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Cocktail Books: The Topic

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Turns out there were 9 of these 12 gins listed in KS2. In addition to Citadelle Reserve, Hayman’s Old Tom and Ransom Old Tom which I had initially excluded the three not listed were Bols Genever, Leopold’s and Tanqueray Rangpur. Tanqueray Rangpur was just released in February 2007 so on the one hand perhaps I should cut this one some slack. But on the other hand this was a new product released from a major player in the gin world so I think it would be reasonable to think it would get an early review from a leader in spirits reviews. Leopold’s had been around for a few years but would not have been in the first edition while Bols is also a pretty big name in the spirits world and I presume it has been available for some time. So I feel I should have a reasonable expectation that both would be listed unless perhaps Bols was found in the first edition.

Can't speak to Rangpur, but the current Bols Genever was not available in 2007...I believe it (re)launched in 2009. In 2007, Leopold Bros. was still a very regional player, more or less only servicing the Ann Arbor, MI market. It wasn't until after they moved to Colorado in the summer of '08 that they really expanded their reach, and even now it's far from a mainstream product.

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Turns out there were 9 of these 12 gins listed in KS2. In addition to Citadelle Reserve, Hayman’s Old Tom and Ransom Old Tom which I had initially excluded the three not listed were Bols Genever, Leopold’s and Tanqueray Rangpur. Tanqueray Rangpur was just released in February 2007 so on the one hand perhaps I should cut this one some slack. But on the other hand this was a new product released from a major player in the gin world so I think it would be reasonable to think it would get an early review from a leader in spirits reviews. Leopold’s had been around for a few years but would not have been in the first edition while Bols is also a pretty big name in the spirits world and I presume it has been available for some time. So I feel I should have a reasonable expectation that both would be listed unless perhaps Bols was found in the first edition.

Can't speak to Rangpur, but the current Bols Genever was not available in 2007...I believe it (re)launched in 2009. In 2007, Leopold Bros. was still a very regional player, more or less only servicing the Ann Arbor, MI market. It wasn't until after they moved to Colorado in the summer of '08 that they really expanded their reach, and even now it's far from a mainstream product.

Good to know and makes the reviews seem that much more complete, at least for my little collection. Was the Bols Genever around so that it might have been reviewed in its previous incarnation? Was hard for me to find much history behind it. I have thought Bols had been a genever producer for a long time at least in Europe if not here in the states.

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There was a different genever being produced and imported by Bols before (I want to say they stopped importing in the 2005ish time frame) that was bottled in green glass and while delicious was much less distinctive than the current product--cheaper, too. Worth grabbing if you ever see a bottle somewhere.

Side note: the current Bols Genever is only kinda sorta made by the same company as the ubiquitous liqueur line, as I understand it. The genever is actually imported by the real Dutch company and the other crap is made by a US-based affiliate. Different distribution chains and everything.

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There was a different genever being produced and imported by Bols before (I want to say they stopped importing in the 2005ish time frame) that was bottled in green glass and while delicious was much less distinctive than the current product--cheaper, too. Worth grabbing if you ever see a bottle somewhere.

Side note: the current Bols Genever is only kinda sorta made by the same company as the ubiquitous liqueur line, as I understand it. The genever is actually imported by the real Dutch company and the other crap is made by a US-based affiliate. Different distribution chains and everything.

Yes, I recall the manager of my favorite story telling me something to that effect to explain why Bols genever was not currently available here. So I ended up getting a bottle on line. it is quite distinctive.

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I will have to see how Gary Regan’s ”The Bartenders Gin Compendium” holds up in a similar comparison to my liquor cabinet.

So I finally took a few minutes to flip through the Gin Compendium and count the gins listed. If you count everything, to include the same brand at different proofs, I came up with about 62 gins, 8 genevers (including A. van Wees Roggenaer which I am going to try one day if I have to make a special trip to the Netherlands to do it!), 2 Old Tom's and 3 Plymouth gins if you count the sloe gin. That is a total of 75 gins.

I still think they are close to 100 different brands/proofs at the present time that one could find with a little effort. It is clearly a fast moving industry and I could think of a number of other brands I have seen or read about like Brooklyn, Breucklelen, Monkey 47, the Botanist, Roxor, Corsair, Cold River, Blackwood's, South, Back River, Tru2, Blade and Rusty Blade (which I hope to add to my own liquor cabinet soon). Some of these are definitely too new even for this book and for all I know some of these have come and gone already. And of course the debate continues about whether some of these are truly "gin" or belong in the more nebulous category with Square One.

So of the 15 gins (16 if you count Plymouth Sloe Gin) currently in my liquor cabinet (Aviation, Bluecoat, Bols Genever, Boomsma Oude Genever, Cadenhead’s Old Raj-110 proof, Citadelle, Citadelle Reserve, Hayman’s Old Tom, Hendrick’s, Leopold’s, Magellan, Plymouth, Ransom Old Tom, Tanqueray Rangpur and Tanqueray) there is only one that doesn't make the book, Leopold's. Still too small a player in 2009 I suppose?

So better coverage but also gin focused and a a newer book. But also very different. KS2 provides a presumably independent review for each spirit included while the Gin Compendium is a bit more focused on a general description from the manufacturer with only the occasional independent review by the author or others. What sets this newer book apart, aside from its focus exclusively on gin, is the interesting commentary about gin history, types of gin, occasional personal musings and of course the collection of recipes at the end that helps make this a very different resource.

Both seem to have their uses but time will tell as to which one proves more useful to me. At least I hope they prove useful because I could have bought 3 or 4 more gins with the money spent on them!

And I know more gin would have been useful...

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Does this e-book have the recipe for PDT's Mariner cocktail? I'm specifically looking for how they make their cardamom syrup.

I just checked and it does not contain that recipe.

Thank you for checking.

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Oh. Didn't see that part. I suspect then that the cardamon pods are run through a smoker first, prior to being simmered and made into syrup? That could be done on a small screen or something...

Prolly use Black Cardamom which has an incredibly smokey aroma. Easy peasy.

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From the PDT book:

The Mariner

2 oz Compass Box Oak Cross Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey

1/2 oz Black cardamom syrup

1/4 oz Pineapple juice

1/4 oz Lemon juice

Lemon peel

Stir with ice in a rocks glass. Twist a lemon peel over the drink and drop in glass.

Black Cardamom Syrup

48 oz. simple syrup

3 oz Black Cardamom pods

Combine and boil for 7-8 minutes over high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cool for 2 hours. Fine-strain but do not press on the beans.

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I noticed today that Katie's book is up for pre-order on Amazon - Congrats Katie.

Is your aquavit recipe included?

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Wow! I didn't know that! And I just talked to my editor for a hour and a half this morning. :hmmm:

Yes - the Aquavit recipe is included in the section on infusions, along with my limoncello recipe, and some of the oyster shooters I developed when I was still at Oyster House, as well as a couple of ideas for using those in cocktails...

Thanks for letting me know! I have to check that out right now!

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I got a copy of Stan Jones' Complete Bar Guide from Powell's a few weeks ago and am working through it slowly (mostly because it's too large to reasonably travel with and I'm in Houston 5 days a week lately). It appears to be quite a comprehensive study, but at the same time it's also very clearly a period piece (late 70's). There is a nice amount of detail on the history of distilling and the industries in various countries, along with a fair share of risible claims, like how Canadian Whisky has a leg up on the competition when it comes to flavor due to a lack of regulation on the types of grain that must be used. It also introduced me to the concept of "Light Whiskey" which was something of a fad around the time the book was published and is thankfully all but non-existent today. From what I've seen so far I'd recommended it highly to the committed hobbyist or professional looking for a fun read that might not teach you a lot, but will definitely give you a few laughs and an interesting look at one of the less examined periods in American drinking. The recipe section is also quite voluminous.


Edited by KD1191 (log)

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I noticed today that Katie's book is up for pre-order on Amazon - Congrats Katie.

Is your aquavit recipe included?

Link to book, please?

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Wow. Thanks for the support y'all. Much appreciated. I looked at the link. The cover will have minor tweaks, but will be more or less as it was pictured. I think the cover shot is different and nicer than the one pictured on Amazon. Subtitle is changing slightly to reflect that we aren't making infused liquors. Didn't want to imply I was giving distilling instructions, but more so infusing instructions. My editor was unaware that had gone up so soon either. Apparently Amazon works at a varied pace, so they never know exactly when the advance sales materials they've sent along will appear online. Book will indeed be released on July 1.

Thanks again in advance for the votes of confidence! :smile:

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Wow. Thanks for the support y'all. Much appreciated. I looked at the link. The cover will have minor tweaks, but will be more or less as it was pictured. I think the cover shot is different and nicer than the one pictured on Amazon. Subtitle is changing slightly to reflect that we aren't making infused liquors. Didn't want to imply I was giving distilling instructions, but more so infusing instructions. My editor was unaware that had gone up so soon either. Apparently Amazon works at a varied pace, so they never know exactly when the advance sales materials they've sent along will appear online. Book will indeed be released on July 1.

Thanks again in advance for the votes of confidence! :smile:

Ah the decisions - shall i buy an advance copy or wait until the heartland gathering and buy a signed copy from you directly?

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Kerry - I would be delighted to sign a copy for you in person! I am so very much looking forward to meeting so many folks I feel like I already know at the Heartland Gathering. It's going to be REALLY fun!

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Shake, Stir, Pour - Homegrown Cocktails

Here is the book with the new (final) cover shot and inclusion about the foreword. I still have to talk to them about implying there are distilling instructions. That's just wrong. But this is the final look of the book. I can hardly wait to actually hold one in my hands! That is going to be a bit mind boggling.

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Shake, Stir, Pour - Homegrown Cocktails

Here is the book with the new (final) cover shot and inclusion about the foreword. I still have to talk to them about implying there are distilling instructions. That's just wrong. But this is the final look of the book. I can hardly wait to actually hold one in my hands! That is going to be a bit mind boggling.

That is just so exciting! Can't wait to get my hands on it.

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Now we're getting somewhere. HERE is a link that has some better sample pages to look at. If you go to the far right of the page and click on "show all 8 illustrations", you can click on each of the sample pages and it will enlarge so you can get a better look at the layout and some of the photos in the book. Love the photos so much. I owe my life to my friend, photographer Steve Legato, for making it all look so stunning.

For those of you that are planning on attending Tales of the Cocktail in July, I am hoping to have a book signing event there some tine during the conference. I'm working out the details now and will report back as plans start to solidify.

This is all becoming a bit more real every day. Quite exciting!

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Now we're getting somewhere. HERE is a link that has some better sample pages to look at. If you go to the far right of the page and click on "show all 8 illustrations", you can click on each of the sample pages and it will enlarge so you can get a better look at the layout and some of the photos in the book. Love the photos so much. I owe my life to my friend, photographer Steve Legato, for making it all look so stunning.

For those of you that are planning on attending Tales of the Cocktail in July, I am hoping to have a book signing event there some tine during the conference. I'm working out the details now and will report back as plans start to solidify.

This is all becoming a bit more real every day. Quite exciting!

It does sound exciting. Wish I could go this year. Instead I am being forced to go on a cruise in the Arctic to search for walrus, polar bears and the like and I can only do one of them. Can't imagine why anyone would choose that instead of "Nawlins" in the middle of the summer.

After all, who doesn't like 100 degree heat, 100% humidity and the smell of fresh vomit on Bourbon Street...

But I will get there one year!

:laugh:

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Thanks to all of you for your support. I don't think I could have done this at all, had I not known I had a receptive and supportive audience. Otherwise, I'd just be babbling to myself about cocktails and would inevitably end up in a padded room with a very constricting outer garment. Every single day that I keep the guys with the butterfly nets away is a win in my book. :wacko:

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Not exactly a book, but Sam Ross from Milk & Honey just came up with an iphone/ipad app, Bartender's Choice. It allows to search for cocktails by base alcohol, "sensation", and style. It includes several of Sam Ross' creations and also a few by Anthony Schmidt, San Diego Noble Experiment's head bartender. Of course I had to get it, and I will be playing with it in the very near future.

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For any of you that may have pre-ordered my book from Amazon, first my sincere thanks, and second the shipping date has been moved UP, so they'll be shipping on June 8, rather than July 1. That came as quite a surprise!! Interestingly, they are offering a "bundled" deal of my book along with the PDT Cocktail book for about $35 right now. I'm flattered to be in such good company. :blush:

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