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About Hassouni

  • Birthday October 9

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    DC Area/London/Beirut
  1. In pursuit of Japanese style shaking, I bought a Japanese-looking cobbler shaker from a local high-end homewares store. Turns out it's generic Chinese-made, even though the gold shaker for sale was a Yukiwa. Shaked up @RafaBlood Simple (nom nom nom), and the damn shaker wouldn't come apart. Just what I feared and why I've been avoiding Cobbler shakers for the last million years. Are the Usagi from CK or the Yukiwa cobblers better in this regard?
  2. OK, hi everyone, it's been a while - the Green Zone has been running more or less continuously as a pop up since May 2014 and I'm now under contract to get a brick and mortar spot. Lately, I've been on my own ice capade, if you will. The bar hosting me for the longest period (on and off from August 2015 until now) has absolutely god awful ice, some of the worst I've seen. It's disgraceful in a glass served on the rocks (and shaking with more than half the shaker full or for more than 10 seconds yields a watery drink), so first I was freezing my own ice in 2x2 molds, but a trip in March to Attaboy changed my life, and I've become obsessed with clear ice. Having experimented a bit, I now do Camper English's igloo cooler with the top off trick, and lo and behold, it produces big blocks of crystal clear ice! I then carve those up and use them for rocks drinks, to the delight of me, and more importantly my guests. I've also done some experiments with shaking with a single big clear cube, as Attaboy and Sasha Petraske's former bars do, and as one particular bar in DC does. Sure enough it creates tons of aeration and lovely foam, but I can't seem to get the drinks cold enough, even after a pretty long, hard shake. Obviously more research is required, but does anyone know what's going on? I know chilling = dilution, and the drinks don't seem underdiluted, and I'd also assume that a lot of aeration means sufficient shaking has happened. I'm also becoming more and more obsessed with Japanese bar techniques, and have now watched all of Hidetsugu Ueno's videos I can find, and just received Kazuo Uyeda's Cocktail Techniques book. Obviously the Japanese shaking style is quite different both in terms of movements and the ice - I don't have a cobbler shaker so can't really try it out, but can anyone chime in on how it compares in the end result to the "single big chunk" style? I also noticed Japanese bartenders pack their mixing glasses full of ice, which I don't see often here - is there a reason? On another note, I succumbed to gentle peer pressure from @bostonapothecary (winner no. 23 of the Green Zone Challenge) and got an Alaska Ice Crusher. True to his pitch, holy shit this thing rocks. Best crushed ice I've seen, and to quote Stephen, "it eats ice". It's completely put me off Scotsman-style pebble ice, which I used to adore.
  3. In Phoenix, check Total Wine. They have all the Foursquare Stuff (Seale's, Doorly's) as well as the Berry Brothers indie stuff
  4. Drinks! 2015 - 2016

    That's my friend and fellow Motörhead-lover Rachel Sergi!
  5. This was...$18/L. Still pretty decent!
  6. Hi everyone, long time and all that. The left two I picked up in DC, Serbian quince eau de vie ($20/L!), the lovely lovely Willett 2 yr, and some goodies from 3 weeks in Lebanon: Rhum Saint James ambre, excellent, cheap, and ubiquitous there but not Stateside; Monk-made arak from the Antonine monks of the Mar Chaaya (Saint Isaiah) Monastery, and Arak el Rif, a more high-end commercial Lebanese arak in which the anise is less subtle. I've undoubtedly got other stuff in the last several months since I posted, but who remembers...
  7. Maison Rouge is great value cognac, glad to see someone else using it!
  8. Apologies if this has been answered. I'm a regular reader of Kenji's SE stuff, and I've learned a ton from them in terms of technique, methods, etc. I'm not so much a recipe follower as an approach follower, and that's where I've benefitted the most from his work. Are there significant techniques, ideas, methodologies in the book not on SE? The recipes are frankly of secondary interest.
  9. Why do you say that about the pizza? I'm not trying to be contrarian, just curious. I've made his cast iron pan pizza, and used his pre-Baking Steel cast iron + broiler technique, and both were great. I haven't used a Baking Steel, but he certainly did a fair share to popularize it and people seem to love it.
  10. Stumptown

    Last time I had any Stumptown was just a few months ago. The coffee was fine (I mean, better than fine, still quite high quality), but it was outrageously expensive. That might have something to do with it. Counter Culture and Intelligentsia, just to name two, are comparatively significantly cheaper.
  11. You mean fill it till it's full?
  12. Dave Arnold's "corrected" orange juice has popped up on a few DC cocktail menus, it might be worth experimenting with it
  13. The Searzall by Dave Arnold

    Yup, though nothing about timeframe or price
  14. Nam Prik Pao

    No but it's probably close enough