GSN Brews News: March 31st 2020 Edition

Oregon-based 2 Towns Ciderhouse has added a Clementine + Grapefruit expression to its SeekOut Hard Seltzer range. The newcomer is at 5% abv and has 100 calories a serving. It’s rolling out now to nine states throughout the West and Midwest in six-packs of cans as well as in 12-can variety packs with other SeekOut flavors like Pineapple + Passion Fruit, Cucumber + Juniper, Key Lime + Mint, and Raspberry + Meyer Lemon. 2 Towns produced approximately 100,000 cases of SeekOut from March through December of last year.

New Jersey’s Cape May Brewing Company has added Crushin’ It IPA to their summer offerings. The 8% abv ale is brewed with Citra, Mosaic, and Azacca hops and orange juice, evoking the flavors of the Orange Crush cocktail. This is the first wide release for Crushin’ It; previously the beer was only available as a limited release from the brewery’s taproom. The beer is currently available at the Cape May Brewing Boutique in growlers to go and will be available in cans throughout the state beginning on April 8.

AB-InBev’s Hoegaarden has launched a new limited edition offering paying tribute to Washington, D.C.’s blooming cherry blossoms. Hoegaarden Cherry Blossom comes in at 5.6% abv and is a wheat beer infused with botanicals making for a tart and slightly sweet springtime brew. The beer is exclusive to Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, and is now available in 4-packs of 16-ounce bottles. Hoegaarden Cherry Blossom retails for around $10 a 4-pack.

Longmont, Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery has kicked off its 2020 lineup of barrel-aged beers and launched the first member of the class to retailers across the U.S. The first release is All Monde, a 12.5% abv Imperial stout aged for nine months in ex-Bourbon barrels before infusing (via circulator) with almonds and vanilla. The brew is rolling out now across the U.S. in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans for a limited time. Three more barrel-aged beers will follow in the 2020 series throughout the year.

St. Paul, Minnesota-based Summit Brewing is introducing a new summer seasonal, Cabin Crusher Kölsch-Style Ale with Lime. The 4.8% abv brew includes Northern Brewer, Loral, and Lemon Drop hops and is brewed with Kölsch yeast. It’s available now in 6- and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans, and 16-ounce cans. It will also be available on draft at select locations looking ahead. Summit’s distribution territory includes Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: March 31st 2020 Edition

In Ireland, Teeling Irish Whiskey, minority owned by Bacardi, has released a limited edition bottling with all profits benefiting a range of charities that support front line workers battling the coronavirus. Teeling Front Line Heroes is a 48.5% abv whiskey aged in Irish oak, a first for Teeling. Only 300 bottles will be available in Ireland for €75 (roughly $81).

San Francisco-based importer ImpEx Beverages has introduced Penderyn 10-Year-Old Madeira Cask-Finished, a single barrel release from Welsh whisky maker Penderyn Distillery. Retailing at $110 and at an abv of 58.1%, it’s exclusive to the U.S. market.

Bardstown, Kentucky-based Grain & Barrel Spirits has added a straight rye whiskey to the Chicken Cock family. The 45% abv whiskey was distilled by Bardstown Bourbon Co. from a mash of 95% rye and bottled with non-chill filtering. The whiskey retails for $70 and is initially available in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits

The sober curious movement is gaining traction across the globe as drinkers are seeking alcohol-free alternatives to classic spirits. Enter the “impossibly crafted” Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits, a range of 13 alcohol-free spirits. The collection includes American Malt, Dry London Spirit, Coffee Originale, Amaretti, Italian Orange, Absinthe, Orange Sec, Aperitif Rosso, Aperitif Dry, and a Dark, White, and Spiced Cane Spirit.

Named after the lyrebird, an Australian breed known for its ability to mimic any sound, the Lyre’s range includes over 12,500 extracts, all-natural essences, and distillates, each product serves as a building block to recreate classic cocktails in an alcohol-free manner. A proprietary mix of high-quality local and imported fruits, spices, and botanicals make up each flavor with no artificial sweeteners.

“Lyre’s is a brand for social animals and mindful drinkers who do not want to sacrifice their commitment to personal lifestyle choices,” says Lyre’s Co-Founder and CEO Mark Livings. “Using only Lyre’s, you can enjoy classic cocktails like a Negroni or Sazerac, more elevated drinks like an Espresso Martini or Daiquiri, or simple mixed drinks like a Gin & Tonic or Cuba Libre with the addition of necessary soft beverages. Our expansive product line prevents bartenders from having to improvise when recreating non-alcoholic versions of cocktails, whether classic or their own creations. Through transformative, alcohol-free cocktails that maintain familiar tastes, Lyre’s gives you the solution and freedom to enjoy your drink, your way.”

Lyre’s bottles have a touch of whimsy by picturing a menagerie of anthropomorphic mascots created to personify each product. The art-deco inspired bottles feature an animal native to each spirit’s country of origin, hand drawn by London-based stencil artist Joe White.

GSN was sent the following two bottles, which when used with a few dashes of aromatic bitters and a maraschino cherry, make the classic Manhattan.

Lyre’s American Malt (0 proof)
Visual: Medium light brown.
Nose: Wood essence with a light molasses tinge. To our mind, it is more akin to a light amaro than a whiskey.
Taste: Extremely light mouthfeel with a caramel and spicy ginger character. A smokiness comes through towards the end as if it has been suffused with a touch of liquid smoke.
Finish: The lighter notes fade away quickly, leaving a retention of the spicy heat which goes on for several minutes.
Overall: Certainly unlike any whisk(e)y I’ve ever had, and I’m not sure that it succeeds well standing on its own. However, when mixed with the Aperitif Rosso, the blend worked quite well as a cocktail.
GSN Rating: B

Lyre’s Aperitif Rosso (0 proof)
Visual: Medium brown.
Nose: Slight cinnamon, musty grape, mango and dark floral notes.
Taste: Medium sweet with a natural wine-like character. A soft burnt note tempers the fruitiness and adds just the right touch of bitterness.
Finish: Short with grape character being the stand out flavor.
Overall: Very close to an Italian sweet vermouth. Easily drinkable on its own, but also perfect in the Manhattan we made using Fee’s non-alcoholic aromatic bitters.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Lyres

GSN Alert: April 7th -National Beer Day

National Beer Day is celebrated in the United States every year on April 7, marking the day that the Cullen–Harrison Act was enacted after having been signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 22, 1933. This led to the Eighteenth Amendment being repealed on December 5, 1933, with ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. April 6, the day prior to National Beer Day, is known as New Beer’s Eve.

National Beer Day was first created in 2009 by Justin Smith of Richmond, Virginia. After much prodding from his friend, Mike Connolly, Smith started a Facebook page that was noticed by Colorado Beer Examiner, Eli Shayotovich. Smith’s promotion of the new holiday via various social media outlets was rewarded when the beer drinking app, “Untappd”, created a badge for National Beer Day that rewarded participants that checked a beer into the app on April 7. National Beer Day has since been trending every year on April 7 using the hashtag #NationalBeerDay.

GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Spring 2020 (April-June)

Since we are all living in the “new normal”, why not spend that extra time at home reading some books on your favorite subjects? These are all new cocktail and spirit publications coming out this spring. Time to learn some new recipes and techniques!

FIZZ: A Beginners Guide to Making Natural, Non-Alcoholic Fermented Drinks by Elise van Iterson & Barbara Serulus (BIS Publishers) April 7, 2020 – Fermentation produces fantastic non-alcoholic drinks. Fermented drinks, with their natural sparkle and slightly yeasty taste, are a great alternative to wine or beer. They are perfect for those who want to consume less alcohol and those who want to give a probiotic boost to their body. This book tells you everything you need to know to brew these healthy and alcohol-free drinks yourself. You will find accessible recipes with step-by-step illustrations, scientific background information on the fermentation process, and ‘juicy’ anecdotes about the origin of these extraordinary drinks. (Read an excerpt from the book here)

Drinking with Chickens: Free-Range Cocktails for the Happiest Hour by Kate E. Richards (Running Press Adult) April 7, 2020 It’s drinks, it’s chickens: It’s the cocktail book you didn’t know you needed! To add some extra happy to your happy hour , invite a chicken and pour yourself a drink. Author Kate Richards serves up cocktails made for Instagram with the spoils of her Southern California garden, chicken friends by her side. Enjoy any (or all) of the 60+ deliciously drinkable garden-to-glass beverages.Cocktails are arranged seasonally, and are 100% accessible for those of us without perpetually sunny backyard gardens at our disposal. Drinking with Chickens will quickly become a boozy favorite, perfect for gifting or for hoarding all for yourself. You don’t need chickens to enjoy these drinks or the colorful photos, but be careful, because you may even find yourself aspiring to be, as Kate is, a home chixologist overrun by gorgeous, loud, early-rising egg-laying ladies, and in need of a very strong drink.

Disco Cube Cocktails: 100+ innovative recipes for artful ice and drinks (Fancy Ice Cube and Cocktail Recipe Book, Bartending and Mixology Book) by Leslie Kirchhoff (Chronicle Books) April 7, 2020 Disco Cube Cocktails is a ’70s-inspired cocktail book based on the magical properties of ice.With 100+ recipes for artful ice and the drinks that go with them, home bartenders can learn new icy creations to elevate any classic drink, infuse new flavor into a sipper as the ice melts, or impress friends at a party with a frosty punch bowl. While traveling as a DJ, Leslie Kirchhoff fell in love with the art of craft cocktails, but noticed one thing was missing: inventive ice. Taking it upon herself to create something truly unique, she started Disco Cubes as a passion project to explore the art of ice. Now you can do the same at home with recipes that offer more than just a classic cube. In this not-so-classic cocktail book, there are one-ingredient cubes to elevate any drink, infused ice to add flavor to simple cocktails, and perfect pairings where ice and drink come together to make a concoction that you (and your guests) won’t forget. Plus, you’ll find playlists at the beginning of each chapter, to set the mood for any occasion.

Beginner’s Guide to Whiskey: Traditions, Types, and Tastes of the Ultimate Spirit by Sam Green (Rockridge Press) April 7, 2020 The Beginner’s Guide to Whiskey is the best way to become a true aficionado without taking a mixology masterclass. Inside, you’ll discover its rich history, the detailed whiskey-making process from grain to glass, the main types of brown liquor, and, of course, the fine art of savoring handcrafted whiskey. This complete guide includes: What’ll it be―From Kentucky bourbon to Scotch single malt, start your sipping adventure in style with this insightful book that’s perfect for beginners. Bartender tips―Get expert advice including how to recognize signature tasting notes like smoke, malt, fruit, and more.Top-shelf extras―Learn how to pair it with meals and stir up some classic cocktail recipes like the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.

How to Drink: A Classical Guide to the Art of Imbibing (Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers) by Vincent Obsopoeus (Author), Michael Fontaine (Editor, Translator) (Princeton University Press) April 14, 2020 Is there an art to drinking alcohol? Can drinking ever be a virtue? The Renaissance humanist and neoclassical poet Vincent Obsopoeus (ca. 1498–1539) thought so. In the winelands of sixteenth-century Germany, he witnessed the birth of a poisonous new culture of bingeing, hazing, peer pressure, and competitive drinking. Alarmed, and inspired by the Roman poet Ovid’s Art of Love, he wrote The Art of Drinking (De Arte Bibendi) (1536), a how-to manual for drinking with pleasure and discrimination. In How to Drink, Michael Fontaine offers the first proper English translation of Obsopoeus’s text, rendering his poetry into spirited, contemporary prose and uncorking a forgotten classic that will appeal to drinkers of all kinds and (legal) ages. Arguing that moderation, not abstinence, is the key to lasting sobriety, and that drinking can be a virtue if it is done with rules and limits, Obsopoeus teaches us how to manage our drinking, how to win friends at social gatherings, and how to give a proper toast. But he also says that drinking to excess on occasion is okay―and he even tells us how to win drinking games, citing extensive personal experience. Complete with the original Latin on facing pages, this sparkling work is as intoxicating today as when it was first published.

CBD Cocktails: Over 100 Recipes to Take the Edge Off by Sailene Ossman (Cider Mill Press) April 14, 2020 Take the edge off with over 100 recipes that feature one of the hottest trends in craft cocktails: CBD, the non-psychoactive extract from marijuana that aids anxiety, pain relief, and insomnia. Whether this is an ingredient completely new to you or one that you want to know how best to use, let Sailene Ossman, a fixture in the Los Angeles cannabis scene since the mid-90s who has gone from underground hero to celebrated expert explain CBD in all its forms and how best to use it to address individuals’ needs. Whether you want to add depth to a traditional mixed drink or are in need of stress-relieving juice, CBD Cocktails is an essential resource for using this dynamic ingredient.

Splash: Modern Classic Cocktails by Kid Whoo & Ivy Mix (Kingston Imperial) May 5, 2020 As one of the most influential DJs in all of hip-hop history, DJ Whoo Kid has managed to translate his skills from the records, to their waves, to the club scene. It’s the latter that has offered him the opportunity to have a bird’s eye view of nightlife, as he’s the reason people dance, but now he’s the reason they’ll be feeling nice with a whole new drink list. Like the title suggests, Whoo Kid’s upcoming mixology book is bound to make a Splash. Destined to become a definitive reference on cocktails, Splash features more than 100 innovative cocktails. More than just a collection of recipes, Splash is a complete crash course on cocktail education, with information on the theory and philosophy of drink-making, a referential guide to buying and using spirits, and a step-by-step instruction manual for mastering mixing techniques. Filled with high quality photography, charts and infographics, and colorful essays about drunk adventure by celebrities told by Whoo Kid himself, Splash sets the pace for mixologists around the world and anyone who’s set foot in a club and made a memory there.

The Geeky Bartender Drinks: Real-Life Recipes for Your Favorite Fantasy Cocktails by Cassandra Reeder (Race Point Publishing) May 5, 2020 Author Cassandra Reeder has created authentic real-life drinks and cocktails inspired by your favorite fantasy drinks. So, if you’ve found yourself craving Shimmerwine from Firefly, Black Frost Beer from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Swanky Panky from Bob’s Burgers, or Butterbeer from Harry Potter, you’re about to quench your thirst in a galaxy far, far away. Featuring more than 60 original cocktail recipes, you’ll also learn edgy cocktail tricks, such as creating a “shimmer effect” in your liquor, giving a sparkle rim to your glass, and adding fire or mist to a cocktail, along with concocting simple syrups and ice-cube effects. Easy step-by-step instructions and fun themed photos make these creative recipes perfect for your next party, season premiere get-together, or your standing reservation for a party of one. And for all you designated drivers, don’t despair: The Geeky Chef has plenty of imaginative tricks for making these drinks alcohol-free.

Easy Tiki by Chloe Frechette (Ten Speed Press) May 12, 2020 Sixty recipes inspired by the history of tiki as well as the modern revival that’s putting a fresh spin on tropical tiki drinks–all simplified for the home bartender from cocktail authority PUNCH. Tiki is the dream of escape, a tropical vacation complete with warm ocean water, island music, and beachside dinners. Kicking back with a tiki cocktail may be the epitome of easy living, but ironically, tiki drinks are among the hardest to make, often requiring eight or more ingredients. Now Easy Tiki is here to solve that problem! Easy Tiki examines the modern tiki revival offering sixty transporting recipes that re-jigger the classics with minimal ingredients while still maintaining the delicious balance, spices, and stunning garnishes that define tiki cocktails. Drinks include classics such as the Beachcomber’s Gold and Fog Cutter and modern cocktails such as Elusive Dreams and Paradise Lost. Easy Tiki also includes an overview of the origins of the tiki genre, from Don the Beachcomber and the mid-century tiki craze to Trader Vic’s and beyond.

Rosé Made Me Do It: 60 Perfectly Pink Punches and Cocktails by Colleen Graham & Ruby Taylor (Andrews McMeel Publishing) May 19, 2020 Reminiscent of boat rides down the French Rivera and sun-kissed beachside bars, rosé is stealing the spotlight with its crisp, refreshing taste and gorgeous rose hue. From wine expert Colleen Graham comes this perfectly pink primer on summers favorite drink.In Rosé Made Me Do It, wine aficionado and cocktail consultant Colleen Graham explains everything you need to know: how to choose the right type of wine, which spirits and mixers blend well, and how to create crisp cocktails for every occasion. Featuring 60 rosé cocktails and punches from around the world, from sangrias and spritzes to bellinis and martinis, this delightful illustrated guide invites you to drink pink.

Spirits Of Latin America by Ivy Mix (Ten Speed Press) May 26, 2020 A James Beard Award-nominated bartender explores the history and culture of Latin American spirits in this stunningly photographed travelogue–with 100+ irresistible cocktails featuring tequila, rum, pisco, and more. Through its in-depth look at drinking culture throughout Latin America, this gorgeous book offers a rich cultural and historical context for understanding Latin spirits. Ivy Mix has dedicated years to traveling south, getting to know Latin culture, in part through what the locals drink. What she details in this book is the discovery that Latin spirits echo the Latin palate, which echoes Latin life, emphasizing spiciness, vivaciousness, strength, and variation. After digging into tequila and Mexico’s other traditional spirits, Ivy Mix follows the sugar trail through the Caribbean and beyond, winding up in Chile, Peru, and Bolivia, where grape-based spirits like pisco and singani have been made for generations. With more than 100 recipes that have garnered acclaim at her Brooklyn bar, Leyenda, including fun spins on traditional cocktails such as the Pisco Sour, Margarita, and Mojito, plus drinks inspired by Ivy’s travels, like the Tia Mia (which combines mezcal, rum, and orange curacao, with a splash of lime and almond orgeat) or the Sonambula (which features jalapeño-infused tequila, lemon juice, chamomile syrup, and a dash of Peychaud’s bitters), along with mouthwatering photos and gorgeous travel images, this is the ultimate book on Latin American spirits.

Pikes Cocktail Book by Dawn Hindle (Ryland Peters & Small) June 2, 2020 Recreate the most popular drinks to have been shaken, stirred, and swallowed at one of the world’s most unique venues. George Michael, Freddie Mercury, Grace Jones, Fatboy Slim, Irvine Welsh, Idris Elba, Daniel Radcliffe, Boy George, Kate Moss Kylie, LCD SoundSystem, and countless other celebrities and royalty have all sipped the cocktails served at the legendary Pikes Ibiza while sitting around its iconic pool and dancing in the in-house nightclub that used to be Freddie Mercury’s suite. Now, for the first time ever, The Pikes Cocktail Book tells the story of this incredible place, with drinks recipes inspired by mischief and misbehavior at this epicenter of Balearic excess. The 65 drinks recipes are divided into chapters such as Poolside Sunset, After Midnight, and The Morning After where you can sample Captain of the Night, Sunny’s Gay G&T, Golden Bird, and many more.

Drink What You Want by John Debary (Clarkson Potter) June 2, 2020 A nonjudgmental, back-to-basics approach to making custom cocktails that’s as fun as it is definitive–from a renowned New York City bartender who’s worked everywhere from PDT to Momofuku. John deBary is a veritable cocktail expert with a 100-proof personality, a dash of fun, and garnished with flair–there’s nothing muddled about him. In Drink What You Want, John breaks down the science of mixology (yes, it’s a science) and explains the rules of drink-making. Most important, you’ll learn how to tweak any drink, both classic and creative, to your preferences and moods. Are you adventurous or traditional? Sweet or bitter? Brown liquor or clear? While giving newbies a rundown of cocktail culture, lingo, and etiquette, John turns the “cocktail book” concept on its ear by infusing a traditionally formal topic with his fresh, conversational voice. Mixology geeks and bottomless brunchers alike will revel in the craft of the cocktail, from classic to modern to funky. Cocktails are about creativity and setting the mood, and Drink What You Want overflows with both.

The Spirit of Whiskey: History, Anecdotes, Trends and Cocktails by Fabio Petroni, Davide Terziotti & Claudio Riva (White Star Publishers) June 2, 2020 Whiskey lovers can learn all about their favorite spirit with this guide to its history, distilling, regional variations, and unique characteristics. What makes American whiskey different from Canadian, Irish, or Scotch whiskey? What is the meaning of “single malt,” “blended,” and “single grain?” Go around the world with 40 of today’s best whiskeys—from Ben Riach Curiositas 10 to Widow Jane Straight Bourbon, Masterson’s, and Chichibu’s Floor Malted—exploring their characteristics, aromas, and particularities. Japanese varieties, too often ignored, receive special attention; with their soft taste, limited production, and attention to detail, they are now internationally recognized for their excellence. Learn how the beverage is mashed, fermented, distilled, matured, and bottled, and the rules of serving and tasting. Finally, enjoy recipes for delicious cocktails, both classic and new. Splendid photographs by Fabio Petroni, master of still lifes, appear throughout.

Pink Gin (Ryland Peters & Small) June 9, 2020 “Pink gin” was originally a simple cocktail of London Dry Gin seasoned with a dash of angostura bitters, but recently this term has blossomed and is now used to describe any gin infused with pink or red fruits, plants or spices alongside the usual botanicals found in the spirit. These include strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb, pink grapefruit, rhubarb, sloes, and rose petals and the resulting blush-colored and fragrant spirits can be enjoyed in a range of delicious cocktails. From the simplest gin and tonic or a straight-up pink martini to bartenders’ favorites the Clover Club, Gimlet, and Tom Collins, a pink gin will add extra pep to your drinking experience. Established brands with international reach such as Gordon’s and Beefeater have recently added pink gins to their ranges, plus sunshine-fueled Mediterranean distillers such as Spanish Larios and Italian Malfy are all creating elegant fruit-infused gins in highly desirable bottles. So whether you’re a gin expert wanting to update a beloved classic cocktail, relatively new to the gin scene and keen to try the latest innovations, or have simply found that fruitier tipple is your thing, you’ll find all the pink gin inspiration you need here.

The Craft of Cocktails by Cottage Door Press (Parragon Books) June 16, 2020 Do you love great cocktails? Are you tired of the same old recipes? Do you want to take your home bartending skills to the next level? Check out cocktail recipes from classics to newer trends here in The Craft of Cocktails. Impress your friends and family with your mixology abilities, and enjoy some really great beverages along the way.The best of traditional and contemporary mixology for all occasions. For a romantic dinner, special celebration, holidays, entertaining and more, there is a perfect, well-loved recipe for every get-together. Recipes for every mood and occasion and beautiful photos for each recipe will keep enthusiasts excited to continue to try new cocktail recipes every week.

Unvarnished: A Gimlet-eyed Look at Life Behind the Bar by Eric Alperin & Deborah Stoll (Harper Wave) June 23, 2020 When it opened a decade ago, the acclaimed Los Angeles speakeasy The Varnish—owned, designed, and managed by award-winning cocktail aficionado Eric Alperin—quickly became the stylish standard bearer for modern bars. Unvarnished is a candid, voice-driven, no-holds-barred look at the workings of a bar, and the foundation of The Varnish’s success: attention to hospitality and an abiding belief in the nobility of service. Alperin and veteran bartender and writer Deborah Stoll push back against the prevailing conceit that working in the service industry is something people do because they failed at another career. They offer fascinating meditations on ice as the bartender’s flame; the good, the bad, and the sad parts of vice; one’s duty to their community as a local; the obsessive, compulsive deliberations of building a bar (size matters); lessons from Sasha Petraske—Eric’s late partner, mentor, and the forefather of the modern day classic cocktail renaissance—and the top ten reasons not to date a bartender. At the book’s center are the 100 recipes a young Jedi bartender must know before their first shift at The Varnish, along with examples of building drinks by the round, how to Mr. Potato Head cocktails, and what questions to ask when crafting a Bartender’s Choice.

How to Drink Like a Writer: Recipes for the Cocktails and Libations that Inspired 100 Literary Greats (Apollo Publishers) June 23, 2020 Pairing 100 famous authors, poets, and playwrights from the Victorian age to today with recipes for their iconic drinks of choice, How to Drink Like a Writer is the perfect guide to getting lit(erary) for madcap mixologists, book club bartenders, and cocktail enthusiasts. Do you long to trade notes on postmodernism over whiskey and jazz with Haruki Murakami? Have you dreamed of sharing gin martinis with Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton after poetry class? Maybe a mojito—a real one, like they serve at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana—is all you need to summon the mesmerizing power of Hemingway’s prose. Writer’s block? Summon the brilliant musings of Truman Capote with a screwdriver—or, “my orange drink,” as he called it—or a magical world like J.K. Rowling’s with a perfect gin and tonic. With 100 spirited drink recipes and special sections dedicated to writerly haunts like the Algonquin of the New Yorker set and Kerouac’s Vesuvio Cafe, pointers for hosting your own literary salon, and author-approved hangover cures, all accompanied by original illustrations of ingredients, finished cocktails, classic drinks, and favorite food pairings, How to Drink Like a Writer is sure to inspire, invoke, and inebriate—whether you are courting the muse, or nursing a hangover. Sure, becoming a famous author takes dedication, innate talent, and sometimes nepotism. But it also takes vodka, gin, tequila, and whiskey.

 

GSN Review: Schlafly Hoptic Visions Sampler Pack

Schlafly Beer, the original, independent craft brewery in St. Louis,  recently released Hoptic Visions, a new sampler pack with four hop-forward beers. The 12-pack offers hop-forward favorites from Schlafly’s portfolio as well as a new experimental brew. This is the first year for the Hoptic Visions pack, which will feature: India Pale Ale, Hoppy Wheat Ale, India Pale Lager, and the debut of Hazy Pineapple IPA.

“The sampler pack showcases the versatility of hop-forward beers,” explains Schlafly’s Founding Brewer Stephen Hale. “Many think just of IPAs when it comes to hoppy beers, but we wanted to showcase how hops can enhance different styles as well as add different flavor profiles. These beers highlight everything from fruity and juicy hops to our sessionable IPA.”

India Pale Ale (5.0% ABV): With a lower ABV than traditional IPAs, Schlafly’s year-round take on the style offers a session beer for both hopheads and newcomers alike. Schlafly IPA features a hop blend to enhance tropical flavors and subtle notes of citrus.

Hoppy Wheat Ale (5.0% ABV): Wheat brings a touch of haze with a hint of sweetness and combines with Mosaic and Amarillo hops that lend to abundant citrus flavor and aroma.

India Pale Lager (5.5% ABV): Just because it’s a lager doesn’t mean it can’t feature strong hop flavors. Dry-hopped with Citra hops, India Pale Lager offers a crisp finish and a kick of tropical character. 

Hazy Pineapple IPA (4.5% ABV): This IPA is a trifecta of haze, hope and fruit. Pounds of experimental hops and pineapple refract off one another to create a juicy and golden brew with a long-lasting finish.

GSN Says: The four brews make for a great tasting session for you and a friend or two. We especially enjoyed the wheat ale which is a great starting point for your Hoptic journey. End your trip with the dessert-like pineapple IPA. Makes a great introduction to the myriad flavor profiles of hops.

GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Schlafy

GSN Spirited News: March 31st 2020 Edition

In Scotch, Moët Hennessy USA’s Ardbeg single malt brand has unveiled Ardbeg 5-Year-Old Wee Beastie ($44), a new permanent edition to the Ardbeg core range. A 47.5% abv expression matured in Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks, Ardbeg Wee Beastie rolls out in April and will be widely available. It’s the fifth permanent edition in the Ardbeg range and the first since Ardbeg An Oa was released in 2017. The other permanent labels in the Ardbeg portfolio are 10-year-old, Uigeadail, and Corryvreckan.

Among blended Scotches, earlier this month Bacardi began a widespread rollout of Dewar’s Ilegal Smooth, a new release finished in mezcal barrels. The 8-year-old whisky ($22 a 750-ml.) is a 40% abv blend of up to 40 malt and grain whiskies finished in ex-Ilegal mezcal barrels. Dewar’s Ilegal Smooth follows last year’s launch of Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth, a rum barrel-finished expression, and it’s available nationwide.

Also in blended Scotch, earlier this month Diageo released Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker, a new limited-edition blended malt. The 41.9% abv whisky ($38 a 750-ml.) was created by master blender Emma Walker and is a blend of single malts, all at least 10 years old. It follows a limited-time release of Jane Walker in 2018. The new Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker is distributed nationwide.

Among American whiskies, Diageo has also debuted Bulleit Blenders’ Select No. 001, a limited-edition label. The 50%-abv Bourbon ($50 a 750-ml.) was made by Bulleit blender Eboni Major and is the first in a series of special releases that will celebrate Bulleit’s whiskey makers. Bulleit Blenders’ Select No. 001 is also available across the U.S. market.

Beam Suntory, meanwhile, has revamped its Old Overholt Straight rye whiskey brand. The reimagined Old Overholt ($18 a 750-ml.) is at 43% abv, up from the previous 40% abv, and the label features a “grumpier” rendering of brand founder Abe Overholt, as the company described it. Old Overholt also will now be bottled without chill filtration, bringing the brand more in line with its pre-Prohibition roots. Later this year, Beam Suntory also will launch a 57% abv, 4-year-old bottling of Old Overholt and a 46.3% abv, 11-year-old release. All the Old Overholt labels will be available nationwide. Beam Suntory has also unveiled its first 2020 batch of Booker’s. Called Granny’s Batch, it’s aged just over 6 years and retail-priced at $90. Like all Booker’s releases, Granny’s Batch is a limited edition.

Elsewhere in the American whiskey space, Lux Row Distillers, part of the Luxco portfolio, is launching Daviess County Bourbon, a new release that revives a heritage label and pays tribute to Bourbon history. The initial lineup for Daviess County includes three whiskies, all at 48% abv: Straight Bourbon ($40); a Bourbon finished in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels ($45); and one finished in French oak casks ($45). All three whiskies are made with wheated and rye-heavy mash bills and are available nationwide. Lux Row also announced the latest release of its Blood Oath series, Blood Oath Pact No. 6 ($100), a limited edition with just 51,000 bottles (4,250 cases) available in the U.S. market.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily