Archives for May 2011

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It May Taste Like Almonds, but it’s Not Cyanide

by Jason Lightner May 31st, 2011| Spirits
I've got some more tequila to sample for you fine folks, but I'm going to give the agave plant a rest this week and, instead, turn my attention to amaretto. "But wait!" you say, "amaretto is a liqueur, not a liquor." Well, yes, but the way I see it, if it's not beer or wine and it's more than 15% abv, it's fair game. Just be glad I didn't decide to review aromatic bitters. On second thought, maybe I'll do that next week.

If you know anything about me, you know that the sweet and fruity drinks aren't
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Red Hook, Mudslinger

by J Frazzetta May 30th, 2011| Beer
Bottle/Tap: Bottle

Now that the political motives of this country are in full swing, I thought it would be fitting to celebrate with a beer that foreshadows the next 18 months: Mudslinger.  This term was first used around 1890; if you are a political figure that uses offensive terms when referring to a fellow candidate, you are a mudslinger.  Of course, if you happen to be on a playground after it rains, pick up a handful of mud and throw it at someone, I guess this could also qualify you as a mudslinger.  Let’s keep this a clean post, ok?

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Layer Cake Shiraz

by Dennis Mayer May 27th, 2011| Australian Wine, Red Wine, Wine
Layer Cake might seem like a strange name for a wine. (Is it a flavored wine? Is it some sort of heavy-handed branding?) In this case, Australian winemaker Jayson Woodbridge attributes the name to his grandfather (and winemaking mentor), who would describe his vineyard's soil as a complex layer cake, and who strove to impart those qualities in his wines. This shiraz is one of several vintages made by Layer Cake Wines; the company also produces a chardonnay, a cabernet, a malbec, and a primitivo/zinfandel.

How does it look? Layer Cake is a dark, deep purple in the glass, with
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O3 Margarita

by Michele May 26th, 2011| Cocktails, Margaritas
A few weeks ago, I was offered a sample of O3 from DeKuyper.  Marketed as a premium orange liqueur made from the rind, pulp, and juice of Brazilian Pera oranges, it sounded quite tasty.  Between the fine description and my enjoyment of homemade margaritas, how could I resist such an offer?

The O3 arrived, and the bottle itself was quite attractive.  A rectangular, amber-colored bottle with a nice weight to it, it would look beautiful on a bar shelf.  The weekend couldn't come soon enough to give this liqueur a try.

Combined with tequila, lemon juice, and seltzer (for us weaker drinkers),
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Corzo Tequila Reposado: My, How Times Have Changed

by Jason Lightner May 25th, 2011| Spirits
Oh man, what did I do last night? I can't remember anything... Well, I remember talking to that girl about the difference between high fructose corn syrup and sugar... I also remember running up seven flights of stairs in the parking garage, but the rest of it is just – wait. Why are my shoes wet?

If this sounds familiar to you, you've probably been bitten by tequila on at least one occasion. It is for this particular reason that I tend to stay away from tequila as anything more than a margarita mixer. Shots, neat, or on the rocks
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Nobilo Regional Collection Pinot Noir

by Shannon Cyr May 24th, 2011| Red Wine, Wine
Wine Category: Red
Type of Wine: Pinot Noir
Producer: Nobilo
Wine Name: Regional Collection
Vintage: 2008
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Alcohol: 13%
Average Price per Bottle: $15.00

While meandering through the wine section at the grocery store last weekend, I stared at the Nobilo Pinot Noir wine bottle with a mixture of intrigue and skepticism; intrigue because the producer is from New Zealand (an emerging contender in the wine world and one that I am
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Narragansett, Summer Ale

by J Frazzetta May 23rd, 2011| Beer
Bottle/Tap: 16oz Can

All you have to do is look out a window and see the seasons change in New England.  That used to be how I would gauge the change in climate, I have a new method now.  When I see a box on my doorstep from the folks at Narragansett, it must be a new seasonal brew, and I should start wearing lighter clothing.  Truth be told, waiting for me the other day were a few cans of their new Summer Ale.  I welcomed them in and thought to put them to work right away.

After some chill time
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Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel

by Shannon Cyr May 20th, 2011| California Wine, Wine
Wine Category: Red
Type of Wine: Zinfandel
Producer: Ravenswood
Wine Name: Lodi Old Vine
Vintage: 2008
Region: California
Grape Blend: 77% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Syrah
Alcohol: 14.5%
Average Price per Bottle: $15.00

As you read through the following review, you may notice certain words are italicized. I’ve done this to help wine neophytes identify words commonly found in wine vocabulary.

Appearance: Brilliant. The wine was extremely luminous; it wasn’t cloudy and
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Tom Collins – The Old-Fashioned Way

by Dennis Mayer May 18th, 2011| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks, Sparkling
One of the only moments that's stuck with me from The Great Gatsby was a morning-after scene, in which the characters watch the house staff cart away giant mounds of squeezed-up fruit that had been used the night before. Fitzgerald wanted the fruit to symbolize how much the rich wasted, but I was always confused. What the hell were they doing with all that fruit?

Now it makes perfect sense to me. Bartenders back then didn't have all the mixers we work with now. They didn't have cola, for the most part, and they certainly didn't have sour mix
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Asyla Is Sanctuary in a Bottle

by Jason Lightner May 17th, 2011| Spirits
Hey guys! Guess what! It's time for some Scotch!

I know – it's been a good two months rest, and it's well overdue, so we're kicking into high gear to sample a lovely Scotch whisky from our friends at Compass Box Whisky (Flash required). After checking out The Peat Monster, I spied this particular bottle from Compass Box and simply could not resist it's alluring blue box. With that being said, I give to you... Asyla (PDF link).

The first thing you're going to want to do before having a glass of Asyla is to read the
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Weihenstephaner, Kristall Weissbier

by J Frazzetta May 16th, 2011| Beer
Bottle/Tap: Bottle

As some of you know I am no stranger to Weihenstephaner, and I find their beers to be quite refreshing.  I have been known to take recommendations, however; when a friend hands you a bottle and tells you that this beer is something you’d like, well, you just have to believe them.  Going on this strong recommendation, I accepted the bottle and performed my usual routine; I mean how can anyone pass up a free beer?

We bought a new grill a few weekends ago and to help wash down the bevy of charred items I decided to
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The Smarty Jones

by Jared May 11th, 2011| Crafty Bartender
Hi  everyone,

After a fabulous Kentucky Derby weekend, it seems the ideal time to create a cocktail that will keep the spirit of the derby alive for months to come.  With the combination of Maker's Mark (the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby) and fresh fruit, one can't helped but be transported to Kentucky on a warm spring afternoon.  Although the next derby is a year away, this drink will keep it vividly in mind.

Named for my favorite horse in the Derby's history, Smarty Jones, I hope it presents as well as this great horse did.

The Smarty Jones

2 lime slices

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