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Drinks at Brick and Mortar for grown ladies (long)

There are at least two that have the Lion's Tail on the menu currently. Highland Kitchen has it (although the drink making can be variable due to their free pouring) and Green Street as well (but on their 6-sided menu that you have to ask for opposed to the half-sized sheet). Any of the Jackson Cannon trilogy (Eastern, Hawthorn, ICOB) and either of the two Lynchian establishments (Drink, No. 9) are safe bets regardless of who is working that night.

And any decent bar can make it if you show them the recipe off of your phone (most decent bars have allspice dram these days).

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Mar 25, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Best ice cream in Boston is..

Christina's Khulfi is one of my favorites. Runners up are probably Ginger Molasses and Gina's Mocha Explosion.

It's now between home and my new work spot so I've been stopping in at least once per week.

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Mar 25, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

fernet branca - love it or hate it?

That was before my time at Russell House Tavern when I wrote it -- I was merely a guest. The syrup was in two drinks I believe (definitely had it in another called the Kivik Apple Market), but after that run on the menu, they stopped making the syrup (it required kitchen time in reducing the apple juice/cider besides spicing it). During my tenure at RHT, the syrup was no more. I did have a few people request the Wigglesworth, so I would create other bourbon and spice creations as a next best offering.

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Mar 24, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Pizza

Last memorable slice (technically a small pie for one) was at the Brewer's Fork in Charlestown. For familiarity, price, and convenience, Pinocchio's in Harvard Square has been getting my business for over 20 years.

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Best ice cream in Boston is..

Toscanini's in Central Square, Cambridge. Always fresh, flavorful, creative, and not too sweet.

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Drinks at Brick and Mortar for grown ladies (long)

If you ordered a menu item and it came out two different ways, that would be disturbing. If you ordered a drink like a Cosmo, there are dozens of variations with more or less of each of the ingredients (not to mention shooting for perceived sweetness desires versus an order for a Daiquiri where you assume the person wants it on the crisper side despite both being sours/daisies). I know that at my last job, we had a house list of recipes for many of the non-list drinks like Margaritas and Manhattans (but, for example, we didn't have a written Cosmo recipe which was bartender's interpretation).

Pricewise, Brick & Mortar is on the medium-high end of standard for craft cocktails in this town ($11-13) and pretty standard in size for build (3 oz of spirit and other ingredients before adding ice to mix is their modus operandi that is the same size as Eastern Standard, Drink, Backbar, and Green Street). Green Street is definitely a gem when it comes to prices.

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Mar 24, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

March 2015 Openings and Closings

Perhaps ;)

And opening day is probably closer to the 27th due to inspection delays.

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Mar 24, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

April 2015 Openings and Closings

Haven't been over to Daddy Jones in a while (I arrived at the tale end of a Fernet-sponsored evening once); I ought to since I was given a gift card recently. Seems too close to my house to drink (when I have or can make better at my home bar). Old Magoun Saloon has decent beers but their hospitality game is lacking; rarely do they have a beer I can't get around the corner at Ball Square Fine Wines.

I found any hidden gems per se. I have heard good things about the falafel place that just opened right outside of Magoun on Main Street (near the Paul Revere park off of B'way). Haven't been lured into Pennypackers yet.

Mar 19, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Anyone make their own Peychaud's bitters?

The closest small batch option is Bitter Truth's Creole Bitters. Similar anise notes but with a bit more complexity. Not sure whether they use cochineal or food coloring to get their red hue.

Not a bitter but allegedly good for Sazeracs is Buttermilk's New Orleans Style Rouge Cocktail Mixer. The anise, bitter herbal complexity, red coloration from cochineal, and sugar. Basically, the bitters and sugar/syrup part of a Sazerac all in one. Just add absinthe rinse, spirits, and lemon oil. Haven't tried this yet, but it exists.

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Mar 17, 2015
yarm in Spirits

April 2015 Openings and Closings

I'm hoping that the stop work order pasted on their door that I spotted this morning won't delay them much. Looking forward to more exciting things in Magoun (when I moved here, there was nothing but Pini's Pizza and Wang's Chinese that I frequented (granted, I never went to Vinny's at Night)).

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Mar 17, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Barrel-Aged Peychaud's

Unless the charcoal or oxygen in the barrel is modifying the components in the bitters (like breaking down clove oil compounds), wouldn't most of the magic of barrel aged notes get lost in the drink (besides when using with barrel-aged spirits)?

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Mar 14, 2015
yarm in Spirits

Question about the bar at Sarma

Sarma is slammed even on regular weekdays. Seats at the bar begin to open up consistently after 9 or 10 even on the busiest of times I've been there. At 7 or so, the bar is full of people waiting for tables it seemed.

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Mar 10, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

March 2015 Openings and Closings

Spoke with Deep Ellum folk last night and they said that early summer (perhaps May?) might be a better idea of Lone Star 2's opening. They were a little vague on what the hold-ups were but that there were a few.

Still, it'll be great to have them in addition to Atwood's for beers on that neither Inman nor Lechmere stretch!

Mar 10, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Liqueurs by Weight???

Recipes would look incredibly verbose at that point. Plus, standard bar tools like jiggers and measuring cups (like Oxo) are measured in various forms of ounces (fractional and integral) and sometimes metric volumes as well.

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Mar 06, 2015
yarm in Spirits

March 2015 Openings and Closings

The condescending way our server spoke to us on our visit coupled with the mediocre food did not make us a return customer. I had never had Indian food made with so little flavor before.

Mar 04, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

March 2015 Openings and Closings

Hearing rumors that Loyal Nine in East Cambridge (a brick and mortar home of Brass Tacks & Hand Taste pop ups) could be opening towards the end of the month.

Lone Star II (the other side of the river continuation of the Deep Ellum legacy) across the street shouldn't be that much further away either (haven't heard rumors about the dates though).

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Feb 25, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Eastern Standard, Bob McCoy

He joined Eastern Standard alum Kevin Martin in Ipswich, MA, working for Privateer Rum. He will indeed be missed, but this great opportunity will allow him more time with his family.

Like Kevin, I'm sure he'll be around town at various nights making drinks and promoting the rum.

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Feb 25, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

The Long Island? Cocktail or Not?

It is not a cocktail by definition of what a cocktail is (needs spirits, sweetener, bitters, and water).

It is a Fizz or a Daisy and related to the Tom Collins. If done with quality ingredients including fresh lemon juice (not artificial "sour mix), it can be rather decent. And just because it can have 4 or 5 alcoholic ingredients (*) does not mean that it has more alcohol. Our Tom Collins has just as much alcohol and our Manhattan has even more than that. I am sure that there are places that give you more than we do, but most places give you the impression that they are stronger than the average drink.

(*) We make ours at work with a half ounce each of the 4 white spirts (vodka, gin, rum, tequila) and a half ounce each of triple sec (boozy) and lemon juice, ice, and perhaps 2-3 oz cola. That's 2.5 oz of booze (some triple secs aren't 80 proof either) total.

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Feb 22, 2015
yarm in Spirits
1

About passion fruit syrup and juice...

If you can find an ethnic market (Brazilian, Caribbean, or other) that carries frozen passion fruit puree, you can infuse simple syrup with it (like you make pineapple syrup). Passion fruits are very hard to juice even if you could find them.

A lot of passion fruit juice is mostly sugar water with a few other juices mixed in with very little passion fruit. The order of the ingredients on the label will tell you. In a pinch, this will give you a passion fruit syrup if you add sugar as you describe. I've done it. It is not as good due to % p.f. content in the juice.

In order, the passion fruit puree-infused simple is the most flavorful. BG Reynolds is the next best (you can get it mail order through The Boston Shaker store). With the sugared up p.f. juice coming third (just less passion fruit in the mix).

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Feb 15, 2015
yarm in Spirits

Gracie's Somerville

I enjoyed the ice cream I had there, but their prices are higher than Toscanini's. When I asked how big each size was, they were vague and described that they add more or less to the same sized cup. Less than I expected for the price, but the product seemed rather good.

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Jan 18, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Are there any highly recommended vegetarian entrees in the Greater Boston area?

VeeVee in Jamaica Plain has great vegetarian dishes and on Wednesdays, they do a vegan fixed price tasting menu.

Myers & Chang's noodle dishes off of their vegetarian menu (ask for it) are rather good, too.

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Jan 14, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

The hawthorne in Kenmore, how's the food?

They are hindered by the size of the kitchen there (tiny!), but they do excellent work with that adversity. Seems more like food that can be prepped in advance and served cold/room temperature or quickly reheated. The pretzels are indeed noteworthy.

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Jan 07, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

"Tickets" for Restaurants

Systems like the non-full cost have already existed here. For example, giving your credit card at the time of making a reservation (I found that system incredibly distasteful especially since it was generally never written or mentioned (less legally binding) what they could charge you or if they would charge you if you didn't show).

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Jan 07, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

"Real" Eggnog

The store bought stuff is highly processed. Why not make it yourself. For a nonboozy version, this is what I make at work:

2 oz Heavy Cream
2 oz Milk
1 Egg Yolk
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup (*)
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup (*)

Shake once without ice to emulsify, shake again with ice, and dump into a rocks glass (restrain some ice if too many cubes were added). Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg (sometimes I also add freshly grated coffee bean and clove). Add a straw.
(*) These syrups are easily bought (such as BG Reynolds brand at the Boston Shaker store) or made yourself via recipes online. Subbing in simple syrup and a dash of vanilla extract and a pinch of powdered cinnamon will also work in a pinch.

For a boozy version, I reduce the milk to 1 oz and add 1 1/2 oz of spirit (often dark rum) and sometimes 1-2 dashes Angostura Bitters. Looks like this when done: http://instagram.com/p/w9oGcfmBdS/

Don't know if anyone is doing aged eggnog here. A lot bigger of a tradition in West Coast bars (sometimes prepped a year in advanced).

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Dec 28, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Batavia Arrack in Boston area?

I've gotten it there and Ball Square Fine Wines in Somerville.

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Dec 21, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Is it just me, or is this really utterly ridiculous?

So scrap the one that you paid a lot of money to have built so you can run your own (that you now have to build from scratch) that looks a fraction as good? I see.

Dec 10, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Is it just me, or is this really utterly ridiculous?

At what size of restaurant should you be hiring an IT staff to put up said website? Once you hit 50 employees or 200? And should this be before or after you get an HR department?

The only restaurants that seem to update themselves are ones that do menus by dreaded PDFs for download (or in one case an unsightly tumblr). Most web companies don't let their customers tinker with the code themselves (which is why many go the upload a new PDF route) and charge for every time they are asked to change a detail. A few places, notably beer bars, seem to do it themselves though most likely through an interface to keep the draft list up to date.

Dec 10, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Is it just me, or is this really utterly ridiculous?

Most restaurants don't have people in house that can access their website. In-house staff where I work use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For the rest, they have to get their web company to do it. Not a perfect excuse, but it's not 2 seconds or free, and while my restaurant's page is currently up to date (I just checked), parts of it have been off for a long while. Often it takes a patron to comment to get things fixed.

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ISO Quiet place for a winter drink, Harvard-Porter-Davis Squares

I believe that Grendel's Den in Harvard Square has mulled cider and/or wine in the colder months. Decent beer selection including a beer brewed for them by Sam Adams. Mellow and not overly loud from what I recall.

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December 2014 Openings and Closings

The Rapscallion guys are often by the bar I work for we are one of their larger accounts. They brought along their chef who looked over our menus. Most of the talk was about the food program, and less about the beer.

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Nov 26, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area