since June 2011
15 Aug 20133:04 pm
Hey Robert, I’m loving the new episodes, and the viewer questions. This looks delicious; it’s too bad I put myself on a diet recently, so I can’t drink for the time being :(
One thing though: I noticed you mentioned that bitters are classified as non-potable, while showing the Bitter Truth bottle. But I thought I heard at some point that Bitter Truth brand bitters, despite being cocktail bitters, are actually legally classified as potable for some technical reason. Is this so, or is it just an urban legend?
9 Aug 20122:34 pm
As far as alternatives to Lillet, there’s an aperitif called Cocchi Americano that has a very similar flavor profile to Lillet, but with a slightly more pronounced bitterness. I’ve heard some people say it’s closer to the taste of Lillet Quina, or if there never was a change in bitterness, it’s just a slightly more bitter ingredient.
Either way it can be an interesting substitute in cocktails that call for Lillet. I personally prefer it, since it has a bit more of a fullness to it, while Lillet is lighter and can disappear in a cocktail more easily.
Old Fashioned Cocktail
4 Jun 20123:46 pm
When I first took an interest in making cocktails myself, right around when I started watching videos on Small Screen Network, I had pretty much nothing to work with. Now that some time has passed, I still use measuring spoons instead of jiggers, cut my twists using a knife instead of a peeler or channel knife, juice my citrus using a reamer that must be several decades old at least, and manage a small but versatile collection of spirits.
As I see it, if we’re going to have a show about the home bar, then it would seem most useful to people who are actually concerned about their home bars, to make a show that emphasizes how the average person might be able to make some really great drinks. Folks on this site like Robert Hess, Jamie Bodreau, Charlotte Voisey, and others put out great videos, but they’re clearly working with an enormous range of top of the line ingredients, equipment, and (in the case of Boudreau) technology. To talk about things like what specific spirits can work well in cocktails without breaking the bank, what ingredients can get the most mileage, how to make substitutions for rare or expensive ingredients, etc., would be a very helpful and informative alternative to that style of video.
This video, on the other hand, is just showing someone with all that same bar equipment making a cocktail, while the process is described. And the things that might be informative for someone who doesn’t already know how to make these drinks at home aren’t even mentioned (For example, you comment that it’s always best to make your own simple syrup, and that it’s too easy not to, without explaining how to do it. And you use those beautiful enormous round ice cubes without ever explaining how to make them (last I checked most people’s freezers don’t come with a setting for them).
No, I don’t actually expect this show to start explaining how to make fantastic cocktails without relying on a big supply of top-of-the-line equipment, since the two close ups of the KegWorks logo on the muddler suggest to me that showcasing all the fancy equipment you can buy and use at home is kind of the point of the show. But still, it seems like a show that can’t target its audience: If it’s for the sort of people who are already familiar with cocktails and frequent this site, then the brief instructions on how to make drinks like the Old-Fashioned really won’t be anything new or informative. And if it’s for someone who’s a novice to mixing drinks, then it glosses over and omits all the information that would be very helpful.
So yeah, I’m not going to offer suggestions on how to change this, since I’ll assume that like most shows the bulk, if not the entirety of it has been filmed already, but still, it all seems kind of unnecessary and disappointing.
22 Jun 20121:26 am
I think the easiest thing to do with an orange after you’ve used some of the peel, if you don’t want to make a drink that calls for orange juice, is to just eat the orange.
Likewise, I find that with lemons, if I’ve got one that I’ve cut some twists off of, if I don’t want to be boxed in to making a cocktail that uses it, then it’s always easy to just make a glass of lemonade. Especially since while one lemon might provide enough juice for three cocktails, you can make one glass of lemonade from that same amount of juice.