Ali G's Profile

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Nocino - green walnut liqueur

I think you are overreacting to tbessie's comment. Seemed like a reasonable question with maybe a bit of sarcasm.

I'd love to pick green walnuts fresh but I'm just outside of Boston and don't think we have any English walnut trees around. I did a search but keep finding that Haag is the best (maybe only) option. I'll see how it goes but my email exchange so far has me worried.

1 day ago
Ali G in Spirits

Nocino - green walnut liqueur

I'm bumping this thread up in case you nocino folks are still reading.

I plan to purchase 5lbs of green walnuts from the Haag folks and split them between nocino and vin de noix since I have gallons of homemade wine to use.

Just a question for the people who have used Haag. Were you pleased with the product and transaction? I wrote the the e-mail address listed asking some questions about when they expect the walnuts to be be ready and if they send an e-mail beforehand so I am ready to use them. Instead of a reply, I received an invoice for walnuts. I responded saying I was simply asking some questions about the process and repeated them and was just asked if I wanted to cancel the order. Again I replied saying I wanted to order 5lbs, but had the same 2 questions. My order was canceled and replaced with a new invoice for 5lbs.

I'm a little concerned with the lack of response from this company. They clearly read my e-mail each time to create an invoice and cancel the first one. Yelp is filled with complaints of poor customer service. I can live with shitty service if the product is good, but would like to know when to expect these since they are perishable and I will be traveling some days in June. Any thoughts??

May 01, 2015
Ali G in Spirits

Karl's Smoked Pork Chops (Kassler)

I know they are brined and smoked, but I'm not sure if they are considered cooked. Most German recipes I found with the kraut called for simmering in the kraut with some kind of liquid. The time varied from 10 mins - 3 hrs. Some also just browned the chops and made a gravy in the pan. It's possible I overcooked them, but the internal temp was in the cooked range, not crazy high.

We use to make chops that simmered in cream of mushroom soup when I was a kid and I remember those cooking until very tender. I was sort of taking the same approach. These were definitely not tough or dry, just not as tender as I had in my mind.

Mar 06, 2015
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

Karl's Smoked Pork Chops (Kassler)

Quick follow-up:

The pork chops were fantastic! I cooked the sauerkraut as described, browned the chops a little and then put them on top of the kraut, added some wine and covered for about 30 mins.

Next time I'd let them simmer in the mixture longer to get the pork more tender. We were not patient enough, but the flavor was still excellent. I thought they reminded me of ham or smoked shoulder. These would be good to braise in the oven for a couple of hours. I got very thick bone-in chops, so I think they would stand up to the low, slow cooking. For a quicker meal, I'd try the boneless loin end. They give you the option. It seems the bone-in end should be slightly less per lb so you dont pay a lot more for bone weight. Still a decent price and good eats.

Mar 06, 2015
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

Pimento Wood Chips?

I've had mixed luck with my peppers. We recently removed a tree that was casting some early morning shade on the garden so hopefully this year will be better. Last summer I switched to containers and got a decent yield. I usually grow 1 - 2 plants since I'm the only one who likes heat. It's enough to give some away, make a hot sauce and maybe some jerk rub. My cherry peppers took off like crazy last year. I pickled some of these and stuffed with cheese and prosciutto. Awesome!

Mar 04, 2015
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

Karl's Smoked Pork Chops (Kassler)

I've only been a few times, so I have not tried too many items. I work reasonably close by for a lunch run, but it's not a regular stop.

Their maple wood smoked bacon is good and they slice it to your preferred thickness. People swear by the triple smoked bacon, but I think that goes best in stews and chiles and maybe slow cooked greens to add that extra smoke and pork component.

The bratwurst (coarse) was very good and my mom loved the liverwurst (fine grind).

Karl's has a ton of various mustards and other condiments. They also have a cafe, so you could grab lunch or dinner there with some German beer. They usually have the pretzels at the deli counter, but also have other fresh breads in one of the isles and more stuff in the freezer. Others have enjoyed the kielbasa, knockwurst and deli meats. I see the black forest ham come up in some threads. I'll try some of these in the future. The folks at the counter have always been friendly and willing to answer questions, so you can always ask for some suggestions on what to get and how to cook it.

By the way, I read the proper way to eat a weisswurst is to dip the end in sweet mustard and scrape the meat out of the casing with your teeth. When you are done, toss the casing. I tried this just for fun, but at home I'd rather make a small slit in the casing and roll it off the meat. I can see how the other method would work well at an event when your other hand is holding a giant mug of beer.

Mar 04, 2015
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

Pimento Wood Chips?

Wow, I forgot posting this. I can't remember how much flavor or aroma it imparted on the chicken, but I do remember soaking some allspice berries and putting them in tinfoil. The last several times I just went with hardwood charcoal and maybe a chunk or two of applewood.

I usually grow scotch bonnets in the summer and make a jerk marinade with them. I'll have to revisit the berries and bay leaves.

Mar 03, 2015
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

Karl's Smoked Pork Chops (Kassler)

Thanks for the tip. The last time I was at Karl's I bought some coarse brats and weisswurst and started searching methods to cook. A lot of brats were served with the cooked sauerkraut I described above. I had only eaten kraut cold and raw on hot dogs, so it sounded like something to try. My wife and I loved it, so I figured I'd do it again with the chops.

By the way, that weisswurst might be one of my favorite things now. It tastes so light and delicate. I just put them in boiling water, turned off the heat and put a lid on for about 10 mins. Perfect with some sweet mustard.

Mar 03, 2015
Ali G in Greater Boston Area
1

Karl's Smoked Pork Chops (Kassler)

Thanks everyone. I had cooked down some kraut with onions, apple, and caraway to have with some brats from Karl's a while back. The recipes I've seen for the chops look similar with a little liquid to braise. I'll give it a shot. They look great.

Mar 02, 2015
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

Karl's Smoked Pork Chops (Kassler)

I picked up a couple of these chops during my last visit based on lots of good reviews. Just wondering if someone can tell me if these are very salty or not. I was planning to cook some sauerkraut and then braise the chops in it until warm and tender. If they are very salty, maybe cooking with some greens (kale, collards, etc).

By the way, I tried the landjager for the first time and it's excellent. Good snack for the ride back.

Mar 02, 2015
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

Glencairn glass for bourbon?

I can count on one hand how many other glasses I have used for bourbon since buying my first Glencairn. I love it and recently bought a couple for a family member to go along with the liquor.

Dec 17, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

Looking for recipes to make boozy gifts for Christmas

I make an Irish Cream every year that goes over very well. Similar to CaptCrunch's recipe, but mine calls for eggs. I've made it "low fat/ lower cal" but subbing in egg beaters and non-fat cream. We drink it at Christmas over ice. Make the base and add the whiskey to taste. I find something like Segrams 7 or Canadian Club works well, so it's not technically "Irish" Cream. Can also make some eggnog.

Fresh cherries are not in season, but search the boards for homemade bourbon or brandied cherries. I have some in the fridge that kick the ass of the neon jars. I've also added some dried cherries to see how they hold up and I like them. Decent texture for a Manhattan. I've heard quality frozen cherries could be used as well.

Not a drink, but it calls for booze, homemade vanilla extract. I made some for my wife and it came out great. This benefits from time, so not sure it would be optimal by Christmas. You can cut the vanilla beans into small pieces and soak them in vodka. Give a shake every day. Cool gift would be to fill a mason jar with all the dry ingredients for chocolate chip cookies and include a small bottle of the vanilla with instructions to add eggs and milk.

Nov 28, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

3-4 bourbons as a gift

Most of the suggestions from Twitter are going to be tough to find. The Parker's Heritage sold out in under an hour at my local store and the Four Roses seems to be lumped in with the Pappy and BTAC lotteries at many places.

One suggestion I see a lot is to find what someone likes already and get one of the next tier offerings from that distiller or NDP. For example, he likes Elijah Craig, so maybe you can find one of the barrel proof bottles. I happen to be drinking #6 as I type. These also seem to go very fast. I tried the 23 year at a tasting recently, but it's going for $180. There is also a

sku and scuba have some good suggestions with the Four Roses (small batch or single barrel) and the Wellers for a wheat option. I can't find a Weller 12 to save my life, but I was able to find the Antique 107 which was bottled for one of the liquor stores close by. Depending on your budget, I think Garrison Brothers out of Texas is a wheated bourbon. Had a small taste and found it very unique. Goes for around $80.

For a rye, I really like the Double Rye by High West. Most of my experience with Rye is in cocktails and I typically use Rittenhouse or Old Overholt.

I wish my wife was posting on forums for ideas! I'm making a small wishlist for Christmas myself.

Nov 28, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

Cider fermenting in the fridge...

Thanks. I don't want to toss it out...I was kinda hoping for it to ferment a bit. We don't drink a ton of cider, but the orchard only had gallon jugs during our PYO day with the kids.

I'll rack it over to a growler just to remove the sediment. I have many airlocks from brewing beer and making wine. I've actually made hard cider and apple wine a few times, but we just dont go through it enough so I stick to beer and red wine.

Nov 19, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

Cider fermenting in the fridge...

This might be better posted on the beer forum, but I know some of the folks on the Spirits board make beer, cider, infusions, etc, so I'm posting here.

I have some unpasteurized cider in the fridge that I was drinking by itself or with some rye added. Well, it's been pushed to the back and neglected and I noticed the container was about to pop the other day. I gave it a taste and it's definitely on it's way to becoming hard cider. There is a lot of sediment on the bottom and some got dislodged while taking a swig. How do people deal with cider that's fermenting? I know many people seek the unpasteurized stuff just to let it fizz a bit, but how long is it OK to keep? Will it start to go to vinegar eventually? Should I "rack" it off the sediment?

The obvious answer is to start drinking it faster, which I plan to do, but just wondering how long it typically lasts before getting funky.

Nov 18, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

Anyone have a good recipe for apple cider sangria?

I don't have a recipe, but we were at a party recently where they served an apple cider sangria in a big chilled dispenser. This one used a white wine and caramel apple vodka with diced apples floating on top. I had a small taste and thought it was good, just not my thing - I'm more of a cider & rum/rye person. It was very popular though. Crazy how many flavored vodkas are out there now. This may also have been cut with some cider or apple juice, but the wine and vodka were a definite.

Nov 17, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

Whiskey gift for a beginner?

The rocks glasses are a good idea. I thought of that after posting about how he still likes some ice. I'm really loving my glencairns so I'm biased. I'll definitely check out the rocks as well. I could use some "normal" sized glasses myself. Mine are all oversized.

Oct 27, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

Whiskey gift for a beginner?

Thanks for all the suggestions. We were actually going to a large whiskey tasting at a local liquor store recently but plans got cancelled. I was hoping to see if he leaned toward Scotch or bourbon. I'll see him soon and try to feel him out. I know everyone's tastes are different, but I always leaned towards the sweeter bourbon and Irish whiskeys and kind of assumed he might as well. Balvenie DW is the bottle I am using to spark my interest in Scotch, but it usually gets passed by for my Wild Turkey or Four Roses.

The Weller is a great suggestion but I can't even find any around here for myself. I think too many people are calling it Pappy Lite and its getting scooped up.

Oct 27, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

Whiskey gift for a beginner?

I have a 30th birthday coming up for a family member who is starting to get into whiskey a bit. I thought it would be nice to get him a couple of glencairn glasses a decent bottle of whiskey as a gift. Nothing over the top expensive. He is at a point where he still likes a couple of ice cubes to chill and dilute, but will skip the mixers. His job has him out schmoozing on an expense account, so I think he's trying to expand his palette to fit in with the execs who sip scotch and bourbon.

I tend to favor bourbon over scotch, so my mind goes to some of the easy drinking mid-shelf bottles...Four Roses small batch, Knob Creek, Eagle Rare 10, or maybe Elijah Craig. These are all about $25 and under and I enjoy them.

Any suggestions for a new whiskey drinker? Would you go for a scotch instead? Nothing too smokey or complex. Maybe Balvenie Double Wood, Old Pulteney, Highland Park 12, Macallen 12, etc?

Oct 26, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

ISO Lemon Hart 151 rum

I bought a bottle at Martignetti's a couple of month's ago.

Oct 16, 2014
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

What's the peatiest, smokiest scotch?

I was at a similar tasting recently and agree that the Port Charlotte and Octomore were, to my tastes, close in smoke character. Too much for me. It just overloads the senses and I can't make anything else out. Glad we tasted the Black Art first. I'm too cheap to drop over $250 on a bottle though.

Maybe some day this love affair people have with peat will grow on me like aggressively hopped IPAs have over the years. For now, I'll stick with bourbon.

Oct 10, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

Whiskies for Fall

Green Spot has been on my wish list for a while. I saw it recently and thought, that can't be the real stuff, they don't export to the US. Guess that changed.

How do you folks like it compared to Redbreast? Most of the reviews I've read are mixed. People either think it's great or too light and kind of boring. I really like the Redbreast 12 and can find it in the mid $40's. Green Spot seems to be a few bucks higher. Wonder if any bars in the Boston area have it stocked so I can taste first.

Oct 09, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

Whiskies for Fall

I agree with the Redbreast recommendation. Jameson on the rocks or neat was my drink of choice for a long time, then I had Redbreast and it quickly became my favorite Irish whiskey. One of these day's I'll pick up the cask strength version. For something less expensive than Redbreast, but similar to Jameson, you could try Powers. It's very popular in Ireland.

I do not care for peat. I attended a Bruichladdich tasting recently and tried the Octomore. Holy crap. It was like drinking a campfire. The only scotch I have at the moment is Balvenie Double Wood 12 yr which is really enjoyable and no smoke.

Lately I have been in a bourbon mood. As the weather started to cool down, I began making Manhattans and Old Fashioneds with Rittenhouse Rye, but now I just prefer to sip some bourbon neat. I finished my Eagle Rare 10 and now bounce between Four Roses Small Batch and Wild Turkey 101. I have to say, Four Roses is incredible on the nose. Next purchase will be some kind of wheater...I'm thinking Weller or Larceny. I'd like to explore the style since I'm unfamiliar with it and compare to the bourbons with rye. I love this time of year!

Oct 07, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

Some recent Merrimack Valley eats / lunch

Update - I stopped in to Nhu Y last week and the woman there said they no longer make sandwiches. :(

She was rolling some egg rolls and they still had a small covered pan of them on the counter like most places, but it looks like Hong Cuc and Yummy Express are the places to go now. I had struck out the last few times I went there, so it seemed like the writing was on the wall (guy didn't deliver bread today, wife is traveling and she makes the fillings, etc). Oh well, I enjoyed them while it lasted.

Oct 06, 2014
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

Fresh grape juice for making wine??

Absolutely. I'm going to let it age a bit, but I alwasys sample some around the holidays. Luckily I don't have a very refined palate, so as long as it makes decent table wine I'll be happy.

Oct 04, 2014
Ali G in Greater Boston Area
1

Fresh grape juice for making wine??

Well, we will see how this goes. I picked up a bucket of Cabernet juice from Wine Grapes NE. This seemed like the best option since all of the buckets were on pallets in a cooler. Other vendors had them sitting outside. However, my juice is measuring at about 1.068 SG and fizzy, so fermentation has clearly started. The bucket was hissing the whole way home.

I pitched my starter on top anyway and will add some nutrient later in the week. Maybe it will take over. I'll do MLF and add some oak after it ferments out and hope for the best.

Oct 04, 2014
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

Fresh grape juice for making wine??

I saw that Beer and Wine Hobby was offering a crushing service this year. I don't own a press myself. We usually get a small group of guys together and buy grapes one weekend, crush and set aside in a barrel to start fermentation. The guy who owns the house has the job of pushing down the cap every day. Week or so later we all take turns pressing our batch and take away the juice in carboys or demijohns to finish fermenting in your own basement.

I'm trying to go easy this year and scale down, so I think I'll pick up 1-2 buckets of juice (thinking Cab Sav). Wine Grapes has the buckets for $50. I'll plan to poke around early on Saturday and see what's available. I know the best results come from getting some fermentation on the skins, but we'll see how it goes. I'll probably pitch my own yeast from BW Hobby, do MLF, and maybe add some oak chips and hope for the best. If it's no good, there is always next year to go back to grapes!

Sep 30, 2014
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

Fresh grape juice for making wine??

itaunas,thanks for all the info. I got swamped at the office so I'll call tomorrow.

I think I've purchased grapes at Wine Grapes NE in the past but didn't recognize the name. It was the only place that listed brix and had cases of grapes in large walk in coolers. This will be the first time I try juice. Just don't have the time for grapes.

The other place I've purchased from has a large Latino guy who tells all the workers what to do and an older Italian guy who collects the payment. Not sure how else to describe it, but its the first stop every year. They were selling some barrels last time too.

I was hoping some would offer the must with the juice. I'm doing a small amount this year. Enough to pass on a few bottles to family and friends and the rest for table wine, so its not the end of the world if I just get juice. Ive had good success with barbera grapes and planned to buy that juice. Any idea on prices? Two years ago there was a big jump on grape prices. Not much under $35 a case and many over $40. Didn't catch the juice prices.

Sep 26, 2014
Ali G in Greater Boston Area

Sazerac - Absinthe rinse substitute?

I made a Sazerac using Becherovka for the rinse. No anise flavor or aroma, but I thought it made a very good drink. I'm terrible at describing the scents and flavors I get from liquor and wine, but I guess I'd say there was a gingerbread type thing going on in here. Maybe not a true Sazerac, but seems to fit in with the Fall. As soon as I can find inexpensive Absinthe or Herbsaint (or small bottles), I'll compare. Might have to make another tonight.

Sep 26, 2014
Ali G in Spirits

Fresh grape juice for making wine??

Thanks, I'll give them a call this afternoon.

Do you have any experience with this company? Decent quality juice?

Sep 26, 2014
Ali G in Greater Boston Area