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  1. Been messing around with a bottle of Nardini Rabarbaro that I brought back from a trip to Italy -- amazing stuff. Anyway, Negroni variations are a favorite of mine. The Maximilian Affair 1 oz. mezcal 1 oz. Campari 1 oz. Nardini Rabarbaro dash Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole bitters Here's the inspiration: http://frontpsych.com/2011/08/12/frontier-mixology-the-maximillian-affair/
  2. Just got a bottle of Sea Wynde Jamaica pot still rum. I want to see how it compares to Smith & Cross in some of Dr. Wonderich's punch recipes.
  3. The al Monte sounds great. What'd you think of the Bulleit Rye? I was excited about it, too, but I've heard from some people that, while solid, Bulleit Bourbon was so rye-heavy that it's not much of a stretch.
  4. Couldn't agree more on the double metal can -- much easier to break the seal. For multiple stirred cocktails I have used a large french press with good results after unscrewing and removing the mesh part, I don't press down or anything, the slits in the lid work well enough.
  5. Overwhelmed by the low prices for rhums at the St. Maarten duty-free, I neglected to pick up a bottle of Cherry Marnier to try in a Remember the Maine.
  6. Fort Defiance in Red Hook. The bartenders are great, know what they're doing, and put out some great stuff. I like the Marconi.
  7. Prime Meats, for sure. The cocktails are great, as is the food. Order The Swank from the dessert menu before dinner, eat a plate of oysters and the green salad, get the steak frites. Have another Swank.
  8. Loved, loved this drink. I used Glenfiddish, Dolin for the vermouth, and El Maestro Sierra sweet sherry. Was at Prime Meats last night, and they have a cocktail on their dessert menu called The Swank (great name, incidentally), which uses, I believe, a Fernet rinse. I think the drink was good enough, that they should put it on their upfront menu, too.
  9. Ditto to those with the Balvenie Doublewood, which I thought I got a good deal on at $45, but K&L is selling it for $37! I'm doing an indoor barbecued bacon-wrapped brisket this Saturday, and I've opened up a bottle of Elmer T. Lee for it. A nice rye-heavy bourbon for the money.
  10. I'm impressed! We were the two couples at the four top by the bar. Thanks for the recipe. I've got a variety of syrups in the fridge from time to time, and so I'll have to make the ginger-agave one soon. I'm a big fan of the double strain -- more bartenders should do this for cocktails. We'll be back at Saul, I'm sure. Although I must say, while we've had great meals in the past, the skate wings were a bit off last Friday. That's what I get for not getting cassoulet, I suppose.
  11. For some reason, high-proof Cognac, i.e. Force 53, is unavailable in New York City as far as I've found. Of course, barrel-aged peach brandy, too. I have the Kutchan but I have to order it from K&L Wines in California, which requires a signature for delivery, which is a pain.
  12. I'm sorry to hear about all the red tape involved in getting bitters to market. I've now seen Bitter Truth bitters at liquor stores, even though all other bitters are only at grocery stores. Also, Bengal -- my wife and I were at Saul last Friday. She wasn't able to drink that night, and you made her an unrequested non-alcoholic drink that she absolutely loved. Can you post the recipe?
  13. Could this perhaps be the Fernet-style potable bitter put out by Luxardo? They also do a knock-off Campari-style bitter, too. I haven't tried that, but I do have the Fernet-style, and I think it's pretty close. I wonder if at Luxardo they cut back on the expensive saffron?
  14. I have exactly the same question. In the Amsterdam airport duty free they sell both, so I don't think it's a question of tarting it up for export sales, although maybe. When faced with the choice I went with the old-school ceramic bottling because it was cheaper, and I figured there might not be any difference other than paying extra for the marketing campaign for the smoked-glass bottling. I'd be very curious to hear if anyone knows for sure.
  15. I don't mind sweetness so long as it is balanced with something interesting, which for me usually means bitters of some sort. What I tend away from is overly acidic drinks, and so Manhattan variations are invariably my favorites. A post in another thread brought up the point that bartenders at cocktail bars can't just follow their own ethic, but must make concessions to a wide variety of tastes, which will of course include the tastes of those who like sweetness. I wonder if this explains the following. I just picked up a copy of the beautiful new bar book from the owners of Employees Only, Speakeasy. Many of the drinks sound really interesting, and their ethos is in the right place. However, the proportions are heavily skewed towards the sweet, e.g. bumping up the amount of liqueurs etc. I get that not everyone like Fernet, Campari, and neat Scotch, but I still struggle with cocktails in which I can isolate sweetness, rather than having it serve as part of the background.
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