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Everything posted by Rafa

  1. Yep. It's my standard ratio for guests at the bar. The added richness and heavier body came from the Diplomatico (Banks 5 on its own is flavorful but dry).
  2. Nothing at all. One of my favorite summer drinks. But it's good to introduce people to equally delicious/accessible drinks that they haven't heard of .
  3. I'm afraid that's accurate—Branca Menta is basically a much more interesting, complex, imaginative, somewhat drier crème de menthe, with the medicinal/herbal flavors of its older sibling only showing up on the swallow. If you don't like peppermint or menthol in your mixed drinks, it's not for you. That said, several great bartenders (Saunders, McGarry, etc) have found excellent uses for it, and an equal parts shot of Menta and Fernet is an excellent nightcap. I use it in small amounts to bring out the mint in Chartreuse or absinthe, and in larger amounts in dessert-y drinks (I mix it with honey, ginger, and Cognac in a Good Night Irene riff, e.g.) It's a well made and delicious product, but a hard sell for the likes of the eGullet booze forums .
  4. PBR with several heavy dashes of bitters.
  5. The new head bartender at my establishment made me his favorite Daiquiri two nights ago—1 oz each of Banks 5 Island and a rich older rum (he used Diplomatico) with 3/4 oz lime juice and 1/2 oz 1:1 simple. Delicious, balanced, and richly flavored, with an almost orgeat-y note from the rum blend. Not as crisp or refreshing as some of my favorite Daiquiris, but an excellent drink in its own right.
  6. Ditto, and so sexy-looking when made right. Also a good transitional drink for people looking to expand their boundaries beyond Mojitos.
  7. This thread needs more Branca Menta recipes. May I suggest Audrey Saunders' Good Night, Irene and the Black Rock Chiller of disputed provenance.
  8. How does one acquire this? I guess Laird's Co. found me too vanilla—all they've ever given me is a t-shirt
  9. You get an excellent frost on your julep cups.
  10. Well-observed. It is indeed a riff on our Mai Tai. Our house ginger syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part fresh ginger juice) is very spicy, but it should work with something less intense.
  11. That looks like a monster. One of yours?
  12. I'm hopeful, and not just because I spent $60 on a blind purchase. The smell the whisky leaves in the glass once I've emptied it is exquisite, and if the flavor ever approaches that it will have been a very good purchase indeed.
  13. Well. I know what I'm making next time someone asks me for something strong. ...and a Sazerac, of course. Mighty Sazerac, king of drinks.
  14. Thanks for the background info on Writer's Tears and The Irishman. We have the latter at my bar and I've never bothered to look into it, other than finding it quite good. Last night I had the good fortune of having a brand rep for Anchor Distilling sit at my bar. We got to talking spirits, and he pulled out three single malts from his backpack for a tasting: Kavalan Concertmaster, Nikka Coffey Grain, and Glenrothes' 2001 vintage. I tried them in that order. The Kavalan was lovely, light, malty, and fruity, but not overly so. I've had strange experiences with some world malts that were overly fruity (in a cotton candy way, not an eau de vie way), and had heard similar things about the Kavalan, but I needn't have worried. It's a mild, likable whisky in a vaguely Highlands style, and would be a good gateway to single malts if it weren't for the price. I'm not sure it justifies that price, but it's certainly an unobjectionable, well-made whisky. The Nikka Coffey Grain was delicious, and not at all what I was expecting. Rather than something ethereal like Greenore or thick and grainy like Mellow Gold, it's full of toffee, molasses, and demerara sugar. Very smooth and viscous and flavorful, without much heat. If I'd tasted it blind, I might have guessed it was a Demerara rum. After those two lighter whiskys, the Glenrothes immediately came across as oily, phenolic, and assertive. This was a heavily sherried release, and it showed on the palate with flavors of chocolate, hazelnut, and raisins, complemented by a heavy malt. I haven't much cared for other Glenrothes vintages I've tried, but this is probably the first one I've enjoyed more than their standard Special Reserve release. At this point I was in danger of clouding my judgment and had to let off. Still, might I recommend bringing delicious samples to your bartender as a way of ingratiating yourself with the establishment. I also bought a bottle of St. George's single malt recently, and I'm not yet sure what to make of it. Initially I found it bizarrely ester-y, tasting like a mix of a Scottish malt and an eau de vie made from slightly off pears, but after the bottle breathed for a bit I got lovely chocolate, hazelnut, and stout notes. It's nicely viscous but still sometimes tastes watered down to me. There's a lot of potential, but I feel like I've gotten a different malt every time I've tried it. I'm going to let it settle before I make any judgments on this one.
  15. This recipe, by the way, and just to sate my mania for attribution, is by the great Jessica Gonzalez, ex-NoMad and Death & Co.
  16. She certainly seemed to. I made her this: Blunderbuss2 oz Apple brandy, Black Dirt1 oz Lemon juice3/4 oz Orgeat, Tiki Adam's Toasted Orgeat (or honey syrup)1/2 oz Ginger syrup (spicy)1 ds Bitters, Angostura1 spg Mint (as garnish)Shake, strain over crushed ice in a Collins, garnish, serve with straw. So not quite that manly, appearance-wise, but made with a rustic American spirit and served with fewer frills than her dude's Mai Tai. I make a variety of mid-shift snacks for my barbacks and fellow bartenders, mostly Snaquiris or other sours, but I get the most requests for this applejack drink. I believe we've nearly finished off the bottle of Black Dirt ourselves. I do get a lot of young women asking for Negronis. It's that kind of town.
  17. Rafa

    Canada Day

    I think he means a Toronto cocktail at a ratio of four parts rye / one part Fernet Branca / one part cane syrup.
  18. Correct. I can send you a sample if you so desire.
  19. The other day a guest, a young tank top-sporting bro, was, according to his (lady) date, miffed that I made him a girly Mai Tai in a Tiki mug while said date got a stiff manly applejack sour, so for his next round I made him a Sazerac riff with rye, Punt e Mes, Maraschino, and a full 3/4 oz of Peychaud's bitters. "Very manly," I told him as I served him the drink. I don't think he cared for it, but he downed it quickly as a point of pride.
  20. Nonsense--the best Mai Tai recipe is whichever tastes best to you at a given moment. No need to try to fit in here, and at any rate I defer to your extensive field research on this drink. I'm going to have to try your La Favorite/Wray & Nephew White Tai one of these nights. (Though I should note that your spec for the S&C/Barbancourt combo is rather different from mine-- I use two ounces total of rum, and Creole Shrubb or Cointreau rather than Grand Ma.) Ha. Chez Rafa I use homemade, but at work we use Mr. Adam's, as he is a friend to the bar. I quite like it--the flavor is rich but less assertive than, say, B. G. Reynolds' syrup, with a subtle but likable toasted character that reminds me of Kaiser Penguin's recipes. It's got a good viscosity and a nice translucence that doesn't muddy up the look of drinks like other orgeats sometimes do. I rate this syrup as highly as the other good commercial offerings I've tried, Small Hands and Reynolds', and recommend it if you're in the market for something that doesn't require hours of steeping and straining.
  21. The house spec at the bar where I work: 3/4 oz Appleton V/X 3/4 oz El Dorado 12 1/2 oz Rhum JM blanc 1 oz lime juice 3/4 oz Tiki Adam t'orgeat 1/2 oz Creole Shrubb (though we're currently getting by with Combier) Hull of a spent lime wedge Optional Lemon Hart 151 float (for guests who've earned it) Shake, strain over crushed ice, garnish with mint, serve with straw. Not that far from Adam's recipe upthread. Delicious. More approachable than my personal spec of 1 oz each Barbancourt 5 Star and Smith & Cross.
  22. I'm open to suggestions. Names for hairstyles, preferably, though the working title is Troubadour, simply because it looks similar and isn't taken.
  23. As unpatriotic as this is, I usually use Plantation Barbados 5 year as well, with occasional substitutions of Barrilitos 2 and 3.
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