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Everything posted by thirtyoneknots

  1. +1 on the Peterson book. I think it won a Beard award?
  2. You are right; it looks like it is less than $40 a bottle which is reasonable. Much better than the 25-year Armagnac that I have at home and reserve for "special occasions". How does it taste neat? Fish House Punch with Armagnac sounds amazing! Neat it's quite accommodating but for a small premium you can go higher into the Duffau line and I think you'll find the money well spent if sipping is what's on your agenda.
  3. That's some real nice stuff right there. Real nice. It does seem nice. It must be the French snob in me, but I would have a really hard time using Armagnac in cocktails. It's so nice on its own and it is somewhat difficicult to find (at least here in San Diego). Don't limit yourself! the Duffau Napoleon is very well priced. Last place I worked we made Fish House Punch with it for NYE and it was extremely well-received.
  4. That's some real nice stuff right there. Real nice.
  5. Did you add the full amount of water and forego the ice block? Seems apropo if you're riding the way back machine.
  6. I took a picture but it was nothing too interesting to look at so I won't take up bandwidth. The punch was good but overly concentrated--the addition of a quart or so of water helped bigtime. I wouldn't talk anyone out of making this as the flavor is very rewarding, but with all the other things out there still to try I doubt it'll be back at the top of the rotation anytime soon. Overall I grade it as A- and call it a success.
  7. I checked, your forecasted high for the day is 77F. I think you're probably in the clear...we practically still wear jackets with those temps down here
  8. Some years ago I acquired, at a cost of some $4 or $5, a copy of Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink from 1946, complete with dust jacket still in fair condition. It is a very entertaining read, and a lot of the beverages within will be familiar to anyone well-versed in Jeff Berry's work, but one caught my eye that I have not seen much other analysis on. And so for the benefit of you my dear friends, I will attempt to provide such an analysis, detailing how I have proceeded in compounding this punch for a party tomorrow. Original Recipe: WEST INDIES PUNCH 1/2 pound sugar 1 pint green tea infusion 1 dozen large limes 1 cup guava marmalade 2 cups boiling water 1/2 bottle dark Jamaican rum (Red Heart or Meyers's) 1/2 bottle light vatted Jamaican rum (Meyers's or Lemon Hart) 1 pint cognac 1 bottle Madeira wine Dissolve sugar in tea. Halve the limes, squeeze and add juice and shells to the tea mixture. Dissolve guava marmalade in boiling water and combine with lime juice and tea mixture. Add rum, cognac, and wine and let stand overnight. Remove lime shells and pour over large piece of ice in punch bowl; let chill thoroughly before serving. [end transcription] So here is the ingredient list again, with my notes in brackets: 1/2 pound sugar [Florida Crystals, weighed out] 1 pint green tea infusion [i know next to nothing about green tea but managed to find a gunpowder tea from the bulk area of Central Market that might change my mind about it] 1 dozen large limes [This is tricky. My math here seemed to indicate this recipe should need something in the area of a pint of lime juice. Such is the sorry state of citrus this time of year that it took me 22 limes to reach that amount--I added the hulls of 16 of them] 1 cup guava marmalade [Goya guava jelly. I hadn't had this one before, pretty good (I'm a jelly fiend)] 2 cups boiling water [yup, from the kettle. The jelly was surprisingly difficult to dissolve] 1/2 bottle dark Jamaican rum (Red Heart or Meyers's) 1/2 bottle light vatted Jamaican rum (Meyers's or Lemon Hart) [Ok so here's where the real interesting stuff is. By now it's pretty common knowledge that stylistically rum from Jamaica in 2012 doesn't taste all that much like what was available in 1946. 1/2 bottle of dark to me reads like something full-bore, eg Smith & Cross though probably with more age back then--maybe Inner Circle would do the trick? Vatted sounds like something more in the direction of modern Appleton Estate styles--meant to accommodate more genteel palates. My ecumenical side won out, I went with 1 cup each of Smith & Cross, Appleton V/X, and Plantation Barbados 5 yr.] 1 pint cognac [Hardy VS because it's affordable and dependable. For pint I read this as a half liquor bottle aka 'tenth' aka 375 ml. I'm never quite sure what to make of "pint of such and such liquor" since it rarely seems like they are actually talking about 16 (or 20, I guess) ounces. I may be wrong on this but I doubt 4 oz of undistinguished Cognac are going to be the thing that makes this recipe go amiss.] 1 bottle Madeira wine [This is always infuriating. Madeira and Sherry come in a wide variety of styles representing radical variations in sweetness, and yet they are rarely if ever qualified in older recipes. I went with half of very good Sercial (a dry style) and half of a more modest 'medium dry' which I think was labelled that way so as not to confuse with the word 'Rainwater', though it was more or less exactly like a Rainwater. Average abv of the two was 18%.] So all of this is assembled and is steeping overnight while the ice block makes in the deep freeze. It seems in all respects like an eminently sound recipe with a little interpretation. I'll try to provide an after-action report tomorrow
  9. Interesting x2, partly because this is the first time I've ever heard of a whiskey drinker who didn't care for Eagle Rare, and partly because Eagle rare is usually 20-30% more expensive that Buffalo Trace over here (and neither is as expensive as Woodford or Blantons).
  10. TBT Creole are intended as a Peychaud's analog, and performs handsomely in that role.
  11. Hmm...I know making this drink gin-heavy is fashionable but I always saw the Chartreuse as the dominating ingredient there. Plymouth is pretty soft, as gin goes.
  12. A dear friend is moving to Virginia next week and the opportunity to do a punch (for the farewell party) was too good to pass up. I've had my eye on the West Indies Punch from my 1946 Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink for quite some time--looks like I'll finally get to take it for a spin.
  13. Or being in California and craving horse meat... In the US you cannot get: tonka beans or real bison grass vodka as they both contain coumarin which is banned by the FDA ... amer picon and suze are not distributed here for some reason Tonka beans are available online. Suze is imported, but not widely distributed.
  14. But you can presumably get Creme Fraiche, no? I'd happily make that trade.
  15. Odd. In San Diego, I see fresh passionfruit at Bristol Farms or Whole Foods regularly (and also at some of the local farmers' markets). It's not cheap, but it's available. Same story with decent stores in medium-sized or better cities in Texas, I'll confess to some curiosity about the application of fresh passion fruit that justifies the expense. edit: Now that I think of it, I don't think I've seen it since moving to the DFW area, but I'm in the for-real suburbs now for the first time since leaving home so that may be part of it.
  16. I will say though, that last year when we lived in a small town near Austin and I had an emergency tahini requirement I had to buy small jars of sesame seeds at considerable expense and make it myself.
  17. Due to the large diversity of immigrant communities in Texas, it's been a long while since something I wanted was truly unavailable (the asking price is another matter). When I saw Mr. Kayahara asking for poblano intel on Twitter recently I was stunned--even the worst grocery stores in the smallest towns here will have, at minimum, jalapenos, poblanos, bell peppers, and usually serranos. And that's just the fresh pepper selection. I have looked at the local produce section with a new respect since then.
  18. Those coin spoons are very cool indeed. I feel like I've seen them before but I can't remember where.
  19. Speaking from a purely historical perspective the Collins is much more closely and directly related to punch, while the fizz is a more distant derivation even though they bear a striking structural resemblance. If you really want to get technical, the Collins, classically speaking, IS a punch--though due to its popularity and legion of variations it is now generally considered a category unto itself. Functionally, I'd say the fizz is a before noon drink (I love those) and the Collins is something best enjoyed between lunch and happy hour, to "cool the blood". Almost worth getting the blood all heated up just to partake.
  20. I don't know El Capricho but Patron is pretty lame and very expensive. Herradura is the closest thing to an ethical large-scale producer out there, as far as respecting traditions and people go. Tequila as a product has been undergoing a pretty radical series of changes since the late 1990s which, if left unchecked, could end up destroying it as a quality spirit--and it won't really get any cheaper as a result. I understand that in Australia the choices are limited but out of the brands listed, Herradura is the one still clinging to some of the older ways. I'm indifferent on the others.
  21. I just want to clarify that I like kohlrabi (the name means 'cabbage-turnip', related etymology [kohl = cabbage] as cole slaw [cabbage salad]), I just haven't had particularly good luck growing it in the garden, in spite of repeated assurances that it is well-suited to Texas winters.
  22. Care to share for the rest of us who are in our right mind and thus a "sinister" handed cocktailian? Would be delighted to have a channel knife that reduced the risk of having thumb flesh as a garnish... Sur La Table sells ambidextrous channel knives that I find superior even being right-handed. Looks like the one I'm thinking of is no longer available (or I'm misremembering where I saw it) but it has a blade like this: http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-259465/Rosle-Channel-Knife
  23. Good call, I had totally forgotten about that tidbit.
  24. Kohlrabi can be treated as you might use turnips, and the greens can be cooked like collards. It doesn't seem to keep as well as turnips though--I'm kind of done growing them.
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