Archive for the ‘News’ Category

liqueurs2There are more liqueurs out there than you may realize.  A few of them are crucial for classic cocktails (triple sec), many are liquid desserts (Irish creams), and a few are totally unique (coca leaf liqueur).  What exactly is a liqueur, you ask?  Basically take a distilled spirit, add some sugar, and voila.  But that’s only part of the picture.  Often, liqueurs are flavored with fruit, citrus rind, berries, herbs, spices, and particularly in the case of Chartreuse the liqueur takes on the color of the ingredients.

Here are some of the many liqueurs that GSN has reviewed over the past several years.  Everything from ancho chili liqueur to bacon liqueur.  As an added bonus, I’ve included a video by the inestimable Robert “DrinkBoy” Hess which will show you how you can use as many liqueurs as possible in a single classic cocktail .

1921 Tequila Cream Liqueur

300 Joules Cream Liqueurs

Agwa Coca Herbal Liqueur

Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur

Bärenjäger Honey & Bourbon

Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur

Berentzen Liqueurs

Berentzen Bushel & Barrel

The Bitter Truth Liqueurs

The Bitter Truth Pimento Dram

Bols Foam

Caffe Borghetti

Charbay Nostalgie Black Walnut Liqueur


Cointreau Noir

Crave Liqueurs

Crave Chocolate Truffle Liqueur

Domaine de Canton

Galliano L’Autentico

Galliano Ristretto

Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur

Heering Coffee Liqueur

Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur

Hiram Walker Triple Sec

House Spirits Coffee Liqueur

Jaan Liqueur

Kahlua Coffee Cream

The King’s Ginger

Kringle Cream

Licor 43

Love Potion #9

Lovoka Caramel Liqueur

Mama Walker’s Liqueurs

Mandarine Napoleon

Mandarine XO Grande Reserve

Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal

Mariposa Agave Nectar Liqueur

Original Canton Delicate Ginger Liqueur

Patron XO Cafe Dark

Pierre Ferrand Ancienne Methode Dry Curaçao

Punzoné Lemoncino

Pür Likör Liqueurs


Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

Sorel Hibiscus Liqueur

St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Liqueur



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Anne Marie Paolucci in 2003, provides cancer patients with kits of products to help manage chemotherapy’s side effects.

New York, New York: Chemo Comfort, an all volunteer run organization founded by two-time breast cancer survivor Ms. Paolucci’s mission comes from personal experience: “Starting chemotherapy is a frightening experience. We are saying to patients ‘Here is a box of tools put together by someone who’s been there. Know that you are not alone and
these tools will help you take care of yourself during this difficult journey.’ ” In July 2014, Ms. Paolucci was a NY New Yorker of the Week.

Chemo Comfort is holding their fifth annual Cocktails for Comfort fundraising campaign October 13–22, 2017. Sixteen establishments across New York City and Westchester will be participating by creating signature cocktails for their
patrons with proceeds donated to Chemo Comfort to support their programs.

Throughout the Cocktails for Comfort event period, Chemo Comfort will host a Selfie Bar Crawl contest. Take a selfie at participating venues holding the “Cocktail for Comfort” and something to identify the bar, and then post the photo on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #C4CSelfie2017 & #Cocktails4Comfort. The winner, chosen at random, will win a 100 Amazon gift card. Detailed contest information and Bar Crawl maps can be found on Chemo Comfort’s website.

From Participants: Alexis, Art Bar’s manager, has had personal experience with the organization: “The Chemo Comfort
kit provided me with essential and very useful items and information while I was undergoing chemotherapy. The kit was
thoughtfully put together and provided much-needed comfort during a difficult and scary time. I am thrilled that Art Bar
is able support this wonderful cause ”

Steve Mazzuca, GM and the Bathtub Gin family state: “We are privileged to fight side by side with you. As a team we are
too positive, too optimistic, and too determined to ever be defeated. Together we fight through the bad days to earn
the best days ”

Added third time participant Stand Up NY’s Brittany DiMarco: “We are happy to continue participating in this great
program. We believe with comfort, whether that be through Chemo Comfort or laughter at our comedy club, that
individuals and their families are able to live each day a little better”.

About Chemo Comfort – Chemo Comfort is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life
of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The organization distributes kits filled with products to help manage
nausea, mouth sores and hair loss, among other side effects of chemotherapy. There are also “feel good” items such as a
sleep cap, warm socks, meditation CD, book, journal and helpful hints from the founder about combatting side effects of
chemo. Approximately 75% of kits distributed annually are donated, primarily to patients in need within the greater
New York area, through partner organizations such as CancerCare and the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative at
the Actors’ und. Chemo Comfort is a seven time grantee of Susan G. Komen® Greater NYC, and has received
foundation support from the Kite Key and Landegger foundations. In feedback forms, 100% of kit recipients state they
would recommend a Chemo Comfort kit to someone undergoing chemotherapy.

Many venues have a virgin version of the event cocktail. Participants are donating 20% 50% of cocktail price, depending on venue. Participants subject to change, so please check the website for up to date locations and bar crawl information chemocomfort.org

Participating Bars

Art Bar 52 Eighth Ave; 212 727 0244; artbar.com
Bathtub Gin 132 9th Ave; 646 559 1671; bathubginnyc.com
Cowgirl 519 Hudson St (@10th St); 212 633 1133; cowgirlnyc.com
Cowgirl SeaHorse 259 Front St; 212 608 7873; cowgirlseahorse.com
Employees Only 510 Hudson St; 212 242 3021; employeesonlynyc.com
Feinstein’s/54 Below 254 W 54th St, Cellar, NYC; 646 476 3551; 54Below.com/feinsteins
The Rum House 228 W 47th St; 646 490 6924; therumhousenyc.com
Stand Up NY 236 W 78th St; 212 595 0850; (25% off tickets online with promo code “comfort”) standupny.com
Tio Pepe; 168 W 4th St; 212 242 6480; tiopepenyc.com
Up&Down; 244 W 14th St; 212 242 4411; uadnyc.com
Ward lll; 111 Reade St; 212 240 9194; ward3.com

Huckleberry Bar 588 Grand St, Brooklyn NY; 718 218 8555; huckleberrybar.com
King Tai 1095 Bergen St, Brooklyn NY; 718 513 1025; kingtaibar.com
L P ‘n Harmony; 683 Grand St, Brooklyn NY

The Astor Room 35 11 35th Ave, Astoria, NY; 718 255 1947; astorroom.com

Vintage 1891 Kitchen, 2098 Boston Post Road, Larchmont NY; 914 834 9463; vintage1891kitchen.com


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PONCE, Puerto Rico — In the aftermath of Hurricane María and its devastating path through Puerto Rico, Destilería Serrallés, Inc., producer of Don Q, Puerto Rico’s #1 family of premium rums, concentrated its initial efforts on ensuring the whereabouts and safety of its employees.  Immediately thereafter, the distillery quickly shifted its focus towards restoring its operations and assisting Puerto Rico with much-needed aid.

“As in other parts of the Island, the southern region, where the Distillery is based, is still offline in terms of the telecommunications infrastructure, making the company’s recovery efforts very challenging. A total lack of electric power and communications are the greatest obstacles that we are currently facing, along with the personal challenges and difficulties our employees are dealing with”, said Philippe Brechot, President and CEO of Serrallés.

On September 24th, the company launched a fundraising program throughout the United States, including Miami, New York, Houston and over a dozen other cities. Each participating bar is crafting a special drink menu with Don Q Rum where net proceeds will be matched by Serrallés and all proceeds donated to relief efforts.  The company is working with the nonprofit ConPRmetidos, in partnership with Foundation for Puerto Rico to raise funds for those affected by Hurricane María. At present more than 40 fundraisers are currently under way with additional events being scheduled every week.

Serrallés is also actively collaborating in helping facilitate temporary work on the mainland for local bartenders who have been out of work for several weeks as a result of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María.  The bartending and hospitality community’s response has been immediate and overwhelming, very supportive and eager to help in any possible way.  At present, 21 bartenders have signed up to receive the company’s support and more than 80 bars in the mainland have offered help via temporary employment or housing local bartenders during this emergency.

The company’s stateside employees in Miami, Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas have also been very active in organizing collection centers for Puerto Rico Rises to collect a wide variety of basic necessities to help families on the Island. Other grassroots efforts are underway.

About Destilería Serrallés, Inc.: Destilería Serrallés is based in Ponce, Puerto Rico where it produces its flagship product, the award-winning Don Q rum, the #1 selling rum on the Island.  Please visit us at: www.donq.com and follow us on http://www.facebook.com/DonQ and @donqrum.

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vodka_glass_gl_16dec10_istock_bIn honor of National Vodka Day, Good Spirits News is proud to share some of our many reviews from over the years, plus a few original flavored vodka cocktails created by Blair Frodelius.  Cheers!


Aylesbury Duck

Bak’s Bison Grass


Bootlegger 21




Crystal Head

Deep Eddy

Double Cross

Exclusiv & here


Karlsson’s Gold

Ketel One


Michael Godard

Orange V





Russian Diamond

Smooth Ambler


Spring 44

Tuthilltown Indigenous



Orient Express
2 oz citron vodka
1 0z grand marnier
0.5 oz canton ginger liqueur
0.5 oz lime juice
2 dashes Fee’s orange bitters
Shake and strain into cocktail glass.  Spear a piece of pickled ginger on bamboo skewer and lay across top of glass.

Admiral Perry
2 oz absolut pear vodka
1 oz original cinn schnapps
1 oz dry vermouth
0.25 teaspoon white creme de cacao
Add all ingredients to mixing glass and stir with ice until chilled.  Strain into cocktail glass.  Garnish with a thin slice of pear.

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A_Midnight_Modern_ConversationBack in my college days, I thought that punch equalled a 1.5l bottle of Silver Bacardi mixed together with a few cans of tropical flavored Hawaiian Punch.  After a few different occasions where this was the beverage of choice, I had enough to last me a lifetime and moved on to other less cloying things like IPA.  In fact, I hadn’t had any punch for a few decades until I read David Wondrich’s phenomenal book Imbibe! back in 2007.  I decided to make a batch of Philadelphia Fish House Punch for my first effort, and there’s been no turning back for me.  Granted, there is a bit of extra work involved than just emptying bottles into a large bowl (oleo-saccharum, anyone?), but it pays off in spades.  Not only is a real punch incredibly tasty, but you realize why punches are gaining popularity again.  These days, many of the best bars offer punch bowls on the menu, and some are even served with antique cups.

Here’s the recipe for PFHP (luckily, it doesn’t actually call for any fish).

Philadelphia Fish House Punch
(Servings: 18 – 20)
1 cup sugar
4 lemons, peeled and peels reserved
4 cups black tea (or water)
1 cup lemon juice
4 cups rum, Jamaican
2 cups cognac
1/2 cup peach brandy
Garnish: lemon wheels and freshly grated nutmeg

In a large bowl, add sugar and lemon peels, and rub together to release the citrus oils into the sugar. (This is called oleo-saccharum).
Allow oleo-saccharum to infuse for at least 30 minutes.
Dissolve sugar with warm water or tea.
Add rum, cognac, lemon juice and peach brandy and stir to mix.
Add a block of ice to chill, and continue to add smaller pieces of ice for desired dilution.
Garnish with lemon wheels and freshly grated nutmeg.
Ladle into individual glasses.

Another quite popular punch is Planter’s Punch, the recipe for which was first published as a poem in the New York Times on August 8, 1908.

Planter’s Punch
This recipe I give to thee,
Dear brother in the heat.
Take two of sour (lime let it be)
To one and a half of sweet,
Of Old Jamaica pour three strong,
And add four parts of weak.
Then mix and drink. I do no wrong —
I know whereof I speak.

Pretty easy to figure out what the measurements are, if you’re handy with a jigger.


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Qtimthumb.phpuick!  How many classic crème de menthe based cocktails can you name? Go!

That’s what I thought.  Highlight the area to the right to see if you got them all -> Grasshopper, Stinger

Crème de menthe is one of those liqueurs that once you try, you will never forget.  For obvious reasons it is used in a fair amount of obscure Irish cocktails, but personally I avoid those.

Crème de menthe is not a cream based liqueur, but rather a category of spirits known as crèmes, which are more syrupy and sugar laden than standard liquors.  It is made from Corsican mint or peppermint and is either colorless (white) or vibrantly green.  Most products today use food coloring to achieve the effect.  The flavors are exactly the same however.

If you want to try making your own at home, here’s a recipe courtesy of Marcia Simmons, co-author of DIY Cocktails which I have previously reviewed here.

DIY Creme de Menthe
1 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (divided)
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water

  • Measure out 1 cup of mint leaves and tear them in quarters Place mint leaves in a sealable glass jar and pour vodka on top. Shake and let steep for 12 hours.
  • After steeping is complete, strain mint leaves from infused vodka. Return infused vodka to the jar.
  • Bring the water and sugar to a boil, and let simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, then add syrup to mint-infused vodka.
  • Take the additional 1/2 cup of mint leaves, tear them, and add them to the jar. Shake and let steep for 10 hours.
  • Strain twice to remove all mint leaves, keep in resealable bottle. Keeps for two months.

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The GSN staff will be celebrating Arnold Palmer’s birthday this Sunday, September 10, and you should too! What better way to celebrate his legacy, than by surprising your golf-loving friends with the limited-time Arnold Palmer Collector’s Edition bottle by Ketel One Vodka. 

To celebrate the life and legacy of their dear friend, legendary golfer and father, Arnold Palmer, the Nolet family designed this commemorative bottle as an ode to Mr. Palmer’s extraordinary achievements on and off the course. We hope you’ll join us this Sunday in raising a special Happy Birthday toast to the icon, Arnold Palmer.


You can purchase the Arnold Palmer Collector’s Edition bottle by Ketel One Vodka by visiting www.reservebar.com or making a trip to your local retailer.


Arnie’s Signature
1.5 oz Ketel One® Vodka
Lemon twist

Stir with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a rocks glass over one large ice-cube or a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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