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JoNorvelleWalker

Drinks! 2014 (Part 2)

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A celebratory Daiquiri with Havana Club.

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”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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What does "toy" mean in this context?

 

Really, really small but of quality, but I guess nothing to be taken too seriously. When home distillation becomes a thing, we can't have people deluded into thinking their rickety products are of higher quality than commercial products. Bars already make that mistake with their sloppy house make stuff. I still think you can play with distillation on astoundingly small levels. We can probably even have toy whiskey/gin competitions where you have to make the best small scale product possible. They make little desktop alembics that people probably only think of as decorations but you can make liqueurs with them, gins, and probably even whiskeys. Bigger stills have a longer time under heat for ingredients than small stills, so there is that difference when scale changes, but for things like whiskey, ingredients can spend time in canning jars sous-vide to gain time under heat. Often what culinary people using roto-vaps are trying to do requires time under heat so they are using the wrong still, but they can heat things in canning jars first.

 

I've worked out a lot of techniques for messing around on the small scale but there are a lot of things left to be resolved like best bets for recipe starting points, especially when playing with botanicals.


Edited by bostonapothecary (log)
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abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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A few recent drinks.

 

Corpse Reviver No. 2 with Junipero gin, Lillet, lemon juice, Cointreau, St. George absinthe.

A little too aggressively lemony with the Junipero. It's more balanced with Beefeater.

 

15978423391_cb387dfe7e_z.jpg

 

 

Sazerac with Willet 2-year rye, gum syrup, Peychaud's and Angostura bitters, St. George absinthe.

This was great.

 

15770435777_2c124aec43_z.jpg

 

Clement VSOP rhum vieux agricole (and roasted chestnuts).

 

15943154725_fbeb4a1d91_z.jpg

 

La Favorite rhum vieux (and more chestnuts).

 

15949312792_f146bbf0ae_z.jpg

 

 

My go-to Negroni these days, with St. George dry rye gin and Dolin for the sweet vermouth.

 

15241893724_c490590ab5_z.jpg

 

 

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this might just be a masterpiece:

 

.75 oz. campari

.75 oz. "La Gita" manzanilla from Domingo Perez Marin

.75 oz. Batavia Arrack Van Oosten

.75 oz. Hennessy "Izambard" Single Distillery Cognac (probably from the 1990's)

 

the template is so robust I bet any manzanilla or any cognac would do. I also bet some would prefer to change it to .5 oz. of Arrack and 1 oz. of Cognac, but I was killing off bottles and I love equal parts poetry.

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abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Happiness is a case of orgeat.  My first course (also breakfast) was a white mai tai -- by the formulation this time, not quite as exhilarating as the seat of the pants white mai tai from last night.  Second course is a brown mai tai.  I wish there was a way I could determine which mai tai I liked better.

 

Last weekend my children were trying to educate me in the finer points of Scotch, but that's all I need, another expensive hobby.  Some of that stuff was almost as much as a good Oaxacan mezcal.

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My hideously expensive lime tonight yielded a full overflowing schott glass.  So of course it was time for a white mai tai:

 

55 ml La Favorite Blanc

55 ml W&N

20 ml Cointreau

20 ml orgeat

juice of one lime

 

 

Delightful.  Nice to play metric for a change.  Beautiful mint.  Blue straw.  Such simplicity.

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I keep going back and forth between white mai tais and -- for lack of a better term -- brown mai tais.  I cannot decide which mai tai I like best.  Currently I am enjoying a white mai tai.  However though a tragic accident I seem to have left out the orgeat.  I'm not sure how this happened.  The drink is a bit puckery even for my taste.

 

A large float of orgeat seems to have fixed things up.  Let this serve as a cautionary tale for children.

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Outside it's about ten degrees colder than my mai tai, so my mai tai tonight of course is brown.  And it almost turned out interesting.  I splashed lime juice in my eye and was about to add Colonel Taylor to the shaker in place of Lost Spirits navy style.  The Taylor is only 100 proof, so I probably would have noticed eventually.

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First cocktail outing while in London, to Happiness Forgets and White Lyan in Hoxton. Most intriguing drink was White Lyan's "Salad" (house gin, lettuce, Herbes de Provence, red apple soda). 

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Agh came very close to going to White Lyan just before Christmas. Tell us more?

We had the place nearly to ourselves (slow Sunday night) whereas Happiness Forgets was packed to the gills. I started with the Moby Dick Sazerac which includes ambergris. Which, if you read about it, seems like about the most improbable ingredient thinkable. But it seemed to work as intended as a "fixative," extending the flavor of the drink's other ingredients well beyond what I'd normally expect. My adventurous friend had the aforementioned Salad, which was terrific.

Second round was two shot drinks: See No, which was gin-based and strongly dominated by lavender, and Do No, a tequila/grapefruit/green tabasco concoction that I thought actually tasted like an intensified version of the Salad, though it shares no ingredients. I suppose many of the drinks there, by virtue of adhering to the house assumptions of no ice and no perishables, will wind up having some family resemblances.

We finished with a carbonated highball called a Legs Eleven, which had prominent and agreeable flavors of brown sugar and salted cashews.

Enjoyed every drink and would recommend the place to anybody with the slightest bit of adventurousness. Before going I wondered if the place would seem gimmicky and pretentious or not. Happy to report it was a great experience.

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Having finished my bottle of Campari, I had no choice last night but to use Gran Classico Bitter in the Negroni I was craving last night. I used Punt e Mes for the sweet vermouth to compensate for the fact that Gran Classico is less bitter than Campari. The rye was St. George dry rye. The Negroni was good with a savory note thanks to the dry rye gin. But like things that start out great and then take an unexpected twist, the candy-like flavor of the Gran Classico on the finish was an unwelcome surprise.

 

16330160425_fd4f8005e8_z.jpg

 

 

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We had the place nearly to ourselves (slow Sunday night) whereas Happiness Forgets was packed to the gills. I started with the Moby Dick Sazerac which includes ambergris. Which, if you read about it, seems like about the most improbable ingredient thinkable. But it seemed to work as intended as a "fixative," extending the flavor of the drink's other ingredients well beyond what I'd normally expect. My adventurous friend had the aforementioned Salad, which was terrific.

Second round was two shot drinks: See No, which was gin-based and strongly dominated by lavender, and Do No, a tequila/grapefruit/green tabasco concoction that I thought actually tasted like an intensified version of the Salad, though it shares no ingredients. I suppose many of the drinks there, by virtue of adhering to the house assumptions of no ice and no perishables, will wind up having some family resemblances.

We finished with a carbonated highball called a Legs Eleven, which had prominent and agreeable flavors of brown sugar and salted cashews.

Enjoyed every drink and would recommend the place to anybody with the slightest bit of adventurousness. Before going I wondered if the place would seem gimmicky and pretentious or not. Happy to report it was a great experience.

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For me tonight it was two brown mai tais.  For my brown (eg. non-white) mai tais the critical factor seems to be no more than one ounce of lime juice.  Any more lime than this tastes off.  Yet for a white mai tai two ounces of lime juice is not too much.  Two mai tais from one lime is a bargain.

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Tonight it was a white mai tai, but I had only one once of La Favoite.  (Two more bottles on the way.)  To make up the difference I used Neisson l'Esprit, which adds a beautiful butyl rubber note:

 

WhiteMaiTai01232015.jpg

 

Again, I apologize for the iPad picture.

 

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From last night, a Bobby Burns with Highland Park 12 scotch, Dolin sweet vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura bitters.

 

Now that my bottle of Highland Park is practically gone, I wonder what I should replace it with (it will be used for mixing).

 

16181868870_03a1a62c86_z.jpg

 

 

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From last night, a Bobby Burns with Highland Park 12 scotch, Dolin sweet vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura bitters.

 

Now that my bottle of Highland Park is practically gone, I wonder what I should replace it with (it will be used for mixing).

 

Something like standard Glenmorangie 10 ought to work unless you just want that bit of peaty smokey flavor that HP has. I think of the Bobby Burns as having more of a sweeter Highland style whisky which Glenmo can easily bring.


Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)
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If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Mississippi punch.  Because it seems like a good morning to be having one:

 

2 oz F&P 1840 Cognac

1 oz S&C

1/2 oz arrack

2 1/2 oz lemon juice (more or less)

2 teapoons sugar

 

 

Yellow straw, beautiful sprig of mint.  Might taste even better if my hands didn't smell of bleach.

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From last night, a Bobby Burns with Highland Park 12 scotch, Dolin sweet vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura bitters.

 

Now that my bottle of Highland Park is practically gone, I wonder what I should replace it with (it will be used for mixing).

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abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Seconding the Glenmorangie and Tomatin recommendations, and adding Speyburn 10 as a choice for those who are both budget- and flavor-conscious. The Compass Box blends are also lovely stuff, as is Clynelish 14, from the distillery whose malts form the heart of most of the CB bottlings. All of these will do well in recipes that call generically for Scotch, though they lack the hint of peat that round out the Highland Park.

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”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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Finished off my London cocktail tour business trip with a visit to Dandelyan. Favorite of the things I tried was the Patchouli Fizz (Beefeater London Garden Gin, basil, apricot, green tea, lemon, lemon and quinine). 

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