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post #16 of 34
^^ Huntsman - I get the issue with sour mix.. but do you really put sugar or simple syrup in your Margaritas ?
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRon View Post
^^ Huntsman - I get the issue with sour mix.. but do you really put sugar or simple syrup in your Margaritas ?
A few drops, typically. I realize I should not have put those two together -- they are an order of magnitude apart. I once read the dictum that any cocktail programme involving fresh citrus ought involve simple syrup, and I have found that to be true (to my taste), and especially true since citrus varies so much in acidity and bitterness. ~ H
post #18 of 34
I hear ya... My margs are strictly fresh lime, tequila, cointreau over ice and a tiny bit of salt on the glass. No gran marnier. No sugar. Definitely no sour or triple sec. no exceptions. Otherwise, I tend to agree with your hypothesis.
post #19 of 34
There are a number of great classic cocktail books available these days. Choosing some of the books are dependent on your level of knowledge and how involved you want to get into making drinks, cocktails, etc.

Like Huntsman mentioned, the likes of Dale Degroff, Robert Hess, David Wondrich, Gary Reagan are all great modern personalities in the cocktalian World.

Degroff is a good starting point for beginners, he mentions basic techniques and list a good many classic as well as modern and or updated classics in his books. Robert Hess, is a cocktail enthusiast, not a bartender by trade but a highly knowledgeable individual on history, technique, proper preparation, etc. and his book The Essential Bartender's Guide is another excellent beginners books with a more researched and expanded section on drink families, techniques, and spirits categories. Both of these authors books are wonderfully decorated with pictures and even if you were illiterate you could appreciate the artistry of properly prepared drinks.

Gary Regans and his book the Joy of Mixology is another excellent read, it is much more in depth and is fashioned more for someone who is looking into entering bartending as a career. About half the book is dedicated to history, technique, with in depth sections on drink families and gravities of different alcohols along with many others. This book has only drawings relating to equipment and technique.

Wondrich's imbibe is regarded as one of the best books on classic cocktails and thier history via his biography on Jerry Thomas who published the first recognized bartenders guide in the 1862. It has some amazing classic recipes but be prepared, many of these suit a different palate then what the mainstream highly sweetened drinks have devolved into. This books is one of my favorites and something that I constantly reference. This is more of enthusiasts book and has only a few reprints of renderings from the late 1800's.

Another one is Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh aka Dr. Cocktail. Another excellent book that mixes classic drinks with detailed history and an array of pictures. Another choice for a solid standby.

If you are looking to move further away from the modern, The Savoy Cocktail Book is another great addition. This is considered a masterpiece by many in the cocktalian world and if for nothing else, it is a wonderful Art Deco style renderings throughout the book. You can easily buy reprints online. Another choice would be Harry Johnsons Bartender Manual this one is another classic book with a fantastic section dedicated to teaching bartenders how to behave and how to serve guests properly.

If you want to look into Tikki era drinks, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry is the man to go to. He has several books out and a website as well. http://www.beachbumberry.com/

As Huntsman mentioned as well, the internet is a great place to search around. I'll list a few sites to get you started:

http://ohgo.sh/ These guys also have some great videos of bars/bartenders around the world
http://ardentspirits.com/Default.aspx This is the Regan's website and they list a good amount of drink recipes as well
http://chanticleersociety.org/ a forum and wikki for cocktail enthusiasts/professionals
http://www.liqurious.com/ a compilation of different websites and always has stunning photos
http://www.amountainofcrushedice.com/ another fantastic website with a plethora of information and stunning photos
http://www.imbibemagazine.com/ website for the imbibe magazine with recipes and photos
http://cocktaildb.com/ a great one stop recipe shop
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post
A few drops, typically. I realize I should not have put those two together -- they are an order of magnitude apart. I once read the dictum that any cocktail programme involving fresh citrus ought involve simple syrup, and I have found that to be true (to my taste), and especially true since citrus varies so much in acidity and bitterness. ~ H
Huntsman you are dead on. No self respecting career barman/women or enthusiast would ever use sour mix. Those pre-made neon colored mixers are a BIG faux pas. Granted, there are some that argue that fresh sour mix is acceptable. There are a number of reasons sour mix is looked down upon. Some of them include, they are too sweet, they have added extra preservatives and other no-no's that can have a dramatic effect on taste, texture, smell, and sight, recipes specify lemon or lime juice or other citrus juice for a reason and sour mix tends to be a combination of both so you end up making an inferior drink that does not taste correct, and you are stuck with the taste of the sour mix you buy you can't adjust to different palates as easily as you can with fresh juice and sugar syrup. It's really not that much more of an added step and fresh is always best. Wouldn't you agree that fresh peaches are superior to canned or that fresh apple pie is better than a frozen pre-made apple pie?
Quote:
I hear ya... My margs are strictly fresh lime, tequila, cointreau over ice and a tiny bit of salt on the glass. No gran marnier. No sugar. Definitely no sour or triple sec. no exceptions.
Glad to hear that you use the fresh stuff. I use a recipe without sugar as well as I find that the liqueur is enough of a sweetener on it's own. Don't rule out triple sec though, Cointreau is in fact a triple sec, a high end and delicious name brand of triple sec at that. There are some other great triple secs out there that differ in flavor, two of my favorites are Combier triple sec and Luxardo triplum triple sec. Regarding Grand Marnier, I don't like to use it either because I find it a bit too much in strength and I don't like the color it gives to the margarita. While it is an orange liqueur, it is also not a triple sec, it's considered an orange curacao, it's also a high end delicious version or this style of liqueur.
post #21 of 34
In regards to Margaritas and sugar. If the citrus is too acidic and you do not want to use sugar or simple syrup, use beer. For a single serving, use 1.5 oz of a very bland beer, one with as little taste as possible, the "piss water" beer. Beer is basic so it will buffer out the excess citric acid, without adding flavour or sweetness.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
In regards to Margaritas and sugar. If the citrus is too acidic and you do not want to use sugar or simple syrup, use beer. For a single serving, use 1.5 oz of a very bland beer, one with as little taste as possible, the "piss water" beer. Beer is basic so it will buffer out the excess citric acid, without adding flavour or sweetness.

I hope that is a joke.
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
An update: I ended up with The Essential Cocktail by Degroff. Many thanks for all the advice.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwentySomthing View Post
I hope that is a joke.

No joke. I refer to it as "basic chemistry."
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter View Post
An update: I ended up with The Essential Cocktail by Degroff. Many thanks for all the advice.
I bought this book like a week ago and came into this thread to say that it is pretty good.
post #26 of 34
If you are making or planning on drinking more than a couple margaritas, cut them with some orange juice. Cuts the tartness.
post #27 of 34
hmmmmm
post #28 of 34
My first and only cocktail book is DeGroff's The Craft of the Cocktail. I'll probably add The Essential Cocktail and The Art of the Bar by Jeff Hollinger.
post #29 of 34
Huntsman: ever been to Tokyo, or even Angel's Share in Manhattan? The Japanese truly obey traditional cocktail culture. I have a Japanese bar I go to locally here in Korea as a local outpost of some Ginza place, they have a jawdropping single malt selection, as well as an internationally competitive bartender. They have a pretty extensive cocktail menu, to include a lot of the Japanese cocktail inventions of the 1960s-1980's and they even list the origin and inventor of the drinks, and to which contests the drinks have been taken. Still, and it's pretty a good little bar with $20-$50+ drinks, it pales in comparison to a real Japanese cocktail bar IN Japan, they're on a level that is rarely if ever seen in America anymore. Hand carved iceballs for scotch, exacting precision and mixing techniques, really thoughtful stuff. Even the bar snacks in Japan are taken very, very seriously. I read some article about a bartender who made his own Jamon in Akita-ken because he felt real Jamon was too salty to pair with single malt scotch.
post #30 of 34
What are some of the Japanese cocktail inventions aside from the rather unfortunate Midori Sour?
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