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Everything posted by Rafa

  1. Last night I came home from work exhausted and with a sweet tooth so I made myself a Scotch, sherry, apple brandy, ginger, and honey milkshake. To my taste it was delicious (pat, pat) but a bit rich for the weather. Today I came home and made myself a crisp and barely sweetened John Collins with Bols Genever. Aah. Much more weather appropriate. Edit: Just added half a dropper of Dutch's Colonial Bitters to the Collins. Recommended.
  2. Luxardo Triplum is comparable to Cointreau and about ten bucks cheaper. Bourbon and rum are, IMO, the spirits where great brands can be had for cheapest. In bourbon, you have Old Weller Special Reserve / Antique / 107, Very Old Barton, Old Fitzgerald, Old Grand Dad Bonded and 114, Four Roses yellow, Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey 101, and Jim Beam Black all for under $25/750ml (and in some cases closer to $10!). Rum is a much more diverse category, but I second Hassouni above that El Dorado 5 seems to be a good all around mixer that works where both white and aged rums are called for, and it's only about $15. El Dorado 3, their white, is amazing if not exactly the Cuban style of rum most recipes have in mind when they call for "white" (it's close enough to be a substitute); Flor de Cana Extra Dry from Nicaragua is a great, very cheap example of a Cuban-style white. Again, extremely diverse category. For dark rums (which aren't the same thing as aged rums) Gosling's Black Seal and Cruzan Blackstrap are both under $20; the Blackstrap has a heavy molasses/breakfast syrup flavor that some find off-putting, but personally I love it. Lemon Hart 151 is a rich and smokey overproof dark rum from Guyana and one of the world's greats, but it's usually priced in the mid-30s. Appleton 12 and El Dorado 12/15 are very good aged, sipping rums that also shine in cocktails. You might want to look into Armagnac as your standard brandy as they are generally much, much better values than comparable Cognacs. If you have a Trader Joe's that sells wine near you, their $5 sherries are perfectly good in cocktails, and their cremants and other cheap sparkling wines work well where Champagne's called for. It's not worth it to open a bottle of Champagne just to pour a few ounces into a cocktail. If you have a Sodastream or other carbonation system you can carbonate still white wines for this purpose too.
  3. Apple, juniper, malt, orange, pear, coffee, chocolate... that sounds like a hell of a drink.
  4. Palmetto, El Presidente, good old Old Fashioned.
  5. I think it plays well with bourbon and rye. You need to be careful substituting it for other orange liqueurs, though; it's intense and requires some adjustment.
  6. I just found a mid century distillation paper that explained how sometimes light and heavy rums can be made from the very same distillation runs. the most neutral fractions become the light rum which see very light aging and the concentrated outer fractions go into barrels for a long time (or in hot areas) to become the basis of heavier rums. sometimes lighter rum stock is blended in afterwards. I guess this approach has all sort of unique economies. everybody praises the pot still but even continuous column stills can be operated to make heavy rums if certain fractions are collected and recycled in certain ways to maximize ester formation in the still. one thing that makes the pot still superior is that more of the esters are ethyl-esters instead of esters of higher alcohols like amyl. I guess there is a notorious amyl-ester that smells like bananas and is considered a flaw. this ester is one reason extraordinary brandies cannot be made in continuous column stills. I've smelt banana in some rums like goslings and wondered if it was the product of that amyl-ester. I've always wanted to take lemon hart apart and see what it was like in pieces. especially without the coloring. Interesting. I can see why those amyl-esters would be considered a flaw in grape brandies, but I tend to enjoy the banana aromas I get in Gosling's 151 among others... I wonder if there are any independent bottlers purchasing un-colored rum from DDL. I also would love to taste LH151 without the coloring, since the heavy caramel is such a huge part of its flavor.
  7. I feel the same way about the original. Sounds like the Rosa will be very good now that it's punch season, maybe with some bourbon... I tried a Jungle Bird in Sam Ross' ratios (omitting the simple) with the Don Esteban chocolate rum "liqueur" and liked it. I think I'll try it again, this time cutting back on the pineapple juice, adding a 1/4 oz of allspice dram, and spiking the chocolate rum with some Lemon Hart 151, and call it a Hoatzin, for the national jungle bird of Guyana. Oh, and this 1 1/4 oz Green Chartreuse 1/2 oz St. Germain 1/4 oz gin 3/4 oz lime 1 oz soda water 1 slice cucumber 1 pinch salt 4 leaves mint 1 sprig of mint, slapped, for garnish was very nice.
  8. You should really avoid the Monkey Gland. I mean, everyone should, but you more than most. I think the problem with those drinks is that orange juice just isn't interesting enough to counter their lack of acidity. In small quantities or as part of an ensemble with other citrus juices and other attentional ingredients (say, in a Fog Cutter) fresh orange juice can add an appealing fresh sweetness and slight bite, but in large quantities it washes out other flavors and makes drinks one-dimensional and insipid. I understand that orange juice was a luxury, not a household staple, pre-Prohibition, and that alcoholic drinks showcasing orange juice like the Bronx seemed both exotic and accessibly sweet. But now we drink differently and most of us expect all the ingredients in a drink to contribute something; we don't usually just want slightly more interesting orange juice with a kick. To me, the Bronx is basically a more sophisticated Screwdriver.
  9. Rafa


    This method is so quick and simple that I now just make small batches of orgeat as needed rather than keep a supply in the fridge. Seriously, it can take less than a minute.
  10. How does the LH80 compare with the 151? To me the LH151 is much oilier and darker in flavor than any of the El Dorados, certainly than any of the younger ones in the line. As for how the ED5 compares with the 8, it's different juice, sharing distillate from ED's wood coffey still with the 8 but nothing else. The El Dorado rums aren't the same rum at different age expressions; rather, each is a unique blend from the vast collection of unique stills in the distillery's possession. (Here is a chart comparing which distillates go into which release.) I haven't had the 5 year, but reviews have compared it to the 3, but with more sweetness and barrel influence, and a lot of bright fruit. Here's a very positive review.
  11. Really wish we could get Lemon Hart 80 here. And I second Palo Viejo as perfectly alright. Last night I tried Cacao Prieto's Don Esteban Rum Liqueur. Despite the name, it's very dry, with a wonderfully dark, lush chocolate flavor rounded out by pepper and a touch of espresso. Amazing; I couldn't stop sipping it. I think with some simple syrup it could function as an otherworldly creme de cacao, but I'd rather use it as a chocolate spirit base for cocktails along the lines of Mozart Dry (also unavailable here) if it weren't so expensive.
  12. You could do an absinthe drip, if you want to be authentic. Bonus if you set it up in an opium den. Still, not really a "cocktail," not really "spectacular." (Maybe if you did a Chartreuse Elixir Vegetal drip. You're made out of money, right?) Following up on LaPrincesseGrenouille's commentaires en haut-thread, there are several other contemporary cocktails incorporating the best in XIXe siecle French aperitifs and liqueurs, among them the Asterisk (brandy Last Word), the Mountain Man (you could sub Lillet for the Cocchi), the Albert Mathieu, the Weeski, and of course the White Negroni. A proper French spirit like brandy or rhum agricole could be subbed for the snooty Anglo gins and backwoods bourbons in the above. Or you could do something with a combination of orgeat and absinthe/pastis, a popular combo among the French. You could even take a preexisting cocktail you like that calls for sweet vermouth and substitute something like Byrrh or Bonal or Maurin. Or just mix any old fancy liqueur with Champagne. The possibilities are endless~*
  13. OP, I am sorry for lighting your thread on fire, with flamed squirrel tail garnishes. I am also sorry for writing "ginophiles" upthread, when I clearly meant ginophobes. There. It feels good to get that off my chest.
  14. It sounds like we have nearly the same taste in rum. For what it's worth, Mount Gay is releasing a new rum meant for mixing that's described as flavorful and spicy and sounds promising.
  15. Dolin blanc and El Dorado 3 are made for each other. Try them in a Palmetto variant (2:1 rum to vermouth with two dashes mole bitters and a lemon twist) or with a touch of Maraschino in this thing I made.
  16. My first instinct is to try it in a 'Ti Punch-type drink with lemon wedges and cane syup, but treating it like a genever is a great idea. I wonder what the guys at Dead Rabbit will do with it; I'm too tired to attend tonight, sadly.
  17. Very pretty. Very precarious. Would a joke about drinking on the edge be too easy? Today, I made a simple hazelnut orgeat (hazelnut milk + Petite Canne cane syrup + Regan's orange bitters) and am enjoying some now on the rocks with soda and a few dashes of mole bitters (liquid Nutella!). This would go beautifully with bourbon, I think.
  18. Gorgeous photo. I haven't tried the Cocchi Rosa and haven't found detailed reviews, but I gather it's a lot like the standard Americano? I may just buy it next time I'm restocking on Cocchi then. Tonight, I made a Dark 'n Stormy to try out my new ginger syrup/soda, using Gosling's Black Seal instead of my usual Lemon Hart 151 (I'm low) or Cruzan Blackstrap (I'm out). The syrup came out pretty dry so I supplemented it with a bit of falernum and pineapple juice. Good choices.
  19. Andrew Strenio at Serious Drinks liked it quite a bit, calling it one of the better white whiskeys he's ever tried. His description reminds me a bit of a white agricole. Sounds pretty interesting, though hardly worth the $50 a bottle. Seems like a good excuse to head down to the Dead Rabbit, not that anyone on this forum needs one.
  20. I like it in everything you mention, in a Jamaica Daiquiri with Petite Canne syrup, and in many cocktails that call for Smith & Cross -- the Professional, the Ashtray Heart, the Bitter Mai Tai, even in a Vic's Mai Tai mixed with something aged like Barbancourt 5 Star or Appleton Extra. I like to follow Rick from Kaiser Penguin's lead and add a quarter ounce of it to a Chartreuse Swizzle. It's good in refreshing drinks with lots of fresh juice that call for normal white rum or blanco tequila -- I like it with strawberries. And, though to my knowledge no classic Tiki drinks call for it by name (presumably because it wasn't available in the US in the Tiki era?), it shines in complicated tropicals. I built a Donn Beach-style blended drink around it that I make for myself quite often. I sometimes use it in drinks that call for more standard white rum, but those are just for me, not for company. (I used it in the original version of a cocktail I intended as a refreshing and accessible Cosmo-lookalike before I came to my senses and realized that most people don't share my love of overproof hogotastic rum.)
  21. Let me know what it's called, so I know what bar to avoid next time I'm in London. It's heartening to see craft bartenders improving so many of the classics.I'll have you know that the Sex on the Beach is a cocktail with an illustrious American history going all the way back to the Colonial era. From Wondrich's Punch: 'Fornication upon the Sands,' being named after a bawdy pub song of its time, 2 parts oleo saccharum of the peel of the orange, 2 parts shrub of the juice of the tart cran-berry, 1 part peach brandy, 2 parts Dutch gin.
  22. A bit of salt or saline solution should help with the bitterness. I like the flavor profile of Dr. Adam's Aphrodite bitters a lot; they're heavy on the coffee and chocolate, with background notes of ginger, ginseng, and red chili. That's one direction you could take your liqueur. Or you could just add the chili, and be hit in the head with a Mexican coffee sledgehammer instead. Almond/Maraschino is another direction you could go. It sounds like you may want to consider diluting it?
  23. Restocked on Wray & Nephew White Overproof and Old Pulteney 12. The W&N is the workhorse of my bar, ending up in various liqueurs and extracts and flaming garnishes as well as being very tasty on its own, and the OP12 is just a damn good Scotch that I'm always glad to have around. I also bought Ferrand's Plantation 5 years Barbados rum for the first time; it's perfectly decent, especially for the price ($15!), but I was expecting more of that Barbados buttery smoothness than the vanilla bomb I got on opening the bottle. Maybe with a little air and time it'll reveal the usual banana and fruitcake notes. As it is it reminds me of Puerto Rico's Ron del Barrilito 2 Star, an equally good value but one that's harder to find here in the States, and not exactly Barbados rum. Also stopped by Astor to try various Luxardo liqueurs. The Amaro Abano, which I've had before and am a fan of, has an Angostura nose, a cola taste, and a long blackstrap and black pepper finish; the Bitter has Campari's color and syrupyness if not all of its bitterness; the Fernet is less minty and mentholated than Branca but plenty bitter; the Anisette is too sweet for me, but so are all anisettes. Luxardo's got a great line of products.
  24. The Rogue Gentleman's newest craft cocktail, the John Mayer by John Maher. You see where this went wrong, don't you?Apologies for this horrific oversight.Craft Blowjob (revised) Ingredients: one juniper seedling, one heritage calf (prefer Dutch Belted), heirloom potato seeds Prepare as usual. Top juniper-infused vodka with dollop of whipped cream. Serve up. Now you're talkin'. Selling cocktailians vodka as "wheat white dog" or "rye eau de vie" is the new selling ginophiles gin as "juniper-infused vodka."
  25. Ugh, an ice sculpture of Donatello's David? You may as well garnish your drink with a sous-vide turd.
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