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PontiusPalate's Profile

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Craft Cocktails In Hampton Roads

JMF,

Many thanks for your comments above.

To answer your question, a martini is most commonly defined in our area is any alcoholic beverage that is poured into a conical shaped martini glass.

I ate at the bar of a high end steakhouse in downtown Norfolk last week. An elderly and well dressed couple sitting next to me both ordered a "chocolate martini." Apparently, most of our local bars choose to put such drinks on their "martini" menus in order to cater to local tastes.

Do you remember the thread I started last year on the "Black Soybean Martini?" This is still being served by one of the highest rated restaurants in Norfolk.

In regard to the "muddled" Virginia Dare cocktail described in this article, which I had also tried, I also noted the bits and pieces of mint and cucumber sticking to my teeth and gums as I was drinking it. This was another complaint I had about this cocktail, in addition to the excessive volume of ice.

I have also had my Hendricks Gin martinis which were "muddled" with cucumber pieces as well, with their seeds floating on top. These are not to my liking.

Sometimes a new bartender who has never served me before will suggest this method of preparation to me, and they are usually surprised when I decline.

PP

Aug 19, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Craft Cocktails In Hampton Roads

JMF,

Many thanks for your the more accurate historical background you provided on the history of cocktails in the United States. Very interesting!

I remember all too well my own hippie days. Alcoholic beverages were regarded as a symbol of the "establishment" and I wanted no part of them. Most of us thought we represented the next stage in human evolution.

You wrote:

>>As for the cocktails... they sound like well made drinks, although derivative of what has been done elsewhere for the last 10-15 years. A great intro to fine cocktails for an area that hasn't been known for them.<<

I am pleased to hear this. Maybe there is hope for our area after all.

PP

Aug 19, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Craft Cocktails In Hampton Roads

A review in our local newspaper of one of our newest cocktail bars appears in the following link:

http://hamptonroads.com/2014/08/spiri...

I am sure that most of you will find the following quote to be cringe worthy:
__________

>>"We shake our martinis until our hands stick to the tin...," promised Beth Hobbs, manager and chief bartender, whose staff gets rigorous training before taking to the rail."<<
__________

I did try their Virginia Dare cocktail as described in the article. In my opinion, it was served jam packed with far too many ice cubes, so much so that they had a suffocating effect upon the drink. I was not impressed.

I also ordered one of their "classic martinis." Sure enough, it was shaken instead of stirred. No orange bitters were added. Two lemon slices were hastily cut up and dumped on top of the martini, so they were merely floating around. The result was a very mediocre and unsatisfying martini.

Believe it or not, I am finally beginning to prefer my martinis stirred instead of shaken.

PP

Aug 18, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Craft Cocktails In Hampton Roads

The following article features four of the best bartenders in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. The recipes of some of their favorite cocktails are provided.

http://distinctionhr.com/2014/08/in-t...

I have had the pleasure of enjoying at least one of the creations of one of the bartenders featured.

I welcome your thoughts and opinions on this article and on any of the recipes featured.

PP

Aug 18, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Even though this article was written in 2005, it was posted TODAY on Tales of the Cocktail's Facebook page. That is what caught my attention.

PP

Aug 12, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Hello zin1953,

Many thanks for posting these menus.

There is no cocktail menu here in Norfolk, Virginia, that even comes close to any of these.

From the bar menu from Loa in NOLA, I definitely like the description of the Delilah, the Canary, and the Sweet Virginia.

PP

Aug 12, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Greetings cacio e pepe:

You wrote:

>>You spent a lot of text writing about $$$ and buzz. Not a word about taste. That says a lot.<<

Actually, I have mentioned taste.

Maybe you missed it, but I posted a very recent admission that a "stirred" martini I had last week at a new bar in downtown Norfolk had a superior taste and texture to that which was exhibited by the last "shaken" martini I had. I consider this a giant step forward.

This martini gave me a great taste, in addition to a decent buzz. I am going back to that bar this week. If their martinis give me the same great taste as those I had last week, in addition to a decent buzz once again, then I may very well have found the best of both worlds -- and my new favorite bar.

The cost of one of the martinis at the bar I am mentioned above is $12. I do consider the superior taste of their martini to be worth the extra cost, above and beyond the $9.50 I was paying for the "shaken" martini whose taste is simply not as good.

So let the record show that I have now mentioned "taste" and in a positive light.
__________

You wrote:

>>You start getting into more sophisticated recipes that have more intriguing ingredients and small amounts matter too much to free pour your way to excellent results.<<

I can agree with that.

If I ever give up martinis, and take up more sophisticated cocktails instead, I probably will evolve to a preference for more precise measurements.

And if I were to ever enter a cocktail contest, where the proportions of the ingredients is of critical importance, I will definitely use the jigger method of measurement.

But as long as I am still in my martini phase, the free pour method treats me just fine the vast majority of the time.

PP

Aug 12, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Expert bartender Toby Ellis has written the following article in defense of free pour!

http://bartendbetternow.com/toby-elli...

PP

Aug 12, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

I found the following article, with a video included, to be very enlightening and informative:

http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/ways-...

This article describes several ways in which dishonest bartenders can rip off their customers with dishonest pours, which can give the optical illusion that you are getting more alcohol, when you are actually getting less.

This is why I place some value on the "buzz factor" when evaluating my martinis. If I don't begin to feel a decent buzz by the middle of my second one, then I am probably being ripped off.

It is also why I eat at the bar and watch my bartenders very closely when they prepare my martinis. This is how I recently caught a bartender squirting soda water into one of my martinis to give the illusion that I was getting a drink with greater alcoholic content.

The dishonest methods described in this article and video appear to point the way toward the jigger method is a more honest and consistently reliable method of measuring the amount of alcohol in one's drink.

Unfortunately, the martinis served by the one and only bar in my neighborhood that does use the jigger method contain a low volume of alcohol, compared with most of the other bars in my neighborhood which use the free pour method.

Consider and compare the following:

BAR A: This bar uses the free pour method when preparing my martinis. When I finish my first martini at this bar, I usually have a pretty decent buzz. The cost of one of their martinis is $9.50. By virtue of the "buzz factor", I feel fairly certain that this bar is not ripping me off with one of the dishonest free pour methods described in the article and video above.

BAR B: This is the only bar in my neighborhood that uses the jigger method when preparing my martinis. Three of their martinis gives me less of a buzz (and not even a satisfactory one) than only one martini from BAR A. The cost of one of their martinis is $8.00

Although I see the merits of the jigger method, I find it unfortunate that the only bar in my neighborhood that uses it produces martinis that are unsatisfactory with respect to their alcohol content.

I will be visiting a new bar in downtown Norfolk in a few days, one which I have also heard uses the jigger method. It will be interesting to find out how their martinis, prepared with the jigger method, compare with those I have described from BAR B above.

PP

Aug 12, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Killer Bloody Mary Mix Recipe?

Speaking of Bloody Marys, get a load of this one!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysander...

Aug 11, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Proper martini glasses

JMF,

Please note that I am not endorsing or expressing my approval of the "martini" menu I posted above. I specifically stated that I would not order one of those "martinis" listed.

I am only "reporting the facts" as to the status of our local cocktail programs. If you say that this menu is representative of the mid-1990s, then I believe you. I honestly wish I didn't live in such a backward city with respect to cocktails and martinis.

Please believe me when I say that your responses to my posts have not been a waste of time. I have a manila file folder that is full of your ideas and suggestions. I have learned a lot from you and others on this forum.

I hope you give me at least some credit for admitting that a "stirred" martini I had last week at the bar of a new downtown Norfolk restaurant exhibited a wonderful flavor and texture, which were superior to any of the "shaken" martinis I've had recently. As I see it, I have taken a giant step forward with this admission.

I still prefer the large conical shaped martini glasses. This is only my preference, and I am not claiming that they are superior to the other styles of martini glasses.

We just seem to have some different preferences about a few things. Otherwise, I am not trying to argue or disagree with you.

Let me close by thanking you for what I have learned so far from the wealth of information you have provided.

Cheers!

PP

Aug 11, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Proper martini glasses

At the restaurant and bar I visited last night, here are just a few of the drinks that were listed under their "House Martinis" menu section:

Apple Manhattan
Butter Nut Scotch
Chocolate Kick
French Watermelon
Gummy Bear
Irish Mint Chocolate
Caramel Apple

Each of these drinks is served in the traditional conical shaped martini glasses. And this is from one of our most highly rated restaurants.

Therefore, I have concluded that a martini is pretty much defined here in Norfolk, Virginia, as any alcoholic beverage that is served in a conical shaped martini glass, regardless of its other ingredients.

By the way, I would NEVER order one of the drinks listed above.

PP

Aug 11, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Proper martini glasses

Hello JMF,

Many thanks for your latest message.

You wrote:

>>I think those conical glasses are terrible. Ugly and useless. To me no visual appeal. Here's the style I like.

This is a typical 8 oz. to fill. Which means a perfect fill with 2.5 oz. gin and 1 oz. dry vermouth and 2 dashes orange bitters, with a lemon peel garnish. Stirred for 30+ seconds will fill it to between .255-.5" from rm. Anything more than that is a silly, way too large, youngsters portion.<<

That sounds good to me. Please trust me when I say that I would not hesitate to order one of your martinis, as prepared as described above, if you were one of the bartenders in my neighborhood.
_____

You wrote:

>>I still think you like a cocktail that is oversized, which is somewhat juvenile, and part of the whole binge drinking and do everything to overabundance 1980's/90's thing. As opposed to a classic serving size of 2-3 total oz. booze, watered down to 6-7 oz. final cocktail amount. So you can enjoy a crisp, cold cocktail from start to end, and have a few without getting totally wasted.<<
______

I must concede the possibility that you are probably correct about all of the above. I really have no reason to think otherwise. Seriously.

Please try to accept the fact that my level of martini appreciation at this stage of my very arrested development has been at least somewhat limited by my immediate environment here in Norfolk, Virginia.

For example, I ventured out to another restaurant and bar this evening, one which I have not described before. They had a special menu of their so called "House Martinis."

I am sure that most of them would make you cringe. For example, one of them was called the "Gummi Bear Martini." The very sound and description of it makes me cringe as well.

I settled for my favorite Hendrick's Gin Martini instead. I watched the bartender prepare it very carefully. Although he gave it a "free pour", he did not shake it.

Instead, he poured it into a shaker container and gave it a few "swirls" with his hands, without any hard shaking. This gave me the very similar impression of a "stirring" procedure.

The result was a martini that exhibited a clear appearance, taste, and texture, without having to wait for the "clouding effect" from the usual shaking procedure to clear up.

In addition, I might add that these martinis were served in what I consider to be in "medium sized" martini glasses, instead of the jumbo sized glasses I usually enjoy.

I had no complaints about these martinis. This is one instance in which size did not matter. Three of these martinis gave me a very decent buzz.

You wrote:

>>You didn't mind that the bartender slurped some of your overfilled drink before handing it to you? OK, I have to ask, how old are you?<<

Okay, I have to admit that I may be stuck in a perpetual state of my very arrested adolescence.

I really like to think that I am now moving a bit past the stage I described above.

But if you really have to know......

I am currently 64 years "young."

PP

Aug 10, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Proper martini glasses

Hello JMF,

You wrote:

>>First, the ap. equilateral triangle shaped cone of a so called "martini glass" is a drink spilling travesty of art deco design. A really well designed cocktail glass is shaped so it doesn't spill easily.<

The conical shaped martini glass is still my favorite. Its visual appeal resonates with me.

You wrote:

>>Second, I never want my drink filled to the rim. I want it to be filled so that there is a small amount, apx. .25" from the rim, after the garnish is added. I don't want to have to baby that glass to my lips. I want to pick it up and drink. Not have to lean uncouthly over the bar to sip from the glass before picking up the drink. If I did that in company, or in front of a date she would think I was a total slob.<<

I consider a martini that is filled 0.25 inches from the rim to be acceptable. On those occasions when the bartender has slid a martini over to me totally filled to the rim, I really have no choice to reach over and slurp some of it out before I pick it up. One time my bartender slurped a bit out for me from behind the bar. I didn't mind.

By the way, I never ask for a martini to be filled to the brim. More often than not, however, the closer it is filled to the brim, the better my tip.

You wrote:

>>PP, this goes back to you liking big drinks that make you feel you got value for money. Not a classy, well designed, and created drink that is served in the correct measure for the glass.<<

I will confess that I like large drinks. By the way, I stopped into a new restaurant and bar in downtown Norfolk the other night. My bartender free poured the gin but stirred it instead of shaking it. It was served in one of those jumbo sized martini glasses I like. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the taste and texture of this martini. In fact, I will even admit that its taste and texture were superior to any of the "shaken" martinis I recently had. If all "stirred" martinis were as good as this one, then I would be a fan. That other bar I complained about, which did such a lousy job with their "stirred" martinis should take some lessons from this bartender. Unfortunately, that other bar gave me a first bad impression of "stirred" martinis.

You wrote:

>>Third, if a bartender brought me over a half full glass I would either complain, or leave, not drink it. More likely leave, since I would know that the bartender wasn't a good bartender. I don't waste my time and taste buds drinking lousy drinks.<<

I am glad to hear that you also regard a martini that is served only half full in its glass is unacceptable.

All The Best,

PP

Aug 10, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Proper martini glasses

Hello zin1953,

Of course, I would not expect a martini to be filled to the brim if I am being served at one of the regular dining tables.

That's why I always order my martinis right at the bar, where the bartender can just slide them right over to me. I always eat at the bar, even if I have to wait an hour to do so.

If filled to the brim, I like to take my first sip before even touching the glass.

I know that not all bartenders are able or allowed to do this. All I really ask is that they are filled reasonably close to the brim.

The worst offender was a bartender who served me a martini in a glass that was only about half full. I never went back.

PP

Aug 10, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Proper martini glasses

This is my preference as well.

To any bartender who serves me:

Fill mine to the brim or your tip gets a trim.

PP

Aug 10, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

JMF,

Many thanks for your replies to the questions I posed. This is good information and very helpful.

The bartenders I see on a regular basis are really going to freak out if I start asking them these questions.

Thanks again.

PP

Aug 07, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

JMF,

I have just thought of a few more comments and questions in regard to your post above.

You wrote:

>>Interesting that they charge more for the Half Moon martini. in NY Half Moon retails for around $36 a liter and Hendrick's $44 a liter (and way overpriced) at Astor Wines & Spirits.<<

I think I have a theory as to why the Half Moon martini was more expensive than the Hendricks martini.

My Hendricks martini was prepared with what I counted to be a 6-second count by the bartender. If my counting was correct, and if a 1 second pour is equal to 0.25 ounces, then this would be equivalent to 1.5 ounces of gin.

When I ordered the Half Moon martini, I requested (off the top of my head), 2.5 ounces of gin and 0.5 ounces of vermouth. It is my guess that the Half Moon martini contained more gin than the Hendricks martini. Hence, its greater cost. Again, this is only a theory.

You wrote:

>>You can ruin a good martini by using mediocre vermouth. The vermouth is important. A mediocre vermouth that is fresh and kept refrigerated is better than a great vermouth that is old and kept on the bar.<<

The vermouth I see being poured into my martinis appears to come from a different shelf than the gin. Is there such a thing as a "cold shelf?" Or should I see the bartender open and reach into a separate refrigerated section of the bar to get the vermouth? What exactly should I be looking for? Would it be too blatantly obnoxious if I ask to feel the bottle before ordering a martini with vermouth?

One more question. According to my notes, two brands of vermouth I have seen highly recommended here and elsewhere are as follows: (1) Dolin (2) Noilly Pratt. Are there any particular brands of vermouth that you regard as so bad that they would cause you to walk out of the bar if they were all they had available?

You wrote:

>>Two drops of orange bitters wouldn't color a martini, must have been two dashes.<<

What exactly is the difference between a "drop" and a "dash?" I am guessing that a drop is exactly what it is, a single drop, and that a dash is like a shake of the bottle which is significantly more than a single drop. Is my guess correct?

Any comments you would be willing to provide in response to the above would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

PP

Aug 05, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Hi Susangria,

My situation is somewhat opposite from yours.

I don't have any bar equipment whatsoever. I do not keep any kind of alcohol in my home. I do not like to drink at home alone.

As a result, I go out for dinner two to three times a week and do my drinking seated at the bar of these restaurants.

My current drink of choice is a Hendricks Gin Martini with a cucumber slice. However, I now see that I am a rut and need to start trying different things.

I have also learned a lot from this thread. In fact, I have started taking notes from some of the postings and have placed them in a manila file folder titled: "Chowhound On Cocktails And Martinis."

I now wish I lived in a more advanced craft cocktail city, but I don't.

Hopefully, things here will improve.

PP

Aug 04, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

JMF,

I will admit and agree that most of the Yelp reviews I read are garbage. Some of them are downright embarrassing to me.

I do try to add some substance and detail to my reviews. Some of them are even more long-winded than my posts.

In any event, I have only been writing Yelp reviews for about a year now. When I first started, I made the mistake of giving out too many 5-star reviews.

I have written a total of 28 Yelp restaurant reviews during the past year. Here is my breakdown so far:

Nine 5-star reviews
Eight 4-star reviews
Five 3-star reviews
Five 2-star reviews
One 1-star review

Out of the nine 5-star reviews I have written, I now realize that three of them should have been 4-star reviews instead.

In my irrational exuberance, combined with my aim to please, I allowed my sentiments to overrule my objectivity.

I now make it a point to eat at a restaurant at least three times, and try several different dishes, before giving a 5-star review.

PP

Aug 04, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Hello c oliver,

Oops!

I can tell you right now that I have not been doing it that way.

Instead, I have been counting in my head, "one, two, three, four, etc., etc.

No wonder that "12-second pour count" martini defied belief.

PP

Aug 04, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

JMF,

I do not know the brands of the vermouth and the orange bitters which were used in my martinis last night. I will make it a point to find out in the future.

I have also been noticing that just about all of the vermouth I see being poured into my martinis comes off the shelf instead of from inside a refrigerated area.

There is one bar in my neighborhood that says they use their own "house made" orange bitters. Whatever this means, I do not know.

I suspect that you are correct about my miscounting of the poors I have been getting.

PP

Aug 04, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

The Big Crunch,

I had never heard of Jim Meehan before, so I did a Google search to read up a little about him on the internet. Very impressive!

I will take your word for it about this recipe being followed to the letter.

Just curious. Do you know how much he charges for this drink?

PP

Aug 04, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

There may be hope for Norfolk yet!

There is a new restaurant in downtown Norfolk that I just found out about and which only opened a couple of months ago. With only nine Yelp reviews so far, here is one excerpt:

>>This place is awesome. They make unique and old fashioned drinks and have fantastic smoked whiskey where you can chose the wood chips to flavor your whiskey. I personally love the MacArthur which they make their own orange vodka for.<<

Another from a different reviewer:

>>Now our waiter was very nice but the unseen star of the show was the bartender. The mixology of the drinks were perfect! Whoever they are I hope Gershwins keeps them because i have not had drinks so well balanced in a long time.<<

And another:

>>The bartender, knows what she's doing. The drinks are as great as the music. Clad in a flapper-era outfit, this mixologist made terrific, interesting drinks for two. Mine was a smokey whisky, literally. She hickory-smoked the bourbon right in front of me. It was a dandy little show, matched only by the drink itself.<<

One more:

>>The bartender offered to serve me JW, either smoked or straight...what? I don't know? (the look on my face)... she explained to me the difference and recommended the smoked. I sat there as the chemist went to work. first she poured a shot, then she grabbed a piece of orange peel and blazed it with a torch! the oils from the orange peel fell into the glass at the sultry tune of the lady on stage...then, she place a strainer on top of the glass and added a few bit of oak chip on top, then blazed it with torch... the smoke permeated my personal space but for once in my life, a didn't mind! I welcome the smell of burned wood as it transported me to a warm camp fire in the woods, as I cuddle, next to the warm tasty body of someone special...the final product was awesome!!<<

I find it most unusual that 4 out 9 different reviewers offered specific praises for their bartender and drinks.

I am going to check it out soon and may even try one of those scotch or bourbon drinks described above instead of a martini.

PP

Aug 04, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Greetings!

Okay, please give me credit for making the attempt to try something new.

Last night I decided to take an extra dining excursion. There is a "gastropub" located only a 20-minute walk away from my home. I usually eat there once a month. I was in the mood for a hamburger and they do a great one. They also have a fairly large liquor selection for our area.

My first Hendricks Gin Martini with a cucumber slice was prepared with only a count of 6 seconds. After finishing it, I decided to order a second one with something different. Specifically, I asked the bartender if she could add two drops of orange bitters to this martini. I timed a 5-second count for this one.

I liked the taste of the orange bitters, but I thought it clashed with the cucumber taste a bit. I also thought it was a bit overpowering. Those two drops of orange bitters also gave my martini a very noticeable orange tint. Is this the way it's supposed to be?

After finishing this one, I then decided to try something even newer. I asked the bartender to list all of the brands of gin they carry. She rattled off the following names:

"Bombay, Bombay Sapphire, Beefeaters, Boodles, Half Moon......"

I stopped her right there, as I recognized the "Half Moon" name from this thread. I asked her to show me the bottle. Sure enough, it was Tuthilltown Half Moon Gin. I remembered this brand of gin from the notes I have been taking for my manila file folder.

JMF, I believe this is one that you recommended.

I then went totally off the reservation and said to the bartender: "Could you fix me a martini with 2.5 ounces of Half Moon Gin, 0.5 ounces of vermouth, and two drops of orange bitters?"

She said that she would do so and began to prepare it. She used jiggers to measure the 2.5 ounces of gin, but she free poured the 0.5 ounces of vermouth. I did not know the brand of vermouth she used.

She began to add another cucumber slice to this one, but I stopped her just in time. I wanted to sample this martini without one.

My impressions were somewhat mixed. On the positive side, the vermouth did not give me that vinegary taste I have complained about before. I did like the novelty of drinking a martini with a totally different taste and without a cucumber slice.

On the negative side, I thought the orange bitters were a bit overpowering once again. Once again, they gave my martini a very noticeable orange tint. After I left, I had that "orange taste" in my mouth for about two hours.

The bartender had her back turned to me when she was adding the orange bitters. I have been wondering if she added more than 2 drops.

I would be willing to try one of these martinis again, but only under the hands of a different and more competent bartender. If I find a bar that stocks Plymouth Gin, which has also been highly recommended in this thread, I will also give it a try.

In the meantime, I still like Hendrick's Gin martinis better. The one that I had timed to a 12-second count is mighty hard to beat, especially at a cost of $9.50.

I did not have much of a buzz when I left the restaurant last night, but I am not complaining this time. I have a lot to do today and did not want to be hung over. I was just in the mood to try something different.

By the way, the cost of each of the Hendrick's Gin martinis were $9.50. The one with the Tuthilltown Half Moon Gin was $10.

Comments welcome.

PP

Aug 04, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

JMF,

Many thanks for your comments and assessments of the liquors mentioned above.

I must confess that I am a little disappointed that one of my two favorite restaurants stocks and serves these inferior brands of gin and tequila.

Their bar is primarily a wine bar, and this is where they place their priorities. In fact, this restaurant was given the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence last year. But this means nothing to me, as I am not much of a wine person.

I usually go there on Saturday evenings after a two-hour cardio workout at my local YMCA. They do great fresh "fresh catch" specials and are located only a 5-minute walk away from my home.

I will probably stick to Hendrick's Gin during my future visits.

PP

Aug 04, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

To summarize:

Ever since I began to "count pours" a few short weeks ago, the time length of the pours I have counted, however accurate they may be, have ranged from 6 seconds to 12 seconds.

PP

Aug 03, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Greetings zin1953:

Thank you very much for your most recent post above and your questions. I will try to answer them to the best of my limited knowledge and ability.

First, in regard to the following exchange:

I wrote:

>>Quantity over quality? Well, not always.<<

And then I wrote:

>>I still like that gargantuan Martini for my first drink of the evening.<<

Then you wrote:

>>Yes, well, that certainly sounds like "quantity over quality" to me.<<

Again, I wrote "Well, not always." I also wrote that my liking for a "gargantuan Martini" applies for my first drink of the evening.

In other words: I do concede that I value quantity for my first martini. After the first one, quantity becomes of lesser importance to me.

As evidence, I am now trying to experiment with some of the craft cocktails available in my neighborhood instead of the second or third martini I used to order in the past.

For your first question, you asked me why I order a martini instead of "straight gin?"

Well, when I go into one of my favorite bars now, the bartender usually asks me "Your usual?" I just nod my head. Sometimes they start making my martini the instant I walk through the door.

Now then. If I walk into an unfamiliar bar with a bartender I have never seen before, I usually say: "I would like to have my usual drink, which is a Hendricks Gin Martini, up and dry, and with a cucumber slice if you have one."

I just can't bring myself to say: "I would like a glass of cold gin." That just sounds too hardcore for me, even though I concede that it probably is the same thing as my martini I am ordering.

In regard to the two martinis you mentioned -- the one with 2 ounces of gin and 0.25 ounces of vermouth vs. the one with 4 ounces of gin and 0.5 ounces of vermouth: In accordance with the definition of "strength" used on this board, then these two martinis would be equal in "strength", due to the fact that their proportions are equal. In contrast, the popular definition of "strength" by the drinkers in my neighborhood would say that the martini with 4 ounces of gin is stronger, simply because it contains more gin.

In regard to the martini I recently had with a 12-second pour count of gin, all I can say is that I honestly did count to 12 before she ended the pour. According to my notes, a one-second pour is usually equivalent to 0.25 ounces of liquor. Therfore, if I am right about the above, and if the bartender's pour was one of standard practice, then that would have resulted in a martini with approximately 3 ounces of gin.

Finally, you asked me about the cocktail which was served to me in a mason jar. You wanted to know if it would have tasted differently if had been served in a different kind of glass.

Good question. I honestly don't know. This particular cocktail, which is called a Spicy Cucumber Rita, is the only cocktail that they serve in a mason jar.

Why did the bartender choose the mason jar for this one particular cocktail and not any of the others? I honestly don't know. If I get the chance, I will try to ask her about this.

I went out to have another one of these cocktails last night. I will say this. There seemed to be something about the diameter of the mason jar at its lower end, combined with the ice cubes nestled inside the cocktail and pressing against the glass inside, that made the cocktail feel colder the longer I sipped at it. This is a big part of what made it taste so refreshing to me.

It would be an interesting experiment to sample this cocktail in two separate glasses -- the mason jar vs. any other type of glass -- in order to note any differences in their tastes.

In the meantime, it is my inclination to believe, as explained above, that the combination of the wide diameter of the mason jar at its lower end, in combination with the ice inside, somehow manages to make it colder to the touch and taste over a period of time.

Thanks again for your questions!

PP

Aug 03, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

THE MASON JAR COCKTAIL

Greetings:

I recently described a cocktail I had that was served in a mason jar and said that I was unsure of the type of liquor that was in it.

I went back to the bar that serves it last night. This time I wrote down the ingredients on a note card I had in my wallet.

I know that you are not going to be impressed with the ingredients. But here goes:
__________

SPICY CUCUMBER RITA
Sauza Silver Tequila
Triple Sec
Cucumber
Cilantro
Jalapeno
Lime
_________

There you have it. The proportions were not listed.

So fire away.

Here goes another cocktail I noted from their menu:
__________

THE ST. GERMAINE
Pinnacle Gin
St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
Prosecco
Cucumber
Fresh Lemon
__________

I had never heard of Pinnacle Gin or Prosecco before.

I also noted on their menu the use of Ransom Vermouth for one of their specialty martinis. I am not familiar with this brand.

I welcome your thoughts on any of the above, however negative they may happen to be.

PP

Aug 03, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

JMF,

That 12 second pour only occurred one evening and with one particular bartender.

If a 12-second pour count appears to be an impossibility to you, then maybe there is a chance that I miscounted. I was counting in my head: one, two, three, four, etc., in my head the instant she began pouring. I could have sworn that I counted to 12 before she ended the pour.

On another evening at the same bar, with a different bartender, I counted a 10-second pour count. On another evening, it was an 8-second pour count. And on another evening, at a different bar, I counted a 6-second pour count.

When I went out last night to be bar I usually go to on Saturday evening, I counted an 8-second pour count.

It was only a few weeks ago when I even learned what a pour count was. I was at a particular bar one night and another customer asked the bartender: "What pour count do you use?" I had never heard that expression before.

I made a point to come home that night and look up "pour count" on the internet. Since then, I have been counting the duration of the gin pours into my martinis, whenever the bartender is in visible sight so I can do so.

So, I have only been doing this counting business for a few weeks. Maybe my counting is off a second or two.

But wait a minute. I have just been looking through some of the notes I have been taking from this thread. I recently started a manila file folder titled "Chowhound on Cocktails and Martinis", so that I can refer to and study the notes I have taken. You see, I am trying to learn.

According to my notes, a one second pour usually equals one-fourth of an ounce of liquor. This would mean that the 12-second pour I counted that night would have resulted in 3 ounces of gin (12 X 1/4 = 3). Please correct me if any of this is wrong.

If not, then isn't 3 ounces a plausible amount of gin that can be poured into a large conical shaped martini glass?

I wish you could have been there on that particular night to witness that pour. When I was counting in my head, I really did count to 12 before the pour ended. Again, maybe my counting was a bit off.

I am tempted to bring a stop watch next time in order to get an exact pour count. But I am not going to do that.

I concede the possibility that I may have miscounted.

But please rest assured that I am not trying to con you or lie to you.

Sincerely,

PP

Aug 03, 2014
PontiusPalate in Spirits