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About Rafa

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  1. 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.
  2. I like 4:2:1:1 brandy : dry vermouth or sherry : Bénédictine : yellow Chartreuse, with a dash of Ango and a lemon twist.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. I had the smallest pour of Neisson 18 year. It was divine.
  6. 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.
  7. So a fully Brooklyn-ized Red Hook. Sounds delicious.
  8. Dolin Dry & tonic. Wine + herbs + quinine tasted almost like Cocchi Americano.
  9. Uncle Val's is fun. Very cucumbery—more so than Hendrick's, I'd say.
  10. Amari

    How'd you guess! Haus Alpenz is no longer their distributor stateside. Whether the price hike and fancy new bottle design was the producer's idea or the new distributor, I don't know.
  11. Amari

    Great news, everyone. Zucca lives.
  12. I am extremely happy to learn this, for so many reasons.
  13. A rum-based Manhattan is a Palmetto. A white Palmetto, with blanc vermouth, unaged cane juice rum, and tiki bitters is a nice summertime variation—we have one on the menu at our rooftop bar. I have a Pusser's-based Brooklyn variation floating somewhere around Kindred. I don't think rum Brooklyns (or Greenpoints or Cobble Hills or Bushwicks or...) are made or called for enough to have common names, but they can be very tasty (as well they should be, featuring rum).
  14. A year ago Sunday, Sasha Petraske died. His Wikipedia page is a disappointment. He deserved better from us as a culture. I drank a Daiquiri in his honor. I'm drinking a Daiquiri right now. When you read this, wherever you are, I hope you resolve to join me in a Daiquiri at your leisure, to toast a man who would have us drink more sensibly, who treated our enjoyment of our brief lives with the seriousness it deserves.