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Smoky and Sweet, “The Mezcal Old Fashioned”

by Jason Lightner November 21st, 2014
I've been accused on more than one occasion of being a minimalist. Indeed, it's difficult to justify all of the pomp and circumstance which surrounds the creation of more than a few classic and contemporary cocktails. I'd usually much rather pour liquor into a glass and lift it to my face. That method, my friends, is what's known as the path of least resistance.

And so, many of the cocktails you'll see me feature here are meant to amaze not by the intricacies of the recipe, but by the flavors and experiences which they produce. With the fall and winter months coming
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Beer

Bitter Disappointment? Rickard’s Blonde

by Charles Wangersky November 17th, 2014 | Beer
Beer

Canadians have long prided themselves on having beer that is better than what is served south of the border. Before the turn of the century, this probably was true; there was some flavor and some character to the Canadian beers, while the only things that you could buy in the States were the product of industrial beer factories. These days, of course, there are miniature breweries on a surprising number of street corners, both in the States and in Canada, each of them with their own deliciously idiosyncratic views on what makes for a good beer.

But in the late
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Cocktails

Something to Abide By – “The White Russian”

by Jason Lightner November 14th, 2014 | Cocktails
Cocktail Since we're taking a look at a vodka this week, I figured we may as well peek at one of my favorite vodka cocktails as well. This one traditionally includes dairy, but for those of us who might be lactose intolerant or of the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, we've got an alternative recipe as well. Let us begin!

Those of you who've experienced the Coen brothers' famed movie, The Big Lebowski (1998), should know all about the White Russian. Jeff Daniels' character, The Dude, has his fair share of this delightful cocktail throughout the film, lending credibility to the White Russian
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Bar Destination

The Top Bars in Virginia Beach, Norfolk & Richmond

by R. Carnavale November 20th, 2014 | Bar Destination
Virginia is home to several excellent bars, brewpubs and gastropubs. Take the Home Republic in Virginia Beach, the state's largest city, for instance. This dive bar is well-known for serving distinctive Virginia-made craft beers with unusual names like the Smarthmouth Alter Ego Saison, which is brewed in the farmhouse style of a Belgian saison with fruity notes, a hint of pepper and a dry finish. The Back Bay Steel Pier Bohemian Lager is an American lager
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Wine

Root: 1, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

by Jason Lightner November 19th, 2014 | Wine
Wine Root: 1

Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

$12.99

Now this is one I've been excited about for a while. After seeing Root: 1's artfully decorated bottles sitting atop shelves in my local wine purveyor's shops over the past several months, I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity to give them a go. Now, it seems, is that time.

Chile holds a special place in my heart when it comes to red varietals, particularly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The region's fertile ground allows for a rich, earthy flavor in nearly every red wine they produce — a flavor profile I truly find mesmerizing. The
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Spirits

Fidencio Pechuga Mezcal

by Jason Lightner November 18th, 2014 | Spirits
Spirits One of the more elusive spirits in modern times, but one that is quickly gaining favor is mezcal. Made from the Mexico native maguey plant (itself a form of agave), mezcal is to tequila as scotch is to bourbon. Smoky, earthy, and briny, this is a drink for connoisseurs and, depending on the brand and style, sometimes comes with a steep learning curve. In addition to the spirit's distinct flavors and aromas, mezcal (like scotch, bourbon, and cognac) must be produced in a specific region within Mexico in order to be legally referred to as such.

They are:

  1. Oaxaca

  2. Guerrero

  3. Guanajuato

  4. San Luis
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