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Craig E

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  1. The Sidecar is a classic cognac cocktail that could be a middle option between sipping and cooking.
  2. I think it's fair to say I've discovered (in the 1913 Straub's Manual of Mixed Drinks) the worst cocktail name ever:
  3. As a follow-up to the Stink Eye and Side Eye (2 posts up), may I present the Pink Eye. 2 oz gin 3/4 oz Punt e Mes 1/4 oz Campari 1/4 oz Amere Sauvage 1/2 oz half & half 1/2 oz cherry shrub Peychaud's bitters float Again here, the name and concept came first. So what would have the look and flavor impression of conjunctivitis, but still be a good drink? 😄 This took a few iterations. The eyeball-like opacity comes from half-and-half, the initial sharpness from gin and, faintly, the vinegar of the shrub, fruitiness in the middle from the cherry and the Punt e Mes, some challenge in the finish from Campari and gentian liqueur. Peychaud's on top adds some anise-y nose but more importantly gives the broken blood vessel look. An ice sphere is conceptually indispensable.
  4. A colleague of mine challenged me to invent something new based on a name she thought would be great: Stink Eye. I though something that had a late-arriving and persisting bitterness would be appropriate. The quasi-medicinal, "this is good for you" aspect of fernet seemed like a good vehicle to include. Layered that bitterness with some from Cynar, from Punt e Mes, and from black walnut bitters, on a more-or-less Manhattany template, choosing an agreeable bourbon as the base spirit. Brightened with some lemon oil. So: stir 2 oz. Knob Creek bourbon, 3/4 oz Punt e Mes, 1/4 ea. Cynar and Fernet Branca, dash walnut bitters, strain and serve up with a lemon peel expressed and discarded. I think the ratios seemed right on out of the gate! Worked just like I'd hoped: smooth but spirituous and somewhat sweet sip, fading out, then a rapid fade-in of nutty, herby, and bitter finger-wagging. EDIT: @EvergreenDan asked about subs for fernet-averse drinkers, and one of my suggestions was Vecchio Amaro del Capo. He said that worked well and I tried it and agreed! That variant I'm calling a Side Eye.
  5. Two new-to-me tipples that I enjoyed last week. Both of these really brought out the best of these ingredients, many of which are personal favorites. Flying Dutchman (Jardinière) by Brian MacGregor, Jardinière, San Francisco, CA. 1 1/2 oz Genever, Bols (Boomsma) 3/4 oz Bénédictine 3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse (Strega) 3/4 oz Lemon juice Shake, strain, up. Nice complexity and groundedness. My wife and I were trying to put our finger on this pleasant underlying flavor, and the best we could do was to say it was like a smoky flavor but without the smoke. Duplex (no pic) by DavisSqPro, chowhound 2 oz Punt e Mes 2 oz Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano) 2 ds Orange bitters Stir, strain, wine glass, lemon twist. This finishes a little syrupy as I'd feared, but the flavors are delightful—bubblegum, dates, herbs. That sounds kind of gross when I say it out loud but I really liked it.
  6. Craig E

    Mezcal

    Found this Professor's Row recipe on Reddit, and was able to approximate it: 1.5 oz Del Maguey Vida mezcal (El Rey Zapoteca anejo) .5 oz Averna .5 oz Apry apricot liqueur (Rothman & Winter) .5 oz Fino sherry (La Guita manzanilla) 1 dash black walnut bitters 1 dash orange bitters Though I'm not the biggest mezcal fan, I really liked this. (It helped that I think this mezcal a friend brought back for me from Oaxaca is high quality.) This was rich (maybe darker with my substitutions?), smoky, tobacco-ey. The finish was chocolatey, reminding me of mole sauce.
  7. Stumbled across the recipe for the Kal Katz, a 1932 recipe from Havana that traveled via Tom Sandham's book and Frederic Yarm's blog to @Rafa's post on Kindred Cocktails. An unpredictable mix of ingredients: 1 oz light rum 1 oz dry vermouth 1 oz pineapple juice dash creme de menthe dash maraschino Clean and open, with flavors playing together well. Would no doubt be still better with a higher quality creme de menthe than what I have in stock. Likably interesting.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.)
  12. 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.
  13. It probably helped that my cherry liqueur sub is quite sour.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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