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About lesliec

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    Wellington, New Zealand

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  1. Drinks! 2017 (Part 1)

    Here's a new one I've just posted to Kindred (and was tonight's drink): the Miramar. Havana Club rum, Strega, Cynar and a Smith & Cross float: This started life at our favourite Wellington bar the Hawthorn Lounge as a Havana, due to appear on their new menu any time now. I had a preview and went home vowing to recreate it, but the original Havana has now had some creme de cacao added and - who knows? - possibly some other tweaks, so my man Gian at Hawthorn said my version was different enough he was happy for me to post it as a new drink. So here it is. And freakin' delicious, if I might be permitted an opinion.
  2. Drinks! 2017 (Part 1)

    Today is Suffrage Day here, marking 124 years since the bill to allow New Zealand women the vote was passed into law (first country in the world. Yay, us!). It therefore seemed appropriate to try our own @Rafa's Suffragette: Gin, dry vermouth, Cynar, Benedictine (with lemon zest and rosemary). It started out dry - a little drier than I thought I'd like - but settled down nicely by about sip number 3. I'd vote for it.
  3. Here you go. @Anna N - don't do it! Try 45.
  4. It's only taken several years - call me a slow learner - but last night I finally got a nice piece of beef fillet right with the Anova. The turning point was a few successful experiments with the (non-SV) Serious Eats reverse sear technique and the realisation that Kenji was aiming for a pre-sear internal temperature well below what I'd been using in the water bath. So last night, with the Anova set to 45 degrees (C) I achieved steakly perfection at last.
  5. Food funnies

    Because the platypus both lays eggs and produces milk, it is perhaps the only animal that can make its own custard.
  6. Melting lardo

    Or a dog brush (preferably unsullied by dog ...).
  7. Hard caramel in ice cream

    I'm far from an expert on this, but I do know that high sugar content = difficult to freeze. Could be your caramel pieces just dropped through the ice cream, melting a little of it and dissolving as they went, until you ended up with the 'syrup' layer you describe. It would be good if some of the experts (paging @JoNorvelleWalker) could weigh in with a more informed opinion.
  8. Drinks! 2017 (Part 1)

    Permafrost, maybe?
  9. The original Bombay dry gin

    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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. An Ideal Negroni

    I heartily endorse Dan's suggestion, having subjected it to practical analysis. Much better with Punt.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.