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Showing posts from January, 2007

Mixology Monday for March

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Oh, I know you wish you thought of this for YOUR blog. But you didn't. Now The Martini Lounge is going to be hosting Mixology Monday in March with the topic of "Shooters."

Actually, I didn't think of it either. Darcy over at The Art of the Drink did after I said I wanted to do "Joke Drinks." After I was told my idea sucked and that they'd rather drink 100 Cement Mixers rather than use it, he came up with this one and I acquiesced.

So Blogger, prepare thyself for the Ides of March. On March 12, a fiery bomb of shots will be lined up on the virtual bar for all to survey and lo, it will be good.

Gin & Juice adds a flavor

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Seagram's has a full line of Gin & Juice flavors that contain energy supplements, such as Ginseng, and has added a new flavor to their lineup.

Tropical Thunder is a mango flavored drink that sells in a 750ml bottle for US$9.99. It adds to their lineup of other drinks including: Original Citrus, Purple Rage, Red Fury, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Blue Beast and Green Dragon.

It helps if you say "Tropical Thunder" with an Australian accent too. Thundaaaaaaah!

Seagram's Gin and Juice - US$9.99

World's Largest Bottle of Wine

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About two years ago, Morton's commissioned the world's largest bottle of wine to be made to celebrate their 25th anniversary. The result was "Maximus." Maximus was 34 gallons of Beringer Cabernet Savignon love, stood 4.5 feet tall, weighed 340 pounds and ended up auctioning off at Sotheby's for the simple price of US$55,812.

The Aussie's have now taken it to the next level. They have created a 64 gallon, 6 foot 5 inch bottle that carries the equivelent of 387 regular sized bottles of Shiraz. The "Five Virtues" vintage was created specifically for this bottle and is made from the efforts of 5 winemakers. The Guiness Book of World records has declared it the largest bottle ever made and the owner has claimed to already have turned down offers of US$100,000 for it.

Apparently, there's quite a bit of the stuff as 12,000 regular bottles of the vintage were made to sell alongside the promotional giant.

World's Largest Bottle Of Wine Makes It…

Wine and Spirits grow like crazy in 2006

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Wineries and Spirits both grew like crazy in 2006, new studies show.

In California alone, there were 460 new wineries setup last year bringing the total market cap in the U.S. to an amazing US$11.4 billion. Of course, this is still no match to California's production, by itself, of $13+ billion in marijuana.

Spirits grew at a steady clip as well, showing a 7% increase over the year before.

I'm looking forward to see A.A.'s membership numbers and see how well they did too.

Bailey's Caramel Butterscotch Cookies

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Not everyone wants to get their liquor by just drinking it, plus some of the liqueurs out there are just too tasty and unique and flavorful to only include them in some form of liquid.

Enter the recipe for Bailey's Caramel Butterscotch Cookies. Nicole Weston, one of the demigods over at Slashfood, came up with this recipe and even threw in Butterscotch chips to boot.

She even included some variations if you don't like Bailey's, but then, what would be the point?

Bailey's Caramel Butterscotch Cookies

Gin, the other white drink

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Hot off the heals of all my gin reviews, Gary Regan from the SF Chronicle has done a rather comprehensive review of a few of the gins that are out there today. Coincidence? I think not! Gary's been reading my blog dammit.

He does a great job going in to the history of Gin, what it's all about, how it's made, and reviews some of the up and comers, including Bulldog (We agree it's good) and Gin 209 (he said it's good, I think it blows chunks).

Check it out for all your gin needs.

The other white spirit - New flavorings could make gin the new vodka
via Drink of the Week 2.0

Find wine with a Google module

Oenoligist.com has created a blatant way to sell their wine, but it's a pretty good one. Their Google Module allows you to find small winery wines right from your Google Homepage, which, of course you have.

Bluecoat Gin Review

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The bottle of Bluecoat Gin arrived the other day and I ripped in to it with vigor. My newfound love for Gin has become boundless and when I get a new one I put it ahead of the line of all the other stuff that I still need to try and review.

I was like a kid on Christmas Day, however I was heavily medicated and had to patiently bide my time until I was no longer popping pills in order to try it out lest my liver implode leaving a dark, black hole in my innards of Mickey Mantle proportions.

How's it look?
The bottle comes pretty much as advertised. It's a simple blue bottle with Bluecoat on it and a coat of arms. The cap is an easy-to-pull cork that did not make me do any sort of contortion in order to get it open. Thank you Bluecoat Gin!

What's it smell like?
One word: OhMyGod. This is far and away the best smelling gin I have ever put my nostrils to. The juniper and floral notes were amazing and did not take any time to get used to. Most gins require two whiffs: One to …

Caloric Values of Alcholic Drinks

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The University of Rochester has published a fairly good list of drinks and their calories. The list includes beers by brands with their associated carbs, hard liquors, wines, and even the "Alcopops" like Mike's Hard Lemonade.

Your worst bet? A Long Island Iced Tea at 789 Calories, about 1/3 of your recommended daily calorie intake. If you want to get tipsy but still keep the pounds off, then you'll want to drink a nice Rose Wine at 62 calories or a Molson Light beer at 82 calories.

Caloric Values of Alcoholic Drinks

Golden Globes deserve a golden drink

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Monday night marks the Golden Globes and what better drink to have than the same one the stars will be drinking in the Access Hollywood lounge at the Sofitel Hotel.

The BACARDI Limon Gold Standard Cocktail
1 1/2 oz. BACARDI Limon
1 oz. Cointreau
1 1/2 oz. POM Wonderful
Dash Sprite
Pomegranate seeds
Lemon Swirl and 24K Gold Flecks (optional)

Shake the BACARDI Limon, Cointreau, Pomegranate juice and Sprite over ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Finish with pomegranate seeds, Lemon swirl and 24K Gold Flecks.

Places to get gold flecks besides a local specialty store:
http://www.ediblegold.com
http://www.goldleafcompany.com/goldleaf.html
http://www.fancyflours.com/site/edible-gold-leaves.html

Alcohol Without Liquid getting it's first ban

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Alcohol Without Liquid (AWOL) is a way to get drunk without all the actual drinking that is required by those old fuddy duddy's who actually want to taste their drink and feel it slide down their gullet.

Why go through all that trouble when you can inhale through this crack-pipe looking thing for 20 minutes and get just as drunk?

AWOL is facing it's first legal battle in the hotbed of legal activity, North Dakota. The argument is that it is unregulated (as of right now) and encourages the use of alcohol without the responsibility of people understanding that you'll be just as drunk and won't be able to drive after using it.

Users of AWOL comment that the taste is "clean" and "refreshing" and "now I won't vomit in to my girlfriend's purse then pass out, like last week."

Who's the biggest opponent to AWOL? Well, super producer of everything alcoholic, Diageo, is one of the companies backing the legislation in North Dakota. Which make…

$32 for a Martini? Gesundheit!

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Between inflation, the poor American Dollar taking a beating against the Euro, and rounding up, it's not unheard of to be paying US$32 for a martini while in Europe.

As it turns out, there's also something called "Euro Creep" that is affecting it. No, it's not some Italian guy taking his pants off on the train, it's the trend of rounding up to the nearest Euro, so a paper that once cost 88 Euro cents now costs a dollar. This is having a ripple effect and driving up the price of your martini.

The reverse is turning America in to Europe's Mexico, as they come to New York City for the amazing prices. Go figure.

The solution? Well, there's not a really good one. Most of it is by trying to take advantage of perks that can come for Americans that are travelling, or taking a cruise. I guess you could also not drink, but I thought we were going on vacation?

Europe, home of the $32 martini

ZAP's 16th Annual Wine Festival, I'll be there!

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Zinfandel is some yummy stuff and I love it when I have the opportunity to drink it with other Zin lovers. ZAP's 16th Annual Wine Festival is to Zin what the Aspen Comedy Festival is to funny and they both have about the same amount of drunks.

The festival is four events that take place over 3 days in locations around San Francisco, including:
Flights - A sit-down tastingGood Eats and Zinfandel PairingAn Evening with the Winemakers - a tasting with the actual winemakers doing the pouring, plus a benefit for Zap's Heritage ProjectsGrand Zinfandel Tasting - The informal walk-around with 260-275 wineries pouring in two pavilions at Fort MasonI will be at the Flights event on Thursday and the Grand Zinfandel Tasting on Saturday where I will probably not try all 260 wines, but may make a dent on 100...if I spit.Let me know if you're going to be at either of the events and we'll have a toast and an arm-wrestle (I make a point of arm-wrestling all new friends).Tickets for so…

Sideways Wine Bar opens in Solvang

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Tastes of the Valley, a SIDEWAYS Wine Bar is planning to open at the end of this month and expects to get the press by linking itself to the movie that put the Central Coast on the everyday wine drinker's map and made Pinot Noir the most popular varietal.

The owner actually went to Fox Studios to license the name so they could use it on an official wine club and has now translated to using it for the actual bar that will pour and sell 55 wines from 15 producers in the region. They won't cover just Pinot's though, they also expect to have whatever other varietals that their producers sell. They also have maps so that you can go to the same wineries that the characters from the movie went to.

I'm hoping that someone does the same thing for Fight Club.

Tastes of the Valley, A SIDEWAYS Wine Bar

So, you want to be a bartender...

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I don't know anyone that had a perfect first experience on their first outing as a bartender. Most bartenders do the two weeks of school first, though there are a few who just picked it up by working in restaurants as a fill-in or a bar back.

Darcy over at Art of Drink is no exception to the flawed first experience. His first time bar tending basically started out with no booze, no cash for change, and only a few cheap beers to dish out. He says he had about $35 in cash in his pocket that he made change with, though I have a hard time believing this part because no one starting out as a bartender has that much cash to their name, much less in their pocket.

Read his entire, heart-warming for the whole family account over at Art of Drink.

My First Bartending Shift

The Tequila Story

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Wine X Magazine has published an article that shows the story of tequila. It covers the Agave, from which Tequila is made, and the how it's different from Mezcal, one of the incorrect names of tequila. All mezcal is tequila, but not all tequila is mezcal. Got it?

It also gives a nice little story about how the stuff is made and why it's not a hallucinogen, people seemed to confuse mezcal with mescaline. Trust me, big difference.

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor

The celery is the straw

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So, if you could genetically modify any fruit or vegetable to serve whatever purpose your little heart desired, what would you choose?

Well, you'll have to go with your second choice because the bendable celery that is hollow to work as a straw concept has already been done!

Duda Farms has created just such an item that surely means that the end is nigh. Repent!

Think about the possibilities! You could drink your Bloody Mary through it or fill it with peanut butter or, better yet, sip peanut butter through it!

Duda Farms

Infuse your own vodka (or gin)

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Over at WikiHow they have directions for infusing your own vodka to get the flavors you want. This works really well for specific vodkas you might like but they don't make the flavors you want (such as Lychee or Cucumber).

The nice thing about infusing your own is that you can do the infusion, then remove the fruit and keep the bottle for a long time and use it whenever, because it's not like you really need to use an entire bottle of peach vodka in one day.

This method also works nicely for gins, including my favorite infusion, cucumber gin. Just de-seed the cucumber, cut it in to spears, put it in your favorite gin for 24 hours, remove, and you got a tasty, buttery gin on your hands.

How to infuse vodka with flavor

Metropolitan Martini's Review

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In early November I introduced you to Metropolitan Martini's, the ready-to-drink martini-style drinks that come in packs of two are a killer concept that just mentioning them rolls right off the tongue.

A few weeks ago the company sent me some samples to knock back and I immediately threw them in the freezer and sat next to the door anticipating yanking them out and drinking a ready-made martini.

The Look
They come looking exactly like the picture and in a thin plastic casing that immediately rips open. The package I received had a mix in it, one Apple Martini and one Vodka Martini. My concern when I saw the Apple-Tini was that it was just too green, too fluorescent looking and looked more like a thick Kool-Aid. Uh oh.

Open Up
The plastic covering came off easily and the glasses had their individual coverings that made it so you could turn the glass any direction without spilling a single drop. They come with a tab on them that allow you to peel off the covering and it comes off w…

Free Beer!

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A new law was passed in California that allows breweries to give away up to 8oz of beer per person, per day. As long as it's in a place that already serves beer and wine.

The idea behind the law is that wineries are allowed to give away free samples galore and wine contains twice as much alcohol, or more, as beer. Anheuser-Busch backed the law and expects to use it to do taste tastes out in the wild, rather than in the confines of their own brewery like they used to.

The Council on Alcohol Problems said that it makes no sense because beer is beer and always tastes like beer, unlike wines that have different tastes with each vintage. Obviously this is a group who's already been doing enough drinking, so no reason to even respond to that allegation.

Law OKs Free Beer Samples at Restuarants and Bars

Rube Goldberg device pours beer

Anyone worth their salt and knows cartoons knows a good Rube Goldberg device when they see one. This is a great one because the end result is a glass of beer. It's the actual video that sucks.



Sam Adams lets the drinkers decide

Samuel Adams brewery let its drinkers vote last August and September on what they'd like to name their new Honey Porter brew.

The name that got voted in was, get ready for a shock, Samuel Adams Honey Porter. The very name makes me doubtful web people voted on it. If it was web people the name would be more something like "Samuel Adams Nitro Damacy."

Or maybe they just did multiple choice:

What would you like to name Samuel Adams' new brew?:
Honey PorterPorter HoneyHoney HoneyHoney Porter
Anyway, that's the new stuff. Available as part of the Brewmaster's collection for around US$13.99.

Bluecoat Gin Launches

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Pennsylvania was sad. Why should all the other states get to have craft distilleries while Pennsylvania has none? This didn't seem fair at all.

Cry no more PA! Amish people unite under the banner of their first craft distillery!

Philadelphia Distillery is now making Bluecoat Gin, an upscale gin that has some of the traditional gin making processes in place plus a proprietary citrus-blend that's sure to give it a unique taste and finish.

Looks like another good gin to look forward to. It's available now in Pensylvania and New Jersey and is rolling out to the rest off the U.S. throughout the year.

Bluecoat Gin - $24.99 for 750ml

A case for Absinthe

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Anyone reading alcohol blogs on a regular basis may already be sick of hearing about Absinthe. It seems every new alcohol blog has to make some moronic post about Absinthe in the early months of its existence, only to never hear about the stuff ever again.

The New York Times has just put up an article from The Curious Cook who was going after Ernest Hemingway's "Death in the Afternoon." A champagne and Absinthe recipe that not only tells you how to make it, but how many you need to drink (3-5).

Apparently, the unique drink turns two clear liquids in to a cloudy one because the aromatics seem to be more soluble in alcohol than water, so when you put absinthe in wine, it clusters together and gives it a milky look. Yummy!

The article also discusses just how dangerous Absinthe is (not very), what drug it's most like (marijuana), and how it probably wasn't the active ingredient, Thujone, that killed everyone way back when.

It also goes in to the details of why the d…

Calwineries

There are a lot of wine community and info sites out there, some are attached to a blog, some are an afterthought add-on to the site that serves some other purpose, like selling the wine.

I've been playing around with Cal Wineries for the past few days and have been thoroughly impressed. Having had some pretty decent success in the web startup business, I tend to go pretty deep in to a site that claims "community" to see what it really has to offer.

Cal Wineries seems to offer the full community experience and backs it up with the functionality that is actually available for users. It covers the entire spectrum of wine from the history, to learning more about it, to exploring the regions of California and their characteristics.

It also has forums, a regularly updated blog, and a place for you to keep your own personal wine list. All without being pretentious and without looking like they're trying to be a Gen-X site without the snobs. Login and check it out.

Cal Wine…

Nambe Tilt Decanter and Glass Set

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This good-looking piece over at Wine Enthusiast is a tilted decanter and two Old-Fashioned glasses that are perfect for um...decanting...and...drinking.

But we only drink to look cool, not because we actually like it, so how cool are these?

Nambe Tilt Decanter and Double Old-Fashioned Glass Set

G'vine Gin

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G'Vine Gin recently launched in the US and is creating some literary buzz as to its contents.

It is the first white spirit to made from grape vine flowers of the Ugni Blanc rather than the grapes themselves. The spirit is distilled in small batches with a blend of nine botanicals: ginger root, licorice, green cardamom, cassia bark, coriander, juniper berries, cubeb berries, nutmeg and lime. It’s then blended with the flowers of the Ugni Blanc leaves and distilled again.

The flavors make it sound like the perfect crossover gin for people who swear they hate the stuff, which seems to be a lot of people. There is so much good stuff out there though, it's definitely a drink that's worth checking out if you haven't in a while.

Ugni Blanc is a grape grown in the Cognac region but sounds like a place in The Lord of the Rings. GONDOR NEEDS NO GIN! ON TO UGNI BLANC!

G'vine Gin - US$30