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theregoesnorman's Profile

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Best Japanese Groceries in Chicago Proper?


I just moved to Chicago, and I'm trying to find any markets that carry a somewhat decent selection of Japanese groceries. I don't have a vehicle, so I'm hoping folks can suggest somewhere in the city.

In an ideal world, I'd like to find shiso, fresh wasabi, aburage, mitsuba, and mizuna greens - but I'd be glad if I could find somewhere with both red and white miso and some frozen lotus root!

Has anyone found a farmers market vendor that has a selection of japanese produce?

Thanks in advance, folks!

Oct 15, 2014
theregoesnorman in Chicago Area

Bottles to Get in Europe?

I grabbed a couple bottles last time I was in Europe, for some reason all of them liqueurs:

-Noyaux De Poissy is a great almond-ish liqueur that is scarce in the US.
-Carlshamm's Flaggpunsch is a long-standing swedish punsch that I like prefer to Kronan

Sep 03, 2012
theregoesnorman in Spirits

Best Cocktail Bars and Liquor stores in Hull area?


Best Cocktail Bars and Liquor stores in Hull area?

Hi folks,

I'm going to be visiting around Christmas time, and I was wondering which liquor store(s) to check out? Specifically, I'm looking for spirits and liqueurs that I won't necessarily be able to find in BC, so big selection is probably better. Also, are any of the LCBOs worth making the trek to?

What about cocktail bars? Are there any shining stars in Hull?

Thanks for the help!

Not available in the US

...and a pic of the flaggpunsch. I beleieve it's usually kept with liqueurs.

Nov 08, 2011
theregoesnorman in Spirits

Not available in the US

Carlshamm's Flaggpunsch is the most widely available swedish punsch, and I highly suggest it if your cocktail friends are of the forgotten/antique cocktail slant. Also fairly inexpensive.

If anyone ever makes it up to Canada (I'm in BC), Havana Club is available up here, as are some of the Japanese whiskeys, and the orancio.

I think the Havana Club 3 year works best for cocktails (it's my go to rum for mixing drinks), but for straight sipping, I'd agree with the above comments.

Nov 08, 2011
theregoesnorman in Spirits

Manhattan Cocktail Advice

Can you get Cinzano? I live in Canada, where the selection is dismal (ie: sweet selection is limited to Martini, Stock, and Cinzano), and it's usually easy to find and a good place to start. In my experience, it's a good red vermouth to start with, as well - still flavourful, but easier to mix than the Carpano. I'm also not a big fan of the vanilla notes in the Carpano for the Manhattan, regardless of the ratio.

I really like Rittenhouse in Manhattans.

Depending on my mood, I also like them with orange bitters instead of Angostura. Depending on your source, this is usually called a Virgin or something else, but I usually just stick with "Manhattan with orange bitters".

I still need to try a few of the drinks in this Wondrich article:

Nov 08, 2011
theregoesnorman in Spirits


One of the only vodka drinks I like highlights Benedictine:

The Gypsy

1 1/2 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Benedictine
1 dash Angostura

Some recipes call for 1 3/4 oz, but I find 1 1/2 suffices, and it's easier to mix with my jiggers at home. I used Grey Goose, but only because the bottle's been in my fridge for years. I've also tried a variation with B&B, and it's quite good as well.

Has anyone ever tried something like this with yellow Chartreuse? Might be an interesting drink...

Oct 23, 2011
theregoesnorman in Spirits

Where can I find swedish punsch in London?

Has anyone had any luck in London? I'll only be there for a few days - and mostly central - but I really want a bottle before heading back to Canada?

also, any liquor stores with above average to incredible selection?

Thanks in advance!

Sep 15, 2011
theregoesnorman in U.K./Ireland

Liquor stores in Paris?

I'm in Paris for a few more days, and I was wondering if anyone's been able to find Carlshamn's flagpunsch anywhere? Most people have said Caves du Roy, but they're a no go. Going to try Maison whisky tomorrow, but if anyone has other ideas, that'd be great!

Sep 15, 2011
theregoesnorman in France

Rum-based drinks that don't use many ingredients?

I've never had any of those rums before, but if you have any sweet vermouth around, you can try a Chaparra.

The original recipe calls for equal parts light rum and sweet vermouth, garnished with a lemon twist.

Its dead simple ingredients-wise, but I find equal parts tend to make the drink too vermouth heavy, especially if you're using something really flavourful like Marteletti or Carpano Antica. I found a 3:2 ratio was a good starting point, but it depends on what your ingredients are. However, when I made it with a darker Rum, a ratio closer to 1:1 worked well.

The beauty of such a simple ratio is that you can stir up small tasters with ease, to find that perfect bit.

Experiment and enjoy!

Aug 26, 2011
theregoesnorman in Spirits

2011 Warm Weather Cocktails -- What are you drinking?

Despite the plethra of great tiki drinks, I've been really into the Seventh Heaven in Haigh's Vintage Spirits lately: Gin, Maraschino and grapefruit juice make for a light refreshing drink - perfect for a sunny day!

Jun 26, 2011
theregoesnorman in Spirits

Best NYC picks for a cocktail nerd? Stores for Barware, Liquor stores, Restos/Bars

I wasn't sure if this should be in Spirits or NYC - hopefully I chose properly!

Anyways, I'm looking for any suggestions for good drinks, of course, but I'd REALLY like suggestions for the best places to buy nice bar tools, and your favourite Liquor stores. Places in Brooklyn and Manhattan would be best...

Thanks in advance!

Jun 26, 2011
theregoesnorman in Manhattan

Gum Arabic in Vancouver?

Thanks guys! Gourmet Warehouse was my first try and I got the last container.


Gourmet Warehouse
1340 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V5L, CA

Gum Arabic in Vancouver?

I;ve spent far too long trying to search this out. Has anyone successfully found this in Vancouver or by Canadian mail order?

So far I've struck out at Famous Foods, one of the Whole Foods, and most of the big chains... If anyone has actually found this, that would be a great help