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[personal profile] fyfer
I'm not much of a cocktail drinker. A few exceptions are on my mind at the moment, though. First, there's an article in the SF Chronicle about vermouth, and it mentioned something I'd totally forgotten: this excellent red vermouth called Carpano Antica Formula. Years ago, Nick and I went to Cesar in North Berkeley and had an amazing Manhattan (I think) that used that. (That was also the bar that made me love sidecars, our house drink of choice thanks to the lemon tree in the backyard.)

Second, last night Lex shared some of his gourmet tonic water to make really great gin & tonics. He got it at BevMo, but I can't remember its name and they don't sell it through their website. I guess I'll go there sometime soon and look for it.

Third, on the non-cocktail side of things, Trader Joe's has this interesting single malt Scotch in stock again (or did a few weeks ago). It's a very smoky Islay malt called Finlaggan. (I'm not kidding about very smoky. C left a glass of it out overnight, and I came home and wondered who was barbecuing.) The interesting aspect is the price - around $16 for a bottle. Web research says that Finlaggan is not itself a distillery. It's the label that the group of Islay distilleries use to bottle their excess each year, or something like that. At any rate, it's good, and cheap. So I'm a fan. And C is a huge fan (he's the one who told me about it, and he bought a case when this year's stock arrived).

Edit: Finlaggan apparently comes from one single Islay distillery, which sells to the company that bottles it as Finlaggan, but the identity of the original distillery is secret.

Date: 2008-08-16 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dr-memory.livejournal.com
It's the label that the group of Islay distilleries use to bottle their excess each year, or something like that.

Faaaaaascinating. I see a TJs trip in my future.

BTW: Hi!

Date: 2008-08-16 11:14 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-08-16 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] octal.livejournal.com
Trader Joe's alcohol selections are always...interesting. They're the only supermarket I've seen with lambic beer, and of course $2 Chuck.

Date: 2008-08-16 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chrisfs.livejournal.com
Cost Plus has lambics (or did when I checked a couple years ago).
Some of your higher end ones like Whole Foods and Andronico's will but it's always expensive there.

Date: 2008-08-17 01:57 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
was it the fevertree tonic?
http://www.bevmo.com/productinfo.asp?sku=00000080876&Dn=166+168&Nr=Store%3A99&Ntt=fevertree&N=168+0&Nty=1&D=fevertree&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=All

finlaggan

Date: 2008-08-17 08:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deity-inc.livejournal.com

indeed. it is named after the stronghold of finlaggan where the lord of the isles ruled over scotland. they pick the barrels from a distillery which best exemplifies the character of the isles. currently only available in a 15 year version. there are 8 active islay distilleries: Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, and Port Charlotte.

Port Charlotte only reopened again a few years back. Kilchoman only opened in 2006. Bowmore, Bruichladdich, and Bunnahabhain produce lighter styled scotch.
Best money is it being made from Laphroaig which also bottles a 15 year old whisky. Ardbeg while good only produces 10 year old and 17 year old options.

I love my job. I could actually get paid for this sort of alcoholic nonsensical crap :)

Date: 2008-08-23 09:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ringer.livejournal.com
It was Fever Tree tonic, as Anonymous suggested. They sell it at Whole Foods too (though not on the east coast, unfortunately) and at Rainbow. They make a "Naturally Light" variant that just uses less sugar, and is supposedly even better, but none of the retailers carried (or had even heard of) it.

Thanks for the suggestion of Finlaggan (I think you suggested it at the party, or were at least in the conversation). I put a bottle in the box of stuff I shipped home, so I'll have a chance to try it in a few days.

As for more unique cocktails, today I'm in the process of infusing a bottle of Evan Brooks Bourbon with bacon. I'll report in my journal how it comes out.

Date: 2008-08-24 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kest.livejournal.com
we were not so impressed by the finlaggan - I'd call it *too* smoky. 'wow,' says I, 'is something on fire? oh, no, wait, it's that whisky again, isn't it.'

I really love TJ's prices on Scotch in general tho. The blended Scotch with the TJ's label is totally drinkable and ten bucks! And everything else they've got is guaranteed to be $5 or $10 less than anywhere else.

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