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  1. my wife took while we were at the Touzan Bar, Kyoto Hyatt Regency, on January 1st of this year.There's nothing particularly unique about the video (other than some of our distracting background chatter...sorry about that), though it does showcase the Japanese bartending style pretty well. If you jump ahead to the 5:11 mark there's also a good example of the hard shake. Excellent bar, by the way.
  2. Robert Hess created a drink called the Trident that's on the menu at Seattle's Zig Zag Café, using Cynar, aquavit, sherry, and peach bitters. It's pretty good.
  3. Dry Fly Distilling, in Spokane, WA, claims to make their own neutral spirits from Washington-grown wheat. I've tasted a locally-made grape-based very-high-proof distillate down in the Willamette Valley, Oregon (used by a winemaker to fortify his madeira-like product) that was surprisingly drinkable even at nose-hair-curling strength. Would make an interesting base for some other spirit, I think. I don't know the proof, but seem to recall it was something in the 80% ABV range. I didn't think to ask if it was pot- or column-distilled.
  4. That seemed a bit odd to me too. Maybe he meant that there's 40% more thermal capacity in a Kold-Draft 1.25"x1.25" cube than in a normal average (1" x 1" ?) ice-machine cube. Or something like that. The math doesn't work out for that particular example, but perhaps that's what's intended. Anyway, something I've always wondered; does the Kold-Draft Ice Butler -- the only model that I could conceivably someday find an excuse to buy for home use -- produce the same 1.25x1.25 cubes as the larger models? On K-D's site, the links to their other machines all have info about the different sizes and shapes; the Ice Butler page contains no such linked information. Anyone know offhand? Also, I've heard that there are even larger, custom screens available, but that may be an error of understanding on my part. Anyone know?
  5. Well, ok, I kid. But they really do want to turn it into something great. It was pretty creaky in its old format, having grown form a quick what-do-I-mix site to an archive of cocktail lore, and they want to show it off. ← That should be wonderful, shame they had to take the old version offline while updating it though ← I still don't see this up on the regular site -- could just be buried -- but it's prominently featured on the Esquire mobile site (which is also available through a desktop browser), specifically here: http://m.esquire.com/item.jsp?key=dd_we&start=0 Not quite as full-featured or content-complete as the original, but at least it has the recipes. Has the added advantage of being quite fast, since it's intended for low-bandwidth mobile phones.
  6. I was there too (really sorry Dave, didn't manage to meet you). I sent a bunch of my recipe cards, brochures, and sample bottles -- I think I ended up with half a case of the St. Germaine minis, not to mention several 750mL bottles of things -- home via UPS. Once I get those, I should have the mystery third Applejack cocktail noted somewhere. It was served in a champagne flute, I remember that much. The previous two drinks were HUGE. I should extend an additional thanks to Chad and Christy not only for hosting the seminar, but also for making sure I got a bottle of the Laird's Bonded later since I'd mentioned how hard it was to get in Washington state.
  7. Nothing is sacred and I would add whatever you think sounds good! Both of those berries would be excellent. I'd personally suggest muddling them with the mint, lime juice (which you may want to cut back just a wee bit to let the berry flavor through) and sugar, so that they get pulped and release all their juices. It's even more important to strain the mixture into the glass at that point -- the last thing anyone wants is a bunch of pulped blueberry skins (and mint leaves) stuck to their teeth or blocking their straw!
  8. This isn't an unusual mojito recipe by any means; I mostly just choose ingredients carefully and make sure not to make it too sweet. 2 oz añejo rum (I use Appleton V/X) 1/2 oz fresh lime juice scant 1 tsp demerara sugar 6-8 spearmint leaves Lemon Hart 151 Demerara rum soda water garnish: mint sprig Place mint leaves in the bottom of a sturdy mixing glass (or shaker). Add sugar and lime juice. Muddle the leaves gently against the bottom/side of glass; the goal is to squeeze out some essence, and let the rough sugar abrade the leaves a bit, but not to shred them. Add the rum and stir briefly to combine. Remove the mint leaves. Add ice to shaker/glass and shake for ~10 seconds. Strain into chilled collins-style glass. Add ice cubes -- the bigger the better. Drop in one of the squeezed-out lime shells. Top with an ounce or so of soda water. Float a couple of teaspoons of Demerara 151 on the top by pouring over the back of a spoon. Add a mint sprig and straw; enjoy. Actually, the size glasses we have are perfect for making this a 1.5x recipe (3 oz rum, 3/4 oz lime juice, 1.5 tsp sugar, etc.), but the standard size drink is what I have listed. I've found prefer the añejo rums to silver/white (unaged), however, be careful, as "gold" rums contain sugar and would make this way, way too sweet. Rather than using generic soda water, it might be worthwhile experimenting with one of the Dry Soda products for a flavor twist, though it's possible the flavors would be overwhelmed by the rum and lime. If trying those, though, I'd reduce the granulated sugar a bit. I think any sort of other normally-sweetened soda would be too much. [edit: fixed typos]
  9. Pink Gin background and recipe here. Angostura bitters and gin in a glass. Nothing could be simpler. Make it with something zingy [Junipero, etc.] for a real kick.
  10. I've been really lame about posting notes to this thread lately -- I blame drinking. Anyway, lately I've had the opportunity to try: Blackwood's Vintage Dry Love it as a martini gin. Has a lot of potential as a mixer, but not as a 1:1 drop-in for most traditional things. Needs some thought, and I've been experimenting, but since I only have 1 bottle and it's hard to come by, I've been a little conservative and have not developed any great invention yet Makes a fantastic G&T with Fever Tree Tonic; looking forward to trying it with Q as well. Rogue Spirits Spruce Gin First try tonight. Damn good. Again, not sure about mixing it yet; the cucumber, tangerine, and other notes are different enough that it's probably also not always a good 1:1 sub for "London dry gin" in many things. Might make an interesting and edgier variation on Hendricks in some drinks. Aviation Mixed feelings on this one. Damn good in an Improved Holland Gin Cocktail -- thank you David Wondrich for bringing the drink to my attention in your Killer Cocktails book -- but it's not particularly great otherwise. In my opinion of course. Even in its namesake cocktail, it falls flat; I did a blind tasting against Tanqueray and Bellringer and it failed badly, at least with my wife (and with me, though I knew which was which). Bellringer Bears mention not because it's a premium gin -- it's not -- but because it has become my "well" gin for mixed drinks after seeing Murray at Zig Zag in Seattle use it for such a purpose. It's more or less a good inexpensive replacement for Tanqueray in anything where gin nuances are otherwise lost; it's a decent standalone, but I'd never crave it. Bluecoat Thanks to Murray (again), I got to try this. Excellent, if a bit tame. I would use this to introduce non-gin-drinkers to gin martinis, much in the same way that Plymouth, Martin Miller's, and Van Gogh are good for that. Bulldog Ruff ruff!! I think I like it, but have been reluctant to delve too far into my one bottle. Kinda spicy, in a good way. Cricket Club An Oregon gin, this is very coriander-forward (interesting to compare to Sarticious, which is cilantro-forward...) Still developing an opinion. The juniper seems a bit muted. Probably bears developing unique recipes.
  11. Do tell ! Looks great--I have the same martini glasses ← The recipe and reason for the name is over here -- it's a mix of Plymouth gin, Aperol, Cointreau, Maraschino, orange bitters, and the orange twist.
  12. That sounds really good, and as it happens I have all of the ingredients in the drinks cupboard, but no oranges. (Well, I have Luxardo maraschino.) Do you suppose this is worth making with a substitution of lemon peel for orange, or should I just wait till I can get an orange? ← I'd suggest getting an orange; the fresh orange oils really complement the Aperol and Cointreau in this one.
  13. We've recently been drinking something I call the Lapin Agile (or Nimble Rabbit for the Francophobes in the crowd...) It started life as a differently-proportioned version of Chuck Taggart's Hoskins Cocktail. The new proportions for the Hoskins I was given (by Murray at Zig Zag in Seattle) are 2.5 oz Plymouth gin, 1/8 oz each of Torani Amer, Cointreau, and Luxardo (or Maraska) Maraschino, dash of orange bitters, stir w/ ice and strain, finish with orange twist. We tried both the original and the variation at home (both with and without flaming the orange peel), and while I think that Chuck's shows off the Torani Amer much better -- as it was designed to do -- I think I prefer Murray's version. Anyway, I wanted to use some Aperol in place of the Torani Amer, and started tweaking proportions a bit. This is the current iteration: Lapin Agile 2-1/4 oz Plymouth gin 1/4 oz Aperol 1/4 oz Cointreau 1/8 oz Maraschino liqueur (I used Maraska) 2 dashes ROB#6 (have tried w/ both Fee and Bitter Truth as well -- for this, I'd suggest the Regan's) Stir with ice in chilled mixing glass, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Use a channel knife to cut a long orange twist directly over the drink for maximum orange oils, and then garnish with the twist. The drink gets its name from the color of the walls at the Montmartre, Paris, cabaret Lapin Agile. I have a picture of my wife outside of the cabaret on a rainy afternoon and the color of the drink matches my memory of the walls almost exactly. I'll try to post a pic of the cocktail in the next few days.
  14. I made some Attys for us last night, using Jade Edouard 72 Absinthe, Benoit Serres Liqueur de Violette, Cascade Mountain gin, and Noilly Prat vermouth (thought about using Vya, but it seemed like it would overpower everything). It was OK. I liked it, LMF didn't so much. I think I need to use a different gin, work on proportions, or something else. I added a dash of ROB#6 to LMF's, which helded a little, bit it still needs a little adjustment. (Picture taken prior to addition of lemon twist.)
  15. Those were technically lime-pineapple caipirinhas, I guess; the pineapple was very sweet and mild, so I wanted a little of the tartness of lime as well. 1/4 lime, cut into small wedges 4-5 chunks of fresh pineapple 1 Tablespoon Demerara sugar 3 ounces cachaça (I happened to use Pirassununga Cachaça 51) Muddled the limes and sugar in a mixing glass, add pineapple and muddle a very little more (pineapple just turns to a pulp if you muddle it too much). Add crushed ice and cachaça, stir thoroughly. Pour contents into old-fashioned-style glass. The most traditional caipirinha would leave out the pineapple and have twice the lime. I've done this with blueberries and strawberries too -- mmmmm!
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