New Arrivals!

Posted by TraderTiki on August 23rd, 2007 — Posted in Bilge, Tasting

Hooray!

A new bottle of an as of yet tasted liquor is like a newborn child.  So much life to live, so many experiences and joys and failures.  Even a new bottle of what is regularly stocked can be like a dear friend, ready to sit and reminisce, or forge through new adventures.

And so, I am proud to announce a few new additions to the Shelf.

Fees Cordials and Bitters

I contacted Joe Fee of Fee Brothers a while back, as I was looking for sponsors for Tiki Kon.  After a few exchanges, we traded information, and care packages!  I sent a Tiki Kon 2007 mug, CD, and program (available for purchase at the Tiki Kon store), and soon received two great packages of Bitters and Cordials!

A few comments, of course, are to follow.  The first being that I am absolutely in adoration of Fees Old Fashioned Bitters.  It’s a really nice clove, allspice, woody taste to add into almost any old favorite where bitters are called for.  Angostura has its place, pretty much all over the place, but it’s so nice to have options and new ingredients available.  Along with Fees, and their amazing selection of bitters (mint, lemon, orange, grapefruit), There’s also Regan’s Orange Bitters, Stirring’s product line, Peychaud’s, and the list marches on.  Selection fantastique!  I’ m so very excited to have their bitters in my dirty little fingers.  I’m expecting to kick the mint in my mojito, make my martini a classic, stir up the grapefruit in a salty dog, and whatever mysteries can be unlocked with the lemon.

Okay, enough praise about the bitters.  Now, the cordials… what to say.  Well, I’ll just say I haven’t opened them yet.  Being an advocate of fresh squeezed juices, I must say I’m a bit halted in my willingness to accept almost any syrup not made in my home kitchen.  But, I’m more than willing to give their stuff a fair shake.  There’s even the suggestion on the bottles to mix the flavorings with rum or vodka to make a nice liqueur, and a few drink recipes.  I will say, however, that their Falernum is very strong on the clove and lime.  The orgeat and American beauty grenadine I’ve yet to try, but will definitely have to do a taste test.  Ever since I started making my own grenadine, well, life changed a bit, and my tongue got a lot redder.

The next arrival had me literally running towards the poor UPS delivery man.  I’m sure that man hasn’t had such fear in his eyes since the last Harry Potter novel came out.   Many thanks to Chuck Taggart for pointing out to me that Drinkupny.com had these in stock, with free shipping over $50.

Lucid, and that damn beautiful St. Germain bottle

 I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am.  Part of it may stem from the abundance of recipes from my bookshelf calling for Absinthe, not to mention its use in just about every damn Don the Beachcomber drink there is (Rum + drop of Absinthe + dash of bitters =  a Donn Beach recipe!).  I had to break into it tonight, just had to.  Understand, my palate is not versed in Absinthe, having only had a bit of “the czech stuff” ages ago.  But I am a huge fan of strong anise Pastise liqueurs.  Pernod on the rocks is a fantastic summer favorite.  Add some seltzer to Pernod for a real refreshing drink.  But man oh man, there’s something special about the real deal.  The color is a surprisingly gentle green, with a very sweet and calmly herbal smell, of course, with a nice hit of Anise.  The cork had turned green from the liquor.  The taste, when straight, was very nice, with the bit of alcoholic burn alongside the herbs and anise, as is, I believe, the way it should be.  Of course, I had to drip it in the traditional style.  The louche was spectacular, exploding in a cloud which expanded throughout the glass, a tiny universe of oils and delight spreading through the glass.  The taste has something spectacular to it.  More than just the flavor, there is a mouth/lips/head/throat feel to it, leeching through the skin into the bloodstream, soon taking away all pain in a haze of green-tinted glory.

It’s damn fine stuff.

 The St. Germain I had to get after seeing Martin Cate using it in a cocktail competition, the internet exploding about it, and, on Looka, probably the best reaction to anything ever.  I’ll be sampling this soon, with full review.

 


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