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Everything posted by DrinkBoy

  1. The "cognac/brandy" variation is a result of people coming to an incorrect conclusion regarding this drink. They think to themselves "French 75? Why surely that should be made with a French ingredient like Cognac, and not a British ingredient like gin." The issue, is thinking that this drink was created by the French, which is most likely was not. It was just named after a piece of french artillery, and it was either created by a brit, or the creator thought that gin had more of a 'bang' to it. There are a variety of "take-offs" of the French 75, simply changing the number to something else as an indication that it is a different drink... this unfortunatly doesn't take into account that the "French 75" is referring to an artillery piece and not just a numerical sequence. Personally I'd love to see these creative folks, who create great champagne based cocktails, to spend just a little more time coming up with a proper name for them :->
  2. Cynthia Nim did a great job at pulling this list together. There was a lot of discussion amongst the various folks who helped her with it, and meetings where we got together to share notes and comments regarding some of the choices and categories. I don't think it would be possible to create "a" list that was clearly definative, simply because there are always differences in opinion and what you are looking for. But the more people you get involved the better chance you have, and this list was definately not created in a vaccume. Now I've got to go out and try to find my own copy! -Robert
  3. I have it from the best authority, that "Regans' Orange Bitters #6" is now in production.
  4. You're looking for an excuse to pick up some Campari? Wow... where do I start :-> First off, it is important to note that Campari is a fairly "your first sip will be horrid" sort of thing. I distinctly remember the first time I tried Campari. I was flying international "first class", and realized that booze was free. So I looked at the selection and saw thing thing "Campari" on the list. I recall having heard of it, but had never had it. When the stewardess asked what I wanted, I simply responded "I'll have some Campari". "Do you want that with soda, tonic, or just plain water." "Nothing, I'll just take it straight." I should have realized that her quizical glance should have been taken seriously. I poured the little mini-bottle of Campari into the glass she gave me, and took a siip. Wooo Nelly! Was THAT a rude awakening. The dedicated individual that I am, I faithfully sipped the entire glass, hating virtually every moment of it. Thankfully, I realized that this "was" an apparently respected spirit, and so must have "some" redeeming qualities. I made it a point, from then on, to ask at any bar I happened upon, if the bartender knew of a "good" drink that used Campari... I tried various Negronis, Americanos, etc. At first, each of them were almost, but not quite, as disgusting as my first sip of Campari... then gradually, I noticed that I was picking up some additional tastes and complexities in this strange and bitter beverage. Now, I can easily drink it straight, and absolutely -love- a great Campari based drink. For the uninitiated, the first drink I'll use to introduce them to what Campari is all about, is the Jasmine (as already mentioned by JAZ)... Jasmine 1 1/2 ounces gin 1 ounce Cointreau 3/4 ounce Campari 1/2 ounce lemon juice Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. If you like grapefruit juice, you'll love the Jasmine. Another absolutely fabulous drink, is the ChamPino, by Audrey Saunders... ChamPino 1 ounce Campari 1 1/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth 2 ounces Champagne Shake campari and sweet vermouth with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and top with champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist. and then... Champagne Flamingo 3/4 ounce vodka 3/4 ounce Campari 5 ounces chilled champagne Shake vodka and Campari with ice. Strain into a champagne flute and top with champage. Garnish with a zest of orange. followed by... Old Pal 1 ounce rye or bourbon whiskey 3/4 ounce dry vermouth 3/4 ounce Campari Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. or: Rosita 1 1/2 ounce Tequila 1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth 1/2 ounce Dry Vermouth 1/2 ounce Campari dash of bitters Stir with ice. Stir with ice, strain into an iced filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon twist. This short list should definately give you plenty of reasons for buying a case of Campari... :-> -Robert
  5. We've got a cocktail bar here in Seattle called "Tini-Biggs", which is often on many folks short list of great martini bars in the city... however, I expect this position is born mostly out of the "bigger is better" mentality of most Americans, since their standard cocktail glass is a whopping 10 ouncer. Ouch! On the opposite side of the spectrum, is "Olivers", the bar of the Mayflower Hotel. They serve their cocktails in very beautiful 4 ounce cocktail glasses, which are "V" shaped, but tall and slender instead of wide. Unfortunately, they serve every drink filled to the rim, just to make sure their customers don't feel like they are being cheated, which makes it impossible to pick up. The reason they use this particular glass, is because the owner hates warm drinks, and she says this tall/narrow shape will keep the drink cold longer... too bad she's wrong. I love the idea of serving nicely proportioned cocktails which are small enough so you can easily have two or three without worry. I also think using glassware that is slightly out of the ordinary is a great little touch to add. Ideally I'd love to see many different types/shapes of glasses used, with specific glasses targeted at specific drinks. Unfortunately, such a collection of glassware can be prohibitive at many bars. I picked up some great little glasses years ago from the J.Peterman company, they are actually small champagne saucers, but at 4 ounces, they serve what I think is a perfect little drink. Unfortunately, I can't find them anymore :-< Here is a picture: http://groups.msn.com/drinkboy/glassware.m...oto&PhotoID=130 -Robert
  6. Peach bitters are great dashed on the top of a Bellini. And I've got three recipes on my site which I specifically designed to use Peach bitters. Gotham 1/2 teaspoon Pernod (or Absinthe Substitute) 3 dashes peach bitters 3 ounces brandy Coat a chilled old fashioned glass with Pernod, then add the peach bitters, and brandy. Garnish with a lemon twist. Renaissance 2 ounces brandy 1 1/3 ounce sweet vermouth 1/3 ounce lemoncello 2 dashes peach bitters Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. Trident 1 ounce dry sherry 1 ounce Cynar 1 ounce aquavit 2 dashes peach bitters Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. -Robert
  7. Cinzano makes an Orange Bitters? First I've heard of it (which means you can't buy it in Washington state, and probably can't buy it anywhere else in the US). Do you have more info/details on this? I'd love to know more.Ahhh... I think I just found what you might be talking about. http://www.campari.com/eng/brand/wines/index.asp?id=30252 Definately sounds interesting, and appears to be a bitters of the "Italian" variety, as opposed to the "Cocktail" variety (which is sometimes a thin line indeed). I would expect this to be something that is intended to be drunk as-is, over ice, with an orange twist. Or that is to say the Cinzano folks would love to see you drink a full glass of this at a time... while I think it sounds like an interesting ingredient for a cocktail.-Robert
  8. ...ooops, you're right... When I was in Barcelona a while back, I noticed that all of the bars I went to had Amer Picon in dasher bottles, and were using it in various cocktails much like normal bitters. It is a pretty intense flavor so it's not too surprising. -Robert
  9. Another good drink is the Brooklyn, although it only uses a dash of Amer: http://www.drinkboy.com/Cocktails/recipes/Brooklyn.html Brooklyn 1 1/2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth 1 dash Amer Picon 1 dash maraschino liqueur Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. And while I currently don't have many Amer Picon recipes on my site, there are 44 of them over on CocktailDB. I just got back from a trip to SF, and while down there I saw a lonely bottle of Torani Amer on the shelf (This was at the Avalon bar at the Majestic Hotel), the bartender (Tim, a great guy, and definately of a cocktailian nature), said he had ordered it in, but didn't really know anything to use it with... I of cours quickly ordered up a "Hoskins" cocktail, and it was a hit around the bar. I'm not sure if this is a discussion we've had on this board or not regarding Torani Amer, but I know we discussed this in depth over on my forum when Doc first discovered the existance of Torani brand Amer... If you do a side-by-side comparison of (modern) Amer Picon, and Torani Amer, they are very different beasts. The modern Amer Picon is only 42 proof, while Torani is 78. Apparently, Amer Picon changed their recipe sometime in the 1940's? Doc has an older bottle of Amer Picon dating from 1939, and it was 78 proof, just like Torani. And he claims the Torani tastes like the older version of Amer Picon as well. -Robert
  10. Washington state is a run by a state-operated liquor monopoly, which means "specialty" liquor stores aren't really an option. The state has a list of "approved" products, and those are the only things that can be brought in. Restaurants and Bars don't order through distributers, but have to purchase their products from the liquor store system. Each establishment has "a" liquor store that they are supposed to process all of their orders through, so the liquor stores with the best selection, are usually the ones near the bars with the best selection. Here in Seattle, the liquor store on 1st Avenue South (down by the stadiums) is the "main" liquor store for the state, and usually has a pretty good overall selection. The store on 6th and Lenora is probably the hands-down favorite (since it is where most of the downtown restaurants order through)... but a year ago it closed it's doors to "normal" customers, and only sells to restaurants now :-< One benefit of the "state owned" system, is that there is a single database that tracks all of the stock in all of the liquor stores... and it's online (albiet sometimes a week or two out of date). If there is a particular product you are looking for, you can search for it via their website here: http://www.liq.wa.gov/services/brandsearch.asp I find it to be an invaluable tool. -Robert
  11. Mr. Regan's "Orange Bitters No. 6" is -very- close to coming to market. I was just chatting with Gary, and he says that he'll be in Kentucky next week to see the first bottlles come off the packaging line! So it's now just up to how long the whole "distribution" thing takes. -Robert
  12. I like to make Negroni's using Aquavit instead of gin. I actually think Aquavit works better then gin with the Campari and vermouth. I've also worked up a cocktail that I call the "Trident" that uses Aquavit, and all of the other ingredients are almost even harder to find behind the average bar :-> Trident - 1 ounce dry sherry - 1 ounce Cynar - 1 ounce aquavit - 2 dashes peach bitters Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. Here in Seattle, the Zig Zag Cafe has it on their cocktail menu, and go through more Cynar then all of the other bars in Washington state combined :-> -Robert
  13. Lindy, You are correct, "maraschino cherries" haven't always been the "almost artificial" things that often garnish our drinks. They were originally not much more than just brandied marasca cherries. The modern maraschino cherry was first invented just prior to Prohibition, and since prohibition prevented the previously common brandied cherry from being easily obtainable, the artificially colored, and artificially flavored maraschino cherry took hold and flourished. To make a modern maraschino cherry they basically soak perfectly good "Royal Ann" cherries in a lye mixture in order to drain them of all color and all flavor, and then marinate them in a sugar syrup that is flavored with almond (usually artificial) as well as a brilliant red artificial color. when they first came onto the market (around 1917 as I recall) there were a few reviews which bemoaned their existance. I often make my own cherries by taking dried bing cherries (obtained from "Chukka Cherries" here at the Pike Place Market in Seattle), and soaking them in Bourbon to mildly reconstitute them. They are -not- brilliant red in color, and they are also not the big firm "cherry shaped" orb that can be extracted from the store bought jar. But I personally think they taste devine. -Robert
  14. You are thinking of "The Gentleman's Companion" a set of books written by Charles H. Baker "Volume I Being an Exotic Cookery Book", "Volume II Being an Exotic Drinking Book".This is a -wonderful- book, and you can often find it for sale on eBay. But another option would be to buy the newly (2001) reprinted version of this book. Going by the name "Jigger, Beaker, and Glass : Drinking Around the World" Here is a link to it on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1586670506 They also have the cooking volume, titled "Knife, Fork, and Spoon : Eating Around the World" Mr. Baker also wrote a companion to the companion called "South American Gentlemans Companion", two books, slipcased, but "blue" instead of "red". -Robert
  15. It's more then just the "category", it's also the quality. Generic Triple Sec and Cointreau provide very different character to cocktails. A sidecar with Triple Sec is just a cocktail, with Cointreau, it's devine. To a limited extent, I lump curaçao, triple sec, Cointreau, and Grand Marnier in the same bucket. A sweet orange flavored liqueur. If you don't have one, use the other. Yes, it will make a difference, but frankly I find the difference between Cointreau and Triple Sec to be greater then that between Cointreau and Grand Marnier. -Robert
  16. I was using Tanqueray gin and Dekuyper orange curaçao. Using Grand Marnier, or Cointreau will definately change things. -Robert
  17. So, for the sake of scientiic research, I've taken it upon myself to experiment with these variations on the Pegu. Here are my comments... 4 : 1.5 : 1.5 (Dave) I found this to be too sour. It should be noted that I've been accused of favoring cocktails on the slightly sweeter side, although I personally don't really think that is the case. 4 : 1.1 : 0.6 (cocktailDB #2) This wasn't bad, but there was something missing from the 'character' of this cocktail that I've grown accustomed to. The bitters spicyness of the bitters just seemed totally hidden 4 : 2.0 : 0.3 (Robert and cocktailDB #1) Of the three, this is still my preferred version, perhaps it is just because that is what I've become used to. However, after having all three together, this cocktail did appear perhaps too much on the sweet side. So I went back to my base 4-2-1 ratio that I use for the sidecar, and that just didn't quite work here. I'm not sure if it was the gin or the curacao, but the flavors were just that, flavors, not cohesive components of the final product. More research is perhaps in order... however not tonight... -Robert
  18. I find that any moisture on the outside of the glass brings with it the opportunity for that moisture to "creep" down the sides of the glass and carry the sugar with it. That, plust the fact that I don't always necessarily hold the glass just by the stem. Sometimes I find it more comfortable to hold it by the lower half of the glass, or there abouts. The problem of course is increased when the bartender serves you a Sidecar in a pint glass, which they had also used as the mixing glass during shaking, and just quickly dipped in sugar before pouring in the contents of the mixing tin. Their ain't -no- way you are going to survive such an encounter with clean hands. -Robert
  19. I should point out that it might not be appropriate to call this the "Classic" sidecar, since in my mind that would denote that the recipe is the "original", or at the very least the version as it was commonly served during the early days of the drink... which the above is not. The oldest version of this recipe that I have in my collection is from "Cocktails: How To Mix Them", by Robert Vermeire, which was apparently published in 1922. The recipe listed there is: Side-Car Fill the shaker half full of broken ice and add: 1/6 gill of fresh Lemon Juice. 1/6 gill of Cointreau. 1/6 gill of Cognac Brandy. Shake well and strain into a cocktail-glass. This cocktail is very popular in France. It was first introduced in London by MacGarry, the celebrated bar-tender of Buck's Club. I think that this "equal parts" version of the Sidecar is what should be referred to as the "classic" version of the recipe, and also note the lack of a sugared rim (which was previously brought up by D.W.) I'll also note, that I personally think that this "equal parts" recipe isn't properly balanced. My preference for the sidecar is a 4-2-1 ratio, which isn't too far off from the recipe that you provided. The sidecar was one of the first cocktails that really opened my ideas to the notion of not only "balance" in finding the proper ratios for a cocktail, but also in the importance of using the right/best ingredients. Since I found all sorts of various recipes, sour mix, triple sec, etc. I experimented with all of them and when I finally hit on the 4-2-1 ratio using fresh lemon juice and Cointreau, it was just -so- obvious that this was the perfect match that it was an eye-opening experience for me. ...I also am not a big fan of the sugared rim. It always ends up getting my fingers all sticky. One bartender once told me that his trick is to prep the glasses way before hand, as the moistened rim both further dissolves the sugar, and dries, it forms a hard crust which doesn't melt off as quickly. -Robert
  20. Admin: split from the Sidecar thread. The Pegu has been the drink I've been teaching folks around here lately. It is an excellent drink with wonderful complexities. The recipe above is slightly modified from the traditional/original version. You are using way too much lime juice, I think this would make the drink too tart (although I'll want to try this just to verify). The drink as it is often listed in the older books from the 30's is along the lines of: 2/3 part dry gin 1/3 part Curaçao 1 teaspoon lime juice 1 dash orange bitters 1 dash angostura bitters (I hate it when recipes mix "parts" with real measurements... but that is the way most of the recipes listed it) -Robert
  21. Re: Paul Harringon and "Cocktail: The Drinks Bible of the 21st Century" Viking Press, the folks who published this book, only published 10,000 copies, and didn't publisize it AT ALL. They also didn't see any reason to publish additional copies, once the first 10,000 were sold (which happened relatively quicky). They just didn't understand what they had. Paul has been trying to locate a new publisher. These days, Paul lives in Eastern Washington, and is currently working as an Architect, with only a partial connection to bartending. -Robert
  22. Eben Klem in New York has done some "foam" based cocktails. As I recall he was using gelatin. Audrey Saunders (also New York) has also done some experiments with getting cocktails to foam properly without getting all weird. I can't recall her specific results at the moment. It's not that the entire cocktail is foamed, but that you end up with a foamy component on top, or within a semi normal cocktail. sco-v: I take it that you don't drink Campari either? -Robert
  23. News Flash!!! Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh is going to be featured on NPR's "Day To Day" show today (Friday, December 31, 2004). It's about a 4 minute interview somewhere in the show. The show starts at noon PST and 3pm EST. You can find more details here: http://www.npr.org/programs/day/ Where they say: Friday, December 31, 2004 We'll get a head start on New Year's Eve with a visit with "Doctor Cocktail" -- mixed drink historian and obscure drink expert Ted Haigh, who's written a book on long-forgotten cocktails and has a fun online cocktail database (http://www.CocktailDB.com). The show will apparently also be available to listen to from their archive. -Robert
  24. DrinkBoy

    Happy Holidays!

    So last night I dropped into Fred Meyer to pick up some things, and decided to go pick up something for dinner while I was there. I noticed that they had pre-thawed post-holiday turkey's on sale for 50% off. So I picked up a 20 pounder for about $7. Cooked it with an entire head of garlic spread under it's skin, an onion in it's cavity, and a chile powder rub. Yeah, dinner was a little late last night, but mighty tasty.
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