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Craig E

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  1. Craig E

    Black rum

    It could work at a smaller volume for sure, but in my experience the richness was balanced by the upfront acidity of vinegar, the bite of the Amer (following suggestions on Kindred I replaced the water in Boudreau's recipe with vodka, so it has some assertiveness), and the dilution of the ice. Also, the juice from my Egbert's cherry jar is less thick and syrupy than something like Luxardo (though it's still plenty sweet).
  2. Craig E

    Black rum

    This seems like as good a place as any to post a new invention I came up with for reddit's Are You Afraid of the Dark cocktail challenge. The idea is to get as black a result as you can imagine (without resorting to coloring tricks like charcoal). I surveyed the dark stuff in my bar and came up with: Onyx 1 1/2 oz Cruzan blackstrap rum 1 oz Amer Boudreau 1/2 oz balsamic vinegar 1/4 oz syrup from brandied cherries Stir; strain; one big rock. As I mentioned on reddit, this is kind of a bizarro-world daiquiri. I quite like the prominent balsamic flavor: it occurs to me that balsamic's darker acidity bears an analogous relationship to lime juice that blackstrap rum does to a white rum. I take it as a proud measure of my growing mixology skills that the proportions I tried out first seemed spot-on—a first! The complaints upthread about Cruzan Blackstrap's unsubtle tendency to take over drinks are true to my experience too, but here I thought the other ingredients hold their own against it.
  3. Craig E

    Drinks! 2018

    Overhead light in my bar is on the fritz but I didn't let that deter me. Tried Panic Button by Dewberry Hotel, Charleston, SC 1 1/2 oz Bourbon 3/4 oz Averna 1/2 oz Campari 1/2 oz Cherry Heering (Tattersall Sour Cherry) 1/4 oz Lemon juice 1 twst Lemon peel (Expressed) The recipe calls for a small ice ball in the coupe as a "garnish," which seems gimmicky but I dutifully executed. The result: I got a strong Angostura bitters flavor from this: the woody, cherry, clovey, bitter flavors that I know and like from Ango-heavy drinks like the Trinidad Sour came immediately to mind.
  4. Craig E

    Homemade Triple Sec

    I'm not a super infusion expert but I'd guess that when your concoction has the taste you want, you might be better off removing the solids. Flavors and preservation can be compromised by stuff sitting in there too long. (Extraction is accelerated by the sous-vide process but it continues at room temperature.)
  5. Big restocking and stocking up at the wine sale. Most excited about the 3 that are new to me: aged rhum agricole, genever, and madeira.
  6. Craig E

    Drinks! 2018

    It probably helped that my cherry liqueur sub is quite sour.
  7. Craig E

    Drinks! 2018

    Mystic Wood by Kelly Swenson, Ten-01, Portland, OR 2 oz Rye 1/2 oz Cherry Heering (Tattersall sour cherry) 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter apricot 2 dashes Angostura On reading this seemed like an unexceptional Manhattan variant, and both cherry and apricot liqueurs seem hit-or-miss to me in mixed drinks, but I liked this.
  8. Craig E

    An Ideal Negroni

    Tonight tried a Quill, which is a Negroni plus a 1/4 oz. of absinthe. The other day I'd made a drink with 1/4 oz. of absinthe which was wholly overpowered by it, so I was tempted to cut it back. But I guessed that the Campari would keep it in check and that proved correct. I liked this quite a bit.
  9. Craig E

    The Last Word

    Adams' [sic] Words 3/4 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum 3/4 oz Green Chartreuse 3/4 oz Ginger liqueur (called for homemade, I used Stirrings) 3/4 oz Lime juice Shake with ice. Up. I would have first called this a Last Word with Smith & Cross subbed for gin and ginger liqueur subbed for maraschino. But on further reflection there's a kind of double-switch happening here: the spirit provides the funk instead of the liqueur, and the liqueur provides the sharpness instead of the spirit. I liked it; the ginger vied with the chartreuse herbs on the finish, all within a warm brown-sugary envelope of rum. On posting I was reminded of the Final Voyage I posted last year, a few posts up from this, which is the same thing with apricot liqueur instead of ginger liqueur. Both float my boat--someday I'll have to do a side by side tasting to pick a winner.
  10. Craig E

    Drinks! 2018

    Some recent finds: Monk's Thistle (green Chartreuse, Cynar, Regans, water) and Helen of Troy Does Countertop Dancing (applejack, Ango, orgeat, lemon). The former was a quality chartreuse feature. Interestingly, the caramel sweetness of Cynar was strong but its expected bitter finish got somewhat overridden by chartreuse's powerfully long finish. The sophistication of the flavors certainly kept this from being flatly syrupy, but it was quite sweet. The latter (as you can tell from the color) is one of those big-dose Angostura drinks, 1/2 ounce in this case. Subbing bonded apple brandy for the applejack in the spec, and using my very flowery homemade orgeat, I really liked this. Strong but accessible, very autumnal.
  11. Craig E

    Drinks Using Cucumber

    In a Pickle by Ted Kilgore 1 1/2 oz Hendrick's (Plymouth navy strength) 1/2 oz St. Germain 1/2 oz Velvet Falernum 3/4 oz lime juice 1 slice cucumber 1 sprig dill Mix all, including cucumber and dill in shaker and shake. Fine strain over fresh ice into highball glass. Garnish with fresh cucumber and dill sprig. My garden dill isn't that green these days, but still wonderfully aromatic. Thought the high-proof gin sub might throw off the balance of this but I quite liked it.
  12. A Reddit challenge inspired me to come up with something new in this category: Where the Bodies are Buried 2 oz Tattersall aquavit 3/4 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Long stir; strain; up.
  13. Craig E

    Drinks! 2018

    Accoutrement by Chris Hannah, Arnaud's French 75, New Orleans 2 oz Calvados (Laird's bonded apple brandy) 3/4 oz Strega 1/2 oz Clément Créole Shrubb (Pierre Ferrand dry curacao) 3/4 oz lemon juice 2 ds Peychaud's Bitters Shake, strain, cocktail glass, garnish with 3 brandied cherries There was a strong cherry aspect to this--maybe even beyond the aroma of the indulgent garnish, some alchemy reinforced the cherry taste. The herby factor of Strega and Peychaud's keeps things interesting. Cherry and ester (from the high-proof brandy) and herbs threaten to turn medicinal but that was a mostly empty threat.
  14. Craig E

    Existing Conditions

    And Robert Simonson's review came out yesterday.
  15. Craig E

    Drinks! 2018

    Recently discovered a huge grapevine growing on a chainlink fence in our backyard. The little wild grapes are tart and intensely red inside, so I thought they'd be good cocktail fodder. I remembered a clever drink from @bostonapothecary I found on Kindred Cocktails: Me and My Grandfather (so called because it paired unaged and aged grape-based spirits--pisco and cognac respectively). I muddled a handful of wild grapes and added equal parts lemon juice, mosto verde pisco, VSOP cognac, and the spruce syrup I'd made. (That last continues the foraging-in-the-yard theme, but mostly I used it because I couldn't be bothered to whip up the spec'ed regular simple syrup.) This turned out pretty grapey (surprise surprise) in an appealing way. These little unexpected grapes have lots of possibilities. I think mother nature is encouraging my cocktail hobby.
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