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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by cdh

  1. The GC rocks as a bar reference! Its copyright was 1939, so it could have been protected for 48 years at the maximum, right? I'd have to check a reference I don't have handy, but I'd bet it is public domain. As to bitters, the classics are the Angostura, Peychaud and orange bitters... Angostura has a sort of "cookie spice" flavor, while the Peychaud has a brighter and more licorice-like flavor. Orange bitters is nice, but is less complex than either of the others... they're also much less available. Amongst the other less available bitters, there are Fee's Aromatic bitters, which is closest to Angostura, but has more pronounced cinnamon and clove highlights. Fees also do a Peach bitters, and a Mint bitters... the Peach makes a lovely champagne cocktail, and pairs with fruit juice based drinks quite well... it gets lost in straight booze. The Mint requires more experimentation... it's green color makes for some unnatural colors, which has discouraged me from playing with it. From foreign shores, you might find bitters like Boonekamp, which comes in very large bottle (750 ml)... but is as strong as an ordinary bitter. Boonekamp is dark, unsweetened, and has clove and licorice flavors predominating with a bunch of others flavors in the background. You could also find the little tiny single-serving bottles of Underberg, which is roundly herby, and quite pleasant straight. There is the Czech Becherovka bitters, which is sweet and has a cinnamon and spicy nature, and makes for a very nice change in a manhattan instead of Angostura. Those are the lot I've had experience with... I've omitted Campari since everybody knows that one and its citrus-peely-ness... I've been meaning to try Gammel Dansk, but haven't gotten around to it. Don't know of any other commerially available cocktail bitters, so would appreciate enlightmenment if anybody else knows any.
  2. An old favorite that has become a classic amongst my friends that was christened the Homeskillet many years ago: 2 oz Rye (or bourbon if you're looking for something sweeter) .5 oz red vermouth (anything but Martini and Rossi... echhhhh) .25 oz Luxardo maraschino 2 dashes Angostrura Shake over ice until really chilly. Serve up. And a very recent invention as yet without a name: 1.5 oz bourbon over ice in an old fashioned glass 2 dashes Fees' peach bitters top with Trader Joe's Apricot-Peach juice. yummy.
  3. cdh


    While we're chatting about the funkier herbally infused wines, I must put in a brief plug for Byrrh... which is a port-like fortified wine that has been dosed with quinine and an herb or two. Very nice. I'll also note my previously expressed observation that Noilly Prat white plus a few drops of Orange Bitters is a pretty damn good flavor clone to the Lillet Blanc, albeit minus the caramel undertones of the Lillet. And I'll say that I've never been impressed with Punt e Mes... doesn't do much for me, I don't find. Further, I'll have to track down the Vya... but I'm still reticent about paying $24 for a bottle of vermouth... and I can't think of a bar that might serve it... even in NYC... and even if one did, I'm sure a drink would cost half the price of the bottle.
  4. cdh

    Celis beers

    Sad to hear it is only a ghost... maybe they'll pump some life into it yet... but not likely. I guess I'm stuck homebrewing.
  5. cdh

    Wine delivery

    Huh? What's he talking about?
  6. cdh

    Worst Beer Ever Tasted

    While this is sure to raise the hackels of any true believers out there, I must say that the absolute worst beer I've ever tasted was Orval. I've tried (and liked) all of the other Belgian Trappists, but Orval has crossed the line, as far as I'm concerned. It is too bitter, and too funky. Ick. I'll go back to my Goudenband and Rodenbach and leave that stuff to the crazy nuts who enjoy it.
  7. No idea what makes it so, but today I did see a Canada Dry cherry wishniak soda... first time ever I've seen it. Must pick one up and give it a try. Anybody know if Frank's is still in business? Their cherry wishniak was really good, and I've not seen it around in a long time.
  8. I made a bunch of reasonably classical Vietnamese summer rolls for dinner... proper skins, mung bean vermicelli, lettuce, juilienned carrots, shrimp, chives, mint... and then I recognized I had no idea what sort of sauce one is supposed to dip these things into. So I improvised... and it turned out quite well... a few T of unsweetened chunk peanut butter, a t of minced garlic, maybe a T of Thai roasted red pepper paste, a t of a Thai chunky red pepper and basil and garlic sauce, a squeeze of fish sauce and a squeeze of lime juice, all thrown into some water and reduced until the consistency was sauce-like. Anybody have any other suggestions for tasty stuff to dip these yummy summer snacks into?
  9. cdh

    Splenda(id) Chocolate

    Last year at the Fancy Food show I tasted a fake-sugar-byproduct-sweetened dark chocolate bar made by somebody called Yamate chocolatiers, and it was remarkably good. So, not all mockolate is nasty... and I had no experience of the "laxitive effect" either. Zero carb, if I recall correctly.
  10. If economic theory is right and scarcity is the root of value, I've gotten my hands on the most valuable cocktail fundamental out there: sour oranges! These things are the ideal cocktail citrus. They are powerfully aromatic; so much so that just a whiff of the plastic bag they're stored in is intoxicating. They are acidic, yet not overpoweringly so like so many supermarket lemons and limes... they have a balance between their distinctive flavor and their acid content, and thus don't require so heavy a hand with the simple syrup or triple sec or other sweet component in the cocktail mix. They are sour enough to substitute 1:1 for lemons or limes in recipes that call for them, and yields a lovely variant. Much more interesting than the often recommended substitute for them... OJ with a squeeze of lime just ain't the same stuff. They must be chock full of pectin or some other body-enhancing compound, as they give a luscious mouthfeel to everything they go into... and if you were to squeeze one into a glass of water, the seeds and such left over at the bottom of the glass after you finish drinking it down will set up in a gel of some variety that turns into glue if you leave it in the bottom of the glass overnight. Pity is that they are so infrequently stocked in any of the places I shop. They have only appeared in stores in close proximity to latino neighborhoods, and latino neighborhoods are few and far between in my corner of the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside. I will grant that they're ugly little suckers, and full of seeds and unlikely to visually appeal to the average American grocery shopper... but they are so good... So, if you have the chance to try them in a daiquiri, or margarita recipe, I'd highly recommend it. If enough people discover how good they are, then that other economic theory should take hold, and the demand will be supplied... hopefully.
  11. I'll second the recommendation for the chp* Ikea stainless spoons, skimmers, spatulae, etc. They're pretty, they're great, and they're about $3 a pop. *so cheap that Pat Sajack wouldn't front you for the vowels
  12. Found a better solution to the picture issue-- look at my avatar... that is my glass... anybody know where more of the same can be found?
  13. Seville Oranges. Only available from New Years to the end of Feb... delicious, and almost totally unavailable even when they're in season... at least in the Northeast. Central Market in Austin always used to get a good supply in when they were in season.
  14. yup. total height not more than 4 or 5 inches, ideally.
  15. I use the terms "cocktail glass" and "martini glass" interchangably... interesting that you make a distinction... I would say that I have 5oz cocktail glasses and 8 oz cocktail glasses...
  16. OK... what I'm hunting is something like the Optic style base with a standard martini glass sprouting from the ball.
  17. Matthew -- Closer... those are closer to what I'm thinking... not quite it. Must take a picture and bring the camera into the office...
  18. Nope... nothing at momastore nor C&B is exactly what I'm looking for. (but I don't know exactly what you're talking about since the image links above aren't working for me now.) The glasses I seek have a real base like the tall stemmed ones... just not the tall stems...
  19. Matthew again- Do please snap a picture of yours and upload it, and I'll let you know if we're thinking the same thing. FG- I'll give the bizrate site a try, but have had no luck with the google, froogle, and yahoo shopping routes... may be a nomenclature issue. As to the greater specificity-- conical bowl, 45-50 degree incline. color and adornments secondary to shape, though the one remaining example I have is an amber glass with the stretched sphere section treated such that it appears iridescent.
  20. Matthew- thinking of the book and antique route, do you know if the book writers have standardized on a nomenclature for such glasswares? Is there a in-the-trade shorthand for the stubby cocktail glasses?
  21. Agreed on the big pot sentiment. I picked up a 20 quart Tramontina pot from Walmart for $35 when I needed a new brewing kettle... disc bottom keeps the bottom from developing hot spots that would otherwise carmelize the beer... and now I can certainly cook enough pasta if 20 people suddenly decide to descend on my house some weekend...
  22. Have just looked through the Libby catalog, and they have nothing in the style of glass that I'm looking for... Thanks for the pointer anyway!
  23. Have not tried hunting in antique shops, largely b/c I believe somebody out there has been making them recently... and keeping manufacturers in business is a good thing... The ones I have got are Pottery Barn vintage 1997 or so, so they were being made 6 years ago...
  24. Hi all... I'm wondering if anybody knows of a source stocking a wide array of glassware. I've noticed that my preferred style of cocktail glass has fallen out of fashion with the big Pottery Barn/Crate and Barrel buyers and I hope that there is a source of a wider selection of styles of glassware out there. A google and froogle search hasn't turned up anything online, but glassware is sufficiently difficult to accurately verbally describe in a standardized way that the failure is not surprising. So, I'm turning to the collective wisdom of those assembled here for any pointers... For what its worth, what I'm looking for is a glass with a conical bowl, without a tall thin stem, but rather a short, thick piece of glass (mine are like stretched spheres) that connects to the base. These glasses are shorter, and more stable than ordinary cocktail glasses, and I like them for that. Drinking out of an 8 inch tall cocktail glass is always a sure recipe for spilled drink, I find. I'll post pictures if/when I get around to getting a picture into work where I have a speedy net connection.
  25. cdh

    The Wonders of Winespeak

    Back to the initial inspiration for this thread... Listen to the multimedia wine feature on nytimes.com, and listen to the last review of the Chateau de Sancerre ... "classic aroma of cat litter and minerals and almost an overripe quality from the fruit"... Link to article (sub required, etc)
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