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Everything posted by Yojimbo

  1. I finally mixed a Sazarac with absinthe (Lucid) instead of my usual Herbsaint last week. I had even taken the time to freeze the serving glass, which gave a nice frosted effect to the green tint of the absinthe rinse. I shook the booze by accident (rather preoccupied with three small children whooping it up in the living room, hence the dire need for a cocktail), which introduced an interesting if heretical lightness to the first sips, along with too much water. I would like to say with conviction that the absinthe provided a depth of flavor lacking in the Herbsaint, except for another unintentionally introduced variable -- in my haste to locate bottles in a dim room, I grabbed a bottle of Highland Park instead of the Rittenhouse, and didn't realize it until the next morning, when daylight revealed my error. I can say it was an exceptionally smooth drink, probably a waste of good scotch, and has made me insist on making Sazaracs for everyone at our next dinner party so I can practice getting it right. Yojimbo
  2. Yojimbo


    Bourbon and fresh apple cider was popular with some folks for tailgating, but being a rye guy myself I use Old Overholt, a healthy dose of bitters and a dash of Maraschino to up the funkiness of a good cider. I'd try it warmed, but I might never leave the house except to buy more ingredients. Yoimbo
  3. Chris, Did you get a chance to talk to Mr. Neill about what inspiration drove him to through baobob fruit and cape gooseberries into the still, other than "they're from Africa?" BTW, they've promised to donate a bit of their profits from Whitley Neill to a tree planting project in Africa, so the more you drink, the more you give! Enjoying the reporting from the front lines of the festival, Yojimbo
  4. We're entertaining friends from out of town before a show at BAM tomorrow, and want to go upscale; we've been to iCi, Al-di-la, Blue Ribbon, etc., and Smith Street is our culinary back yard, but haven't been to anyplace new recently -- what new recommendations can people make? Many thanks in advance! Yojimbo
  5. I just went to a gin tasting at Astor Center in NYC, with a blind tasting of 18 gins plus cocktails by brand reps and guest mixologists. Very informative, especially for an enthusiastic but not hugely experienced gin hound like myself. Based on one person's (uh, me) notes, I'd say: 1. Heavy juniper -- D H Krahn had the most juniper-heavy front for me. 2. G & T -- Beefeater does fine for everyday use, although it has a rather sharp finish, the tonic hides it. And it's cheap. 3. Not much of a martini drinker, but my new fave gin was a big surprise -- Whitley Neill, a newcomer from Britain with a complex, spicy profile -- might make a very interesting martini, playing off the vermouth for those who actually add vermouth to their gin! 4. Tanq's Rangpur lime was too syrupy and all lime for me, but those qualities might fit perfectly in a gimlet, though you'd have to back off on the simple syrup and lime juice. Myself, I'd stick with Gordon's or Beefeater. 5. Hmmm, with an Aviation I'd be curious to see how it worked with Blue Coat, or any other premium brand that's light on the juniper, like Aviation (not surprisingly) or Broker's or Zuidam. Looking forward to hearing what other folks have to say! Yojimbo
  6. Since myrtle plants are available in summer at the farmer's markets, has anyone tried to make their own? Any guesses on the alcohol base -- grappa or grain spirits? Cheers, Yojimbo
  7. I went to the Martini Challenge/Gin Tasting last week -- it was easily the best $25 I've ever spent on drinks, just for the blind tasting of 18 gins in the back room. I was expecting my favorite to be Plymouth, Aviation or Broker's, but no -- my top pick? Whitley Neill, a newcomer with a very complex, spicy profile. Second was Blue Coat, which I'm scoring a bottle of when I go to Philly later this week. Incidentally, the winners among the media and professional tasting were: #1 Tanqueray Rangpur #2 Broker's Gin #3 Zuidam Gin the public tasting winners were: #1 Two-way tie: Martin Miller's and Beefeater Gin #2 Blue Coat Gin #3 New Amsterdam Gin Up front there were some talented folks slinging drinks, almost none of which were evenly remotely related to a classic Martini, but there was too much going on with most of the concoctions, and I don't want to taste anything with Canton Ginger liqueur in it for a while. Sam Kershaw's Pink G & T was a hit, though. The crowd was large, young, and loud, but everyone seemed friendly. I was impressed enough with Lesley's MC'ing that I sent an email about it to the Center. I'll definitely be back for more events; it was thorough, professional and very informative! Yojimbo
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