January 31, 2007
Cuca Fresca Cachaca
Sugar Cane Rum Imported from Brazil
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Typical Price: About $20 per 750ml for Silver
About $25 per 750ml for Pura Gold
We've been sitting on our review of Cuca Fresca for a little while, mainly just because we haven't had the time to dedicate to writing it up. We've finally gotten our acts together, and jotted down our thoughts on both the silver and gold expressions of their Cachaca. We know you've been waiting with bated breath, so go to town.
Continue reading: "Cuca Fresca Cachaca Review"
January 30, 2007
We've been hearing some good things about Absinthe Duplais Verte, enough so that we'd really like to get our hands on a bottle. It's a Suisse absinthe and it won a gold medal at the 2006 International Wine and Spirit Competition, and it's the only absinthe to win. On top of the gold medal it won a Best in Class trophy, which is apparently a big deal as well.
We've gotten our hands on the tasting notes from the competition, which are what have our little hearts aflutter:
Unique, golden/green hue. Slow forming louche had sudden active spurt resulting in thick, almost solid, milk shake finish. Eventual colour was translucent , rich, golden green with amber highlights. The aromas after louche were slow to emerge but built with time into a complex herbal salad. Wormwood and fennel began to establish themselves on the nose with hints of spice lifting above the meld of herbs. Full textured, rich, creamy mouth with outstanding, refreshing taste with substantial fennel and wormwood flavours. Massive power, yet well controlled, long, everlasting finish. Magnificent product.
Absinthe Duplais Verte is available at AbsinthVertrieb.de
for about $40 per 500ml bottle (if you have trouble seeing it correctly, you can muck with the settings until the site displays in English and shows US prices). This is a bit smaller than your typical 750ml liquor bottle, but from what we're hearing it's worth every penny. You can also get a 200ml bottle for about $20, or super size it with a full liter bottle for about $75.
Absinthe Duplais is also available in two other varieties - Blanche and Balance - and as of press time there is a special on where you can get a 500ml bottle of all three expressions for about $100.
January 29, 2007
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and when it comes to drinking you couldn't be more right. Gone are the days when you had to use your Zlotnian calculator (pictured) to figure out how many drinks are in your bottle of liquor. The mad geniuses over at Urban Monarch have gone and figured out yet another way Google can be useful for boozers.
What they don’t tell you is that google understands the unit “shot.” So simple queries like “shots in a pint” or “shots in 750ml” (example) will tell you how many drinks you get of each bottle. (The answers are 10.6 and 16.9).
If you are splitting a bottle with several friends, simple add a “/” and the number of people drinking. So, “shots in 1.5 litres / 5″, tells you that a handle of vodka will give you and four of your buddies 6.7 shots each.
Urban Monarch - Measure Drinks with Google Calculator
January 26, 2007
This is probably a post we should send over to our compatriots at Cheap Fun Wines, but we like Bodum glasses a lot and hey - we found it. Let 'em link to us. We saw these double walled Bodum sake glasses over at Josh Spear's site and we instantly developed a little crush. Whether you drink your sake hot or cold, the double wall will help keep it at the temperature you like, and they just look damned cool.
We found them over in a set of six at Amazonfor about $25; Josh found they're also available at Kitchen Universe for a couple bucks cheaper.
Amazon - Bodum Double Wall Sake Glasses Set of 6[via Josh Spear]
January 25, 2007
Frisco Fish Cachaca
Sugar Cane Rum Imported from Brazil
80 Proof (40% ABV)
About $15 per 750ml for Silver
About $17 for Gold
Currently available in Texas
We've really been getting into Cachaca lately, which isn't a surprise considering how much we've always liked Rum and they're sort of like distant cousins. In fact, we dig the drink so much we've even started a new Cachaca category so you can check out our coverage of this relatively new liquor to enter our lives.
The latest item on our chopping block is Frisco Fish, a triple-distilled Cachaca that is imported by a company down in Texas. It comes in two varieties - the silver, which is bottled immediately after distillation, and the gold, which is aged for at least a year in oak barrels before bottling. We're starting to see more "gold" Cachaca around lately, and we've been interested in trying them out.
As a little bonus, we've got a few ads that will put some cheesecake in your Caipirinhas; scroll to the bottom of the review to check them out. We have to say the Frisco Fish folks know how to get us interested in their product.
Continue reading: "Frisco Fish Cachaca Review"
January 24, 2007
We're big fans of bitters - after all, they're a crucial ingredient in nature's perfect drink, the Old Fashioned. We know there are all sorts of different types, but we've never really paid that much attention to them. Apparently, there's a new trend where bars are making their own bitters to add that certain something to their drinks, and they're not alone...you can make your own bitters as well.
Check out some thoughts on bar bitters below, and click through to the story for a recipe for Dr. Schwartz's Cherry-Vanilla Bitters.
With the recent classic cocktail revival, bartenders and home mixologists have renewed interest in the ingredient. Bartender Jennifer Colliau of San Francisco's Slanted Door says, "It may be that we've run out of ways to infuse vodka. Now there are more people who are interested in booze that tastes like booze. (Bitters) alter the flavor of the liquor but in an aromatic way, rather than adding sugar or acidity -- lemon or lime juice -- or adding a mixer like soda."
SFGate - Reinventing Bitters
January 23, 2007
We had our own little run-in with absinthe last year, and it put our tails between our legs. We didn't include a lot of details of what we went through or how we felt, but we did offer you a few high-level details of that fateful night. Thanks to Urban Monarch we just found a description of an absinthe night that contains a few more details about the actual implosion.
Sleep seems a million miles away. I am living in a bright light on the top of my skull. I’m going to sit at my white-formica, dramatically-lit kitchen table and read some more Hemingway. Seems a very natural thing to do. Can't go visit the guy. They'd throw leg irons on me and put me in a cage.
Modern Drunkard - Drinking With Van Gogh
[via Urban Monarch
January 22, 2007
That's a subject line we never thought we'd have to write, and if we can possibly avoid using "scrotum" and "opener" together in a sentence again we'll be happy. But if you have a predilection for marsupial jumbly parts in conjunction with opening your beer, you're in luck. Actually, we'd completely think this was a sick joke if there wasn't an order form alongside it.
The Kangaroo Scrotum Bottle Opener comes in a variety of colours, mostly shades of grey, brown and white and is Close up of Kangaroo Scrotum presented tastefully; gift boxed, as are all products in our Gifts Of Distinction range.
Have you got a mate that has everything? I bet he hasn't got a kangaroo scrotum bottle opener... and I bet it's a present he won't forget for a long long time!
Univenter.com - Kangaroo Scrotum Bottle Opener
We've covered a few portable bars in our time, but here's one that really has us excited. It's a fully functional briefcase, as in the kind you carry your computer and papers in, that has a full bar inside. And we're not talking just any old portable bar - it's got two shakers, a cutting board, a pestle (for muddling). We're all aquiver on the inside - seriously. We need this.
what can we say about the bar briefcase by carl mertens? this amazing aluminum case is fully functional as a briefcase with compartments for files, business cards, pens and even a cell phone. the bonus, if you will, is that the case comes with a 14 piece fully functional bar set included! nearly every bar accessory imaginable is contained within: strainer, ice tongs, cocktail spoon, jigger, 3 piece shaker, additional shaker with mixing glass, bottle opener, corkscrew, 2 liquid pourers, bottle cap, knife, cutting board and pestle. if you can't make any drink under the sun with this set, it's time to go back to bartender school! items are made of 18/10 satin stainless steel. briefcase has 2 combination locks, 13.5" x 5" x 18.5". we love this thing!
Unica Home - Carl Merten's Bar Briefcase
[via The Sporting Life
January 19, 2007
A while ago we told you about Donald Trump's move into the spirits world (not spirit world - that's how rumors get started) with Trump: The World's Finest Super Premium Vodka. We sort of forgot about it after we posted the initial story because we haven't been able to get our hands on any, but with a name like that it's got to be good, right? Apparently not, according to the folks at About : Cocktails.
They got a chance to sample Trump's Vodka creation, and they were underwhelmed. No word on whether drinking it was better or worse than living in Tent City.
The brand that did not live up to its hype was Trump Vodka. Yes, that Trump. Donald Trump has expanded once again and put his name on a Dutch vodka that was rather unimpressive. I'm not sure what I expected, but I can say I have had much better vodka. However, I can imagine picking up a bottle for an Apprentice: LA viewing party, mixing up Dirty Martinis until the bottle's gone.
From About : Cocktails
(read the full Trump Vodka Review
January 18, 2007
There is so much we could say about the BongXedo wearable beer bong from BestBongs, but there's so little we can add. They've done all the work for us - they've made a beer bong you can wear like a harness. Double funnels? Check. Crazy "DeFoamer" technology? You betcha. Big old hose that sticks out of your bathing suit area when you wear it for some titillating times when someone's funneling? Done and done.
The BongXedo holds three beers and you can hang it up when you get sick of making people chug beer out of your crotch region. It's part of a line of high tech funnels including the Little Easy, the Racer, and the Jammitron, all designed to get beer into you at an aggressive rate of speed with a minimum of foam. How can you go wrong? Learn about all different beer bongs they make (and why they claim to be the best) at BestBong.com.
January 17, 2007
Most of the time our stories skew a little bit, well, dude-ish. We tend to cover items that get you drunk at a high rate of speed and whatnot - OK, so the Flabongo is pink but it's definitely designed for chugging. We've decided to spruce things up a bit by covering a drink that appeals a bit more to the ladies. Seems like a lot of steps and we have no idea what Elderflower cordial is, but at least it contains one of the manliest of liquors - gin.
Lap of Luxury
From Plymouth Gin
2 oz. Plymouth gin (I figured go with what the recipe calls for, but you can use a different gin if you'd like)
1 1/4 oz fresh squeeze Pink grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. Elderflower cordial
1 dash of simple syrup (mix equal parts boiling water and sugar)
1 slice of watermelon
1. To a shaker filled with ice add gin, elderflower cordial, watermelon wedge, simple syrup and pink grapefruit juice.
2. Shake vigorously to break up the watermelon.
3. Strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a watermelon ball and a slice of lemon.
Makes one cocktail.
Substitute: Black currant or apple liquor for the elderflower cordial.
January 16, 2007
Compass Box Oak Cross
Malt Scotch Whisky
Imported from Scotland by WyattZier
86 Proof (43% ABV)
Typical Price: About $50 for 750ml
We really and truly have dug all of the Compass Box whiskies we've tried, from the Asyla right down to the Peat Monster. We typically find them to be extremely tasty, and the company doesn't fall into the hoity toity view a lot of people have about Scotch. They seem down to earth, they make a good product, and they like to experiment - how can you go wrong?
Their latest creation we've had a chance to try is Oak Cross, so named because the barrels it's aged in are a cross between American and French oaks. Was the effort of marrying American and French worth it? We think so. Read on to find out why.
Continue reading: "Oak Cross Scotch Whisky Review"
January 14, 2007
Here's a little tidbit for you - did you know you can eat gold? Not ALL gold (it's hard on the teeth) but there is actual edible gold leaf out there. Why do we bring this up, you ask? We just found an email offering details about how to use edible gold leaf in a cocktail that features Bacardi Limon. They were spinning it fit in with the Golden Globes but we discovered it a bit too late unless you have edible gold lying around. We're thinking you can A) make the cocktail tomorrow without the gold treatment, or B) throw a Bacardi party and watch Goldfinger(or Goldmemberwe suppose).
The Bacardi Limon Gold Standard Cocktail
1 1/2 oz. Bacardi Limon
1 oz. Cointreau
1 1/2 oz. POM Wonderful
Lemon Swirl and 24K Gold Flecks (optional)
Shake the BACARDI Limon, Cointreau, Pomegranate juice and Sprite over ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Finish with pomegranate seeds, Lemon swirl and 24K Gold Flecks.
Get your edible gold leaf at The Gold Leaf Company
, Edible Gold
, or Fancy Flours
January 11, 2007
Paula's Texas Lemon
60 Proof (30% ABV)
Typical Price: About $24 for 750ml
Way back in the olden days of 2005, we reviewed a little something called Paula's Texas Orange (PTO). It was one of our favorite orange-flavored drinks of the entire year, and made for some seriously great margaritas and cosmos for the next little while around the office - until we ran out. A few months back, we found out about a new concoction from the very same Paula, and this one is called Paula's Texas Lemon (PTL).
It's modeled on Italian limoncellos, and it tries to do for lemons what PTO did for oranges. We don't know much about limoncello, but we know from lemons. Does that pucker on our face mean we liked it, or did we feel like we ended up with a lemon? Read on to find out.
Continue reading: "Paula's Texas Lemon Liqueur Review"
January 10, 2007
Notice anything in particular about the people in the picture to the right? Yes, they all have beers, or most of them do. Notice anything else? Everyone's wearing a glove. And it's not just any glove. It's the Beer Glove.
We're not kidding. They're selling gloves right now designed to keep your hand warm when you're drinking beer. Does this glove have any features to distinguish it solely as a beer drinking glove? Not that we can tell - except for the fact that they're sold singly instead of in pairs. It's basically a coozie but for your hand instead of the beer.
This is either a brilliant genius stroke that's way ahead of its time, or it's the worst idea since the ice cream glove pitch on Da Ali G Show- tell us straight, are we missing the upside here?
If you need to get your hand on one, check them out at OfficialBeerGlove.com.
The Art of the Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the Classics
by Jeff Hollinger & Rob Schwartz
Typical Price: $24.95 (Hardcover)
The Art of the Barat Amazon
The Liquor Snob staff has a new goal for 2007, and it's a simple one. We want to get out to San Francisco and have a drink at the Absinthe Bar and Brasserie. Why, you ask? Because that's where the two gents who wrote Art of the Bar work, and if they know this much about booze it's worth a cross-country pilgrimage to drink from the source. We're sure the food is great too, but to be honest we probably won't eat - we'll probably just pull out our copy of the book, ask them to make the drinks on page one, and keep going until we run out of money or liver cells.
In case you're having trouble figuring it out - we liked this book. Read on for details.
Continue reading: "The Art of the Bar Book Review"
January 9, 2007
Vanilla Vodka Liqueur Mixed with Schnapps
40 Proof (20% ABV)
Typical Price: Around $10 for 8 shots
There's something about a prepackaged shot that almost seems too easy. You've got this shot glass you can throw in your pocket or briefcase, and do a shot no matter where you are. It kind of makes you wonder why more liquor companies aren't doing it - seems like you could make a bundle in college towns. Anyway, there is a company that's doing the good work of offering single-serving shots with Twistee Shots.
They offer a cool chambered shot glass that has vanilla vodka liqueur on one side, and a flavored schnapps on the other. You just jank it up to you mouth and swallow, and they mix in your mouth. Pretty smart. We tried the butterscotch and strawberry varieties - read on for our thoughts.
Continue reading: "Twistee Shots Review"
January 8, 2007
We've heard about a drink called the Hemingway cocktail, and we knew it involved a combination of absinthe and champagne. It seemed like a high end way to kill an afternoon, but there were two things we didn't think about (or know). One thing we didn't think about was how champagne's bubbles might distribute the absinthe buzz. Two was the fact that another name for the drink was the Death in the Afternoon (named after a bookby Papa himself).
We haven't touched absinthe in a while, ever since a fateful night last march, but after reading about this drink in the NYT, it made us rethink the drink.You need a free subscription to read the article, but it's interesting, at least if you want to read about why absinthe goes milky when you add another liquid, and are curious about the effect of the bubbles. We're interested in both.
READERS of Ernest Hemingway know “Death in the Afternoon” as a book about bullfighting. But to drinkers with a taste for obscure booze, it is also a cocktail that Hemingway contributed to a 1935 collection of celebrity recipes. His directions: “Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”
New York Times - Trying to Clear Absinthe’s Reputation
O2 945 Sparkling Vodka
Grain Vodka Imported from Britain
94 Proof (47% ABV)
Typical Price: Around $35 for 750ml
You'll have to forgive our tardiness on this review - it's been quite some time since our first O2 Vodka review, and we don't really have a good excuse. We liked the original O2 quite a bit, and we've been looking forward to reviewing this one, its higher-proof sister, for quite some time. We saved our bottle for our New Year's Eve party, and after reading an article that said on New Years vodka is the second most toasted drink after champagne, we decided we wanted the best of both worlds. Not only did we get to drink vodka instead of bubbly, we got to have bubbly vodka! That's one for the record books right there. Read on for our full review of O2 945, and find out how this premium vodka fared
Continue reading: "O2 945 Sparkling Vodka Review"
January 6, 2007
Remember Ted Breaux, the mad genius who's been reverse engineering absinthe
- the very same stuff that turned the Liquor Snob editors into bantha fodder
last March? He told us a while back that he was developing a tobacco liqueur, and he's finally released it under the name Perique. It's made from a high quality tobacco, and no, it doesn't taste like an ashtray. If you're anything like us you like the smell of unlit tobacco, and while we haven't tried this stuff ourselves we're hearing good things about his ability to convey that smell and taste into a 62 proof liqueur.
Louisiana Perique is the rarest and more precious tobacco in the entire world. Early French settlers learned the secrets of Perique cultivation from the native peoples, and while their descendents have continued the tradition for centuries, very little Perique exists today. The unique terroir of the Mississippi River gives Perique the intense spices and aromas that contribute to the delicate balance of this fine liqueur.
Perique is entirely artisanal in its construction, and captures the nuances of this ancient tobacco. Perique is best enjoyed in the same manner as one would a fine liqueur or brandy. Due to the difficulty in procuring this rare tobacco, Perique liqueur is available only in limited quantity.
Read up and buy a bottle of this limited release liqueur at Absinthe Online
[Note: We put the wrong link in here at first; we've updated it since. Sorry about that].
January 5, 2007
We see a whole lot of products out there designed to help people keep their drinks cold. From coozies to Beer Hugs, everyone seems to be trying to come up with a way to avoid losing the chill in your cocktail. To be honest, we don't have a lot of problems with keeping our drinks icy - they're usually inside us long before they have time to warm up.
We did learn about an interesting product recently called Kronik Chill, however, that made us sit up and take some notice. As far as we can tell they're lined styrofoam cups that you keep in the freezer, and they're different than anything else we've seen. For one, they market themselves as "reusable and disposable" which means you can wash them if you're up for it but they're cheap enough (a case of 24 for $24) to toss if you want after the party's done. For two, according to the test on their site, they keep the chill much better than a regular old keg cup.
We like the concept that styrofoam will keep your hand from getting cold, the fact that you can stack 'em in the freezer, and that you can toss 'em when you're done (environment? what environment?) so we're thinking about getting our hands on some for our next office margarita party. You can check them out and pick up a case of cups at KronikChill.com.
Update: After concerns were raised in the comments of this story about the shipping price for Kronik Chill, the company lowered its shipping price from $10 for 2 dozen cups to a $5.99 flat rate. That works out at less than a quarter per cup for shipping - not too shabby! Viva la revolucion!
January 4, 2007
We're not usually ones for fashion statements here at the Liquor Snob offices, but we do think there's something to be said for a good old tee shirt with a clever slogan on it. That being said, most of the "clever" shirts we see around leave us kind of cold. To paraphrase the Tap, there a fine line between clever and stupid, and most slogan tees are the latter. We did find a couple drinking-related ones we liked over at Lucky Threadz - most notably the Drinking Games Slow Me Down tee pictured here.
There were a couple other noteworthies, including the W.M.D. shirt and the Alcoholics Synonomous, and they've got some non-drinking-related ones too. Check out the full selection at Lucky Threadz, and tell 'em Liquor Snob sent ya.
January 3, 2007
We've gotten another little bundle of joy to add to our backlog of products we haven't reviewed yet, and we have to say we're pretty excited. We've never had Sol Azul Tequila before, but we like the bottling and packaging, so we can't wait to try it. We especially like the handcrafted bottles the premium products come in, which are color coded to make it easy to pick them out when you've had a few - cobalt (anejo), blue (reposado), and crystal (silver).
We'll let you know what we think as soon as we've tasted the two bottles we got (a bottle of Gold and a bottle of the premium Reposado); you can learn more about each at SolAzulTequila.com.
January 2, 2007
We have to say, we've got a good feeling about 2007. Things are looking up around the old Liquor Snob offices, and that's not just because the interns were happy with their Christmas bonuses (they wanted booze - who would've guessed?). We've had a happy and relaxing holiday season, and we're really looking forward into digging into the hooch in the coming year.
And boy, do we have some liquor to drink. We got a bunch of booze in during the holiday craziness, from Twistee Shots to Cachaca to scotch to lemon liqueur, plus we just got our copy of The Art of the Bar in the mail. Let's just say we'll be paying extra-close attention to our bedtime reading. Expect to see us get caught up on our reviews in the next couple weeks, and let us know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see.
Have a happy and un-sober 2007, and hopefully we can buy each other a drink someday.