Archive for the ‘News’ Category

b42086b2206396354f7173a543355bc0“85% of all known worlds in the Galaxy, be they primitive or highly advanced, have invented a drink called jynnan tonnyx, or gee-N’N-T’N-ix, or jinond-o-nicks, or any one of a thousand or more variations on the same phonetic theme. The drinks themselves are not the same, and vary between the Sivolvian “chinanto/mnigs” which is ordinary water served at slightly above room temperature, and the Gagrakackan “tzjin-anthony-ks” which kills cows at a hundred paces; and in fact the one common factor between all of them, beyond the fact that the names sound the same, is that they were all invented and named before the worlds concerned made contact with any other worlds.” – Douglas Adams

Be that as it may, we here on planet Earth will be celebrating International Gin & Tonic Day this weekend.  Cheers!

Gin and Tonic
2 oz. London dry gin
Tonic water (from a fresh bottle)
1-2 ample wedges of lime
Plenty of cold ice cubes
Highball glass

1) Chill the glass. You may want to fill it with ice, then empty it and refill, as some bartenders do with a martini glass.
2) Fill the glass with whole ice cubes. If you wish, take a wedge of lime and moisten the rim the glass with it.
3) Pour the gin over the ice, which should be cold enough that it crackles when the liquor hits it.
4) Fill glass almost to the top with tonic.
5) Squeeze one wedge of lime into the glass. Drop the squeezed lime into the drink as a garnish if you like; it’s not necessary, but can add a bit of extra flavor. (If you do, notes Dale DeGroff, make sure the peel has been washed.) Serve.

Read Full Post »

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


Read Full Post »

logo-2016The World’s 50 Best Bar awards took place earlier today in London, UK. Congratulations to all of the winners! I guess I know where the GSN staff will be going on vacation in the next twelve months.

  1. The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, New York
  2. American Bar At The Savoy, London
  3. Dandelyan, London
  4. Connaught Bar At The Connaught, London
  5. Attaboy, New York
  6. The Gibson, London
  7. Employees Only, New York
  8. Nomad Bar At The Nomad Hotel, New York
  9. The Clumsies, Athens
  10. Happiness Forgets, London
  11. Manhattan At The Regent, Singapore
  12. The Baxter Inn, Sydney
  13. Licoreria Limantour, Mexico City
  14. 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore
  15. Speak Low, Shanghai
  16. The Broken Shaker, Miami
  17. Candelaria, Paris
  18. Tales & Spirits, Amsterdam
  19. Nightjar, London
  20. Maison Premiere, New York
  21. Operation Dagger, Singapore
  22. Black Pearl, Melbourne
  23. High Five, Tokyo
  24. Little Red Door, Paris
  25. Linje Tio, Stockholm
  26. Central Station, Beirut
  27. Lobster Bar And Grill At Shangri-La Hotel, Hong Kong
  28. Mace, New York
  29. Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco
  30. Bar Termini, London
  31. La Factoria, Old San Juan
  32. Oriole, London
  33. The Jerry Thomas Project, Rome
  34. Dante, New York
  35. Trick Dog, San Francisco
  36. ABV, San Francisco
  37. The Walker Inn, Los Angeles
  38. Nottingham Forest, Milan
  39. Aviary, Chicago
  40. Baba Au Rum, Athens
  41. Quinary, Hong Kong
  42. Himkok, Oslo
  43. Lost & Found, Nicosia
  44. Ruby, Copenhagen
  45. PDT, New York
  46. Bulletin Place, Sydney
  47. Bramble, Edinburgh
  48. Callooh Callay, London
  49. Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires
  50. Buck & Breck, Berlin


Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

GSN Alert: OktoberForest

oflogoYour Beer is Forest-Brewed

by Matt Miller

Quick, name the ingredients necessary for a beer: Water. Barley. Hops.

Those are the easy ones. But there’s another you might not have considered.


And we’re not talking just evergreen-inspired brews, such as Deschutes Pinedrops IPA or Rogue’s Juniper Ale.

No, it’s much more universal than that. Beer relies on healthy forests, because America’s forests provide more than half of our nation’s water.  And clean water is beer’s main ingredient (up to 95% of a brew).

Without those forests, it’s difficult to find clean water. And without clean water?  No beer.

The Nature Conservancy’s Chris Topik, director of Restoring America’s Forests, knows this connection well. He’s spent much of his career thinking about forest policy and working to ensure that forests are resilient and healthy.

And he knows beer. The son of German and Austrian immigrants, he started homebrewing in the ‘80s as an inexpensive hobby he could do while his kids were young. He and a friend began brewing beers in their kitchen in Portland – just as that city was transforming itself into the place craft beer lovers would come to call “Beervana.”

That’s why today Topik is helping lead the national OktoberForest campaign, a month-long celebration that partners breweries with their neighborhood forests.  Brewery patrons can help, too, by pledging to share information about forests with their friends and favorite breweries.

In many ways, brewing beer is more than a hobby. Topik recognizes it as a part of human history, a tradition that has brought people together for millennia.

“Beer is quite frankly one of the keys to the way society developed. Early on, it helped us preserve grains so rats and fungi couldn’t get it,” he says. “Beer is part of our human heritage.”

And so is clean water. “Healthy, resilient forests are vital in ensuring good, clean water,” he says. “Areas that can support a forest can support a stream.”

Forests prevent erosion and serve as filters. They are where headwater streams originate. Those little streams feed into bigger streams as they flow down a mountain, eventually leading to the basins that supply water for a variety of uses. Whether you’re drinking a mass-produced light beer or a super-rare farmhouse sour, chances are it originated in a small mountain stream.

In the West, more than half of the United States’ water supply comes from U.S. Forest Service lands alone.

Through OktoberForest, Topik believes we can help raise support for policies and funding that will help restore America’s forests, and ultimately the waters we use.

This is important because forest experts are watching concerning trends lately:

  • Last year was the worst fire season on record in the United States, with more than 10 million acres burned (larger than New Jersey).
  • The nine worst fire seasons have all occurred since 2000.
  • Forest pests have killed more than 150 million trees since 1990.
  • The U.S. Forest Service estimates half of the forested lands they manage are in need of restoration.
  • Without forest restoration, the U.S. Geological Service believes ash and sediments from severe fires will double in a quarter of all Western streams.

As Topik notes, restoring forests will support businesses beyond breweries.

“Beer is a water-intensive industry, but it’s not the only one,” says Topik. “The tech industry would have difficulty functioning without water. You need pure water to manufacture silicon micro-chips.”

In Colorado, MillerCoors is partnering with The Nature Conservancy to fund large-scale forest restoration in the Upper South Platte watershed that supplies drinking water to Denver; and Anheuser-Busch is supporting a forest restoration project in the Cache La Poudre River basin near their Fort Collins Brewery.

New Belgium Brewing Company (also in Fort Collins), one of the country’s biggest craft brewers, has been calling attention to the effects of fires on their water supply in major media outlets. In Bend, Oregon – arguably one of the best beer towns in the country – craft brewers have teamed together to advocate for forest protection.

As most readers already know, there is an unprecedented interest in craft beer in the United States. There are beer blogs, beer tours, beer festivals, beer magazines. The Great American Beer Festival in Denver in October is huge, with 750 U.S. breweries, which generated $21.9 million in economic activity last year.

American brewers today are pushing the boundaries with new styles, and aficionados meet to discuss the merits of different hop varieties.  It’s time to add forests to the mix.

“We need beer fans’ help with OktoberForest to restore our forests,” Topik says. “Even if you’ve never gone hiking in a National Forest, you benefit from those forests every day, with drinking water, wood products, wildlife, and air quality.

“And, of course, beer,” he added with a smile.

Visit www.OktoberForest.org to:

  • Pledge to OktoberForest— tell your friends and favorite breweries about OktoberForest!
  • Take the OktoberForest quiz— how much do you know about beer and forests?
  • Check out the interactive brewery map— how healthy are forests around your favorite breweries?
  • Read partner brewer stories— is your favorite brewery an OktoberForest partner?

Read Full Post »

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.


Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: