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Archive for the ‘Bar Tools’ Category

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The farm to table movement resulted from consumer desire to eat fresh and local produce. Now a Connecticut based Craft Juicery is bring the concept to cocktails with the country’s first cold-pressed, fresh juice bar mixers — RIPE Bar Juice.

Created by Michel Boissy who grew tired of “day-glo” Margarita mixers, RIPE Bar Juices are redefining consumer expectations of what cocktail mixers can be. The process is simple – start with the best fruits and vegetables, use the absolute minimum in processing, and offer a juice that surpasses all others in freshness, taste, and nutrition.

“Until now, mixers have been limited to juices from concentrate, loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives and who knows what else,” said Michel Boissy, Founder, FreshBev.  “Shelf stable may be fine for soup, but we believe in sticking to our principles. So when you want to serve cocktails that are truly fresh—again and again—they have to be made with RIPE Bar Juice.”

At the RIPE Craft Juicery in New Haven, Connecticut, every step in the making of fresh juices is managed to ensure the time from grower to refrigerator is mere days as opposed to weeks. All juice extraction is done under one roof and never above 45°. Within minutes of being extracted, the raw juices are bottled and submitted to high-pressure technology — making them safe and preserving nearly 100% of the color, flavor, aroma, and nutrition.

“You only get out what you put in — so we start with nothing less than the best,” said Boissy.  “We source non–GMO fruits and vegetables straight from farms we know. Our produce is picked at the peak of ripeness, and then we lock in that freshness. So when you pick up a bottle of RIP Bar Juice, you know it was made in the past few weeks, not months.”

RIPE Bar Juices are available nationally through Whole Foods and select regional grocery chains in 750 ml bottles (SRP: $9.99).  For a list of store availability by state, click here. Bar Juices may also be ordered online and are shipped via 2-day express in custom refrigerated coolers to preserve the freshness.

Agave Margarita Very well done, with a fresh squeezed lime flavor that has just enough tang. Not cloyingly sweet either.  A perfect balance between the agave and citrus. Try this with a blanco or silver tequila to get the full benefit of flavor. GSN Says: Recommended.

San Marzano Bloody Mary Having tried dozens of Bloody Mary mixes over the years, this one stands out.  A great fresh tomato flavor, nothing like canned, coupled with a great spice blend and just the right amount of citrus.  The mouthfeel is chewy, not watery and the heat is mild, but noticeable. GSN Says: Recommended.

Agave Mojito It’s hard to pull off a mint flavor without making it taste like chewing gum.  This comes close to a fresh mojito, but struggles a bit with the mint which lasts much longer on the palate than a fresh Mojito would.  Still, if you’re craving one and there is no mint in sight, this will do once in a while. GSN Says: Good in a pinch.

Bajan Punch Interestingly, one of the ingredients is Angostura bitters.  Without it, this would be pretty much a typical fruity tropical flavored sour mix.  But, the bitters lifts this up higher and gives it a bit of pizzazz. You can use a white or gold rum in here and everyone will be pleased.  GSN Says: Good for beginning tiki enthusiasts.

Classic Cosmopolitan This is the weakest of the bunch, mainly because one of the key ingredients is missing: Cointreau.  RIPE replaces it with orange juice and it doesn’t serve it well.  It is more like a cranberry-lime mixer than a true Cosmopolitan. GSN Says: Not classy.

RIPE also offers two other flavors not sent for review: Classic Lemon Sour & Cocktail Cranberry.

For more information go to: Drink Ripe

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GSN Review: HyperChiller

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The HyperChiller is the invention of Nick Anusbigian, an iced coffee lover, who tried making ice coffee at home with cold brew and pour over ice recipes. After deciding neither of these methods were convenient or easy, he went back to spending time and money everyday buying ice coffee from the coffee shop.

As Nick said, “I came up with the HyperChiller when my wife, Julie, got me a Keurig for Christmas in 2014. This came out of my frustration, which I know many of you share, of trying to make great iced coffee quickly at home.”

After experimenting with prototypes and developing a detailed specification he took to Kickstarter to fund the production of the first run of HyperChiller. Since then the product has taken off, with tens of thousands of HyperChiller sold around the world and with coverage in Oprah Magazine, Ask Men, Maxim, Uncrate and other press outlets.

But, this is not just for coffee, it can also chill wine, spirits and cocktails very quickly.  Just be aware that if you do make a cocktail, you’ll have to add water to account for the usual 20% dilution when shaking or stirring a drink with ice.  Unless of course, you like really string cocktails.

HyperChiller Review: We tried this around the office this week with coffee, wine and whiskey.  It works as advertised and does it well.  The set up of the system is super easy and needs only to be done once  month to keep things fresh.  The only drawback is that it takes 12 hours to bring the Hyperchiller to the desired temperature. So, if using with freshly brewed coffee, you’re only going to get one serving every 12 hours.  That being said, it works much better with room temperature liquids like wine and spirits, liqueurs, or juices. Just pop it back in the freezer for a few hours and it is ready to go again. The design is well done and it’s a handy item to have on hand in the freezer if you are an iced coffee fanatic or if someone stops by unexpectedly for a glass of wine and you don’t happen to have a bottle chilling in the refrigerator. GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: HyperChiller

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sd2891-my-book-club-drinks-tin-sign-reading-book-store-humor-bar-garage-funnyAnother new year, and time for new resolutions! One of mine is to do more reading and learn about the fascinating worlds of spirits and mixology.  Here are some GSN recommended titles to be on the lookout for in the next few months.

610bdum3xml-_sx311_bo1204203200_Empire of Booze by Henry Jeffreys (Random House UK) Empire of Booze is a loose history of Britain, cleverly and humorously told through its contributions to alcohol, charting the rise of British power from its small corner of Europe to global preeminence. Each chapter features a historical period and a drink—tracing its origins and examining its impact on British culture, literature, science, philosophy and religion. Learn about how the champagne we drink today is owed to British technology for making sparkling wine; rum and India Pale Ale were developed so they could withstand the long, hot journeys to Britain’s burgeoning overseas empire; whisky became the drink of choice for weary empire builders far from home; and how without alcohol, the pre-20th century global economy could not function. With drink recommendations offered throughout, you can booze while you read along. So raise a glass to Britain, the Empire of Booze, whose alcoholic innovations are some of its greatest, lasting gifts to the world.

51kg36gdxlDistilled in Oregon: A History & Guide with Cocktail Recipes by Scott Stursa (The History Press) Early Oregon fur traders concocted a type of distilled beverage known as “Blue Ruin,” used in commerce with local Native Americans. Drawn by the abundant summer harvests of the Willamette Valley, distillers put down roots in the nineteenth century. Because of Oregon’s early sunset on legal liquor production in 1916–four years before national Prohibition–hundreds of illicit stills popped up across the state. Residents of Portland remained well supplied, thanks to the infamous efforts of Mayor George Baker. The failed national experiment ended in 1933, and Hood River Distillers resurrected the sensible enterprise of turning surplus fruit into brandy in 1934. Thanks in part to the renowned Clear Creek Distillery triggering a craft distilling movement in 1985, the state now boasts seventy distilleries and counting. Author Scott Stursa leads a journey through the history of distilling in the Beaver State.

51sygfxonl-_sx373_bo1204203200_New Orleans Cocktails: Over 100 Drinks from the Sultry Streets and Balconies of the Big Easy by Sarah Baird (Cider Mill Press) Mix up more than 100 of the Big Easy’s most celebrated and innovative cocktails, and immerse yourself in the culture and history of the South’s most famous city with this gorgeous new drink recipe collection. New Orleans has a cocktail culture that goes way back—and for the first time ever, you can be transported to the heart of this trendsetting city with more than 100 creative and artful cocktail recipes. Tour the best bars in NOLA and around the world. Evocative photos, scene-setting bar descriptions, mixologist insights, party planning themes, and shopping tips make this the perfect guide to the art of New Orleans drinking. With gorgeous, full-color photography throughout, and cocktails inspired by Crescent City writers, musicians, and revolutionaries, New Orleans Cocktails features unique libations shared by the best bartenders in the Big Easy, as well as creative new twists on old classics.

515zqmazusl-_sx389_bo1204203200_Hennessy: A Toast to the World’s Preeminent Spirit by Glenn O’Brien & Jean-Philippe Delhomme (Rizzoli) Lavishly illustrated, this is the first book on the world’s most famous cognac producer. Considered a benchmark of excellence, its blends have become icons of refinement and luxury. In Pass the Henny, renowned writer Glenn O’Brien invites the reader to discover the history of cognac. The highly entertaining text, filled with extraordinary events and O’Brien’s irresistible humor, is married with classic cocktail recipes and evocative imagery that conveys the lifestyle of the Hennessy connoisseur through the ages, including the Mad Men of the 1960s and today’s stars of hip-hop. Featuring contributions from such cultural luminaries as Shepard Fairey, Nas, Futura, Fab 5 Freddy, and Todd Selby as well as never-before-seen images from the Hennessy archive, Pass the Henny is an informative and engaging account of the world’s most revered brandy and a book that belongs on every cognac enthusiast’s shelf.

51dmhdjqhkl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Where Bartenders Drink by Adrienne Stillman (Phaidon Press) Where Bartenders Drink is THE insider’s guide. The best 300 expert drink-makers share their secrets – 750 spots spread across 60 countries – revealing where they go for a drink throughout the world when they’re off-duty. Venues range from late-night establishments and legendary hotel bars to cozy neighborhood ‘locals’ – and in some surprising locales. The 750 expert recommendations come with insightful reviews, key information, specially commissioned maps, and an easy-to-navigate geographical organization. It’s the only guide you need to ensure that you get the best drinks in the most memorable global locations.

41csjvfotel-_sx357_bo1204203200_Rum: The Manual by Dave Broom (Mitchell Beazley) This is a book about how to drink rum of all kinds. It’s about classic rums and new-generation rums, about rhum agricole and about premium aged rums, about rums from all over the world. It’s about rum enjoyed with cola and ginger beer. About the best rum for a classic daiquiri. About rum cocktails that ooze style and personality. Above all, it’s about enjoying your rum in all kinds of ways. The days of rum being seen as a minor spirit are over. The category has been reborn in recent years with developments such as the rise of premium aged rums and spiced rums. The range of rums available has widened dramatically, with tiki bars in every major city globally. Add in cachaça – Brazil’s native cane spirit – and you have a hugely popular distillate. So there’s no surprise that the premium rum market is growing at an astonishing rate – from 23 percent per annum in the US to 74 percent per annum in France, for example. The mission of this book is to help drinkers appreciate this complex spirit, find the style they like and discover how this versatile spirit can best be enjoyed. It will help you to understand your rum – how it’s produced (whether from molasses, cane syrup or cane juice) and whether it’s dry, sweet, fresh or oaky. More than 100 different rums are featured and analysed, from rich, sweet mellow Guyana rums to the vegetal peppery rums of Martinique or Guadeloupe and contemporary spiced rums. Dave Broom provides a description and graded tasting notes for each brand, allowing you to create the perfect mix every time. Finally, a selection of classic and contemporary cocktails shows just how wonderfully versatile this spirit is.

51u4cjh748l-_sx328_bo1204203200_Pittsburgh Drinks: A History of Cocktails, Nightlife & Bartending Tradition by Cody McDevitt & Sean Enright (The History Press) Pittsburgh’s drinking culture is a story of its people: vibrant, hardworking and innovative. During Prohibition, the Hill District became a center of jazz, speakeasies and creative cocktails. In the following decades, a group of Cuban bartenders brought the nightlife of Havana to a robust café culture along Diamond Street. Disco clubs gripped the city in the 1970s, and a music-centered nightlife began to grow in Oakland with such clubs as the Electric Banana. Today, pioneering mixologists are forging a new and exciting bar revival in the South Side and throughout the city. Pull up a stool and join Cody McDevitt and Sean Enright as they trace the history of Steel City drinking, along with a host of delicious cocktail recipes.

51dbmlcapdlAbsinthe: The Exquisite Elixir by Betina J. Wittels & T.A. Breaux (Fulcrum Publishing) Take an intimate look into the contemporary world of absinthe. International in scope, Absinthe: The Exquisite Elixir is a visually rich journey into an alluring subculture. Filled with color reproductions of classic and current lithographs, posters, cartoons, as well as photos of antiques, glassware, and other tools of the absinthe drinker, this new and comprehensive guide explains and illustrates the history, culture, and mystique of the drink known as the Green Fairy. The authors provide insights into the controversy and effects of the Green Fairy through the stories of famous connoisseurs, including Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, and Pablo Picasso. In addition to a rich history, this detailed new guide includes recipes, reviews of existing Absinthe brands, and absinthe’s contemporary culture and ritual. Confirmed absinthe drinkers, neophytes, the curious, and collectors will all find this book equally intriguing and seductive.

 

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optiwine pocket DecanterMade in France, Optiwine® uses what they term “nano-aeration technology” to improve the flavor of virtually any wine in only 10 minutes. Visually appealing, elegant and quite portable, the Optiwine Pocket Decanter is made out of clear and sturdy materials with the same texture and transparency as crystal glass, without its fragility. 

There are three versions available singly or as a set.  Each is specific to a type of wine and age.

optiwine pocket Decanter

– Optiwiner 4: For red wine from 0 to 4 years old.

– Optiwiner 6 : For red wine from 4 to 10 years old as well as white and rosé wine from 0 to 2 years old.

– Optiwiner 8 : For red wine over 10 years old as well as White and rosé wine over 2 years old.

We tried the various decanters using three bottles of the same brand of wine for each of the three Optiwine decanters by tasting:

1) the wine unaerated directly from the bottle

2) aerated with the Optiwine

3) and finally with our office Vinturi aerator

Both the Optiwine and the Vinturi smoothed out the rough edges of the wines (which were in the 415-$30 per bottle range).  The Vinturi seemed to work best, and certainly quicker than the Optiwine.  But, the Optiwine also brought out some of the subtleties which had been lost by the noisy aeration of the Vinturi.  One definite improvement in aeration that the Optiwine provides is silence.  You just sit back for ten minutes and it does its magic on the wine before it ever leaves the bottle.

If nothing else, it makes for an interesting conversation piece for your next wine party and they are easy carried in a pocket if you are going out to a fine restaurant.

GSN Rating: B+

Optiwine® is a company located in Cadaujac, in the Gironde, created by Michael Paetzold – a winemaker, vineyard owner and specialist in winemaking techniques with 25 years’ experience – and Olivier Caste, a wine lover and enthusiast.

For more information go to: Optiwine

 

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I first heard of Oliver Pluff & Co. this past August when I attended BevCon in Charleston, South Carolina.  They were one of the local vendors who handed out free samples with a smile. Even though the temperatures outside were in the mid 80’s and humid, I never turn down an opportunity to try something new even if it’s a hot beverage.  So, I had a small cup of their Hot Toddy.  Just what I needed, actually.  It was the perfect way to begin my day.

The company followed up with me a few weeks later and sent me full size samples of their two hot toddy products, two of their mulling spice kits and a canister of their Bohea tea.  I had no idea what Bohea was, so I did a little research.

The word Bohea (BOO-hee) refers to tea in general during the early days of the colonies, being a blend of Pekoe, Orange Pekoe and Souchong.  Unbeknownst to me, the city of Charleston hosted their own version of a revolutionary “tea party” before the one that took place in Boston in December 1773.  Rather than dumping the imported tea into the Atlantic, they simply impounded it and then sold it to raise monies to finance the revolution.  A far better solution in my opinion.

The owner of Oliver Pluff & Co. is not one Mr. Pluff, but rather Mr. Kyle Brown.  He began his company in 2009.  Based on his research and interest in producing authentic colonial style tea blends, he made inroads with the Colonial Williamsburg organization in Virginia who were the first major buyer of his wares. Today, you can find his teas, toddies, wassails and myriad products across the United States at over 200 historic locales.

I believe that tea based cocktails and tea/spice infused spirits will be the next big thing to come along in the mixology world.  And why not?  We have alcoholic energy drinks. Why not go back to our colonial heritage to rediscover something that will be revolutionary in the 21st century?

We tried all of the items sent to us in the GSN offices this past week and loved them.  The products are beautifully packaged in tins (which can double as pencil holders or loose change canisters), and have a historical, vibrant quality.  The Hot Toddies (Orange Clove & Lemon Ginger) work great with any spirit, especially gin and blended Scotch; while the mulling spice kits can be used with cider or wine and become the base for a cocktail using Applejack/Calvados or grape brandy.  The Bohea tea works well on its own, but can also infuse a spirit like vodka or gin to give it an unusual twist. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Oliver Pluff

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Ernest Hemingway drinking and writing at the same time. Now that’s talent!

It’s hard to believe that autumn is here already.  Time to curl up with a good book, a great drink and a thirst for knowledge. Here are some GSN recommended books to be on the lookout for this fall.

51phkdc7uxl-_ac_us160_Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey by Fred Minnick (Voyageur Press) – Bourbon is not just alcohol — this amber-colored drink is deeply ingrained in American culture and tangled in American history. From the early days of raw corn liquor to the myriad distilleries that have proliferated around the country today, bourbon has come to symbolize America. In Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey, award-winning whiskey author Fred Minnick traces bourbon’s entire history, from the 1700s with Irish, Scottish, and French settlers setting up stills and making distilled spirits in the New World through today’s booming resurgence. He also lays out in expert detail the critical role this spirit has played throughout the cultural and even political history of the nation — from Congress passing whiskey-protection laws to consumers standing in long lines just for a glimpse of a rare bottle of Pappy Van Winkle — complemented by more than 100 illustrations and photos. And most importantly, Minnick explores the mystery of who most likely created the sweet corn liquor we now know as bourbon. He studies the men who’ve been championed as its inventors over time — from Daniel Boone’s cousin to Baptist minister Elijah Craig — and, based on new research and never-before-seen documentation, answers the question of who deserves the credit.

51keylluful-_ac_us160_Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons (Ten Speed Press) – The European tradition of making bittersweet liqueurs–called amari in Italian–has been around for centuries. But it is only recently that these herbaceous digestifs have moved from the dusty back bar to center stage in the United States, and become a key ingredient on cocktail lists in the country’s best bars and restaurants. Lucky for us, today there is a dizzying range of amaro available—from familiar favorites like Averna and Fernet-Branca, to the growing category of regional, American-made amaro. Amaro is the first book to demystify this ever-expanding, bittersweet world, and a must-have for any home cocktail enthusiast or industry professional. Starting with a rip-roaring tour of bars, cafés, and distilleries in Italy, amaro’s spiritual home, Brad Thomas Parsons—author of the James Beard and IACP Award–winner Bitters—will open your eyes to the rich history and vibrant culture of amaro today. With more than 100 recipes for amaro-centric cocktails, DIY amaro, and even amaro-spiked desserts, you’ll be living (and drinking) la dolce vita.

51imjwjtbfl-_ac_us160_Whisky Japan: The Essential Guide to the World’s Most Exotic Whisky by Dominic Roskrow (Kodansha USA) – Japanese whisky is finally getting the international recognition it deserves. Originally created to emulate the malts of Scotland, Japanese whiskies now hold a distinct and unique place among other world-class spirits. Yet, despite having a history going back nearly a century, and winning many prestigious awards in recent years (including Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskies Awards in 2016, 2013, 2011, and 2010, and The Whisky Bible’s World Whisky of the Year in 2013), Japanese whiskies have remained enigmatic and exotic. UntiI now. In WHISKY JAPAN, the most comprehensive book on Japanese whisky ever available in English, renowned expert Dominic Roskrow reveals what makes Japanese whisky so special and sought-after by whisky connoisseurs everywhere. He introduces the companies that make Japanese whisky, and offers detailed portraits of these distilleries, explaining their complex production processes, traditions, and the new innovations that have allowed them to take on and surpass the competition. The reader is carried along on a journey to the very heart of Japanese whisky making, with extensive tasting notes for all the leading expressions, a special selection of rare Japanese treasures, profile interviews with key personalities, and over 500 beautiful photographs and illustrations. Here are the whisky makers, blenders, independent bottlers, retailers, collectors, bloggers, and bartenders. There is a lively guide to the best bars around the world in which to taste Japanese whisky, a section on whisky cocktails and food pairings, and useful travel tips on how to get to the distilleries, where to stay, what to eat, and what else there is to do in the area.

51u4ke37fzl-_ac_us160_The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes by Lou Bustamante (Weldon Owen) – Learn everything you need to know to craft the perfect cocktail—or two, or three…but who’s counting? Spirits writer and expert Lou Bustamante, in partnership with the United States Bartenders’ Guild, collects the best cocktail recipes, techniques, and histories in this must-have volume that has a place in every home bar. From worldwide classics to creative new combinations and packed with expert tips from bartenders across the globe, The Complete Cocktail Manual will help you stock your bar, impress your friends, and throw one hell of a party.

41qt1gqqc2l-_ac_us160_Regarding Cocktails by Sasha Petraske & Georgette Moger-Petraske (Phaidon Press) – Regarding Cocktails is the only book from the late Sasha Petraske, the legendary bartender who changed cocktail culture with his speakeasy-style bar Milk & Honey. Here are 85 cocktail recipes from his repertoire—the beloved classics and modern variations—with stories from the bartenders he personally trained. Ingredients, measurements, and preparations are beautifully illustrated so that readers can make professional cocktails at home. Sasha’s advice for keeping the home bar, as well as his musings, are collected here to inspire a new generation of bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts.

41unu560xvl-_ac_us160_The Canon Cocktail Book: Recipes from the Award-Winning Bar by Jamie Boudreau & James O. Fraioli (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) – Home to the Western Hemisphere’s largest spirit collection, Seattle bar Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium has achieved unprecedented, worldwide acclaim. Named Best Bar in America by Esquire, Canon received Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards for World’s Best Drinks Selection (2013) and World’s Best Spirits Selection (2015), and Drinks International included it on their prestigious World’s 50 Best Bars list. In his debut, legendary bartender and Canon founder Jamie Boudreau offers 100 cocktail recipes ranging from riffs on the classics, like the Cobbler’s Dream and Corpse Reviver, to their lineup of original house drinks, such as the Truffled Old Fashioned and the Banksy Sour. In addition to tips, recipes, and formulas for top-notch cocktails, syrups, and infusions, Boudreau breaks down the fundamentals and challenges of opening and running a bar—from business plans to menu creation. The Canon Cocktail Book is poised to be an essential drinks manual for both the at-home cocktail enthusiast and bar industry professional.

imagesTequila Cocktails by Brian Van Flandern (Assouline) – Tequila Cocktails is the fourth in Brian Van Flandern’s series of award-winning books, centering on Casamigos Tequila by George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman. This volume shines a spotlight on the title beverage: the smoothest, best-tasting tequila from their master distiller in Jalisco, Mexico, with a taste so good that adding salt or lime would be gilding the lily. The Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo varieties are truly the quintessence of Mexico’s favorite beverage. This volume includes sixty delectable recipes.

511dorr5kxl-_ac_us160_Grog: A Bottled History of Australia’s First 30 Years by Tom Gilling (Hachette Australia) – The marines on the First Fleet refused to sail without it. Convicts risked their necks to get hold of it. Rum built a hospital and sparked a revolution, made fortunes and ruined lives. In a society with few luxuries, liquor was power. It played a crucial role, not just in the lives of individuals like James Squire – the London chicken thief who became Australia’s first brewer – but in the transformation of a starving penal outpost into a prosperous trading port. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary sources, Grog offers an intoxicating look at the first decades of European settlement and explores the origins of Australia’s fraught love affair with the hard stuff.

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5399967For the third incarnation of its seasonal limited-edition syrups, Cocktail & Sons is looking deep into the past this summer. Since the late 1600s, thirsty Americans have tried to beat the summer heat by sipping switchel, a sweet-tart-spicy syrup made from vinegar, ginger and a sweetener like sugar, molasses or maple syrup. It’s a delicious and refreshing beverage, but not one that’s terribly well-known today. “Switchel was originally most popular in the Northeast,” says Cocktail & Sons founder Max Messier. “But because summers in New Orleans are probably the most brutal you’ll ever find, it was an obvious choice for our summer syrup.”

For Cocktail & Sons Switchel Syrup, Messier lets a mix of fresh-cut ginger, lemon peels and sugar sit for a week to draw out the flavorful oils, then steeps the mixture with lemon balm and orange peel, adds apple cider vinegar and sweetens with honey. And that honey is something very special: It’s produced in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward by Capstone, a non-profit that turns blighted and vacant lots in the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged neighborhood into productive gardens, orchards and apiaries. (Part of the profits from every bottle of sold will go back to Capstone as well.)

The Switchel Syrup will only be sold at wholesale for use by bars but will be available for purchase online as well at a price of $14.95 for an 8-ounce bottle. Switchel Syrup joins Cocktail & Sons’ regular, year-round line of artisanal cocktail syrups, including Haymaker’s Punch, Spiced Demerara, Oleo Saccharum, Honeysuckle & Peppercorns and Mint & Lemon Verbena.

Cocktail & Sons Switchel Syrup: Nicely balanced and with a viscous mouthfeel.  Quite sweet and lemony (as it should be), but set off with tingling heat from the ginger, a funky sourness from the vinegar cider and a touch of mellow honey.  This switchel will work with just about any cocktail you can think of that calls for a citrus simple syrup.  We recommend trying this in your next tiki or faux-tropical libation.  You won’t go wrong.  Great stuff!  GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Cocktail and Sons

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