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Posts posted by mhdousa

  1. My first attempt at making a drink from scratch and I thought it came out quite nicely:


    Montenegro Bay (I was pretty proud of the name)

    1.25 oz Smith and Cross rum

    1 oz Amaro Montenegro

    1 oz Carpano Antica

    on the rocks with a lemon peel


    Would love any feedback on this.

    • Like 1
  2. (Crossposting this to Chowhound)


    I'm in Amsterdam currently and looking to bring some Genever back home. I can get the standard Bols easily at home. What should I bring back? Something that might work well on its own or do well in an old-fashioned or negroni variation.

  3. Last night I decided to do a side by side of the two.



    Apologies for the poor image quality.


    Sibilla is higher proof, but filtered and heavily caramel-colored. That's borne out in flavor and texture: it has the viscous, sticky caramel sensation common to many amari, along with the complex herbal blast of bitterness and the smoked honey sweetness shared by both Varnelli amari. It is the more bitter of the two by a pretty wide margin. 


    Dell'Erborista, by contrast, is cloudy and dark honey-colored, and tastes almost like a bitter version of Benedictine or another herbal liqueur, with a smoked honey sweetness that reminds me a bit of some mezcals. 


    Overall, Sibilla is closer to a generic amaro, with strong bitterness and caramel flavor, while Dell'Erborista really does taste like a showcase for the wild herbs and honey. Sibilla is more assertive in mixed drinks but Dell'Erborista adds more herbal complexity. Both are very good products, but my informal tasting panel (myself along with my barback and head bartender) unanimously preferred Dell'Erborista, both on its own and in the sour I mixed both products into. 



    Rafa -- Your comments surprised me because I found them when I compared them, so I tried again. The last time I took small sips of each, back-and-forth. I think this obscured the differences. This time I poured a small glass of dell 'Erborista, sipped it slowly, waited a bit, and then tried the Sibilia.


    The difference in viscosity and caramel really stood out. I liked them both, but the dell 'Erborista was more off an outlier from the brown amari clustering. Cloudy, bright in texture and flavor, and still deeply bitter. The Sibilia is much richer and darker in color and flavor. I've changed my mind: both are worth having. They are really the only amari that I love neat. Most others are either too sweet or (in the case of Fernet) too menthol-like. I use most of my amari in cocktails.


    I had expected to be accustomed to the bitter, but was really surprised by the intensity of the effect. The first sip is REALLY lingeringly bitter on the swallow. But with each sip, the bitterness becomes less noticeable until it seems nothing special at all. I have not found this effect with saltiness, sour, or sweet. Hot spice does seem to become a little more tolerable if you keep eating -- until you stop and die.


    After trying this a couple times at NYC restaurants, I finally located my own bottle of dell'Erborista. My god this is good stuff. I want to savor and save it in a way I haven't done with some of my other more-expensive sipping spirits.


    I am more than happy to save this as a purely neat drink, but if anyone knows of any cocktails where this shines, I'd love to hear about them.

  4. I'm pretty convinced that 1.5 to 2 oz each of spirit and Bonal Gentiane Quina, plus a strong dash of Boker's for bitterness and aromatic depth is a winning formula. An expressed lemon twist makes the first few sips special. This time with Tomatin 12, a scotch I'm trying out as a house non-peated mixing single malt. Last time was rye, which I may have liked even more. Maybe next time the peated Ardmore.

    That's a good reminder that I really need to get a bottle of Bonal. How's the fridge-life on this?

  5. Wow, that was a while ago.  Glad you liked it!  Last night was a Cana Brava 8:2:1 daiquiri for me.  It was just perfect.


    I find W&N easy enough to use up.  It's the Barbancourt I find hard to like in drinks.

    How do you like to use the W&N?

  6. Good results tonight.  I thought about trying 2:1:1, but I chickened out.  Here is what I'm having:


    1 1/2 oz Barbancourt 5 star

    1/2 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof

    1 oz lime juice

    3/4 oz syrup



    Slightly too sweet, but sweet in a good way, not cloying.  I think this recipe with 1/2 oz syrup would be nice.  And the rums, at least in the current proportion, work well.  Though as much as I like it, I can't see drinking more than one because of all the sugar.



    I just tried this with 1/2 oz simple syrup and I quite liked it. I may have found a good way to use up my W&N (which I'm not loving in any other drink).

  7. Thank you. It is very gratifying to have drinks I've made or posted connect with people generally and on this forum in particular. One of my favorite parts of my job is matching a guest to a drink, and while I have less control when it comes to people choosing to make a drink for themselves in Canada or New Zealand than at my own bar, it's great when a drink hits the spot for someone.


    A lot of bartending is kind of a drag—unclogging sinks and scrubbing surfaces, breaking up fights or screwing couples, cutting off drug deals, pouring shots of amaretto—but getting to make drinks and talk to people for a living is just about the best day (well, night) job I could hope for.


    Well, since you waded into this thread, I'll ask: what are your favorites of your own creations?

  8. So, based on recommendations here and elsewhere, I've bought a bottle of each of Smith & Cross and Wray and Nephew. I've tried mixing them and drinking them straight.  Unfortunately, I just cannot get into them. It's that totally funky taste that I can't get past. The logical conclusion is that I don't like hogo, right? 


    Is there any hope for me? Is it an acquired taste or did the rest of you get it right away?

  9. Finally decided to see what Hassouni's thing for WNOP was all about, bought a pint.  Had to teach tonight, so I couldn't do a cocktail, but it went sort of like this:  I took a small shot, got the rocket fuel comparisons right away, and then this burnt caramel flavor memory kept popping into my head for the rest of the evening, along with a voice from the base of my brain saying, "yeah, it was raw, can we try that again?"  Daiquiri tomorrow.




    Best. Rocket fuel. Ever.


    Hassouni, can you give me a few uses for WNOP besides on the rocks? I bought a bottle and am having a hard time finding anything it works with.

  10. Negroni week is coming up. Not that we need a special reason to celebrate this fine creation, but it's a chance to hear about some variations on the drink.  I've had, and love, the Boulevardier and 1794.  


    What are some other favorite spins on the negroni?


  11. They still make that?  All we get here is the 81 crap.  I might as well buy Jim Beam rye, but I usually just end up biting the Bulleit.  (those three are pretty much my only choices in PA)


    You can get it! Special order it from the PLCB. 

    To order call 1-800-332-7522 Option 1

    Product #540576

  12. I like A Moment of Silence as well. What kind of Daron did you get, the Fine or the XO? If it's the XO, it's pretty good on its own already.


    I've been making all kinds of cocktails that call for Laird's with calvados and have rarely been disappointed. Here are a few ideas for you: the American Trilogy (an Old Fashioned variation), the Lionheart, the Diamondback Lounge (the original with yellow chartreuse, on the rocks), Jeff Morgenthaler's Norwegian Wood (works best with the XO), Audrey Saunders' Tantris Sidecar.


    Last but not least, here is one I've been making a lot this winter, a twist on Eric Lorincz's Norman Conquest: 1 oz each scotch, calvados, and sweet vermouth, 1 teaspoon Drambuie, Angostura and Peychaud's bitters, stir, strain on ice, orange twist (see here).


    Calvados is also excellent in ice cream and crêpes. Enjoy your recent purchase!

    Fantastic - thank you!

    To answer your question, I got the Daron Fine.

  13. Picked up some Daron Calvados and R&W Apricot at the store this evening.  Searched for a drink where I could use both and came across Beta Cocktails' A Moment of Silence (http://www.kindredcocktails.com/cocktail/a-moment-of-silence):


    It calls for Laird's Apple Brandy rather than the Calvados I had, but holy s**t yes this is good.  There is so much goodness going on in here.


    My question is would it be much different if I use the Laird's?


    What else is the Calvados good in?

  14. Very possibly! A mix of dry vermouth and simple would be closer, but Punt + dry vermouth sounds like it could be compellingly disastrous, and I therefore now command you to try that and report back.

    Rafa, I've never met you and yet I found myself compelled to follow your command. The results:

    By no means disastrous, and actually quite delicious. It didn't taste that far from a negroni, which is not a bad thing at all, but the Fernet may have gotten lost. Admittedly, I'm not at all good at picking out individual flavor profiles.

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