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#1
Posted July 20th 2008, 11:30am
Ever wondered if you can make Violet Hour drinks at home? I DID since my ex-bartender bf INSISTS that he can reverse engineer the drinks. Anyways, if anyone is interested, here are my results:

http://xeda.tumblr.com/post/42915942/the-violent-hour
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#2
Posted July 21st 2008, 8:13pm
Hi Toby here. I would love to post the actual specs for these drinks so they can be made more closely to how they are done at The Violet Hour. Good work, you were really close. There are a few things that may trip you up, such as house made bitters, ice, tins, and the joy of having someone make your cocktail and then wash your glass for you when you are done.

I am going to give you the same specs I give to the bartenders. Enjoy.

The Fox Hunt
1.5 oz Pimms
.50 Tanqueray Gin
.75 lemon
.50 simple
dash Peychaud’s

Monte au booze: Cynar
(That means just put a little in the glass and swirl it around till it barley coats the inside)

Glass: Coupe
Garnish: 7 drops Peychaud’s
Ice: None


Briar Patch
1.5 oz Plymouth Gin
¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
¼ oz Home made Blackberry Cordial

Glass: Collins
Garnish: Blackberry and Knotted Pigtail Lemon Twist
Ice: Crushed

Build in shaker. Shake hard 3 times with Kold Draft Ice. Strain into Collins Glass filled with Crushed Ice. The crushed ice will recede. Top with more crushed ice then lace with blackberry cordial.

To make the Cordial take one pint of blackberries and muddle in a non reactive container. Donate one cup of room temp (70*ish) simple syrup, hit with three (3) heavy dashes of Angostura Bitters. Let sit for about an hour then force strain through a fine chinois.



The Riviera

2 oz Pineapple Infused Gin
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.75 oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White

Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Mint Leaf, House Orange Bitters
Ice: None

Mime Shake. Add KD. Shake. Strain. Serve up.
(One part Plymouth gin, ½ Luxardo Maraschino, ¼ Campari)

So Take one cup of Plymouth gin, half a cup of Luxardo Maraschino, and a quarter cup of Campari and one cup of fresh pinapple. Combine and let sit for 24 hours. Force strain through a fine chinois or strainer.

KD is Kold-Draft ice, wich is the big, 1.25 inch by 1.25 inch, cubes we shake with.
Our simple is 1x1 sugar to water by volume.

Cheers,
Toby Maloney Head Mixologist, The Violet Hour
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#3
Posted July 21st 2008, 8:40pm
So awesome. Open Source Cocktails. Another reason to love the Violet Hour.
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Joe G.

"Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
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#4
Posted July 21st 2008, 8:54pm
germuska wrote:So awesome. Open Source Cocktails. Another reason to love the Violet Hour.


No doubt, that's terrific!

Toby, do you use a 1:1 ratio for your simple syrup?
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#5
Posted July 21st 2008, 8:57pm
Aaron Deacon wrote:
germuska wrote:So awesome. Open Source Cocktails. Another reason to love the Violet Hour.


No doubt, that's terrific!

Toby, do you use a 1:1 ratio for your simple syrup?

Alchemist wrote:Our simple is 1x1 sugar to water by volume.
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#6
Posted July 21st 2008, 10:09pm
Ooohhh, yeah.

How about the Blue Ridge Manhattan ?

I would post what my attempts consisted of, but, uh, ahhh, hmmmm ... I forget. :P
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#7
Posted July 21st 2008, 10:44pm
Um, thanks Dom. Oops.
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#8
Posted July 22nd 2008, 12:13am
The key to a Blue Ridge is the peach bitters. When you have the Fees peach bitters and then water it down with a bunch of Peychuad's, a wee bit of Ango, a just a whisper of the Bitter Truth Choco and then a dash of Regan's. You don't want to know the 50something botanicals that went into The Violet Hour's Peach Bitters. From there try to imagine having a pulled pork po' boy on a varandah. If the smell isn't right tweak the bitters.

Blue Ridge Manhattan
2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
¾ oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
½ oz Noilly Pratt Dry Vermouth
2 dash Peychaud’s Bitters

Rinse
1 dash Peach Bitters
Laphroig

Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Lemon Pigtail Twist

Rinse Coupe with Laphroig and Peach Bitters. Shake. Strain. Serve Up.

This drink should taste like a pulled pork sandwich but made with booze.

These are the exact spects that I gave the bartenders.

A "Pig Tail" twist is a twist made with a chanel knife and wrapped tightly.

Toby with a little help from the Crazy Carthusian Monks.
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#9
Posted July 22nd 2008, 8:38am
Alchemist wrote:
The Fox Hunt
1.5 oz Pimms
.50 Tanqueray Gin
.75 lemon
.50 simple
dash Peychaud’s

Monte au booze: Cynar
(That means just put a little in the glass and swirl it around till it barley coats the inside)

Glass: Coupe
Garnish: 7 drops Peychaud’s
Ice: None


Thanks Toby, this just goes to show that there's always quite a bit more work involved in VH than just a simple alcohol ratios game. I'm going to try the Fox Hunt again (I'm a sucker for bitter drinks) but have you noticed that Cynar tastes exactly like a chinese cough syrup? (I'm not saying it should be a Flaming Moe's, but here the info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nin_Jiom_Pei_Pa_Koa)
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#10
Posted July 22nd 2008, 8:39am
Fwiw, there's a whole thread on homemade bitters at egullet.

I'm sure none of them come close, though!
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#11
Posted July 22nd 2008, 12:27pm
I had a feeling when I read Sula's piece in the Reader about the Blue Ridge that there was more to it than:

... chilled, empty glass is rinsed with smoky, peaty Laphroaig scotch, then filled with rye and vermouth, and topped off with a few drops of hickory-infused peach bitters.


And now that I've seen the specs, I can see why you're so at ease sharing these recipes with us. I'll never be able to pull that off at home ! I might get closer to it though, which will have to do, since I'm not going to be getting closer to Chicago anytime soon. Thanks for sharing it, Toby.

Btw, I also really enjoyed watching the Youtube vids of a couple of your concoctions.

Alchemist wrote:This drink should taste like a pulled pork sandwich but made with booze.
:lol:
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#12
Posted July 22nd 2008, 2:06pm
There are lots of reasons that I have no problem with sharing spec’s. First it is standard amongst bartenders to give out the minutia of each drink to other bartenders. A fairly common discussion will sound something like

Bartender #1,on a stool with a cocktail in his hand. “Wow, this ROCKS!”

Bartender #2, behind the bar. “thanks it’s a 20th Centaury, but I tweaked it from equal parts its 2, ¾, ¾, ¾, ½ and then I threw a dash of Ango in there and flamed a twist.”

Or if they are a smart ass

B#1 “Wow this is great what is it?"

B#2 “Thanks it’s like a Daiquiri but instead of rum it’s gin, instead of lime its lemon, then you switch the simple for Crème de Cacao, and throw a bit of Lillet in there for good measure. Donate a healthy dash of Ango and a Flamed orange twist."

The other thing is there is something so nice about being served and then cleaned up after. There are many restaurants who have published cookbooks, and that hasn’t hurt their business.

Also seeing how other bartenders construct their drinks it can give you ideas of your own, so it makes all bars better. And the more places to get solid cocktails the better. Maybe one day there will be fierce competition amongst high end cocktail lounges, there just aren’t enough of them around to saturate the market.

Also it’s nice to get what you are doing out there on the net with a time stamp if there is ever any argument with who came up with a drink first.

And most people can make a couple of these labor intensive drinks at home for themselves. It’s making hundreds of these drinks that is really, really difficult.

So I am happy to share any knowledge I have with people who want to know. There aren’t that many souls out there who’s eyes don’t glaze over when I start babbling about ice density and the merits of a mime shake.

Toby
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#13
Posted July 22nd 2008, 2:25pm
Sharing drink recipes with your customers (or with the rest of the world) shows your customer a lot of respect. To me, it says you want to engage with your customers, rather than simply provide a product in exchange for money.

It's also classy that you are sharing with us and follows a long tradition of sharing between chefs and patrons. These boards are full of posts by people who engaged restaurant proprietors and chefs about how they do their thing. People who are passionate about what they do and who are proud of their creations are happy to talk about their craft.

Thanks!
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#14
Posted July 22nd 2008, 10:48pm
Bars like The Violet Hour are constantly evolving entities. They change with the seasons, putting out 4 menus a year. The drinks also have become more sophisticated. The new summer menu has incorporated many more esoteric ingredients than the first summer menu. We are going through more eggs, more amaros, and bitters than we did a year ago. So there is growth of both the bar and the patrons, usually at the same rate. This is how we are engaged with the customer over the long haul.

It is one of the reasons that there is so little turnover at high end cocktail bars as the bartenders evolve as well. As you hone your craft, and come in contact with more bizarre liquids your palate morphs, craving bitter spirituous cocktails. In normal bartending you hit a plateau, you can only put out goose and sodas so fast. Bartending at places like D&C , PDT, VTR, or TVH is much more culinary in nature. You move from being a commis, to sous, to exec. (but for the love of all things holy don’t use the barchef lable) where you spend more time dealing with numbers and computers than in the trenches shaking. My knees, elbows and feet are happy for this, but I miss the weeds every day.


This post seems to have gotten a bit off track, sorry.

Toby
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#15
Posted July 23rd 2008, 9:21am
Anyone else wish to nominate Toby as head bar chef for LTHforum? :)

I miss your bar.
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is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
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#16
Posted July 23rd 2008, 9:52pm
Alchemist wrote: There aren’t that many souls out there who’s eyes don’t glaze over when I start babbling about ice density and the merits of a mime shake.Toby


I have to ask, Toby, if you've heard of the sphere ice moldsfrom Japan? I immediately thought of a Whisky Smash (its my regular drink, even if it's not on the menu all the time), and how this could potentially affect the drink?

http://www.kilian-nakamura.com/blog-english/index.php/perfect-ice-for-perfect-drinks-from-taisin
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#17
Posted July 24th 2008, 12:31pm
I have never seen one of these in person, so I cannot vouch for the quality or density of the ice. The picture looks a little fake to me. It is really, really hard to get ice that clear. I wonder how much pressure can happen in that little machine.

Toby
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#18
Posted July 24th 2008, 12:57pm
But to get this thread back on track, has anyone tried any of the cocktails that I posted the specs for? And if so how did they turn out? And are there any others on the menus that someone would like to try? The weekend is coming up so I will be happy to set y'all up.

Toby
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#19
Posted July 24th 2008, 1:01pm
And are there any others on the menus that someone would like to try? The weekend is coming up so I will be happy to set y'all up.


Toby, I love the Rangoon Fizz and would love to give it a shot. Thanks!
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#20
Posted July 24th 2008, 1:28pm
First of all, let me say that this thread is fantastic and I wish more proprietors/rightsholders had such a common sense approach to sharing of their "secrets" where divulging them will have a negligible (if any) adverse effect on their businesses. Indeed, although I currently make it to The Violet Hour probably twice a month, this thread makes me even more likely to want to go because of Toby's generosity and just plain "getting it." While I like to have a good cocktail at home (and it's a bit of necessity most of the time with two small ones at home and limited nights out), I don't think the home experience (or really many other outside-of-the-home experiences) ever really would compete with The Violet Hour and its refreshing to see someone willing to share tips and ingredients without the knee-jerk reaction that any disclosure or dilution of one's rights is a bad thing.

In response to Toby's request for details re other drinks, my wife loves the Part & Parcel and I'd love to be able to give that a shot (even though I believe it was a spring menu item). Also, if anyone knows a source of Luksowa in Chicago, please let me know. I don't believe I've seen it at Binny's or Sam's. I believe they both carry the St. Germain elderflower liqueur, though.
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#21
Posted July 24th 2008, 1:40pm
I agree. It's fun to try at home, and maybe do a pitcher of one or two of these for a party, but for sure the best time is to be had at the bar.
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#22
Posted July 24th 2008, 2:38pm
Toby - this is so gracious of you. At my last visit two weeks ago, I had the Juliet and Romeo and swooned. I'd be thrilled for a chance to try it at home. Thank you.
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#23
Posted July 24th 2008, 8:21pm
This is no big deal to share as it just placed third in the 20 best cocktails in the United States in this months GQ. I hope that it doesn't make it less special that I'm sharing it with you, personally.

Juliet & Romeo
2 oz Beefeater
.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.75 oz Simple Syrup
3 drops Rose Water
3 drops Angostura
3 slices Cucumber
3 sprigs Mint
Tiny pinch of salt

Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Mint leaf and 1 drop rose water/3 drops of Angostura Bitters.
Ice: None

Muddle cucumber, mint and pinch of salt. Add rest of ingredients. Let sit for 30 seconds (time allowing). Shake. Strain. Garnish with 1 floating mint leaf and 1 drop rose water on top of leaf, and 3 more drops of angostura on the surface of the drink.

You can buy rose water at Sultans Market on North Ave. I would get an eye dropper at the container store as well as a couple of extra drops will make this drink way to much like the jewerly box of a very old southern belle.

The pinch of salt is really, really small. It should be muddled with the cuke to bring out it's freshness.

Cheerrs,
Toby
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#24
Posted July 24th 2008, 8:26pm
Here is this one. So good on a hot summer day.

Part & Parcel
2 oz Luksowa Vodka
.75 oz St. Germaine Elderflower
.75 oz Grapefruit Juice
.25 oz Lime Juice
.50 oz Simple Syrup
5 drops Grapefruit Bitters

Glass: Coupe
Garnish: None
Ice: None

Shake. Strain. Serve up.

This drink is much better with Plymouth gin. So if you can't find Luksowa...

The grapefruit bitters are tough as they are homemade. Try a big fat twist of grapefruit peel.

Cheers,
Toby
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#25
Posted July 24th 2008, 8:32pm
leek wrote:I agree. It's fun to try at home, and maybe do a pitcher of one or two of these for a party, but for sure the best time is to be had at the bar.


You can take any of these specs and "batch" them for a pitcher by changing ounces into cups.

So it would like this

Part & Parcel
2 cup Luksowa Vodka
.75 cup St. Germaine Elderflower
.75 cup Grapefruit Juice
.25 cup Lime Juice
.50 cup Simple Syrup
15 drops Grapefruit Bitters
1 cup cold filtered water

Glass: Coupe
Garnish: None
Ice: None

Put in fridge for a couple of hours, top with ice serve.

I added water to it because you will not be getting the water cantent from the shaking. If it still tastes a little boozy add some more cold filtered water.

Cheers,

Toby
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#26
Posted July 24th 2008, 8:39pm
mcg wrote:
And are there any others on the menus that someone would like to try? The weekend is coming up so I will be happy to set y'all up.


Toby, I love the Rangoon Fizz and would love to give it a shot. Thanks!


Rangoon Fizz

2 oz Tanqueray
.75 oz Ginger Syrup
1 oz Lime Juice
9 drops Angostura Bitters
5 sprigs Mint

Top: Q Tonic

Glass: Collins
Ice: Shard
Garnish: Mint Sprigs

Shake. Strain into Collins glass.

Ginger syrup is one part ginger juice (a health food store should be able to provide it, it's pretty pricey though) to two parts sugar.

The Q tonic is key as it is MUCH less sweet that normal tonic. Fever tree works as well.

Cheers,
Toby
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#27
Posted July 25th 2008, 10:09am
Thank you Toby. I'll report back after I try it which may not be until next week after I get the eye dropper.
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#28
Posted August 4th 2008, 1:12pm
Toby,

I've always loved TVH's Sazeracs. Of all of them, I actually liked the first incarnation best, when TVH first opened, pre-coffee syrup.

Any chance you could post a recipe for this?

Thanks,
Michael
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#29
Posted August 4th 2008, 7:52pm
Sazerac
2 oz Old Overholdt
¼ oz Demerara Syrup
3 dash Peychauds Bitters

Rinse
Herbsaint (Can substitute Absente, Pernod or Ricard)

Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Lemon Peel (Discarded)
Ice: None

Take 2 Rocks Glasses. In Glass #1, put Crushed Ice and Herbsaint.

In Glass #2 put Rye, Demerara and Peychaud’s Bitters. Stir Briefly. Add KD and Stir.

Throw out Ice and Herbsaint from Glass #1.

Strain Glass #2 into Glass # 1. Twist lemon peel over drink then discard.

This Cocktail is served with no ice in the glass.

The demerara syrup is 2x1 sugar to water.

This is a classic Sazarac.

Toby
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#30
Posted August 4th 2008, 11:52pm
Alchemist wrote:But to get this thread back on track, has anyone tried any of the cocktails that I posted the specs for? And if so how did they turn out?


I'm through three, none of which I've had the pleasure to try at The Violet Hour, so I can't compare. My ice is lacking, for sure, but it didn't hurt me much.

Juliet & Romeo is really a wonderful cocktail. Only thing I would suggest is to at least 1.5 times it, maybe 2. One goes too quickly. Also, I've got the shaker that's not a Boston shaker, and there were bits of lime leaves and cucumber that made it into the cocktail. My wife actually enjoyed this, but unless you really strain it, you'll get some extra garnish. Maybe that's how it's supposed to be.

The Fox Hunt...wow, I love this too, and it's stuff like this that makes these recipes so cool. 1) It helps me stock my bar with liquors I don't buy (hello, Pimm's and Cynar) 2) what an interesting combination of ingredients which, even used so sparingly, add a noticeable and delightful complexity to the finished product. I should add that this was had near the end of the night, so my judgment may have been a bit off. I'm eager to try this again.

The Briar Patch...okay, here's where things broke down a bit. The ice gets me a bit here, I believe...standard freezer crushed ice out of the automatic ice thing. Bigger problem, perhaps is the glass size. I think my collins glass was 16oz, which was too big. The ice didn't recede enough, so the drizzle of blackberry cordial just layered the ice and didn't swirl like I imagine it's supposed too. I tried another one, but I did something wrong...needed more syrup for sure, it was way too tart. I didn't realize before making the blackberry cordial that I'd end up with a pint for a recipe calling for 1/4 tsp. :) I'll be looking for more uses for this blackberry cordial. Today, I also picked up a Lucien Jacob Creme de Mure (diacritical marks omitted), which I may try in this also.

And in the inspiration department, the cocktail making and ReverendAndy's mojito led me to a blueberry flavored gimlet. We make a lot of gimlets, because they taste pretty good even with Gordon's which is cheap, and they're pretty fast. I muddled a few blueberries and a sprig of mint before shaking the gin and juice, and added a couple dashes of Angostura. Mmmmm....good.

Thanks for sharing these recipes, Toby, it's a real treat.

Cheers,

Aaron
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