GSN Review: Shaker 33 Update

We previously reviewed the Shaker 33 when it was a Kickstarter five years ago. We thought we should revisit it and see how it stands up in 2020.

The shaker itself seems sturdier and the seal fits exceptionally well. We had no issues with getting the cap or strainer to twist and lock and visa-versa. The strainer seems to have a better design as well with a variety of differing hole sizes that make pouring quite easy.

The unit is solid, sturdy and built for nearly a lifetime of use. We like that it is lightweight, sizable (so you can batch up to four cocktails), and frosted. This allows for a bit of show when shaking, but also has a classier look than a clear shaker would. Overall, we still recommend this shaker, which will work equally well for a beginner or a professional.

GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Shaker 33

GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Summer 2020 (July-September)

Hey, we’ve all got extra time to read during quarantine. Why not pick up some new cocktail, spirit, beer, sake or libatious books to pass the time? Here are some books coming out this summer that are sure to wet your whistle.

The Pikes Cocktail Book: Rock ‘n’ roll cocktails from one of the world’s most iconic hotels by Dawn Hindle Ryland (Peters & Small) June 30, 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.

The Curious Bartender’s Guide to Malt, Bourbon & Rye Whiskies by Tristan Stephenson (Ryland Peters & Small) July 28, 2020 A captivating introduction to the world of fine whiskies, brought to you by bestselling author, restaurateur, bar-owner, and world-class drinks connoisseur Tristan Stephenson.Tristan explores the origins of whiskey, from the extraordinary Chinese distillation pioneers well over 2,000 years ago to the discovery of the medicinal “aqua vitae” (water of life), through to the emergence of what we know as whiskey. Explore the magic of malting, the development of flavor, and the astonishing barrel-ageing process as you learn about how whiskey is made. After that, you might choose to make the most of Tristan’s bar skills with some inspirational house-blends and whiskey-based cocktails. This fascinating, entertaining, and comprehensive book is sure to appeal to aficionados and novices alike.

The Curious Bartender’s Guide to Rum by Tristan Stephenson (Ryland Peters & Small) August 25, 2020 Discover why rum is fast becoming the hottest spirit in the world right now with this essential companion from bestselling author and master mixologist Tristan Stephenson. The Curious Bartender’s Guide to Rum explores rum’s remarkable history from its humble origins to its status as life-blood of the Royal Navy and its love affair with Cuba. Discover its darker past, with tales of devils, pirates, and its reputation as the revolutionary spirit. Now this fabled drink is in the midst of another revolution, transforming from uninspiring grog to premium product. Barrel-aged dark varieties are leading the charge and poised to attract existing Bourbon fans while the cocktail Renaissance that began in the early 2000s has recently expanded to include tiki and non-tiki rum cocktails. Is this entertaining primer you’ll learn how rum is made, from the science of sugar cane and molasses to distillation and unique ageing techniques. Next, Tristan’s unrivaled mixology skills will help you master jazzed-up versions of the Mai Tai and Mojito, perfect a Planter’s Punch, and keep you on trend with Brazil’s famous Caipirinha and Batida cocktails, made with rum’s sister spirit, cachaça. Let the rum revolution begin!

Beautiful Booze: Stylish Cocktails to Make at Home by Natalie Migliarini and James Stevenson (Countryman Press) August 25, 2020 Shaken, stirred, clarified, layered, floral, and more, these gorgeous cocktails taste as good as they look
Cocktail alchemy―the sweet, sour, bitter, booze―is magic in the hands of self-taught mixologist Natalie Migliarini. Sure, her story is the classic “girl-quits-job-to-pursue-passion-(cocktails)-starts-website-(Beautiful Booze)-leads-to-book-(yes, this one).” But these beautiful drinks are the result of a real immersion in the craft of building cocktails. Based on a solid foundation of research and feel for cocktail trends, Beautiful Booze is an instant classic. Readers can prepare these drinks at home, using available ingredients and simple tools. Great cocktails elevate every occasion from ordinary to amazing. Here you’ll find recipes for mainstays like the Bloody Mary Bar Cart, as well as old-made-new cocktails like a Créme de la Colada, Limoncello Daiquiri, and Lavender Fizz. Vibrant photographs make reading this book almost as much fun as mixing its drinks.

Distilled in Vermont: A History & Guide with Cocktail Recipes by Chris Maggiolo and Jeremy Elliott (The History Press) September 7, 2020 Vermont is known as a center of contemporary craft food and beverage production, and the distilled spirits industry is no exception. From a handful of ambitious entrepreneurs a decade ago, the state now boasts more than fifteen distilleries and growing. But getting a product from concept to glass involves more than just trial and error. The ingredients, production processes and marketing techniques are as varied as the distilleries themselves. From SILO Distillery in Windsor to Stonecutter Spirits in Middlebury, each producer reveals its stories as it recounts the trials and tribulations of distilling in the Green Mountain State. Join author and distiller Chris Maggiolo as he reveals the unique and complex journey of taking a product idea to market in a state known for its innovation.

WitchCraft Cocktails: 70 Seasonal Drinks Infused with Magic & Ritual by Julia Halina Hadas (Adams Media) September 8, 2020 A stunning collection of 70 witchcraft-inspired drink recipes with inspiration for creating your very own spirited cocktails to benefit your practice. For centuries, witches have been using spirits of all forms during rituals and celebrations. Now, today’s modern witch can learn how to make the perfect powerful witchcraft cocktail. All you need is a delicious and easy recipe, a bottle of your favorite booze, and a desire to get witchy. In WitchCraft Cocktails, you will find 70 recipes for alcohol-based beverages that are sure to help you in your craft. Designed for healing, spells, offerings, and just plain fun, there’s nothing these boozy drinks can’t do! Need a love potion to help woo your lover? Maybe a tincture to heal a cold? Or perhaps you’re looking for the perfect witch-themed signature cocktail to serve at your next gathering. Regardless of what you’re looking for, this book has you covered and includes tips on how to use your witch’s brew to further your practice—and have fun!

The United States of Cocktails: Recipes, Tales, and Traditions from All 50 States (and the District of Columbia) by Brian Bartels and Brad Thomas Parsons (Abrams Image) September 8, 2020 An exploration of the beloved cocktails, spirits, and bars that define each state in America The United States of Cocktails is a celebration of the cocktail history of every state in America. After traveling around this great nation and sampling many of the drinks on offer, cocktail authority Brian Bartels serves up a book that is equal parts recipe collection, travelogue, historical miscellany, bartender’s manual, and guide to bar culture today—with bar and drink recommendations that are sure to come in handy whether or not you are crossing state lines. Delving into the colorful stories behind the creation of drinks we love, this book includes more than 100 recipes alongside spirited analysis of each state’s unique contributions to cocktail culture. Filled with colorful illustrations, The United States of Cocktails is an opinionated and distinctively designed love letter to the spirits, bars, and people who have created and consumed the iconic drinks that inspire us and satisfy our thirst.

The Sazerac by Tim McNally (LSU Press) September 16, 2020 The Sazerac ranks among the most famous drinks of a city famous for its drinking, but where did the classic New Orleans cocktail originate? Drinks journalist Tim McNally dives into the history of the Sazerac in a lively chronicle that ranges from a family-owned Cognac company in France, to an ingredient created by a New Orleans pharmacist, to a spirit once banned on three continents, to the renowned Playboy Clubs of the 1970s, which helped revitalize the enjoyment of complex, elegant mixed drinks. Among the many significant developments in the life of the Sazerac was its designation in 2008 as the official cocktail of the city of New Orleans. When the Sazerac made its first appearance in the mid-1800s, the very concept of a cocktail (though not the word) was still new. Bartenders did not spend much time combining multiple ingredients for a single drink, and when they did, they felt no impulse to give it a name. But the Sazerac was unique. It combined a specific Cognac named Sazerac de Forge et Fils with Creole pharmacist Antoine Peychaud’s much-beloved brand of bitters, plus a sugar cube―all of which were stirred and strained into a drink glass coated with absinthe. The making of the drink provided the comfort and enjoyment of a social ritual, and the Sazerac became both a delicious beverage in its own right and a marker of the city’s unique alcohol culture. With a spirited blend of history, cocktail trivia, and recipes, The Sazerac uncovers the true story of one of New Orleans’s most long-lived and iconic beverages.

The New Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Think Like a Master Mixologist, with 500 Recipes by Dale DeGroff (Clarkson Potter; Revised edition) September 22, 2020 The renowned cocktail bible, fully revised and updated by the legendary bartender who set off the cocktail craze–featuring over 100 brand-new recipes, all-new photography, and an up-to-date history of the cocktail. The Craft of the Cocktail was the first real cookbook for cocktails when it first published in 2002, and it has had a remarkable influence on bartending. With this new edition, the original gets a delicious update, bringing expertise from Dale DeGroff, the father of craft cocktails, to the modern bar for a new generation of cocktail enthusiasts. The beloved histories, culture, tips, and tricks are back but all are newly revised, and DeGroff’s favorite liquor recommendations are included so you know which gin or bourbon will mix just right.

The Pocket Guide to Whisky: Featuring the Whisky Tube Map (Birlinn Pocket Guides) by Blair Bowman and Nikki Welch (Birlinn) September 23, 2020 The ever-expanding world of whisky can be a daunting one, with a deluge of new brands, distilleries and literature on the subject making it all but impossible for the amateur whisky drinker to find their way. Blair Bowman provides a compact and accessible, easy-to-use guide to help budding whisky enthusiasts on their way. The Pocket Guide to Whisky explores every kind of whisky, from the well-known Scottish giants of Glenlivet, to the exotic Japanese Hibiki, and includes the ever-growing and hotly debated blended whiskies too! This little volume will tell you everything you need to know, from what to look for in whisky and what to avoid, to getting the best value for money to the perfect accompaniments to your dram and the ideal whisky for every occasion.

The United States of Craft Beer, Updated Edition: A Guide to the Best Craft Breweries Across America by Jess Lebow (Adams Media; Updated edition) August 25, 2020 Discover the best craft beer breweries in America as you travel state by state with this fun and updated craft beer roadmap. From California to Maine, there are tons of great craft breweries to explore! In The United States of Craft Beer, beer expert and home-brewer Jess Lebow invites you along this state-by-state exploration of America’s greatest breweries. From Jack’s Abby Brewing in Massachusetts to Maui Brewing Company in Hawaii, this guide takes you to fifty of the best breweries in the country and samples more than fifty-handcrafted beers. Learn everything you want to know about the people who make the nation’s best-tasting beers and the innovative brewing methods that help create the perfect batch. Now you can experience the ultimate bar crawl, as you sample and savor every delicious sip the United States has to offer!

The Shaken and the Stirred: The Year’s Work in Cocktail Culture by Stephen Schneider and Craig N. Owens (Indiana University Press) September 1, 2020 Over the past decade, the popularity of cocktails has returned with gusto. Amateur and professional mixologists alike have set about recovering not just the craft of the cocktail, but also its history, philosophy, and culture. The Shaken and the Stirred features essays written by distillers, bartenders and amateur mixologists, as well as scholars, all examining the so-called ‘Cocktail Revival’ and cocktail culture. Why has the cocktail returned with such force? Why has the cocktail always acted as a cultural indicator of class, race, sexuality and politics in both the real and the fictional world? Why has the cocktail revival produced a host of professional organizations, blogs, and conferences devoted to examining and reviving both the drinks and habits of these earlier cultures?

Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain Banks (Century) September 1, 2020 In an absorbing voyage as interesting to non-drinkers as to true whisky connoisseurs, sci-fi and literary author Iain Banks explores the rich heritage of Scottish whisky, from the most famous distilleries to the most obscure operations. Whisky is more than a drink: it’s a culture that binds together people, places, and products far across Scotland’s rugged terrain. Switching from cars to ferries to bicycles, Banks criss-crosses his homeland, weaving an engrossing narrative full of fascinating traditions, peculiar people, and the downright bizarre places he encounters on his journey down Scotland’s great golden road.

 

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Beer: A Complete Guide to the Best Beers from Around the World by Bill Yenne (Crestline Books) September 8, 2020 Take the beer tour of your dreams! Join author Bill Yenne on a whirlwind tour of the crafty world of beer. After a quick stop to learn about the anatomy of beer, including ingredients, styles, and even museums, The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Beer guides you through all the regions of the world and their famous brews. Inside, find maps, charts, illustrations, and photographs showcasing favorite brews of the areas. Featuring beer from regions like: Belgium, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Netherlands, USA, Caribbean, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and even the Far East. A section at the back gives you an overview of beer glassware, so you’ll know which glass to use when sampling each regional brew. Grab a pint and delve into this sweeping tour of one of the world’s favorite beverages!

The Japanese Sake Bible: Everything You Need to Know About Great Sake – With Tasting Notes and Scores for 100 Top Brands by Brian Ashcraft, Takashi Eguchi and Richie Hawtin (Tuttle Publishing) September 15, 2020 The Japanese Sake Bible is the ultimate book about Japan’s national drink—from its history and culture to its ingredients and production methods, how to choose the best sake and recommended food pairings. Author Brian Ashcraft—the author of the popular guide Japanese Whisky—has put together lively commentaries based on dozens of interviews with master brewers and sake experts across Japan. His fascinating stories are accompanied by over 300 full-color photographs, maps and drawings. A unique feature of this book is that it includes reviews, tasting notes, scores and a buying guide for over 100 of the leading sake brands, written by respected Japanese sake expert Takashi Eguchi. These include all the sakes most commonly found outside Japan. Each sake has a photo of the label, tasting notes, a score and recommended food pairings. Information on the leading brewers is provided, and the sakes are grouped by flavor profile. Japanese sake is brewed worldwide today and is winning over many converts. A foreword by sake connoisseur and world-renowned DJ Richie Hawtin addresses the spread in global popularity and the shared mission of making this specialty beverage as accessible as possible. With the help of this book you’ll soon become an expert in selecting, serving and enjoying Japan’s favorite drink.

Another Round: 200 Trivia Questions for Cocktail Nerds Game by Editors of PUNCH (Clarkson Potter) September 22, 2020 Shake up your next cocktail hour with these 200 multiple-choice trivia cards that cover drink-making pop culture, history and lore, recipes and techniques, and travel. What’s the one drink mentioned by name in The Great Gatsby? Which faux pas do bartenders consider bad luck when garnishing a drink with olives? Prove your cocktail expertise with this trivia game written by the editors of PUNCH, an award-winning online magazine covering wine, beer, spirits, and cocktails. An enclosed booklet offers instructions, tips for bartending, and 10 unique cocktail recipes. Whether you’re hosting a proper trivia night and playing competitively or setting the cards out as conversation starters, Another Round is the ultimate ice-breaker.

Spirited: Cocktails from around the World by Adrienne Stillman and Andy Sewell (Phaidon Press) September 30, 2020 A major global celebration of classic and cutting-edge cocktail recipes that define the way we drink, wherever we are.Spirited is the most important book of cocktails from around the world ― researched and collected for the home drink maker. It spotlights hundreds of cocktail recipes from the past 500 years and 60 countries, ranging from renowned iconic classics to lesser-known regional specialties to influential bespoke drinks ― each reflecting the era, location, or bar that inspired it. Contemporary design and a wealth of commissioned photographs create an authoritative, accessible global guide that perfectly distills the cocktail’s distinctive essence. The perfect book for celebrating!

GSN Review: Natural Blonde Bloody Mary Mix

John Aquino is a native Charlestonian and the creative founder of Natural Blonde Bloody Mary. After traveling around the country as a mixologist, he decided to return to Charleston to continue his bartending career. John has made quite a name for himself, winning 5-Bacardi Mojito Challenges and competing in the Cabana Cachaca world finals in Rio de Janeiro. He was one of the 14 mixologists asked to compete in the “Bloody Mary Throw Down” at the Official Bridge Run After Party of 2012, and it was there that he debuted the prototype of what was to become Natural Blonde Bloody Mary. He wanted to create something new, light, and refreshing; remembering a Yellow Tomato Gazpacho he once had at Hank’s Seafood, made by Executive Chef Frank McMahon, and using that as his inspiration, he created his unique mix.

After winning the Bloody Mary competition, and after many requests for his recipe, Aquino decided to create a marketable mix for retail sale in local stores. Since his mix uses fresh tomatoes (as opposed to canned or even paste, as the majority of retail mixes do), he had to experiment with multiple types of yellow tomatoes to find the right balance of acidity, water content, and flavor. After two years of testing, he finally reached his favorites when he came upon the Valencia Gold and Carolina Gold Tomatoes, which he sources locally. Wanting to add to the flavor, with the help of some chef friends, he created a green hot sauce as well as a sweet-hot pickle juice, and with a few more ingredients, a final mix was created.

GSN’s Thoughts: Everything tastes fresh, fresh, fresh, as if made minutes before. Initially tart with bright vinegar and tangy with juicy tomato, the mix goes through several stages of flavor. Nicely balanced, the jalapeno adds a friendly warmth to the blend. Lastly, some of the spices come through adding a lot of top notes and savory characteristics. As if all of that weren’t enough, we absolutely love the color of the tomato puree. This is a mix that joyfully pops out of the glass. Having tasted dozens of Bloody Mary mixes over the years, this one is our favorite. Highly recommended!
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Natural Blonde Bloody Mary

GSN Review: Royalty Spirits CBD Mixers

Chaunci King of Royalty Spirits, the first African American woman to own a spirits company in the Pacific Northwest, recently debuted three non-alcoholic one-of-a-kind cocktail mixers infused with CBD, for teas, iced coffees, mocktails and more with full mobile bartending services.

There are three flavors Exotic Berry, Sweet & Sour, and Vanilla & Ginger. Each is infused with 25mg of CBD.

In September 2020, the company will host the first ever Women In Business Expo with registered women vendors from across the county, introducing women-owned brands to new opportunities, enhancing consumer awareness and igniting a movement towards women-owned companies. The Women In Business Expo will not only celebrate the bounty of women creators, but also facilitate long-lasting business relationships.

GSN’s Thoughts: The vanilla-ginger has a slight sour tang, and a soft ginger heat. The vanilla comes through nicely and has a lasting smoothness. The sweet and sour has a citrus bite that is mouthwatering and reminds me of lemon-lime candies. Lastly, the exotic berry has a lot of fresh strawberry character. Tasty and summery. Each of these will work really well in a gin, vodka, blanco tequila or an interesting addition to a sparkling wine.
GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: Royalty Spirits

GSN Review: Bee K’onscious Artisanal Honey

When choosing a honey for your next Bee’s Knees, Penicillin or Pearl Diver cocktail, why settle for something typically overprocessed and lacking character? Instead, consider Denver-based startup Bee K’onscious Artisanal Honey. Each jar of single-origin honey is sourced from the finest beekeepers around the world, with a QR-coded label that allows customers to scan and trace the honey to the single beekeeper who produced it. The “hive to home” honey brand has partnered with TagOne, a provider of blockchain technology, to provide customers the ability to ensure the source of the jar is producing 100% pure, unfiltered, unpasteurized, non-blended honey.

“Many people enjoy high quality honey, not only as an alternative sweetener, but for its natural antibacterial qualities and disease-fighting antioxidants. What consumers don’t know is that many mass-produced supermarket honeys are cooked and, thereby, lose their nutritional value,” says Bee K’onscious owner Matt Kollmorgen. “Every jar of Bee K’onscious is raw, unadulterated and uncooked and retains all the good stuff your body needs to fight disease.”

Bee K’onscious currently offers four varietals: Brazilian Cipo Uva, Brazilian Marmeleiro Prateado, Montana Clover and a much sought-after California Sage. The selection of unique honeys will continue to expand as the Bee K’onscious team continues to search the globe for beekeepers that have integrated best practices. Bee K’onscious only partners with beekeepers that maintain ethical and sustainable beekeeping practices. The company is also committed to packaging their honey in glass jars and shipping to customers using only recyclable, corrugated packaging.

GSN was sent a jar of the sage honey for review.

GSN’s Thoughts: A lot of warm and smooth flavor. Not too sweet, but rather just right in terms of intensity. It has a nice light, golden color and pours easily from the jar. At the tail end of the tasting, there is a hint of the sage flavor which makes for a slight herbal tinge. We appreciated being able to scan the QR-code and find a map of where the honey comes from. It makes everything seem more personable. A very nice honey, and recommended! GSN Rating: A+

To order jars for your bar, go to: BKS Honey

GSN Review: Tempo Sparkling Matcha & CBD Beverage

Tempo recently announced that the brand’s CBD-infused sparkling matcha beverages are now available for online purchase nationwide. For every purchase of Tempo, the brand is donating 10 percent of sales to the University of Chicago Medicine COVID-19 Response Fund supporting the health care workers providing essential care, as well as the adult and pediatric patients and families who are affected.
“Our goal has always been to help hard-working people stay focused and energized during the day, and with the current pandemic unfolding across the world, we’re turning our attention to the people on the front lines,” said Ryan Crane, CEO of Tempo.
Tempo’s sparkling matcha beverage is naturally caffeinated and infused with 25 milligrams of CBD, with only 15 calories and 2 grams of sugar. Tempo builds upon its select cannabinoid extracts with a crafted blend of functional foods and herbs that provide complementary nutritional benefits and support the body’s natural functions.
“We’re living in a time of high stress and uncertainty, and as an antidote to that, people are looking for healthier ways to manage that stress and maintain a positive and productive outlook throughout the day,” continued Crane. “Our new line of CBD-infused sparkling teas was created to help you reset and re-balance in the middle of a frenzied day.”

Sparkling Matcha w/ Raspberry & Lime
Visual: Cloudy peach.
Nose: Bright and fruity red raspberry.
Taste: Very light and akin to an unsweetened flavored sparkling tea. The berry flavor is natural, although I don’t detect any lime. Sometimes CDB has a bitter, grassy flavor, but that’s not the case here. If anything, there is a tannic aftertaste from the matcha on the back of the palate.
Finish: The raspberry goes on the longest, with a pleasant fruitiness.
Overall: Very easy to drink, refreshing and energizing. If you need a boost to get you through the day and remain mellow at the same time, this is a good choice.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Tempo Bev

GSN Review: Fire Dept. Spirit Infused Coffees

Fire Dept. Coffee is a new online coffee brand with a mission to serve the community by giving back to some of your hardest working neighbors, firefighters. When we’re in trouble or in danger, firefighters and other first responders race to our side without a second wasted and without a second thought.

Launched by Luke Schneider, a Navy veteran turned firefighter-paramedic himself, the original idea for Fire Dept. Coffee was to provide fire houses with better tasting coffee, and donate 10% of the sales back to charity. So, he began roasting and blending beans in Chicago, along with his wife—not only to keep firefighters happy, but give back as well.

10% of net proceeds from every order goes towards supporting ill or injured firefighters and first responders. The Fire Dept. Coffee Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization supporting groups that help first responders who are injured on the job, mentally or physically, or who are facing other serious health challenges.

Fire Dept. currently offers four different spirit infused coffees, which were were more than happy to try.

The Irish Whiskey Infused has an immediately recognizable taste, and is one of the strongest coffees in flavor. This makes for a great faux Irish Coffee for those looking for an alcohol free choice after dinner.

The Rum Infused coffee is our personal favorite among the four styles. Slightly sweet, but with a lovely richness that marries well with the beans.

The Bourbon Infused was surprisingly less forward in spirit character than expected. Softer than the Irish Whiskey beans. The flavor was still there, but in a more subtle way. Tasty, but shy.

Lastly, the Tequila Infused coffee was quite interesting and perhaps the most unusual of the beans. The tequila flavor has a somewhat fruity flavor which I found myself really enjoying. The taste was again not as intense as I would have suspected, but this works to its favor. I could easily see this working in a Mexican coffee with some spiced cocoa added for sweetness.

Overall, these are all excellent, unusual and well roasted. I’d recommend each one, not only for your morning eye-opener, but as a great gift to be shared with any spirit & coffee lover.

GSN Rating: A-

To order go to: Fire Dept Coffee

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: Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew Coffee

Cafe Agave is a blend of 100% Arabica, Colombian cold brewed coffee, wine, agave sweetener, real dairy cream and other natural flavors. Each single-serve can is equivalent to a ½ cup of brewed coffee and one glass of wine.

Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew is packaged into sleek 6.3 oz cans available in both singles and 4-packs. Cafe Agave can be sold anywhere beer and wine are sold, as opposed to spirit-based RTD beverages. Available in four flavors:

  • Espresso Shot – blended espresso brew made from dark roast Arabica coffee, real dairy cream and agave sweetener
  • Caffe Mocha – flavors of mocha and pure cocoa blended with dark roast Arabica coffee
  • Salted Caramel – classic flavors of natural sea salt and caramel blended with dark roast Arabica coffee
  • Vanilla Cinnamon – vanilla and toasted cinnamon blended with dark roast Arabica coffee

“Cafe Agave is a ready to drink coffee cocktail for all occasions. And unlike the emerging lower abv coffee-beer segment, our spiked coffee is great by itself or mixed. At 12.5% abv, it can be served straight up, as an espresso martini or as the base of many great cocktails,” said Ami-Lynn Bakshi, Co-Founder of Cafe Agave.

Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew Coffee (12.5% ABV)
Each of these flavors works well in spite of my initial reservations about mixing wine and coffee. The wine adds a touch of fruity sweetness, but doesn’t overwhelm the palate. These are shelf stable, but taste best over ice rather than straight out of the can. My personal favorites are the Caffe Mocha and the Salted Caramel, but each has its merits. Ideally, these make for a great boozy brunch treat, since the caffeine will give you a lift, while the wine relaxes you and adds to the fun.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Cafe Agave

GSN Alert: Fingerlakes Distilleries Set to Make Hand Sanitizer

Last night I spoke with Chris Carlsson, blogger at Spirits Review and he shared that a project is in the works to get thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer sent out to area hospitals. At least three distilleries in the area including Black Button in Rochester, Last Shot in Skaneateles and Apple Country Spirits in Williamson are distilling high proof spirits to donate toward the project. Chris is looking for a donation of plastic bottles and use of a bottling line to finish the project. If you have any ideas, you can contact him through his website.

He also shared a simple recipe that you can make at home courtesy of Alan Katz from New York Distilling:

Boozy Hand Sanitizer
2 parts gin
1 part aloe vera

GSN Review: The Bitter Truth Bogart’s Bitters

The Bitter Truth – Bogart’s Bitters is a meticulously crafted, true to the original, replica of the world’s first mentioned bitters in cocktails. Famed bartender Jerry Thomas, author of the first book on cocktails dating back to 1862 is synonymous with the first golden age of the cocktail and Bogart’s Bitters were the bitters of choice for him. Bottled in the original, iconic “lady leg“ bottle with its authentic labeling, it revives the taste of bartending’s early years when aromatic bitters were the defining ingredient for a refined alcoholic refreshment – the cocktail.

The bitters ship in a special 350ml edition in a gift box with recipe booklet.

The Bitter Truth Bogart’s Bitters (42.10% ABV)
Visual: Nearly opaque dark brown.
Nose: Herbal, root-like, intense scent-bomb of dark funk. There’s a peculiar mincemeat pie quality to these bitters unlike any others (out of well over 100+) that we’ve reviewed.
Taste: Dry, tannic, medium bitter quality with a strong and supportive alcohol base. There is a cooling, almost numbing effect that creeps to the back of the palate.
Finish: Long and quite memorable. One sip lasts quite awhile, not that you’ll necessarily be sipping this.
Overall: Firstly, can I say that this is the classiest bitters bottle I have ever beheld? Next, these are excellent bitters even if they were not the most accurate replication of a long gone 19th century cocktail ingredient. Kudos to Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck for making these available to the bartending community once again. Truly a gem.
GSN Rating: A+++

For more information go to: The Bitter Truth

GSN Review: Ohza Mimosa

Ohza Mimosas, the ready-to-drink, reinvented mimosa in a can has officially launched online ordering and shipping to 29 US states. Ohza was founded by 25-year-old Ryan Ayotte after attempting to mix mimosas with his friends on a tippy boat off of Cape Cod, MA. From making a mess on the high seas, to lugging bottles, cartons, and cups to the beach – he knew there had to be an easier way.

Redefining the ready-to-drink beverage, Ohza’s gluten free mimosas have the calorie count of a hard seltzer, but the flavor of a classic cocktail – all while containing real juice, no added sugar, no artificial flavors, a low ABV for all day sip-ability, and a clean nutrition label. Crafted with Brut sparkling wine from the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York and real orange juice, one 6-pack of Ohzas is equal to nine mimosa flutes, or two bottles of bubbly and half a juice carton.

After a successful launch with cans in 2019, restaurant and bar managers loved the taste and convenience of Ohza’s mimosas, but some preferred not to serve a canned cocktail.  “Canned cocktails really call for an environment where the portability factor is more crucial, like ballparks or concert venues,” said Ryan Ayotte, the 25-year-old founder behind the brand, “so when we got feedback from restaurants and bars saying they’d order Ohza immediately if it was in a keg – we did it.”

Ohza’s goal with draft is to increase serving speed, reduce waste, and provide an opportunity for unique menu specials and “bottomless brunch” options. Plus, with a single sixth barrel-sized keg serving up 110 flutes worth of mimosas, Ohza is far more profitable than mixing them behind the bar. The kegs use standard American D couplers, allowing bars to plug directly into standard beer tap systems. Kegs are available starting February 24th, 2020 in MA, RI, CT, ME, NH, and VT. To order, contact Ohza at info@ohzamimosas.com.

Ohza Mimosa (5% ABV) Mimosas are a great way to start your Sunday morning brunch, but sometimes you can’t finish that 750ml bottle of sparkling wine before it goes flat. A can of Ohza Mimosa is a perfect way for two people to share a glass each and celebrate. We were definitely surprised by both the balance between the wine and the orange juice, plus the relatively light sweetness of what is typically pretty heavy on the fructose. A first taste is very wine forward with a dry edge, and the juice just bringing a hint of sweetness. After the second sip, it becomes apparent that this is the perfect ratio to keep things elegant and perfect for pairing with a classic French breakfast. You could easily have two glasses and not feel as though you’d just imbibed boozy orange soda. All in all, these are great to bring to a party, or keep in your fridge for that last celebratory morning before Monday arrives. GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Ohza Mimosas

GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Winter 2020 (January-March)

The days are getting longer, but winter is far from over. So, here are a handful of new books to be on the lookout for this season.

Measurements: A Proportional Cocktail Guide by Nick Barclay (NHP Publishing) January 14, 2020 Whatever the season, it is always a good idea to sit back and relax with a cocktail. Graphic designer Nick Barclay has created a stunning anthology of cocktails. This book combines classic recipes with new drink ideas into clear and defined sections. After working on a bar industry magazine and being introduced to the world of cocktails, Nick realized that people love drinking cocktails but not many people know what goes into making them. The design for each cocktail breaks down the ingredients and measures and proportions these out. In this book we see a Nick’s signature style – clean, bold, yet minimal graphical design to showcase the drinks in an alternative and quirky way. The aesthetic for this book is well-designed and the book is the perfect accompaniment for any recipe book collection, art book collection or to have fun with your friends in making some new cocktails.

Mixing Cosmopolitans: The Pouring Tales by Daniel Staub (Alambic Books) January 27, 2020 Daniel Staub, the creative mind behind several bars and speakeasies in Zurich and author of the bartending blog ‘The Pouring Tales’ is on a mission to find and portray the most innovative and passionate bartenders from all across the globe – the true artists of modern mixology. Over the past few years, he has visited countless bars all around the world and formed friendships with many of the talented individuals who work there. Resulting from his extensive travels and research into the global nightlife scene, Mixing Cosmopolitans is a travel diary, a bar guide, and a recipe book all in one. Yet in the spotlight, first and foremost, are the people who breathe new, often unconventional, life into the art of hospitality and who in this book share their own personal path to finding their passion in bartending. Presenting twenty-one personal, beautifully illustrated portraits of bartenders and their bars along with the recipes for their signature cocktails, Mixing Cosmopolitans offers a compelling look into a constantly evolving scene and art form.

How to Drink Like a Writer: Recipes for the Cocktails and Libations that Inspired 100 Literary Greats by Apollo Publishers (Apollo Publishers) February 4, 2020 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.

Camp Cocktails: Easy, Fun, and Delicious Drinks for the Great Outdoors by Emily Vikre (Harvard Common Press) February 25, 2020 Cabin trips, hikes, patio parties, camping adventures—however you enjoy the great outdoors, it should be fun and easy. And so should the drinks! Simplicity, though, doesn’t mean you’re limited to a bottle and a mixer. With Camp Cocktails, you’ll have a variety of options for simple and tasty drinks that are ready to go wherever you go. Cool off after a hot day spent hiking through the woods with a Flask Boulevardier or the Northwoods Sidecar. Break in the campsite with a Grilled Orange Cobbler or the ultimate beer-based cocktail. Bundling up around the fire? Warm up with the Salted Nutella Hot Chocolate, the Penicillin Toddy, or a spiked hot apple cider. If you’re ready to go a step further, there’s even a chapter for using foraged ingredients. Every recipe comes with easy-to-follow instructions, and many feature expert bartender tips and hacks. A variety of occasions are all here, from stargazing to boating. And to round it all out, there’s a whole chapter dedicated to foraging/found ingredients, and integrating nature into your favorite cocktails.

Hollywood Cocktails: Over 95 Recipes Celebrating Films from Paramount Pictures by Cider Mill Press (Cider Mill Press) February 25, 2020 Paramount Pictures, the oldest Hollywood studio in operation, has released countless award-winning and box office-busting movies that have spanned the age of cinema, from the medium’s silent advent to talkies, color, and CGI blockbusters. Hollywood Cocktails features more than 100 cocktails inspired by over 100 iconic films, all released by Paramount Pictures. This gorgeously illustrated collection of star power is filled with film facts and detailed recipes that guarantee you’ll never again be wondering what to drink or watch.

Drinking French: The Iconic Cocktails, Apéritifs, and Café Traditions of France, with 160 Recipes by David Lebovitz (Ten Speed Press) March 3, 2020 Bestselling cookbook author, memoirist, and popular blogger David Lebovitz delves into the drinking culture of France in Drinking French. This beautifully photographed collection features 160 recipes for everything from coffee, hot chocolate, and tea to Kir and regional apéritifs, classic and modern cocktails from the hottest Paris bars, and creative infusions using fresh fruit and French liqueurs. And because the French can’t imagine drinking without having something to eat alongside, David includes crispy, salty snacks to serve with your concoctions. Each recipe is accompanied by David’s witty and informative stories about the ins and outs of life in France, as well as photographs taken on location in Paris and beyond. Whether you have a trip to France booked and want to know what and where to drink, or just want to infuse your next get-together with a little French flair, this rich and revealing guide will make you the toast of the town.

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: Prohibition Centennial Edition: From the 1920 Pick-Me-Up to the Zombie and Beyond – 150+ Rediscovered Recipes … With a New Introduction and 66 New Recipes by Ted Haigh (Quarry Books) March 3, 2020 In this new, expanded edition of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails—issued for the 100th Anniversary of National Prohibition—historian, expert, and drink aficionado Dr. Cocktail vastly widens his examination of 1920–1933, the thirteen-year period when women got the Vote, child labor was abolished and, ironically, saw the cocktail elevated, prolonged, and expanded, spreading this signature American drink form in tasty ripples around the world. All this, plus more drink recipes! Nothing is so desired as the thing denied. Prohibition made people want cocktails very, very badly. Because “synthetic” liquor was the easiest to make, it was also the easiest to get. Problematically, it tasted awful and wasn’t exactly good for you either. Cocktails with their mélange of flavors were a made-to-order method for disguising the bad hooch. Along with 100+ rare and delicious authentic recipes gathered from old cocktail manuals and scraps of paper never published, this illustrated trip down mixology lane tells the fascinating origins of the cocktail and how it evolved over time, including its rising popularity during Prohibition. Vintage illustrations and advertisements, photos of old bottles and cocktail artifacts, and fascinating Prohibition-era photographs bring the tippling past back to vivid life.

Drinking with Chickens: Free-Range Cocktails for the Happiest Hour by Kate E. Richards (Running Press Adult) March 24, 2020 It’s drinks, it’s chickens: It’s the cocktail book you didn’t know you needed! To add some spice to your happy hour, shake a tail feather and drink with chickens, or just wish you could! Author Kate Richards serves up cocktails made for Instagram with the spoils of her Southern California garden, chicken friends by her side. 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.

GSN Holiday Gift Suggestion: Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2020

Jim Murray has handed an unprecedented triple crown to Kentucky whiskey in the latest edition of his best-selling annual Whiskey Bible. Upon unveiling the 2020 “World Whisky of the Year” Awards, the renowned spirits writer and industry expert has created another first by giving all top three accolades for the finest new drams on earth to the same whiskey company, New Orleans-based Sazerac.

Top prize of “World Whisky of the Year” goes to the 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon from the Barton 1792 distillery, a whiskey Jim Murray describes as “melodious, mysterious and slightly exotic” with a nose of “near-perfect proportions” and with an “unfaltering” finish when tasted.

The runners-up, from 1,250 new expressions tasted throughout the world by Jim Murray this year, are both Buffalo Trace brands: bourbon William Larue Weller 125.7 proof, the latest version of last year’s victor, and Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye 127.2 proof.

“There will be eyebrows raised and claims of favoritism which, of course, is never the case with the Whiskey Bible: I call it exactly as I see it,” stated Jim Murray. “Once I knew the top three were from the same company, I spent two extra days running through my top ten whiskies once more…and the results came out exactly the same!

“For the 1792 Distillery to win ‘World Whisky of the Year’ is extraordinary because when I first went there some 25 years ago, the then-owners had no interest in high-end whiskey. The oldest they produced was a 6-year-old, which I thought was one of the most complex on the market but still under cooked. I implored them then to bring out something much older.

“It is wonderful that my gut instinct of 25 years ago has been vindicated under the ownership of Sazerac, who have turned a potentially great distillery into something truly magnificent.”

This year’s release of the best-selling Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible is also notable in that it’s the first time ever that Dram Good Books, Ltd. (the book’s publisher) has released a North American version of the book. This unique edition has greater emphasis on the American and Canadian sections, highlighting the region’s whiskies in the forefront of the 384-page guide.

Jim Murray added: “It’s as though Kentucky knew we were producing this first North American edition. But we had strictly kept it under wraps. If Kentucky was ever going to steal the show, this was the year to do it. And, even by their own their high standards, they’ve exceeded themselves and duly obliged. Considering the quality of the whiskies they were up against worldwide, that’s quite amazing, really.”

“To not only be named ‘World Whisky of the Year ‘but also to have our whiskeys named second and third finest is astonishing,” remarked Mark Brown, President of Sazerac. “We could not be happier nor more motivated to continue to strive for perfection in the American whiskeys we make.”

Sectional winners include: the Taiwanese Nantou Distillery Omar Cask Strength Bourbon Cask (Single Cask of the Year); Glen Grant Aged 18 Years Rare Edition (Scotch); Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare (Blended Scotch); Penderyn Single Cask no.M75-32 (European); Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt (Japanese).

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2020 (SRP $19.99) contains tasting notes for almost 5,000 whiskies and is available for purchase now on www.whiskybible.com and can be found at U.S. book retailers