A few of my favourite things…

August 24th, 2007

Over the past few weeks several cocktail blogs have been posting lists of all the alcohol they have in their collection. Despite the jealousy this often provokes in me I do enjoy reading and seeing all this booze. I think it brings out the bottle fetishist inside me – I just love seeing a large collection of exotic spirits and cool looking bottles.

As I have just moved house and not long unpacked all my liquor, it seemed a good time to make a list of my own collection, and perhaps identify areas that need improvement or diversification. For the curious amongst you, those black things on top of a lot of the bottles are pourer caps for speed pourers. I don’t often free-pour, but I much prefer the constant flow a pourer provides when measuring out a drink.

Lots of bottles of alcohol

Whisk(e)y

Gin

Rum and Cachaça

Cognac

Vodka

Other spirits and liqueurs

Vermouths and fortified wines

Bitters

Noticeable in its absense is Tequila, a spirit I’ve only had limited experience with. I finished off a bottle of rather cheap supposedly aged stuff a while back, and just haven’t gotten around to replacing it. I’m thinking of a bottle of either Don Julio or Patron, both of which seem to be well reviewed. I also want to try some more rums – I’ve been a big fan of Havana Club for a while now, and I’ve sort of become complacent in using it. If anyone has any recommendations for Rum and Tequila, or indeed any other spirit I might be lacking, please do let me know.

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9 responses to “A few of my favourite things…”

  1. Gabriel Gabriel says:

    Wow, while not as extensive as some lists I’ve seen no one can claim you don’t have quality ingredients. Which, to my mind, is just as, if not more, important than sheer volume of options.

    And, I curse the gods that Creme de Violette is so freely available there. It’ll cost me $40+ in shipping alone from Britain…bloody bastards. But in all seriousness, very nice collection Jay.

  2. Marleigh Marleigh says:

    I have to second Gabriel on the Creme de Violette. That’s one I always have my eye out for.

    It may be small, but that is a fine collection! I keep meaning to pick up a bottle of Zubrowka and I always find myself purchasing something else instead. One of these days, though…

  3. Jay Jay says:

    If it makes you feel any better, from what I can tell from prices quoted in blogs a lot of alcohol costs me close to double what you guys pay in the US. $45 for a bottle of Rittenhouse Bonded and $15 for a bottle of bitters, for example.

  4. Ken Ken says:

    A year or so ago, I had the pleasure of dining at Mambo Grill, a Latin restaurant in Chicago that has an outstanding selection of rums (and tequilas), and the option of selecting your own tasting flights. (Oh, and the food’s quite good as well!) Based on my experiences there, I’ve added the following rums to my overflowing liquor… um… bookcase:

    Rhum Barbancourt 8 yr. (Haiti)
    Gosling’s Black Seal (Bermuda)
    Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva (Dominican Republic)
    Montecristo 12 yr. (Guatemala)
    Pyrat XO Reserve (British West Indies)

    Ironically, I’ve not tried any of these in mixed drinks yet. I’ve enjoyed them all just as sipping rums, in the same way as I’d enjoy a nice brandy or Scotch after a meal. But it’s just a matter of time before I start adding some rum cocktails to my repertoire.

    Oh, and it sounds as though I should swap you bottles of Rittenhouse for bottles of Creme de Violette (which I haven’t been able to find). I’ve even been able to find Rittenhouse’s 100 proof at quite a reasonable price around here (though honestly I prefer the 80 proof for most cocktails).

  5. Walter Walter says:

    In my humble opinion, Havana Club rums are very good choices for mixing cocktails, and far better ones than most bars use. If you like them stick to them.

    I have read some of your posts about cachaça. You might like to try good “rhum agricole” from Martinique instead, if possible Neisson Rhum Blanc. It will open you the doors to a new universe.

    Really good aged rums, like high end cognacs, are better sipped than mixed. You are missing a lot if you have never tried a premium rum in your life : Barbancourt Five Star (15 yr., not younger); Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera; Cruzan Estate Diamond; El Dorado Special Reserve 15 year old (not younger) or Rhum JM Vieux. They all are hard to come by and cost three times more than “Bacardi”, but they are worth it.

  6. Teri Teri says:

    As you enhance your tequila experience, be sure to try some of the 208-year-old tequila they have in Mexico. I kid you not.
    Smooth as water.

  7. Jay Jay says:

    Walter – Yeah I’m happy with Havana Club for my mixing uses, and I’m looking for more of a sipping rum I can enjoy on its own. Rhum Agricole is defintely a type of rum I would like to try, and I will keep an eye out for those high-end rums you mention

    Ken – Thanks for that list of rums! I will add them to my ever-growing “wants” list and keep an eye out for them when I next go shopping.

    Teri – 208 years? Wow!

  8. A Grandiose Blog A Grandiose Blog says:

    For tequila, try Partida Anejo – I reviewed that not too long ago on my blog and it’s really good.

  9. nabokov nabokov says:

    Your pourers on the bottles are very funny, they looks like condoms. I’m living in St. Petersburg and I first saw that comical tool in your blog Jai

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