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About lesliec

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    Wellington, New Zealand

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  1. I suppose they had to recall it - telling everybody just to add an equal volume of water would be too complicated! But yes - two bottles for the price of one, effectively. @Kerry Beal, did you score?
  2. On the subject of high-end restaurants doing popups far from home base (another example was the Fat Duck moving its entire operations to Melbourne a year or two ago while the Bray site was being renovated), it could be argued that this sort of thing makes it less necessary to travel, or at least travel so far, if you want the experience. If you're in Europe and want to go to Noma, you'll probably go to the 'real' one; a popup in Mexico is presumably rather easier for patrons from the US to get to. My wife and I travelled to Spain specifically for dinner at El Bulli, something like eight years ago. I can't say it was worth it for the restaurant itself (some unfortunate variablity in service and food), but we're still talking about the overall experience.
  3. Homemade Liqueurs

    It absolutely does. As I've mentioned over here, my latest batch of nocino was the nearest thing to actively unpleasant when first bottled, but as of a few days ago I can report it has calmed down considerably and it seems like it will be rather nice in another month or so.
  4. Orgeat

    My home-made stuff lasts for many months in the fridge, even without inert gas. It separates, but a shake fixes it. I always give it a sniff before use, just in case, but it's been fine.
  5. An Ideal Negroni

    I heartily endorse Dan"s suggestion, having subjected it to practical analysis. Much better with Punt.
  6. An Ideal Negroni

    In the highly unlikely event that nobody's thought of it before, I can report the Perfect Negroni (1 gin, 1 Campari, half each sweet and dry vermouth) has now been attempted. Not bad - what Negroni is? - but I don't think it's an improvement on a 'real' 1:1:1 Negroni. I didn't have the two side by side for comparison, but my impression was the perfect version tasted vaguely watery.
  7. Drinks! 2017 (Part 1)

    In all conscience I can't claim to have invented it, but the idea of a Black Boulevardier occurred to me a day or two ago, having lately enjoyed a 'real' Boulevardier. It's not unknown to the Googleverse, but descriptions and recipes seem strangely vague. What worked for me was 1.5oz bourbon with 1oz each of Averna and Campari and an orange zest garnish. I used a split of Four Roses and Buffalo Trace for the base (simply because both are getting low!). I started with a 1:1:1 ratio, which was good, but the extra half-ounce of bourbon made a distinct improvement. So a strong recommendation from me for Negroni lovers. I feel Kindred should list the Black Boulevardier, but I'm hesitant to put it there myself without a clearer idea of when/where it originated.
  8. This: Because of this, which I highly recommend. One of our favourite bartenders has returned from entertaining the Vancouvrians, bringing this recipe with him. Welcome back, Gian.
  9. I forgot myself and left everything soaking for an extra week, but I can't imagine that having any effect on the final product. Straining the solids out (may disturb young or nervous viewers): Not a pretty sight.The lumpy things are of course walnuts, and the strips are orange or lemon peel; the whole stained black by six weeks or so stewing in their own juice, as it were. I started with some 2.6 litres of 40% spirit and the final yield was 4.3l, which means the alcohol level is around 24%. I'm a little worried about the taste, which starts well but finishes very bitter and astringent, but with luck the empyreumatic (lovely word!) process by which things like absinthe mellow and lose their initial 'dried herb' character over time will also help make this drinkable in a few months. If not, in the immortal words of Winnie-the-Pooh: 'Oh help AND bother.' But for now, we wait and hope:
  10. We haven't had real Cynar for a while - been going through my own version, which I may say in all modesty is nowhere near as good as the proper stuff. The Strega is new to us and has made a very nice La Bateleur tonight. It's a(nother) delicious Death & Co recipe, which in the D&C book is Le Bateleur. Clearly a gender-diverse drink, but I believe the masculine is the correct rendition.
  11. Food funnies

    On that subject, I've occasionally mused that a humanitarian sounds like a very specialised type of carnivore.
  12. Drinks! 2017 (Part 1)

    No quibble about Four Roses from here. That bottle is my favourite; there's another Four Roses in a different bottle (flatter, as I remember). It's cheaper but to my taste not as good.
  13. Drinks! 2017 (Part 1)

    This was one of our favourites when we first got semi-seriously into cocktails! As it happens, I made one just a few weeks ago and it was still enjoyable. The recipe I have (from The Cocktail Book, Chancellor Press, 2002) differs slightly from yours, @ananth. They use 'measures' (1 measure, ½ measure, etc.) rather than the more sensible ounces or ml, but the way I've always made it is: 1oz/30ml orange juice 1oz/30ml dry vermouth ½oz/15ml Cointreau 2oz/60ml gin So quite a bit more Cointreau and no sugar. Don't skip the Grenadine. I'm sure the amount stated in my recipe (1 measure) is an error. I use maybe half a barspoonful, and the trick to a nice 'sunset' effect is to tip it straight in the middle of the poured drink. Lovely!
  14. Drinks! 2017 (Part 1)

    It was a toss up whether I posted this here or in the All About Rye topic, but since it's what we're having tonight, here it is. New Zealand is not an easy place in which to find a decent selection of ryes, but through circumstance and a litte help from a very kind friend I find myself possessed of three rather good specimens. The most recent, added today, is Pikesville, promoted on a blackboard outside a liquor shop I don't often get to as the world's best rye. So some experimentation seemed called for. Remember, this is for Science. From right to left, we have Rittenhouse 100, Whistlepig 10 year (100 proof) and the Pikesville (110 proof). The experiment consisted of making three versions of the Greenpoint, identical but for the base spirit. Fear not for my liver; those are half-size coupes which might hold two ounces at a pinch. As you see, they're not full (and there's two of us). There were some immediate differences apparent between the ryes. The Whistlepig is much lighter in colour than the other two (the Pikesville is juat a shade darker than the Rittenhouse), and the Pikesville had a lovely smell when uncorked - the other two needed a nose right in the neck of the bottle to smell them at all. On tasting the three cocktails, an interesting thing happened. The Pikesville version was a clear winner initially, with the Rittenhouse one relatively harsh (still pretty good, though). However, a few minutes later there was far less difference between the three. Other than the influence of oxygen, I can't think of a reason for this. But having said that, the Pikesville is still the winner. It's just that little bit smoother; maybe a little sweeter. But I'd be hard pressed to say it's twice as good as the Rittenhouse, which is half the price. This may not have been the best cocktail to use as a test and I should probably just try all three straight with a touch of water (I tasted the Pikesville like this when I got it home and it was a delight). Or maybe a Sazerac. But if that's the worst of my problems, 2017 is going to be a good year!
  15. Indeed, you may have to accept that this is the case! The idea is to get them before the shell forms, which is determined by being able to insert a pin or needle with minimal resistance. The ones above certainly qualified. A week or two further on, most of the sugar has now dissolved and the brew, while looking suitably vile, smells great. The saltiness seems to have gone, which I have to say is a relief.