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Chef Shogun

Crimes Against Alcohol

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Ok then, how about a nice white zin? Blue Motorcycle? Go on...it's got all your basic spirit types in it, so it must be good, right? And it's BLUE! Perhaps the congealed, randid goodness of the Cement Mixer shot?

Reading the Crimes Against Food thread prompts the next logical sub-question: what are some of the true crimes against drinks out there? And I don't just mean wine served off-temp, or merely poorly made (Too much lime in the old sidecar gets me every time) mixed drinks. I mean the really cruel things that you have seen done to perfectly good alcohol, that never did any harm to anybody.

I've seen what can happen at college parties, but all you waitrons, bartenders, sommliers, and customers that love them out there in the real world must have some truely terrifiying stories.

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Any decent sprit that has had that horrendous green apple shit added to it to make it an "Appletini" or something like that.

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I once read that wealthy Hong Kong business types were ordering Grand Cru Bordeax at restaurants and cutting the wine with club soda or coke, essentially creating $50-a-glass wine coolers.

I once witness a drunk Congressman mixing, inadvertantly, a half glass of Grand Cru Burgundy with a half glass of Grand Bordeaux. It was the only cabernet/pinot blend I've ever seen, but I had no desire to taste it.

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Any mixed drink that is designed to mask the taste of the alcohol. If it doesn't at least taste a little bit like the liquor that fuels it, whats the point?

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Ahh yes, the gimmick-tini. Reminds me of one I could have used in the opener: the sake-tini. It's kind of borderline, and maybe I should try one first, but at the risk of getting yelled at, it just 'seems' wrong to me. I'll let somebody else rail against the vodka 'martini', but sake is meant to be sipped from a little wooden box, sometimes warm, sometimes cold...it depends. It's not a martini base.

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A friend was bartending at a wedding reception and had three guests ask for Johnnie Walker Gold and coke. We call that "alcohol abuse."

For some questionable combinations, check out this old thread: Crazy Drinks

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I once read that wealthy Hong Kong business types were ordering Grand Cru Bordeax at restaurants and cutting the wine with club soda or coke, essentially creating $50-a-glass wine coolers.

I once witness a drunk Congressman mixing, inadvertantly, a half glass of Grand Cru Burgundy with a half glass of Grand Bordeaux.  It was the only cabernet/pinot blend I've ever seen, but I had no desire to taste it.

The partner was just wondering what the trendy booze status symbol du jour was in Asia. One of his favorite stories is about how in S'pore back in the early 90s he insisted on drinking the XO cognac straight instead of mixing it with Coke or 7-up like any decent person would do. Quite shocking!

Personally, I don't see the sin in Grey Goose and cranberry. There are so many worse crimes then adding something like cranberry juice to a liquor that is flavorless to begin with!

regards,

trillium

edit: because I just can't type


Edited by trillium (log)

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I once read that wealthy Hong Kong business types were ordering Grand Cru Bordeax at restaurants and cutting the wine with club soda or coke, essentially creating $50-a-glass wine coolers.

I once witness a drunk Congressman mixing, inadvertantly, a half glass of Grand Cru Burgundy with a half glass of Grand Bordeaux.  It was the only cabernet/pinot blend I've ever seen, but I had no desire to taste it.

The partner was just wondering what the trendy booze status symbol du jour was in Asia. One of his favorite stories is about how in S'pore back in the early 90s he insisted on drinking the XO cognac straight instead of mixing it with Coke or 7-up like any decent person would do. Quite shocking!

Personally, I don't see the sin in Grey Goose and cranberry. There are so many worse crimes then adding something like cranberry juice to a liquor that is flavorless to begin with!

regards,

trillium

edit: because I just can't type

It's more a sin of waste. Putting down a non-trivial number of dollars for what is essentially a glass of alcoholic cranberry juice. Heck, probably not even good quality cranberry juice.

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Any cocktail or mixed drink (martini excepted) using an expensive super-premium vodka is a waste of money and booze. I can't think of a single cocktail other than a martini where one could taste the difference between drinks mixed with, say, Ultimat at $70/L, Precis at $50/L, Belvedere, Ciroc, Chopin and Van Gogh at $38/L, Absolut and Ketel One at $27/L, Skyy at $19/L or Luksusowa at $17/L. This suggests to me that it doesn't make sense to use anything but Luksusowa.

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Personally, I don't see the sin in Grey Goose and cranberry.  There are so many worse crimes then adding something like cranberry juice to a liquor that is flavorless to begin with! 

regards,

trillium

It's more a sin of waste. Putting down a non-trivial number of dollars for what is essentially a glass of alcoholic cranberry juice. Heck, probably not even good quality cranberry juice.

When I'm being particularly bad, I chalk this sort of thing up to a "stupid tax". Like the lottery is a "math tax". Does that make you feel any better? It usually works with me.

regards,

trillium

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Any cocktail (martini excepted) using an expensive super-premium vodka is a waste of money and booze. I can't think of a single cocktail other than a martini where one could taste the difference between drinks mixed with, say, Ultimat at $70/L, Precis at $50/L, Belvedere, Ciroc, Chopin and Van Gogh at $38/L, Absolut and Ketel One at $27/L, Skyy at $19/L or Luksusowa at $17/L. This suggests to me that it doesn't make sense to use anything but Luksusowa.

Unless your stupid state doesn't sell it, right? Then you're stuck with Skyy.

regards,

trillium

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When I'm being particularly bad, I chalk this sort of thing up to a "stupid tax". Like the lottery is a "math tax". Does that make you feel any better? It usually works with me.

Hey, come on now! Why, you have a chance of winning the lottery that is only 4 or 5 times less than being struck by lightning. :smile:

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A friend was bartending at a wedding reception and had three guests ask for Johnnie Walker Gold and coke. We call that "alcohol abuse."

For some questionable combinations, check out this old thread: Crazy Drinks

Ah, but at a wedding reception with an open (free) bar, why not go nuts?

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A friend was bartending at a wedding reception and had three guests ask for Johnnie Walker Gold and coke. We call that "alcohol abuse."

For some questionable combinations, check out this old thread: Crazy Drinks

Ah, but at a wedding reception with an open (free) bar, why not go nuts?

Doesn't matter. It's still wrong. :wacko:

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Any cocktail or mixed drink (martini excepted) using an expensive super-premium vodka is a waste of money and booze. I can't think of a single cocktail other than a martini where one could taste the difference between drinks mixed with, say, Ultimat at $70/L, Precis at $50/L, Belvedere, Ciroc, Chopin and Van Gogh at $38/L, Absolut and Ketel One at $27/L, Skyy at $19/L or Luksusowa at $17/L. This suggests to me that it doesn't make sense to use anything but Luksusowa.

I'm just curious, Sam -- what do you use for gin cocktails other than martinis? I generally have two bottles in the bar -- Gordon's for cocktails with lots of other ingredients for distraction, like the (now) famous 20th Century or Corpse Reviver, the Jasmine, or a Bronx on those very rare occasions when I drink one. I've even come around to Gimlets made with Gordon's, although for years I made them with Tanquerey. But then I have a bottle of something better (Boodles is my standard; Cascade Mountain my new favorite) for martinis.

Do you have a two-tier gin system too? Do you think it's a waste to use premium gin in other cocktails?

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Ahh yes, the gimmick-tini.  Reminds me of one I could have used in the opener: the sake-tini.  It's kind of borderline, and maybe I should try one first, but at the risk of getting yelled at, it just 'seems' wrong to me.  I'll let somebody else rail against the vodka 'martini', but sake is meant to be sipped from a little wooden box, sometimes warm, sometimes cold...it depends.  It's not a martini base.

What do you mean by sake-tini? I'd agree that the whole -tini naming thing is a crime against language, but not necessarily against the booze.

I've seen two variations on the sake cocktail concept- A gin or vodka base with sake used in place of the vermouth... which, when garnished with a cucumber, is quite nice, and is really not that far from a real martini (if you believe in the authenticity of vodka martinis.) Coming up with a proper name for this shouldn't be so hard-- Call it a Geisha's Whisper, or a Zen or a Silver Moon... anything but a goddam sake-tini.

Then there are the sake + liqueur drinks and the sake and fruit juice drinks which are also called sake-tinis, which are nothing like martinis and really shouldn't be called sake-tinis because not only is the name stupid, but it is also misleading since sake+stuff bears no resemblance to a real martini.

Problem of the -tini phenomenon is that -tini does at least carry some information insofar as it implies a strong drink in an inverted conic glass... No standard method of divining what a creatively named cocktail's like unless you order one... at least you have some small fraction of a clue when you order something called a x-tini.


Edited by cdh (log)

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I remember (this must have been 30 years ago) when Albert, the famed barman at the ADC Theatre was asked by a loud American for "The best whisky in the house". With due reverence he lovingly poured a double of an ancient malt. The American then asked for ginger ale as a mixer. Albert, restraining himself, said "Oh Sir, I don't think I've given you the best whisky for that", took back the malt and gave him instead a shot of cooking whisky (Vat 69 it was then, but it might have benn Johnny Walker Red Label or supermarket generic), and charged him for both. He later enjoyed the malt himself...

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A couple walked into the restaurant rather late. He was older, business man type and had obviously already had a few. She was young and rather attractive and by means of dress, make up, and hair style as well as attitude most definitely worked at one of the (ahem) "dance studios" (ahem, cough, cough, nudge, wink, cough) up the street. He made a big deal of seeing the wine list and ordering the most expensive champagne on the list (a Dom @$200 if memory serves. This was several years ago). The wine steward is very pleased w/ himself and goes through the motions. After opening & serving he stands back to judge their reaction. She takes one sip and grabs him, "May I have some orange juice? I just love Mimosas!". I have never watched any one in my life go fr/ such an absolute high to such a picture of dejection so quickly as I did that wine steward.

We also had a number of parties for recording types and, being in Atlanta, that meant "rap" & "hip hop" which meant that we would bring the cognac list to the table and return w/ Hines & Coke or Martel & Sprite or an XO & ginger ale.

Then there was the time a man asked for the most expensive scotch we had in house. (I heard about this second hand the next morning) The bartender went to the wine cellar where we kept the expensive bottles and poured some 25 year old Maccalan for him straight up and in a scotch tasting glass. The waiter returned a few minutes later saying the man wanted ice and ginger ale and could not understand why we served it the way we did.

I witnessed a man steal a pretty stiff shot of Remy Napoleon off the liqueur cart. He returned to his table and took one sip. He then proclaimed it to be awful and complained loudly and long to any one who would listen about how awful the stuff was and when he realized I had seen him made a big deal about how we should not have had it available for him to steal since he did not like it. He mixed it w/ whatever he had in front of him and never did finish it. I took the host aside and explained that we would have to charge the party for the cocktail. The host, luckily, understood and I have no idea what happened to the man later.

There are times I am very glad I am out of that business.

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Any flavored vodkas.

And I concur -- I gasp when I hear people order Henessey and coke. Why? Why? Why?

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I'm just curious, Sam -- what do you use for gin cocktails other than martinis? I generally have two bottles in the bar -- Gordon's for cocktails with lots of other ingredients for distraction, like the (now) famous 20th Century or Corpse Reviver, the Jasmine, or a Bronx on those very rare occasions when I drink one. I've even come around to Gimlets made with Gordon's, although for years I made them with Tanquerey. But then I have a bottle of something better (Boodles is my standard; Cascade Mountain my new favorite) for martinis.

Do you have a two-tier gin system too? Do you think it's a waste to use premium gin in other cocktails?

Exactly. I, too, use Gordon's for cocktails where the gin won't shine through and various other high-end gins where the gin will really shine through. I mean, what's the point of making a Twentieth Century with Hendrick's or Plymouth? The whole point of most high-end gins is the subtle and delicate flavors. On the rare occasions I use a high-end gin in a non-martini cocktail, it tends to be because the high-end gin is a particularly strongly flavored one like Junìpero that can cut through the other ingredients.

Gordon's is, by the way, a perfectly good gin, and one I am proud to use in cocktails. Seems like you feel the same way. :smile:

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Ahh yes, the gimmick-tini.  Reminds me of one I could have used in the opener: the sake-tini.  It's kind of borderline, and maybe I should try one first, but at the risk of getting yelled at, it just 'seems' wrong to me.  I'll let somebody else rail against the vodka 'martini', but sake is meant to be sipped from a little wooden box, sometimes warm, sometimes cold...it depends.  It's not a martini base.

What do you mean by sake-tini?

* * * * * * *

I've seen two variations on the sake cocktail concept- A gin or vodka base with sake used in place of the vermouth... which, when garnished with a cucumber, is quite nice, and is really not that far from a real martini (if you believe in the authenticity of vodka martinis.)

Without jumping into the semantics end of it all....

YES! Those "sake-tinis" are rather refreshing and quite good. We've also soaked thinly sliced diakons, that were decoratively cut with those fancy vegetable cutters, in sake for the garnish.

I've never felt that Grey Goose was so fantastic that it couldn't be mixed.

Now Glacier, Blue Ice, Liquid Ice, Zyr, Ultimat, Wyborowa Single Estate, etc. that's a whole different story.

But then I make margaritas with Patron, but would never consider using Porfidio.

That JWGold was a waste of a fantastic spirit, wedding or not, however I wouldn't really classify it as a "crime" per se.

How about the klutz that drops a bottle of Château Margaux wasting it all over their basement floor? (I'd lay on the floor and shamelessly slurp) Or the one (I did watch someone do this) that drank King Louis XIII as a shot in one quick motion.

Surely those are worse than a palate that does not quite appreciate the wonderful complexities and/or subtleties of a particular hand crafted, small batch -- possibly limited in production, carefully and lovingly aged spirit.

Then there are those such as my seafood allergic, half Swedish, half Tlingit, Seattle residing cousin that drinks those sorts of things for the arrogance. He's one kid that should have been an adult during the excessive 80's. :biggrin: (Ask him why he purchases, eats or drinks x, y or z and he'll answer because it is expensive!)

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It was the only cabernet/pinot blend I've ever seen, but I had no desire to taste it.

Hey, I import a pinot-cabernet blend from South Africa--it's pretty good, made in a fruit-forward style with a lot of whole-berry fermentation.

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Gordon's is, by the way, a perfectly good gin, and one I am proud to use in cocktails.

but certainly a crime when they diluted it from 40% to 37.5%

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A chef friend of mine realized that the dusty bottle of Remy Extra that was hidden behind all the other bottles at an old job was not included on the inventory and therefore wouldn't be missed. He eventually drank it all up as STINGERS ferchissakes! :huh: Sheesh - what a waste of spectacular Cognac. Mixed with $7/bottle cheap white Creme de Menthe. GAH!!!

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About 20 years I was in Singapore at Chinese New Year and met the importer for Courvoisier who insisted that I join him and friends for dinner. I spoke some Chinese and they all wanted to learn English. By the end of the night they were mixing Courvoisier, beer, wine and anything on the table, then drinking the cocktails with gusto. And try as I could to stick to the good stuff, it continually got diluted. It took more than a few days to shake that hangover.

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