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According to the manufacturer, “H2 is the smallest bio-available molecule in the universe, representing 90% of living matter. When infused in water it provides multiple benefits, including increased energy and antioxidant activity. HydroTab puts the power of molecular hydrogen in your pocket.”

Dark Corner Distillery located in Greenville, SC and HydroTab recently teamed up to make the Hydro-Gin Fizz cocktail. Featuring the distillery’s Jocassee Gin, Dark Corner has created the first-ever molecular hydrogen cocktail with its Hydro-Gin Fizz cocktail. Utilizing the new hydrogen tablet delivery system via HydroTab (as not to water down the drink), cocktail creator Harrison Han has created a playful twist off the classic Gin Fizz.

Hydrotab claims that, “benefits of molecular hydrogen can include: increased energy, improved mental clarity and even reducing the side-effects of hangovers, to name a few.”

Watch the video below to learn more.

GSN Review: We tried a tab in a glass of room temperature water to see what happened. The tabs are a dark purple and as they effervesce, there is a cloudy film that floats on top of the glass similar to an Airborne tablet. You can stir it into the glass, but there is a film that’s left on the glass.  I can see why the cocktail recipe calls for an egg white, as it hides this film.

The flavor is mildly alkaline and tart, but not off-putting. This makes it ideal for any kind of classic sour cocktail.  We made the recipe below and found it was fine.

Overall, I’m not sure about the health benefits, but it does make for an interesting experiment.  And today, that’s always something to look out for in the world of mixology.

GSN Rating: B-

For more information go to: Hydrotab


The Hydro-Gin Fizz:

  • 2 oz Jocassee Gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 oz club soda
  • 2 HydroTab Tablets

Pour club soda in to glass and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously for 10 or more seconds (important for emulsifying egg white). Add 3 or 4 ice cubes and shake further. Add to glass of club soda, drop in tablets and enjoy.

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Time flies when you’re having cocktails!  Now that spring is here, GSN has some recommendations for reading, learning and crafting spirited libations for the season.  Cheers!

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The Cocktail Guy: Infusions, Distillations and Innovative Combinations by Rich Woods Pavilion (April 1, 2018) At the forefront of the mixology revolution, Rich has been garnering fans and accolades through his creative re-inventions of classic cocktails and exciting new drinks, all served with his signature innovative flair. In this, his first book, Rich unlocks the secrets of making creative cocktails at home, from mastering classic techniques, to flavoring alcohol through simple infusions and more complex distillations and making your own home-made bitters from herbs, spices, fruits, and roots. At the center of Rich’s creative process is an understanding and exploration of flavor; from the way it unravels on the palate to new and unique combinations that are designed to surprise and delight. Including 70 drink recipes, and key information on tools and techniques and infusing and distilling to imbue your drinks with maximum flavor, this is the ultimate guide to modern cocktailing for the home bartender.

Prosecco Made Me Do It: 60 Seriously Sparkling Cocktails by Amy Zavatto Andrews McMeel Publishing (April 3, 2018) Prosecco is no longer just a sparkling wine; it’s a cultural phenomenon—a party in a glass. From food, wine, and spirits maven Amy Zavatto comes this beautifully illustrated introduction to a whole world of bubbly beverages. Prosecco Made Me Do It contains sixty delicious drink recipes paired with bright, fun, original artwork. Also included: a brief history of prosecco, purchasing and serving tips, and a guide to cordials, syrups, and liqueurs. From the classic Bellini and fresh fruit mimosa to a wide range of sparkling cocktails, the recipes in Prosecco Made Me Do It are light, fizzy, and fun.

Drinking Distilled: A User’s Manual by Jeffrey Morgenthaler Ten Speed Press (April 10, 2018) An opinionated, illustrated guide for cocktail beginners, covering the basics of spirits plus making and drinking cocktails, written by celebrated craft cocktail bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. This easy-reading, colorful introduction for cocktail beginners, with approximately 100 succinct lessons on drinking culture, spirits, and cocktail making, is delivered in the pithy, wry style Morgenthaler is known for in his instructional videos and writing for beverage publications. Novices will learn how to order a drink, how to drink with the boss, how to drink at the airport, and more. Twelve perfect starter recipes–ranging from a Dry Gin Martini to a Batched Old-Fashioned (perfect for the flask)–plus thirty original illustrations round out this distillation for new enthusiasts.

Texas Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of More Than 100 Recipes Inspired by the Lone Star State by Nico Martini Cider Mill Press (May 8, 2018) Texas’ unique cocktail culture is on the rise once more — and you can discover it for yourself with over 100 creative and artful cocktail recipes. Tour the best bars across the state and around the world. Evocative photos, scene-setting descriptions, mixologist insights, party planning themes and shopping tips make this the perfect guide to the art of drinking, Texas-style. With gorgeous, full-color photography throughout, and cocktails inspired by Lone Star state artists, revolutionaries, and cowboys, Texas Cocktails features innovative libations shared by the best bartenders in the state, as well as creative new twists on old classics.

Ginspiration: The Best Distilleries, Infusions, and Cocktails by Klaus St. Rainer DK (May 15, 2018) Gin aficionados, let your ima-gin-ation run wild! Curiously quirky yet comprehensive, this is your ultimate guide to choosing and infusing your favorite spirit. Discover 45 of the top craft gins from the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and enjoy an in-depth profile of the smallest commercial distiller of its kind. Soon you’ll be familiar with botanical flavors and craft ingredients like raspberry syrup, hibiscus sugar, and smoky ice cubes. Once you know your coupe from your collins, peruse and prepare a gorgeous array of cocktail recipes straight from the mind of international mixologist Klaus St. Rainer. Whether you choose a classic Martini or a Royal Hibiscus Gin Fizz, Ginspiration will put you in the spirit to shake up something sensational.

Session Cocktails: Low-Alcohol Drinks for Any Occasion by Drew Lazor &‎ Editors of PUNCH Ten Speed Press (May 22, 2018) Bartenders are increasingly moving away from strong, spirituous cocktails toward a lighter canon of low-alcohol drinks that you can drink all day. These drinks provide an occasion for more leisurely socializing through their “sessionability”–you can have a few at a time without having to go down for a nap. Driven by a renewed interest in aperitifs and the increasing availability of liqueurs and amari in the U.S., these drinks provide new creative opportunities for professional bartenders and home hosts alike. Session Cocktails explores this trend through the history and evolution of low-proof drinks, tips on building a low-ABV (alcohol by volume) bar, and more than 60 recipes appropriate for occasions ranging from brunch to the end of the night, contributed by some of the industry’s best-known mixologists including Will Elliot, Natasha David, Dale DeGroff, and Leo Robitschek. In addition to drinks like the Mermaid Parade (Aperol, raspberry liqueur, grapefruit juice, and egg white), the Soft Shock (fino sherry, gin, lime, and mint), and Far East Side (sake, elderflower, tequila, and lemon), the book also features low-proof versions of your favorite classic cocktails.

The New Rum: A Modern Guide to the Spirit of the Americas by Bryce T. Bauer Countryman Press (June 5, 2018) Rum, traditionally relegated to cloying cocktails or tropical- themed novelty drinks, is undergoing a global renaissance. In bars and distilleries across the world, rum is being defined as a dynamic, complex, and versatile drink. New to the scene of connoisseurship, rum is a spirit of possibilities, inviting imaginative bartenders and mixologists to leave their marks on this burgeoning movement. In The New Rum, award- winning drinks author Bryce T. Bauer charts the historical and cultural journey of the spirit of the Americas from its origins in the Caribbean, to its long- held status as a cheap vacation drink, to today’s inspiring craft revival. This rum-spiked travelogue also includes a producer- focused drinks guide, covering dozens of the world’s most innovative and iconic producers, making everything from Martinique rhum agricole to long-aged sippers from Barbados and the Dominican Republic.

The Ultimate Guide to Beer Cocktails: 50 Creative Recipes for Combining Beer and Booze by Jon & Lindsay Yeager Skyhorse Publishing (June 5, 2018) Written by Jon and Lindsay Yeager, the renowned husband-and-wife mixologist duo of the Tennessee cocktail creative PourTaste, this book provides a variety of innovative and experimental recipes for mixing beers and spirits together (yes, you read that right) so you can join in on the imaginative new trend of “beertails.” The experts at PourTaste, with their years of training and dedication to the art of mixology, teach readers how to combine the beauty (and bubbles) of beer and the spirit of spirits to create refreshing new additions to any bartender’s repertoire. Included through this book are lush full-color photographs and step-by-step recipes to help educate readers on how to sling these delicious (and welcome) new members of the mixology scene. Beertails are easy to make, they taste great, and they accommodate any type of drinker―whether the preference is beer or liquor. Perfect for any type of celebration!

Finding Mezcal: A Journey into the Liquid Soul of Mexico, with 40 Cocktails by Ron Cooper & Chantal Martineau Ten Speed Press (June 12, 2018) In 1990, artist Ron Cooper was collaborating with craftspeople in Oaxaca, Mexico, when he found mezcal–or, as he likes to say, mezcal found him. This traditional spirit was virtually unknown in the United States at the time, and Cooper founded Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal in order to import it. Finding Mezcal recounts Cooper’s love affair with the spirit and the people who make it; its meteoric rise in popularity; and the delicate balance between sharing mezcal with the world and facilitating its preservation. Each chapter introduces a new mezcal, its producer, and its place of origin, while also covering mezcal production methods and the botany of the maguey (aka agave) plant, from which mezcal is distilled. Featuring 40 recipes developed for Del Maguey by chefs and bartenders from around the world, the book is copiously illustrated with photographs, as well as Cooper’s artwork and that of his friend Ken Price, who illustrated Del Maguey’s now-iconic labels.

Drinking Like Ladies: 75 modern cocktails from the world’s leading female bartenders; Includes toasts to extraordinary women in history by Misty Kalkofen & Kirsten Amann Quarry Books (June 19, 2018) Drinking Like Ladies is dedicated to preserving classic cocktails from pre-Prohibition and beyond, while celebrating the oft-forgotten ladies who sipped them. Acclaimed bartenders Kirsten Amann and Misty Kalkofen have scoured the globe collecting recipes–often from equally acclaimed female bartenders–pairing each tipple with a toast to a trailblazing lady. From gin to whiskey, tequila to punch, Drinking Like Ladies has a twist and a toast for every tippler, whatever your base spirit.

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“For Those Times When Your Mouth Wants to Rage, but Your Liver needs to Chill”.  Well, we all have those times, I guess.  I was intrigued by the idea of a pre-bottled non-alcoholic cocktail. Curious Elixirs are crafted in the Hudson River Valley, and combine organic juices, spices, herbs, roots, barks, and botanicals.  So, think of them as lightly carbonated, bittered juices.

Although they list three different flavors on their website, the only one currently available is Curious No. 1, an orange and herbal elixir. Curious No. 2 was a smoky and spicy mix that sold out quickly and will return later this year. Curious No. 3 is currently in development.

Because Curious is a handcrafted fresh beverage, make sure to keep them refrigerated and use them within 30 days.  Curious No. 1 is designed to have an orange wedge garnish.

We tried the sample we were sent in a few different ways.  Drinking it straight without dilution was way too intense.  This is designed to be served with ice.  So, we next filled a rocks glass with a large single cube and poured Curious No. 1 over the ice, stirred for a bit and garnished with the suggested orange wedge.  This was much better, but still lacked a balance.  So, lastly we filled a shaker with several cubes, poured in the elixir and shook briefly.  We then strained this into a coupe and added an orange wheel.  This we found gave a great presentation, along with the desired amount of dilution.

As for the flavor, it was spot on.  A great citrus base with a pronounced dark aromatic bitter quality.  Everything tasted natural, fresh and quite like a cocktail.  You could add a shot of just about any spirit to this and it would work just as well.  But, that of course, would defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?

GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Curious Elixirs

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In 2016, Stölzle Lausitz GmbH (a German glass manufacturer that makes, among other items, the Glencairn whisky glasses) and Romeo Hristov from Chisholm Trail Crafts started the development and testing of new glasses for tequila and mezcal inspired by the drinking jars [jarritos] for pulque and mezcal. The Riedel tequila glass (in its two versions, Ouverture and Vinum), the Waterford tequila glass (very similar to the Ouverture) and the Glencairn glass (apparently the preferred glass in USA for agave spirits tastings) among others, are all reasonably functional glasses. Why more glasses then?  Here’s what Romeo Hristov has to say:

“Stolzle and I were trying to bring a glass(es) that capture not only the flavor but also the historical roots of the drink ware for agave spirits. In much the same way as the agave spirits are unique for Mexico there is the “jarrito” [drinking jar], a unique drinking vessel for alcoholic beverages from agave (both fermented and distilled) which have been used for said beverages for over two thousand years. However, it’s not just the tradition behind it, but also its strikingly modern shape which quite closely resemble a stemless tulip snifter (especially in some of the Pre-Columbian pieces that come without handle) that called our attention. In brief, these glasses are a reinvention of this traditional drinking vessel with a modern design and functionality, and the general shape was intended to bring some of the unique feeling of rustic elegance of Mexico.”

We at the GSN offices have been trying these out for a week now and have to say that they are quite elegant, and serve their purpose well.  These are hand-blown glasses with heavy bases that rest well in the hand.  The shorter version has a slightly thicker rim which feels sturdy and somewhat more masculine, whereas the taller glass has a thinner, more feminine lip. The bowls are both deep and manage to catch and keep the olfactory sensation at a premium.  Having used the Glencairn and Riedel glasses for the past several years, these new agave spirit focused glasses offer a new and more focused experience to the tequila and mezcal aficionado.  Not only that, but they make a fine statement on the bar.  Salud!

GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Chisholm Trail Crafts

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It’s looking to be a long winter, so why not curl up with a good book?  GSN presents the latest round-up of new titles coming out in the next three months.  Learn some new tricks, brush up on your knowledge, and try a new cocktail or two!

The Pocket Guide to Whisky by Blair Bowman (Birlinn Pocket Guides) 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 feet in the industry. Following on from the bestselling Pocket Guide to Wine, Blair Bowman provides a compact and accessible, easy-to-use guide to help budding whisky enthusiasts on their way. Uniquely, 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. From novice to expert, this guide enables whisky lovers to find out more about the brands they already like and to make informed choices as they explore further.

Whiskies Galore: A Tour of Scotland’s Island Distilleries by Ian Buxton (Birlinn Ltd) Island whiskies have long held a fascination and a powerful emotional draw on whisky drinkers the world over. Their special combination of heritage, mystique, and remote location captures the imagination; their highly distinctive flavours are often imitated but seldom bettered. There have been few books on island whisky and none written in recent years. But Whiskies Galore is not your average whisky book. It is not merely a catalogue of distilleries, but a story of discovery and adventure. Join Ian Buxton on a personal journey across Scotland’s islands, where he learns to shoot with high explosives, ends up hurling his dinner into the sea, and comes face to face with a basking shark. Combining an expert’s knowledge of whisky with a travel writer’s fondness for anecdote, and with a keen description of place, he provides a special treat for all who love the islands’ magical drams.

The Connoisseur’s Guide to Worldwide Spirits: Selecting and Savoring Whiskey, Vodka, Scotch, Rum, Tequila . . . and Everything Else (An Expert’s Guide … and Savoring Every Spirit in the World) by Richard Carleton Hacker (Skyhorse Publishing) Everyone thinks that they know how to drink, but do you really know the difference between a scotch and a whiskey? How about a gin or vodka martini? Do you know whether Johnny Walker is a single malt or a scotch? Well now is the time to finally learn the definitive answers to these questions, and so many more that you’ve always had about your favorite drinks. In The Connoisseur’s Guide to Worldwide Drinking, world-class connoisseur and celebrated critic Richard Carleton Hacker provides you with all the information that you’ll ever need to properly enjoy and imbibe very type of spirit, and to start drinking alcohol the right way. Complete more than a 100 full color photographs, The Connoisseur’s Guide to Worldwide Drinking is a perfect buy for every alcohol consumer, whether novice or aficionado. With The Connoisseur’s Guide to Worldwide Drinking you’ll be the most knowledgeable drinker in every bar that you walk into and at every cocktail party that you attend.

What a Swell Party It Was!: Rediscovering Food & Drink from the Golden Age of the American Nightclub by Michael Turback (Skyhorse Publishing) Opening this book is like swinging open the doors to another time and place, when big city life was a unique mixture of innocence and sophistication, romance and formality. It spotlights twenty-five legendary clubs that thrived in the 1930s and ’40s, just as Jazz exploded into mainstream popularity and alcohol was no longer illegal to serve. Through these pages and recipes, enter past the proverbial velvet rope into establishments forever-immortalized, such as Chez Paree in Chicago, Café Trocadero in Hollywood, The Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles, The Blue Room in New Orleans, and New York City’s Cotton Club. In addition to including entrée, appetizer, dessert, and cocktail recipes from their original menus, each featured venue will be introduced with vivid anecdotes and history, narrated in a breezy style and illustrated with reproductions of vintage photos.

Sunny’s Nights: Lost and Found at a Bar on the Edge of the World by Tim Sultan (Random House Trade Paperbacks) The first time he saw Sunny’s Bar, in 1995, Tim Sultan was lost, thirsty for a drink, and intrigued by the single bar sign among the forlorn warehouses lining the Brooklyn waterfront. Inside, he found a dimly lit room crammed with maritime artifacts, a dozen well-seasoned drinkers, and, strangely, a projector playing a classic Martha Graham dance performance. Sultan knew he had stumbled upon someplace special. What he didn’t know was that he had just found his new home. Soon enough, Sultan has quit his office job to bar tend full-time for Sunny Balzano, the bar’s owner. A wild-haired Tony Bennett lookalike with a fondness for quoting Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett, Sunny is truly one of a kind. Born next to the saloon that has been in his family for one hundred years, Sunny has over the years partied with Andy Warhol, spent time in India at the feet of a guru, and painted abstract expressionist originals. But his masterpiece is the bar itself, a place where a sublime mix of artists, mobsters, honky-tonk musicians, neighborhood drunks, nuns, longshoremen, and assorted eccentrics rub elbows. Set against the backdrop of a rapidly transforming city, Sunny’s Nights is a loving and singular portrait of the dream experience we’re all searching for every time we walk into a bar, and an enchanting memoir of an unlikely and abiding friendship.

Julep: Southern Cocktails Refashioned by Alba Huerta & Marah Stets (Lorena Jones Books) Craft cocktail maven Alba Huerta succinctly tells the story of drinking in the South through themes such as “Trading with the Enemy,” “the Rural South,” “the Drinking Society,” “the Saltwater South,” and others that anchor the menu at her destination bar, Julep. With historical overviews, 15 bar snack recipes, and 65 bespoke cocktail recipes, ranging from the iconic Mint Julep (and variations such as Rye Julep and Sparkling Julep) to modern inventions like the Snakebit Sprout, Liquid Currency, and Hot July, Huerta recounts the tales and traditions that define drinking culture in the American South today. Approximately 80 evocative cocktail and location photographs convey the romance and style that distinguish Julep and serve to inspire beverage enthusiasts to relive Southern history via the bar cart.

Belgian Abbey Beers by Jef Van den Steen (Lannoo Publishers) Belgian beer expert Jef Van den Steen looks at the history and production of all thirty Belgian abbey beers. What are the remarkable stories about this authentic, labor-intensive product? In which way are Trappist beers different from the others? In Belgian Abbey Beers, Jef Van den Steen unravels the different stages in the production process of the beers and talks very passionately about the origin and development of the various breweries within the walls or under the license of the abbey. Each brewery is presented with practical information, different types of beer, and tips for tourists. Photographer Andrew Verschetze magnificently captures the beers from the barrel to the glass.

 

 

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Every home bar should have one of these!  So, for Day 21 of the Annual GSN Advent Gift Guide, we present the iSi SodaMaker Classic.

Enjoy the fresh and healthy fizz of sparkling water, carbonated juice drinks, wine spritzers, and handcrafted cocktails. The stainless steel mesh design has been recreated for today’s consumers with steady stream technology, a drip-less pouring spout, and a high performance bottle. Now there is an easy, convenient, and eco-friendly way to make and store carbonated water without electricity and counter-top clutter. The Classic SodaMaker is made in Austria, uses 1 recyclable iSi Soda (CO2) charger, is BPA free, and has a 2-year warranty.

To order, go to: iSi Store

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It’s Day 20 of the GSN Advent Gift Guide for 2017!  Some of our favorite Tiki mugs are today’s suggested gift item.  These are mold blown custom glass tiki mug handcrafted by Andrew Iannazzi in Cambridge, MA, USA. Each holds 13 fl. oz. and come in 5 different colors: Crystal, Lava Red, Blue Lagoon, Jungle Fog and Eclipse.

Andrew Iannazzi is interested in iconic design language and imagery. He draws from historical Italian and Scandinavian design as well as American popular imagery. Glassblowing is the perfect medium for the investigation of these issues. Iannazzi uses his objects to explore functionality, form, and iconic representations. Iannazzi uses off-hand blowing and traditional mold-blowing techniques. Iannazzi began glassblowing at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. He has since worked in numerous professional glassblowing facilities throughout the United States.

To order go to: Andrew Iannazzi

 

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