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bostonapothecary

Drinks! (2007–2009)

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last night a friend gave me three liters of "nocillo" from a small town near the amalfi coast... he claims it was made in 1991... it was intense in every way... the stuff must have been made with grain alcohol because it is quite alcoholic. the color is black like motor oil and the aromas of a couple glasses can fill a room. the mouthfeel is thick like there is alot of sugar but it doesn't taste cloying in any way... maybe if i measure the sugar content i can extrapolate an alcohol content assumming they used grain alcohol...

my understanding is that "nocillo" as opposed to "nocino" is just a regional dialect thing...

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last night, me and 150 fifty or so other people had some free cocktails, listened to some blues, and escaped the depression brought on by the afternoon's snow storm... brown-forman donated a huge amount of booze and i created a few cocktails featuring chambord and "unique acidity" to make it less "intense" a product... a barometer of the success of the drinks was a pretty even distribution of selection and flatteringly low bar sales... either noone wanted to pay for anything not free or they actually liked things...? i've never seen such a large crowd drink so little beer...

we drank...

kir imperial... "an introduction to the violet hour"

brown-forman's korbel & chambord

a requisite drink for the event... i snuck in some verjus and liked it better... you could make it less sweet by adding less chambord but i wanted to give flavor intensity so i balanced it with some verjus... seemed to go over well...

trocadero... "antidote to the winter mistral"

1.75 oz. woodford (donated brand)

.75 oz. home made provencial dry vermouth (for acidity and flavor contrast!)

.50 oz. chambord

3 dashes home made aromatic wild cherry bark bitters

garnished with "cerises au soleil" from provance...

this drink was supposed to compared in sweetness and complexity to a manhattan... i was surprised at how popular it was... it was the band's favorite drink... though one smartass told me it was "disrespectful to whiskey"... i offered him woodford neat or on the rocks... he asked for another trocadero with an extra cherry... i was confused... not one person knew what the name referred to... if i ever put this on the menu i'd use a less distinguished whiskey... handmade components and all but it still needs to show more ingenuity to be a cocktail...

pantry cocktail... "sneak a drink in the pantry"

1.5 oz. herradura blanco (donated brand)

.75 oz. verjus (acidity! blanco is better than rouge but use what you got)

.75 oz. chambord

.25 oz. aged balsomic (more acidity! and sexy depth)

3 drops aromatic cinnamon tincture

lemon twist (for citrus top notes)

i served this in a tea cup so people wouldn't know you were drinking... verjus is some pretty cool acid and at 1:1 strikes quite the crowd pleasing balance with chambord... aged balsomic provides just a little more acidity and drasticly stretches out the flavors in your mouth... this was not popular with people that are scared of tequila and need to tell everyone stories of how it makes them violent...

kingston snake charmer "a his or hers aphrodisiac cocktial"

2 oz. appleton's vx rum (donated brand)

1.25 oz. tart pineapple-irish moss syrup

.75 oz. chambord

barbados sorrel tea soaked bruleed pineapple skewers...

my pastry chef was cool enough to keep cranking out the garnishes... they are really impracticle and need to be fresh or the brulee dies when the moisture in the pinapple starts to dissolve the sugars... this was the most popular drink yet very few people were on top of their game enough to catch the dirty double entendre of the name... the pineapple syrup was pretty wild. irish moss is incredibly gelatinous and can make things taste like the sea... i found it reminiscient of conch liqueur... (another great aphrodisiac) and pineapple miraculously (besides making certain body fluids taste better) has enzymes to stop gelatines from forming... a match made in heaven. god has a sense of humor... so in balance you get potency of that exciting aphrodisiac flavor and just the right "syrupy" thickness... no extra sugars were added but i did add a massive amount of citric acid to make it impressively tart...

so much fun, hopefully a liquor company will want to do it again some time...

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last night I made:

2 ounces tea-infused 10 cane rum

1 ounce velvet falernum (Taylor)

1 ounce lemon juice.

peach bitters.

nice.

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Citadelle gin, St. Germaine, and Fever Tree tonic. Really hitting the spot right now.

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On this day in 1920, Prohibition of Alcohol went into effect in the United States. In remembrance, and to reward myself for making it through the tough part of my week (returned to school this spring) I gave a try to an older version of the storied Sazerac:

1 tsp rich syrup

3-4 dashes Peychaud's (actually more, the new bottle was being stingy)

2 oz Hardy VS 'Red Corner' Cognac

Stirred with ice, strained into chilled glass rinsed with Jade Edouard. Twisted lemon peel and discarded.

I haven't actually tried this since I got real absinthe. Hmm... I could actually see some people preferring this-- it's lovely.

Let us never forget what can happen to us if we let vocal minorities take control of the legal system! This is a great year for every citizen of every opinion to let their voice be heard!

Cheers

-Andy

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chestnut negroni

1.5 oz gin

1 generous oz campari

1 generous oz sweet vermouth

scant .5 oz creme de chataigne

several dashes orange bitters

worked out rather well ! the creme de chataigne added a vanilla note without too much sweetness and seemed to bring out a slight aniaseed note in the vermouth (M & R is all i had to hand).

Quite pleased with this - i'll be making it again !

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last night i tried the "apry" cocktail from cocktaildb as an option for the raiders of the lost cocktail apry contest...

5/10 canadian club

3/10 apry

2/10 drambuie

2 dashes fresh lemon juice

stirred and served up...

rothman and winters orchard apricot was used as the apricot liqueur...

this drink looked cool on paper but is so over the top boring and tastes like sweet apple juice... it needs some creative license and some serious flavor contrast... i think i'm gonna keep trying this until it becomes delicious...

my next shot at it will be

5/10 st. james ambre... if you replace its label with a canadian club label like they used to do in the olden days it sells for more money and tastes better... win, win

3/10 apry... i have brizard apry so i think i'm gonna use it...

2/10 chestnut flower honey liqueur*... things should not be taken literally so they mean the figurative dram-buie which = complementing booze + honey

*750ml of maison surrene with 250ml of potent southwest france chestnut flower honey strained well after it dissolves... italian rodadendren honey might also be sexy as hell with some apry...

can't wait till the end of this shift...

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last night i tried the "apry" cocktail from cocktaildb as an option for the raiders of the lost cocktail apry contest...

5/10 canadian club

3/10 apry

2/10 drambuie

2 dashes fresh lemon juice

stirred and served up...

rothman and winters orchard apricot was used as the apricot liqueur...

this drink looked cool on paper but is so over the top boring and tastes like sweet apple juice... it needs some creative license and some serious flavor contrast... i think i'm gonna keep trying this until it becomes delicious...

my next shot at it will be

5/10 st. james ambre... if you replace its label with a canadian club label like they used to do in the olden days it sells for more money and tastes better... win, win

3/10 apry... i have brizard apry so i think i'm gonna use it...

2/10 chestnut flower honey liqueur*... things should not be taken literally so they mean the figurative dram-buie which = complementing booze + honey

*750ml of maison surrene with 250ml of potent southwest france chestnut flower honey strained well after it dissolves... italian rodadendren honey might also be sexy as hell with some apry...

can't wait till the end of this shift...

1.5:1:.5:dash...

so i made the "apry" cocktail with my subtle changes... it was a much better drink but still on the sweet side... i wanted to make a drink with the same proportions i took out of a book... the saint james and the simple home-made honey liqueur made the drink so much more complex and adult... i think a switch to the rothman orchard apricot would make the drink more pleasing to wider audiences unless the lemon juice content was raised... but then it becomes a different prescription...

serving the drink on crushed ice woud be optimal. i added soda water to the rest of mine and thought it was quite nice. i wish i tried some champagne...

i was almost thinking of diluting my brizard apry with some apricot eau de vie to get a sugar content i liked better. so i could use the product more like cointreau... does that break some kind of weird unwritten rule? i like making my drinks with simpler measurements that you can use a standard jigger for. this recipe is sort of standard but not on the second try when you realize you don't like it but you could...

my next go try is gonna be 2:1:.5:.5

st. james amber becomes and incredible booze value when you add some sexy fruit to it... i use it more than even rye these days...

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back at it with the apricot...

the best drink i've had in recent months was an batavia arrack apricot sour (with egg white) this matched my mood perfectly which is important with a drink... i don't hear of enough use of arrack as a mixing spirit. it brings a high proof that i like (100) and some sort of terrior (the "arrackness") that contrasts delicate shades of fruit so well... i like this drink so much that i'm even ready to elevate the arrack apricot combo to higher levels than the divine flavor contrasts of black tea and lemonaide... an arrack apricot sour doesn't seem to exist in any books but if i wrote one i'd pen it in...

1.5 oz. batavia arrack van osten

2/3 oz. orchard apricot

1/3 oz. simple syrup

1 oz. lemonjuice

fraction of a egg white

chocolate bitters...

i don't think i ever noticed the bitters. they were drizzled on top... i could smell the wine of the people next to me and lots of food... hopefully it had a subliminal effect...

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2 oz. saint james ambre

1 oz. lemon juice (plus a dash or two because its for me...)

2/3 oz. brizard apry

1/3 oz. simple syrup

float of goslings old rum

shake and double strain then float the old rum...

this was a stunning drink. i let a couple people taste it who were really skeptical of my choice of ingredients. they couldn't believe how friendly and complex it was. i've decided i don't like that nutty nose of the brizard so the closest easy aromatic float at hand finishes the drink off nice... i used to use tons of bacardi 8 now the bottle is getting dusty... time to buy more saint james... i think i will try it in an old cuban next... old cuban with a little apry maybe?

good cocktails have made this winter much easier...

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Kelbo's Scorpion

3/4oz lime juice

3/4oz orange juice

1/2oz passion fruit syrup

1/2oz orgeat

1oz dark Jamaican rum

3/4oz cognac

1/2oz gin

6oz crushed ice

Blend on high for 3 seconds. Pour into a fun tiki mug.

This potion is so wonderfully balanced and delicious.

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The following passage caught the eye of my significant other...

At Manhattan's Death & Co., bartender Phil Ward put in a request for grapefruit bitters. Four or five iterations later, Ward now uses the bitters in his Silver Gin Fizz, a drink made with fresh lemon and lime juices, egg white and gin.

Grapefruit bitters and "Silver Gin Fizz", why haven't I tasted that, she asked...

Well, aside from the fact that due to my laziness we have no grapefruit bitters, I had no excuse.

But, oddly, a side trip to Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley provided me with some Fee's Grapefruit Bitters, thus tonight I really had no excuse.

gallery_27569_3448_32756.jpg

Silver Gin Fizzes with Grapefruit bitters all around...


Edited by eje (log)

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last night i drank a really interesting cocktail with some homemade stuff i had lying around...

2 oz. "african" rye whiskey

1 oz. pomegranite seed ratafia

1 oz. lemon juice

i only regret this not having orange bitters or an egg white but alas none were to be found... this is a tart sexy drink of exotic ingredients... all ingredients show and it is long lived in the mouth... the leatheryness of the whiskey makes a great contrast for the fruit of the ratafia... the cocktail was so much fun because the flavors are fairly foreign to my mouth... alcohol, sugar, and acidity were all at familiar comfortable levels but there was something radically new going on that reminded me of the american experience and how cocktails should be a way to express it... frivelous almost silly ingredients coming together... roughneck potency... escapist fun... this isn't like burgundy, pinot gris, or any safe wines you know it would be more like salice salentino, a coturri zin, or anything that alienates half a market to thrill the other half...

can't wait to do it again...

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a Last Word variation...

2 gin (Tanqueray)

scant 1 St. Germain

1 Lillet Blanc

1 green Chartreuse

1 lemon juice.

not as good as the real thing...but still darn tasty. not as sweet as it sounds (the Germain is really tamed in this drink)

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last night an applejack old fashioned.

maple syrup

orange bitters

peach bitters

dash of orange flower water.

darn tasty

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This one didn't hit the spot. The Alfonso Special

1 oz gin

1 oz dry vermouth

1/2 oz Grand Marnier

1/2 oz sweet vermouth

dash of bitters

Not so special. I think this is the second time we've made this, so we have to find a way to remember which ones we've tried and decided not to try again. A "black list" is in order!

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Improved Brandy Cocktail, from Imbibe!

2 oz Cognac (sorry, couldn't bear to use vsop on a wed. night -- Hardy VS)

1 tsp simple (2:1 dem.)

1/2 tsp Maraschino (luxardo)

2 dashes Angostura (very generous)

1 dash absinthe (Jade Edouard)

Stirred and strained into chilled coupe, in which I think it looks pretty badass.

This is a dangerous type of drink, and while for my personal taste I could have probably omitted the sugar entirely, I'm glad I honored the recipe. The additional sugar rounds off every hint of harshness in the liquor and gives it a disarming level of richness. I now have a new descriptive metaphor for flavor: "Sporty"

I could also perhaps see a splash of Champagne being a 'woo-hoo' addition to this.

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did the improved cocktail from Imbibe! with rum a couple nights ago. a really simple and delicious drink. i agree: Sporty!

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did the improved cocktail from Imbibe! with rum a couple nights ago.  a really simple and delicious drink.  i agree: Sporty!

What kind of rum did you use? Feeling kind of good tonight, and I havent tried many new things in a while so I repeated the experiment with Junipero. Zing! That right there is some cocktail! I'd made the improved gin cocktail several times, but always with Peychaud's, and always on the rocks (not 100% sure where that came from). This is some seriously tasty stuff right here.

ETA: The popular types of the day notwithstanding, I could see this treatment working best on some lighter to medium bodied good quality rums, anything from Flor de Cana white to even the 5 star Barbancourt. I may, in fact, make it my personal mission to find out what doesn't taste good in an Improved Cocktail.


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

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ETA: The popular types of the day notwithstanding, I could see this treatment working best on some lighter to medium bodied good quality rums, anything from Flor de Cana white to even the 5 star Barbancourt. I may, in fact, make it my personal mission to find out what doesn't taste good in an Improved Cocktail.

exactly! i think i used cruzan aged rum, which is still fairly light bodied (the rum selection in PA state stores is positively dismal - if it doesn't taste like suntan lotion they don't carry it here, save very few exceptions). my intention was to make the brandy version, but i was out of brandy. so i moved on to the rye and only had about an once left at the end of the bottle. so i rumbled around the bottles and came up with the cruzan. tasted pretty damn good! (and it's probably time to visit the liquor store.)

actually, for those of you who don't own this book, yet (which, on this forum, i'm guessing is very few) that's one of my favorite things about Imbibe!: so many of the recipes are not liquor specific. dave just gives his recomendations for each cocktail and then suggestions as to adjusting for each spirit. half the fun is in experimenting!


Edited by lostmyshape (log)

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Again with Imbibe!. Tonight, cos I felt good again, I followed a few glasses of Viognier with an East India Cocktail:

2 oz Cognac (martell was called for in the original, saw no reason to change it--VS only tho)

1 tsp Pineapple Syrup (1883; great brand)

1 tsp Curacao (Grand Marnier)

2 dashes Maraschino (Luxardo)

3 dashes Bokers (3 dashes Peychaud's with 2-3 scant drops Angostura)

Stirred long and thoroughly with lots of ice, strained into chilled coupe, garnished with twist.

I think I like this better than the version from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, the main difference being the type of syrup (raspberry vs pineapple) and the quantity (significantly more in VSFC). This is, as the book says, mellow and rich, but not overpoweringly sweet, a very suitable digestif. Bravo again; I may be trying this out on a few regulars at work.

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Improved Brandy Cocktail, from Imbibe!

...

Stirred and strained into chilled coupe, in which I think it looks pretty badass.

...

I could also perhaps see a splash of Champagne being a 'woo-hoo' addition to this.

You are an inspiration, Andy! Tonight it was the "tequila sunrise":

2 oz. anejo tequila

1 tsp grapefruit syrup

1/2 tsp maraschino

1 dash absinthe

3 dashes aromatic bitters (Bitter Truth, though Angostura would have done just as fine)

Stirred and strained into coupe; floated sparkling red (a Malbec, in this case).

This is a beautiful cocktail; the color division (red just barely bleeding down into the perfect gold of the base) is perfect, and the flavor quite nice. Very, very woody.

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That looks pretty spectacular. I've never seen sparkling Malbec (which sounds potentially really great) around here, but I think I might try to adapt that and give it a spin next week.

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right now, a whiskey sour.

made it with an egg white and strained it into a small white wine glass. I put a few small drops of Angostura bitters on top of the foamy head.

I really like it with the egg white. It's got this great mouth feel that smoothes everything out. And just the aroma from the bitters adds a nice element to the drink.

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Linie Aquavit and Fever Tree Tonic with the juice of half a small lime.

Oddly, I'm liking this better than my previous Gin and Tonic.

A couple more, and I should be in fine shape for the Grammy broadcast.

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