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FrogPrincesse

Cocktails I'm supposed to like, but don't

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My turn to chime in:

Yes, there are classics that I hate. But there are classics that YOU hate, that I love. So let's see if I can fix that for you :)

Vieux Carre: Yeah, I don't like it either.

Aviation: One of my favorites, actually. But..... it has to be made exactly like this: 2 oz Plymouth Gin, 3/4 oz Lemon, 2 tsp Luxardo Maraschino, 1 tsp R&W Creme de Violette. Any other ratio or brand doesn't work. Sorry.

Bronx, Monkey Gland, Blood and Sand: No. I don't like. It's possible that the Blood and Sand can be redeemed, but I don't know how.

20th Century: Another favorite. But, again, it must be made like this: 1.5 oz strong gin (Brokers, Beefeaters, etc), 3/4 oz Cocchi Americano, 3/4 oz Lemon, 1/2 tsp Bols Creme de Cacao. Yes, Bols... but only 1/2 tsp. You don't want it to taste like chocolate. Yes, I tried it with Tempus Fugit Cacao. It works better with the cheap stuff.

Vesper: What's the point of mixing Vodka and Gin? To "smooth" the gin? I say use a smooth gin instead -- Citadel. So I make my "Archer Cocktail" (It's spy-related, ok?) like so: 4 oz Citadel Gin, 1/2 oz Cocchi Americano. Yes, it's a glass of ethanol. Tasty, tasty ethanol.

Manhattan: Too sweet. I have a half dozen Manhattan variations that I play with. I try to make them as bitter as possible. It's hard to do. I'm open to suggestions.

That's my two cents' worth. Cheers,

Dan (the other one)

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It's possible that the Blood and Sand can be redeemed, but I don't know how.

The B&S is one of the hardest drinks to balance. A lot depends on the tartness and sweetness of your orange; you really just have to taste it as you make it. That said, I can offer some guidelines: go heavy on the scotch and vermouth, use Punt e Mes, cut back on the OJ and Heering, and use a flavorful orange varietal that's in season (I like Cara Cara and blood oranges). It's fun to substitute the vermouth with rich bittersweet aperitifs like Bonal or Byrrh, or a good medium-bodied Amontillado. You can also use an orange liqueur or amaro (e.g. Ramazzotti) in place of the orange juice—I like Solerno blood orange liqueur (80 proof) and use it here.

Manhattan: Too sweet. I have a half dozen Manhattan variations that I play with. I try to make them as bitter as possible. It's hard to do. I'm open to suggestions.

If you haven't yet, try using Punt e Mes for your sweet vermouth and adding a quantity of whatever amaro you have on hand. Audrey Saunders' Little Italy (2 rye, 3/4 sweet vermouth, 1/2 Cynar, and a bit of the syrup from a jar of Luxardo cherries) is a good place to start.

The Vesper in 6:2:1 proportions is pretty boring.

Invert it however...

This sounds great. I'd much rather use vodka to stretch out the Cocchi than to smooth out the gin. I'll give this a shot.

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Don't understand the dislike for the Vieux Carré among people who otherwise like Manhattans (so excluding you, Dan P). It's just a Manhattan where the rye's split equally with Cognac, plus a dash of Peychaud's and a teaspoon of Benedictine. Is it just too boring for people? Too sweet?


Edited by Rafa (log)

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Dan: Try this Manhattan:

2 oz Rye -- something that you like neat

1/2 oz Punt e Mes

1/2 oz Dry vermouth

1-2 d Angostura or other pie-spice bitters

If the rye is high proof, consider having it on the rocks or giving an extra long stir. Also works well with bourbon, but that's a bit sweeter and you are looking to tame that.

Most amari are pretty sweet to sub in here. Nonino is a good choice. Probably will still need some dry vermouth, though.

I hate sweet drinks, but there is something about a Manhattan that I don't understand which let's me like it in just about any ratio.

Also, re the Aviation, I find that 1/2 tsp of Rothman & Winter Creme de Violette is enough for me, and I like it with a juniper-forward gin. I'm not a floral fan, so I like just enough violette to linger in the background. I like it, but it isn't my favorite.

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Man, why the hate for the Aviation....it's one of the most perfect drinks. And the Papa Doble? I wrote a blog post that mentioned it entitled "Alcoholic Liquid Nitrogen" - on a super hot day, when you want a cooold, strong buzz that's also a great drink, nothing beats it.

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The Aviation is challenging in just about every way. Sour. "Pine tree." Funky. Floral. It's no warm glass of Fernet, but it isn't a warm puppy either.

But Chris, give the Martini a try every so often. It has the beauty of a soft-boiled egg - perfect and sublime.

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I do. And I have. Every time I buy a new gin or new dry vermouth--not all that often--I mix up another. I haven't tried all of the common ratios but I've tried what I guess (based on the martini threads) are the most popular around here. With most other drinks, that's been a good starting point so I don't see why it should be any different with Martinis. Even with high end gins like Junipero and Hendricks I haven't been able to get last the 'this just tastes of alcohol and alcohol and alcohol and juniper and alcohol' sensation. I don't really enjoy straight gin and I don't even use the vodka I have (I have a bottle I bought when I first got into mixing, not knowing any better, and it's still about half full--and mostly that's from making stuff for other people).

I'm willing to be converted. I eventually came around on the Pegu Club, after all. If I knew somewhere/someone that was regarded as making a very good martini I would try one.

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The Aviation is challenging in just about every way. Sour. "Pine tree." Funky. Floral. It's no warm glass of Fernet, but it isn't a warm puppy either.

All the more reason to just get the balance right. Honestly, I think a well balanced aviation is divine.

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And the Papa Doble?

Some people (not me) find it overly tart as written. And big. More "tub of ethanol" business.


Edited by Rafa (log)

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I do. And I have. Every time I buy a new gin or new dry vermouth--not all that often--I mix up another. I haven't tried all of the common ratios but I've tried what I guess (based on the martini threads) are the most popular around here.

Have you tried a Fitty-Fitty? Say, with Plymouth/Dolin? Orange Bitters and a twist. Olive on the sie.

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And the Papa Doble?

Some people (not me) find it overly tart as written. And big. More "tub of ethanol" business.

I mean, sometimes you want a big tub of tart frozen ethanol - they're certainly not for every day but boy do they have a right time and right place!

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Since Hendricks has been mentioned, I'll admit I don't like it, or anything else with cucumber -- it's just not a flavor I enjoy in drinks, though it's fine in food. It's not that Hendricks is "bad," but even among other new gins it's way down on my list. And that whole "let's make it seem like we've been distilling this stuff in a stone croft in Scotland for centuries" marketing campaign? Very effective, yes, but authentic? Nah.

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And that whole "let's make it seem like we've been distilling this stuff in a stone croft in Scotland for centuries" marketing campaign? Very effective, yes, but authentic? Nah.

They've never really said this though, have they?

I know the gardener story, though,

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Since Hendricks has been mentioned, I'll admit I don't like it, or anything else with cucumber -- it's just not a flavor I enjoy in drinks, though it's fine in food.

Oh gosh, yes. This. I am not a fan of cucumber, bell pepper, jalapeno, or any other vegetables in my cocktails, up to and including Blood Marys. The one exception I will make is the Juliet and Romeo, which is delicious.

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Whoever told you that you're supposed to like a Pimm's Cup needs to be told that it's positively manky with 7-UP. A good ginger ale, however, and bravo!

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Whoever told you that you're supposed to like a Pimm's Cup needs to be told that it's positively manky with 7-UP. A good ginger ale, however, and bravo!

OK, thanks for the tip! Your enthusiasm convinces me to give it another try, but I suspect the problem is that it always has Pimms in it :sad:

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Since Hendricks has been mentioned, I'll admit I don't like it, or anything else with cucumber -- it's just not a flavor I enjoy in drinks, though it's fine in food.

Oh gosh, yes. This. I am not a fan of cucumber, bell pepper, jalapeno, or any other vegetables in my cocktails, up to and including Blood Marys. The one exception I will make is the Juliet and Romeo, which is delicious.

I like the Juliet and Romeo. I also like the Kentucky Maid. Those are the only two with cucumber I've tried but if they represent what cucumber does in cocktails in general, I'm good with it.

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Whoever told you that you're supposed to like a Pimm's Cup needs to be told that it's positively manky with 7-UP. A good ginger ale, however, and bravo!

Sir, sir, sir, it needs to be made with British-style lemonade!

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Dan: Try this Manhattan:

2 oz Rye -- something that you like neat

1/2 oz Punt e Mes

1/2 oz Dry vermouth

1-2 d Angostura or other pie-spice bitters

Thanks, Dan. One of my personal variants goes along those lines too:

1 ½ oz Thomas Handy Rye

1 ½ oz Cynar

½ oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino

8 drops Regan’s Orange

(Garnish with three Luxardo Cherries on a bamboo pick)

And it's rare that I'm in the mood for something this "Manhattany". Today, for example, called for Daiquiris :)

Whoa -- I just re-read your recipe. You said DRY vermouth. That sounds more "Brooklyny". Hmm, might have to give one a try. Thanks again.

Dan

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Whoever told you that you're supposed to like a Pimm's Cup needs to be told that it's positively manky with 7-UP. A good ginger ale, however, and bravo!

Sir, sir, sir, it needs to be made with British-style lemonade!

Even, then after trying the much more aromatic, dry and darn-well more elegant Summer Cup by Sipsmith, I can no longer drink Pimm's.

Fever-Tree lemonade is a must.

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Since Hendricks has been mentioned, I'll admit I don't like it, or anything else with cucumber -- it's just not a flavor I enjoy in drinks, though it's fine in food.

Oh gosh, yes. This. I am not a fan of cucumber, bell pepper, jalapeno, or any other vegetables in my cocktails, up to and including Blood Marys. The one exception I will make is the Juliet and Romeo, which is delicious.

I like the Juliet and Romeo. I also like the Kentucky Maid. Those are the only two with cucumber I've tried but if they represent what cucumber does in cocktails in general, I'm good with it.

You should try Rogue Beta Cocktail's Gunshop Fizz. I've made it for, say, a dozen people now, and every one of them has loved it. I will say that I had a hard time finding Sanbitter nearby, but a local supermarket carries Stappj, and that seems to work just fine as a substitute. Elsewhere on eGullet, folks have suggested Campari & soda as a substitute -- which, as they note, will up the proof in what's a relatively low-booze drink.


Edited by Snark (log)

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You should try Rogue Beta Cocktail's Gunshop Fizz. I've made it for, say, a dozen people now, and every one of them has loved it. I will say that I had a hard time finding Sanbitter nearby, but a local supermarket carries Stappj, and that seems to work just fine as a substitute. Elsewhere on eGullet, folks have suggested Campari & soda as a substitute -- which, as they note, will up the proof in what's a relatively low-booze drink.

Sounds interesting. I'll have to get my hands on enough Peychaud's that I'd be willing to give up 2 oz in one shot though. It's not easy to get where I live.

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You should try Rogue Beta Cocktail's Gunshop Fizz. I've made it for, say, a dozen people now, and every one of them has loved it. I will say that I had a hard time finding Sanbitter nearby, but a local supermarket carries Stappj, and that seems to work just fine as a substitute. Elsewhere on eGullet, folks have suggested Campari & soda as a substitute -- which, as they note, will up the proof in what's a relatively low-booze drink.

Sounds interesting. I'll have to get my hands on enough Peychaud's that I'd be willing to give up 2 oz in one shot though. It's not easy to get where I live.

Oh, Canada. You appear to be in Ontario; if the Toronto Institute of Bartending isn't too far a schlep, maybe you could get them there?

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