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  1. Pulling up my thoughts on first taste: Aperitivo has layers of flavor that will keep me reaching for it over Campari & its substitutes. Also, it smells like heat. Revisiting it now, I would certainly say it's closer to Campari than Aperol, but I haven't had Aperol in the house for over a year. There's a bit more grapefruit (or, pomelo? I know the Leopold guys like pomelo) than orange. The bitterness is very gentian, Suze-like.
  2. It's been awhile, but I recall the Bigallet being pretty spectacular. The proof and the orange notes were pretty much pitch perfect, but there was an undertone/background note that seemed to be missing vs. vintage Picon...perhaps the result of their starting with beet neutral spirit.
  3. I shared some Honesty with a few friends who commented on how evocative it was of grappa...not surprising, given the methods involved (it's basically pear pommace brandy). So, I busted out an old favorite grappa cocktail, which for the life of me doesn't appear to exist on the Internet (it was an original 'Rogue' cocktail, that didn't survive the transition to Beta): Clocka (Troy Sidle) 2 oz Unaged Grappa 1/4 oz Honey Syrup (1:1) 3 Dashes Orange Bitters Stir, strain over fresh ice and garnish with a mint sprig & one drop of rose water. On paper, it looks like an old-fashioned, but looks can be deceiving.
  4. I found two ~40 year old bottles (78 proof) on a dusty shelf in Houston a few years ago, so don't give up all hope. One is still sealed, so if anyone in NYC wants to try the real thing, it can certainly be arranged.
  5. Shipment from Chicago just arrived... 2x Plantation Stiggins' Fancy Pineapple Rum 2x AEppelTreow Honesty Pear Brandy 1x Leopold Bros Aperitivo I've had the first two, and love them both. The last I have no experience with, but given my adoration for all things Leopold (and tiny red bugs) I am pretty excited to try it. The Honesty brandy remains one of the most intriguing spirits I've ever tasted, and I'm glad I was finally able to track down a supply of my own. The back of the bottle sums it up nicely:
  6. I've long held a theory that the trend toward 'spicier' foods becoming more common place (eta: in US chains...the rise of Chili's, Chipotle, Buffalo everything etc.) is related to an aging boomer population that is losing its sense of taste and needs bigger flavors in order to taste anything...this thread inspires me to see a corollary that suggests that as wine has become more popular among a younger demographic that they have created a market for more nuanced/restrained wines, as their more sensitive, un-dead (heh) palates don't need massive flavors to enjoy a wine. Probably not the case, but my ears were burning, and I thought it was an interesting adaptation of something I've long thought might be true, but have never given any time to trying to prove...
  7. Sign in the bar advertised a barrel-aged Old Fashioned...when the bartender approached, I pointed at the sign and the following conversation ensued: Me: Old Fashioned? Bartender: Brandy or Bourbon? Me: Bourbon. Bartender: Sweet, Sour, or Seltzer? Me: Uh... <quizzically> none of the above? Oh, Wisconsin...I ended up with a decent, if somewhat bitter, Old Fashioned.
  8. A few Matthew Webb Gimlets: 2 oz Tanqueray 3/4 oz Lime Juice 1/2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin 1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse (I used MOFS) 1/4 oz Simple Syrup Shake with ice, strain into a chilled coupe, and top with 4 drops Angostura. Thus fortified, one might (theoretically) swim the English Channel.
  9. Check Amor y Amargo for hard to find bitters.
  10. Years ago I was a guest at a dinner that was an attempt to demonstrate the feasibility of food/cocktail pairings. Those involved parlayed the concept into a series of well received courses at a Michelin *** restaurant and then what continues to be an extremely successful bar in the 'molecular mixology' realm. So, yeah, decent bonafides... Even with skill, talent, and organization behind that effort, the dinner was not exactly a success. There were certain courses that floored me, including a whitefish with blackberry sauce that was served with a whiskey smash where the fruit created a perfect bridge. But, even when the pairing worked perfectly, there were structural concerns to the concept that I'm still not convinced they've overcome (even today). The proof, the volume, the intensity...they all need to be dialed in perfectly. It's not impossible, but it's a tough ask.
  11. More surface area to coat with absinthe, end result is more aroma of absinthe than flavor impacting the final product.
  12. Both great suggestions. I'm also fond of the 'crushed ice' method for egg white drinks (adding just enough crushed ice for desired dilution and shaking until it is fully dissolved).
  13. http://forums.egullet.org/topic/102593-egg-whites-emulsifying-tricks-and-tips/?p=1507775
  14. And, what would you pour if I asked for a Shibboleth?
  15. 'Vodka Martini' gets the point across, but the drink is actually called a Kangaroo. Many people use Martini to refer to any cocktail served in a V-shaped glass...not much different from how many refer to any protein served between two buns as a burger.
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