This just in - Bacardi has pledged to donate up to $100,000 to the USO to benefit US troops through a Facebook promotion. You're familiar with Facebook right? The place where you hang out when you're supposed to be working?
Bacardi has pledged $75K to start, and you have the ability to up that to the $100K just by clicking a button. That's right, just head to their page and get to clicking in between playing farmville and posting about what your cat had for breakfast, and they'll take care of the rest.
In conjunction, Bacardi has also put up a "60 Second Cocktails" offer on the Facebook page as well, and it's one we think will interest our readers. They're offering a free PDF download of a 24-page booklet of entertaining and party decoration tips, as well as more cocktail and food recipes you can shake a stick at. The cocktails are designed to be made relatively quickly when you're entertaining, and the meals feature that mainstay of summer entertaining, the backyard grill.
So what are we saying exactly? That you have the opportunity, nay the responsibility, to support our troops and throw a self-congratulating party. That's right. And if anyone questions you, tell them Liquor Snob says it's OK. Oh, and while you're over in Facebooktown, feel free to follow us as well - our page is the one that smells like stale bourbon.
As people's taste in hard spirits gets more...eclectic...more and more distillers are trying to get in on the action. By this we mean people are starting to attempt to mass-market things you would have whipped up in a blender and dared your friends to drink in college - like salmon-flavored vodka.
And it's not just salmon-flavored. It's SMOKED salmon-flavored, which makes it classy enough to eat on your bagels. Everyone we've mentioned this to has wrinkled their nose in disgust - which doesn't shock us - but we can see some interesting applications for it. If people can put Clamato into their Bloody Mary, why shouldn't we be able to add smoked salmon to our screwdrivers? We'll leave you with this final parting thought, where the creators:
...said the current formula took 48 tries, and some of the first 47 attempts were downright disgusting. "Definitely the first few times we had our heave bucket close by," MacDonald said. "It was pretty bad, and you know, greasy.
Way to keep at it, boys.
We can't find a website for the stuff (you'd think we could smell it from here), so just go over to Geekologie, where we found out about it. (Thanks for the link, Wormy)
Our friends over at the fine publication Music Festival Junkies recently featured us in a piece they did on the best methods for smuggling drinks into festivals, and we have to say we wish we'd known about My Bootlegger in time for their article. What is it you ask? Basically, it's an ankle holster that holds six mini bottles of booze, which has more applications than you can shake a stick at.
Let's face it, when the guy at the gates pats you down, he's probably not going to check your cankles, are we right? The only downside we see is that this wouldn't work well with shorts, our usual music festival attire - also, the jury's out on whether it makes you walk as bowlegged as a hooker during fleet week.
Pick up your My Bootlegger for $9.99, or save a buck by buying two. How can you go wrong?
Call Star Trek enthusiasts - especially folks who like the original series - nerds all you want, but one thing we can tell you is those humans and Vulcans knew how to party. We'd never heard the song in this video before (Tik Tok by KE$HA) but whoever knit this video together knew a little something about how to throw an intergalactic party. That's right - you need fistfights, golden midgets, and a shirtless Sulu. Suck on that, you stuffed shirts from The Next Generation!
Aah, the bandolier. An amazing accessory, and the only one (that we know of) associated with both Banditos and Wookiees, but up until now it hasn't been very functional unless you have bullets or bowcaster bolts to lug around. Thanks to the Beer Bandolier, however, we're pretty sure it's going to replace the flip flop as the most crucial tailgating accessory of choice.
The Beer Bandolier, as you might expect, is a bandolier for holding cans of beer:
The Beer Bandolier is constructed of high test industrial strength 2'' wide nylon webbing to support a full clip of canned beverages. Six collapsible koozies provide maximum storage and chilling capabilities, collapsing out of your way when empty. The beer bandolier is available in nearly all colors in order to properly match your tailgating uniform.
All we can say is - finally! We couldn't find pricing on the website but we added one to our cart and found out it's just under twenty bucks, and they're not kidding about all the colors you can get. Pick one up at BeerBandolier.com.
We've always had a soft spot for independent spirits, and we've enjoyed watching the Indy Spirits Expo grow over the last few years. We've always thought it was exceedingly cool to get so many of the smaller brands together in one place, and give them a chance to sound off about their products. Plus, we really had a great time at the event we went to a couple years ago, sampling booze and getting shwag and generally feeling like big shots.
If you're going to be in the NYC area on June 23, we recommend you grab a ticket and go check it out - you'll be able to taste all kinds of booze you won't find at your local Applebee's, and support some up-and-coming brands at the same time. Check out who will be there at the Indy Spirits Expo site, and get ticket info as well. When you get there, tell them Liquor Snob sent you...even though they probably won't have any idea what you're talking about.
When we first heard about Given tequila liqueur, we weren't quite sure what to make of it. A Mexican spirit, fiddled with in France, and to top it all off, it's apparently not pronounced "given," it's pronounced "jee-vahn." Well, given that the folks from Given sent us a bottle, we decided to give in to the temptation and we're glad we did, since it's frickin' delicious.
The Look: The Given bottle is sleek and black with splashes of red, with a flat profile...all in all pretty good-looking.
The Nose: We got a lot more tequila than we expected when we sniffed Given, combined with a nice citrusy tang. It smells like a perfectly-mixed margarita, showcasing a bit of tequila's fire, tempered with tartness.
The Taste: Mostly citrus, with a faint tinge of tequila on the back end. We tasted a lot of lime juice, with very little sweetness. This isn't a heavy, syrupy liqueur, trying to overpower cheap booze with too much sweetness - it's nice and light on the palate with a nice long finish. If you're looking for a strong tequila flavor you're gut of luck, but this is a nice alternative.
The Verdict: Color us pleasantly surprised by Given. It's not going to replace tequila in our liquor cabinet, but it's got a nice citrusy flavor we can see working extremely well in a lot of cocktails.
We can also see ourselves sipping it on the rocks on a hot day, and seems like a good alternative when you want something margarita-esque with a lower alcohol content, or using it in citrus-based drinks to which we want to add some zing. We're seeing pricing around thirty dollars for a bottle, and you can check the Given website for tips on where to find a bottle.
We just opened our mailbox to find an unexpected package, and when we opened it we found a copy of The Beer Trials: The Essential Guide to the World's Most Popular Beers. Compiled by Seamus Campbell and Robin Goldstein, this book is a ratings guide features over 250 beer reviews. One of our usual concerns with a book like this is that they focus on tiny microbrews we'll never get to taste without some kind of pilgrimage, but this book does a nice job of featuring both micro- and macro-varieties of beer, all rated on a 10 point scale with notes.
It's not every day you'll find a book with ratings of Aventinus Weizenbock (9) cozied up near Big Sky Moose Drool (6) and Icehouse (4). After leafing through this book we have to say we warmed up to it immediately, and we've made it a personal goal to attempt to sample all the beers that got good ratings, if not all the beers period.
We just found out about Given, a tequila-based liqueur produced in the Cognac region of France. According to the email we got, Given combines:
premium agave tequila from Jalisco, Mexico and once in France we incorporate some of the wine and cognac producing techniques to the tequila, even using grapes in the infusion process to create a smooth, refreshing liqueur that is not as sweet and thick as a typical liqueur and and as strong as a typical tequila.
Sounds interesting to us.
Even more interestingly, the email states that since it has properties of both a liqueur and a regular distilled spirit, they've coined the phrase "spi-queur." We're not sure how things are done in France, but to us that sounds more like a racial epithet than something we'd order in a bar. Hey - who are we to judge? Maybe that IS the way things are done in France.
Remember the movie "Leaving Las Vegas"? It was the lighthearted romp where Nic Cage's character went to Vegas to drink himself to death. We're thinking that flick had to be the inspiration for the seven videos we found featured on Buzzfeed - why else would we be seeing videos of people doing this to themselves?
Not for the faint of heart, the above link includes videos of people "eyeballing," "slimming," snorting, inhaling, eating, shooting up, and chugging vodka. Yeah, we realize liquor is nature's perfect food, but are you that starved for it?
We're including the "eyeballing" video because we thought it was the least terrifying/most likely to cause blindness. The most important part? Doing it in both eyes to make ABSOLUTELY sure you can't see tomorrow. It kind of goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway - don't try this at home, kids. Thanks for the link, Burockracy.
Welcome to our review of Vesica Vodka, a triple-distilled Polish potato vodka that's looking to stand out in the glut of vodka brands with interesting packaging, reasonable pricing, and a distinctive flavor. But were they able to create the true triple threat? We put the three bottles the folks at Adamba importers sent us through their paces to find out.
The Look: Vesica definitely hit a home run with the shape of their bottles, with more than just the labeling to make it stand out. The only "traditional" bottle was on the 1L bottle, with the 750ML bottle taking more of a crescent moon shape. The 1.75L, instead of going for a traditional "handle" format, is shaped like two bottles standing next to each other, giving it a sleeker profile (as well as living up to its Vesica name).
The Nose: Slightly tart and even a bit grassy or herbal (in a good way) when we sniffed it from the bottle, this mellowed right out when we chilled.
The Taste: We've had potato vodkas in the past that were like an assault on the tongue, packing a huge wallop and bringing out a grimace from those not expecting it. Vesica doesn't have that, and offered a restrained mellowness that would be hard to beat. We enjoyed it in vodka martinis, and found it very sippable when served shaken over ice with a twist. It's got a smooth, snappy finish no matter how we tried it, and never failed to impress.
The Verdict: We think Vesica is immensely drinkable, especially considering it's a potato vodka, which can be a notoriously cantankerous spirit. The mellow flavor, combined with damn good price (around $10 for 750ML, $12 for a liter, and $20 for a 1.75L) put Vesica into the must-try category, especially for folks who've been scared off by potato vodka in the past. If you see it at your local liquor store, don't be scared off by that low price thinking you're buying paint thinner...pick up a bottle and you won't be disappointed.
Aaah, monthly roundup season. Let's all mix a drink or crack a brew, and take a look back at the events of May. Kind of a light month with our fearless Editor in Chief away in mexico for 25% of it, but don't fret - he was still drinking, he just wasn't writing about it.