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Everything posted by Yojimbo

  1. I feel it's worth seconding KL's comments on Bluecoat, definitely one of the better new-gen gins out there, unlike some of the others it's got a full, complex flavor profile (rather than a "flavored vodka" with just enough juniper to please the Feds) even if it's not a traditional London Dry, and a great match for citrus flavors, like she said. On the Wisconsin end, has anyone tried Death's Door gin? Jneu, can you give more detail regarding Rehorst -- I almost scored a bottle during my last trip to Milwaukee, but didn't have time. Finally, because it hasn't been mentioned for a while, probably because it's rarer than Euro-recipe Amer Picon, I'll speak again on the unique, yet still true to traditional gin taste of Whitley Neil. In fact, now I know what I'll be mixing with tonight . . . .
  2. We can wholeheartedly second the vote for Chestnut -- it and Saul are at the top end of the Smith Street cuisine scene, without doubt. Only been to Palo Santo once, and the meal was lovely, with the basement setting surprisingly intimate. Frankie's 457 probably needs no introduction these days, but for those who haven't been, this place has a good formula (food, drinks, setting, service) nailed, it's not surprising it's so popular and the Franks' empire is spreading. The unsung hero of Cobble Hill? Hibino, tucked away on Henry down the block from the much-hyped new Henry Public. Hibino serves sushi that's a cut above other neighborhood spots, but the real winner is the ever-changing array of home-style Osaka dishes like braised pork belly, eggplant in daishi stock, and homemade (still warm) tofu, all excellent, cheap, and rarely found elsewhere. The slightly formal Osaka vibe may be initially off-putting but the staff are very welcoming and professional. Any thoughts/votes on dinner tonight at Applewood in Park Slope, or Buttermilk Channel?
  3. Saw a post for a Japan Cocktail over on Saveur, have been on a bit of an orgeat kick recently, and came up with this variation on the Applecar: 1 1/2 oz. Laird's bonded 1/2 Cointreau 1/2 Amararetto 1/2 capful orgeat 2 dashes angostura the resulting drink was too sweet, but the addition of a healthy squeeze of lemon (1/2 oz.?) balanced it out. I'm calling it the Autumn Leaf
  4. Yojimbo


    For pate I'd stick with Calvados, which is sweeter and, as Andy sez, is more brandy-like in character; Laird's would be quite a different influence in a classic pate. I often find Daron in a 375ml bottle, which is easier on the wallet so long as you don't guzzle it at breakfast, lunch and dinner as they do in Normandy (not that I think there's anything wrong with that, mind)
  5. In addition to the longer growing time to maturity for agave plants, I understand, based on an article I read some while back, that the agave growing market suffers from a periodic "boom and bust" cycle where more farmers plant agave as the market for tequila (and agave syrup, etc., but that's another area) grows, but then more pile in as those young plants start maturing, and in a couple of years, mira!, you have a glut of mature plants, the price goes through the floor, some farmers go bust, and it all goes round again. Grain beverages, even if you're specially sourcing your feedstock, take part in a huge, global grain market that tends to keep prices low and steadier. Had a great anejo at dinner the other day, it's hard to have to decide between blanco and aged for the next splurge!
  6. Many thanks for both drinks recipes and sound medical advice -- slk, I remained temperate until my voice was back in decent shape, and then doused it last Monday with madeira, pinot noir, and calvados at dinner. It probably didn't cure my cold, but ahhh, the psychological effects! I still can't bring myself to do the neti thing, though my wife and others swear by it. Feels like waterboarding to me. Hope this cold bug stays away from all other eG-ers.
  7. I lost most of my voice last night, and tried soothing it with a bit of single malt scotch and a splash of benedictine -- hey, it was originally for medicinal purposes, right? -- but after a necessary phone interview this morning my voice is completely gone. What to do? Citrus? Honey? Amaretto, for the cough syrup flavor? Any suggestions or home remedies will be gratefully received,
  8. The intended use for the Volcano Bowl is the Volcano, which calls for the small volcano in the middle of the bowl to be filled with 151 and set ablaze. ( also requiring extra long straws so your drunk friends don't singe their eyebrows ) There's also the Scorpion Bowl, from Grog Log, and I see no reason why you couldn't do the same flaming rum trick in the volcano bowl when you make this drink. ← Ah, the Scorpion Bowl! I'm trying to remember whether the scorpion bowl at Trader Vic's in NYC had flames or not, but given I was about 16 at the time and rather intoxicated, I'm not sure I'd bet anything on my recollection. The bowl did look nice, though.
  9. Just beware! I threw in a bag each of frozen passion fruit and dragon fruit pulp in our cooler on the way to vacation; the dragon fruit leaked as it thawed, and everything, including our parmesan cheese, was dyed a most interesting fuchsia.
  10. Last night it was a quick rum thing with: 1 1/2 oz. Cruzan guava rum (yeah, yeah, it's cheap stuff, but I *like* guava, and it's easier than keeping a can of guava nectar in the fridge) 1/2 oz. Gosling's 1 healthy dash maraschino 2 oz. OJ 1/4 lime, squeezed Angostura, well shook over the top, on ice. Tonight my kids have a sleepover so I have to wait a bit longer until I hit the bar, it's either dark rum, neat, or an improved gin cocktail with Genevieve (oh, how I love her!)
  11. Let's see if we can do this in alphabetical order: Absinthe (Marteau seems to get high marks around these parts) Armagnac (Don't have a favorite here; give me a big budget and I'll be fine) Campari gin (Beefeater or Whitley Neill) Maraschino (Luxardo) rum (Cruzan Single Barrel Estate is what I have, but there's a lot out there I haven't tasted yet: oh, joy!) rye (Rittenhouse BIB) Scotch (Talisker or Lagavulin) Sweet Vermouth (Do they make Carpano Antica in small bottles?) That's nine, but the tenth is really hard -- Cointreau for mixing, or genever for sipping(Genevieve for me, thanks)?? Amaro Ciociare for Spliflicator's version of a Brooklyn cocktail (for which I salute you, sir, whenever I mix one)? Then there's my hidden shame: Amaretto, for Sours? Thank the gods of distilled grains this is only an academic exercise. And I'm firmly in the camp of "bitters-are-too-small-to-count." It's like including salt and pepper to taste as an ingredient. 'nuff said.
  12. There are any number of 70s' drinks whose names are even worse than their ingredients -- Freddy Fudpucker, anyone? (Actually, Gary Regan sez it's not as bad as it sounds, but with a name like that . . . . .)
  13. Hmm, I'm suddenly thinking of making one of these, but subbing in some Asian honey-lemon tea mix, which is rather like a tart, lemon-peel marmalade. Have you tried this with rye instead of bourbon? Interesting . . . .
  14. Chris, You might try contacting Fruit and Spice Park in Homestead, FL (Homestead's the Mother Lode of tropical plants for most of the US, lots of nurseries there) -- if they can't get fresh leaves themselves, they can probably put you in touch with someone who can -- alas, I gave my bay rum tree away last spring, or I could've supplied you with a bunch myself! It's fascinating reading your list of tinctures and tasting notes; regarding health effects, just to be cautious I'm pretty sure calamus root has a suspected carcinogen in it. It used to be a fairly popular ingredient in home remedies and toilet products, but I have no idea if any modern testing has been done. Cheers, Jim
  15. Anyone seen Torani Amer in the NYC area? As a Brooklyn dweller I feel it's my duty to make, and drink, a well-made, reasonably authentic Brooklyn cocktail on a regular basis, but I'm not quite dedicated enough to mix my own Picon replica. Cheers!
  16. On this point I must respectfully disagree: a gin and tonic has two ingredients and a garnish, all of which are critical elements. If all I was interested in was the gin, I would drink gin (or perhaps a very dry martini). Using a high-quality tonic (Fever Tree is my favorite) makes a world of difference in this humble drink, taking it from standard crappy college bar fare to something that is actually worth drinking, and it is precisely because the tonic actually brings something to the party. ← Respectfully agreeing with your respectful disagreement, let me try and refine my rather poorly made original point: yes, all ingredients are critical, and yes, poor quality makes a poor drink. My take on Q was that, 1. I didn't think its cost was worth the extra flavor, primarily because, 2. when using a premium gin (I tried it with Bluecoat and Whitley Neil) it didn't seem to me that the flavor of the tonic played all that well with the liquor. I add only that my humble palate may be permanently skewed by years of Schweppes to be able to appreciate something more complex and subtle. Fever Tree, here I come!
  17. I'm with you on the overpriced and undercarbonated aspects -- though Q does provide a more complex flavor than Schweppes or other national brands, at some point I think you're gilding what should be a very simple lilly -- the tonic should act as a carrier and enhancer of the gin flavor, not play a starring role. I also don't like the fact that Q bottles its tonic in a two drink size that can't be recapped, which is a waste in a one G&T household (I either have two drinks in quick succession or get the dog to go in for one, too) Haven't tried Fever Tree yet, but am interested based on comments here. I fear for both artisanal brands in this economy.
  18. Finally tried the Cruzan blackstrap, and even as a float on a fairly generic hotel bar "rum punch" with canned juices (ugh!) it really made a difference. Heavier and more molasses-like than Goslings; a different species altogether. At about $18 a bottle, this definitely makes my list for summer drink essentials.
  19. The way infused vodka happens at my house is usually random- I don't buy or drink much vodka personally, but sometimes a stray bottle will end up at my house after a party, and what to do with it besides making it into something more interesting! So at one point, I had a fresh branch of rose geranium, around 12" long. I stripped the flowers from it, and stuffed them into a 3/4-full bottle of vodka, along with a tablespoon of turbinado sugar and a handful of lightly bruised cardamom pods. I shook it pretty viciously and let it sit. Every other day or so, I turned the bottle upside down to mix things around a bit. After a couple of weeks, I had a rather unpalatable liquid that tasted like a florist's shop. I strained the liquid through a series of coffee filters into a fresh bottle and hoped for the best. It took about another 3 weeks for the aromatics to settle down. Since then, the stuff is super, unreservedly yummy. I only wish it didn't take so long to make! An interesting mixture I made with it last night: Bouquet: 1 1/2 oz dry gin 1/4 oz rose geranium vodka (or another floral liqueur) 1 oz strong hibiscus tea, chilled 2 dashes orange bitters (Angostura OB worked really well) Combine all in ice-filled mixing glass, stir briskly, and strain. Top with flamed lemon or grapefruit twist. Yum! ← Aha! The rose geranium that I have has no flowers, just the lovely smelling leaves. I was afraid it would be too vegetal to muddle with. Maybe I'll try infusing a small batch of vodka instead and see what happens. ← Katie, A traditional use for rose geranium leaves is to bury 'em in sugar, which soaks up the oils in the leaves. You could try that and make simple syrup with some neutral spirits added -- I have a feeling the leaves infused directly would have too much of a resinous note that would be definitely un-funky, though I could be wrong. They do flower if they get good sun in summer!
  20. To through a little botanizing into the discussion: Nobody's sure exactly who the parents of the Meyer lemon were, citrus species being notoriously promiscuous in the cross-pollination game, but the current best guess is probably a cross between a lemon and either a mandarin or a regular sweet orange. I totally agree with eje and others that the flavor profile of the peel is way off for most drinks; haven't experimented with herbal-profile drinks, but I can see it playing much better with basil/lavender/thyme notes. To my palate, there's an odd lemon pledge/burnt plastic taste to the peel that goes against the mild sweet/tart flavor of the juice. Who knows if a future cross will solve that problem? I will say it worked very nicely with Cruzan estate and a few dashes of bitters on the rocks, although it probably overwhelmed the rum a bit. Now the calamondin/kalamansi is a straightforward bitter orange/kumquat hybrid, and is incidentally one of the best citrus species for growing indoors, highly recommended even for apartment dwellers if you've got a sunny window. I used it successfully in a recipe for spiced gin that I found in a reprint of a 17th century fruits-of-all-seasons book, and I think it would work anywhere a bitter orange flavor is desired. Now I just have to wait for the fruit on my tree to ripen so I can experiment further! Great thread!
  21. Damn! Yet another reason to shell out the ducats for a bottle of arrack! I really don't need posts like these in our strained economic climate, but since I've got a bottle of Genevieve (and loving it), I'm already in halfway . . . .
  22. "Am I going to have to make a bowl of punch just to find out? " The bowl stands by you, sir. As I'm off to St. Croix in two weeks, I have a particular interest in your answer! W/regard to the overall post, I can only second (or third) on Rittenhouse, Cruzan Estate, Beefeater, and Daron Calvados, but with scotch, I'm not sure I'd bother to go below Johnny Walker Red with the Rittenhouse around as backup. Per DW's recommendation I'll have to snag a bottle of the Paul Mason, but if we're talking brandy I'm surprised no one's mentioned Metaxa or a decent brandy de Jerez?
  23. About the only issue I feel qualified to dive in on w/regard to punch is the bitters, of which I'll depart from 31knots and say that, while it won't save a bad punch from being bad, it will definitely add a dimension to the flavor of any citrus 'n rum punch like the Regent's, particularly if you're not splurging for the arrack or W&N, so if you can find a kosher version you should definitely put a bottle in your pocket. Enjoy! Yojimbo
  24. I would define funky (uh, in the taste context, not in the psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadooloop context) as yeasty, musty, decomposing-earth flavor and fragrance (since the two are inextricably linked -- which is why food tastes so bland when you've got a bad cold), rather than peaty, peppery or vegetal-other-than-mushrooms, if that makes sense. But I agree that umami is a mouthfeel thing as well as a flavor, so we may have to coin a new term here: funkistolic? pu-erhish? boomsmacking? If I recall my high school chemistry correctly, I'm in line with those who say it's more likely to be congeners than esters that are responsible for the funk, and that it's the heads and tails left in that are where they come from. Same general idea as aging in charred barrels, seems to me. As to why we, as a species, seem to get addicted to tastes/chemicals that can kill us in larger doses, that's way to big for me to handle, but as they say, lassez les bons temps roulez!
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