January 19th, 2008


A quick correction

The Willett that I got from Schneider's was $49.99 when I bought it.  The price hasn't been raised if you're thinking of getting it there; that's the price for the 6 year old, and the older ones cost more.  Much more.

However, they are out of the 6 year old until some time next week, probably Thursday.

I hit the store today to stock up on a few things: DeKuyper Kirschwasser (to see if it's better than the kind tmfiii got), another bottle of that same armagnac I already had, a replacement bottle of Redbreast Irish whiskey, two bottles of Schnoeur (I think that's how it's spelled) apple schnapps (one for me, one for a neighbor), and a bottle of Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve 6 year old rye.  I wanted an "in-between" bottle between the Sazerac and the Red Hook, but didn't really want to spend $80-100 despite the discount the whiskey guy at Schneider's offered me.

I also looked for Clear Creek Apple Brandy (none, unfortunately), apricot brandy (they only had the DeKuyper, same as Virginia), and anything else random that looked good.  I think I spent enough as it, though I also did get a new kind of ginger beer, too...Stewart's, rather spicy.

what's too strong for a new person?

My neighbor and his brother came over tonight.  My neighbor was sick.  I'd been reading Imbibe! the other day, so I made him a cherry smash:

Cherry Smash
by Julie Reiner via Imbibe! by David Wondrich

1 1/2 ounces Courvosier VS cognac (I used the Castarede XO armagnac)
3/4 ounce orange curacao (Cointreau)
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce cherry heering
Muddle four brandy soaked cherries in the bottom of a mixing glass.  Add the other ingredients and shake.  Strain into a cocktail glass and add two more cherries.

He liked it a lot; the big thing was that it was a bit strong in normal for what he usually drinks (as a note: he showed up drinking Jameson's in a glass filled with ice - so it's not a completely weenie drink that he's looking for).

I didn't try it, because he was sick, but I'm thinking of making one for myself.

I made myself a Rochester Cocktail, from Robert "Drinkboy" Hess in Imbibe!.

Rochester Cocktail
2 ounces rye whiskey  (I polished my old bottle of Sazerac rye.)
1 ounce Dubonnet (rouge, I assumed)
1/2 ounce Licor 43 (Cuarenta y Tres)
1/4 ounce absinthe (Pernod)
Stir, up, garnish with a lemon twist

I still suck at doing lemon twists but goshdarnit, I'm sure I can figure it out at some point.  Still, this was a good lush drink.

After he finished his cherry smash, I made my neighbor a Winter's Touch:

Winter's Touch
2 ounces bourbon (Maker's Mark)
3/4 ounce vanilla vodka (Absolut Vanil)
1/2 ounce rich simple syrup (I put in 3/4 oz.)
2 dashes mint bitters
Shake, strain into a cocktail glass

I figured it'd be too much for him but he liked it - it was just strong.

But that led to me wondering: for someone not used to cocktails the way WE like cocktails, how do you inch them into cocktails that may be a lot stronger than what they're used to?  I know I've made ones for other neighbors and my brother that they've liked - but they always comment on how strong they are.

Any thoughts?