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Ian McCarthy

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  1. Ian McCarthy

    Favorite Taiwanese oolong vendors?

    I used to order many many from Guang at Hou de, but it seems like he is putting up fewer fresh offerings these last few seasons. Red Blossom here in SF has been satiating the craving to a certain degree... but not on the same level, methinks. Where are your favorite places to drop a paycheck on the choicest Li Shan? Thanks friends.
  2. Ian McCarthy

    Peach Bitters

    Care to share your procedure thus far?
  3. Ian McCarthy

    Peach Bitters

    So, has anyone tried to make their own? I really can't stand Fee's. All of their "fruit" bitters taste like cough syrup flavors to me.
  4. Eben Freeman goes shopping for Ice-cube trays... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/garden/ice-cube-trays-shopping-with-eben-freeman.html
  5. If you know how much sugar you added by weight, and how much gum you added by weight, subtract them both from the weight of your current batch, and that is how much water you have. Top it up from there. Your Syrup should still be fluid at fridge-temp. Be sure to take time scumming off the gunk that floats to the top when you are simmering. This will give you a clear, consistent product without lumps. If everything was not flowing well, you likely did not have enough water. Figure out how much you burned off, add it to your batch, re-heat, and skim it mercilessly. If it is still isn't treating you right, your gum might have some impurities.
  6. Ian McCarthy

    Boston shaker at Pegu Club

    The Naranja is far and away my favorite. The weight makes dry shaking a breeze. Great Seal.
  7. Ian McCarthy

    Salt in coffee?

    Much better. Boiling coffee is bad news. When needing to be thrifty by stretching a few beans further than you should, that sort of aggressive brewing scheme has some merit, but cup character will always lose out in a big way.
  8. Ian McCarthy

    Milk Punch: The Topic

    This might be off topic, but I have heard a few folks remarking in passing about aging strained milk punches, Where the milk solids have been allowed to curdle and are strained off. Looking for specifics in recipes has not yielded results. Anyone have any experience with this? How long do you age? What are the results like?
  9. Ian McCarthy

    Cocktail Sugars

    I love Gula Jawa, (jaggery, palm sugar), with rums. It has a way of bringing the funk out. My Swedish punsch replica was not complete until I put it into the mix. Saying the inch-and-half-thick, rock-hard, frisbee-shaped disks are not fun to work would be extremely generous.
  10. Goatghost: The Batavia Arrack Van Oosten is a truly phenomenal, one-of-a-kind product. The truth is, you can mix it with some other ingredients, call it "Punsch", and use it in recipes that call for said Punsch to really fantastic effect. Authentic? I'm no Swede, and I'm not sitting on any vintage bottles. Even if you have absolutely no interest in making Swedish Punsch, do yourself a favor and get some Van Oosten.
  11. Ian McCarthy

    Whisky and Water

    Here is where I am curious. I have been led to believe for quite a while that a few drops of water will "unlock" a whisky, as if there were something happening on the chemical level that made aromas more apparent. Of course, diluting a high ABV spirit is going to lessen the numbing effect of the alcohol, allowing you to perceive more flavor, but what happens when you add "just a few drops"?
  12. Ian McCarthy

    What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 3)

    Rou Gui from seven cups. Much worse than the Da hong pao yesterday. I suppose I don't have the experience with Wuyi as I do with Anxi and rolled Taiwanese types. Anyone want to share their Wuyi brewing-fu with me? I am using good R-O water with minerals added to bring it up to 200 p.p.m TDS, Letting it rest off the boil for a few minutes. Small gaiwan, at least 5 grams of leaves: quite full, but not stuffing the thing to the brim. No rinse, VERY short infusions to start, (shy of 5 seconds), and I'm still getting really aggressive tannins. Really crap clarity too. What gives?
  13. Ian McCarthy

    Ballast & Keel Bitters

    I just got the winter offering plus a few prototypes. Initial impression: Awesome.
  14. Ian McCarthy

    What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 3)

    Da Hong Pao from seven cups. Not really doing it for me. A few too many leaf fragments, aggressive tannins. Not bad stuff, but at $16 for 25g?
  15. Ian McCarthy

    The White Dog Craze

    That sounds lovely Chris. I find the BT white dog to be about as easy to work with as Grappa. Acknowledging its funk with Herradura, demerara, and chocolate seems like a good approach.
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