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Everything posted by MattJohnson

  1. Pink Gin - even with just beefeater, its still pretty good.
  2. I don't try to convince them. I just open the jar and take a large sniff and smile. Hah, just thinking about how funny it would be to keep it in the bathroom...
  3. I buy cream from a dairy that packages it in these little glass bottles. I got it home and whipped and whipped and whipped, stick blender, wisks, you name it. Nothing worked. Looked at the bottle a little closer and discovered they package the half and half in the same types of bottles - just different caps. Not saying you did this, but it seemed a fitting place to come clean.
  4. And depending on the cucumber, sometimes the peel can give a very green bitter flavor. If that happens, peel before using. Many thanks to Toby for pointing that out to me.
  5. I find that luxardo triplum is not a great substitute for Cointreau in drinks where it plays a major role (like sidecar). Its not bad, but I was trying to save the 12 bucks and it just didn't cut it - and I'm all about finding value booze and not just drinking the expensive stuff because it must be good if they charge a high price. I've also found that a big bottle of Cointreau goes such a long way, the investment is worth it. I'd almost go as far as saying save a bit of money on the brandy and invest it in the Cointreau. My biggest problem with sidecars is consistency of my lemons - The sourness/sweetness always varies from week to week. Making sidecars is like making pancakes The first one always ends up messed up, but after making a few, they're perfect.
  6. I'd check out craigslist or something for people doing custom woodworking. My brother-in-law has been doing that (sadly, in milwaukee so he's no help for you) to make some extra money. You could also check with the woodworking departments of the local tech school. Sometimes the teachers like to look for projects for students to do in class.
  7. I've just given Cinzano a try and find it pretty good. I too have a hard time dropping 30 bucks for vermouth - which is pretty much a non issue as I can't find Carpano Antica.
  8. yes, after a bit more research, I'm sure that it was the vatted one. I really like scotch, but don't drink it much due to the price - so I'm not an aficionado. Maybe this one will be the right balance of price/taste for me. Thanks for the info.
  9. I was at the liquor store killing time before my wife's train came in. I saw they had a sale on glenrothes single malt scotch. $25 bucks down from 40 or something. Is this a screaming value? Should I pick a couple bottles? It would kind of screw my booze budget for the month, but if its a great deal, it'd be worth it.
  10. I've made this baby lima bean and chipotle soup several times now. Its so easy and really good. I'm not a vegetarian, so I cook the onions in bacon fat, chop the bacon up in it, and sometimes I've added some carrots and celery diced up to the beans while they cook. I have also been known to add some home made stock if the water levels get low. http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/baby-...oth-recipe.html Great site.
  11. In the article, that water was to be prized and almost seemed like a sauce on its own.
  12. The value of theatrics cannot be overstated in a commercial setting. They shouldn't take the place of quality and flavor, of course, but when you can combine both, rest assured you'll have a top seller on your hands. People love to see tableside presentations and the like. ← the cafe diablo is confined nowadays to being a french quarter drink. i can't drink and enjoy it, but its really awesome to see a waiter that is good at it. i used to have to debone the dover soles then flambe the pepper steaks, baked alaskas, and banana's foster... i never had to make salads table side luckily... some times it was like iron chef and people loved it. ← I don't downplay theatrics at all. After all, this is about having fun. Sometimes people get too serious. However, I'm curious, what makes a waiter "good" at it. Do they do anything specific? I know I've seen some flaming drink video where a bartender poured the flaming drink from one pitcher to another. I basically light it and do my best not to set myself on fire. So far so good.
  13. I'm no expert, but I think the ignition does 2 things: 1. allows the bartender to burn something 2. I actually think it brings out some of the flavors of the spices. I didn't heat it for very long and without the ignition, I'm guessing that the spice wouldn't come out as much (They sizzle a bit when its on fire). Perhaps I'll try it once without ignition just to compare. I'm also not sure how long I'm supposed to let it burn. I kind of swirl it around for about 15-20 seconds until I start smelling spice and then in goes the coffee. It would also be interesting to just infuse the brandy with the spices and use that without the theatrics. It might even be better. Maybe I'll put some in a jar and see what happens.
  14. Its been cold. We've been making something called a Cafe Diablo that we found in a book we've got. 2 oz brandy 1 oz curacao 1 oz cointreau 16 oz coffee 8 cloves 2 cinnamon sticks 6 coffee beans Warm the 3 boozes and the spices in a pan. Ignite for a bit. Pour in the hot coffee and stir to put out. Strain and drink. I'm not a huge fan of hot drinks, but this isn't too bad. Might be more to my taste with a bit more booze, but pretty good as is.
  15. Don't tell Heaven Hill that! ← I finally found a place in Milwaukee that carried it. $14. Its truly wonderful.
  16. My suggestion as a consumer is give them what they ordered. If they order a vodka martini, then make one for them the way you make martini's. If they balk, or ask why you're doing what you're doing, tell them this is the classic way to make a vodka martini and the way your establishment trains people to do it. Tell them to try it and if they don't like it, you'll make them a new one to their specs. Give the consumer a no-risk way to try it the right way and you'll have lots of happy customers. And if you really want to do your consumers a favor, slip in that the original martini is gin and that you'd be happy to make one for their next drink with the same deal - if they hate it, you'll make them something different. Basically, you have to be willing to chuck a few drinks. But for that, you'll have great word of mouth advertising, loyal + happy + educated customers.
  17. Golden Yunan from Rishi. Here's what they say about it: This certified organic black tea is harvested from Yunnan’s ancient tea trees. Its deeply flavored infusion has notes of peppery spice, chocolate, sweet raisin, and a malty finish. Golden Yunnan has expertly fermented, even graded leaves and big, golden buds. Its wonderfully full-flavored and rich body is a treat for black tea lovers. I don't get all of those flavors, but I do get the malty finish. I like it alot. Its been my go-to house black tea.
  18. What a great idea, planting tea as a hedge. I don't live in a zone that would work, but I'm gonna file that away just in case.
  19. I typically just use the dual lidded cannister. I got them from Rishi (http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/tea-storage-vessels/). However, I usually buy loose tea in quantities that I'll use within a couple weeks so I've not noticed any tea going stale. I usually only have 2 or 3 varieties on hand at a time.
  20. Mine was living in Japan for a bit in college. We had tea ceremony class. I actually had such a hard time with it because of the expectations of a western palate. The sweets weren't sweet (mochi may look like marshmallow, but it sure doesn't taste like it and red bean paste is not chocolate) and the tea was just plain new. Its a bit like taking a swig of milk when you're expecting water. But once I knew what to expect and my palate became a bit more flexible, I really started enjoying all sorts of flavors - tea included. Now I routinely buy loose leaf tea from a local company (Rishi Tea) and love it. I've been getting one called Earl Green which is really interesting. I've also been drinking some incredible sencha my mom got for me on a recent trip to Kyoto.
  21. I don't think anyone would pull your tea-club membership card if you just started with a wine flavor/aroma chart as a base - then add to it. In fact, when drinking wine or tea I often find it helpful to go through those types of charts just to see if something jumps out at me. Sometimes I need to think of something specifically in order to pick it up. I also don't worry too much about using acceptable phrases/words. If something smells like cola and antifreeze poured over potato, well, thats what it smells like.
  22. My mashed potatoes are never as good as anyone else's.
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