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Help for a Couple of Cocktail Novices (Part 1)


Kerry Beal
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Since you both seem to be enjoying Campari cocktails, make sure you try the Lucien Gaudin. http://www.kindredcocktails.com/cocktail/lucien-gaudin-cocktail

That sounds tasty.

No cocktail for me today - figured with a bit of a headache it wouldn't make it any better. But I did hit the liquor store and pick up a couple more bottles for my collection down here - Pimms, Aperol and dry vermouth.

Couple of weird bottles in my collection here that I thought I'd mention in case anyone had some ideas for them. Creme Violette, nocino, vin de noix, Licor 42, advocate, cynar, kirsh, apricot brandy - just to name a few of the more interesting characters.

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Kerry,

Cynar is the duct tape of the cocktail world. Aromatic, interesting, slightly bittersweet. Sort of honeyed tobacco-ish. It works well with rums, Scotch, brandy, and in general sour applications. Here are two of mine I like quite a bit:

Fumidus

1 oz Islay (peaty) Scotch

1 oz Cynar

1/2 oz lemon juice

1/2 oz Sweet vermouth (I like Punt e Mes here)

2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Shake, strain, up. Flame orange peel over top.

Honeymusk

1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum

1 oz lemon juice

3/4 oz pineapple syrup

1/2 oz Cynar

This definitely needs Smith & Cross - it's high-proof, heavy-bodied and tropical.

I'm glad you're enjoying your foray into the world of cocktails.

Thanks,

Zachary

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Creme Violette, nocino, vin de noix, Licor 42, advocate, cynar, kirsh, apricot brandy - just to name a few of the more interesting characters.

I'm jealous of the violette, I've wanted to get my hands on some just so I can make an authentic Aviation but the LCBO seems to be obstinately refusing to carry it. Cynar and apricot brandy seem to come up pretty often in the cocktail world, especially the apricot, so you'll have plenty of uses for those. The Art of Choke is a nice one with the Cynar. I've stumbled across a couple cocktails with kirsch, I mainly use it in desserts, but I'm sure there are more drinks than I know about. I've never had access to the walnut liqueurs but I'd be surprised if somebody hasn't created drinks with them.

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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Kerry,

Cynar is the duct tape of the cocktail world. Aromatic, interesting, slightly bittersweet. Sort of honeyed tobacco-ish. It works well with rums, Scotch, brandy, and in general sour applications. Here are two of mine I like quite a bit:

Fumidus

1 oz Islay (peaty) Scotch

1 oz Cynar

1/2 oz lemon juice

1/2 oz Sweet vermouth (I like Punt e Mes here)

2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Shake, strain, up. Flame orange peel over top.

Honeymusk

1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum

1 oz lemon juice

3/4 oz pineapple syrup

1/2 oz Cynar

This definitely needs Smith & Cross - it's high-proof, heavy-bodied and tropical.

I'm glad you're enjoying your foray into the world of cocktails.

Thanks,

Zachary

I bought my cynar to make 'smoke 'n choke' chocolate fillings. Looking forward to trying it in some other things.

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Creme Violette, nocino, vin de noix, Licor 42, advocate, cynar, kirsh, apricot brandy - just to name a few of the more interesting characters.

I'm jealous of the violette, I've wanted to get my hands on some just so I can make an authentic Aviation but the LCBO seems to be obstinately refusing to carry it. Cynar and apricot brandy seem to come up pretty often in the cocktail world, especially the apricot, so you'll have plenty of uses for those. The Art of Choke is a nice one with the Cynar. I've stumbled across a couple cocktails with kirsch, I mainly use it in desserts, but I'm sure there are more drinks than I know about. I've never had access to the walnut liqueurs but I'd be surprised if somebody hasn't created drinks with them.

Brought the violette back from France. Nocino and vin de noix are home brewed - and damn yummy I might add!

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Kerry -- now that you have Pimms and Campari, try this one that got published in Mutineer Magazine. Very good on a hot night, and low enough in alcohol that you can have a few.

Grumpy Brit #2

by Dan Chadwick, Kindred Cocktails

1 oz Campari

1 oz Pimm's No. 1 Cup

1 oz Grapefruit juice

Shake, strain, rocks, lowball.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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I know Rumdood prefers white grapefruit, and cuts out the centers too.

I have not done the a/b with the commonly available pink or ruby grapefruit. How is white different?

Also, I have no desire to cut out the center as I like the bitterness of the grapefruit. I eat the segment "skins".

Todays grapefruits seem very sweet. I think that they were much more tart when I was a kid. Even my mom put some sweetener on hers in the morning. Alas, I think grapefruit messes with statins, so I don't eat it as much as I'd like.

I assure you that the above is great with whatever grapefruit you have available.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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If you included the simple in Intro, try it without. That said, I do love a good Negroni. Try a perfect Negoni, dividing the vermouth between sweet and your newly-acquired dry.

I shall try that.

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I know Rumdood prefers white grapefruit, and cuts out the centers too.

I have not done the a/b with the commonly available pink or ruby grapefruit. How is white different?

Also, I have no desire to cut out the center as I like the bitterness of the grapefruit. I eat the segment "skins".

Todays grapefruits seem very sweet. I think that they were much more tart when I was a kid. Even my mom put some sweetener on hers in the morning. Alas, I think grapefruit messes with statins, so I don't eat it as much as I'd like.

I assure you that the above is great with whatever grapefruit you have available.

It is the internalization of Jeff Berry's warnings that white grapefruit is what you nearly always want to use for rum drinks if you don't want them to turn out too sweet that likely has Rumdood and me both leaning that way. That said, pink grapefruit on it's own with Campari is certainly very good, so I bet your drink will be as well. Pink grapefruit is now on the grocery list.

Edited by Sunny&Rummy (log)
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Try a perfect Negoni, dividing the vermouth between sweet and your newly-acquired dry.

I'm going to try that. To be honest, I don't particularly love sweet vermouth (that's probably bordering on heresy). I use it when called for in a drink but usually try to lean away from drinks that are really heavy on it. I like the Negroni but I'm wondering if I'd like it even better this way.

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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After lunch yesterday Kerry and I set out to acquire more accoutrements for our new adventure into the world of cocktails:

Stocking the bar.jpg

The glasses were from a charity store as were the swizzle sticks. The CO2 chargers were in anticipation of finding a soda dispenser at a charity store (we have seen lots in the past!) but no luck this time.

I also picked up a bottle of vodka and some Aperol for my bar so I can have a few more options. However, I concluded yesterday that my bank account, my liver and my waistline will not easily tolerate a cocktail every day so I will be limiting myself to weekends!

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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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As a cocktail novice I am naturally limited by what is in my bar and hence make my drinks based on available ingredients rather than what takes my fancy (which might come when my bar is fully (better?) stocked. However that leaves me to find drinks that I can actually make. Tonight I chose to make a Paradise which I understand to be a little-known but classic drink. (I thought I would try to work my way through some of the classics to get a reasonable grasp of the cocktail). But when I consult various sources for the ingredients in a Paradise I find them to be all over the place. A drink made primarily with gin with a bit of apricot brandy is surely not the same drink that is made with primarily apricot brandy with gin being an after thought. Given that eventually one adjusts a cocktail recipe (just like any other recipe) to one's taste, where do you look to find something that is authorative? If you wanted to make a cocktail called Paradise and wanted to be sure everyone would recognize it, who or what would you consult? Thanks.

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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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That seems to be a tough one Anna. I asked a similar question in another thread and never really got a definitive answer. I think because there really isn't a definitive answer in some cases. While investigating tiki drinks, I saw a drink called a Witch Doctor that I wanted to try. I couldn't remember where I'd seen it and when I searched it there was an ocean of drinks, all different, under that name. I finally tracked down the one I was looking for but I have no clue which is the original (or if any that I found were original). The only thing I know for sure is the one I wanted to try is not the first to go by that name, I found many that predate it. A classic cocktail is probably easier to track down at least some information on but even then it seems like you come across several different stories about the origins and variations on the recipes with some of them.

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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Anna,

Here is the version of the Paradise cocktail that I tried from Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan which, he explains, is loosely based on Craddock's 1930 recipe.

I thought it was well balanced and not too sweet (which can happen easily with the apricot brandy).

1 1/2 oz gin

3/4 oz apricot brandy (I used Rothman & Winter)

1/2 oz fresh orange juice

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

The Craddock version, for reference purposes

1/2 gin

1/4 apricot brandy

1/4 orange juice

1 dash lemon juice

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Anna,

Here is the version of the Paradise cocktail that I tried from Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan which, he explains, is loosely based on Craddock's 1930 recipe.

I thought it was well balanced and not too sweet (which can happen easily with the apricot brandy).

1 1/2 oz gin

3/4 oz apricot brandy (I used Rothman & Winter)

1/2 oz fresh orange juice

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

The Craddock version, for reference purposes

1/2 gin

1/4 apricot brandy

1/4 orange juice

1 dash lemon juice

And the New New York Bartender's Guide version is the one I went with:

2 oz apricot brandy

1/2 oz gin

1 1/2 oz oj

1/2 tsp grenadine

and it was very satisfactory. I still find it very curious that so many different proportions of ingredients can all be considered the same cocktail. :huh:

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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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And the New New York Bartender's Guide version is the one I went with:

2 oz apricot brandy

1/2 oz gin

1 1/2 oz oj

1/2 tsp grenadine

Anna -- I'm guessing that the "apricot brandy" intended in this recipe is true brandy -- the unsweetened aged distillate of fermented apricots. Alas, today "apricot brandy" usually means apricot liqueur -- a base spirit (perhaps distilled apricots, but perhaps neutral spirits or other base), with apricots juice and/or flavor added, and sweetened. If you used the later, I bet the drink was way sweeter than intended.

Gary Regan's recipe sounds good to me, particularly if the orange juice is bright and tart.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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And the New New York Bartender's Guide version is the one I went with:

2 oz apricot brandy

1/2 oz gin

1 1/2 oz oj

1/2 tsp grenadine

Anna -- I'm guessing that the "apricot brandy" intended in this recipe is true brandy -- the unsweetened aged distillate of fermented apricots. Alas, today "apricot brandy" usually means apricot liqueur -- a base spirit (perhaps distilled apricots, but perhaps neutral spirits or other base), with apricots juice and/or flavor added, and sweetened. If you used the later, I bet the drink was way sweeter than intended.

Gary Regan's recipe sounds good to me, particularly if the orange juice is bright and tart.

See - that's why I love all of you! Who knew! The drink was sweet but I found it pleasant enough. Will try the Regan version next time I revisit this cocktail. So many cocktails - so little liver. :sad:

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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I wish I had not lost track of this topic. When I saw it initally, people had alrad suggested some of the things I was going to suggest.

How did you find the Velvet Tango Room, Kerry? Any revelations there?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I wish I had not lost track of this topic. When I saw it initally, people had alrad suggested some of the things I was going to suggest.

How did you find the Velvet Tango Room, Kerry? Any revelations there?

I had a Corpse Reviver at the VTR - enjoyed it but think I would have liked it a bit more with a bit of simple in it.

I also picked up a bottle of Vya there (to which they added some of their bitters) so I've got that to play with now. What's your favourite Vya (sweet) cocktail?

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I wish I had not lost track of this topic. When I saw it initally, people had alrad suggested some of the things I was going to suggest.

How did you find the Velvet Tango Room, Kerry? Any revelations there?

I had a Corpse Reviver at the VTR - enjoyed it but think I would have liked it a bit more with a bit of simple in it.

I also picked up a bottle of Vya there (to which they added some of their bitters) so I've got that to play with now. What's your favourite Vya (sweet) cocktail?

I've never played with Vya, mostly because it only seems to come in a large bottle and I am scared that it will go "off" before I can finish it. Given that it's a vermouth, I would use it in the places where I use my more common sweet vermouth. Manhattan, Negroni, etc.

Speaking of getting inspired, I need to get some Tang. Rangpur gin. And I need to dig up the topic Janet wrote about making lime cordial.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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