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Everything posted by abenc85

  1. I have bookmarked this on the 1oz of Orgeat alone! Sounds incredible
  2. You are not helping my case of looking hard-done-by with a lack of selection here . I will add a Myer's sample to round out the trial and make it fairer (glad you avoided the copyright lawyers with your addendum there). I am actually currently working my way through the London cocktails bars with a group of friends and I will add this to the list for my next excursion. The only thing that slightly puts me off is they seem to throw Bacardi in almost all their drinks but I'll go in with an open mind!
  3. I don't think I've ever seen more than 1/4 oz called for in a recipe
  4. Do you think, in that case, a ratio of 1:15 might work? What Gosling's be a good base rum, or do you think something else? The menus look lovely, wish I had known on my last trip to NYC!
  5. Today's 1st libation is a badly made rendition of the Smoked Appletini. The recipe calls for a 'Manuka Honey Vodka' so I subbed in Polish Vodka & Old Krupnik Honey Liqueur. It also calls for the drink to be stirred and smoked using apple & pecan and I didn't bother to read, saw citrus & spirit and shook the thing to high heaven. Still really nice though,
  6. I think a planter's punch is an excellent idea and so simple I can't believe I didn't think of it! Thank you! We can indeed get Myer's. Whereas Blackwell has a bit of a marmite feel in the review community (it really is quite divisive), there seems to be a common consensus of no love for Myer's, so I had avoided it. Would you say it's worth considering? As to the final point there, to spin a tragic tale short; I really need to get out more. I haven't yet found my favourite rum bar, in fact I don't think I've visited a rum bar in this country! I would say we don't have many but I just make that assumption and we probably have loads! I think I have my 2 main cocktails decided! I am happy to embrace that learning curve, I just want to make sure I am in the best starting position possible. I'm more than happy to carry 2 or more black rums in my rotation if it makes for some fantastic libations. I think I actually prefer the infusion idea to actually trying out Cruzan Blackstrap. Reading back through the thread I think there's merit to a molasses-laced rum but I am confident I could make something better at home. Have you tried this yourself? I trust it'd be more of a liqueur-making process than an infusion, in that you'd leave the molasses in the rum at the end? Which bar are you based at if you don't mind me asking?
  7. I would say I'm adverse to pestering bloggers but you know that would be a lie . In the meantime I think I'm just not going to get the kind of answer I am after (as people are familiar with one thing or the other depending on which side of the Atlantic they sit) so I might be brave and undertake a taste-off. I will of course share the results in case there's anyone else sad enough out there to obsessively agonise over such a 1st world problem! I will trawl the books for ideas but if you or anyone else has suggestions for some good mixed drinks calling for dark rum/dark jamaican that would serve a comparison, I'd love to hear them. I'm going to make a day of it and look at demerara as well (and a bit of crossover). Based on what I've read elsewhere I'm going to try: In the dark category: Gosling's Black Seal Blackwell Jamaican Rum A 4:1 mix of Appleton Extra : Smith & Cross A 3:1 mix of Wood's 100 Old Navy Rum : Smith & Cross OR Wray & Nephew Overproof OR try both combos (The last 2 are based on a reddit thread asking about a sub for Coruba dark, one person suggested that the Appleton/S&C blend is the closest they've got, another person suggested Wood's on it's own but I think it needs a bit of Jamaican funk from the S&C or W&N) I'm totally aware Gosling's is the odd one out but according to Martin Cate it fits and I think it'll be the closest sub to Cruzan Blackstrap I have if I top it up with some molasses syrup. In Demerara: El Dorado 8 yr Lemon Hart 80 El Dorado 12 yr and/or 15 yr Wood's 100 Skipper I think the obvious choice for Demerara is a Queen's park swizzle? According to Martin Cate, again, LH 80 is supposedly more in keeping with a dark, so I may pit it into both taste-offs. Does this sound ridiculous and overblown?? Does anyone fancy a trip over from the States to provide a reference for the comparison Side note: cocktails + mild autism is a great combo
  8. I will drop you a message
  9. Did he change his mind somewhere along the way? As in the episode he clearly states this isn't interchangeable with Jamaican Dark rums like Coruba!
  10. Sadly the Hamilton one is another I've looked up and not available to us over here (well actually I asked Ed Hamilton himself and got a none-too-helpful reply). I have one friend who just moved over to California I could potentially ask, however I thought customs were hot on that sort of thing so had avoided it. If it makes any difference, I can get Blackwell Black Gold and Plantation Original Dark (Trinidad and Jamaica) over here at about £20 each if they compare to the black Jamaican. On the Gosling's, it certainly has what is widely described as a 'root beer note'; this might be similar to an anise note? If not, molasses itself I think has an anise flavour to it, if I'm adding that to Gosling's to up the punch?
  11. I am aware the only black rums I've referenced by definition are Goslings, Skippers and Wood's. Unfortunately I don't know what I don't know and that is how they compare 2 major black rums used in the states that I've not had the opportunity to try nor am likely to. I am basing the sub of Appleton 12 for Coruba on a recommendation put forward by Jeff Berry, and I'm basing the idea of Smith & Cross possibly forming part of a 'home blend black rum' on the idea put forward by Dead Rabbit. What would you suggest?
  12. Having learnt a lesson from my recent posts I thought I'd opt for thread revival instead of starting a whole new topic, so apologies if it seems a bit odd to quote a post from 2014! I am based in the UK and find myself in something of a predicament. On the one hand we have a great selection of rums available to us, but on the other, we don't have the same selection of rums available as the major cocktail writers and bars that push out materials based in the US. As such I often see adages wrapped around niche products like Cruzan Blackstrap and Coruba Dark suggesting 'only this will do' and offering no insight into how I might be able to substitute it with a product available to me in the UK. I have had this discussion with others including your own @FrogPrincesse on the subject of dark rums; in particular Coruba Dark, and I'm reasonably happy that I am not missing too much as I am quite happy to use Appleton 12 in its place. I then heard about Cruzan Blackstrap, which again, gets a mixed bag of praise and condemnation from various aficionados of the trade. I'm currently building a staple rum collection working with 3 main books; Beachbum Berry Remixed, Smugger's Cove and Death & Co. There's a common list of rums here either available or with viable substitutions but there is still the odd recipe calling for these 2 specific rums mentioned above and having recently stumbled across this idea from Dead Rabbit I wonder if there is merit to developing a couple of clever 'blends' to work in place of these rums to create comparable, or possibly even superior options to use in these drinks. I'm trying to be as Draconian as I can be about my cabinet real-estate and so I've tried to nail down as narrow a list as possible of rums to own to achieve this. I thought I'd put to you what I have and what modifiers I've considered and see if I can use the collective mixology genius here to come up with some good options for blends. Definite bottles will be: Appleton Extra (12), Smith & Cross, Appleton Signature or Reserve (haven't decided which and can't justify both), Bacardi 8, Gosling's Black Seal, Flor de Cana dry, El Dorado 12 +/or 3/5/8 (haven't decided what combination again), JM Blanc/La Favorite, Scarlet Ibis. Potential modifiers I've considered are: Clement VSOP, Barbancourt 8 (though struggling to find many recipes using it), Banks 7 Island, Skippers Demerara, Wood's 100 Demerara, Old Salt English rum (pure pot still molasses). My other consideration has been the Molasses syrup as per the Smuggler's cove recipe; from what I've read the Cruzan Blackstrap is more or less a liqueur of sorts as it's got molasses added back in; surely there's scope here to use the syrup to create my own Blackstrap molasses rum? I'm loathed to add in modifiers unless they can bring a lot of utility to the table, but I am open to it! So my (rather long-winded) question is: How can I best utilise what is available to me to recreate what isn't available to me, as highlighted above?
  13. That might bode well then, as I've noticed of their recipes with Rhum Agricole, a good number of the drinks call for only a small amount as part of a wider mix of rums and modifiers. They have a couple of recipes that are concentric to the spirit, and one of these specifically calls for JM Blanc, so this could work in my favour!
  14. Thank you for the suggestions. I think the combined ideas of starting on 'taming' cocktails and opting for a mellower, more approachable rye; Sazerac, are a solid starting point. Sazerac particularly appeals as it comes from one my favourite Bourbon distillers. I think I will give this a try and work my way into the spirit with softer cocktails.
  15. LDI Ryes? Be interested to see your top 5 when you're done!
  16. It was in fact the bottled in bond - maybe my palate has a problem with Rye then!
  17. The obvious answer is, don't drink Rye Whiskey, but hear me out! I am a huge cocktail fan and I can usually gauge whether or not I will like a drink based on the recipe. I thoroughly enjoy mixed drinks using Bourbon, Irish whiskey, Scotch & Islay Scotch in fact it is safe to say many of my favourites come from the whisky category. On paper, I really like the sound of Rye cocktails and so I picked up a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye. I immediately tried a Manhattan, a favourite drink with Bourbon (Manhattan sweet) and I find it far too dry and spicy and couldn't finish it. I've found that same incredible dryness and spice comes through in other drinks I've tried and I can't get past it, so I've given up on Rittenhouse and got rid of the bottle. I was thinking, perhaps it's not for me but then I considered the possibility it was to do with how much rye was in the drink. I was not surprised to learn my favourite bourbon for mixing, Buffalo Trace, is one of the lowest in content @ 10%. I was however surprised to find other bourbons I enjoyed are amongst the highest in rye content, being Bulleit Bourbon and Four Roses. I found myself also surprised Rittenhouse contains the legal minimum for a rye coming in at 51%. I am wondering if it's more to do with the production than the rye. I was hoping to tap into the experience of people here for suggestions as to what to try next. The way I see it, I can either give up on rye, try a high-rye bourbon or a rye known for being soft.
  18. Thank you! Trying out JM Blanc to start
  19. Hello and thanks for the replies! Sadly Neisson is the same as la favorite - rarer than a pink giraffe here. It's the same for inuakena's 2 top rums, Damoiseau and Duquesne! JM @ 50% is easy to obtain. I do have one other option, to get them shipped from France, which will set me back another £20 postage. So my options could potentially be JM for £35, La Favorite for £45 or Neisson for £50. Would the latter 2 warrant such a premium over JM? I'm also concerned about the stability of ongoing supply what with the looming Brexit..
  20. Hello! I recently got my mitts on the Death & Co book and I'm keen to try a number of their recipes calling for a white rhum agricole. They like to recommend particular bottles to achieve a desired flavour profile and they of course recommend la favorite blanc which is popular in many of the NY bars. Being in the UK I have found, as usual, it's a particularly difficult rum to get a hold of. I can however get Trois Rivieres Blanc, Clement Canne Bleue, Rhum J.M. Blanc, J Bally Blanc, HSE Blanc (40%) or Rhum St. Barth. I've come to read there are reasonable differences between brands of Rhum Agricole and I don't want to lose the original intention of the drink so I was interested in the community take in the closest viable alternative. I saw a blog from one of your own (tartines to tiki) who produced a few daiquiris with JM, Clement and La Favorite and the impression I got from this was that they are markedly different, so it might have to be one of the others I can get?
  21. Bit late to the party on this one but I thought I'd share a few delightful libations from this fantastic book. Also made a Zombie having been previously disappointed with it in the past, and sadly am still so, which I think definitively tells me the drink is not for me. All the below were fantastic and I will be making them again! Don's Own Grogg Three Dots and a Dash Tradewinds Mai Tai - I cheated a bit here as the recipe calls for a vanilla infused demerara syrup they call 'mai tai rich simple syrup. I instead used regular demerara syrup infusing it with a drop of vanilla essence. The resulting drink was still utterly divine; again I was wary of mai tai's from previous versions I've made but this just goes to show how good it can be made right! I really went overboard on the drinks mixer and picked a commercial grade monstrosity. On the plus side, it makes the whole process quick and fun, and it also makes a fantastic malt shake! One thing I'm really struggling with are some of the rum choices in certain categories. I'm hitting a real brick wall with the aged column still rums. I had previously got on well with a bottle of Bacardi 8 but find the rum in the newer bottle to be a bit lacklustre compared to the older bottling. I was thinking of trying Flor de Cana 7 year and notice it's completely missing (only the 12 features), wondering if there's any reason for this; is it a bad rum? I also think there's a bit of a grey area in the categorisation that sites between categories 2 and 3. I'm going to stick with a dedicated white as my lightly aged and having been disappointed by the Diplomatico Blanco I'll be returning to Plantation 3 stars which is excellent. I believe, for the purpose of branching out into other recipes outside of Tiki and this book, there are a few rums that are veritable 'switch-hitters' that can work in both categories as there is a huge expanse in category 3 (aged blended) going up to 12 year old offerings. To that end I think Plantation 5yo Barbados, Mount Gay Black Barrel or Chairman's Reserve might be versatile mid-category rums which could also serve as 'golden rums' where recipes generically call for it. That is unless I should be looking for a gold rum in the Puerto Rican style like Bacardi Carta Oro or Flor de Cana 4/5 year, which is missing from the book entirely?
  22. I have added Pierre Ferrand 1840 and Louis Royer Force 53 to the sample pool, quite looking forward to trying them!
  23. Hey, Thanks for the suggestion of a sazerac, but I recently tried a traditional brandy + rye sazerac and really did not get on well with it! I think I will try it again, but once I have collared down the brandy I like! Thanks for the suggestion on the higher proof cognac - going to add these to the sample pool methinks!
  24. Hello! Finally decided to join after being a long-time lurker. My first question might have a pretty obvious answer but I'll lay out the full context anyway. Last year I picked up my first cognac to add to my ever-growing cocktail cabinet and it happened to be a bottle of Courvoisier VSOP in the 'old' style and packaging - that is the navy blue bottle. It had a really fruity tang that utterly popped in cocktails; highlights were sidecar, sangaree, french mule, french cocktail, le sang et sable and the one that really stood out was the brandy sour, but the flavour profile remained consistent in all the drinks. When the bottle ran out, after doing a bit of reading, I learned that the courvoisier line had changed. They rolled out a new purple packaging scheme and the recipes had been transformed. Having tried some of the newer VSOP, it is completely different, dull and flat. I've subsequently embarked on finding a brandy that recaptures my enthusiasm for mixing with it without much success. I've tried them all as sours as I have believed this is the best way to find the flavour profile I'm after. Some of the main ones I've tried include Remy Martin VSOP, Pierre Ferrand Ambre, Le Reviseur VS, ABK6 VS, Maxime Trijol VS and they've all been similarly flat without much of that punchy fruity presence that made the CV drinks so memorable. I've now branched out to trying a few armagnacs and recently sampled (again as sours) Baron de Sigognac 10 yr, Janneau 5 yr and Clos Martin VSOP. Whilst the Clos martin was weird and bitter (I don't think it is meant for mixing), the others were much nicer and the closest to an interested cocktail brandy I've tried in a while. I've now got 7 more samples to try out and before I jump ahead I thought it was worth getting some opinions on what you think the best way to taste brandy in cocktail might be, and maybe if anyone has found a similar flavour profile to what I'm after could point me towards certain lines or releases. Samples so far are Baron de Sigognac VS & VSOP, Janneau VSOP, ABK6 Ice, Courvoisier VS, Camus VSOP Elegance and Thompson's brandy.
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