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Showing posts from September, 2007

Hot girl, diet, beer. Need I say more?

Thanks to Kevin from The Scotch Blog for the link.

Miracle Beer Diet

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Opulent Vodka

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As more and more vodkas try to capture a niche market, Opulent vodka launches in the Upper Midwest market.

The corn vodka is made proudly of No. 2 corn (I think that means the corn has an eraser at one end) straight from farmers in the Midwest. While most vodkas are imported this one is grown and made right here in The Heartland. The vodka has been developed for 7 years and it's distilled 5 times but they don't say what water they mix it with.

This vodka also goes back to previous statements, if you're careful what you use when you make it, you don't have to filter it 5 times. This vodka is distilled down to a 1 micron impurity and so doesn't even need a carbon treatment.

The vodka is available right now in Minnesota and just launched in South Dakota. Pricing and additional availability hasn't been announced.

Opulent Vodka

Review: 360 Vodka

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360 Vodka is all about how eco-friendly they are. The bottle is 80% recycled material and the cap and label are 100% recycled. They pull grain from farms local to their distillery in order to reduce emissions and if you return the bottle, they recycle it again and give $1 to an environmental group. Those crazy gimmicks!

The bottle looks like:
Okay, we all know I hate talking about the bottle because there's a freakin' picture of it right there. But it has that super cool, resealable top like the old beer bottles. Yay! Vodka is fun again! Entertain your friends!

The vodka smells like:
It's a rather strong vodka smell. One that reminds me of Precis vodka with a mixture of ethanol. Okay, the smell didn't win me over. Am I getting to used to Scotch and Gin? I do not know. Who can know this? I can not.

The vodka tastes like:
It's...nice. I tried it first as a martini and there weren't a lot of flavors over the alcohol burn. It seemed like a rather standard …

Sobieski Vodka to launch in US

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Take an extremely popular and good tasting vodka from another country and launch it in the US as the ultra-premium killer.

Sobieski is just such a vodka. It's tasty and smooth and from Poland. It will sell here in the US for $10.99 a bottle. The marketing is saying that it's an attempt to "overthrow overpriced vodkas." Named after Poland's King Jan III Sobieski who saved Europe from the Ottoman Empire it is a Rye vodka that is one of the most popular in Poland. There is no mention as to its distillation process or its blend in any of the releases out there.

The goods are being imported by Belvedere (no relation to the ultra-premium vodka producer that also makes Chopin) and you can start seeing it in stores and bars very soon.

Sobieski Vodka

Mini Review: Trump Vodka

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Trump vodka sent me some small, mini-bar sized bottles for me to review. You know what that means! MINI-REVIEW!

Here it is size up against a French Vanilla Milano Cookie. Now for the review:
It did not make me gag.Trump Vodka

Nintendo DS Wine Game

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You may not know it, but all the characters in these pictures are talking about wine.

The Nintendo DS is coming out with a game in Japan for wine lovers. Teaching the manners and advice on tasting wine, the "game" will educate players on proper drinking etiquette and on which type of intoxicant best matches different meals. Developed by Square Enix (the guys who brought us the awesome Final Fantasy series), the title will arrive with a cellar stocked up with 120 different bottles of wine, a glossary, built-in quiz and a "guide to bluffing knowledge about wine."
This announcement is hot on the heels of their announcement about a month ago of Bartender DS, which allows you to be the digital mixologist.

Though you probably shouldn't expect to see these in english anytime soon, maybe you'll find a fanboy to translate for you. If so, wait anxiously for its November 15 arrival.

Nintendo game courts wine lovers


Quote of the week: From Charbay

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Charbay Winery & Distillery is in Napa Valley and makes some of the best spirits that you've probably never heard of.

They make rum, whiskey, brandy, and vodka in 7 different varieties. Every single taste is clean, pure, and brings about flavor profiles that most spirits only dream of.

At a wine and food fundraiser last weekend in Lake Tahoe, they were the only spirits company there and they were getting plenty of activity for it. They were sharing their drinks as well as a private "moonshine" that was 151 proof. It was strong but you could still taste just how smooth it was.

I spent some time talking with Marko Karakasevic, the 13th generation master distiller, about todays crop of vodka's. His statement?

"If you have to filter your vodka nine times, it's because the vodka you're making is shitty in the first place. Worry about your ingredients and you won't have to run it through a fucking filter so many times."

That ought to help anyone…

Stella Artois makes you love the Internet

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Remember way back in the late 90's? You were new to the Internet and it was always fun to find cool new sites that showed something new and you wanted to be the first to share it with your friends?

Stella Artois brings back the love with their just launched site that's cooler than the other side of the pillow. Pushing Flash to the limits and showcasing unique video, great interaction, and a site with an actual "feel" rather than just pomp and circumstance.

I've been working the Internet since 1992 and this site immediately has made my top 10 of all time. Maybe #1? Time will tell.

Will you risk thwarting the gods of thunder in 1366 – or take on the 9 step pouring ritual to produce the perfect virtual pint? Find out for yourself.

You may not want to look at this one at work, you'll spend tons of time enjoying it and probably get called in to the boss's office for slacking off again. What will it take to get an honest day's work out of you?

Stella Arto…

The First Ginger Liqueur

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After drinking Fever-Tree's Ginger Ale, I was wondering why there wasn't more stuff made out of ginger out there? Canada Dry's Ginger Ale and sushi have given it a rather narrow focus.

Canton is jumping on the Asian fusion train and launching their ginger liqueur which brings together rare baby ginger with a blend of VSOP and Grand Champagne Cognac, ginseng, vanilla beans, and a touch of honey. The product was actually introduce here in the U.S. in 1992 and lasted through 1997 but didn't take-off like they hoped as it was well before the Asian fusion craze.

Baby ginger is rare because it doesn't like to breed in captivity and much of it's nesting grounds have been eradicated to make way for glorious tractor factories.

This sounds like some great flavors and should open up some pretty interesting cocktail recipes.

It's available right now in New York with an LA launch next. The rest of the U.S. should get to see it through 2008.

Canton Ginger & Cognac Liq…

Vuqo Vodka

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One could almost create an entire blog on just covering vodka launches, whether it's new vodka's like VuQo or just a new flavor, you can post almost every day about the stuff.

Looking back at my own writing here, it would seem that's pretty much what I've done.

VuQo, however, has an interesting twist as it's distilled from coconut nectar. It's then distilled twice using a time-intensive distillation process that makes use of a series of sediment and carbon filters.

The vodka is from the Philippines which isn't exactly known for it's worldwide exports of vodka, it'll be interesting to see how it holds up in a world market.

It was developed by a group of food technologists from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños. Wait. What?

VuQo Vodka

PortOPong!

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I love drinking games. They can bring some life to a boring party and make a fun party...obnoxious. Well, they're not for every party, but they have their moments.

PortOPong brings in the end of Summer (or beginning, depending on where you access your Internets from) with an easy-to-use inflatable beer pong board. It comes with the required 9 holes to put your cups-o-beer in and allows you to play a safe game of beer pong without that pesky cup getting knocked over.

You can even play it in the pool, which makes absolutely no sense at all, except for when you tell the story about that time you played beer pong in the pool.

PortOPong
via Slashfood

Stiletto Vodka launches

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New Orleans is the US home base for a new vodka imported from the depths of Kyrgyzstan, Stiletto Vodka is distilled six times and filtered five times by Master Distiller Vladimir Stepanovich.

The Stiletto brand is a first as it is an entirely woman owned spirits company and they take their commitment seriously. 25 cents from each bottle sold goes to support breast cancer research and another 25 cents goes to support the Emeril Lagasse Foundation which helps bring mentors and education programs to low income kids.

The vodka itself is a wheat vodka with artesian water added. It is also available in natural flavors, including chocolate, vanilla and mint.

Stiletto Vodka

CHOW’s Cocktail Square Off Competition

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Chow, the food, drink, fun site, is sponsoring a Cocktail Square Off Competition in conjunction with Imbibe Magazine and Square One Organic Vodka.

The competition has been ongoing and they've narrowed it down to an amateur and a pro mixologist based on the receipes they've received. They recently announced the semifinalists and will pull from that group to get the best from each category.

The finalists will be flown to San Francisco and compete on September 25 at the SF Ferry Plaza building. They'll make their submitted rink as well as a drink based on something they get that day from the Farmer's Market in the building. They'll then go on and make a 3rd drink based on a "mystery ingredient." I hope it's Bacon.

Follow the results or buy tickets now.

Chow's Cocktail Square Off

How to drink whiskey

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Whiskey is not for everyone and I can completely appreciate that. It took me quite some time before I was headlong in to the art and device of whiskey and I've enjoyed it greatly ever since.

I strongly believe that one of the reasons that there aren't more whiskey fans are the strong barriers to entry. Not only is it a rather strong, often complex drink, but it also regularly has an aura about it that makes you feel like you have to be a CEO of some miserably failing company in which you have a golden parachute package before you can even embark upon tasting it.

Of course, that's not the case and I'd love to see it become more accessible than it is right now. Some companies are making strides in this area but one of the important steps to accessibility is knowing how to drink it.

Kate over at Accidental Hedonist is quite a fan of the stuff and she writes about it regularly. She's put up the first part of her course in drinking whiskey and how to taste and appreci…

How to make a vodka lamp (Or: I drink too much, let's do something with this trash)

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Rather than throwing all those vodka bottles at the school kids every morning as they pass by your house, why not bring a little more light in to the world?

Sure, light pollution is a problem, but if it's going to be a problem you might as well make it look cool.

All you need is a coaster (since no one every uses them anyway, jerks) and a push-button LED light and you have yourself some light-on sexiness. Talk about a turn on!

Stop it.

How to make a vodka lamp

Mendocino Wine by the Bay

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Friends of the Children of San Francisco is a non-profit that provides paid, professional mentors for at-risk children in San Francisco, for 12 years of their life.

This by itself is a good reason to go to Mendocino Wine by the Bay but you also get to try some great food and Mendocino wines (over 200!) and hang out with some pretty cool people as well.

Mendocino Wine By The Bay Tasting
Saturday September 15th, 12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM
Hyatt Regency Embarcadero Center
5 Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, CA 94111

Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door, and can also be ordered online.Mendocino Wine by the Bay
via Vinography

Maple Syrup Liqueur

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Green Mountain distillers has announced that they're going to be Vermont's favorite drink by making a Maple Syrup Liqueur.

The spirit is made from organic maple syrup (not that Mrs. Butterworth crap) and their in-house organic vodka, which is made from Vermont spring water. They're obviously pushing for "State Alcohol" designation.

In honor of this, I made up a drink that is purely for the purposes of this blog and I have not tried to actually make it as a) I don't have any of their Maple Syrup Liqueur and b) I'm afraid.

The French Toast
1 Part Maple Syrup Liqueur
1 Part Vanilla Vodka
1 Part Bailey's Irish Cream
1/2 Part Goldschlager

Pour all items in to an ice-filled shaker and shake vigorously. Strain in to a martini glass and top with a dash of cinnamon.

It's Sunday Morning in a Glass!©

Green Mountain Distillers
via Luxist

Absolut New Orleans drinks starting to be offered

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Josie's in New York City is a place that I would expect to actually be located in San Francisco. It's a place full of fantastic, fresh ingredients and large portions that don't make you feel guilty when you look down at your plate and notice that you ate more than you usually eat in a week.

They're now using the limited edition Absolut New Orleans
to make a new drink and serving it up to their thirsty patrons. Hell, even the vegetarians that frequent the place want this.

I'm just kidding, Vegetarians. Seriously though. Eat meat.

Bourbon Street Lemonade
3 parts ABSOLUT® NEW ORLEANS
1 part Napa Valley Mango Puree
4 parts Fresh Lemonade

*Combine ingredients and shake vigorously.
*Pour into a cocktail glass over ice.
*Serve with fresh diced mango.

You can get it at both Josie's locations.

Yellow Tail Sparkling Wine

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You've probably seen Yellow Tail wines, well, just about everywhere, but probably most often on sale at your favorite grocery for US$5-10.

Now they're launching a Sparkling Wine in hopes to make the drink more of an "everyday" wine, rather than saving the bubbly for special times, like when you opened up your great-grandma's will only to find that she left you her artificial hip.

It's made from a blend of 72% Semillon blended with Traminer, Viognier and Trebbiano.

It's available right now and will be retailing for US$10.99 (or US$5 with your Safeway Club Card).

Yellow Tail

Review: Livermore Harvest Wine Celebration

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The Livermore Harvest Wine Celebration is in it's 26th year and has enough wineries and food that they could easily go for 5 days, not just the two that I just finished experiencing.

The Livermore Valley is the first place they planted wine grapes in California. It has some of the similar characteristics that make Napa such a prime growing spot (hot days, cool nights) but doesn't have all the pretentiousness that Napa has built upon itself. 36 Wineries is more than enough for just about anyone to have a good time, there definitely was something for everyone and the music and food at each winery varied from Mexican to Italian to Rockabilly to World Music.

Day 1
All of the wineries were grouped together in colors. If you wanted to hit certain wineries you would take the Blue or the Green line and the buses would go in succession to each one on a regular schedule. Some buses were Express so would only take you between the Hub and one of the wineries.

I've been to most of thes…