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brinza

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Everything posted by brinza

  1. I use one of those mini-measure shot glasses. It's a one-ounce glass with four different scales printed up the sides: ounces, milliliters, teaspoons, and tablespoons. I can use the same measuring glass regardless of what units the recipe is written in. Admittedly, it's not that easy to read--actually I read it backwards, looking at the opposite side of the glass for the scale I want. I find it easier to see the scale that way while pouring than trying to look at foreground. I also have a 1 : 1.5 jigger, but I'm thinking of just getting several more of those in the various sizes. As long as you pull the correct jigger, there is no need to worry about actually measuring, just fill it and dump it. The only thing that bothers me about recipes written in parts is when there are dashes involved. If I'm to use one dash of, say Yellow Chartreuse or Absinthe, then the other ingredients must have a specific volume measurement, otherwise, how is the drink going to work properly?
  2. Interesting observation. Dr. Cocktail in his Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails remarked that Swedish Punsch is to rum what Drambuie is to Scotch. I wonder if there is a name for the specific classification of drinks (I don't think this is one of Gary Regan's drink families, unless it's covered in Duos), wherein a liqueur is mixed with the same spirit that is used as the base of the liqueur, e.g. Rusty Nail, B & B, French Connection #2 (Grand Marnier and cognac), and even rum and Punsch would be included. Are there others that follow this formula? ← I believe he lists them as "Duos and Trios" ← Thanks. That's why I spoke cautiously because I don't have the book with me and I wasn't sure.
  3. Your web browser bookmarks look like this: (though I'm sure I'm not the worst example)
  4. brinza

    Lillet

    This thread has inspired me to buy another bottle of Lillet. It is great stuff. I originally bought it when I wanted to make a Corpse Reviver #2 which immediately became a favorite cocktail. I've made some other great cocktails with it and have enjoyed it straight, but oddly, I have yet to try a Vesper, but I have feeling there is one in this weekend's cocktail agenda. One curious note: My old bottle had a cork stopper top and a plastic badge or seal glued onto the front of the bottle at the base of the neck. The new bottle has a screw cap and only embossed glass where the plastic badge used to be. I hope nothing else has been changed!
  5. Interesting observation. Dr. Cocktail in his Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails remarked that Swedish Punsch is to rum what Drambuie is to Scotch. I wonder if there is a name for the specific classification of drinks (I don't think this is one of Gary Regan's drink families, unless it's covered in Duos), wherein a liqueur is mixed with the same spirit that is used as the base of the liqueur, e.g. Rusty Nail, B & B, French Connection #2 (Grand Marnier and cognac), and even rum and Punsch would be included. Are there others that follow this formula?
  6. I agree with everything said about the importance of garnishes. A well-garnished drink makes you want savor and enjoy the total experience rather than gulp it down. But I'm not that good at creating and properly affixing garnishes, unfortunately. I mix cocktails much better than I can work with food. So even though it is more trouble than it's worth to garnish one's own drink, if I have the materials on hand, I usually try to do it for the practice. One thing that surprised me, though, was that the I found flaming orange peel trick to be much easier than I expected. That I can do! Another thing I learned from DeGroff's book is how to properly salt a glass rim (ie keeping the salt on the outside of the glass). Which is why I will never own one of those silly glass rimming trays they sell everywhere.
  7. brinza

    Mezcal

    It seems strange for me to say, but I've never had mezcal. Of course, living in PA we have only one choice, Monte Alban. I never figured it was worth buying since it's common and cheap, but the BTI actually gives it a surprisingly high rating (91). The idea of mezcal having a smoky taste I find very intriguing. Does anyone here have an opinion of Monte Alban, either way? Is it worth trying? Would it give me the wrong impression of what mezcal is about? The thing I find odd about the relationship between tequila and mezcal is that mezcal is likely to be made up of various types of agave, just not (necessarily) blue agave, whereas mixto tequila needs only 65% blue agave and the remainder doesn't need to be agave at all, but "other sugars". So some mezcal can be more agave than some tequila!
  8. brinza

    Highballs

    I used to hear the term "highball" a lot while growing up. It seemed that when my parents entertained, highballs were the thing. I don't know if they were using the word as a synonym for cocktails, but I don't recall ever seeing real cocktails (or anything with more than 2 ingredients for that matter) being mixed up. There was never a lot of liquor in the house, either, other than Seagram's 7, but we always had a lot of mixers like ginger ale, Half & Half, something called 4% (which I believe was a local version of Half & Half), and club soda. I was always being told not to drink those because they were needed for highballs. So apparently, they were making a lot of whiskey & whatevers. As soon as I saw the thread title, I immediately thought of DeGroff's Añejo HighBall which JAZ mention right away in the OP. In fact, for me it is now THE highball. It's what a highball should be (gotta use ginger beer though!). Fantastic drink. It will change the mind of anyone who might think highballs can only be boring.
  9. I have to agree with you 100%. The moment I saw that recipe I knew I had to make that. It's probably a bit on the sweet side for some people, but what a flavor! I used Absente for the Absinthe, but I don't think that hurt it any (it was either that or Pernod but I figured I'd use the drier of the two). Amazing cocktail chemistry at work there. My most recent sampling that hit the spot was the Shady Grove Cooler. I was looking for something to make with ginger beer other than the usual fallback of the Dark and Stormy, and while browsing through Grime's Straight Up or On The Rocks I came across one that called for gin with ginger beer, which I hadn't thought of. Remarkably, the flavor of the gin actually finds its way through the ginger beer (I use Jamaica's Finest). I thoroughly enjoyed this. Here is the cocktaildb's version of the Shady Grove Cooler: http://www.cocktaildb.com/recipe_detail?id=2089
  10. Don't ya just want to smash all those smarmy white Malibu bottles? I think we have a few interesting choices for aged and dark rums (not enough though), but the selection (if you can call it that) of white rums is almost criminal. The more I read this forum the more frustrated I become with our state stores. BTW, which stores do you usually patronize? I mainly shop at the Monroeville Mall store (even though there is one closer to my house). The Waterworks store is nice too, and the downtown store in Oxford Center isn't bad for its size. I'm constantly using the website search engine. I love going into a store and saying, "I'm looking for blah blah blah--I know you have some; I checked."
  11. You might be a cocktail geek if... ...while trying to decide what cocktail you want to have, you have to mix (or order) an easy "preliminary" drink to sip on while you think of what you really want. ...you select a cocktail based on the kind of bitters you're in the mood for. ...when you make an entry in your log book of cocktails you've tried, you make sure to note not only the name of the drink and your personal rating, but which book it came from. ...you keep a log book of cocktails you've tried
  12. My experience with pousse-cafés is limited, but my first attempts at it were seemingly successful. I received a book called "Shooters" for Christmas, which, if nothing, else was chock-full of pretty pictures. I decided that this could be a fun New Year's Eve activity (at home, mind you!) when our friend who always spends New Year's Eve with us came over. Wisely, we realized that if we were going to make these, it should be done before we got down to more serious drinking, otherwise, we'd just be making a mess (and wasting good liquor). One interesting point of note that I had never seen anywhere else was that this book suggested freezing your liqueurs beforehand which makes them easier to layer. That seemed to help because the process wasn't as difficult as I'd expected it to be. First we tried the five-layered Pousse-Café (I've seen other recipes for the namesake drink, but this is how it was laid out in this book): Grenadine Green Creme de Menthe Kümmel Galliano Brandy results: Another one we tried was the Nuclear Fallout. This one is interesting in that it's what you could call an "action" pousse-café. The idea here is to add the most dense liqueur last, so that it falls down through the other layers creating a maelstrom of color. Raspberry syrup Maraschino Yellow Chartreuse Cointreau Blue Curaçao Duck and cover:
  13. I use a three-piece shaker that has a heavy wall design. I'm not sure if it's double-walled but it doesn't feel cold in my hand (which means it's not transferring any heat from my hand into the container), however, it does get extremely cold inside since the strainer top (which is not as thick as the tin) becomes heavily frosted over after a thorough, vigorous shake. I'm also a glassware nut. Finding room for it all is become a very real problem. I haven't put much effort into acquiring any antique pieces (although I do have a few that have been donated by family members), I just like to buy whatever strikes me as different and fun. I do go for the smaller glasses too, and although I still like the V cocktail glasses, I prefer smaller ones. I have two old-fashioned glasses (not double!) that are from an Irish cream gift set and I treasure them. They are no more than 6 ounces (maybe even less) and I use them regularly. I hate the 10 or 12 ounce DOFs, but try to find anything smaller . . . You know you are glassware fanatic when: a) deciding what to drink is a two-stage process: choosing a cocktail; and choosing the glass b) you have some money burning a hole in your pocket and you can't decide whether to go into the liquor store or the kitchen/home store to buy more glassware.
  14. Go ahead and laugh, but I keep a set of these at my home bar: http://images.netshops.com/mgen/master:GOST094.jpg I don't use them religiously (for bitters, I dash directly from the bottle), but one thing they are useful for is consistency if you are experimenting with recipes. If you feel that the "dash" spoon seems a bit too large, then use one of the smaller spoons and call that your "dash." At least your dashes will always be the same size, and if you are changing other elements of the recipe, you can eliminate the variable of imprecise dashes. At any rate, I always use them for things like Pernod, etc. where I want to be careful to control just how much of that is going in the drink. I'm not sure, but the I think the sizes of these spoons are meant to be 1/32 tsp; 1/16 tsp; and 1/8 tsp.
  15. brinza

    Imbibe!

    I'm currently reading Imbibe! and enjoying every bit of it. I read William Grimes' book some time ago and was pleased to see another book on the history of cocktails. Anyone who is interested in learning what cocktails are really about needs to read this book. There is really no other like it. I couldn't agree more. Just getting them to stock things like Maraschino or a decent orange curacao would be a start! Until recently, they were shelving the cachaça with the liqueurs!
  16. I recently went through a bottle of Chalfonte VSOP Cognac. It was better than its modest price would suggest. Later, I was surprised to see Robert Hess using it, and even recommending it, in one of his video podcasts.
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