aphonik's Profile

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How do I date a bottle of spirits?

Very cool bottle. I'm guessing that may be 1940s. Did you ever wind up selling it? I have an old unopened bottle of Heering but I think mine is later, probably from the 60s-70s. (I also have a new bottle, opened, because that stuff is delicious. Not sure how the bottle-aged version would taste.)

Dec 28, 2013
aphonik in Spirits

Craigie on Main-Lack of Sensitivity

I wouldn't call it a "hissy fit." It seems perfectly reasonable to me that a meal could be spoiled by a chef's refusal to grant an extremely simple request that essentially involves no effort at all on the part of the kitchen. That unwillingness to make allowance for a diner's dietary needs would stick in my craw, too, and I can understand how that would taint what might have been an otherwise lovely experience.

I would completely understand the chef's unwillingness to change a recipe or alter a preparation in some substantial way, but the distinction here is simply scooping a frozen substance from container A rather than container B. A refusal of that sort seems really hard to justify, and would leave a bad taste in my mouth, too.

Jul 06, 2011
aphonik in Greater Boston Area

Craigie on Main-Lack of Sensitivity

I am not a vegetarian myself but I have great respect for those who choose to commit to that kind of diet. It annoys me when chefs who "don't get it" insist that it's somehow an invalid dietary choice simply because they don't understand why someone would choose not to eat animals. Anthony Bourdain, whom I otherwise admire, is one of the worst offenders.

Jul 06, 2011
aphonik in Greater Boston Area

Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers -- Huh?

Last year I randomly stumbled across the Boston University location after a late show at the Paradise next door. I fully intended to grab a Big Mac or something at what used to be a McDonald's but when I saw the "Raising Cane's" sign out front, I figured might as well give it a shot. I've basically been addicted to this place ever since. And the best thing is that they're open until midnight every night (except during summer break).

Sure they have only one thing on the menu, but they do that one thing exceptionally well: their chicken fingers are always moist and perfectly cooked. And I usually don't like crinkle-cut fries but for some reason theirs are awesome (especially when paired with the mysterious but delicious Cane's sauce). The texas toast may seem like a strange side for a fast food place but it works beautifully with the chicken. I suspect they must sprinkle crack in the chicken batter or something because otherwise I'm at a loss to explain my addiction to this place.

I also love that they give you packets of hot sauce, ketchup, and mayo and don't skimp when you ask for extra (which I always do, because I'm a condiment junkie). While I can't speak to the whole "culture of fun" thing, since I don't work there, I do know that all of the employees at the BU location seem surprisingly friendly for fast food workers. I've never had a bad experience going there, and I don't intend to stop now.

Jun 29, 2011
aphonik in Chains

Vintage & Older Liquors vs. today's versions

This is a very interesting thread. I recently found some old bottles in my dad's basement that I'm very curious to try. There was a sealed Crown Royal from 1954, a sealed bottle of Schenley's Canadian whiskey from 1955, and an old but undated bottle of Venezuelan rum (Santa Teresa, I believe). My dad and stepmother are not whiskey drinkers; they have no idea where the bottles came from. I'm hoping that the next time I visit they'll let me adopt the mystery bottles. I'm very curious to try them (though I have to admit I'd have a hard time breaking a seal that's been intact for 56 years).

Nov 13, 2010
aphonik in Spirits

Dropper bottles for homemade bitters

Also, I know that the Boston Shaker in Davis Square carries dropper bottles. I've bought a few there but can't recall the price off the top of my head. Likely they'll charge a bit more than the place you mentioned above but it's a great little store and definitely worth a visit for cocktail enthusiasts. http://www.thebostonshaker.com/

Nov 11, 2010
aphonik in Spirits

Buy my next bottle!

I had the same problem. Spent nearly a year searching liquor stores in the Northeast (Boston area primarily) and could not find the Rittenhouse 100 anywhere. I finally found a nice store in Westborough, MA called Julio's that seemingly had been stocking it all along. If you're in the Boston area it's worth the 30 minute drive west.

Nov 05, 2010
aphonik in Spirits

Scotch for mixing

The Macallan 12 year old can be had in 375 ml for between $20-30, which is ideal for those of us who wish to sample without investing in a full bottle.

That said, I've never mixed a cocktail with it, and I am by no means an expert on scotch. I've read many recommendations for Famous Grouse -- many respectable bars use it -- and I've been very happy with it in my Mamie Taylors and Blood & Sands.

Next on my scotch list is Isle of Jura's Superstition; I've read that it's a blend of two scotches, one older and one younger, with an interesting combination of sweetness and smoky peatiness. Very intriguing.

Imbibe posted a cocktail today that I'm eager to try: The Smoking Gun, made with scotch (they recommend Laphroaig) and Fernet Branca. Sounds strange but potentially wonderful. (See: http://www.imbibemagazine.com/The-Smo...)

Nov 05, 2010
aphonik in Spirits

Maple Syrup in Cocktails

There's a restaurant here in Cambridge, MA called Hungry Mother that has a cocktail made with old overholt rye, 10 year ferreira tawny port, maple syrup, and bitters. While I've yet to visit Hungry Mother (much to my dismay), I know of the cocktail because I asked one of the bartenders at Drink to make me "something with port" and this is the drink they suggested, with credit to the makers at Hungry Mother. While they didn't tell me the exact proportions, here is my best guess (note that I have an unusually high tolerance for sweetness so adjust according to your taste):

2 oz. rye whiskey
1 oz. tawny port
1/2 oz. pure maple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters

It's quite good this way but worthy of further experimentation to find the ideal proportions.

There's also the Applejack Rabbit, from Jordan Mackay's article on apple brandy: http://zesterdaily.com/drinking/301-c...

2 oz apple brandy
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz Clementine orange juice
3/4 oz maple syrup

And the Apple Cider Cocktail, which I adapted with slight variation from the Williams-Sonoma recipe: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe...

2 oz. apple cider
2 oz. Calvados
1 oz. fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
1 apple slice, cut side rubbed with lemon juice, for garnish

Jul 20, 2010
aphonik in Spirits

Sloe Gin and Creme de Violette...

I have to say that if you tried an Aviation and hated it then your best bet is probably just to give the bottle away, because I can't imagine you liking creme de violette in anything else. I should ask whether you know what was in the Aviation you ordered at the bar, since some bartenders have completely different ideas about what constitutes the drink. Quote Wikipedia: "Harry Craddock's influential Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) omitted the crème de violette, calling for a mixture of two-thirds dry gin, one-third lemon juice, and two dashes of maraschino. Many later bartenders have followed Craddock's lead, leaving out the difficult-to-find violet liqueur."

At any rate, I would highly recommend at least giving the Aviation another go, because I think it's a wonderful drink, and would be the perfect outlet for that bottle of creme de violette you're stuck with.

This is the recipe I use:

1 1/2 oz. gin (Plymouth)
1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz crème de violette (Rothman & Winter)

Jul 16, 2010
aphonik in Spirits