yarm's Profile

Title Last Reply

Brass Union: Somerville

When I saw that they had games like shuffleboard, it made me think that they were trying to emulate the success of State Park in Kendall Square.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Jul 13, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

July 2014 Openings and Closings

Yes, they do need to be more friendly to the public. Everything from getting very aggressive towards me at a tasting when I asked if I could tour their brewery (this was somewhat after their brand launch) to yelling at one of the bartenders at a local bar for serving their beer at the wrong temperature (it was on cask, put into a cask by the people who brew their beer for them, and served at proper cask temperature).

Jul 13, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

July 2014 Openings and Closings

Local brewing talent Portico brews out of their space as contract/gypsy brewers though.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Jul 13, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Narragansett/Del's Lemonade Shandy in Boston

Ball Square Fine Wines on Broadway in Somerville had it as of 2 hours ago.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Jun 13, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Taberna de Haro, awesomer than ever!

Will is mostly in NYC these days. I have a hard time keeping up with everything he was or is doing (including when he was in Boston in the post-Drink era and was working Brick & Mortar, No. 9 Park, Lone Star, Deep Ellum, and elsewhere all throughout the week besides repping tequila and mezcals which he still does).

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 31, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Taberna de Haro, awesomer than ever!

It was set up by two bartenders who worked at Drink but it's really only of them, Sean Sullivan, who works there. He does all 6 nights per week that they're open.

The drinks are very tapas style. $8 for a smaller sized cocktail that is equivalent (per ounce) or just as big $12 cocktail served at Drink or elsewhere. The atmosphere is very un-Boston like (save for being able to see Duncan Donuts in the distance out the front window).

Definitely a great date spot. Plus you can order the complete menu at the bar!

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 29, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

What Craft Spirits Have Disappointed You?

I have had better luck with craft gin and rum than aged whiskey. Established whiskey houses have a better clue of what their product will be like 4+ years in the barrel later than first timers... Gin and white rum are often more immediate and craft distillers can tinker quickly with no lag time to get a good product out the door.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 24, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Saffron Infused Gin - where can I buy it?

From what I recall from what Scott said, it was a quick and easy infusion. A small pinch of saffron threads (can start small and add more to taste or color tincture) to a bottle of gin. Use a tea strainer to free the gin of coarse botanical matter. I'm sure Scott would give better measures if you ask -- he's not all that secretive.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 23, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

IMPROPER BOSTONIAN, MAY 2014 "Hot Shots" article by MC SlimJB

No, my bar doesn't carry any over distilled rums, but I have had plenty of hard to determine if it is truly rum rums.

If you make a call for a Smith & Cross Seabreeze, I might not even upcharge you for it out of respect.

May 16, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

IMPROPER BOSTONIAN, MAY 2014 "Hot Shots" article by MC SlimJB

There are plenty of over-distilled rums that in drinks do not stand out as rums. More like if you can't tell your vodka from your "premium rum," maybe you should shop for a more flavorful rum or just be happy that the vodka-ization of rum occurred.

DonQ white rum is a different beast than J. Wray & Nephew Jamaican rum...

May 15, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

IMPROPER BOSTONIAN, MAY 2014 "Hot Shots" article by MC SlimJB

Some rums, especially the unaged Spanish styles, are interchangeable, such as light Puerto Rican rums. The English, such as Jamaican, and the French, such as Rhum Agricole, are not. Not to mention rum/"rum" from Brazil better known as cacha├ža.

May 15, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Refrigerate Suze?

The Suze we have at work is 20% / 40 proof and we don't keep it refrigerated. I remember when we had Salers (another gentiane liqueur) at 16%, we never could decide on keeping it refrigerated or keeping it in the rail (along with the other ingredients for that menu item) for easy access.

Besides alcohol, the sugar also acts as a preservative. I arbitrarily use 20% and above as what to keep at room temperature (although I do keep my Salers at room temp especially as fridge space is a premium) at home.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 11, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Yuengling is now Craft Beer?

The Brewer's Association definition is for American craft beer and I haven't heard the term used much in traditional beer countries like Germany and Belgium (I have heard it used in non-traditionally-beer countries like Italy). However, they seem to allow exceptions where candied sugar could play a role: "Craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients like malted barley; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often added for distinctiveness."

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 11, 2014
yarm in Beer

Yuengling is now Craft Beer?

Adjunct brewing is a mixture of necessity back then and cost effectiveness later. When necessity wasn't an issue, using less flavorful corn and rice could stretch the fermentable content of a mash and produce more beer/alcohol for less cost. The choice for 6 row + adjuncts has mostly been attributed to cost savings later in history (such as the government capping the price of beer during the Depression). That and the general public's desire for less flavorful beer.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 11, 2014
yarm in Beer

Cook goes off the list: TOO LOUD

Bukowski's in Inman is often one of the worst... except in the summer when they have the garage doors open. At that point, they turn down the music so they don't annoy the neighbors.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 10, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Martinis without Vermouth - The New Normal (At Least in LA)

I once had a bartender hand me the bottle of vermouth (was sweet for a Manhattan) because he would not personally add more than a dash to the drink. But he would let me making such a sin with mine...

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 10, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Martinis without Vermouth - The New Normal (At Least in LA)

I was once asked to make one for him and his wife shake 26 times. I first got excited that when he said that he was into "classic martinis," but his lacked vermouth (his wife allowed it though) and he wanted it shaken not stirred. A lot of extra effort to count to 26 while shaking it turns out. Bizarre, but it made them happy, so it made me happy too. Their tipping style later, not so much.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 10, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Oyster Farm Visits

I have toured Island Creek in Duxbury, MA, before. For more 4-1-1: http://islandcreekoysters.com/ico/far...

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 09, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

St Elder? Made right here in Somerville, Ma

We have both at work, and the St. Elder subbed in for St. Germain in one of the house originals. In the mix, you can't tell the difference. I think that there are some more elegant fruit notes in the St. G, but both have the same floral and overall feel.

At my local store (where the inventory and prices are online), St. Germain is $37 to St. Elder's $15.

I think the extra $22 is the marketing in the bottle, fake story about the bohemians and bicycles, etc. besides paying for the groundwork to get elderflower liqueurs so hot. Although now it's all making Bacardi rich for they bought the brand... Locally, it went from a brand that had a dedicated rep who threw events and mustered up loyalty, to one that people are more ambivalent about. Plus, St. Elder is made right here too.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 04, 2014
yarm in Spirits
1

IMPROPER BOSTONIAN, MAY 2014 "Hot Shots" article by MC SlimJB

You have trolled me into responding to you which is different from "getting" you. I am a bartender that works for what is best for my restaurant, fellow bartenders, and guests. I also write to promote the good I see in the Boson cocktail world -- from recipes to drink programs to bartenders. While I have my opinions, I try not to call people or programs out, but to focus on what is positive out there if I can. We are a community trying to get Boston to drink well (or at least better). That is all.

May 02, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

IMPROPER BOSTONIAN, MAY 2014 "Hot Shots" article by MC SlimJB

Wow, you sounded like quite the craft bartender of the 80s, a holy drinkmeister.

May 02, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Our Yarm attacked. And defended.

Luckily, I was smart enough to delete my answer to the "Most ridiculous / overhyped / bullshit trend" for I knew that it would insult someone's program (or more). I didn't know that someone's program and mental wellbeing would revolve around Baybreezes and Seabreezes.

May 01, 2014
yarm in Spirits

IMPROPER BOSTONIAN, MAY 2014 "Hot Shots" article by MC SlimJB

One of the bartenders I work with commented that Malibu and its popularity/advertising campaign a while ago re-invented or expanded the drink idea. No one expects rum in it, but people will call for it.

May 01, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

IMPROPER BOSTONIAN, MAY 2014 "Hot Shots" article by MC SlimJB

Changing the subject is probably a better approach here than commenting to my reply. Cheers!

May 01, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area
2

IMPROPER BOSTONIAN, MAY 2014 "Hot Shots" article by MC SlimJB

Cheers Mr. Emotional!

There are two things I like to do when serving drinks. The most important is to serve it with a sincere, non-ironic smile. And the second is to get the drink right the first time by either memory, asking questions, or looking it up. Not sure where your recipes for the Seabreeze and Baybreeze come from, but feel free to make a copy of my cheatsheet:

http://i57.tinypic.com/2uqhn6b.jpg

Feel free to spend your hours reading into my comments, but my drinks from Long Islands to strange shooter requests get complements from how they are made to how I enthusiastically make them. The part I don't get about Seabreeze etc. drinks are that they are various mixtures of juices without structure using a flavorless spirit and I can't figure out a mnemonic to master them; therefore, I carry the recipes in my book that I have on me every time I bartend. Along with countless other recipes.

As for Hotoynoodle's comment about Cosmos and Long Islands, those drinks make sense for they are Daisies -- spirit, tart citrus, sweetener, +/- soda water -- just like Margaritas and Sidecars. It's a drink of balance.

As for Baybreezes/Seabreezes with non-vodka spirits, I have definitely gotten tickets for rum variations. Never have seen a gin one yet (although I get requests for gin Bloody Maries all the time).

Apr 30, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area
6

Licor 43

Best uses of it were by Eastern Standard bartenders here in Boston:

Black Douglas
1 1/2 oz Johnnie Walker Red Blended Scotch
3/4 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz Licor 43
2 dash Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
More 4-1-1: http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/20...

Ponce de Leon
2 oz Ragged Mountain Rum
1 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz Licor 43
1 dash Housemade Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Flame an orange peel and drop into the glass.
More 4-1-1: http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/20...

Apr 26, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Fakeeasy Trend

I still hear that Please Don't Tell in N.Y.C. requires you to use the payphone in the hotdog shack next door to ask to get in.

Apr 26, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Fakeeasy Trend

I like the ones that are called that after the fact - like Backbar and Brick & Mortar in Somerville and Cambridge, MA. They "advertise" by word of mouth, have very little signage, etc. Perhaps they are trying to be more selective in who walks in the door (although I do remember the story of a party bus stopping at Brick & Mortar expecting to find the Enormous Room...)

There will always be the bars that put Speakeasy in the title and then promote themselves vigorously with that. I do remember one by the Symphony that tried to do that; I was curious until I saw photos inside with Buckhunter video games and uninspired beer tap handles. I won't call out still existent establishments though.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 26, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Speakeasys in the city or North Shore?

Stanza resides in a Prohibition-era speakeasy location, so historically accurate! I'm not sure that a basement space once hidden away from the police was the best idea for a smokey cigar bar though (my eyes and clothes really suffer when I have gone there)...

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 26, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Amaro

They all can be very similar whether they are French Amer, Italian Amaro, German Krauterlikor, Hungarian Bitters, etc. The differences lie in what nearby herbs that they use -- for example, Alpine liqueurs have more mint and menthol notes (i.e.: S. Maria al Monte, Fernet Branca). Most of these are caramel-black and balanced with sugar. There are others that fall out of that pack like Campari and Aperol.

At a bitter liqueur tasting at Portland Cocktail Week in 2012 called "Blinded by the Dark," we tasted Jagermeister in parallel with other bitter liqueurs and in that format, it held its ground as a classy digestif.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 26, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area