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Everything posted by brinza

  1. I love Balvenie Doublewood. The sherry notes give it some similarity to the Aberlour A'bunadh that's been discussed upthread, although the latter, of course, has a much richer, deeper taste, along with being a cask strength whisky. The first time I tasted Macallan's 10 Year Fine Oak, for example, I was rather unimpressed. It didn't do anything for me at all. I later realized that what I was "missing" was the sherry cask aspect of their flagship 12 Year expression (I don't think two-year difference in age accounted for much of the distinction). Then there's the Balvenie 21 Year Port Wood--Oh my.
  2. I'd go with Sidecars. You could do a Deluxe Sidecar with the Grand Marnier, and a standard Sidecar with the Cointreau.
  3. I just got it recently myself--it's a good one to get: two books in one; new stuff added since the originals (though I never owned the originals); and lots of fun reading and photos--it's way more than just the recipes. One thing, though. I hope you have or can source a bottle (or 3) of Lemon Hart 151 rum. He uses it in just about everything. Real frustrating when you don't have any. I finally got a hold of some by special ordering it. I think what inspired me to get the book was attending Berry's Tales seminar Who's Your Daddy? A Mai Tai Paternity Test. Now I want to get Sippin' Safari but it seems to be out of print at the moment.
  4. As nickrey suggested, Glenmorangie would be a good choice, as would Highland Park 12 or Isle of Jura Superstition. These are well-rounded malts with enough character to distinguish themselves from blends, but without being extreme. If you feel compelled to go with Glenfiddich or Glenlivet I'd spring for the 15yr expressions rather than the 12yr which, to my taste, tend to be too close to blends to be worth the bother. If Johnnie Walker Blue is actually an option for you, you might want to consider Macallan 18.
  5. Tri2Cook, if you want smokey and peaty without the medicinal notes, you might want give Ardbeg 10, Talisker (as Blether suggested), or Lagavulin a try. While Laphroaig is high in peat, it's also very iodine-y which is where the "hospital smells" come from. Those other three are very peaty (and smokey), but less medicinal, although most of the seaside and island malts will have this to some degree if their maturation warehouse are right on the seaside. For briney specifically, you might want to have a go at Old Pultney. In about 3 hours I will be at the Pittsburgh Whiskey Festival tasting many of these fine malts (and bourbons, ryes, etc.), including the new Laphroaig Triplewood, for example.
  6. I just want to comment on the cocktail porn in this thread. Kerry's photos are making me so thirsty. I just want to reach through the screen and grab these drinks! Damn.
  7. I'll put in another vote for Espolon. It starts around $22 in PA for the Blanco and frequently goes on sale, and it's the best I've found for that price.
  8. I encountered it at this year's Tales. My wife and I were drinking at Iris and the bartender kindly offered me a taste of it. It is truly unique; I'd love to get a hold of some eventually.
  9. I see no reason Aquavit wouldn't work--in fact that would allow you to play with the ratio without adding sweetness. I only added the Kummel to put another spice into the mix. In fact, afterward, I got to thinking maybe instead of the Punt e Mes, Bonal would have been even better in that position. I might try that out. As for the Abano, I don't use it very often, but at the same time I'm always intrigued by it. I really should experiment with it more. I've yet to encounter a recipe that calls for it specifically. I like the looks of the recipe you've got here. I have Heering, and while I don't have any high-rye bourbon at the moment (strangely enough), I do have high-rye rye! (Bulleit 95)
  10. Friday evening, desiring something as an aperitif, other than a Mahanttan but still whiskey based (and not wanting to leaf through a cocktail book), I assembled the following: 1.5 oz rye (Bulleit Rye) 0.5 oz Luxardo Amaro Abano (this is a dry, very peppery amaro) 1 tsp Punt e Mes 1 tsp Gilka Kummel 4 or 5 drops TBT aromatic bitters I have to say this worked very well and was quite satisfying. The flavor was dry and pleasantly bitter with a pepperiness from the Abano and hints of spice from the Punt e Mes, Kummel, and bitters. Next time I might increase the Kummel to see how it interacts with the rye.
  11. Anna, sorry I didn't respond to your question earlier, but the item that Sunny&Rummy linked to is the product that I have. The bottle just says Aalborg Akvavit. I can only say that it is decisively caraway-flavored, but how strongly flavored, I can't say, since I've never tasted another one to compare it to. It's like a dry Kümmel. The Pennsylvania LCB still lists it as a "regular" item, and it's fairly widely available throughout the state, so they're getting it somehow.
  12. Can you get Strega or Benedictine? Either (or better yet, a combination of both) would reasonably approximate the Yellow Chartreuse. When I make that drink with Strega, I call it the Norwegian Witchwood (I also prefer less apple brandy since, for me, it overpowers the aquavit): Norwegian Witchwood 1 1/4 oz Aquavit (Aalborg) 3/4 oz apple brandy or applejack 3/4 oz sweet vermouth (Cinzano) 1/4 oz Liquore Strega
  13. Don Q Cristal is what I have (I know I didn't make that too clear in my other post). I haven't tried any of the other Don Q rums--they might be fine, but I really don't want my Daiquiris to taste like Kamikazes. I just wonder why it's so hard to get a decent quality silver rum. I wouldn't mind spending a little more for a really good one. Pennsylvania has a mere 9 silver rums available in stores and two available online. Most of them aren't even $15. The only in-store items of any repute are Mount Gay Eclipse Silver and Cruzan. The two online products are El Dorado 3yr and Tommy Bahama (I've heard that Tommy Bahama is actually good despite its kitschy name, but I can't recall anyone here talking about it). I've discovered that Flor de Caña can be SLO'd with no minimum quantity, so I might go that route. Question: The El Dorado name speaks for itself, but would their white rum be suitable in all situations that call for white rum or is it too far removed from Puerto Rican rum as to be inappropriate? It seems my best choices come down to: Cruzan Aged Light Rum $13 El Dorado 3yr White Rum $16 Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4yr Rum $16 Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum $12 Tommy Bahama Light Rum $20 Of these five, what would you buy?
  14. I keep seeing posts that imply that Don Q is somehow a good (if inexpensive) rum. I gave the silver a try and that will certainly be my last bottle. There isn't even a hint of rum in there. A lot of people complain about how Bacardi is over-filtered so as to be "mixable", and I tend to agree, but when I opened the Don Q, I sniffed the bottle and tasted it straight and was totally confused. I blind-tasted it on three people and they all thought I had given them vodka. They all were completely surprised when I told them it was rum (one of them doesn't even like rum). One person said, "That's not rum--return it." I agree. I'll stick with Cruzan or Mount Gay Eclipse for white rum. I'd buy Flor de Caña if we had it. Hell, I'd even buy Bacardi before I'd buy the Don Q again if those were my only choices.
  15. I just got my copy of Remixed a week ago--that one actually sounds good--I'll have to give it a try. It's a little discouraging, though, what with so many recipes calling for demarara rum of some kind, but I should be able to get El Dorado without much trouble, even though I can't get LH. I made the Dead Bastard for my wife, a friend, and myself. That's right; skipped the Suffering and Dying and went straight to Dead. It was a big hit (especially surprised that my wife liked it, since it contains not one ingredient that she would knowingly request).
  16. brinza

    Bar Menu

    Amen to that! I was looking over the drink menu of a local bar the other day which listed 26 drinks total (divided into "Martinis" and "Cocktails" but with no apparent logic behind their classifications) and a whopping 6 of them were not vodka-based. Another menu I looked at had seven cocktails named after desserts. And these are places that bill themselves as "Martini bars."
  17. Went to the specialty store again today . . . Don Cesar Pisco Puro (we finally have Pisco in PA!) Rhum Barbancourt 5-Star rum Appleton Estate Reserve Cinzano Rosso (three bottles) big-ass bottle of Tanqueray on sale for $38
  18. Since you both seem to be enjoying Campari cocktails, make sure you try the Lucien Gaudin. http://www.kindredcocktails.com/cocktail/lucien-gaudin-cocktail
  19. I'd say that the Bulleit was a good choice. But then I would as it's my favorite Bourbon. If the recipient truly loves Bourbon and has never had it, he is likely to be pleased with it.
  20. That Mandarin Napoleon is mighty fine in any number of refreshing tiki drinks or sours. Just sayin'
  21. Tri2, I made this last night. Absolutely wonderful. Thanks for posting it. I went scant (probably closer to 1/2 oz) on the Maraschino, and it was perfect. I've never encountered this recipe. Where did you find it?
  22. brinza

    Pimm's #1

    And I was just agreeing with you, but it seemed like you didn't think I was. And I was joking about the recursive thing, mostly. Anyway, Pimm's all 'round, then.
  23. brinza

    Pimm's #1

    Huh? I was referring to these two comments: I believe I kind of said as much (when I pointed out that no one would use one of today's RTDs as an ingredient), but at the same time, I also see Erik's point that anything in a bottle was usually fair game in the quest for new cocktail ideas. Having said that, a Pimm's No. 1 Cup seems to be a kind of recursive cocktail, doesn't it? "So, how do I make a Pimm's No. 1 Cup, then?" "Well, first take 1.5 oz of Pimm's No. 1 Cup." "Wait, what???"
  24. I say let's kill Peach Bitters now before we're inflicted with some disturbing variant of the Fuzzy Navel.
  25. brinza

    Pimm's #1

    I see both Erik's and Adam's points here. Erik is saying that basically, anything in a bottle has always been fair game as a cocktail ingredient, so why doesn't Pimm's show up in old recipes? OTOH, as bottled cocktail already, perhaps it was looked upon only as an end product--just one example of a variety of Cup or Sling. It would be like using one of today's RTD products like, say, Cuervo Margarita as a cocktail ingredient. I can't imagine anyone doing that. But then again, if Pimm's really was once upon a time bottled at 40% alcohol, that basically demands it be mixed with something, and was therefore not really all that RTD, as it sort of is now. I have a feeling I'll be drinking me some Pimm's this weekend . . .
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