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Showing posts from May, 2008

Wine Slushes

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As the heat of summer comes upon us we think of things like pool time and Slurpees so big that your entire brain goes running.

How about doing the safe thing and throwing in some alcohol so you can't *feel* the brain freeze?

Wine slushes are becoming all the rage (translated: the wine industry is trying to get you to use wine in more ways) and are pretty easy to make for those summer days when you want to chill down. They're basically a frozen Sangria, but we won't ruin Wine's marketing tactics.

"Rick, what's a recipe?" you ask. You're in luck:
1 bottle California or Australian Merlot
1 cup pomegranate juice (POM or another brand)
1 pint blackberries. The site says your best bet is to put all of this in to an ice cream machine and let it get slushy, margarita-style. Lacking that, you can put it in the freezer and let it set up in there as the alcohol should stop it from going solid.

Now get out there and get you some slushee.

The Hot Trend of Cool Wine S…

Beer Powered Car

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When Hillary was knocking back brews and shots a couple of months ago I don't think she knew that she would inspire the DNC to power all of their vehicles on beer when they held the convention in Denver.

That's what happened though. All of the cars being used to cart DNC folks around in Denver will run on Flex Fuel cars that use waste beer as the fuel.

I thought "waste beer" was just called "urine" but apparently I'm not very "green." I guess I should watch "An Inconvenient Truth."

The beer is donated by Coors Light and is running in GM Flex Fuel cars. MADD was unavailable for comment.

Democratic Convention (cars) to run on beer
via Slashfood

PartyBluPrints helps you plan your kegger

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Let's face it, the last party you threw had the same attendance as a Titanic Reunion Party (too soon?) even though you invited enough people to secure a Democratic Presidential nomination. Hey, not everyone can throw parties that barrel dangerously out of control so that the only way you can even recognize your own house is through the dental records of your cat, wherever HE is.

PartyBluPrints (when they registered the domain they forgot the "e" but just said, "fuck it, we're party planners, not gud spellurs") helps you plan the whole thing, one might even say "from soup to nuts." The very second you have an idea for throwing that "My Mother the Car" DVD marathon party you can head over to their site and they'll give you everything you need for you to plan your party perfectly. From invitations, to the menu, to making sure that you don't play your Polka CD's all night.

They have party plans for things like Guys Football Part…

Go Vodka - Vodka in a tube

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This vodka is in a tube.

I know I could probably just end it right there and the post will make the rounds on Technorati and other such meme-layers, but I'm not going to do that. I don't work that way.

Plus, this tube reminds me of VO5. Which could actually be their marketing strategy. They just want me to tell two friends, and they'll two friends, and they'll two friends, and so on and so on.

Though I'm strongly considering writing my state legislature to create a bill that forces anyone that uses "Extreme" as a marketing term to cut their own tongue out, I'm going to let it slide for the Go Tubes because, hey, it's stuff in a tube. That means that after some sort of nuclear winter, we'll be able to still have vodka.

They actually don't call it "vodka" because it's not. They call it "Wodka" because it's only got 10.5% alcohol in it (as opposed to vodka's 40%), though it does come in a wide variety of EXT…

Chinggis Khaan Vodka - Release the Hordes!

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Whenever I've ordered a drink at the bar I've always wanted to be able to say something that was memorable but would also handle the job of getting my drink ordered.

Now, I can channel my best James T. Kirk, clench my hands, look up to the sky and shout "KHAAAAAAAAAN!" then quietly add "Up, with a twist."

Chinggis Khan Vodka (Us bona fide foreigners spell it "Genghis") comes from the largest spirits producer in Mongolia. Now, I don't know a whole lot about Mongolia, but I did see Raiders of the Lost Ark and according to that flick, Mongolians can get some drinkin' done.

There's not a whole lot of details about how it's made or when it's going to launch but I'm pretty sure that I'll be ordering it, especially on those nights out that I want to raize a village with my galloping hordes.

via Dowd's Spirit Notebook

Beertender Review

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Sure, this picture looks like I have it all together. Like I'm some sort of Beer God that can put things together that dispense a beverage and then consume said beverage.

The Beertender showed no such mercy.

The Beertender showed up on my doorstep with two mini-kegs, one each of Heineken and Heineken Light. It came with a bunch of different connectors for tapping the keg inside the Krups Beertender box, connectors with the kegs themselves, and a final set of connectors that were separate from everything.

It also came with a "How-to" DVD that I promptly threw away.

All of the connectors basically did the same thing. I decided that it would make the most sense to use the ones that came with the mini-keg. Why did this make sense? I don't know.

I threw one of the kegs in the fridge and plugged-in the Beertender which has a little piezo electric cooler that keeps thing frosty. I read that it worked better to have both items cold before assembly so I went that route.

The B…

Limoncé Limoncello Launches Loudly

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Limoncello is really starting to take off, especially since Danny DeVito showed up to a talk show plastered from drinking the stuff. Hey, it takes these things to put stuff on the map, don't knock it.

Limoncé Limoncello is a new product launch that takes all of the pain-in-the-ass out of making limoncello yourself. Believe me, I've tried. If you want a glass of the stuff, you've gots to think ahead! Like, 7 months ahead.

Limoncé takes the patience out of the equation and offers up a cold, light drink that has won Gold at the San Francisco Spirits Competition and gives you a bit of pucker, because if there's one thing that you don't have enough of, it's pucker.

Availability is growing and it sells for US$19.99 for a liter. They're doing a big Indy promotion for this weekend including this recipe:

WINNER'S CHOICE
Created by Curtis Parker, Mixologist/Bar Manager, Mudsocks Bar & Grill, Noblesville, IN

1.5 oz Limoncé Limoncello
1 oz Stella Citrus Gin
1 oz f…

Camitz Swedish Sparkling Vodka

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O2 Sparkling Vodka has recently started it's nationwide launch and now Camitz is coming in, hot on its heels as the next sparkling vodka.

The vodka uses a patented carbonated process that helps it retain the same "chemical dna" as the original vodka, except with bubbles. "Chemical DNA" is their term, not mine. If I was going to pick a term it would be "Cheeseburger with Avocado."

The vodka has already been picked up in NY by such great restaurants as Aureole and Le Cirque (You know, the restaurant where they secretly replaced the diners' regular coffee with Folgers Crystals). Maybe they should have made it pink, to increase attraction? Wait, someone already did that.

Camitz is rolling out everywhere soon for US$45 for a 750ml bottle.

Camitz Sparkling Vodka

Dos Lunas Tequila Video Winners

Dos Lunas Tequila recently ran a contest for some home made videos that promote their product. The videos were voted and commented upon on their website and the winner got $5000, with runners-up getting various prizes.

The winning video is below, you can see the rest of them here.

Cruzan Guava Rum

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In an effort to bring you a post that is not about vodka, gin, or the parts that my bathing suit covers, I bring you Cruzan Guava Rum.

Cruzan (sounds like Cruisin') already has nine flavored rums and their latest has flavors of fresh guava, tropical fruits and berries. Guava's are taking off in general as the latest fruit that Americans think will solve global warming (The Lychee didn't seem to do the trick though Acai seems to hold some promise).

Look for it soon at US$11.99 for a 750ml bottle.

Cruzan Guava Rum

New Amsterdam Gin Launches

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Yay! More and more gins are popping up and I couldn't be happier.

New Amsterdam (the original name for New York) is based on gin's Dutch origins and comes from...Modesto? EJ Gallo are launching the gin that has a lighter emphasis on the juniper berries and includes light citrus flavors to balance it out. Sounds like it'd be another good "crossover gin" for those vodka lovers who think they hate the stuff.

I'm not sure if the PR for the gin will crossover in to Fox's hot new show "New Amsterdam" which is about this guy who is immortal until he finds his true love and marries her. Whoever put that show on after American Idol was DOING THEIR JOB! Anyway, the character is in A.A., so maybe the crossover's not such a good idea.

The gin has already won Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and is priced to move at US$13.99 for a 750ml bottle. It launches nationwide on June 1.

New Amsterdam Gin

Double-Cross Vodka Launches

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With the massive amounts of vodka for sale on the market, a company has to be creative about how their product looks in order to grab your attention. The bottles are getting to be more and more unique and now Double Cross Vodka has launched with yet another design award winner.

This vodka out of Slovakia has already won Double Gold for bottle design but there hasn't been any mention of it winning anything for taste. Very little is known about it's makeup right now as the press release is pretty thin on details, except for how proud they are of it's design.

Look for Double Cross to be hitting the states soon.

Double Cross Vodka

Victoria Gin Launches

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British Columbia isn't known for it's wine or it's gin but in the heart of Vancouver Island is a new distillery that has become BC's first gin.

Of course, the gin has juniper berries, but it also has an extensive recipe that includes things like rose petals, cinnamon bark, and star anise, plus 7 other ingredients including a super secret special ingredient that they want you to guess at. I'm guessing that it's chicken nuggets, but I've been wrong before.

The gin is distilled in small batches and only the "heart" of each of the batches is taken out, leaving a gin for the gin connoisseur in all of us. It's available in a select few places until June 1, then other select few places after that. How's that for vague?

Victoria Gin

Cork recycle

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I'm a huge fan of corks made from cork. Not only is cork sustainable, it also makes up for a large forest that would have been mowed down a long time ago had it not been for the fact that it can make more money as a forest than a master-planned community.

Now, instead of making a coffee table out of the little plugs, thus professing to the world your ability to drink yourself under the table every night, you can recycle the corks so that they can be broken down and used for useful things. Like....coffee tables.

ReCork America is a program that is sponsored by a cork producer in Portugal that allows restaurants and the like to put a piece of their overpriced wine selections in to the recycle loop. The program has people picking up corks and taking them to collection centers. San Francisco is the model city for it right now but they're planning on bringing more cities online as time moves on.

ReCorked
via Luxist

The high cost of beer

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With prices of pretty much everything going up (Except this blog, which remains committed to reducing costs in the face of an uncertain economic environment) the CEO of Miller Brewing says that people are starting to buy their beers that run on the cheaper side.

Just in time to help you face the economic crunch, Pint Price allows you to find out what the average cost of a pint is in countries around the world. You can input the country and the denomination you want to see the price in and you're set.

Once you pull up the country you can even make comments about specific cities inside the country and let others know just how much you overpaid because the bar owner knew you were a tourist.

The Price of a Pint

2008 Spirit Awards

Tales of the Cocktail is right around the corner in July and they've recently sent out their nominations for their 2008 Spirit Awards (No, this one is not about racial unity. It's "Spirit" like cocktails. Just FYI).

I'm not going to say a lot here except that I know a lot of these and I'm surprised by some of the bar choices as I know there are definitely better ones out there, but all award ceremonies tend to suck, so why fight it?

Best Drink Selection
Criteria: A venue stocking an outstanding range of spirits and liqueurs. The judges will favor discernment as well as sheer numbers of bottles stocked. Cantina - San Francisco, USA
Death & Company - New York City, USA
Der Raum - Melbourne, Australia
Doheney - Downtown Los Angeles, USA
The Merchant Hotel - Belfast, Northern Ireland
Salvatore's Bar at Fifty - London, England
Trio Bar - Berlin, Germany
Matterhorn - Wellington, New Zealand










Best Classic Cocktail Bar
Criteria: Classic bars continue …

Zinfest Tickets Winner!

Congrats to Brianna who will be sipping Zins by the lake on a gorgeously warm day in Lodi. Her story was heartfelt and was for a good cause. It didn't have as much nudity as I was hoping for but you can't win 'em all.

Have fun at Zinfest Brianna!

Also, thanks to the awesome Anna at Lodi Winegrape Commission for the tickets and taking care of the ever-loyal Martini Groove.

Lodi Zinfest

The Remote Control Cooler

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Anyone who reads my blog or articles knows just how much in love with summer in California I am and what better way to enjoy summer than to sit back in a chair and drive a cooler full of cold brew around?

The Remote Controlled Drinks Cooler allows you to control it's sturdy wheels from up to 30 feet away, so you're not going to have to get up the next time you realize that a fresh beer is out of reach. Amaze girls! Great at parties! Scare small children and dogs!

This is one of the few instances that drinking and driving is encouraged but don't be surprised when you drive it off in to the pool after emptying it of it's alcoholic contents.

Remote Control Drinks Cooler - $78.17

Mekhong from Thailand comes to the US

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Now you're probably trying to forget your last visit to Thailand mostly due to the fact that you're not really sure where that 300,000 Baht went once you started drinking those Sabai Sabai's.

Thailand has come to you in order to dredge up those memories of coked up Russian Roulette in noisy bars and rain that lasts for 6 months in the form of Mekhong, the Spirit of Thailand.

Mekhong is a blended and distilled drink made from sugar cane and rice with some Thai herbs thrown in to the mix. The idea is that the drink compliments Thai food and helps balance the spiciness.

The spirit is made with a bit of the spiritualism that envelops Thailand in mind. It's distilled and fermented and then goes in to several traditional and symbolic stages related to the five natural elements: earth, water, air/wind, fire and aether (the mythical upper air that encompasses
everything).

Mekhong - The Spirit of Thailand

Cinco de Mayo Required Post

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I'm all for another reason to drink and party, but Cinco de Mayo seems a bit off to me. It's not a big deal in Mexico and it's akin to U.S. Americans [sic] celebrating something like the Louisiana Purchase or The Battle of Bunker Hill.

However, margaritas are not lost on me and I expect to imbibe a few in the name of good Mexican-American relations.

Fine Living sent me a nice little link to how-to's for the Pomegranate and Lavender Margarita's, plus a few other tequila drinks to keep things flowing. Enjoy!

Margarita Recipes at Fine Living

Lodi Zinfest Tickets Up For Grabs!

The Lodi Zinfest is coming!  

Lodi Zinfest is one of the most fun wine events in existence.  It doesn't just focus on great quality wines but it also focuses on approachable events and having a lot of fun.  This one is for the wine lovers, not the wine writers who want to tell the wine lovers that they shouldn't be there and that it's only for ridiculously, ridiculously good looking people.

The event is May 16-18 and I have two general admission tickets that I want to give to you.  

Requirements:

All you have to do is e-mail a story about who you're going to take and why THE PERSON YOU'RE GOING TO TAKE DESERVES TO GO.  I don't care why you want them, I want to see some selfless love going here.  

E-mail entries to rick@martinigroove.com and put the subject "Zinfest!"  Deadline is Tuesday, May 13.  I will then FedEx the tickets ot the winning story.  

Good luck!

Sex in the City Skyy promotion

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I've never been much of a Sex in the City fan. The few times I actually sat down to watch it I could never bring myself to be as confused as the girls in the show as to why they were single or in extremely odd relationships, no one was very likeable to me. I actually disliked this show so much that I stopped drinking Cosmopolitans.

However, I do understand the fact that it's wildly popular and the upcoming movie is so anticipated by the crowd that religiously watched it as the comic book movies are to a nerd like myself.

Skyy Vodka is one of the sponsors of the flick and they are pushing their goods in every way imaginable. One of those ways are these promotional boxes that they're dishing out to bloggers and their ilk that is a glorious glass slipper filled with Skyy Vodka.

It's probably one of the better tie-ins to a movie that I can think of because a) the girls love Cosmo's and b) I'd have to drink the whole shoe to go see the movie.