December 29, 2006
With New Year's Eve rapidly approaching, 'tis the season to be thinking about how much you've had to drink before you get in the car. Actually, it's always that season for that, but you know what we mean. It can be difficult to know whether you're in the red zone and shouldn't drive, and there can even be situations where you're above the legal limit without even feeling much of a buzz. This is when a breathalyzer comes in handy, and if you're like us you'd rather administer it yourself rather than wait for a cop to do it.
We've been hearing a lot about the AlcoHawk Pro lately, and they've all been good things. We especially liked the notes over at Gizmodo and Uncrate, and we're hoping to get our hands on a Pro to test it ourselves.
You can pick up an AlcoHawk Pro or check out other breathalyzers at Amazon, and don't forget to read our Alcohawk breathalyzer reviews from last year to find other options for your breathalyzing needs.
December 27, 2006
For any of you who saw this year's Christmas special for The Office on NBC, you may have noticed an interesting-sounding drink recipe as you squirmed your way through the episode. We're talking about Nog-a-Sake, the vile-sounding holiday combination of three parts Japanese Sake and one part Egg Nog. It sounds disgusting and has a quasi-offensive name, and according to Ed Helms's Andy character from the show, some places won't make it for you "because egg nog is seasonal." F'ing brilliant, that is.
Oh, and according to the folks at Yum Sugar, it's revolting (hint: the Sake makes the Nog curdle).
However, the recipe got us thinking about other things we could mix with the chokingly thick and sickeningly sweet holiday drink beyond the traditional Bourbon or Brandy. We won't subject you to every permutation we tried, but we did want to share one recipe that everyone loved - combining Porter or Stout with Egg Nog. We searched around for recipes indicating people had already tried this and couldn't find any, which surprised us. The two flavors mixed together to cut the sweetness of the Nog, and the smokiness of the porter really brought about a complexly flavored drink that reminded us a bit of Guinness Ice Cream. If you've got some Egg Nog left over from the holidays, we recommend getting your hands on some porter or stout (Guinness would do the trick) and mixing up a few glasses before your New Year's resolution to slim down kicks in. Just mix them in equal parts (it might even be fun to layer them) and roll.
Also, we're having trouble coming up with a name, so if anyone can think of anything clever let us know in the comments below. If we get any good ones we'll pick it and send the winner a prize.
December 26, 2006
Talk about a day late and a dollar short - we kind of missed the holiday season on this one but we figured we should let you know. Remember the Shotgun Key from last year, the beer shotgunning device that was worthy of a Liquor Snobby award? You used to only be able to get them online, but they're now available in the real world - at Spencer Gifts in fact. We couldn't find them on the Spencer's website but we know they're available in their store locations - y'know, that place you always see in the mall?
Just think, you'll have a fistful of cash on you from returning that Huxtable sweater your Grandma got you, and they're only $7 for a set of two. Plus, there's a quote on the back of the package from yours truly, so you'll be able to hang up that framed bit of Liquor Snob memorabilia you've always wanted. Sounds like a win/win/win to us. Learn more about these bad boys at ShotgunParty.com.
December 25, 2006
We're hoping you've been nice all year, because this is the day of reckoning. Did you find bottles under the tree, or lumps of coal? Either way, we hope you're having a great holiday, and if you don't celebrate we hope you're having a great day anyway.
In the spirit of the season we've wrangled up one more cocktail recipe for you - they call it the Minty Mistletoe. It's an unfortunate name but the drink tastes great.
• 2 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
• .25 oz. peppermint schapps
• Add Baileys Irish Cream and peppermint schnapps
• Shake with ice and strain into martini glass
This recipe comes to you via TheBar.com
, which we mentioned to you
back in the salad days of early '06, and they have over 400 good recipes - at least if you're into Diageo products. And not to get too Grinchy, but this is exactly the reason why we hate Flash sites - we can't link to the recipes for you and you'll have to go dig them up yourselves. First you have to register, and then you can access the recipes by clicking on "Occasions." Luckily the content is good, and we'll stop our Bah Humbugging to once again wish you a Merry Xmas.
December 24, 2006
It's T minus one day to the Big Birthday (and many more, Jebus), and while you're out doing your last-minute holiday shopping, you big slacker you, we suggest you stop by the liquor store. Knowing you, you were probably going to do that anyway, but we have a specific Christmas list for you.
Pick up a bottle of Bacardi Big Apple (you might not have heard of this mom 'n pop operation - learn more at Bacardi.com) and a bottle of Butterscotch Schnapps (we used Buttershots from DeKuyper). You're about to treat your loved ones to a Caramel Apple Cocktail, and they'll thank you for it, even the ones who don't think they like cocktails. We took some to a party, and while most of the manly-type dudes didn't get too into it, the ladies in the joint had a feeding frenzy on them. We felt like we were watching Spring Break Shark Attack with fewer bikinis and better acting. Plus, it's in the spirit of the season so Mom can't frown on your introducing hard liquor to the festivities - especially after you get one or two in her.
The recipe is extremely simple the way we made it, which we got from DrinksMixer; just combine 2oz of Bacardi Big Apple and 2oz of the Buttershots in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a cocktail glass. If you want to go even one step further, buy some caramel sauce at the grocery store and rim the glass with it. Sticky but tasty.
Note: Most of the people we were with insisted on calling these Caramel Apple Martinis. We understand the confusion, but we refuse to call anything that includes rum and lacks gin, vodka, or vermouth a martini. It's a cocktail. Even the glass it's served in, which everyone calls a martini glass, is really a cocktail glass. Just a friendly xmas tip.
December 20, 2006
We've always wanted to take a distillery tour - we've been to plenty of breweries and wineries, but there's something about seeing hard liquor distilled that seems like it would be one of those "check it off the life list" experiences. Alex over at the The Alex Blog just let us know he took a distillery tour, and on top of that it was the distillery of one of our favorite Bourbons, Woodford Reserve. We'll let him tell you about his experience, but let's just say we want to go and we want to go real bad.
In any case, walking around the facility you get the distinct impression that they value quality above quantity. Everything from the distillery, to the stone warehouse, to the “bottling line” (which is quite small, and only operated a couple of days per week), you get the impression of quality, and a more laid-back reflective life. Even if the reality of the south is different, as most of my friends work the same 50-70 hours a week that I do,– but suffice it to say that there’s at least the impression of a more quality life.
See the rest of the picture Alex paints at The Alex Blog
December 19, 2006
We've found a new booze site we really dig, so we thought we'd let you know about it in time for your holiday reading - y'know, when you're avoiding your family, huddled in front of the computer? Anyway, the site is called Drink Shoot, and it's a side gig of Kevin from The Scotch Blog. Actually, it's a rogue's gallery of writers, including Rick from Martini Lounge and a few others (we'll leave it up to you to figure out who Angry Guy is).
The site is like the Traveling Wilburys of booze blogging, featuring an all star cast...and when we start submitting we reserve the right to be Tom Petty.
They've got all sorts of interesting stories going on there, including one our sister site Cheap Fun Wines picked up about Barefoot Bubbly (apparently you can make sparkling wine in California and call it Champagne...who knew?). Other interesting reads include bAD ADs, a note on our favorite Rye whiskey, and some seriously silly shit. Give 'em a read and let us know what you think.
December 15, 2006
We've got every reason to believe this holiday season will be full of extra cheer for the Liquor Snob staff, because we just got in a whole gang of booze that needs reviewin'. From self-contained shots to lemon liqueur to two kinds of Cachaca, we've gotten our hands on liquor to suit every taste bud this week. Maybe this will finally convince the interns to lay off their grumbling about the lumps of coal they got for their Christmas bonuses...at least during the holiday party anyway.
Here's what's been added to the review docket:
- Frisco Fisch Cachaca - Silver and gold, silver and gold, we got two bottles of Cachaca in silver and gold!
- Paula's Texas Lemon - All of the interns were tucked in their beds, while visions of lemon liqueur danced through their heads.
- Twistee Shots - We're dreaming of a Twistee Christmas, just like the ones we used to know, with butterscotch schnapps and vanilla vodka, all in a prepackaged and portable glass!
OK, maybe we lost it with the last one there, but keep your eyes open for reviews and don't forget there's not much time left until Christmas...don't forget to fill in your last-minute holiday shopping cracks using the Liquor Snob Gift Guide '06
December 13, 2006
Cognac Davidoff Classic
High Falutin' Brandy Imported from France
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Typical Price: Around $50
Davidoff at Le-Cognac.com
We're the first ones to admit we don't drink a lot of cognac. After all, we're not Uncle Pennybags or The Ladies Manright? Even so, we had a good time taste testing Davidoff Cognac...not to get too low-brow, don't be afraid of the 'gnac. The interns had a grand old time putting their pinkies up and giving it a swish, and everyone had positive things to say, which wasn't a big surprise.
Of course, that could be due to the fact that Davidoff is blended and bottled by another little name in Cognac - Hennessy. That's right, Zino Davidoff, already a big name in cigars and tobacco, put his head together with the folks at Hennessy to develop his product. Not a bad place to start, from everything we've heard. Read on for our notes about the fruits of their labor.
Continue reading: "Cognac Davidoff Classic Review"
Some days, you just want to plunk a couple pieces of ice in a glass and splash some booze on them. But some days you want something a little more complex, something with a few more steps. In fact, it can be said that mixing a good stiff drink is what separates man from the common beast. In fact, if we have one bit of advice for you, it's "don't be afraid of the classy cocktail." That's where the Art of the Bar (Amazon) comes in.
Its authors, Jeff Hollinger and Rob Schwartz, are bartenders at the Absinthe Brasserie and Bar, a famous San Francisco landmark for the discerning drinker. They know what they're talking about, and we've only heard good things about the bar and the book. We've got a copy on its way to us, and we'll et you know once we whip up a few of these legendary libations. If you can't wait, pick up a copy of your own at Amazonand get to mixing; for more info go to TheArtoftheBar.com.
December 12, 2006
Right about this time of year is when you start thinking about trips to the liquor store with dreams of sugarplums in your head. It's the season for holiday parties, and holiday parties mean picking out the right booze. With all the other headaches of the holiday season, you don't need something else to add stress, especially considering the end result is a holiday drunk.
Luckily, Epicurious has put together a guide to help you know what to get to make your spirits bright. Check out their recommendations for Bourbon, Scotch, Rum and Brandy - and most of them are brands you can find in just about any liquor store, which is a nice touch.
Can it be? Once again, the holidays are almost upon us. It's peak season for entertaining at home, whether it's a festive cocktail party, a tree-trimming, a traditional family gathering, a bowl game, or the granddaddy of them all, New Year's Eve. It's also the time of year when our willingness to indulge in spirits reaches a zenith.
Given our seasonal proclivity — not to mention the return of the cocktail and the current craze for single malt Scotch and other fine spirits — it's time to take stock of the liquor cabinet or wet bar.
To help keep your guests merry and bright, here is a short list of five great, nay, essential, spirits to have on hand for the celebratory onslaught.
December 11, 2006
O2 Sparkling Vodka
Triple-Filtered Grain Vodka Imported from Britain
80 Proof (40% ABV)
We've been excited to review O2 Vodka since we got our grubby little hands on the bottle, and now is our time. We've motored through the entire bottle, formed some opinions, had some good times. Our only regret is that we weren't able to try any of the Tapastinis we mentioned in our initial O2 coverage...we'll try to remedy that when we review the second bottle we got, O2-945 which is the high test version of the stuff. Hell, maybe we'll try all of the tapastini recipes together in one monster drink...sushi-caviar-jelly bean-tini anyone? Anyway, until that magical day, read on for our thoughts on our first bottle of O2.
Continue reading: "O2 Sparkling Vodka Review"
December 8, 2006
We're putting on a happy face today because over the course of this week a whole bunch of great new booze has arrived. We've gotten our hands on a new cachaca we haven't tried before, a bottle of Compass Box whisky, and something we haven't reviewed before and are very excited about - cognac. Plus, don't think we've forgotten we owe you a review of the bottles of o2 Vodka that arrived a couple weeks ago...they're coming and should be up by next week. As for the new stuff, here's the layout:
- Compass Box Oak Cross - We're really looking forward to this one; check out Kevin's thoughts on The Scotch Blog and head over to the Compass Box site to find more info.
- Cognac Davidoff - Don't know much about this one but we're really looking forward to trying it; learn more at the Davidoff site.
- Cuca Fresca Cachaca - As you know we really developed a taste for cachaca over the summer; looking forward to giving this one a try. Learn more about it.
December 7, 2006
We don't drink a lot of liqueurs in these parts, mostly because we find them to be too sweet. Well, that and the fact that we like our liquor to make us grimace - you have to pay for the buzz, y'know. One exception to this rule was Paula's Texas Orange, an orange liqueur that tasted just like oranges without hitting our sugar button. We've just found out about a new liqueur from our friend Paula, a lemon concoction similar to Italy's limoncellos.
We've got a bottle on the way, and we're looking forward to trying it out, especially to try out some of the cocktail recipes we found on their site. Until we can get our review up, learn more about it at Paula's Texas Lemon.
December 6, 2006
We've been fans of Woodford Reserve Whiskey for a while now, and we got an email a little while back saying they won quite an award at WhiskyFest. Turns out their Four Grain variety has raked in the award for American Whiskey of the Year, which is no small feat. We haven't tried the Four Grain, but we have big love for their regular variety so we have to imagine that fourth grain is where it's at. Of course, for ninety bucks a bottle you kind of imagine it HAS to be good, eh?
A new twist on an old practice, Woodford Reserve Four Grain incorporates wheat into its mash bill. “Traditionally, Kentucky bourbon distillers rely on a three-grain mash bill with corn serving as the majority grain, malted barley necessary for natural starch-to-sugar conversion, and rye as the preferred grain for creating a spicy, fruity character,” Master Distiller Chris Morris said. “By adding a fourth grain – wheat – into our mash bill, we can also deliver a soft, nutty flavor influence.”
Learn more at WoodfordReserve.com
. Oh, and now might be a good time to start getting ready for WhiskyFest '07
- we know we are.
December 5, 2006
We've been excited about the Matt Dillon Charles Bukowski movie Factotum (Amazon) for months now, and now we have another reason to be excited. The movie features Ikon Russian Vodka, a vodka we drank and loved last year (read our Ikon review). We're not sure how big a role in the movie Ikon has, but we like the whole Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon thing - we're one step away from having been in the movie ourselves! Click the image to see a bigger version where we highlighted the bottle - and are we crazy or is there a bottle of Tito's in there too?
For more information go to the Ikon Vodka blog, and you can pick up your own copy of Factotumat Amazon - pre-order now because it releases on December 26.
December 4, 2006
We don't ask much from you. All we can do is tell you to go out and buy Beerfest on DVD (Amazon). We know it didn't get the greatest reviews. We know it was only in the theaters for 15 minutes. We know you didn't go see it.
Now is the time for you to break that cycle of violence. Buy a copy for yourself. Buy a copy for your friends. Buy a copy for your Sponsor. Just buy a copy and laugh your ass off. You won't regret it.
Amazon - Beerfest (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
Repent all ye abstainers, for Repeal Day is upon us! For those of you who haven't heard of Repeal Day yet, it's the day America's Prohibition laws were repealed, allowing Americans to drink sweet, sweet booze again without having to smuggle it from Canada or make it in their bathtubs. If you ask us, that's almost better than Christmas (sorry Jesus).
We got our hands on a funny video called Celebrate Repeal Day, which you can find over at Google Videos, where Dewar's envisions a world where Prohibition was never repealed. A chilling thought, indeed. Also, if you want more info on Repeal Day head on over Jeffrey Morgenthaler's blog - we'd never heard of Repeal Day until we read his post a little while back. Also, in honor of Dewar's pro-Repeal Day sentiments, we've included a bunch of their cocktail recipes, including an Old Fashioned and a Rob Roy, after the jump so you can celebrate in style.
Continue reading: "Celebrate Repeal Day with Dewar's"
December 1, 2006
As you probably know, we're pretty sure liquor is a gift from God. And sometimes you want to give your nectar of the gods the display it deserves, complete with halo. We've never quite figured out exactly how to do that, but we've just stumbled across an excellent-looking option to give your bottles the full monty of lighted display.
The stair holds 12-15 bottles, depending on their size, and seems like it would fit in well with the decor of your bar room, your living room...hell, we're thinking about putting one in our bedroom. We can't think of a more comforting night light.
Amazon - Lighted Stair Liquor Bottle Display