Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Iron Man (2008)

A number of you have asked me why I didn't choose Iron Man (2008) as the movie to use for my last SiscoVanilla at the Movies installment commemorating the San Diego Comic Con which ended last weekend. Well to be honest, doing so would be easy. How so?

The movie opens up with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) sitting in a speeding humvee traveling through Afghanistan. He is holding a glass of scotch before we even get to see his face. Though to be honest, who else would be such a player. And this is in the first minutes of the movie. LOL. Focusing on this movie first would be a bit of a gimmie. Or so I thought.


As a starting point, I decided to focus on three gritty comic book based movies: Constantine (2005) here on this blog and Watchmen (2009) and V for Vendetta (2005) on my Tumblr page SiscoVanilla at the Movies. Feel free to check out what I thought of the last two movies on Tumblr. Now I'm ready to look at Iron Man.

We all know by now that Tony Stark is a playboy millionaire who is the face of Stark International. By the end of the movie Tony goes through a change of heart (literally and figuratively). At first we see him as an arms manufacturer which is why he's in Afghanistan to start the movie. The movie does a flashback to right before the opening scene where we see why he is in Afghanistan.

Stark is in Afghanistan testing a series of Stark International missiles that he's trying to get the military to purchase. After what he believes is a successful showing, he opens up another metal case. This one carries all of Stark's essentials...for having a celebratory cocktail. It is an impressive case to say the least. The glasses are cold, enough ice is found even in this hot environment and I notice that Stark has a couple of interesting spirits to choose from.


I recognize a bottle of both Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Johnnie Walker Black Label and a bottle of Jose Cuervo Tequila. Jose Cuervo Tequila????


Ok, let me stop here for a moment to let my booze snob out. There is so much suspension of disbelief that I can have before even I question why the hell a drinker of Tony Stark's caliber has a bottle of Jose Cuervo Tequila sandwiched in between Johnnie Walker Blue and Johnnie Walker Black. I can see him having a bottle of Clase Azul, Don Julio, Herradura, Espolon and I can go on and on without even mentioning the truly high end tequilas. There is no way at this point in time Tony Stark drinks that rotgut (maybe he'll drink that if they ever do the Demon in a Bottle storyline). But I digress. Getting off my soapbox.

There is a bottle that I don't recognize and I decided that I wanted to look some more into.


I notice that the label says Old Malt Cask and has a 17-year designation with the vintage year being 1987. I can make out that it says LaPhroig Distillery. Upon further inspection online, I find out that this particular bottle is the LaPhroaig 1987 Old Malt Cask single malt scotch whisky. This spirit was distilled in 1987 and bottled in 2005 by Douglas Laing & Co. LTD. I wasn't able to find anything specific about this whisky on both the LaPhroiag and Douglas Laing websites. So I decided to find other views on this whisky.

The World Beverage 400 has some information on where the LaPhroaig 1987 Old Malt Cask is from and how it is bottled. In terms of where it comes from:
The award winning family of Laphroaig Whiskies ranges from the rich pungent, earthy aroma of the blue peat smoke to the sweet nuttiness of the barley and the delicate, heathery perfume of Islay's streams. Like the islanders it may seem a little aloof at first, but make the effort, broach acquaintance and we can guarantee you'll have a warm and genuine friend for life.
In terms of its bottling:
This now rare single malt is distilled in 1987 and bottled in 2005 by Douglas Laing. 

The Glasgow-based Douglas Laing & Co is an independent bottler and blender. The Old Malt Cask is an intriguing range that emerged in 1998 with a caveat that the single cask bottling would only offer limited numbers to the connoisseur or anyone else with good taste for that matter. Getting your hands on a bottle from their coveted Old Malt Cask range, for example, can prove a pleasant adventure. The OLD MALT CASK offerings are not chill filtered, leaving in each bottle all the oils, fats and enzymes that combine to give the quality of the nose, palate, mouth-feel and finish.
They list the bottle to have a price point of $109.00

The website for Whisky Magazine has a tasting review for the LaPhroaig 1987 Old Malt Cask from Whisky Magazine Issue 44. Here is some basic information about this bottling. It is a 17-year old blend that was distilled in 1987 and has an ABV of 50% which is a potent 100 proof here in the United States. Two reviewers state the following about this bottling:
Michael Jackson rates it an 85
Nose: Very dry smoky phenols.
Palate: Lightly oily. Firm. Then exploding with dry, peppery flavours.
Finish: Warming, digestif.
Comment: Confident. Slightly austere.

Marcin Miller rates it a 70
Nose: Attractive and harmonious. Lavender. More bed linen when reduced. Creamy.
Palate: Peanuts (with skin on), soft mocha and chocolate. Pistachio nuts.
Finish: Pistachio ice cream. Good length.
Comment: Good complexity, weight and mouthfeel but lacking balance.
The Royal Whisky Mile website also has a listing and a review for the LaPhroiag 1987 Old Malt Cask. Here is how they describe it:
Nose: Burnt rubber, pencil erasers, mint choc chip ice cream or toothpaste, some sweet elastoplast character. With time some buttery brown sugar.

Palate: Syrupy to start, then medicinal and with a suplhury woody-dry and ropey finish

Overall: Interesting but you must like your whiskies dry!
Tasted blind by RMW staff, 2005
One last review comes from the Whisky Fun website that did a review on the LaPhroaig 1987 Old Malt Cask on December 26, 2004. Here is how they describe it:
Laphroaig 17 yo 1987/2004 (50%, DL OMC, cask # DL 1217, 256 bottles, 6 month rum finish). Two stars.

Colour: white wine.

Nose: wow, how fresh, how floral at first nosing. Alas, some grassy notes of white rum and even tequila are soon to emerge. Freshly mown lawn? Crushed leaves? Green tea? Even vodka… I feel it’s been that ‘muted’, that it doesn’t really smell scotch whisky anymore… It’s nice, but it’s a little weird. I’m wondering what’s the story behind this particular cask and why they’ve finished it like that.

Mouth: again, we have quite a strange mixture here. Some peat and smoke, sure, but also some tequila, over infused tea, cod-liver oil… Bitter orange, marzipan, bitter almonds, walnut skin… Well, I understand variety is good, and something different from time to time is great, but this one is off the limits for me. The finish is rather long, on liquorice, turpentine and orange zest. 70 points.
Anyone out there ever give this scotch whisky a taste? If so, what did you think. Let me know. Enquiring minds want to know.

I leave you with Tony Stark, victory whisky in hand approaching the humvee that would take him on his path to becoming Iron Man. To Peace!!!


Until Then Happy Drinking,
SiscoVanilla
#siscovanilla
#siscovanillaatthemovies

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

SiscoVanilla is Peachy Keen...or is he Part II

This is the second part of Peach flavored cocktail posts found on the internet. My previous post SiscoVanilla is Peachy Keen...or is he Part I focused on the Peach Bourbon Cooler. Today's post focuses on a cocktail entitled Georgia meet Bermuda: Peach Sweet Tea & Rum which I found on the Three Beans of a String website.

Unlike the last cocktail that called for muddled peaches, this one just seems to calls for it to just insert the peach slices into the cocktail.

Here is the recipe she used:
 PEACH SWEET TEA & RUM
¾ cup (6oz) sweet tea
½ TBSP lime simple syrup
1½ shots black rum
3-4 slices of fresh peaches

In a glass filled with crushed ices, layer the ingredients above in order of sweet tea, simple syrup, rum. Add sliced peaches, stirring optional, and sip away
She mentions in the article that while in Bermuda she had Gosling's Black Rum. For my cocktail I used what I had handy: Cruzan Black Strap Rum. I didn't use lime simple syrup (or any simple syrup for that matter), since I felt that using the Cruzan Black strap with the sweet tea, adding another sweetener would just be redundant. If you like it sweet, then more power to you.

This is how I made mine:
6oz sweet tea
1.5oz Cruzan Black Strap Rum
3 peach slices
2 lime wedges

In a glass full of ice, pour in the sweet tea, layer with peach slices, squeeze lime wedges and float the black strap rum over the top (as you would with in a Dark and Stormy)
I have to say that I really couldn't tell where the peaches sat in this cocktail. I didn't seem as if they made any difference. Are they there for flavoring or just for visual effect. I can see the tea having a different profile if the peaches were boiled with the tea water and/or infused in the hot water as the tea bags steeped. But the peaches just seemed like unnecessary overkill.

I made a second one with the same proportions (this time without the peaches) and found that I didn't couldn't tell the difference in the cocktail with or without peaches. That's not to say that the cocktail isn't something that can't be enjoyed. I found that once it kind of settled and melded together, there was a nice spiciness it.

I would think that a Gosling's or even a Spiced Rum such as the Bacardi Oakheart would stand out better and play nicer in the cocktail than the Cruzan Black Strap Rum I used. The sweet tea, which I made with the recommended black tea bags is very tasty. I'll definitely make some more of the tea in the future. Here is the recipe she listed for her Sweet Tea:
Sweet Tea
5 liters of water
10 black tea bags
4 cups sugar

Bring water to a boil. Add tea bags and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Remove tea bags. Cool and serve.
Thanks to Alison for the recipe for the sweet tea and I have to say that for now, I've given up trying to use peaches in a cocktail. They just don't seem to work for me. Since I have so much free time on my hands these days, any recommendations? Feel free, drop me a line siscovanilla@gmail.com. Let me know what you think.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
SiscoVanilla
#siscovanilla
#siscovanillaatthemovies

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Constantine (2005)

Courtesy of RaymondYueng.com
With the San Diego Comic Con in full swing, I've decided to focus on superhero movies that have characters partaking of the spirits. Today's installment of SiscoVanilla at the Movies focuses on the religious thriller Constantine (2005). Constantine is a movie based on the Hellblazer comic book printed by DC Comics and then the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics. The protagonist John Constantine was created by legendary comic writer Alan Moore and artist Stephen R. Bissette. In the movie Constantine (Keanu Reeves) has the power to see demons. He hunts them down in order to make amends for killing someone earlier in his life. Constantine hopes to atone for that singular act and avoid going to hell in the process. And he's accelerating the process by chain smoking his life away. But at least he has good taste in the spirit he drinks.

In the scene where Constantine is visited by Detective Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) who requests his help in solving the apparent suicide of her sister Isabel (also played Rachel Weisz), he drinks Ardbeg 10.



What's Ardbeg 10 you may ask? Shame on you!!!




Ardbeg is only one of the finest Islay single malt scotch whisky producers ever made. According to the Ardbeg website:
The small, remote Scottish island of Islay (pronounced 'eye-lah') is an antique land. A wild and untamed place, where Celtic monks found refuge from raiding Norsemen and early distillers smuggled their illicit ‘aquavitae’ at Ardbeg’s rugged rocky cove.

Abundant soft water, fertile soil and acres of precious peat makes this Island a place of pilgrimage for the single malt whisky faithful. And none more so than our very own Ardbeg, unquestionably the greatest distillery on earth. See you there soon.
Well, maybe I'll go when I have a job again ;) I digress. But what about that Whisky you might ask. Again I refer you to the website's listing for the Ardbeg 10:
Ardbeg Ten Years Old is revered around the world as the peatiest, smokiest, most complex single malt of them all. Yet it does not flaunt the peat; rather it gives way to the natural sweetness of the malt to produce a whisky of perfect balance.

Typically most whiskies are chill-filtered and reduced to a strength of 40% ABV. Ardbeg Ten Years Old, however, is non chill-filtered and has a strength of 46% ABV, thus retaining maximum flavour, at the same time giving more body and added depth. It’s whisky with none of the goodness taken out.
In terms of aroma, taste and finish:
AROMA: A burst of intense smoky fruit escapes into the atmosphere – peat infused with zesty lemon and lime, wrapped in waxy dark chocolate.

Bold menthol and black pepper slice through the sweet smoke followed by tarry ropes and graphite. As you dip your nose in further, savour the aroma of smoked fish and crispy bacon alongside green bell peppers, baked pineapple and pear juice.

Add water and breathe in the vortex of aromas rising from the glass. An oceanic minerality brings a breath of cool, briny seaspray on chalky cliffs. Waxed lemon and lime follows with coal tar soap, beeswax and herby pine woodlands. Toasted vanilla and sizzling cinnamon simmer in the background with warm hazelnut and almond toffee.

TASTE: An explosion of crackling peat sets off millions of flavour explosions on the tongue: peat effervesces with tangy lemon and lime juice, black pepper pops with sizzling cinnamon-spiced toffee. This is followed by a wave of brine infused with smooth buttermilk, ripe bananas and currants. Smoke gradually wells up on the palate bringing a mouthful of warm creamy cappuccino and toasted marshmallows. As the taste lengthens and deepens, dry espresso, liquorice root and tarry smoke develop coating the palate with chewy peat oils.

FINISH: The finish goes on and on – long and smoky with tarry espresso, aniseed, toasted almonds and traces of soft barley and fresh pear.
I have to admit that I have never had the pleasure of having a wee dram of Ardbeg. So shame on me for not doing so. That is something that I hope to accomplish sooner than later. I'll get back to gals and guys when I do.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
SiscoVanilla
#siscovanilla
#siscovanillaatthemovies

Saturday, July 19, 2014

SiscoVanilla is Peachy Keen...or is he Part I

I wanted to devote the next two posts to trying out two peach inspired cocktails that I have come across the internet. For today's post, I'm looking at the Peach Bourbon Cooler which is found on the SuperGoldenBakes.com website. You can also find her on Google+: Lucy Parissi. She describes the cocktail as so:
This Peach Bourbon Cooler is refreshing, a little sweet, with a lovely smokey edge. It feels like a grown up cocktail to be sipped while watching True Detective preferably in a darkened room with a ceiling fan whirring overhead.

Peach Berry Cooler
Serves 2
2 ripe peaches, quartered
4 large lemon slices
Small handful of fresh mint
2 tsp sugar
120ml | 1/2 cup | 4fl oz Bourbon (can add bit more if you prefer it really strong)
1-2 tbsp Grand Marnier
Dash Angostura Bitters
Crushed ice to serve

Method
Put the peach, lemon slices, mint and sugar in your cocktail shaker and muddle it with the back of a clean rolling pin. Try to extract as much juice as possible.

Add the bourbon, Grand Marnier and Angostura Bitters and half fill the shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.

Double strain the cocktail in two rocks glasses filled with crushed or chipped ice. You may want to use a fine sieve as the bits of fruit can block the shaker. Alternatively open the shaker and use a cocktail strainer.

Note: you may want to add a little simple syrup if the peaches are not particularly sweet.
So I made this cocktail as described using Splenda instead of sugar, scaling down the recipe to one serving and making it without the mint. Mint has been hard to find in my neighborhood and the little seedlings I planted have just started to poke their little leaves out of the soil. So alas, no mint.

Though I did have a nice ripe peach to work with so I was anxious to see what came out from this cocktail recipe. Aside from the mint, I made the cocktail as Lucy instructed, scaled back for one serving instead of two. Maybe its me, but I was left yearning for more.

For a cocktail that has two ounces of Jim Beam bourbon, a tablespoon of Grand Marnier, and a dash of Angostura bitters I really can't taste anything past the tartness of lemon juice, a little bit of the peach juice and surprisingly a hint of the Grand Marnier. For all the work that went to muddling and mashing for this cocktail, I find that it's missing something. Now don't get me wrong, it is a pretty smooth cocktail but I wonder if I can reach the same level with peach juice or peach puree and fresh squeezed lemon juice with less mess in the shaker and strainer.

For those of you who have read my posts, you know that I prefer to use fresh ingredients instead of using canned juices and artificial flavors. But the intense muddling, straining and later clean up left me to believe that canned and freshly squeezed just might be easier for this recipe. Here is how I made the canned version:
2oz Goya Diet Peach Juice
0.5oz Fresh Lemon Juice
2oz Jim Beam Bourbon
1tbsp Grand Marnier
1 dash angostura bitters
1 tsp Splenda

Build in an cocktail shake with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass with fresh ice.
Though I find that the bourbon stands out a little better in this cocktail, I still find that this version (as the last one) of the cocktail is missing something. Its missing a little oomph. What I think that it needs is some effervescence. It seems to be a little flat.

Club soda, sparkling water, or even a sparkling wine like Prosecco would probably make a difference. It would give the cocktail the little effervescence that it seems to be missing.  I also thought of Ginger Beer, but the spiciness and extra sweetness that some Ginger Beers have might change the profile of the drink too much.

I made an additional cocktail this time topping it off with Seltzer Water and still found it to be lacking. Adding Prosecco would be the next logical step to try but don't have a bottle to open and I'm sure if I did have a bottle, I would find it hard to crack it open to try here. I'm personally just not feeling this cocktail enough.

Like I said earlier in the post, this is a smooth cocktail. I can see trying to make this in a pitcher and serving it in portions at a cookout or a family get together letting people control how much alcohol they add to it. Its just not something that I can see myself serving behind the bar unless I pre-made juice portion.

Thanks to Lucy for piquing my interest with this post. Give her a follow on Google+: Lucy Parissi, Twitter: Supergolden88, Instagram: Supergolden88 and on Tumblr: SuperGoldenBakes for more cooking and cocktail recipes.

For my next post, I take a different peach path by trying out a cocktail recipe that I found entitled Georgia meet Bermuda: Peach Sweet Tea & Rum. Come back and find out how it turned out for me.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
SiscoVanilla
#siscovanilla
#siscovanillaatthemovies


Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Fifth Estate (2013)

Today's installment of SiscoVanilla at the Movies focuses on the political thriller The Fifth Estate (2013) which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange who is known as the founder of the website WikiLeaks. The movie is based on the book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website by Daniel Domscheit-Berg who was a former associate of Assange. I don't want to go heavily into what happened in the movie as I recommend that you all pick it up from your local library (yes folks, libraries have movies), RedBox, Netflix or however it is you get your movies and give it a watch.

Near the end of the movie, one of the casualties of the leak of classified United States Military and Diplomatic cables is U.S. Government official Sarah Shaw (Laura Linney). She was sacked due to comments made by her on classified cables. As she is packing her office, an interview that Assange is giving is showing on CNN. In walks in another U.S. Government official, James Boswell (Stanley Tucci). Shaw offers Boswell a drink as the interview continues to play. As Shaw ponders on how history will look back on the both of them and Assange, I notice something familiar about the bottle that Boswell is pouring from.

At quick glance it looks like a bottle of Drambuie though the label looked different. Drambuie has recently undergone a rebranding so the newer bottles differ from the older ones.

Drambuie Old and New Bottles
Upon further research, I realize that the bottle in the movie is none other than Drambuie 15. I had no idea there was even another kind of Drambuie. 




Drambuie is an aged scotch whisky infused with heather honey and a variety of spices that is known as being one of the two ingredients of the old school cocktail The Rusty Nail (Drambuie and Scotch). In looking for some history behind the Drambuie brand, the website gives a detailed and interesting synopsis on how Drambuie came to be:
The story of Drambuie begins over 267 years ago in July 1746. Prince Charles Edward Stuart (known also as Bonnie Prince Charlie) was on the run, after defeat at the Battle of Culloden had ended his hopes of restoring the Stuarts to the throne of Great Britain.

The Prince was pursued by the King’s men across the Highlands and Islands of Western Scotland, bravely aided by many Highland Clans. Among them was Clan MacKinnon whose chief, John MacKinnon, helped the Prince escape from The Isle of Skye. In thanks for his bravery the Prince gave John MacKinnon the secret recipe to his personal liqueur, a gift that the Clan were to treasure down the generations. An extraordinary elixir that would, many years later, become known to the world as Drambuie.
Upon further inspection on the Drambuie website, I notice that they have three Drambuie blends: Drambuie, Drambuie 15 and the Jacobite Collection. According to the website's listing for Drambuie 15:
Drambuie 15 is a whisky connoisseur’s expression of Drambuie drawn from the company’s finest selection of 15 Year Old Speyside Malts. Selected for their soft complex fragrance and flavour, the rare Speyside Malts ideally complement and balance the herbs and spicy aromas of Drambuie’s famed secret recipe.

With a nose of Drambuie’s aromatic citrus spice, fragrant grass and butterscotch notes, Drambuie 15 has a velvet soft mouthfeel with a tang of lemongrass and warming malty notes, berries and heather. A finish of shortbread, fresh herbs and the unmistakable long afterglow of the Drambuie elixir results in a refined, drier expression, perfect for sipping and savouring either neat or over ice.
Here is the sequence in which both Shaw and Boswell toast to each other and drink their dram of Drambuie 15:






And yes, they do drink it neat...just as the website suggests. Now I need to add Drambuie 15 to the list of spirits I need to try. And the search continues.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla
#siscovanilla
#siscovanillaatthemovies

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Machete Kills (2013) Part II

In my last post Machete Kills (2013) Part I, I profiled The Gran Patrón Platinum Tequila that both the President (Carlos Estevez) and Machete (Danny Trejo) partake a shot of while sealing the deal of Machete's job in Mexico. Fast forward to near the end of the movie where Machete is having a lavish meal with the head of Voz Tech: Mr. Voz (Mel Gibson).

While they are dining, a waiter is bringing over a bottle of wine. All of a sudden Voz turns around and stabs the waiter with a wine key. When Machete sits at attention, Voz tells him:


Now those of you who know me, know that I am not a sommelier.  But even I know that a wine from 1787 must be rare. So I decided to delve in a little deeper on the 1787 Chateau Lafitte.

According to the November 19, 2013 article World's Most Expensive Wines from the Forbes.com website:
When an enterprising young man named James Christie opened his sales rooms in London in December 1766, his first auction consisted of the estate of a “deceased nobleman” containing “a large Quantity of Madeira and high Flavour’d Claret.” The records don’t relate how much these delightfully described “high Flavour’d clarets” fetched but as the whole sale realized a grand total £175, it is a sure bet that if Christie had known that two hundred years later, in 1985, his now famous auction house would sell one bottle of wine for £105,000, or $160,000, he might have held back a bottle or two to enrich his future heirs.

This bottle was a Bordeaux, a 1787 Chateau Lafite, and, according to The Guinness Book of World Records, 18 years later it still is the world’s most expensive bottle of wine. Its great age alone would have ensured a good price but what gave it its special cachet, especially to American collectors, and ensured the record price tag were the initials Th.J. etched in the glass.
So Thomas Jefferson owned a personally etched 1787 Chateau Lafitte bottle of Bordeaux wine that was deemed to be the most expensive bottle of wine auctioned by Christie's in 1985. For those of you who aren't up on your history, our nation's Third President (1801-1809) also served as Ambassador to France from 1785 to 1789 and apparently was an avid collector of wine. According to the article Atomic Wine: Story #5: Hidden Kitchens — Atomic Wine: The Hidden World of Counterfeit Wine from the kitchensisters.org website:
Jefferson was the “leading wine connoisseur of the Republic, the presiding expert in French wine in this country.” He ordered wine for George Washington and he wrote out descriptions of the first growths and best wines in France for a number of American merchants. He was also a meticulous record keeper who recorded every aspect of his life in detail. When he returned from France he had the wines he’d purchased for himself and President Washington carefully shipped to the United States. According to his detailed books they all arrived intact.
Never let it be said that I can't meld my SiscoVanilla and HistorySisco (historysisco.tumblr.com) personas to bring you gals and guys a post. But I digress. My question is this: If you have yourself a bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafitte...can you drink it? I refer back to the aforementioned Forbes.com article:
Of course none of these wines are actually drinkable now; it is unusual for even the best Bordeaux to last more than 50 years, and 200 years is beyond any wine’s limit. The allure of these high-priced bottles of vinegar, and other wines of its ilk, is purely in the joy of collecting, not consuming. The 1787 Lafite was explicitly bought as a piece of Jefferson memorabilia, not as a bottle of wine, and it now resides in the Forbes Collection in New York. These wines are rather like old stamps, something to be collected, horded but never used, and they command such high prices not because of their utility but because of their scarcity and consequent appeal to collectors.

Looking closely at the picture above, it looks like Mr. Voz got himself one of President Jefferson's bottles of 1787 Chateau Lafitte. I guess that's just what Captains of Industry do. But unless Mr. Voz had some high tech way to make that wine drinkable, they were just drinking some over priced vinegar. And we all know: Machete don't drink vinegar.

I'm starting to feel somewhat reinvigorated. So I'm not sure whether my next post will be a cocktail or a movie post. Either way, I'm trying to on some consistent writing with the free time I currently have. Keep your eyes open for some new material from yours truly.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
SiscoVanilla
#siscovanilla
#siscovanillaatthemovies

For Further Reading
- Click Here to access Patrick Radden Keefe's September 3, 2007 article The Jefferson Bottles from the New Yorker magazine website

Monday, July 7, 2014

Machete Kills (2013) Part I

Today’s Installment of SiscoVanilla at the Movies focuses on the sequel to Robert Rodriguez's grindhouse film Machete (2010): Machete Kills (2013).

After the events of the failed drug/weapons bust that led to the death of Machete's (Danny Trejo) lady Agent Sartana (Jessica Alba), Machete was at the mercy of Sheriff Doakes (William Sadler) and his noose. A quick phone call and a helicopter ride and The President of the United States (Carlos Estevez aka Charlie Sheen) has rescued Machete from the hangman’s noose. Why? He desperately needs Machete's assistance.


The plan is for Machete to travel to Mexico in order to take down Mexican revolutionary Mendez (Demian Bechir). To seal the deal, both drink some Gran Patrón Platinum Tequila.


Gran Patrón Platinum Tequila is the third highest of the Patron tequila brands after Gran Patrón Burdeos and Gran Patrón Piedra. The Patrón listing for Gran Patrón Platinum describes it as such:
Like all Patrón tequilas, Gran Patrón Platinum is produced from the highest-quality Weber blue agave plants grown in the Highlands of Jalisco. The agaves for this distinct tequila are hand selected for their high sugar content. The tequila is triple distilled and then rested in oak tanks for a short time, making it extraordinarily smooth and full-bodied. It has notes of citrus and a light oak finish. Every etched label bottle is a handcrafted crystal (lead free) piece of art that is hand polished and numbered. The bottle is packaged in an elegant black presentation case.

COLOR: Crystal clear, bright.
AROMA: Light fresh agave, citrus and fruit. Very faint oak wood.
TASTE: Extremely smooth, sweet. Light notes of citrus and fruit.
FINISH: Long-lasting with black pepper.
It is a 40% (80 proof) Alc. Vol. tequila blanco.

The Tequila Tourist reviewed the Gran Patrón Platinum tequila on May 23, 2012. You can access their review here: Review #114 Gran Patrón Platinum Tequila

For my next post I stay in the world of Machete Kills strapped with a bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafitte. Is that particular wine worth the hype?

Until Then Happy Drinking,
SiscoVanilla
#siscovanilla
#siscovanillatthemovies

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Louis Armstrong aka Satchmo (1901-1971)

Since today is the anniversary of the great Louis Armstrong's passing, just wanted to post a drink that I had a this past May at the Peacock Alley Restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria (301 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022 (212) 872-1275) called the Satchmo at the Waldorf.
Satchmo at the Waldorf
Smith & Cross Navy Strength Rum 
Lustau Oloroso Sherry 
Lemon Juice 
Pineapple Juice 
Allagash White Beer
To be perfectly honest, I wish I could say that I remember the nuances and intricacies of this cocktail. But it was near the end of the Mother's Day/Anniversary dinner that I had with Momma-San, so details are a bit fuzzy.

Referring to my very brief notes that I took that night, I found that the cocktail had a bitter but pleasurable profile to it. I also said that it was very "Oaky". Well alrighty then. LOL. Here is the Satchmo at the Waldorf. May You Continue to Rest in Peace and play that jazzy music up in the heavens Satchmo.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
SiscoVanilla
#siscovanilla
#siscovanillaatthemovies

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Chapter Closes

Well, after 12-years of employment at the Bleecker Street Bar, I am left without a job. The bar decided to go in a "Different Direction" so I am left somewhat adrift. To be honest this is for the best. As you all have noticed, I have not been posting much lately. I have been very "meh" and "blah" when it has come towards doing anything cocktail related. The excitement of crafting a cocktail was gone. The anticipation of tasting a creation was dulled by my not being happy.

To be honest, I haven't been happy at work for sometime. While I wasn't told the truth as to why I was being let go, I would say that my wearing my dissatisfaction on my sleeve along with what I would describe as a difference in opinion are the reasons why I am no longer a member of the Bleecker Street Bar staff. So with that a chapter in my life closes. Unlike the saying "All roads lead back to Bleecker", the roads in front of me lead to brand new destinations.

I'm taking two weeks off to get a little rest, relaxation and reflection in. God knows I need it. I will try to use this new opportunity to rediscover what I loved about making cocktail. The history behind the libations. The magic that makes the flavors blend together into the drinks that we like to consume.

As the gentlemen from the 1980's Bartles and Jaymes wine coolers Thank you very much for all your support, input, insights and suggestions that you have given me during the last three years in my bartending career and in my total of 12 years at the Bleecker Street Bar. You have no idea how important all that to me.

I'll keep you all posted of where the SiscoVanilla story continues.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
SiscoVanilla
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