Recent comments

  • Reply to: Boston Common   by   4 months 4 weeks ago

    Given all the ingredients that make up "Boston Common," it ought to be called Mulligan's Stew. On a more serious note, the Boston Common is a complex drink--the Amaro Nardini is there, so is the lemon (even though I put in less than 3/8 oz), the Cognac, and to a lesser degree, the rye is able to poke its head above water (figuratively speaking). One person suggested using a rye less pronounced in taste than Rittenhouse. That suggestion was made approximately four years ago, with no response. It's worth exploring, but I suspect that the lemon more than Cognac will get through. I'm willing to try a less pronounced rye than Rittenhouse and let others know what the outcome was. I will choose between WhistlePig (10 yrs), Templeton (6 yrs) and Wild Turkey (a blend of 4 & 5 year old whiskies). Suggestions from others will be considered, so long as I don't go broke in the process. The three ryes I mentioned, I currently have. Given the experience I've had with these three, I'm inclined to try WhistlePig 10 yrs. I report the outcome no later than mid-December. As is, I rated the Boston Common at 4.0. The drink's sourness kept me from rating the Boson Common any higher.

  • Reply to: Oliver's Twist   by   4 months 4 weeks ago

    "Oliver's Twist Created by Gary Regan for the Gourmet Magazine food-pairing challenge, 2004. Named for Garrett Oliver, brewmaster for the Brooklyn Brewery, and one of the other competitors.."

  • Reply to: Siena   by   5 months 8 hours ago

    Actually pretty good. Sweet, but a little less so than I'd expected with three somewhat-to-quite sweet ingredients. Maraschino slightly dominant; maybe drop it back to .25 oz. Siena the home of Ramazzotti? My bottle says Milan ...

  • Reply to: Raven Stag   by   5 months 15 hours ago

    This is really lovely with bourbon instead of cognac.

  • Reply to: Autumn Negroni   by   5 months 16 hours ago

    Nice end of summer cocktail.
    I kept thinking that I wanted to work in an apple note somehow as well - for autumn. Apart from eating apple slices as we drank this. 

  • Reply to: The Chunnel   by   5 months 1 day ago

    <br />A simple but satisfying cocktail, even in these waning days of fall. I ran out of Hendrick's, so I used Citadelle, which, like Hendrick's, is Juniper light and floral heavy. And fortunately I had several Meyer lemons on hand (NOTE: they keep in the frig for months, so it's worthwhile to have some on hand--they're versatile). I knew from my experience making G & T and adding Elderflower liqueur, that The Chunnel should be a satisfying drink.

    It was that and more. The Elderflower ligqueur added complexity and some sweetness that would otherwise be missing. The Meyer lemon is a must for this drink; its tartness is soft but detectable, and not overwhelming. Ironically, the lemon twist, with its expressed oil, add a taste that is hard to describe, but is sorely essential for making this drink delightful. Easily, I rate this drink as 4.0. Try it, even in these late fall days. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Be sure, however, to use a gin such as Hendrick's and Citadelle, which is Juniper light and floral heavy. Otherwise, you may be sorely disappointed.

  • Reply to: Suzette   by   5 months 2 days ago

    Because of  the comment made by one person that the given recipe was only a "passable Negroni," that lacked depth, I decided to see if I could come up with changes that would overcome the flaw(s) as he/she saw them.

    1.  First, I changed gins, from Bombay Saphire to Liberator Gin, made by Valentine Co. in Detroit (an excellent gin, I might add.) Liberator gin is lighter in taste than Bombay Saphire.
    2. Next, I changed the vermouth to Cocchi Vermouth de Torino (which is less sweet and somewhat earthy in flavor--but not too earthy) than the traditional red sweet vermouth.  If that is not available, I recommend Dolin Blanc.It is a white vermouth that is not as sweet as the traditional red vermouth..
    3. Finally, I used Salers (only because I didn't have Suze, but my readings suggest the two to be somewhat alike.)
    4. The amount of gin and Salers was not changed, but I used only 1 oz of vermouth.

    The resultant cocktail did not overwhelm Salers, and given my experience tasting Negroni varients, I was quite satisfied with the resultant cocktail, and  would rate it as 4 stars.

    I would be interested in hearing from others about the changes I made. 

  • Reply to: White Negroni   by   5 months 2 days ago

    Goodness! For a drink with only three ingredients, this cocktail has generated a lot of comments. Well, let me add one more. I used 2 oz of a topshelf gin, 1 oz of Cocchi Americano, and 1 oz of Salers. Based on earlier comments, I had a hunch the resulting drink would be on the sweet side, which it was. So I did one simple thing that I did not see mentioned in any of the comments, but which I thought would take away some of the excess sweetness: I used a good-sized lemon twist. Sure enough, the expressed lemon oil from the twist did the trick. So, my suggestion is, regardless of how much you put in of whatever it is, finish up with a good-sized lemon twist. You'll be surprised at the positive difference it'll make in the drink.</p>

  • Reply to: A Clockwork Orange   by   5 months 2 days ago

    Seriously  my favorite cocktail to introduce guests to amaros and floral elements. perfectly balanced. excellent mouth feel. killer nose. i like it with a big rock and a long tightly curled thin orange twist.  

  • Reply to: Remember the Maine, or McKinley's Delight   by   5 months 2 days ago

    Used 1/4 Cherry Heering and 1/2 barspoon of absinthe in the mix. As per Simonson's A proper drink. Delicious. 

  • Reply to: Fair & Warmer   by   5 months 4 days ago

    Curated from 1 1/2 oz to 1/2 oz Lillet as per source reference.

  • Reply to: Roysty Nail   by   5 months 4 days ago

    Mojo, thanks for trying it out. Your take on it matches mine, so I made some alterations above which improve it some. Even still, its virtues are smoothness and accessibility rather than excitement and daring. 

    (For the record, the original recipe was 2 oz blended Scotch, 1/2 oz sweet vermouth, 1/2 oz Drambuie, 2 dashes bitters, lemon twist and brandied cherry.)

  • Reply to: Jamaican Art   by   5 months 5 days ago

    No guiding comments, no ratings, and no true gold rum. The odds were against me, but I decided to give "Jamacian Art" a try, mostly because the recipe is simple and straightforward. Besides, I have so many rums, I was able to come up with a rum that approximated a gold rum, while in truth it was a shade or so darker--I chose Mount Gay Eclipse, a Barbados rum that is quite smooth and full tasting. The rum notes come through, but the cynar keeps the rum from overwhelming everything, and the Cardaman bitters adds a complementary taste, giving the cocktail a fuller, rounder taste.

    When all is said and done, I rate this cocktail between 3.5 and 4.0. I will be buying a bottle of Bacardi Gold to try the "Jamacian Art" with a true gold rum. I may find the taste to be different; who knows? A sidenote: I used a small swatch of orange, expressed its oil, and then dropped the orange peel into the drink. A nice garnish. I would not use a large swatch, resulting in a large amount of expressed oil. I think doing so would unbalance the various flavors inherent in this otherwise tasty drink.

  • Reply to: Roysty Nail   by   5 months 6 days ago

    I just had to try the "Roysty Nail:" A Rob Roy is one of my favorite before dinner drinks, and a Rusty Nail is one of my favorite evening cocktails. I must say that I was somewhat surprised how easily the drink went down--very smooth, no burn. On the downside, there was no outstanding notes or flavors, save from the Drambuie. For the blended Scotch I used Famous Grouse and for the Sweet Vermouth I used Antica Formula. I thought for sure the resulting drink would have more distictive notes given the sweet vermouth and Scotch, but I think the Drambuie overwhelms the other ingredients. As is, I rate the "Roysty Nail" between 3.0-3.5.

    I'm going to make this cocktail again, but using different ingredients: (1) I may use a single malt Scotch so that it is more pronounced, (2) one person wondered if Punt e Mes might work for the sweet vermouth, so I will try it, and (3) I read on the Internet that Cocchi Americano can be used in place of a sweet vermouth. Finally, there is always Cinzano Rosso, which has a pronounced fruity flavor, which may overcome the blandness of the drink.

    With some experimentation, I may get this drink into the 4.0 range, but for now, the Roysty Nail is a pleasant but somewhat bland drink, that has the potential to be a much better and more satisfying cocktail than it currently is.

  • Reply to: Root of All Evil   by   5 months 2 weeks ago

    An interesting, complex drink with a lot going on taste-wise. I carefully reviewed the comments made about the drink before I made it. Based on my experiences with each of the ingredients, I understood why the comments were made and agreed with them. I wondered only about Fernet Branca; in some drinks it can overpower the other ingredients and a smaller amount needs to be used, but with other cocktails the Fernet Branca seems right at home, and no change in its amount needs to be made. In this case I started off with Elijah Craig bourbon (97 proof) My other choices were Jim Beam Black label (87 proof) and Woodford Reserve (90 proof) I would not want to go over 95 proof, as I think something like Booker's at 127 proof would simply overwhelm the other ingredients--and maybe the drinker! Then, as was suggested by several, I used 1/2 oz Grand Marnier, 1/4 oz Fernet Branca, 1/4 oz Maraschino liqueur, 2 ds Regans' orangs bitters, and a good-sized orangs swath to exprss the oils.

    My results:  The final cocktail, with its adjustments, was very tasty and balanced. There were two changes that I made--which were for the better. First, I added just a few additional drops of Maraschino Liqueur, so that the total amount (from the first and second amounts) equaled a "fat" 1/4 oz. The need for the second change surprised me: I had to add a few more drops of Fernet Branca, which smoothed out both the Grand Marnier and the Maraschino Liqueur, and provided a better balance of overall tastes among the ingredients.In short, between what I originally added of Fernet Branca and what I added later, was the equivalent of a "fat" 1/4 oz.

    My only other caveat is that Grand Marnier and Cointreau are not the same, and the equivalent amount may result in a different taste. This is because Grand Marnier has a Cognac base, whereas Cointreau does not.

    In summary:  Based on the comments made by others and my experience with the recipe for the "Root of All Evil," I suggest the following for its recipe:

    2 oz of a high-proof (about 90 proof) Bourbon, 1/2 oz Grand Marnier (if using Cointreau, adjust to taste), a "fat" 1/4 oz Fernet Branca (adjust to taste), a "fat" 1/4 oz Maraschino liqueuer (adjust to taste), 2 ds Regans' orange bitters, and a wide orange swatch (express the oil and drop in cocktail) I rate this cocktail between 4.0 and 4.5.

  • Reply to: Cassis de Dijon   by   5 months 2 weeks ago

    Wow, this is darn good. I kinda wish it was a little more mustardy, even.

  • Reply to: The Right Way   by   5 months 2 weeks ago

    This was actually my first cocktail using my first bottle of Cherry Heering. Delicious Vieux Carré variation. Will make again.  

  • Reply to: The Departed   by   5 months 2 weeks ago

    Substituted wildly: Contralto Bitter, Pyrat XO, Foro amaro, Vida, Peychaud's and a dash of Regans' Orange. Interesting patten. Needs more experimentation.

    Round two, as written, but with El Dorado 15. Very nice, but dramatically improved with 1/2 oz dry vermouth. I used Dolin.

  • Reply to: Bitter Sunday Afternoon   by   5 months 2 weeks ago

    This drink surprises me; I mean with several questions about--are these really the right amounts? There's enough liquid in this drink to quench a thirsty horse! The the answer comes back--kind of--yes, they've been curated; it's just a big drink, so pour it into a double or triple Old Fashioned cold glass!

    Despite the affirmative answer as to the proportions, apparently nobody has tried to make this mountainous drink. So... The first thing I did was to look at the ingredients, as well as the amount of each ingredient, in an effort to decide when would this drink be imbibed. I decided probably late afternoon (especially in warm weather, like from late spring to early fall), and/or before dinner. With that in mind, I changed the cocktail to the following:
    1 1/2 oz gin (use either The Botanist or Tanqueray's Bloomsbury)
    2 oz Cocchi Americano
    1 oz Gran Classico
    1 oz Salers
    Lemon oil espressed atop the drink's surface, and drop the peel in.

    Reducing each liquid ingredient by half will result in a 2 3/4 oz cocktail, which is consistent with what most people drink these days.

    After doing a lot of sipping and some cogitating on the resultat drink, I broke down and rated it 4.0. One more sip (which wasn't there), and I would have rated it 4.5 Regardless it was a semi-sweet drink (a la Cocchi Americano) with a slight bitter taste from the Gran Classico and the Salers. It all came together to make a very delicious, satisfying drink (even though it was 9:30 PM.)

    The resulting cocktail is exactly as I envisioned it: one (maybe two) to be consumed on a lazy, hazy, crazy day of summer or as a before dinner drink. There's a lot of aperitif in the "Bitter Sunday Afternoon." The next time I make this cocktail, I will make the cocktail as follows (and call it "Better Sunday Afternoon" for obvious reasons)
    1 1/2 oz gin (The Botanist or Tanqueray's Bloomsbury) (add up to 1/2 oz per your taste) (Some may want only 1 oz)
    1 1/2 oz Cocchi Americao (1 oz may suffice for many)
    1/2 oz Salers (not Suze) (increase to 1 oz, per your taste)
    1 oz Gran Classico
    Lemon zest espressed on the cocktails surface after the
    cocktail has been stirred and strained into an Old Fashioned glass

    Reducing each liquid ingredient by half will result in a 2 1/2 oz cocktail. It will be larger if any ingredient (e.g., gin) is increased.

    I would like to hear from others, as they experiment with this cocktail. For example, maybe using I oz for each ingredient will make for a good cocktail; or maybe Salers isn't necessary, etc.
    Please experiment and write back as to your results and how you rate them. This cocktail can be made in many different ways, and most taste great!

  • Reply to: Tooth & Nail   by   5 months 2 weeks ago

    <br />
    Somehow, the name "Tooth & Nail" doesn't quite describe this drink, because it's overall taste is somewhat soft & sweet. Maybe that should be its name. I didn't have Macallan 12, but I did have Glenlivet 12, also a Speyside scotch. I also had Amer Picon (I purchased it by mail from England for a dear penny). But I would not rate this drink at 5.0, as one person did. After a lot thought and many sips, I rated the "Tooth & Tail" somewhere between 3.0 and 3.5.

    Why? First, the whisky was overwhelmed by the Drambuie and (believe it or not) the Peach bitters. The Cynar probably had some, but not much, responsibility. The drink definitely has a sweetness to it, but it's not cloy. The Amer Picon and the peach bitters, and to some extent the Drambuie, were the bad boys here. Only a slight bitterness, from the Cynar no doubt.

    My overall thoughts about the "Tooth & Tail?" It's a middling Scotch cocktail that needs some changes to bring out its better qualities. My first suggestion is to use only one dash of peach bitters. I would reduce the Dambuie slightly, and the Cynar, too. The Amer Picon --maybe make it two barspoons. And I would definitly up the Scotch to 2 1/2 oz. Now that I've suggested some significant changes, I will make them and see if there is any improvement in the "Tooth & Tail" cocktail. If not, then I leave it to others to improve this cocktail--if it can be improved. </p>

  • Reply to: Monte Carlo   by   5 months 3 weeks ago

    One of my favorites.  Note that this cocktail seems to have originated in David Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1948), though he calls for a bit less rye and for Ango instead of Peychaud's. The "created by" on this page refers to the columnist for this particular incarnation.

  • Reply to: Bread & Wine   by   5 months 3 weeks ago

    Lacking the proper scotch ... but still I expected more of a sherry cocktail competition winner. 

  • Reply to: Sunset Flip   by   5 months 3 weeks ago

    Glad you liked it!

  • Reply to: 5th Amendment   by   5 months 3 weeks ago

    Promising. I'll try again but with .25oz (or less) falernum.

  • Reply to: Sunset Flip   by   5 months 3 weeks ago

    I subbed Glenfiddich as I didn't have Speyside, and this tastes amazing. Thanks!