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OC Cocktail Hour


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#1 ivan

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 09:45 PM

Until further notice:

The Perfect Martini (lower case)

Chill 2 smallish Martini glasses.

Chill some olives impaled upon wooden picks.

Pack a metal shaker with ice. Pour in:

5 parts Gin, either Gordon's or Beefeaters, depending on mood.
1 part dry Vermouth. Can't go wrong with Martini & Rossi.

Shake until ice forms on shaker surface.

Strain into chilled glasses.

Plop in olive impaled on stick.

Libate.

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When making Martinis for me and P, the perfect 2-drink round works out to contain 100 ml Gin and 20 ml Vermouth.

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The Vesper Alternative.

I will not repeat here what Wikipedia so splendidly recounted on this subject other than to note the following:

1. It is delicious.
2. We have found that Beefeaters Gin, Moskovskaya Vodka and Angostura Bitters work admirably. However, I am intrigued by the possibility of acquiring a quantity of Quinine and dropping a dram or two into the mix. So something-de-ciecle.

#2 Priscilla

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 06:46 PM

Last evening, Ivan felt that a hotter drink was indicated, and so it was Beefeater for Cocktail Hour martinis.

And he was right, it was extra delicious.

And then, coincidentally, just today a British online acquaintance who is a cocktail expert mentioned tangentially that Beefeater is what the best bartender in London, a mate of his, uses for martinis. AND gave us a great idea for getting closer to the Ian Fleming-era Kina Lillet using today's reformulated Lillet, for a more Bondian Vesper.





#3 ivan

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 08:19 PM

QUOTE (Priscilla @ Mar 4 2010, 02:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Last evening, Ivan felt that a hotter drink was indicated, and so it was Beefeater for Cocktail Hour martinis.

And he was right, it was extra delicious.

And then, coincidentally, just today a British online acquaintance who is a cocktail expert mentioned tangentially that Beefeater is what the best bartender in London, a mate of his, uses for martinis. AND gave us a great idea for getting closer to the Ian Fleming-era Kina Lillet using today's reformulated Lillet, for a more Bondian Vesper.


Despite Wikipedia's (rather pedestrian) prejudice in favour of Tanqueray rather than Beefeater for the Bondian Vesper, it is clear that Beefeater is the gin of gins. A person of discerning taste would have no doubt on this matter. Tanqueray is made entirely in Scotland. Beefeater does, admittedly, blend its final product in Scotland, but the botanicals are steeped at the same location they have been since 1820 -- London.

#4 ivan

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 09:17 PM

I will be forever indebted to our friend David for introducing us to the Marconi Wireless.

Here is the generic recipe:

2/3 applejack
1/3 sweet vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters

However, the recipe that David passed on to us is more refined:

3/4 oz Carpano Antica vermouth
1 3/4 Laird's Straight 100 proof Apple Brandy (bottled in bond). Not Laird's Apple Jack. Brandy. Straight. Bottled in bond. Capice?
2 dashes orange bitters.

The proportions, says David, must be precisely as stated above. A touch more or less brandy, a tad more or less vermouth, and the drink is off-balance.

I was determined to try a Marconi Wireless mixed exactly to David's specs, so we spent the next few weeks scanning the shelves of all our regular liquor purveyors. No luck. I knew all along that both Laird's and Carpano Antica are available at Hi-Time Cellars, a couple freeways and 40 minutes away, but I was hoping to find them closer to home. Much to their credit, Claro's in Tustin has a dusty bottle of Carpano on their vermouth shelf, but I didn't buy it there, because I needed the matched pair. Finally, last week, we had a chance to foray down to Costa Mesa and Hi-Time Cellars. If "foray down" is a term.

So we tried the Marconi Wireless last Saturday. And the best thing about it was that Number One Son insisted on mixing the cocktail (he does not imbibe yet, but he enjoys mixing and serving. We are truly fortunate). The first round was gently stirred with ice, per my instructions, and against No. 1's instincts (he wanted to stir vigorously). The first round was good. For the second round, I thought I'd indulge #1's impulse, and told him to shake the cocktail in a shaker with ice. The second round was surprisingly out-of-whack, too sweet, a little cloying. So for the final round, I told our barman to gently stir, as I originally specified. When the third round arrived, P and I were amazed. It was superior to the 2 prior versions. I asked our barman what the deal was, and he replied that the only thing he did differently was to stir it vigorously, as he originally intended.

Always trust your barman.

On a side note, Laird's apple brandy is marvelous. I'll put it up against any Calvados, certainly any Calvados available locally.

But an even greater discovery is Carpano Antica vermouth. I have 2 words for anyone who does anything with sweet vermouth: Get it. It is the vermouth of vermouths. So enthralled was I by its rich herbalosity, I was impelled to mix a Negroni that very same night. Best Negroni ever.

#5 Priscilla

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 11:27 AM

Blood orange margaritas = good.

As mentioned over in What did we cook?

Took the tequila suggestion of the Hi-Time guy who saw us reaching for our usual and found his advice to be sound. Sound, and a buck less.

#6 Priscilla

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 05:22 PM

We've been on a Vesper jag, possibly, even likely, influenced by having so many especially beautiful, fragrant lemons around now that they're in high season.

What a lovely drink.

#7 Priscilla

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:18 AM

In the walloping heat of this summer, we've turned to Aperol spritzes, as put forward by Mario Batali. Very convenient how their cheerful orange color exactly matches his trademark Crocs, innit?

But what a good drink. Aperol is an amaro of course, but is far milder than the more familiar Campari. I like its less-sweetness too. That said, I can totally see Campari spritz... haven't tried yet, but likelly will, someday.