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George R. Welch

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  • since
    May 2009
  • job
    Professor
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Comments
Hop Toad Cocktail 8 Dec 2013
4:56 pm

Sorry to come in late. Mr. Boudreau, you sir are a genius. I'm not a bartender, but I mix drinks at home for myself and my friends. I suffer from tinitus, and it never occurred to me to shake out front. It makes an *amazing* difference! My ears thank you! PS: interesting drink. I like the play of the aromatic bitters with the apricot.

La Paloma Cocktail 25 Sep 2013
10:45 am

Wow, thanks for this lesson. Very interesting drink. Can you suggest a source for those nice glass decanters you use for lime juice (and grapefruit soda here)?

Violet Fizz Cocktail 29 Jul 2013
7:44 pm

Robert, I think your choice of Ford's gin here is quite interesting. Nice citrus to go with the lemon, and an earthy strong set of botanicals to finish. I've only recently started buying it, but it seems to complement and bed the creme violet in this drink. Actually, I think Ford's has one of the better offerings on the top shelf. Have you tried Waterloo gin from Texas? It has a very soft front with strong notes of lavender, but it crests with grapefruit zest and finishes loudly of juniper. (Actually quite texan.) I like it in an aviation, and I'm going to try it with this drink come the weekend :-). So much gin, so little time. I still can't find Bitter Truth Creme Violet though, and will have to stick with Rothman's. Sigh --George

Biter Cocktail 25 Jan 2012
5:03 pm

Robert, I've been using the Zyliss juicer for some time now. It has serious problems. You will find that the little plastic "ears" that hold the bottom to the top will break off quickly. That means you then have to carefully remove the main body, and then pour carefully. Also, the "reservoir" isn't big enough for more than one fruit, so it gets kind of frustrating. As far as I can tell, there is no good juicer available :-(. Second, I was surprised to see you using the fabulous Marteau absinthe for this drink. Marteau is incredibly good (check out wormwood society) and incredibly hard to find (where did you get it?!). I know it was just a fraction of a teaspoon, but still that is kind of like using an rare XO cognac in your Champs Elysees -- something you cautioned against. I use Lucid Absinthe for cocktails -- it's easy to find and good enough. I'd save my Marteau (or the fabulous Paicfique absinthe from your state) for the absinthe drip. Again, you've found a wonderful treat from the Savoy. Working my way through this book will kill my liver -- I don't know how you do it! I've nearly managed to complete your book, but the Savoy is another story. Cheers, --George

Champs Elysees Cocktail 12 Jan 2012
12:43 pm

Robert, I greatly appreciate your discussion of the quality of the cognac. This reminds me so much of the supposedly really good bars who try to sell their best anejo tequila in their (poorly made) margaritas. It's just such an unholy thing to watch. --George

Hakam Cocktail 20 Nov 2011
2:48 pm

Rehills, I totally agree about Carpano. Not only is it great in a Manhattan, but try it in a martini. I use 2 oz of Beefeater-24, 1 oz Carpano, and several strong dashes of orange bitters. This is awesome. If it sounds weird, try it! I was a dry gin snob myself, but this will change your mind. --George

Hakam Cocktail 20 Nov 2011
2:59 pm

Naah, a Martinez has Maraschino added, and (usually) more vermouth than gin. What I described was a classic sweet martini. But because it's Carpano it really isn't all that sweet. It's a heavenly mixture of sweet, dry, and bitter all at once, and the gin's botanicals just wrap it all up. I'm especially happy with the hint of tea that the Beefeater-24 brings to the mid-palate. :-). --George

Hakam Cocktail 21 Nov 2011
11:08 am

Robert, Congratulation to you and Audrey! We all wish you many years of happiness. Hopefully you created a new cocktail for your rehearsal dinner! :-). --George

Casino Cocktail 5 Oct 2011
3:37 pm

Very interesting cocktail! Glancing at the ingredients I immediately thought of the gin sour (aviation). But keeping the added ingredients down to just dashes really changes the character. It's really more like a very dry martini, but like you say a little hint of cherry and citrus instead of the various aromas whatever vermouth you use would bring. Unlike a more powerful combo like the aviation, the choice of gin here seems really important. I used Hendricks instead of BE, to try to pair those floral notes of that gin with the cherry notes of the dash of Maraschino. My only suggestion is that there is too much citrus. Two dashes of orange bitters is about half the lemon juice, and together they overpower the Maraschino. I'd cut the lemon back a bit so that you have a bar spoon full of lemon-juice/orange bitters combined and then the same bar spoon full of Maraschino. But that's just me :-).... --George

Casino Cocktail 5 Oct 2011
4:03 pm

Hmmm, I need to get a 1/3 tsp. But, I really love these bar spoons: http://www.cocktailkingdom.com/product-p/bsp_teardropxx_0024_stl.htm and their equivalents in different lengths. They hold just slightly less than 1/2 tsp. Probably pretty close to a "heaping third tsp". --George

Caprice Cocktail 28 Sep 2011
5:55 pm

Excellent drink! I especially love the row of Beefeater 24 bottles sitting in your window. That's a pretty sight :-). --George

Bridal Cocktail 21 Sep 2011
4:46 am

Honestly, I don't see how this is not a Martinez cocktail. Sure, the proportions are slightly different, and it's orange bitters instead of aromatic. But this is certainly in the spirit of slight variations that Robert has taught us so well. I guess that using only a dash of Maraschino instead of a spoonful makes a bit of difference, but isn't this still just a "variation"? Robert, why is this not a Martinez? PS: Here is another vote for the original martini! 2 oz Beefeater24, 1 oz Carpano Antica, and several dashes of Regan's orange bitters. That'll turn a Friday afternoon into the weekend. :-)

Bridal Cocktail 21 Sep 2011
7:02 am

Robert, You have a good point. I trust your knowledge of the old recipes, but these days you sometimes see the Martinez made with more gin than vermouth. I've even been served a Martinez made with Old Tom instead of dry gin. --George

Bridal Cocktail 11 Oct 2011
3:54 pm

Ginty -- you are not CRAZY. This drink can showcase the maraschino pretty well. I go with 1/8 oz, not 1/4, but I can see using a full quarter. Here's what I've been doing lately: I guess you would call it a "perfect bridal" cocktail. I use 2 oz Beefeater-24, 1/2 oz Cocchi Americano, 1/2 oz Carpano Antica, and 1/8 oz Luxardo maraschino. Add a couple of really strong dashes of Regan's orange bitters, and: Oh My Gawd. Robert: If you haven't tried a "perfect" bridal yet, give it a try! --George

How to Make a Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler 11 Aug 2011
10:45 am

Charlotte, Could you please tell us more about the rhubarb simple syrup? Do you mix the rhubarb juice with already-made simple syrup, and if so what ratio? Or do you use the rhubarb juice instead of water when making the syrup? Or what? It sounds tricky, but it also sounds like an important part of the flavor profile in this drink. Thanks, --George

Old Pal Cocktail 2 Aug 2011
10:09 am

Those Progressive International jiggers look great. I bought Oxo's some time ago because you used them, so I just ordered a couple of these. You mentioned them in the comments to a previous episode, but this time you didn't say who made them, so let me provide this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002NUW60M You can get another from Pampered Chef that is similar to the Oxo but also has a 3/4 oz mark: http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_products/catalog/product.jsp?productId=12080&categoryCode=KW Wonderful drink by the way. I always thought the gin failed to stand up to the Campari in a Negroni, so using a bolder spirit like Rye is a great idea. --George

How to Stir a Cocktail - Martini 9 Aug 2011
7:43 am

Great show! I also add a dash or orange bitters (I prefer Regan's) but I agree that it might not go quite as well with Hendricks. In a comment thread on Robert's show, there was a discussion of using Cocci Americano instead of vermouth or Lillet. I'd really like to plug that here. Cocci American has a definite bitter character that is missing in Lillet. Both of them wrap around the gin in a way the vermouth does not, but the Cocci has a really wonderful after-taste that marries with the gin. It's wonderful! Try using exactly the recipe above, but with Beefeater-24, Cocci Americano, and a generous dash or Regan's orange bitters. Just thinking about it makes me drool. :-). --George

Clipper Ship Cocktail 17 May 2011
10:08 am

Robert, Voyager is an interesting choice of gin here, with its strong notes of cardamom and coriander. But, it can be a little hard to find. (Actually, very hard around here.) Can you recommend a more widely marketed alternative? Maybe Aviation or 209? --George

Monkey Gland Cocktail 26 Apr 2011
9:26 am

Robert you continue to awe and inspire us with your knowledge and stories. I have to admit I've never made one of these, purely due to the name. Now I can't wait to try it. I don't want to buy you a drink. I want to MAKE you a drink, because then whether you like it or not I'd still learn something! --George PS: Beefeater 24 is now on the shelves in Dallas, and I've successfully ordered it here! Life is good.

Citrus 75 Cocktail 26 Feb 2011
6:27 am

When there's no time to make home-made Limoncello, do you have any brands you particularly recommend. I just picked up a bag of Cutie Clementines at our local grocer. Reading the label it says: "Coated with foodgrade vegetable, beeswax and/or lac-resin based wax or resin to maintain freshness." Yuck. I'm going to juice these with a juicer instead of muddling in the shaker. --George

French 75 Cocktail 9 Jan 2011
4:43 pm

Robert you constantly impress us with your knowledge of history! I've made plenty of these using the gin recipe from your book. After watching this, I immediately made a pair of these with cognac. Very nice variation. I see you used Remy VSOP -- I defy anyone to tell the difference between VS and VSOP in this drink! :-) --George

Manhattan Cocktail - Stirred vs. Shaken 14 Dec 2010
10:35 am

Actually, I find that a Manhattan is one of the "safest" drinks to order in a bar -- usually I get something good. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I don't recall getting a glass of swamp water like we see above. On the other hand, I've been brought way too many shaken martinis. (Maybe that's Ian Fleming's fault?) I've never tried this with anything other than Angustura bitters, but Robert seems to be suggesting to try others. Any suggestions?

Corpse Reviver #2 Cocktail 26 Oct 2010
1:59 pm

This is a fabulous cocktail, wonderfully made by Mr. Hess. It is just amazing how the flavors blend to make something new, and I agree with Robert that you must have the dash of absinthe. Robert -- your bottle of Lillet Blanc looks very different from what we buy here. Ours look like this: http://www.cocktaildb.com/ingr_galleryDetail?id=480&assetID=1016 Is yours a different product? Does Lillet market it differently in different regions? Thanks, --George

Tom Collins Cocktail 19 Oct 2010
7:38 am

Beefeater 24 is awesome gin. A 6-to-1 dry martini with Beefeater 24 and Lilet makes a really awesome martini. I probably have 20 varieties in my gin cabinet right now, from London Drys, to a handful of American types, and stuff in between. But what really pisses me off is Beefeater's refusal to allow this wonderful product to be marketed across the US. Did you get your's in Washington? AFAICT, it's only sold in NY and California, so if they are expanding I would love to hear it. I live in Texas, and our largest chain (SPECS) doesn't carry it and can't order it. I went to a local shop that caters to customer service. They tried to order it for me and were told that Beefeater forbids its sale outside of its marketing area, in a deliberate attempt to produce a false sense of scarcity. It's really awesome gin. But Beefeater's marketing people seem like idiots.

Tom Collins Cocktail 21 Oct 2010
6:26 am

Robert, Thanks for that news! Perhaps my conclusion about their marketing savvy was premature. My apologies if it was off the mark, and here's a big tip of the glass to Beefeater-24. --George

Margarita Cocktail 23 Feb 2010
8:12 am

I'm sorry I was too busy to get in on this discussion up front, since this is such an important drink. Personally, I make mine 4-3-2, straight up and no salt. But that's just my taste. I also want to second the plug for Cavalino. I really don't think there's a better quality-to-price tequila around. The problem is that it's just so hard to get one of these! It seems like I can count on one hand the number of bars that will use fresh lime juice. I recently went to a very fancy (non chain) restaurant at one of this country's premier ski resorts. I wasn't going to have a drink, but the waitress really talked up their margaritas. So I told her that I'd be happy to have one if they made me a real margarita, and I spelled it out: pick me any nice tequila, use Cointreau and not cheap triple-sec, and use *fresh* lime juice, straight up, no salt. I even told her to charge whatever she liked (since I was on an expense account.) Otherwise, just bring me a beer. The waitress returned with a passable margarita, but she was really upset, because the bartender essentially refused to make it, and told her she'd have to mash limes herself if that's what she wanted. I'd guess the "world-class" margaritas they were pushing were just glasses of lime-ade with expensive tequila wasted in there. It just points out how hard it is to get a real margarita made. In fact, this is in line with my entire cocktail experience. I essentially can't stand to go out to drink anymore, since I've learned to make such great drinks at home. Perhaps one bar in 100 will do things right, and it's just not worth the pain to find those. Sucks. --George

Margarita Cocktail 7 Mar 2010
8:09 am

The reason I prefer Cointreau to Gran Marnier is because the Gran Marnier, by bringing brandy into the equation, adds a little extra complexity. Sometimes that's a good thing, but with a refreshingly simple drink like a Margarita I think it's out of place. To me, drinking a Margarita should be a relaxing experience that makes your mouth say "tequila". With Gran Marnier, there is more going on and it's distracting :-). I think the reason bars often call this a "cadillac" Margarita is because you're getting Gran Marnier instead of some disgusting bottom-shelf triple-sec, not because it is substituting for Cointreau, which costs almost as much. So, I'd usually choose Cointreau over Gran Marnier, but I'd take Gran Marnier over the discount triple-sec every time. Unfortunately, most bars just dump them into 12 oz of lime-ade with a shot of tequila, and then I can't tell the difference.

Scofflaw Cocktail 30 Nov 2009
6:35 am

Stirred not shaken? This seems to violate the famous Robert Hess rule for shaken-vs-stirred. Maybe you were just having fun?

Rob Roy Cocktail 27 Jul 2009
10:34 am

Robert, Another excellent episode! Actually, I prefer bourbon whiskey to either rye or scotch in this drink, but all are good :-). Can you do something about the drinkboy web site? Your poor IIS is barfing furballs all over the screen, and I've really come to depend on that site! Although I have your book, I need the hyperlinks! --George

Rob Roy Cocktail 27 Jul 2009
10:47 am

"if you use bourbon instead of scotch