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3 minutes ago, deangold said:

Try it in a corpse reviver instead of the absinthe rinse. Use about 1/2 oz if it is St Germain or something gentle and aromatic. 

I actually realized afterward that most recipes include gin and I have none in the house.  So that's next on the list to be purchased, at some point in the future.  

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5 minutes ago, Katya4me said:

I actually realized afterward that most recipes include gin and I have none in the house.  So that's next on the list to be purchased, at some point in the future.  

Broker's packs a great bang for the buks for martinis and corpse revivers. Gordon's London dry makes superb negroni and other drinks where the gin is not as prominent. My favorite for drinks like the corpse reviver with lots los citrus and clear gin flavors is Bombay Sapphire. My issue with sapphire is it doesn't play well with vermouth so it is not a favorite for martinez, negroni and martinis.

My first bottle to buy would definitely be brokers as it is under $20 on sale this month at the VABC.

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Not drinking any of it yet, but we scored big time on the fruit at Westover Farmer's market. 5 boxes of incredibly ripe and juicy strawberries and 2.5 quarts of great cherries {1 qt black, 1.5 qt Queen Anne's.} So I am making cold process syrups and shrubs. Shrubs are drinking vinegars and were a way to preserve fruit in pre-refrigeration days. We had made them at both Dino and the Grotto using both hot and cold methods and I always thought the cold method better. On syrups we always used a hot method and I loved that, but now I am trying cold and will see. 

Strawberries

One shrub is strawberries macerating in vinegar {50/50 balsamico & champagne, the sugaring to be done with simple when the strawberries have been fully extracted 24 or 48 hours after being put up.This one is macerating at wine cellar temperature. 

The other three are macerating in either white sugar, turbinado sugar and dark brown sugar. I will wait to taste them before deciding what vinegars to use. I have a wide range from Asian to more standard. We will see which method is tastier. Strawberries will still be available next week as far as anyone can tell. These three and the cherries are macerating in the fridge. I may try one more batch at cellar temp. 

The syrup is strawberry and it is a quart of berries macerating in 1/2 cup sugar. I will puree them when the berries have mostly melted into juice. I will freeze in 2 daiquiri size containers. 

Cherries

Cherries are macerating in sugar. I reversed the order I wanted to do so the Queen Anne's are in turbinado sugar and the black cherries are in white sugar. The Queen Anne's are more delicate in flavor and they ave the stronger flavored sugar. Oh well! My current plan is half balsamico and half red wine for the black cherries and half sherry vinegar and half champagne or rice vinegar for the Queen Anne's.

Shrubs are fabulous in water, carbonated or not. We pay about $8 or $10 for a liter of commercial. These will work out to less money and be all natural and I will have more control on sugar as you can always add more vinegar as it is a natural preservative. 

I plan on making 16 oz to a quart of various fruits as he season progresses. I am using 250 grams a batch of fruit and of sugar for the shrubs and maybe 500 grams of berries to 1/2 cup sugar for the syrup. Hopefully next week I can pick up raspberries and blackberries. I may try Snow Pears from the Asian Market. I will have a lot more data by then. While shrubs were once a way to preserve and stored without refrigeration, today's fruits are much less acidic than fruit of yore, so we will refrigerate them. 

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At 36 hours, none of these seem completely extracted. I have moved all of them to the wine cellar temperature. I am shaking 2 times a day. They smell amazing. The Queen Anne's cherries seem the most extrated. The vinegar maceration seems less strawberry like than the sugar extractions. 

The puree came out amazing. Just dumped the liquid and the extracted berries into a blander ajr and pureed it. I got 5 x 4oz jars of puree in the freezer. And that was after 2 tragic leakage incidents. It is so good that I put up another quart. I am figuring that 4 oz will be perfect for two frozen drinks. If it is too much, I will just make bigger drinks.

The success of the puree project is making me thing of making something with the extracted berries after the shrub making. I will have to see what flavor is left. I don't want cloudy shrubs as this will affect their shelf stability. 

This week I am trying to score other berries. 

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2013 Dagueneau Pur Sang Pouilly Fume.  Complex, strong minerality with a noticeable orange citrus.  This is a wine that needed to open up and warm up more than I expected.  But when it did, it was fabulous.

2018 Titus Napa Sauvignon Blanc (actually about 95% SB, 5% viongier).  Crisp, clean.  I don't like the strong lychee found in many SBs, and this was restrained but still represented a new world style nicely.  At $25, a nice wine for the price.

2017 Chateau Doisy Daene Grand Vin Blanc Sec.  Interesting 100% SB from Barsac - but stopped at interesting.  Not sure I'd rush to buy again, and at $35, I'd spend $10 more to get the Bevan unfined/unfiltered.

2013 Kogev Sauv Blanc(80)/Chardonnay(20).  Didn't work for me on any level.  Glad it was only $20.

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2 hours ago, genericeric said:

2018 Titus Napa Sauvignon Blanc (actually about 95% SB, 5% viongier).  Crisp, clean.  I don't like the strong lychee found in many SBs, and this was restrained but still represented a new world style nicely.  At $25, a nice wine for the price.

The lychee is a characteristic of the Musque clone. The use of certain yeasts can exacerbate it. I like it in low oak styles. 

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On 6/16/2020 at 1:23 PM, deangold said:

The success of the puree project is making me thing of making something with the extracted berries after the shrub making. I will have to see what flavor is left. I don't want cloudy shrubs as this will affect their shelf stability. 

This week I am trying to score other berries. 

The strawberry shrubs are mostly done. I used different vinegar pairs for each. The white sugar was balsamic & champagne vinegar. The turbinado was with sherry & rice wine. The dark brown sugar has the least strawberry flavor and I vinegared it with Red Wine and Seasoned rce vinegar that you usually use for Japanese cooking. That came out interesting but I am not sure.

The shrub extracted in the balsamico & red wine vinegar was with no sugar. I added all the rich brown sugar simple syrup I had. I forgot I used all the brown sugar, so I used some Lyle's Golden sugar and a little water to finish it. The strawberry flavor needed puching up so I pureed the strawberries in to the shrub. Now my shrub has a 1" layer of foam. We shall see.

The 1.5 pounds of berries in the 3 sugar extracted shrubs wwnt into the vita mix along with some blood orange juice & zest and water. We got 20 oz of a wonderful puree for margies or daiquiris from that, not in the freezer. 

I ran out of gas on the cherries so I will finish them tomorrow, along with the second batch of puree. 

I got 3 pounds of cherries

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I've not been a big fan of Pinot Noir, but had a request the other night for a family tasting that came with funding, so...

2016 Louis Jadot Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Thoreys: Was very glad I'd done some looking into this wine, and read that it took longer than expected to open up.  After 2.5 hours in the decanter, it was a very solid wine.  After 4 hours, it was absolutely delightful.  Complex palate focused on syrupy dark cherries and plum.  Was pleasantly surprised to see such a great wine come from such a prolific producer.  $125

2016 Domaine Drouhin Dundee Hills: Admittedly this is Drouhin's base level wine, but from such a storied producer, coming from such an admired AVA, this was a perfectly 'fine' wine, though somewhat disappointing.  Stewed red fruits, with difficulty picking out any nuance or complexity. $45

2015 Ladera Pillow Road Russian River Valley: We've visited Ladera's property on Howell Mountain a few times, where they're more well known for their Cabernet.  But I've always left with bottles of this Pinot from the RRV.  Silky smooth, very fine tannins, cherry and graphite.  $50

2016 Domaine De La Cote, La Cote: From Santa Rita Hills, Raj Parr's vineyard has a lot of buzz since appearing on Somm 3.  This wine was described as having flavors of crystalized boysenberry and roasted pork.  As weird as that sounds, its a perfect description.  Oddly saline, very complex, I would enjoy this wine with food, but grew tired of it quickly as a stand alone. $100

 

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I'm not sophisticated when it comes to drinking and this applies to my wine tastes as well. I've definitely bought a bottle on more than one occasion for it's label.  A couple of years ago, I picked up a bottle of Olney Winery's Black Cherry Bomb. Finally opened it last night and I enjoyed it. It's sweet, definitely can taste the cherry, and definitely has a kick at 14.5% ABV. 

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I made sangria for the first time. I had a bottle of Riunite I needed to use* and the only use I could find for it other than drinking it straight was sangria. I was on the fence about making it, but when I realized we had just enough brandy left from when my husband made Beef Wellington 6 years ago I decided to go for it. It was tasty and perfect for a hot day in our backyard with a couple of neighbors. Next time I make sangria I'll probably use a Spanish wine, though!

*I sent my husband out for a specific bottle of dry lambrusco last year, and he came back with that plus a 1.75 L bottle of Riunte, because it also says "lambrusco" on the label.

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We had 4 limes and a single orange that had been sitting on the counter for too long.  I squeezed them all and made us frozen daiquiris.  I think I should have included a bit more simple syrup, but it was enjoyable. 

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Last night was a sort of fruit spritzer.  I split a can of Q ginger beer between 2 glasses, followed by an 8 oz bottle of tart cherry juice.  I added about 2-3 oz. of grapefruit juice, some ice cubes and finished it off with a splash of Elderflower liqueur.  Quite tasty and very enjoyable.

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New Apero cocktail.

I made a batch of David Lebovitz’ ginger lemonade- added ice some Apero a Mandarin slice and topped with splash of seltzer.

Pretty tasty! Hubby had the lemonade with vodka-also delicious 

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It's fall, so last night was a mix of apple cider with Q ginger beer to cut the sweetness a little.  Very tasty.  

The other night, we went out with friends for dinner in the Merrifield area and discovered the Black Dog Beer Shop.  Turns out they have an assortment of ciders as well and the employees are very friendly and helpful in showing them and offering recommendations. We picked up a few different varieties to try.  One that was unexpectedly tasty was Buskey's Watermelon Rosemary.  It's past summer now, but really good flavor combination.

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I'm currently drinking a growler (well, from a growler at this point; it's early) of Bluejacket's For the Company. It's a German helles-style pale lager I've grown to like during the pandemic. It came in my latest NRG order. Perfect timing for celebrating 🎉💙

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On 12/19/2020 at 2:04 PM, dracisk said:

I'm still getting through the Costco-sized bag of cranberries I bought for Thanksgiving cranberry sauce (I've also made cranberry Moscow mules and cranberry gin fizzes)

This comment in the baking thread got me thinking. As a result, I'm having a lovely cranberry Hendrick's G+T with Fever Tree tonic.  Not surprisingly, cranberry plays nicely with the cucumber in the gin. I just cooked down the cranberries in water with clementine peel and a pinch of salt. Did not add a sweetener.

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8 minutes ago, reedm said:

My neighbor gave me a sizable jar of uncut moonshine. I'm interested to know if anyone here has any tips/recipes. I'm not into the apple pie types of flavors, if that narrows the options a bit. 

Thanks and Happy New Year!

1. Unscrew.
2. Drink

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Following a friend's champagne recommendation, I bought a bottle of Mailly Brut Reserve Grand Cru. (About $40 at Total Wine) For my tastes, it was one of the best champagnes I've ever tasted. Untitled.jpg.209011e216a82801e4321c1a16d52f12.jpg

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For January, nothing. Bummer.

Among the general wines for the holidays, we had the usual suspects, though one wine was a huge surprise. A neighbor left a bottle of 2002 Rappahannock Cellars Cab Franc on our doorstep (literally), so we figured "why not" and opened it, saving a '76 Insignia for a later day.

Whoa. Not only was the wine still alive, it was in a really nice place. I have no illusion that the wine was meant to age for 18 years, or that there's anything but provenance and careful storage to account for the showing - or even that there are many other bottles of this wine still around. The wine was bought on release by my neighbor, moved probably 30 miles from the winery to his cellar, and sat there ever since.

Anyway, could have fooled a pretty solid taster as a just past-peak Bordeaux - say a 5th growth - not a Figeac or Petit Cheval, but thoroughly enjoyable and unexpected - which is why I drink this stuff to begin with. Not Loire-esque in the least, maybe due to American Oak?

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16 hours ago, Keithstg said:

For January, nothing. Bummer.

I'm attempting the same, although the results of the GA senate runoff may force me hoist a glass to toast the continuation of democracy in America.

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My kombucha brewing is currently on hiatus, so I have some fruit drinks that have been sitting around in the pantry.  The other night, I split an aloe juice drink mixed with a bottle of spicy (non-alcoholic) ginger beer between the 2 of us.  Very tasty and I've still got another bottle of each, so probably do that again sometime soon.

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Watching what is going on at the Capitol I am raiding my liquor cabinet for any available alcohol.  6pm curfew in the District tonight folks.  No one outside.  No travel by car or other modes of transportation.  If you need food or other essentials get it now.

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2 hours ago, dcs said:

Watching what is going on at the Capitol I am raiding my liquor cabinet for any available alcohol.  6pm curfew in the District tonight folks.  No one outside.  No travel by car or other modes of transportation.  If you need food or other essentials get it now.

Legend Brown Ale - Governor Northam just declared a 6PM-6AM curfew in Virginia also.

It's odd being so close to the riot - it's as if I can "feel" it. Does anyone else experience this phenomenon?

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58 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Legend Brown Ale - Governor Northam just declared a 6PM-6AM curfew in Virginia also.

It's odd being so close to the riot - it's as if I can "feel" it. Does anyone else experience this phenomenon?

Curfew is only for Arlington and Alexandria, btw.

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I had an extra bag of cranberries in the freezer that I had no use for, so they got blended with a couple of inches of ginger from the freezer, mixed with sugar and some fruit juice and cooked down into a syrup.  After straining that, I mixed it equal amounts with gin and pineapple juice, added a dash of citrus bitters, then topped off with some seltzer water.  Still have plenty of syrup, so I'll be doing a bit more experimenting.

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5 hours ago, Katya4me said:

 cranberries

Still have plenty of syrup, so I'll be doing a bit more experimenting.

Years ago, when Ray's the Classics first opened I think? Maybe a year or two into it? Anyhow, one December quite a while ago, Nick had this cranberry champagne cocktail on the menu. It had a cranberry simple syrup, sparkling wine (I think it was a prosecco? They had a nice prosecco), and a star anise floating on top. It was quite tasty. I was so sad that it never made a comeback. I made him tell me how to make it so I could have it again.

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8 hours ago, saf said:

Years ago, when Ray's the Classics first opened I think? Maybe a year or two into it? Anyhow, one December quite a while ago, Nick had this cranberry champagne cocktail on the menu. It had a cranberry simple syrup, sparkling wine (I think it was a prosecco? They had a nice prosecco), and a star anise floating on top. It was quite tasty. I was so sad that it never made a comeback. I made him tell me how to make it so I could have it again.

Would Ray mind if you shared it here?  I've been experimenting with simple syrups and would love to try a cranberry one.

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6 hours ago, zgast said:

Would Ray mind if you shared it here?  I've been experimenting with simple syrups and would love to try a cranberry one.

Have to say, Nick didn't give exact proportions. He just said to make a cranberry simple syrup, infuse it with some spices (he was using star anise), and then use a splash of it in the glass, top with sparkling wine, float a star anise.

My advice, based on having made it after some research: do a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water. Cook with cranberries, but not too long because they are FULL of pectin, and you don't want your syrup to gel. Both of these recipes should work well.

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LOL, I wish I had known about that.  "Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool, ideally overnight in the refrigerator. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. You should have about 3 cups of thin syrup."   The syrup is good, but it was definitely semi-solid the next morning when it was time to strain it..

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38 minutes ago, Katya4me said:

LOL, I wish I had known about that.  "Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool, ideally overnight in the refrigerator. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. You should have about 3 cups of thin syrup."   The syrup is good, but it was definitely semi-solid the next morning when it was time to strain it..

 

59 minutes ago, saf said:

Cook with cranberries, but not too long because they are FULL of pectin, and you don't want your syrup to gel. Both of these recipes should work well.

The pectin is exactly what I was thinking of - basically how do you keep it thin?  Thanks for the links!

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