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Everything posted by brinza

  1. Signed. The problem for me is that in PA, there are precious few choices for white rum. I haven't bought Bacardi in years, so I usually go for Cruzan . . . until now. The only other options are Don Q Cristal (shudder), Brugal Especial Extra Dry (at last year's Whiskey Festival, the distillers bragged about how this was made to appeal to vodka drinkers--they were right, it had no taste), and a few bottom feeders. I have bought Mount Gay Eclipse Silver in the past and I'd happily switch to that, but it doesn't seem to be available in my area any longer. I'm kinda screwed now as far as white rum goes.
  2. That one has a sneaky flavor. You might be tempted to think that it's going to be a citrusy Manhattan-style cocktail (that's what I thought the first time I saw looked at the ingredients), but it ends up being more like an herbal whiskey sour. Nice pics. Beautiful color on that Communist.
  3. I have two the 1.75ML Tangueray canisters that I use to support an auxiliary liquor shelf behind my bar. I've also got a few CAF cannisters which, like everyone else, I've yet to figure out what to do with.
  4. Part of the problem with so-called flavored whiskeys is that they are too sweet. Now it's important to be aware that products like Wild Turkey American Honey is a liqueur and it says so right on the bottle ("liqueur blended with pure honey and bourbon whiskey"). Anyone who thinks it's merely a flavored whiskey is not paying attention. It's more akin to Barenjager. OTOH, Jim Beam Red Stag, for example, is labeled as "bourbon infused with natural flavors" but it's as sweet as cough syrup. I've yet to see a flavored spirit that doesn't have added sugar. Having said all that, I'm with lancastermike: "STOP IT!" Or better yet, "Stop it, it's disgusting!"
  5. I agree. I had the good fortune of enoying a Vieux Carré at the actual Carousel Bar at Tales 2011. Wonderful memory. In fact, I think I've just selected my Friday evening aperitif for tonight. In the mix will be Bulleit Rye and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino.
  6. brinza


    Jackie Patterson was at Tales 2011 and had brought along a bottle of the pre-1986 Lillet for people to taste in the Lillet tasting room. I didn't think it was any more bitter than the modern item. The only difference I could perceive was perhaps a slight bit of oxidation.
  7. Came up with this recently when I subbed Bonal for the vermouth in a Boulevardier. Change of Key 1 ounce bourbon (or 1.5 ounces if you prefer) 1 ounce Campari 1 ounce Bonal Made one for a friend and just handed it to him without any preamble. He loved it.
  8. I am totally baffled by this. A Cocktail Competition sponsored by Drambuie and connected with Tales of the Cocktail was announced, recipes were collected, and it has dropped off the radar. Not to be confused with the Drambuie "Nail or Fail" Bartender Showdown competition (which was an in-person event) or the Drambuie Tales on Tap competition (which is for draft cocktails), this was an online entry competition called simply Tales of the Cocktail Bartender Showdown. The prize was an all-expense-paid trip for two to the 2012 TOTC, including two Founders Day Passes and $500 cash. Here is a link to the TOTC page which describes the contest and lays out the rules: http://www.talesofth...wn-competition/ An e-mail about the contest was sent out to those on the TOTC mailing list back on March 6. Many eGulleters probably received it. The deadline for the contest was May 8. A reminder e-mail was sent out on May 8 as well. I submitted a few recipes around April 26. I received an acknowledgement message for each submission. Since the deadline was in early May for a prize for a trip in late July, I expected to see an announcement of the winner some time in late June or early July. To be honest, I really didn't expect to win myself, but I did expect to see a winner announced and the winning recipe posted somewhere. I went back and looked at those confirmation e-mails and saw that they originated from an actual person's address (rather than an automatic no-reply address), so I contacted this person to ask if I had missed the announcement of the winner. I received a prompt reply on July 8 that the winner would be announed "next week" which would mean some time between July 15 and July 21 (not a lot of advanced notice!). Still nothing. I've gone through all of my e-mails since the deadline date (in case I missed anything) and have combed both the TOTC and Drambuie websites neither of which make any mention of this contest. A google search turned up several mirrors of the contest entry page and a social networking site with numerous tweets up to the May 8 deadline reminding people of the impending deadline for the contest. After that date, the tweets go silent. Has anyone else here entered this contest? Does anyone have any idea what is going on or know the winner? I would honestly be happy if they just sent out a notice to everyone along the lines of "Oops, we screwed up and the contest rules were incomplete so we can't award the prize," or "We didn't receive enough entries for a viable contest pool," or "We received too many entries, got overwhelmed, and ran out of time." I'd even accept "We didn't feel that any of the recipes were good enough to put our name on them." Anything. The cynic in me wants to say that there never was any prize and that this was a subterfuge for the purpose of recipe harvesting. Either that or they quietly informed the winner and told no one else, which would be almost as shady, IMO. If they announced it today, how many people could just drop everything and go tomorrow? All of the other cocktail competition results (including at least two others sponsored by Drambuie) are being hyped to no end, yet this one is going curiously unmentioned as if they want everyone to forget about it. The whole point of these contests is publicity for the sponsor, so this makes no sense. I attended Tales last year and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had, and Drambuie is one of my favorite liqueurs (which is why I though it would be fun to create cocktails around it). But this thing has me really ticked off. If anyone could shed any light on it I would greatly appreciate it.
  9. I'm glad you mentioned that. I've been very annoyed by that. I didn't know if it was Pennsylvania choosing to stock a different version or if WT actually did away with the 101. In fact, I haven't bought any since they did that. If I'm in a store that doesn't have Bulleit Rye, I'll take Jim Beam before I'll buy that WT 81 nonsense.
  10. I love experimenting with subbing amari for vermouth in Manhattan variations, and Ramazzotti always works well. I've also used Amaro Montenegro and Luxardo Abano. My usual dilemma is whether to go ahead and still add the bitters. On one hand it seems redundant but OTOH, it seems like heresy to not use them.
  11. FWIW, Hollinger & Schwartz's Art of the Bar gives a drink with rye, sweet vermouth, Campari and a couple of other minor fillips (dashes of Peychaud's bitters and Herbsaint) that they call the "New Pal." It's such a straightforward substitution that I'm sure it's been given plenty of other names, of course. Thanks for the reminder. I have that book, so I should have recalled that one. Interesting, though, that they thought of the combination as a riff on the Old Pal rather than the Boulevardier,.
  12. Not to cause too much thread drift, but does the distinction between the Old Pal and the Boulevardier hinge on the whiskey or the vermouth? Are either considered to be interchangeable in these drinks? If the recipes are steadfast, what then do we make of the combinations rye/sweet vermouth/Campari and bourbon/dry vermouth/Campari? Are these entirely different drinks than the aforementioned, or merely variants? Do they already have names of their own?
  13. brinza


    Nice idea, haresuf. I also like the idea of using lime in the Corpse Reviver in place of lemon. I have a bottle of Dolin Blanc at the moment so I should give this a try. I sometimes forget to experiment with blanc/bianco vermouths, but they are very nice. Delightful to drink straight, too. Try it in in a Martinez, in place of red vermouth.
  14. brinza


    It absolutely would matter about the vermouth in a vodka martini. (Hey, at least this person had the sense to actually request vermouth at all). I think you are right, that the vermouth would be the only thing that matters, or at least the thing that matters most. IMO, the only use for a vodka martini is to showcase a fine vermouth. Did you inquire as to what the person had in mind when they said, "such a small amount." If they were thinking atomizer or wave-the-bottle-over-the-glass amounts, then they need to be educated on what a martini really is before they will be convinced of the importance of the vermouth.
  15. I do have to say I like that label, though.
  16. Forget to report on the Cold River gin. My friend and I both declared it a hit. This is a very robust and flavorful gin. It has a clean, crisp flavor which made a delicious Martini (freshly opened bottle of Noilly Prat and small dash of orange bitters). Not as much juniper as, say, Gordon's or Junipero, but it's definitely a traditional gin profile with a nice botanical mix that's not overcrowded. Might be ever so slightly heavy on the cardamom though, and whereas many gins use a lemon-and-orange combination for their citrus component, this uses lemon and lime. Perhaps this is one reason that it worked so well in a G&T. We used Q-tonic, and I have to say that these were some of the best G&Ts I've had. The Q-tonic might have had something to do with that, however, since it's so low in sugar--the G&Ts were very crisp and bracing. The Cold River gin stood up admirably to the tonic, and we agreed that this was a successful combination. Maybe this review doesn't belong in a thread on new generation gins, since Cold River is being marketed as a "traditional gin," but it is a fairly new product and I suppose there is some novelty in the use of a potato distillate base.
  17. from the Combier website: It sounds like a very interesting product in its own right. It seems like a blend of a Grand Marnier-type product and an amaro. I wouldn't be in such a hurry to get rid of it. While it's not going to work in most applications calling for Cointreau, it still should be fun to experiment with. You might want to try it as a sub for Amer Picon or Ramazzotti (though it will probably be considerably sweeter than those items, so you'd have to reconfigure any recipes to account for that).
  18. Sounds like this might work where genever is called for, do you think? Yes and no. It's certainly evocative of genever in the malty character that comes from the rye grain base, but there's a lot more juniper in the Dry Rye than what I associate with most of the genevers I've had. I guess I wouldn't feel a need to be as careful about using it as a straight substitution where genever is called for, but I think some tweaking is probably going to be necessary. One gin that I'm fond of is Damrak Amsterdam Gin. It's much more junipery than most genevers, but more geneverish than dry gin. Are you familiar with it? If so, how does it compare to the St. George, if at all? Either way, it sounds like a fascinating spirit with a lot of potential for experimentation.
  19. I saw it (and tasted it) in New Orleans at Tales in July. If I ever get the opportunity to purchase a bottle, I certainly won't hesitate.
  20. Not to suggest that that's what Mr. Wondrich had in mind, but this seems like a good description of the $50 Nolet's. Sounds like this might work where genever is called for, do you think?
  21. I didn't care for Nolet's very much. Peach? Raspberry? Damask Rose? Luckily I got to sample it without having to buy a bottle. I'm a regular drinker of Citadelle, but have yet to get my hands on Citadelle Reserve. And as much as I love Citadelle for its 19 botanicals, I am equally impressed with Death's Door for achieving its taste with only 3 botanicals--juniper (albeit two varieties), coriander, and fennel. That's it. Another good one is Tub Gin, a low-juniper gin which is NOT citrus-y as most low-juniper gins tend to be. IMO, the taste of this gin way more refined than their hokey "wild-west" marketing angle would lead you to believe. The price is very, um, refined, as well, to put it politely. A friend will be bringing me a bottle of Cold River gin tomorrow. It's a new gin made from a traditional recipe on a potato distillate base. He is also bringing with him packs of Fever-Tree and Q-tonic, and together with the unopened bottle of Noilly Prat that I have (not in the same drink, mind!), we can put this gin through its paces. I'll report back with a summary of my research. Has anyone else had it?
  22. When I made my post above I actually wrote a bit of a rant as this exact thing is one of my biggest pet-hates*. I'm a great believer that stand-alone drinks will get the credit they deserve, so long as they're good. They don't need to piggy-back on better known drinks to get the recognition they deserve. Why rum Manhattan? Just call it the Palmetto. Why bourbon Negroni? Just call it the Boulevardier. The argument often presented is that a rum Manhattan is an easier sell than a Palmetto but I don't know if that's strictly true and in my own experiences disagree with it. <snip> I only snipped the remainder of the post for length--I agree with your entire post, and I think the way you've laid out that menu is the best solution. I was going to comment that while I commend bars for creating their own drinks, are they really that concerned that patrons won't order them if they give them original names? They are already listing the ingredients, so patrons can see what the drink is composed of. Why try to hide them behind the names of classics? Not only that but in this particular case, using Bourbon in traditionally gin-based drinks is much too radical a change, IMO, to be pretending that it's no more than a "riff" on a classic drink. I still hate that Martini has been distorted from a specific drink to a category, and it appears that Margarita and Manhattan are being dragged kicking and screaming through the same colloquialistic gauntlet. Sometimes this leads to absurdities such as the time I saw a menu that listed a "Margari-tini" consisting of . . . tequila, lime juice, and triple sec. Seriously.
  23. You said it. The whole discussion seems more like it's been set out to invent a problem rather than solve one. If you've ever witnessed homeopaths trying to argue their case . . .
  24. I wouldn't know how long Cinzano keeps--in my house it doesn't stay around long enough! If Cocchi were easier for me to get, I'd probably go through that just as quickly. As far as Bonal, I've also found that it lasts for quite a while. I wouldn't worry about trying to use it up in a hurry.
  25. Exactly. However, use that as a starting point for determining how sweet you want them to be. Those proportions might be little too sweet for some. If you know you're guests tastes, you can adjust the ratio of Cointreau to lemon accordingly. And remember to use fresh lemon juice. It will make a world of difference. Some people will wonder how you made them so good, when all you did was use fresh juice (of course the use of Cointreau rather than cheap Triple Sec certainly helps, too!).
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