Saturday, May 9, 2009

Luxardo Maraschino

Finally. After two years of searching through several states, my local liquor store has special ordered a case of luxardo maraschino for me to try out. Unfortunately, i had already ordered a bottle of it online, but oh well. I was a bit surprised, because on a previous occasion (at Details) i had tried the Luxardo Maraschino and been surprised to find almost no cherry-flavor - just the overwheleming burn of alcohol. However, after trying a bottle that i have bought myself, i do taste the cherry after all - it's just not a pronounced cherry flavor that you find at the front - it's more in the back. Surprisingly, as i noted before, the cherry flavor does come through quite well in mixed drinks.

What i did, specifically, was to try a drink made with the luxardo and without the luxardo. I made, basically, a daquiri (sweetened a bit for modern times, with simple syrup) and a version of the florida daquiri (sweetened half with simple syrup and half with luxardo). Could i tell the difference? Yes. The cherry flavor comes in pretty well - although you only taste it after the sourness of the lime juice. I can definitely see why luxardo would be a nice liqeueur to mix with, and why it was so popular way back when. Will definitely be trying it out in a number of different drinks - especially the "old" version of the Aviation - which is made with creme de violette - which will be coming in the mail at some time in the near future.

If you're any kind of serious mixologist, you should definitely have a bottle of luxardo maraschino laying around for making "real" drinks. Taking a look at the website, it is featured in 211 classic drinks - compare to Cointreau - an obviously popular liqueur - which is featured in 226 drinks. I'm just happy that after a few years i was able to get a bottle or two of the alcohol to play around with. Just wish stupid Ohio would revise its idiotic liquor laws.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Return to Details

Here I am with some picture, finally. Pictures taken with my digital camera that i thought i would use a whole lot more but then didn't. But here they are. Details, if you remember, is the new "bartender's" bar in Columbus, where the bartenders and staff are a whole lot more professional than the ones you will find at most other places in Columbus. I ordered two drinks from there, the Aviation and the Singapore Sling. Both drinks are ones that I think show a good bit of thoughtfulness.

The Aviation, i was surprised at, in part, because I had spent the previous week trying Luxardo Maraschino and Creme de Violette by themselves - and let me note that I was not particularly impressed. The Luxardo does not taste much of cherry when drunk on it's own (in part because of the high alcohol content), and the Creme de Violette, while very perfumey, tastes like cotton candy and/or artificial grape flavoring. Mixing them up with something sour (or diluting them to reduce the alcohol content), however, apparently makes their flavor more apparent. You start to taste cherry more, and the perfume of the creme de violette becomes something that you taste more in the drink.

At Details, the Aviation (as noted) is made with Creme de Violette. The way that they serve it, is unique - the Creme de Violette is carefully slipped into the bottom of the drink - and moreover, some Creme de Violette is also shaken in with the rest of the ingredients as well. The effect, i think, is great. Towards the end, you start to really taste the effect of various intensities of Creme de Violette in the drink. But at the same time, you still get to taste some of the perfume from the beginning. It was an extra added effect that I think showed some real thoguhtfulness on the part of the bartender.

The second drink i ordered was the Singapore Sling - a drink that I've made a few times myself. When i first saw the drink, I thought they made it wrong. I make mine with Cherry Heering - and the result is that the drink takes on a pinkish hue. The bartender assured me that they do in fact use a cherry brandy when they make their drinks - but it is one that is kept a secret. (He suggested it was made in-house or something along those lines). The drink was made with freshly squeezed juices - which was interesting, in part because you got a lot more "pulp" from the pineapple juice. The only thing I guess i missed was more cherry flavor - I didn't really seem to taste it as much as I would've liked. Then again, they're making it using their own cherry brandy, and if they want to de-emphasize the cheery, then that is fine. It was a tasty drink nonetheless.

Definitely check the place out if you're ever in Columbus.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Old Overholt

Old Overholt. Probably the most inexpensive rye whiskey that you could ever get. If you're obsessed with making drinks the historically accurate way, then it's a cheap way to make a Manhattan correctly. And it does make a good Manhattan.

How does it taste? It's not enormously complex. Sweet, but not very full-bodied. Some have described the taste as similar to sunflower seeds. I can't disagree with that - but think sunflower seeds sans the "roasted" and "buttery" flavors. Although not very full-bodied, it is distinctive. The taste could be a turn-off when drunk straight, but it is quite mixable.

I'll think of a special drink for it in a bit.


A fellow cocktail blogger in columbus (Pegudoug) informed me that a real bartender's bar had just opened up in December - it's called Details, and it is a pretty nice place. Perhaps next time i visit i will bring my camera to take pictures. Unfortunately i was able to only order one drink on the menu (i was already kinda drunk at the time i visited). I ordered a Manhattan, and they made it with Maker's Mark, Vya Sweet, Fee Bros. aged bitters, and some Luxardo Maraschino cherries. She made it to order (i ask for heavy on the bitters), and the only problem was that i'm pretty sure she shook the drink instead of stirring it. I must say it was nice to find a place that didn't use Stock or Gallo vermouth in their drink mixing - which in some sense puts it above the rest already. In addition to this, the bartenders were pretty friendly and knowledgeable. I asked to taste the vya sweet by itself, along with luxardo maraschino and creme de violette, and they were more than happy to oblige.

I give the place an 8.5/10 - but i'll be heading back there again, with a camera, to try the place out again.