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KD1191

Rogue (now beta) Cocktails

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Kyle has worked at the Violet Hour since just after it opened, and he still does.

My point wasn't to ask where he works, but to say that the book should include that information. If I see a recipe by "Kyle Davidson" (or whoever) and that's all, then if I don't know who he is, that doesn't give me much information. But if I see that the creator of a drink worked at Violet Hour (or Pegu Club, or PDT, or Zig Zag, or Holeman & Finch) it'll tell me more -- it may give me a clue as to the style of the drink, if the place has a certain "style"; it will at least tell me that the creator of the drink comes from a serious cocktail venue.

Details like this make this book much less than it could be.


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
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jzimmerman@eGullet.org
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it will at least tell me that the creator of the drink comes from a serious cocktail venue.

Details like this make this book much less than it could be.

Knowing about who came up with a recipe might help in making a split-second decision on whether to read the recipe or not, but the recipe rather speaks for itself. If someone who worked at a Red Lobster came up with the same recipe, wouldn't it be the same drink?

I don't disagree that the book could have been more informative about the history of a drink or a bartender. Maybe this was an oversight, or maybe that style of relating recipes is also one of the conventions they are challenging. As they say, it's just a drink.


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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Knowing about who came up with a recipe might help in making a split-second decision on whether to read the recipe or not, but the recipe rather speaks for itself.  If someone who worked at a Red Lobster came up with the same recipe, wouldn't it be the same drink?

In the pages I've seen, the recipes don't speak for themselves. Some of them, in fact, sound very unappealing. But if I see that they were developed by a bartender from a place I'm familiar with, I'm much more likely to believe that they're worth trying.

For instance, the "Broken Shoe Shiner" calls for Pernod, Aperol, Benedictine, pineapple juice and rose water, among other ingredients. That hardly speaks for itself; it actually sounds completely unappetizing to me. I don't know who the creator, Stephen Cole, is, but if I knew that he'd worked at (for instance) Pegu Club, I'd be likely to try it, because I trust the place and know that a disgusting drink is unlikely to make it on the menu there. (It doesn't mean I'd love the drink, but it guarantees a certain base level to me.) If on the other hand it came from Red Lobster, I'd give it a pass, because to my knowledge, Red Lobster doesn't produce bartenders with the kind of skill necessary to make a good drink from those ingredients.


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
Manager
jzimmerman@eGullet.org
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Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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In the pages I've seen, the recipes don't speak for themselves. Some of them, in fact, sound very unappealing. But if I see that they were developed by a bartender from a place I'm familiar with, I'm much more likely to believe that they're worth trying.

Understood. I guess in that case it would be an issue of interpretation from context. If you trust the gatekeepers/authors of this compilation, or to a lesser extent the other contributors, or if you are intrigued by how such an apparently bizarre concoction could end up in a book of otherwise intriguing recipes, then perhaps you give it a whirl...if not, trust your instinct and avoid.

I know you are just using Stephen and the Broken Shoeshiner as an example to elucidate your larger point, but for any who might be interested Stephen is also of the Violet Hour in Chicago. From my conversations with him, he appears quite devoted to absinthe. The Broken Shoeshiner was featured on TVH's Summer and Fall menus in 2008. The first two Google hits for "Broken Shoeshiner" lead to positive reviews of the drink (from the same source), the third and fourth to Toby's own posts in the Violet Hour threads at the Chicago LTHForum and here on eGullet regarding new drinks for Summer '08.


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'd like to briefly dip my oar into these waters. I have a copy of this little book, I've read through it, and on the whole I'm impressed. It's made me think a little bit about complacency and creativity, and for that I thank them. Now that I'm comfortably midde-aged I would phrase things more diplomatically than they do, but in many respects I think their manifesto is spot-on.

There are too many drink books that repeat the same recipes and recycle the same factoids, even now.

There are too many cocktail bars that can muddle lemon verbena and watermelon in Lillet and top it off with house-made bitters (usually not bitter at all, N.B.) but would blink if you handed them a bottle of bonded applejack and asked them to make something butch with it.

There are too many pleasantly-flavored, utterly forgettable sours floating around the cocktailosphere. (I'll also add that there are far too many "challenging" drinks laced with heavy doses of Averna, Chartreuse, and their ilk--the buzz spirits of 2008-2009--that are only challenging in an Emperor's New Clothes sense; but here rogue rocktails is guilty of beholding the mote that is in its brother's eye but considering not the beam that is in its own.)

Finally, there are an awful lot of people taking the whole thing terribly, terribly seriously. When mixing drinks moves away from its bistro roots into fine-dining, a lot gets lost. These guys are conscious of that. As they say, "a bar exists to serve customers, not cocktails."


aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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I have seen the book and as I mentioned, tried some of the cocktails, including the gunshop fizz and that drink in particular is awesome.  I think it is a bit of a loss leader as the pour cost is too high, but flavor and balance wise it is awesome.

I think that drink is revelatory. My only problem with it is that it is rather delicate (proof wise).

As far as it being a loss leader, I heard the same complaint from the person who made this for me, but I'd like some clarification on that point. Peychaud can be had (in bulk) for about $0.70/oz. That puts it at about $18 for a 750ml. I'm likely missing something else that goes into the equation of 'pour cost', as I'm very out of my element here, but I think that drink deserves to be evangelized, and wouldn't want the impression that it's too pricey to prevent someone from trying.

I guess Sanbitter is a pricey ingredient. However, I get the impression that it can be approximated with a few ingredients readily available behind most bars. But, perhaps I'm incorrect there, too.


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 first saw this book a few weeks ago when Troy returned from the St-Germain Can-Can in NYC. Kirk had called a few of us at Violet Hour and asked, very casually, if we had any unusual receipts involving often-overlooked ingredients that can usually be found behind many bars; i.e. no housemade bitters involving moonflower blossoms or bacon-washed gin. I dig what they're doing, wholeheartedly. Of course their philosophy raises controversy; but it also gets people thinking, to a certain extent.

I had the privilege of drinking at Cure a couple of times; both times surrounded by damn fine bartenders, spirits folks, writers, etc. Each time rounds of praise were brought forth. Their technique and style are wonderful; ask for an old-fashioned or sazerac or even a damn daiquiri and you'll be blown away. As someone who's made those drinks hundreds of times, and still loves them, I find myself often times craving something...different. Something more. Louder, faster, stronger, brighter...In the same way that I love good jazz, or classical music, but have a deep love and appreciation for metal, punk, and industrial.

Toby teaches us, among other things, the beauty of subtle complexity, the importance of integrity, and how wicked a liquid pun can be...without these attributes, you haven't even made it out of the starting gate. I know Kirk's learned this (see above) and now he's trying to drop a penny on the tracks, as it were, if only to get people to think.

The idea of using a jigger to measure non-potable bitters, combining spirits in unusual fashion, or inversion is not exactly new (Baker, Thomas et al. have such delights documented). At the moment, however, it is different. And as a bartender, I've already used this book myself behind the bar, when I have my regulars in and they want something...different.

I think overall what they're trying to fire up is the search for something new. Learn the tryptich, learn water content, learn balance, learn relationships...great. You can make a drink. Now push!

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What are you referring to when you speak of the triptych? I'm a dunce.

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I'm guessing it refers to the classic three ingredient cocktail. The word usage is a bit strange, however, since a triptych is a single work composed of three separate, not combined parts.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Yes Mike_r is referring to my theory of a balanced cocktail. I began using it because I wanted people to think about each separate ingredient on it’s own but, when unified, it became greater than the sum of it’s parts. I was looking for a word that would go with the idea of gestalt. Trio didn’t work. Maybe I used triptych because it sounded like Mystic.

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Troy and I were talking about the inclusion of many flavors, Kirks theory of pushing the envelope of intensity.

We have all had drinks that included everything and the kitchen sink. There is no center of the drink, it is all over the place. It tastes like everything therefore it tastes like nothing. Like adding all colors you get black.

So he was talking about Green Chartreuse. It is so deeply complex, yet you can add flavors to it and it holds it’s own. Or a Negroni is just piling complexity on top of complexity on top of complexity. But it still works.

So in this vein, And strangely before aforementioned conservation Josh Habiger and I came up with a cocktail using Zwack.

The Red Danube

2.0 oz Zwack

1.0 oz Punt e Mes

.50 oz Campari

3 big dash Regan’s Orange Bitters

Stir, Coupe, Lots of Orange Oil.

I think that this is a balanced cocktail. It is deeply complex and bitter. It is not for a cosmo drinker, but someone who drinks Aperol RX, or negronis it makes sense.

5 years ago I am not sure how big an audience a cocktail like this would have had. Today…It has a slightly bigger audience.

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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After having enjoyed an Art of Choke with some new mint from out back and using the new recipe -- less lime, 2:1 demerara, etc. -- I sat down to reread this topic. As I did, I kept thinking about these guys as some combination of David Embury and Andre Breton. I'll admit, I like the idea of people writing manifestos; I like the bravado, the "fuck y'all" youth of it. I guess, like Dave, I'm "comfortably midd[l]e-aged" and have an appreciation for those who aren't. In case you didn't notice, his comments about "complacency and creativity" are iceberg tips with sharp points.

My wife would also remind me that I also like self-indulgent, overweening flops. Blumenthal's salmon/licorice dish; Lou Reed's "Berlin"; Marinetti's textural meals; the entire Mekons catalogue; Embury's 8:2:1 sours: a lot of people hate(d) those things and were happy to let us know why. But I'm attracted to the brazenness of it all, the idea that someone's gonna drag me by the lapels into the back alley and let me have it in the name of art.

Feel free to blame it all on my overeducation -- or on some notion that people flailing around with weird new ideas is a good thing, even if you find the ideas idiotic or repugnant. Take this Broken Shoe Shiner:

  • 1 oz Aperol
    1 oz Pernod
    1 oz Benedictine
    1 oz lemon juice
    1 oz pineapple juice
    egg white

Dry shake; shake with ice; strain; top with nine rose water drops. (I used 14.)

As indicated above, on paper this looks like an avant garde car wreck. (Big fan of J. G. Ballard's Crash here.) But.

Note the lineage. It's a bittered sour: bitters, sweet, juice, with base lurking in strange places. Audrey Saunders's Intro to Aperol (Aperol with freakish other elements) and French Pearl (mint where it doesn't belong) are hanging about if only you look. That Pernod/pineapple combo is straight out of the tiki tradition; sub in Angostura for the rose water (a pretty nice idea, I'd bet, if you want something earthier) and Herbsaint for Pernod: you've got Don the Beachcomber's tiki sour base complete with "secret ingredient."

I just made the freakish thing, as if on a dare. Damned if it wasn't tasty. It may well be perfect. It's some crazy dance performance on Baltimore local TV in 1962: the rose, egg white and Benedictine frug around on top, while the Aperol, Pernod, and juices shimmy beneath. I'd drink this drink every night of my life. I'd teach it as an example of, as Toby said, the whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. If it could be made into food, I'd live on it.

But if it had turned out to be the Emperor's New Clothes, so be it. I can live with that, someone telling me to add this to that and keep fingers crossed, with the whole mess ending up in the sink. Toby said it above: "It tastes like everything therefore it tastes like nothing. Like adding all colors you get black." Shit happens.

But some of those disasters-on-paper will be lobster drinks: when you look at 'em, you feel the bile rise, but in your glass they are sublime. The Art of Choke is, for me, one of those drinks; the Broken Shoe Shiner is another. I'll waste a dozen fifths to find two more drinks like those in my lifetime.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I couldn't make a Broken Shoe Shiner because I don't have pineapple juice, but I did try the Art of Choke. No offense meant to you, Chris, or to the originator of the drink, but for me, it ended up in the sink (literally). I like bitter elements in small doses, but not this much. Which goes to show either that I'm not avant garde enough to appreciate it or that we all have different tastes. But I guess I'm glad I tried it. Now I know.


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
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jzimmerman@eGullet.org
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Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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In case you didn't notice, his comments about "complacency and creativity" are iceberg tips with sharp points.

Just to make things clear, I meant that as much, or more, about what I do as about what I come across.

Once you learn how to make drinks, it's frightfully easy to make good ones, and I find myself spinning them off one after another--but here's the thing, there's a huge difference between good drinks and great drinks. A good drink will make you say "mmmm." A great one will make you say "wow!" Reading this manifesto made me remember that I should try to shoot for greatness more often, whether I reach it or not.


aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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Agreed. Nothing wrong with having a set of reassuring, go-to regulars. But if I'm not tossing one into the sink now and then, I can worry that I'm settling in, and not in a good way.

Speaking of which, I just ordered the book. Eager to weigh in with more reaction when it arrives.

ET correct spelling


Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I have seen the book and as I mentioned, tried some of the cocktails, including the gunshop fizz and that drink in particular is awesome.   I think it is a bit of a loss leader as the pour cost is too high, but flavor and balance wise it is awesome.

I think that drink is revelatory. My only problem with it is that it is rather delicate (proof wise).

As far as it being a loss leader, I heard the same complaint from the person who made this for me, but I'd like some clarification on that point. Peychaud can be had (in bulk) for about $0.70/oz. That puts it at about $18 for a 750ml. I'm likely missing something else that goes into the equation of 'pour cost', as I'm very out of my element here, but I think that drink deserves to be evangelized, and wouldn't want the impression that it's too pricey to prevent someone from trying.

I was wondering about the pour cost of the Angostura Fizz at first, too. But at $1.10 per ounce (based on the price of the 10-ounce bottle, not the 4-ounce) that works out to about $27 for 750ml. Not as bad as it at first sounds. BTW, I notice that this drink also appears in Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide, but it likely gets overlooked by most people because it's hidden . . . in the non-alcoholic drinks section! That's right, a "non-alcoholic" drink that calls for 1 full ounce of 90-proof bitters!


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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My point wasn't to ask where he works, but to say that the book should include that information. If I see a recipe by "Kyle Davidson" (or whoever) and that's all, then if I don't know who he is, that doesn't give me much information. But if I see that the creator of a drink worked at Violet Hour (or Pegu Club, or PDT, or Zig Zag, or Holeman & Finch) it'll tell me more -- it may give me a clue as to the style of the drink, if the place has a certain "style"; it will at least tell me that the creator of the drink comes from a serious cocktail venue.

Details like this make this book much less than it could be.

Hey everybody,

This is the “rogue cocktails” guys – we just wanted to thank you all for the spirited discussion of our book. Its exciting to us that people take the bartending profession seriously enough that our book would be disconcerting to some and interesting/thought-provoking to others. Just to clear up the issue of citations, the decision not to name the bars from which our contributing bartenders hailed was made on account of layout and consistency constraints. That being said, here is a list of our contributors, and where they can be found:

Brad Bolt – Bar Deville, Chicago, IL

Neil Bodenheimer – Owner, Cure, New Orleans, LA

Stephen Cole – Violet Hour, Chicago, IL

Kyle Davidson – Violet Hour, Chicago, IL

Rhiannon Enlil – Cure, New Orleans, LA

Ricky Gomez – Cure, New Orleans, LA

Chris Hannah – French 75 Bar, New Orleans, LA

Ira Koplowitz – Violet Hour, Chicago, IL

Toby Maloney – Partner, Violet Hour, Chicago, IL and Patterson House, Nashville, TN

Kimberly Patton-Bragg – Clever, New Orleans, LA

Mike Ryan – Violet Hour, Chicago, IL

Troy Sidle – Violet Hour, Chicago, IL

Once again, we’d like to wholeheartedly thank our contributors for their submissions. We would not have been able to put together the book without their help, and we were thrilled to include their recipes in the collection.

Any further questions regarding the book or the etymology of the cocktails in the book can be directed to us through the contact link on our website. We are also in the process of posting a series of short interviews with the contributing bartenders along with a short biography - we just posted Toby's a couple of days ago.

Thanks!

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I think that it is interesting that 7 of the people in this book trained at The Violet Hour. I thought that I espoused the idea of minimalism to the bar tenders. I remember talking at length about taking classic cocktails and putting a little spin on them and then making the most balanced version of that possible, utilizing quality technique.

Now there is more Fernet, Cynar, Campari, & Amari on the menu than I ever would have believed 2 years ago. But luckily less Chartreuse, that kills the liquor cost.

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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A quick comment about the drink credits - I had the pleasure of enjoying several cocktails at Cure back in the spring, made by both Kirk and Maks, the Rogue guys. When I got back, and wanted to post about it, I realized that my notes were a mess, so I dropped Kirk an email, asking if he could identify the drinks in the photos I'd taken. Not only did he identify the drinks, he also made sure to credit the creator of each drink, and where that person worked at the time. So I don't think these guys are trying to steal anyone's thunder, nor do they seem to intend to disrespect others in the cocktail scene.

Is the manifesto a little confrontational? Sure, that's what manifestos are supposed to be like, but when you meet these guys, it's immediately obvious that they're not provincial egotists, they're just talented, enthusiastic guys that felt like making a bold statement. Of course, anyone is free to disagree with their premise.

It's also important to note that these guys can bring the goods. Every single drink that either of those guys made for us was both delicious and interesting. Many of them were quite challenging. I have no hesitation saying that they were, in sum, my favorite drinks I've had anywhere, (and yes I've been to Pegu Club and PDT and Violet Hour and plenty of other serious cocktail spots.) No disrespect meant to those other places, I'm just saying that these guys are working at a very high level.

And FWIW, I think The Art of Choke is awesome.


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Is the manifesto a little confrontational? Sure, that's what manifestos are supposed to be like[.]

Word.

And FWIW, I think The Art of Choke is awesome.

True dat.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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my thoughts fwiw:

1. Cure is the first bar I've been outside NY that's functioning close to the top NY echelon. that's saying something. I haven't been to TVH yet.

2. I don't think these drinks are as out there as the authors think...at least not from the NY hyper-boozy, super-dry, lots of cynar, Arrack, mezcal and bitters point of view. We've been drinking those drinks for years.

3. with that said, there are some damn fine drinks in that book. and I loved the Defend Arrack and the Gunshop Fizz. they were great drinks when I had them at Cure at Tales and they've been great drinks since I've made them at home since.

4. so yeah, it's a worthwhile book.

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Which goes to show either that I'm not avant garde enough to appreciate it or that we all have different tastes.

The latter, I'm sure.

The latter, no doubt -- it's not a question of being "avant garde" but of just having or having developed a palate for larger doses of bitter.

Ten years ago I wouldn't have touched any of this stuff -- Campari, any amaro ... hell, I didn't even like dry vermouth. I've come a long way since then and I love bitter cocktails, but I still enjoy having my palate slapped (in the best possible way) and being served something that opens my eyes.

The Gunshop Fizz was one of those drinks. So was The Art of Choke, The Fall of Man (an Unicum -- not Zwack -- based cocktail) and pretty much all of the drinks I was served during my 7 or so hours at Cure two Sundays ago.

After I mentioned that I had not yet tried Amaro Nardini and really wanted to, Kirk poured me a taste of it, then made something for me that I wasn't sure he had ever made before -- a Nardini Flip: 2.5 oz of Nardini, a bit of simple, and a whole egg, shaken like hell and served in an Old Fashioned glass with a single ice cube. Holy crap.

I've been thoroughly enjoying the book and everything I've made from it so far, and I'm really looking forward to the second edition. I also wish there was a wardrobe in my bedroom which, Narnia-like, would transport me to Cure every Sunday evening at 5 right when they open and before the crowds come in, so I can spend more time with these folks, talking and drinking. Maks, Kirk and Rhiannon took great care of us, and I can't wait to see them again.

Of course, I shouldn't complain ... I'm 10-15 minutes away from The Varnish, Seven Grand and Tiki Ti. :smile:


Chuck Taggart

The Gumbo Pages, New Orleans / Los Angeles

"New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin." - Mark Twain, 1884

Bia agus deoch, ceol agus craic.

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my thoughts fwiw:

1.  Cure is the first bar I've been outside NY that's functioning close to the top NY echelon.  that's saying something.  I haven't been to TVH yet.

2.  I don't think these drinks are as out there as the authors think...at least not from the NY hyper-boozy, super-dry, lots of cynar, Arrack, mezcal and bitters point of view.  We've been drinking those drinks for years.

You should get out more, dude. There are bars in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Atlanta (just to name cities I've been to personally) that operate at the New York level. As a single example, Zig Zag was serving Last Words before Pegu Club opened (no offense to Audrey, whom I adore). Another: Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta offers a Friday Night Flight -- three courses matched to three cocktails, most of which are custom-made for the food, which is selected on Thursday according to market availability.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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The latter, no doubt -- it's not a question of being "avant garde" but of just having or having developed a palate for larger doses of bitter.

Ten years ago I wouldn't have touched any of this stuff -- Campari, any amaro ... hell, I didn't even like dry vermouth. I've come a long way since then and I love bitter cocktails, but I still enjoy having my palate slapped (in the best possible way) and being served something that opens my eyes.

Ten years ago I was drinking Negronis, Picon Punches, and Fernet and soda. I still like them, and other drinks with a bitter edge. But I prefer my bitter elements less obtrusive.


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
Manager
jzimmerman@eGullet.org
eG Ethics signatory
Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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    • By Secret_Ingredient
      I emailed OXO a while ago, asking if they could design and market a thermocouple based thermometer. I reasoned that with their market penetration, the cost would be in the same range of current thermometers. I never heard back and cannot guess why there was no response.
       
      Most consumer grade digital thermometers use a thermistor. I had one of the first Polder Probe/wire (or cable) thermos and I loved it. It had a cable or wire, shielded in a metal braid. The new ones, use a silicon covering. Most of the reviews say that probe breaks and Polder has addressed that by adding a "handle" (of sorts) to the probe. Reasonable care while inserting and extracting the probe would have been more sensible by the reviewers who broke there devices, but the handle works, too.
       
      Still, this device and as I said above, most all temperature reading devices use a thermistor, or even a bi-metal strip (don't call me a perv!). The thermocouple devices read a much more accurate temperature range. From here on I'm spelling thermocouple as t/c.
       
      The Cook's Country (and under a multitude of other names) commonly shows the Thermapen t/c. At $100 it's pricey for the kitchen, but not for what it is. I imagine there are loads of industrial, scientific, and technical uses for it. There the $100 is worth it. The website: Cooking For Engineers sells the device for a "MERE" $79.  That site reviews a number of thermometers and puts the t/c on top.
       
      So dear reader, I must ask, why have the OXO's and Sur La Tables, Williams-Sonomas, and the like not found a way to place a t/c probe in a thermometer?
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