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Kerry Beal

Help for a Couple of Cocktail Novices (Part 1)

597 posts in this topic

Tonight's cocktail the Romanza which I will be drinking alone. Bitter doesn't begin to describe it but with enough added ice it became quite drinkable.

romanza.jpg

No comments please on my pathetic orange twist - this is my very first do-it-yourself cocktail. :smile:


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Nothing wrong with that twist. I usually just twist it over the glass and drop it in with no attempt at pretty or sometimes just twist it and toss it in the trash. I haven't tried the Romanza, how does the bitterness stack up against something like the Negroni or the Eeyore's Requiem? I've discovered I like Campari-heavy drinks after the initial shock of the first time I had one passed and I really paid attention to what I was tasting. Have you tried the Jasmine (gin, cointreau, campari, lemon juice) yet? It balances the bitterness nicely and tastes remarkably similar to grapefruit juice.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Nothing wrong with that twist. I usually just twist it over the glass and drop it in with no attempt at pretty or sometimes just twist it and toss it in the trash. I haven't tried the Romanza, how does the bitterness stack up against something like the Negroni or the Eeyore's Requiem? I've discovered I like Campari-heavy drinks after the initial shock of the first time I had one passed and I really paid attention to what I was tasting. Have you tried the Jasmine (gin, cointreau, campari, lemon juice) yet? It balances the bitterness nicely and tastes remarkably similar to grapefruit juice.

Thanks for being gentle with me about my twist! I really don't have much to compare as I have only just begun to try a few cocktails. Hope to try the Jasmine in the next day or so. Thank you.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Beautiful twist, Anna! I should give that drink a try.

It's wonderful to see an earnest appeal for advice solicit such good responses. A tribute to eG, I'd say.

Agreed! Such great suggestions, many of which I'm adding to my own list. (Especially the 20th Century, which sound like the perfect way to celebrate my third decade.)

My recommendation was going to be an Aviation, if you can get a mini bottle of Maraschino (or, perhaps, invest in a bottle for future baking, etc.) Refreshing and a revelation, cocktail-wise, for me. Greater the sum of its parts.

My question, from reading this discussion: I love Campari, and recently depleted my bottle making David Lebovitz's brilliant Grapefruit Campari Sorbet. Since summer is Campari season, I was planning to replace it tout de suite, but this thread makes me wonder if I shouldn't try a bottle of Aperol instead (I haven't ever had it.) Or should I finish my Cynar first?

Have fun, ladies! I always enjoy reading your posts.


Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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My question, from reading this discussion: I love Campari, and recently depleted my bottle making David Lebovitz's brilliant Grapefruit Campari Sorbet. Since summer is Campari season, I was planning to replace it tout de suite, but this thread makes me wonder if I shouldn't try a bottle of Aperol instead (I haven't ever had it.) Or should I finish my Cynar first?

Aperol is definitely worth getting. Not all that long ago I was deciding which one or two of those I wanted to go with. Now I can't imagine not having all three plus Fernet Branca in the cabinet.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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It is stinking hot and humid where we are right now - Anna's sitting on the balcony sipping an iced ginger beer right now!

Ooh, you have ginger beer? Then you could do a Shady Grove, which is a great porch cooler. It's like a modified Tom Collins: 1.5 oz gin and 3/4 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice in a Collins glass with ice, then fill with ginger beer.

A lot of recipes call for simple syrup or a teaspoon of sugar, but I tend to like drinks less sweet, so I leave it out.


Elizabeth Licata

Will eat for food

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No comments please on my pathetic orange twist - this is my very first do-it-yourself cocktail.

I think the twist is not that bad for a first try! If I may give a few pointers that may make things easier for the future:

First, as a generality a twist should only include the peel and none of the flesh underneath. The goal is to slice off a piece of peel from the outside of the fruit without actually cutting into the flesh of the fruit itself. Sometimes this may be difficult if it is a particularly thin-skinned citrus, in which case it is probably not well suited to using for twists. As a generality, thicker-skinned, pebbly-textured oranges are better for twists than thinner-skinned, smooth-textured oranges. So the technique is to use a sharp paring knife and try to slice off just a thin piece of peel with the smallest amount of pith as you can manage. As a matter of practicality, sometimes it's easier to slice off a piece with more pith on the back and then just trim off the pith if you're concerned about excess bitterness in the drink. Another, easier, technique is just to swipe off a strip of peel using a sharp vegetable peeler.

Second, I'd say that your twist is overall too narrow. If you're going for the long type of twist, I'd say that you want a strip of peel approximately 1/2 inch wide. The very thin strips of peel you have there, and elsewhere above, look more like 1/8 inch wide and possibly (probably?) made with a channel knife. This is not a width one would tend to use as an "all purpose cocktail twist." Rather, it's the width one normally sees in something called a "horse's neck" type of garnish, which is an extra-long thin spiral of peel that's usually slid down the side of a highball glass. More to the point, it's difficult to actually "twist" a peel so diminutive and get any oil out of it onto the surface of the drink.

Third, long isn't the only peel configuration for twists. A disk-shaped orange or lemon twist is one that's used by many of the best cocktail bars for "up cocktails" (the long type does tend to be more attractive in Old Fashioned-type and other rocks drinks where it can be slid in alongside the ice). Making the disk type is easy: just slice a round piece of peel off the side of the citrus. One advantage to this kind of twist is that it's easy to hold in one hand and bend over the drink, thereby shooting plenty of oil out of the twist and onto the surface of the drink. Here you can see Pegu Club's Kenta Goto using this type of twist over a Fitty-Fitty Martini.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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No comments please on my pathetic orange twist - this is my very first do-it-yourself cocktail.

....

Thanks, Sam. I was obviously misled as to what constitutes an "orange twist" as I followed this googled link.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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romanza.jpg

No comments please on my pathetic orange twist - this is my very first do-it-yourself cocktail.

....

Thanks, Sam. I was obviously misled as to what constitutes an "orange twist" as I followed this googled link.

Yikes. Yea, you should delete that from your bookmarks. :smile:

This gives a pretty good view of how to cut a piece of orange for a garnish, and also how to do a neat trick:


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Thanks for starting this topic, Kerry Beal & Anna N! :smile:

I've been following this with a lot of interest. I like a good cocktail, but I'm a bit of a newbie at making them at home and need to expand my repetoir. Gimlets, 20th Century, Sidecar, Pimms are all on my list of favourites. I need to get another bottle of Aperol for the Intro to Aperol, since I left my almost-full bottle with my folks, who've been cheerfully guzzling away at it.

To the experts out there - what can I do with bottles of creme de cassis (other than kir royal), limoncello, luxardo amaretto, and bols cherry- & apricot- flavoured brandies that are sitting around gathering dust? I have about the same collection as Kerry. Thanks!

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To the experts out there - what can I do with bottles of creme de cassis (other than kir royal), limoncello, luxardo amaretto, and bols cherry- & apricot- flavoured brandies that are sitting around gathering dust? I have about the same collection as Kerry. Thanks!

I'm far from being an expert but a summer drink I like with creme de cassis is the El Diablo.

1 1/2 oz tequila

1/2 oz creme de cassis

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

Build in a highball glass with ice. Top with ginger ale, lime twist.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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+1 on the El Diablo for cassis. I also like it as a substitute for blackberry liqueur in a Gin Bramble, as well as in the CEO from Joy of Mixology, and Jamie Boudreau's "Angel's Share": 1.5 oz. Bourbon, 0.5 oz. Ramazzotti amaro, 0.25 oz. cassis, dash of Fee Brothers orange bitters. Stir, strain, lemon twist.

Amaretto is good as an amaretto sour and in a Godfather.

Cherry brandy is good in Singapore Slings and Blood & Sand.

Apricot brandy is good in a number of things. (I learned the other night that the Millionaire is not one of them.) One of my favourites is the Stone Fruit Sour. Barnum (Was Right) is a good one, too, and there are a bunch of options in Joy of Mixology. It also makes a good sweetener in a Tom Collins variation, though better with lime juice than lemon.

To date, I have not found a good application for limoncello in cocktails, though I haven't tried really hard. I know eje uses it as a substitute for sirop de citron in some of the old cocktails that call for that with kola tonic.


Edited by mkayahara (log)

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Thanks for the suggestions! Time to get a bottle of tequila!

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The El Diablo is a winner, especially once I located a bottle of Marie Brizzard creme de cassis and could retire the Hiram Walker. I prefer ginger beer (Barritt's) to ginger ale in mine though, even if it goes against the standard recipe.

The Teresa (Campari, lime and cassis) and the Mississippi Mule (Gin, lemon and cassis) are also a good creme de cassis cocktails to try. A version of the Teresa halving the Campari and adding gin that frederic posted on his blog a couple of months ago is quite good.

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One of my favourite cocktails - The Lemon Meringue Pie - uses Frangelico but I reckon it will probably taste good with your Amaretto instead.

2 parts limoncello

1 egg white

1/2 part sugar syrup

1 part lemon juice

1/2 part frangelico (/amaretto)

Shake up with ice, strain into a glass filled rocks glass.

Sweet, but so so good.

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That should probably say "ice filled rocks glass" not "glass filled rocks glass" which could be nasty :)

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One of my favourite cocktails - The Lemon Meringue Pie - uses Frangelico but I reckon it will probably taste good with your Amaretto instead.

2 parts limoncello

1 egg white

1/2 part sugar syrup

1 part lemon juice

1/2 part frangelico (/amaretto)

Shake up with ice, strain into a glass filled rocks glass.

Sweet, but so so good.

Everyone has a different palate, of course, but this sounds incredibly sweet to me.

As a generality, I try to stay away from any drink with the word "pie" in its name.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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DSCN3795.jpg

Tonight's cocktail - Old Pal. Bourbon, campari and dry vermouth. Lemon twist. Very well received though I did add a touch of turbinado simple to mine. And extra ice. I'm discovering that my favourite part of a cocktail isn't necessarily when it's first poured - it's after the ice starts to melt a bit and it become more dilute.

Ran in to a little hitch. Used the boston shaker glass - tried first to stir this one - didn't find a bar spoon stirs particularly well (perhaps too much ice?) So I took the stainless cup of the boston shaker and applied it to the glass and shook - then couldn't get the two apart! Finally had to knock the top of stainless cup with the back of a big knife to get them to separate.

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If the lemon meringue pie drink is too sweet for you either skip the simple syrup or up the proportion of lemon juice to dial back the sweetness.

Kerry a good smack with the heel of your hand usually breaks the seal on stubborn shakers.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Tried a swizzle tonight that features Campari if you ladies aren't Campari-ed out at this point. I've been working my way through some tiki stuff and I'm not really clear on whether swizzles are tiki or not but, regardless, I liked it.

Witchy Woman

1 1/2 oz Campari

1 oz white rum

1 oz orange juice

1/2 oz lime juice

1/2 oz orgeat

1 dash Angostura bitters

Build on crushed ice. Swizzle.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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You ladies are certainly being industrious trying new drinks. It's inspirational!

I'd like to give the 20th century a try. Any particular brand(s) of White Creme de Cacao I should look for? Thanks!


Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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Corinna,

Marie Brizard makes a very good creme de cacao.

Thanks,

Zachary

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