since July 2011


Apricot Cocktail 14 Aug 2011
3:58 pm

I got the Bitter Truth “Bitters Travellers” set for a present. Their aromatic bitters is amazing in an Old Fashioned. I have tried both the creole and celery bitters in a Daiquiri believe it or not and thought the latter went quite well with it.

How to Stir a Cocktail - Martini 27 Jul 2011
3:33 pm

No bitters? :(

I’m always worried with stirring that I’ll crack off some of the ice whilst stirring and end up with shards in the glass. For this reason I tend to be delicate with stirring, perhaps too delicate.

@Charlie, I had a Manhattan made for me that was stirred in the Boston shaker tin but it was put sitting into a mixing glass filled with ice and water. I thought it was a bit odd and perhaps unnecessary. The bartender may have just been adding a little extra theatre or something.

Daiquiri Cocktail 27 Jul 2011
3:43 pm

I usually drink Havana Club 3yr and have always used that for drinks such as this. Recently I splashed out on Appleton Estate 8yr and my was I overwhelmed. Hugh difference and I struggled with the drink a bit. I’m not sure if a darker and older aged rum such as that is suitable for a drink like this or if I just have to tinker with the ratios to find a suitable one.

Daiquiri Cocktail 28 Jul 2011
8:34 am

Thanks for the reply. Yeah I think I’d have to agree that sometimes with a different spirit you need to adjust the ratios. Havana 3yr to Appleton 8yr is quite a leap in flavour.

I can happily report that after many years of Barcardi dominating the market Havana Club has now found its way into many bars, off-licenses and supermarkets. It has seemingly succeeded on name alone since there is very little advertising and marketing versus the former’s massive campaigns.

If it is of any consolation, here in Ireland it can be very hard to get good American whiskey - many supermarkets and off-licenses usually only stock Jim Beam or Jack Daniels and if you find Maker’s Mark anywhere it’s usually at least €35! That isn’t to say I can’t get hold of bourbons but the cheapest other than the previously mentioned that I can find is Bulleit which is €30.

Tequilla is another spirit that can be hard to come by. I mean, you can of course get Olmeca as well as Jose Cuervo mixtos in many places and unfortunately this is most people’s introduction to tequilla. 100% can be hard to find and when you do find it is quite expensive. See:

E**X**R and Ginger 15 Aug 2011
4:36 pm

When did you start drinking the drinks you make?

I thought what set your show apart from others is that you didn’t drink them but rather sat them down at the end for a nice closing shot. I must say though it is nice to get some tasting notes and a bit of a review especially for rarer drinks like this.

E**X**R and Ginger 16 Aug 2011
4:20 pm

Robert, you bring up a good point here about drinking drinks. All of your shows have rightly focused on making the drink but I wonder about the drinking and it’s not something covered much in your book.

When making drinks at home I like to use good large measures of booze such as your recipes however after a couple of these they have their effect! I know your quote about drinking to get drunk but have you any suggestions as to how someone can enjoy a night of mixing drinks and drinking mixed drinks without ending up too drunk to be able to mix drinks properly?

I try to drink a pint or so of water between drinks which can help sometimes….

Manhattan Cocktail - Stirred vs. Shaken 27 Jul 2011
4:06 pm

Just to touch on something blair fordelius has said, how do people here (and Robert specifically) feel about the addition of Maraschino Liqueur into this cocktail?

Manhattan Cocktail - Stirred vs. Shaken 27 Jul 2011
6:27 pm

Thanks again for the reply Blair.

With maraschino in a Manhattan it may resemble slightly the Brooklyn cocktail: though of course that calls for Amer Picon…

However, I think I have read that a Jerry Thomas recipe for the Manhattan called for Maraschino liqueur though I couldn’t tell you the quantity.

I have tried adding a small amount (5-7mls/bar spoon) to Robert’s recipe and I did indeed find it a bit too sweet for my liking. I also tried adding a small amount to a perfect manhattan but I wasn’t impressed with the outcome. I’m thinking perhaps it shouldn’t be there or I don’t like it or maybe I just need to find the right ratio.

Manhattan Cocktail - Stirred vs. Shaken 28 Jul 2011
8:27 am

Thanks Robert. Re: Jerry’s recipe there, he says shake?!  :o

I did get a Manhattan with a dash of Maraschino Liqueur once in a bar in Cardiff, Wales. It was much sweeter.

Ps. I wouldn’t dream of adding cocktail cherry juice to my Manhattan! :)

Irish Coffee 15 Aug 2011
4:44 pm

@Mike Leigh re: spoon in the glass. Leaving a metal object such as a spoon in a glass/cup of hot liquid will absorb the heat and start to cool down the drink. Sometimes when I make a hot whiskey I leave the spoon in the glass if I want to drink it quicker ie. with the spoon the liquid cools down quicker and thus I can drink it sooner than having to wait for it too cool.

Leaving a spoon in the glass of an Irish Coffee will not only cool it down but it will mess up the cream layer.

Mint Julep Cocktail 27 Jul 2011
6:38 pm

Has anyone an opinion on washing mint before use? I buy supermarket bagged mint and the packaging suggests a rinse or wash prior to use. I find this can have a tendency to “wake up” some of the mint and release flavour.

I shall have to look in to storing the leaves in a container with a napkin.

Margarita Cocktail 30 Jul 2011
3:48 pm

Getting a 100% agave tequila at an affordable price in the same way you can get a good gin or whiskey is hard.

Here in Ireland the cheapest 100% agave tequila is Arette at about $44 (€30). This I would consider affordable. As I say though, this is the cheapest, the price sky rockets after that with many costing upwards of $70. In the UK it’s slightly better but still the proliferation of mixtos such as Jose Cuevero I think does more to harm tequila. Demand isn’t created for more quality tequilas since people are going for the cheap stuff and I think the cheap stuff can turn people off tequila.

I just think it’s unfortunate, I mean you can pick up plenty of quality rums without breaking the bank, same with gin and when it comes to whisky there is ample promotion of Scottish single-malt and better quality whiskies which I think helps the industry greatly.

Old Fashioned Cocktail 31 Jul 2011
4:20 pm

There is something Robert said in his book about the Old Fashioned and that was that it is possible that at some point int he late 1800s someone went into a bar and asked for a “whiskey cocktail, the old fashioned way”. We read that one of the first definitions of a cocktail was “spirit, bitters, sugar and water”.

From these two points I would suggest substituting bourbon or rye not for a different spirit but for a different style of whiskey.  By different style I mean Irish :)

I have often tried using Irish whiskey in bourbon cocktails to much success I think. A Redbreast old fashioned is very nice indeed - one of only two pure pot still Irish whiskeys - with a robust complex flavour. Bushmills Black Bush is one of the sweeter Irish whiskeys which I think goes very well in Manhattans.

Old Fashioned Cocktail 21 Aug 2011
10:53 am

I tried an old fashioned with Peychauds and Irish whiskey - Powers. It was very nice.

Mai Tai Cocktail 28 Jul 2011
8:52 am

Has anyone any opinions on using Cointreau here instead of a Curacao? I don’t like to have too many duplicate spirits and usually go for Cointreau since I find it better for other cocktails. I am quite confused about the difference between triple secs and curacaos to be honest though.

I understood that Cointreau was a premium triple sec-style made with a neutral grain spirit while something like Grand Marnier was a more premium curacao-style liqueur using Brandy. I got really confused though recently when I saw Gabriel Boudier “Triple Sec/Curacao”

I was able to find a shop selling this Teisseire Orgeat/Almond syrup - it actually says both orgeat and almond on the label. I’m not sure if there’s a difference however it is cloudy and I think Robert said something before about orgeat always being cloudy.

Mai Tai Cocktail 28 Jul 2011
10:33 am

Thanks again. I had a read of that site yesterday funnily enough after an internet search.

That the Gabriel Boudier is called “Curacao Triple Sec” adds confusion to my confusion!

Manhattan Cocktail 27 Jul 2011
4:24 pm

At a point in the video you say “Well enough about bitters…”

Actually, I’d like you to do a show wholly on bitters where you talk of what different types of bitters you could add to what different types of drinks. I’ve got the mini kit from Bitter Truth which includes their aromatic, chocolate, orange, creole and celery . That’s a lot of bitters and I would love some ideas or guidance on what drinks I could maybe add them to.

Also, I am tempted to purchase the Fee Brothers Mint bitters to try in Mojitos and Mint Juleps. Has anyone tried this?

Manhattan Cocktail 27 Jul 2011
5:24 pm

Thanks for the replies Dinah and blair.

I’m just curious about people’s results good or bad about putting different types of bitters into different things. I’ve read that peach bitters often goes well in bourbon cocktails.

Thanks for the heads up blair. I’ve just been tempted by it. My off-licence shop I go to has a good half dozen or so of the Fee Bros. bitters in the window and I’m somewhat intrigued by the mint one for some reason.

Manhattan Cocktail 28 Jul 2011
8:26 am

Thank you for the replies Robert.

Good point about taking the Old Fashioned and trying different bitters in it. I shall try that.

It’s kinda funny, could you have imagined a few years ago a time when you might say there are too many bitters now?! :)

I suppose maybe even just a show perhaps on your favourites. For me, I’m just mixing drink at home but fancy venturing out beyond Angostura. I’ve got the Bitter Truth’s traveler’s set:

Aviation Cocktail 28 Jul 2011
9:15 am

There is something available from Teissere called Sirop de violette which appears to be violette syrup as opposed to a liqueur. I don’t know much about it all or if there’s much difference between the ingredient called for in the Aviation recipe and the syrup.

Aviation Cocktail 4 Aug 2011
1:26 am

I can get my hands on Benoit Serres Liqueur de Violette. That will do for this drink won’t it?

Aviation Cocktail 8 Aug 2011
1:22 am

In Ted Haigh’s book ‘Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails’ he writes:

“The original Aviation had both maraschino and Creme Yvette, giving the drink a sky ting in keeping with the name, but by the drink’s heyday it was the light translucent recipe I display below. In the Aviation, it’s the earthy, clear, natural maraschino liqueur that makes the drink levitate.”

So apparently the drink originally had the creme yvette Dr. Caro so I’d say go with that! I’m contemplating whether or not to purchase a bottle of liqueur de violette.