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Peach Shrub

CraigBudaLee: You need to use granulated sugar to extract the liquid from the fruit. Anyway, Agave nectar is way worse for you than sugar; it's more highly processed and has nearly twice the fructose as table sugar. Just use organic, less refined sugar (but not raw sugar, as peaches are too delicate).

Divadmas: Get organic peaches. Also, do you really want to be drinking distilled white vinegar?

Jul 22, 2013
craigasaurus in Recipes

drink ideas for Russian-themed dinner party

In Ukraine (and, presumably in Russia as well), groups of diners share a cold bottle of vodka, which they drink straight. Everyone orders a chaser of their own (juice or soda). That would probably be the most authentic way to do it. A lot of Russian restaurants in my area make homemade vodka infusions, too. Maybe try an interesting infusion (beet and dill?) and serve it in ice-cold shots in between courses.

Apr 12, 2013
craigasaurus in Spirits

Rye, cynar, grapefruit bitters, citrus twist- does this have a name?

Sounds similar to a Little Italy. I agree on the grapefruit + Cynar pairing. I think that using a flamed grapefruit peel garnish would be awesome here.

Apr 12, 2013
craigasaurus in Spirits

Saffron Gin

I made a nice "Rock and Rye" style liqueur using a yellowish gin from Quebec (purchased at Duty Free at the Canadian border), some saffron rock candy, and some citrus slices. It's a fun drink.

Apr 12, 2013
craigasaurus in Spirits

DIY Marshmallow Peep Infused Vodka

That is probably the stupidest thing I've ever seen.

Apr 12, 2013
craigasaurus in Spirits
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Martinique Cocktail

In order to live up to its name, this name really needs to be made with Rhum Agricole.

Dec 19, 2012
craigasaurus in Recipes

Liqueurs Saint Germain and Domain de Canton?

Are those products even available in Europe? I know they're made in France, but by an American company and, I thought, for the American market. That said their might be other Elderflower and ginger liqueurs available that don't ever get exported,

Oct 01, 2012
craigasaurus in Spirits

Apricot-Whiskey Smash

Lemons vary greatly by size. "Medium" is a pretty vague description. Please use more precise measurement in your drink recipes (i.e., 1/4 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice).

Jul 23, 2012
craigasaurus in Recipes

Refrigerate or freeze amaros?

Annoying pet peeve of mine, but "Amaro" is Italian, and is the singular form of the noun. The plural is "Amari." That is all, carry on.

Jul 23, 2012
craigasaurus in Spirits

Generic Triple Sec ==> Cointreau

Controy is marketed in the United States by Patron, it's called "Citronage." Same thing.

Jun 18, 2012
craigasaurus in Spirits

Stoli -- a slice of the Ukraine in Brookline Village

I've not been, but it seems like a lot of the Russian restaurants in Boston are banquet halls, and geared for large groups/parties. From your comments, it seems like Stoli is this type of place. Also, a bit of nit-picking, but the restaurant's website says they serve Russian, not Ukrainian cuisine. I realize there's a lot of overlap, but each are distinct in their own way. Actually, the best thing I remember about eating when I was in Ukraine (note - no "the!") was the array of food from all over Eastern Europe and the Caucuses. I think my favorite meal was at a Georgian restaurant.

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Stoli Bar & Restaurant
213 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445

Apr 11, 2011
craigasaurus in Greater Boston Area

Alternatives to Lemon Hart 151?

Apr 08, 2011
craigasaurus in Spirits

What peach brandy to get and what to do with it when I get it?

Note that Mathilde Peche is NOT a "peach brandy," but rather a peach liqueur. I believe its base distillate is made from peaches, but it is sweetened and may have other ingredients. A beach brandy, on the other hand, would be a distillate of fermented peach juice. Old cocktail recipes that call for peach brandy are referring to just that, but from what I can find, it isn't imported into the U.S. anymore. That said, Mathilde liqueurs are all natural and flavored from fruits, and are far superior to artificial peach schnapps.

Feb 17, 2011
craigasaurus in Spirits

Defeat my Hendricks Gin Drink

If you omit the wine and club soda, and muddle the lemon peel instead of squeezing it, you'll have an interesting riff on a classic Old Fashioned. If you need to add a dry wine or club soda for "balance," perhaps you've got too much St. Germain in there. I bet if you cut that back to 1/4 oz, you'll have a perfectly balanced drink that lets the flavors of the Hendricks really shine.

Jan 19, 2011
craigasaurus in Spirits

Negroni construction

I personally prefer Cynar in my Negronis - it just has a certain something that pairs up nicely with the gin and vermouth's botanicals. I like a little orange bitters and a twist, and tend to drink them on the rocks (mostly because I'm lazy and don't want to go through the trouble of chilling a cocktail glass, cracking ice, stirring/straining, etc). Also excellent - sub your favorite Tequila for the gin - it goes really well with Cynar and orange.

Jan 18, 2011
craigasaurus in Spirits

Tanqueray vs. Hendrick's Gin?

Wrong language source - the English word is derived from the Dutch work Genever (also meaning juniper). The Dutch were the first to flavor spirits with juniper (in their case, the spirit was malt based, kind of like an unaged whiskey). "Dry" gin didn't exist until the invention of the fractional column still, which produced an unflavored neutral spirit. Because the spirit was so "clean," the taste of juniper is more pronounced in "dry" styles of gin.

I've heard that the martini was first made (in the form that we now recognize it - it evolved from other drinks) was made with Plymouth gin, and that, too, is my preference. Of course, many people would say that Plymouth is a gin for people who don't really like gin, but I digress...

Jan 18, 2011
craigasaurus in Spirits

Green Bean Casserole Redux

I'm looking to limit my prep and cooking on Thursday. Can I prepare the casserole the day before, refrigerate it overnight, and bake it the next day?

Nov 22, 2010
craigasaurus in Recipes

High-end German spirits? (moved from International board)

Gilka Kummel, a caraway-seed flavored liqueur.

Nov 04, 2010
craigasaurus in Spirits

Looking for Ransom Old Tom Gin

Has anyone seen this product for sale in Boston? Thanks!

Nov 04, 2010
craigasaurus in Greater Boston Area

Ararat Brandy?

I recently bought some Georgian brandy at a corner liquor store in Watertown and have been really enjoying it. I'd have to imagine that Ararat is pretty readily available too, given the large Armenian population.

Oct 28, 2010
craigasaurus in Greater Boston Area

Never opened Vodka bottle marked as from USSR

If it's never been opened, it's fine. Bottled spirits are filtered - there is no yeast left, so the product does not age or change in the bottle (unlike wine). You can probably filter out the flakes - nothing can really live in an environment that is 40% alcohol.

Sep 24, 2010
craigasaurus in Spirits

Kid-friendly in Cambridge/B.U. area?

My sister is visiting in a few weeks with her one-year-old in tow. I don't really dine out with kids, so I don't have much experience in this area. Can anyone recommend a dinner location in Cambridge or near B.U. (they're staying at the DoubleTree on Soldier's Field Road)? Cuisine preferences are: Italian, American, Greek, and seafood. Thanks!

Jul 27, 2010
craigasaurus in Greater Boston Area

Homemade Pernod / Absinthe

Hey Striper and Yarm, I know you guys both live in the Boston area- I've purchased Wormwood at Modern Brewer, a homebrew shop in Porter Square, Cambridge. They actually have a lot of spices that are useful in bitters and cordial making. Also, don't forget Christina's in Inman Square, I'm sure they carry wormwood there.

Jul 13, 2010
craigasaurus in Spirits

Anyone Tried Wild Turkey Rare Breed?

$32.99 at the NH liquor outlets. Although it'll probably cost you more than the difference in gas, at least you can get it faster.

Jul 09, 2010
craigasaurus in Spirits

Stirrings Simple Syrup

You don't have 45 seconds? That's all it takes to pour 1 cup of superfine sugar and water into a container and shake it.

Jun 27, 2010
craigasaurus in Spirits

Cocktail challenge - A drink that ties in with author Ayn Rand

Make a batch of "Howard Roark" cocktails. Pour only the best, most expensive distillates over hand-cracked pure ice and strain into crystal clear glasses. Once all of your drinks are made, and your guests start to admire them, smash all the glasses in a fit of impotent rage, because no one can truly appreciate your selfish brilliance but you!

Feb 24, 2010
craigasaurus in Spirits

Where to find Riga Black Birch/Balsam/Balzams? (spirit of Latvia)

I've seen it on the shelves of several stores in metro Boston. If that helps at all, Marty's in Newtonville carries 375 and 750 ml bottles of it.

Feb 21, 2010
craigasaurus in Spirits

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Overblown

Even though I sometimes disagree with Striperguy's tastes, I appreciate his zealous advocacy on behalf of his palate.

I've tended to use Ritt bonded as my 'go-to' rye for some time now, but recently picked up a bottle of Old Overholt. Anyway, tonight I decided to match them head-to-head in a recipe. I made two Liberals (1.5 oz rye, .5 sweet vermouth .25 Amer Picon, orange bitters) using those ryes. My impression was that with the Overholt, the drink was more well-balanced, less spicy, and let the supporting ingredients shine. With the Ritt, it was more whisky-forward, alcoholic, with the modifiers tempering the rye's wallop a bit. Both were good, just different personalities.

Feb 08, 2010
craigasaurus in Spirits

Lo Scintillante

Cocchi Americano is NOT distributed in the U.S., so you won't be able to find it here. This may be changing - the importer Haus Alprenz has been trying to bring it here; although the avail date keeps getting pushed back. Their website now says March:
http://www.alpenz.com/portfolio.htm
I would check their site to find local distributors in your area. Until then, however, use any white/dry apperitif - your favorite vermouth, or LIllet Blanc, for example.

Feb 01, 2010
craigasaurus in Recipes

Looking for Rittenhouse 100

I've obtained Laird's Bonded at Blanchard's in Allston, and I can't imagine it's a huge mover. Also, Drink definitely has it since I had some there last night!

Jan 18, 2010
craigasaurus in Greater Boston Area