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Old 04-06-2017, 10:25 AM
 
Location: BNA
485 posts, read 270,176 times
Reputation: 1216

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Okay—so I used to work in a restaurant and never really got past vodka. I hated gin. Brown liquor was a mystery and always seemed too dry, harsh or metallic. For my generation, Sex On The Beach, a Lemon Drop or a Purple Hooter was the pinnacle of cocktail creativity, before the advent of the Cosmopolitan.

So... over the past two years I've been exposed to a lot of different drinks, both classic and leaping on the bandwagon of "let's try this and see what happens," that seems to be really pervasive in a lot of the newer restaurants. The newer cocktails tend be a lot more expensive, but some of the flavors are amazing.

What has been your favorite discoveries?

Mine has been
—Campari/Aperol
—Cynar
—using different kinds of bitters
—higher end bourbons
—Gin
—Lillet
—spicy ingredients, like jalapeño

I still haven't developed an appreciation for the Bloody Mary. Maybe next time.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:07 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, USVI - Seattle, WA - Gulf Coast, TX
811 posts, read 722,113 times
Reputation: 2290
Loving all of it!! Both classic and the nouveau, "chef-inspired" concoctions. The complexity and diversity in drinks these days is super fun. It's now just as fun to pair cocktails with food as it is wine. I put together a grapefruit-elderflower-lime-gin cocktail to go with a colorful citrus-arugula salad, seared scallops with a lemon-honey beurre blanc, and roasted cauliflower puree, a couple of nights ago. It's just fun and exciting to make the cocktail a true, purposeful part of the meal, as someone who is passionate about cooking and food.

I love everything on your list, for sure (and I'm definitely bitters-obsessed), but I'll add Fernet, St Germain (I'm having so much fun with elderflower right now, obviously!), Benedictine, and Chartreuse to your liquor list, for things I'm especially enjoying right now.

Other trends that I'm participating in and loving:
- Infused liquors (homemade concoctions in the cabinet now: meyer lemon vodka, rosemary gin, coriander tequila, spiced vermouth, chamomile whiskey)
- Simple syrups (mint, star anise, rosemary, ginger...)
- Tinctures (chipotle, thyme, cardamom, smoke...)

And I'm a bloody caesar fan, myself.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Middle America
36,488 posts, read 41,660,628 times
Reputation: 50164
The only cocktails I really like are bloody marys and margaritas.

Otherwise, if I'm drinking liquor, it's whisky, neat.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:45 AM
 
Location: BNA
485 posts, read 270,176 times
Reputation: 1216
I love, love, love Cynar. It's a weird, earthy flavor like a concentrated-but-vegetal version of Coke.

It really adds depth to a cocktail, especially with something that's already spicy or intense (gin or anything brown works).

It's made from artichoke hearts and is something fairly recent on the scene—since a lot of bars don't have it, or the bartenders haven't heard of it (but it's been popular in Italy since the 40s or 50s, I think).
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Old 04-06-2017, 12:27 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, USVI - Seattle, WA - Gulf Coast, TX
811 posts, read 722,113 times
Reputation: 2290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelfer View Post
I love, love, love Cynar. It's a weird, earthy flavor like a concentrated-but-vegetal version of Coke.

It really adds depth to a cocktail, especially with something that's already spicy or intense (gin or anything brown works).

It's made from artichoke hearts and is something fairly recent on the scene—since a lot of bars don't have it, or the bartenders haven't heard of it (but it's been popular in Italy since the 40s or 50s, I think).
Yes, I love it too! I agree: it's hard to explain to people, but there is a special depth to a drink that includes complex bitter elements. it just makes the drink so much more interesting and satisfying to sip.

I highly recommend you give Fernet Branca (another, Italian bitter liquor, as is Cynar) a try. It's bitter, sweet, minty, and definitely herbaceous (like Cynar). You clearly have a "bartender's palate" and fernet is a very favorite bitter liqueur among bartenders who are "in the know." Check it out!
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Old 04-06-2017, 03:11 PM
 
21,112 posts, read 30,189,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandCityGirl View Post
I highly recommend you give Fernet Branca (another, Italian bitter liquor, as is Cynar) a try. It's bitter, sweet, minty, and definitely herbaceous (like Cynar). You clearly have a "bartender's palate" and fernet is a very favorite bitter liqueur among bartenders who are "in the know." Check it out!
Me too! It really adds a new dimension to a Manhattan. Instead of one part Sweet Vermouth split it with Fernet Branca along with a few dashes of bitters. It really gives a lot more depth when paired with a smoky Bourbon like Knob Creek or Maker's Mark.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Texas
35,062 posts, read 19,171,984 times
Reputation: 20646
I generally like my liquor straight up.

But I'll drink the occasional Bloody Mary, Margarita, Old Fashioned, or Vodka Martini.

I'm old. No need to experiment with looking for what I like. One of the advantages of advancing age.
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:59 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,514 posts, read 54,065,915 times
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I stick to Boubon and water, preferably Jack Daniels or Wild Turkey. I don't like to fuss around with flavored drinks, though I did enjoy a Hurricane or two when visiting in New Orleans.
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:01 PM
 
35,121 posts, read 39,996,116 times
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We rarely drink alcohol but when we do it is never some fruity, frou frou, trendy alleged drink.
Always a good beer (in our opinion) or Whiskey straight up unless there is Moonshine around then we will have a wee bit of that.
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
36,946 posts, read 45,385,657 times
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Honestly, we are not into fancy cocktails at all. We are strictly Bourbon or scotch drinkers, with the occasional gin or vodka martini.
We did get introduced to Fireball shots by our kids recently.
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