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Fat Guy

Bartending guide for the perplexed

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The drink: the Corpse Reviver #2. Date: probably late Prohibition. Name derivation: Originally envisioned as a morning-after drink to "revive the corpse again", get it? No longer consumed that way, it makes an exquisite pre-dinner aperitif, and it is delicious

The ingedients:

Gin. You have it, use your choice.

Cointreau. You've got it, perfect.

Lillet blanc. You live in NYC, an easy find at a better liquor store. Call first.

Pernod (or Herbsaint, or Ricard, or Absente) also generally available.

And the deal breaker... fresh lemon juice.

The recipe. Not too difficult.

1 oz gin

1 oz Cointreau

1 oz Lillet

1 oz fresh lemon juice.

Combine in an iced cocktail shaker. Now the slightly harder part. Take the pastis (Pernod or equiv.) and pour just a tiny bit into its own cap. Take the cap and dribble 1-2-or 3 drops into the shaker. NO more.

Cap it, shake like hell, strain into a cocktail (Martini) glass.

--Doc.

So, today being my day off, I set off for my favorite spirits shop to buy some Pernod so I could make this.

Lo and behold, they had no Pernod. But I did happen to spy bottles of Velvet Falernum, which some may remember as an ingredient in the first eGullet cocktail, the Flaming Orange Gully, (created by Dale DeGroff last year).

So, my plans changed, and I bought some vodka too, which is also necessary for the Flaming Orange Gully, and some other stuff (including peach bitters).

Went home and made my first Flaming Orange Gully. Quite frankly, it was way too sweet for my taste, although the flavor profile was very interesting. With the addition of the juice of half a Meyer lemon, it worked better for me.

But I liked the Falernum a lot, so I returned to the idea of the Corpse Reviver, and altered it to:

1 oz. gin

1 oz. Lillet Blond

1 oz. Meyer lemon juice

1/2 oz. Velvet Falernum

It was really good, but I was thinking about the peach bitters and aching to try it, so I dumped the drink back in the shaker and added a drop or two of the bitters. It's even better that way.

FG, if you liked the F.O.G. and you have some Velvet Falernum left from those days, give this a try. I think you'll like it.

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Hey. What's wrong with girlie drinks? :angry::biggrin:

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Okay, so, here's where I'm at right now:

A good friend and fellow eGulleter got sick of my incompetence and bought me a small bartending starter kit consisting of a jigger, a cocktail shaker (the type that's a metal half and a glass half), a straining unit (the kind you press into the top of the metal cup), and two martini glasses.

I've been working with the individual ingredients in the vodka gimlet fizz drink from above and here's the recipe I've come up with for two highly enjoyable (to me) gimlet-type drinks.

- 5 oz vodka

- 2 oz Rose's Lime

- Juice of half a lime

- Juice of a quarter of a lemon

- Put in cocktail shaker with ice, shake, strain-and-pour, garnish with lime

The lemon entered the picture after I fretted at length about the lack of a certain "brightness" to the drink when made with only lime products. The fresh lemon juice totally changed the balance of flavors and gave it the bright kick I wanted. I ultimately did away with the carbonated water because I couldn't find a way to utilize it without hopelessly diluting the drink.

Just made two of these tonight with ICY Icelandic vodka and served them to company, and they drew raves.

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Two more notes: 1) this is served in a martini glass, and 2) I'm currently a partisan of vodka poured from the freezer -- it seems to make the drink better somehow.

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Big ole congrats! It can be lots of fun mixing when something tasty results! Your lemon-lime idea is very, very good. I hope you keep up the process.

--Doc.

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Okay, doc, I'm glad you're here. I've got one question: HOW THE HELL do you get the glass and the metal halves of the shaker separated? I have to bang that contraption against the sink like 20 times before it comes loose. Is there a better way?

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If I may buttinsky.... :biggrin:

You got metal component which contracts when in contact with ice; glass does not. The glass part is inside the metal part. That creates an excellent seal. Not uncommon to bang the thing a wee bit to jar it loose. That's exactly what happens each and every night in the trenches, in the biz, and you hope and pray that the glass won't give out as you "gently" nudge it against the bar.

Damn Steven, you did good.

Way good. :cool:

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Okay, so just to be clear: should I be nudging the glass against the edge of the counter or should I be nudging the metal? Or does it not matter? And while we're on the subject of proper utilization of this contraption, do I build the drink in the glass or in the metal? When you shake, are you aiming to have the glass or the metal part on top? And at the end, am I supposed to be pouring the finished drink out of the glass or the metal? I imagine none of this makes a damn bit of difference to the taste of the final product, but I don't want to look stupid.

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You want to tap the metal half.

As for the shaking part, build the drink in the glass half, then fit the metal half on top. BUT, when you shake, flip it over so the metal half is on the bottom and the glass is on the top.

As for which half to pour from, I've seen (and read) both. Since the drink is in the metal half when you finish, I think it's easier to just pour from it. But I don't know what the official answer is.

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Nudge the metal. Better safe than sorry. (I've shattered a glass or two in my time in odd situations, so I always worry, but really not much need to, those pint sized mixing glasses are sturdy).

Mix in the glass. That is the derivative to calling it a "mixing glass." Sometimes these things have measurement markings and helpful classic recipes printed all over it. :smile:

I shake with the glass part up. I hold right in the middle while shaking -- thumb on metal, ring and pinkie on the metal; index and middle on the top glass part. Not sure if that is deemed "right" but that is how I learned, have grown comfortable with and got accustomed to doing. (What you have is considered a "Boston Shaker" consisting of two pieces. It is comprised of a "mixing glass" and a "mixing tin.")

I strain from the metal mixing tin.

The idea is to chill down the liquid ingredients. Metal is an excellent conductor, hence my rationalisation for my method. :raz:

What you are using to strain is a spring sort of wrapped thing with holes and "fingers." Right? That is known as a Hawthorn strainer.

Pictured bottom row, left here:

evolvingcocktails43_DCE.jpg

I hope some of this helps.

Cheers!

edit to add: The seal is near perfect from dripping a drop, so if you are coordinated, clever and a bit of a show off: give the whole shebang a bit of a spin or twirl. If that is successfully accomplished without it ending up all over the counter, floor and skillfully caught with a good sense timing -- welcome to the whirled of flair tending! :wink::biggrin:


Edited by beans (log)

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Yep, that's exactly the straining device I've got.

This is fun.

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Congratulations, Steven! Welcome to the fun of mixology! Basically what Beans said, except I usually strain from the glass. I guess it's just the way I learned and who I learned from, but I do like the way the spring on the Hawthorn squooshes into the glass. Of course, it probably scratches the glass over time, but I feel like I have more control over the pour.

Cheers,

Squeat

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Congratulations, Steven! Welcome to the fun of mixology! Basically what Beans said, except I usually strain from the glass. I guess it's just the way I learned and who I learned from, but I do like the way the spring on the Hawthorn squooshes into the glass. Of course, it probably scratches the glass over time, but I feel like I have more control over the pour.

Cheers,

Squeat

Ooooooh, thank you my dear.

I firmly believe it is all how you learn it -- sort of like typing.

I understand. I, conversely, enjoy that *ting* of all stainless steel parts (tin and strainer) doing the job to creating that drink one knows will be enjoyable....

Chatting with a not-so-old time, *star* bartender, that is BTW, always one of my best resources, he will remind me that bartending is a peaceful and pleasureful combination of art, grace and enjoyment. Perhaps the very bug that bit me?

No. It was also learning about the explosion of flavours, textures and outright pilfering from culinary influences all in one lovely cocktail glass.

So, with some product knowledge, defined preferences and tried/true flavour combinations. Textures happen along the way...

Go Steven.

:smile:

edit: Grrr that "b" on my keyboard that for some reason is persnickity!!!!


Edited by beans (log)

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I'll add my kudos, Steven...sounds like you're getting this down! Thank goodness you've done so much tasting... :biggrin:

Now a question for those who are more in the know than I...what's the benefit of the mixing glass half of the set vs. a full metal strainer (there was a movie with that title, no? Heehee) with the strainer built in at the top? I have one of those, and it means that no matter how cold my vodka is from the freezer (always in my house!), I don't have to worry about separating the sections of the shaker and warming up the drink! (Another bonus--I actually get tiny ice crystals floating on top of the martini glasss) Then if I need to make more right after I've poured the drinks, I can put the whole shaker set under warm/hot water, separate the parts, and start mixing again. I'm curious to hear your comments and whether or not one is thought of as the more "acceptable" to use.

Steven, your recipe sounds deelish, and I can't wait to make one! It's actually my Cosmo recipe minus the Cointreau/Triple Sec + the splash of cranberry! I started using the lemon in combo with Rose's lime and fresh lime for the exact same reason and I love it.

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I believe there is some old school of thought of which cocktail or drink is prepared in which -- the three-part, usually all metal, Cobbler cocktail shaker versus the two-part mixing glass/tin, Boston shaker.

But really, there isn't one that is more acceptable than the other and seems to all be a matter of preference. I've got a dozen various sized cocktail shakers. (Even one in the shape of a 1920's penguin, complete with a handle and pours through its beak). Heck, I've been in situations wherein I even had to work with using only different sized plastic cups for preparing and chilling specified shots. :wacko:

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Now a question for those who are more in the know than I...what's the benefit of the mixing glass half of the set vs. a full metal strainer (there was a movie with that title, no? Heehee) with the strainer built in at the top? I have one of those, and it means that no matter how cold my vodka is from the freezer (always in my house!), I don't have to worry about separating the sections of the shaker and warming up the drink! (Another bonus--I actually get tiny ice crystals floating on top of the martini glasss) Then if I need to make more right after I've poured the drinks, I can put the whole shaker set under warm/hot water, separate the parts, and start mixing again. I'm curious to hear your comments and whether or not one is thought of as the more "acceptable" to use.

What you're describing (called a cobbler shaker) is, generally speaking, not used by professionals. Depending on the shaker, this type can be a little messy -- usually the top part fits over the bottom, so when you take off the top after shaking, the contents drip down the sides of the shaker bottom. And the strainer holes can be a little large, which can allow the odd lemon seed or ice chip to make its way into the drink (I hate ice chips in my cocktails).

That being said, it's what I usually use, only because I have several, and I like them for sentimental reasons. I often use a hawthorne strainer to strain, though. And actually, because my usual drink is a martini -- which I prefer stirred -- what I use most often is the bottom of one of my glass shakers with a strainer.

For functionality, if you want to use one of these shakers, I like the one by Rosle, (click here for a picture), since the top fits into the bottom part, lessening the dripping when you take it apart. But it's not cheap -- you could buy several Boston shaker sets for the price of one of these.

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What you're describing (called a cobbler shaker) is, generally speaking, not used by professionals.

Not always true. I do know of many bars that stock various "bullet" and other atomic age shaped Cobbler cocktail shakers for their bartenders to use -- and look cool. Customers love them and often ask if they can purchase same. (Smart bar managers keep extra boxed up ones on hand just for that consumer's perceived need. That's how I acquired the little number wearing leather, metal rivets and leopard print, below).

evolvingcocktails41_DCE.jpg

And a Boston shaker can be just as messy with dripping contents if slightly over filled or not entirely sealed. :wink:

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So, what's in Rose's Lime? I wonder if, by mixing fresh lime juice with sugar and whatever else is in Rose's, it would be possible to do better.

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Personally, I hate Rose's and irked MatthewB that I use simple syrup and fresh lime juice for any Gimlet I make for myself. If I want sweet or sweeter, I add syrup. If I want lime, I add fresh lime juice. :smile:

And something that I forgot to add above, with the promos being so prevalent with the biggie distillers many bartenders receive complimentary cobbler cocktail shakers that are not wasted at work and are used. One such example of this is the above pictured Stoli-logoed shaker. I've got plenty from Finlandia, Tuaca and Bombay Sapphire. Again, smart bar managers know not to let their staff abscond with them to supplement their home bars and do not look gift horse equipment in the mouth. :laugh:


Edited by beans (log)

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I don't like the taste of Rose's straight, but it provides something in the finished cocktail -- something at least partly desirable -- that doesn't seem to be replaceable by a substitution of fresh lime plus sugar. There must be some aromatics or whatever in Rose's that we could learn about. Hmm. That already gives me an idea.

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I love gimlets, and like Rose's in them -- I agree, it's something different from what you get with fresh lime juice and sugar syrup. Looking at the ingredients, I noticed that they use the "dreaded" high fructose corn syrup, but I'm not sure what effect that has on the flavor. It could be that the lime juice they use comes from a different variety than the ones we find here in the states and thus tastes a bit different. It could be oils from the zest, too.

As for experimentation, I once tried to make a lime and gin version of limoncello, thinking that I would end up with premixed gimlets, and it was a total disaster. I used the zest only, and ended up with a mixture so bitter even I couldn't stand it (and I like bitter). So if you do experiment with the zest, use caution.

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Rose's Lime Juice Cordial

Ingredients:Water, lime juice, sugar, citric acid, preservative, flavourings, colours

So I suppose there's two possible reasons it tastes different from lime juice + sugar:

i) some of those "flavourings";

ii) the concentration process

I can't taste an aromatic flavour in Rose's, but agree it's different from the real thing + sugar. So I suspect it's the concentration process, in the same way that concentrated OJ tastes different from Tropicana or freshly squeezed.

(Off-topic: if you find yourself in a pub in England after a night of heavy drinking, a pint of lime and soda (Rose's lime cordial and soda) will set you up to hit the beers again. But perhaps I am lowering the tone.)

EDIT: Hadn't realised that the US version is made with HFCS rather than sugar. So my thoughts about the UK version may not be relevant. Sorry.


Edited by Stigand (log)

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Here's some interesting info from Mott's:

http://www.motts.com/pages/main.cfm?tid=2&...aid=147&pid=169

In particular, I bet it does have something to do with the lime variety, and also with this cryptic statement about the preservation process:

Lauchlin Rose (1829-1885) a descendent of a prominent family of Scottish ship builders, founded L. Rose & Company in Leith, Edinburgh in 1865. Describing himself as a "lime and lemon juice merchant," he combined a keen business sense with his knowledge of the sea. Scurvy, caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, had been the scourge of sailors since the early days of sailing ships. To prevent "this most terrible of the diseases of maritime life," a supply of lime or lemon juice preserved with 15% of rum, generally was boarded for long voyages. In 1867, Lauchlin developed and patented a process that effectively prevented fermentation and preserved fruit juice without alcohol.

I agree, now that I've just tasted a few drops, there's no actual aromatic in there -- nothing like juniper or mint or whatever. Still the mention of aromatics gave me an idea for an iteration of my drink-in-progress that would have a little mint in it. I'll report back next time I mix cocktails. I'm also wondering what a touch of rum would do to it, given that the original version of Rose's had rum in it as a preservative.

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