothin'.
  23. We were served a complimentary "Laphroiag Project" at the Shady Lady here in Sacto. The bartender there mentioned that it came from Bourbon and Branch and according to their blog, it's as follows: 1 oz Green Chartreuse .5 oz Laphroaig Quarter Cask .5 oz Luxardo Maraschino .25 oz Yellow Chartreuse 1 oz fresh lemon juice 2 dashes Fee's Peach Bitters Combine all ingredients into mixing tin and shake vigorously. Double-strain over the rocks into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. I'm not a huge fan of Laphroaig but this was very good.
  24. If pretty much everyone liked the cocktails, then the evening was a success. Thanks for this thread - you've provided a lot of really detailed information for any of us amateurs who find ourselves in a similar situation.
  25. Thanks for that reply - I knew of the tradition of making walnut liqueurs, but I don't know much about the variety and how they're used in meals in Europe. Gotta get myself to the Alps, I guess!
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