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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Help / Opinion: Brandy as a Mixer
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Help / Opinion: Brandy as a Mixer
JerseyRED
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 15, 2004
Posts: 54
From: North Jersey!
Posted: 2005-01-20 12:34 am   Permalink

Okay, I did the search and found nothing to answer my question regarding brandy.

MANY drinks (Tiki included!) call for “Brandy” without specifying what type of brandy. Brandy is a distillate of fruit, but I’m sure the drink recipe isn’t calling for apple brandy (Calvados or applejack) or peach brandy when “they” say brandy.
So, what do you, the alcoho… err… drink connoisseur use? A Cognac V.S. since it’s being mixed? Or possibly an Armagnac?
I’m thinking, since its being mixed, you don’t want to go with a V.S.O.P. Cognac because that would be like pouring cranberry juice into your Grey Goose.

So! What do you use?

Also, PLEASE give me your opinion on the best liqueurs for mixing: (assuming you can't find Marie Brizzard) Bols, Hiram Walker, LeRoux, Boulaine or DeKuyper?
(Does Marie Brizzard even have other liquers beyond anisette and peach “brandy”?)

Thank you for “scrolling by” but most importantly thank you for your knowledge, Rich


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"The only time I ever said no to a drink was when I misunderstood the question."

Will Sinclair

(Much needed comma)

[ This Message was edited by: JerseyRED on 2005-01-20 00:36 ]


 
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Trader Woody
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2301
From: Tiki Manor, Forest of Bowland,UK
Posted: 2005-01-20 1:35 pm   Permalink

True brandy is mainly made from grapes, so when a recipe calls for brandy, don't use apricot brandy or anything else along those fruity lines as they are really a different thing altogether.

Brandy is a drink that, like rum, is cheap to make and costs next to nothing in the countries where it's made. I picked up bottles in Spain - 'Toro' & '103', both by Osborne' and a bottle in Italy - 'Vecchia Romagna' and they cost between $6 & $8 a bottle. Fine for both sipping and using in cocktails. Spain, France, Greece, Italy are all known for making decent brandy, and it really doesn't have to be expensive. I'm not sure how easily these are available in the US, but you shouldn't have to use top notch cognac to put in your cocktails.

Trader Woody


 
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Satan's Sin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 729
From: Imperial Beach, CA
Posted: 2005-01-20 2:09 pm   Permalink

Sidecar -- best brandy drink, ever. IMHO.

 
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the drunken hat
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 20, 2003
Posts: 331
From: Modesto, CA
Posted: 2005-01-20 2:46 pm   Permalink

i use a spanish brandy called fundador solera reserve. it has a great flavor and i think i paid something like 15-20 bucks. a bottle of brandy goes a long way when mixing tropical drinks so spend a little cash and get a good bottle. unless you really take a liking to the brandy drinks it will last you a while.

remember the drinks you mix are only as good as the booze you put into them.
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Mano Tiki Tia
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 129
From: Lomita, CA
Posted: 2005-01-20 2:59 pm   Permalink

I have to agree with SS on this one. The making of a Brandy sidecar, is a lost art. I often gets strange looks, stranger than normal, when ordering one. A well made sidecar is sublime.




 
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virani
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1437
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2005-01-20 3:01 pm   Permalink

Marie Brizard makes a lot of different cremes, liquors...
I use this brand for curacao (orange and blue), creme de banana, triple sec...
They even have some syrup, and non-alcoholic mixes.


 
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virani
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1437
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2005-01-20 3:03 pm   Permalink

vive la France, the sidecar is a parisian cocktail (made up at Harry's).
And yes, Brandy doesn't have to be expensive, I use cheap one that is very nice with cocktails.


 
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Trader Woody
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2301
From: Tiki Manor, Forest of Bowland,UK
Posted: 2005-01-20 3:30 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-20 14:46, the drunken hat wrote:
i use a spanish brandy called fundador solera reserve. it has a great flavor and i think i paid something like 15-20 bucks. a bottle of brandy goes a long way when mixing tropical drinks so spend a little cash and get a good bottle.



Just to clarify, I was pointing out that these brandies cost next to nothing in their countries of origin - I wasn't promoting buying the cheapest you can find. The one you mentioned costs about $7 in Spain, but triple that in the UK. France has a lot of really good brandies that cost next to nothing over there, but are very expensive in the UK.
I'd just advise people not to splash out on VSOP/XO fine brandies when their taste is going to get overpowered by the rest of the ingredients.

I understand there's a Mexican brand called Presidente that might be good for mixing & affordable. Anyone tried it?

Trader Woody


 
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the drunken hat
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 20, 2003
Posts: 331
From: Modesto, CA
Posted: 2005-01-20 4:29 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-20 15:30, Trader Woody wrote:
Quote:

On 2005-01-20 14:46, the drunken hat wrote:
i use a spanish brandy called fundador solera reserve. it has a great flavor and i think i paid something like 15-20 bucks. a bottle of brandy goes a long way when mixing tropical drinks so spend a little cash and get a good bottle.



Just to clarify, I was pointing out that these brandies cost next to nothing in their countries of origin - I wasn't promoting buying the cheapest you can find. The one you mentioned costs about $7 in Spain, but triple that in the UK. France has a lot of really good brandies that cost next to nothing over there, but are very expensive in the UK.
I'd just advise people not to splash out on VSOP/XO fine brandies when their taste is going to get overpowered by the rest of the ingredients.

I understand there's a Mexican brand called Presidente that might be good for mixing & affordable. Anyone tried it?

Trader Woody




woody~ no sweat bruddah. i wasn't jabbin at you. as a matter of fact i couldn't agree with you more. mixing a vsop in a cocktail would be a sin!


my point was that here in the U S we have E&J or christian brothers in that price range. these are CRAP not worthy of the bottle let alone tainting a cocktail with!

presidente is good brandy and is in the $10-$15 range around here i think. i have had it and it is way better than the low cost stuff made stateside.


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Satan's Sin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 729
From: Imperial Beach, CA
Posted: 2005-01-20 5:12 pm   Permalink

From Cocktail DB:

Sidecar

Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain
1 1/2 oz brandy
1/2 oz triple sec
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Serve in a cocktail glass (4.5 oz)

What Cocktail DB forgot to mention was that the (properly chilled) cocktail glass should have the freshly-cut lemon run around the rim, then upend the cocktail glass into a pile of sugar, thus coating the rim.

Also -- try substituting Triple Sec with Cointreau. And don't make it quite a 1/2 ounce. Also hold back a squosh on the lemon juice.

This is really one of the great cocktails, and although America is the home of cocktails Virani is absolutely right in pointing out that the Sidecar was invented in Paris (where I believe to this day bars that serve cocktails are referred to as "American" bars -- in fact, I was recently in Brussels and when I asked for a cocktail in an upscale restaurant that had every liquor imaginable they had no idea what I was talking about, honest; although thanks to the Belgians I have now developed a strange fondess for Campari).



[ This Message was edited by: Satan's Sin on 2005-01-20 17:14 ]


 
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Kono
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2005-01-20 6:05 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-20 17:12, Satan's Sin wrote:
This is really one of the great cocktails, and although America is the home of cocktails Virani is absolutely right in pointing out that the Sidecar was invented in Paris (where I believe to this day bars that serve cocktails are referred to as "American" bars -- in fact, I was recently in Brussels and when I asked for a cocktail in an upscale restaurant that had every liquor imaginable they had no idea what I was talking about, honest; although thanks to the Belgians I have now developed a strange fondess for Campari).



Huh, I didn't know that the cocktail was considered an American phenomenon. I was aware that the popularity of spirits soared in the US during prohibition since transporting and selling a high proof product meant more profit for the risk.

So how they typically use all that fine booze? Just drink it straight, on ice or with a single mixer?


 
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Satan's Sin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 729
From: Imperial Beach, CA
Posted: 2005-01-21 09:22 am   Permalink

Kono --

Hold your head high if you're an American, for the cocktail is indeed an American invention.

The non-recipe books I've read about cocktails (and there are many, but may I recommend William Grimes's "Straight Up or On the Rocks, The Story of the American Cocktail") claim it was invented as early as the 1700s, and primarily to mask the horrid taste of home-brewed whisky and gin.

Cocktails soared in popularity during Prohibition precisely because of "bathtub" (homemade) gin, which, unless mixed with something sweet, was truly throat-gagging.

Booze has a history, and it is extremely fascinating. The origins of the word "cocktail" is itself lost to history, although there are many -- mostly funny -- explanations of how it was coined. Famous drinks also have a history. Did you know that the Martini -- invented in the 1860s -- was half gin and half vermouth? With a big dash of sugar syrup? Did you know that there was a fabulous 1880s drink called a Blue Blazer -- where the lighted ingredients were poured back and for from two tankards by a highly skilled barman, making for a stream of blue flame? Well, there's all this and more, if you care to explore our Precious Drinking Heritage. One chapter of which, of course, is the great Tiki Period.

It was extremely odd and extremely charming to be in Brussels -- as I mentioned in an earlier post -- and ask for the cocktail menu and be given a completely blank look. They really did not know what cocktails were.


 
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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5792
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2005-01-21 2:52 pm   Permalink

Every Tiki bar should have Brandy for the Scorpion bowl drink.

 
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Trader Woody
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2301
From: Tiki Manor, Forest of Bowland,UK
Posted: 2005-01-21 6:26 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-21 09:22, Satan's Sin wrote:
It was extremely odd and extremely charming to be in Brussels -- as I mentioned in an earlier post -- and ask for the cocktail menu and be given a completely blank look. They really did not know what cocktails were.



Oh, I can't believe that!!

Places that serve cocktails abound in Europe, but the difficulty is finding places that serve up the old classics rather than inane concotions which people buy for the name rather than the ingredients (Slippery Tasty Bald Beaver, Hairy Coconut etc....)

To be honest, these cheesy places are found mainly on the coast, so if you get to a city like Brussels, (where beer is king for a very good reason) a cocktail bar might be more difficult to find than you'd expect. And yes, some of the classic cocktail bars in Europe that started out in the 20's (Eg. Harry's Bar in Venice and Paris) were set up to cater for Americans.

Trader Woody


 
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Satan's Sin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 729
From: Imperial Beach, CA
Posted: 2005-01-22 07:35 am   Permalink

Trader --

Honest Injun, swearing by the cool stainless steel of my Penguin-shaped cocktail shaker, I was in one of the most hip (and certainly expensive) restaurants in Brussels, they had every kind of liquor imaginable, but they honest to goodness did not know a Cosmo from a Manhattan or even a Martini. They'd be happy to make it, of course, if I told them how ...

Curiously, business took me down to Geneva. Stayed at a terribly hip hotel, it was like it was designed by that Dieter character on Saturday Night Live, and their bargirl was quite the expert on every imaginable cocktail. They also told me that the Swiss kiss each other three times in greeting, but the French and Spanish only twice, and this I do not believe.

[ This Message was edited by: Satan's Sin on 2005-01-22 07:36 ]


 
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