GSN Alert: October 19th – International Gin & Tonic Day

b42086b2206396354f7173a543355bc0“85% of all known worlds in the Galaxy, be they primitive or highly advanced, have invented a drink called jynnan tonnyx, or gee-N’N-T’N-ix, or jinond-o-nicks, or any one of a thousand or more variations on the same phonetic theme. The drinks themselves are not the same, and vary between the Sivolvian “chinanto/mnigs” which is ordinary water served at slightly above room temperature, and the Gagrakackan “tzjin-anthony-ks” which kills cows at a hundred paces; and in fact the one common factor between all of them, beyond the fact that the names sound the same, is that they were all invented and named before the worlds concerned made contact with any other worlds.” – Douglas Adams

Be that as it may, we here on planet Earth will be celebrating International Gin & Tonic Day this weekend.  Cheers!

Gin and Tonic
2 oz. London dry gin
Tonic water (from a fresh bottle)
1-2 ample wedges of lime
Plenty of cold ice cubes
Highball glass

1) Chill the glass. You may want to fill it with ice, then empty it and refill, as some bartenders do with a martini glass.
2) Fill the glass with whole ice cubes. If you wish, take a wedge of lime and moisten the rim the glass with it.
3) Pour the gin over the ice, which should be cold enough that it crackles when the liquor hits it.
4) Fill glass almost to the top with tonic.
5) Squeeze one wedge of lime into the glass. Drop the squeezed lime into the drink as a garnish if you like; it’s not necessary, but can add a bit of extra flavor. (If you do, notes Dale DeGroff, make sure the peel has been washed.) Serve.

GSN Alert: October 16th – National Liqueur Day

liqueurs2There are more liqueurs out there than you may realize.  A few of them are crucial for classic cocktails (triple sec), many are liquid desserts (Irish creams), and a few are totally unique (coca leaf liqueur).  What exactly is a liqueur, you ask?  Basically take a distilled spirit, add some sugar, and voila.  But that’s only part of the picture.  Often, liqueurs are flavored with fruit, citrus rind, berries, herbs, spices, and particularly in the case of Chartreuse the liqueur takes on the color of the ingredients.

Here are some of the many liqueurs that GSN has reviewed over the past several years.  Everything from ancho chili liqueur to bacon liqueur.  As an added bonus, I’ve included a video by the inestimable Robert “DrinkBoy” Hess which will show you how you can use as many liqueurs as possible in a single classic cocktail .

1921 Tequila Cream Liqueur

300 Joules Cream Liqueurs

Agwa Coca Herbal Liqueur

Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur

Bärenjäger Honey & Bourbon

Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur

Berentzen Liqueurs

Berentzen Bushel & Barrel

The Bitter Truth Liqueurs

The Bitter Truth Pimento Dram

Bols Foam

Caffe Borghetti

Charbay Nostalgie Black Walnut Liqueur


Cointreau Noir

Crave Liqueurs

Crave Chocolate Truffle Liqueur

Domaine de Canton

Galliano L’Autentico

Galliano Ristretto

Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur

Heering Coffee Liqueur

Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur

Hiram Walker Triple Sec

House Spirits Coffee Liqueur

Jaan Liqueur

Kahlua Coffee Cream

The King’s Ginger

Kringle Cream

Licor 43

Love Potion #9

Lovoka Caramel Liqueur

Mama Walker’s Liqueurs

Mandarine Napoleon

Mandarine XO Grande Reserve

Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal

Mariposa Agave Nectar Liqueur

Original Canton Delicate Ginger Liqueur

Patron XO Cafe Dark

Pierre Ferrand Ancienne Methode Dry Curaçao

Punzoné Lemoncino

Pür Likör Liqueurs


Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

Sorel Hibiscus Liqueur

St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Liqueur


GSN Cocktail with Jeptha Creed: The Boo-Berry Smash

Here’s an extra spooky cocktail just in time for Halloween made with Jeptha Creed Blueberry Vodka!

Boo-Berry Smash

2 oz Jeptha Creed Blueberry Vodka
1 oz blue curacao
1 oz sweet & sour syrup*
2 basil leaves
fresh blueberries

Muddle basil leaves gently with the sweet & sour syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add blue curacao, blueberry vodka and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a few fresh blueberries on a cocktail pick.

* Sweet & Sour Syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

GSN Brews News: October 12th 2021 Edition

Vermont-based Woodchuck Hard Cider is bringing back several fan favorites of previous years in honor of its 30th anniversary. They include limited-edition Blueberry, Dark & Dry 802, and Barrel Select offerings, which will be available across the U.S. Other recent launches from Woodchuck include a 100 Calorie Variety Pack, including cans of Black Cherry, Cranberry Lime, Watermelon and Citrus flavors; as well as innovations like Mimosa, Sangria, Bubbly Rosé, and Pearsecco ciders.

Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) has added the Unity brand to its CBD beverage portfolio. Infused with 30mg of CBD as well as adaptogens such as Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, and Ginkgo Biloba, each 14-ounce bottle has 30 calories and 7 grams of sugar. Flavors include Blueberry Lavender, Strawberry Lemonade, Blood Orange Hibiscus, Elderflower Rose, Ginger Lemonade, and Blackberry Tea. Unity is currently in 1,500 stores after launching 18 months ago, and will now look to scale further through RNDC’s network.

Maryland-based Flying Dog Brewery has introduced a new winter seasonal, Freezin’ Season Winter AleReplacing former seasonal brew K-9, Freezin’ Season is a 7.4% beer made with the English Ale yeast strain. Like all of Flying Dog’s labels, Freezin’ Season’s package features art from renowned illustrator Ralph Steadman. It will be sold in 6-packs of 12-ounce bottles and will start appearing on shelves by mid-October across Flying Dog’s footprint.

Longmont, Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery has announced the return of two of its seasonal offerings: Death by Coconut Irish Porter and Ten Fidy Imperial StoutDeath by Coconut clocks in at 6.5% abv and is brewed with added coconut and chocolate. The other seasonal brew, Ten Fidy, is brewed with Munich and chocolate malt, roasted barley, and oats, and comes in at 10.5% abv. Both beers are now available across the U.S. in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans and on draft.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: October 12th 2021 Edition

Phillips Distilling has officially launched Cubist, a new vodka brand intended to be stored in the freezer. Beginning this month, Cubist is being test marketed in Minnesota and Arizona with an expanded launch slated for 2022. Thermochromic ink technology turns the brand’s bottle label blue when the liquid has reached optimal temperature. Aimed at males aged 26-45, Cubist will retail at $25 a 750-ml.

Bacardi-owned Patrón Tequila has announced a new aged expression: Patrón Sherry Cask Aged Añejo. The 40% abv Tequila matured for over two years in Oloroso Sherry casks before bottling. The new Tequila is available exclusively in the U.S. in select retailers and on Drizly while supplies last for a suggested price of $80 a 750-ml.

Walsh Whiskey has released a new limited-edition whiskey in the Writers’ Tears family. Writers’ Tears Icewine Cask Finish is a blend of Irish single malt and pot still whiskies finished in Inniskillin casks from Ontario, Canada for 12 months. 3,500 bottles of the 46% abv whiskey are being distributed to select retailers in Canada, Ireland, and the U.S., where the new release carries a suggested price of $85 a 750-ml.

Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio, has launched TX Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Cognac Casks, the latest release from the Fort Worth-based distiller. The 50.8% abv whiskey is the third release in the Barrel Finish series, following Tawny Port and PX Sherry Cask finished whiskies. This release also marks the end of master distiller Rob Arnold’s tenure with F&R, as he is now stepping aside, allowing Ale Ochoa, master blender, and new master distiller Evan Brewer to take the helm. TX Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Cognac Casks is rolling out now throughout Texas for a suggested price of $65 a 750-ml.

Rémy Cointreau has added a new brandy to the St-Rémy portfolio in the U.S. St-Rémy Signature is bottled at 40% abv and is first matured in new oak before transferring to more traditional used casks. St-Rémy Signature is the first spirit created by the brand’s master blender Cécile Roudaut and is rolling out now in select markets across the U.S. for a suggested price of $30 a 750-ml.

Disaronno International has launched Engine gin, a new Italian spirit designed by Paolo Dalla Mora, former CMO at Moschino and global communications director for parent company Illva Saronno. The 42% abv gin is made with juniper and a variety of Italian botanicals, including Ligurian sage, lemon, licorice root, and damask rose. The gin is packaged in a tin mock-oil-can, evoking its creator’s passion for racing and cars. Engine is now available across the U.S. for a suggested price of $30 a 750-ml.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN’s Autumn Recipes with Jeptha Creed

Looking for some spirited food & beverages for the fall season? GSN has partnered with Jeptha Creed to create some tasty autumnal treats!

We’ve got recipes to craft a Hot Buttered Bourbon cocktail, Pasta with Hot Pepper Vodka sauce, and Marinated Bourbon Pork Tenderloin. 

Hot-Buttered Bourbon Cocktail

1.5 oz Jeptha Creed Straight Bourbon
.75 oz apple cider
.25 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
.5 oz real maple syrup
3 oz hot water
1 teaspoon of Bourbon Butter Mix*

Fill mug up to the top with hot water and allow to warm for 45 seconds.
Empty mug into sink and refill with 3 ounces of hot water.
Add bourbon, cider, lemon juice, maple syrup and stir.
Top with bourbon butter mix.
Garnish with cinnamon stick to stir.

*Bourbon Butter Mix
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Stir until evenly mixed. Keep covered in refrigerator. Will last for two weeks.

Pasta with Hot Pepper Vodka Sauce

3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
8 medium garlic cloves thinly sliced
4 medium shallots halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 fresh oregano sprigs
1 cup Jeptha Creed Hot Pepper vodka
2 pounds cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup half & half
1 pound capellini or very thin pasta

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the oregano and cook for 1 minute.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, carefully add the vodka, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and stir to incorporate. Return the saucepan to the stove, reduce the heat to medium, and add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to collapse and let off juice, about 30 minutes. Break up some of the tomatoes with the back of a spoon, leaving some whole. Remove the sauce from the heat and discard the oregano sprigs. Add half & half and stir to combine.

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and toss it with the tomato sauce and reserved cooking water until it’s well coated. Serve with grated parmesan cheese on the side.

Bourbon Pork Tenderloin

2 tablespoons Jeptha Creed Straight Bourbon
3/4 cup vegetable oil
½ cup soy sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground coriander
5 pounds pork tenderloins

Combine all the ingredients in a baking dish large enough to hold the tenderloins. Marinate the meat in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

Remove the marinade from the dish and boil it for 5 minutes. Sear the pork in a skillet to brown it before baking. Pour the marinade back over the tenderloin and bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes. Check to make sure tenderloins register 145 degrees with a meat thermometer before serving.

GSN Review: Elvis Whiskey

Grain & Barrel Spirits recently announced a long-term licensing agreement with Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) to launch a duo of Elvis Presley-themed whiskeys. The new brand joins the company’s award-winning lineup, including Chicken Cock Whiskey, Dixie Vodka, Virgil Kane Lowcountry Whiskey and the recently launched High Goal Luxury Gin. Both expressions – rye and whiskey – were sourced and blended by an expert team of whiskey experts and bottled in Tennessee, where Elvis began his career and called home.

Both expressions feature an iconic photo of the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” in his prime and pay homage to two of the legendary singer’s most popular nicknames: The King (rye), and Tiger Man (whiskey). The labels, which were created by Alyson Design, LLC, also feature notable references to Presley, including his signature and the letters “TCB” printed on the neck of the bottle, referring to “Taking Care of Business,” a phrase which was the mantra for Elvis and his Memphis Mafia.

Elvis Rye (90 proof) GSN’s Remarks: The flavor of the rye really comes through here, with a grain-like character and typical spice. The spirit itself is well distilled, but we feel that the two years of aging simply isn’t enough to meld the oak and the rye. We do appreciate the character though, and this will make for  fine rye based cocktail. GSN Rating: B

Elvis Whiskey (90 proof) GSN’s Remarks: A young whiskey at only two years of age, this nonetheless shows some promise. Smooth, easy going and with just enough abv to bring out the character of the spirit. Early rock & roll was simple, but fun at parties. This whiskey will be as well. GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: Elvis Whiskey


GSN Review: Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. Double Oak

Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company recently announced the release of their newest whiskey, Peerless Double Oak Bourbon. This expression was born out of necessity, not marketing tactics. Kentucky Peerless started crafting Double Oak whiskies with the original intention of rescuing whiskey from a leaky barrel, losing too much quantity to Angel’s share. When a barrel has a leak that cannot be repaired, the whiskey is transferred into a new charred oak barrel to continue its journey.

The Single Barrel Double Oak whiskies offered in the past at Kentucky Peerless have received overwhelmingly positive feedback, which has led to this release. Master Distiller Caleb Kilburn said: “With the amazing response to our very limited Double Oak program to date, we have decided to improve the quality and accessibility of the product. Where in the past we would leave things up to chance, we are now intentionally curating barrels to become Double Oak.”

GSN’s Remarks: At 107.1 proof, this is a powerhouse of a whiskey. So dark, that it almost appears the color of cherry juice. The nose is rich, enticing and full of woody excellence. But, of course it’s the flavor that matters here. And does it deliver. The oak runs through with an intensity that is near unparalleled. At times, I’m reminded of a strong tannic tea. And yet, the char is soft and warming, eschewing any possible harshness. A truly masterful blending. We recommend this on a single large rock, or in an old school bourbon cocktail to fully appreciate this bourbon. GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Kentucky Peerless


GSN Review: Whiskeysmith Chocolate

Whiskeysmith Co., of Old Elk Distillery in Fort Collins, CO, recently launched a line of flavored whiskeys across the United States. Whiskeysmith’s team hail from all corners of the industry. The result is a line of innovative flavored whiskeys sure to shake up any bar. Rooted in passion and innovation, they have created an impressive line of seven flavors. Each flavor – chocolate, banana, pineapple, blood orange, salted caramel, peach and coconut, acts as a cocktail in a bottle and can be enjoyed on its own, while also adding depth of flavor to a cocktail.

GSN’s Remarks: We’d place this in the category of liqueurs, being quite sweet. The flavor is good, similar to hot chocolate. The whiskey itself is the canvas, but is pleasant and smooth. Overall, a dessert-like spirit that works well neat or in a sugary leaning cocktail. GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: Whiskeysmith Co


GSN Review: Puffin Drinkwear

Introducing Puffin drink wear, a cold season drink wear line with charming designs. Puffin’s drink wear is on a mission to bring fun and celebration by creating drink wear to keep your beverages cold during football season. Puffin encourages tailgaters to dress up their beverages and turn your favorite drink into your next best best drinking buddy. Puffin works 20% better than a standard koozie. Charming designs, rugged vibes, functionality, and a guarantee to make you smile.

Puffin will be launching their limited edition sweaters in mid-October and a selection of new colors for the holidays. 

Puffin is also the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for adventurers, hikers, bikers, skiers, fishers, boaters, park goers, barbequers, picnickers, you name it!

GSN’s Remarks: These are the coolest koozies we’ve ever seen. And they work! We especially like the handles which add a fun grip when toasting. We’ve only shown a few styles here, but there are many more to choose from. We recommend these as great stocking stuffers for the upcoming holidays. Especially since they are so affordable. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Puffin Drinkwear

GSN Review: Parker’s Heritage Collection 11-Year-Old Heavy Char Wheat Whiskey

Heaven Hill Distillery recently announced the 2021 limited edition release of Parker’s Heritage Collection 11-Year-Old Heavy Char Wheat Whiskey. This edition continues the series of heavy char releases, exploring how a more intense char allows the liquid to penetrate deeper into each barrel stave and the effect on the resulting flavor. Comprised of 75 barrels charred for one minute and 30 seconds (Level 5), as opposed to the traditional 40 second char (Level 3) for Heaven Hill, the Wheat Whiskey reached peak maturation after 11 years on the sixth floor of Rickhouse Y. The heavy char allowed Heaven Hill’s traditional Wheat Whiskey mashbill of 51% wheat, 37% corn, and 12% malted barley to interact more with the oak. This release is only the second time the Wheat Whiskey mashbill has been featured in the Parker’s Heritage Collection, with the first released in 2014 as an Original Batch Cask Strength.

The late Heaven Hill Master Distiller Parker Beam, for whom the acclaimed series is named, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2010. The past eight editions from 2013-2020, including the “Promise of Hope” Bourbon, the “Original Batch” Straight Wheat Whiskey, the Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey, the 24-Year-Old Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon, the 11-Year-Old Single Barrel, Orange Curaçao-finished Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Heavy Char Rye Whiskey, and Heavy Char Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, respectively, have raised more than one million dollars toward ALS research and patient care through contributions made by Heaven Hill for each bottle purchased. With the 2021 Heavy Char Wheat Whiskey edition, Heaven Hill will again contribute a portion of the proceeds from each bottle sold to the ALS Association.

GSN’s Remarks: Wow. I was expecting a creosote bomb, but nothing could be further from the truth. This is a luscious, decadent and toothsome whiskey that hits all four cylinders. Sweet (but not overly so), woody (but not forest-like), 122 proof (but smoother than some 80 proof spirits), and delightfully playful on the nose. This brings all the best elements of a wheated bourbon together for a mouth party. Exceptionally well crafted and a real pleasure in an overly saturated whiskey market. Highly recommended. GSN Rating: A++

For more information go to: Heaven Hill Distillery


GSN Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C921

Elijah Craig recently released the third and final expression of their cask strength bourbon for 2021: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch C921. Bottled at 120.2 proof, it is the second lowest proof of the entire series. Like all of the ECBP bottlings, the 12-year-old bourbon is non-chill-filtered, and bottled straight from the barrel without dilution.

GSN’s Remarks: Immediately flavorful in spite of the intensity of the proof. Granted, this one is a bit less fiery than most of the releases in this series, and that does no harm in this expression. We enjoyed the smooth entry of caramel and cinnamon toast, with some candied nuts and toffee coming through at the fade. This is definitely more of a sweet bourbon that has a softer approach to the oak and char. very drinkable, affordable and well made. We approve of this final 2021 release and look forward to the A122 bottling. GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Heaven Hill Distillery


GSN Review: Ron Barceló Gran Anejo & Gran Anjeo Dark Rum

The Ron Barceló line of rums was first released back in 1950 in the city of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, the second-largest country in the Caribbean. The company is certified Kosher and carbon-neutral, proving that it cares about the environment as well as the health of its consumers.

Ron Barceló Gran Añejo is a mixture of Dominican rums, aged in barrels that were previously used for bourbon. Barceló Gran Añejo Dark Series is a blend of rums aged 6 years in heavily charred ex-bourbon barrels.

GSN’s Remarks: Ron Barceló Gran Añejo has a medium woody note at the entry, with a lot of sweetness and caramel and toffee notes. The body is somewhat thin, but flavorful. The finish is dry and succinct. A very mixable rum that has some young character, but prefers to play with other ingredients to really shine. GSN Rating: B+

Barceló Gran Añejo Dark Series is another rum altogether. Rich and fulsome with burnt sugar, a touch of molasses, and brown bread sweetness, this has body and depth. The extra char aging tempers the sweetness down to a soft rumble. Round, warm, near chewy and dessert-like, the spirit is lovely on its own or used in a dark rum cocktail or punch. Really well done. GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Ron Barcelo USA


GSN Brews News: October 6th 2021 Edition

Hershey, Pennsylvania-based Tröegs Independent Brewery is launching fall seasonal Master of Pumpkins across its footprint. The 7.5% abv brew is made with pumpkins as well as spices including cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg, and is available on draft and in 16-ounce cans everywhere Tröegs beer is sold. Tröegs uses 3,000 pounds of Pennsylvania longneck pumpkins each year, roasting and pureeing them in-house, to produce Master of Pumpkins.

WhistlePig has introduced a ready-to-drink craft rye expression, PiggyBack Rye Smash. Made with 100% estate rye from WhistlePig’s 500-acre Vermont farm, the new entry comes in three flavors—Blackberry Lemon Fizz, Session Citrus Mint, and Fresh Ginger Lime—and initially is rolling out in Georgia, Missouri, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, ahead of next year’s national launch. The 8% abv cocktails retail at $18 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

Nashville, Tennessee’s Pennington Distilling Company has launched Whisper Creek Spiked Coffee, a new offshoot from its Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream. The canned RTDs come in at 12.5% abv and blend Whisper Creek’s cream liqueur with cold brew coffee. The Spiked Coffees come in two varieties—Mocha and an unflavored blend of coffee and cream—and are available in 4-packs of 200-ml. cans for between $12 and $15.

Michigan’s Perrin Brewing has debuted Rewired Hard Seltzer, a new foray into the category following consumer feedback on its earlier Clear Coast label. Rewired (5% abv) includes Lemon Raspberry, Yuzu Elderflower, and Pineapple Tangerine flavors. The gluten-free offering has 100 calories and one gram of carbs per 12-ounce can. It’s launching across Michigan now in variety 12-packs.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily