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blair frodelius Age 50


When to Shake and When to Stir a Cocktail 17 Oct 2014
8:17 am

Robert, So true! In my area, all cocktails are shaken. Often when I ask for a stirred drink, I watch the bartender trying to find something to use as a barspoon. Of course, Gary Regan carries his "special" stirrer with him everywhere he goes, but in a pinch I will often suggest a straw, hashi, ice cream soda spoon, or if none of those can be located; you can simply move the barglass in a circular motion for about 30 seconds, and it works pretty well. Cheers! Blair

Sangria Blanc 14 Jun 2012
9:55 am

I've found St. Germaine to be a great substitute for Triple Sec in punches. No wonder that it works in Sangria equally well. Cheers! Blair

How to Not F@%& Up a Daiquiri 19 Jul 2012
3:27 pm

Yeah, the El Dorado 15 is amazing! Blow people's minds using a dark rum, baby! Blair

Peruvian Wish Cocktail 19 Sep 2012
12:24 pm

Francesco, We have the same problem getting a variety of Amaros in Central New York. Although one of our local stores carries a decent range of Luxardo products, I've never seen the Abano. Is there a decent substitute that might be more readily available? Also, I love the giant tweezers for garnishing the drink! Where can I pick up a set of those? Cheers! Blair Frodelius

Citrus Scandi Cocktail & Oysters with Citrus Splash 6 Nov 2012
10:23 am

Kathy, This is amazing! Best pairing ever! Cheers, Blair

Harvest Moon 13 Sep 2012
11:01 am

Robert, Love Applejack cocktails! The inestimable "Jack Rose" being my favorite. This one that you demonstrate almost appears to be a precursor to the tiki drinks that became popular in the late 1930's on the West Coast. As an aside, I highly recommend Laird's Bottled-in-Bond Applejack. It has tons of character that the regular version just can't match. Cheers! Blair

Corpse Reviver #1 6 Dec 2012
4:42 pm

Robert, On to day four of the Small Screen Network's Repeal Day series. This is a damn hearty drink! I'm using VSOP cognac, Laird's B-I-B and Carpano Antica. The two brandies work quite well together, and in spite of no citrus or simple syrup, the overall flavor is amazingly balanced. You'd almost swear there were aromatic bitters in here, but it's just a trick of the palate. I like this one A LOT. I think it's the next step beyond the Manhattan School of cocktails, and so good to see applejack getting it's share in something besides a Jack Rose. Cheers! Blair Good Spirits News

Mint Julep - NOT a Mojito Made with Bourbon 27 Aug 2012
1:02 pm

Anyone have advice on how to keep silver julep cups looking their best? I'm concerned that a polishing cloth may impart chemical flavors into the drink. Cheers! Blair

Prohibition Cocktail 5 Dec 2012
4:03 pm

Robert, This is a great use of orange juice in a cocktail. Usually, it overwhelms the drink to the point where the other ingredients are lost. Also, this cocktail is unusually small. Even my period cocktail glasses overwhelm the drink. But, that makes it an exceptional "opener" for an evening of imbibing! Having one tonight in honor of the 79th Repeal Day celebration! Cheers, Blair Good Spirits News

Improved Tequila Cocktail 24 Jul 2012
2:13 pm

Nice to have a tequila based cocktail that doesn't include citrus! Cheers! Blair Frodelius

Flame of Love Cocktail 17 Jul 2012
1:31 pm

Robert, One question I've never seen asked is whether it makes any difference whether you use a lighted match or a BIC lighter when flaming a peel. This is one of the few vodka heavy cocktails that I enjoy. That being said, I have never had one made for me. It's another of my home bar standards when I've got Dino playing on the turntable. :) Cheers! Blair

Flame of Love Cocktail 17 Jul 2012
2:44 pm

Robert, I like the idea of "vodka" lighters. I wonder if it would work in a refillable lighter. I agree that there seems to be just a bit of chemical aftertaste when using a BIC lighter. One other time saving option is to fill a mister with organic orange oil and spray it over the glass while lighting it on fire. I've seen this done to great effect with absinthe and Chartreuse for instance. Cheers! Blair GoodSpiritsNews

Jack Rose Cocktail 27 Jun 2012
1:42 pm

One bit of history that no one has mentioned is that the Jack Rose used to be considered one of the classics alongside the Martini, Old-Fashioned, Manhattan, Daiquiri and Sidecar. I think it definitely deserves a comeback in the 21st century. Cheers! Blair

Tiki Time Cocktail 14 Jun 2012
9:53 am

Charlotte, This is a great light Tiki style drink! I particularly like coconut water which gives it body, but also keeps the sweetness down. Cheers! Blair

Red Snapper Cocktail 22 May 2012
2:48 pm

Robert, The best flavor I've ever had in a Bloody Mary/Red Snapper is homemade tomato water. It's not really a labor intensive process, as it does take some preparation beforehand. Not only that, but you will end up with a uniquely clear version that is bright and fresh in character. Most canned tomato juices have a thick "slurry-like" quality which can be off-putting. Here's a recipe to make your own tomato water at home. In food processor, purée 4 large quartered beefsteak tomatoes, 1/2 roughly chopped Serrano chile, 1/4 roughly chopped red onion, one roughly chopped 3-inch piece of lemongrass, small pinch sugar & a large pinch salt until smooth. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and set sieve over plastic bowl. Pour purée into center of cheesecloth and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, gather sides of cheesecloth up over purée to form large sack and squeeze gently to extract last bits of water. Discard sack and its contents and transfer tomato water to bowl. Set strainer over bowl and squeeze in lime, lemon, and orange juice. Stir well. Makes about 20 ounces tomato water, enough for roughly 5 drinks. Cheers! Blair

Attention Cocktail 19 May 2012
11:57 am

I have to agree with Robert that it's pretty rare to find any kind of standardization in a liqueur. I've tried several crème de violettes, as well as a few parfait amours. They are all different in levels of sweetness, floral character and mouth feel. What I've done (when financially feasible) is to purchase several brands of a particular style and then make a cocktail (say the aviation) with each one and see how it works. This can make for an interesting cocktail party and really show off the highs and lows of each liqueur. Cheers! Blair

Blood and Sand Cocktail 10 May 2012
10:34 am

Perhaps there should be a Tales of the Cocktail seminar entitled: "The Evolution of Robert Hess". :) Cheers! Blair

Blood and Sand Cocktail 7 Dec 2012
4:07 pm

Robert, Having one this week as the last of the Small Screen Network 2012 Repeal Week rebroadcasts. It truly is a remarkable drink, and one that sounds horrid on paper. However, the one thing I've got to say is there is no substitute for Cherry Heering. I've tried a number of other cherry liqueurs and schnapps, etc... and nothing comes close. I tended bar at a large wedding reception this past summer, and the Blood & Sand was the hit of the party. I must have made over 50 of them that night. Cheers! Blair

Arizona Cocktail Week 2012 28 Mar 2012
1:23 pm

Natalie, Looks like you had great weather! Hey, it's always sunny in AZ. Cheers! Blair

Young Man Cocktail 1 Feb 2012
1:59 pm

Robert, My bitters collection just keeps expanding on a monthly basis! I currently own about 60 different bottles. Everything from blueberry to Macadamia nut. It's amazing. I do agree that everyone should have an aromatic and an orange bitters at home. I also recommend Peychaud's since they are called for in a few classics like the Sazerac and the Metropole. Ben, in my opinion, the Bitter Truth products are all more aggressive, or let's say "heartier" than Angostura Aromatic Bitters. I find that they work well with rye or a higher than 80 proof bourbon, but with a softer product like Maker's Mark Bourbon or Jim Beam Rye they tend to dominate the drink. Really, it's up to you and what you prefer. In any case, the Bitter Truth guys make great products. You can read several reviews of their line on my website. Cheers! Blair

Biter Cocktail 26 Jan 2012
10:03 am

Robert, The best hand juicers (other than the Ebaloy) that I've come across are the Chef'n FreshForce Citrus Juicers. Very sturdy and they manage to get all of the juice out in one quick motion. The only drawback is that they are too small for oranges. You can find them on Where can I find drinky birds that fit on the edge of a glass? Cheers! Blair

Washington Cocktail 23 Jan 2012
9:43 am

Robert, This reminds me a lot of the Tip Top cocktail. One of my favorite lighter style drinks. Cheers! Blair

Ford Cocktail 14 Jan 2012
12:46 pm

Robert, Speaking of dashes, are there any dasher bottles you recommend that will release the same quantity each time? There is a vast difference between the amount of liquid that comes out of Angostura, Bitter Truth and Fee Brothers bottles, for instance. I tend to use an eyedropper bottle when a recipe calls for dashes of a non-bitters product like Benedictine or Creme de Noyeaux. Generally about 5 drops seems to be about right. Cheers! Blair

Ford Cocktail 15 Jan 2012
6:12 am

The Balch, I'm sure Robert will respond to your questions, but I highly recommend David Wondrich's book, "Imbibe!". He basically transcribes Jerry Thomas for a 21st century bartender. Great reading as well as full of information you won't find anywhere else. Cheers! Blair

Aromatic Collins Cocktail 5 Nov 2011
5:58 am

Jamie, Where can I get 750ml bottles of Angostura? :) Cheers, Blair

Poet's Dream Cocktail 5 Nov 2011
5:53 am

Alex, That particular copy of the Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book was published about 8 years ago by New Day Publishing. You can find copies on Ebay easily, even though it's out of print. Cheers, Blair

How to Make a Green Blazer 27 Oct 2011
11:53 am

Until you get up to speed like Jamie here, it's best to practice over a sink. I've been lucky to not spill liquid fire all over the place, but I know a few who have. :) Cheers! Blair

How Maraschino Cherries Are Made 14 Jan 2012
1:02 pm

We can certainly blame the Temperance Movement for the transformation of the formerly alcoholic version (Maraska cherries soaked in Maraschino liqueur) to the garish neon colored sickly sweet orbs used today. Here's a quote from a New York Times story dated Jan. 2, 1910, that proves how popular these boozy cherries were: "A young woman engaged a room at a fashionable hotel and, after ordering a Manhattan cocktail, immediately sent for another. Soon she was ordering them by the dozen. The management interfered and someone was sent to expostulate with her; also to find out how she had been able to consume so many cocktails. She was found surrounded by the full glasses with the cherry gone." Great video tho' Kathy. I had no idea it was such a huge industry on the west coast. Cheers! Blair

Interview with Tom Bulleit of Bulleit Bourbon 14 Oct 2011
8:53 am

One of the smoothest ryes I've ever had. Makes an amazing Manhattan. Cheers! Blair

Chrysanthemum Cocktail 14 Oct 2011
9:01 am

What I like about these style cocktails, is that they are low alcohol. Somehow more refreshing and elegant. Don't get me wrong, I love a Sazerac, but I can only have a few of those. Cheers! Blair