Archive for February, 2012


Whitehall Bloody Mary

I’m not sure if it came through enough in the review of the Delta Bloody Mary as how bad that drink was.  I know I did not pan it completely, but it was a drink that just laid there on my tray table mocking me with its mediocrity.  Our brunch stop on Sunday was Whitehall Bar + Kitchen, and what better drink to go along with brunch than a Bloody Mary, lets see how it goes.

  • Vodka
  • Bloody Mary Mix
  • A ridiculous amount of Horseradish.
  • Celery Stick to garnish.

Served in a pint glass over ice.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Better, I will admit, but not great.  I was hoping for more.
  •  I asked for it spicy, which apparently means heap on the Horseradish.  Okay, I get that, but what about some spice?  Seemed to lack any tabasco or other spicy addition.
  • Overall, this was a good drink, just a little thin and not a “wake me up” kind of Bloody Mary.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 3/10
  • Sweetness: 3/10
  • The quest for a great Bloody Mary continues.  Maybe I will just have to make my own.
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Couple of days behind, but fear not, I have been keeping up with the drinks!  I have a couple more drink reviews from our trip to New York and have made a few of my own in the past couple of days and just haven’t found the time to post.  So forgive the gratuitous Facebook updates.

First up – the Laurel & Hardy.  This concoction (this is the correct word) comes from one of the Momofuku chain of fancy New York eateries, you know, the places that lunch costs $200 per person.  That was too pricey for us, so we planted ourselves at their new bar called Booker and Dax for a cocktail and a pork bun.  This place is definately one to check out – they use all kinds of fun stuff like liquid nitrogen to make their cocktails.  My selection was the Laurel & Hardy.

  • Rye
  • Congnac
  • Maraschino Liqueur
  • Fernet
  • Benedictine
  • Mole Bitters

I could not tell you the proportions, but this drink is stirred (about 100 times) in a pint glass over ice and strained into an old fashioned champagne glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Before going any further, I need to confess that I have no idea what Fernet, Benedictine or Mole Bitters are.  So don’t ask.
  • The taste is very herbal, almost minty.  Almost.
  • VERY smooth.  These guys no what they are doing.  All of the ingredients seem to come together as a very balanced  cocktail.
  • You get that great maraschino (nutty) flavor in the aftertaste.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10.  No question as exquisite cocktail, just wouldn’t call it MY favorite.
  • Strength: 7/10.  Just about perfect.
  • Sweetness: 3/10.  Not a frilly drink.
  • This was advertised as a great sipper, and they tell no lies.  I don’t think with the effort I saw the bartender use to make each of his cocktails you can go wrong here.  Add it to the places to visit.

Commodore

Thanks to Kathryn’s friend Jennifer, we found a fantastic bar hidden behind ove Grand Central Station in NYC – the Campbell Apartment.  After looking over the menu I found what appeared to be a refinement of last months D.O.T.M. – the Kentucky River.

  • bourbon
  • Creme de cacao
  • Grenadine
  • Lemon juice

Served up in a martini glass, garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Whoa, this is a great drink. Each taste is better.
  • The drink is a little sweet, and the bourbon is in the background, overall this drink is nothing but smooth.
  • This is no Kentucky River, totally different drink.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 8/10
  • This could be all the reason you need to visit NYC.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Time for another this day in drink episode.  Today is national drink wine day.  Who thought there was a day, Kathryn had convinced me that every day was a day to drink wine.

Wondering the streets of New York, we stumbled on a cute looking Italian restaurant, so we walked in and pulled up a seat at the bar.  In honor of the day, I just had to order a glass.  What better than the wine seved at our wedding Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The wine is nice, the predominant flavor is peaches.
  • It’s a very light wine, almost thin.
  • Easy drinking.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 5/10
  • Strength: ?  Where is the liquor?
  • Sweetness: 4/10
  • A great wine to serve at your, err, my wedding.

Flying to NYC today, so the drink choices are quite limited. Seeing that it is 8am and we are over Nevada, seemed lime a good time for a Bloody Mary. How much could an airline screw this up.

  • 1 mini bottle vodka (Skyy)
  • 0.5 can blood mary mix (Mr & Mrs T)
  • A really small lime slice
Mix on your tray table, but not in the full and upright position.  Serve in ice filled plastic cup.  Classy.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • There’s bloody mary’s and there are bloody mary’s, this is the latter. By the latter, I mean last.
  • Tastes like it should, but that’s all it tastes like. No kick, no complexity.
  • I will revisit the Bloody Mary again, it needs to be redeemed.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 4/10
  • Strength: 2/10
  • Sweetness: 3/10
  • At least it’s better that the cold breakfast sandwich

Sidecar

Prohibition cocktail time!  I have always been scared of the Sidecar… especially because its made of brandy, a liquor I generally am not a fan of.  This is a classic though, so it must be good, right?

  • 1.5 ounces brandy
  • 0.75 ounces Cointreau
  • 0.75 ounces fresh lemon juice

Shake over ice, serve in a chilled martini glass, if you feel exotic, you cam sugar the rim.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Wow, this drink is good.  I like it a lot.  Since starting the blog this is my biggest surprise.
  • The lemon juice and the brandy mix together so well and the Cointreau gives a pleasant sweetness.
  • This is not your grandma’s drink.  Well, actually it is, but she knew what she was doing.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • If this is the sidecar, who’s driving?

Sunshine Cocktail

Needed a little sunshine in my life today to offset the rain that is falling down.  We might even have a thunderstorm tomorrow – the horror.  The recipe does not give me a lot of confidence with all that dry vermouth in there… we will see if the sun can shine through.

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 dashes of creme de cassis
  • 1.25 ounces of gold rum
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth

Shake well over ice, strain and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I tried the first sip and it was not really that pleasant, too much vermouth flavor in the aftertaste.
  • Second sip and things were looking up I, I start to get the sense that the vermouth really helps the flavor.
  • No getting away from the fact there is a whole lime in here, the tartness stays with you after a couple of sips.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness: 5/10
  • Made my day a little brighter, a little.

Valentines Day!  We had great plans – Kathryn had a court date, we both had too much work to do, and our romantic dinner at Outback Steakhouse was already behind us the night before.  So it was a night of homemade cooking and a cocktail and watching “The Fighter”.  Romance!

Tonight let’s kick off another of the classics – the Daiquiri.  There are about as many versions of this drink as will fill this blog, but this is the classic.  You can serve this up or over ice… and since I have those sexy new big ice cubes from my birthday – on ice it was.

  • 1.5 ounces light rum (Bacardi)
  • 0.75 ounce lime juice
  • 0.25 ounce simple syrup
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Shake everything over ice and strain into the container of your choice – martini glass up or rocks glass over ice.  Garnish with the lime wheel.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I will admit that a Daiquiri is not my favorite drink.  Too much lime flavor for me.
  • The first taste is dominated by the lime, but once you get used to it, this is a well balanced drink which speaks to its popularity.
  • While not strong, it tastes stronger than I would have expected.

Tastings Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10 – just not my thing.
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • It was Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and J.F.K.’s favorite drink, just not mine!

Pegu Club Cocktail

Back on track – actually time for a drink I made today.  Lot’s of posting to get on track… hopefully the post quality isn’t suffering.  This drink was the alternative choice of Kathryn for my birthday beverage, so let’s see how its stacks up.  Notice the cool new “glassware” courtesy of my sister for my birthday – stainless martini glasses!

  • 1.5 ounces gin (Bombay Sapphire)
  • 0.75 curacao (pretty sure blue isn’t the best choice, but it’s what I had)
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 dash fresh lime juice

Mix vigorously over ice.  Serve in a martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The story is this drink was created in Rangoon in the 1930s… fun fact of the day!
  • When sipping you get a hint of orange from the curacao and a hint of the gin in the background, neither overpowers the other.
  • A fun drink that is… blue.  Don’t be surprised if you are asked about that blue popsicle you didn’t have.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • Is this drink the work of the devil?

First stop on the birthday parade was Avenue 5 in Banker’s Hill.  Upon arriving at the bar and surveying the drink menu there was really only one choice to make – The King’s Cocktail!  That number one in the picture is for drink number one of… many.

  • Vodka
  • Blood Orange Reduction
  • Orange Liqueur

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Continuing the theme of orange drinks for the start of the evening!
  • The drink has the distinct flavor of orange as you would expect, but is missing something.  It’s like it is missing the punch of the orange.  Perhaps it just lacks the sweetness you come to expect with the taste of orange.
  • Interestingly I tried a couple of other cocktails at the bar, and while each had a different starring ingredient, they all were missing the same “punch”.  Odd.

Dave’s Rating:

  • Dave’s Rating: 5/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 4/10
  • Not bad, but hard to recommend.