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About Rafa

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  1. Thanks for stopping in, Craig. You were excellent company. I won't recapitulate your tippling exploits except to note that I somehow neglected to serve you anything with Midori in it or to light anything on fire for you. (The couple to your left weren't as lucky.)
  2. The recipe for the Presidente in the Floridita bar book specifies Vermouth de Chambery, whereas every drink that calls for dry vermouth specifies dry vermouth. Blanc seems likely to be the intended style. Lately I've been enjoying this riff on a riff on a Frank's Cocktail: Intro to Cognac 1 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac 1 1/2 oz Alvear Pale Cream Sherry 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur 1/4 oz Verjus 2 dashes Angostura orange bitters Cucumber slice garnish Stir/strain/up.
  3. The Last Word

    Stirred Words can be quite good, though you need to watch for sweetness. I like to cut the Maraschino with kirschwasser.
  4. Is there a What Didn't You Buy At The Liquor Store Today thread? To my dismay, K&L Wines of California has stopped shipping to NY, just as they're bringing in a raft of mouth-watering (and generally well-priced) brandies and r(h)ums. Thankfully I've secured a California-area mule, but a long-overdue trip up the PCH, collecting bottles and dispensing boomerangs as I go, might be in order.
  5. Right, ditto Old Overholt as Pennsylvania rye, as Wondrich detailed in a two-parter last year. It was still enjoyed in that market, though, and one wonders what the well rye of Baltimore's dives will be now.
  6. Until recently, Pikesville was a legacy product, one of the few surviving such ryes in the wild, a whiskey enjoyed by working class people in Baltimore, Maryland (where the brand originated some hundred+ years ago) and unheard of by just about everyone else. Now that product's been discontinued, and the brand has migrated up the shelves to where it currently sits, as the 6 year old, 110-proof older sibling of Rittenhouse Rye. Nothing wrong with such a product, of course, but it's a shame that one of the last reliably very affordable ryes on the market had to perish so we could have another $30+ 'premium' rye. I haven't tried the new one, but I've heard good things.
  7. Amari

    It's crazy to me that the very simple (and very good) shot Jimbo used to pour his coworkers during/after a shift has become a recognized and published drink.
  8. Cocktail Parodies

    That's the caliber of bar you get when none of the bad hombres ir nasty women in the industry wants to work with you. May I suggest that this teetotaler keep his stubby fingers out of the bar business.
  9. There's nothing wrong with those sorts of techniques, though I prefer not to use them unless there's no other way to get a flavor into a drink, because I like drink recipes that are easily reproducible. I feel the same way about homemade ingredients other than common syrups. Thank you, @Leslie. I used to work for a bar that had a bottled classics program that took advantage of the format to get very elaborate with its recipes (the Manhattan called for Armagnac, Tennessee whiskey, and Cherry Heering, among others, but still tasted like a Manhattan). This drink was a take on an El Presidente. @Craig E, your appealing recipe reminds me of old recipes I sometimes see for a Bobby Burns calling for Drambuie rather than Bénédictine. I'll have to give it s try.
  10. I like 4:2:1:1 brandy : dry vermouth or sherry : Bénédictine : yellow Chartreuse, with a dash of Ango and a lemon twist.
  11. The Last Word

    I do find that citrus can overwhelm and flatter flavors (while sugar amplifies them). For complex and aromatic sours where a lot of the flavor resides in the booze, I tend to prefer smaller relative amounts of citrus and sugar than I would for a simple sour (like a Whiskey Sour or a Daiquiri or Rum Sour), or even a simple daisy like a Margarita or Sidecar. I might suggest as much as five parts of booze to one each of citrus and sweetener in cases like that. If citrus is overwhelming flavors for you, @lesliec, may I suggest turning a stirred drink you enjoy into a sour by adding small equal amounts of sugar and citrus to the recipe, shaking, and working up from there?
  12. I expected 18 years in the tropics would leave the spirit depressingly over-oaked. I should have trusted that the blenders at Neisson know what they're doing: it was a beautifully integrated rum.
  13. I had the smallest pour of Neisson 18 year. It was divine.
  14. Tonight, a Sazerac. 2 oz Rittenhouse 100 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 1/4 oz Peychaud's bitters 1/4 oz Demerara syrup (2:1) 1 dash Angostura bitters Absinthe rinse Lemon peel, expressed and discarded The drink of kings.