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Ice Surge, Tropical Freeze

by Jason Lightner October 21st, 2014| Spirits
Bob officially 045Out and about two nights ago, my wife and I stopped by a neighborhood bar to enjoy some comfort food and drinks while awaiting the results of the preliminary matches of the annual U.S. Open Squash Championship here in sunny Philadelphia. The bar was noisy, with many patrons there for Thursday Night Football and the Philadelphia Flyers game. The noise was bearable, however, and Cavanaugh's food was great as usual. As we finished dinner we noticed two ladies making the rounds in the bar, handing out shots of Tropical Freeze Ice Surge liqueur in promotion of a new,
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Seagrams VO: Not A Lot to Say

by TK September 30th, 2014| Spirits
sipping_01North American whiskey is about as hot as a spirit can be right now.    Commercials running on every television outlet, print ads in mainstream print media, and lots of celebrity spokespeople all have contributed to unprecedented volume hitting the market.  Canadian whiskey has had its fair share of that growth, and Seagrams VO is a blended whiskey that made it to my list for this week's review.

Ms. Peku and I were at a fine establishment to eat some nachos and take in a couple Sunday afternoon football games.   Never being one to miss the opportunity to work
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Jose Cuervo Cinge: Get Ready for A Surprise

by TK September 23rd, 2014| Spirits
IMG_20140914_140625_308~3Ok, be honest here for a second, you have never even had a passing thought that tequila and cinnamon should go together in into your mouth at the same time.  These two flavors are not things that are deeply rooted together in the culinary or libation lexicon.  Everyone is familiar with cinnamon liqueurs; infused vodkas and whiskeys are all too common.  But putting the cinnamon flavor with fermented agave is something altogether different, and that is exactly what Jose Cuervo Cinge is.

I was surprised to see the bottle at my local liquor store, so I grabbed it and brought
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Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon

by TK September 16th, 2014| Spirits
file0001203135117The American whiskey sales explosion has shown no sign of slowing down.  There are new distilleries and new brands hitting the market every month.  The global markets can't get enough of the oak flavor that comes with most American whiskeys.  So with all of this expansion it is always great to go back to a brand that has been around since the 19th century and do a little tasting.  Four Roses is a bourbon brand that got its start in 1888 and its distillery is in the National Register of Historic Places, and while there have been a ton
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Blanton’s Bourbon: Depth and Sweetness

by TK September 9th, 2014| Spirits
blanton'sIt is not often that you get to review a liquor that you have grown to love.   Love may feel like a strong word for many people when you use it to describe a distilled liquid that is meant to enhance your life experience, but Blanton's Bourbon is a love for me.  Everything about the caramel, sweet-tasting bourbon is something that I can close my eyes and feel.  I am a huge horse racing fan, so the stylish rider and jockey stoppers that adorn the top of every Blanton's bottle are always the first thing I envision from my closed-eye-dreaming
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Kru 82 Peach Mango Vodka

by TK September 2nd, 2014| Spirits
IMG_20140824_175636_906Every once in awhile you have to shake things up.  Try new things or use different techniques.  It is the only thing that keeps life interesting.  Without the variety that comes with experimenting you really are just living in a black-and-white movie that you have seen one hundred times.  So when we had company over this Sunday and it was time for me to do my official tasting work, I decided to rope my friends in.   Why not get their thoughts and reactions to this week's spirit selection?

The selection of choice this week was Kru 82 Peach Mango Vodka. 
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Peach Cobbler Cocktail — Just as Nice on Ice

by Michele August 8th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
peach cobbler cocktailIt isn't quite peach season in New Hampshire, but it is in other parts of the country.  As I eagerly anticipate the arrival of local fruit, I have been enjoying the peaches shipped in from southern states.  (Feel free to gasp in horror at this point.)

With a couple peaches in our fruit bin on a Saturday evening, I began to consider how I could use them.  The peaches were ripe and tender, in fact they were slightly past the point of firmness.  They would be the sort of peaches that drip down your arm if eaten by hand. Rather
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Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

by TK August 5th, 2014| Spirits
IMG_20140727_085645_037I have a visual in my brain.   It comes from about 20 years ago when I was at a cookout at a friend's house.  This friend lived in a rural area perched on top of a hill with rolling fields of crops all around.   As dusk came over the cookout gathering, I could see down in one of the valleys a man and his dog -- a bird dog.  They were working diligently together walking through the field.  Mourning doves were the target, and the hunter would pluck off the occasional dove and the reliable bird dog would
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Fresh Blueberry Cocktail

by Michele August 1st, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
fresh blueberry cocktailIt is blueberry picking season in New Hampshire!  Living just down the street from a blueberry farm means that we go blueberry picking at least twice each summer.  Our first excursion was two weeks ago, when the season was early.  Although the picking was decent, it would've taken a while to collect enough blueberries to make jam. So, instead we picked for about half an hour and brought several pounds home.

With that many berries on our hands, some definitely needed to be frozen.  Having locally grown berries in our freezer makes a winter night feel a bit more like
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Paddy BeeSting Irish Honey: “Sting” Is Right

by TK July 22nd, 2014| Spirits
IMG_20140712_155816_520When I was a child of elementary school age, I was fond of walking around shoeless in the summer grass of my parents' yard.  I loved how I could really feel the warmth of the ground between my toes.  For a young kid, this was a great way to feel alive.  All of this connecting with warm mother earth came crashing down one warm summer day, when I stepped on a honey bee that was wrapped up in some clover.  The piercing bee sting on the bottom of my foot was followed by a swelling and the tears of
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Blueberry Pie Martini

by Michele July 18th, 2014| Cocktails, Martinis
blueberry pie martiniShall I continue with my regular mantra about how I don't like heavy, creamy drinks nor overly sweet drinks?  My best friends like to harass me about it, it makes my husband smirk, but it is true.  So, you may be looking at the title of this cocktail and wondering why I would be sharing a recipe that has any similarity to a pie.

There are several reasons for this.  First, I adore blueberries.  In fact, I adore all berries that I ever have met: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and so forth.  Second, blueberry pie isn't cloyingly sweet.  Sure, there's
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Jim Beam Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey

by TK July 15th, 2014| Spirits
IMG_20140704_155128_184I am child of the 1970s and 1980s.   Those two decades are the cultural references that I usually understand.  The movies I know, the songs I can sing, and the pop culture icons I gravitate to are all from that 20-year period.  So when I think of Jim Beam bourbon, my mind thinks of of a dingy bar and setting right out of a George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers song.  Cheaper whiskey that is in every bar and serves the purpose of reducing the pain of life for the consumer.  So when I visited my local
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