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campus five

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  1. Yeah, buy both. One last parting shot. I vastly prefer the rum classification system as presented by Smugglers Cove, over the traditional "geographic" approach. Although rums of different nationalities have had distinctive characters attributed to them historically, frankly it can be hard to know whether a rum from any given region actually fits that historical character. Plus, these are often combined with a "color" descriptor. How "dark" is "dark", how old is "gold"? The categorical approach based first on distillation style (pot still, column still, blended, coffey still, etc.), and then onto (relatatlively) rough age brackets, with a final category for "black" rums, i.e. those "augmented" with "more color than 50 years in a barrel could provide." Now, the age ranges listed (and the "approved" rums listed) provide perhaps a bit too much latitude at times, but there's both a good critique of that, and an important counterpoint from Martin Cate in the comments here: http://cocktailwonk.com/2016/05/navigating-smugglers-cove-exotic-cocktails-rum-and-the-cult-of-tiki.html: With Martin's counterpoint: Anyway, the articule worth reading through. It really is.
  2. The thing I like about smugglers cove is they way they have "decoded" some of the classic recipes so they are a lot easier to make. Given the combining of ingredients to make "special syrups", like Don's mix or Don's spices, Smugglers formats recipes to avoid having to also batch these compound ingredients, instead calling for their constituent ingredients. Something like Don's Mix is cinnamon syrup mixed with grapefruit juice. Unless you're making a Zombies all night for a bar full of people, it's kind of silly to batch it to make one drink at a time. However, the Beach Bum perspective and authenticity is of course important, but if I had to pick one book on Tiki, I'd go with Smugglers' Cove for the ease of use. Sort of the way that I wouldn't suggest Jerry Thomas' original recipes to make a manhattan now.... But the original specs are useful to know and understand as a historical document.
  3. Well, that's your loss, but I think you've misunderstood. SC makes a "Mai Tai" syrup to replace the "Rock Candy Syrup" called for in the original Trader Vic recipe. They take a normal, rich 2:1 Demerara syrup and a tiny bit of Vanilla and a dash of salt. 4 cups Demerara / 2 cups water / 1/2 tsp Vanilla / 1/4 tsp Salt - which makes approximately 4 cups / 32 oz of syrup. The rest of the Mai Tai recipe for reference: 2 oz rum / .75 oz lime / .5 oz curacao (specifically Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao) / .25 oz Orgeat / .25 oz Mai Tai Syrup Maybe my math is wrong, but I'm pretty sure thats 0.00390625 tsp of vanilla per drink. Depending on the estimate you use, that's about a 1/3 of a drop. To call that "serving vanilla extract in their mai tai" is technically true but totally misses the point. Maybe, just maybe, give one of the very best tiki bars on earth a just a little benefit of the doubt for you write it off completely.
  4. Yeah, I'd guess this would be more like combining Coruba and Smith and Cross, and the 86pf Hamilton Demerara would be closer to the Coruba.
  5. Tonight I made a "Navy Grog" according to the Trader Vic specification as detailed in the book. Interestingly the Don the Beachcomber specs are also listed. What was crazy is how balanced it was. I don't mean to put out the whole recipe, but most of the book can be searched for on google books. .75 Lime / .75 grapefruit .25 rich demerara / .25 allspice dram 1 oz each of three different rums And these are the rums I used: 1 oz Plantation 3 star 1 oz Smith and Cross 1 oz Bacardi Extra Anejo 1.5 oz of citrus balanced by .25 oz of syrup and .25 of liqueur that I don't think of as particularly sweet. And it's not like any of the rums are particularly sweet, either. Good stuff. Funny thing, I had hesitated to make it since I didn't have the ice cone mold, but it's not even used in the Trader Vic version, so there that.
  6. Yeah, I don't think it was as rich as that combination either, but it got me in the same ballpark, which I dug. Plus, it would be pretty easy to spike it with something richer too. I also forgot to mention, the book calls for a specific syrup blend for the mai tai, 2:1 demerara with a dash of vanilla extra and salt, which I can only guess is their replacement for "rock candy syrup" in the original. Oh, and it seems a little odd to have only 1/4 oz orgeat in the recipe. Perhaps the SC house orgeat is more strongly flavored, but the Liquid Assets Orgeat I've been using (an LA bartender made product) is definitely not super strong.
  7. After yet another visit to a liquor store to buy new rum, I decided to go with the classic Mai Tai. The book lays out the saga of rums used in the Mai Tai historically over 3 pages, and perhaps because I was already imbibing when I would read the last paragraph or two, I kept missing the information that SC's house Mai Tai uses Denizen Merchant's Reserve Rum, and that said rum was a collaboration between Denizen and Martin Cate to fashion a rum after "Trader Vic’s Second Adjusted Formula, the formula Vic used to create his Mai Tai rum when both Wray and Nephew 15 year and Wray and Nephew 17 year supplies ran out. It’s a blend of 8-year-old Jamaican pot-still rum and molasses-based rhum grand arôme from Martinique" I've been using Rubdood's suggestion of Appleton 12 and Clement VSOP for years in my Mai Tais, and the Merchant's Reserve is definitely a suitable option, and, bonus, it's cheaper that both of those rums!
  8. Next up a "Zombie" fashioned after the 1934 specs. They do an interesting job of simplifying the ingredients, swapping Don's Mix (grapefruit juice and cinnamon syrup) for each of it's constituent ingredients. But alternatively, they change the 6 drops of Pernod usually called for 2 dashes something called "Herbostura" a 1:1 combo of Angostura and Herbsaint. I've actually found that it's a pretty useful swap. I've been making some non-alcoholic tiki things for friends (they don't mind the trace amount of alcohol from a couple dashes of bitters) and a dash or two carries a big flavor. Anyway, I went with Bacardi 8, and a split of El Dorado 8 and Dos Maderos 5+5, and then the Hamilton Demerara 151. It was pretty great, and the DM 5+5 add some serious richness. The only problem was that I made it and drank most of it while cooking dinner, and by time we were done eating, I was pretty bombed. Oops.
  9. If you can get frozen puree from a latin market, it's a manageable amount, and it's cheap. If you order the stuff from Funkin or Perfect Puree, it's a lot of puree and it's kind of expensive. I'm sure fresher would be better, but this is pretty solid. But I will say, that is still seems a hair tart, and it's definitely not that red. I tried making a mini Hurricane with it (rum/passion fruit syrup/lemon), and it was good but, it was a bit too tart and definitely not the same color as the one in the book.
  10. So, the Plantation Pineapple Rum, aka "Stiggins' Delight" is a pretty ridiculous product, but in a good way. It's delicious by itself, it's great in a daiquiri, but it's also surprisingly good in stirred cocktails. A friend who just got back from New Orleans told me about a Pineapple Sazerac on the menu at Cane and Table. He lamented not ordering it, but we quickly remedied that by making our own. We weren't sure if it was merely a Sazerac with the Pineapple Rum as the base spirit, or if there were any other swaps, but we made one that way, and it was fantastic. Surprisingly good. And, through the power of facebook, we very quickly heard back from one of the bartenders that we were correct. Apparently they'll cut it with rye if they're running low on the pineapple rum, but otherwise it's a standard Sazerac recipe. Also, for Negroni Week, I made a Pineapple Negroni, which was also fantastic. 1:1:1 with Campari and Carpano Antica. At some point, I might try spiking it with a little Smith and Cross, too. I've also combined it with Cynar 70 for something similar to a negroni, but I can't remember what ratios I ended up with. Still, it's a delicious idea.
  11. So, following the recipe in the book, I got some passion fruit puree (frozen at the latino market) and mixed it equal parts with 2:1 simple syrup. It's pretty convenient to have a source for passion fruit puree right around the corner from the house. The falernum is John D. Taylor's, which is called for by name in the book. It says a lot that an operation like SC doesn't bother to make their own. The orgeat is from Liquid Alchemist, made by a local Los Angels bartender and sold at Barkeeper. They also sell St. Vincent Orgeat, which is also made by a local LA bartender. Frankly the St. Vincent stuff was so good that it inspired bartenders around LA to add orgeat cocktails to menus around town. But, they reformulated to make it shelf stable, so it's not the same. Still, I will probably try it again when I finish the bottle of Liquid Alchemist.
  12. The cocktail that spawned my original query: Dr. Funk. lemon juice / lime juice grenadine / 2:1 Demerara syrup herbsaint rum dash of seltzer So as discussed above, I'm guessing the rum called for in this drink is the Hamilton Jamaica Black. This was friggin' great, and it was interesting that the herbsaint and the rums served to dry the drink out a bit. Oh yeah, and the drink mixer was full effect at this point, and ice portioning (most of the blended cocktails call for 12 oz of crushed ice) was perfect, so execution was dead on.
  13. Fun story, I can't even remember what this is....
  14. Next up was the "Demerara Dry Float, with a side of 'Danger'" lime juice /lemon juice passion fruit syrup / demerara syrup / maraschino rum / float or side of overproof demerara rum I believe we made this with El Dorado 12, but I can't remember (occupational hazard). Again, something that would've been served better by using the milk shake mixer. Still pretty good.
  15. Next I tried the Saturn on recommendation from a friend. gin / lemon juice passion fruit syrup / falernum / orgeat So, this was just ok, but I think my passion fruit syrup is on the tart side, plus this was before the mixer arrived, so the under-dilution did it no favors. I'm gonna try it again soon, and I'm guessing it'll probably be better the second time around.
  16. Here's the first thing I made: Puka Punch It was so good I had to make it again two days later. lime juice / orange juice / pineapple juice passion fruit syrup / 1:1 honey syrup / falernum angostura four rums The first time I used Appleton 12, El Dorado 3, Coruba and Hamilton Demerara 151. Second time around, I used the rums shown in the photo: Appleton 12, Plantation 3 star, Hamilton Demerara 86, and Hamilton Demerara 151. Based on the advice from the book, and how cheaply you can get one, I definitely ordered one of these: Hamilton Beach 730c Drink Mixer It took a little trial and error to get the ice portioning down, but it was worth $3 to get a 12oz ice scoop so I don't have to think about it.
  17. Hi-Time, Hi-Time, Hi-Time. Mission Liquor, Wine Wearhouse and the Winehouse would also have broad selections.
  18. So, I picked up the "Smuggler's Cove" book, and - no surprise - it's fantastic. I have a dumb question about interpreting an inconsistency/typo I found in a recipe, but I figured it'd be good to have a thread for discussing the book / the recipes / methods / etc., anyway. Martin doesn't suggest exact rums for (almost) any of the cocktails, but rather draws a large number of relatively broad categories. Given that, I'd be interested to see what people are using, and digging in the various cocktails. Here's the list of categories, and some more common examples: Pot Still Unaged (such as Wray and Nephew, Hamilton Jamaican Gold, etc.) Pot Still Lightly Aged (Smith and Cross, Pritchard's Fine, etc.) Pot Still Aged (various independent bottlings, Cadenheads, Berry Brothers, Plantation, etc.) Pot Still Long Aged (Appleton Estate 50, Black Tot) Blended Lightly Aged (Appleton Signature, Banks 5 or 7, El Dorado 3, Plantation 3, etc) Blended Aged (Appleton Reserve or 12, El Dorado 5 or 8 or 12, Plantation 5 or 20th Anniversay, Pusser's, Mount Gay Black Barrel or XO) Blended Long Aged (El Dorado 15 or 21 or 25, various super old stuff, XO's etc.) Column Still Lightly Aged (Bacardi 1909, FdC 4yr, Scarlet Ibis, etc.) Column Still Aged (Ango 1824 or 1919 or 5 or 7, Bacardi 8, FdC 12, Cruzan Single Barrel, Brugal 1888 or Extra Viejo, etc.) Column Still Long Aged (FdC 18 or 25, English Harbor 25) Black Pot Still (only example: Hamilton Jamaican Black) Black Blended (Coruba, Goslings, Hamilton Guyana 86 pf, Lemon Hart 80, etc.) Black Blended Overproof (Lemon Hart 151, Hamilton Guyana 151) And then another 8 for cane juice based rums (basically Agricole and Cachaca).... So my particular question is for the Dr. Funk Cocktail (pg. 266) - it calls for "black pot still unaged rum", but that doesn't match (exactly at least) one of the categories. There are several unaged cateories, but only one "Black" and "Pot Still". My best guess is that "unaged" was left off the category title, so the recipe is calling for Hamilton Jamaica Black, the one and only example Cate gives for the category. Validating my guess is that the 1947 Trader Vic book calls for "Dark Jamaica or Martinique Rum". Further, the note at the bottom of Cate's recipe says to use a "full flavored funky rum" to balance the Herbsaint, which seems to describe something like the Hamilton Black.
  19. Should've grabbed a picture, but I swung by Hi-Time because I was in the neighborhood. Wild Turkey 101 Rye (yes! in a 1L bottle) Cappelletti Aperitivo Bigallet China China Amer Becherovka (re-stocking) Jelneck Fernet (re-stocking) I was temped to get some Stagg Jr, since they had several bottles, but I'm gonna wait just in case I find a bottle of regular Stagg there at the end of the month (optimistic, I know). But, then again, I have a bottle of Barrel Proof Elijah Craig, and several vintages of Stagg, so I'm not desperate for high-proof, well-aged Bourbon.
  20. Rittenhouse/Carpano/Ango - what perfect place to start. The only problem is how many combinations out there will pale in comparison. When it comes to garnish, I almost always skip the cherry and go for a twist. I find an orange peel has the ability to make the drink seem sweeter, and a lemon peel seems to dry a drink out. Especially with Carpano, I find the lemon peel is the perfect balance.
  21. The contratto sweet vermouth is wonderful. I'd put it up there with Antica and Cocchi di Torrino.
  22. Yeah, I really don't enjoy M&R or Cinzano... or Dolin Rouge for that matter. And I really, really hate Noilly Prat. There's an "oregano" note that I really dislike (kind of like bad faux-italian food), and Noilly Prat almost has on "olive" note that I find especially nauseating. Also, I found all of them very "thin". They couldn't really stand up to the whiskey in a manhattan for me. But Carpano Antica, Cocchi Vermouth Di Torrino, and Contratto Rosso are all amazing. I used to be a die-hard Antica fan, but that vanilla can be a bit much, and the Cocchi and Contratto have enough fullness without being quite as overbearing. Contratto may be my current favorite, but I haven't yet starting using the bottle I bought, so I haven't really played with it enough to compare. We did a tasting and it came out tops. Still, I'll take Antica in a heartbeat if the other two aren't around. If I'd only had the first four, I'd call it a day with Sweet Vermouth, too. Mahattans and Negronis are perhaps my two favorite cocktails, and without decent vermouth, they can be completely ruined. That said, Cinzano stands out for me as the least bad option. It has a similar profile to M&R, but less so, if that makes sense. Also, I find sufficient dilution in a negroni to help a little with mediocre vermouth. Of course, there's nothing that'll make Noilly Prat Rouge drinkable to me.
  23. Funny I saw that recipe in my twitter feed, and immediately sent it to evernote for safe keeping. I believe I'll have that before dinner.
  24. I went looking through Kindred Cocktails looking for something Irish-Whiskey based to make tonight. Ended up with a Wilde Heart (Brandon Josie, 15 Romolo, San Francisco, CA) http://www.kindredcocktails.com/cocktail/wilde-heart 1.5 Irish (calls for Black Bush) .75 Cio Ciaro .25 Cherry Heering stir, strain, up, orange peel. I was using Redbreast, and even then, it was way too sweet. I ended up adding .25 oz of some George T. Stagg to up the proof. Next time, I'll definitely up it to 2 oz Redbreast, and even then, I don't know if the whiskey can stand up.
  25. I visited some friends in Boulder and Denver two weeks ago, and had several really delicious drinks. We visited Bitter Bar in Boulder, and Williams and Graham, and Ste. Elie in Denver. St. Elie is two month-old out-growth of Colt and Gray - they turned their basement into a stand-alone bar. Fantastic drinks and fantastic bartenders at Ste. Elie, but it was one thing in particular that has stuck with me.... They were serving a 1:1 combo of Campari and Fernet, undiluted, out of a converted Jaegermeister chiller, poured into a Glencairn glass. The name makes me grimace just to write it... "Ferrari" or perhaps "Fer-ari." The groaner name aside... I haven't made anything else at home since then. I put a bottle of of 1:1 Campari:Fernet in the freezer and have just pouring myself a bit of it to sip on here and there. It doesn't make any sense, but damn, it's good.
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