Recent comments

  • Reply to: The Pledge   by   1 month 1 week ago

    Having been served in North Carolina an un-named cocktail containing inter alia Rye, Chartreuse, and Averna, I searched for similar confections, and found The Pledge at the cited source.

    I made both the original version, and the adaptation described above - although I made both with Bulleit Rye. 

    I think the two drinks are sufficiently different, that the original version should be listed here as The Pledge, and the version posted here in 2014 be given a slightly different name, or listed as a variant.

    The Benedictine version was both smoother and sharper than the Averna version, which seemed to be richer and less herbal. The mouth feel of the original version is more substantial, also.

    I thought both versions were good, and I will probably make one or the other again, at some point.

  • Reply to: Expatriate   by   1 month 1 week ago

    Good. Benefits from more dilution than I would have guessed, given the relatively low ABV.

  • Reply to: Kingston Negroni   by   1 month 1 week ago

    <br />What a drink! Incredible in taste, and easy going down. I've imbibed the traditional Negroni, and I can't count all of its variations I've swallowed. Most were either good or very good. But this one is the best of them all. Even though the Smith & Cross rum is overproofed, it blends unbelieveabley well with the Campari and Vermouth. For the vermouth I used Vya sweet, a topshelf vermouth I have been using for years. I have the Carpano, and I will be using it the next time I make a Kingston Negroni--which will be within 8 hours. For those looking for a new mixology adventure, this is the one to take. Enjoy!

  • Reply to: Hibernating Bear   by   1 month 1 week ago

    Made with Ketel 1 Granjenever and Old Krupnik. Upped the Genever to 2oz and garnished with a lemon wedge. Lovely!

  • Reply to: The Vanishing Point   by   1 month 1 week ago

    Tastes pretty lifeless as written. I added 15 mL of cynar, which helped spice things up, but it's still missing something.

  • Reply to: The Departed   by   1 month 2 weeks ago

    Like many drinkers, I'm not terribly fond of heavily peated drinks, but "The Departed," I found to be within my level of tolerance for peated drinks. As a result, this drink more than tolerable, but actually enjoyable. The Campari was able to assert itself over the Mezcal, and the El Dorado 15 (which I used), provided some appreciable sweetness, and the orange zest gave a nice, contrasting flavor to the drink (in hindsight, I wish I had added more orange zest than I did).

    Overall, I found this drink to have many flavors that worked together to provide the drinker with a memorable drink, which I rated at 4.0. In short, "The Departed" should have a long life, and give a lot of pleasure to those who enjoy a better than average drink.

  • Reply to: Bishdogg#1   by   1 month 2 weeks ago

    An interesting drink, but one I would like to tinker with in the future to improve it. For example, I used St. George terrior gin, which has 12 botonicals that have a heavy taste (e.g., Douglas fir, CA Bay laurel, fennel, and juniper berries among others). I would like to try a lighter, more flowery gin like Tanqueray Ten or Citadelle.

    For a vermouth, I used Vya, a topshelf sweet vermouth. I would like to try Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, which is both sweet and amazingly tasty. I would also like to try Vermut, a Spanish vermouth, which is neither sweet nor dry, but long on taste.

    Finally, I would like to try several different garnish options. I drank this with no garnish, and thought something was needed. I tried a small amount of lemon zest, and thought it tasted better. I then added orange zest to the lemon zest (the first time I have ever done so), and thought it was a definite improvement.

    So much to do, so little time to do it all. But I will. In summary, I rated Bishdogg #1 at 3.5. I think that with some modifications, it will be rated fairly consistently at 4.0, maybe even 4.5

  • Reply to: All Good Things   by   1 month 2 weeks ago

    A great drink, but one that is heafty in taste; after all, look at the ingredients--rye whiskey (100 proof), anejo tequila (80 proof), and yellow chartreuese (80 proof). The other ingredients add their own distinctive tastes, even though only a small amount is used (except for the sweet vermouth). Fortunately, all of these ingredients blend together well. But for me, the lynch pin of this cocktail was the orange twist (I used a fair amount); its taste overcame much of the bitterness that would have been there without orange twist. I believe All Good Things makes one of those excellent before dinner cocktails.

  • Reply to: Manhattan (Bénédictine)   by   1 month 2 weeks ago

    For myself, I find 1/2 oz of Benedictine overwhelms the Maker's Mark bourbon. My suggestion: (1) Make the drink according to the recipe, but add only 1/4 oz of Benedictine for start; add more to suit your taste OR (2) Make the drink according to the recipe, but add 2 1/4 oz of Maker's Mark bourbon, and add more to suit your taste.

    For myself, I adjusted the recipe by adding a little more than a 1/4 oz of Maker's Mark. Unadjusted, I would rate it a four. After adjusting the drink by adding 1/4 /oz bourbon, I rated the Manhattan with Benedictine at a 4.5. This drink might also benefit from an orange twist.

  • Reply to: Rob Roy 2   by   1 month 2 weeks ago

    Not being a lover of peated drinks, but having an unopened 375 ml bottle of Johnny Walker Black on the shelf, I decided on a whim to try the Rob Roy 2--mostly because I like the traditional Rob Roy.

    My thoughts on the drink? Not bad! Not great, but definitely not bad. The peat comes through despite the Punt e Mes, the orange bitters, and the lemon twist. People who enjoy peated cocktails will, in my opinion, enjoy this drink--especially late at night. Maybe that's why I rated it 4.0. It's now 11:20 PM, about another 40 minutes before bedtime.

  • Reply to: Oriental   by   1 month 2 weeks ago

    I like this but have always found it a little lacking in depth.  Tonight I added 1/4 oz of St George Bruto Americano amaro and found it an improvement.  Maybe will try a similar experiment with Cynar.

  • Reply to: Black Manhattan   by   1 month 2 weeks ago

    I used Jim Beam Black, because of its smoothness and full taste from being aged 8 years. I concur cardamom bitters is a nice touch. So might be black walnut bitters or Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters. Regardless, I prefer  an orange twist as opposed to orange bitters.I rate this change as 4 stars.

  • Reply to: Twentieth Century Cocktail (Meletti)   by   1 month 2 weeks ago

    My expectations for this drink were high; it was rated 5 by seven people. I made one minor change, reducing the lemon juice from 3/8 oz to 1/4 oz. I did this because over the years I found that the requisite amount of lemon juice for a given cocktail recipe was too much for my taste buds, so I generally reduce the amount of lemon juice by 40 to 50%. The result is--for me--a satisfactory cocktail. When I reduced the lemon juice here, I was left with a pleasant cocktail that I rated as 4.0.

    Later, I found in my refrigerator a pink lemon described as having a "tangy taste." So I tried it, using 3/8 oz of juice. I was pleasently surprised; it did not have as bitter a taste as the traditional lemon. This libation I rated as 4.5.By the way, I used two dashes of the mole in both variations; I like a chocolate taste!.

    The next time I try this cocktail, I will use a Meyer lemon, which is shaped like a lemon, but its peel is orange in color and it has a less bitter taste. I will comment on the outcome of using a Meyer lemon, Some will wonder why am I doing all this? Good question! The reason is that I know I am not the only person who finds the requisite amount of lemon juice is too much, and even a small reduction is not entirely satisfactory. So, I am exploring other avenues as an alternative to the lemon when a cocktail recipe calls for lemon juice. Who knows--maybe the Nobel Peace prize!

  • Reply to: Martini L.E.F.   by   1 month 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   1 month 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: Madhattan   by   1 month 2 weeks ago

    <br />This is an interesting, quite drinkable cocktail whose full potential has not yet been realized. I read the comment by one user who said that perhaps another amaro should be used. The comment that Jack Daniels Black (which I'm inclined to use when the recipe doesn't specify the bourbon) gave me pause. Given that comment about J.D. Black, I decided to use a lighter tasting rye than, say, Rittenhouse or Bulleit, so I chose WhistlePig rye (100 proof) which is lighter and less dry than many other ryes (it's comprable to Templeton rye in that regard). I also added a moderate amount of lemon zest--you'll have to eyeball what a moderate amount is-- and the peel. I found the resultant drink to be quite satisfying. Zwack's bitterness was kept under control, and Amaro Lucano brought an appreciable amount of sweetness to the drink. I rated the cocktail, as I constructed it, as 3.5.

    I would like to hear what others try, and the outcome of their efforts. I believe this cocktail should ultimiately be rated at least at 4.0. As is, the Madhattan is a satisfying pre-dinner drink, and with additional modifications, I believe the Madhattan could ultimately be rated as high as 4.5. Suggestions, please.

  • Reply to: Klaus Kinski   by   1 month 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   1 month 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   1 month 3 weeks ago

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


  • Reply to: Noce Americana   by   1 month 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   1 month 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   1 month 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   1 month 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   1 month 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   1 month 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).