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blair frodelius Age 50

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Product Choice is Important - The Sidecar Cocktail 11 Dec 2014
4:18 pm

Robert, I remember well yur seminar at Tales of the Cocktail on the three Sidecars! I've done plenty of experimenting on my end with Sidecar ingredients and have come to appreciate these basic tenets: Cognac: At least a VSOP (but under $40 a bottle) Triple Sec: Cointreau is well worth the cost Lemon Juice: Look for lemons with thin skins and a round appearance All that being said, I agree that you don't need to sugar the rim. But, as with a Margarita, a half rim makes everyobdy happy. I have experimented with the technique and discovered that if you use vodka on the rim instead of citrus, it adheres beautifully, but does not become sticky. Cheers! Blair Frodelius GoodSpiritsNews.com

Product Choice is Important - The Sidecar Cocktail 12 Dec 2014
4:46 pm

Rick M., Pierre Ferrand is excellent. I also like using Hine. You can find decent cogancs for $30 a bottle. Cheers, Blair

When Good Recipes Go Bad – The Old Fashioned Cocktail 4 Dec 2014
3:56 pm

Robert, I was just dealing with this issue last night. Juice of one lemon? Anywhere from 1 ounce to almost 2 ounces depending on the season. I agree that orange and bourbon work very well together. Lemon and rye, maybe. I tend to use lemon and lime as a garnish in lighter (clear) spirits. I'll have to give your suggestion a try. By the way, I've studied medieval cooking for a number of years and many of the recipes are exceptionally vague. But, I do know this; a pie (or coffin) was made of pastry, and the lid was also. The ingredients were baked, but the outer shell was often discarded as it was hard as a rock. Cheers! Blair Frodelius GoodSpiritsNews.com

Don't Use Bad Ice in Your Cocktails - Mai Tai Recipe 20 Nov 2014
5:45 pm

Robert, I've been preaching the gospel of "hard ice" for years now. Luckily, my freezer ice machine (even though it makes crescents) makes rock hard ice which retains it's shape even after a lot of shaking. Visually in the glass, not so attractive as Tovolo cubes, but then again, I'm only using them for shaking. I've used a few dozen different ice molds over the years, and totally agree that if you use the ice quickly, there is no odor from the mold. In fact, I just started using a new mold which creates pure clear ice in large 3"x3" cubes. Fantastic for visuals! On to rum... As you know, the original Mai Tai recipe can no longer be made, due to the specified rums being long out of production. However, I can see both points of view for using a "blend" like Bacardi 8, or using two more cogener laden rums. I do like Bacardi 8, and it is the best of both worlds in terms of a light style rum; but I can also see using heavier Jamaican or Nicaraguan rums. The thing is... cocktails are meant to be experimented with. So, it all ends up being personal preference. Garnishes... Well... Mint leaves look pretty, but the lime shell also has color and fits in with the scheme of ingredients. Personally, I think a "flag" of a lime wedge and a cherry works beautifully. Cheers! Blair Frodelius GoodSpiritsNews.com

The Trouble with Ice Muddling 6 Nov 2014
4:30 pm

I remember the first time I had a Caipirinha and I was told to muddle the lime, sugar and ice all together. Yes, it worked, but was a pain in the *ss to maneuver in the glass with all that ice! There is no reason to muddle with ice. Shake, yes. Muddle, no. Oh, and I'm surprised your Margarita is on the rocks. But, to be honest, I'm going through a rocks phase myself. Enjoying everything from Negronis to Old-Fashioneds on ice. It extends the drink, but still keeps the flavor intact. Plus, it keeps your cocktail ice-cold. Cheers! Blair Frodelius GoodSpiritsNews.com

How to Choose Proper Glassware - Sazerac Cocktail 6 Nov 2014
4:42 pm

I do love a Sazerac! Deadly, but luscious! I've made them a myriad of ways, but I do like them well chilled. I think this drink deserves some dilution, especially when using a high proof rye. Surpringly, this cocktail does work well with a VSOP or Xo cognac equally well, but tends to be a bit more subtle. I tend to go for the Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond. Cheers! Blair Frodelius GoodSpiritsNews.com

Sour Mix: Just Say No - Daiquiri Cocktail 6 Nov 2014
4:59 pm

I've never used sour mix in my cocktails. Mainly because like a chef, I want to cntrol the amounts of what is going into my cocktails. That being said, when making a punch pre-batching ingredients will save time. Oh, and lemons and limes are completely different animals. You'd think they might be interchangable, but no. They each depend in different amounts of sweeteners. So, a lemon-lime sour mix is doubly annoying. Cheers! Blair Frodelius GoodSpiritsNews.com

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 GoodSpiritsNews.com

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 GoodSpiritsNews.com

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 GoodSpiritsNews.com

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 http://GoodSpiritsNews.com

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

Kathy, This is amazing! Best pairing ever! Cheers, Blair http://goodspiritsnews.com

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 http://GoodSpiritsNews.com

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 http://goodspiritsnews.com

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 GoodSpiritsNews.com

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 http://goodspiritsnews.com

Improved Tequila Cocktail 24 Jul 2012
2:13 pm

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

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 GoodSpiritsNews.com

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 GoodSpiritsNews.com

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 GoodSpiritsNews.com

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 GoodSpiritsNews.com

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 goodspiritsnews.com

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 http://GoodSpiritsNews.com

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 http://Goodspiritsnews.com

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 http://goodspiritsnews.com

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 Amazon.com. Where can I find drinky birds that fit on the edge of a glass? Cheers! Blair http://goodspiritsnews.com

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 http://goodspiritsnews.com

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 http://goodspiritsnews.com