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Jamie B

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    Vancouver, BC
  1. Jamie B

    All About Bitters (Part 1)

    I haven't used eGullet in years, so let's see if this works: The Pur filter system has enabled me to make my best bitters ever, while cutting down my labour by hours. Not only does it do a fantastic job of filtering the final product without any further sedimentation, but I feel that it better integrates flavours. Erik mentioned that my system may work because I'm making my bitters by blending individual tinctures, but I don't actually filter my bitters until the batch has been blended to the flavour profile that I'm trying to achieve. In other words, I don't actually use the Pur until my final filtration (at $8/filter with only 5 or so uses in this fashion it wouldn't be economically viable to use the Pur every time). My pre-blended filtrations are quickly done with layers of cheesecloth. As for those who think that a tiny little carbon water filter is going to strip away all flavour, be aware that every distillery filters before bottling. A lot. Woodford Reserve, for example, puts its whiskey through 40 filters. You can also buy crappy Kangaroo filters (~$30) whose purpose is to make bad booze taste better (I haven't tried it so I don't know if it works), so we know that a carbon filter won't strip much colour or flavour. So I say give it a shot. It works great for me (I can't imagine doing it any other way now). If you're in San Francisco go to Bourbon & Branch to taste my bitters or if you're in NY go to Death & Co. I think you'll find that they have a TON of flavor and don't have a lot of that "edge" that you can find in some homemade bitters. I purchased my Pur on sale at Amazon and I think it cost something like $25 including 5 filters. Not a bad deal at all. Jamie Boudreau
  2. Jamie B

    Gin Lane -- NYC

    Had the Irish Blonde and it was crap. The list said Reagan's orange bitters and they were using Stirrings. Never a jigger was in sight (not necessarily bad), the bartender never tested my drink, the pours weren't fluid and the bartender seemed like a fish out of water. Anastasia and Jarod trained the staff (I think) but when I mentioned their names all I got was a blank stare. The food was great! The room is beautiful (as were the people). When did we start putting pineapple juice in a Singapore Sling?!?!
  3. Jamie B

    Cocktails in the Country

    I learned that my liver is capable of handling huge amounts of alcohol over two days and little sleep. Thank God I emulsified my egg white BEFORE I shook it in my strainer.......
  4. Jamie B

    Cocktail 200

    For me it's got to be the Martinez. Thank you Jerry.
  5. I can't see how the LDB could make Moonshine change it's name, given the double meaning. At the very worst, all they would have to do is put a space in the appropriate spot, as opposed to rebranding.
  6. The drink that I hate to make is the chocolate "martini". It is an unrational hatred, true, but every time I make this drink with the dreaded "martini" attached to it, I can't help but think that I should be in the dessert section and not the bar. I can't help but shake my head (internally) whenever someone orders this liquid dessert right before enjoying an eight course meal. And of course there is the cosmo. I like to say that "every time someone orders a cosmo, an angel rips off his wings." It stuns me when people walk into a bar with an interesting cocktail program and refuse to look at the menu placed in front of them and order the same old boring, indistinct drink that you can get at any bar in the world. Adventure and imagination do truly seem to be lacking at times. On the other hand, whenever someone orders a Widow's Kiss, Pegu Club or Aviation (oh my), it makes me smile, as I know balance is key, and a challenge awaits.
  7. Jamie B

    Jiggers, spoons and Measures

    I agree....especially with smaller measures (1/4 oz, etc). Unfortunately I did not find it practical at work, so I only use it when perfecting recipes.
  8. A drink we've done in the past is the Stearns cocktail (a twist on the Vesper) 2 oz gin, 1 oz vodka, splash of Pineau du Charentes (or Lillet if not available) and an orange twist (I like to add orange bitters). Perhaps play around with the ratios in order to show off the vodka. Good luck!
  9. I completely agree with this statement, and if I can make someone interested in ordering an Aviation by putting "citrus and juniper infused vodka" instead of "gin" on my cocktail menu, then everyone wins. I win by turning people on to well crafted cocktails regardless of their spirit base, and the guest wins by expanding their horizons. I do find, however, that one can not use a overly junipered gin whilst doing this, or the experiment fails. A good beginners gin like South or Van Gogh, which are both heavy on the citrus component work well. The cocktail in question should be considered as well. I find a gin mint daisy is a good cocktail to use to convert the uninitiated.
  10. I too, sometimes come across difficulties in selling things like gin, vermouth etc. I find that selling gin as citrus and juniper infused vodka works, as well as explaining that vermouth is just fortified wine, and as people don't like all wines they won't like all vermouths, but there are good vermouths out there (Vya, Cinzanno Rosso, Noilly Pratt...) and they may like those. Push on, let people be aware that cocktails don't have to be layers of sweetness, merely substitutes for dessert, but a beverage that can stimulate the mind and palate.
  11. Jamie B

    Hot Drinks & Winter Warmers

    I make a heated drink with rye, ginger of the indies liqueur, apple juice, and orange bitters and lemon twist garnish that always get great results when someone is sick or cold from the weather. I also make a Moroccan mint tea, with spiced rum, two drops of absinthe, lemon, mint, star anise, cinnamon stick, tsp simple syrup and hot water.
  12. Jamie B

    Quality Bars in Vegas?

    I realize that this may be oxymoronic, but are there any "real" cocktails in Vegas? I'm going on Sunday, and have to believe that given the influx of quality dining in the city, and the number of bars, there must be at least ONE place where someone can get a drink that is either interesting or made properly, or, dare I say it, both! Any direction would be greatly appreciated, as I'm sure the concierge will be of no use.
  13. Jamie B

    Which glass?

    -- and, of course, the Cosmopolitan has to go in a 1980s period cocktail glass with a fluorescent pink stem in the shape of a lightning bolt (preferably plastic). ← You can get specialized Cosmo glasses!!!! Sign me up! And plastic no less. (As if I don't cringe enough when I see Cosmo on a drink chit) I just hoped for a larger response so that when I told my bartender that the world agreed with me, and that sours should go in stemmed-ware (even though the wrong stemmed-ware), I would have more than one person on my side. Not to belittle the weight of your opinion Samuel. It's just numbers are always more effective (well usually anyway)... I think we'll go with the Champagne flute; it looks more elegant, and people won't confuse the drinks for "martinis". On the martini note, I'm thinking of making the servers ring in a Kangaroo when they want a vodka "martini" and a Montgomery when they want a dry gin martini. Let the education of Vancouver begin!!
  14. Jamie B

    Which glass?

    Thanks for your input Samuel, I can live with that solutiion and will see if my colleague can as well. I WAS hoping to hear from a larger base of people though.........
  15. Jamie B

    Which glass?

    I think we are losing track of the original question, which was, given our limited selection of glassware, which glass is better suited, historically and practically, for a sour: our cocktail or rocks glass? We are considered one of the best restaurants in Canada, and our cocktail program is based on obscure (and not so obscure) pre-prohibition cocktails, along with some originals. We want to provide the best cocktail we can, with the limitations that we have (such as limited space for glassware, hence the limited selection) We also want to have consistency amongst our drinks (ie same glassware). As we both respect the opinions of the people in this forum (and he has met a few of you), your help is appreciated. It is also my understanding that traditionally a sour glass always had a stem, hence my stand on serving it in the closest thing that we have to a sour glass in the restaurant: the cocktail glass. The two sour drinks on the autumn drink list are: Rum Sour 2 oz Haitian rum 1 oz lemon juice tsp simple 2 dahses Fee’s aromatic bitters and Apricot Stone Sour 1.5 oz Spanish brandy .5 oz apricot brandy .5 oz each: fresh lemon & orange juice We do make other sours by request or in the other seasons menus that have egg white in them. Fizzes are served in a fizz glass, sans ice. Pisco sours are served in a Champagne flute, sans ice.