lesliec

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    Wellington, New Zealand

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  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. This is very new here (ryes are scarce): And despite its eye-watering price, I really like it on an initial taste with a little water. I think it's the most expensive bottle of spirits I've ever bought (so far). I'll try it in one or two of my favourite rye cocktails - D&C's Manhattan Transfer comes to mind - and report my findings in due course.
  5. $30+, you say? Call that around USD110. But it was the last bottle and I've got it home and tried it with just a touch of water, and it's really good. Thanks for your help, people. I might give the Pendleton a miss for now, but I'm going to enjoy the Pikesville. Slowly. Over many months.
  6. I need some advice from my fellow eGers. I was enticed into a booze shop today (I was just walking past, honest) by a sign saying 'Pikesville, the world's best rye'. As it turned out they'd run out, but is it sufficiently good I should take myself to their other branch with some urgency? Bear in mind ryes are very scarce here. We can get Rittenhouse, Jim Beam, Sazerac (sometimes) and not much else. While I was in there I noticed a couple of different bottles of Pendleton rye from Canada. Can anybody tell me anything about that? From memory they had the 'ordinary' 40% and perhaps the Directors' Reserve.
  7. Never heard of it before, but good mezcals are hens' teeth territory here (it must be a good one because it cost lots ...). I will say it smells great. The taste test is yet to come. Apparently they also make an agave gin. That I'd like to try.
  8. Three or four days in, this batch is moving nicely through the 'evil witches' brew green' phase towards the 'black as your heart' stage: Only another 36-odd days to go ...
  9. 'Tis the season, at least in this hemisphere, to make nocino again. I managed this year to find a source of walnuts that enabled me to pick them straight from the tree at a time closely corresponding to what would be St John's Day above the equator. And they were beauties: It occurred to me that I have never before in my life picked walnuts, so that's something. They were perfect inside. Not a trace of shell and plenty of juice: I was surprised to note how 'salty' they smelled when cut - almost like seaweed. This is not something I've ever read about. But something most of the recipes do mention is that one should wear gloves while cutting these things up. Maybe ... It's not that bad. A few hours later it's a little darker, but unless you hold your walnuts in a very odd way when you cut them up, nobody's going to mistake you for a heavy smoker. I'm trying a different recipe this year. I wasn't entirely happy with last year's batch - it's pleasant, but I thought the cinnamon was a little too dominant. So this year I'm using this one from Epicurious. I liked the addition of the coffee beans. They strike me as a very complementary flavour to the nuts themselves. And I had sufficient walnuts to more than triple the recipe! So it's now all set to spend several weeks in a sunny spot. This is pre-strirring, hence the heap of orange/lemon peels at the top: The only problem I had is noted here. Ahem. I have quite a good feeling about this batch. The next significant step isn't until 6 February, when I bottle it, but I'll report on progress over the next few weeks leading up to that.
  10. Today I made a new batch of nocino. That was not a serious error. Pouring the vodka onto the quartered walnuts in my big Kilner jar without checking the tap was turned off ... was.
  11. eG Cook-Off 74: Holiday Roasts

    Straight from the water bath, after unwrapping: It probably had close to four hours at 62°C by the time I took it out.Then into the oven on 'roast' setting, which gives an initial blast, for another half an hour or so: Looks nice, but I overdid it. It wasn't dry, but wasn't as moist as I'd have liked, and it lacked taste despite the Touluse sausage. I should have slathered it in gravy to help with both problems, but it was getting late. In answer to @gfweb above, this was not the best use I've made of transglutaminase, so your suggestion of salting and a tight wrap would probably have given a better result. I also think I needed some extra fat in there; in previous years I've had offcuts of fat from legs of Spanish ham, which causes much deliciousness, but not this year. Must do better next time! The meal overall wasn't bad, just not to my usual standard. But we had a fun afternoon anyway. Merry Christmas!
  12. eG Cook-Off 74: Holiday Roasts

    Making a start, ready for tomorrow (NZ time): No, I haven't cut my thumb off (or indeed any other body part) and wrapped it carefully for your entertainment. This somewhat uninspiring - or disturbing - sight is a whole turkey breast wrapped around some Toulouse sausage meat, cemented with transglutaminase and secured, for now, with kitchen wrap. Tomorrow, before our customary gathering of waifs and strays arrives, it will have two or three hours in a water bath followed by a blast in the oven. I've done something vaguely similar for the last two or three years and it's been highly successful, not to say tasty. I'll try to remember to take photos - they'll look better than this one, I promise.
  13. Hi Gary. Welcome to eGullet. You're going to have some fun here! I've had good results with this recipe, which is similar to what you're looking at. It also has suggestions about chilling and searing. Regarding your container, the only concern I have is whether the water can circulate freely all around the meat. It looks a little tight on the left of your photo, but I suspect the container is deeper (ie front to back) than is readily seen in the photo so you should be fine. I'd try to raise the 'bottom' end of the meat a little to get a bit of circulation under there too, but I can't see that being critical. But if you have something a little bigger it wouldn't hurt to use it. Many of us have used beer coolers. The container in the photo is probably higher than is ideal. I'd like to see the Anova resting on the bottom, or at least near to it, but again I doubt that's critical, particularly for a long cook. Let us know how you get on.
  14. Unexpected louche.

    What Nick said. I'd expect the louche to go away if you added a bit more high-power alcohol. I'm led to believe the oils would then go back into suspension. I sometimes get a bit of louching when I'm taking my straight-from-the-still gin (at 70%+) down to 'normal' 43% or so. It goes away if I mix the gin and water a little more by shaking the bottle a little, but it's quite pretty.
  15. Drinks! 2016 (Part 1)

    Not bad, but perhaps needs a touch of sweetness to round it out. Benedictine?