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Happily Stuck on One Cocktail...

Happens to me from time to time... get home, what cocktail would I like... hmmm, same thing as last night... repeat.

Currently stuck on Sazarac. I just can't seem to drink anything else for the last week or so.

What cocktails do you get stuck on?

My version of a Sazerac:

Line a small tumbler with (in my case house made) anis liquer and put in the freezer to chill

In a cocktail shaker:
1 oz Jim Beam Rye Whiskey
1 oz Rittenhouse Rye (I find the Rittenhouse too much on its own).
Dash of simple syrup
3 shakes of peychaud's bitters
Stir very vigorously for 3 minutes

Pull tumbler from freezer and thoroughly rub the rim with lemon zest, throw zest into glass (people vary on whether to include or discard the zest.

Strain cocktail into prepared tumbler.


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  1. Stir for 3 minutes? Wow you have amazing self control...

    I assume at some point you add ice cubes to the shaker?

    1. In August I got stuck for awhile on Negroni's and variations. then around end of August through Labor Day I got stuck on Manhattan variations, and the Vieux Carré. Right now I'm doing a several week detox, to end as the wine companies ramp up their fall tasting events.

      1. Negroni and variants probably accounted for 7 or 8 out of every 10 cocktails I consumed in the last year... So much to explore there. I'm not at all sick of it.

        3 minute stir -- wow indeed!

        Have you tried the Bitter Truth Creole Bitters? I like them as a nice change from Peychaud's. A bit more intensity.

        1. We went through a loooong phase - maybe three years or better - when the only things we drank were Greyhounds. LOTS of Greyhounds … if our friend Will and/or his then-fiancée came over we could go through a gallon of Tropicana grapefruit juice and a bottle of vodka in an evening. But we were twenty years younger, too … and this was in hot, muggy Nashville.

          Mrs. O is sticking mostly with Lemon Drops, while I vacillate between plain Scotch and water or an Instant Martini (frozen glass, frozen gin, refrigerated vermouth). If we have the makings and it's hot out, especially with company, we'll have gin and tonics. Another occasional shared one is a Sidecar. The thing most different from the Old Days, of course, is that while I might have a fair amount of wine, the only cocktail I'll have more than one of is restaurant Margueritas … the low-potency kind.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Will Owen

            what's a greyhound? The grapefruit juice and vodka parts sound yummy

            1. My Summer Drink is a gin buck: 2 parts gin, 1 part fresh lemon juice, and topped off with a 6 ounce bottle of Fever Tree Ginger Beer.

              3 Replies
              1. re: hawkeyeui93

                Hawkeye, the best Gin Buck I've ever had was made with St. George Dry Rye gin. Have you tried it?

                1. re: curseofleisure

                  I have not .... and now have another gin to try!

                  1. re: hawkeyeui93

                    At first I considered it the rye off gins. Now I've decided it's the Scotch of gins.

              2. I'm really stuck on the Martinez. I'm playing around with the amounts, but I'm liking them all!

                  1. Why stir 3 minutes? Research shows that equilibrium is hit at 35 seconds stirring.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: JMF

                      The long stir adds more water which is key to a great sazerac. I don't stir mine for 3 minutes, but I do stir for about a minute and a half. Striper - have you ever used more Peychaud's? I prefer mine with more, usually 7 dashes. I like the resulting color and taste much more. I'm always disappointed when a bar serves me a sazerac that's barely pink. I don't like limiting myself to one cocktail, but the sazerac is definitely my favorite, and whenever we're out drinking, it's my final drink of the night (unless I'm at a bar that I know can't make a proper one, but most of the places I frequent can).

                      1. re: kimfair1

                        In 35 seconds of stirring you get more than 90% of the way to temp. equilibrium, 95+% of the dilution. You have to stir for an additional 2-4 minutes to hit total equilibrium, if ever. The difference between 35 seconds of stirring and several minutes is miniscule. Take a good look at Dave Arnolds research on stirring, shaking, and dilution on his Cooking Issues blog.

                        1. re: JMF

                          Hmmmm, I may just have exaggerated the stirring a smidge, I do prefer a less pink Sazerac, and of course forgot to mention the ice.

                          I also seem to be getting hooked on Rye in general. Bourbon, my old fave, just seems too sweet these days.

                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            And I'm being too anal at times. I can't help it when it comes to cocktails. I think working in the cocktail lab in London, and two in NYC didn't help. Then building my own lab... I may be a bit overboard at times.

                    2. In response to you interrogatory, I usually also want to create something new everytime as it adds to my knowledge and tastes, but it is hard. I use Diffords, PDT, Bitters and Forgoten Cocktail the most for ideas. Here is one thing that does get me in a rut. As a home drinker and not a restaurant, every time I open any vermouth bottle I feel like every drink I make must contain it as we all know vermouth is degrading every day. Panic ensues when I have both dry and sweet opened! And if Carpano is opened with them if feel I must have a vermouth cocktail party. 50/50 Martinis, Manhattens, Martinez, Negronis, Algonkians usually come to mind first and are consumed the most as other cocktail call for other ingredients that I don't have. How about comments on Vermouth secondary and tersiary uses?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: DrinkinLife

                        I completely agree with this. I take several steps to ensure vermouth freshness. I only buy 375 ml bottles, I use a Vacu-Vin, and I keep the bottle in the fridge. Generally this mean the sweet vermouth is fine for six or more months, as the sugar content helps preserve it. I have only once had a bottle of sweet go off on me. I have found the dry loses sharpness after one month, but is tolerable for up to three months. So what I tend to do is have a list of vermouth forward drinks ready when I open a new bottle of Dry. Martini variations, drinks with vermouth as a base, or drinks where vermouth is a major component. After that, I try to put this style of drink aside until I buy a new bottle, and I only use it in cocktail's where only a small amount goes in, a half ounce or less, and the other flavors are strong, so the vermouth provides a minor accent. Once the vermouth has passed its usefulness here, I use it to cook chicken. I no, long thought process, but one must take vermouth seriously.

                      2. My cocktail of choice has been a very spicy Bloody Caesar since dinosaurs roamed the earth. If it ain't broke ...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: mtlcowgirl

                          Even, like, at night?

                          Reminds me of the advice a bartender friend was telling a new bartender: if someone orders a bloody after 4PM, card them.

                          1. re: Alcachofa

                            After 4pm, the bloody mary with the right garnish IS dinner.

                            1. re: TroyTempest

                              The jerky stick in Wisconsin provides the protein.

                        2. Yep, Stoli *Martini up, olives (just a few olives, no olive juice and certainly not dirty) NO vermouth. Just like you I got stuck on this a little while ago, let me think for a second..........yeah I think it was 1993!

                          1. Why not ask what cocktails we haven't been stuck on... would be a shorter list :)

                            Prolly my top ten:

                            Scotch and water
                            Bourbon and coke
                            Canadian and coke
                            Cuba Libre
                            Rum Runner
                            White Russian
                            Pina Colada
                            Several variations on my own Godiva - Chambord - Kahlua - Butterscotch concoction.

                            1 Reply
                            1. Great topic. Last summer I became fairly obsessed with making Mai Tais. I think the summer before it was margaritas and the summer before that daiquiris. Living in the Northeast, when the weather changes, I fine myself craving a sour cocktail.

                              That being said, a year doesn't pass when I don't go into a serious Manhattan phase, usually in the Fall/Winter. In fact, the last week or so I've been stuck on Old Fashioneds and pondering the unopened bottle of Carpano I have in my cabinet, so I think it's coming.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: tomjb27

                                Hah, you and I have similar tastes. I've also been stuck on aviations, grapefruit based drinks, whiskey sours, and Martinis.

                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                  Do you have something you would recommend in grapefruit based drinks? That would be something new for me. Actually, reading that I instantly thought of the Pegu Club (another "stuck on" cocktail from the past) which has that interesting grapefruit note (sans actual grapefruit).

                                  1. re: tomjb27

                                    Hemmingway's daiquiri comes to mind with lime, grapefruit, rum, and a smidge of Maraschino. Google the exact proportions and go light on the maraschino.

                                    1. re: tomjb27

                                      Here are the proportions of the Daiquiri that Hemmingway supposedly preferred:

                                      1 1/2 oz light rum
                                      1/4 oz maraschino liqueur
                                      3/4 oz lime juice
                                      1/4 oz grapefruit juice

                                      I also like grapefruit juice, some combination of rums, and ginger bitters.

                                      1. re: StriperGuy

                                        Thanks. This is a cocktail I've wanted to try, but I never have maraschino, so time to get some.

                                        1. re: tomjb27

                                          It's also great for making an Aviation

                                      2. re: tomjb27

                                        The bitter elder has grapefruit notes. A very delicious drink. http://www.kindredcocktails.com/cockt...

                                        1. re: quazi

                                          Another way to make faux grapefruit notes is Campari + Aperol + Lime. Dunno why, but it works a treat.

                                          And, yes, the Bitter Edler is magic. If anyone knows the real name for AmateurHour on Oh Gosh, I'd love to give credit where it's due.

                                          1. re: quazi

                                            That looks delicious. And I've been looking for a reason to buy St Germain. this thread is getting expensive.

                                            1. re: quazi

                                              One of my favorite drinks featuring St. Germain.

                                        2. re: tomjb27

                                          We are so alike, except we've been stuck on daiquiris for two summers now. What a simple, pure drink, just fresh lime, simple syrup, and light rum.

                                          For colder weather it's Manhattans; I usually make a batch of maraschino cherries each year during the short tart cherry season. It's truly the most beautiful drink; amber with a spot of ruby red, a winter fire. I also go through a transitional martini phase spring and fall, stirred for clarity. A medium for marinating olives, or the pickled green tomatoes we make at summer's end.

                                          1. re: Ms.M

                                            Those cherries sound delicious. I have been sticking with a twist (lemon or, occasionally, orange) but the times I've had the opportunity to sample homemade cherries, I've been asking myself why I'm not doing the same. Could you share your recipe?

                                            Agree on the daiquiri. It can never grow old. I've been enjoying the process of trying different rums. I'm actually a big fan lately of using gold rum, such as Rhum Barbancourt. Delicious.

                                            I am with you on the transitional martini. Gin seems to be the one spirit I'm still seasonally agnostic to. I almost started a thread wondering how many people found the seasons/weather highly impactful on their cocktail choice, because I find myself moving in that direction more and more each year.

                                            1. re: tomjb27

                                              If you ever get to try Filthy Foods Black Cherries, they are amazing. The best high end commercial cherry garnish on the market! Wild, Italian Amarena cherries, slow cooked in copper kettles in a delicious syrup.

                                        3. My usual rotation is a Manhattan, a Rob Roy or Scotch neat/with water. I tend to lean to very simple when I'm home (glass of wine or neat scotch), and leave the mixology for dining out.

                                          1. Whenever I go out and want a drink, it is a mojito. I love them and can't make them well at home.

                                            When I'm home, it is usually just Skyy Coconut vodka and club soda. There's no official name for it but I call it a "skinny pina colada".

                                            1. Curious as to why no Pernod, Absinthe, etc.?

                                              This sounds sort of like an Old fashioned variation with Peychaud's instead of Angostura, since the ommission of the licoricey flavor (pernod, absinthe, herbsaint, etc.)

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                Striper said he uses a home made anise liqueur instead of Pernod, Herbsaint, or absinthe.

                                                1. re: JMF

                                                  Doh, upon looking at the OP again, it's right there.
                                                  I'd like to hear more about this homemade anise liquer. Striper Guy, is there a post where you discuss making this?

                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                    Gosh, don't remember if I actually posted on the anis, but here are several related threads on homemade bitters. Really I should do my own distilling after infusing to get rid of some of the bitter notes, but my stuff is pretty good in a Sazarac.



                                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                                      You did post on the Anise somewhere.

                                                      1. re: JMF

                                                        Thanks, I couldn't find it... by the way, if you are ever in Boston shoot me an email. Be great to grab a cocktail...

                                                        striperguy at yahoo do com

                                              2. I get stuck on Negroni's. Then when i run out of campari, I switch to G&T's until the Gin runs out (i usually buy a 1.75 of gin, so it lasts longer than the campari and vermouth). Then start over.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: TroyTempest

                                                  My gin always runs out way before my vermouth. Any ideas on how to use up a large bottle of Noilly Prat dry.

                                                  1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                                    I use it whenever a dry wine to cook with is needed. I always keep some in the fridge for that purpose, and occasional martinis, of course.

                                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                                      Of course, cook with it. Why didn't I think of that. Thanks.

                                                2. I go through phases but right now I'm into the brown liquor -- Manhattan, rye or bourbon, with Carpano vermouth & bitters & 2 cherries. Gotta have 2. Or an old-fashioned if I'm out of vermouth.

                                                  1. I'm loving the dark n stormy lately. I vary it by switching up the ginger beer

                                                    1. In spring and early summer, I can happily get stuck on aviations for a good long time. Tart, sweet, bitter, floral...pretty and complicated. Fits well with the schizophrenia of Michigan waking up after winter.

                                                      Lately, I've been putting the hard sell on my semi-local cocktail bartender to start making and using allspice dram, and am getting stuck on how well a lion's tail goes with fall. Warm, rich...cuddly, but with a sharp edge? Michigan edging towards winter.

                                                      And I can get happily stuck in a tiki phase come January-March, when I'd like to pretend I'm anywhere BUT Michigan. ;)

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: Wahooty

                                                        Hah our seasonal drink rotations are quite similar. Had to look up LT... Don't think I could do lime with bourbon, but agree with the others.

                                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                                          Lime can go quite well with bourbon. I tried the Lions Tail last summer, very interesting. Sort of a tiki drink, sort of not.

                                                          1. re: StriperGuy

                                                            A really nice lime + bourbon combo is the Kentucky Mule, from Ed Lee's Smoke & Pickles cookbook: ginger-infused simple syrup, bourbon, lime juice, topped with sparkling water or ginger beer.

                                                          2. re: Wahooty

                                                            Wahooty- Aviations are an interesting drink. Not my favorite, but good when you want something tangy with gin. They were some of my first introducttions to serious cocktails and playing with different brands. I was at an event 7-8 years ago that Gary 'gaz' Regan was hosting. It was Aviations for charity. Same recipe, same ratio, but around 30-40 different gins. I was really glad I stayed at the inn where the event was held that night. I ended up becoming friends with gaz and the owner of one of the artisanal gin companies that night. I think the high/low point was when gaz pulled out a bottle of three snake firewater and made me do a shot, then gave me the bottle. I still have it here in my office, half full, with the three snakes coiled up head eating tail.

                                                            I love to use spice syrups like allspice/pimento in cocktails. Tiki all the way... but I also like to switch up and hit the booze heavy drinks to even out things. For me Autumn is variations on the Manhattan theme, but the variations can be pretty extreme.

                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                              The aviation is definitely a place where I have a preference in my brand of gin. I am also very resistant to riffing...my semi-local added one to their menu, but I think they have messed with it too much for my taste, so I haven't tried theirs. I like them the way I make them, and I like them best on my deck on the first warm afternoon of spring.

                                                            2. re: Wahooty

                                                              Interesting that I never heard of the Lions tail until last summer. but its so popular that a Vegas bar is opening with that name.

                                                              1. re: JMF

                                                                I discovered it in Ted Haigh's book - I bought a copy for my dad for Christmas last year...and promptly bought myself a copy to keep me warm for the rest of winter. Striper, please don't knock it 'til you've tried it. I think you've hit the nail on the head for me...the tiki drinks, while potent, get so sweet and rich, and the LT has some of the good tiki qualities while still being true to a more classic cocktail formula.

                                                                I find it interesting how many people turn to Manhattan variations in fall...to me, a Manhattan is seasonless. ;)

                                                                1. re: Wahooty

                                                                  I think an Manhattan is seasonless as well. Autumn always makes me want booze heavy cocktails, but I do variations on the Manhattan theme all year round. My favorite cocktail, that I came up with a few years ago is a Manhattan variation. It's on the menu at several restaurants I've worked with.

                                                                  I agree that many of the classic tiki drinks don't fit today's tastes. Either too sweet, or too sour.

                                                                  Ted's a close friend, turn to page 153 in his book.

                                                                  1. re: JMF

                                                                    Yeah, I noticed that reference when reading through, and remembered your posts on here about distilling peach brandy. I had a brief "HEY! I know that guy!" moment...until it set in that I really don't, you're just a kind internet stranger who sometimes gives me good advice. ;)

                                                                    1. re: Wahooty

                                                                      "Internet acquaintance" sounds better than "internet stranger".

                                                            3. Let me at the very start acknowledge the difference between a sipping whiskey and one for making cocktails.

                                                              So I like a Manhattan. You can vary the bourbon, the bitters, and the vermouth for a wealth of variety. Default bitters is Angostura, but whenever I have found a degestif, it gives another opportunity to excel. And while the variety of sweet vermouths can be limiting in some areas, it always gives me an excuse to stop at liquor stores while traveling to search out something new.

                                                              Being a third generation Manhattan imbiber, I have enjoyed the evolution from rye to Maker's since I was old enough to share them with my grandfather and parents.

                                                              1. Unfortunately, my current home schedule doesn't allow me to make a labor-intensive cocktail every night (and, by the way, right now, even a martini is labor intensive; I've mostly been drinking straight rum or whiskey with a rock)... where was I? Oh yes, anyway, for a while this summer I was making a modified daiquiri/Floridita variation every chance I could get. (rum, maraschino, lime, simple syrup).

                                                                Soon, I predict I will have many Manhattans in a row. Not in a row on the same day unfortunately, I mean days in a row.

                                                                When I first started "cocktailing", I had a Sidecar every day for like a month.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                  "My current home schedule doesn't allow me to make a labor-intensive cocktail every night," I hear ya brother, I hear ya.

                                                                2. This past summer my wife and I were stuck on what we call a Gin-Gin:

                                                                  - Place a piece of candied ginger at the bottom of a frozen martini glass
                                                                  - Fill the glass half way with refrigerated ginger ale - the higher quality the better
                                                                  - Fill the glass the rest of the way with gin which you've shaken vigorously with ice in a cocktail shaker

                                                                  1 Reply