Matt Joy

since February 2010


Manhattan Cocktail 26 Apr 2010
10:22 pm

I most certainly agree with Will about an episode on vermouth. I was just recently in Bevmo and discovered there were brands other than M&R.  I wanted to buy one of each, but eventually showed restraint.  A little education and direction there would be wonderful.  Also on this show, you pull out a bunch of bitters and say you like them, but then say “enough about bitters…”    I want to hear more on bitters!  LOL.  I was perusing kegworks and and saw all the bitters by fee brothers and am very curious, but read some reviews elsewhere that said the fee brothers bitters were more syrupy or flavorings than true bitters.  The orange trio of Fee Bros, angostura and Regans will be what I buy first, but I would like to know which bitter brands work best in which cocktails and if there are any you use interchangeably or if you have one brand of bitters in mind for each drink you make with no exceptions.  Do you like the Stirrings blood orange bitters? Are all the Fee brothers bitters worth investing into?

Manhattan Cocktail 26 Apr 2010
10:29 pm

I have come to love the Manhattan! I definitely made it poorly a few times, but now it is quite possibly my favorite drink and one I can make consistently well.  The version I like the most, personally, borrows from the old fashion a bit.  I keep your ratios here, but add .25 oz cherry juice to the liquids being stirred. I prefer to add my bitters to a chilled glass before straining and not stir or shake them. I also add an orange twist making one full pull from around the orange making sure to get as much express oils in the glass as I can. I use an oversize glass for this and enjoy the orange overtones and slight sweetness mixed with the strength of the whiskey, and I usually go heavy on the bitters seeing as I enjoy them so much.  I use angostura with makers mark and peychauds with rye. Two distinctly different drinks, I think, but both everything I love about the Manhattan :)

Black Feather Cocktail 23 Feb 2010
8:45 pm

Mr. Hess!  I’m a huge fan!  I’ve only recently discovered your show as of late, quite by accident actually on another site of recipes that includes every variation under the sun on how to not make a cocktail, lol.  I was immediately drawn to your shows by your meticulous attention to balance and method of preparation.  Soooo many recipes are vague and leave room for error. I appreciate your explanation of why you do what you do and how it makes a better cocktail.  My question is:  Have you compared Patron Citronge with Cointreau? I understand they are both in the triple sec category, but you can get a 750ml of the Patron for about the same price as a 375ml of cointreau.  As for many, Cointreau is a bit out of budget for myself and the Patron seemed to be a better deal per volume. Have you compared the two at all?
  Also as a side note:  Using egg white in a whiskey sour is pure genius, I will never make it any other way!

Mojito Cocktail 2 Mar 2010
6:44 pm

Mr. Hess,  I just recently found a person selling an Ebaloy juicer, but he has two models. Both have a removable crush plate, but one is dome shaped with a slight indent at the top and another has the typical star pattern usually seen on manual juicers where you twist the fruit back and forth over the top of it. I was wondering which of the two your model has and if you think either would be particularly better than the other seeing as this is a press and no twisting is involved?  I only have 2 days to decide, if you see this in time and are able to reply quickly I would be most appreciative and grateful.  Thanks!

Wet Martini Cocktail 21 Mar 2010
12:22 pm

Robert,  I agree with you on not liking the rinse and dump method. Just about every bar tender “in the biz” says they make their martinis that way and the last time I ordered a Manhattan at a local bar they also did the rinse and dump with the bitters before straining the drink in.  Like you’ve said, finding a mixologist that appreciates the craft in the world of speed pours and fast cash is hard.  Thanks again :)

Wet Martini Cocktail 2 Mar 2010
10:41 pm

Mr. Hess, again, loving your site!  When I first found an interest in mixology I set out to make a classic martini with Gin and Dry Vermouth, garnished with an olive.  Per the folk lore of James Bond I did shake my first one, but more grievously I used a well grade gin along with Martini&Rossi; Dry Vermouth. I do like that brand of Vermouth quite well, but found Seagrams gin quite atrocious in a martini. I almost vowed off of martinis, and gin, altogether until I decided that the quality of gin was likely at fault. Being a lover of bourbon I know the spirit can make or break the drink. I’ve come to find that I enjoy Tanqueray a lot and something new I’ve discovered, New Amsterdam Gin, pleases my palate quite pleasantly with a much better price tag to boot.
  The whole sweet vermouth version is new to me and I’ve not experimented much with the perfect version of anything, I will be trying those soon!
  For such a quintessential drink I was hoping for a little more on the craft of a martini in your video. Per the feedback, the whole inclusion of the vermouth in the mix, rinse and toss and even frosting of a glass with vermouth, olive brine or even onion brine for a Gibson martini is something I would have liked to see demonstrated. Would you possibly consider a follow up video to demonstrate the popular variations of how to make a modern martini as well as any extra craft tricks of the trade to enhance or modify a martini to taste?
  So far, my two favorite martini recipes are: 
1.    .5oz Martini&Rossi; Vermouth shaken over 4 ice cubes. Add 2oz Tanqueray or New Amsterdam Gin and stir with 4 more ice cubes. Strain into a martini glass that has been coated with brine from vermouth soaked cocktail onions. Garnish with one cocktail onion and one vermouth soaked olive. Both onion and olive products I use come pre-brined from World Market.

2.  Frost a martini glass generously with Dry Vermouth. ( Takes me about 15-20 minutes of checking back on the glass in the freezer to swirl and frost the vermouth until all liquid has frozen on the body of the glass.)  Add 1.5oz Tanqueray Rangpur Gin that has been quickly stirred to cold before too much dilution from the ice occurs. Garnish with a Vermouth Olive.  *I prefer to keep this version lighter on all compliments to the gin since the Rangpur Gin is light on heat and heavy on botanicals/lime and is easily overwhelmed by other ingredients.

Side note- I’ve seen you and a few others use/recommend Plymouth gin and I plan to pick up a bottle soon to see what it is like.
  Pardon a second request, but would you ever consider a video in which you describe/compare your top 3 or so brands of base spirit in each category?  I’m at a loss of which brand of cognac/brandy I should start with for a sidecar and would feel more comfortable trying to make new drinks if I had a “safe bet” brand of base spirit to work with for any given drink.  Thank you in advance for indulging my long winded comment!!!

Wet Martini Cocktail 14 Jun 2010
9:37 pm

Benjamin D. , I just recently purchased the Bianco vermouth and was pleasantly surprised with how tasty it is in a martini and shocked at how it makes the martini a very different drink from the M&R extra dry. I definitely favor a gibson martini with bianco as opposed to a dry with an olive, but still enjoy it. I just got some regans #6 orange bitters after hounding bevmo to restock it, so I look forward to trying these recipes in their entirety now :)