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There Isn't a Better Cocktail on Earth When I'm Drinking a...


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I never know what to say when asked what my favorite cocktail is, a question I get a lot, especially when I'm doing workshops on same. But there are times when I know that there isn't a better cocktail on earth, when I'm drinking something that affirms my faith in the art of distilled spirits, human invention and creativity, and the profundity of the cold liquid sitting in the beaded glass on my left.

Tonight, it's an El Presidente:

2 oz Barbancourt 5 star

1 oz Dolin blanc

1 oz Cointreau

barspoon homemade grenadine

Stir, strain, lemon (not orange -- too sweet) twist.

You?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Now, Mr Amirault, you touch on a regular (maybe every week) discussion between Wifey and me when we have a new cocktail to try (original or from a recipe): "Is it in the Top 10?"

Problem is, we're a bit vague on what our Top 10 actually is. It certainly includes the Negroni (plus one or two variants) and the Mai Tai, but after that both of us would struggle to list the other eight or so, let alone rank them. We may also differ on the composition of the list; I like some things more than she does, and vice versa.

However, in the spirit of the topic as you've raised it, I'm going to go for my particular Mai Tai recipe as being in the 'there's none better' class.

  • Two measures Appleton VX
  • Two measures Wray & Nephew
  • One measure Smoke & Oakum English Curaçao (made locally to Jerry Thomas's recipe)
  • One measure orgeat (homemade)
  • One measure falernum (homemade)
  • Float a spoonful of Smoke & Oakum Gunpowder Rum on top

Bliss.

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

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I never know what to say when asked what my favorite cocktail is, a question I get a lot, especially when I'm doing workshops on same. But there are times when I know that there isn't a better cocktail on earth, when I'm drinking something that affirms my faith in the art of distilled spirits, human invention and creativity, and the profundity of the cold liquid sitting in the beaded glass on my left.

Tonight, it's an El Presidente:

2 oz Barbancourt 5 star

1 oz Dolin blanc

1 oz Cointreau

barspoon homemade grenadine

Stir, strain, lemon (not orange -- too sweet) twist.

You?

I can't name a drink since I'm on a detox break (day 2!), but I agree with your statement entirely.

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I've got way too many to pick just one! The boulevardier, the Negroni (I'm one of those odd souls who prefers the former), and the daiquiri are all up there. I also make a Pegu Club that will have you down on your knees, weeping over all the mediocre ones you've had when you could have been drinking one of mine.

The most recent one I found was a pisco caipirinha (piscaipirinha? caipirisco?). I've never heard of anyone else making one before and I think I actually liked it more than the original (but I'm in love with pisco at the moment, so don't trust my opinion here). The problem is, I can't remember exactly what I did. I know it was based off the Difford's Guide Caipirinha recipe. I know I used one Persian Lime, instead of 3/4 of a standard lime. I know I used 1:1 simple instead of 2:1. I'm pretty sure that, instead of doubling the amount of simple, I kept it at 1/2oz and added a tbsp of sugar, but I can't remember what kind (granulated, powdered, or brown, and what kind of brown). I might have also included a barspoon of orgeat, but I really don't know about that either. I need to buy some more Persian Limes and try to recreate it.

Remember kids: Anytime you make a truly mind blowing drink, always write down how you made it- no matter how simple it seems at the time, you WILL forget!

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Most recently it was a simple combination of three of my favorite tastes that go great together:

1.50 oz Punt e Mes

.75 oz Cynar

.25 oz Luxardo Maraschino

Stir, strain, up, lemon twist.

But I've had this spirit-affirming (pun intended) experience with a variety of classics: the Negroni, the Penicillin, the Daiquiri and its Hemingway cousin, the Mai Tai and its Bitter version, the Red Hook, and plenty of others, largely in the bitter, brown, and stirred category.

DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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I think the answer for me remains a Manhattan. 100 proof rye, Antica vermouth, bitters, Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged my preference. Lemon twist.

Red Smith the late baseball writer used to say that 90 feet between bases is as close to perfection as mankind has ever come. I won't argue that. But a well made Manhattan is also damn close

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I don't think I could pick one that makes me think "it doesn't get any better". With the confession that the overall number of cocktails I've actually tried is relatively low, in the winter, the Eeyore's Requiem approaches that for me. In the summer, a Navy Grog with Appleton 12, El Dorado 12 and Havana Club Anejo Blanco comes pretty close. I think I need to get a lot more drinks under my belt before trying to proclaim one my personal THE best though. Tough assignment, I know. :raz:

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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When I need something celebratory, there seems to be nothing better than a 2:1 Manhattan, with Antica, Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters, big fat lemon peel, and some kind of extra special whiskey: Stagg, Handy, Saz 18, Van Winkle, or that bit of Red Hook Rye I still haven't finished. I've found the newish EH Taylor Rye to be the next best thing, and the Smooth Ambler Old Scout Rye a notch below that.

If I'm celebrating and I've got some permutation of the above formula, there is no better cocktail in the world at that moment.

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Well at the intense risk of garnering scorn I will share what I'm drinking this evening. It is by no means a classy cocktail like the previously discussed, but for me, right now, it is perfect!

I had a very long, tiring day outside. I'm grungy, tired, and I sure don't smell like a basket of roses. So I wanted something cold.

Root Beer Barrel:

Pour into a frosted Pilsner glass 16 oz very cold light beer(Coors for me)

Add one shot of quality rootbeer schnapps(I like DeKuypers)

Not exactly classy but yum it's sure hitting the spot! Can't think of anything better at this moment.

Do or do not. There is no try.

-Yoda

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Post #10, and I'm the first to say a Martini? Let's not argue about garnish, ratio, bitters, ice, glass, and so forth but, yeah, I mean gin. And plenty cold. And some non-trivial amount of vermouth.

Why not argue? 2:1? Fitty-Fitty? Orange bitters? Twist?

Oh yeah - plenty cold.

But I also made one of these just the other night, and it was pretty damn great...

_059.JPG

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Context is so important, as I'm re-discovering recently as the weather gets warmer and I find myself shunning bitter and brown in favor of tall and dry. Sometimes there's nothing better than a Gin 'n Tonic; sometimes there's nothing I'd like less. I tried my Punt e Mes/Cynar/Maraschino drink from upthread again a couple of nights ago and found it overly sweet and all wrong for my mood. I should have gone with a Martini or something else bracingly dry.

DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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Hot summer days call for Gin-Gin Mules or Fresquila (tequila and Fresca). In winter I'm all about a Sidecar or Vieux Carre. In spring a Lavender-Pear variant of that same Sidecar. Anytime at all you can find me sipping on an Old Fashioned or my very favorite Manhattan:

2.5 oz. Rittenhouse Bonded Rye

.75 oz. Carpano Antica

2 dashes Angostura bitters

4-5 drops Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

a light barspoon of liquid from brandied cocktail cherries (preferably homemade, or jarred La Parisienne or Amarena)

Stir over ice until very cold. Strain into your prettiest coupe glass. Garnish with cherry. Thank the cocktail gods for all that they have wrought...


Money Manhattan.JPG

photo by Steve Legato. Shake,Stir, Pour:Homegrown Cocktails. Katie M. Loeb Quarry Books July 2012

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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For me it is impossible to choose between the triumvirate of incomparable classics - The Negroni, Martini, and Manhattan.

Each one is transcendently good, the perfect interplay of simplicity and subtlety. Each one is the kind of cocktail where cocktail geeks have a favorite recipe that specifies rations and brands, more so than other recipes for me. I know my preferance is for an equal parts Negroni, and Martinis and Manhattans at 2-to-1. I like my Negronis and Manhattans on the rocks, my Martinis sparkling in a tiny little glass. Garnish? None for a Negroni, Orange Twist for a Manhattan, and though it may not be the cocktail geekiest, a single olive for a Martini. Vermouth? NP for a Martini, M&R for a Negroni, Antica for a Manhattan. Beefeater Gin in both gin instances. Two thick dashes of Angostura in the Manhattan.

When else do I get this specific. Only with this holy trinity of cocktailianism.

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Hot summer days call for Gin-Gin Mules or Fresquila (tequila and Fresca). In winter I'm all about a Sidecar or Vieux Carre. In spring a Lavender-Pear variant of that same Sidecar. Anytime at all you can find me sipping on an Old Fashioned or my very favorite Manhattan:

2.5 oz. Rittenhouse Bonded Rye

.75 oz. Carpano Antica

2 dashes Angostura bitters

4-5 drops Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

a light barspoon of liquid from brandied cocktail cherries (preferably homemade, or jarred La Parisienne or Amarena)

Stir over ice until very cold. Strain into your prettiest coupe glass. Garnish with cherry. Thank the cocktail gods for all that they have wrought...

attachicon.gifMoney Manhattan.JPG

photo by Steve Legato. Shake,Stir, Pour:Homegrown Cocktails. Katie M. Loeb Quarry Books July 2012

A lovely photo from a book everyone should have. And the perfect recipe for my favorite cocktail, excepting I prefer a lemon twist to the classical cherry. However, if presented with one just like shown, I would drink it with pleasure

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Negroni. As Chris said, that doesn't mean it's my one and only favorite, but when I'm drinking it seems like the best damn thing ever. It has the capacity to deliver everything I need at the moment. And a fresh piece of orange peel puts it over the top. I even find it to be one of the best drinks to order when I'm out since the Negroni is one drink that's difficult to screw up.

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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Funny, Chris, recently I've been leaning heavily towards the El Pres and slight variations (a spoonful of maraschino, Green Chartreause, what-have-you) as the weather's warmed up heareabouts, while contemplating whither the next bottle of blanco rum -- El Dorado 3 or Barbancourt). I'm sure I've said it before, but I'll reaffirm after you that the mixture of a flavorful light rum, Dolin Blanc, Cointreau, and decent grenadine is a taste of heaven on earth.

That being said, I also worship at the holy trinity of Martini/Manhattan/Negroni, but where is the love for the Martinez, with Ransom Old Tom, Punt e Mes (I'd say Carpano Antica if I could afford it as an everyday mixer) and Luxardo Maraschino, surely the Gnostic Gospel to the orthodox recipes of the aforementioned drinks?

"The thirst for water is a primitive one. Thirst for wine means culture, and thirst for a cocktail is its highest expression."

Pepe Carvalho, The Buenos Aires Quintet by Manuel Vazquez Montalban

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That being said, I also worship at the holy trinity of Martini/Manhattan/Negroni, but where is the love for the Martinez, with Ransom Old Tom, Punt e Mes (I'd say Carpano Antica if I could afford it as an everyday mixer) and Luxardo Maraschino, surely the Gnostic Gospel to the orthodox recipes of the aforementioned drinks?

Typically the Martinez is the drink that fits this bill for me, and given that I have all of these ingredients on hand -- as well as a bottle of Boker's bitters, which is perfect for this drink -- I will weigh in later tonight, likely with happiness.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I do always seem to come back to one or another version of a Manhattan. Just a slight tweet with a different whiskey, bitters, vermouth, or ratio always seems to bring a new and perfect combination. It never fails. Of course, as my handle suggests, a Vieux Carré, when the timing is right, is hard to beat.

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