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New Zealand might not be the first place that comes to mind when sourcing single malt whisky, but thanks to Scottish settlers in the 1830’s a whisky tradition was born in a place you’d least expect.

The New Zealand Whisky Collection features expressions produced between 1987 and 1994 at the Willowbank Distillery in Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand. In 2010, New Zealand Whisky Collection founder Greg Ramsay discovered and purchased the last 443 barrels of cask strength whiskies at the distillery, which had been mothballed at the end of the 20th century; Ramsay saw the potential for the complex range of flavors among the quietly maturing barrels. Today, this extensive stock of old and rare whiskies is continuing to mature in a seaside bondstore in Oamaru, on the eastern coast of New Zealand.

Distilled using local barleys and snowmelt from the Southern Alps, the single malt whiskies in the New Zealand Whisky Collection, which reflect the last remaining stock of what was once the world’s southern-most distillery, are produced using traditional Scottish methods of copper pot stills.

Dunedin DoubleCask 16 Year Old (80 proof) A blend of 70% single malt and 30% grain whisky (made from unmalted barley in the Willowbank Distillery). After aging in American Oak for 6 years, it is transferred to French Oak ex-New Zealand red wine casks for 12 Years, resulting in a stunning ruby color.
Visual: Deep orange-red.
Nose: Top notes of fruit and a rich malt palette. Very evocative of autumn and harvest time.
Taste: Quite sweet with wine character, but balanced with char and tannins.
Finish: Medium long with the tangy wine flavor carrying it to the finish.
Overall: A wonderful dessert whisky that has enough aging to perfectly balance the unusual malt/wine character profile. In some ways this reminds me of a sherry, but with much more heft and depth.
GSN Rating: A

Oamaruvian 16 Year Old Cask Strength DoubleCask (116.8 proof) The best casks are hand-picked for these unique single cask bottlings.
Visual: Dark brown.
Nose: Aromatic and punchy. Spices, some vine fruit and toasty malt work in tandem.
Taste: A powerhouse of flavor that only opens up with a splash of water. A definite spice character overrides the bottling. The twice aged cask flavor doesn’t overwhelm, but rather creates a see-saw of char and fruit.
Finish: Long and elegant.
Overall: An imperial style whisky that has a lot to offer. This is a contemplative spirit that reveals itself in shy, humble phrases.
GSN Rating: A-

High Wheeler 21 Year Old Single Grain (86 proof) A blend of 70% single malt and 30% grain whisky (made from unmalted barley in the Willowbank Distillery), this expression is aged in American Oak ex-bourbon casks for 21 years.
Visual: Mild gold.
Nose: Oak forward and intensely compact in approach. Wood permeates the mash bill making a direct approach on the nose.
Taste: Masterful balance of vanilla, caramel, buttercream and richly appointed malt.
Finish: Medium-long with just a hint of smoke at the very end. It all closes like a summer sunset with a wistful farewell on the palate.
Overall: A high point in whiskies. This one reaches the mark with all colors flying. One of the top 10 whiskies we’ve been delighted to sample.
GSN Rating: A++

South Island 25 Year Old Single Malt (80 proof) Distilled in traditional copper pot stills using New Zealand grown malt barley. With this expression, New Zealand reached a milestone by becoming only the fifth country to release a 25-year-old single malt.
Visual: Pale gold.
Nose: Lovely wash of smokiness upon which a fine, high keening note of barley malt sings.
Taste: Bright, clean and very much in the traditional vein. Despite the venerable age of this whisky, it is by no means over-aged. Rather it has settled into a comfortable, relaxed warmth and softness.
Finish: There is a surprising touch of berry which comes out at the very end to give it a final feathery touch of sweetness.
Overall: Remarkably smooth and delicate.  One for the history books and a great find.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Anchor Distilling

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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

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

Root

Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

Sorel Hibiscus Liqueur

St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Liqueur

Xanté

I first met Karen Locke at Tales of the Cocktail a few years ago during a “Spirited Dinner”. At the time we talked about trends in the bartending community, the burgeoning craft cocktail movement and the rapid growth of the distilling industry.  She recently released her book High-Proof PDX and I took the opportunity to ask her to share some of the behind-the-scenes details behind her publication.

How did your Midwest bartending experiences prepare you for the west coast scene?

My time serving and bartending in the Midwest definitely opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of spirits. Alcohol can be transformed in a way that beer and wine cannot, and that has been endlessly intriguing to me. It was moving to Portland though, that really opened my eyes to alcohol production and distilling. 

To what do you attribute the phenomenal growth of the spirits industry in Portland?

Perseverance and hard work of distillers, and our love for top-notch food and drink in the Pacific Northwest. The laws in Oregon aren’t necessarily in our favor yet (distilleries can’t as easily serve full-size cocktails and servings as other states can) but the producers and the consumers here are committed to supporting the local spirits scene. Cheap real estate in the early 2000’s helped too. Distilleries could once find large, affordable spaces. As Portland grows in popularity, it’s becoming more and more difficult for the average business owner to find space in the inner city. 

How are local bars assimilating local craft spirits into their bar programs?

Since I started writing about booze in 2011, a lot more bars are highlighting local spirits. Local isn’t inherently better but I do appreciate when bar menus specify the name of the spirit when it is local. I’ve seen bars do pop-up happy hours with distilleries, which is a great way for patrons to drink AND learn about spirits made here in Portland. 

If a visitor had only one day to spend in Portland, what are the spirited highlights you recommend they sample?

Distillery Row has the largest geographical concentration of distilleries I’ve seen in any city. Here you can visit distilleries and get around on foot. Distillery Row is made up of eight independent distilleries. If you had to choose one distillery in the Row, I’d recommend Baijiu from Vinn Distillery for something new and different.

The NW Distiller’s District has three great distilleries as well: sip on single malt whiskey at Bull Run Distillery, pear brandy at Clear Creek Distillery, and Martin Ryan Distilling Company (try the Aria gin).

House Spirits has a tasting room at the Portland airport. Don’t miss out on tasters and mini cocktails before getting on your flight home! 

Where do you see the industry headed in the next 10 years?  Are there too many choices for the average consumer?

Craft spirits will continue to grow as the wine and beer industries have. The distilling industry could use a few laws in its favor in certain states—but with perseverance and a growing consumer knowledge of craft spirits—my hope is that craft industry will have grown substantially in the next ten years.

Consumers have so much to learn about booze as compared to beer and wine, so I don’t think too much choice will affect consumers until the overall knowledge of spirits in the U.S. has caught up to production. There are still so many categories of spirits made in the U.S. that people haven’t experienced: eau de vie, amari, and grappa are just a few examples of little known spirits being made at U.S. distilleries!

Can you share a cocktail recipe that you’ve created?

Pyrus Bird is an adaptation of the Jungle Bird that uses McMenamins Frank High Proof Rum instead of Jamaican rum. This rum available from McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Distillery is aged in Cognac barrels for six months, giving it the exotic fruit and spice aromas perfect for this tropical cocktail.

In addition to Oregon-made Frank High Proof Rum, Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano Rosso is used instead of Campari and pear juice is used in place of pineapple juice.

The Pyrus Bird is named for Pyrus communis also known as the common pear. While there’s no garnish on this version, you can add a pear garnish to this laid back version of the classic.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. McMenamins Frank High Proof Rum
  • 1 oz. Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano Rosso
  • 5 oz. BG Reynolds Rich Demerara Tropical Syrup
  • 5 fresh lime juice
  • 3 oz. Looza pear juice

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass.

On an non-alcoholic note, what is the origin of “PDX”?

PDX is actually the airport code but we’ve adopted it as a nickname for the city.

Interview by Blair Frodelius, Good Spirits News

Time for our autumnal round-up of some great new publications for the drinking enthusiast! This time around we have a selection of volumes focusing on everything from retro and platinum age cocktails to home brewing, from mixers to bitters, along with several books focused on drinking culture in specific locales.  Cheers!

Bay Area Cocktails: A History of Culture, Community and Craft (American Palate) by Shanna Farrell,  Jon Santer, Vaughan Glidden & Nando Alvarez-Perez (The History Press) An American invention, the cocktail fluctuated in popularity following Prohibition and had firmly taken root in the culinary landscape by the 1990s. The Bay Area played a significant role in reviving it–as much as New York and London. From the distillers who pioneered craft spirits and Alice Waters’ revolutionary take on simple, fresh food at Chez Panisse to the bartenders who cared enough to grow a dedicated cocktail community, this is the story of how the Bay Area shaped the art of elevated drinking in America. Through oral history interviews and recipes, author Shanna Farrell chronicles the narrative history of the modern cocktail renaissance.

New York Cocktails by Amanda Schuster (Cider Mill Press) With bars, lounges and pubs dotting almost every block in the city, the Big Apple has an unmatched and incomparable cocktail culture—and now you can travel straight to the epicenter of this trendsetting city with more than 100 creative, as well as classic, cocktail recipes. Take a virtual tour of iconic NYC establishments through breathtaking, full-color photography, scene-setting bar descriptions, and mixologist insights—and a plethora of party planning pointers, shopping tips, and must-visit hotspot suggestions make this the perfect guide to the cosmopolitan art of New York City cocktail crafting. With thirst-inducing, full-color photography throughout, and cocktails inspired by New York City movers and shakers, writers, and mixologists, New York Cocktails features unique libations shared by the best bartenders in the City That Never Sleeps, as well as signature new twists on the classics.

Road Soda: Recipes and techniques for making great cocktails, anywhere by Kara Newman (Dovetail) It’s often difficult for a cocktail enthusiast to find a decent drink on the road, especially when faced with the limited selection offered by hotel mini bars, airplane drinks carts and the great outdoors. Road Soda is the ultimate guide for on-the-go cocktail making, with tips and recipes from cocktail expert Kara Newman. Readers will learn how to become mini-bar mixologists; how to build portable cocktails in flasks, beverage cans and liquor bottles; how to make drinks for camping and tailgating, and more. Throughout the book, notable bartenders and drinks experts will offer tips for finding (and creating) the best drinking experiences no matter where readers’ travels take them.

Fever Tree: The Art of Mixing: Recipes from the world’s leading bars by Fever Tree (Mitchell Beazley) The first cocktail title to put the mixers center-stage. Rather than starting with the spirits, this book focuses on key mixers – including tonic, lemonade, ginger ale, ginger beer and cola – and provide 100 classic and contemporary cocktail recipes that make the most of the botanical partnerships. The book also explores the origins of key ingredients, including quinine, lemons and elderflower, revealing the role quinine has played in geo-politics, for example, and the impact different herbs have on taste. In the way that we increasingly want to know the source and production methods of the food we eat, so this guide allows you to understand more fully what we drink – and use that knowledge to create the most delicious cocktails.

Around the World in 80 Cocktails by Chad Parkhill & Alice Oehr (Hardie Grant) Around the World in 80 Cocktails celebrates the globetrotting history of the cocktail through eighty different iconic drinks – each of which has its own story to tell. Bartender and writer Chad Parkhill takes you on a whirlwind tour of the places that have shaped the history of the cocktail from its birth to the present day, with recipes so you can follow along at home. You’ll learn about the surprising military history behind the bubbly, vivacious Venetian Spritz; how the G&T moved from India to England (and why the best in the world are now made in Spain); and how France’s Burgundy region turned tragedy into triumph with the Kir. Accompanied by gorgeous vintage-style illustrations that evoke antique travel posters, these stories and recipes are an ode to the joys of travel, history, and drinking.

Canadian Whisky, Second Edition: The New Portable Expert by Davin de Kergommeau (Appetite by Random House) This fully updated and revised edition of the award-winning Canadian Whisky invites you on a journey across Canada and back through time to discover the story of this unique spirit. Independent whisky expert Davin de Kergommeaux weaves a compelling narrative, beginning with the substance of Canadian whisky—grains, water, and wood—and details the process of how it’s made and how to taste it. He traces the fascinating history of the country’s major distilleries and key visionaries, and introduces the present-day players—big and small—who are shaping the industry through both tradition and innovation. Newly designed, and now including a map of Canada’s whisky distilleries, over 100 up-to-date tasting notes, and a handy tasting checklist, Canadian Whisky reflects the latest research on flavour development and the science of taste. At once authoritative and captivating, this is a must-have resource for beginners, enthusiasts, and aficionados alike.

Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s Book of Bitters: The bitter and twisted history of one of the cocktail world’s most fascinating ingredients by Adam Elmegirab (Dog n Bone) Bitters, those little bottles you will find in any bar worth its salt, are the unsung heroes of the cocktail world. Where would the Manhattan be without orange bitters? Cocktail historian and founder of his eponymous bitters company, Dr Adam Elmegirab presents the results of almost a decade of research into bitters, guiding you from the early days of snake-oil salesmen through to the birth of the cocktail, Prohibition, and the renaissance of bitters as an essential part of the contemporary bar scene. Adam outlines each of the key botanicals that go into different bitters and explains the science of flavor, describing how each characteristic can be deployed for maximum impact, and summarizes the key techniques for making great cocktails. Most importantly, Adam provides 50 cocktail recipes created by him and some of the world’s leading bartenders. These exceptional drinks showcase the different characteristic of bitters and how they can refine a cocktail in unique ways.

Meehan’s Bartender Manual by Jim Meehan (Ten Speed Press) Meehan’s Bartender Manual is acclaimed mixologist Jim Meehan’s magnum opus—and the first book to explain the ins and outs of the modern bar industry. This groundbreaking work chronicles Meehan’s storied career in the bar business through practical, enlightening chapters that mix history with professional insight. Meehan’s deep dive covers the essential topics, including the history of cocktails and bartending, service, hospitality, menu development, bar design, spirits production, drink mixing technique, and the tools you’ll need to create a well-stocked bar—all brought to life in over 150 black- and-white illustrations by artist Gianmarco Magnani. The book also includes recipes for 100 cocktail classics–including Meehan originals–plus insights as to why he makes them the way he does, offering unprecedented access to a top bartender’s creative process. Organized by spirit base, the recipes contain detailed annotations and are accompanied by fine art photographer Doron Gild’s breathtaking, full-color photos. Thoughtful contributions from more than 50 colleagues around the world who’ve greatly contributed to global cocktail culture further contextualize Meehan’s philosophy. Timeless black-and-white portraits of these industry experts round out this comprehensive tome. This densely informative, yet approachable manual is presented in an iconic package–featuring a textured cover with debossed type, rounded corners, and nearly 500 pages–making it an instant classic to be enjoyed now, and for years to come. Whether you’re a professional looking to take your career to the next level or an enthusiastic amateur interested in better understanding concepts like mise en place and the mechanics of drink making, Meehan’s Bartender Manual is the definitive modern guide.

Spirits and Cocktails of Upstate New York: A History by Donald Cazentre (The History Press) From the Hudson Valley to the Niagara River, Upstate New York has a long and grand history of spirits and cocktails. Early colonists distilled rum, and pioneering settlers made whiskey. In the 1800s, a fanciful story of a tavern keeper and a “cock’s tail” took root along the Niagara River, and the earliest definition of the “cocktail” appeared in a Hudson Valley paper. The area is home to its share of spirited times and liquid legends, and the recent surge in modern distilleries and cocktail bars only bolsters that tradition. Author Don Cazentre serves up these tales of Upstate New York along with more than fifty historic and modern cocktail recipes.

Straight Up: Where to drink & what to drink on every continent by Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley (Mitchell Beazley) How great would it be to have access to the world’s experts to help you choose the coolest and most interesting bars, wherever you find yourself in the world? Well, now you do. Straight Up is a carefully curated collection of insider tips that will allow you to discover the best drinking spots around the globe. From a 10-seat basement bar in Tokyo, to a glitzy rooftop palace in Toronto and a converted Ottoman bathhouse in Budapest, this book contains everything you need to drink in style, brought to you by the locals in the know. Spirits experts Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley have gathered a team of expert contributors among the world’s bartending community to nose out the most interesting and characterful experiences. Throughout the book you’ll also find features on signature cocktails, cocktail recipes, the low-down on star bartenders, and the inside track on what to drink where.

The Way of Whisky: A Journey Around Japanese Whisky by Dave Broom (Mitchell Beazley) Since 2002 (the year it appeared on export markets) Japanese whisky has been consistently winning major international spirits awards. As export production increases and export markets – the USA and France in particular – open up to embrace the quality of these fine malt whiskies, all eyes are on Japan. Award-winning author and internationally recognized whisky expert Dave Broom has visited Japan 25 times in the past 12 years, studying and learning about its whiskies. In this major new book he shares his personal journey around Japan’s whisky distilleries and the unique whisky culture of the country. Each chapter details the history of the distillery in question, its production and current whiskies (with tasting notes). Dave considers along the way why Japanese whisky is different, questions of tradition vs innovation, and how whisky links with many aspects of Japanese culture. Breathtaking photography from Kohei Take leads the reader deeper into the philosophy behind the drink, making this a must-have edition for any whisky lover, whisky drinker, whisky collector or Japanophile.

Project Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Extreme Brewing at Home by Sam Calagione, Todd Alstrom & Jason Alstrom (Quarry Books) Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and Jason and Todd Alström, of Beer Advocate, offer an authoritative primer on extreme brewing. Project Extreme Brewing is the new required reading for any serious home brewer. Inside you’ll find the recipes for the most exciting and exotic beers around today. Recipes from breweries around the country are at your fingertips. You’ll see how brewing operations like Allagash, Lost Abbey, Shmaltz, and Beau’s All Natural make their glittering beverages. Following along is easy, even if you’re new to the home brewing scene, because all recipes come with step-by-step instructions and insider tips. Expand the definition of what great beer is. Show off to your friends and family members that you are the best source of home-brew, by learning to brew at home with the experts!

The Mezcal Experience: A Field Guide to the World’s Best Mezcals and Agave Spirits by Tom Bullock (Jacqui Small) The definitive guide to Mexico’s best kept secret; Mezcal. Unlike its infamous offspring tequila, until recently you would have had to take a trip to Mexico to try this intriguing spirit. But with ‘Mezcalerias’ popping up everywhere from New York City to London, Tokyo and beyond, and mezcal increasingly seen on the menus of the most discerning and hippest bars, the agave plant-based alcohol is the cool new drink taking the world by storm. Embark on a regional tour of Mexico and discover local mezcal gems in this illustrated guide to the best ‘mezcalerias’ (mezcal bars) in the world, then work your way through more than 30 cocktail recipes from the world’s best mezcal bartenders. From backyard heroes to big names, this is a comprehensive guide with over 100 varieties of mezcal, complete with a tasting wheel to help explain the subtleties of this intriguing drink and make you a connoisseur in no time.

 

Anne Marie Paolucci in 2003, provides cancer patients with kits of products to help manage chemotherapy’s side effects.

New York, New York: Chemo Comfort, an all volunteer run organization founded by two-time breast cancer survivor Ms. Paolucci’s mission comes from personal experience: “Starting chemotherapy is a frightening experience. We are saying to patients ‘Here is a box of tools put together by someone who’s been there. Know that you are not alone and
these tools will help you take care of yourself during this difficult journey.’ ” In July 2014, Ms. Paolucci was a NY New Yorker of the Week.

Chemo Comfort is holding their fifth annual Cocktails for Comfort fundraising campaign October 13–22, 2017. Sixteen establishments across New York City and Westchester will be participating by creating signature cocktails for their
patrons with proceeds donated to Chemo Comfort to support their programs.

Throughout the Cocktails for Comfort event period, Chemo Comfort will host a Selfie Bar Crawl contest. Take a selfie at participating venues holding the “Cocktail for Comfort” and something to identify the bar, and then post the photo on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #C4CSelfie2017 & #Cocktails4Comfort. The winner, chosen at random, will win a 100 Amazon gift card. Detailed contest information and Bar Crawl maps can be found on Chemo Comfort’s website.

From Participants: Alexis, Art Bar’s manager, has had personal experience with the organization: “The Chemo Comfort
kit provided me with essential and very useful items and information while I was undergoing chemotherapy. The kit was
thoughtfully put together and provided much-needed comfort during a difficult and scary time. I am thrilled that Art Bar
is able support this wonderful cause ”

Steve Mazzuca, GM and the Bathtub Gin family state: “We are privileged to fight side by side with you. As a team we are
too positive, too optimistic, and too determined to ever be defeated. Together we fight through the bad days to earn
the best days ”

Added third time participant Stand Up NY’s Brittany DiMarco: “We are happy to continue participating in this great
program. We believe with comfort, whether that be through Chemo Comfort or laughter at our comedy club, that
individuals and their families are able to live each day a little better”.

About Chemo Comfort – Chemo Comfort is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life
of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The organization distributes kits filled with products to help manage
nausea, mouth sores and hair loss, among other side effects of chemotherapy. There are also “feel good” items such as a
sleep cap, warm socks, meditation CD, book, journal and helpful hints from the founder about combatting side effects of
chemo. Approximately 75% of kits distributed annually are donated, primarily to patients in need within the greater
New York area, through partner organizations such as CancerCare and the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative at
the Actors’ und. Chemo Comfort is a seven time grantee of Susan G. Komen® Greater NYC, and has received
foundation support from the Kite Key and Landegger foundations. In feedback forms, 100% of kit recipients state they
would recommend a Chemo Comfort kit to someone undergoing chemotherapy.

Many venues have a virgin version of the event cocktail. Participants are donating 20% 50% of cocktail price, depending on venue. Participants subject to change, so please check the website for up to date locations and bar crawl information chemocomfort.org

Participating Bars

Manhattan:
Art Bar 52 Eighth Ave; 212 727 0244; artbar.com
Bathtub Gin 132 9th Ave; 646 559 1671; bathubginnyc.com
Cowgirl 519 Hudson St (@10th St); 212 633 1133; cowgirlnyc.com
Cowgirl SeaHorse 259 Front St; 212 608 7873; cowgirlseahorse.com
Employees Only 510 Hudson St; 212 242 3021; employeesonlynyc.com
Feinstein’s/54 Below 254 W 54th St, Cellar, NYC; 646 476 3551; 54Below.com/feinsteins
The Rum House 228 W 47th St; 646 490 6924; therumhousenyc.com
Stand Up NY 236 W 78th St; 212 595 0850; (25% off tickets online with promo code “comfort”) standupny.com
Tio Pepe; 168 W 4th St; 212 242 6480; tiopepenyc.com
Up&Down; 244 W 14th St; 212 242 4411; uadnyc.com
Ward lll; 111 Reade St; 212 240 9194; ward3.com

Brooklyn:
Huckleberry Bar 588 Grand St, Brooklyn NY; 718 218 8555; huckleberrybar.com
King Tai 1095 Bergen St, Brooklyn NY; 718 513 1025; kingtaibar.com
L P ‘n Harmony; 683 Grand St, Brooklyn NY

Queens:
The Astor Room 35 11 35th Ave, Astoria, NY; 718 255 1947; astorroom.com

Westchester:
Vintage 1891 Kitchen, 2098 Boston Post Road, Larchmont NY; 914 834 9463; vintage1891kitchen.com

 

Artisanal cocktails have been on the rise for years, but this year marks a notable uptick in the popularity of craft non-alcoholic beverages. A recent Wall Street Journal article by Aleksandra Crapanzano states: “Bartenders and mixologists across the country are upping their soft game, creating mocktails with the same degree of attention and creativity once reserved only for the hard stuff.”

To meet the demands of the ever-more discerning drinker, bartenders are searching for unique mixers to help elevate their concoctions. Repurposed Pod fits the bill. Repurposed Pod is a cold-pressed, non-GMO 100% virgin cacao juice that is sustainable, ethically sourced, supports farmers and adheres to agricultural practices that are beneficial to the environment.

The innovative beverage uses the white pulp from cacao pod that is often thrown away during chocolate production. The unique harvesting process is as follows: the cacao pods are carefully removed from the tree and sliced open by hand with a machete, then farmers scoop out the beans and the white pulp and separate the pulp from the beans. The beans are sent on their way to become chocolate and the fruity pulp is pressed into fresh juice for Repurposed Pod.

Not just for use in the bar, Repurposed Pod can be added as a boost to smoothies, juices and soda water, reduced as a syrup for desserts and much more.

I was expecting something akin to coconut water. Instead, this is lightly sweet, yet overtly tart and reminded me of Yuzu in character. One of our reviewers compared it to a non-alcoholic Commodore cocktail.  There is definitely a subtle chocolate character, but the citrus flavor is in the forefront. I can see many uses for this in cocktails and mocktails.  As an adjunct to tiki style drinks, a replacement for lemon or lime juice, or simply a mixer in a vodka, rum or tequila cocktail.

This truly is an innovation, and I hope it succeeds.  Give it a try and let us know what you think.

GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Repurposed Pod

Since the early 1800’s, the Nelthropp Family has called St. Croix home, becoming an integral part of the island’s history. And for the last two hundred years, the island has not only left its mark on them, but also on their rums. Even the name reflects the people of St. Croix, called Crucians.

Cruzan Aged Light Rum is a blend of rums aged 1-4 years in American oak casks—then treated to a filtration process to create clarity. Cruzan Aged Dark Rum is a blend of rums aged 2-4 years in charred oak casks.

Cruzan Aged Light Rum (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Sweet, semi-grassy and buttery notes.
Taste: Soft entry with a delicate vanilla patina. Clean, crisp and light.
Finish: Medium long with a subtle dryness that showcases the oak aging.
Overall: A nice entry-level rum that won’t fight against mixers, but is a bit hesitant in approach for use in rum forward cocktails.
GSN Rating: B+

Cruzan Aged Dark Rum (80 proof)
Visual: Mild yellow-gold.
Nose: Sweet vanilla-forward nose with buttery highlights.
Taste: Vanilla oak takes the forefront and adds a middle ground where the spirit has more visibility on the palate. Again, a clean presentation.
Finish: Medium long with more oak coming through towards the fade out.
Overall: A heartier rum that works well in cocktails calling for more aggressiveness and body.  Very nice and an easy go to for the backbar.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Cruzan Rum

 

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