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elix

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  1. I had my first Pappy at a bar last night, a glass of 15yo neat. It didn't disappoint at all. Too bad it's so hard to get a hold of.
  2. Tonight I bought a bottle of Eagle Rare. I'd never had it, but had heard good things. It's ok. It almost reminds me of cognac/armagnac. I joked with my wife that ER is corgnac. Anyway, it's ok, but I don't like it as much as Elijah Craig 12 year, which is my go to bourbon (although I'm no expert). At the company party on Friday, and tried the Elijah Craig 20 year on the boss's dime...Not bad! But honestly, I think the 12 year is pretty close for a way friendlier price. I also picked up Wild Turkey 101 the other day. A hell of a drink for $20!
  3. A few days ago, I picked up a bottle of Marie Duffau Napoleon Armagnac. I'd heard it was awesome a million times. Now I can verify I heard right: it's awesome. Such a flavorful, smooth sipper. I need to try the Hors d'Age now!
  4. Drinks! (2012, part 2)

    I had a Last Word made with mescal in place of the gin once, which is similar-ish. It was pretty good, although I prefer the gin (or rye). I'm not super into smokiness, but...good drink.
  5. Finding a good deal is awesome. I stopped at the large Chicago liquor store chain on the way home and picked up a bottle of Hardy VSOP cognac for $35. I got home, found out I needed more ice (I like cognac with club soda and a dash of Peychaud's), I went to the dinky little corner liquor store around the corner from my house to get a bag of ice (no I don't do fancy ice yet). They had Hardy VSOP for $24, so I picked up another bottle. They had at least one more. I think I probably should have bought it, too. Hardy VSOP is good in cocktails, good with soda, and honestly it isn't too bad on its own, either. So if you live on the north side of Chicago, head to the store at Winnemac and Western. The guy that runs the place is super nice, too. Cognac and soda really is a delicious drink. The "manly" white wine spritzer. Manly enough for me, anyway.
  6. I went back to the store today and picked up my first bottle of Fernet Branca. Wow, I like it a lot. I sipped a bit neat, I tried it with soda, I did with soda and a tiny bit of Chartreuse... I'm not making one tonight, but the next time I make a stinger, I'm going to put in a bit of FB for complexity. I'm pretty into this stuff.
  7. I went to the store today for a bottle of Bitter Truth Creole Bitters. I also picked up a bottle of Ferrand 1840 cognac, which is their 90 proof classic cocktail blend, and a bottle Rittenhouse Bonded (which is my first since drinking an unfortunate amount of Manhattans on NYE two years ago). The only thing I've done with the bitters or the cognac is to drink them together with some club soda. I guess I'm surprised by how similar the bitters are to Peychaud's and the cognac is to the regular old Ferrand Ambre. But Peychaud's and Ferrand Ambre are both delicious, so the similarity doesn't bother me too much. The bitters might be a little spicier than Peychaud's, and I suspect the difference between the cognacs might stand out more in a proper cocktail, where the higher proof of the 1840 might keep it from getting lost in the mix. But cognac and soda with Peychaud's is one of my top 2-3 favorite drinks, so that's where I started. I've enjoyed Rittenhouse in the past, and I'm looking forward to trying it in a Final Ward, which is a drink that's new to me since my last bottle of Rittenhouse. Only had those with Bulleit so far. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm back at Binny's for a bottle of the Bitter Truth orange bitter tomorrow. I can't wait until I can get a hold of their tonic bitters.
  8. Drinks! (2012, part 2)

    The Duquesne agricole with grenadine and lime is delicious. I love simple drinks. Martinis, sidecars, daquiris, jack rose, etc. Not that I'd get rid of my Ramos GIn Fizz or other...involved drinks, but there's something very nice about 2-3 ingredients that just...sing. I think, and maybe this is a weird hunch...but I think the agricole/grenadine/lime drink would wash down a lobster-type meal quite nicely.
  9. Drinks! (2012, part 2)

    I just made a Jack Rose with Johnnie Walker black instead of applejack. It's pretty good, really. An orange twist doesn't do any harm, but is totally optional. I enjoyed half of it before I did the twist. Yes. Yes, I am naming this. Yes, it actually started with the name, and was then tried as a drink: the Peat Rose. #charliehustle Next up is the same thing with aged agricole. No clever name, but the grassy funkiness of agricole reminds me of apples, so I think this will be good. Still working on my other clever name idea: the Dry Gin Martinique, a martini with white agricole. I've tried several ratios, and while I haven't got it quite right, I honestly don't think I'm just being an idiot here. Try it out, put a dash or two of La Favorite in your favorite gin/vermouth combo and go from there. The appley, winey taste of the agricole is not totally out of place. The Peat Rose I just gulped down (my first) was 2oz JW black, .75 each lime and grenadine. My homemade grenadine is, for now, .75 each POM juice and sugar, with .25 Cortas pomegranate molasses and 4-5 drops orange blossom water. Maybe not 100% right, but tweakable with a quarter ounce here or there.
  10. The Last Word

    Why is there no variation with Benedictine called a Benediction? I don't know what else you'd want to switch around to make this work. I just thought of the goofy pun...
  11. Further up the thread, someone mentioned a gin and tonic served at The Violet Hour with lavender syrup. So last night, I made a gin and tonic with Boodles, Fever Tree tonic, two dashes Scrappy's lavender bitters, and finished it with an orange twist. I was so caught up in my enhancements that I totally forgot lime, but it was really good without, so... Definitely worth a try.
  12. Drinks! (2012, part 2)

    I just oops'ed and lost a large post I was working on. It probably should have been shorter anyway, so here's a condensed version: I did my first dry vermouth comparison a few minutes ago. What's weird is that while I still prefer Martini and Rossi in my martini(with Beefeater or Plymouth, at a 2-2.5:1 ratio), by itself, cold from the fridge in a copita/spirits glass, I found it intolerably gross. I didn't spit it out because I was tasting wines, but because I didn't want it in my mouth anymore. Noilly Prat(original French dry), was delicious on its own. I was surprised by this because I don't like it as much in martinis(except with Plymouth), and because I drank a glass a few days ago on ice with a lemon twist and didn't really care for that. Alone: delicious. Boissiere and Dolin I thought were OK, but I don't care for either in a martini(except a fitty-fitty I made with Plymouth and Dolin, otherwise, too weak in a martini). Maybe I would compare Boissiere to Sprite, maybe. But the shocker is that while I still prefer M&R in my martini, at a relatively "wet" 2:1 ratio, I think it's absolutely vile on its own. Does anyone else want to throw their two cents in? Similar/dissimilar experience?
  13. I like the Elijah Craig a lot, for what we pay for it here in the States ($30 or so). Haven't had it in awhile, but remember it as herby, maybe even slightly minty, and manly. Or maybe it's not manly, and I'm just a wuss.
  14. Drinks! (2012, part 2)

    I've been on a Last Word/Final Ward kick recently. I've found that rather than equal amounts of everything, I prefer slightly less maraschino than the other ingredients. So I've been doing .75oz of the other three, and .5oz luxardo maraschino. It finishes a little drier this way, which I like. And although I really like maraschino, I find it pretty overwhelming sometimes, so I think this ratio just makes everything balance out a little better. For gin, I've been using Beefeater (my standard), Broker's, and Junipero. None of them disappoint, but I think my old favorite, Beefeater, is probably my favorite here, too. For rye in the FW, I've been using Bulleit. It has a nice tobaccoy flavor that makes this a good fall drink. I've been raving about Last Words for the last year or so, and we bought the rye(we'd run out of Rittenhouse a year and a half ago at New Year's, and hadn't replaced it because the next morning was particularly rough) so I could make Final Wards for my wife, who generally hates gin. It turns out, she likes the LW better than the FW. The first gin drink she's ever liked! Next up, I'm going to make her a Ramos Gin Fizz, I just need to remember to pick up cream at the store. I've been making these pretty dry, too. And a little variation I'm sure I'm not the first to try is adding a little creme de violette. So I've been doing like 2oz gin, .5oz each lemon, lime, and cream, a few drops of orange blossom water, and .25 violette. I think the cream is sweet enough to make up the difference with just .25 of other sweets in there. I think it's really good this way, and reminds me of the one I had at Acadia here in Chicago a month or so ago, which was garnished with a hyacinth. I haven't been bothering with the egg just out of laziness, and I don't mind the lighter mouthfeel, so...
  15. Drinks (2009–2011)

    For the last several days I've been enjoying this. It's just a tweak of a daiquiri using cognac instead of rum that I cooked up. And it has a dash or two of Peychaud's: 2 oz cognac .5 oz lime juice .5 simple syrup(1:!) 1-2 dashes Peychaud's shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I've searched around the web...cocktaildb, kindred cocktails, etc...and haven't come across anything quite like this. I've made it and enjoyed it with Hardy VSOP, Courvoisier VS, and even cheap American brandy. But compared to the others, it really sings with the Hardy, coming off with an almost apple-y flavor when it's all put together. So if I were making it for someone else, maybe I'd garnish with a slice of apple. Anyway, give it a shot. Even my wife, who is mostly a vodka person, really likes this. It's good enough I thought it deserved its own name, and the best thing I've come up with is Coney Island, since "Coney" sounds like a diminutive of "Cognac," and the daiquiri(on which it's a riff) is a Cuba/island drink. Sort of a goofy name but whatever(and I was surprised that this names still seems to be up for grabs, in case I missed something). I thought of a few Wisconsin-type names since that's the brandy belt, but the Bears fan in me wouldn't let me go there. Ha ha. Eric Ps- This is my first post. I'm pretty new to cocktails, coming from about 10-12 years of beer nerdiness(I'm 32), mostly. I had my first martini in December, and have been hooked on cocktails ever since(I've been doing martinis at 2:1 or 2.5:1 with Beefeater and M&R, for the record. I'm sure some would argue with the choice of vermouth, but I think these two work really well together, and that's a subject for another thread;) But I've been lurking and searching for a month or two, getting help with trying some of the classics, and I'm excited to get an opinion on my modest little recipe. And like I said, being new to spirits/cocktails...I'm sure something would work better than the Hardy VSOP, but it does seem to click.
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