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About tanstaafl2

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  1. Excellent! I will check it out. I guess with Novasalus the use of Dandelion & Burdock bitters is a bit redundant? Don't know why I thought that might be in there! Interesting that they did not include cacao which gets mention in a lot of posts about it as you note. For me the latest delivery was the new Barrell brand of Jamaican pot still rum at around 135 proof (just a wee bit of a kick!) and several bottles of Vin Juane wine from Jura just to satisfy a gustatory itch, having never tried it, and to help complete my Jura trilogy (Jura marc, Macvin du Jura and now the Vin Juane). Couldn't wait and dived into a bottle already. Very fino/manzanilla like as expected but I think I like it better than manzanilla. Doesn't seem to last long once opened though.
  2. Can't imagine what they did to make cachaca smell and taste like olives? Was it aged in some odd local wood?
  3. I suppose Cocchi Americano is as out of reach as the Lillet Blanc?
  4. Quite funny! A favorite bartender of mine made a similar face when he tried it. I expect I did too. If I knew the proportions of the Dandelion Soda I would definitely give it a shot. My bottle of Novasalus hasn't had much to do as of late.
  5. This week for me it was a bottle of Redbreast Lustau Irish Whiskey that I had to breakdown and order online since it didn't seem likely to show up locally anytime soon. Needed in time for the St. Paddy's weekend and our annual celebration of all things Irish Whiskey. Since I had to order the Redbreast I of course needed to ad a few more bottles to round out my order. That included several of each of these for like minded friends to share. Several friends liked the Jacoulot marc and I told them better get it now if they wanted one of their own! But I may be looking forward to the cask strength 17yo Caroni rum most of all. And so others wanted one of those as well. Who am I to deny my fellow spirits junkies what they need most? In any case by the time all the orders were placed that managed to get my order up to a nice even dozen bottles!
  6. The Dandelion Soda (Jamaican rum, lime, cacao, and dandelion amaro) sounds interesting! And this was a fun article in the context of your post on Malort!
  7. Never tried this combination but I definitely can see the value of being conservative with the maraschino. The addition of gin and bitters does sound like a good plan!
  8. Ah! That could be. Thanks!
  9. Black rum

    Been awhile since I had either the Goslings Black Seal or the Cruzan Blackstrap (I have both in the liquor cabinet but don't really care for either that much and relegate them to use in the occasional specific cocktail). I presume you don't have access to the Hamilton Pot Still Black rum? It is presumably all pot still as the name suggests and supposedly is more like what Coruba Dark used to be but isn't so much anymore (and as you no doubt know about the only recommendation in Smugglers Cove for that style). As for a good Black Jamaican rum substitute blend I think that will be tough to recreate. Maybe the Gosling with a bit of molasses added will get you to Cruzan Blackstrap? Cruzan also has a touch of anise to me as well. Can't recall if Gosling has that but I think it did as it is a bit more spice heavy. Maybe Gosling, Smith & Cross and a bit of molasses in some blend? Of course it is a wee bit tricky to create a blend to substitute if you haven't tried the original! Have you got a US friend that could send you samples of each if sending a full bottle isn't practical? Can't be too hard to send a couple of 2 or 4 oz boston round sample bottles to the UK.
  10. OTS? Probably know what you mean but not coming to me!
  11. I would think in this drink you might find some different impact from the sweeter cognac based Grand Marnier versus the typically drier Cointreau. Especially since you have moved from 2 dashes to 2 barspoons, not an inconsiderable difference I should think. Whether that is better or worse is of course an individual thing! True Curacao (which is rather rare these days. I can only think of the Senior line that is made on the island and to me it is perhaps a bit sweeter than I would have expected) is made with a drier brandy/eau de vie style than is Grand Marnier, at least to my taste. What comes to mind and which you probably don't have, which is a shame, is the Ferrand Curacao. Might also be an interesting place for Clement Creole Shrubb which I am guessing is also not an option!
  12. Rhum Agricole: The Topic

    I know Death & Co likes to list specific brands (which I in fact find helpful) but I think it might also vary depending on the cocktail. Something boozy (OK, a lot of stuff in the book is pretty boozy!) and agricole forward probably could be impacted by the brand of agricole. But others may not be so dependent on the brand depending on what else is used. @FrogPrincesse as always provides excellent advice and has already covered what I would suggest. Try what you have access to and then move on from there when (not if) you come under the spell of all things agricole! You might well find that to your own palate a different brand is preferable to what is recommended in a particular cocktail book, even one as good as Death & Co.
  13. Midwest Grain Products or MGP (formerly LDI, formerly one of the many Seagram's distilleries of the past) may well be the single largest producer of rye whiskey. Certainly the biggest producer in the US. But almost nothing is bottled in their name. Their current business plan with regard to the whiskey thy produce is to make whiskey that others buy and slap their own name on.
  14. I do think Sazerac rye might be your best chance to find a rye you like. Doesn't get too much softer than that one. But if Rittenhouse BIB didn't work then I am not sure what to tell you! Surprised that if you like bourbon-y ryes that Templeton and Bulleit are favorites given they are typical younger MGP 95% ryes. As MGP (Former LDI) ryes get older (8-10 years and more) they do change in character as shown by High West and Smooth Ambler and lose a lot of the minty/dill character to me. I can't imagine not liking a rye whiskey, whether neat or in a cocktail! Well, in my case I suppose that goes for just about any brown spirit...
  15. I am thinking you might be right! I might try to add a bit more overall maturity with the rye as well. Maybe the Pikesville if you have it if you want to keep the higher proof that the Willet has.