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evo-lution

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  1. Moving on, we have; I was quoted as saying, "That's f*cking heaven in a glass that is..." It was that good. Just as good with Martin Miller's Westbourne although a very different beast! I'm having another!
  2. Wow, thanks very much for the kind words Mike (and Chris). It's good to see my hard work is paying off and was worth it... As promised earlier; Brandy Crusta 50ml Brandy/Cognac 5ml Grand Marnier 15ml Fresh lemon juice 12.5ml Sugar syrup (2-1) 2.5ml Boker's Bitters Method: Add all ingredients to mixing glass, fill with cubed ice and shake hard for ten seconds. Fine strain. Glass: Wine Garnish: Whole lemon peel and sugar rim* Ice: Cubed Crustas are sublime cocktails and I'm glad to say they showcase the Boker's brilliantly. I'll be making these for my girlfriend every night if she gets her way... *Wash lemon and cut the top and bottom off. Using a sharp knife, cut round the inside of the fruit using the pith to guide you round until the centre can be extracted. Squeeze the central section for the juice. Wedge peel into glass leaving about an inch or so exposed. Dab some lemon juice on the outside of the exposed lemon and rim with sugar. Chill in refrigerator in advance if possible.
  3. Following on from Chris' post on the Martinez.. The Best Martinez Cocktail You've Never Had! 50ml Both's Old Tom 25ml Noilly Rouge 5ml Luxardo Maraschino 2.5ml Boker's Bitters Method: Add all ingredients to mixing glass, fill with cubed ice and stir for 15-20 seconds. Julep strain. Glass: Chilled coupette Garnish: Fat strip of lemon peel snapped over drink and placed in Ice: N/A I'm enjoying it too much to tell you how good it is... Next up, my better looking half returns from work and we move onto Brandy Crustas.
  4. I meant to add this to my last post; Original Boker's were used with different intentions back in the 1800s, where we see them now as cocktail bitters they were used then as stomach bitters. What they had back then was a product that was far more bitter than we could imagine, but there was a reason for it. I'm of the belief that they weren't necessarily used for the flavour and may have been used for a number of reasons. The question I keep asking myself regarding bitters is whether or not they were used for their flavour or for other reasons; their alleged medicinal qualities*, how readily available they were, a bartender's point of difference, the cost, etc. (if not all of these factors). I've no doubt that Jerry Thomas used Boker's as he liked the flavour it lended cocktails. Much in the same way that I was looking for that final ingredient to really round off my Boker's, bartenders used bitters to really round off their cocktails. With all that in mind though, I'm not naive enough to think that the factors mentioned previous would have also played a part. They do nowadays in bars - I like to call it the Angostura effect** - so why would it have been any different in the 1800s? *In the case of Boker's, we know for sure that the botanicals used do have a number of medicinal qualities. **I've always found it baffling that bartenders go to great lengths to recreate drinks from bygone eras using products which we believe to be similar to what was used then, but when it comes to bitters the decision is made to "just use Angostura." I have no issue with Angostura, it's a great product, but I've always been baffled by this mindset...
  5. To be honest it's quite hard to pin it down to one factor as I think everything is playing its part, from the spirit I've used as the base, the quality of the botanicals, the length of maceration time and the ratios to balance it out as each botanical offers something different. The botanicals (quassia bark, areca catechu, calamus root, dried orange peel and cardamom) all bring something different to the mix with notes that are herbal, floral, sweet, bitter, spiced, citrus. In earlier batches I always found the cardamom was overpowering everything else, which amounted to a product that was a little unbalanced and lacked an edge. The first few batches I made were constructed by macerating everything together in one jar, it wasn't until I separated the botanicals into individual macerations that I was able to make a difference to the final product. This enabled me to try each botanical daily and monitor what was happening. This may not be the best method for other bitters recipes, but for Boker's it certainly is the case. The bitterness of the quassia bark and the strength of flavour that Cardamom imparts has to be taken into account, hence why I'll stand by this method. There's fewer ingredients in Boker's so everything has to be perfect otherwise it just doesn't work. The recipes I used as my guide always stated to macerate everything for around 10 days but I find this flawed as different botanicals impart different levels of flavour at different times. Cardamom for one imparts a serious amount of flavour after only a few days so I found this maceration had to be filtered out first, with the rest a few days after. Another key factor was the preparation of the botanicals before maceration. I read somewhere that freezing the dried orange peel made a huge difference and I wholeheartedly agree, the areca catechu and calamus root had to be ground to a fine powder to capture full flavour release, I preferred the use of whole cardamom pods versus seeds (I plan on an experimental batch where I'll toast the cardamom), and the quassia bark had to be broken into smaller chippings*. *EDIT - I meant to add, no matter how adventurous you're feeling, don't chew on quassia bark. It's not big, it's not clever, and it's seriously... weird. It felt like my face was turning inside out! Once everything is filtered and combined they are coloured with mallow flowers and then diluted. Some recipes I came across suggested colouring the water with the mallow flowers and then diluting, but again I didn't like this process as the water didn't take on as much colour as I wanted and the flavour that mallow offers (even though it's mild, it still offers notes similar to herbs/tea) didn't come through as well compared to when the macerations were coloured. I've yet to find a recipe which states how much mallow flowers to use, so I'd like to state that you require around 100-150g per litre. After all this has taken place and the mallow is filtered out, I then add the final ingredient which brings everything together and adds the edge I was looking for. Few recipes of Boker's called for an element of sweetness which I found surprising as I really felt it would round everything off and accentuate what was already there. For the sweet element I searched around for something that would offer a richness, spiciness, bitterness and sweetness. After trialling out a few different ideas I eventually settled on something which offers all of these. Once this ingredient is added it really brings everything together; on the nose, palate and finish. I'm still looking at ways to add even more depth as no matter how good something is it can always be improved or bettered. I'm going to age a small batch to see what this does, and there's also another ingredient or two that I want to throw into the mix. The whole process of making bitters has me hooked now and I've so many questions regarding bitters that I want to find the answers too, not just about how they are made, but more towards the history and use of them. As mentioned already, I've started the groundwork on another bitters recipe I've come across and hope to have the first batch completed in the next few weeks. I'd appreciate all input/feedback/questions on Boker's or bitters in general for that matter, and promise I'll contribute to the 'All About Bitters' thread as well.
  6. Wow! That's some statement! Now that would be telling...
  7. Oh, and the groundwork for my next bitters is already underway... Stay tuned!
  8. Not as yet however I will this evening as I've just nipped out to pick up some lemons to make more Crustas for my girlfriend who has decided that this is her favourite drink, so I'll be sure to save some peel for garnishing the Pink Gin. I'll get some pics up later... I've tried the Crusta (Cognac and Genever), Martinez (Dry and Sweet Vermouth), Manhattan (Rye and Bourbon), Whisk(e)y Cocktail/Old Fashioned (Scotch, Irish, Rye, Bourbon and Genever), Japanese Cocktail, Improved Cocktail (Genever and Rye), Martini (London Dry)... there are more As well as trying them straight (sipping them), in soda, in water, in ginger ale and rubbing together in the palm of my hand, I've found a new way to try bitters out by adding 5ml to around the same amount of sugar syrup (2-1). You really discover a lot about the bitters using this method. I've been advocating the use of measuring in mls over dashes as the dasher hole is smaller than pretty much every bitters on the market which gives you loads more control. Around 2.5ml-5ml per drink dependent on the ingredients. They work particularly well with gin although they offer something different to a number of drinks if I'm being honest. A Pink Gin should be amazing methinks...
  9. All 79 bottles in the above pic are now on their way round the World and will be at their destinations in the next few days if they've not already arrived. If you're near Arizona, New York, Oxford, London, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Aberdeen, Massachusetts, Dublin, Rhode Island, St. Andrews, Melbourne, Rovaniemi, Saint Petersburg, Edinburgh, Virginia, Belfast, Skarpnack, Los Angeles, Munich or Plymouth then keep an eye out for bottles in bars near you. I am down to the last 40 or so of the current batch...
  10. This is how the product looks in the brand new dasher bottles Bottles have also started being sent out, if you're near Edinburgh drop in past Bramble as they've a bottle behind the bar there. Rick's in Edinburgh will also have a bottle very shortly and there are a couple of bars in Aberdeen that have a bottle. Soon there will be some in England, America, Russia, Finland, Holland and Australia to name but a few countries... The labelling and bottling process is also underway and should all be completed by the end of this week. With bottles being sent out every day, I'll have fulfilled very order by Monday. I'll keep you all updated with regards stock numbers, however I intend to start work on another batch shortly as interest has been nothing short of astounding. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.ph...29943652&ref=ts
  11. First bottlings have been sent and are now being used at Bramble (Edinburgh), Ninety-Nine Bar & Kitchen and Tonik (Aberdeen). The large batch will start being sent out over the next seven days!
  12. They're very complex, can't really think of any product to compare it to, although this is probably a good thing as I wanted that unique aspect from the product. From those that've tasted/nosed them I've been told they get notes of dark chocolate, coffee, cardamom, orange, black forest gateuax, cola bottles (jellied sweets) and raisin, to name but a few. My girlfriend was not a fan of the Martinez (she's not a huge fan of Maraschino or gin) until I made her a Dry Martinez* the other day using the Boker's. I'm happy to say that she's now converted... *2 Dashes Boker's Bitters 25ml Both's Old Tom 50ml Noilly Prat Dry 5ml Luxardo Maraschino Method: Add all ingredients to mixing glass, fill with cubed ice and stir for 15-20 seconds. Glass: Chilled coupette Ice: N/A Garnish: Large strip of lemon zest sprayed over the drink and dropped in. Imbibe! Give me a few more days and you'll be able to ogle these in the privacy of your own home. No problem at all, I'll sell you as many as you like. Need to work out logistics regarding payment/etc. although I assume it'll be done through Paypal. I'll keep you all posted in the next couple of days, if anyone's genuinely interested in obtaining some please e-mail me at adam.elmegirab@evo-lution.org
  13. My first batch is completed, bottled and labelled. More details to follow... Already started work on the second batch. I'll hopefully begin work on the third (and largest batch) in the next few days. Some free samples will be available, and the rest will be sold to bartenders/mixologists/cocktailians/geeks around the globe (hopefully). Many thanks go to my good friend Christian Bell for the label design. www.thejerrythomasproject.blogspot.com
  14. Here's the press release from the recent Diageo World Class UK Final which fits in perfectly with this thread.
  15. I've always wondered if there's an optimum temperature where dilution theoretically 'stops' (or should I say delayed?!?) when shaking/stirring if you were using ice at its coldest/hardest/densest freshly taken from a machine? For example if you were to shake a Daiquiri (50ml rum, 25ml, lime, 15ml rich sugar syrup) with said cubes, let's say in a mixing glass heaped with cubed ice and capped with a metal shaker, and shook it as hard as possible, will the Daiquiri reach a temperature where the ice stops melting so all you're doing then is chilling the drink? I'm sure there must be some sort of equation where you could work out how cold and how much ice you need to chill/dilute a drink to its optimum! 'x' + 'y' + 'z' + 'a' = b x = amount of liquid y = temperature and number of ice cubes z = force needed to shake/stir a = length of time b = optimum temperature Who says it's just a drink huh? I may not have explained this properly, but it does make sense in my head.
  16. Something worth playing around with is deconstructing drinks that contain egg white and making a flavoured foam to sit on top of the drink. For example, this is a drink I came up with the other day... Daiquiri with Elderflower & Grapefruit foam Daiquiri 50ml White rum 25ml Fresh lime juice 12.5ml Sugar Syrup Method: Add all ingredients to mixing glass fill with cubed ice and shake hard for 10 seconds Glass: Chilled coupette Garnish: Elderflower & Grapefruit foam* Ice: N/A *For the foam 25ml Pasteurised egg white 12.5ml St. Germain Elderflower liqueur 12.5ml Fresh white grapefruit juice Dash sugar syrup Method: Add all ingredients to mixing glass and dry shake for 30-40 seconds. Finish by layering on top of Daiquiri.
  17. A Treacle contains apple-juice (dark rum, sugar, bitters, apple juice, ice), whereas a Rum Old Fashioned for me, doesn't (rum, sugar, bitters, ice).
  18. As said in my previous post, I'm happy to try out various ingredients in the name of research, however the style of Appleton Special is probably closer to the Jamaican rum that most would use nowadays for this recipe I presume, hence my use of Jamaican Appleton Special. As also said, it would be near impossible to recreate the drink as it was as the rum of that time isn't the same as is around now, so I have to reach some sort of middle-ground. Happy medium and all that. For me though, as long as I follow what the recipe stipulates, I'm staying true to the book/Jerry Thomas. In this case, Jamaican rum, not rum from anywhere else. I'd still say modern Jamaica rum has its own style though...
  19. I was under the impression that pre-war Jamaican rum was shipped to London for aging. As the climate was colder, I assume the rums may not have been as dark as other rums aged for the same length of time in warmer climates. With that in mind, I would say the Appleton Special is okay to use in the Mississippi Punch. As the recipe categorically states Jamaica rum, I wanted to use a relatively generic Jamaican rum which has everything we expect from that style of rum. As much as I wish to make drinks close to they were made back then (which would be near impossible), I wish to also recreate them as we would/could make them now at the same time. Basically, I'm trying to hit a happy medium, however I'm willing to try the same recipe with various ingredients to see the different results. In this case, various Jamaican rums. Anyways, slightly on/off subject and just for the hell of it... Just for sh*ts and giggles, I thought I'd play around with your suggestions and take it into the modern day whilst also adding the orgeat syrup I thought may enhance it. I also tried it straight up to see how different it is without the continued dilution of cracked ice. This drink was deeper, fuller and richer, but still had amazing subtlety. As I thought, it was very tiki-like. Superb drink, although I think it may benefit from being served over ice.
  20. Method: Add sugar to glass, add half the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add the whiskey and the other half of the boiling water, stir and serve. Finish with a strip of lemon peel snapped over the drink and place in Glass: Glass footed/stemmed glass or mug Garnish: N/A Ice: N/A Notes: Pretty much covered this drink with the last couple of recipes, so there's nothing really more I can add. Regarding the drink, as Auchentoshan 10 year old is a light malt, and the main flavour notes I detect are fresh grass and lemon, I chose to use a strip of peel as opposed to a slice of lemon, as I believed it would benefit from the use of zest over the juice which would've gotten into the drink from a slice. Again, the use of different sweeteners depending on the whisky/whiskey used would add real depth to the drink, as well as the addition of bitters like orange/peach/grapefruit.
  21. 2 strips lemon peel 2 ounce Laphroaig 10 year old - 40%ABV 3 ounce boiling water 1 teaspoon caster sugar Method: Peel two long strips of lemon peel, snap over the whisky, and drop in. Add sugar to glass, add half the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add the whiskey, the other half of the boiling water, stir and serve. Glass: Glass footed/stemmed glass or mug Garnish: N/A Ice: N/A Notes: As a fan of Islay/Island malts, I was looking forward to this drink, and I wasn't disappointed. The lemon really changes the notes usually found in Laphroaig. Typical notes of salt and seaweed were still there on the palate, with iodine on the finish, however there was an enhanced fruity sweetness reminiscent of pear and melon, as well as dried fruit like apricot. The vanilla was also more predominant at the finish. As before, ratios are dependent on preferred tastes. I'll definitely be trying different Islay/Island malts in this style, and also in the 'Cold Whiskey Punch' style.
  22. 1/3 Bushmills Black Bush - 40%ABV 2/3 boiling water Lemon juice to taste Sugar to taste Method: Add sugar to mixing glass, add half the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add the whiskey, the other half of the boiling water (and lemon juice if applicable), stir and allow to cool. Bottle and refrigerate. Glass: Rocks Garnish: N/A Ice: N/A Notes: There's a definite difference in flavour between a 'fresh' Cold Whiskey Punch versus one that's been prepared a day or two in advance, although what the difference is down to is up for debate, and whether it's better is also arguable. Lemon juice should be added upon serving if required. Again, ratios depend on how you like your drinks. I much preferred the Cold Whiskey Punch with the addition of lemon juice, which is not to say that without it's a bad drink. Both let the subtleties of the whisky come through, with just a hint of sweetness. The most enjoyable part of the drink was the mouthfeel which really stuck to the insides of the mouth like syrup, due to the cooled sugar/water mixture. The lemon enhanced the floral/citrus notes so I'd recommend using Irish whisky, or a Scottish lowland malt, should you prefer it with lemon juice. For those that prefer a mix of whisky/water/sugar, I'd opt for your preffered whisky/whiskey of choice, where you should hopefully pick up different notes in the spirit than you would drinking it neat or with a drop of water.
  23. 2 ounces Bushmills Original - 40%ABV 4 ounces boiling water 1 teaspoon caster sugar Method: Add sugar to glass, add half the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add the whiskey and the other half of the boiling water, stir and serve. Glass: Glass footed/stemmed glass or mug Garnish: N/A Ice: N/A Notes: A relatively simple beverage, which should be made at a ratio depending how you like your drinks. The sugar and water do enough to soften the whiskey, and it obviously goes down well on cold days, which we get many of in Scotland. For those interested in making the drink, I highly recommend using different types of sweeteners, as well as different citrus fruits for those who prefer to have another depth of flavour. Vanilla sugar is an obvious choice which will do a lot to enhance the notes in many whiskies, although I wouldn't stop there. Honeys, syrups, flavoured sugars and preserves will all offer something different depending on the style of whisky/whiskey used. This style of drink would more closely resemble what most people nowadays refer to as a Hot Toddy as opposed to a punch. With regards the toddy, there is some belief that the name toddy may have derived from the traditional Indian beverage of the same name, which is made from the sap of palm trees. It's easy to see why there may be a link to India if you take into account how similar a traditional Indian Punch(arrack, sugar, lemon, tea, water) is to what we'd call a Hot Toddy (whisky, sweetener, lemon juice, hot water and sometimes spices), although toddy may have been an old Scottish term for water. This is believed to relate to 'Tod's Well' which used to supply Edinburgh with water. This is referenced in Scottish poet Allan Ramsay's 'The Morning Interview' (Pages 16-17), published in the early 1700s. With the name of the spring in mind, and taking into account the style of writing in the poem, it may be assumed that 'toddy' was an amusing term for water in Scotland. This belief is strengthened by the fact that whisky at the time was referred to as aqua, also remembering whisky took its name from water (uisge). So water was toddy, and whisky was aqua. Here's a link to an article from the New York Times, printed on January 1st 1871 - http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html...FB766838A669FDE. For whatever reason the link doesn't open when you click on it so you'll have to copy and paste it. :?
  24. Method: Squeeze lemon into glass, add water, sugar and stir until dissolved. Add brandy, rum and whiskey, fill with cracked ice and shake hard for 5 seconds. Pour, unstrained, into large glass to serve. Glass: Boston Garnish: Orange slices and fresh raspberries Ice: Cracked ice Notes: Considering the amount of liquor in this drink, I found it to be a very well balanced punch. It reminded me of Tiki drinks like Trader Vic's 'Scorpion', and I wouldn't be surprised if the Mississippi Punch had some sort of influence on it. Lots of fresh lemon and grapefruit on the nose. The taste begins with a moderate sweetness, followed quickly by notes of caramel and a hint of coffee as well. I also detected a little vanilla in there. The finish is warm and predominantly from the brandy, almost chilli-chocolate like. Fans of Crustas, Sidecars, aged rum Daiquiris and Whiskey Sours will love this drink, although I believe the addition of orgeat syrup would take this drink up a notch and make it truly sublime.
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