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Craig E

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  1. Finally got around to trying a New York Sour (or as I learned from a Wondrich tweet, a "New York Stone Sour" with the inclusion of orange juice).
  2. A new original that uses my curry-leaf syrup: Curried Away 1 1/4 oz Rittenhouse 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack 3/4 oz Lime juice 1/4 oz Ginger liqueur 1/2 oz curry-leaf syrup 1 dash Bar Keep Chinese Bitters Shake; strain; up. I get an unexpected mint (or mint-chewing-gum) flavor on the finish, which made me realize in retrospect that a mint leaf (or curry leaf) would be an appropriate garnish. This started with the weird idea that the Asian funkiness of Batavia Arrack and the peanuty flavor of Rittenhouse could be a workable odd couple. From there I was thinking of Asian cuisine flavors, which quickly led me to the other ingredients. Proportions were estimated with a daiquiri model in mind, and I was more than pleased that my first go at measurements nailed it.
  3. So I'll use up my curry leaves but then I'm stuck with extra black cardamom pods! 😄
  4. I recently made a chicken recipe that called for curry leaves, which I'd never tried before. Curry leaves are kind of interesting. They are used in some curries but bear no relation to the spices in curry powder. Before I realized Whole Foods carried them, I'd looked up online what would work as a substitute in my chicken recipe, and sites suggested lime for the citrusy aspect and basil leaves for the herbaceous aspect. But I found beyond citrus and leafiness, the leaves had a toasty quality. Since I had most of a bag left over, I decided they might work in a syrup for cocktails. I followed the procedure that had worked for me for sage syrup: Dissolve sugar in just-simmering water, cut the heat, and steep the leaves for half an hour, then strain. First use was a basic gin sour—gin, lemon, and the syrup. Worked pretty well. But then my wife observed the nuttiness of the syrup, and I had an epiphany that it could work as a funked-up orgeat replacement. So I made a mai tai to Trader Vic's spec, only subbing the curry-leaf syrup for the orgeat/simple, and using Batavia Arrack as a more regional replacement for the Jamaican rum. Added a pinch of salt and replaced the mint garnish with another curry leaf. Tasty stuff!
  5. Finally got to a drink that's been on my to-do list for a long time: Stew Ellington's Adair Hook. Adair Hook 1 1/2 oz Gin (Beefeater) 3/4 oz Sweet vermouth (Dolin) 1/2 oz Cynar 1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo) 1 ds Orange bitters (Regans') This worked great. This is essentially a Martinez, enriched with the caramel and bitter notes of Cynar, a terrific deepener here. The dark sweetness of both liqueur and vermouth play well against the sharp piny-ness of gin. On a whim, made a second, subbing xocolatl mole bitters for the orange bitters. The chocolatey flavor pushed this still further into dessert town (it was already pretty sweet, but not objectionably so to my taste). So maybe a bit less subtle or balanced than the original, but awfully tasty.
  6. Yes, my colleague did so I got to taste it. Pretty delish! For best drinks of the trip: "Le Pain Killer" at Murder Inc., which was described as "Havana Club 7, OJ [though I'm sure they goosed it with lime], walnut croissant marsala." Garnished with a tiny piece of toast (le pain--get it?) which was goofy, but the walnut flavor in this was great. I liked the Beetle Boulevardier at Lyaness: "Patron Reposado, Martini bitter, purple pineapple, white & pink radicchio, cochineal." I do find the vagueness of their menu irritating though. Both of my drinks at Swift: Sicilian Avenue ("Monkey Shoulder scotch, toasted barley, Mr Black coffee amaro, bitters") and the yummy, dessert-y Praline Flip ("Swift spiced rum blend, Guinness, hazelnut orgeat, egg"). Edited to add: Oh, and at Oriole, the Haarlem Ampersand (“Bols oak aged genever Courvoisier VSOP speculoos wine orange pekoe Salerno hopped Peychaud’s”). Guess the nutty and sweet thing was floating my boat this trip.
  7. For the record: Only had time to hit a couple of those (Trailer Happiness, Punch Room), but I did like them. Also had great drinks at Lyaness and Murder Inc., but my new fave place is Swift.
  8. I’m back in London for a bit and thinking my cocktail bar target list is outdated. Anybody have suggestions for top places to go nowadays? Not into gimmicky showmanship, overpriced hotel bars that are only about posh ambiance, nor overcrowded hipster scenes. So far I’ve been to Oriole, and Trailer Happiness and whatever Mr. Lyan’s latest thing is called are on the agenda. In past trips I’ve liked Satan’s Whiskers, Blind Pig, and White Lyan. What shouldn’t I miss?
  9. Couple of recent keepers, both nicely balanced: Adelphi Cocktail 1 oz Rye 1 oz Cognac 1 oz Sweet vermouth 1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur 3 ds Absinthe (I used a barspoon) 2 ds Bitters, Angostura Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist. Inventor Frederic Yarm described this as a Saratoga with the "improved" treatment. Also brings to mind faves like the Sazerac and Red Hook. Some very verbose labels on these ingredients! Texting and Scones 1 oz Cynar 1 oz Dry vermouth, Dolin 1 oz Becherovka 1 ds Bitters, Bittermens Xocolatl Mole 1 bsp Jamaican rum, Smith & Cross Stir/strain/rocks/lemon twist ( I used orange) Unsure if I was supposed to float the rum--I stirred it in. This was a tasty autumnal drink. Flavors akin to boozier sippers but lighter octane.
  10. Thanks, tried this tonight and quite enjoyed it. A martini crossed with a pink gin. The dram (I used homemade, from the Serious Eats recipe) comes in on the finish, reminding me of winter holiday festivity.
  11. Used my sage syrup (from a pre-frost harvesting from my garden) in a Tom Collins riff: 2 1/4 oz Uncle Val's Botanical gin juice of 1 1/2 small lemons 3/4 oz sage syrup club soda to top fennel bitters float Yum!
  12. Tried Zachary Pearson's Sunny Disposition with some subs. 2 oz Blanco tequila (El Mayor) 1/2 oz Suze (Bittermens Amere Sauvage) 1/2 oz Dry apricot brandy (Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot liqueur) 1/2 oz Lemon juice 1 ds Bitters, Boker's (Fee Bros. Cardamom bitters) I recognize that the brandy spec'ed in the recipe is quite different from (namely, far less sweet than) the apricot liqueur I have on hand, but the comments on Kindred encouraged me to try the sub nonetheless. This wasn't delicious and with the relentless bitterness of the Amere Sauvage it is not a crowd pleaser. But it was super interesting. Very green agave aroma, maybe even pickles. Sip is where the fruit enters, apricot but also white grapefruit. Then in the finish the raspy wooden bitterness joins up with the grapefruit. That long bitterness pushes you to the next sip. Fun drink inasmuch as the character changes strikingly between nose and sip and swallow.
  13. A new original: 2 oz Cappelletti aperitivo 1 oz Tattersall aquavit 2 dashes Regans' orange bitters Served on the rocks with an orange twist. Sweet and refreshing but also interesting. Next night I tried the same but topped with an ounce or so of soda, which brought it into the territory of an Aperol Spritz. I'm calling it Cap & Snaps.
  14. I'm a big fan of the Fernet & Jerry.
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