How’s the Drinking Going?

I know, I know. It’s rough. Hopefully I’ll be back to a full posting soon. (Crosses fingers.)

This is from Darcy at the Art of Drink.

  1. Manhattan Cocktail
  2. Kopi Luwak (Weasle Coffee)
  3. French / Swiss Absinthe
  4. Rootbeer I’ve even had the real thing…
  5. Gin Martini
  6. Sauternes A ’48, no less.
  7. Whole Milk
  8. Tequila (100% Agave)
  9. XO Cognac
  10. Espresso
  11. Spring Water (directly from the spring) With bells on. And Glacier milk, which is far better.
  12. Gin & Tonic
  13. Mead
  14. Westvleteren 12 (Yellow Cap) Trappist Ale
  15. Chateau d’Yquem I enjoyed a ’52, and still in fine fettle.
  16. Budweiser
  17. Maraschino Liqueur
  18. Mojito
  19. Orgeat
  20. Grand Marnier
  21. Mai Tai (original)
  22. Ice Wine (Canadian)
  23. Red Bull (Unfortunately)
  24. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  25. Bubble Tea
  26. Tokaji
  27. Chicory
  28. Islay Scotch
  29. Pusser’s Navy Rum
  30. Fernet Branca
  31. Fresh Pressed Apple Cider
  32. Bourbon
  33. Australian Shiraz
  34. Buckley’s Cough Syrup
  35. Orange Bitters
  36. Margarita (classic recipe)
  37. Molasses & Milk
  38. Chimay Blue
  39. Wine of Pines (Tepache)
  40. Green Tea
  41. Daiginjo Sake
  42. Chai Tea
  43. Vodka (chilled, straight)
  44. Coca-Cola
  45. Zombie (Beachcomber recipe)
  46. Barley Wine
  47. Brewed Choclate (Xocolatl)
  48. Pisco Sour
  49. Lemonade
  50. Speyside Single Malt
  51. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
  52. Champagne (Vintage)
  53. Rosé (French)
  54. Bellini
  55. Caipirinha
  56. White Zinfandel (Blush)
  57. Coconut Water
  58. Cerveza
  59. Cafe au Lait
  60. Ice Tea
  61. Pedro Ximenez Sherry
  62. Vintage Port
  63. Hot Chocolate
  64. German Riesling
  65. Pina Colada
  66. El Dorado 15 Year Rum
  67. Chartreuse
  68. Greek Wine
  69. Negroni
  70. Jägermeister
  71. Chicha
  72. Guiness
  73. Rhum Agricole
  74. Palm Wine
  75. Soju
  76. Ceylon Tea (High Grown)
  77. Belgian Lambic
  78. Mongolian Airag
  79. Doogh, Lassi or Ayran
  80. Sugarcane Juice
  81. Ramos Gin Fizz
  82. Singapore Sling
  83. Mint Julep
  84. Old Fashioned
  85. Perique
  86. Jenever (Holland Gin)
  87. Chocolate Milkshake
  88. Traditional Italian Barolo
  89. Pulque
  90. Natural Sparkling Water
  91. Cuban Rum
  92. Asti Spumante
  93. Irish Whiskey
  94. Château Margaux
  95. Two Buck Chuck
  96. Screech
  97. Akvavit
  98. Rye Whisky
  99. German Weissbier
  100. Daiquiri (classic)

Okay, this was supposed to be posted like a week ago. Sorry for the delay.

Thanks for your patience,
The Scribe

Quit Your Wining

Downtown Wine & Spirits, my choice for premium beer and high end everything had their annual wine tasting and sale yesterday, so, of course, I meandered on down. They were pouring quite generously enough, and I sampled the full line from Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, as well as a variety of other sparkling wines from all over the world. I hit the highlights of France, America, Italy, Spain, Chile, Argentina, Australia, and pretty much anywhere else they have figured out how to grow grapes. They were pouring wines that sold for $5 per bottle, and wines that sold for $100 per bottle. All in all a great showing.

The standout for me was a bottle called Le Cyclot or something along those lines. It was an unfiltered and unfined wine made from biodynamically grown grapes, and then of course, aged in oak. It might well be the single nicest wine I have ever tasted. It was smooth as a baby’s bottom and full of all sorts of yumminesses. Unfortunately, my wine budget doesn’t go to such premium sips, or I would have put away a case of this vintage.

Now the tasting was combined with a 20% off sale. Let me just say that the combination of lots of free wines and a fifth off the asking price is a disasterous combination for the Scribe’s wallet. In addition to a Crémant d’Alcace, I picked up a couple bottles of a nice Italian red, a  bottle of Gran Gala and a bottle of rye.

Keep up the good drinking,
The Scribe

Oh Soon We’ll Hear the Old Man Say

Leave her, Johnny, leave her.

As September fades into October, so, too does Rum Month here at the Dram fade away. I’ve had a blast putting up all these cocktails and rums. We sipped a dozen rums, tried over a dozen rum cocktails, examined barware, watched TV, and generally carried on. I’ve also been averaging two posts every three days, and I hope they have been reasonably high quality posts. I’ve certainly enjoyed putting them up. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a Dramproject up this month. Between the GRE, school, and lots of rum and cocktails, it just wasn’t in the cards. I’m trying to decide whether to make next month beer month, as I have over a dozen beers sitting in my house waiting for a review, but putting up one of these intensive months is a lot of work. Well, I guess we’ll just have to see what I decide tomorrow. I must say that it was a blast. Also, this whole going with sea shanties for every post title has been much trickier than I thought. Some of them are pretty obscure, but bonus points for naming the more obscure ones.

Well, it’s time for us to leave her,
The Scribe

I Love Mail!

Like everyone else, I love getting packages, and today, I got two wonderful ones:

  • One package was from an outfit called Spirit Sippers out of Washington, D.C. They contacted a bunch of people who hang out at the Ministry of Rum to try out their new rum tasting glass, the Flair. I was lucky enough to be sent one to review. You can see the preliminary review here, but I will be posting an in depth review here some time next month. When I mentioned to them that I also drank a wide variety of whiskys and fortified wines, as well as the occasional brandy, they asked me to review the rest of their line up, and today it arrived. In addition to the Flair, I got the Glencairn for old world whiskys, the Wide Mouth (a larger snifter) for American whisky, and the Tulip for Tequila. I personally really like the Flare, but the Glencairn is the most elegant, and I’m super excited.
  • The Munat brothers, aka Mssrs. Mixeur, put together what they humbly called a packet, but is really more of a book called Left Coast Libations. Libations is a compilation, as the name suggests of mixed drinks from the Left Coast. It’s contributors list reads like a who’s who of the cocktail blogosphere: Robert Hess, Paul Clarke, Jamie Bourdreau, the Munat Brothers, I coud go on. 27 contributors, 68 recipes and dozens of ingredients, including Amer Budreau, Limoncello, bacon fat washed bourbon, syrups, infusions, gastriques, shrubs, sugars, the list goes on. They handed it out free at Tales, and they were generous enough to send a copy to me as well. It’s all in promotion of their new cocktail database, Imbiblia.com. It’s not up yet, but be sure to check it out once it is.

Keep on drinking,
The Scribe

Keep it Simple, Stupid

Okay guys, I hate to do this, but I have read one too many recipes which call for orange infused vanilla simple syrup with a hint of bacon. While there is nothing wrong with such an ingredient as such (though it is a bit hard to make), that isn’t “simple syrup.” Simple syrup or sugar syrup, also known to chefs as cottage syrup, has two ingredients: sugar and water. If you want to make it slightly more complex, you can add gum arabic, though technically, that gomme syrup, or a drop of lemon juice, which is technically invert syrup if you cook it long enough. If you add vanilla to it, you have vanilla syrup, if you add orange to the picture, you have orange syrup, and so on. It’s kind of like a martini. Martini’s have up to four ingredients: Gin, vodka, fortified wine, and possibly bitters. Just as a “sour apple martini cocktail” is not a martini even if it may be a cocktail, so too is a “sour apple simple syrup” not simple, even if it is a syrup.

I will give you infused simple syrups if you must. Technically, I guess if you used vanilla or some other sort of infused sugar to make a simple syrup, that could be considered an infused simple syrup since you are still sticking to the sugar, water, and nothing else formula of simple syrup.

Since you all probably want to get something useful out of this post, I just thought I would pass along a cool trick I got from a baker roommate of mine. First however, I just want to clear up some terminology as it relates to this blog:

  • Simple syrup refers to one part granulated sugar, one part water by volume.
  • Rich syrup refers to two parts granulated sugar, one part water by volume.
  • Brown syrup refers to one packed part dark brown or raw sugar, on part water by volume.
  • Rock or rock candy syrup refers to a supersaturated sugar-water solution.
  • I probably won’t be using gomme syrup, but if I ever do it refers to a syrup that requires an emulsifier to hold together.
  • If I modify any of the above sugar types with “invert” it means that I used the aforementioned quantities and used invert sugar to make it.

Which leads me to my little tip. Invert sugar is wonderful stuff. It’s effectively what honey is made out of and is sweeter per unit volume than an equivalent syrup, thus being healthier, and, even better, it keeps at room temperature for about six months. Sound good? It’s not too hard to make. Start with whatever syrup you like, and add just a touch of lemon juice or other acid to it. A touch. We’re talking about one percent here, which is about half a teaspoon per cup. Let it cook for about twenty minutes, and whamo presto: invert syrup. It was strongly recomended to me that I allow the mixture to cool without touching the pan, as jostling could start the crystalization if you aren’t careful. Incidentally, looking this up online says that heat alone will slightly invert the sugar. Alternately, if you work somewhere where you have a pastry chef available, just ask them.

Sweet times,
The Scribe

Welcome to My Life…

So I get home from the liquor store and read the review of orange bitters over at Oh Gosh! and discover the Stirrings blood orange bitters I had bought weren’t really cocktail bitters at all, though I suspect they’ll go nicely in soda, and a bitter soda is another treat I enjoy. Anywho, I headed back to Downtown today and picked up a bottle of Regan’s #6, and discovered that between when I went in on Monday and when I was there today, they had also gotten in a shipment of Peychoud’s. Anyway, now I’m well stocked up with bitters. Next subject to pursue: Getting my modifiers up to snuff. I need some vermouth, some triple sec, and maybe some St. Germain or Chartruse, and possibly even a bottle of le muse verte.

Incidentally, looking at Regan’s and Peychoud’s bitters together, I noticed that they are almost identically packaged. The bottles are the same, they both have a stylized letter on the plastic seal, the label even has the same textured feel. I wonder if they are commonly made or bottled. If you know anything, please drop it in the comments.

A Bitter Victory

About six months ago I went to my better spirits shop looking for bitters (yes, I have three package stores, my cheapie, Hillside Liquors, with crappy selection but good prices, my better spirits shop, Downtown Wine & Spirits, which is more expensive but has whatever you are looking for whether it’s premium spirits, exotic beers, or wines, and my big box, Kappy’s which is pretty far, but has the advantage of being cheap and having a pretty decent selection, but I digress) and they had one, count it one bottle of Angostura bitters collecting dust on the shelves behind the counter. When I went there the other day looking for Peychoud’s bitters, they had expanded their selection to Regan’s #6 and Stirrings…and they said they were looking into more! They recently remodeled and now every concievable cocktaily treat is within easy read, from arrack (and arak) to ahm….zwetchenswasser. Actually, I somehow doubt they have zwetchenswasser, since CocktaiDB says it’s hard to find outside of Germany, but you get the point.

Anywho, I just thought I would share this news about the local occurance of this national phenomenon.

Best of health!
The Scribe