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Craig E

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Posts posted by Craig E

  1. Just made up some homemade grenadine (tried out this part-reduced, part-fresh Pom recipe but with orange blossom water instead of peels), so tried out a Miss Scarlet

    • 1 1/2 oz gin
    • 1/2 oz lime
    • 1/4 oz Cynar
    • 3/4 oz grenadine
    • dash Angostura

    The little bit of Cynar is the key to deepening this tart and refreshing drink. The red tartness reminded me of cranberries--really this was like a grown-up version of the familiar Ocean Spray cranberry juice drink. 


    • Like 1
  2. As I mentioned elsewhere, I recently obtained some Serra Preta cachaca which smelled startlingly like olive brine, and, neat, tasted more like a dirty martini than anything else. Didn't seem to me like a caipirinha would work especially well, so I went searching for more suitable cachaca recipes and came across the Grande Elixir on Kindred:

    • 1 1/2 oz. Leblon cachaca (Serra Preta)
    • 3/4 Yellow Chartreuse
    • 1/2 lemon juice
    • 1/2 honey syrup
    • Lemon twist

    I thought the chartreuse, with its herbaceous bent, would provide some suitable context for the savory elements of the cachaca. And it worked well, the cachaca giving some productive tension to the lemon and honey dominant notes. Drinking it, more than anything I thought of lemon zest which is bright but also a little bitter. 

    The friend who brought me the cachaca from Brazil was apologetic on sniffing the opened bottle, but I told her it's unforeseen ingredients like this that make mixing drinks more fun, and often make the resulting drinks more interesting.

    • Like 2
  3. 3 hours ago, EvergreenDan said:

    1/2 oz of St Elizabeth is a lot. That stuff is very powerful.

    I used my homemade version, following the Serious Eats recipe. I haven't had the bottled stuff so I'm not sure how the intensity compares, but as I said this was quite a "drammy" drink. Next time around I might try dialing it back. 


    3 hours ago, abenc85 said:

    I don't think I've ever seen more than 1/4 oz called for in a recipe

    This Dead Man's Mule is terrific, and also calls for 1/2 oz. which to me wasn't too much when up against absinthe, orgeat, lime juice, and ginger beer.

  4. Tonight I made a Mustache Ride, a Lion's Tail riff from Brad Thomas Parson's Amaro book. 

    • 1 1/2 oz. Bulleit bourbon (4 Roses)
    • 1/2 oz. Cynar
    • 3/4 oz. lemon
    • 1/2 oz. "Joey Sunshine's Maple Simple Syrup" (1/3 oz. maple syrup)
    • 1/2 oz. St. Elizabeth allspice dram (homemade)
    • cherry and lemon twist garnish

    Flavors work together well, though there's no question that the allspice dram is the boss. The sweetener is supposed to be this complicated maple syrup syrup with black peppercorns, fennel seeds, cloves, allspice berries, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, and bay leaf. Sounds delish but I have my suspicions that in this drink those extra flavors would be either redundant with, or blown away by, the pimento dram.


    • Like 1
  5. Eeyore's Requiem, a drink often discussed on these boards in the past. Had made it before but never with the right vermouth. Offers a subtle complexity, if you can call a drink with a Campari base subtle.


    • Like 3
  6. Last weekend I had the distinct pleasure of drinks at Attaboy in NYC. Among the drinks served to me was a Kingston Negroni, a familiar drink made new by using Gran Classico in place of Campari and Hamilton St. Lucian in place of Smith & Cross. That got me thinking about other ways to riff on this excellent drink. Tonight I tried S&C with Cappelletti and Dolin Blanc, equal parts, with a dash of saline solution. I used a grapefruit twist because I had a grapefruit going, but the brightness of a lemon twist might've been better. Worked out pretty well!


    • Like 1
  7. Tried out the Amaryllis which was posted by @David Santucci some eight (!) years ago. Or a version of it, since I subbed every ingredient.

    • 1 3/4 oz. Tanqueray gin (I used Beefeater 24)
    • 3/4 oz. M&R bianco vermouth (Dolin Blanc)
    • 1/2 oz. Apry (R&W Orchard Apricot)
    • 1/2 tsp. Hermes orange bitters (Regan's)

    This was nicely balanced, clean taste and a floral nose. I often find that apricot liqueur to be bullyish and lend an offputting medicinal edge to drinks, but that wasn't at all the case here. This was so spring-like that I would be tempted to call it light, though it's obviously rather spirituous. 


    • Like 3
  8. Last night had drinks with @Rafa, live and in person! Grateful to eGullet for introducing me to him. When in NYC don't miss out on the chance to buy a drink from him. Fantastic knowledge (as you all know) and fantastic sense of hospitality.

    I'd report on the actual drinks I had, but details are cloudy now.

    • Like 9
  9. On 2/8/2017 at 8:20 PM, FrogPrincesse said:

    Nice looking drink. You substituted an aged rhum agricole (Neisson eleve sous bois) for an unaged one (Clement premiere canne), correct? That is a rather major substitution. :)  What you did probably deserves its own name because I imagine the result to be quite different!

    The other way around, the Neisson was spec'd. And I put in my Hamilton 151 full strength for what was intended to be a tamer demerara rum! I was pleased that the result didn't seem "raw" at all to me, but I guess the original specs would result in a smoother drink.

  10. Here's a brand new cocktail, V for Vecchio, put together by a Reddit contributor:

    • 1 oz Neisson Eleve Sous Bois rhum agricole (Clement Premiere Canne)
    • 0.5 oz El Dorado 8 Demerara rum (Hamilton 151)
    • 0.75 oz Vecchio Amaro del Capo
    • 0.25 oz Pierre Ferrand dry curacao
    • 1 barspoon St. Elizabeth allspice dram (homemade)
    • 1 barspoon lime juice

    Stir on ice, double strain, garnish with 3 cherries and a lime twist.


    Always happy to see new ideas for using my Vecchio Amaro del Capo. 


  11. 33 minutes ago, tanstaafl2 said:


    I have always liked David Wondrich's take on the El Presidente using Dolin blanc vermouth. Having made it with both a standard dry vermouth and the blanc I definitely think the blanc is the better choice.

    Thanks, I'll have to try that. The dry-vermouth version is on my list of classics that left me unimpressed.

    • Like 1
  12. Picked up Sasha Petraske's Regarding Cocktails, and tonight tried Ben Long's Gabriella. Pisco, lemon juice, simple syrup, muddled strawberry, served on crushed ice with strawberry and a pinch of salt atop. 

    I crushed ice in a Lewis bag and then poured the shaken cocktail into a stemmed coupe, per the diagram in the book. I quickly realized that adding the ice would quickly overflow my little coupe, so I transferred it to a larger martini glass, which also was soon overfull. I sipped off half the drink to make it fit. Only then did I notice that the text specified a rocks glass, which makes far more sense--the diagram on the facing page must be a mistake the editor missed.

    Anyway, the book describes this as "a real crowd pleaser" and I can see that. It's really delicious. 


  13. Cocchi Americano is at the center of my first original of 2017, which I'm calling the Fragola Rock
    by Craig Eliason, St. Paul, Minnesota (USA)

    1 1/2 oz Aromatized wine, Cocchi Americano
    1 oz Gin
    3/4 oz Strawberry shrub
    10 dr Salt Solution
    1 oz Soda water (to top)
    1 twst Grapefruit peel (as garnish)
    1 Strawberry (as garnish)

    Stir all but soda, strain onto big rock in a DOF (or onto cracked ice in a wine glass), top with soda, briefly stir, express grapefruit twist and garnish with it and/or a strawberry.

    Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

    IMG_2637 1.png

    Citrus juice (lemon and grapefruit) comes through though it's not present! This is accessible and tasty. The strawberry flavors are very subtle; the vinegar comes through more strongly, though there's enough sweetness (and a little bitter from the americano) to hold it in check. 

    I made the shrub a while ago from the Serious Eats cold-process recipe. Can't recall if I used cider vinegar or red wine vinegar or a combination of the two. 

    • Like 3
  14. Took my new (first) bottle of bianco vermouth out for a spin tonight.


    First up, Death & Co's One, One, One, which is equal parts Krogstad aquavit (Tattersall), Beefeater, and Dolin Blanc, plus a dash of Regan's. Nose reminded my wife of nice cosmetic toner, and I could see what she meant, a clean rubbing alcohol aroma. The aquavit was very pronounced in the taste. I very much like my Tattersall aquavit so that wasn't a problem. I saw on Kindred that @Rafa had come up with almost the same drink on his own, at .75 : 1.25 : .75 proportions, with an expressed orange peel, and on paper that seems like it might have better balance.


    Next, another equal-parts drink, the San Francisco Treat which is Fernet Branca, Averna, bianco vermouth, with a flamed orange peel (I used grapefruit). Learned of this from a Reddit thread which reported that it struck a surprising balance, but I found the fernet predictably bullyish and it consequently wasn't an especially successful drink for me.


    Last, the Gringo, which is

    • 1 oz Aperol
    • 1⁄2 oz Beefeater
    • 1⁄2 oz Siembra Azul Blanco (Hornitos blanco)
    • 1⁄2 oz Dolin Blanc
    • 1 dash Angostura

    This was interesting: the gin, which seemed like an outlier in the ingredients list, contributed a subtle but useful sharpness. Even still, this was probably too sweet, especially up front, and could use some revising. Perhaps less Aperol, or a less-sweet bitter aperitif alternative, would work. But the finish had a nice zip to it. 


    This blanc vermouth is a lovely ingredient and strikes me as terrifically underrated.

    • Like 1
  15. On a Reddit post I saw mention of a "Rusty Cross," which subbed Smith & Cross for Scotch, so I tried it out:

    • 2 oz. Smith & Cross rum
    • fat 1/2 oz. Drambuie
    • dash Angostura
    • lemon twist

    This worked well. It's obviously high-octane, so benefits from a long stir and slow sips. If you're looking for something strong and sweet, you could do worse. 


    • Like 2
  16. I think what he's saying is tasting it is the only trustworthy way to judge how the extraction is going, so you can mix up a little microbatch with what you have (a very small amount of your vodka mixture and proportional bits of sugar and water to get your taster to target sweetness and proof) and decide from there if it needs more time or not.

    • Like 2
  17. The Final Voyage is equal parts Smith & Cross, apricot liqueur, lime, and green Chartreuse, and it's good! It's not surprisingly pretty sweet, since only the lime isn't contributing some sweetness, but these are all flavorful ingredients that each has its turn coming to the fore with each sip.

    Deceptively strong too!


    • Like 2
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