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Alchemist

The Violet Hour

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Celebrated Repeal Day at The Violet Hour last night. Started off the evening with a Coin Toss made with Old Forrester, followed by a splendid Sazerac and a wicked Widow's Kiss. Ah, and then there was, of course, Absinthe and Chartreuse to boot. Thank you, Troy; we had such a blast! That glimpse of your dance moves at the end of the night was such a tease, though. And George is always the perfect host; that place just would not shine as brightly without him.

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There's nothing like the (relatively) barren cocktail landscape of Europe to make me appreciate returning home to the Violet Hour. We made our first trip back in over a month (we're one or twice a weekers usually) this evening and were very happy to find Troy and Michael behind the bar. It was unusually busy for a Monday night, but we still received excellent service as always.

Troy made me his riff on the Improved Holland Gin Cocktail as well as a delicious Last Word. The former was prepared in the method of a sazerac, and involved a rinse of green chartreuse, which sadly was devoured by the giant nose of the Genevieve gin. Still, this could be the drink to bring the genevere style into the mainstream. It compared very favorably to the sazerac I made myself last night in complexity and mouth-feel, while the flavor was more balanced than any drink I've had with Genevieve.

My drinking partner had a Sloe Gin Fizz and a yet to be named cocktail that Toby had phoned in the previous evening during a fit of revelation...it involved Sailor Jerry Rum and Tequila with Lemon and orange curacao. Absolutely delicious. It shouldn't work, but it did...certainly the most compelling drink of the night. It was smoky and sweet with just a hint of sour. I was not in a naming mood, the best I could come up with was the New Mexico Sour or Baja Sour...maybe I'm a one-hit wonder with the Secaucus Sling.

Some places in NYC are more cutting edge or exclusive, and the Hemingway Bar certainly had its charm, but nothing I've seen can lead me to believe that on any given night the Violet Hour couldn't be the best cocktail bar in the world.


Edited by KD1191 (log)

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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I did not "phone in" that cocktail! Like Malkovitch in Spoon River at the Steppenwolf. That was a flash of inspiration. I have been on the west coast for a little over a week now with very limited access to the business end of a Stick. And cocktail inspiration is tough find in a florescent lighted, conference room at some hotel in the shadow of the Space Needle. So, as I have been putting together the Winter menu, I have to call one of the barkeeps at The Violet Hour to have them test and tweak some of my ideas.

It is a very unusual, and colaberotive way to create drinks, Bi-coastal and tech-savvy.

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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I did not "phone in" that cocktail! Like Malkovitch in Spoon River at the Steppenwolf.  That was a flash of inspiration.  I have been on the west coast for a little over a week now with very limited access to the business end of a Stick. And cocktail inspiration is tough find in a florescent lighted, conference room at some hotel in the shadow of the Space Needle.  So, as I have been putting together the Winter menu, I have to call one of the barkeeps at The Violet Hour to have them test and tweak some of my ideas.

It is a very unusual, and colaberotive way to create drinks, Bi-coastal and tech-savvy.

Toby

My apologies, sir, no offense was intended, though I certainly understand the negative connotations of the phrase "phoned in" and should have avoided it. I understood that you were without the proper tools to test this potentially delicious admixture and thus required the assistance of someone at the other end of some sort of telecommunications device. That was all that was intended by my poorly chosen words. I can only hope that my praise for the cocktail in question could negate the harm done by my meandering midnight missive.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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I did not "phone in" that cocktail! Like Malkovitch in Spoon River at the Steppenwolf.  That was a flash of inspiration.  I have been on the west coast for a little over a week now with very limited access to the business end of a Stick. And cocktail inspiration is tough find in a florescent lighted, conference room at some hotel in the shadow of the Space Needle.  So, as I have been putting together the Winter menu, I have to call one of the barkeeps at The Violet Hour to have them test and tweak some of my ideas.

It is a very unusual, and colaberotive way to create drinks, Bi-coastal and tech-savvy.

Toby

My apologies, sir, no offense was intended, though I certainly understand the negative connotations of the phrase "phoned in" and should have avoided it. I understood that you were without the proper tools to test this potentially delicious admixture and thus required the assistance of someone at the other end of some sort of telecommunications device. That was all that was intended by my poorly chosen words. I can only hope that my praise for the cocktail in question could negate the harm done by my meandering midnight missive.

KD1191 - That was a very gracious apology. Just wanted to add that I got your intended meaning and pictured Toby, perhaps on an old-fashioned rotary dial, barking orders into the phone before the revelation fled him and all was lost.

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I was so joking!!! I had sarcasm DRIPPING off that comment about "phoning it in". I don't think that Malcovitch has been in Spoon River (let alone at SW) ever.

I was just venting/telling what the process of making a cocktail list for TVH while on the road is like. It is a very interesting and frustrating process to try to create while not behind the stick.

I know that there are differing opinions about Head Mixologists who are away from their bar for chunks of time.

I have every confidence in the Bartenders at TVH executing the cocktails once they have been conseptionolized, tweaked, demonstrated, and learned.

But the creative process is very different right now than it was at the beginning.

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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I was so joking!!! I had sarcasm DRIPPING off that comment about "phoning it in".  I don't think that Malcovitch has been in Spoon River (let alone at SW) ever. 

...

I have every confidence in the Bartenders at TVH executing the cocktails once they have been conseptionolized, tweaked, demonstrated, and learned.

Apparently my attempt at sarcasm went even further afield. In any case, while there are many bartenders at TVH that I trust, don't think for a second that you haven't been missed.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Any news on the Winter Menu? I heard that it was supposed to be out yesterday.

Though the daiquiri is one of my favorites, I can't say I'd be upset to see some of the lime juice disappear. Seems like it's been less than optimal the last few visits...


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Sorry, should clarify that I wasn't dissing the daiquiri recipe above. I was trying to suggest that fewer drinks with lime juice on the menu wouldn't be a bad thing, as limes in Chicago in January are not the best.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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And cocktail inspiration is tough find in a florescent lighted, conference room at some hotel in the shadow of the Space Needle. 

Toby

Please tell me that you stopped in at the Zig Zag Cafe for a libation while you were in my hometown. Is it still wonderful like I remember it? I haven't had time to get back to Seattle proper in about 2 years...i use TVH as my Zig Zag replacement currently.

You'll see me and my gloriously mustache'd friend Fred at the TVH every monday night :)

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So excited! We are heading to Chicago this weekend (the 9th of January) and I just stumbled upon this thread. I am a huge fan of Death + Co. in NYC and was so thrilled to read about TVH. Sounds just perfect. What is the wait looking like now on a Friday (think post-Alinea around 10:30) or Sat. (probably pre-dinner around 6:30) or post-dinner around 10:30/11:00?

I really can't wait to try it and welcome any seasonal suggestions for a terrific representation(s) of TVH's best offerings.

Thanks in advance!

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And cocktail inspiration is tough find in a florescent lighted, conference room at some hotel in the shadow of the Space Needle. 

Toby

Please tell me that you stopped in at the Zig Zag Cafe for a libation while you were in my hometown. Is it still wonderful like I remember it? I haven't had time to get back to Seattle proper in about 2 years...i use TVH as my Zig Zag replacement currently.

You'll see me and my gloriously mustache'd friend Fred at the TVH every monday night :)

Yes, oh yes I was at the Zig Zag. I swooned like a a little girl at a Beatles concert sitting at Murrys Bar. He is such a Rock Star.

It some how got mentioned in a paper. Like it’s news I sit at a bar.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/rest...1happyhour.html

I am truly honered that you consider The Violet Hour as replacement for Zig Zag.

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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And cocktail inspiration is tough find in a florescent lighted, conference room at some hotel in the shadow of the Space Needle. 

Toby

Please tell me that you stopped in at the Zig Zag Cafe for a libation while you were in my hometown. Is it still wonderful like I remember it? I haven't had time to get back to Seattle proper in about 2 years...i use TVH as my Zig Zag replacement currently.

You'll see me and my gloriously mustache'd friend Fred at the TVH every monday night :)

Yes, oh yes I was at the Zig Zag. I swooned like a a little girl at a Beatles concert sitting at Murrys Bar. He is such a Rock Star.

It some how got mentioned in a paper. Like it’s news I sit at a bar.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/rest...1happyhour.html

I am truly honered that you consider The Violet Hour as replacement for Zig Zag.

Toby

haha, in Seattle, news is few and far between sometimes. Though perhaps your visit was news-worthy - chicago is a more food and beverage city than seattle, and TVH is one of the top cocktail lounges around... Seattle is more...let's say...granola. I only say that because I'm from there (and i LOVE granola).

Now if only TVH did a $4.75/cocktail happy hour...

Just kidding. As always, I'm looking forward to another monday at TVH, and another Three Dimes Down, just gotta make it through the weekend.

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TVH was packed last night, despite the cold. It might have had something to do with the great Tom and Jerry's...a sublime drink on a sub-zero evening.

Really loving the Winter menu. I had an Angostura Fizz last week, one of my new favorites. So, this time asked Troy to riff on it with Peychaud. He used a light cognac base, very nice.

Off the new menu, we've also enjoyed the rather classic Brooklyn, the Gilded Cage - a new vodka offering with 'honey syrup' and egg white, though we switched ours up to rum - and the Velvet Fog (Wild Turkey 101, Sweet Vermouth - Punt e Mes, I think - Walnut Liqueur, salt...)

Edit: Also, really like the Tax the Dandy...I believe it started as an Income Tax variant, but it's struck me like a milder negroni with apricot notes...


Edited by KD1191 (log)

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Oh yeah, that Velvet Fog rocks!

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I had an exceptional time at The Violet Hour last night....absolutely none of the issues of a prior visit. They were hitting on all cylinders, and mixologists Michael and Kyle were in top form. My Old Raj martinis (yes...I had two, the first was so good!) were absolutely perfect and it was fun discussing the history of American cocktails with Michael and Kyle. Kudos....when this place is on (which I think is most of the time), it really is exceptional.

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I'm headed to the Violet Hour in about an hour for my weekly liver-punishment. Has anyone tried the quartet of mini hot dogs? They're GREAT. Two chicago-style and two...that aren't. Think celery root puree and hazelnuts :)

I'm in the mood for an Old Tom Gin Martinez...

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[...]

I have a bunch of drinks with VEP, Johnny Walker Gold, and truffles that will never see a menu.  If you want a $50 dollar cocktail I can hook you up.  If I want to keep TVH open.  Ask any chef if they have substituted one thing for another.

[...]

Toby

would you care to share some of those $50 cocktail recipes with us?

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[...]

I have a bunch of drinks with VEP, Johnny Walker Gold, and truffles that will never see a menu.  If you want a $50 dollar cocktail I can hook you up.  If I want to keep TVH open.  Ask any chef if they have substituted one thing for another.

[...]

Toby

would you care to share some of those $50 cocktail recipes with us?

So, I have to wonder what you do for a living to be asking, in this economy, about $50 cocktails.

Well there are a couple of ways to skin that cat. First you can go out and buy a $20 bauble, and put it in the bottom of one dollars worth of crappy vodka. YUM.

There are the purists that believe that the really expensive booze should be drank solo. I am not completely adverse to putting the expensive stuff in a cocktail, as long as the cocktail is a showcase for the booze and not blanketing it with syrupy sweet stuff.

How wrong can a Sazerac made with Rittenhouse 23 be? How about a Rob Roy made with Johnnie Walker Gold? Wicked. Then rinse that glass with a little Yellow Chartreuse VEP to echo the honey. That is not a bad thing.

So I guess that you can make any cocktail with top, top shelf stuff and then charge for it. Would I make a sidecar with Henri IV? Probably not.

Cheers,

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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So, I have to wonder what you do for a living to be asking, in this economy, about $50 cocktails.

Well, you can't take it with you...and the prospects of keeping it while you're here appear to be diminishing, too.

Then rinse that glass with a little Yellow Chartreuse VEP to echo the honey.  That is not a bad thing.

I've made a few cocktails with VEP Yellow...Last Word/Last Ward-ish things...not a bad thing at all. Is it better than drinking it straight? Probably not...but even the perfect flavor must get boring.

Looking forward to the spring menu...the things Ira was doing with the infused pisco (chamomile, I think) were pretty unbelievable, and Troy's fernet drink is really good.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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As a native of the south (kinda), I am extremely exciting to try the upcoming Jennings -- although I guess I have to go a bit south of Chicago to sample.


Joe Kaiser

Kold-Draft

1525 East Lake Rd

Erie, PA 16511

Office: (814) 453-6761

Fax: (814) 455-6336

Cell: (814) 602-9703

joe.kaiser@kold-draft.com

www.kold-draft.com

It's not Ice if it's not Kold

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So, I have to wonder what you do for a living to be asking, in this economy, about $50 cocktails.

Well, I'm not one that would be ordering $50 cocktails, but I do have several bottles of higher end nectar. If I have the ingredients on hand, I would be willing to try a drink or two with them.

There are the purists that believe that the really expensive booze should be drank solo.  I am not completely adverse to putting the expensive stuff in a cocktail, as long as the cocktail is a showcase for the booze and not blanketing it with syrupy sweet stuff.

This is exactly what I meant in my initial question. I would not want to waste a fine liquor in a drink that masks all of the subtly that I paid so much to enjoy. If the cocktail didn't highlight the booze--in a way that you just can't replicate otherwise--then I would rather just use the cheaper stuff. Bottle of Don Julio Real and a bucket of margarita mix anyone? :raz:

How about a Rob Roy made with Johnnie Walker Gold? Wicked. Then rinse that glass with a little Yellow Chartreuse VEP to echo the honey.

This sounds wonderful. I'm wondering if the rinse might be better with the non VEP yellow though. Methinks the VEP might drown in the other flavors?

If anyone else has a high-end favorite that they want to share--please do!

Now if you'll excuse me, I've realized that I'm out of VEP and I need to go sell another kidney so I can buy some more. I don't need them anyway... ...do I? :smile:

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I went to The Violet Hour for the first time Saturday. I'd been anticipating going there for a loooong time, so I had great expectations. Of course, I was not disappointed.

We arrived at around 7 and had to wait only a short time to get in and we actually got a seat at the bar which I was sorely hoping for. First, I had a Velvet Fog and my girlfriend had an Eyes Wide. I found the Velvet Fog a bit sweet and I wanted some more bitter to it, but I think that's just my idiosyncratic taste (I likes it dry). The drink was fantastic though and I loved the way the creme de cacao and the nocino underscored aspects of the whiskey. The Eye's Wide was serendipitous: the menu didn't list ginger in the drink, but it tasted a lot like ginger (we asked and found out there's ginger juice in it). This was lucky because she loves ginger (she eat ginger candy all the time and I add extra ginger to dishes for her) so she would definitely have ordered it. I loved the way the grapefruit mixed with the whiskey brought out what I'd have to (maybe strangely) say was a kind of over-ripe fruityness (found in great quantities in a Ward 8, eg) that was a wonderful undertone to the drink. I then had a Hollands sazerac (maybe I should have ordered another drink off the list, but I saw there was a Hollands OF on offer and I couldn't resist--I can't easily get Hollands where I live) which was excellent and my girlfriend had a Tax the Dandy which was fantastic. The Ramazotti seemed to be the prime mover of this drink, but all the elements combined so harmoniously that nothing took over but everything was there. It was a perfect balance. I wish I could have had more drinks, but I had dinner reservations.

Even though it was a busy Saturday night, our bartender Kyle talked with us about mixing with Hollands gin, the origins of Old Tom, and he even showed us some kind of gin that seemed to have some age on it (it was dark in color), had some body, but had some definite citrus and juniper notes. I can't remember what it was called (does anyone know?). He even gave us a taste of it when my girlfriend asked.

While I was waiting to get in, I overheard a party talking about drinks. One person had been to TVH before and another hadn't. The latter was a bit hesitant and had definite ideas about what she liked, even though it was obvious she hadn't really tried much. The other person though was giving her an education, explaining what bitters were and how she'd had notions about different spirits that her experiences at TVH had debunked. I'm really happy to know that places like TVH exist not only to delight but also to educate: we need more places like this in the world.


nunc est bibendum...

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My guess is Kensington. A gin from Scotland that is aged in oak for a wee bit.

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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It's actually a new Old Tom Gin called Ransom.

They don't have that here in Nashville, Damnit.

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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