August 12, 2010

Powell & Mahoney Cocktail Mixer Review

powell_and_mahoney.pngGenerally speaking, there are three pillars to making pretty much any cocktail - finding the right balance of sweet (e.g., sugar, simple syrup), sour (e.g., citrus), and strong (e.g., booze). This is one of the most important (and sometimes most difficult) aspects of mixing a cocktail is getting that balance right, which is a big reason why people often rely on pre-made cocktail mixers. They're quicker, you don't have to round up a ton of ingredients, but the trade-off is you're pretty much trusting someone else's taste for the balance.

That's why we were interested to review Powell & Mahoney's pre-mixed offerings for some cocktail mainstays - the Mojito, the Margarita, the Cosmopolitan, and the Bloody Mary, as well as a Ginger-flavored mixer that had Dark & Stormy visions running through our head. The labels promised high-quality ingredients and delicious flavors, so we rounded up the proper bottles of hard stuff and waded in, with mixed results.

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July 22, 2010

Powell & Mahoney Cocktail Mixers Arrive for Review

powell_and_mahoney.pngPowell & Mahoney is a Massachusetts-based company that makes pre-bottled, micro-batch cocktail mixers in multiple varieties. They're also the creators of the five bottles that just arrived at the Liquor Snob offices, which we will be reviewing ASAP. The flavors we got are Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Bloody Mary, Margarita, and Ginger, the last one being a newly-released flavor that just came out last week. Here's the rundown on each bottle to tide you over until we crack them open:

  • Cosmopolitan - "...our mix of Cape Cod cranberry juice, Key Lime juice, and organic cane sugar will make the sexiest cocktail around."

  • Mojito - "Our faithful recreation includes mint oil, lime oil, Key Lime juice and organic cane sugar to give it that freshly muddled taste."

  • Bloody Mary - "We pay homage to the most classic of all cocktails by using only the finest ingredients and the original recipe."

  • Margarita - "Our recipe uses only real Valencia orange oil, Key Lime juice, and organic cane sugar. That's it."

  • Ginger - "This recipe packs the spicy wallop of spicy, soothing, therapeutic ginger in every sip...perfect as a sippable soft drink or as a mixer with whiskey, rum, or brandy."
We've tasted our share of pre-made cocktail mixers for most of these, so we're really excited to try out the Ginger...in something Dark and/or Stormy perhaps? Keep an eye out for our review, as well as their upcoming Hot Toddy mixer (due in August), and be on the lookout to see Powell & Mahoney in a store near you.

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March 22, 2010

Thatcher's Organic Coffeehouse, Blood Orange & Yumberry

thatchers_flavors.jpgA while back, we wrote about Thatcher's Organic Elderflower as a well-received replacement for the ubiquitous St. Germain. We're fans of Thatcher's and what they're doing with various liqueurs, and today we're happy to report three new flavors (and the fact they've arrived safely on our doorstep). The three new expressions have been in development for the last 18 months, and are known as Coffeehouse, Blood Orange, and Yumberry. Rather than try to sum them up ourselves, we'll give you the rundown right from the horse's mouth - Dave Racicot, founder of Thatcher's:

Coffeehouse comes from a blend of organic coffees which we have found work pretty well together. The hard part was some regional taste differences such has dark and earthy like the Pacific Northwest and sweet like the Northeast. The one universal point was people did not want artificial, syrup, tacky.

Yumberry I had tried when in China and loved what could happen with it so I was off to the races. The strawberry/raspberry fusion was perfect for spring, summer and warm weather cocktails. We have been having it in sparkling wine/champagne during Sunday brunch and it is a huge hit. There are so many cocktails that can be created from it, martinis, mojitos, margaritas, and even in sparkling water there are some very cool combination's which friends have been coming up with. Plus, the name Yumberry, how cool is that!

Blood Orange was the near death of me. Finding enough organic blood oranges to get everything from color, aromatics and taste was very hard. They come from the US and Sicily, Italy. I have always loved Blood Oranges and wanted to find a way to capture it in a liqueur in a way nobody else has. We have found it to work well in margaritas, martinis and be a great with a nice blanco tequila on the rocks.

We'll be playing around with these as soon as we can, but until we do, learn about all 11 (eleven!) flavors at Thatcher's Organic.

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October 20, 2009

Thatcher's Organic Elderflower Liqueur

thatchers_elderflower_liqueur.jpgIt might surprise people to hear the Liquor Snobs have been a bit late to the elderflower liqueur party. St. Germain has been the belle of the ball for quite a while now, but we never got into it too much due to a sweetness that we found borderline overbearing. Yeah, we know it's meant to be used in small amounts, but hey - taste is taste.

That's why we're psyched our man on the street DKF has gotten a chance to sample Thatcher's Elderflower, an organic liqueur he says knocks the stuffing out of St. Germain. In fact, he says St. G is the tawdry, syrupy older sister of Thatcher's, and at half the price. We have to agree - our last bottle of St. Germain was almost $40, and BevMo has Thatcher's Elderflower for under $20, along with two more of their eight total flavors.

More info on availability and flavors at Thatcher's Organic.

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April 10, 2009

Snuggie Pub Crawl in NYC and CHI

snuggie-pub-crawl.jpgLadies and gentlemen, hitch up your Snuggies. We knew there would be an actual use for those things, other than letting some old lady answer the phone without getting her forearms cold. Turns out, you can drink while you're wearing them!

That's right, the new cool thing to do is put on a blanket with arms, and go out drinkin'. If you ask us, it's a moral imperative. What? You don't own a Snuggie, you say? Well, just watch some late night TV and pick one up. Or, you could do what the cool kids do and pick up a Slanket instead - we hear they were around first, so you'll have the indie street cred.

Go to PubCrawls.com for details on the April 18th pub crawl in NYC. If you're in the Chicago area, there's one on the same day in the Windy City - details at SnuggiePubCrawl.com.

Image via 944.com

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March 6, 2009

Dirty Sue Cocktail Competition

dirty_sue_bottle.jpgWe first learned about Dirty Sue a while back, and we were pretty impressed with the concept of an olive brine designed solely for mixing drinks. For one thing, we're keen on the idea of using something the bartender's fingers haven't been in to fish out olives. For two things...well, the first thing is probably enough - we're fans of the fact our martinis can be filthy without containing any actual filth.

We were reintroduced to the concept of the stuff by a post by Jeffrey Morgenthaler about a contest he's judging for Dirty Sue, where you just have to submit a cocktail recipe featuring at least 1/4 ounce of the stuff. All entries have to be in by March 22, so you'd better get cracking, because the prizes are pretty damn cool. More info at the link above.

Get your bottle of Dirty Sue [also available at Amazon]

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July 11, 2008

Cointreau Caviar Gets Molecular on Your Ass

cointreau_caviar.jpgIt's fun to watch people constantly try to push the envelope of mixology, if only because it's starting to look more and more like mad science. If one bar is using syringes, the next one is using magnets, and the first has to one up them by listening for the molecular reaction with a stethoscope. Pretty soon we'll be getting drinks mixed with the aid of a centrifuge and a speculum.

One interesting foray into the molecular field, however, is Cointreau Caviar. These small beads of the orange-y liqueuer are designed to be mixed into cocktails, or perhaps added to a glass of champagne. Hell, we say eat them like M&Ms.

Although the feat had already been performed with other liquids such as fruit juices, never before had a spirit such as Cointreau been turned into perfect spheres by such a simple process. It took a fair dose of cheek, the right ingredients used in the right proportions, and above all, the top professionals in the field, who were absolutely delighted to be trumping the world of bartending.
More at Cointreau.us

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May 4, 2007

Sangrita Recipe for Cinquo de Mayo

Tomorrow's Cinquo de Mayo, a day that gets a lot of people into a Mexican state of mind. This year, don't be one of the folks down at T.G.I. McAppleChili's, snorking down Coronas and Cuervo shots. This year is the year for you to class yourself up, so when you drink your tequila you should give Sangrita a try.

Basically a spicy tomato juice with other flavors involved as well, Sangrita is the perfect chaser for your tequila - we prefer to alternate sips between Sangrita and Tequila or Mezcal, but it's a good chaser after shots as well. Read on for our favorite recipe - it's also incredibly easy and calls for ingredients you may already have lying around - and please let us know if you know any others.

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January 24, 2007

Housemade Bitters Make Cocktails Better

House made bittersWe'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

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October 4, 2006

Bling H2O Sexes Up Your Drinks

Bling H20

We first heard about Bling H20 on NPR a few weeks back, and then completely forgot about it. Then we tried to make a scotch and water with the offal that spews from the faucet in our kitchen. When we took our first sip of the drink, all we could taste was tap water. We muscled through it of course, but we found ourselves wishing we had some water that didn't step all over our booze.

Then we remembered Bling H20 - not only do they use a nine step purification process to clean up the taste of the water, they position themselves as the "Cristal" of bottled water. Yep, now you can buy your water in a frosted glass bottle decorated with Swarovski crystals. Think that might get you a little more loving than turning on the tap? If you've got Rodeo Drive tastes when you mix your drinks, you can pick up a bottle of Bling H20 for around $40. Just make sure you have enough cash left over afterward to actually buy booze.

Learn more and buy online at BlingH20.com.

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

September 20, 2006

Cocktail Mist Flavor Spray Review

Flavor SpraySo we've been puttering around the lab for the last few days, mixing cocktails with our Cocktail Mist flavor spray. In case you don't recall, Cocktail Mist is a zero-calorie, zero-carbohydrate, zero-cholesterol, and zero-fat flavoring additive that was originally designed for food. With 35 flavors to choose from, how do these sprays make the transition to the world of booze?

Read on to find out.

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September 14, 2006

Espresso Drink Recipes Give You a Buzz Squared

Espresso!Sounds like the folks over at our sister site Single Serve Espresso have been having a good time lately. Maybe too good a time, considering the fact they're mixing the already-buzzworthy espresso of their namesake with liquor. You might think we'd get jealous that they're treading so close to our territory, but we see it in the true spirit of a mashup, and we welcome the collaboration. Plus, we're no strangers to depth-charging some liquor in our coffee.

We've included our favorite recipes they developed below, a couple espresso martini variations. Head on over to the site for more drink recipes and espresso info.

Caramel Macchiato Martini
2 1/2 Ounces of Stomping Grounds Caramel Espresso Concentrate
1 1/2 Ounces of Vodka

Quick Espresso Martini
1 1/2 Ounces of Stomping Grounds Espresso Concentrate
1 1/2 Ounces Vodka
Top off with a floating espresso bean
(Note: This is fairly alcoholic/strong, add more Stomping Grounds Espresso concentrate if needed)

via Single Serve Espresso

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September 8, 2006

Cocktail Kick Extra Sour Mixer Review

Cocktail KickWhen we our bottle of Cocktail Kick first arrived we said it made us think of Mega Warheads, those crazy little candies that are so sour your face instantly crushes up like Tom Cruise after he's been squirted with water. Little did we know that the similarities between the two were so strong, or that we'd be making "Holy crap that's sour" faces for the next week.

We'll come out right up front and say we liked Cocktail Kick and what it did to our cocktails, but you'd damn well use it responsibly or you won't have any skin left on the inside of your mouth - we know from experience. Read on for more details, the recipes we tried it in, and even more vain attempts to get across just how sour this stuff is.

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September 7, 2006

Cocktail Mist Arrives for Review

Cocktail MistEver wish you could add a hint of flavor to your cocktails without overbearing them with all sorts of fruit juices and mixers? We've just received five bottles of a spray designed to add a touch of flavor to your booze without all the extra junk like carbs, calories, cholesterol, etc.

We'll be checking out all five flavors we received (Banana Split, Apple Pie, Marshmallow, Chocolate Fudge and Birthday Cake) and trying them in some cocktails as soon as we can. Of course, we can't remember the last time we had a hankering for a cocktail that tastes like a banana split, but who knows? We also know they do make these sprays flavored like fruits and whatnot as well.

While you're waiting for us, learn more about the food applications of these sprays at FlavorSprayDiet.com, and read on for more info from the press release.

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