GSN Alert: January 10-16, 2021 – National Mocktail Week

Kick off the New Year and Dry January with a new reason to raise a toast—it’s National Mocktail Week. The second full week of January (January 10-16) is officially National Mocktail Week, a week that recognizes and celebrates the desire by a growing number of Americans to enjoy non-alcoholic alternatives to traditional drinks.

“Throughout 2019 more restaurants and people entertaining at home began to serve up mocktails with greater frequency and flare, a trend we don’t see slowing down. We saw establishments make an effort to create and serve extraordinary alcohol-free drinks to patrons,” said Marnie Rae founder of National Mocktail Week. “The mocktail movement is about so much more than the drink – it’s about making guests feel welcome at our establishments and included in the moment.”

Now celebrating its third year, National Mocktail Week supports and celebrates the decision to drink non-alcoholic cocktails and encourages friends and family to do the same. The movement is spearheaded by Founder Marnie Rae. 17 years ago, Marnie became sober and it didn’t take long for her to realize that fun, delicious, grown-up cocktails were not an option in most of the hospitality world. Marnie founded National Mocktail Week as just one aspect of her movement to make Mocktails a standard on the drink menu both at home and in bars/restaurants.

With the number of Americans choosing not to drink alcohol but still socializing and enjoying going out for a meal, the need for better and more Mocktails on the menu is needed and encouraged.

Photo credit: Effie Gurmeza

Here is a Mocktail recipe perfect to serve anytime.

Classic Bubbly
1 ½ cups pomegranate juice
1 cup frozen raspberries
4 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
5 drops lemon extract
5 drops orange extract
2 pomegranates worth of pips

In a large saucepan, add all ingredients but the pom seed. Bring to light simmer over medium low heat. Simmer for approximately 25 minutes. Let cool. Blend well in a blender to incorporate all ingredients. Add soda/sparkling water to taste. Garnish with pom seeds!

Everyone is encouraged to choose a mocktail over a cocktail. Celebrate National Mocktail Week and show support needed to continue a healthy lifestyle. Better yet, give a new Mocktail a try!

For more information visit and join her at,, #SoberNotBoring, Use  #NationalMocktailWeek to share recipes and experience the best that Mocktails have to offer!

GSN Alert: January 11th – National Hot Toddy Day

Today is National Hot Toddy Day!  A perfect day for it, since it’s only 15 degrees in Central New York at the moment.  The GSN desk was sent a few recipes to share with our readers.  Enjoy!

image001DRAMBUIE® Rusty Apple Toddy
In a coffee mug, add:
3 parts heated Apple Cider
1 part DRAMBUIE® Scotch Liqueur
Juice from one-quarter Lemon wedge

image002Stir briefly. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Hot Tully
1 oz Tullamore Dew
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3 oz hot water

First warm a mug with hot water, then discard and combine ingredients above.  Stir before serving.
Options: Add fresh ginger for a bit of a bite, or infuse the simple syrup with fun flavors such as cinnamon and orange, or apple and ginger.

image003Milagro Hot Toddy
1.5 parts Milagro Anejo Tequila
1 part Agave Nectar
4 Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Whole Anise Star
4 parts Boiling Water
1 Lemon Wheel
Optional: Whipped cream

GSN Review: Jukes Cordialities

Dry January, a month-long break from alcohol, has been a popular challenge amongst adults for years. For Dry January 2021, Jukes Cordialities — newly launched in the U.S. market — presents a collection of drinks in the 0.0% alcohol category to give people a palatable alternative to alcoholic beverages. Jukes are drinks that directly respond to those who are wellness oriented or are limiting alcohol consumption. These are completely new drink constructs, that operate both as refreshing drinks after working out or the like, as well as replacing wines for serving before and while dining, as they pair well across all cuisines. 

Jukes are all natural, apple cider vinegar based, vegan and gluten-free, as well as low in calories and sugar. Both Jukes 1 (the “white”) and Jukes 6 (the “red”), presented in elegant one-ounce glass bottles, are designed to be mixed with still or sparkling water and even tonic water, giving the consumer a broad choice to suit their personal palate. Jukes 1 (16 calories per serving) is centered around a citrus and herb theme, crafted to be uplifting, clean and bright; while Jukes 6 is a fruitier, deeper and spicier style with a more mellow, earthy flavor (17 calories per serving). Both are handmade in Battersea, London, using organic and natural ingredients, including blackberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, strawberries and plums for Jukes 6 (the “red”), and peach, cucumber, plum, apple and pineapple for Jukes 1 (the “white”), together with a number of other herbs, flowers and spices. 

GSN’s Thoughts: These are very much in the shrubb family of beverages, otherwise known as fruit vinegars. Jukes 1 is definitely more akin to a sweet white style wine, let’s say a Sauternes or perhaps a Riesling. Jukes 6 is still sweet, but has a fuller flavor of dark berries and fruits. It’s closest in style to a table red or even a Port. Both are well made, and we particularly like the fact that they can be diluted to your own chosen strength. We recommend these for anyone who is looking to cut back on their alcohol consumption, as well as those who are interested in a healthier and lower calorie alternative to fruit juices and sodas. We also found that mixing sparkling (as opposed to still) water improved the overall experience.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Jukes Cordialities

GSN Review: Free Spirits Non-Alcoholic Alternatives

In recent years, there have been a handful of ‘non-alcoholic’ beverages introduced to the market. But with Free Spirits, the ceremony and socialization of cocktails can remain without compromising taste or well-being.

By replacing traditional liquor with a Free Spirit, drinkers have the power to ‘dial-up’ or ‘dial-down’ a cocktail – all the way from ‘non-alcoholic’ to ‘just a touch’ of booze to ‘half and half’ and beyond.

Inspired by the world’s great spirits, including Bourbon, Gin, and Tequila, each one of the Free Spirits is crafted to be a complex, nuanced, 1:1 non-alcoholic alternative to its boozy cousin. Not only are these spirit alternatives crafted to be alcohol free, they are also each infused with B Vitamins and Amino Acids to help elevate the drinker’s mood and energy.

Through a process called Distillate Reconstruction, each one of the Free Spirits is crafted by identifying that spirit’s unique fingerprint (all of the raw materials, flavors and interactions that give a traditional spirit its unique flavor profile). They then source those ingredients (like Blue Agave, White Oak and Juniper Berries) and distill them into natural flavors, extracts and botanicals. Drink Free Spirits then reconstructs that spirit, and instead of a fermentation process that generates alcohol, they infuse the source liquid with nutrients like vitamins B3, B6 and natural aminos like Taurine.

Note: GSN received the gin and tequila iterations for review.

GSN’s Thoughts: The gin has a lighter character than you might expect. Less pine-like and more citrus forward. There is also a warming heat on the palate, reminiscent of ginger. The tequila has a lot more heat, and leans toward vanilla flavors. Both are smooth and very easy to drink straight. However, both of these will definitely work best in fruit forward mixed drinks. Of the two, we prefer the tequila as it has more character and definitely will stand up to mixing and dilution. The gin is more hesitant and shy, but will work well in simple 2-3 ingredient beverages. Overall, we are impressed in a field of many non-alcoholic spirits where they try too hard to become something difficult to replicate. We look forward to trying more products from Drink Free in the years to come.
GSN Ratings: Gin- B; Tequila- B+

For more information go to: Drink Free Spirits

GSN Spirited News: January 5th 2021 Edition

New Orleans cocktail syrup makers Cocktail & Sons have partnered with Louisiana bakery Gambino’s to form Sidewalk Side Spirits LLC. Sidewalk’s first product is Gambino’s King Cake Rum Cream. Created with help from Midwest Custom Bottling, the newcomer is a blend of Caribbean rum, Wisconsin cream, Louisiana sugarcane, and Cocktail & Sons King Cake Syrup. Gambino’s King Cake Rum Cream will be distributed by RNDC in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

Launching in April, Lee Greenwood Signature bourbon features the same liquid as Soldier Valley’s 6 bourbon, which will be phased out as the new release steps in. The 45% abv 6 year old whiskey blends Soldier Valley’s house-made Bourbon, distilled from Nebraska corn, with sourced Bourbon. It’s packaged in a bottle resembling a World War II-era canteen, with a red, white, and blue dog tag around the neck and Greenwood’s signature on the label. Priced at $55, the bourbon will initially roll out along the Gulf Coast and on military bases across the country, with expansion ongoing throughout 2021

Ron Abuelo has announced the launch of XII Años Two Oaks, Selección Especial, the latest release from the Panamanian rum brand. The release is blended from rums aged between eight and 40 years (with an average age of 11 years) that matured in ex-Bourbon barrels before a nine month finishing process in new American oak barrels that have been scored and charred twice to achieve a unique amount of barrel char and exposed wood. Ron Abuelo XII Años Two Oaks, Selección Especial is now available in select markets across the U.S. for around $60 a 750-ml., with a national expansion continuing through 2021.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: January 5th 2021 Edition

Portland Cider Co. has released Bubbly Brut, billed as a Champagne-style sparkling cider. The small-batch cider is made from 100% Northwest apples, fermented separately with two different Champagne yeast strains on neutral French Oak, then blended. Bubbly Brut has 50% more carbonation than the cidery’s other products. It comes in at 6.9% abv with zero grams of sugar and is available in 19.2-ounce cans and on draft. Bubbly Brut is available now through February at Portland Cider Co.’s two Oregon taprooms and select retailers in Oregon, Washington, Northern Idaho, and Northern California.

Ventura, California-based Flying Embers has introduced Kombucha Bubbly Brut Nature. Billed as a Champagne-style hard kombucha, the new entry is fermented with real botanicals and Champagne yeast and aged in Chardonnay wine barrels. The 6.9% abv offering has no residual sugars or carbs and is packaged in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans. Flying Embers has three taprooms in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Boston, respectively, and its products are sold in 40 states.

Lawrence, Kansas-based Fields & Ivy brewery is launching Kansas Lager, brewed with 100% barley malt grown in Kansas. Launching through distributor Worldwide Wine and Spirits, the new entry is a Vienna-style lager and will roll out across the state in 12-ounce bottles. Fields & Ivy says it’s likely to be the first lager brewed with 100% Kansas-grown barley malt since 1890 or earlier. Founded in 2019, Fields & Ivy has a 20-barrel production brewhouse, dining room, and beer garden in Lawrence.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Winter 2021

GSN presents our quarterly seasonal roundup of recommend spiritous books. If you’re beginning Dry January, you will find some ideas here, as well as some that call for fresh springtime ingredients from the garden, along with some foodstuffs from iconic Brooklyn bars (that hopefully will still be in business after the pandemic ends). Enjoy!

The Low-Proof Happy Hour: Real Cocktails Without the Hangover by Jules Aron Countryman Press (January 5, 2021) If your cocktail hour usually includes a martini or a manhattan, you may equate lower alcohol options with a dreaded light beer. But it doesn’t need to be that way! In this revolutionary new book, Jules Aron reveals the secret behind low-proof libations that satisfy all your senses without knocking you off your feet. By building your drinks with a delicious array of lower-proof alcohols, such as amari, sherry, herbal liqueurs, and shochu, you’ll balance out the high-proof components like gin and tequila. These tricks can also apply to traditionally lighter drinks, too. Aron embraces garden-to-glass trends with spice-infused vodka, sweet-and-sour shrubs, and other, more health-conscious drinks.

Zero Proof Drinks and More: 100 Recipes for Mocktails and Low-Alcohol Cocktails by Maureen Petrosky Robert Rose (January 15, 2021) Zero Proof Drinks and More offers delicious and mindful drinks for every guest and every occasion. Maureen Petrosky, an Entertaining and Lifestyle Expert who appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show and hosts multiple video series on, shares over 100 no-alcohol and low-alcohol recipes for cocktails, spritzers, ciders, coffees, shandys and radlers, and a whole lot more. 52 percent of Americans who drink alcohol report that they are actively trying to cut back. The choice for no- and low-alcohol drinking is as individual as the drinks themselves: health concerns; calorie reduction; religion; cultural trends; pregnancy… Zero Proof Drinks and More has the perfect flavor for every palate along with easy tips and tricks for creating the perfect on trend drink. Mindful drinking is no longer relegated to Dry January — this is now a year-round trend.

Distilling Whiskey: Your DIY Guide to Producing, Aging and Tasting Whisky & Bourbon by Wade Westbay Green (January 30, 2021) This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about distilling, from mashing your rye to fermentation and stills to aging ‘the water of life’. Become a craftsman and impress your friends’ taste buds. The book covers every step from picking ingredients to tasting and even mixing your self-made whiskey. Crafting your own Whiskey will save you tons of money, allow you to experiment with the best flavors, and get you gallons of gold. Learn how to make the perfect whiskey from Wade Westbay, an experienced distiller based in Minnesota. With this book, he brings over 12 years of distilling experience right to your hands. Get to know the insider secrets of crafting whiskey with just one click. This book covers every step along the way of both the process and after in detail. Understand what is happening in the still, the barrel, and how a perfect whiskey triggers your taste buds. Get inspired, creative, and make your own. Step into the art of distilling that will teach you a respected and sought-after skill set.

Gin O’clock: A Year of Ginspiration by Craft Gin Club HarperCollins (February 2, 2021) Whether you are a gin aficionado or simply gin-curious, this book from the experts at Craft Gin Club contains everything you’ll ever need to know about the juniper spirit. With recipes for refreshing ice-cold punches through to warming winter serves, marinated main courses to delicious desserts, Gin O’Clock proves it’s always a good time for gin, no matter the season. Packed with tips including: Hosting the perfect gin-tasting, Growing your own garnishes, Making simple syrups, and Creating your own gin truffles.

The Wildcrafted Cocktail: Make Your Own Foraged Syrups, Bitters, Infusions, and Garnishes; Includes Recipes for 45 One-of-a-Kind Mixed Drinks by Ellen Zachos Storey Publishing, LLC (February 16, 2021) Meet the natural lovechild of the popular local-foods movement and craft cocktail scene. It’s here to show you just how easy it is to make delicious, one-of-a-kind mixed drinks with common flowers, berries, roots, and leaves that you can find along roadsides or in your backyard. Foraging expert Ellen Zachos gets the party started with recipes for more than 50 garnishes, syrups, infusions, juices, and bitters, including Quick Pickled Daylily Buds, Rose Hip Syrup, and Chanterelle-infused Rum. You’ll then incorporate your handcrafted components into 45 surprising and delightful cocktails, such as Stinger in the Rye, Don’t Sass Me, and Tree-tini.

Cocktails, Mocktails, and Garnishes from the Garden: Recipes for Beautiful Beverages with a Botanical Twist (Unique Craft Cocktails) by Katie Stryjewski Yellow Pear Press (February 16, 2021) Step inside a bartender’s apothecary, forage for garnishes, and craft some of the most popular cocktails, mocktails, and beverages. This beautifully photographed compendium of craft cocktails includes examples of garnishes and interesting ingredients to give any drink a botanical twist. Creating your very own herb bar and garnish garden for craft cocktails. A cocktail recipe book from the wild; Cocktails, Mocktails and Garnishes from the Garden features examples of garnishes and general know-how. With a reference guide of herbal and floral flavors that complement different spirits, and details about what to plant and how to grow your very own herb bar, readers craft cocktail recipes alongside nature.

American Cider: A Modern Guide to a Historic Beverage by Dan Pucci & Craig Cavallo Ballantine Books (March 2, 2021) Cider today runs the gamut from sweet to dry, smooth to funky, made from apples and sometimes joined by other fruits—and even hopped like beer. In American Cider, aficionados Dan Pucci and Craig Cavallo give a new wave of consumers the tools to taste, talk about, and choose their ciders, along with stories of the many local heroes saving apple culture and producing new varieties. Like wine made from well-known grapes, ciders differ based on the apples they’re made from and where and how those apples were grown. Combining the tasting tools of wine and beer, the authors illuminate the possibilities of this light, flavorful, naturally gluten-free beverage. And cider is more than just its taste—it’s also historical, as the nation’s first popular alcoholic beverage, made from apples brought across the Atlantic from England. Pucci and Cavallo use a region-by-region approach to illustrate how cider and the apples that make it came to be, from the well-known tale of Johnny Appleseed—which isn’t quite what we thought—to the more surprising effects of industrial development and government policies that benefited white men. American Cider is a guide to enjoying cider, but even more so, it is a guide to being part of a community of consumers, farmers, and fermenters making the nation’s oldest beverage its newest must-try drink.

Brooklyn Bar Bites: Great Dishes and Cocktails from New York’s Food Mecca by Barbara Scott-Goodman & Jennifer May Rizzoli Universe Promotional Books (March 9, 2021) Brooklyn continues to be a food mecca known for its innovative restaurants and bars, drawing tourists and locals alike. Although several cookbooks have featured Brooklyn eateries, none have focused exclusively on the innovative bar scene. Food writer Barbara Scott-Goodman discovers amazing spots in her hometown of Brooklyn and presents their unique recipes for serving creative cocktails and artisanal beers, accompanied by small dishes. In this informative cookbook, well-known food writer Scott-Goodman celebrates Brooklyn’s happening bar culture–from the mixologists who craft classic and original cocktails, to the talented chefs who create delicious dishes made with fresh-from-the-market ingredients to accompany the drinks. Featured are over 110 recipes for cocktails, delectable snacks, sandwiches, and small plates. Their range of flavors is vast and extremely appealing for today’s urbane palate.

Negroni: More than 30 classic and modern recipes for Italy’s iconic cocktail by David T Smith & Keli Rivers Ryland Peters & Small (March 9, 2021) The Negroni has been a favorite with discerning cocktail drinkers for over a century but has perhaps never been as popular as it is today. What started off as a simple, equal-parts, three-ingredient cocktail (campari, gin, vermouth) has become a global sensation. Included here are recipes for classic Negronis from straight-up over ice to a sparkling aperitivo spritz. This basic formula is then played with in endless ways with Negronis designed for different seasons; bright and citrusy summer versions; cozier, spiced winter drinks; and celebratory cocktails for special occasions. These exciting variations make use of both dry, sweet, and aged vermouths, along with ports and sherries, and some truly experimental non-gin negronis (made using bourbon, rum or even mezcal) really open up the playing field.

Schumann’s Whisk(e)y Lexicon by Stefan Gabányi Rizzoli (March 16, 2021) A completely updated new edition of the classic guide to the whiskeys of the world by the whiskey expert from Charles Schumann’s famed Schumann’s bar in Munich. Featuring over a thousand entries, this handbook discusses the world’s leading and lesser-known whiskeys, making it an ideal source for the aficionado and the budding novice alike. Every traditional type of whiskey is included: Scotch single malt, blends, vatted malts, single grains, and Irish, as well as those from the new world (bourbon, rye, and Canadian). The book also takes a serious look at trendy new whiskeys emerging from Japan and continental Europe and explores how unique flavors are created through variations of ingredients, distilling techniques, and aging. Organized alphabetically in the style of a dictionary, the volume is rounded out with additional advice on serving, collecting, and storage. Every manner and nuance of whiskey is discussed between the book’s elegant covers.

Cocktails of the Movies: An Illustrated Guide to Cinematic Mixology New Expanded Edition by Will Francis & Stacey Marsh Prestel; Illustrated edition (March 16, 2021) Now available in a new expanded and updated edition, Cocktails of the Movies serves up the 72 greatest cocktails to have featured on film. Take a journey through Hollywood’s lifelong love affair with cocktails, celebrating the greatest characters and their iconic drinks through original illustrations and easy-to-follow recipes. From Marilyn’s Manhattan in Some Like It Hot to The Dude’s White Russian in The Big Lebowski, there’s something for everyone. Each cocktail is accompanied by the recipe, method, a history of the drink and a synopsis of its scene in the movie alongside full-color original artwork.

The Infused Cocktail Handbook: The Essential Guide to Homemade Blends and Infusions by Kurt Maitland Cider Mill Press (March 16, 2021) Pump up the flavors of spirits and mixers with The Infused Cocktail Handbook, the essential guide to homemade blends and infusions. The illustrated recipes explain which ingredients go best when infusing vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, rum, and sherry and cover a range of globetrotting flavor profiles, from Earl Gray tea to lemongrass, cardamom, and walnuts, as well as gummy bears and bacon. With The Infused Cocktail Handbook not only will you know how to make your very own signature cocktails, you’ll save money doing it.

Tokyo Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of Over 100 Recipes Inspired by the Eastern Capital by Nicholas Coldicott Cider Mill Press (March 30, 2021) With over 13.5 million residents squeezed in to 845 square miles, Tokyo stands as one of the world’s most beguiling cities. On the surface it appears to be nothing but towering buildings and glaring lights. But once you get to know the city, its 23 wards reveal hidden alleyways, along many of which you can find singular drinking establishments. Tokyo Cocktails takes you inside the city’s best bars and introduces you to bartenders and mixologists conjuring up drinks that reflect the city’s essence, namely how thousands of years of tradition fuse with myriad contemporary influences. Featuring over 100 recipes that honor and reinvent classics and make the best of local ingredients, this book is the ideal cocktail enthusiast’s guide to drinking like a local, whether you’re making a trip to Tokyo or staying at home and simply wishing you were there.

The Artisanal Kitchen: Summer Cocktails: Refreshing Margaritas, Mimosas, and Daiquiris―and the World’s Best Gin and Tonic by Nick Mautone Artisan (March 30, 2021) Summer Cocktails is the newest addition to the Artisanal Kitchen series, adapted from Raising the Bar (Artisan, 2004) by master mixologist Nick Mautone. This is a handy guide to summer beverages, with information on everything from how to mix the perfect cocktails, prep drinks ahead of time, and choose the proper drinkware to how to use sorbet ice cubes for a burst of flavor and how to turn cocktails into punches for a larger crowd. It’s packed with easy‑to‑follow recipes for warm-weather favorites, including the mimosa and Tom Collins, as well as classics with a twist (think Pineapple Slings), icy drinks (Frozen Mango Smash), nonalcoholic options (Faux Margaritas), and so much more. Both home and professional mixologists can rely on the book for fail-proof cocktails recipes and will return to Summer Cocktails year after year for seasonal favorites.


GSN Review: Cocktail Squad Classy Casuals

Boulder-based Cocktail Squad recently expanded its collection of premium canned cocktails to eight varieties. The first two products from its new zero sugar Classy Casuals line include Whiskey Ginger Soda and Vodka Lemon Soda. These cocktails are a sessionable option for consumers who are looking to enjoy real spirits without having to compromise on quality.

“I had this lightning-bolt moment,” said Lauren Maggio, Co-Founder of Cocktail Squad. “There are so many people like us who are busy, working hard and in the throes of parenthood who would appreciate an elevated cocktail that’s convenient and portable.  Plus…the premiumization trend is here to stay and our canned single-serving, ready-to-drink cocktails have the added value of safety at a time when we’re all being careful about not sharing beverages.”

Cocktail Squad’s Classy Casuals contain 0g sugar, 0g carbohydrates and no artificial sugar substitutes. At just 90 calories, you can guiltlessly stock your cooler while keeping it classy. Classy Casuals are 5% ABV, gluten-free or gluten-removed, available in 12-ounce sleek cans and are sold in 4-packs.

GSN’s Thoughts: Of the two, we preferred the Whiskey Ginger. Somewhat reminiscent of lemon iced tea, but sparkling. Very dry, yet surprisingly tasty. The Vodka Lemon is pretty much one note. Lemon. But, that’s not to say that it doesn’t succeed at what it’s trying to be. Both of these are great for those looking to cut back on calories, as well as keep your fridge stocked for guests who are looking for a RTD cocktail. These also fit the bill at the end of the day when you’re too tired to do more than pop a pull tab. 
GSN Rating:

  • Whiskey Ginger- B
  • Vodka Lemon- B-

For more information go to: Cocktail Squad

GSN Review: Juniper Jones Earl Grey Gin & Automatic Jones Bottled Cocktails

Single estate Juniper Jones Gin is made from grains farmed 10 miles from the distillery which is located in Denver, Colorado. This spirit has an amber hue due to aging the Gin in ex-Bourbon barrels that also previously held Earl Grey tea leaves. They then cut the spirit with Colorado Spring water to 97 proof. (48.5% ABV).

The Automatic Jones line was created for The Family Jones Spirit House, and has become so popular that fans demanded a way to enjoy this cocktail in their own homes. With bottles in 375 ml and 750ml, now they can. The Automatic Jones Rock & Rye recipe is a family secret, but we can tell you that they infuse American Rye Whiskey with a blend of baking spices, dried fruits, citrus peels, roots, barks, and a touch of raw sugar. It is best enjoyed over ice with a twist of orange or as the new base of your favorite whiskey cocktail. They now also make Automatic Jones Cosmopolitan, Martini and Old Fashioned bottled cocktails.

The Family Jones Spirit House in Denver is the lab where they create, hone and craft all of their recipes. The food offerings at The Family Jones Spirit House are built on three things: quality ingredients, thoughtful blending, and a touch of moxie.

GSN’s Thoughts: The GSN staff love the Juniper Jones Earl Grey Gin. The depth of character from the barrel aging is similar to an Old Tom style, but with the addition of the tannic and fruity essence of the tea, it becomes transcendent. This is one of the few gins we all agreed makes for an excellent sipper on the rocks. But make sure to try this in a winter gin punch as well. GSN Rating: A+

The Automatic Jones bottled cocktails are varied and interesting. The Martini tends towards the sweet side of things, with an unusual cocoa flavor. As it opens up, the juniper becomes apparent, but is subdued by the dry vermouth. Make sure to add a twist of fresh lemon to make this one really pop. The Cosmopolitan is fairly straightforward, with just a hint of lime to offset the sweetness of the cranberry juice. This one goes down really easy. The Old Fashioned is the most unusual, veering from tradion by including unusual addions including Lapsang Souchong tea, Guajillo chili, cacao and lavender. This is a dark, mysterious and contemplative cocktail. Our favorite is the Rock & Rye which has a “rooty” quality to it. The sweetness is tempered by a blend of ten different botanicals and citrus peels. We keep going back to this one.

GSN Ratings:

  • Martini- B
  • Cosmo- B+
  • Old Fashioned- A-
  • Rock & Rye- A+

For more information go to: The Family Jones


GSN Review: Bulleit Bourbon & Bulleit 10 Year Old

A tavern keeper in 1830s Louisville, Kentucky, Augustus Bulleit was dedicated to a single goal: the creation of a bourbon unique in flavor. After experimenting with countless varieties, he finally came upon a bourbon with the character he had long sought after. One fateful day, while transporting his barrels of bourbon from Kentucky to New Orleans, Augustus Bulleit vanished. What happened is still unknown, and his creation nearly disappeared into history along with him.

In 1987, Thomas E. Bulleit, Jr., fulfilled a lifelong dream of reviving an old family bourbon recipe by starting the Bulleit Distilling Company. Inspired by his great-great-grandfather Augustus Bulleit, who made a high-rye whiskey between 1830-1860, Tom left a successful law practice and risked everything to experience life on the frontier.

This winter season, what is the perfect gift for the whiskey lover, outdoor enthusiast or really anyone who enjoys a quality whiskey neat or in a cocktail at the perfect temperature – hot or cold, inside or out – in your life? Enter The Bulleit Whiskey x Yeti Gift Pack.

Available for purchase at retail where Bulleit is sold and also on, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey and Yeti have collaborated to debut a one-of-a-kind premium gift bundle, which features a 750ML bottle of the trademark Bulleit Bourbon and a 375ML bottle of Bulleit Rye Whiskey, along with a Bulleit x Yeti 10OZ YETI RAMBLER Lowball.

GSN’s Thoughts: We have enjoyed Bulleit whiskies for a long time, but this gave us a chance to try a few side-by-side for the first time. We were sent bottles of the flagship spirit as well as the 10-year-old. Both are excellent, with a rich bourbon sweetness touched with a mild hit of rye spice. Very smooth, excellent as mixers and straight sippers. The 10-year-old garners a few extra points for being extra silky and mild. If you’re able to grab one of the YETI lowball mugs, let us know!
GSN Rating: Bulleit- A; Bulleit 10-year-old- A+

For more information go to: Bulleit

GSN Brews News: December 29th 2020 Edition

Michigan-based Perrin Brewing has launched winter seasonal Coffee Latte Brown Ale. The 5.8% abv brew is made with Germack Coffee’s I-75 blend and includes milk sugar to lend creaminess to the blend. Coffee Latte Brown Ale is rolling out across Michigan in 6-packs and 15-packs of 12-ounce cans. Part of the Canarchy craft brewing collective, Perrin has annual production of 25,000 barrels.

Inglewood, California-based Three Weavers Brewing is launching seasonal offering The Messenger Sunny India Pale Ale. Clocking in at 7.3% abv, The Messenger combines locally grown yuzu and Buddha’s hand citron with Citra, El Dorado and Sabro hops. The seasonal brew is now available in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans at Three Weavers’ Inglewood taproom for pickup and delivery, as well as at select California retailers. Three Weavers is part of the Canarchy craft brewing collective. Its core labels include Seafarer Kolsch, Sun Trap Session Sour Ale, Day Job Pale Ale, Deep Roots Amber Ale, Knotty Double IPA, and Juicy Expat Hazy IPA.

Austin, Texas-based Blue Norther hard seltzer has released a variety pack including its Wild Blackberry, Agave Lime and Prickly Pear flavors. The variety pack launch follows the company’s expansion into the four major Texas metropolitan markets of Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth and is available across top retailers like H-E-B, Total Wine & More, Whole Foods and Spec’s. An independent brewer founded by the Pittman family, Blue Norther launched earlier this year. The company is named for the fast-moving cold front that can blow through Texas.

Alaskan Brewing is launching Baltic Porter as part of its limited edition Pilot Series. The 9.8% abv brew is characterized by a blend of specialty malts, dark black cherries, brown sugar, and gourmet vanilla beans, and is finished on oak. Its name refers to the Russian period of Alaska history, with the copula of a Russian Orthodox church featured prominently on its label. Alaskan Baltic Porter will be on shelves in 22-ounce bottles and on draft in select locations beginning in December and will be available for approximately three months.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: December 29th 2020 Edition

Buena Vista, Colorado-based distiller Deerhammer has unveiled the second bottling in its Progeny specialty spirits series, a collaboration with Denver-based brewer Crooked Stave. The new offering, Cask Savant (50% abv), began as Crooked Stave’s hoppy brett beer Hop Savant, and was rested in heavy toast light char American oak casks. “To our knowledge this is the very first example of a spirit born from a 100% Brettanomyces yeast fermentation,” says Deerhammer founder and head distiller Lenny Eckstein. Cask Savant retails at $70 and is available at select Colorado retailers. Known for American single malt whiskey, Deerhammer’s range also includes Whitewater Whiskey, Buena Vista Brandy, and Dutch Style Gin.

Beam Suntory’s Alberta Distillers is launching a new limited-edition cask-strength whisky in the U.S. market: Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye. Made in Calgary from a 100% rye mashbill, the new entry carries an abv of 63.9% to 66% and is packaged in a faceted glass bottle. It retails at $70 a 750-ml.

U.K.-based Salcombe Distilling has launched Start Point and Rosé Sainte Marie gins in the U.S. Start Point is billed as a classic, citrus-led London Dry gin, while Rosé Sainte Marie is inspired by the aromas, flavors and lifestyle of the Mediterranean coast. Both retail at $40 a 750-ml. The two Salcombe gins are currently available in New York, Connecticut, and New England, imported by Park Street Imports and distributed by Horizon Beverage, Empire Merchants and Connecticut Distributors Inc. Salcombe is located in the town of the same name on the southwest coast of England.

Fluère non-alcoholic spirits are launching in the U.S., as low- and no-alcohol drinks offerings continue to gain traction. Imported from the Netherlands by Hearts + Tales Beverage Company, Fluère will debut in the California, Illinois and Massachusetts markets—as well as on Amazon—retailing at $30 a 750-ml. The brand includes an Original offering, made with juniper, lime peel, lavender, and coriander, as well as Spiced Cane, Raspberry, and Smoked Agave expressions. Non-alcoholic spirits continue to gain steam, with 21% of U.S. consumers participating in Dry January this past year, according to a recent study by Diageo brand incubator Distill Ventures, which counts the Ritual Zero Proof and Seedlip labels in its portfolio.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Paulaner Salvator & Paulaner Weizen Radler

Paulaner Salvator (7.9% ABV) Paulaner’s brewing history begins with Salvator. It was the Paulaner monks who invented this unfiltered, bottom-fermented double bock. Brewed from dark malt barley also known as “Munich malt” for over 375 years is where the bier’s dark, chestnut color comes from. Salvator has a mild, sweet aroma of chocolate and imparts a distinctively bold, robust flavor. It goes well with hearty meals. Although the bier remains unchanged, Paulaner Salvator is coming out with a new look that features a sleek bottle shape, raised Paulaner embossing and updated label graphics. 

Paulaner Weizen Radler (0.5% ABV) This mix is in a class of its own – combining the great taste of Paulaner Hefe-Weizen with natural effervescent lemonade in a non-alcoholic alternative for a refreshingly fruity, yet malty taste. Citrus notes of lime, orange and lemon match the wheat bier perfectly and provide a uniquely balanced taste experience. In addition to Weizen-Radler’s perfectly blended taste, the product is unfiltered and a naturally perfect thirst quencher. Best of all, it has significantly fewer calories, sugar and sodium than that of a leading sports drink. The Paulaner Weizen Radler is also sporting a new look and features a sleek bottle shape, raised Paulaner embossing and updated label graphics.

GSN’s Thoughts: Wow. These are two completely different approaches to drinking from the Paulaner brewery. On the one hand, Salvator is a rich, dark and almost coffee-like beer with a powerful kick entirely suitable for colder weather. On the other, the Weizen Radler is light, refreshing summery beverage that seems more appropriate for the heat of summer. And yet, with the inevitable over indulgence of the holidays, this is a perfect brew for Dry January. We like them both, like we would our own children with differing personalities. GSN Ratings: Salvator- A; Weizen Radler- B+

For more information go to: Paulaner HP USA

GSN Brews News: December 22nd 2020 Edition

St. Petersburg, Florida-based 3 Daughters Brewing has re-released Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter, its annual holiday beer. The limited edition brew is aged in Horse Soldier Bourbon barrels from American Freedom Distillery prior to bottling. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter will be available at the 3 Daughter’s tasting room, as well as in 6-packs at select retailers.

Park City, Utah’s Wasatch Brewery has launched two new winter beers in its seasonal lineup and added a new sessionable brew to its year-round portfolio. For the colder months, Wasatch released Wonderful Winter Ale—a 7.1% abv Imperial amber ale that was previously known as First One Down—and Snow Bank, a 5% abv malt-forward amber lager. The two seasonals are available in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans. The brewery’s new year-round release is Our Share IPA. The brew is a 5% abv session IPA and is rolling out in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans. Wasatch is a member of the Canarchy Collective of brewers.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily