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  1. Yeah, HC is better known for wine than for spirits, but they have a decent general stock, and better prices than some of the newer, more hipster-inflected liquor stores in the area.
  2. My first batch of rock and rye is nearing the bottom of the bottle, and while I can always dump more Rittenhouse on top, I'm thinking of giving a bottle of Jack Daniel's Rested Rye (hey, it was a gift, not my choice!) the rock treatment to try and deal with the weird banana flavor in it. I recall I used a combination of a recipe from Imbibe and one from LeNell Smothers, both of which are online, but instead of horehound (not my fave) I used a sprig of anise hyssop, which worked nicely. In looking up the recipes again, I found a whole bunch online; no two alike, yet not a lot of variation among them. I would think this is a worthy line of experimentation, given the range of spices (cinnamon, clove, star anise, etc.) and fruits (orange, lemon, cherry, apricot, even prune) that go into them. Anyone gone the homemade route recently, or has Hochstadter's and Dr. Katz's taken over?
  3. A few years back I mixed up a cocktail for a school fundraiser (nothing increases auction bids like alcohol consumption): blended scotch, cardamaro, allspice dramm, lemon, topped with apple cider. It worked well, and I always turn to my bottle of cardamaro when the weather turns colder, because it plays well with apple brandy as well as scotch. Anyone else using it this season? What else are you mixing it with?
  4. Adam, far be it for me to suggest anything remotely close to the concept of the single, sole "right" way to mix a martini! As a fellow Cocchi fan, though, I thought I'd through out my go-to recipe for pto to try, with the notion that he might be willing to add the trad version to his personal pantheon of martini variants. Let a thousand Martinis chill!
  5. When I heard "rhum", I thought, like others, "rhum agricole", which led me to think of the most macho (is this less gendered than "manly"?) Ti Punch: a spoonful of cane syrup, rhum, and a squeeze of a coin-sized slice of lime rind. No ice. But Appleton V/X? That's a nice Jamaican rum. Try it with ginger beer (please, not supermarket ginger ale) and the above-mentioned lime squeeze and f*$k the people who say you can only mix ginger beer with Goslings. Now that the weather's turning colder (depending on where you live), fix yourself a hot buttered rum. Try it in a Navy Grog a la PDT, with lime and grapefruit juices and a little honey syrup. And lastly, go to a decent tiki bar and order something with Jamaican rum and a whole bunch of other ingredients and some outlandish garnishes, preferably on fire, and then, if you're not hooked completely, you have my blessing to stick with whatever you were drinking before you began your descent into the rabbit hole of mixology. We're all mad around here, you know.
  6. I'll go even further, and in both directions (is that proof of impending schizophrenia?): on the one hand, bitters of various sorts can really add punch to the flavor profile of a classic drink, particularly when you're swapping out a base spirit for somethind different and add, say, some mole bitters to a mezcal manhattan, or throw in grapfruit bitters to anything with campari. That being said, there are times when I dash in angostura or Regan's orange #6, both of which I love dearly and apply with a heavy hand, and end up feeling like I've highjacked my simple G & T. Bitters are the spice cabinet of cocktails: used properly, they bring out the best in an underlying recipe; used in excess, they can sometimes take over a drink -- and sometimes the difference between the two lies in what mood you (or the customer) is in.
  7. Nailed it! This behavior causes me to end up with too many kitchen sink cocktails designed to use up or finish off various bottles, rather than something that actually tastes good. And because we're all a bit OCD here, I'll further diagnose the various categories of the disease: I'm finishing this almost-empty bottle because it's: 1. Not a keeper, and I need to open up room in the fridge/liquor cabinet for something new or better; 2. Maybe a keeper, but I want to try another in the same category before I decide; 3. Definitely a keeper, and if I finish it now I can buy a whole new bottle real soon and not have to suffer from Allgoneophobia for at least a month/week/ couple hours; 4. Any of the above, and I can use it as an excuse to buy something under the "one out, one in" rule, plus one or two other items I've been meaning to score. 5. Because it's what I want to drink tonight. (Rare) I'm not finishing this somewhat empty bottle because it's: 1. One of my greatest joys in life, and therefore far too good to actually drink except on special occasions; a. Rare, Delicious, Smuggled from Abroad and/or Expensive, therefore ditto. 2. A big mistake, but god forbid I should throw it out or give it away, maybe I can mix a batch of something with it for a big party? 3.. One of the cocktail ingredients that I'm supposed to have on hand, even though I don't like it that much; a. because it's a classic (Creme de Violette) b. because it's hot right now (mezcal, although in fairness if I had been able to score one of the awesome bottles I tried in Oaxaca before the rest of the family selfishly became ill, it'd move right up to category 1 above) c. because it's too strongly flavored/overproof/full o' da funk to mix with unless I'm feeling very manly (Fernet, W & N, Lemon Hart 151, Smith & Cross, etc.) N.B. I use "manly" here in a totally stereotypical and non-gendered sense. 4.. Not as who should say awful, just not the first, second, or third thing I reach for, but I'll get around to it one day, honest; and lastly and most importantly; 5. because I've totally blown my budget already and my spouse/S.O./roommate/dog will disown me if I come home with another G-D bottle.
  8. Funny, I've also been playing around with my bottle of Cocchi lately, along the lines of white Negronis, pink Negronis (subbing Cappelletti back in for Campari but keeping the Cocchi in for the Lillet), etc. I do find too much Cocchi and the orange/honey profile takes over everything else, I'd be curious to hear people's experience with the Bianco. If you really enjoy your Cocchi Martini variation, do NOT under any circumstances score a bottle of Dolin Dry, do NOT make the Martini 2-1, and do NOT add a dash or two of orange bitters to the result. Just don't do it.
  9. 1 1/2 each of Ransom Old Tom, Martelletti vermouth, and Cappelletti, stirred, with an orange twist. Doesn't get much simpler, or better. And on a side note, Hassouni, since I followed your and Rafa's recommendation on W & N to jet-propelled happiness, what's your take on Alto del Carmen? I bought a bottle on Spliflicator's recommendation in Imbibe, and while it does offer bang for your buck, I wasn't rocked. Time to revive a Pisco thread?
  10. Finally decided to see what Hassouni's thing for WNOP was all about, bought a pint. Had to teach tonight, so I couldn't do a cocktail, but it went sort of like this: I took a small shot, got the rocket fuel comparisons right away, and then this burnt caramel flavor memory kept popping into my head for the rest of the evening, along with a voice from the base of my brain saying, "yeah, it was raw, can we try that again?" Daiquiri tomorrow.
  11. Cherry Heering's probably the closest match for whatever they add to SoCo, but for a different taste sensation, one of the folks at Death and Co., I believe, updated the amaretto sour by adding bourbon to the recipe, and I can attest that bourbon and good amaretto make good partners, so long as you don't mind the extra sweetness. The LI iced tea? No way to make that taste like anything special!
  12. Tzatziki, is there a garnish on this? I first tried it with a full oz. of Punt e Mes, but I'll try your original ratios next. This is a nice one!
  13. Thought I'd open up a new thread to showcase some deplorable mistakes I've been making and drinking recently -- 'fraid my brain's rather addled with work lately (and grading exams will kill of the few remaining bits of gray matter). Applying Edison's dictum that failed experiments offer the useful information of what doesn't work, I put forth the following: 1. Yesterday I came home craving bourbon, and dropped 2 oz. of Wild Turkey 101 and 1 oz. of Cardamaro into the mixing glass, added a dash of absinthe for fun, Then turned to the fridge and saw that I was all out of lemons. Too late to turn back, I thought, and squeezed half a precious lime into the drink, and topped it with a slug of homemade Swedish Punsch. Stirred with ice, it was not good. Odd dry flavor. Poured in about a teaspoon of cinnamon simple. Better, but definitely not even the sum of its parts. Moral: if anybody's thinking of mixing bourbon and lime, think again, unless you're following a well-balanced tiki recipe. 2. Today I thought I'd do something with Dolin Blanc. 2 to 1 Beefeater to vermouth, then threw in a half ounce of Royal Combier, which adds a little orange/dry spice note that works very nicely with white spirits. A heavy dash of Angostura orange to up the orange flavor without adding sweetness. Then insanity took over and I added 1/2 ounce of Galliano, maybe as part of my desultory campaign to finally kill off the bottle. Ice, stir, strain, and lemon twist. Not exactly awful, but the nuanced nature of the Royal Combier was clubbed to death like a baby harp seal by the Galliano, and neither worked very well with the sweet gooseberry profile of the vermouth. Moral: (aside from "never experiment when you're exhausted?") Dolin Blanc is too delicate to mix with anything assertive in any amoutn over a barspoon full. OK, who else is willing to go public with their shameful failures?
  14. Issues of additives aside, which I will leave to those with greater knowledge, I find this thread interesting for two things: 1. I don't know that I'd put Blackstrap in the same category as other dark rums, even before I knew about added flavorings, just based on the flavor profile. I wouldn't use it the same way in most cases, either. I do enjoy Blackstrap as a float in tiki drinks, punches, and even as a primary rum in some recipes, because of the overpowering molasses flavor, though I understand why others may run from it. 2. It seems that the never-ending debate between "authenticity and purity above all" and "I like the way it tastes so who cares" is coming to the forefront here. While I do think think this forum should promote factual research, clarity in approaching categories and tasting qualities, and helping folks develop an educated palate, I see little point in bashing someone's rum choice if they've tried other similar ones and settle for their own particular pick, based on price and taste.
  15. This should probably become a separate thread, because it's rapidly becoming a category of its own. I tried NY Distilling Co.'s Chief Gowanus neat and in a cocktail: to me it's like a less in-your-face version of Anchor Steam's Genevieve. My best recollection is that it's smooth, somewhat malty, spicy, but with less paint thinner elements. I heard good things about Smooth Ambler in general, and their Barrel Aged Gin in particular, and got a chance to try it and buy a bottle recently. In the store, the bouquet was just awesome: heady juniper and spice notes jumping out of the glass. It's even closer to a whiskey in profile than the Chief Gowanus, both in the way the rye base came through, and the heavier oak flavors from the barrel. Neither has taken the place of my beloved Ransom Old Tom, which, even though it's technically a different animal, arguably helped jump start the whole aged gin movement. Mixing with aged gins is something I find a bit tricky, since they don't fit easily with the standard London Dry pairings, but need tweaking to sub for brown spirits-based recipes. I'd love to hear of any experiments done by others, and will probably continue conducting my own tonight.
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