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Craig E

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  1. Hand-held citrus juicers

    ^ Only problem with that is that the lime is upside down!
  2. Drinks! 2018

    Happy 'Rack by Jordan Devereaux, Chemistry of the Cocktail 1 oz Apple brandy, Clear Creek 2 Year 1/2 oz Applejack, Lairds 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack, Van Oosten 3/4 oz Lemon juice 1/4 oz Grenadine 1/4 oz Allspice Dram 1/4 oz Simple syrup (optional) 1 pn Nutmeg (as garnish; optional) Shake, strain, up. I'm out of the Clear Creek so I just used 1 1/2 oz Laird's bonded for the base spirit. At the suggestion of a commenter at Kindred, I doubled the grenadine in place of the simple. Used homemade grenadine and homemade dram (which I poured a bit skinny as it's potent stuff). Plum forgot the nutmeg. This was delicious. Maybe more autumnal tasting for mid-May, but a very appealing mix of flavors. ★★★★★
  3. There are fewer variables in a cocktail than in a hamburger, so I'm not sure the analogy holds. I could just suggest a daiquiri for example, but I don't think the results would tell you which bartender was most skilled--more likely just the quality of rum or the luck of better limes. Maybe a better test of the quality of the bartender would be asking for a bartender's choice with a given spirit and see what they come up with.
  4. Drinks! 2018

    Alicante by Scott Holiday, Rendezvous, Cambridge. For Drink, Boston 1 1/2 oz Grand Marnier (Pierre Ferrand dry curacao) 1 oz Batavia Arrack, Van Oosten 1 oz Dry vermouth, Noilly Prat 2 ds Orange bitters, Angostura orange (Regan's) 2 ds Bitters, Bittermens Xocolatl Mole 1 twst Orange peel (expressed and discarded) 1 pn Salt (as garnish) As I read it, this recipe seems to be an attempt to use a liqueur as a base, and then work hard to keep the drink from being too sweet. The Batavia arrack added funk, the Noilly Prat dried it out, and the bitters and garnishes did their part to counter the saccharine base. I think it worked: first sip was sweet but then the countervailing forces kicked in.
  5. I imagine you're joking, and in theory I like the idea of foisting more interesting ingredients onto unadventurous guests, but for the record it's worth noting that there are people out there (my wife among them) with shellfish allergies so this would not be a substitution to do without notification.
  6. Yes, I mostly bought the bottle because of this little secret: the falernum I made is about 4 years old. It shows no signs of degradation, but when making drinks for others I thought it prudent to get some fresher stuff. Tasted them against each other tonight. The Velvet Falernum is sweeter; there's lime if you look for it but mostly flavors of soda-pop syrup, and a sugary finish. The homemade, made from this recipe if memory serves, is a "rounder" and deeper flavor, definitely preferable but some of those subtleties may well evaporate in the context of complicated fruity drinks which are the usual setting for falernum. @lesliec you're right, the Strega is pretty wonderful. Since it's herbaceous and honeyish, I just tasted it next to Drambuie, but the latter is far more generic and boring. I think it might be fun to try in some recipes that call for Drambuie, as well as Yellow Chartreuse. Happy to play with the Batavia Arrack too!
  7. Smith & Cross and Beefeater are restocks. The Beam Pre-Prohibition rye I bought on impulse, based on how it did in the NY Times blind test discussed around here a while back. The Strega, Velvet Falernum, and Batavia Arrack are all new to me (though I've been using my homemade falernum for a while). I'm bringing cocktails to a dinner party tonight and the theme is Vietnamese food, so I'm taking the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity about the spirit from Southeast Asia. Planning to make Eulogies.
  8. Tequila Cocktails

    Mexican Razor Blade by Dan Greenbaum, Attaboy, New York, New York (USA) 2 slices Cucumber 2 oz Tequila 1 oz Lime juice 3/4 oz Simple Garnish with pinch of cayenne on a floating cucumber slice. I muddled the cukes before realizing the spec said simply to include them in the shake. The cayenne slid off the garnish slice on the walk from the bar to the table, but that's a small matter. This was terrific! Benefits no doubt from good tequila (I like the Tesoro Platinum I used).
  9. Aperol

    That experience (harsh even distasteful first sip, but surprisingly appealing by the end) was borne out by tonight's experiment, the Paper Trail by Colin Shearn. 1 1/2 oz Bourbon 1 oz Aperol 3/4 oz Salers Gentiane (Bittermens Amer Sauvage) Grapefruit twist Thanks for the inspiration!
  10. Aperol

    I've not purchased Suze but I was gifted a bottle of Amer Sauvage which I've used in a couple of Suze recipes. My faves have been the Brown Bomber mentioned in that Suze thread, and The Smartest Man Alive. My impression is that the Amer Sauvage is even more bitter than Suze. At any rate, it is nigh unbearable sipped straight. And even mixed into cocktails like the above, my first sip usually says "oh no, I can't handle this." But it quickly switches to drinkable and then even compelling with further sips.
  11. Aperol

    Love the Aperol spritz; I don't think any substitutions could make it better! Following guidance I think I saw in the NY Times, I like a garnish of orange wedge and green olive, which initially seemed absurd but works great!
  12. Drinks! 2018

    Report back if you do! I wonder if the spiciness of the rye (and bitters) are the only thing keeping it from being cloying. But I think the peanut infusion could work really well. Thanks for trying it out!
  13. Drinks! 2018

    A new original: Peace's Rhesus 2 oz Rittenhouse rye 1/4 oz Maraschino 1/2 oz Crème de Cacao 1/4 oz Cynar 2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters 1 twist Lemon peel (expressed and discarded) Going for sweet peanut-butter candy flavors.
  14. Drinks! 2018

    Midnight Sun (Aquavit) 1 1/2 oz Aquavit (Tattersall) 1/2 oz Grapefruit juice 1/2 oz Lemon juice 1/4 oz Grenadine (Homemade) 1/2 t Sugar 1 sli Orange (as garnish) This was great!
  15. On that brighter list, Gin Rickey and Tom Collins. Daiquiri if rum's around. Basically, booze + citrus + sugar is often a winning combination.