Recent comments

  • Reply to: Martini L.E.F.   by   6 months 2 weeks 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 calls for no garnish. I drank some of the original cocktail with no 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, not two (and possibly use a different bitters altogether); (2) use something different for Lillet Blanc, perhaps a topshelf vermouth, or maybe Cocchi Americano; and (3) use a garnish to add a complementary flavor and added complexity. I suggest a lemon twist (but others may come up with a better alternative). Meanwhile, live the good life--drink and enjoy!

  • Reply to: Hunter   by   6 months 2 weeks ago

    Haven't tasted this, but I agree that it seems like it's missing something. That said, I must say that there's quite a few classic cocktails  and their variants having this formula(although most of them has a dash or two of bitters). Like Eric Alperins Highlander, calling for 2 oz Scotch, 1/2 oz Cherry Heering and a lemonpeel. So a dash of bitters and a complementary spray of citrus oils might do the trick. Now I have to try this drink, I guess...

  • Reply to: Klaus Kinski   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    @MOJOjojo I believe I made this with an orange twist. I'll add it to the drink recipe.

  • Reply to: Klaus Kinski   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    This drink, Klaus Kinski, as is, I rated as 3.5. The ingredients blend together OK, but the overall taste is somewhat flat and definitely "heavy." It needs a contrasting flavor, so I added two dashes of blood orange bitters, but the other ingredients overwhelmed the flavor of the bitters. I decided, then, that what is needed is a zest from a citrus fruit, I added grapefruit zest, and it was helpful. Next time, I'm going to try orange or lemon (maybe Meyer Lemon zest). If anyone else comes up with a better solution, be sure to write a comment, I'd like to hear from others who have "fiddled" with this cocktail. Thanks.

  • Reply to: Central Park   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    Lacking blackberry liqueur I subbed Maraschino instead and was very pleased with the result.


  • Reply to: Noce Americana   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    This is an easy-to-drink cocktail, with lovely notes from the Cocchi Americano and the Ramazzotti. Although the recipe does not call for it, I decided to add a little amount of a citrus zest. But I didn't want the usual orange or lemon, so I chose Tangerine, and just a light spray. It worked out nicely, being a tad lighter and a bit sweeter than orange. This is something others may want to try, not just with the Noce Americana, but with other drinks calling for orange zest, or no zest at all but your hunch is that an orange-type zest just might add a little something that is missing.

    A SIDE NOTE: I think this drink does better with a rye whiskey that is not overproofed. I've had two Noce Americanas tonight. The first was with Wild Turkey rye (81 proof) and the second was with Bulleit rye (90 proof). Both were enjoyable and smooth, but the second one, at 90 proof, had a bit of a burn. that was not present with the Wild Turkey. Using Rittenhouse, at 100 proof, would have both a bolder rye taste and more of a burn--and be less enjoyable. It has nothing to do with Rittenhouse, per se, which I have enjoyed in many cocktails. It's that, in my opinion, the Noce Americana is more suited with a rye whiskey in the 80 to 90 proof range.

  • Reply to: 86 Long Island Iced Tea   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    For those who like a well-made Long Island Ice Tea, beware!. For those who have never had a Long Island Ice Tea and are thinking of trying this to see what it's all about, beware! For anyone else who might think about trying this drink, just because...beware! This concoction is not fit for human consumption--unless you're trying to kill off your spouse or ex-spouse. I used all topshelf ingredients--including the lemons.

    The basic problem is that the lemon juice overwhems all. In addition, a "true" and well-made Long Island Ice Tea has contrasting flavors, yet they blend nicely. In fact, Mittie Hellmich, in her well-written and informative book, "Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide," wrote about the Long Island Tea, "Some purists claim you should never mix vodka and gin together, but this potent classic defies many taboos, and indeed tastes dangerously like iced tea (pg. 268)." The truth be known, when I feel like living on the edge, I'll drink a London Iced Tea, and maybe two--but never three!

  • Reply to: Bonsoni   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    Curated this slightly - Changed Hugh to Hugo Ensslin. Changed instructions to conform with the cited text - it was shaken originally.  Thanks,  Zachary

  • Reply to: Penultimate Word   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    I stumbled upon this drink by accident today: it was the featured cocktail of the day at I looked over the ingredients and decided to give it a try. I used a top-shelf gin, made by St. George in CA named Terroir. It is NOT a London Dry style gin; it is, as you might guess from the gin's name, a gin made from a variety of CA botanicals, including "Douglas Fir, CA bay laurel, fennel, coastal sage, orris root, angelica root, juniper berries, and other profoundly aromatic botanical ingrediients." I also reduced the lemon juice from 1 oz to 1/2 oz, and used a fat 1/2 oz Maraschino liqueur. The result was a splended drink, in part, I believe, to the uniquely earthy but wholey drinkable St. George gin. If this gin is not available, I recommend using a highly botonical gin such as Magellen Blue, Citadelle, or Tanqueray Bloomsbury. Tanqueray Ten may work well, also. Oh, yes, before I forget, I rated this drink 5.0 using the changes I made. How well another gin will work, I will leave to others to discover and comment on. Meanwhile, enjoy this drink; it is full of flavors.

  • Reply to: The Grand Street   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    <br />I love gin drinks, and The Grand Street is close to the top of my gin-cocktail favorites. Delicious, full of flavors, and easy to drink. I used an earthy gin (literally)--St George Terroir Gin. Among its many botonicals are Douglas fir (no kidding!), orris root, fennel, and CA bay laurel. This is a robust gin, but it mixes well with most gin-based cocktails without overwhelming the other ingredients. I highly recommend this cocktail, and I also recommend this gin to gin lovers.

  • Reply to: La Merced   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    To those who read my comments written yesterday, I owe an apology because I gave some misinformation of sorts. This morning, as I read what I wrote yesterday, I re-played in my head what I did to make my La Merced. And in doing so, I discovered a major difference in one ingredient I mistakenly used in place of what was called for. Yet that mistake is what resulted, I believe, in an excellent cocktail that I rated at 4.5.

    Specifically, by mistake I used AMARO NONINO instead of Amaro Montenegro. The former resulted in a light tasting, very delicious, and by no means sweet drink. In fact, the flavors of each ingredient complimented each other. Today, I made a La Merced using the Montenegro (but only 1 1/4 oz), and I have to admit it was sweet and no where near as satisfying as the one made with Amaro Nonino; I would rate this drink at 3.5.

    Now we know the culprit--Amaro Montenegro. So for a far better La Merced, use Amaro Nonino instead of Amaro Montenegro (and use 1 1/2 oz).

  • Reply to: La Merced   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    What a delightful drink. Mine was not overly sweet as was the case for several users, and had a SLIGHT but pleasant bitterness reminiscent of a Negroni. And the orange zest brought everything home.

    Based on the fine quality of my cocktail, I would not use any other ingredients as did several users. I suspect the Pisco used by them may have been the culprit. As with different brands of gins, different brands of Piscos may give you a different taste. Indeed, even where the Pisco is made will influence the taste. I have one Pisco made in Peru (Porton) and another made in Chile (Alto del Carmen). They are as different as night and day, yet both are delicious in the right mixtures. For the La Merced, I used the Chilean Pisco (Alto del Carmen), which is made predominately of Muscat grapes. What I have read about Piscos suggest that you choose your Pisco with care, and perhaps have two very different Piscos, given the impact they can have on the resultant taste of the cocktail</p>

  • Reply to: Tuxedo Cocktail   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    As I said in my prior comment, I would try both recipes, and give you my impressions, suggestions, and recommendations. Here goes:
    I started with the PDT recipe, calling for an Absinthe-rinsed glass, Plymouth gin, and 1/4 oz Luxardo Marachino liqueur, among other ingredients. The results: I loved this cocktail! The flavors were well-balanced, light in taste, and a delight to drink. I would rate it a 4.5 for your cocktail book. NOTE: the PDT recipe calls for 1 1/2 oz of Dolin dry vermouth; although I like Dolin vermouth, I am not fond of dry vermouth, so I used only 1 1/4 oz of Dolin dry vermouth.

    As for the recipe given by Kindred Cocktails; I used 2 oz (not 1 oz) of Hayman's Old Tom gin, Dolin dry vermouth (in both recipes), St George Absinthe Verte (in both recipes), and Regans' No. 6 Orange bitters (whereas I used the house Orange bitters recipe given in PDT for the PDT recipe). The results: This version of the Tuxedo Cocktail lacked much in the way of flavor--what came through mostly was the Absinthe and the lemon zest. I could not taste the Luxardo Marischino at all (so I added a "skinny" 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino, and it made a big difference). My rating: Between 2.5 to 3.0

    MY RECOMMENDATIONS: For a more flavorful and satisfying Tuxedo Cocktail, use the recipe from PDT (pg. 257), which I gave in yesterday's comment (in case you do not have a copy of the PDT book). Also, use 1 1/4 oz or 1 1/2 oz of Dolin dry vermouth, depending upon your taste. If you prefer to use Kindred Cocktail's version of the Tuxedo Cocktail, be sure to use 2 oz of Old Tom gin--1 oz will not suffice.

  • Reply to: Tuxedo Cocktail   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    <br /> A user cited PDT (The PDT Cocktail Book), page 257, with no other comment. Going to that book, I found the following Tuxedo Cocktail receipe
    2 oz Plymouth gin
    1.5 Dolin Dry Vermouth
    .25 Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
    2 dashes House Orange Bitters (half Regan's No. 6 orange bitters and half Fee Bros orange bitters

    Preparation: Stir with ice and strain into a chilled, Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe-rinsed coupe

    This is a totally different recipe, and just eyeballing the two, I think I would prefer PDT's. Also, note in PDT's recipe, the Absinthe is used as a rinse, and not included as an ingredient. Note, too, 1 oz of Old Tom gin is used in Kindred Cocktail's recipe, whereas 2 oz of Plymouth gin is used in PDT's recipe. An interesting difference. I wonder if the Old Tom gin should be bumped up to 2 oz also (or at least 1 1/2 oz). I'll find out when I try both recipes; I'll report my findings after trying the old and the revised new.

    By the way, PDT gives credit for the Tuxedo cocktail to Harry Johnson, in his Bartender's Manual, 1900

  • Reply to: Tuxedo Cocktail   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    I cleaned this up - The PDT version is modernized for a 4 ounce pre-chill volume. The Savoy  reflects the dominance of London gin at the time, swapping it out for the Old Tom of Johnson's time. Thanks,  Zachary

  • Reply to: The Osborn   by   6 months 3 weeks ago
  • Reply to: Chan Chan   by   6 months 3 weeks ago

    Curated to 1/3 oz simple to match source reference. 

  • Reply to: White Negroni   by   6 months 4 weeks ago

    Having played around with different recipes, I'm prepared to assert that this drink -- as a Negroni variation -- works best with Dolin Blanc, not Lillet or Cocchi Americano. (Not Dolin Dry, to be clear!)

    If you're a Negroni purist and stick to the 1:1:1 recipe, then I think doing the same here  (1 gin, 1 Suze, 1 Dolin Blanc) is a reasonable (and enjoyable) sibling. Personally, I'm skeptical of Negroni recipes which increase the gin proportion, but I'll say that dialing back the Suze here isn't a crazy idea. That will be a later experiment.

    I mean, the Suze can be pretty assertive, but let's face it: Campari in the basic Negroni recipe is pretty assertive too (and that's what I like about it).

  • Reply to: Boulevardier (Stagger Lee)   by   7 months 2 days ago

    <br />
    A georgous bourbon negroni-style drink! I rate few drinks as a 5.0, but I rated the Boulevardier (Stagger Lee) as a 5.0 without hesitation. I noticed one user said "First sip screams bitter..." Myself, I made sure to use less than 7/8 oz of Campari, just to avoid issues of bitterness. The same user judged the drink perhaps too sweet toward the end of the drink, and suggested using rye instead of bourbon. I'm guessing the sweetness is due to the Cynar becoming more prominent as the large ice rock melted, and the drink became diluted. I avoided this by simply stirring with ice until cold (~30 seconds) and then pouring the drink into a chilled glass. In other words, I didn't use any ice after stirring. Thus, the drink's taste remained uniform, from beginning to end. And it was great!

  • Reply to: Mezcal Martini   by   7 months 3 days ago

    Good, but maybe a tad dry for my taste. A dash of orange bitters (I used Regan's) helps.

  • Reply to: Juniperotivo   by   7 months 4 days ago

    Looks a bit brown and mucky but tastes lovely!

  • Reply to: Summer Hemingway   by   7 months 5 days ago

    I used cinnamon syrup, halved the maraschino, and added 1/2 oz of Falernum.  Delicious.

  • Reply to: McCarren Park Swizzle   by   7 months 1 week ago

    Incredible accentuation of the pear eau de vie.  I used st george pear brandy which was phenomenal. The slightly tart finish of the sorel is sheer genius!



  • Reply to: Dank Back   by   7 months 1 week ago

    This drink was posted 3 years ago, without a user's comment or rating. I looked at the ingredients, and I thought they should blend together well enough to produce a cocktail that some might find pleasing on a hot, summer day. So... here's the result! The tequila taste is there, but the Aperol rides along with it, blending nicely. As expected the Aperal brings a sweetness to the drink--for those liking a less sweet drink, I suggest using a "fat" 11/2 oz of tequila, or a combination of Aperol and Campari to the drinker's taste. Another option, which often softens the sweetness without making any other change, is to use a lemon twist, instead of the orange garnish. In summary, the Dank Back is a nice, tasty, somewhat sweet tequila drink that will do as a before or after dinner drink, or just a nice pleasant drink on one of those hazey, crazy summer afternoon.

  • Reply to: Raton Canyon Cocktail   by   7 months 1 week 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 when: the drink is relatively easy to fix, and does not take much time to prepare. Also, the ingredients are easy to find, 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); i.e., the ingredients are versatile, and a will not lanquish on the shelf for years. Also, the drink is inherently tasty, it's not one that you have to "aquire" a taste for. Finally, it's drink that is popular with the general public and had been popular for several decades. 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 vodkas. The Raton Canyon Cocktail, in my opinion should justify a five rating: All of the ingredients are easy to find and buy, individually they aren't real expensive, but each one can be used in many different cocktail recipies. It's a very tasty drink, with a variety of ingredients that blend together simply marverously into what I describe as a truly unforgettable. Yes, with no doubt, the Raton Canyon Cocktail is truly a five cocktail. Bottoms up, but slowly, and enjoy a truly unforgettable drink.