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Annette Marron Holbrook

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Everything posted by Annette Marron Holbrook

  1. Tanstaafl2, I have had three different plumbers in to quote running a water line to the bar. It can be done but the cheapest I was quoted was $900. Just not sure that it is a wise use of funds. I do have one of those water coolers you mentioned, so when I have a party it would be simple to move it in there. Great idea. Which got me thinking, I also have one of those drink dispensers people use for lemonade, so could just put that on the counter with water and put a small tub under, I can use it for multiple purposes.
  2. Omg Lisa. You are brilliant. I didn't even think of using the space at the bottom of the stairs. No one would need to go up there at all during a party so that's perfect! I actually inherited a beautiful mid century punch set so I will look into the book you mentioned. I have some great cocktail books so would love to add to the collection.
  3. This is more about how I need to design the "bar" space at our cabin. This will be our retirement place and we hope to be there permanently in the next year or so. I don't have a perfect spot in the cabin for a real bar so it will be built in cabinets along a wall in the great room. As it is a log cabin, cutting into walls and such to add plumbing may be be structurally unwise and beyond reasonable for the budget considering how many other projects need to be done. So here is my question for those of you who are experienced, either professionally or not, with setting up and serving cocktails when you don't have a sink right there. How do you rinse jiggers, spoons, mixing stuff when you don't have a sink and don't want to traipse through the space to do so? I started thinking about catered parties I've been to where there is a bar set up out by a pool or something. Obviously there isn't a sink but I have been to these events where they offer cocktails. Do they have a bucket with water to dunk stuff in? Most of the time it will be just my husband and myself but we do host 4-5 gatherings a year. I'm trying to decide if blowing the budget to have the sink is just silly or do people have good solutions for those events. If it matters, in my current home I don't have a good bar space but I do have a big kitchen with a second prep sink. So I tend to pick a cocktail or two for the evening and batch mix ahead of time. Then all I have to do is set up a little self serve station and can use the prep sink nearby to rinse if I need and not get in the way of food prep. Here is the layout of new cabin. First pic shows bar space against stairwall in relation to kitchen, pic bar with sink, pic 3 bar no sink.
  4. Don't know how this post didn't show earlier (weird computer programs). This sounds great as well, as Rye is my go-to then I will try it that way first. Annette
  5. Wow, that sounds fabulous. I think I even have a ginger beer in the house! Annette
  6. My cocktail of choice is a Manhattan, followed by an Aviation. My issue is that I'm a small person (5'4" 115lbs) so am literally and figuratively a lightweight . Last night, in a fit of rebelliousness I made G&Ts for my husband and myself. I quite enjoyed being able to have a drink that lasted quite a while and I could adjust the ratios in order to make it possible to have a second one. On a weeknight, not something I would normally do. I made the second one pretty weak, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I would love a suggestion or 2 of some drinks that I can try that have some of the same properties but are geared toward a Manhattan lover. Something in a highball glass that I can enjoy over ice and stretch into a second even! I've just downloaded a few cocktail apps on my iPad but am pretty new to the apps so no luck yet. I frequently host book club and my Manhattans are a favorite among our group, but like me they hate that one is kind of the limit so I'm hoping to offer something new along these lines as well. Thanks heaps! Annette
  7. I ended up making the PDT version. I didn't want to open the bottle of Cocchi yet, so used the Antica. First go round I used Hayman's Old Tom Gin. Enjoyable but a bit sweet. Not sure why so the second attempt I switched to Bulldog Gin. I think the Old Tom combined with Antica upped the sweetness so the Bulldog version was more to my liking. I don't like the Bulldog by itself but do enjoy it in a cocktail. Annette
  8. Ok, getting a late start here so I'm going with just the Martinez for the evening. For vermouth, I only have Antica or Cocchi di Torino. I've never tried the Cocchi so have no idea. On researching I've found 3 different Martinez recipes. I'm kind of chuckling here- First from Robert Hess 1 oz Gin, 2 oz Vermouth dash bitters 1/8 oz Maraschino liqueur Then from PDT 1.5 oz Gin, 1.5 oz Vermouth, 2 dash bitters, 1/4 oz Marschino From Liquid Intelligence 2 oz Gin, 1 oz Vermouth, 1 dash bitters, 1/4 oz Maraschino Not sure which to try first . Maybe PDT as it's kind of in the middle.
  9. My usual before dinner cocktail is a Manhattan. I've decided to venture outside my comfort zone tonight and try a Martinez or a Negroni. I was trying to decide between the 2, but now am thinking of a side by side comparison. I have multiple gins, I'm thinking Old Tom for the Martinez. Maybe Bulldog or St George for the Negroni? Thoughts? Annette
  10. I know it will last 2-3 days, but I generally only drink on Friday and Sunday nights (work schedule and weight control ). So if I open a bottle on Friday night, I can finish it on Sunday, no problem. But if I go with a cocktail one of those nights it means the wine will sit until the following weekend.
  11. So we went back for dinner Saturday evening. I ordered a Rittenhouse Manhattan and before I could continue the server asked me if I'd like it up or on ice. So pleasantly surprised! This time it was a great drink and I thanked the bartender as we were leaving. Annette
  12. Party theme will be 60s/70s. I'm doing fondue for sure, but no set menu for anything else. Trying to do heavy h'ors douvres, or buffet type food. I have some great retro cocktail stuff which is what got this going to begin with. Annette
  13. I am recently into wine (about 2-3 years), but jumped in with both feet. Did a trip to Napa, set up wine storage in my basement, etc. One of my favorite aspects of wine is pairing it with food. How wine changes the taste of the food and how the food changes the taste of the wine. I love to plan a meal/wine. So having said that, I regularly get a hankering for cocktails instead of wine. As I limit my alcohol intake to 1-2 drinks max, maybe 2 or 3 nights a week I have to choose carefully. If I'm in the mood for cocktails, I don't open a bottle of wine as I won't be able to finish it before having to dump a significant portion. Depending on the wine, this makes me crazy. So recently I started thinking about pairing my meal to the cocktail. I generally think of brown spirits like red wine and pair accordingly, and clear spirits like white. I was wondering if others out there had found particularly good pairings I could try. Also, I am supposed to be hosting a retro themed cocktail party soon and would love to hear suggestions.
  14. Very timely, just found this while searching for something else. http://vinepair.com/wine-blog/cocktail-etiquette-what-to-do-when-you-dont-like-your-drink/
  15. My standby Manhattan is 2oz Rittenhouse Rye, 1oz Carpano Antica Vermouth, 2 dashes Fee Bros Bitters. Stirred and served up with 2 Luxardo cherries In the summer I change out the cherries for orange or lemon twist and maybe Angustora bitters. If I'm going to sit outside then I will serve over ice as the Atlanta heat will heat up a drink in seconds. For Christmas I got a bottle of Whistle Pig Rye and a bottle of Doc Holiday Rye so will try those when the Rittenhouse is gone. Annette
  16. So it turns out we are going back to one of these places for dinner tonight. I love the food and general atmosphere so am pleased my friends chose it. I so in the mood for a Manhattan now, so am I ok to watch the bartender make it, or tell him/her exactly how it should be done? I won't be snarky, but would love if they understood this one drink. Annette
  17. I'm not much for variations on my Manhattan, just love it the way I was taught to make it. I believe I was told to remember the original area code in Manhatta (212) to remember the recipe. 2oz Rye, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 2 dashes bitters. My only variation is winter/summer. Winter is served up, with cherry garnish. Summer is served in an old fashioned glass, one or 2 huge ice cubes and citrus garnish (depending on which I have, lemon is usually on hand). Annette
  18. Uhm, no. I agree, you should have been told and had the option of changing your order. I don't have anything against a Manhattan on ice per se. I frequently drink mine with a giant ice sphere at home when the craving for a Manhattan hits me in the summer.
  19. Our area (northern Atlanta suburb) has had a surge of wonderful new restaurants open in the past 5 years. The last 2 have seen a rise in spots that tout their cocktail bar as a big deal. I love to go and try out these new spots and feel lucky to have that option a couple of times a month. My go-to cocktail is the Manhattan, my favorite to make but also to order out. I feel it is a good barometer of the place. If they brag online about their great cocktail options and superior mixologists on staff and then I see grocery store brand cherries or see dusty vermouth bottles on the shelf then I consider the hype just that, hype. I usually check out the selection of rye and order based on whatever they have that I like, so for example the other night I ordered a Rittenhouse Manhattan. Anyway, at least 75% of the time I get a Manhattan in an old fashioned glass served over ice, the last place it was served over crushed ice! I didn't bother to say "up" or "neat" when I ordered as I always thought that a) a Manhattan is a drink that is served up, and b) I was told that you only specify the rocks option if you are wanting the drink served out of the norm from what is considered standard. In a million years I wouldn't think to have to order a Martini up, so why is the Manhattan any different? The last place I didn't say anything and drank it as my experience in the past has been if you send it back then they just pour that same drink off the ice and into a cocktail glass, which just watered it down more and left ice chards in the drink. One of my own . Annette
  20. The hit of the evening http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v690/BoCRon/IMG_0014_zpsum5krqsd.jpg
  21. Wine Spectator did a similar article not too long ago as I recall. That article stated that these companies thought a big market for the product would be hotel mini bars. That made sense to me.
  22. Well all was a success. I took a few pics so will try to post later. Off to teach my usual Saturday morning obedience class. Oh, and we did a gin tasting for fun. The Haymans Old Tom and the Monkey 47 were the favorites. The St George was interesting as everyone liked it as first taste but then quite a few changed their vote after a second taste. The Bulldog was everyone's least favorite as we all said it really had no discernible flavor. I ended up making quite a few Aviations as well, which was really fun.
  23. KC, last time I got the bottles out of the fridge about an hour before the party and submerged them in an ice bath. This actually got the manhattans too cold so won't do that bottle but will do the Martinis. I also put my glasses in the freezer at that point as well.
  24. Yes, diluted as I won't have to stir to chill. I have also done this another way where I premix a large batch without the water and then add to my mixing glass with ice and stir and serve. I do this when I don't have enough time to chill the batch ahead of time. I was just thinking about when I started doing this and realized it was for my book club. We did a group trip to the beach for a long weekend. We wanted to take drinks to the beach but glass is not allowed. So I mixed up a big batch of our drink of the weekend and then hauled cups, ice and the pitcher to the beach. This drink had club soda in it so I left that out of the batch as I was concerned about it. So we would pour the drink over ice and top with an ounce or so of club soda.
  25. I'll take pics of my set up tomorrow. As this is a small group I'm only doing two batched cocktails. I've done gatherings with 4 or 5 ready to go, plus beer, wine and soft drinks.
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