Storage condition for spirits?

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Storage condition for spirits?

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:28 am

I am presuming that they don't need wine cellar conditions, but should avoid real extremes. I'm really not sure having never spent any time exploring spirits until now.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Victorwine » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:24 pm

“Cellar conditions” will not hurt. My advice would be to keep them away from direct light, light could be damaging to any alcoholic beverage.

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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Carl Eppig » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:25 pm

In a liquor cabinet preferably not located right next to a baseline heating element.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Hoke » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:35 pm

Out of direct sunlight and not extreme temp changes should do it. All vermouths should be stored chilled, natch. Liqueurs may give you the most trouble, because of sugar and either coagulation or separation of different ingredients. Also, sugar can create some ugly bacterial or pest problems.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:58 pm

No liqueurs as of yet. Thanks.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Hoke » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:43 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:No liqueurs as of yet. Thanks.


It will happen. :D

Benedictine. Chartreuse. Campari. Other amari-types.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:46 pm

Campari is coming soon. Last night was Old Fashioned-fest. Coming soon: Negroni-fest.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Hoke » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:53 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Campari is coming soon. Last night was Old Fashioned-fest. Coming soon: Negroni-fest.


Okay, fair warning: once you start on the negroni-fest, you're lost forever.

Look what happened to Thor.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:54 pm

I've had some, but they haven't truly grabbed me...yet.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Hoke » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:02 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I've had some, but they haven't truly grabbed me...yet.


Oh, it's a combination of the sensory-analytical thing that'll get you: the fascinating differential permutations capable with just three ingredients.

It's somewhat analogous to the riesling thing, that combination of sensorial and intellectual appeal that requires focus and heightened perception to appreciate and describe. Like I said, you're a goner. Bwahaha. :twisted:
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:31 pm

I totally get that, as the 4 ingredients for the Old Fashioned kept us going for hours with variations in Bourbons and bitters.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Hoke » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:40 pm

Uh huh. I do a consumer class (although you'd be surprised how many pros attend), along with a talented bartender, wherein we taste four whiskies (three bourbons--one wheated, one medium mash bill, one rye-heavy--and one rye), then taste four different vermouths (usually something like M&R, Noilly, Cocchi, Carpano Antica, or Punt e Mes), and stick with Angostura as the only bitters just to keep things from being totally insane.

Then after tasting the whiskies and vermouths, the bartender mixes up different combinations of them (in very, very small tasting samples so as not to totally schnocker everybody).

In addition to that, and to keep that schnocker factor down, I have a tippling chef put together a series of small plate tasty-bites designed to go with the whiskies and cocktails.

It is an outrageously fun evening, as well as being humongously informative and entertaining.

For an upcoming SWE conference this year, I'm going to do a tasting seminar on The History of the Martini in Eight Cocktails---wherein we go sequentially through the development and evolution of the martini with eight sips. Will require several bartenders as we will fresh-batch every single martini for the crowd, which may be as much as 100 people. :mrgreen:
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Keith M » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:45 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Campari is coming soon. Last night was Old Fashioned-fest. Coming soon: Negroni-fest.
My negroni explorations seem to involve substituting out the Campari, oddly enough. Gran Classico offers lots of interest, but as much as I wanted Cynar to work, it hasn't grabbed me. But the right amaro? (most recently Fernet Angelico) Oh my my, oh hell yes, got to put on that party dress . . .
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Hoke » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:01 pm

Keith M wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:Campari is coming soon. Last night was Old Fashioned-fest. Coming soon: Negroni-fest.
My negroni explorations seem to involve substituting out the Campari, oddly enough. Gran Classico offers lots of interest, but as much as I wanted Cynar to work, it hasn't grabbed me. But the right amaro? (most recently Fernet Angelico) Oh my my, oh hell yes, got to put on that party dress . . .


Oh yeah, Gran Classico has its charms, Keith. (Interesting that it got your Tom Petty quote engine going. :wink: ) Subbing out the amari component does amazing things. But so does subbing out the vermouth component (say M&R versus Noilly vs Cocchi----wow, what differences!). I like Carpano Antica Formula; but most of the time I don't like it in a negroni---waaaaay too much vanilla changes the entire flavor of the cocktail. Or you could go to what I call a Sicilian Root Beer by using Averna as the amaro. Or Montenegro. Or the wine-based Cardamaro (a milder form of a Cynar-like amaro.) The possibilities are endless.

But you can play with the spirit component too: I know most people automatically think of gin negronis, but I've had great tequila/mezcal negronis as well. And we won't even talk about whiskey negronis (which are usually called by another familiar name :D ).
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Jon Peterson » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:31 am

Hoke wrote:Look what happened to Thor.


So true. I follow his posts on FB with some amazement.

My son is a p/t bartender at a very fine dining restaurant and he has opened up the world of cocktails to me. His experimentation, however eye and palate opening they may be, has left me with many bottles of both common and unusual elixirs, all missing only a few ounces. Now that he has moved out, I'm at a loss as to what to do with them. perhaps they'll be his birthday gift.

BTW, I keep all spirits that are not regularly used on the floor of the wine cellar. I tend to worry more about evaporation with spirits than with wine for obvious reasons, especially those closed with corks.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:38 am

That presumes space in the wine cellar... :twisted:
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Jenise » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:15 pm

Okay, so after reading this thread early yesterday evening, I slipped down to the kitchen and about 6 minutes later called out to Bob, "Honey! Cocktail time!" He's never heard those words before.

I made Old Fashioneds, my first ever to make or drink. (At the end of this month I'm hosting Supper Club, and the theme is 'pie'. I need to serve a cocktail, and in reading your post it struck me that an Old Fashioned is probably the perfect drink for the theme. Any thoughts?) I read a few recipes and saw that rye is used fairly often, though bourbon is the classic base. I have both and am turning into an absolute rye fanatic, so I decided to use the less-exciting-to-my-palate Bourbon in hopes of making something that would be more separate from my beloved Sazerac, and I could really picture the orange flavor with the bourbon. My drink wasn't entirely correct in that I didn't have a maraschino cherry to add (bought some today, though, so won't say that again!), and I overmuddled the orange slices and made a cloudy drink, but we enjoyed the flavors quite a bit.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Hoke » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:31 pm

Good on you, Jenise.

Cloudy OFs are fine. Most Americans have this thing about preferring clear and uncloudy drinks, but you're not hampered by that so who cares.

The basic neon red maraschino is fine, but a nice bourbon-soaked Maraska cherry can add an entirely different and richer element to it. Less intensely sweet too. Luxardo cherries and the French griottes (forget the name now) both work nicely.

I understand your fascination with rye (and in large part share it), but eventually you can play around with the rye-heavy bourbons and get the best of both styles. Woodford Reserve and Four Roses are two of the best of those rye-heavy, with noticeable spicy-tangy dry rye notes. Don't bother with most Canadians and Blended whiskies though; they mostly get overborne by the orange and don't have the character or style to stand up well in the drink.

And now that the door has been opened, you can eventually tinker around with brandy old fashioneds (probably to sweet and clunky for you), the even better cognac old fashioned (way more complexity) the tequila anejo or smoky mezcal old fashioned...gosh, the possibilities are endless. :D
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:38 pm

Need to get some Woodford Reserve.

Just picked up a couple of books as well. The Joy of Mixology is...well...a joy so far.

This could get ugly.

Not a fan of fruit in my Old Fashioned though.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby James Dietz » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:43 pm

Jenise wrote:Okay, so after reading this thread early yesterday evening, I slipped down to the kitchen and about 6 minutes later called out to Bob, "Honey! Cocktail time!" He's never heard those words before.

I made Old Fashioneds, my first ever to make or drink. (At the end of this month I'm hosting Supper Club, and the theme is 'pie'. I need to serve a cocktail, and in reading your post it struck me that an Old Fashioned is probably the perfect drink for the theme. Any thoughts?) I read a few recipes and saw that rye is used fairly often, though bourbon is the classic base. I have both and am turning into an absolute rye fanatic, so I decided to use the less-exciting-to-my-palate Bourbon in hopes of making something that would be more separate from my beloved Sazerac, and I could really picture the orange flavor with the bourbon. My drink wasn't entirely correct in that I didn't have a maraschino cherry to add (bought some today, though, so won't say that again!), and I overmuddled the orange slices and made a cloudy drink, but we enjoyed the flavors quite a bit.


I've been working on learning cocktails and classic mixology, too, Jenise. We have lots of bars locally that have gone back in time in terms of making pre-prohibition drinks. And folks on this board know a lot!

Fun stuff. My Martinis with Holland gin and Noilly are a favorite, along with Aviation, Negroni and Corpse Reviver # 2. You need to serve Bob that one!
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Hoke » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:15 am

David M. Bueker wrote:Need to get some Woodford Reserve.

Just picked up a couple of books as well. The Joy of Mixology is...well...a joy so far.

This could get ugly.

Not a fan of fruit in my Old Fashioned though.


Once you get your full geek on, get The Drunken Botanist. Fascinating.
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:26 pm

Jenise wrote:... I overmuddled the orange slices and made a cloudy drink, but we enjoyed the flavors quite a bit.


I like muddling just an orange peel strip instead of the full on slice. This way you get the oil essence without the juice/cloudiness. You may need to adjust sugar.
For sugar, I've been really loving muddling up raw demerara cubes. Lovely complexity addition.

I spend a lot of time experimenting with various orange bittters plus aromatic bitters to stir in as well. It's so easy to get some fascinating variations with a change of a few drops of this and that.

The first true OF I had was in London and it took what seemed like 15 minutes to build/stir/build/stir in the glass. I was fascinated by the build process and try to recreate that slow dilution/chilling each time although sometimes I do lack patience!
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Tom V » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:57 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:No liqueurs as of yet. Thanks.


Oh yes, They'll come, and quickly. As will scores of different gins,"gins", rums,rons, rhums, dozens of impressive bourbons which will quickly relegate Woodford Reserve to the back of the cabinet, etc, etc, etc.

Hey David, you definitely want to immediately subscribe to the magazine "Imbibe", and go to the "Straight Bourbon" website.

Probably not a bad idea to scale back your wine buying too, as more than likely you'll find yourself having a cocktail or snifter when you previously would have been popping a bottle of vino...happened to us, but it's lots of fun and often tastes damn good. :D
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Re: Storage condition for spirits?

Postby Hoke » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:22 pm

Our esteemed Mr. B, who is too nice a guy and doesn't want to be perceived as being crass and commercial, also has a really good quality line of bitters at AZ Bitters Lab http://azbitterslab.com/ "Creating fun little flavor explosions so you don't have to."

His bitters are available for mail order, and he has some enticing ones...Orange Sunshine, Mas Mole, and Figgy Pudding (which does some interesting things with bourbon and rye). And for what it's worth, I heartily endorse them.
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