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  1. Yojimbo, what you want is apricot eau-de-vie, not apricot liqueur. Blume Marillen is the call here. And grab the Plymouth for this drink, also.
  2. This week I have taken this theoretical exercise, and gave it real world application as I moved into my new home (OK, the girlfriend's apt). While my old place had room for the 180-something bottles that I held nearest to my heart, the new digs limit me to around 10 or so. The rest must live in the storage unit a few blocks away. I figured that I can always dip into that reserve as seasons change, and as I need other stuff. But for the rest of winter, I have chosen: Genevieve Rittenhouse Carpano Antica Red Hook Rye (barrel #2) Smith & Cross Buffalo Trace Highland Park 12 Ron Zacapa Herradura Anejo Yeah, that should get me through until winter ends. I filled an empty 375 with maraschino, grabbed a handful of bitters, and my bar kit. This may change in a week, but for now it seems to work. And if not, well, there's always the bar across the street...
  3. Of all of the great bottles that Eric has brought to the market, this is the greatest. Hands down.
  4. It seems that the arguement here is two-fold. Freepouring advocates are saying that the properly trained barkeep can: 1. make drinks faster than, and, 2. make them with the same accuracy as, a jiggering barkeep. In respect to the first point, I disagree. Jiggers are important tools of my trade, and I feel that a professional should know and master his tools. That includes knowing how to use his jiggers with speed and dexterity. When I'm behind the slab, my jiggers are extentions of my hands. Master your tools, master your tools, master your tools. Regarding the second point, I disagree with great, great enthusiasm. I simply cannot fathom a barkeep lining up four shakers, and then freepouring a Hemingway Daiquiri, a Tantris Sidecar, a Singapore Sling, and a Zombie (or any other Tiki Drink). No matter how highly trained in the freepouring arts, no matter how steady the pouring hand is, no matter how confident one may be in their bartending abilities...nobody can knock out those drinks with exacting accuracy by freepouring. Nobody. The drink joint that I work at serves up cocktails at a volume on par with anyone in New York. And we pound out drinks by the bushelful using our jiggers.
  5. Indeed, these are the mugs that you want. I have used these a great many times in making my Blazers, and they have always performed wonderfully. The double-walled sides insulate nicely, the handles are large and easy to, um, handle, and the outwardly beveled rim pours easily. I have used DeGroff's mugs (which are amazing), and I feel that these work every bit as well. And are 600 dollars less each.
  6. Apparently I misunderstood the original quote in the Times. I understood it to mean that a "lack of vodka" in the bar was the determining factor of bar quality, when it seems that Nathan meant a lack of vodka based cocktails on the menu. Is that right? If so, then I am certainly more apt to agree with Nathan. The establishment that I sling drinks at is most assuredly at the quality level you speak of. And we have two vodka based cocktails on our menu, which are amongst our biggest sellers. These are well crafted, solid drinks that help to introduce people to the greater world of flavors available to them. And if these vodka cocktails help me to educate customers and brings them into the fold, then they are very valuable tools to me.
  7. It seems that our collective rejection of all things vodka is getting a little bit out of hand at times. How did the aggressive denial of vodka become the mark of cocktail street cred? It's as if people are falling all over themselves to prove to the rest of the kids that they hate vodka even more than the others do. "Hey look, I'm so cool and sophisticated that I can't stand vodka", sounds an awful lot like the wine snob's mating call of, "Hey look, I'm so cool and sophisticated that I can't stand California Chardonnays." And once we go there, it is a short and slippery slope to the land of pretention and elitism. Alright, I get it. Vodka doesn't bring much to the table. That point is well established on this forum. But we cannot deny that it is an important part of the liquor world as a whole, if not in our little cocktail-centric corner of it. People drink vodka, and they drink it even though we earnestly try to show them better and tastier options. Now, as for the arguement that a "lack of vodka" is major factor in determining quality in a bar, I call horseshit. I know of a fine number of establishments that have both quality cocktails and and an array of vodka selections. These need not be mutually exclusive. You want to determine if a bar is quality or not? No problem. Simply look at the menu, order a drink, watch the bartender make it, and then drink it. That should tell you all you need to know, not the presence of a few frosted glass bottles of potato juice.
  8. Katie~ As always, I'm happy to help infuse your "mile high" experiences with "immediate...gratification", but unfortunately I can't guarantee that it would be "deeply important".
  9. Folks, there are few things easier than enjoying a tasty beverage on board an aircraft. The essential parts of a fine cocktail are easily brought through security once you realize that TSA screeners are happy to punch the clock and get through their shift as long as no calamities occur. Having a fine libation in hand makes me feel as if I'm traveling first class...even below in steerage. That said, I often survive the rigors of air travel with the help of these lil' friends: 1. 50ml nip bottles. Rye, Rum, and Bourbon? Check, check, and check. Making a Mile-High Manhattan? Pre-treat your bottles with bitters before you leave home. 2. Pre-mixed cocktails. Hey, I can bring on liquids in quantities of 3 oz or less. That sounds like 3 oz of batched goodness to me. Per bottle. And that bottle will be bringing his friends. I throw 'em in my TSA-approved Ziploc bag along with a trial-size toothpaste, and it looks almost reputable. 3. A sandwich bag of pre-cut lemon and orange twists. Or lime wedges. Or Luxardo cherries. 4. When these solutions aren't available, I hire someone to be my alcohol "mule". One can get a far greater amount of cocktail ingredients on board this way, as long as you are fastidious about washing off the bottles first. (Trust me on this) However, I have found that airline employees and federal air marshals tend to become suspicious when the cocktail experience becomes too intense. As result, I now tend to avoid on-flight dry-shaking of egg whites, flaming orange twists, stirring multiple drinks at once, or using a Lewis Bag to crush ice. I also no longer make Blue Blazers mid-flight. Hope this helps...
  10. This raises an important question, Alex. Just how much rimming should a bartender be subjected to?
  11. Losing a barkeeper such as Giuseppe (who is, I believe, effing fantastic) would be a huge loss for any place. But filling that slot partially with a dude from D+C can't be all bad. Then again, I may be a bit biased.
  12. Interesting shake that this girl uses. Maybe not practical for the drink, but damned cool to watch. However, the rest of the pomp and circumstance nearly made me want to gouge my eyes out. It's just unbearable to watch a bartender primp and smile for thirty seconds as the drinks sits and dilutes in the shaker. And then I turned up the sound on the video. And the pre-crack Whitney soundtrack did make my gouge my ears out.
  13. Seriously, what kind of ass-clown puts 74 cocktails on a menu?
  14. I have made many mistakes in my life. I done more than a few stupid things, said even stupider things, and many times have tarnished my family's good name through ignorance and hubris. I have even made a bad drink or three. But I have never advertised my ineptitude to the world in the hallowed pages of the NYTimes. Because, as foolish as I can be at times, even I am not that much of a f***ing idiot. Every time that I think the term "douchebag" is grossy overused, I find a new and richly deserving candidate to apply it to. The only joy of this dark episode is imagining how badly phlip's face contorted in agony as he watched the video. That must have been a show unto itself.
  15. Excellent news here, Dave, but the Morrell & Co. site lists some other event that day. What gives, Doctor W? When I read the post from the fellow upthread that was "annoyed" by the B.A.R. partners being hoodwinked by the "vodka myth", I shat myself. I can be as elitist about vodka as anyone here, but seriously man, set down the bong, and look at the names of the folks that teach the B.A.R. course. These guys are unmatched in their depth of spirits and cocktail knowledge. Unmatched. They're not being fooled by any marketing crap, not being influenced by price points, and not being distracted by shiny bottles. If anyone here is disappointed in what they see in the curriculum listing, I'll be pleased to show them the exhaustive course text and my equally lengthy written notes from the lectures/discussions/tastings. It's some serious stuff.
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