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Favorite alcohol-infused cake? Opinions?

On that last note: Whiskey and vermouth infused cake with Angostura frosting? (i.e., a Manhattan.) Use something gentle for the whiskey, e.g. Maker's Mark, Carpano Antica for the vermouth to get some vanilla notes. It could work...

Jul 02, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Favorite alcohol-infused cake? Opinions?

Grand Marnier is fairly classic in baked goods.

Agreed with Multifood on the nut liqueurs. Those should taste pretty good.

Finally, I've long wanted to do something dessert-oriented with Angostura bitters. That one might be a bit niche, though.

Leopold Bros. Makes a Natural Campari Alternative

Yeah, Gran Classico is very interesting and enjoyable in its own way but it's a far cry from Campari. (Also, Breckenridge Bitters is a very similar product that I think is a bit better.)

Per its web site the Leopold Brothers products are supposedly distributed in MA and available at several stores:


Unfortunately none of them are convenient to where I live or work. Please let me know if you see this product somewhere. If not I'll see if my local stores can order a bottle or two.

Jul 01, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Leopold Bros. Makes a Natural Campari Alternative

Anyone try this yet?

Jul 01, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Gin U Dee - Thai in Stoneham

Alright, heading to Watertown this weekend for sure!

Best Eggnog

Rum can and should be added (it's listed among the ingredients already). Side effects will include a tasty beverage and the potential to get tipsy. Have an Advil on hand for the next morning and don't operate heavy machinery.

Jun 25, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Recipes

Gin U Dee - Thai in Stoneham

Ah, nice! I wouldn't mind trying the dry. Good, I assume?

Much more than the dry, I would really love to sample the Carpano bianco. I wonder if it's even distributed here yet?

Gin U Dee - Thai in Stoneham

I have not tried Cha Yen yet--it's on the list. I unfortunately don't get over to Watertown too often. Probably need to change that.

Anyway, just to be clear, I'm not saying this place is on the level of, e.g., the more interesting dishes at S&I or the handwritten menu at Thai North. But it's far, far better than anything else I've tried in the Wakefield/Melrose/Stoneham/Reading/etc area.

Gin U Dee - Thai in Stoneham

Oh come on, you need to tell us more about the vermouth!

And the watch shop, natch. I feel like getting gouged today. Oh wait, that's a topic for an entirely different board.

Gin U Dee - Thai in Stoneham

This place seems to have opened sometime in the past few weeks. Tiny place on Main Street (intersection of Franklin) in Stoneham, geared mostly for takeout and delivery.

I've now had takeout twice and both times I've been quite happy with what I've received, which is in my opinion far superior to the other Thai places in the area -- including my usual standby, Taste of Siam.

Both times I've had the Som Tum, which on one visit was very spicy and on the other was extremely spicy -- just as it should be. Unfortunately although the papaya was properly pounded on one visit, on the other it seemed untouched and overly crunchy. None the less the salad was nicely dressed both times so I was happy. Missing both times was the dried shrimp promised on the menu, which would have been a nice touch.

For entrees, so far I've tried the Kao Nar Ped and the Kao Soi.

The former is composed of chopped up roast duck in a sweet sauce, served over rice with some Chinese broccoli and a hard boiled egg. Simple but very tasty.

The latter is two kinds of egg noodles (soft and fried) served with a mildly spicy thick curry "soup" (sauce vs. soup is an interesting question here) and some chicken (boiled, I think). A very satisfying dish, though a bit overly filling if you drink the soup/sauce as I did. (They call it a soup, and I figure any excuse to over-imbibe on curry sauce is a good enough one for me!)

Several other interesting looking things on the menu, so I'd say the place has quite a bit of promise if the area is willing to support it. In other words, it'll last 6 months, tops, before they either close up shop or convert it into a yogurt place.

Anyone else give it a shot yet?

Japanese whisky shortage affects Nikka

I'm sure the producers will still make plenty of money. I'm just saying that I don't understand the methodology, as selling fewer units at a higher price point without the need for marketing changes should result in the same net.

With regard to quality, what I was implying -- perhaps naively -- is that a product with an age statement will naturally be better because perhaps more age == better whiskey. I don't actually believe that to be the case when a sufficient amount of age kicks in (for example, I personally prefer Macallan 12 over Macallan 18), but it probably is true at the lower end. Therefore, it stands to reason, I think, that NAS absolutely means a drop in overall quality. Whether that corresponds to a drop (or increase) in value is another question entirely, and a potentially interesting one. (Nikka, if you're reading this, send me a sample of the NAS product so I can comment!)

Anyway, as someone who enjoys premium whiskey I think this is a sad state of affairs. I'm willing to pay more (less often) for special bottles, and this precedent if broadly adopted will make that impossible. It will in effect turn a lot of fine whiskey into more of a commodity item along the lines of vodka. And I don't like vodka :-)

Jun 24, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Japanese whisky shortage affects Nikka

I'm not sure I get the point of the new bottlings. Why not let the economics of supply and demand simply drive up the prices? Make more money, create a luxury niche, continue delivering quality products, keep consumers (at least, those with money) happy... win-win-win???

Jun 23, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Lunch near Ikea??

I can't speak for the cafeteria but they have some interesting stuff in the food store: decent cured salmon (the one in the light blue package is best IMO), good pickled herring, various Swedish fish spreads (an acquired taste, perhaps, but I'm a fan), and some excellent cookies. (The kind with dark chocolate sandwiched between two crispy oat cookies are nothing short of amazing.)

Breaking Bad vodka launched in the US

Damn it, the site killed the GIF's animation. Go watch it on YouTube:


Jun 11, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Whisky ‘body blended’ by porn stars on sale

Does it come with a free herpes test?

Jun 11, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Breaking Bad vodka launched in the US

Srsly? I'd like to thank whomever came up with this with a nice pizza...

Genever to bring back from Amsterdam?

I'd definitely recommend grabbing a bottle of the Bols 10 year corenwyn (you can get it at House of Bols, which is nice to visit anyway) -- exceptional stuff. They also have some other interesting and special varieties there, but that's the only one I can personally vouch for.

I'd also highly, highly recommend a visit to a bar called Arendsnest: http://www.arendsnest.nl/

They have an excellent selection of beers and a large menu of jenevers, so it would be a good place to try some stuff out before you go looking for a bottle. Plus it's just a cool place to hang out.


Jun 08, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Boston Public Market Proposal

Awesome! I'm very pleasantly shocked this is actually still in the works; after so much time I thought it had fallen through some crack. Can't wait to finally check it out in July.

New Trucks: Any Reports?

Thanks for the bump. I went there last week; should have reported back.

I tried the whitefish and chorizo cake and a cup of soup -- $13 for both, IIRC. The truck had almost no customers, which was odd as it was just before noon at Milk Street.

Tasty but not especially large fish cake portion, slightly blackened and served over a small mound of slaw. Pretty good dish all in all.

The soup was some sort of mint and cucumber thing with yogurt. Good concept but it was very grainy and a bit on the sweet side. I wasn't a big fan.

I'd repeat the fish cake if the price dropped or the portion increased the bit. The soup needed work but maybe another one would be interesting. I have to give this truck credit for obviously trying to put out varied and higher quality products than some competitors, and I'll probably return at least once more if I happen to walk by again, especially if there's no line. I still need to try the Cubano...

Lillet cobbler

Nice photo.

Jun 02, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Ogawa Coffee

"If they're going to charge those prices, I want a full-on kissaten experience with a coffee master who roasts his own beans on premises and chats with you like a bartender while pouring your coffee!"

That is exactly what I expected before showing up!

Thanks for the reminder about Paul. I didn't think the coffee was exceptional at the Assembly Square location but alongside a great pastry I suspect it's far superior to anything at Ogawa. (Forgot another weak aspect of Ogawa: No pastries in sight! WTF? I expected a selection of typical Japanese/French mashup style roll cakes, cream puffs, and the like.)

Where is this coffee trike?

Ogawa Coffee

I went to Ogawa this afternoon. I was, all in all, not very impressed.

After reading some of the press I expected more of an elegant or upscale atmosphere. Instead it felt rather like every other coffee place in the area, with the same black paint, minimal decor, and IKEA-style furniture. (With the exception of a set of bleachers for overflow seating. Ugh.) The space is small and feels cramped.

Staff interaction typical of coffee shops in the area: turn and burn, without much time or interest for questions. (There was a small line, but as this is supposed to be a more "upscale" shop I expected more upscale forms of interaction. Not to be had.)

Prices seem to be a dollar or two higher than most places in the area. Whole bean coffee, sold in 8oz bags, is very expensive, priced at up to $25 per bag.

I tried the single origin "flight:" $9 for 3 small "shots" (2oz each, maybe) of what the menu said were made with a French press. Someone upthread here mentioned Aeropress but I don't think that's accurate. The coffee was served in glasses and was quite murky, with a decent amount of sediment at the bottom of each glass.

Each glass came with a little printed card with information on the coffee, including origin and tasting notes. It was interesting to try each cup, but the quantity amounted to a couple of sips each. That would be fine with wine, but I like to enjoy a bit more quantity with drip-style coffee.

For almost $10 (with tax), I felt that the flight was a very pricey luxury. Especially when it was shoved into my hands on a tray that I was forced to consume on the aforementioned bleacher seats.

I'll probably return at some point for an espresso and/or latte to see how they do in that area, but I was thoroughly underwhelmed by this experience. I considered stopping at Flat Black on the way back to my office for a proper cup...

Could someone please explain Sip's weird wine pricing?

And now you've told everyone the secret, so that's the last you'll get of that deal ;-)

Seriously, though, sounds like someone needs a math lesson. Or that you were misquoted by the bartender.

Consider that a full wine bottle contains around 25 ounces. So 6 ounces sounds like a full pour. (~4 glasses per bottle is the usual metric, isn't it?) By that same logic 10 sounds like a very large pour. This tells me that you were perhaps misquoted by the bartender and the reality is a bit different.

If their pours are truly that large then obviously there are deeper issues, such as how 6 can be half of 10. And why you're paying 250% of the price for 166% of the volume. I'd expect something closer to the other way around. And finally, whether or not they summon you an Uber as you're leaving!

Coruba rum in the Boston area?

Any idea whether the Plantation Dark Overproof is still available? I went through a couple of bottles during the last LH151 crisis and thoroughly enjoyed them. Slightly different flavor profile than the LH151 but equally smooth and nuanced and definitely suited for similar use cases, IMO. I special ordered it through Brix, IIRC.

Instacure #1

Karl's in Peabody will sell it to you, but first they'll come out and quiz you to make sure you realize that "pink salt" != "Himalayan Pink Salt" or similar products. Kind of a nice common sense check to ensure their customers don't kill themselves. And while you're there you can pick up some of their excellent cured products to tide yourself over.

Mixed Drinks That Uses Whiskey

I just Googled and it looks like there is a pretty extensive cocktail scene in Hong Kong. Perhaps similar to that in Tokyo? If so, I can understand wanting to emulate it.

May 04, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Mixed Drinks That Uses Whiskey

Pretty good list of classics, but I'm a bit confused by your inclusion of "Washington Peach." I've never heard of it, and Google gives me only one hit, on some sketchy site - totally different formula than that which you've listed here. Where did yours come from and why is it included on your list?

I think to complete the list both Mint Julep and Blood and Sand should be added. And I'd also question the Lynchburg Lemonade, though it is no doubt much more familiar than the peach drink.

May 03, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Eaux De Vie

NYC? Nice reminder--I have some business there in a few weeks. Perhaps finding a good store there is my best shot.

Eaux De Vie

"Reisetbauer might give you sticker shock"

Yeah, I took a peek at the 2015 price list. In doing so I became aware of the fact that I cannot afford the Mountain Ash spirit, priced at a whopping 217 EUR for a 0.35L bottle--if you happen to be in Austria! Luckily I haven't a clue what Mountain Ash is nor what is so amazing about it to fetch such a price. Ignorance is bliss.

What brands are wonderful on the lower end?

Eaux De Vie

Thank you for the info! Extremely helpful. Sounds like I need to go chat with my local spirits outlet about a special order.