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Joe Riley

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About Joe Riley

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  • Birthday 09/12/1965

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  1. WOW! Break out the Depends ®, folks, I may have just wet myself. This is FANTASTIC news! (er, about the Herbsaint that is, not my excitable incontinence.)
  2. Dear Lord, wouldn't THAT be cool? I'd stock that in a hearbeat.
  3. They told you that it's Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Elmer T. Lee's 90th birthday this year? It's true. I'm guessing that this isn't what they told you, and it's practically a non-sequitor, but I'm throwing it out there anyway. How about.......... they're putting together gift-sets with sweet glassware to enjoy your Herbsaint with? Do I win a white carnation?
  4. Oh, no fair! NO FAIR! *Grumble, grumble, grumble....*
  5. I'm very impressed with the high-quality of this work, great job Ron! I would be proud to offer these in my store to any and all folks who are absinthe-curious.
  6. The craft bartenders who I know tell me that simple syrup dissolves better in cold water than sugar cubes, and I'm told that "everyone" in New Orleans uses simple syrup to prepare Sazeracs for the paying public, but there's something about using a sugar cube as a kind-of target for the Peychaud bitters to adhere to that I find appealing. I know that some dislike the grittiness of sugar cubes, though, and I do like the idea of fine-tuning a cocktail with s.s. vs. a cube. Frankly I'm happy either way. As for alternatives to s.s., I'm a huge fan of Martinique cane sugar syrup from Petite Canne, which is 67% sugar, as opposed to, say, the cane sugar syrup from DePaz, which is only 50% sugar. I also like agave nectar, and the one that I use is from Partida.
  7. The high degree of misinformation about absinthe is, of course, staggering, but as a spirits purveyor, it doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I get comments from educated, upper-middle-income folks such as, "I like that Bourbon because it's a straight Bourbon, not a sour-mash." (...slaps forehead..) Honestly, universities should be offering wine and spirits 101 as a 4th-year elective or something. Maybe I've just been dealing with this for too long, but I DO credit the Internet for making good information available for those who take the time to find it and educate themselves. This site does a tremendous service in that regard. I would no sooner buy an absinthe either for myself or for my store that hadn't been thoroughly "vetted" by WormwoodSociety.org because the people here are spending their OWN money in pursuit of a pleasure that is very important to them. The reputation of WWS is impeccable. For that matter, if you are interested in rum, you go to MinistryOfRum.com, and if you are interested in Bourbon, you go to StraightBourbon.com. These sites exist for a reason. In the Internet age, the old expression, "Buyer beware" can be amended to "Lazy buyer beware". The information is there, just take five minutes and find it.
  8. If you can buy Duplais or Vieux Pontarlier where you are, then you should be able to buy Mansinthe (in theory, anyway) as they have the same U.S. importer. Worth checking out, it might be able to be special-ordered for you.
  9. In the immortal words of "Hans un Franz", listen to me now and believe me later: Leopold Brothers spirits, especially their absinthe, sincerely do NOT suck. They do not suck in as extreme a sense as I can possibly express. They are major examples of non-suckitude. Before the end of this month, I plan upon taking a serious position on Leopold Brothers spirits. There is nothing there not to love. Are you a vodka drinker? Boom, they have you covered, and covered very nicely. Gin drinker? Bang, their gin will rock you to your very core. Rum? Whiskey? Fruit liqueurs? Yes, yes, and oh, yes. The absinthe? Oh, my..... this is a proud example of American spirits achievement. First-rate, great louche, beautiful aromas and it delivers the goods in the flavor department. Shabba, you are a master of understatement, the Leopold Brothers absinthe goes straight to the first tier, in the exalted company of Marteau and.....? Folks, I don't pretend to have the vast breadth and depth of absinthe experience and knowledge as many others on this forum do, but if I may be permitted to paraphrase the late Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, great absinthe may be difficult for me to define, but I know it when I taste it. These folks are serious and innovative, and I cannot wait for what they have planned to release next. If anyone doubts that this company can possibly be producing so many diverse spirits at such a high level, then I say get thee hence to a bar or restaurant which features these spirits and see for yourselves. Color me green and impressed.
  10. While this brief piece by author William Gurstelle ("Absinthe and Flamethrowers") is of some interest, the comments below the article run the gamut from soup to nuts to just-plain-nuts: http://www.boingboing.net/2009/06/09/absin...crazed-man.html The poster Salsaman does yeoman work of trying to bring reason and sense to the mix. He is trying to shed light on the subject, bless him. Love the accompanying artwork:
  11. The book's author is doing quite a lot of guest blogging on BoingBoing.net Perhaps that would be an avenue to address any misleading statements regarding absinthe, and clear up consumer confusion? It might even draw some visitors here to learn and educate themselves. Just a thought. *Edit: He even discusses his book's new review in the NYT on BoingBoing today: http://www.boingboing.net/2009/06/10/absin...nd-flameth.html
  12. Interesting write up here in "Serious Eats New York": L'Absinthe Brasserie-Restaurant review Here's the restaurant's own website: L'Absinthe Anyone been there? I did a search on this place on the forum here and didn't turn up anything, but...
  13. What is this? By the way, great to see you yesterday, Joe. If any of you are in the DC area, stop by his place. He's got an awesome selection, including many of the Del Maguey Mezcals (which are unbelievably hard to find), Fever Tree and Fentimans products, great scotches, and even Marteau! Man, you got me. I'll have to take a look in my control panel or something. Thanks for the mention, Brian. You're too kind! <script style="display: none;" src="http://shots.snap.com//client/inject.js?site_name=0" type="text/javascript">
  14. Actually Joe, there are a lot of licorice haters drinking absinthe now. We make a lot of converts. Once they get a chance to taste several well-balanced absinthes next to the anise-heavy mass-market brands, they find all the other flavors. Just last night I was sitting at a bar and someone asked the bartender about the absinthe drips he was making: Lost sale. It should have gone more like this: Of course, you're absolutely right, Gwydion, and I've learned a lot in a short time, but I think at the time, my biggest concern was fear that I'd talk customers into spending $55-70 on a bottle and have them hate it, and return the bottles, now topped off with buyer's remorse. I did sell quite a lot of absinthe when it first arrived, with Lucid on the counter, then Kübler, but I also encouraged customers to go to some of the better bars and restaurants in town which I knew were carrying it, and try some, especially in a cocktail. If they liked that, then I could sell them some for home use. Lately, I'm beginning to think that Mata Hari might be just the right absinthe for folks who dislike licorice/star anise. I hate to use the term "starter", because I'd rather sell someone a traditional Swiss/French style absinthe to introduce them to it. <script style="display: none;" src="http://shots.snap.com//client/inject.js?site_name=0" type="text/javascript">