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Showing posts from February, 2008

MGD 64 Launches

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Drinking is a high calorie intake hobby. Drinks like the Long Island Iced Tea have 800 calories (a third of your daily needs) and even drinks that seem harmless, like a gin and tonic, have around 250 calories. If you want to drink a lot and look good, you have to give up a lot of other things in order to workout more, such as a job, friends, and feeding your children. It's a thankless task.

Miller wants to help the kids get fed. They've introduced MGD 64. Now I know what most of you're thinking, "Sweet! A Super Big Gulp full of beer!" but that's not what it is. Though I'm sure they kicked around the idea of a beer ThirstBuster, MGD 64 is a 64 calorie beer in the Miller Genuine Draft stable.

Now, most light beers have around 110 calories (as a matter of fact, 110 seems to be the magic number that most light beers try to achieve), so you're not saving yourself a ton of calories if you're having one beer. However, if it's a typical Saturday…

Akvinta Croatian Vodka

As if the Croatians rubbing our noses in the fact that they have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world wasn't enough, they have to add to it by making a vodka filtered in things like gold and platinum.

Akvinta Vodka is launching in parts European made from Italian Wheat and filtered through 5 different environments, mostly because they're concerned about your hangover. The stuff is filtered through birch charcoal, marble, silver, gold, and finally platinum. Once they've done that they mix it with purified water then run it through the process again. It makes me wonder what's in Italian Wheat that requires so much filtering, but think of how regal your tongue will feel! Bling, Bling baby!

Akvinta Vodka

Edit: I forgot, they have that dude from ER too. He's Croatian. That Goran Visnjic, he's so hot right now.

World record broken; TGI Friday's tries to look legit

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Bobby "G" Gleason cut his teeth in Miami and has had some of the dream jobs of bartenders. He moved to Vegas and opened up some of the hottest bars out there, including his latest at Bellagio. He studied under some of the greats and now he has a world record.

Today he set the world record for the most cocktails in an hour. He made 253 cocktails in 60 minutes and made almost all of them using DeKuyper cordials and Hornitos tequila. Most bartenders average around a cocktail per minute, unless it's a busy Friday night when it seems that they do one every 5 minutes.

On the other side of the spectrum, TGI Friday's named their "Greatest TGI Friday's Bartender in the World." Though I'm sure it takes a ton of talent to whip out a lot of Banana Choco-Tini's on date night, I have a hard time being impressed. It's like being the best clown in the world. Sure, you're the best of something, but it's just kind of creepy.

Master Mixologist Bobb…

Howcast is making how-to even better

The how-to market has gotten fairly popular with WikiHow and others trying to get your attention. Howcast adds functionality to the how-to idea by making it easy to watch as well as making it easy to use over and over again.

As an example, their How To Make a Classic Martini video shows off all of the cool features of their videos. Their video timeline lets you skip back and forth in the video to specific steps that are bookmarked as well as displaying text of the steps right below the video.

As drink making guides are starting to abound (including this crappy one that Liquor Snob pokes fun at), getting good, easy-to-use information is becoming harder to find. There are lots more where this one came from on the site too.

Also, Tamara is freaking hot. If you're going to watch someone teach you to make a drink, you might as well enjoy what you're looking at.

Here's a sample of what the embedded player looks like, but head over to the site to see the full functionality.

Resources to get wine educated

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We bloggers are an extraordinarily snobby bunch of wanna-be's. When we're all hanging out with each other (hint: we don't hang out with each other because we also have so much disdain for bloggers that we can't stand to be in the same room with them for more than 10 minutes, this hatred runs so deep that it usually ends in suicide once we figure out that we are, ourselves, bloggers) we make fun of the uninitiated by ordering drinks from TGI Friday's like an Aviation or walking around pronouncing the "t" in "Cabernet" and "Merlot."

Well, now it's your turn to make us look like idiots (hint: that's not very hard). Mashable has created a list of 30+ resources that you can use to become every bit as good as a wine snob as the guy at work who boasts of his cellar containing a full case of 2006 Rabbit Ridge. Maybe even moreso.

All About Wine

p.i.n.k. wants to own your entire bar

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p.i.n.k. spirits is concerned about two things and two things only: 1) You're not getting enough pink in your drinks and 2) you've been falling asleep waaaay too early.

Though #1 is debatable #2 was verified by your significant other when they told me that you fell asleep shortly after the first showing of "Golden Girls" on Lifetime at 7:30.

p.i.n.k. thought "Let's make an entire line of quality drinks and stuff some caffeine and guarana in them, because no one should have Rue Mclanahan as their final image before falling asleep." They put some action in their words and launched a bunch of stuff, including a tequila, rum, white whiskey, sake, and gin.

Everything is made in Holland except for the Sake which is made in Japan and the tequila which is made in Mexico because that's where "the man" says you have to make tequila. If there are two things I can't stand it's people who are intolerant of other's people cultures, and The…

Matusalem Rum

The ad company that created the now-classic Reyka Vodka ads has turned their tongue-in-cheek to a much closer target. Matusalem Rum is made by exiled Cubans and comes in three varieties, the Platino is their white rum, Clasico is their golden rum, and the Gran Reserva is their premium rum which is aged 15 years(!!!).

Check out one of their three new ads below.



Matusalem Rum

Bunnies!

After a raucous game of Bunnies the other night I thought I'd try to some more definitive rules. I found my way back to TikiBarTV and their awesome explanation on the history of the insane drinking game.

I love you Dr. Tiki. I love you.

Black Vodka picking up

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Black vodka seems to be the new Pink Vodka. It's starting to pick up in popularity and makes for an interesting looking drink.

Most black vodkas are colored through some natural process, whether it be Blavod's black catechu (an extract from the Acacia shrub) or Fruko-Shulz's humines, a polymer that helps you get your RDA of polymer's.

Now you're cool enough to make drinks like the Black Widow (Black vodka and Red Bull) and the Black & Blue (Blue Curacao with a Black Vodka float).

Read about some other recipes and black vodka makers in the AskMen article.

Black Vodka

Two new liqueurs relaunch in U.S.

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Two new liqueurs are making their way to the U.S. in order to help us have yet one more specialized ingredient for our cocktails.

Heering Cherry Liqueur has been around since 1818 and off and on in the US for the past few years but has now found a steady importer in order to help us better make a Singapore Sling. I can't think of a better cherry brandy to use.

Xante is a pear-based liqueur mixed with Cognac that is rather hip in Europe. It works excellently with champagne and might also give you the capability to breed miniature horses. What's that about?

Heering Cherry Brandy
Xante Liqueur

The Drammies Are Here!

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The Drammies are the People's Choice Awards of the Scotch world, which makes them nothing like the Grammy's which they are named after, but that's okay, the awards are still fun.

Next year, I expect I will be a presenter at them. I'll bet the world can't wait to see me do one-armed push-ups and walk off the wrong side of the stage.

The Drammies!

World's Largest Glass of Beer

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The 10th Annual Worldwide Toast to Harry Caray is Thursday at 5pm PST. Harry Caray is one of the guys that made me love baseball, made me wish I was from Chicago, and you can bet that I'll be toasting.

To honor this 10th annual toast, Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse in Chicago will be making a 100 gallon glass of beer not only to honor Harry, but to commemorate the Cubs' 100 year World Series drought.

In his lifetime Harry estimated that he drank 73,000 Budweiser's and 300,000 other alcoholic beverages. The man set the gold standard for drinking and baseball, one can only hope to be as good as him.

And to quote Harry: "Booze, broads, and bullshit. If you got all that, what else do you need?"

Drink well with idrinkwell.com

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Edit to the Edit: Clever logo should also have the full clever name. idrinkwell.com

Edit: The site seems to be down. Not sure if we killed it or they were going to kill it and the new popularity made them take it down. I will give you info as soon as I have some.

Going to new towns is never easy when you're looking for a good drink. You usually have to go on some concierge's advice who never goes out or, if the hotel doesn't have a concierge, some other guy in the bar who's been to that town two more times than you have.

Zagat has introduced Drinkwell to let you know just where to go and what to expect from a city's local watering holes. Just as they've done for restaurants, they've put together a list of bars and clubs in most major cities that give you the booze ratings based on professional and user reviews.

The ratings are based on the drinks themselves (quality of mixers, selection, etc), service, and then by cost, so you can show up anywhere in the…

Beer Service

A complete waste of time? Or are you just saying that because you're insanely jealous of what might possibly be the greatest thing ever?

Beluga Vodka coming to US

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Russian vodkas are continuing to make the jump out of Russia and in to the rest of the world. The biggest success story right now is Imperia Vodka but Beluga Vodka wants to give them a run for their money.

Beluga vodka is a malt vodka made with hyaline artesian water from Siberian springs, and malt spirit made from coached malt enzymes. The process takes about a month for each bottle as it includes some time for the vodka to settle, a 6-day "curing" process, and some time for maturation. This version should sell for around US$35.

There is a "Gold" version that takes three months to make and only 900 bottles a day come off the line, each one of them uniquely numbered. There's no listing of price on this one as of yet.

Both bottles are made from a pure crystal glass and have a 3-D logo on it that is done manually.

Look for it in the next few weeks.

Beluga Vodka

San Francisco's Wine Expansion

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San Francisco has a plethora of wine bars and seem to have new ones opening every week. It's reputation as a foodie's city as well as it's proximity to the great wine areas of the country give it a unique position in the wine world.

Two new wine retail establishments are adding to SF's already significant reputation. Cellar 360 is opening in Ghirardelli Square and Foggy Bridge Winery is opening in the Presidio, making it the first winery in a US Park.

Cellar 360 is owned by wine giant Foster's and is a wine retail store, wine education centre, tasting room, upscale deli and private party space in an updated building that dates back to 1864. They have 30 wines and food pairings right now and plan to expand it to 300.

Foggy Bridge Winery is inside the Presidio, a former military base that is now a US Park that has seen quite a bit of renovation over the last 5 years. The winemaker comes from such esteemed wineries as Penfolds in Australia and Geyser Peak in Sonoma.…

Make your vodka glow

Outside of shoving a glowstick in to a bottle of vodka and turning out all the lights, getting a bottle of vodka to glow in the dark isn't an easy task.

The video below shows you how to make a bottle that will glow in the dark, though it takes a bit of time commitment, the steps are pretty simple. And you already have that hot glue gun from the S&M party you threw, so might as well put it to good use.

Vodka University

In 42 Below's short history they've come up with some of the most innovative, clever, and tongue-in-cheek ads out there. They almost always cross the line and go well beyond it, then they put it on YouTube just for posterity.

Vodka University is one of their creations and teaches you some of the basics of bartending in a not-so-basic way. They cover necessary items like shaking, pouring, and, my personal favorite, rimming.

Oh yeah, the vodka's not so bad either.

You can do a search on YouTube or use the power of the Quicktime plug-in to check out the whole experience at www.vodkauniversity.com

Wine Spectator adds new features for collectors

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Wine Spectator has seen wine sites launch that help people manage their cellars better and decided to do something about it. They've recently launched a full service site that allows members to track the value of their wine collections and organize their bottles in a personal database, while using Wine Spectator’s databases of ratings, tasting notes and prices with full customization.

Not only does their site allow you to keep the info on your personal collection but it also shows you just how much that bottle of Smoking Loon Chardonnay is worth (not much) vs. the 1986 Cain V (a bit more) by pulling the prices from it's auction database. It also allows you to create multiple lists, show the Wine Spectator rating, and create labels with all the info for your bottles or cases.

If you love wine like I do, then you're probably typing this blog entry after having a bottle of Cab that your girlfriend told you not to open until 2010. If you love it enough to actually track it a…

MuchoTE Tequila Launches

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Tequila's a funny thing. It's gaining vodka-like popularity which means that the gimmicks to get you to drink it are becoming even more gimmicky. It's starting to remind me of razor blades.

When you buy a good tequila, you don't want to go on its diamond charms glued to the bottom of the bottle or hand-blown bottles or the fact that they tell you it cures SARS. What you want is a good tequila that's sippable, drinkable, and maybe tastes good with an oyster (Okay, that could just be me).

Dave and Will of MuchoTE tequila used to work for the big tequila vendors and realized that there was something missing in the market. MuchoTE is giving you exactly what you want. They're launching their reposado tequila over the next few weeks with the promise that you can get a great reposado for under US$30. They want you to buy their tequila, not their bottle.

Right now, the stuff is available in Colorado with Arizona, California, Georgia, New Mexico, and Tennessee coming…

The Martini Workout

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Though I've been "In-Training" on The Martini Workout for years now, working out up to 4 nights a week, I've come to realize that my training regimen itself may be suspect.

I've been diligent and hardworking about making sure to get a good balance of gins, vodkas, and the occasional Cosmo (because Cranberry Juice will prevent bladder infections).

As it turns out, the glass is neither half-empty or half-full. It's, depressingly, completely empty and used as a balance in order to help you with your "core" strength (My "core" strength is the ability wax poetic about almost any brand of gin).

The classes are individually designed based on your body type and ability to actually do a push-up or not, a useless measure that I gave up long ago mostly because I prefer to not set myself up for failure.

The Martini Workout

E-mail wipeout

If anyone has sent me an e-mail to rick@martinigroove.com, please resend. TCP/IP Packet Flux created a disturbance in The Force.

More SMS Help from Martini Groove

In response to some of the thank you e-mails from my recent post on SMS info, I've made a little useful tool that you can use while out.

Text martinigroove to 41411. You'll get a response on your phone with a Random Drink and the ingredients in the drink.

Because of SMS limitations you won't get the directions for making the drink, but here are some things it will be useful for.
It beats telling the bartender "Surprise me" and the blank look you get in return.If you're out and want something different to drink but don't know what, here you go.Stump the bartender!Play drinking games!Two words: World peace!Careful though, that could be a lot of text messages and standard text messaging rates apply (I learned that from Ryan Seacrest).

Mobile phone drinking tips

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Let's pretend for a second that you don't know every little thing about cocktails and how to make every drink in the Bartender's Handbook (including the shown Fogcutter). Now, let's take a HUGE leap in to this imaginary world and say that you're out on a date at your favorite "date spot," TGI Fridays.

Maybe ordering a beer just isn't what you want to do on this night out and if you have to hold another pink drink while carefully sipping and making sure the fancy toothpick doesn't go up your nose you'll walk in to a biker bar and yell "I love Clay Aiken" just because you know you deserve to get beat up.

You decide you want to order something unique and different and probably something the bartender who's only real skill is the ability to blend the Choco-Banana 'Tini. Conversation ensues (and is taken from real experience):

"I want an Aviation."

"Um. How do you make that?"

"With Gin."

"Oh, you w…

45th Parallel Vodka

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If you travel the 45th Parallel around the world you'll find yourself in quite a few interesting places. It's just about halfway between the equator and the North Pole and will take you through China, Russia, and Italy.

It also takes you through the infamous (that means MORE than famous) North Central Wisconsin. Exotic locales have ways of inspiring people to make exotic things.

Most American-made vodkas purchase neutral spirits from some company in Iowa then blend in their own spirits in small batches to give it a uniqueness. Not necessarily the worst thing in the world (The worst thing in the world is well known to be a Clown in a Van®), but it does leave something to be desired when you're talking about the overall story of your vodka.

(Let the comments begin by vodka-producers crying foul about how they would *never* do such a thing)

45th Parallel Vodka does the whole thing from scratch and made from grain that comes from a farm that sits right on the 45th Parallel. Th…

Review: 26000 Vodka

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26,000 Years in the Making
I first heard about 26000 vodka about a year ago. I read about how it uses a water source that is 26,000 years old and proceeded to make some crack about how it was a big lake of dinosaur pee. The makers of 26000 decided that they wanted me to eat my words of pee and send me some of the stuff. However, thanks to the efficiency of American Customs and the seeming fear of terrorists using vodka as a WMD, they were not able to get a bottle of the stuff to me from its native New Zealand.

Now with 26000's impending launch in a few months, they went the extra mile to be sure that I got a few bottles.

26,000 is a lot of years
The water for this stuff just started pooling as the Ice Age began its slow retreat. Though there weren't really any dinosaurs, man was hunting Mammoth's and still trying to figure out how to make a good vodka.

The bottle doesn't *look* that old!??
The bottle's got an elegant, vodka-ish design. Nothing too surprising here.…

The basics of Port

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Too many people are missing out on the beauty of Port. It's a sweet, fortified wine (no, not like Thunderbird) that has every bit as much of a place at dessert as Cognac or brandy.

Ports come in three styles: Ruby, tawny, and white. Rules say that only the stuff from Portugal can be called "Port" while anything else can be called "Porto" or sometimes, "Oporto." Casks, grape type, aging, and origin all come in to play with Port just as it does with wine.

If you're in or around Lodi, CA on February 23 from 4-7pm, the Fortified Wine Association is having the first ever Port tasting event since Prohibition in the U.S., a great way to get to know the product better.

Fortify Yourself: Learning the Basics of Port
Sweet and Fortified Wine Association