Over the weekend we watched the first episode of season 2 of Archer, one of our favorite shows in the universe. The episode, called "Swiss Miss," took place in Switzerland, and featured a cocktail called a "Green Russian," to hilarious results. We caused quite a stir by jokingly posting to Facebook that we were whipping up some Green Russians, and afterward our interest was piqued. We had to try it, but was our assumption that it was a White Russian made with swiss absinthe way off base?
We got our bottle of Blackbeard Spiced Rum back in October, and if you had put a gun to our heads we would have sworn we reviewed it already, especially considering how bullish we were on the stuff. When it was brought to our attention the review was not online we all pointed fingers at each other and did our usual hair pulling routine but realized that wasn't going to solve the problem. So, with apologies, here is our belated Blackbeard review.
Blackbeard comes in a clear bottle with a striking black and red label, with its namesake pirate menacing you with two swords on the neck, and just chilling in profile down below. Maybe the suggestion is that he already killed you with those swords - we're not sure.
The nose is all kinds of vanilla and caramel, with a hint of oak and other spices. When we sipped, the vanilla and caramel definitely stayed out in front, with a hint of heat from cinnamon and other spices playing over our tongues. All our reviewers agreed we liked the level of vanilla sweetness and spice, and we all agreed we enjoyed it more than the syrupy sweetness of some big-name pirate rums out there, not that we're naming any names for fear of being keelhauled. We liked the spiciness at the finish that was accompanied by a slightly citrusy tang as well.
All in all Blackbeard is an excellent showing among the spiced rums we've tried, and an excellent value at around $15 for 750ML and under $20 for a liter. We can see this particular pirate sailing off the shelves, especially for folks who are looking for a change of pace from all those Captains and Admirals out there peddling spiced rum. This was our favorite spiced rum of 2010, and we plan to keep ourselves well-stocked.
Whether you want to keep your drink cold or protect your hands when you rail somebody in the face, any hockey fan worth his salt should get a Game On Glove, a hockey glove-shaped coozie, to hold his drinks. The most important question, of course, is whether you can beat the stuffing out of somebody WITHOUT spilling your drink. That's a varsity move, right there.
We're not huge hockey fans, so we'll probably just get a Hellboy Right Hand of Doom Glove and hollow it out enough to fit a beer.
Remember the limited edition Absolut Boston that came out a while back? If you've never heard of it, it was a black tea and elderflower-flavored vodka, and apparently it didn't taste like Boston's dirty water because it was popular enough that the company is apparently keeping it around as Absolut Wild Tea. We'll let you know how the tea party that is our review turns out and get it posted ASAP.
If you're a fan of Kahlua and its "Delicioso" ad campaign you might want to pay attention. The brand has released findings from a study saying 76% of people polled said the home is a better place for real conversation over a restaurant or bar, and they are encouraging people to spend a "Delicioso Night In" once a month. They offer entertaining suggestions and recipes, etc. - read the press release at CocktailGoGo.
At the same time they're encouraging you to stay home, however, they're also offering you a chance to go to Mexico - specifically Veracruz. You know from the ad campaign that it is a very intriguing place, so why wouldn't you want to head down there with three of your friends?
Kahlúa has partnered with Celebrity Chef Aarón Sánchez, and Chef Aarón will prepare the ultimate Delicioso Night In for one lucky winner and three other people of his/her choosing in New York before they are all whisked away to Veracruz, Mexico, the home of Kahlúa. Americans can join the movement and enter to win on
European bitters producers The Bitter Truth have released a new bitters liqueur called E**X**R in the US, and the big hook is that it has digestive properties, meaning you can help quash your sour belly after you eat too much by mixing a cocktail. That is what we call a win-win-win. We've gotten our bottle in for review and will review it post-haste.
Firmly rooted in the traditions of both classic sweet vermouths and alpine digestive tonics. Enjoy E**X**R in a pre-dinner Manhattan or Negroni or enjoy it neat after a rich meal to aid digestion. It's as delicate as the finest vermouths with an alcohol content that allows it to defy oxidation and the need for refrigeration. It's thoroughly intriguing and the most astounding new addition to the cocktailian arsenal.
We covered Beefeater's limited Summer Edition gin this past summer (seems like a good time for it) and we just got wind of a winter edition, which will also be released in limited quantities. It will come in around $20 and is only available in select markets. It's worth scoping out though, apparently - we loved the summer version, and the folks at Drink Spirits have plenty of nice things to say about the wintry one.
The orange from the nose presents itself solidly on the palate as more of an orange peel, accompanied by the pine from the juniper, which again is much softer and easier. The coriander from the nose is also very present on the palate, supported by cinnamon, vanilla, and a hint of lemon and nutmeg. The finish is cool and clean, with juniper and a very subtle cinnamon that slightly lingers.
They go on to say its mellow nature will appeal to those who don't usually like gin, which we also found in the summer expression.
Yes, you read correctly - you can now buy whisky in a can. You can stuff your jet packs and flying cars - this is the brave new world we have been looking for. Now you can sit back and sip 12 ounces of the finest Panamanian whisky, sold as nature intended - in a can. Take that, doubters. Unless this is a joke - in that case we knew it the whole time.
There's a trend in the liquor industry right now toward making white whiskey (known to some as moonshine) in controlled, not going to make you go blind conditions. We've tried a few and they're often delicious - like the unaged, rough around the edges younger siblings of our favorite whiskeys. It makes sense for the liquor companies (less aging time means quicker to market and less overhead) and it makes sense for bartenders and drinkers who are on the lookout for new flavors.
Charbay takes the concept of a white whiskey and goes a step further. In simple terms, whiskey is a beer that has been distilled to make it more potent, and they have upped the ante for other producers by using high-end IPA (India Pale Ale) as the base for their Doubled & Twisted. An IPA-inspired beer? Sign us right the hell up. But what does it taste like? Here's what DrinkHacker had to say:
As white whiskey goes, it's pretty good. The IPA's hops come across quite clearly, which tempers the funk that is wholly unavoidable with unaged whiskeys and lends the whiskey more herbal and grain character than you'd think. It's still edgy and rough -- you can't get away from it with white dog -- but I do like what Karakasevic has done here. Now what would happen if he put this stuff in barrel for a few years....
Learn more and try to get your hands on one of the 1200 bottles that were made at Charbay.com.
If you're desperately looking for a way to burn a hundred grand before tax season begins, you may want to look into buying this golden Armand de Brignac bottle, because at least you'll catch a little buzz while you shelter your assets. Anyway, Midas is OK but we're Meineke fans all the way - George Foreman FTW.
The myth of King Midas, the man who was blessed (and cursed) with the ability to turn anything he touched to gold, has inspired many things but few as lavish as Midas bottle from Armand de Brignac. According to wine bottle naming code, Melchizedek is the term usually used to describe a 30-liter vessel equivalent to 40 regular-sized 750ml bottles but perhaps Midas makes more sense for this bottle which weighs in at 100 pounds.
It's a little late for the Day of the Dead (or maybe a little early for this year's - you be the judge) but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying KAH Day of the Dead Tequila. Available in Blanco, Reposado and Anejo, these tequilas retails for $50 to $60 and come in beautiful-looking hand painted bottles. Apparently they're certified organic and kosher too - something we always look for in a tequila!
The Reposado, shown here in the red, is described as 'ultra smooth' and 'ultra high-proof,' with hints of vanilla and caramel after being aged for 10 months in French limousine casks. The Blanco features sweet notes of cooked agave with a spicy white pepper finish, while the Anejo is all about coffee, chocolate, and tobacco flavors.
Yes, it turns out legendary adult film star Ron Jeremy will be releasing a fluid into your mouth soon. Don't worry you won't have to worry about your future political career or what your mom would say - it's rum. All the same, try not to blink and make sure you maintain eye contact.
Ron de Jeremy is exceptionally smooth 7-year old rum from Panama. It is created by another legend, a 72-year old Cuban Master Blender Francisco Don Pancho Fernandez. Ron de Jeremy tastes perfect naked with nothing added and works equally great as a mixer. It is the adult rum.
As an aside, aren't all rums "adult rums" since you have to be 21 to drink them? Anyway, all joking aside, no word yet on when it's coming out (ha), but you can keep an eye on Ron de Jeremy online to figure out when and where to get a bottle.
If you're looking for a nice little DIY project for your garage, maybe you should consider building a cooler in the shape of your smartphone's operating system logo. That's whats going on in the picture above, and it actually looks pretty cool. Of course, you could always just drink beer out of a pre-existing cooler but A) it won't up your nerd street cred and B) you won't get featured on the Internet unless you do something awesome.
Head to Engadget for the full story and a video detailing the construction of the above vessel.
It seems like someone "discovers" how to saber champagne once a year or so and puts it up on the Web. We unearthed a champagne sabering video back in 2009, and our man on the street Andrew has found a video from 2007 that was just covered by the folks at science fiction site IO9. Andrew's take:
Here is the annual "how to saber" video - this time a month too late to be useful for New Years. However, (author Esther) writes a pretty humorous post with some interesting science and technique behind sabering. I'm surprised to see this on IO9 though - perhaps the "Lightsabering champagne" comment at the end grants it access to the sci-fi realm.
In fact this is a lot more interesting than the typical "ZOMG U CAN OPENZ BOTTLEZ WITH SWORDZ!!1!" post, which is what we more or less did - though we stick with our original seppuku advice. We were pretty fascinated with IO9's explanation of why you the bottle doesn't go all shardy when you saber it open. That's right Andrew - Esther blinded you with SCIENCE.
Everyone we know is familiar with the concept of "beer goggles" - that moment when your reproductive standards plummet after a few drinks. We've always wondered exactly what calls it, and sort of just chalked it up to "booze impairs your judgment" and left it at that. The judgment thing, after all, explains why we're much more prone to get into trouble after half a bottle of gin than half a bottle of iced tea, right?
Turns out that might only be the half of it, and the real culprit could be symmetry. Yes, we know, you've never elbowed your buddy in a bar and said "check out the symmetry on that girl," but the truth is, you're definitely factoring it in, even unconsciously.
A recent study in the journal Alcohol has found a reason why some of us might find people we normally would consider ugly to be handsome: we stop noticing facial symmetry.
Symmetry probably isn't a feature that you'd list as a must-have when dreaming up your ideal man or woman, but we tend to find more symmetrical faces to be the more attractive ones, possibly because symmetry is an indicator of good genes and good health.
Did that title get your attention? It certainly got ours when we saw it emblazoned across the cover of a book (the full title of which is Absinthe & Flamethrowers: Projects and Ruminations on the Art of Living Dangerously). Most of the books we cover feature cocktail recipes and other quasi-safe ideas but this one we love because it's DANGEROUS. We have a feeling you, our debonair yet thrill-seeking reader, will love it too.
Written for reasonable risk takers and suburbanites who want to add more excitement to their lives. This daring combination of science, history, and DIY projects explains why danger is good for you and details the art of living dangerously.
Yes, that's right - we said Bosch, like the power tool people. While this bottle-opening beauty isn't available here in the states right now, you can get your hands on it at Amazon UK if you're drooling over it as much as we are. Just think of the BPMs (Bottles Per Minute) you'll achieve with four volts of cordless power!
It's really just a 4-volt Bosch screwdriver with a funky corkscrew attachment, but we're going to ignore the fact that the tool can be used like any other screwdriver and pretend that it can only be used for opening wine bottles.
No word on whether you can get just the attachment for your existing cordless screwdriver, but we can always dream. [via the handsome gentlemen over at our sister site Tool Snob]
We realize this is a liquor site, not a music site, but we just stumbled across this new video from Korpiklaani, a fun band that loves to sing about drinking. So if you're in the mood to hear a Finnish folk metal band sing about a Mexican liquor, today's your day. [via Blabbermouth]
If you ask most people what is the best drink to pair with cheese, it's a safe bet the bulk of them will say "wine." We've had it burned into our brains that wine and cheese taste great together and are easily paired, but while in some cases it may be true, wine isn't the only libation you can pair with your favorite dairy treat.
At the tail end of 2010 the folks at Serious Eats put together a nice little treatise on pairing cheese and beer, and they submit the pairing can be far superior with beer over wine.
Here are three simple reasons that beers go better.
1. In general cheeses and beers speak at the same volume level on the palette.
2. Beer's carbonation makes an excellent foil for the creaminess and fat of most cheese.
3. The refreshing aspects of most beers offer a fine complement to the salt in many cheeses.
That said, you can't just pair any cheese with any beer and expect bliss.
We agree with the sentiments, and we've never seen it put so concisely why beer and cheese are such a delicious combo. Check out their full article for a nice little rundown on pairings that work.
In a fit of state pride, we also grabbed some great pairing information specific to Vermont cheeses from the iFoodTV and Cabot Cheese websites. If you're not a local woodchuck (or even if you are) you can also check out some great recommendations and pairing tips from ArtisinalCheese.com.
So what excellent beer and cheese pairing information did we miss out there on the Web?