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Everything posted by haresfur

  1. I partially agree with you. I think it depends on what is within tolerance and what it outside tolerance. I question your idea of a 50% error - at least for the major ingredients. I'm no expert but I suspect a practiced bartender can free-pour many drinks within my tolerance. I tell people (on the rare occasions it comes up in conversation) that a good chemist is one who knows when to be "sloppy". Ironically, the greatest % errors are in the small additions - where you find dashes instead of micro-pipettes. But my point is that it may be possible to emphasize precision to the point of losing soul. Well maybe that's the difference between classical music and the Dead. How much room do you make for improvisation? It can be there in both. I just just don't have the expertise to tell when you guys are deviating from performance to performance. I agree, for drinks or any art, the changes should be mostly deliberate, but I don't mind leaving a little room for serendipity.
  2. Hmm, I'm not so sure about the above. Part of the art may be to allow for human variability. Your example implies that there is a "right" way for a drink to taste. Maybe it would be more interesting to have multiple similar but different variations on a theme. Think about wine: part of the fun is that a 2002 Chateau de Pompous is different from a 2003. And maybe a slow Wednesday drink should taste different from a busy Friday one. Bonus points for matching the drink to the ambiance and double bonus for matching it to an understanding of the customer's mood. Just a thought. I'm sort of coming at this from a pottery background: You can use various sorts of machines (like jiggers ) to make pots uniform but IMO you risk losing their "soul". Or if you prefer a musical analogy, would you want a live concert to sound just like the CD?
  3. Well, the good thing about the internet is that the idea counts. The virtual cocktail sounds tantilizing. Hope you continue the R&D and report back.
  4. What is it about liking your work that means you don't deserve decent compensation? I know that isn't what you believe but it's effectively what people think about a lot of jobs - school teachers, scientists, ministers, etc. I'm not in the industry, I go to restaurants for good food. Good service is a bonus. If I get good food and lousy service, I'll probably come back. If I get lousy food and good service, I probably won't. If I get lousy food and lousy service I won't be able to complain about the lousy food and have it made right and I surely won't come back. The consumers would probably be better off if we were charged a base amount for serving the food and were expected to tip the kitchen. It's not that I don't appreciate good service but I suspect that the tipping system doesn't improve the quality. If I get poor service, my tip is likely different from someone else who got the same. And I suspect that if I tip low it is mostly it is written off as my being a lousy tipper in general. I could talk to management but frankly, if I am disappointed with my server, I more than likely just want to get out of there and don't feel it is my obligation to bitch to management. Unfortunately, under the current system it is pretty difficult to justify tipping the kitchen fairly. I'm already paying about 15-20% more for the meal than its cost (for average service). I really think it is only reasonable for the tips to be split with the kitchen if we are to have a tipping culture. And this stuff about management increasing their take-home by offsetting tips with reductions to hourly wage is total BS.
  5. What about peaty single malts? Does that fall under "funky" or is it something else?
  6. I haven't done the comparison in your first question. But with regards to the second question, for me, there is enough grenadine flavor in most drinks to justify the hassle of homemade. ... But there is very little hassle. I used Katie's half-hot half-cold method and it turned out great.
  7. Pineapple-infused rum and cranberry juice on the rocks with a couple of dashes of Fees orange bitters on top. Just what the dearly beloved ordered. I put some brandy in mine which wasn't really an improvement. The pineapple upside-down cake made with rum-infused pineapple turned out pretty well, too.
  8. Interesting I guess this cooler ferments with wild yeast. Wonder if it is imported on the skin or just from the air. Sounds like it is worth a try since it wouldn't cost anything if you were buying a pineapple already. Chris, I'll have to look for the little cans of juice. Somehow I thought pineapple would just juice up like an orange. Off to infuse some rum...
  9. I think maybe a topic to discuss all drink-things pineapple is in order. Just made some not very good zombies last night. Probably had something to do with not having any orgeat and a lot of issues getting the sweetness right. But my main questions right now have to do with pineapple for drinks. First, do you make your own pineapple juice? How? I cut a bunch of chunks and ground the heck out of them with the mini-processor that attaches to my immersion blender. Ended up with pineapple sauce. Strained what I could through a tea strainer and got about half juice, half foam. Made do with that. Should I have just gone with a can of frozen concentrate? Second, I was using a Delmonte Gold pineapple. This is a pretty new variety with more sweetness and less acidity than others. The spears were pretty tasty after sitting in the drink but this can't be true to older recipes. Do you find you have to adjust for the acidity in your pineapple juice? How would I go about it? Are there other varieties that are preferable for mixing drinks? Finally, given the tastiness of the spears and the other half sitting in my fridge, I was thinking of soaking it in rum or something for eating/garnishing. Any recipes you would be willing to share? Oh yeah, any hints for cutting the things up without losing half the fruit trying to get rid of the last deep brown nubbins? Hope that's enough to start but please add anything else regarding the finer points-pineapple.
  10. Not really affordable if you factor in the airplane ticket ... but tempting! Maybe FedEx...
  11. You mean salmonella isn't a little salmon? One of my family's favorites is the restaurant in Italy that translated spaghetti into three other languages: "spaghetti, spaghetti, spaghetti."
  12. Ok, I'm way behind the times on this but I'm trying to imagine how ATF determines if something is potable or not? I mean, what poor SOB gets the job of seeing if he can hold the stuff down??? Great product BTW.
  13. I want to thank you for this thread. It opened my eyes. I went to the all night restaurant for breakfast at 4:30 this morning before work, sat at the counter and chatted with the staff as I ate. After I settled up I handed 10 % through the pass through to the cook - a pittance really. Man, if it were always that easy to make people happy, I'd be tossing bills all over the place! Clearly it was the thought that counted. I thought the waiter had left at the end of his shift but he saw and made a point of thanking me for making the cook's day.
  14. Assuming there is some truth to their marketing, Fris vodka uses a combination of distillation and freezing. Fris vodka I could see that a combination of methods might have advantages but that would have to be borne out by testing. I bought a bottle for my ginger infusion and it did seem to have a decent mouth-feel, not that I'm any sort of vodka expert. Actually some of the infusion recipes on their website look interesting. I later offered this quote from a NYT article: So, to sum up: distillation (separation of substances based on differences in boiling points) is preferable to fractional freezing, and was practiced in the rural US extensively by the late 1600s. ←
  15. They're herrings that have been gutted, opened up like a butterfly then cured with salt and smoke. ← The Digby chicks would be a great name for a country band. Ours have better health care but theirs get to carry guns. Same species Homarus americanus. ← So can you confirm the story that in the old days, if you were really poor in the Atlantic Provinces, you went out after a storm and picked up lobster off the beach... and hid if you saw anyone so they didn't know you were reduced to eating lobster? ... then again, maybe I don't want to know because it's so good a story I'm going to keep telling it anyway.
  16. So do cherry leaves leave a cherry taste??
  17. Got a message from a geologist friend that Thursday is mole day: Here's how I replied: Ok, to celebrate I figure that: 1 mole of ethanol is 46.06844 g and the density is 0.789 g/cm³. So 1 mole of ethanol is 58.39 cm³ My single malt scotch is about 80 proof or 40% alcohol by volume. So I should toast mole day with 146 cm³ of Scotland's finest. Now this neglects the partial molar volume of ethanol in water, which is negative so we had better round up to 150 ml. That makes for a 5.07 oz drink or about a double and a half. Oh, and I'd better hurry home from work to toast Mole Day on time. ... the things I do for science...
  18. The closer to spherical, the lower the surface area to volume of the teapot so a Brown Betty won't lose heat as fast as other shapes. Also they are earthenware, right? The more porous clay will tend to insulate better than a stoneware. The downside is that earthenware will depend on the glaze to keep water from seeping into the clay or even through onto your table. So crazing can be a problem with earthenware. Also it is somewhat more difficult to formulate a durable earthenware glaze that doesn't craze. Lead was wonderful for helping glaze fit but has pesky health issues. Personally I wouldn't worry about the crazing unless tea is weaping through the bottom of the pot. Other people worry about bacteria growing in the cracks but, heck if you just use it for tea and just rinse it out, it wouldn't seem to me to be any worse if it is crazed. I read somewhere that in India there are tea shops where you pay more for tea brewed in a really old pot. Can anyone confirm? I suppose the big advantage to a Brown Betty is that you can't see the ... er, patina built up inside.
  19. My "pasta a la Costco" (or should it be "au Costco"?). Cook spaghetti. Toss with black olives, green olives, artichoke hearts, possibly bruchetta topping, maybe even some bean salad - anything that suits my fancy out of those huge Costco jars cluttering up my fridge. Add grated Parmesan or Romano from the plastic container in the freezer and some olive oil. Leftovers were nice for lunch today.
  20. I prefer Earl Gray with sugar but no milk. Your basic black tea, I drink either way but avec milk has an edge. For Earl Gray, Murchie's turns my lips satisfyingly numb when fresh - a good reason not to hoard it. My go-to tea, when I have it around, is Murchie's No. 10 blend. Don't know if it is what you would consider a "flavored black tea" but I believe it is a black/green tea blend. It has a nice amount of floweryness (hey, I never said I could describe tastes well) without being too refined, although their fancier blends are nice on occasion. While I'm at it, for purely black tea, Murchie's Afternoon Blend (do you detect a pattern here?) is on the top of my list. I believe this was their old Empress Afternoon prior to parting ways with the Empress Hotel. Although the Empress still does afternoon tea, last time I was in Victoria we went for the Indian Buffet in the Bengal Room, instead. Super! The Bengal Room
  21. Should I feel guilty? I suppose so, but when your SO lives in a drafty, cold, grad student apartment in a converted carriage-house, there is nothing better than hot chocolate with rum. Now years later, as fall approaches, this not-so-young man's thoughts turn to liquid comfort. So give me Swiss Miss and Meyer's - I'll ignore your sniggers. But if you like it fancy, I also like real milk, cocoa, and sugar. Add 1 oz Gosslings Black Seal and 0.5-1 oz Gran Galla, depending on how sweet you like it and how much sugar you add. Put it in a favorite hand thrown mug with a well balanced handle. And go ahead, put some whip cream on top.
  22. This country has drunk its way through the Great Depression and many recessions since....
  23. What about Natural Brew do you like, rather than Reeds or Vernor's, if I may ask? ← Well, I'm not a great taste-analyst but I guess I like that it tastes like ginger. Reeds has a citrus flavor that isn't quite right IMO. I'll add my own fresh lime, thank-you. And Vernors has some sort of weird unidentifiable taste to me - but it ain't ginger. I prefer Canada Dry to it. I think Natural Brew has the right amount of ginger flavor, bite, and sweetness.
  24. Never too late to talk about ginger beer, right? I know I'm in the minority but I'm not a big fan of Reed's. Natural Brew ginger beer is my go-to for drinking straight or dark-and-stormies. Never liked Vernors ginger ale either.
  25. haresfur

    Organic beer: list

    FWIW, hops are highly susceptible to powdery and downy mildew, which can really decimate production and be very difficult to eradicate or even treat. Thus organic hop production could be a challenge, and certainly would be in areas where powdery mildew has been reported, like the Pacific Northwest. On the bright side, many local small-scale operations could be a good thing in this case since there is less chance for spreading the infection. Also some labor-intensive management practices apparently can help, and there may be some treatments considered organic (I'm no expert). I read that hops are very toxic to dogs so watch how you recycle anything containing them.
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