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Three Olives Whipped Cream Vodka

by Jason Lightner October 22nd, 2013| Liquor
whipped creamAs a brand synonymous with the Martini, Three Olives has gained a reputation for producing a reliable vodka with a great flavor, and deservedly so — their original offering is one of my go-to spirits for a vodka Martini whenever I find myself in an unfamiliar bar, which is quite often. The thing that most people don't realize about Three Olives, however, is their penchant for producing a wide variety of flavored vodkas as well; 23 in fact, up from 18 just two years ago when we tried their cake-flavored vodka. We're going to stay the course on
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Ilegal Mezcal Joven

by Jason Lightner October 15th, 2013| Liquor
oaxacaA few weeks ago we took a look at an añejo mezcal by Ilegal. The smoky earthiness of this dark, agave-based spirit was an experience to be had, and one not soon forgotten, to be sure. Inspired by this endeavor, this week, we're having a peek at the añejo's younger brethren, Ilegal Mezcal Joven.

As mezcal is easily mistaken for tequila, it's important to provide some context. Mezcal as a spirit is indeed a close relative of tequila. Like tequila, it’s distilled from the roasted husks of a native plant; however, in mezcal’s case it’s a specific subspecies
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Svedka Vodka

by Jason Lightner October 8th, 2013| Liquor
bad drinkDown the seemingly endless corridors of south Philadelphia's skinny streets, where the row-homes stand like sweet corn, ready for the autumn harvest, there exists a little abode that goes by the moniker The Bashful Inky. It is here, at The Inky, where a group of comrades shared in an experience so enjoyably unpleasant that one could only cough up a fair warning to others above the howling partygoers.

"Don't take that shot!"

Svedka is a Swedish vodka, distilled five times from Swedish winter wheat. Like most vodkas, it clocks in at 80 proof and packs a punch. Here's the thing about
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After Shock Hot Cinnamon

by Jason Lightner October 1st, 2013| Liquor
red shotTo continue the trend of dubious liqueurs, I'd like to deviate slightly from Dekuyper's famous Pucker line of products and, instead, touch on a seldom-summoned little bit of alcoholic danger called After Shock (October 1995 link courtesy of the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine). A cinnamon-flavored liqueur, the original Hot Cinnamon After Shock is produced by Jim Beam Brands and was originally marketed toward self-identified "experienced" drinkers. While After Shock was intended to be enjoyed as a shot, this application is not actually where the syrupy red concoction is most useful. Instead, and along with the other varieties produced, After
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Ilegal Mezcal Añejo

by Jason Lightner September 24th, 2013| Liquor
magueyMexico is home to many an incredible and interesting beverage. From the delicious beers like Noche Buena, Modelo, and the various craft brews that have sprung up recently, to delicious and refreshing tequilas like El Jimador, Patrón, and Milagro, the country carries a storied history of exquisite drinks. Off the beaten path, however, is a lesser-known spirit that I've been excited to sample for quite some time: Mezcal.

Mezcal as a spirit is a close relative of tequila. Like tequila, it's distilled from the roasted husks of a native plant; in mezcal's case it's the maguey plant (a form of agave
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Watermelon Pucker

by Jason Lightner September 16th, 2013| Liquor
wmelonLast week we took a look at a distinctively artificial brand of schnapps by Dekuyper called Sour Apple Pucker. This week, we shall continue that line of questionable imbibing with another of their signature flavors — watermelon.

Watermelon Pucker schnapps is, by far, one of the more interesting flavors produced by Dekuyper's. Its artificial watermelon flavor hearkens back to the old watermelon flavored Bubble Yum bubblegum of yesteryear and, combined with the sour punch the schnapps provides, reminds the palate of that time in the mid 90s where sour candy was all the rage. Hence the name "Pucker," I
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Sour Apple Pucker

by Jason Lightner September 10th, 2013| Liquor
apple shotsAs a fan of the fine spirits, I often find it fun to dive into the well and find whatever dirty fun awaits. This week, it's DeKuyper's Sour Apple Pucker, a schnapps made with artificial flavor, which has the distinct honor of being the prime ingredient in the "Sour Appletini." Just for kicks, let's compare the recipes of DeKuyper's mixologists versus the accepted recipe of the Appletini.  Read carefully to see if you can note any differences in the two.

DeKuyper's Appletini:

  • 1 part Sour Apple Pucker schnapps

  • 1 part Pinnacle Vodka (regular or pear)

  • 1/2 part sour mix

The widely
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Lexington Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

by Jason Lightner September 3rd, 2013| Liquor
bourbon on roxA good night at home is an oft-overlooked leisurely pastime. Kicking back and watching some television, along with participating in the idle banter  provided by good company, one can easily waste several hours in such a state.

It was on just such a night that we imbibed upon a sweet bourbon whiskey called Lexington, a spirit produced by Western Spirits in Wilson, Wyoming. While one might typically not associate the state of Wyoming with fine spirits, there is little room for debate that a good drink can come from anywhere, and Lexington Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is definite proof.

At 84 proof,
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Cruzan Aged Dark Rum

by Jason Lightner August 27th, 2013| Liquor
rum shopAs far as spirits go, rum has never held a high status within the Lightner household. A distillate from sugar cane, rum's sweet, tropical kiss could never find the right moment or method with which to demonstrate its certain je ne sais quoi. We're looking to change that in the near future, but today is not likely that day.

Cruzan Aged Dark Rum comes to us via a $10 sale courtesy of the Philadelphia wine & spirits shops. As a random purchase while on a wine run, I figured it couldn't hurt to check this one out. I was partially
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Aviation American Gin

by Jason Lightner August 21st, 2013| Liquor
spiral glasswareThe summer of 2013 will go down in infamy for being the summer of tequila and the summer of infused gin cocktails. Surely it would be a folly to infuse an already flavorful and rich spirit such as gin with any other flavors, right? It would be unthinkable to even attempt to cut through the bold, herbaceous notes, were I a more logical drinker. Fortunately for myself and those around me, I tend to have my greatest epiphanies when I've had a few.

Did you know that if you mix equal parts of gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate, you
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Don Julio Reposado

by Jason Lightner August 13th, 2013| Liquor
tequila barrelsHaving found another fine tequileria in the depths of Philadelphia, I've found myself sampling more and more. This week the doctor ordered Don Julio Reposado tequila, a mild prescription good for nearly all ailments.

Distilled, manufactured, bottled, and sold by Tequila Don Julio from their facility in Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco, Mexico, Don Julio Reposado brings authenticity and legacy to the fiesta, along with flavor and class. The tequila comes bottled in a stout, square-ish bottle, unique to the Don Julio brand. When poured over ice, the color of this rested tequila is a pale yellow, like a summertime straw hat.
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Jacquin’s Triple Sec

by Jason Lightner August 6th, 2013| Liquor
orange limeThe margarita season is still going strong, and while I'm sure we've sampled our fair share of tequilas, and felt the citrusy bite of more limes than we can count, how much headway have we made with regards to the other prime ingredient, triple sec? Not enough, I say! While we've taken a look at Dekuyper's and Cointreau, there are still many other varieties. This week I decided to pick up a bottle of Philadelphia's own Jacquin's Triple Sec.

As the United States' oldest producer of liqueurs and cordials, Charles Jacquin et Cie ought to be boasting about
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