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  1. cravios, My only peach bitters experiment was basically a variation of Hess' House Bitters. I reduced most of the spices by 50% and I used dried apricots heated in the base spirit (I used Old Grand-Dad 114, which has an apricot note and is of course flavorful and high-proof enough to work well in this application). I chose apricots because I know from my beer brewing that peaches don't leave much peach flavor behind, no matter how they're used, but apricots do. I heated half of the base spirit to 130* and then reconstituted 1/2 c of dried apricots in it. The whole mess went into a jar with the rest of the base spirit, spices, gentian, etc. I also added 1/2 c. of (blanched and then toasted) almonds at that time to provide a peach-kernel like flavor. I used peach nectar in place of half of the demerara syrup at bottling to increase the peach flavor and keep things from being quite as sweet as the Hess bitters. The flavor was more satisfying and complex to me than Fee Bros. Peach (which I basically use for flavoring iced tea at this point), but not quite what I wanted: for one thing, the infusion in the jar was so dense that I didn't get much liquid out in the end. Additionally, I would have liked more balance between peach and almond (I believe this would take the bitters into the more traditional end of the peach bitters spectrum), and with the almonds in solution the color came out quite milky. Still, it was a start. I think there are other ways to approach this, though, such as using straight peach or apricot nectar at bottling and perhaps using a good quality almond extract. There are also excellent fruit extracts available through homebrew channels that might provide good fruit flavor without the mess. Anyway, as I said, I only made the one batch, and I think next time I will use almond extract but follow a similar fruit protocol. Hope that helps. Regards,
  2. Last night was homebrewed rye pale ale on tap. This afternoon, Orval, bottled Nov. 2006. Funky-fruity, well-aged and complex. I still wish I could taste it fresh: I love it the way we get it here in the US, with the Brettanomyces well-established, but I just know that with under 3 months of bottle age this is a superbly crisp, lightly fruity and spicy blonde. Regards,
  3. Blueberry pancakes slathered in butter and the richest maple syrup I can find Venison pan sausage Applewood-smoked bacon Two eggs over-medium Chocolate milk chased with Triple espresso chased with Fuller's London Porter Regards,
  4. There are many ways to approach making bitters, and some of them have been discussed elsewhere in this thread. That said, it would be helpful to know what methods and ingredients you have experience with and what type of bitters you have made before. Regards,
  5. That Fernet bitters is stocked at an Italian deli here in Dallas, and the gentleman who runs the store tells me it's unbearably bitter. I bought a bottle but haven't cracked it (hey, it's only been a couple of days). I'll second the question on Campari: I have a bottle of Cordial Campari I found that is basically a raspberry liqueur (nothing earth-shattering). Does yours say "Cordial?" Blue label? I've been a scourer for some time, and have found 7 bottles of Malacca, the Cordial Campari, Chartreuse at $18, tax-stripped Punt e Mes (still don't know what current product tastes like), and countless bottles of bourbon, Scotch, and rye. Good times, until someone caved in the hood of my car during the 5 minutes I was in a store. No security cameras and none of the residents of the parking lot saw anything, naturally... Regards,
  6. Thanks, Erik. I will have to order some, I guess. I could wait, but my delayed gratification tolerance is greatly reduced of late. Regards,
  7. Been away from the forum here for awhile, so forgive me if this has been covered, but I still haven't seen these, despite checking some of the better sources for obscure or new cocktail ingredients in this area. Are they available? Regards,
  8. TBoner


    I boil down sweet vermouths I don't like into syrups and use them in vinaigrettes (an idea culled from the Babbo cookbook: Cinzano vinaigrette). A warm vermouth vinaigrette is great with pork or lamb, btw. But yeah, I wish I'd been able to sample the Vya sweet before buying. I love my Cinzano: the Vya is just too much. Out of curiosity, is the aged bottle any mellower?
  9. Jeff, the Middle Eastern brands are readily available all over town, of course, but the only place I've found the A. Monteux is at Central Market, usually near the Beer and Wine, but at one (Plano? Southlake?) it's with the sugar syrups in the spice aisle. Don't know if you're interested in picking it up, but I thought I'd mention it.
  10. Jeff, thanks for the info. I'll be picking some up tomorrow. I won't be buying it more than once unless it's the greatest beverage I've ever tasted.
  11. Which WF was this? I have checked the one on Lower Greenville and specifically sought out a couple of employees and a manager to ask about it. No dice. I'm near the one in Richardson regularly, but I'm willing to travel a bit to find some.
  12. Agreed. With the departures of some other favorites (Old Charter 12, most notably), this is now my pick for best value in bourbon. It is made by Beam, using the same recipe as Basil Hayden's from the Small Batch collection (Basil Hayden is the man pictured on the Grand-Dad 86-proof and bonded bottles). I find that recipe - which is loaded with rye - to be best when some young whiskey is included in the blend. The proof also keeps the stuff from being too light and wispy, which BH is IMO. National Distillers introduced the 114-proof version a few years before Beam bought them out, and I have had a truly magical bottle of their version. But to Beam's credit, they have kept the mashbill, yeast, etc. the same all these years. The other whiskeys they bought from ND were immediately converted over to the standard Beam recipe. The proof, high rye content, and low price make this bourbon perfect for sipping neat, drinking on the rocks, or mixing. There is always a bottle open at our house, and I pray there always will be.
  13. Just got a bottle. Finally arrived in Dallas! I tried Bowmore 12 - a peaty, floral personal favorite - with it at 3:1 right away. Simple and delicious. I haven't done much cocktail experimentation lately. My wife is pregnant and I'm not drinking when she's around. But I had to try St. Germain. I'm tickled to death that we finally have access to this product.
  14. TBoner

    Rob Roy

    JW Black is mighty fine for both of those drinks. But I'm with Mr. Kinsey on using the Grouse in my Rob Roy. For Rusty Nails, something about the kippery (a friend on another forum called it bacon fat) edge of Teacher's does the trick for me. JW Black is rarely around my place, since I sip my single malts and use the aforementioned blends for mixers (or sipping on occasion). But it is a damn fine product and worthy of neat sipping, rocks drinking, or cocktail blending. I need to get a bottle.
  15. TBoner

    Extreme Beers

    The hop shortage will likely be delaying or altering production of many extreme beers, at least those that are extremely hoppy. C-hops are going to be in short supply for the next couple of years. However, extreme brewing in the U.S. has moved in new directions recently anyway, with sour beers (Russian River and Pizza Port are at the leading edge here), wood-aged beers, and historical "recreations" such as Midas Touch at the forefront. I love lupulin, and have never tasted anything too hoppy for my taste buds, but I think things like stein beer, gose, Scottish ale made with heather, etc. will become more common as brewers realize that just out-hopping each other cannot sustain the craft or the industry, especially with hop prices going out of control and availability slipping.
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