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carnicero's Profile

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Your explaining brewing tea wrong..."Your doing it wrong"

To expand a bit further on your point: yes, oxygen and other gases can be dissolved in water. Cold water has a greater capacity for gas in solution, and boiling causes these dissolved gases to escape along with the water vapor. I think the OP is unaware of dissolved oxygen and thinks that whoever she is addressing claims that boiling water causes lysis of the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms, which clearly is not the case.

Dec 01, 2014
carnicero in Home Cooking
1

What are the cuisines that you know little about but want to try?

There's a great Portuguese restaurant in a Riverside, NJ. I think it's called Pavilion Barbecue. It's not fine dining, more rustic or homey than Koo Zee Do, but delicious and fresh.

Nov 27, 2014
carnicero in General Topics

Snagged some hard to find Bourbons to try

I wish BTAC hadn't become nearly as much of a craze as Pappy. It's almost impossible to snag any bottles in PA or NJ. George T. Stagg has to be one of my favorite whiskeys of all time.

As for your OP about Midwinter Night's Dram: I haven't found it in my area yet, but I've loved all of their other bottlings I've tried. Double Rye, Rendezvous Rye, American Prairie Reserve, and Son of Bourye are all great. The silver oat and OMG silver ryes are about the only unaged whiskeys I've really enjoyed.

Nov 24, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Panettone

DiBruno Bros always carries panettone, and I don't recall ever not getting a good one.

Nov 24, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Cabbage Kimchi-Style

Soo... not kimchi, but korean-flavored braised cabbage? Unfermented? With saffron, sugar and bell pepper? Maybe it's good, but it certainly isn't kimchi. Even "kimchi-style" seems like quite a stretch.

Nov 10, 2014
carnicero in Recipes

Where to buy a turkey in Philly?

D'Angelo Brothers Meats in the Italian market, S. 9th St between Montrose & Christian. You have to pre-order a week or more in advance, but he gets in fresh Bourbon Red turkeys (a heritage breed- the body structure is more like a wild turkey than a commercial broad-breasted white turkey). I haven't hosted Thanksgiving or Christmas for a few years, regrettably, but when I did I always ordered a Bourbon Red from Sonny D'Angelo.

Nov 09, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia
1

Battle of the Slaws: Mayo vs Vinegar based

I detest mayonnaise, so it's vinegar slaw for me. Also an option- mustard slaw. Both are phenomenal with barbecue (especially fatty pork).

Oct 28, 2014
carnicero in General Topics
1

Whiskey gift for a beginner?

As I understand it, there are two problems affecting Weller availability in some markets.

First, as you mention, it has received some attention as "Pappy Lite" or "Poor Man's Pappy," and people are snapping it up more than ever before.

Second, Buffalo trace distills, barrels and bottles the Pappy line and William LaRue Weller (as part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection line). The Pappy Bourbons and the WL Weller are both said to be the same mashbill as Old Weller Antique- and command a much higher retail price than OWA. The distillery has been rumored to be holding back barrels that would have been released as OWA in order to have greater quantities of Pappy and WL Weller available for sale.

All that being said, it's been harder for me to find than before, but still available. I grab a bottle or two when I see it because it's still a tremendous value.

Oct 27, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Whiskey gift for a beginner?

I think your bourbon mentions are all fine choices. I keep Elijah Craig 12 in my home bar all the time. I'll add Old Weller Antique 107, Evan Williams Single Barrel and Old Granddad 114 as good products in the same price range.

If your family member prefers ice in his whiskey, consider some nice heavy-bottomed double rocks glasses rather than glencairns. Libbey and Anchor Hocking both make very nice bar/restaurant grade glasses for not much money. I get mine by the case at the restaurant supply store, but they are available individually for slightly more from Amazon and other places.

Oct 26, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Brandied cherries?

Sorry to say that I don't know of anywhere selling brandied cherries. However, While Foods carries a brand of jarred preserved cherries similar to maraschinos but a more natural texture and flavor. The brand is Tillen Farms, product name Bada Bing Cherries. If you drain off the syrup and replace it with brandy, they come out pretty well.

Oct 24, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Whiskies for Fall

I see merit in both of your arguments. Good dilution can tame a heavier spirit and make it more approachable for sure. However, for a fan of Irish whiskey, which I find lighter in body and sweeter in flavor than many bourbons, I'd probably recommend a bourbon other than Bookers. Old Weller Antique 107 is still overproof, but lighter and not as sharp or aggressive as Bookers. It's very beginner-friendly even with very little or no water. It can be a little difficult to find, at least where I live, but it only retails for $23-$26, which makes it a steal for the quality.

Oct 21, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Need recommendations for business trip

Shake Shack- best old-school flat top burger around

Village Whiskey- what I think of as "pub-style burger"; thicker patty and more refined toppings than Shake Shack (bonus: excellent whiskey selection and good cocktails)

Good Dog- I'll second this one, good casual bar with interesting food and above average beer selection

Reading Terminal Market- indoor stall vendor market with everything from produce vendors to fish mongers to butchers to prepared foods. Your coworkers can get burgers, deli sandwiches, etc., and you can be free to join them or get Cantonese noodle soup, Thai, Cajun, tacos, or pretty much whatever else you might want.

Lloyd: (529 E. Girard Ave)This is much closer to Center City than Blue Duck. Neighborhood bar with a focus on whiskey. Decent cocktails and a small but quality beer list. They make a good burger, as well as a variety of good small plates/appetizers. I recommend the buffalo crispy duck skins. Also, this puts you close to Frankford Hall, a popular German-style beer hall and Fette Sau, a Texas-style barbecue place that serves only humanely raise heritage breed meat.

Oct 20, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Rehearsal dinner in New Hope area

I'll second the rec for Triumph. We attended a friend's rehearsal dinner there a few years ago and they did a great job.

Oct 06, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia
1

Philadelphia Wedding Caterers (Report)

The muddled fruit and splash of soda are a more modern/contemporary recipe than what I use. It all comes down to taste, and some people will prefer that version and others the classic. The splash of soda in the newer recipe lightens the drink, where as the older way is more viscous and spirit-forward.

My go-to recipe:
Build on the rocks (or one very large rock, if available):
1/4 oz maple syrup (grade B dark amber preferred)
3 dashes bitters
2 oz whiskey
stir well, garnish with wide twist of orange peel and cherry

Oct 01, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

venison?

If a trip to South Philly isn't out of the question, DeAngelo's Meats in the Italian Market on S. 9th Street. has venison of several deer and elk species, as well as other game. He also makes a great selection of sausages, pates and the like. Due to USDA regulations, though, any commercially-sold game has to be farm-raised and not wild, so it's fairly expensive relative to other meats.

Sep 27, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Wedding Caterers (Report)

Those are all solid choices. I did similar research for "best bottles for your buck" when I stocked the bar for my wedding, and I recommend the same things for clients now. Some people want the cheapest possible, some want the best-regarded name brands, but there are some wonderful products in that in-between range.

I wouldn't worry too much about not finding El Dorado 4yr- Cruzan is a quality product at a great price. I'm not fond of their flavored rums, but the light, aged, dark and blackstrap are all very good.

As for Flor de Cana- I don't recall if I've had their 7 yr, but I keep the 4 yr at home and really enjoy it. I'm sure that the 7 is as good if not better.

Noilly Prat sweet is probably the best vermouth at that price point. (Seriously, it's head and shoulders above Stock or M&R for like a buck more per bottle.) Cocchi di Torino is excellent but twice the price, and Carpano Antica is excellent but triple the price.

Dolin Dry, also very good and makes a nice, crisp martini.

Sep 22, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Wedding Caterers (Report)

The maple old-fashioned would have been my choice of the two.

The manhattan is classically whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters; stirred, strained and served up. It has bittersweet notes from the vermouth and a bit of sweetness from the whiskey, but it is mostly spicy and off-dry. For my taste, additional sweetener doesn't improve the cocktail and the maple doesn't complement the vermouth.

The OF is classically whiskey, sugar, water and bitters; built and served on the rocks. Using maple syrup to replace the sugar and water is an easy tweak that adds a complementary flavor. Also, the drinker has a lot of leeway here in terms of sweetness and bitterness. I like mine on the dry and bitter side- maybe 1/4 oz of syrup to 2 oz whiskey with 3-4 dashes of bitters. My wife loves this drink as well, but she takes it with 1/2 oz of syrup and a lighter hand with the bitters.

Can I ask what recipe your bar is using or what brands you are stocking?

Sep 21, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Fresh Margarita mix, ideas?

I do my own sours and margaritas fresh to order. A cheap citrus press and a wire strainer is really all you need. You can make single drinks or large batches and sweeten to your taste with simple syrup and/or liqueurs.

Sep 21, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Philadelphia Wedding Caterers (Report)

Also, great choice on the maple old-fashioned. One of my favorite fall drinks.

Sep 21, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Wedding Caterers (Report)

It sounds like Birchtree really has a handle on their bar service- again, maybe worked out some kinks since urbanfabric's post above. Congratulations on your wedding and glad to hear you're happy with the services you've chosen.

For my wedding, we had an out of town caterer from Baltimore- the food and service were great, but bar service was awful. Being in the business, I was diligent about stocking the bar, and I provided all of the mixers and ingredients. We went with disposable glassware and had ample of everything, but the bartenders put everything in the wrong glasses. I provided recipes for about 10 classic cocktails and they got most of them wrong.

I'm in the midst of planning a business of bar service for hire to fill what I think is a void in banquet and event beverage service.

Sep 20, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Educate me - scotch and whiskey and rye (oh my)

This has been debated endlessly on other threads on this board, and elsewhere. I'd like to know what research YOU have done. According to the regulations of the Tax and Trade Bureau, a division of the BATFE, which has jurisdiction in the matters of producing, labeling and marketing alcoholic beverages, bourbon whiskey may be produced anywhere in the United States. There is an old myth that it must be produced in Bourbon County, KY-- which is false. Bourbon County currently houses no distilleries. At the time when it did, it was Bourbon County, VA-- before VA was split into VA/WV/KY.

Edit: I see it has even been addressed in this thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4980...

Sep 20, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Philadelphia Wedding Caterers (Report)

I am a bartender with one of the companies you listed- I'm not really at liberty to say which one, but I will say it isn't Birchtree. I will tell you that it seems to me that for most caterers, the bar is the lowest priority. I work with other bartenders who know very few drink recipes, and the recipes they do know are often way out of whack. We aren't given much to work with- it is up to the client to provide the alcohol and I don't think they are given a shopping list or suggested stock quantity, so we often run out of one thing or another. The company provides mixers (coke, diet, sprite, ginger, club, tonic, sour mix from powder, OJ from concentrate, cranberry, pineapple) and garnishes (olives, neon maraschino cherries, lemons, limes). That leaves out a lot that I think a properly stocked bar should have, but unless the client supplies or specifically requests it, we have to go without, (i.e. oranges, grapefruit juice, grenadine, BITTERS, etc.).

As far as glassware, it's a total craps shoot. I never know what I have until we unload the truck- usually more than enough wine goblets, enough highball glasses, and then a few martini and rocks glasses but never enough. Even if I start out pouring in appropriate glassware at cocktail hour, most times I'll be down to nothing but wine goblets by the end of the event. As a matter of personal preference, I wish we would stock coupes instead of cone-shaped martini glasses because they are less prone to spilling.

One last thing is signature cocktails- this is a popular item with weddings now. Sometimes the client will choose it, sometimes the wedding planner, but they're rarely a hit with the guests. The reason is that most of the time the bar staff is given a name and a list of ingredients, but no recipe. After the mad scramble of unloading the truck and setting up the bar(s), we have to mix a couple of experimental drinks and try to figure out what the client is looking for.

After my experience with hiring caterers for events, and working for one, I've decided that the next time I need catering and bar, I am hiring high-quality bartenders separately from the catering service, and ordering the glassware I want in the appropriate quantities from a rental service.

Sep 20, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Cocktail Proportions on the Menu: Hoping This Becomes a Trend

I like it... to a point. One of my favorite things is to try to reconstruct food and cocktail recipes from taste- adjusting technique and proportion through various iterations until I either nail the original, or find a combination I consider to be an improvement.

So, on one hand, I like the idea of looking up a bar's cocktail menu online and getting an idea of whether they know what they're doing. I can also try something that sounds interesting without having been in their house to try it. On the other hand, I really like tasting something and trying to figure it out myself. My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Asheville, NC, and went several times to MG Road, one of the best cocktail lounges I've ever found. They have a lot of original cocktails made with house-original syrups, tinctures, shrubs, etc. So for Valentine's Day for my wife, I recreated, from memory and their brief menu description,their house Indian-spiced cherry shrub and her favorite cocktail on their menu which used it- presented the shrub in a nice bottle with a recipe card. Having their recipe available would have saved me some time, but cost me some fun.

Sep 09, 2014
carnicero in Spirits
1

A Question About Stirring Martinis

A proper hard shake will chill and dilute a cocktail much more (and more quickly) than a long, steady stir. It will also dissolve a portion of air into the cocktail, which changes the texture. As for ice shards, I always double-strain a shaken drink- through a hawthorne strainer on top of the shaker tin, and then through a small fine mesh strainer into the cocktail glass. This rids the drink of ice shards, fruit pulp, herb scraps, etc. that detract from the drink.

As I'm sure has been said upthread, or on many of the other threads that OP has had going about martinis, the general rule is that cocktails with only spirits and other clear ingredients are stirred to keep them crystal-clear and prevent the integration of air. Cocktails with fruit juice, eggs, dairy, etc., are shaken to fully combine and emulsify the ingredients.

A proper 10- to 15-second hard shake with a full tin of ice should integrate everything and get the drink nearly as cold as it can possibly get. A proper stir in a mixing glass 3/4 full of ice, for 30 to 45 seconds, will get the drink thoroughly combined and nearly as cold as it can possibly get. The difference in temp between an 40-second stir and a two minute stir is about 3 degrees Fahrenheit, if I remember the article correctly.

Sep 09, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Southern Ingredients: What should I pick up when I'm in NC/VA next week

Cardinal Gin and Carriage House Apple Brandy are both very good. The only other NC spirit I had a chance to try on my last trip was Troy & Sons Moonshine, which I didn't care for. No worse than any other "shine" product on the market now, but also no better.

Sep 07, 2014
carnicero in Southeast

Quality DE liquor stores?

Thought I'd report back- Didn't stop at Total Wine in Claymont, but stopped at the one in Wilmington and was seriously disappointed. Also went to Kreston's in Wilmington and fared much better. Their selection was better than average, and the prices were excellent.

Sep 07, 2014
carnicero in Mid-Atlantic

Old fashioned cocktails, bourbon or rye whiskey?

It's really a matter of taste- the Old Fashioned can be made with any spirit and they will all have their own unique character. I even different brands of the same spirit will impart different flavors to your final cocktail.

Ideally, try making with bourbon and with rye and compare to see which you like better. Otherwise, figure out which flavor profile sounds better to you and go that way. Bourbons tend to be sweeter and "rounder" or mellower than ryes. Rye tends to be drier and spicier than bourbon. Definitely, though, stay away from "blended whisky," such as Crown Royal, Seagrams, etc., which are only a small part aged whiskey which is cut with large proportions of flavorless neutral alcohol.

Sep 02, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Good BBQ in Philly or Wilmington?

It's a closed kitchen with a pass-through, so I didn't get a good look at their prep. Seemed pre-sliced and pre-pulled, though, by the texture.

Sep 02, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Wasabi root

How was the frozen root? Did it compare favorably to fresh?

Sep 02, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Good BBQ in Philly or Wilmington?

I went about a year ago and was not impressed. Barbecue was just fair at best, no better than Famous Daves. I usually hit Sweet Lucy's or Fette Sau for barbecue these days, though each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Sep 02, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia