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SamChevre

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  1. I would suggest starting with cocktails that are traditionally served over shaved or crushed ice; in most cases, those get a slushy consistency. Just off the top of my head: Daiquiris Mint Julep (I'd dry-shake the mint with the bourbon, and strain it off before freezing) Swizzles What I would do is make one "properly", with crushed ice, on a scale, and write down your weights. That should give you the right proportion of water to add.
  2. SamChevre

    Vermouth

    I saw some Spanish vermouth - Vermut Lacuesta - at the liquor store, so I picked it up. The most noticeable difference relative to Cinzano or Martini and Rossi is that it is "lighter"; not in a bad way, but like the difference between Amarone and port. The botanical profile is quite similar--maybe just a touch more bitter. The sweetness and acidity are comparable. It has very little of the cocoa taste of Cinzano and Cocchi, and it's less berry/cherry than the M&R. For some reason, it tastes to me like it would complement brandy exceptionally well. (I need to pick up some brandy and see.) It's interesting, and very good straight, chilled.
  3. Counting ice as an ingredient, I'll nominate bourbon and water (typically chilled water, with no ice)--the classic "bourbon and branch" as the most interesting.
  4. SamChevre

    An Ideal Negroni

    The earlier thread is great for what gin, what proportions, and so on. If you are going further afield, and looking for "vermouth, campari, liquor" drinks like the Boulevardier, my favorite is a very fancy Boulevardier. 2 oz Elijah Craig 12 bourbon 1 oz Campari 1 oz Cinzano sweet vermouth Stir, strain. Float 1 barspoon Smith and Cross, flame an nice big orange peel. (This a cheap knock-off of Chuck Taggart's Boulevard Des Reves; other variations are at the link. I also suggest trying Luxardo Bitter, if you can find it, as a sub for the Campari; it's very similar but slightly cleaner on the finish (like the difference between US and Mexican coke.)
  5. SamChevre

    Swizzles!

    My "swizzle stick" is an old wooden spoon handle, with two holes at 90 degree angles at one end and bamboo skewers through the holes. It works great.
  6. I'm another fan of the Bijou, mentioned earlier in the thread. However, I think the other components need all the punch they can get to balance the Chartreuse. My preference: Equal parts Tanqueray Gin, Cinzano vermouth, Green Chartreuse; 1 dash orange bitters (Regan's). (M&R vermouth is too light).
  7. SamChevre

    Campari Cocktails

    My favorite Campari cocktail is a Boulevardier variation. (A cheap and differently-garnished version Boulevard des Reves from Chuck Taggart.) 2 oz bourbon (Elijah Craig 12) 1 oz Campari (or, better yet, Luxardo Bitter) 1 oz vermouth (Cinzano or Stock--M&R is a little too light) Stir over ice, strain into a glass, flame an orange peel over it and rub the rim with the peel; float a generous barspoon of Smith and Cross, and flame another orange peel over it. The double flamed orange really makes a difference.
  8. I'm not sure if you are drinking the whiskeys straight, or as cocktails. I would keep the price/age range consistent, so it's easier to taste style differences rather than getting confused by the age differences. And I'd taste in order: corn, wheat, Tennessee, wheat bourbon, rye bourbon, rye, oddity (I'd go with "blended") My suggestions: Low-budget tasting (rail in a good bar quality--$15 a bottle or so); I'd plan to make sip/sniff and make cocktails. Mellow Corn Bernheim Dickel Cascade Hollow Evan Williams (or Four Roses) Jim Beam White (or Old Grand-Dad BIB) Jim Beam Rye (or Old Overholt) Beam 8 Star Mid-budget tasting--good enough to drink with ice--$15-$25 a bottle Mellow Corn Bernheim Dickel #12 Evan Williams 1783 (or Four Roses) Old Forester (or Jim Beam Black) Rittenhouse Rye (or Wild Turkey Rye) Seagrams 7 Crown Nice whiskey tasting High/reasonable-budget tasting--$25-50 a bottle Mellow Corn Bernheim (or Maker's Mark) Jack Daniels Elijah Craig 12 Eagle Rare Rittenhouse Rye (or Sazerac 6-year old) Angels Envy (port-finished bourbon)
  9. SamChevre

    Cocktails with Bénédictine

    I keep Benedictine around specifically to make the Singapore Sling--kind of the original tiki drink IMO. Equal parts gin, lime juice, Benedictine, and cherry brandy (I use homemade but Cherry Heering seems to be the common recommendation); shake with cracked ice, top with 2 parts cold seltzer,
  10. I have three that compete for the "nothing better" title in my drinking. A bourbon Old-Fashioned--Elijah Craig 12-year-old and Angostura bitters. A Bijou (equal parts gin--preferably Tanqueray, Cinzano Rosso, and Green Chartreuse). A Jack Rose with homemade grenadine. (3 parts Lairds BIB, 1 part each grenadine and lemon juice)
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