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Quadriga

What did you buy at the liquor store today? (2016 - )

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@Smokeydoke It's hard to make recommendations without knowing what you like to drink. This is assuming you are stocking for yourself and not guests. If you're not sure about Scotch, try something at at bar -- maybe a Rob Roy. At the most basic level, there are two main camps -- smokey and not. Given your user name, I'm guessing you like smoke?

You have Campari. If you like bitter things, there are lots of options to explore. Fernet Branca is quite bitter, but also quite minty (more menthol, I'd say). It is used in classic cocktails in very small amounts. Cynar is a wonderful alternative to Campari. Whereas Campari is bright and summery, Cyner is dark and autumnal.

 

You haven't mentioned vermouth. Get 375ml bottles when possible, especially of dry vermouth and keep it in the refrigerator. I like Dolin or Boissiere dry vermouth. For sweet, I love Punt e Mes, which is more bitter -- sort of a amaro / sweet vermouth hybrid. Vermouth and other aromatized wines taste quite different, but they don't last forever. Don't have too many open at once.

And with regard to brand, I find that with liqueurs, better brands are almost always worth it, for example Cointreau or Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao instead of your generic triple sec. With spirits there is a sweet spot. Better brands come through in cocktails, especially simple cocktails. But rougher, less refined brands or expressions sometime cut through the complexity of a cocktail. For example, lots here like Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac -- a higher proof somewhat cheaper alternative that works great in cocktails. For the same reason, I tend to like unaged tequila in cocktails -- the wood makes it taste less of tequila and more of whiskey.

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@EvergreenDan thanks for replying, to be honest, I was stocking for myself, but I'm open to new suggestions. Posting my liquor cabinet made me realize how sorely lacking I am in the whiskey and tequila department, which is ok by me, but not ok for guests, as they're are more likely to ask for whiskey than Creme de Violette. I got the Rittenhouse Rye mainly to round out my collection and it has great reviews everywhere.

 

Campari seems to be the new bourbon, everyone is into it and everyone makes drinks with it. You can't go to a high-end restaurant nowadays without seeing a Negroni on the menu. I'm trying to get used to it and see what the hype is about, but I don't dig Amaros yet. Is it fair to categorize them all as Amaros?

 

I do have a Martini and Rossi Dry Vermouth, unopened, but I might toss it and get a Dolin. But seeing that my vermouth isn't even opened yet, this is further down the list.

 

I'm trying to work through my cabinet (this may take a long time) and get rid of my more commercialized liquors and only buy recommended brands from cocktail books, I'll get there. I can't just throw everything down the sink, it's not my nature.

 

I think my next purchase will be Cointreau 750ml. It's time to upgrade. After that I'll see about getting another Amaro, the Punt e Mes sounds interesting, as does a Mezcal. 

 

Thanks for replying! And Smokey refers to my dog, not some recreational past time, although there's nothing wrong with that. ^_^


Edited by Smokeydoke (log)

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6 hours ago, EvergreenDan said:

If you're not sure about Scotch, try something at at bar -- maybe a Rob Roy. At the most basic level, there are two main camps -- smokey and not. 
 


I wanted so badly for that to be the case... and in truth, I'm sure it is. I'd heard the words "smoky" and "briny" mentioned in regards to Scotch and thought both things sounded like something really nice. But for me, what Scotch people refer to as "smoky" is more reminiscent of "emergency room-y". Like somebody decided infusing the spirit with bandages and iodine would be a good idea. And I still haven't encountered, in my admittedly narrow field of experience, anything I thought of as "briny". There's no way the large number of people who appreciate those qualities in Scotch can all be wrong so I've accepted that I just don't have the proper palate to appreciate it. I've had Scotches that I enjoyed very much but I've never encountered the above mentioned qualities in a manner that my mind associates with those words.

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40 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

But for me, what Scotch people refer to as "smoky" is more reminiscent of "emergency room-y".

 I am so with you. I love Scotch in many forms except the ones that smell and taste like Dettol.  

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On 1/26/2018 at 3:14 PM, FrogPrincesse said:

R&W crème de violette! You are going to have that bottle for a loooong time. :D

I think it's the only thing I have in my home bar that I have never had to restock, and it's still at least 80% full after many years of very active cocktail explorations...

I have a 20 year old bottle of Chambourd that's 3/4 full -- I think I bought it to flavor buttercream for a friend's wedding cake.  Color has rusted a bit and the fake gold is chipping off the cap, but it smells the same as always so I assume it's fine. 

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I swear I bought that Chambourd because I wanted the champagne corker, it came free with the liqueur, I use it all the time, the Chambourd isn't  even opened yet.

 

And not to be a Debby-know-it-all but I love my Creme de Violette, I think it'll get more use than a lot of other liqueurs in my cabinet.

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1 hour ago, PassionateAmateur said:

Very curious about the aloe liqueur. New experiments this weekend--woot!

 

Very interesting selection of bottles!  Please do keep us updated on your experiments!

 

9 minutes ago, Smokeydoke said:

And not to be a Debby-know-it-all but I love my Creme de Violette, I think it'll get more use than a lot of other liqueurs in my cabinet.

You, too!  Either in Drinks! or the Creme de Violette thread.  I would welcome new ideas for using some of my Creme de Violette.

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