Recent comments

  • Reply to: Growing Old Cocktail   by   6 years 3 months ago

    Drinking this now. Dan, you're not going to like it, I'm afraid. The Herbsaint rinse dominates the nose, but once you're past that, it smells chocolatey... the way a Tootsie Roll smells chocolatey. It's firmly sweet up front with an artificial chocolate flavor (how do you get artificial chocolate out of Cynar + Rye?), and starts to get interesting as the tobacco/bitter flavors of the Cynar take over the finish. 

    I think the easy way out might be 3/4 oz of lemon juice. I think something more interesting might be swap the rinse to creme de cassis to try and fix the acidity without acid. 

  • Reply to: Union Club   by   6 years 3 months ago

    Thank you for pointing this out. I've corrected the recipe and updated the attribution.

  • Reply to: Union Club   by   6 years 3 months ago

    I think this was originally a recipe from Jamie Boudreau in Seattle.

  • Reply to: Arrack Attack   by   6 years 3 months ago

    Mixology Monday is a global cocktail party. No it's a cocktail nerd smackdown. Or a collaborative mega blog, perhaps. For April 2011, Spirited Remix hosted MxMo LVI with the theme "Your best." No pressure. Gulp. I'm to select my finest cocktail — one that I've refined and perfected. That I've made a zillion times. Gulp. Gulp.

    I've refined the Arrack Attack over countless iterations, at least if you can't count beyond your thumbs. I've made this drink from for some time now, though. It elicits a warm response from the right audience. It's sweet and sour and bitter and savory and even a tiny touch salty all at once. A enthusiast's cocktail, I'd say.

    Batavia Arrack von Oosten is not the most accessible member of the rum clan. It's the left-of-center slightly crazy uncle with the funky flavor you can't quite place. And Cynar, oh Cynar, that bittersweet amaro made from artichokes and magic. Together they work. Yes, there's a lot going on. Sip thoughtfully and you can tease apart the layers.

    I selected this cocktail for a quarterly foodies group to which I belong. The particular event was covered by the Boston Globe, and there was a photo of me busily shaking up batches of Arrack Attacks. Our hosts prepared a rijsttafel. The Indonesian/Dutch connection of the Arrack was too good to pass up. I hope you enjoy it.

  • Reply to: Grenadine   by   6 years 3 months ago

    A very simple grenadine may be made with ingredients on hand (once you buy the pomegranate juice). Keeps well refrigerated.

    2 c Pomegranate juice
    1c Sugar
    1/2 oz Vanilla extract
    2t Crème de Violette
    20 dr red food coloring

    Shake to dissolve. I find the flavor of orange flower water soapy/perfumy, so I substitute Crème de Violette. The red food coloring is optional, but give is a potent red color.

  • Reply to: Haut-Medoc   by   6 years 3 months ago

    I tend to think about cocktail development in terms of flavor or aroma accords. In this cocktail, I was thinking about the bitters first - they're fruity, with a chile spicyness and typical bitter notes. That led me to Cassis, which is fruity + a woody bitterness, which led me to Rye, which has a green, woody bitterness as well. Maurin Quina is cherry + almond + some interesting bitter notes, and the rinse of Creme de Cacao is meant to mimic the 20th Century cocktail, as well as to tie in and harmonize the other flavors, all of which go well with chocolate. This is still in the theoretical phase, as Maurin Quina is a special order only thing where I live ;) 

    But to answer your question... I think that other cherry liqueurs might be a good substitition, as long as they have a bitterness to them. You might also want more lemon juice in the cocktail to make up for the loss of acidity in the cherry liqueurs.

  • Reply to: Haut-Medoc   by   6 years 3 months ago

    This is really intriguing. I've never seen the Maurin Quina before and will definitely look for it. I'm wondering what would happen if Cherry Heering or Combier Rouge were substituted for the cassis here.

  • Reply to: Smoked Anise   by   6 years 4 months ago

    Thanks, Dan, for doing that, and thanks to H. Joseph Ehrmann.

  • Reply to: Fumidus   by   6 years 4 months ago

    Winner of the 2011 Anvil Bar and Refuge "Bar Regulars Competition"

  • Reply to: Smoked Anise   by   6 years 4 months ago

    H. Joseph Ehrmann kindly wrote back with the original recipe, notes, and an aritcle from November 30, 2008 in the New York Times where it was featured. I have updated the recipe's name, history, date, and reference to reflect these source references.

  • Reply to: Smoked Anise   by   6 years 4 months ago

    Sounds similar to the Dreamy Dorini Smoking Martini created by Audrey Saunders that I saw mentioned on eGullet:

  • Reply to: Smoked Anise   by   6 years 4 months ago

    I have sought confirmation for Elixir about the name, ingredients, history, and attribution for this cocktail. This is obviously not a relative of a true Martini and perhaps has a better name.

  • Reply to: The Black Pearl   by   6 years 4 months ago

    I received a message from Julie Reiner. "... I did not create the Black Pearl. It was created by my former head bartender at Lani Kai. His name is Joseph Swifka."

  • Reply to: Sazerac   by   6 years 4 months ago

    Angostura is all baking spices - heavy clove and cinnamon and allspice. Peychaud's isn't as bitter, and it gives the Sazerac a pretty reddish pink color. It also emphasizes the anise of the absinthe, with a 'tutti-frutti' overtone. My understanding is that some people use a dash of Angostura and 2-3 dashes Peychaud's, but both should be staples in any home bar.

  • Reply to: Sazerac   by   6 years 4 months ago

    ... in my house. And we make it with Rye and Lucid Absinthe, which I also don't bother to drain out, just ad a small splash to the glass, twirl and leave a little puddle in the bottom. I dont have Peychauds though, so use Angostura and recently Underberg (which seems a bit sweeter). Any comments on how Peychauds makes it different?

  • Reply to: The Fiery Dog   by   6 years 4 months ago

    Ha ha! "Please don't put any White Dog in a cocktail glass."

  • Reply to: The Road to Tipperary:   by   6 years 4 months ago

    Clarified approximate volume of berries and stout, and suggested possible mix of berries. Alas, source reference is vague.

  • Reply to: Toronto   by   6 years 4 months ago

    Instead of Fernet Branca I would suggest Luxardo Fernet, which has a commendable peppery character without the soapy aftertaste Branca has. A Toronto made with such has a much more pleasant impact IMHO.

  • Reply to: East India Trading Company   by   6 years 4 months ago

    Subbed El Dorado 5 & Flor de Cana 7 for the Appleton, and Trevor Jones 'Jonesy' Tawny "Port" for the Sherry. It's alright, sort of flip-like, but without the richness. I wanted nutmeg, but I want nutmeg with all flips. Meh.

  • Reply to: Amelia Earhart   by   6 years 4 months ago

    I updated the missing attribution and clarified the amount of Meyer lemon juice.

  • Reply to: Amelia Earhart   by   6 years 4 months ago

    I read this to my wife, who likes van Aviation, and her reaction was, "that's disgusting!". Not that it wouldn't taste good. But what's the concept here?

    Any idea of the background or history?

  • Reply to: Sazerac   by   6 years 4 months ago

    I made Sazeracs tonight, and it's just a delicious drink. I tend to like a mix of Ryes (Rittenhouse 100 and High West Rendezvous) to give me 1 1/2 oz, then an ounce of Cognac. I tend to rinse with Herbsaint, and I'm not careful about getting it all out. I also use probably closer to 1/4 oz. simple, as a sugar cube muddled with a splash of water. I also leave the fairly long lemon zest in the drink... I want the lemon punch to counteract the sweetness of the simple.

  • Reply to: Paul's Swizzle   by   6 years 4 months ago

    Renamed and fixed swizzling time.

  • Reply to: Fir Gin Fix   by   6 years 4 months ago

    This sounds lovely. If you are at all partial to Campari, try the Shiver -- one of my top favorites.

  • Reply to: Gunshop Fizz   by   6 years 4 months ago

    A little bit of work, but a gorgeous color. I subbed Campari + Soda for the Sanbitter, which is impossible to find where I live. It's got nice balance, and interesting flavors, but there's a serious "Strawberry-Banana Jello" character here, and while the cucumber adds some freshness and complexity, the whallop of Peychaud's leaves sort of a metallic/phenolic bitterness. I think I admire this more than I love it.