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FEB '09 DISCUSSION: Do You Mix Your Own Cocktails?
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stateofgary --- that sounds really cool! Great particularly in summer? or does the ginger give it a little welcome heat? Didn't think many in the US were Rye drinkers what with all the lovely bourbons available.. So do you just chop up some fresh ginger and boil it in the simple syrup?
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stateofgary



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 2
Location: NJ, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! I think it is a summery sort of drink. Bourbon works, but I like rye a little better because I think it tastes less sweet. Rye is making a little comeback in the US, several brands are bottling it now -- just a few years ago, it was hard to find here.

Yes, for the simple syrup, I roughly slice fresh ginger and steep it in the syrup as it cooks and then strain it out after it cools. (I've been putting the juice and peel of a lemon- and lime-half in as well, but I'm not sure it really adds anything to the flavor.)

Mixing a shot of the syrup and a squirt of lime juice into a glass of seltzer makes a very refreshing ginger-lime soda as well.
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Chicago Bear



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another good summer drink, and now I'm impatient for summer: the DARK AND STORMY. Only two ingredients: Black Seal rum from Bermuda, and ginger beer. No substitutes, especially not for the ginger beer. It helps to be in Bermuda, looking out at the ocean, but we found that two dark & stormies in our back yard made us believe that we were in Bermuda, looking out at the ocean.
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am generally intimidated by making cocktails. They seem mysterious, and getting all the right ingredients (various types of liqueur) can be expensive. (This from the woman who will spend huge amounts of money on a dinner party??!!!!) and there seem to be rigid traditions as to what to combine. I mostly make gin and tonics or combine rum or tequila with fruit juice. My friends seem to like wine. I am interested in learning more about cocktail making, however.

Dory
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kyle



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 13
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dory, while the initial ingredients purchase can seem expensive, mixing your own is a bargain when compared to the cost of a single drink at a bar or resturant.

Find a cocktail with only a couple of ingredients, learn to do it well, and make it your signature drink. I have a brother-in-law who's pomegranate martinis have become a family legend.

To start ask for help at your favorite liquor store. You'll do fine and will have a great time drinking your mistakes.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Top notch attitude kyle!! Very Happy
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Rachel



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a big cocktail drinker or maker (in fact, the odds are that if you find a bottle of spirits in my kitchen, I bought it for cooking rather than drinking), but there are two classics I adore: Pimms and lemonade and kir. Pimms I think is far better made at home, since if you get it in a bar you usually pay over the odds to get the real thing (i.e. with fruit, cucumber and mint). If I'm just making one for myself I often take the simple route: Pimms + lemonade + lemon slice + mint, but if I'm having a party, I make a jugful and let the fruit macerate for several hours. As for kir, I'm a traditionalist... I've had them with creme de mur or peach liqueur instead of the creme de cassis, and although I rather like the blackberry version, peach is just too sweet for me.

Melinda, I think I may have to add your Red Rooster to my repertoire, but I'll wait til it warms up first - the thought of having a summer drink in the middle of an icy Chicago winter is enough to make me cringe! Shocked
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, stay away for a couple of months….. and all sorts of neat topics come up! As you can see by my sig. and avatar I (and my wife, greatly favor the Martini cold, clean and delicious) I always keep 2 glasses in the freezer lightly spritzed with vermouth so a whisper of the nutty perfume clings to the frozen surface. Gin is a staple in this household along with vermouth and olives. But this is a foundation only of a much larger ritual, that of the Cocktail Hour. It is that golden time between the end of work and the beginning of dinner that time is taken, catching up with each other’s day and general relaxation occurs. It is a general slowing down of activities, before the rush of dinner, dishes, and getting ready for the onslaught of the next day’s challenges.

But, a perfectly prepared beverage does not a cocktail hour make…there is also the nosh…a little snack to take the edge off and encourages one to linger and relax. It can be simple as a bowl of peanuts or pub mix, or as involved as little quiches, or a side of smoked salmon, cream cheese, toast points and all the fixins…. Tonight was some pate’ crusty bread, good mustard (from Paris) and cornichons

On occasion the nosh will sort of morph into a light supper but at very least there has to be some little snack… I honestly think that this little ritual helps increase the peace and establish domestic tranquility
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I would like a gin martini, straight up, olives on the side, as dry as my wit, as clean as my conscience.
and... as cold as my heart!!!!
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pestoman! Your cocktail hour sounds much better than mine! Can I come live with you?

My DH is allergic to alcohol, so no cocktails there. And I will have a glass of wine by myself before and during dinner. But as to mixing cocktails.....the only cocktail I really enjoy is a lovely gin martini. However, having tried to drink one solo, I found it was not remotely enjoyable. It must be enjoyed in the company of friends! I keep gin (Hendrick's, Junipero & Boodles) in the cupboard and when friends are over, I'll have a martini then and enjoy it.

My son Ben has developed a little flair for cocktail mixing. He also has made some of his own liqueur and his own bitters!
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna, I'll ask but am not sure what my wife would say Wink not to mention what your Husband would say Shocked

I do completely understand that drinking a Martini is a social act and trying to enjoy one alone is less than satisfactory

I am not really fond of Hendricks as I find its herbal balance (including rose petals and cucumber) expands the "gin envelope" to the point that I am not sure it is gin anymore. For years my standards have been Gordons, (everyday) Beefeaters for when I feel a little richer, and Plymouth (the favorite of Sir Winston himself) for those truly special.
Most recently I have been swayed by some of the newer blends, the so called American dry Gins. Like the Philidelphia brewed small batch Blue Coat, Not sure it is available on the west coast yet, we just recently got it here in La. And the cheaper but very similar New Amsterdam.

I am anxious to hear of anyone else's favorite gins, drinks and especially any "cocktail hour" practices
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I would like a gin martini, straight up, olives on the side, as dry as my wit, as clean as my conscience.
and... as cold as my heart!!!!
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pestoman,

I find Gordon's an everyday gin too, but was pleasantly surprised by Bombay Sapphire which has made the best gin and tonic I've ever had. For a martini tho' I admit I go with Mr Bond... a vodka martini with a twist, shaken, not stirred... Cool
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well for once Dear Griffin I must disagree. Bond, as far as I am concerned does not really drink martinis--he drinks a vodka beverage with some vermouth! But I do agree about Bombay Sapphire, which I loathe in martinis as being too aromatic--it does make a pleasant G & T. I agree with PM about Hendricks--too much going on, same with Plymouth and Bankers (though to a lesser degree) I shall look forward to tracking down some of these American Dry Gins when next south of the border (and I can hear Boston calling for a spring time visit!!)
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do like the flavor of Hendricks - I agree it is very herbal, but that appeals to me! I also really enjoy Junipero - a small batch gin from Fritz Maytag (Anchor Steam beer brewer) made in San Francisco. It has a touch of citrus but is very dry. YUM!

Bon Appetit this month answered a question about the difference between a bartender and a mixologist. The verdict was - mixologists serve drinks, bartenders serve people! Rolling Eyes
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David, I disagree, only slightly I do allow that a "vodkatini" does belong in the martini universe (certianly more so than anything with chocolate, rasberry, or sour apple) I just don't particularly care for them. That they would be a favorite of 007 I find to be the singular most grevious flaw in an otherwise exemplary character. Although, he did compose a drinK using both gin and vodka, in CASINO ROYALLE, "The Vesper Linde"

Donna, I haven't tried Junipero, but it sounds simmilar to Blue Coat
http://www.bluecoatgin.com/ It is incidently now available on the west coast and in Boston for that matter
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I would like a gin martini, straight up, olives on the side, as dry as my wit, as clean as my conscience.
and... as cold as my heart!!!!
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is that lovely Southern gentlemanly tolerance showing through PM! LOL.
Junipero, just by it's name sounds like something I would certainly give a whirl!

There is a family connection for me concerning gin. My 3xgreat grandmother (who is listed in the family tree as having "2 children without benefit of husband) apparently made her living in 19th century Southport Lancastershire making bootleg bathtub gin (well, hmmm, considering the "without benefit of husband" then perhaps the gin was only one source of income!)
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