GSN Review: Humboldt Organic Apple Brandy

Humboldt Distillery, the Northern California distillery best known for its organic and hemp-infused vodkas, recently announced the launch of its latest offering: Organic Apple Brandy. The new spirit is a small-batch release, with only a limited number of cases produced. 

“There’s no single reason we decided to produce our Organic Apple Brandy, but rather a few reasons — one being it’s a tasty spirit that I really enjoy myself,” says Abe Stevens, Humboldt Distillery founder and head distiller. “It’s made with familiar ingredients that are grown locally. Apple brandy has a long, storied history in the U.S., and it’s currently not produced in any significant quantity by any of the big liquor brands, so for us it was the perfect spirit to add to our portfolio.”

It takes more than 20 pounds of apples to make each bottle of Humboldt Distillery’s Organic Apple Brandy, and includes fruit from local orchards like the College of the Redwoods’ Sustainable Agriculture Farm in Shively, California. The brandy is made from a blend of barrels of different ages, with the majority of casks originating as ex-bourbon barrels from Sonoma Distilling Company and aged from 2-5 years.  These once-used barrels are made of American white oak, and give the spirit mild oaky tasting notes and a golden color. The spirit is certified organic and contains zero artificial colors or flavors. It is non-GMO as well as gluten-free.  

GSN’s Remarks: A lovely apple nose reminscent of fresh pressed cider. The flavor is warm, with a mellow sweetness that retains the flavor of the fruit, while adding a round and smooth body. The finish is medium long, with a dry and semi-tannic ending. This is a great spirit for sipping neat while enjoying  creamy cheeses such as Brie or Tallegio, with roasted pork loin, or alongside an apple tart for dessert. A wonderful addition to the Humboldt portfolio, and one which we would welcome year round. GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Humboldt Distillery


GSN Review: Dignity Raw Coconut Oil

Dignity Coconuts’ production plant is located in a small seaside village in Bicol, Philippines. The company currently employs 121 local workers with plans to expand to 200 workers at full operation. Coconuts are purchased from 156 local farmers with plans to contract with 300, all of whom were organic certified by Dignity. Future plans also include expansion to other areas in Southeast Asia and beyond.

Dignity Coconuts was born in 2010 out of a conviction to stop sex trafficking and modern-day slavery. A successful Kickstarter campaign enabled them to launch their own brand of premium, raw virgin coconut oil in 2016. Their jars are now offered in over 1,200 retail stores across the US, including Stop & Shop, Giant Food, Meijer, Coborn’s, Woodman’s and Central Market. 

Dignity pioneered a centrifuge method of removing the moisture based on gravity to create a truly raw coconut oil that retains all of the micronutrients. In addition to being 100% Raw, Dignity Coconut Oil is 100% Organic, Non-GMO, Direct Trade and bottled at the source for freshness. 

GSN’s Remarks: This is a great oil to use in fat washing a spirit. Try it in rum, tequila, bourbon or even Calvados for a unique flavor twist. We especially love the idea of supporting a company who is ethical and is making a positive change in the lives of people. Makes a great stocking stuffer for the mixologist or home chef. We also recommend picking up a copy of Dave Arnold’s Liquid Intelligence to learn about the various techniques used in fat washing. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Dignity Coconuts

Holiday special: 20% off from now until December 16. To get products by Christmas order by December 16 at noon. Free shipping. Order here


GSN Review: Oak & Eden Wheat & Honey Bourbon

DFW-based indie whiskey brand Oak & Eden recently unveiled Wheat & Honey, a small batch release blending the brand’s permanent wheated bourbon with a honey-soaked toasted American Oak spire. Oak & Eden is built on the foundation of innovation. This pursuit leads the brand to constantly create new and unique whiskies that can only be achieved by its patented process of In-Bottle FinishingTM, where a 5-inch spiral-cut piece of oak is placed into every bottle of whiskey produced.

With Wheat & Honey, the spire is paired with American honey, to infuse the oak with an additional element that adds an essence of flavor on the finish. Wheat & Honey, bottled at 45% Alc. by Vol., is available now exclusively online at Wheat & Honey will continue to roll out in select Oak & Eden retailers across 30 states in the coming months.

Wheat & Honey begins with a combination of 51% corn, 45% wheat and 4% malted barley. Once distilled, the bourbon is aged in new American Oak barrels producing a rich, deep yet sweet spirit. Oak & Eden uses a 5” American Oak spire in Wheat & Honey. Before placing the spire into the wheated bourbon, it is exposed to fire, technically a medium toast, then each spire is infused with American Honey before being placed in the bottle for that naturally sweet finish.

Oak & Eden will debut additional expressions to its Infused Series over the next year as well as build upon its unique Bottle Builder program where customers can craft their own whiskey bottle using one of the maker’s four finished whiskey bases and over thirty infusion options. The Bottle Builder program is currently offered at the brand’s Flagship retail location and nano-distillery in Bridgeport, TX.

GSN’s Remarks: Light in body and soft in flavor, with a hint of honey. This almost tastes like a ready-made cocktail in some ways. Pour a few ounces in an ice filled mixing glass, toss in a dash of bitters, strain into a cocktail glass and you’re good to go. The bourbon itself is young, but has enough character that it will please a novice whiskey enthusiast. Certainly the spire itself makes for a talking point, as some others in the GSN offices asked what was in the bottle. It’s an interesting concept which will subtly change the flavor of the spirit the longer it rests. GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: Oak & Eden

#Oak&Eden #Oak&EdenWheat&Honey

The Good Spirits News 2022 Holiday Gift Guide – The Beers

Good Spirits News shares their annual selection of gift ideas for the 2022 Holiday season! Today, we share the best of the beers that have been brewed this year. We start off with our recommendation for the holidays which will be sure to please the Zylophile in your life!

Returning for the third year in a row, Clown Shoes’ 12 Beers of Christmas mix pack offers their most diverse mix pack of 12 beers yet. This year, 8 beers have been added to the mix pack for the first time, bringing a wide selection of past favorites and first-time releases that craft beer novices and aficionados can enjoy. Some beers that are new to 12 Beers of Christmas are: Baked Goods – An American Pale Ale that bursts with tropical citrus flavor, minimal hop bitterness, and a smooth malt body at 5.5% ABV. Cosmic Waffle – A modern take on Clown Shoes’ original Belgian IPA recipe, this 7% ABV beer offers Azazza and Cryo Pop hops brewed with wheat and honey malts and a classic Belgian yeast strain. Burnt Caramel – A Brown Ale brewed with 1,200 pounds of Dark Candi syrup, Nigget and Mt. Hood hops, and roasted barley, coming in at 7% ABV. Lucha – A 5.8% ABV Mexican-style lager that was brewed using the most premium ingredients.

We also recommend the following beers this year:

The Good Spirits News 2022 Holiday Gift Guide – Saké

Good Spirits News shares their annual selection of gift ideas for the 2022 Holiday season! Today, we share the best saké offerings that we’ve come across this year. We start off with our #1 recommendation The Namazake Paul Advent Calendar. Here’s what has to say about the calendar:

“I’ve created the Namazake Paul Advent Calendar featuring twenty-three 180ml collectable cups of saké, plus one full-size bottle to enjoy on Christmas Eve. That’s over four liters of saké, all hand-chosen by Namazake Paul. Many of these saké brands have never imported to the USA before!

Most of our saké cups are glass with painted art — perfectly reusable for water cups, picnics or cut flowers. The box also includes an accompanying handbook written by Namazake Paul and publisher 33 Books to learn the background on each saké, plus terminology and a place to record tasting notes. Everyone will get the same saké on each day so they can compare with friends or join the online discussion via #sakecalendar on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. (What a great idea! -ed.)

Behind each door in the Namazake Paul Saké Advent Calendar is a cup for each day representing every major style of saké, including Futsu-shu, Honjozo, Junmai, Ginjo, Daiginjo, Namachozo, Yamahai, Kimoto and Nigori. The adventure awaits! Don’t know what all of those terms mean? This is why you need the Saké Advent Calendar! The beautiful box art by Kayla Swanson embodies the Japanese concept of “kawaii,” meaning adorable or cute. People will love displaying the Saké Advent Calendar as a holiday decoration.

This is the only product of its kind in the world!

To order the Namazake Paul Advent Calendar go to: Namazake Paul

The Sake Advent Calendar with Namazake Paul

We also recommend the following books for those who are interested in Japanese drinks:

The Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks: Saké, Shochu, Japanese Whisky, Beer, Wine, Cocktails and Other Beverages by Stephen Lyman & Chris Bunting

The Shochu Handbook – An Introduction to Japan’s Indigenous Distilled Drink by Christopher Pellegrini

We also recommend Koji Spirits from our September 2022 review here

The Good Spirits News 2022 Holiday Gift Guide – The Books

Good Spirits News shares their annual selection of gift ideas for the 2022 Holiday season! Today, we share the best of the best books that have been published this year. We start off with our #1 recommendation written by Lauren Mote, Global Director of On-Trade Excellence for PATRÓN Tequila & Co-Founder of Bittered Sling.

A Bartender’s Guide to the WorldCocktails and Stories from 75 Places by Lauren Mote. For over 20 years, Lauren Mote has tended bars and traveled the world, often as one of the only women in a male-dominated industry. She’s developed cocktail recipes, sought out new ingredients, and gathered stories along the way. Now, in her first book, Lauren is inviting readers and home bartenders to pack their suitcases and come with her on an international cocktail adventure. 

Detroit Tiki: A History of Polynesian Palaces & Tropical Cocktails by Renee Tadey (Author), Dave Chow (Foreword) The History Press (January 31, 2022) When the South Sea craze swept over the nation in the mid-twentieth century, the wave of island-themed décor and tropical cocktails did not pass by Detroit. The Tropics and Club Bali offered a warming escape from dreary Midwest winters. At its completion in 1967, the Mauna Loa was the most expensive restaurant built east of the Mississippi. With its lush interior and celebrity patrons, it did not disappoint. The Chin Tiki, with its exquisitely handcrafted features, was no less an exceptional destination. Even today, long after the Polynesian craze has faded, a new generation has taken up the tiki torch and brought island flavor and flair back to the city. Join author Renee Tadey on a sweeping journey through the tiki destinations of Detroit.

Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake: Rice, Water, Earth by Nancy Matsumoto (Author), Michael Tremblay (Author), John Gauntner (Foreword) Tuttle Publishing (March 8, 2022) This stunning guide invites you into the story of sake—an ancient beverage finding its way in a modern world. Whether you’re a sake novice or an experienced connoisseur, Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake offers fascinating insights, practical tips, and rich stories about this popular beverage. Authors and experts Nancy Matsumoto and Michael Tremblay personally undertook the challenge of visiting 33 artisanal sake breweries in Japan, the US, and Canada to interview makers and document every stage of the sake brewing process. Nancy’s celebrated journalistic background combined with Michael’s sake sommelier experience have led to an engaging and informative look at the world of sake. With over 300 color photos and a lively narrative, this fascinating book provides: A comprehensive introduction to the science and history of sake brewing in Japan. A look at how fine craft sakes are brewed today using traditional methods and no additives—only rice, water, koji, and yeast. Histories of Japan’s venerable breweries, some of them over 300 years old! An answer to why some breweries are able to turn out a superior quality of sake. A discussion of rice varieties and “terroirs” where exceptional sakes are produced. Current trends in the world of sake, including the fine sakes now brewed outside Japan. Tasting notes and recommendations for top craft sakes you have not heard about yet. This book also includes personal recipes from several top Japanese brew masters along with food-pairing tips and the authors’ own personal recommendations for the best sake bars in Japan and overseas!

Booze & Vinyl Vol. 2: 70 More Albums + 140 New Recipes by André Darlington (Author), Tenaya Darlington (Author) Running Press Adult (April 19, 2022) A follow-up to the bestselling listening party guide, Booze & Vinyl, this is an all-new collection of groundbreaking music paired with mood-setting cocktails. Get set to party with 70 great records—organized by theme, from Rockin’ to Beats, Mellow to Jazzy & Bluesy—spanning the 1950s to today. Each entry features liner notes on the album and two accompanying boozy beverage recipes that complement the music. Among the featured albums are: Are You Experienced? (The Jimi Hendrix Experience), Toys in the Attic (Aerosmith), Synchronicity (The Police), Jagged Little Pill (Alanis Morisette), The B52s (The B52s ), Gipsy Kings (The Gipsy Kings), Violator (Depeche Mode), Ready to Die (The Notorious B.I.G.), Play (Moby), Lemonade (Beyoncé), Coat of Many Colors (Dolly Parton), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John), So (Peter Gabriel), Whitney Houston (Whitney Houston), Oops!…I Did it Again (Britney Spears), Getz/Gilberto (Stan Getz and João Gilberto), A Love Supreme (John Coltrane).

Wild Drinks: The new old world of small-batch brews, ferments and infusions by Sharon Flynn Hardie Grant (June 7, 2022) Wild Drinks is the definitive book on infusing, brewing and fermenting delicious and often nutritious things to drink, from mead to kombucha to cider to kvass. With the entertaining and assuring voice of fermentation expert Sharon Flynn, it is a perfect jumping off point for anyone who is curious to learn more about this magical and witchy world. Across six chapters, Wild Drinks features more than 60 recipes. Learn the basics of wild fermentation and read about the equipment you need to start your fermentation journey. Discover drinks made from grain, including doburoku (farmhouse sake), wild beer and kvass; explore recipes for wild apple cider, country wine and wild soda; try water kefir, kombucha, ginger beer and fruit vinegars, and come to understand the art of imparting flavor, from shrubs to flavored waters to syrups and liqueurs. And in the spirit of reducing waste, the final chapter shows how to use fermentation byproducts – ranging from crackers made from sake lees to kimchi pancakes, nettle risotto and Basque cider chicken. Recipes include fascinating historical context and quick tips, and Sharon considers the traditions associated with these ancient fermentation practices too.

Black Mixcellence: A Comprehensive Guide to Black Mixology by Tamika Hall (Author), Colin Asare-Appiah (Author) Kingston Imperial (June 7, 2022) Black Mixcellence: A Comprehensive Guide to Black Mixology is a tribute to the contributions of Black and Brown mixologists to the spirits and mixology industries. Many pivotal events in the history of mixology have been ushered in by the contributions of African-American men and women. These moments have opened doors and laid the foundation for brands and companies to flourish. This book features stories about some of the industry’s most notable trailblazers. Whether it was entrepreneurship, education or a “famous first,” the featured mixologists have all contributed to the industry to make an impact in their own ways. This collective of mixologists and their signature cocktails represent different parts of the globe. There will be connections to important inventions and milestone moments by African Americans in the bartending industry weaved in between their stories.

Dicktales or Thankyous and Sluggings by Dick Bradsell (Author), Anistatia R Miller (Editor), Jared M Brown (Editor) Jared Brown (June 30, 2022) THIS IS THE LONG-AWAITED BOOK written by Mr. Dick Bradsell. AKA Soho Cocktail Legend, Father of the London Cocktail revival, The Bartenders’ Bartender, Cocktail King, Creative Genius, are some of the titles attributed to him-though he would have introduced himself as Dick or perhaps Rosie Smudge or Cassandra the Wizard or Dungeon Master or…. This is not a cocktail book or a bar manual. Dick believed that others were better at writing those than him. Although incomplete and missing his final signature of approval, this book of thoughts, soundbites and (many) cocktails is part of his legacy. Compiled and carefully reconstructed from his own writings, his words (and his opinions) from his incalculable notebooks, personal letters, and scraps of paper span almost four decades are reproduced in the raw so all the feeling and emotion of his thoughts are left in their finest unedited, unpolished form. Photos from private collections and his own artwork are sprinkled throughout as playful as they appeared in his notebooks. A tribute to his family and many friends who shaped his tread in life and supported him for better and for worse, in mind, spirit, and body. Ultimately, it is a celebration of the life and work of a proud British bartender, named Richard Arthur Bradsell.

Kokuteeru by Yonekichi Maeda (Author), Kagumi Otani (Translator), Eiji Arakawa (Introduction) Jared Brown (June 30, 2022) Finding and translating Kokuteeru (1924) was a year long journey that helps to answer the question “who wrote the first Japanese cocktail book?” Whilst this honour goes to Tokuzo Akiyama’s book Cocktails: How To Mix Drinks, Yonekichi Maeda’s Kokuteeru is considered to be the more systematic and practical text which was published a month later. Western style spirits and bartending made their way into Japanese culture as early as 1872. And by the early 1900s Japanese bartenders ran their own Western style establishments. Kokuteeru gives us a fascinating glimpse as to how 1920s Japanese bartenders began to define themselves and their profession. The entirety of the net profits-100%- from the publication of this English translation of Kokuteeru will fund the Yonekichi Maeda Scholarship: an internship program that will send Australian bartenders to Japan to learn about Japanese bartending. This scholarship will allow the next generation of Australian bartenders to learn the art of Japanese cocktail bartending and will promote a return of the ‘journeyman bartender’ to the education scheme of the bartending profession.

Doctors and Distillers: The Remarkable Medicinal History of Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Cocktails by Camper English Penguin Books (July 19, 2022) Alcohol and Medicine have an inextricably intertwined history, with innovations in each altering the path of the other. The story stretches back to ancient times, when beer and wine were used to provide nutrition and hydration, and were employed as solvents for healing botanicals. Over time, alchemists distilled elixirs designed to cure all diseases, monastic apothecaries developed mystical botanical liqueurs, traveling physicians concocted dubious intoxicating nostrums, and the drinks we’re familiar with today began to take form. In turn, scientists studied fermentation and formed the germ theory of disease, and developed an understanding of elemental gases and anesthetics. Modern cocktails like the Old-Fashioned, Gimlet, and Gin and Tonic were born as delicious remedies for diseases and discomforts. In Doctors and Distillers, cocktails and spirits expert Camper English reveals how and why the contents of our medicine and liquor cabinets were, until surprisingly recently, one and the same.

The Botany of Beer: An Illustrated Guide to More Than 500 Plants Used in Brewing (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) by Giuseppe Caruso (Author), Kosmos SRL (Translator), Marika Josephson (Foreword) Columbia University Press (July 26, 2022) From mass-produced lagers to craft-brewery IPAs, from beers made in Trappist monasteries according to traditional techniques to those created by innovative local brewers seeking to capture regional terroir, the world of beer boasts endless varieties. The diversity of beer does not only reflect the differences among the people and cultures who brew this beverage. It also testifies to the vast range of plants that help give different styles of beer their distinguishing flavor profiles. This book is a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated compendium of the characteristics and properties of the plants used in making beer around the world. The botanical expert Giuseppe Caruso presents scientifically rigorous descriptions, accompanied by his own hand-drawn ink images, of more than 500 species. For each one, he gives the scientific classification, common names, and information about morphology, geographical distribution and habitat, and cultivation range. Caruso provides detailed information about each plant’s applications in beer making, including which of its parts are employed, as well as its chemical composition, its potential toxicity, and examples of beers and styles in which it is typically used. The book also considers historical uses, aiding brewers who seek to rediscover ancient and early modern concoctions. This book will appeal to a wide audience, from beer aficionados to botany enthusiasts, providing valuable information for homebrewers and professional beer makers alike. It reveals how botanical knowledge can open new possibilities for today’s and tomorrow’s brewers.

The Tea Cyclopedia: All You Ever Wanted to Know about the World’s Favorite Drink by Dr. Keith Souter Skyhorse (September 6, 2022) Tea drinking has become a way of life. To put it frankly, it is a love, an addiction, and some would even go as far as to say a philosophy. Dr. Keith Souter examines the perpetual impact that this adored beverage has bestowed upon the world for centuries, from its mystical origins in the East to its inevitable influence on the West. The Tea Cyclopedia is an indispensable reference for anyone interested in all things tea. Commencing each chapter with insightful quotes, it not only captures the historical beginnings of this beloved drink, but also explores tea’s involvement in politics, health, the economy, and even fortune-telling. This unprecedented beverage has united people in times of adversity; it has also divided nations, causing volatile revolutions, such as the Sri Lankan Civil War and the Boston Tea Party. But today you will most likely find that various cultures have developed their own unique style of enjoying tea, and the ritual of tea drinking itself is not only intriguing, but also highly rewarding. In this meticulously detailed guide, readers will rediscover tea, its cultivation, and all of its richness and intricacy as a worldwide beverage. The Tea Cyclopedia is an enthralling tribute to the illustrious, invigorating, and elusive leaf that has vehemently continued to inspire people for more than two thousand years.

Cider Planet: Exploring the Producers, Practices, and Unique Traditions of Craft Cider and Perry from Around the World by Claude Jolicoeur Chelsea Green Publishing (September 23, 2022) From internationally-acclaimed author and fermented beverage expert Claude Jolicoeur comes a globe-trotting, full-color cultural history and guide celebrating the methods, terroir, and traditions of world-class cider. In Cider Planet, Claude Jolicoeur―a longtime, passionate cider maker and author of the international bestseller New Cider Maker’s Handbook―takes readers with him to the world’s greatest cider regions, providing an expertly guided tour laced with his deep understanding and appreciation for how this “Prince of Beverages” is made. Cider, long perceived as a European country drink, is now truly a worldwide culinary delight. Jolicoeur talks about new and emergent regions that have contributed to this growing appreciation, and how they are building upon the old traditions while creating their own new ones. He explores, for example, the most revered areas for making perry, a delightful but little-known drink that, like cider, is starting to gain fans young and old. And he even transports readers to Kazakhstan in central Asia, famous as the “birthplace of the domestic apple.”

American Rye: A Guide to the Nation’s Original Spirit by Clay Risen Scott & Nix, Inc. (October 3, 2022) What is going on with rye whiskey? Suddenly both experienced and new whiskey lovers are turning to rye as their primary object of interest. And just as suddenly the market is flooded with new offerings of this “old fashioned” spirit—the growth from just a dozen brands 15 years ago to more than 225 today is unprecedented. Author and spirits expert Clay Risen now offers a road map to the phenomena of rye. A detailed introduction includes a history of rye, how it’s distilled, aged, and earns its distinguishing qualities. Sections include info on how to start collecting rye, read a whiskey label, and how to have a whiskey tasting. Extensive rye whiskey accounts are organized alphabetically by distillery and brand and each of more than 225 expressions include a color photo of the bottle, info on proof, age, average price, tasting notes (nose, palate, finish), and is rated on a four-star scale. The author with a group of expert tasters “blind tasted” each and every one—a first for a spirits book of this scale. The result is a groundbreakingly innovative and invaluable asset for the whiskey lover navigating the world of American rye.

Modern Classic Cocktails: 60+ Stories and Recipes from the New Golden Age in Drinks by Robert Simonson Ten Speed Press (October 4, 2022) One of the greatest dividends of the revival in cocktail culture that began in the 1990s has been the relentless innovation. More new cocktails—and good ones—have been invented in the past thirty years than during any period since the first golden age of cocktails, which lasted from roughly the 1870s until the arrival of Prohibition in 1920 and included the birth of the Martini, Manhattan, Daiquiri, and Tom Collins. Just as that first bar-world zenith produced a half-century of classic recipes before Prohibition, the eruption of talent over the past three decades has handily delivered its share of drinks that have found favor with arbiters on both sides of the bar. Among them are the Espresso Martini, White Negroni, Death Flip, Old Cuban, Paper Plane, Siesta, and many more, all included here along with each drink’s recipe origin story. What elevates a modern cocktail into the echelon of a modern classic? A host of reasons, all delineated by Simonson in these pages. But, above all, a modern classic cocktail must be popular. People have to order it, not just during its initial heyday, but for years afterward. Tommy’s Margarita, invented in the 1990s, is still beloved, and the Porn Star Martini is the most popular cocktail in the United Kingdom, twenty years after its creation.

A Sense of Place: A journey around Scotland’s whisky by Dave Broom Mitchell Beazley (October 11, 2022) A personal journey exploring Scotch whisky through its terroir, including the land, weather, history, craft and culture that feeds and enhances the whisky itself. In this beautifully crafted narrative, award-winning writer Dave Broom examines Scotch whisky from the point of view of its terroir – the land, weather, history, craft and culture that feed and enhance the whisky itself. Travelling around his native Scotland and visiting distilleries from Islay and Harris to Orkney and Speyside, Dave explores the whiskies made there and the elements in their distilling, and locality, which make them what they are. Along the way he tells the story of whisky’s history and considers what whisky is now, and where it is going. With stunning specially commissioned photography by Christina Kernohan, A Sense of Place will enhance and deepen every whisky drinker’s understanding of just what is in their glass, as well as open their eyes to where whisky can go.

Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ’Em from the Award-Winning Bar by Neal Bodenheimer (Author), Emily Timberlake (Author), Denny Culbert (Photographer) Harry N. Abrams (October 25, 2022) New Orleans is known for its spirit(s)-driven festivities. Neal Bodenheimer and coauthor Emily Timberlake tell the city’s story through 100 cocktails, each chosen to represent New Orleans’ past, present, and future. A love letter to New Orleans and the cast of characters that have had a hand in making the city so singular, Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em features interviews with local figures such as Ian Neville, musician and New Orleans funk royalty, plus a few tips on how to survive your first Mardi Gras. Along the way, the reader is taken on a journey that highlights the rich history and complexity of the city and the drinks it inspired, as well as the techniques and practices that Cure has perfected in their mission to build forward rather than just looking back. Of course, this includes the classics every self-respecting drinker should know, especially if you’re a New Orleanian: the Sazerac, Julep, Vieux Carré, Ramos Gin Fizz, Cocktail à la Louisiane, and French 75. Famous local chefs have contributed easy recipes for snacks with local flavor, perfect for pairing with these libations. Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em​ is a beautiful keepsake for anyone who has fallen under New Orleans’s spell and a must-have souvenir for the millions of people who visit the city each year.

Beer A Tasting Course: A Flavor-Focused Approach to the World of Beer by Mark Dredge DK (November 8, 2022) Beer is now brewed in a dizzying variety of styles, available to enjoy like never before. Let’s drink to this diversity with a new appreciation of just how complex and mind-expanding beer can be. Crack open this book and enjoy a series of guided tastings of more than 50 different beer styles—from smoked black lager to sour-fermented wild ales, triple green-hopped IPAs and cask-matured barley wines. With each tasting, you will learn to identify how aroma, taste, texture, and finish all combine to create the distinctive flavor profile of the particular beer style. You will discover which unique ingredients and aspects of the brewing process combine to produce each style, while quick reviews of the best examples from around the world will lead you to explore further. To help establish your beer palate, the course starts with a solid grounding in the range of flavors found in beer and the art of detecting them—opening your nose, mind, and throat to the complete sensory experience of flavor and pouring the perfect glass! Travel through time and across the globe to grasp the ongoing story of beer, its heritage, and its innovation. Also learn how to pair beer with food and to cook with beer. In the end, you always return to what really matters: that miraculous glass of cold, liquid joy.

Raising the Bar: A Bottle-by-Bottle Guide to Mixing Masterful Cocktails at Home by Brett Adams & Jacob Grier Chronicle Books (November 29, 2022) Instead of drawing on esoteric bottles of liquor, complicated syrups, and obscure sodas, this book takes readers through the home bar bottle by bottle, ensuring that every ingredient is versatile enough to be used to the last drop. Building on a very basic cocktail pantry, each chapter thoughtfully introduces a new bottle and explains how it opens new possibilities for cocktails. Each chapter builds on the one before, so readers never encounter recipes calling for unfamiliar spirits or ingredients. RAISING THE BAR allows readers to set their own pace and maximize the usefulness of the spirits they bring home. This book will be a go-to reference for the home bartender that is practical enough for the day-to-day and special enough for a party. With handsome graphics and a smart focus on what’s already in stock, it’s what home mixologists can turn to when they want creative and delightful drinks without a bar cart full of single-use bottles.

Decanter: The World’s Wine Legends: Over 100 of the World’s legendary bottles of wine by Stephen Brook Sona Books (December 1, 2022) For many years the world’s most successful wine magazine published on their last page a monthly Wine Legend. These were and, in some cases, still are the most sought after wines around the world from specific vineyards and vintages. Names that can bring a shiver to the back of a wine lover’s neck and be spoken about in hushed tones. Chateau Palmer ’61, Ridge, Monto Bello 1970, Biondi-Santi, Tenuto il Greppo 1975 to name but a few. This book brings these wines together for the first time, over 100 absolutely legendary wines. With an introduction by Stephen Brook who pulled together the information and the photographs, this is a beautiful gift for anyone who enjoys wine.

Cheers!: Cocktails & Toasts to Celebrate Every Day of the Year – A Cocktail Book by Philip Greene Union Square & Co. (December 6, 2022) Philip Greene, winner of the 13th Annual Spirited Award for Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History or Spirits, pairs each day of the year with a cocktail recipe that represents it, along with a toast in celebration! For every day of the year, Cheers! offers delicious cocktail recipes along with a backstory connecting the recipe to a particular day and a toast to raise in celebration. Greene draws on a range of interesting and (usually) fun events, some significant and some trivial, from the pages of history, literature, sports, entertainment, and more. Many of the toasts are classics culled from cocktail and bartending books dating to the nineteenth century, the works of Shakespeare, and other timeless sources. While the book undoubtedly acknowledges the usual noteworthy dates from around the world (New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc.), it also features a new twist on standard observances, offering a fresh story, angle, and drink.



GSN Review: Heaven’s Door Daxton Single Barrel

Daxton Hotel, a modern luxury hotel located in Detroit’s northern metro area that seamlessly balances fine art, cutting-edge design, and lush accommodations, announces a partnership with Heaven’s Door, a collection of handcrafted American Whiskeys co-created with esteemed singer-songwriter-artist, Bob Dylan.

Pulling from the art-filled boutique hotel as inspiration, Heaven’s Door crafted a unique bourbon exclusively available at Daxton, named Heaven’s Door Daxton Single Barrel. This bespoke spirit will be available to enjoy at Daxton’s Geode Bar and Lounge, and flagship restaurant Madam. Distilled with a custom Heaven’s Door mash bill and aged for five years, it was bottled at 124.5 proof.

“The quality of Heaven’s Door’s award-winning portfolio of whiskeys matches the extraordinary service and experience that we proudly provide our guests,” said Raj Radke, Daxton Hotel’s Managing Director. “Our two likeminded brands have come together to create a special spirit that can only be enjoyed at Daxton – where you are enveloped in a collection of museum-quality art, where you can revel in a night of live jazz music, and where you are transported to a place where your senses can soar.”

“Daxton Hotel has an intentional vision, and it was an honor to work alongside their amazing team,” said Ryan Perry, Heaven’s Door Master Blender. “As a Michigan native, I took tremendous pride in this project. I refused to select anything but the best, and we landed on a true gem with this barrel select.”

Daxton Hotel features more than 400 original pieces of cutting-edge art curated from around the world by renowned Saatchi Art. In total, the hotel features works from 160 artists representing nearly 40 countries with artwork crossing multiple mediums including painting, photography, collage drawing, and sculpture.

GSN’s Remarks: A lovely perfume of oaken goodness greets the nose, along with a rich tapestry of char and stave. The entry is warming, a bit fiery, but not overly so. Rather, a strong presentation indicative of the high proof. There is some mild sweetness, with baking spice, on the palate, most notably cinnamon  towards the finish. The body is well balanced and serves the whiskey well if bringing the high ABV down with a large rock or splash of water. The finish is fairly long and leaves a refreshing woody afterglow. We can definitely see ourselves relaxing in the hotel bar with a glass of this and an erstwhile companion to engage in conversation. Very well done, as all Heaven’s Door releases have been. This one is just a little more special. Make plans to visit Daxton the next time you’re in Detroit. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Daxton Hotel and Heaven’s Door

#HeavensDoor #DaxtonHotel 

GSN Review: Knob Creek 18

Knob Creek Bourbon is excited to announce the addition of a new, limited-edition bourbon to its portfolio: Knob Creek 18 Year Old. This latest release marks the oldest expression from Knob Creek to-date, and its introduction comes just in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Knob Creek and the Small Batch Bourbon Collection.

Three decades ago, Booker Noe, grandson of Jim Beam and Sixth Generation Master Distiller, set out to define the standards for pre-prohibition style bourbon by introducing Knob Creek to the world. Today, Knob Creek continues to honor his legacy by pushing the boundaries of the bourbon category, and this new, extra-aged liquid reinforces the brand’s ongoing dedication and commitment to exceptional craftsmanship.

“As we celebrate 30 years of Knob Creek, it’s clear to me that Dad was ahead of his time in creating innovative expressions with big, bold flavors that defined pre-prohibition whiskey,” said Fred NoeBooker Noe’s son and Seventh Generation Master Distiller. “This new 18 Year Old liquid is a nod to his vision and commitment to quality and craftsmanship, and I know this is a whiskey he’d be proud to serve. I’m honored to further his legacy with Knob Creek’s oldest and boldest expression yet.”

GSN’s Remarks: A dark roasted character of espresso bean, burnt demerara sugar, bitter cocoa, and aged tobacco are the first tasting notes. To balance these characteristics, there are also softer and warmer hints of salted caramel, praline, toffee and hot chocolate on the palate. The body is medium-light, holding everything in place without making it seem too thick. The finish is long with the oak figuring prominently, along with plenty of milk caramel, candied nuts and sweet tobacco. Everything finishes up on a dry and finite note. A very well made bourbon, and despite the high age, nothing is overshadowed by the extra time in the barrel. Each savory and sweet note gets a chance to shine. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Knob Creek

#KnobCreek #Knob Creek18YearOld

GSN Review: Papa’s Pilar 2022 Legacy Edition

Papa’s Pilar Rum, the rum brand inspired by Ernest Hemingway, recently announced its 2022 Legacy Edition release, the second in its series of limited-quantity special bottlings.

The 2022 Legacy Edition celebrates the 70th anniversary of the publishing of Hemingway’s acclaimed literary masterpiece, The Old Man and the Sea. The liquid inside the bottle consists of nine different rums from five sources – Barbados, Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela, Florida – which is then finished in hand-selected French Oak Apple Brandy barrels.

“I’m inspired by Papa Hemingway daily and the 2022 Legacy Edition was a way for me to tap into that inspiration even further while celebrating his life’s work and highlighting innovative rum finishing techniques,” said Master Distiller Ron Call. “I hand-selected some of the most unique barrels for finishing: French Oak Apple Brandy casks. These brandy casks produce apple-forward characteristics, which is rare in rum. You’ll also find notes of vanilla with a touch of honeysuckle and a dark rich honey finish. The result is a rum unlike anything you’ve tasted.”

According to literary lore,The Old Man and the Sea was finished while Hemingway was aboard his beloved boat, the Pilar. To bring the novel to life for the anniversary and to pay homage to Hemingway’s “Never a Spectator” spirit in an interactive way, the brand created an immersive AR experience that tells the story of The Old Man and the Sea narrated by artist and conservationist Dr. Guy Harvey, and shows Harvey’s first-ever sketches, which were inspired by the book.

For every bottle sold, Papa’s Pilar will donate $20 to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, which supports reef conservation, restoration and education, a year-round effort for the rum brand. The bottle itself also serves as a keepsake, wrapped in genuine leather made to resemble the shape of the iconic WWII canteen bottle, and features a pocket on the back that includes a writer’s notebook embossed with the “Never a Spectator” stamp, the motto of Papa’s Pilar Rum. Attached to the side is a black and copper pen  made to match the copper details of the bottle.

An Anniversary Bundle, which includes a bottle of the 2022 Legacy Edition, a copy of The Old Man and the Sea, and a branded ice sphere mold (SRP: $132.99) is also available in limited quantities.

GSN’s Remarks: Definite high notes of crisp and juicy apple greet the tongue. A round mouthfeel with some vanilla, Stollen bread, medium oak and deep rum spirit notes. The finish is extraordinarily long with a baked apple tart finish. Well blended, considering the disparate quintet of rums involved, The choice to age in ex-apple brandy casks works to advantage, weaving them into a whole, while creating a memorable tasting experience. A lovely rum perfect for sipping whilst reading the classic Hemingway tale. GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Shop Papa’s Pilar Rum

#papaspilar #papaspilarlegacyedition

GSN Review: Babich Wines

The Babich family has been proud producers of fine New Zealand wines since 1916, when Croatian immigrant Josip Babich produced his first vintage. A century on, the Babich family business has three generations of winemaking experience behind it, 13 vineyards in New Zealand’s finest wine regions, and a passion for winemaking as a way of life.

Since its inception, Babich Wines has been at the forefront of sustainability – even before it was a “thing” – pioneering the sustainable winemaking movement in New Zealand since day one and working in harmony with the land, ecosystem and seasons to produce sustainable wines of outstanding quality, making sure that the vineyards and processes get better vintage after vintage. From the gentle care of the land, water conservation, composting, and giving back to charities like the Surfrider Foundation, to the wine in every bottle, sustainability has always been in the Babich Wines DNA. The Babich family truly believes that the best grapes come from the best environments with the steadfast notion that the better we look after our land and resources, the better the flavor in the glass.

Malborough Sauvignon Blanc – GSN’s Remarks: A lot of grapefruit character comes through, with a semi-dry finish. Easy going, fruity and a great wine to pair with grilled shrimp, goat cheese, brussel sprouts and pork tenderloin. GSN Rating: A-

Marlborough Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc – GSN’s Remarks: More green apple character than grapefruit in this expression. The grapes were harvested from specific loactions or blocks for this release. This is drier, less fruit forward and has a slight herbal note. The finish is short and dry. Try this with lemon chicken, marinated olives, asparagus or Thai cuisine. GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Babich Wines


GSN Review: Lo-Fi Aperitifs

Lo-Fi was born from a collaboration between Quaker City Mercantile (the creators of the Hendrick’s Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum brands) and 86-year-old, family-owned and operated E. & J. Gallo Winery. Lo-Fi Aperitifs’ line of Gentian Amaro, Dry Vermouth and Sweet Vermouth are made with California wines and infused with natural herbs, and botanicals.

Lo-Fi’s portfolio of distinctly Californian aperitifs was formulated to have an approachable but complex flavor, accompanied by a rich texture, and using ingredients found in California’s bountiful growing region. Each variant is made with natural herbs and botanicals and without the use of artificial coloring agents. The brand name is a reference to “Low Fidelity” music, with its uncomplicated, often DIY production and laid-back vibes. 

Gentian Amaro – GSN’s Remarks: We’ve been loving this in the GSN offices these past few weeks. A soft, slightly sweet and dark flavor offset with a lot of herbal, citrus and spice flavors with gentian being the most prominent. At times reminiscent of chamomile in spite of having none in the mix, this makes for a great aperitif to start the evening. Try it with a large cube of ice and a twist of orange peel. GSN Rating: A

Dry Vermouth – GSN’s Remarks: A unique dry vermouth that without wormwood. Less bitter than most, instead there is a tart citric edge that is tempered by notes of cherry, elderflower and a hint of anise. A refreshing and light vermouth, great on its own. Try it with a splash of prosecco for added fun. GSN Rating: B+

Sweet Vermouth – GSN’s Remarks: Again, a very different style of sweet vermouth. What is notable here are unusual flavors of cocoa, vanilla and coconut. Yes, you read that right. In spite of the odd ingredients, it remains quite drinkable and light. We like this one sipped neat out of the refridgerator, or in a fruit forward cocktail like the classic Blood & Sand. GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Lo-Fi Aperitifs


GSN Alert: Sippd Wine App

You’re familiar with wine quizzes that build you a case of wine with a monthly subscription buy-in. But what about a wine quiz that’s sole purpose is to provide beginner drinkers with a starting point to learn about their preferences toward certain flavors, characteristics, and styles of wine? 

With Sippd’s new “Building Taste Match” quiz, we use an AI-powered algorithm and millions of data points to discern consumer’s likely preferences and tailor wine recommendations for their unique taste and budget. 

After completing our sommelier-curated, seven-question quiz, app users are presented with their individualized 1% to 100% wine scores (what we call “Taste Match” scores) to 10,000+ bottles. The higher the Taste Match score is to 100%, the more the wine aligns to a user’s palate! It’s that simple.

Then app users can filter their top matches by price, region, food pairings, and more to try new wines on their own time, keep track of all the wines they’re drinking, and refine their wine taste profile in one place. 

You can take the quiz for yourself by downloading Sippd here


GSN Alert: The Lake House on Canandaigua Wine, Beer & Spirits Series

The Lake House

Canandaigua, NY (Oct. 31, 2022) – Winter at The Lake House on Canandaigua will be one for the senses, from picturesque lake views to cuisine and cocktails that will take taste buds on a world tour. The award-winning resort known for its dynamic culinary program has announced a Wine, Beer & Spirits Series, and interactive cocktail classes that will showcase the talents of Executive Chef Steve Eakins and his inventive team.

“The series of pairings will take place in Rose Tavern and Sand Bar and are designed to connect diners with the most renowned wine countries, local breweries, and world class distilleries. Each beverage will be expertly paired with a chef-inspired dish,” said Executive Chef Steve Eakins.

In The Library, Mixology and Wine Education 101 are designed to elevate the participant’s beverage game and arm curious cocktail novices with the tips and tricks of the trade. A taste of what’s to come:

Rose Tavern

Wine, Beer & Spirits Series at Rose Tavern

Rose Tavern pairings will commence at 6 p.m. for a five-course dining experience and can accommodate up to 50 guests.

  • Taste of Italy, Nov. 16, 2022: Diners will tour of one of the most popular wine producers in Northern Italy, Alfredo Buglioni. The experience will feature Vigliacco Brut Rose, Musa Rebbiano Di Lugana, and Classic Ripasso Bugiardo.  Tickets are $200 per person and can be purchased here.
  • Taste of California, Dec. 14, 2022: Explore the flavors of Napa Valley by The Mondavi Family, featuring the best wines on the West Coast. Pairings will include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Oakville. Tickets are $200 per person.
  • Taste of France, Jan. 18, 2023: Indulge in wines from the Rothschild family vineyard that sits at one of the highest points of France’s Bordeaux region. Tickets are $200 per person.
  • Young Lion Beer Pairing Dinner, Feb. 23, 2023: Taste the flavors of New York State at this collaborative beer pairing with local brewery Young Lion. The woman owned and managed operation is one of the largest microbreweries in New York State. Tickets are $150 per person.
  • Taste of Rioja, March 15, 2023: Join Rose Tavern for a tour of one of the most popular wine producers throughout the Rioja, Spain region, home to more vines than any other country on earth. Tickets are $200 per person.

Wine, Beer & Spirits Series at Sand Bar

Sand Bar pairings begin at 6 p.m. for a four-course experience and can accommodate up to 40 guests. Tickets are $150 per person.

  • Frequentem Brewing Co., Dec. 8, 2022: A favorite local brewery located on Main Street in Canandaigua, Frequentem Brewing Co. is focused on producing quality beer while exploring modern and traditional styles. The pairing menu will explore Stout, Rice Lager, Czech Dark Lager and Sour IPA. Tickets can be purchased here.
  • Casa Noble, Jan. 5, 2023: This spirit-based pairing will feature Casa Noble Tequila, one of the first premium tequila brands to impact the market. Discover the distinct tastes of Casa Noble Blanco, Reposado and Anejo.

Library Bar Cocktail Classes

These interactive classes are fun and educational, led by the resort’s assistant food and beverage director Michael Lischak and sommelier Ben Pesche. Classes begin at 5:30 p.m. and accommodate 20 participants. Tickets are $65 per person and include small bites prepared by Chef Eakins.

  • Mixology 101, Jan. 24, 2023: Learn the basic skills of bartending and the art of craft cocktails.
  • Wine University 101, Jan. 25, 2023: Explore the fundamentals of wine making, production and proper steps of wine service.
  • Exploring Wine Regions: Bordeaux, France, Feb. 27, 2023: Sommelier Ben Pesche will take guests through one of his favorite wine regions.
  • Taste of Classics, Feb. 28, 2023: Discover the history behind classic cocktails.
  • Exploring Wine Regions: Rioja, Spain, March 28, 2023: Sommelier Ben Pesce introduces the flavors of the largest wine region.
  • The History of New Orleans’ Cocktail Scene, March 29, 2023: Explore the history of one of the world’s most famous cocktail meccas.

The full series list with menu and ticket details can be viewed here.


About The Lake House on Canandaigua

Designed by Post Company (formerly known as Studio Tack) in collaboration with design collective and The Brooklyn Home Company, The Lake House on Canandaigua welcomes all generations to the Finger Lakes region, invigorating year-round interest in Canandaigua Lake and its community. As a family owned and operated hotel with world-class design, locally inspired dining and premier event spaces, the hotel is the ideal destination for family gatherings and important events. With 124 guest rooms and suites, there is a timber frame event barn, a pool and year-round hot tub, the Willowbrook Spa and a boardwalk perfect for admiring the panoramic views of Canandaigua Lake. Upon the hotel’s opening in late 2020, The Lake House on Canandaigua has won multiple prestigious travel awards including the No. 1 Resort Hotel in New York State in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards, Travel + Leisure’s It List 2021 and Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List 2021, both editors’ choice awards acknowledging the best new hotels and resorts opened within the past year. The Lake House is also a TripAdvisor 2021 Travelers’ Choice Award winner, ranking in the top ten percent of hotels worldwide.

For more information, visit:

GSN Review: Teeling Wonders of Wood Single Pot Still Chinkapin Oak Whiskey

Teeling Whiskey announced the US release of its first release in the Wonders of Wood Series of Single Pot Still, limited edition bottlings. The Teeling Wonders of Wood Single Pot Still Chinkapin Oak Whiskey continues the Dublin distiller’s journey and builds on its reputation in crafting unique and interesting expressions of Irish whiskey. The new Wonders of Wood Series is part of an innovative mission to push the boundaries of flavour, by utilizing unique styles of wood for the maturation of the award-winning Teeling Single Pot Still Whiskey.

The first edition of the Wonders of Wood bottling consists of Single Pot Still crafted from a recipe of 50% malted barley and 50% unmalted barley, which has been triple distilled at the Teeling Whiskey Distillery in Dublin and then fully matured in virgin Chinkapin American White Oak barrels. Chinkapin oak is native to Eastern and Central North America and features a wide wood grain that is similar in composition to Chestnut Oak. When used for the maturation of Irish whiskey it produces a truly unique taste experience. Despite only recently being bottled, this special whiskey has already been honored at the 2022 World Whiskies Awards for its quality, picking up the title of the World’s Best Irish Single Pot Still.

Teeling Whiskey takes pride in its ability to give back to its local community and is working with the Tree Council of Ireland on the reforestation of woodland. They will be planting an acre of exclusively native Irish trees in the Glencree region of County Wicklow just outside of Dublin. Jack Teeling, Founder and Managing Director of Teeling Whiskey commented, “Wood is an amazing, sustainable and environmentally friendly material that plays a huge role in developing the flavour and character of a whiskey as it matures. We wanted to ensure we gave something back to our local environment. As such we were delighted when the Tree Council of Ireland partnered with us to allow us to do our part in helping the replanting of our native Irish forests.”

GSN’s Remarks: Remarkable. The Chinkapin cask aging imparts a wonderfully nutty, and slightly spicy patina over the sweet barley distillate. A warm, round, open and welcoming expression. Notes of banana, ginger, buttered toast, sweet tobacco leaf, and light baking spices add a festiveness to the affair. Long finish, with the semi-dessert flavors percolating for several minutes. A lovely Irish in the top five we’ve ever enjoyed. Irish whiskey fans, do yourself a favor and buy a bottle or two as soon as you can. You’ll return to it again and again. GSN Rating: A++

For more information go to: Teeling Whiskey

#TeelingWhiskey #WondersofWood