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Help me stock my new bar - Page 5

post #61 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by denning View Post
That's awful. What province?

La belle province.
post #62 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
How about cherries. I know you're fanatical about them. Any specific ones I should get?


Amarena Fabbri cherries. You should also be able to find them at Williams-Sonoma if you have one near you.

http://www.amazon.com/Amarena-Fabbri...1259347&sr=8-1
post #63 of 162
Thread Starter 
This is awesome Jeff. Thanks. Got a few questions - they're in bold next to said item.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post
American Whiskey is the rule. Bourbon or Rye. If you're using a Bourbon, use one on the tart side. Sweet bourbons like Makers simply aren't suitable, as the drink was originally made with rye, and is balanced for the same. If you make it with a too sweet bourbon, the drink will be too sweet. What's a sweet burbon? Isn't that mostly a preference thing? When you make one with Scotch, it's a Rob Roy. Feel free to do it, but it's not a Manhattan. As for the first 10 drinks, I'm just going to rattle off a few of my favorites. Warning, may be more than ten. Manhattan Got a good recipe? Martini (I prefer a gibson (cocktail onion garnish) or a twist)Got a good recipe? Pegu Club Got a good recipe? White Lady/Sidecar/XYZ, which are all New Orleans sours- bitter citrus juice, orange liqueur, gin/brandy/Dark or aged rum. The Margarita falls into that category as well, and there's a vodka one. Got any good recipes? Ward 8 Got a good recipe? Luigi (1.5 measures gin, 1.5 measures dry vermouth, 1/4 measure grenadine, dash cointreau/triple sec, juice of half a tangerine or mandarin orange.) How do you dash a spirit? Just tip a bit out from the bottle? Daquiri. The original, made with rum, lime or lemon (use twice as much lemon as you would lime if you go that route) and sugar. Got a good recipe? If you like mint, the stinger (2:1 brandy and creme de menthe) and Continental (3:1:1 light rum, cd menthe, lime juice) are fun. These measurements usually go in ounces, right? I.e. 2oz brandy to one ounce of CdM. For somewhat longer drinks, Gin Sling (there are a billion recipes- the one I use comes from Rachel Maddow, who in addition to being a political wonk is a cocktail nut. 1.5 oz gin, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 3/4 oz lemon, 1 oz simple syrup, dash or two of bitters, top with seltzer.) When you say top with seltzer is that just to the top of the glass or a certain amount? Whiskey Sours are nice with some seltzer added. I would only fill up to the top of a tumbler, not a Collins glass. Gimlets are also good made as such, though I also usually make them with real lime juice and sugar, at which point they're probably not gimlets anymore...Got any good recipes? Cuba Libre (Rum and coke with lime, I consider it a classic though some despise it. But it's been around since we invaded Cuba and soldiers decided to combine that new tonic soda with the local rum) Sharkbite. Yeah, the one on the back of the Myer's bottle. Shot of dark rum, dash of grenadine and OJ. Nice combination, and I find it works even better with Amaretto subbed in for the grenadine.
post #64 of 162
a liquor that tastes great straight is not always the best choice for cocktails. you should get some more plebe liquors if you're planning on mixing anything.
post #65 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
This is awesome Jeff. Thanks. Got a few questions - they're in bold next to said item.

Quote:
What's a sweet burbon? Isn't that mostly a preference thing?

Sweeter bourbons will be just that, sweeter. Maker's Mark is an example of a sweeter one- the mashbill contains no rye, but a fair bit of wheat instead. And it is a preference thing for sipping, but for balancing a cocktail, you have a little less wiggle room. The Manhattan contains sweet vermouth and that sweet cherry, so you need to balance those out with the whiskey and bitters.

As for Manhattan recipe, I do 4:1 bourbon to red vermouth, 3 dashes of bitters. And a cherry. Use the good brandy soaked ones or the syrupy red ones if you have fond memories of those on ice cream as a kid.

Martini- I'm pretty classic with this one. 4:1 gin and vermouth. Garnish with an olive, a twist of lemon, or a cocktail onion, which makes it a Gibson.

Pegu club: 2 oz gin, 3/4 oz each of Lime and triple sec, and 2 dashes of bitters. Really, that's a simplification/bastardization of the original recipe, but it'll do quite well. The original calls for orange curacao which isn't really particularly different than triple sec, and a dash each of angustora and orange bitters.

New Orleans sours: I generally make them (well, the ones I do make- I don't bother with vodka or tequila really, so I don't make those) at 2:1:1 spirit:lemon:liqueur. That formula is hardly set in stone, you can of course adjust to your preferences. 1.5:1:1 is also common.

Ward 8: 2 oz bourbon, 1/2 oz each of orange and lemon, tsp grenadine. Garnish with a cherry, and if you have one, a miniature flag of Massachusetts. As a sidenote, it's probably the most ironic cocktail there is. It was created to celebrate the election of a certain Martin Lomasney, who was a political boss in Boston at the time. The irony is that Lomasney was a big advocate of prohibition and helped to bring it about.
And now he lives on in cocktail book notations everywhere. May he burn in hell.

Luigi note: yeah, pretty much just a tip out of the bottle. Call it a dash, call it a splash, just a little bit. Not as little as a dash of bitters, but that's the general idea.

Daiquiri: 3 oz of rum. Say, 3/4 oz lemon and a bit of simple syrup( I make it in airline bottles and would use about a third). It's really just your basic sour, go with what feels right. Crust the glass with sugar if you really feel the need, but up the lemon or lime in there if you do. And if you do use lime, use less then you would lemon.


Measurements in the a:b:c format are ratios. They're in parts, and you can adapt them for the volumes you need. If the cocktail is predominantly one thing and has equal parts of the others, or something simple like that, I find it's easier to think in ratios. Also, some cocktails are the subject of debate in terms of the proper proportion, so that format helps keep straight how it's being made. A Martini at 1:1 with orange bitters (the original formula, and it would have used sweet vermouth) is very different from the 'classic' formula of 4:1 gin and dry vermouth. Or, really, just vermouth, since the technical name for the cocktail we think of is the dry martini. If you really want to screw with a bartender, order a sweet martini. I've tried one, it's actually pretty dang good. I still need to find some orange bitters to complete it though...
But further examples include the manhattan, which is often made at 3:1, a bit of a holdover from it's formulation with the more bitter rye. For bourbon, 4:1 is an altogether safer proposition, though your tastes certainly may incline more sweeter than mine.

In terms of translating to exact amounts, a standard cocktail glass holds 4 ounces, or two and a half shots. A martini or manhattan made at 4:1 will take 2 shots of gin/whiskey and half a shot of the appropriate vermouth. For the stinger, you have 1.5 shots of brandy and 1 shot of creme de menthe to make 4 ounces.


In terms of recipes for sours, a sour is something modified with lemon and sugar. Not so much sugar as to make it sweet persay, but enough to balance out the sharpness of the lemon and make it more or less tangy. Essentially you're making lemonade with liquor instead of water. when you add the seltzer (or even flat water, if you want) to a sour, you're basically pouring lemonade in there. They're very simple, can be done with any spirit, and the beauty of it is you can adjust proportions to your personal tastes.

And a gimlet is traditionally a generous helping of Rose's lime dumped into gin. 2 oz gin to 3/4 oz roses is a reasonable ratio, I suppose. Rose's Lime is still easily available right next to the Rose's Grenadine at any supermarket, but I use juice and basically do a riff on the sour. There is a noticeable difference in using the syrup and using juice and sugar (or simple syrup, which is really just a way of using sugar without the pain of trying to dissolve it into a cold drink). Try 'em both though, the Gimlet hasn't stuck around for so long using Roses because it's a horrendous mixture.
post #66 of 162
I disfavor unnatural sweater bourbons, and do not care for MM. I find MM cloying in some respects, and have a strong preference (for a cocktail bourbon) for the likes of Buffalo Trace or Weller 12. For mass produced bourbon, Knob Creek is higher in proof and therefore more suitable for cocktails and should have some of the caramel notes many look for.

The best Manhattans, I must insist, are made with Rye, not Bourbon, and the best Rye Manhattans I have had have been made with Thomas Handy Rye. William Larue Weller Bourbon is also an excellent substitute. Both are very high proof and make for a stout drink. Drink better, drink less is suitable advice to recall where these are concerned. For those with a constrained budget or the inability to procure the hard to find Antique Collection bottelings mentioned, Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond Rye is excellent, and a top contender for the best spirits buy for the dollar. And high proof at that.

For vermouth, I'll say it once and again and again: Vya or Carpano Antica. Do not skimp on vermouth, not skimp on cherries (I make my own -- in luxardo and Gran D. d'Alba Spanish Brandy), and enjoy a better drink in the comfort of your home than you'll find in most every bar around and about ... and when you do find a bar that serves one, patronize it, for they deserve your dollar.
post #67 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
I can't get Fever Tree or Q-Tonic waters. Any other recommendations on tonics?


Just thank the good lord you cant get a hold of Q-tonic. That stuff is disgusting. Taste like soap...



OT - have we per chance found our next "pinned" thread...?
post #68 of 162
all good suggestions on choices. I would second the VYA on the vermouth though I just picked up a botle of Carpano Antica sweet which raises the bar. Anothe whiskey suggestion would be the George Dickel as alternative to Jack Daniels
post #69 of 162
You need this Irish in your life, my man.
post #70 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC101 View Post
all good suggestions on choices. I would second the VYA on the vermouth though I just picked up a botle of Carpano Antica sweet which raises the bar. Anothe whiskey suggestion would be the George Dickel as alternative to Jack Daniels
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girardian View Post
For vermouth, I'll say it once and again and again: Vya or Carpano Antica. Do not skimp on vermouth, not skimp on cherries (I make my own -- in luxardo and Gran D. d'Alba Spanish Brandy), and enjoy a better drink in the comfort of your home than you'll find in most every bar around and about ... and when you do find a bar that serves one, patronize it, for they deserve your dollar.
Ahh, vermouth, where would we be without ye? Probably the first post on SF about Vya was my praise for it; it is such a good vermouth. But it is not the only one, and like with spirits, I'd find it hard to praise one as the BEST -- in fact the best I can do is claim that one may be the best for a particular application (this, presumably, is why I have like nine gins). As far as vermouths go -- your classic M&R sweet is a very fruity number indeed, especially when compared with Carpano, which is mind-numbingly wonderful, but has so little fruit, it is all earthy notes and spices with little of M&R's fresher notes to be found. Vya is the spiciest of the three, I think, you get a strong cassia topnote, but it is far fresher than Carpano, but not as fruity as M&R. So if I could only have one, it would be Vya, as I think it does the best all around. Carpano is my go to for Vieux Carres, neat, and, sometimes, Manhattans (though the best Manhattans for me are those I make with Vya and a little Lillet Rouge). The Negroni and Martinez, I feel, don't go as well with Carpano -- I find its earthiness does not pair well with the brightness of gin and Campari -- so I usually reach for M&R (as I did tonight, in fact, for my Boulevardier). Lots of good comments in this thread. ~ H
post #71 of 162
Do you have an opinion on Noilly Prat? That's all I can get here apart from M&R sweet and Cinzano dry.
post #72 of 162
I'm not a vermouth connoisseur, but I've been happy with Dolin. Small bottles too. I'm going to try the blanc as a substitute for Lillet in cocktails.
post #73 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobro View Post
Do you have an opinion on Noilly Prat? That's all I can get here apart from M&R sweet and Cinzano dry.
Not had their sweet....I am happy with my current selection (really, you can only have so many vermouths open at one time), except.....see below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambulance Chaser View Post
I'm not a vermouth connoisseur, but I've been happy with Dolin. Small bottles too. I'm going to try the blanc as a substitute for Lillet in cocktails.
Dolin is really highly regarded, and I love their blanc, which is the only Dolin I have. I can't imagine any of theirs would be poor (though there is the koan that you go to Italy for Sweet and France for Dry). I would love to try more, but they are unavailable to me. As for subsituting for Lillet blonde -- remember that the Lillet is already a subsitute for the more bitter Kina Lillet. And I's say Dolin Blanc is sweeter than Lillet is today (but lacking Lillet's citrus topnote), so it is taking the cocktail in a very different direction. Try Cocchi Apertivo to be close to the orginal Kina Lillet if you are interested in that style. ~ H
post #74 of 162
Thread Starter 
Guess who found Fever Tree Tonic Water? This guy! Also snagged their club soda and ginger ale. Figured what the fuck. OK, so I need a Creme de Cacao - do I go white or dark? Does brand matter with this stuff or is it all the same? The brand that I got my Creme de Violette from makes a CdC for $20. Everything else is around $8. Also, need a Cognac. I assume V.S. is good enough for mixing, right? If so, what brand should I go with for something on the cheap? Remy Martin or Hennessy? Remember, I'm never going to drink this shit straight for as long as I live.
post #75 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post


OK, so I need a Creme de Cacao - do I go white or dark? Does brand matter with this stuff or is it all the same? The brand that I got my Creme de Violette from makes a CdC for $20. Everything else is around $8.


In terms of color, the difference is food coloring. In terms of price, the difference is a well crafted spirit that can be enjoyed on its own or a watered down version with less alcohol and a more straightforward, less complex flavor meant to be used as a mixer. Select the one appropriate to your needs. Same with most of those liquors. Yes, you could buy cointreau, but the subtitles that make it much nicer are probably going to be lost in cocktails for most palettes. Probably better to just go with something a little cheaper.

But never, never, go bottom shelf if there's something reasonable in the middle. Mr. Boston does not make anything worth purchasing, unless you're buying vodka as a solvent.

Quote:
Also, need a Cognac. I assume V.S. is good enough for mixing, right? If so, what brand should I go with for something on the cheap? Remy Martin or Hennessy? Remember, I'm never going to drink this shit straight for as long as I live.

No, you don't need a cognac. You need a brandy. Cognac carries a premium becuase of the name, and shipping costs. Get an American brandy instead. For half the price of a crappy French VS, you can get a VSOP made from equally crappy grapes and aged longer.

Yes, crappy grapes. Brandy came about because one region of France had shitty grapes, and thus shitty wine. When it was reduced for transport to save money in getting crappy wine to the dutch, the dutch noticed a big improvement and basically told the french to keep sending the burnt wine (brandewijn in dutch) instead, they liked it much better.

It's cheap wine, distilled and aged. Especally in terms of mixing, that can happen just as well in the US as in France with stuff from California. The really nice cognacs and brandies will be made with nicer wine, with a perfect profile for distilling and aging, but you're not buying to sip out those subtle variations. And nice brandy is quite good straight.

For mixing, I think Huntsman recommends Christian Brothers. I tend to recommend E&J's VSOP. Either way. But American brandy is perfectly suitable and doesn't carry the upcharge based on a name.
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