Happy HourRonski -- Saturday, March 15, 2003 -- 09:32:20 PM
The Alcohol Thread: Single malt scotches, underappreciated Rhone wines, the latest in cocktail gimmickry, etc.This thread is tagged: alcohol, drinks
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The proliferation of "martinis" is regrettable. A martini should be a martini, gin or vodka, with dry vermouth. And an olive. Period.
But the appletini is a nice cocktail, usually made with vodka and the "sour" apple schnapps from Dekuyper. I had some in Beaver Creek with a dried thin slice of apple floating in it. Cute.
But, the Dekuyper is rather sweet despite its sour appelation.
I have discovered, since my return, it is much better made with a real apfelschnapps from Germany, such as Apfel Korn, made by Berentzen, a popular brand over there in Old Europe.
Vodka, a splash of the Berentzen, shake, and very nice indeed. A good American apple jack should work well, too.
I really enjoy single malts, although great bourbon will do nicely in its stead. There's a great pub in San Francisco whose name I can never remember: John Barleycorn, or something like that? Wonderful selection, lovely little fireplace, unintrusive service.
I keep on trying to like martinis, because they are so devastatingly sophisticated. But I just can't manage it.
I never liked them until I had one that was mixed wet, with a noticeable percentage of vermouth. Dry martinis taste like paint thinner or something.
My grandfather, who wrote a snotty book about martinis in the 50s, used to write abusive letters to people who advocated using olives, but lots of olives are a good part of the appeal in my opinion.
I feel much the same way about margaritas - a margarita should be tequilla (Patron Silver by preference), Cointreau, and fresh-squeezed lime juice, salt optional. No strawberries, no peach, no nothing else. Those may be absolutely delightful drinks, but they are *not* margaritas. /purist mode off
I gave up on liking martinis long ago, because I don't like gin. But recently, on the advice of the Wonderful Little Frenchman at our local liquor store, when buying gin for my husband for his birthday, I bought a French gin, Citadelle, that is absolutely marvelous. I may have to take up martinis!
I'm also very fond of single malts, mostly Scotch, but recently discovered single malt Irish and am entranced.
What is single malt Irish when it's at home? Or what brands do you like?
I prefer Scotch to bourbon--and my husband likes the Glen- single malts so much that he'll splash a little onto vanilla ice cream. As far as I'm concerned, Bourbon is mainly good for cooking with.
A long time ago I took a bartending course and learned how to mix a proper martini--martinis, that is, that are martinis. However, I've never actually drunk one. One thing comes to mind, what a character in a John D. MacDonald novel, All These Condemned, said about them: "...to me they taste like battery acid and make me howling drunk in thirty minutes."
And can I rant about the Arbor Mist phenomenon? I mean, the kool-aid for grownups stuff that comes in different flavors--Raspberry Merlot, etc. Peach Zinfandel.
No. It is not Merlot. It is not Zinfandel. It's drinkable if the weather's hot and you're not too fussy. But to call it Merlot? I thought there were laws and regulations against this.
I'm particularly fond of Knappogue Castle Single Malt Irish. The bottle I'm currently working on is 1990.
TAFKA? I'm in complete agreement with you. Call it anything, but don't call it what it's not!
I can't handle martinis either. I'd like to, but they taste like gasoline. But I'll try your tip, Marya.
My weakness is definitely good tequila. Especially if I'm out dancing or with friends. It acts almost like espresso on me.
As far as the latest cocktail gimmickry, I know mojitos are so last summer but I'm pretty sure I'll be drinking them again for lots of summers to come. I didn't know I liked mint so much.
I'm curious about what this year's It Cocktail will be.
My parents always had martinis before dinner when I was growing up, so luckily their sophistication is lost on me. I say "luckily" because I am totally unable to enjoy anything stronger than port, which is, I think, 18% alcohol.
At Maria's in Santa Fe, home to 80 different margaritas, I had an out-of-body experience with an anejo.
I was on the ceiling, looking down on our party. That is, my consciousness was. The body part was just sitting there with everybody else.
Maybe it was the altitude.
It's never happened since.
Last night I went to a Mexican restaraunt that turned out to be not so good. I sent back a drink for the first time ever. It was a margarita that was so strong and so harsh it was undrinkable.
Our neighbors introduced us to Baltika beer. 8% alcohol, very tasty rocket fuel.
I went through a martini phase for a while, but it's been a while. Just haven't felt like it.
I like bourbon for sipping whiskey. I only like scotch if it is VERY expensive, so I just don't drink it.
Ruby port, yes, tawny port, no.
A friend gave us a nice bottle of Bushmill's Irish Whiskey. I don't care for drinking it straight, and I'd like to get ideas for using it for drinks other than Irish coffee.
I sometimes mix whiskey with ginger ale. My Scottish friend (who introduced me to it) calls it Gingy Whiskey. I especially like this mix when I can't sleep due to a cold or upset stomach.
In all my 46 years I have never once tried a martini. I guess I'll have to one of these days. I tried to develop a taste for scotch in my 20's, but never did, probably because I never tried any real scotch. Several years ago, I had some Glenfiddich, which wasn't too bad. Last summer I tasted Laphroig (I'm sure I don't have that spelled right) and it was pretty tasty. All in all, I am not much for cocktails, I prefer a glass of wine or a beer.
That's exactly the case with me. I always said I hated "brown" liquors when I was younger, but it turned out I just didn't like blended scotch.
I was the same way about Scotch. The blended stuff just smells like "drunk" to me. Smokey scotches are especially nice, but I don't try them all that often.
I'm not so picky about bourbon.
Beastie, I have a nice recipe for a Harvey Wallbanger cake that you might like.
on edit: I'm an idiot. Harvey Wallbangers use vodka, not whiskey. Duh. I do have a bourbon/scotch/whiskey ball recipe, as well as one for roulage that uses whiskey. We're all about the boozey cakes around here.