Recent comments

  • Reply to: A Simple Quandary   by   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Thanks for the compliment Michael.  This is definitely one of my favorite cocktails I've done over the years.  As for the sweetness, originally I used North Shore which has a heavy cumin spice notes to it, so it wasn't intended to be a sweet cocktail, but more savory spiced one.  Since then, I've adapted the recipe to use more balanced Aquavit such as Linie or even Krostad which make it far more accessible to most peoples palates.  Cheers.

  • Reply to: Demon of Destiny   by   3 weeks 3 days ago

    <br />The instructions need to be clarified on two matters: (1) The instructions say to put all of the ingredients, save for the agave syrup, into a glass mixer and then vigorously shake it. I think if the ingredients are to be vigorously shaken, then they should be put into a metal shaker, not a mixing glass. This will prevent the escape of the minions from Hell! (2) More importantly, what is to be done with the agave syrup that was put into a separate container? The only thing I could come up with is that the agave syrup is to be carefully floated atop of the other ingredients after they have been vigorously shaken. Can anyone clarify what is to be done with the agave syrup? I think the instructions should be rewritten to clarify both issues, but mostly to clarify issue number two, regarding the agave syrup. And I agree that switching the amounts of absinthe and tequila makes a better drink.

  • Reply to: Adair Hook   by   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Just made this again with some barrel-aged navy-strength gin of my own devising. Only trouble is, I'd already ranked it a 5 on a previous tasting!

  • Reply to: Reverse Vesper   by   3 weeks 4 days ago

    I was caught by one user's comment that the Reverse Vesper is... "Tastier than the original though maybe too sweet. Worth trying with the gin and vodka proportions switched." I thought there must be a better, perhaps simpler way to make this drink less sweet, so here's what I did and the results.</p>
    First, I made the drink using Citadelle Gin, but otherwise did not change the recipe, and found it somewhat sweet, but not overly so. Nevertheless, I used a grapefruit twist, making sure to express a fair amount of oil, and dropped in the twist. Definitely less sweet. Then I added dash of Fee Bros West Indies Orange Bitters. Even better, and I don't think anyone would complain about sweetness now. Nevertheless, I made another drink the same way, except I used one dash of Blood Orange bitters instead of West Indies bitters. I liked this even more. The changes to date: I used Citadelle Gin, a grapefruit twist, and 1-2 dashes of Blood Orange bitters. The result: a complex but smooth cocktail, that was not as sweet as before, with the amounts of vodka and gin unchanged.</p>
    Now I decided to change the gin brand but continue to use the grapefruit twist and the Blood Orange bitters, To date, I've been using Valentine Vodka (a topshelf, very smooth vodka). In place of the Citidelle gin, I tried both St. George Terroir Gin and The Botanist Gin (both are botanical gins). Using either gin, along with Valentine Vodka, Blood Orange bitters, and a grapefruit twist made for a very tasty drink, which did not have a "sweetness" to it. In short, if you find the above recipe too sweet, use a grapefruit twist in place of the orange peel. A lemon twist also works well. If available, use Blood Orange bitters (1-2 dashes), and use a botanical gin if you have one--or Tanqueray Ten or Tanqueray Bloomsbury gin.

    A long discussion, but I hope some of the suggested changes to create a less sweet cocktail were helpful. Cheers.</p>

  • Reply to: A Simple Quandary   by   3 weeks 5 days ago

    A very, very nice cocktail. Aquavit can often overpower other ingredients in a cocktail, resulting in a drink with a somewhat unpleasant taste. This recipe overcame that problem with the use of a botanical gin (my two favorites being The Botanist and St. George Terroir Gin; each has a different taste, but both are spectacular) Tonight I used St. George and I also used Blood Orange bitters instead of Regan's No. 6; I also used a grapefruit twist (my twist--no pun intended--as an additional garnish) This cocktail deserves all of the accolades it has received.
    P.S. One user found A Simple Quandary "sweet." If a botanical gin is used, there is no way this cocktail can be sweet; in fact, with the combination of Aquavit and Benedictine, there is no way A Simple Quandary can be "sweet," regardless of the gin used.

  • Reply to: 100-Year-Old Cigar   by   3 weeks 5 days ago

    I substituted Ledaig 10 for the whisky and Clément Select Barrel for the rum. This really did capture many of the tastier notes of cigar smoke without being overpoweringly strong in any direction.

  • Reply to: Let Me Draw You   by   3 weeks 6 days ago

    I am drawn to you!   Best cocktail ever! As per semper Tempis Fugit forever . I used th St george spiced pear which adds a little kick.  NICE!

  • Reply to: Martini L.E.F.   by   4 weeks 1 day ago

    <br />This is only the second martini in my life, so I don't have much of a background to compare this martini against other martinis. However, I know what I like and what I don't like, and I have enough experience with alcoholic beverages, so that I can make some suggestions that may change a so-so drink into a better drink. With that background, I rated the Martini L.E.F. as a 2.5 cocktail. Why? First, the current recipe calls for two dashes of Bittermens Burlesque bitters. I believe one dash will be enough (as a side note, I wonder if there might be a better bitters for this drink; I think so, but at this time, I'm not sure what would make for a better alternative). I also wonder if there might be a better alternative to Lillet Blanc. I think there is; I will be trying Dolin's blanc vermouth. Finally, the receipe specifically called for no garnish. I drank some of the original cocktail without garnish, and found the taste to be somewhat harsh, so I used a lemeon twist, making sure to express a good amound of the lemon oil on top of the cocktail. That was a definite improvement. In short, to improve this drink I recommend: (1) use just 1 dash of Bittermen Burlesque bitters instead of two (and possibly use a different bitters altogether); (2) use something different to Lillet Blanc, perhaps a topshelf vermouth, or maybe Cocchi Americano; and (3) use a garnish to add a complementary flavor and added complexity a lemon twist is ; my suggestion (but others may come up with a better alternative). Meanwhile, live the good life!

  • Reply to: Duplex (Punt e Mes and Lillet)   by   4 weeks 1 day ago

    <br />The Duplex is an enjoyable drink, and its wonderful taste is in the simplicity of the drink itself. There are only two major ingredients, the Lillet Blanc and the Punt e Mes. Period. The other two ingredients may seem to play a somewhat minor role, but they are essential to the drink's pleasantness. The orange bitters (I used Fee Bros West Indies Orange Bitters, which has a somewhat more distinctive taste than the usual Regan's or Angostura Orange Bitters) and the lemon peel add additional flavors and more complexity to this drink. The Duplex can, in my opinion, be imbibed in a hot afternoon, or before dinner, or after dinner. It is a light, somewhat complex tasting, yet versatile drink.

  • Reply to: Ashby Swizzle   by   4 weeks 1 day ago

    This has pretty much replaced the Last  Word as my go-to cocktail when I have mint in my garden.  I don't have tobacco bitters so I don't use them.


  • Reply to: A Monkey In Winter   by   1 month 6 hours ago

    Left off the syrup. Found it plenty sweet with Tempis Fugit cacao .  Otherwise delicious!!

  • Reply to: La Merced   by   1 month 13 hours ago

    Lovely drink. Was a bit too sweet for my taste so added a dash of Boker's bitters.

  • Reply to: Love Is Like A Bottle Of Gin   by   1 month 2 days ago

    agreed on the luxardo, dialed it back a bit and subbed falernum for cinnamon syrup

  • Reply to: Eclipse   by   1 month 3 days ago
  • Reply to: Antihero   by   1 month 1 week ago

    Fantastic. Cut the lime juice down to 3/4.

  • Reply to: Teresa 2   by   1 month 1 week ago

    Quite nice. My cassis was rather oxidized and that came through under the Campari. I think it would be better with fresh vibrant cassis or some other berry-family liqueur. Stone fruit -- maybe apricot -- might work too. Without the gin, I think it would be cloying.

  • Reply to: South of No North   by   1 month 1 week ago

    Corrected from chocolate bitters to coffee.

  • Reply to: Casino   by   1 month 1 week ago

    Do yourself a favor and drop the amount of maraschino to a scant 1/4 oz. Add a bar spoon of simple to sweeten it up slightly.

  • Reply to: South of No North   by   1 month 1 week ago

    The reference states 1 oz cold-brew coffee where this one states 1 oz bitters.

  • Reply to: Martini (Modern: 5:1)   by   1 month 1 week ago

    <br />Lordy! Lordy! What a drink. This was my first martini, and I'm on the far side of 21 years. But let me explain why I liked this drink so much. First, I used Tanqueray Bloomsbury gin, which I like even more than Tangqueray Ten. Although Bloomsbury's a London dry gin, it has a great bouquet and it goes down very easily. Now here's where I deviated from the called for dry vermouth. I used, instead, Dolin Blanc (a semi-sweet vermouth), and finished it up with a lemon twist, making sure I had a nice amount of lemon flavoring expressed on top of the cocktail before I dropped the twist in. Light, tasty, and oh so easy going down. A memorable drink!

  • Reply to: Early Dismissal   by   1 month 1 week ago

    Made an approximation of this with spiced rum and hibiscus cardamom syrup from Portland Soda Works, but the result was great! A bit tart.

  • Reply to: Aristocrat   by   1 month 1 week ago

    This drink caught me by surprise, mostly because--I think--I've been drinking and loving amaro-based drinks for the last month. The Aristocrat is decidedly different from those wonderful amari; it's sweeter and lighter in taste. I would drink the Aristocrat before dinner or on a lazy do-nothing afternoon.

    There are several reasons why I like this drink: The greatest reason is the St. George terroir gin, which is exquisite to say the least. Its label reads like a who's who in the botanical world: "Douglas fir, California bay laurel, fennel, coastal sage, orris root, angelica root, juniper berries, and other profoundly aromatic botanical ingredients..." Pair a great gin with a top-shelf bianco vermouth by Dolin, and Cynat, plus subtle celery bitterrs, and you have a drink making you want another. So have it, and enjoy it!

    In closing, I should add that those who like that amaro bitterness will like this drink because of the St. George gin in combination with the Cynar. If you want less bitterness, use a botanical gin suchs as Tanqueray Bloomsbury or Ten, or Megellen Blue. The Aristocrat is, in my opinion, a cocktail for overyone.

  • Reply to: Tarleton's Resurrection   by   1 month 1 week ago

    a tad sweet/heavy for me as is, would up the lemon juice I think if I make again

  • Reply to: Raton Canyon Cocktail   by   1 month 2 weeks ago

    I can sum it up in three words: A FANTASTIC DRINK! I rated this drink as a five, something I raarely do. I rate a drink as a five when: the drink is relatively easy to fix, and does not take much time to prepare. Also, the ingredients are easy to obtain, and they can be used in a variety of drinks (I hate to buy an ingredient that is somewhat pricey--say $30 on up--and is used only for that drink); in short the ingredients are versatile, and a will not lanquish on the shelf for years, seldom used. Also, the drink is inherently tasty, it's not one that you have to "aquire" a taste for. Finally, it's a drink that is popular with the general public and has been popular for several decades--in short, not a fad.

    Drinks like the martini, or the old fashioned, or the Rob Roy are examples of drinks that I would rate a five, even though I, personally don't care for dry martinis. In my opinion, it's easy to justify a five rating for The Raton Canyon Cocktail: Only a few ingredients are needed, all of the ingredients are easy to find and buy; individually they aren't real expensive, and each ingredient is versatile, i.e. each one can be used in a variety of different cocktails In short, it's a very tasty drink, with only a few ingredients that blend together simply marverously into what I describe as a truly unforgettable.cocktail. Yes, with no doubt, the Raton Canyon Cocktail truly deserves a five rating. Bottoms up, but slowly, so you can enjoy a truly unforgettable drink.

  • Reply to: Bartlett Tartlet   by   1 month 2 weeks ago

    Made with St George Pear Brandy, Pierre Ferrand 1840 and Combier Triple Sec. Divine. Like rich pear drops with a satisfying alcoholic warmth that lingers. Perfect accentuation of a beautiful pear note.