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TallDrinkOfWater

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Everything posted by TallDrinkOfWater

  1. TallDrinkOfWater

    Cocktail Software, Apps, & Databases

    Has anyone found a really good solution to keeping track of cocktail recipes, notes, images, ingredients, and the like? I've taken to simply storing things as text files, or appropriately-tagged photos, and letting my computer's desktop search find and sort for me, but that's not ideal. There are any number of recipe applications that I could probably use, but I wouldn't know where to start. I could also use one of several applications that allows for relatively free-form data entry (including multimedia), but those might be overkill and I'm not sure they're the best choice anyway. A web-enabled system has some appeal -- cocktaildb.com is a good template for that -- but doesn't solve the problem of access when offline. It would also be nice if I could keep recipes (from the same source) on my iPod or mobile phone too, without having to manually re-enter them. There's alway the good old Moleskine approach too, which is both elegant and simple, but lacks a lot of modern electronic convenience. Any good advice?
  2. TallDrinkOfWater

    New Generation Gins

    Martini Sojourn 2005 Prologue: I have only recently become enamored of The Martini. I don't mean most of the concoctions served by establishments such as Tini Bigs – they have their place, but not in the storied history of “a cocktail distilled from the wink of a platinum blonde, the sweat of a polo horse, the blast of an ocean liner's horn, the Chrysler building at sunset, a lost Cole Porter tune and the aftershave of quipping detectives in natty double-breasted suits” (in the words of Barnaby Conrad III). Essential to the quest for the Ideal Martini – a long, happy, and noble pursuit – is a search for the right gin. And so I begin my quest, with ingredients unavailable to those in years past. Chapter 1: New Generation Gins (Future chapters will include “Vermouth: The Left-handed Stepchild”, “Bitter? Who's Bitter?” and “The Garnish”. ) Methodology: I selected four gins to conduct a taste test: the time-tested Tanqueray (as a baseline), and three of the newest ultra-premium American gins: Junípero, No. 209, and Sarticious. [i'll put in a small plug or possibly disclaimer here: I have no connection to Distillery 209 other than as a first-time customer. Their product is not yet carried in Washington State liquor stores, so I contacted them to find a distributor from which I could order. John Olson, their spokesperson, was extremely helpful, pointed me to johnwalker.com where I could order a bottle, and even sent me some 209 apparel as a thank you. I'd like to take this opportunity to say that with customer service and enthusiasm like that, I hope they'll do extremely well. See below for tasting notes.] Tasting gins is potentially dangerous, so I limited myself to 0.5 oz. of each of the four gins. I was at first undecided on how to best taste these – I don't have anything that counts as “gin glass” per se (unless you count the classic “v-shaped” martini glasses). I ultimately decided on using a set of Riedel Hennessey Cognac glasses that Little Miss Foodie had given me on our wedding day. They weren't designed with gin in mind, but they had all the other characteristics I wanted: small, shaped to accent the bouquet, good lead crystal for a nice mouthfeel, etc. I poured a half-ounce of each gin and allowed them to come to room temperature (otherwise I keep them in the freezer). Visually -- at rest -- they were indistinguishable from each other and from plain water. Results: Tanqueray I had actually never had Tanqueray at room temperature, straight up, with nothing to modify the taste. It tasted undeniably of juniper -- a classic gin in that regard -- but it was a little flat, almost oily in texture. By far the most pronounced pine taste of the group, and (at this stage of my experiment) the one maybe most in need of a little water to soften the texture and lighten the sensation. Slightly spicy, I've always felt this was a good mixing gin, and this tasting didn't change my mind. Junípero Junípero, by itself, has a definite alcohol shock. At 98.6 proof, it isn't for the meek, and it took me some acclimatization (a sip or two) before my palate was really up to the challenge it presented. Once there, however, I found it crisp and clean, lightly piney, and it made my tongue sparkle. Junípero came on strong, and finished without missing a beat, clearing my head like a bright afternoon on the side of a glacial peak. This is a slick, strong, dangerous gin -- anyone who's not a gin lover should steer clear -- but for those who are up for a little adventure, this promises to contribute powerfully to a Martini. Probably wasted in most other mixes, where the more traditional and much less expensive Tanqueray would probably suffice. No. 209 I'd never had 209 before, straight up or otherwise, so this was a completely new experience for me. The bouquet was unique -- it immediately evoked lavender over the subdued backdrop of the traditional juniper -- and on tasting proved a much more mellow blend than Junípero. It was almost floral in nature, rose on top of the lavender, and delicate. But 209 is in no way weak; it lingered on the palate much more than the other gins in this tasting. The delicacy wasn't at all tart or citric, but rather smooth. I couldn't help thinking of some of the more floral Oregon pinor noirs (minus the earthiness). Subjectively, I saw the potential in this immediately; it's an excellent standalone, but probably even better over ice to cut it a bit, or with some orange bitters to bring out the musky fruit. I don't know yet how it will blend in a classic Martini or a derivitive; stay tuned! Sarticious The bouquet on this was hard to define; I got notes of both strawberry and of peppermint candy, and the juniper was almost non-existent. On tasting, it was somewhat cloying, and almost [but not quite] salty, with a sharp aftertaste. I didn't have a favorable experience, and I hate to say it, but I had the unfortunate taste of dishsoap. To be fair, I'm going to reserve judgement and review this on a separate night (against [and before] at least one of these others) -- maybe my glass had picked up some residue from prior cleanings. For now, consider Sarticious to be an unknown quantity. *** If anyone has some rare or unusual gins to suggest, please speak up! I'm particularly interested in trying South gin (not yet available in the U.S.). And each of the reviewed gins will be given the opportunity to be incorporated into a Martini or close cousin (Gibson, etc.) before I draw any final conclusions.
  3. TallDrinkOfWater

    Online Cocktail Videos

    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.
  4. TallDrinkOfWater

    Cynar

    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.
  5. TallDrinkOfWater

    Pot-Stilled

    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.
  6. 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?
  7. TallDrinkOfWater

    Esquire Drinks Database

    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.
  8. TallDrinkOfWater

    Tales of the Cocktail: 2007

    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.
  9. TallDrinkOfWater

    Dinner! 2007

    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!
  10. TallDrinkOfWater

    Dinner! 2007

    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]
  11. TallDrinkOfWater

    Tanqueray Malacca

    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.
  12. TallDrinkOfWater

    New Generation Gins

    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.
  13. TallDrinkOfWater

    Dinner! 2007

    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.
  14. TallDrinkOfWater

    Post Your New Cocktail Creations Here

    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.
  15. TallDrinkOfWater

    Post Your New Cocktail Creations Here

    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.
  16. TallDrinkOfWater

    Drinks! (2004–2007)

    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.)
  17. TallDrinkOfWater

    Dinner! 2007

    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!
  18. TallDrinkOfWater

    Dinner! 2007

    I see on CocktailDB that the Fin de Siècle cockail is gin, sweet vermouth, Amer Picon, and organge bitters. Do you have a source for Amer Picon? That you could share? Or did you substitute, and if so what? ← Sadly, we have no source of Amer Picon, but a friend recently gave me some of the supposedly-not-entirely-dissimilar Torani Amer. It's my understanding that Torani created that to resemble the original Amer Picon, which has grown lower in ABV and had changed flavor profile over the years. There's a good post here where David Wondrich tastes his extensive collection against some original Amer Picon and opines that Amaro Ciociaro is the closest. The Amaro Ciociaro is not especially hard to find, from what I can tell (none here in Washington State, but that's not really a surprise to me). Looks like a lot of online retailers carry it, or depending on where you are, you may be able to find it locally.
  19. TallDrinkOfWater

    Cocktail Software, Apps, & Databases

    I think for the moment I'm leaning towards one of the various notetaking-style applications on different platforms. All of them seem to offer the ability to store loosely-structured notes (with web clippings, multimedia files, attachments, etc.) and do arbitrary, near-instant searches on any of the contents. I'm going to have to experiment to see how flexible that is and if those notes can be easily tagged with various labels [e.g. "Forest's Favorite"]. Also, exportability is critical (and syncing the text portions to e.g. "Notes" on an iPod or PDA would be ideal). In the Windows the choices seem to include EverNote, Treepad, GoBinder, and OneNote; on the Mac side of things there's NoteTaker, Yojimbo, Mori, DEVONthink, and OmniOutliner. Of course, being unstructured, those [probably???] won't give the the ability to do some of the fun things that cocktaildb.com can, such as convert measurements between imperial/metric, and change quantities based on glass size, but all the other searching mechanisms seem to be in place. Thanks for the offer, VL, but I'm not much of an Access person. If I come across any one of these that's particularly good or bad for tracking cocktails, I'll be sure to post about it.
  20. TallDrinkOfWater

    Drinks! (2004–2007)

    To celebrate Mardi Gras [by myself, unfortunately, since LMF is out of town on business], I spoiled myself a bit by pulling out a couple of hard-to-come-by and not-appreciated-by-my wife bottles and made two Sazeracs to go with dinner (red beans and rice, natch, plus locally-made Andouille). 2-1/2 oz rye [drink #1 used Anchor Distilling's Old Potrero 18th Century, #2 was Rittenhouse Bonded] 1 tsp rich simple syrup (Demerara 2:1) 3 dashes Peychaud's bitters 1 dash Angostura I used the fairly-standard technique of adding the simple syrup, Peychaud's, and Angostura to a mixing glass, stirring, adding the rye, stirring, adding cracked ice, stirring, then straining into a previously-frozen old-fashioned glass that had been rinsed with a very-scant 1/2 tsp of Jade's Edouard absinthe. Squeezed a wide lemon twist over the top, rubbed it around the rim, discarded, and consumed. [side note: I love love love those particular glasses. They're very heavy with a really thick base, so they have a huge thermal capacity; when chilled/frozen ahead of time they serve as a great heat sink and keep drinks cold for a long time.] The Old Potrero is definitely "hot" (at 120 proof, that's not especially surprising) and is very sharp; the Sazerac made with it evoked warm cinnamon toast. The Rittenhouse was a good follow-up, being a more mellow liquor, and maybe letting the other ingredients (sugar, bitters, absinthe) shine through a little more. I'd have a tough time deciding which was "better"; they were definitely two entirely different drinks. [edit: fixed typo]
  21. TallDrinkOfWater

    Drinks! (2004–2007)

    I am the source. I posted this invention of mine in the "Post Your New Cocktail Creations Here" thread here on January 29th, 2007. How soon they forget! I had shortly before picked up a bottle of Cherry Heering (which doesn't seem to be its official name anymore) on a whim, and came up with the cocktail above as a use for it. My formula specifies Luxardo maraschino, although I imagine Maraska would be fine as well. I haven't been able to find that brand in the Washington area, where I live (and it's hard enough finding the Luxardo)."Tarleton's Resurrection" is the name of a beautiful lute air by John Dowland, the 16th-century English lutenist. Dick Tarleton was an enormously popular clown and comic actor, who died in 1588. "Tarleton's Resurrection" was written as a tribute after his death. I'm not sure what prompted the connection with that title and my cocktail creation, but once I named it, it seemed like a good name. ← Thank you very much for noticing and taking due credit! It's a great drink -- I don't know why but at the time neither a Google nor a site search yielded your post. I'm glad to know the originator (and the origin of the name as well).
  22. TallDrinkOfWater

    Drinks! (2004–2007)

    Great recipe! We tried a lavender variation on this tonight (not having any thyme syrup handy, but having an unopened bottle of French lavender syrup just waiting to be used). 2.5 oz. Hendrick's gin 1 oz. Lillet .5 oz. fresh lemon juice .5 oz. lavender syrup syrup two dashes Fee Brothers orange bitters [don't have the lemon on hand] Orange twist Excellent. Perhaps the tiniest bit sweet for my palette; I may have to tweak the proportions a bit on the lavender syrup. Maybe the lemon bitters would have made the difference. It strikes me that subbing in violet liqueur for the thyme (or lavender) syrup might be a good variation. Will try that one of these days soon and report back.
  23. TallDrinkOfWater

    Dinner! 2007

    What are the ingredients in that cocktail? ← See my post here about it. I currently have no idea where I got the recipe, but it's really good. The two different cherry liqueurs play off of each other nicely. Recipe with my notes: Tarleton's Resurrection 4 parts gin [1-1/2 oz. Tanqueray] 2 parts fresh lemon juice [3/4 oz., strained] 2 parts Cherry Heering [3/4 oz. -- Cherry Marnier is probably an acceptable substitute, but any sort of kirsch is not!] 1 part maraschino liqueur [scant 1-1/2 tsp. Maraska; Luxardo would be equally good; avoid Stock] appropriately generous dashes Regan's orange bitters [two large dashes] Shake with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass Source: unknown at this time
  24. TallDrinkOfWater

    Drinks! (2004–2007)

    Tonight I came across an email I'd sent to myself a few weeks ago with a cocktail recipe that I had not previously tried. When I get a recipe from somewhere I'm pretty consistent about noting where, but I had nothing in my email about this, and dredging the depths of my memory as to where I may have been or what I might have been reading then has so far not yielded any results. Both my wife and I liked it quite a bit, and it's a keeper. Anyone heard of it before? And who is Tarleton? Tarleton's Resurrection 4 parts gin [1-1/2 oz. Tanqueray] 2 parts lemon juice [3/4 oz.] 2 parts Cherry Heering [3/4 oz.] 1 part maraschino liqueur [~1-1/2 tsp. Maraska] appropriately generous dashes Regan's orange bitters [two large dashes] Shake with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass Source: unknown at this time
  25. TallDrinkOfWater

    NY trip report

    I don't know--the server set the dessert down and the photographer started snapping pictures so she didn't get a chance to explain what the components were. I think Henry ate the gelee, because I don't remember eating it. Maybe it was kirsch...I remember berry flavours, but that could've been from the layer of raspberry underneath the cremeux. ← It's a gin gelee. Fairly mild; I'd love to know the technique (anyone can make 'jello shots' with vodka or gin, but this was much more delicate/melty), but I found it nothing especially interesting from a culinary perspective. I'd expect much better from an Englishman when gin is involved. The dessert itself was very nice as a whole when I had it just over 2 weeks ago; the gelee just didn't add much.
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