Archive for the ‘Liquid Diet’ Category

mr. beer review - part one

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Several months ago, Deezy offered The Photographer and I some brews he made with a Mr. Beer Home Beer Kit. I was skeptical, but the beer tasted perfectly fine.

About a week ago, The Photographer hooked a cracka up with a Mr. Beer Home Beer Kit. I cooked up a batch, and while I have not sampled any yet, I expect decent results based on Deezy’s beers.

ease of use

As a beginner, a key advantage of the Mr. Beer Home Beer Kit is simplicity. The tedious work is already completed - all I had to do was boil water, dissolve the Booster, and add hopped malt extract. While the pre-made hopped malt extract limits flexibility compared to all grain brewing, the final flavor of the beer can be modified with additional hops, or by adding honey, brown sugar, or molasses to increase alcohol content and subtly change the flavor.

mr. beer home beer kit initial impressions

Mr. Beer is extremely easy to use. I only needed an hour to sanitize everything, cook the wort, fill the keg, and pitch the yeast. I plan on brewing a few of the ingredient kits to get a feel for the process and then experiment a bit.

If all goes well, I see an upgrade to a more hard core setup in the future. However, Mr. Beer provides enough avenues for customization to keep me occupied for at least the next year.

jack rose

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

I fired up the internet and ordered some Fee Brothers products from Kegworks, amusingly located in Buffalo, New York, after discovering Toco Giant and Decatur Wine and Spirits carry a limited amount of Fee Brothers’ product line. My shipment included some Fee Brothers American Beauty grenadine, so I mixed up a Jack Rose.

I started with the Jack Rose version found in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. The Jack Rose poured a gorgeous deep red, which was almost purple. I suspect this would be a popular cocktail in Midtown. It would likely cause substantial anger as well, because it looks sweet but is not. The secret is difficult to find real pomegranate grenadine, which is not disgustingly sweet like certain popular brands.

The first taste is delicious lemon citrus sharpness. Then comes a hint of apple. Finally the pomegranate flavor of the grenadine comes through in the slightly sweet finish.

As the Jack Rose can also be made using lime, next I tried the recipe in Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century. This version of the Jack Rose increases the Applejack and grenadine, while substituting lime for lemon. As expected, more grenadine makes the drink sweeter, but using lime mitigates this. The key difference is the extra grenadine pushes the apple flavor far into the background. While it was sweeter, I liked this version of the Jack Rose best.

The Jack Rose is recommended and will have a place in my regular cocktail rotation. Try one today, if some real pomegranate grenadine is on hand.

sunday sours: the whiskey sour

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Sunday, I decided to stick it to Big Brother by mixing up a classic Whiskey Sour. The recipe in my favorite bar book called for two ounces of blended whiskey and another two ounces of lemon juice, which I found absurd. So I busted out American Bar, amusingly written by a German, Charles Schumann.

Mr. Schumann’s Whiskey Sour recipe had far more sensible proportions, so I mixed one up - except I substituted Rye for Bourbon. The results were all right, but far too sweet, with the sugar overpowering the lemon. For the second round, I omitted an extraneous bar spoon of sugar and came up with the following:

  • 1.5 ounces Rye;
  • 0.75 ounces lemon juice; and
  • 0.25 ounces simple syrup.

Shake vigorously in an iced cocktail shaker and serve in a sour glass*.

Much better. Alert drunks will note that this recipe is similar to the Frisco - which uses Benedictine as a sweetener instead of simple syrup and features slightly more whiskey.

A classic cocktail worth trying, the Whiskey Sour is recommended. However, I likely will not mix them on a regular basis, as I have several other favorites.

royal bermuda yacht club cocktail

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

The other day I gave Fee Brothers a call to see if any of their fine syrups and bitters were available in the greater Atlanta area. Much to my surprise, they do have distribution down here and pointed me to Toco Giant and Decatur Wine and Spirits. So I went on a mission to the east side to acquire some Fee Brothers items.

My first stop was Toco Giant, which did indeed carry roughly three different Fee Brothers syrups. None of which I was looking for. I picked up a bottle of Fee Brother’s Falernum and scored some rare Marie Brizard Triple Sec, so the trip was not a total waste. Next, I paid a visit to Decatur Wine and Spirits - they carry the full line of Fee Brothers bitters. While there, I noticed they also stock Luxardo Maraschino liqueur.

Upon returning home, I needed to find a recipe to try out my shiny new bottle of Falernum, so I turned to my copy of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails and found the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail. Consisting of rum, lime juice, and with Falernum and Cointreau as a sweetener instead of simple syrup, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail is a strange kind of daiquiri.

I made mine with Bacardi instead of the prescribed Barbados rum, as that is what I had handy. The concoction poured almost white, with a nice citrus bouquet. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail has a light refreshing citrus flavor, with a hint of the exotic added by the Falernum. I stuck to the recipe for the first one, but could not taste the Cointreau, so I doubled it for taste test number two. Much improved. I highly recommend the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and it makes a tres dope summer cocktail.

Algonquin

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

As I am a huge fan of Martinis and enjoy the odd Manhattan, I was looking forward to trying the Algonquin, which is made with rye whiskey, dry vermouth, and pineapple juice. I expected it to taste like the bastard child of the two previously mentioned cocktails with a touch of pineapple.

Instead, the Algonquin highlights the flavor of the rye very well, with subtle pineapple in the finish. Unfortunately, I discovered I do not like whiskey mixed with dry vermouth. When in the mood for whiskey and vermouth, I much prefer a Manhattan or Rob Roy, which require sweet instead of dry. And when in the mood for rye, I find a Frisco or Sazerac hit the spot much better.

I will not be making the Algonquin again. However, it was worthwhile to mix up a few for the purposes of scientific inquiry.

sunday sours: the pisco sour

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

For this installment of Sunday Sours, we be getting our exotic on up in this bitch and mixing with a South American joie de vivre as the base spirit. As an aside, bored Prizzo Skeezy readers may want to pay a visit to the days of way back and see a previous Pisco Sour review.

The Pisco Sour pours yellow with a bit of pink from Angostura Bitters. On the first sip, tart lemon hits the palate like LT sacking a quarterback. Next comes the fire of the Pisco. Finally, a bitter, but pleasant aftertaste lingers. The Pisco Sour is a sharp light libation that is highly recommended.

While the internet is littered with arguments over the origination of Pisco and the sour, one point of consensus is that the cocktail was originally concocted as a daring alternative to the common place (at the time) Whiskey Sour. While the beverage is fairly minimalist, it is also quite potent - drink enough of these and looking for ends on an infinite line will seem like a good idea.

I recommend searching for and obtaining Peruvian Pisco - Chile exports substantially more, but Peruvian is the original and best. In Atlanta, the genuine product from Peru can be found at Green’s on Ponce.

notes:

Leave it to the fucking wankers in Los Angeles to fuck up perfectly good cocktail recipes with a shit ton of extraneous fruit. The best day of my life is going to be when the San Andreas fault cracks completely and dumps the whole god forsaken state of California into the ocean. Seriously, the last good thing to come out of there was The Doors - in fucking 1960.

sunday sours: the delicious sour

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Because of the cocksucking Baptists, it is against the law to sell liquor, beer, and wine on Sundays in Georgia at grocery and package stores. Strangely, residents of the Peach State can order all the overpriced beers, wines, or cocktails they want at restaurants. Since I firmly believe in sticking it to Big Brother, we here at the Prizzo Skeezy will now be drinking every Sunday and writing about it. More specifically, I will be drinking sours. At their most basic, sours are a base liquor (e.g. whiskey), sugar (generally in the form of simple syrup), and citrus (usually lemon). The first sour I am reporting on smashes that simple template to pieces, but I had a hankering to use the Marie Brizard Peach Liqueur I scored at Tower* in Buckhead**

First up on our new Sunday Sours feature is the Delicious Sour. My father has a theory that advertisers play up the weaknesses of a product (e.g. handwriting recognition of the Apple Newton or reliability of Chrysler products) to trick suckers the public into purchasing them. So I was expecting the Delicious Sour to be anything but.

Unlike most sours, the Delicious Sour adds a generous slug of peach brandy to the base spirit, which is Applejack. The Delicious Sour starts with sharp notes of lime. Then the peach takes control and fades to apple, with some peach overtones remaining. This is a very pleasing drink, with the sweetness of peach brandy nicely balanced by the lime. I would not recommend substituting Calvados in place of the Applejack in this concoction, as the more mellow French eau-de-vie would be destroyed by the peach brandy and lime.

notes:

* While Green’s is my go to liquor store, they have been pissing me off recently. Their first offense is stocking crap beers like Duck Rabbit’s Ass or some such nonsense instead of devoting shelf space to quality brews like Hooker IPA. The second offense, and the one relevant to this post, is their current lack of Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, which precipitated my trip to Tower.
** Buckhead is by far the most dangerous section of Atlanta. I live in the motherfuckin’ SWATS and when I venture to Buckhead, I roll with an Uzi toting homeboy riding shotgun and a couple of maleantes with AK-47s in the back seat. Even with that much firepower, I always feel lucky to make it out of Buckhead alive.

pendennis

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Looking for things to do with my shiny new bottle of apricot brandy, I came across the Pendennis. As a bonus, the Pendennis provides something to do with Peychaud Bitters besides make Sazeracs.

The cocktail is named after the Pendennis Club, which still exists today in Louisville, Kentucky. However, I have no idea if the Pendennis can still be ordered at the club.

The first impression from the Pendennis is tart lime. Next comes overtones of apricot from the brandy, which is balanced nicely by the Peychaud Bitters.

Like the Pegu, which showcases Angostura Bitters, the Pendennis provides a nice stage for Peychaud Bitters. Unlike the Pegu, the Pendennis is somewhat sweet.

The Pendennis is recommended. Try one today, if you have the means.

golden dawn

Monday, July 7th, 2008

While at Green’s picking up Creme de Violette, I also scored a bottle of apricot brandy. This find allowed me to mix up the Golden Dawn, another drink from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. The Golden Dawn is a rather strange drink - instead of being composed of a base spirit, liqueur, and a bitter element (e.g. lemon juice or bitters), it includes two different brandies along with Cointreau*, gin and orange juice. The first brandy is Calvados, an eau-de-vie made from apples. Second is apricot brandy**.

The first taste is oranges mixed with apricots. In the middle comes a hint of apple from the Calvados. The aftertaste is ripe with the herbal flavor imparted by botanicals in the gin.

Overall, I found the Golden Dawn too sweet. I also dislike how the Calvados is buried under the other ingredients - this expensive brandy is better used in a drink that allows it to shine, like an Apple Cart. However, the Golden Dawn is by no means a bad concoction and I would serve it to guests who like their cocktails less savory.

notes:

* Don’t even think about using generic triple sec, it will make this drink cloyingly sweet.
** Not apricot flavored brandy. Spend the money on the good stuff, I used Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot. Hint - if the bottle says eau-de-vie, it’s probably the good shit.

aviation, old school

Friday, July 4th, 2008

While looking for a drink to make that resulted in me trying The Communist, I came across several recipes that required an obscure liqueur not in my collection - Creme de Violette. After some searching on the internet, I discovered a local Atlanta liquor store might carry it. So I set off to get me some.

While roaming the internet searching for Creme de Violette, I noticed there was more dispute over the Aviation recipe than I had previously known. Several Aviation recipes called for Creme de Violette. The modern Aviation, as described in Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century, is a pretty fucking good drink. Add Creme de Violette, long gone from these shores, but now available in Atlanta at Green’s*, and, well, I said GODDAMN! Creme de Violette adds enough complexity to elevate the modern Aviation to the stratosphere. The tres dope and unique blue color adds to the ambiance of the drink. Goes well with Envie.

notes

* I almost missed it, as it is not on the front shelf with the premium shit - I found it hiding on the opposite side by the cheap liqueurs.