yarm's Profile

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Best stores for super large format beers?

Growlers often have shorter shelf lives either due to the bottle seal or the hygiene of the fill -- some places don't even sterilize the bottle you bring in (or that you buy from them), they just fill it. Others are more meticulous.

Any small store with an eager to please-attitude staff should be a win. Craft Beer Cellars (a few locations) would be excellent. I know that Ball Square Fine Wines has ordered things for me through catalogs and they've arrived as soon as noon the next day.

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Sep 09, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

don's mix cocktails

Donga Punch
1 1/2 oz Aged Martinique Rum
1 1/2 oz Don's Mix
3/4 oz Lime Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass or tiki mug filled with crushed ice.

Scarlet Swizzle
2 oz Scarlet Ibis Rum
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
2 oz Don's Mix
4 dash Bittermens Tiki Bitters
Build in a Collins glass. Add crushed ice and swizzle until the glass begins to frost over. Garnish with a grapefruit twist and 4 mists of St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram. Add a straw.

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Sep 06, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Bar & food in Cambridge/Boston?

The food and drink at Casa B are rather good and Taso is a good barman that I enjoy visiting. There are only 4 barseats though -- which would be perfect for your group, but not always all available.

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Aug 28, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Coverage of wine/bar in Boston food reviews [split thread]

LOL @ making money blogging about food and drink. Perhaps some ads and Amazon links to make enough to pay for the web hosting. People who make money doing so are writing articles for larger sites and are making small amounts for text and photos; very few people seem to stick even with writing for SeriousEats for very long probably for that reason.

Blogging as a professional writer is about having a homebase where people can find you, where you can put out-takes and unpublished materials, and other things to further your brand.

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Aug 21, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

There are so many changes afoot in Davis we need a thread...

There were signs around Downtown Crossing that there'll be a Roche Bros there too.

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Aug 21, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Advice about opening a farm distillery in MD or PA?

Please learn to ferment and distill well. Work or volunteer at distilleries to learn the art. Far too often people launch into things like this, charge a good amount of coin for poor product, and lose their good name for a while. Learning along the way has lost your chance at a good first impression.

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Aug 10, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Mai Tai Help

I support JMF's opinion to tinker and take notes.

Two different bloggers did Mai Tai combinations like that (using their vast rum collections) to find the best rums. Perhaps their research can help:
http://rumdood.com/2009/01/26/a-month...
http://www.amountainofcrushedice.com/...

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Aug 10, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Sipping a liquor/liqueur from the bottle - can it ruin / alter the rest of the bottle?

Most likely the amylases in saliva will not function in such high alcohol and won't have much to work on in liquor but may have something to do in a liqueur. Alcohol denatures proteins and can kill enzymatic activity. My source is years as a biochemist.

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Where to buy cachaca

I was going to recommend Seleta; it was highly rated by Playboy a few years ago as one of the better. I get the gold (aged) one at Atlas of Medford for $17/liter. It is in the middle ground of refined and funky where as Leblon is too refined and the industrials like 51 and Ypoica are too rough.

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Aug 07, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

"Gourmet" ice cubes

Perhaps this was specific to the ice that the Hawthorne got. It was packaged as crysta clear cubes, perhaps 2x2 or so. They used it for their ice ball maker.

Aug 01, 2014
yarm in Spirits

"Gourmet" ice cubes

One problem with ice programs like this is that the base ice (not including the time taken in rendering it down and shaping it) adds substantially to the drink's cost. I remember hearing one bartender at the Hawthorne here at Boston reply to a guest who asked if he was concerned if someone stole a glass; he replied that the ice used to make the sphere cost almost as much as the glass itself, so no.

Kevin Liu's Craft Cocktails at Home book addresses the difference between crystal clear and air-bubbled ice (besides appearance), and while the clear ice lasts longer, it is not substantially longer.

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Jul 31, 2014
yarm in Spirits

July 2014 Openings and Closings

My experience was with her, my bartender friend episode was with him.

Even their site has an article in defense of their contract brewing decision: http://www.slumbrew.com/Beer_Talk/p/38

Jul 28, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

PHX CHer in BOS to imbibe

Brick & Mortar is rather civilized at the right after work hours. It's not too loud, there are seats here and there at the bar, and the bartenders have time to talk about drink ideas on and off the menu. I've had good luck getting there between 5-8pm. By 10pm, the music can often be rather loud, but not always.

Drink doesn't have a menu that they give the customers, but every bartender has a menu in their head. More like a flow chart to guide them. Like gin and citrus? Give the customer a Bee's Knees first, for example, and not a Pegu Club or White Lady until another drink or so in. A few of the bartenders do have tricks up their sleeves if you request them (unlike how most of them did back when they opened). But they fill the room to capacity regardless.

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Jul 27, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Shots/Spirits Favored by Particular Cities or Regions

"Staff safety meeting" sounds a lot like the "barback meeting" that would occur on busier nights when two barbacks were working instead of one. Although that was beer in the beer walk-in, not a shot.

Here in Boston I have heard about or experienced:
• Daiquiri Time Outs (#dto). A standard Daiquiri served in half or full-sized portions (usually 2oz rum, 1/2oz lime, 1/2oz 1:1simple)
• Fernet Branca. Some places do other amari.
• Smith & Cross (Jamaican navy-strength/114 proof) Rum
• Rittenhouse Rye
• Green Chartreuse

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Jul 25, 2014
yarm in Spirits

PHX CHer in BOS to imbibe

My suggestions that haven't been mentioned here yet:

• Straight Law - started by two Drink alumni and manned by one of them each night (closed Sundays). Strong with gin and sherry drinks.
• Citizen - better known for their whiskey list, but their cocktails are rather solid. List doesn't change all that frequently, but it you're visiting, they're all new...
• Green Street - ask for their A-to-Z six page cocktail menu. Lots of classics made right -- all for $6-10 each ($8 or so is average).
• No. 9 Park - go after the dinner rush but before they close at midnight. 10 pm is a good time point. Classy restaurant with a bar, although I have felt perfectly comfortable sitting there in jeans and a t-shirt. Drinks are prices no differently than Hawthorne or other.

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Jul 25, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

PHX CHer in BOS to imbibe

Cheers! Lately, I'm generally there Mon-Thurs 11a-5pm and Fri 5pm-close. I use the OnTheBar app religiously to check-in.

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Jul 25, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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!

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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.

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May 24, 2014
yarm in Spirits
1

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.

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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 cachaça.

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.

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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."

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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.

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May 11, 2014
yarm in Beer