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Everything posted by Rafa

  1. Fino sherry and Fever Tree tonic or bitter lemon, with optional lemon bitters. A nice variation on the Andalusian Rebujito (fino and Sprite). Grapefruit juice and Cardamaro. Actually, grapefruit juice and most amari.
  2. Sorry to hear you got stuck with bad sherry. A Bamboo should be perfectly dry, the aperitif version of a dry Martini. (Though I believe Pouring Ribbons adds a barspoon of rich demerara for texture, but I don't remember whether that's the version in Shim.) Lustau Fino is great and widely available, and I've enjoyed every Manzanilla I've tried. Anything simply labeled "dry sherry," is likely to have sugar added, weirdly enough. Stick to stuff labeled fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, or oloroso—each of these grades has a distinctive character, but they're all dry. Lustau's are all solid.
  3. Awesome. I know Gabriella Mlynarczyk at ink in LA infuses gin with kombu for her Dirty Martini, which is a similar idea.
  4. Deeply jealous of the last page or so of purchases. eGullet knows how to buy liquor.
  5. I've had the recent Zeer and found it delicious on its own in a way the standard US glass bottle genever has never been for me. I didn't mind the proof.
  6. I've had that in my locale as well. A nice vacation from Fernet/Coke.
  7. Rafa


    Tempus Fugit Spirits announced the Alessio Vermouth Renaissance series, which will focus on vermouth styles that are seldom exported outside of Italy, and recreations of styles that are seldom seen at at all these days. Their first two releases, a Torino-style rosso and a chinato, should be available in October.
  8. Martin Doudoroff has a new app for iPhone/iPad indexing over 700 recipes from every major pre-Prohibition bar book. It's beautifully organized and allows you to search by the recipe's provenance or your ingredients on hand. He's adding recipes from just post-Prohibition in free updates and expects to continue into the 1950s and 60s. As far as I can tell, this is the most comprehensive commercially available index of classic American drinks there is. Highly, highly recommended.
  9. I see. Personally, though, I think water's usefulness as an ingredient comes from its near lack of flavor: it allows me to balance dilution and flavor separately. Similarly, it might be more 'efficient' or interesting to replace a flavored spirit in a sweetened drink with a syrup or liqueur of that flavor—a juniper- and citrus-infused syrup instead of gin, say, or Maraschino liqueur instead of kirsch—but keeping my source of flavor and my source of sugar separate gives me far more control over the overall balance of the drink. You'll note that recipes that call for particularly pungent liqueurs or syrups (like Maraschino or Chartreuse) often include a measure of simple syrup for this reason.
  10. Shalmanese, you are aware that it is possible to control for the amount of dilution with conventional shaking/stirring, right? Shaking doesn't add a flat 25% dilution across the board. There are common and well-understood methods for varying dilution: I can shake briefly with three KoldDraft cubes, rather than the standard eight or nine, if I'm going to be serving a drink over crushed ice, for example. Or shake with three huge cubes (a la Death & Co) for less water still, or with pre-cracked ice for the opposite effect. I can apply different amounts of torque to my shake to control how much I'm chipping the ice cubes. I stir a low-alcohol drink like a Bamboo for less time than I do a more potent cocktail like a Negroni, and I understir a drink if it's served on ice (like an Old Fashioned) rather than neat (like a Sazerac). All of this is pretty common among bartenders in a commercial setting and well-understood among home enthusiasts of the sort who frequent this forum. I applaud your call for us to reconsider some of the habits of bartending we may take for granted, but I am unsure where you got this notion that conventional shaking = 25% dilution with no possibility of adjusting to taste. While I do enjoy drinks with flavored ice cubes (see Dan's Frosun) I agree with Kinsey above that the preparation required makes this method a sometimes food.
  11. Usually whatever I'm working on, which is a disappointing and evasive answer, I know, and hardly helpful, especially as lately I'm mostly working on versions that don't suck of disgusting things guests ask me for (sup, shot of Fireball). Here are some that I like to make for myself and others: Refreshing: McCarren Park Swizzle (bison grass vodka, pear eau de vie, falernum, St. Germain, lemon, bitters, mint); Peter Buck/Blunderbuss (apple brandy, ginger, lemon, and bitters served long, with orgeat in one case and bourbon and peach in the other); Killing Moon (gin, Solbeso cacao spirit, jasmine green tea, Manzanilla or dry sake, lemon); In Blume (apricot eau de vie, Dolin Blanc, lemon/sugar/egg white/salt); Honeypot (Drambuie sour bolstered with Scotch and bittered); Dr. Fünke (absinthe Mai Tai that blue itself); Corpse Defiler #666 (rye, Bonal, Nonino, lemon); Infidel (gin, mint syrup, dry vermouth, lime); Tribe of the Horned Heart (kirsch, Islay, vanilla, falernum, lime, soda); Red Sky at Night (Dark 'n' Stormy with a bitters base, served up); 'Burn Notice (Smith & Cross, Laphroaig, yuzu preserves, ginger, lemon, Cynar). Stirred/aromatic: good old Man Comes Around; Choke Me Like You Love Me (rye, PX, Cynar, absinthe) or Laughter in the Dark (Islay, PX, Cynar) or PPX; Hunting Rifle (Irish whiskey, El Dorado, creme de banane, bitters, Chartreuse rinse); Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (rye, Fernet, Benedictine); Émigré (rum, plum brandy, Unicum Plum, Bonal or Pineau); Genever? I Hardly Know 'Er! (genever, Drambuie, lavender, chamomile, Boker's); Into the Woods (gin/Doug Fir eau de vie, Campari, green Chartreuse, dry vermouth); Strange Mercy (genever, St. George Terroir gin, jasmine green tea syrup, bitters); Hearts of Oak (Redbreast, bourbon, Islay, maple, Rooibos, bitters); Durero (dry sherry, dry sake, bitters); Struttin' with Some BBQ (bourbon, mezcal, Nonino, Amontillado, maple). Oddballs: Jaguar Shark (coconut-y blended Mai Tai riff with boba), Milkshake 'n Honey (Scotch, sherry, apple brandy, ice cream, ginger-honey), Blown Umbrella (tiki drink with Campari and Becherovka), Ultraísta (coffee, Fernet, kirsch). Most fun to write was this one. A few of these are in Stew Ellington's forthcoming book, though I only know that the McCarren's in for sure, and I believe he picked one or two that I didn't list here. I'm bad at picking favorites. Phew. Sorry. The full list of drinks is here.
  12. Not really. Canton's mellow and citrussy. Ginger syrup's got bite. Maybe add some hot pepper, or just punch yourself in the mouth before drinking for a similar effect.
  13. What ratio did you use? I like Punt e Mes in my Manhattans, but it's assertive enough that I cut back on it versus a mellower sweet vermouth like, say, Dolin. You could always do what Death & Co. does and do a mix of Dolin Rouge and Punt e Mes in your Manhattans...
  14. It's a tough job but someone's got to do it. (I noticed the ambiguity but left it as is. Let no one say I won't go the distance for my job.)
  15. Here's one from The NoMad Hotel, by Jessica Gonzalez: Hair Trigger 3/4 oz Pampero rum 3/4 oz Fernet Branca 1/2 oz Angostura bitters (scant) 3/4 oz ginger syrup 3/4 oz lime juice 1 slice cucumber, shaken in tin splash soda on top Shake, strain over crushed ice in a double rocks glass or tiki mug, garnish with a mint sprig and a cucumber slice, serve with straws. Bracing, refreshing, ginger-y, herbaceous, with surprisingly little bitterness, and a lot of color and aromatic potency from the Angostura-Fernet combo.
  16. Thank you. It is very gratifying to have drinks I've made or posted connect with people generally and on this forum in particular. One of my favorite parts of my job is matching a guest to a drink, and while I have less control when it comes to people choosing to make a drink for themselves in Canada or New Zealand than at my own bar, it's great when a drink hits the spot for someone. A lot of bartending is kind of a drag—unclogging sinks and scrubbing surfaces, breaking up fights or screwing couples, cutting off drug deals, pouring shots of amaretto—but getting to make drinks and talk to people for a living is just about the best day (well, night) job I could hope for.
  17. A seminar at this year's Tales brought up the new (to me) notion that what Donn Beach and Vic Bergeron understood to be Martinique rhum was not sugar cane rum but, rather, a heavy-bodied, pungent, molasses-derived rum with a character somewhat similar to Demerara rums. This is based on Vic's tasting notes among other things. Just a theory. Martin Cate still recommends the now-standard mix of Jamaican and agricole rum in a Mai Tai on the unassailable grounds that it's delicious.
  18. I suspect you would, Hassouni. One of the most consistent and delicious of the heavily sherried malts.
  19. Great idea. Similarly, I like to mix Armagnac in equal parts with Irish whiskey (usually Redbreast), as a kind of inversion of the rough 'n spicy whiskey / smooth and stately brandy combo that powers a lot of drinks that call for rye and Cognac (Vieux Carre, etc). I made an Old Fashioned the other day for a guest using this mixture. I tend to find that Armagnac and rye butt heads, as you noted when you made your Sazerac.
  20. Rafa


    Last night I decided to do a side by side of the two. Apologies for the poor image quality. Sibilla is higher proof, but filtered and heavily caramel-colored. That's borne out in flavor and texture: it has the viscous, sticky caramel sensation common to many amari, along with the complex herbal blast of bitterness and the smoked honey sweetness shared by both Varnelli amari. It is the more bitter of the two by a pretty wide margin. Dell'Erborista, by contrast, is cloudy and dark honey-colored, and tastes almost like a bitter version of Benedictine or another herbal liqueur, with a smoked honey sweetness that reminds me a bit of some mezcals. Overall, Sibilla is closer to a generic amaro, with strong bitterness and caramel flavor, while Dell'Erborista really does taste like a showcase for the wild herbs and honey. Sibilla is more assertive in mixed drinks but Dell'Erborista adds more herbal complexity. Both are very good products, but my informal tasting panel (myself along with my barback and head bartender) unanimously preferred Dell'Erborista, both on its own and in the sour I mixed both products into.
  21. Rafa


    Thanks for the correction. I'd like to try them side by side and see how different they are. Was the drink Dell'Erborista, Meletti, and gin?
  22. Rafa


    Very excited for both of these new offerings. Cocchi's barolo chinato is one of the more delicious wines around. Lately I've fallen hard for Varnelli's Amaro Dell'Erborista, which I believe is essentially the same product as Sibilla but higher proof and unfiltered. It has a delicious smoked honey flavor with a herbaceously bitter wallop of a finish. Highly recommended.
  23. I find much of Morrissey's persona/opinions to be, well, a drag, but true to Kerry's suggestion upthread the dude rocks a quiff, and tends to have many hair-themed songs, and I can't ignore the Bonal/Bona thing. Plus Suedehead is a jam.
  24. Becherovka + most things, honestly. Aperol and Campari Spritzes may count, though I prefer them with soda water to cut the Prosecco, and a dash of lemon to battle the sweetness.
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