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756Scotch is a whisky that has a wide variety of styles and flavors, which I unfortunately don’t have the time to get into here.  But, this is what you need to know.  There are five regions in Scotland which produce whiskies: Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Speyside; and there are five styles of Scotch: blended grain, blended malt, blended Scotch, single grain and single malt.

GSN has reviewed several Scotches over the years including: Aberlour, AuchentoshanBenRiach, BowmoreCutty SarkGlendronachGlenrothes, Glen Garioch, LaphroaigMonkey Shoulder, Pig’s Nose and Sheep Dip.

If you’re looking to try a Scotch cocktail, GSN recommends the classic, Blood and Sand.

Sláinte!

 

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indexTrinidad’s House of Angostura is commemorating its 190th anniversary with the launch of a new signature amaro in the U.S. Unveiled at last week’s Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans, Amaro di Angostura marks Angostura’s first foray into the amaro category. The 35%-abv liqueur is made with a base of Angostura’s flagship aromatic bitters, as well as additional spices and neutral alcohol. Imported in the U.S. by International Beverage Co., Amaro di Angostura will be available nationwide this fall, priced at $24.99 a 750-ml.

indexLiqs Cocktail Shots is expanding its distribution footprint to Texas and Massachusetts after its debut in southern Florida last November. The brand has also recently expanded statewide in Florida with Southern Wine & Spirits and secured its first major chain account with Winn-Dixie. Beginning August 1, Glazer’s will distribute the ready-to-drink shot beverage in Texas and United Liquors will bring it to Massachusetts. The Liqs line includes four flavors—Tequila Cinnamon Orange, Vodka Cucumber Lime, Vodka Lychee Grapefruit and Vodka Kamikaze—and is sold in three-packs of 50-ml. plastic shot glasses with a suggested retail price of $7.99. The company is planning on releasing two new flavors later this year.

indexFattoria di Limone has launched a premium U.S.-made limoncello in the New York, Connecticut and New Jersey markets. Fattoria di Limone Limoncello Original Liqueur is made in small batches from ingredients mostly sourced from New York state and follows a classic Italian recipe. KyMar Distillers in Charlotteville, New York produces the brand in 375-ml. and 750-ml. bottles. Fattoria di Limone (“lemon farm” in Italian) is led by entrepreneurs Dawn Jacksland and Erik Christman. The company plans to expand the product line this year and next with products featuring Meyer lemons as well as a salted caramel cream-based offering.

indexBeam Suntory’s Laphroaig single malt Scotch has unveiled Laphroaig Select, a new entry composed of whiskies with a variety of maturation styles and wood profiles. Featuring a selection of different Laphroaig styles—including Quarter Cask, PX Cask, Triple Wood and Ten-Year-Old—the 80-proof entry is matured in new American oak casks, resulting in a blend of “peat, oak and sweetness.” Laphroaig Select is currently available in select markets, priced at $55 a 750-ml. The new addition joins Laphroaig 10-Year-Old, 10-Year-Old Cask Strength, Quarter Cask, 18-Year-Old, 25-Year-Old, QA Cask, Triple Wood and Cairdeas 2014 Amontillado Edition in the brand’s existing portfolio.

indexAnchor Distilling is launching five new Scotch whiskies from BenRiach Whisky Co.’s Glenglassaugh Distillery in the U.S. market. They include whiskies from both before Glenglassaugh was mothballed in 1986 and from since its reopening in 2008. Glenglassaugh’s new lineup includes Revival ($65), a 46%-abv offering billed as the first single malt from the reborn distillery; Evolution ($80), an exclusive series from single-variety oak casks (the first of which is 50% abv and was matured in George Dickel Tennessee whisky barrels); Torfa ($75), a peated Highland malt at 50% abv; Glenglassaugh 30-year-old ($500), a 44.8%-abv whisky matured in refill Oloroso Sherry butts; and Glenglassaugh 40-year-old ($3,000), which was bottled at 42.5% abv and was matured in a mix of ex-Bourbon barrels, European oak hogsheads, Pedro Ximenez Sherry puncheons and Oloroso Sherry butts. Each of the newcomers is non-chill filtered and retains its natural color.

indexBrown-Forman’s El Jimador has made its foray into the flavored Tequila segment with the launch of two new expressions. Rolling out this week, El Jimador Mango Mango and Mexican Lime will be available at chain liquor and grocery stores throughout California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. Both are priced at $19.99 a 750-ml. Mango Mango and Mexican Lime join El Jimador’s existing Blanco, Reposado and Añejo offerings.

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indexBarrio Spirits has launched a new super-premium rum, Copacabana 1940, in the New York market. Inspired by 1940s New York—the era that gave rise to the iconic Copacabana nightclub—the new entry is a seven-year-old Añejo that retails at $34.99. Made in Herrera, Panama’s Las Cabras distillery, Copacabana 1940 is aged in white oak and bottled at 80 proof. Celebrity chef Alex Garcia and restaurateur Spencer Rothschild are the partners behind Barrio Spirits.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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tequila-bottlesTequila has gotten itself a bad reputation over the years, being associated with hangovers, wild shot parties, and a myriad of fruity blenderized “margaritas”.  But, tequila is actually a fine spirit with a long heritage of high quality distillation.  Some might even say that it is the epitome of the craft as it takes 12 years for the Blue Weber agave plant to mature, and many small distilleries do much of the work by hand.  The best (and in my opinion) only tequilas worth drinking are made from 100% Blue Weber agave.  If you don’t see this on the bottle’s label, give it a pass.  Otherwise, you just may end up with a hangover.

Good Spirits News has reviewed many tequilas over the years.  Here are some for you to consider today, along with a few tequila related liqueurs.

1800 Milenio

1921 Tequila Cream

ArteNOM Seleccion

Avion

Casa Noble

Casamigos

CRUZ

Don Julio

Dulce Vida

Kah

Mariposa Agave Nectar

Milagro Unico

Olmeca Altos

Piedra Azul

Suerte

Tanteo

Tapatio

Tequila Ocho

Tres Agaves

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indexSheffield, Massachusetts-based Berkshire Mountain Distillers is introducing Greylock Gin & Tonic, a new ready-to-drink gin and tonic cocktail. The 13.3%-abv small-batch RTD is made with a base of Berkshire Mountain’s Greylock gin, which features a blend of seven botanicals, and a house tonic, produced using cinchona bark and various spices. Rolling out on August 1 across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Georgia and Massachusetts, Greylock Gin & Tonic is available in four-packs of 200-ml. bottles, priced at $15. Additional markets are slated to be added in the coming months.

indexSet to debut in the U.S. this summer, Roca Patrón marks Patrón’s first range created entirely using the traditional, labor-intensive “tahona process.” The new release includes Roca Patrón Silver (90 proof), Roca Patrón Reposado (84 proof) and Roca Patrón Añejo (88 proof) labels, retailing at between $69.99-$89.99 a 750-ml. bottle.

launch2-140325202755-phpapp01-thumbnail-2Veev 2.0, is launching as a 70-proof neutral spirit infused with açaí berries from Brazil, and is intended to compete with the vodka segment. The original Veev açai liqueur launched at 60-proof five years ago. Veev 2.0 is packaged in a redesigned bottle featuring a new logo meant to relay the brand’s organic, all-natural messaging. It’s being supported by a campaign asking consumers to “Cheat On Vodka,” debuting this week with digital videos and display ads, outdoor advertising and other activities. The reformulated Veev will maintain its original retail price of $29.99.

indexPernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers unit has debuted the 2014 edition of its Midleton Very Rare whiskey. This year’s edition—the first from master blender Brian Nation, who recently took over for longtime Midleton master distiller Barry Crockett—is blended from single pot still and grain whiskies, which have been matured in specially-selected, ex-Bourbon casks that have been lightly charred on the inside for a complex taste profile. The whiskies in the blend have been aged for up to 22 years. Midleton Very Rare 2014 will hit U.S. store shelves in August, retailing around $125.

indexBrazil’s Yaguara Cachaça has made its debut in the U.S. market in select on- and off-premise locations in New York. A blended white organic cachaça distilled in traditional alembic copper stills, Yaguara is produced in small batches by renowned Brazilian master blender Erwin Weimann using a century-old family recipe from brothers Thyrso and Thiago Camargo, who co-founded the company with fellow entrepreneur Hamilton Lowe. Yaguara, at 41.5%-abv, will available in select U.S. markets at a suggest retail price of $44.90 a 750-ml.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

 

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Daiquiri by Dave Stolte

Daiquiri by Dave Stolte

Ah, the Daiquiri!  One of the simplest, yet most delicious cocktails for summer imbibing.  Daiquiri is a Taino word for a beach and oddly enough, an iron mine near Santiago, Cuba.  (I think of beaches, not mines when I’m drinking one).  The drink itself on the other hand was created roughly around the turn of the century (20th, not 21st) at a bar named Venus in Santiago.  As with most cocktails, no one knows for sure who came up with the drink, but it most likely was an American named Jennings Cox.  It quickly made the move from Cuba to the U.S. and became a standard drink within a decade, first in Washington DC and then New York.

Surprisingly, it was not a shaken cocktail at first, but rather a long drink prepared similarly to a julep.  A tall glass was filled with cracked ice, sugar was added along with a hefty dose of lime juice.  White rum topped it off, and then it was all stirred until the glass became frosted.

Other drinks which are similar to the Daiquiri are the Navy Grog, the Bacardi Cocktail, The Floridita, and the Papa Doble, named after Ernest Hemingway who created his own frozen drink several decades ahead of the blender daiquiri craze of the 1970’s.

Here’s are a few versions for you to try today:

Daiquiri
2 ounces light rum
3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Garnish: Slice of lime.
Gently shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Bacardi Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces light rum (must use Bacardi)
3/4 ounce lime juice
2 dashes grenadine
Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Floridita
1 1/2 ounces light rum
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/8 ounce white crème de cacao
1/8 ounce grenadine
Garnish: Lime twist
Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Papa Doble
3 ounces Bacardi or Havana Club light rum
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1/2 grapefruit
6 drops of maraschino liqueur (Luxardo is my favorite)

Fill a blender one-quarter full of ice, preferably shaved or cracked. Add the rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice and maraschino. Blend on high until the mixture turns cloudy and light-colored. ( See Hemingway’s book, Islands in the Stream, page 281.) Serve immediately in large, conical goblets.

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J.Labanda-2It feels as if Grand Marnier has been around for at least a few centuries.  But, this quintessential spirit only dates back to 1880.  The recipe was created by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle who worked at a fruit liqueur distillery owned by his wife’s grandfather.  He sourced Citrus Bagaradia oranges grown in the West Indies, which are still used in the production today.  The Cognac base is made from the Ugni Blanc grape grown in the Cognac region of France.  Sugar syrup is added, and then everything is aged in oak casks and filtered before bottling.

Here are a few classic cocktails for you to try that call for Grand Marnier:

Leap Year
2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1 dash lemon juice
Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Satan’s Whiskers
3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1 dash orange bitters
Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

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indexWilliam Grant & Sons’ Milagro Tequila has released the second edition of its ultra-premium Unico expression. Rolling out in September, the limited edition offering is a joven blend, made with a mix of aged silver Tequila and barrel-aged reposado and añejo reserves. After blending, the liquid is filtered and oxygenated to remove color, then packaged in a handcrafted bottle. Just 1,500 bottles of Unico’s second iteration will be available at select retailers, bars and restaurants, priced at $300 each.

indexLucas Bols USA has launched its Bols Watermelon liqueur in the U.S. Previously available in Europe, the extension is targeted largely toward the cocktail occasion, for use in watermelon Spritzers and Martinis, among other drinks. Bols Watermelon is currently available across U.S. trade channels in a 1-liter format. The liqueur’s U.S. debut comes on the heels of Lucas Bols USA’s launch of Bols Elderflower in February, and brings the brand’s lineup to around 35 flavored liqueurs.

indexMoët Hennessy is debuting Glenmorangie Pride 1978, which the company hails as Glenmorangie’s rarest whisky to date. The luxury single malt—sourced from five casks in the distiller’s archives—was bottled in 2012 following 15 years of extra-maturation in Bordeaux Premier Grand Cru Classé casks, the longest extra-maturation of any of Glenmorangie offering thus far. Retailing at around $5,000 a bottle, Glenmorangie Pride 1978 is rolling out in a limited edition of 700 decanters worldwide.

indexGonzález Byass has unveiled Nomad Outland Whisky, a new Scotch whisky finished in Jerez, Spain. Created by González Byass master blender Antonio Flores in collaboration with whisky distiller Richard Paterson, Nomad Outland is a blend featuring more than 30 whiskies aged five to eight years, sourced primarily from Speyside. The blend was matured in Sherry butts in Scotland for three years before being brought to Jerez to mature in Pedro Ximénez barrels for a minimum of 12 months. Nomad Outland is entering the U.S. in limited supply, imported by Vin Divino, González Byass’ wholly-owned U.S. import and distribution arm.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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320px-Piña_ColadaThe earliest known reference to a piña colada is from TRAVEL magazine, December 1922: “But best of all is a piña colada, the juice of a perfectly ripe pineapple—a delicious drink in itself—rapidly shaken up with ice, sugar, lime and Bacardi rum in delicate proportions. What could be more luscious, more mellow and more fragrant?”

Re-read that last quote again, and see if you can tell what is missing.  Yep.  Coconut cream.  It was the addition of this quintessential ingredient that makes the piña colada what it is today.  Interestingly, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the creation of this drink.  But, it wasn’t on July 10th.  Instead, it was August 15th, 1954 when a bartender named Ramón ‘Monchito’ Marrero Pérez first crafted this rum cocktail at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Anyway, here is the original recipe for you to consider:

Piña Colada
2oz white Puerto Rican rum
1oz Coco López coconut cream
1oz heavy cream
6oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 cup crushed ice

Put everything in a blender.  Blend for 15 seconds.  Pour unstrained into a tall glass.

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indexBeam Suntory is planning the launch of a host of new whiskies under its Jim Beam Signature Craft brand. In September, the Signature Craft line will add a “Harvest Bourbon Collection,” including Soft Red Wheat and Brown Rice Bourbons, both at 45% abv and retailing around $50 a 375-ml. bottle. The Harvest Bourbon Collection will continue to be expanded through next year with upcoming Rolled Oat, Triticale, High Rye and Six Row Barley whiskies. The Jim Beam stable is also set to gain a Signature Craft Quarter Cask limited edition in September, which is at 43% abv and retails at $40 a 750-ml.

indexOle Smoky Tennessee Moonshine has unveiled a new trio of 80-proof flavored moonshines. Rolling out this month, the Ole Smoky Lightnin’ Line will launch with higher-proof versions of Ole Smoky’s original 40-proof Strawberry, Lemon Drop and Hunch Punch moonshines—Strawberry Lightnin’, Lemon Drop Lightnin’ and Hunch Punch Lightnin’. All three will be available across 49 states and Canada, priced at around $24.95 a 750-ml.

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indexNashville, Tennessee’s American Born Moonshine has expanded distribution to California, marking the brand’s first market on the West Coast. The company is eyeing further expansion in the region after successful launches throughout southeastern states. The unaged corn whiskey is available in Original, Apple Pie and Dixie flavors and is made from corn, sugar and water at a suggested retail price of about $24.99 a 750-ml. jar. The Original is 103 proof, while Apple Pie and Dixie, a sweet-tea flavored moonshine, are both 83 proof.

indexSeattle’s Westland Distillery has partnered with Anchor Distilling to introduce its flagship Westland American single malt whiskey nationwide. Produced using Scotch-style methods, Westland American single malt is made with Pacific Northwest barley and matured in new American oak casks. The 46%-abv entry, which has a production of 1,500 casks annually, is priced at around $79.99 a 750-ml.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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Koehler1887-PimpinellaAnisum

Anise

Really?  National Anisette Day?  Ok…

Anise (an herb) actually has a fairly storied history with liquor as it is used as a flavoring agent in absinthe, aguardiente, arak, Jagermiester, ouzo, pastis, raki, and most likely Chartreuse.  Be that as it may, anisette as a solo liquor is fairly obscure in 21st century mixology.  The GSN offices only have one old dusty bottle that is pulled out for obscure cocktails that no has imbibed in decades.  Thus, I have relatively little to say on the subject other than to recommend a few brands that you can probably find at your local liquor store.

Try looking for Anís del Mono, Marie Brizard, Pernod, or if all else fails, Sambuca.  These are best served watered down with a bit of ice-cold water until the liqueur becomes cloudy, known as louching.  A glass of this can be quite refreshing as an after dinner beverage.

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indexA. Hardy USA, Ltd. has partnered with Hawaiian-based Kai Vodka LLC for distribution of the company’s six rice-based spirits in the U.S. market. The importer, sales and marketing agency will handle Kai’s portfolio, which includes Kai Vodka (40% abv), Kai Lychee, Kai Lemongrass, Kai Coconut Pandan (all 35% abv), Kai Lemongrass Ginger Shochu-Soju and Kai Young Coconut Shochu-Soju (both 24% abv). Harvested from rice from Vietnam, Kai Vodka’s line retails for about $24.99.

indexProximo Spirits has extended its super-premium Three Olives vodka range with a new Jacked Apple flavor. Combining the flavors of red apple and cinnamon, the new offering joins the English vodka brand’s 24 flavor extensions, which include Chocolate, Grape and Root Beer. Three Olives Jacked Apple will be available nationwide beginning in June in 750-ml., 1-liter and 1.75-liter bottles, at a suggested retail price of $21 a 750-ml.

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indexMaui-based Ocean Vodka has appointed Bill Scott master distiller. An 18-year spirits industry veteran, Scott has previously worked with vodka brands such as Blue Ice Vodka, American Harvest Organic Spirit, Square One and 44 Degrees North. His appointment follows Ocean Vodka’s recent expansion into three additional U.S. markets, bringing its total U.S. footprint to 35 states and Washington, D.C. Retailing at $32.99 a 750-ml., Ocean Vodka’s flagship brand is a certified USDA organic vodka made with sugar cane and ocean mineral water.

indexAgave Underground Tequila is extending with this month’s release of Sabroso, a prickly pear infused Tequila retailing at $24.99. The Orange County, California-based company has also expanded its distribution network to Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi and Iowa, bringing its total to 22 states and two Canadian provinces. In addition to Sabroso, Agave Underground’s range includes Silver, Reposado and Anejo expressions.

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indexNew York-based Blackheath Beverage Group has added Fernet Vittone, Amaro Del Sole and Vittone vermouth to its portfolio through a new national sales and marketing agreement with the brands’ importer, Un Sogno, LLC. All three brands are produced by Italy’s Polini Distillates and Beverages.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

 

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1584092_1403627615.7993_multiOn Friday June 20, a horrific accident struck the city of Ithaca, NY, leaving one dead and seven injured. Around 4 pm, a truck carrying seven vehicles struck Simeons restaurant–a four story building that has been around for over 130 years.  The life of Amanda Bush, 27, was taken from us as she was working behind the bar at the historic Ithaca restaurant. Bush left behind a 14 month old daughter as well as the rest of her family. The united way has teamed up with the family and set up a fund for their immediate expenses. This includes care for the baby, as well as funeral costs.

The link can be found here

100% of the proceeds will be given to the Bush family. The funds created here will be put in a trust in the name of the baby for her needs. I will update you all tomorrow after the trust has been set up, in the name of the baby. We are here to make sure the baby will be taken care of. Immediate costs as well as future costs are all being considered. No one should benefit from someone else’s tragedy, but the funds being raised will definitely aid the family in the way they need. Thank you all for your continuous support of the Bush family fund. No words can describe the beauty of teamwork.

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imagesWine marketer Riondo USA is entering the spirits category via an agreement to handle sales and marketing for Dirty Tequila. Currently available in California and Arizona, Dirty Tequila—made from a blend of blue agave and cinnamon, pineapple, almond and vanilla flavors—will launch in Las Vegas next month, with other major markets slated to follow later in the year. The brand retails at under $25 a bottle.

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imagesDublin’s Glendalough Distillery has launched its flagship Glendalough Poitín in the U.S. Introduced this spring, Glendalough Poitín is crafted using a traditional recipe for the ancient Irish spirit, which dates back to as early as 584AD. The brand is currently available across Boston and New York, with additional markets to follow. The Glendalough range includes Glendalough Mountain Strength Poitín ($35), Glendalough Sherry Cask Finish Poitín ($35) and Glendalough Premium Poitín ($30).

indexPhillips Distilling Co. has expanded its UV vodka lineup with the launch of UV Sugar Crush. Inspired by retro candies, Sugar Crush is a tropical fruit candy-flavored entry targeted toward Millennial consumers. The extension, which is priced at $11.99 a 750-ml., marks the 21st flavor in UV vodka’s stable, following the launch of UV Sriracha earlier this year. A limited edition Salted Caramel Apple flavor, meanwhile, is slated to join the range this fall.

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indexInternational Beverage USA’s AnCnoc single malt Scotch has launched its limited edition Peaty Collection in the U.S. Featuring bolder, smokier flavors than AnCnoc’s flagship Highland single malt, the Peaty Collection debuts this month with AnCnoc Rutter, which is peated to a PPM (parts per million) of 11, and AnCnoc Flaughter, peated to a PPM of 14.8. Both expressions are priced at $85 and feature their PPM level on their bottles. A third and final Peaty Collection entry will be released later this year.

indexAgave Loco Brands’ Agave Loco Pepper Cured Tequila has been introduced in a new bottle, which is said to reinforce the brand’s super-premium positioning and protect the liquid’s pepper flavors with dark glass. Retailing at $27.99 a 750-ml. bottle, Agave Loco Pepper Cured is a 100%-agave Reposado Tequila infused with the oils of six pepper varieties. It’s suggested to be used to add an extra spicy kick to cocktails like Bloody Marys and Margaritas.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

 

 

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Mad-Men-Restaurants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Martini is well deserving of its own day, as it is the most widely recognized cocktail in the world.  At its most basic, it is a combination of gin and dry vermouth.  On the auspicious occasion, GSN is proud to share a few of our favorite Martini recipes from the last 150 years.

Astoria
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Add olive

Caprice
1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 dash orange bitters
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain

Dry Martini
2 oz gin
1/4 oz dry vermouth
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Add olive or lemon twist

Gibson
2 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Add onion

Hoffman House
1 3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz dry vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Add olive

Martini
2 oz gin
1/4 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz sweet vermouth
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Add olive (or lemon twist)

Savoy
1 3/4 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz Red Dubonnet
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Add orange peel

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