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About cocktailchronicles

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  • Birthday 07/08/1967

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  1. As the old re-jiggered Twain quote goes, rumors of Benedictine's demise -- in WA state, anyway -- were greatly exaggerated (including by me, I confess). Sure, they started to drop it from the rolls, and you'd see it with the bright CLOSEOUT tag on the shelves, but I still see it on a regular basis, listed as a regular item just like everything else; this status is reflected on the WSLCB website, which lists it in 5 stores -- not many, but at least it's out there. What happened? Who knows...but if you're looking for Benedictine for a Vieux Carre or a Cocktail a la Louisiane -- and if you aren't, then why the hell not? -- the stuff's still around. Mmmm...a la Louisiane. Excuse me, I need to go mix a drink.
  2. There is power in a union. Seriously, LTV stepped over a line; I'm more than happy to let a bad brand alone -- there are so many of them out there, it's just not worth my time to start pointing out those who are lame in some way -- but these guys just would not STOP. What they didn't realize is that we do actually talk to each other, and we can easily determine that a slew of "LTV is the KOOLEST!" comments are all coming from the same IP. Blame it on LTV, or on their marketing firm; either way, there was nasty behavior afoot and both were complicit. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for bed -- I have to be up in the morning for a phone chat with their PR firm's VP of marketing.
  3. Feel free to jump into the comments section over there, folks -- all too often the cluelessly hipper than thou commenters take over the forums at Serious Eats, it'd be good to see some actual experienced absinthe drinkers get into the conversation. Thanks for posting this, Gwydion--
  4. New York Times Fashion & Style Care for an Absinthe? Ptooey! By ERIC KONIGSBERG Published: January 4, 2009 This clear-green liquor used to be available only on the black market, but nowadays its exclusivity factor has faded.
  5. Thanks for the kind words, all--while the reporter mangled a few factual details, took a few things out of context and made some sweeping overgeneralizations that made me blush (perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to help him order and knock back a fleet of cocktails during the interview), all in all it wasn't a bad way to start the new year. Cheers!
  6. Not absinthe, but Bacardi 151 -- but the takeaway lesson is near the end, regarding her lawyer's approach to high-proof spirits: To revive the question that's brought up pretty often around here: how long until a flaming sugar cube drops into a glass of absinthe (or some other fire + absinthe mishap occurs), and we wind up seeing similar headlines regarding the green stuff? This story might not be a bad topic of discussion the next time you see a barkeep applying a Bic lighter to a glass.
  7. In the downtown area, the store at Thulow and Alberni is pretty good; of particular interest (to me, anyway) are the products from Giffard. These are exceptional French liqueurs; I believe that British Columbia is the only place in North America where they're distributed, and I try to pick up a bottle every time I'm north of the border. If you don't mind straying away from downtown, the store at 39th and Cambie is immense, the largest in town and with an excellent selection.
  8. If you've had Noilly Prat dry in France, you've had what we're about to get here. I brought a bottle back from France a couple of years ago, and it tasted like the sample of the "new" (read: old) blend they were serving at Tales of the Cocktail: very similar to the current blend, but deeper gold in color, slightly heavier body, more floral on the nose and somewhat more pungent. Still, it's Noilly Prat--you've got the same oxidized wine base that makes it so distinctive, along with the lemon peel & chamomile thing going on. The "new" (read: old) formula is a tweak, not a total change in formula. And, now we're getting what everybody else has had all along. It's kind of like being trusted to ride the vermouth without the training wheels. Though they are also raising the price--maybe they've already started in T73's neighborhood. I'm a Noilly Prat dry guy, all around--the others just don't hold a candle, in my opinion (though I should note I've never tried the Dolin, which has a big fan base in the Bay Area--once eas gets things rolling with them later this year, that should be a bit easier to find) And I use M&R for sweet, though really I'm a huge Carpano Antica fan. I'm spoiled now, and have a hard time drinking a Manhattan without it.
  9. Road trip! I'll be in Portland in late August. Hell, I'll be there in mid-September if it comes down to it.
  10. Thanks, everyone -- I hope to see many of you in New Orleans (where I'm sure to collect on those drinks )
  11. The Fairy Awakens I'm willing to move past the flaming sugar cube, but this really made me cringe: And the reporter seemed so intent on getting it right....