GSN Alert: October 16th – National Liqueur Day

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

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

Root

Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

Sorel Hibiscus Liqueur

St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Liqueur

Xanté

GSN Alert: October 4th – National Vodka Day

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!

Alchemia

Aylesbury Duck

Bak’s Bison Grass

Bengerminz

Bootlegger 21

Boru

Cariel

Chopin

Crystal Head

Deep Eddy

Double Cross

Exclusiv & here

Golia

Karlsson’s Gold

Ketel One

Leaf

Michael Godard

Orange V

Oval

Purity

Rehorst

Reyka

Russian Diamond

Smooth Ambler

Sobieski

Spring 44

Tuthilltown Indigenous

Vesica

Wódka

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.

GSN Alert: September 20th – National Rum Punch Day

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.

Cheers!

GSN Alert: September 15th – National Crème de Menthe Day

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.

GSN Alert: September 7th – National Beer Lover’s Day

Beer and the process of brewing beer may predate known history.  As varied as the methods, grains, and flavors, beer continues to change and evolve over time.
Virginia colonists brewed beer. William Penn included a place for brewing beer within the colony of Pennsylvania which can still be visited at Pennsbury Manor today. The first President of the United States recorded a recipe for brewing beer in his notes. Samuel Adams holds a place in both beer and tea history in this country.  There were a few beer lovers and patriots among the nation’s founders.
The United States also derives its rich brewing history from beer-loving German immigrants during the mid-1800s. Some of those immigrants families’ names are as familiar today as they were a hundred years ago.
While some names have faded into the past, smaller batch brewers continue to experiment with old and new recipes.  The crafting of beer carries rich traditions, often requiring years of training and experience in the trade. Depending on the brewery, the path to brewmaster may take years to develop the skill and expertise necessary to produce a quality beer every time.  One certain requirement is a love of beer and the craft. Toast to this iconic beverage on September 7th with a pint of your favorite!

GSN Alert: Bourbon Legends Boxcar Autumn U.S. Tour

Some of the most legendary brands in the bourbon world are hitting the road together this fall for the Bourbon Legends Boxcar Tour, a first-of-its-kind bourbon pop-up experience celebrating America’s native spirit. Powered by four of the industry’s best known and pioneering brands – Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek and Basil Hayden’s –  the Bourbon Legends Boxcar Tour will travel to four U.S. cities in 2018, offering bourbon fans, both new and seasoned, the opportunity to explore the unique stories, distilleries, people and tastes that have shaped the modern era of bourbon.

The event itself harkens back to the mid-19th century when the railroad and boxcar transported bourbon from Kentucky to the rest of America. Now, the Bourbon Legends Boxcar Tour is traveling the country to bring an immersive bourbon experience to bourbon fans across America, welcoming attendees through a multi-sensory interpretation of Kentucky’s rolling landscapes and into its storied distilleries. Guests are encouraged to raise their “Bourbon IQ” by exploring four distinct event spaces that bring these iconic Kentucky Straight Bourbons to life for curious minds and palates.

At each Bourbon Legends Boxcar Tour event, attendees will interact with bourbon experts – and some of the legendary distillers and family members behind the bourbons in select markets – as they lead enhanced bourbon tastings that explain the notes, flavors and nuances of the featured whiskeys. From bourbon novices to connoisseurs, there is something new for everyone to discover, experience and explore. In addition to interactive bourbon experiences, visitors will enjoy bourbon tastings, bespoke cocktails, Kentucky barbeque, music and more.

The 2018 Bourbon Legends Boxcar Tour leaves the station in September—Bourbon Heritage Month— and will pull into Denver, Houston, Cleveland and New York City:

  • Denver: September 12-13th, 2018 // Industry Day: September 11th, 2018
  • Houston: October 3-4th, 2018 // Industry Day: October 1st, 2018
  • Cleveland: October 12-13th, 2018 // Industry Day: October 14th, 2018
  • New York City: November 16-17th, 2018 // Industry Day: November 19th, 2018

The Bourbon Legends Boxcar Tour is a by-invitation event for guests ages 21 years and older. Fans interested in attending must RSVP at least 24 hours in advance at www.bourbonboxcar.com to secure their spot. Space is limited. To reserve a spot, guests will need to obtain an access code through email from the Bourbon Legend’s Boxcar website. For more information on participating brands please visit: Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek and Basil Hayden’s. 

About the Bourbon Legends Boxcar Tour

Rooted in humble beginnings dating back centuries, the historic road of bourbon was paved through strong values of passion, innovation, resilience and craftsmanship. Today, as demand for American whiskey soars, the industry’s most legendary brands continue to push the category forward and delight bourbon fans with a steadfast commitment to innovation and quality. A multi-sensory bourbon pop-up experience, the 2018 Bourbon Legends Boxcar encourages guests to explore the world of America’s native spirit and increase their “Bourbon IQ,” by taking a distiller’s-eye-view to how bourbon is made and the defining characteristics of some of the world’s most legendary labels. The Bourbon Legends Boxcar Tour commences in September and will pull into Denver, Houston, Cleveland and New York City. For more information, please visit www.bourbonboxcar.com.

GSN Highlight of the Week: Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey

Sugarlands Distilling Company, has quickly made a name for itself. Beginning on March 21, 2014, at 805 Parkway in Gatlinburg, they began making moonshine. The distillery chose the name Sugarlands due to the nickname given the region by early settlers who noted the abundant sugar maple trees. Sugarlands has been producing award-winning moonshine since it’s opening in 2014.

Fast forward to late summer 2018. Sugarlands Distilling Co., now offers rye whiskey lovers the opportunity to pre-purchase their award-winning Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey, Roaming Man. Available starting this Friday, August 31, 2018, consumers can order a bottle through Bounty Hunter Rare Wine and Spirits. Delivery will begin on October 5, 2018.

This will be the sixth iteration of Roaming Man. Each previous bottling has sold out quickly. The fifth edition, with an inventory of 600 bottles, sold out in just under two hours. It’s no wonder since Roaming Man has been awarded gold medals by American Craft Spirits Association, Beverage Tasting Institute, Fifty Best, Los Angeles International Spirits Competition, Micro Liquor Awards, and New York World Wine & Spirits Competition.

Purchasers who would rather pick-up their Roaming Man at Sugarlands’ Gatlinburg distillery, may pre-purchase their Edition Six bottles here and pick up their bottles beginning October 5, 2018.

We’re excited about the popularity of our Roaming Man Whiskey,” said Greg Eidam, Sugarlands head distiller, “it is being praised by whiskey connoisseurs and novices alike, and with this expansion in distribution we are looking forward to its continued success.”

For more information, go to: Sugarlands