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Everything posted by Rafa

  1. A funky aromatic rum float is a must for this one, I think. Mine ended up a more attractive color than yours (closer to Jordan's here) but also on the dry side, possibly because we both used Creole Shrubb. A true Curaçao would probably result in a sweeter drink. I think I liked it more than you did; I also prefer a Vic's Mai Tai (or a Bitter Mai Tai), but then those are two of my very favorite drinks, so that's hardly an insult...
  2. Thanks for this! I'm stuck in sick tonight and I made a Ramos following this technique and it turned out lovely. My one complaint is that only using one 1" Tavolo cube results in a drink that's not as cold as I like.
  3. There is nothing humorous about a well-crafted cock-tail. People like you are the reason one can't find a well-crafted pre-prohibition style Sex on the Beach anywhere north of the Bowery.
  4. Back on topic: I made a friend who likes gin and sophisticated liqueurs a Last Word, thinking she'd love it on first or second sip like most people I serve it to do. She sipped it quietly for a minute and then informed me that she couldn't finish it because it smelled "like a sneeze."
  5. I made a 1934 Donn Beach Zombie last night and wasn't impressed, which surprised me, since it's usually one of my favorite Tiki drinks. I think my mistake was using a full ounce of Smith and Cross for the Jamaican rum; I love S&C, but it's a bully, and even against other burly ingredients like falernum and LH151 it tended to hog the spotlight. All I got was its leathery sour note with a bit of spice and sweet and citrus from the other ingredients. The Lemon Hart and spices became more apparent as it warmed. Well, I've settled on a Beachcomber Zombie recipe for my new Tiki list that you might like to try, although I can't imagine it's too different from yours, except for the brands. I imagine you're making yours much bigger and stronger than I feel comfortable serving my guests, and with products that would screw with my margins, too! 25ml Pampero Especial 25ml Appleton VX 20ml Plantation 73% 15ml Taylor's Falernum 20ml Lime 10ml Pink Grapefruit 5ml House-made Blackcurrant & Hibiscus "Grenadine" (Jing infusion, steeped very strong, spiced with Angostura, Peychaud's and Black Pepper) 3 Dashes Pernod Absinthe 3 Dashes Angostura (Both from CK dash bottles - Use two dashes from an Angostura bottle) Brief speed shake to cool, strained over cubed ice in a Schott Pilsner glass, crowned with crushed and garnished with a large mint sprig, grapefruit twist and lime wedge. This sounds delicious. Smart rum choices. I wish the Plantation overproof were available at retail here; I've had it at bars and it's delicious but I've yet to find it on sale anywhere. Yours looks a lot like the recipe I use, except that I tend to go for white grapefruit (I like the bitterness and emphatic terpenes) and homemade dark falernum. Your "grenadine" sounds interesting; I've been experimenting with non-pomegranate grenadines like sour cherry and raspberry (since Camper English found that most historical grenadine probably didn't contain much pomegranate anyway) but I haven't gotten around to blackcurrant. Spicing it's a good idea.
  6. Here you go: Benedictionby Rafa García Febles, NYC.3/4 oz Brandy3/4 oz Herbal liqueur, Green Chartreuse3/4 oz Bénédictine3/4 oz Lemon juice Shake, strain, up. 15 Romolo already gave the gin version a different name, and I think brandy suits the monastic theme better than gin anyway. (A monastic-style beer as the base would suit it even better, but that would make an already sweet cocktail cloying.)
  7. I like this other Ango sour by Giuseppe Gonzalez even more than his Trinidad Sour: Stormy Mai Tai by Giuseppe Gonzalez, Dutch Kills, Queens, NY.1 1/2 oz Bitters, Angostura3/4 oz Curaçao3/4 oz Orgeat1 oz Lime juice1/2 oz Light rum (as float)1 spg Mint (as garnish) Shake, strain into a double old fashioned over crushed ice, lightly swizzle, float light rum and garnish with mint. Banks 5 and Wray & Nephew make good floats.
  8. Rafa


    Tonight, Capitánby Rafa García Febles, NYC.1 oz Tequila1 oz Añejo rum3/4 oz Orgeat3/8 oz Lemon juice3/8 oz Lime juice2 ds Bitters, Angostura1 Egg white3 dr Bitters, Bittermens Xocolatl Mole (float)1 pn Nutmeg (as garnish) Combine all but mole bitters, shake, strain, rock, float mole bitters and garnish with nutmeg. Sam Ross' Conquistador by way of the Army & Navy. I've been making my orgeat lately using Kevin Liu's ridiculously simple and delicious recipe (from his book) and been making more orgeat recipes than usual as a result. It results in a creamier and lighter-bodied orgeat than I'm used to, and pairs really well with tequila.
  9. Yes. Use less sugar and/or more acid. Start with a Perfect Negroni (splitting the sweet vermouth 50/50 with dry). Or use more gin (try 2 oz gin with 1/2 oz each Campari and vermouth(s) -- you might need this on the rocks or a long stir. (Edit: Frog beat me by 4 minutes!) Here are four Negorini-like variants I tried to lessen the sweetness, which would also lean out the mouthfeel. I wish dry vermouths were by and large more acidic; it would make them more useful. You can add acid to them at home (I use malic, which gives a green apple-y tartness) but if one of the big vermouth manufacturers promoted a high-acid vermouth it could help free us from the bartender mentality that sour = citrus.
  10. The Maurin can be overpowering, so I'd be inclined to cut it back as compared to the vermouth in a standard Negroni, and Gran Classico's not as bitter as Campari but its flavor is less 'clean'/two-dimensional with lots of herbal and floral notes so it can still overwhelm other ingredients. This strikes me as a tricky drink to balance.
  11. Thank you for answering so fully and honestly. There's a lot to be said for the sort of bar you work at, and some of my best experiences at bars have been with warm and perceptive bartenders who are committed to giving their customers a memorable experience and turning them on to new things. But I find so much of what you do really exciting and I'd love for a bar program that could properly showcase projects from you and like-minded others. (Minus the distilled spirits, of course.)
  12. Great ideas. Out of curiosity, do you serve any of your experiments (with distilled wines, re-distilled gins, reconstituted liqueurs, etc) at the restaurant where you work? Or are they all private projects/research that you do in your own time.
  13. This: Black Francisby Rafa García Febles, NYC.2 oz Rye1/2 oz Maurin Quina3/4 oz Cynar1 twst Lemon peel1 Cherry, Luxardo (as garnish) Stir, strain, rock, garnish. Nice cherry accord. Dark and bitter. Maurin Quina rewards playing around with. This drink also ties in with haresfur's post in the Naming Cocktails thread about naming drinks after pop culture (and indie musicians, specifically).
  14. Rafa


    As far as I know that one's never been taken off Mayahuel's menu, at least it's on there every time I've been.... Still haven't had it, but seems like a nice complex sour for those who've acquired the taste for Mezcal. (It's probably my favorite spirit.) I might try making it with tequila and a Mezcal rinse/float for my more mezcal-averse girlfriend after reading your impressions. Thanks!
  15. I was seated at a table, so I didn't watch it being made, but guessing you could make it as you'd make a Negroni, so 1:1:1 might not be a bad starting point. I'm guessing that's a nerdy enough question that one of the bartenders might answer if you give them a call. Here's an article with a bit more about the drinks there. http://www.lamag.com/lafood/digestblog/2013/01/17/hinoki-and-the-bird-cocktails-sam-ross-david-myers-century-city I'm a bit skeptical about the suggestion that "Tokyo cocktail style" would be more of a fresh program - most of the cocktail bars I know about in Tokyo are much more focused on classics and solid execution than fresh / seasonal ingredients. I've never been to Tokyo and can't speak from first hand experience, but everything I've read/seen about Kazuo Ueda et al leads me to the same impression... How'd you like the drink?
  16. Glad you liked it. Yup, big, busy drink. Lots of bottles. Lots of flavor combos I like (cherry + rye, rye + Punt, Punt + Cynar) stacked up on each other. Most of the time stacking combos doesn't work out nearly as well in drinks as it does in arcade games (no point multipliers), but I like it here. To me cherry/Cynar/Punt becomes one big flavor, and the others dance around the edges. I don't remember right now what Peychaud's adds so next time I make one of these I'll decide if I'd miss it. I crave Punt e Mes too much to lose it, though I'd consider splitting it half and half with dry vermouth if that didn't bring the total bottle-putting-away time up to, uh, 40 minutes. Sam Ross is responsbile for their cocktail menu (he also designed the cocktail menu at Comme Ça, another David Myers' restaurant). That Harajuku sounds delicious. Anyone happen to know the ratios? Not that I have/can afford Hukushu, mind...
  17. Haven't tried it yet, but this looks good... Quin Quina Crustaby Leo Robitschek, Eleven Madison Mark, NYC.2 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina1/2 oz Peychaud's Bitters1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur1/2 oz Lemon juice1 twst Lemon peel Dry shake and pour into a sugar-rimmed, curshed ice-filled cocktail glass. Lemon peel garnish.
  18. That's odd. I was just about to post my update to that cocktail... (You'll note my naming strategy in calling it "Craft." That lets drinkers know that what they're experiencing is an expertly balanced and tasteful concoction hand-crafted by an artisanal mixologist. Just a naming pro-tip ;-)...) Craft Squirrel Sex Manhattanby Dale DeGroff, Clyde Common, Williamsburg, MA.3/4 oz Limoncello3/4 oz Strawberry eau de vie (squirrel-infused)3/4 oz Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir3/4 oz Raspberry Shrub3/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur3/8 oz Cranberry (Pickled)4 pn Tartaric acid powder1 ds Demerara syrup (3:1)1 rinse Grenadine16 spl Fernet Branca Plant, grow, ferment, and distill eaux de vie from lemons, strawberries, and Douglas Fir on-site in the greenhouse on the terrace of your Brooklyn loft. (Must be on-site. Must be Brooklyn.) Sweeten the lemon eau de vie with fresh cane syrup. Infuse the strawberry eau de vie with squirrel (fresh only!). Combine. Hand craft a barrel out of staves rescued from your father's first yacht and age spirits in barrel for six weeks or until you've grown bored and moved on to your next artisanal project, whichever comes first. Empty barrel, and heart. Combine contents of barrel (but not heart) with handmade raspberry shrub (with raspberries plucked from your significant other's father's estate) and authentic Maraschino liqueur. In a mortar and pestle, mash with pickled cranberries overnight. Strain. Ferment in the gullet of a hoatzin, the Guyanese stink-bird (for that touch of Demerara smoke!). Kill and gut bird; double strain. In Erlenmeyer flask, add tartaric acid (fresh squeezed only!) and Demerara syrup, then smash the flask over a rotary evaporator and evaporate its contents rotarily. Convert the remaining liquid into a spray and serve out of an atomizer inserted into the mouth of a grenadine-rinsed and hand-taxidermied squirrel (eastern gray only!). Splash Fernet Branca (or other difficult amaro) until fragrant. Serve up.
  19. Sounds good. Got a name for it?
  20. Made this tonight, and think Left Hand / 1794 fans might like it: 2 oz Rye1/2 oz Cherry Liqueur, Sangue Morlacco1/2 oz Sweet vermouth, Carpano Punt e Mes1/2 oz Campari1 bsp Maraschino Liqueur, Luxardo1 ds Peychaud's Bitters1 ds Bittermens Xocolatl Mole1 Cherry, Luxardo (as garnish)1 twst Blood orange peel Stir, strain, rock, garnish, twist. No name yet, but it's just an improvised twist on my Eyetalian Cocktail. (I'm out of Cynar.)
  21. 3:2:1 bourbon-Campari-S&C.
  22. I think cocktails benefit from names that are eye-catching, suggestive, memorable, easy to say (even when drunk)*, and usually short (and if not short, eye/ear-catching and memorable). It helps to imagine someone ordering them at a bar; if it sounds natural, or intriguingly unusual, it's usually a keeper. The name is often the first thing a potential imbiber knows about the drink, so it helps if it gives some sense of its character (this is why so many of the bitter, advanced cocktails of beta cocktails get away with long and complicated names). The Daiquiri is a good example: at least when said as it is in Spanish (die KEE ree), it's sharp, bright, crisp, just like the drink. Other good classic cocktail names, IMO, are the Bramble, the Cosmopolitan, the Manhattan, the Sazerac. One way to help yourself name cocktails is to keep a list of words you think would make for good drink names. Come up with a drink name that sounds like something someone would order in a bar, say the Rexroth,** and think of the cocktail that name conjures: for me, Rexroth evokes dark liquors, stirred spirits, some bitterness, a steely edge, a bright twist. If you keep a list of names that suggest different eras, states of mind, base spirits, and functions (aperitif, nightcap) you'll have something to draw from for naming your inventions, and you'll be able to reverse engineer original drinks based solely on what their hypothetical names suggest. Some familiarity with cocktail genealogy/family names also helps; knowing that what you've come up with is technically a Daisy or a Lion helps you choose names like the Whoopsy Daisy or the Lion's Claw which makes your job easier and has the added bonus of suggesting the type of drink to more informed imbibers. Person's names, like your Morris, are usually a good bet, as are place names (Manhattan, Trinidad Special, Daiquiri). Try to think of the qualities suggested by your ingredients: for your first drink, Scotch suggests Smoke (and, in this case, Pig), St. Germain suggests Elder and Flowers, Chartreuse evokes Monks. In fact, there's already a St. Germain and Chartreuse drink by the name Elder Monk. You could run with the monastic theme and the Scotch's smoke and go with "Fumata," for the white smoke that announces a new Pope at the papal conclave; or you could play up the drink's structural similarity to a Last Word and its variants and go with something like "Dying Word." I hope this has helped somewhat! I'll try to come up with suggestions for the other two drinks in a bit. They sound tasty, btw. *This may explain the preponderance of classic cocktails starting with M (Margarita, Manhattan, Martini, &c), though it doesn't explain how the Sazerac has survived so many slurred orders. **A name I came up with just now for the purpose of this example, not necessarily a good name for a cocktail.
  23. Kevin Liu writes about this in detail in his book. Small amounts of salt work to suppress the other taste sensations of a cocktail--e.g., a pinch of salt can make a very sweet cocktail less sweet, an overly bitter cocktail less bitter, and so on. Tastes can have synergistic effect: sugar will help offset overt tartness, but sugar + salt will be even more effective (as in your example of the Margarita). Saltiness is also the easiest taste to mask, so it's easy to correct for if you go a little overboard. To see some of this applied take a look at Beta Cocktails' post on their Campari "Martini," which, ninja edit, I see KD1191 has already linked above.
  24. That's my usual course lately as well (it's fine with a reposado too but a blanco's best). I was using Patron XO for the coffee liqueur and tequila seemed appropriate. Very good.
  25. Ha. Didn't mean it was some kind of ancient relic! But it is an item that's no longer in production and very hard to find -- vintage the way the rereleased Tanqueray Malacca soon will be. I just made this, expecting to love it as it combined four or five of my favorite bottles. I wasn't wrong. This is a huge, bold drink for lovers of big flavors and burly rums. I made it according to the suggestion on Kindred Cocktails with 3/4 oz each of Lemon Hart 151 and Smith & Cross and an ounce each of Punt e Mes and Cynar, substituting a grapefruit twist for the lemon as I'm out. I'm sipping it right now and I think I've found a new favorite. My one regret is that it killed off my bottles of Smith & Cross and Cynar, but that's what shopping trips are for. I think I'm going to replace the S&C with the Scarlet Ibis, which I haven't tried yet, but I can't imagine ever having a bar again that doesn't feature a bottle of Cynar.
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