Tuaca Liqueur Review On Its Way

Tuaca ShotYesterday, we covered the new Tuaca website, but we realized that we don't know much about the drink itself. Sure, the site says it's a "super-premium Italian liqueur with a hint of citrus and vanilla," and after some digging we discovered that it's brandy-based.

We've heard good things about Tuaca, but the truth is in the drinking, so we got our hands on a bottle. This weekend we're going to put it to the real test, starting with a chilled shot and working our way from there.

Please let us know if you've got a favorite Tuaca recipe that we should try, and don't forget to go to Tuaca.com to find more cocktail recipes. While you're there, check out their featured "Tuaca Tenders," where you can read bartender profiles and submit a favorite 'tender of your own.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

September 29, 2005

Tuaca Liqueur: Support Your Local Bartender

Tuaca BottleWe learned today that Tuaca Liqueur has released a new website, and the site is visually pretty, with Flash content offering all sorts of colorful stuff and moving pictures. It's got some nice features, including the list of drink recipes that scrolls across the bottom of the home page. Another liquor site isn't usually something we flip our lids over, but we did find something that caught our eye. We think the coolest part is that there is a whole section of the site dedicated to bartenders.

The Tuaca press release about the new site states "Bartenders are the major reason for Tuaca's continuing success in the U.S. and abroad. They deserve to be recognized for their part, and consumers can go on the site in support of their favorite bartender." We think it's a brilliant tribute to the unsung heroes of the liquor industry - after all, they're the ones who give us beer to cry in, offer advice, and get us in a cab when the lights come up.

Plus, you can go to the Tuaca site to find out all kinds of recipes, but who's going to mix it up for you at the end of the day? Your friendly neighborhood booze jockey, that's who. The "Tuaca Tenders" section of the site features bartenders from all over the world, letting them share their favorite way to serve Tuaca. Pretty cool.

While this online "high five" for bartenders is right on, that's not the only way Tuaca is giving them props. The other way they're showing their appreciation is by inviting servers and bartenders to the Body Art Ball, a series of events taking place in 10 cities across the country, from October, 2005 through January, 2006.

Body Art for BartendersHere's how the Tuaca press release describes the event: "...a fusion of two separate disciplines of art into one electrifying performance piece. Produced by Dallas-based Chris and Candy Productions, 15 visual artists transform 15 performers into living, breathing works of art for a runway show that dazzles the audience with a presentation to music and synchronized lights."

Here's how we describe it: Tuaca is sending lucky bartenders and servers to see mostly-naked people covered in body paint. Booze and partial nudity? That ain't bad at all.

One note about the cocktail recipes on the Tuaca site: Getting to them from the home page was fine, but we experienced some difficulties once we arrived on the recipe page. For one thing, the names of the drinks disappear, which makes it tough to know what drink you're clicking on. Plus, clicking on individual drinks from the recipe page doesn't show you the recipe unless you want to print it out, so you might end up heading back to the home page more often than you'd think while you're comparing cocktail recipes. We're not too concerned, though...the site just launched, so bugs are bound to happen. [Editor's Note: It looks like the bug was on our side, because the recipes work on every other computer we've tried, except for the one we did the original review on. That's what we get for writing on our new experimental corn-liquor-fueled computer. What else could you expect? Liquor Snob...where even the computers are drunk.]

For those of you who haven't tried it yet, Tuaca is a brandy-based liqueur infused with citrus and spices. Keep an eye out here at the Liquor Snob site, because we'll be doing a full review, as well as drink recipe suggestions, in the near future. Learn more about the liqueur at the Tuaca Website, and wish you were a bartender while you read about the festivities at the Body Art Ball site. And while you might not be able to throw them a festival, don't forget to support your local bartender too.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 28, 2005

Newfoundland Screech Rum: An Island Tradition

Newfoundland Screech RumHere at Liquor Snob, we're suckers for a hard liquor with a mythology behind it. Who are we kidding...we're just suckers for hard liquor. But when our friend Erik told us about the story behind Newfoundland Screech Rum, we were even more intrigued than usual.

It is an island tradition, but this rum doesn't get its mystique from some steamy Caribbean jungle. Newfoundland, for those of you without a globe handy, is a big island off the coast of Canada (the 15th largest island in the world, if that matters to you). So how did this Canadian province get its own rum, a drink usually associated with warmer climates? Therein lies the story.

ArrowContinue reading: "Newfoundland Screech Rum: An Island Tradition"

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (6) | social bookmarking

September 27, 2005

Quaffer Shot Glass with Built-In Chaser

Quaffer Shot Glass - Jager BombWe saw the Quaffer online a couple years ago, but we forgot the name and we've been wracking our beer-soaked brains to remember ever since. On more than one occasion we've been known to assign the Liquor Snob interns the task of finding "that cool shot glass that holds the chaser," and bird-dogging them through the Liquor Snob offices when they came up empty. No longer...Quaffer is now burned into our hearts and minds.

The Quaffer shot glass operates on a demonically simple premise that we file in the why-didn't-we-think-of-that category. You put your chaser into the lower, larger chamber where it will enter your mouth last, rinsing away the taste of the alcohol.

You float your liquor, which has a lower density, on top of the chaser. Then you drink them both together. No more shot-grimace-chaser...it all goes in at once so it takes the bite right out of the booze. They also make an extra-large Beer Quaffer designed for beer drinks, like Car Bombs and Sake Bombs.

We have a legendary love for all things Jagermeister, so our favorite recipe from the Quaffer site was the Jager Bomb - Jager on top, Red Bull in the bottom (pictured). We'll be getting our hands on some Quaffers in the near future, and we'll let you know if they work as well as we'd like to think they do.

You can buy the shot glasses, plus find all sorts of Quaffer information and more recipes, at the Quaffer site.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (8) | social bookmarking

Black Vodka? Why Were We Not Informed?

Black Vodka Seasonal RecipesJust in time for Halloween cocktails (and maybe some pre-Halloween drink tasting), we've discoved Blavod, the world's only black vodka...that we know of. If you're like us, you're asking just what's in Blavod that turns it such a distinctive color. We're glad you asked.

According to the Blavod site, the inky color is given to the vodka using a dye called Black Catechu, made from resin in the heartwood of the Acacia Catechu tree found in India and Burma. Black Catechu has been used as a dye for centuries, and gives the black vodka its ebony hue without affecting its odor or palate.

That all sounds good to us, but the thing that really bothers us is that we're just discovering it now. Just think of all the missed Halloween party cocktail opportunities, the truly spooky drinks we could have created, leaves us seeing red. Speaking of black vodka drink recipes, click the image to the right for some sable cocktail concoctions, and go to the Blavod Black Vodka site to find more Halloween drink ideas.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (8) | social bookmarking

Brits Score Big with Airquee Inflatable Pub

Airquee Inflatable PubWe've always said, if you can't get to the bar, bring the bar to you. Now, the British have one-upped us on the concept by inventing an inflatable pub, which we would consider nature's perfect building. Where else can you drink until you fall down, then bounce back into upright position?

From Gadgetizer:

"Airquee, a company already renowned for its high quality air buildings and inflatable play equipment, are the geniuses behind this product. Completely portable and featuring only the finest faux stone siding and tin roof, the Inflatable Pub measures 40 x 19 x 22 feet and can be erected in a mere 10 minutes via its two pumps. It’s big enough to pack in 30 of your closest mates and the sturdy, internal aluminum frame can be used for hanging stereo speakers or tellies for the football and it’ll double as a safety-measure in the event that any of your drunken mates really sucks at darts.

No word that I can find on pricing, but come on, when it comes to getting smashed with the gang, cost is never a concern is it?"

We couldn't find pricing info either, but the prices on most of their inflatable buildings seem to hover around the one to two thousand pound range, so you can double that if you're paying American dollars.

Via Gadgetizer; plus, learn more about the Airquee Inflatable Pub.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 26, 2005

Booze Books - Scotch Whisky: A Liquid History

Scotch Whisky: A Liquid HistoryWe always like to know more about what we're drinking, and there's a whole spate of new books on scotch coming out lately. If you'd like to know more about your next dram, we suggest Scotch Whisky: A Liquid Historyby Charles MacLean. The book doesn't simply focus on one or two varieties of scotch, or tell you about distilleries - it goes fully in-depth on the origins of the whisky, complete with going medieval on your ass.

According to an LA Times write up of the book:

"Charles MacLean's "Scotch Whisky: A Liquid History" (Cassell Illustrated, $24.95) falls in the serious, detailed category, complete with eight dense pages of footnotes, but on a large scale. It covers the vast world of Scotch, including its poorly documented medieval origins, the single malt revival and the recent trend of distilleries to open to the public, in the manner of Napa wineries. Fortunately, it's not only knowledgeable — drenched in knowledge, almost — but very readable.

It's primarily a history, but it finds room in its majestic narrative for a good amount of information about the technical side of Scotch. Not enough for you to make your own whisky, but certainly enough to understand the sorts of thing that Scotch geeks are likely to go on about, such as floor maltings (rooms where barley is raked over floors heated by peat fires to stop its sprouting)."

You can pick up your own paperback copy of Scotch Whisky: A Liquid Historyat Amazon.com for far less than the $24.95 cover price, and browse other scotch books by Charles MacLean.

Read more about the book at LATimes.com.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 25, 2005

What do you call Beer Cocktails? Beertails? Cockbeers?

BeertailsWe're seeing articles all over the InterWeb saying beer cocktails are the next big thing. Actually, we've got to say we're a bit worried about the sissification of booze nationwide, what with those lemonadey malt beverages and flavored vodkas and whatnot. Whatever happened to paying for your buzz with a grimace and a shudder? We've been mixing beer and liquor together for years...it's called a boilermaker.

Anyway, we're off on a tangent again. Apparently "beertails" have made a big splash this summer, and continue to be hot. We found the beertail recipes below at That's the Spirit. If nothing else, most of them look like good hangover remedies.

The Classic Shandy:
Background: Both the American Heritage Dictionary and UK legislation have defined the "shandy", short for "shandygaff," as a mixture of beer and ginger beer, ginger ale or lemonade. This drink gives all the pleasures of beer with the refreshment of lemonade - a tangy, tasty drink.

This old English tradition dates back to the 17th century. Although the origin is not clearly known, some believe that is was named after a local English pub where the beer was not of the best quality and was "flavored" with a sweet lemon mixture.

Fill a pilsner or beer mug with lager and top with ginger ale, ginger beer or lemonade. If you are a bit more adventurous, try a Shandy with limeade. Don't be afraid to add ice to this drink. You can't do that with your beer.

More Beertail Recipes:
Lager and lime: Add a dash of lime juice or lime cordial to a light lager.

Snakebite: Mix your favorite beer (usually a heavier beer, like stout [in the LS offices we use Guinness]) half and half with cider.

Black Velvet: Mix stout and champagne, half and half.

Beer Bloody Mary: Mix beer and tomato juice, half and half. Add a dash of Tabasco and a dash of Worcestershire.

Red Eye: Add a shot of tomato juice to any ale or lager (this cocktail is also known as Tomato Beer or a Red Rooster). If you add a splash of Tabasco, the drink becomes a Ruddy Mary.

Liverpool kiss: Mix a dark beer with Cassis.

BeeSting: Dark beer and orange juice.

Skip and go naked: Combine beer, lemon juice and gin, with a dash of grenadine.

Broadway: Popular in Japan, mixing beer and cola is known as a Broadway

Caribbean Night: Beer and an ounce of coffee liqueur.

South Wind: Beer with a shot of melon liqueur.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

September 24, 2005

Gray Kangaroo Liquor Filter Review: Part 1

MH Gordons VodkaWe discovered the Gray Kangaroo Liquor Filter last week, and we knew we had to get our hands on one as soon as possible. After a full week of nearly tackling the mail man every time he approached the Liquor Snob offices, it finally arrived in the mail. We knew we had to put it through its paces. The site claims that the liquor filter will "take the stink out of your drink," so we knew we had to find the stinkiest, most foul booze around for the test.

And find it we did. If you're like us, when you think of quality vodka, you think of...Massachusetts. That's right. MH Gordon's, "distilled" and bottled in sunny downtown Somerville. Just looking at the bottle, complete with the $6 price tag, filled us with dread. It was perfect...if the Gray Kangaroo could take the stink out of this drink, we would be converted forever. We set up our testing apparatus, and the first thing we realized was that in order for the filter to work, you have to have a second, empty bottle. Sadly, our recycling had just been picked up.

We were able to cobble something together to aid in the filtering process, and the testing began. One note; when you test your Gray Kangaroo, don't make the same mistake we did. Make sure when you begin to filter that the Gray Kangaroo is right-side up, because there are two little holes in the upper half of the filter to make sure the booze can get into the filter quickly. If your filter is upside down, those holes will let the liquor miss the bottle. After we cleaned up the counter, we were able to get on with our vodka tasting.

Gray Kangaroo In ActionRound One: Unfiltered
Look: Clear, looks like water. But like some shark-infested sea, we knew it held hidden peril.
Nose: Edging close to the shot glass for a whiff, we're pretty sure we saw our nose hairs go up in smoke. After we regained our sense of smell, the first thing that came to mind was "paint thinner."
Swish: It burns! Oh, dear lord, it BURNS. We nearly called an old priest and a young priest for an exorcism. We dumped the rest of the glass through the filter.

Round Two: One Filtration
Look: Still looks clear and innocent, but we've been fooled before.
Smell: Far less pungent...now, instead of paint thinner it smells like watered-down rubbing alcohol.
Swish: We closed our eyes and sipped and...instead of demonic convulsions we only shuddered a bit. Looks like the Gray Kangaroo is working, but we reserve judgment. Once again, the rest of the glass goes through the filter.

Round Three: Two Filtrations
Look: No change.
Smell: Smells like...vodka? Could it be?
Swish: Still tentative, we take a swig. It's...vodka. It tastes like some of the good, solid mid-range vodkas we've had in the past. Still not convinced of the miracle, we take another drink. By Jeebus, it's true! This time we're not filtering anymore, and we sip the rest of the shot.

We'll be putting the liquor filter through some more testing, but the fine folks at Gray Kangaroo have us convinced. Their product really works. It was able to take the most evil swill of a vodka we could find, and make it drinkable. Keep an eye out here at Liquor Snob as we test it out more, including Pepsi challenges comparing filtered vodka to the high-end stuff. And if you want to pick up a Gray Kangaroo of your own, head on over to the Gray Kangaroo site and tell 'em the Liquor Snob sent you.
Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (9) | social bookmarking

Ed McMahon Vodka? You Are Correct Sir!

Ed McMahon Perfect VodkaHey-O! It's come to our attention that everyone's favorite late night sidekick has started his own brand of vodka called, appropriately enough, Ed McMahon Perfect Vodka. We're glad he can find time, in between giving away million-dollar checks for Publisher's Clearinghouse and shilling for those Easy Mobility wheelchairs, and we hope the stuff is as good as he claims it is..

From the McMahon Vodka site:
Meet the vodka that is redefining the perfect cocktail. We call it McMahon Perfect - the premium Russian imported spirit that satisfies the discerning tastes of true vodka connoisseurs with its pure clarity, smoothness and taste.

Preserving the original techniques and time-honored practices of the Russians, McMahon Perfect is distilled using a special four-time filtration process that allows for strict quality control. Combining this with only the highest quality raw materials and over 200 years of experience, results in a vodka that truly distinguishes itself from all others.

Upon opening the bottle, your senses are drawn to its fresh, invigorating aroma. Pouring a cocktail unwraps the essence of its depth and character. And finally with a sip, you'll marvel at the smooth, crisp finish.

Via Luxist
Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

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