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The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

“Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall.” –Charles Bukowski

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The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

"The light music of whiskey falling into a glass – an agreeable interlude." –James Joyce

That's it for now. If you have any suggestions for next week's round-up, please let me know.

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The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

“When you stop drinking, you have to deal with this marvelous personality that started you drinking in the first place.” –Jimmy Breslin

  • In the New York Times, Robert Simonson takes a Tiki tour around the greater New York area.
  • More from Robert Simonson, also in the Times: some classic cocktails don't deserve to be rediscovered, as this panel discussion related.
  • Also in the Times, the great Mark Bittman lists twelve summer cocktails that actually taste like booze.
  • Wayne Curtis wanted to have part of an iceberg sent to Manhattan. Turns out it was a lot harder than he anticipated.
  • In the Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Rothbaum reports on the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, which took place over the past several days.
  • More from Rebecca Rothbaum, also in the Journal: cocktail nerds are visiting a Brooklyn bar for the chance to mix drinks in a cocktail shaker once owned by Charles H. Baker Jr.
  • In Forbes Magazine, Steven Bertoni does a tequila tasting with John Paul DeJoria, the billionaire founder of Patrón Tequila. (There's a short article, but most of it is a video.)
  • For ABC News, Nick Watt discovers the gin revolution and the return of the Martini. (Article plus video.)
  • In the Kansas City Star, Anne Brockoff writes about the growing popularity of shrubs, drinking vinegars that are usually made from various types of fruit.
  • Good news! There are some new videos up on The Small Spirit: Robert Hess shows you how to make a Blood and Sand and an Attention.
  • Inc. Magazine interviews "rising tequila stars" Moy Guindi and Danny Schneeweiss of Milagro.
  • In the Austin American-Statesman, Emma Janzen takes a comprehensive look at what's happening in tequila today.
  • On CLASS Magazine, Simon Difford and Ian Cameron round up 5 hazelnut liqueurs. They give top marks to category leader Frangelico.
  • Also in CLASS Magazine, Camper English visits Washington, D.C. and reports back on four bars to visit. The only one I've been to is the Columbia Room and I highly recommend it.
  • Writing for the Reuters wire, Kara Newman talks about Dawa, Nairobi's "medicinal" cocktail.
  • More from Kara Newman, also on Reuters: a trip to Chile to sample some pisco, the traditional South American brandy.
  • More pisco news: in The Oregonian, Paul Clarke discusses the spirit's status as the perennial "next big thing."
  • On Serious Eats, Will Gordon tries Gosling's pre-made Dark 'n Stormy drink. He gives it the thumbs-up, although wonders how necessary it is. My reaction was pretty much the same.
  • In Details Magazine, Christopher Ross says that he's finally found the first good cocktail app: Bartender's Choice. I'm going to have to give it a try.
  • On the Whiskey Advocate blog, Mike Miyamoto, master distiller for Suntory, explains Hakusku Japanese whisky.
  • The Huffington Post offers up recipes for 10 easy Champagne Cocktails, courtesy of Saveur Magazine.
  • Also in the Huffington Post, Tony Sachs suggests a dozen aged tequilas to sip. I haven't tried most of these, but this looks like a really good list.
  • On Food Republic, Emily Saladino rounds up the 8 best airlines for drinking. "Hands down, the best airline drinking is on Virgin Atlantic."
  • Bacardi has triumphed over Pernod Ricard in their fight to use the Havana Club name in the United States. As a result, Pernod registered a new brand name for the U.S. market, Havanista, in hopes of one day selling Cuban rum here.
  • The AP reports that Maker's Mark has won a court case protecting its exclusive use of the wax seal on its bottles.

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The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.” –-Mark Twain

  • In the Washington Post, Jason Wilson writes about Buffalo Trace Distillery's Single Oak Project. As I mentioned before, I find this fascinating.
  • Also in the Washington Post, more from Jason Wilson: the James Hotel (New York and Chicago) has an "in-room mixology experience," where they'll send up a tray full of tools and mixers to go with the booze in the mini-fridge. That way, you can mix real drinks with quality ingredients.
  • Also in the Washington Post, Paul Abercrombie visits France's Cognac country and finds a lot to drink in.
  • In the San Francisco Chronicle, Gary Regan writes about a new drink: a whiskey Cherry Cobbler, made with rye whiskey and ruby port. Sounds tasty!
  • In the Chicago Tribune, Zak Stambor has good things to say about Redbreast Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey.
  • In Arrive Magazine, Kara Newman writes about moonshine. I haven't tried any 'shine yet. I suppose I should. I do, after all, live in Virginia.
  • On Forbes.com, Larry Olmstead has a three-part series on gin. Part 1 covers gin and the classic cocktail renaissance. Part 2 discusses London Gins. Part 3 features the original Martini gin and a distillery tour.
  • Also from Kara Newman, a report for Reuters on the spirits scene in Glasgow — it's not just Scotch.
  • In the National Post (Tortonto), Margaret Swayne visits Guyana, home of Demerara rum. (The El Dorado 12 Year Old is one of my favorites.)
  • In Details Magazine, Christopher Ross writes about the mash-up between Tiki drinks and amaro. Yes, please.
  • In New York Magazine, Matthew Latkiewicz tells you everything you need to know about carbonated cocktails.
  • In the New York Post, Max Gross writes about the Asian influences showing up in New York City cocktails.
  • In the New York Daily News, a pair of cocktail recipes from Audrey Sanders and Jim Meehan: the French Pearl and the Strawberry Rhubarb Daiquiri.
  • CLASS Magazine rounds up 6 top vanilla liqueurs. Their favorite is Navan from Grand Marnier. (I believe this is no longer produced.)
  • Also in CLASS, Ian Cameron writes about Ian Burrell, the Ambassador of Rum.
  • On Liquor.com, Jacques Bezuidenhout shows you how to make a Margarita, Paloma and Spiced Old Fashioned.
  • There's a new entry in Serious Eats guide to various spirits — this time the subject is mezcal.
  • Also on Serious Eats: Maggie Hoffman suggests 5 silver tequilas you should try. (I haven't tried any of these! We did our own tequila taste test a while back.)
  • The Denver Post visits Adrift, a new Tiki bar in the Mile High City, and gives it the thumbs up.
  • Las Vegas Weekly reports on the success of Tito Beveridge and his Tito's Handmade Vodka.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Beam is booming, with first quarter sales up by 13%.
  • The 2012 World Beer Cup was held recently and the winners have been announced.

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The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

"Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off." –Philip Marlowe (Raymond Chandler)

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The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

I had so many links this week, I decided to do a special edition.

  • In the Wall Street Journal, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan discusses how to pair cocktails with food.
  • In the Baltimore Sun, Eric Maza reveals that the trend of beer cocktails has made its way to Charm City.
  • In Esquire Magazine, bartender Jay Porter (from San Diego's El Take It Easy) shares his recipe for The Long Goodbye (a Mezcal Gimlet). He created it as a tribute to Raymond Chandler, so I had to link to it.
  • NPR reports on the coolness that is Tiki, focusing on the Mai Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale.
  • On Liquor.com, Jordan Mackay extols the virtues of drinking vermouth by itself.
  • Also on Liquor.com, the great Dale DeGroff talks tequila cocktails, and includes a couple recipes for unique variations of Sangrita. (Here's my recipe for Sangrita.)
  • In Seattle Magazine, A.J. Rathbun investigate the true meaning of "happy hour."
  • On the AP wire, Michelle Lock reports on a trend I think you'll start seeing more and more of: barrel aging beer.
  • Also on the AP wire, Alison Ladman suggests some skinny cocktails to drink for Cinco de Mayo. The whole skinny trend has passed me by so far. (Obviously.)
  • Food and Wine magazine reports on high-tech cocktails, including ones made with liquid nitrogen, drinks heated sous vide, and (my favorite) cocktails shaken with an old paint-can shaker!
  • The Daily Times (Salisbury, Maryland) reports on a popular Ocean City cocktail called the Nor'easter. This drink is so insane, I think I have to make one just to see what it tastes like.
  • In Seattle Weekly, Sonja Groset tells you how to make a better gin and tonic. (The piece is mainly a discussion of the different types of gin, but that's always welcome.)
  • More gin news: the North Jersey Record proclaims it gin and tonic weather — and suggests 4 new gins you might not be familiar with.
  • In LA Weekly, Jenn Garbee shares the new design for the Tuaca bottle and pronounces it "fantastic."
  • In the Gloucester Times, Victoria Brown discusses the history of the Sidecar, a classic cocktail made with cognac, triple sec and lime juice.
  • It's almost Kentucky Derby time — do you know how to make a Mint Julep? Serious Eats tells you how.
  • Also on Serious Eats: 5 fruity Margarita recipes. The pineapple sounds pretty good. (Here's my recipe for a Frozen Watermelon Margarita.)
  • Portland bartenders (including Jacob Grier of Metrovino) are mixing up some exciting floral cocktails for spring. Why does Portland have so many good bartenders?
  • More spring cocktail trends, these reported by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. They are: bottled cocktails, a Pimm's Cup revival, and wine cocktails.
  • Spirits conglomerate Beam is buying Pinnacle vodka and Calico Jack rum. Whipped cream vodka for everyone!
  • The Weekly Pint investigates the new trend of brewers blending wine into beer. Ummm…huh?
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The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're gonna feel all day." –Frank Sinatra
  • In the Washington Post, Jason Wilson shares his affection for grapefruit juice, along with his recipe for The 866 — another aquavit cocktail.
  • Also in the Post, Daniel Fromson reveals that D.C. is putting its stamp on the beer cocktail. (I've still never had one.)
  • In the Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Gunnison writes about aquavit — something must be in the air this week — and even tells you how to make your own.
  • In Esquire Magazine, David Wondrich talks mezcal.
  • More from David Wondrich (on Liquor.com): recipes for Boston Rum Punch and Beantown's signature cocktail, the Ward Eight.
  • Also in Equire, bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Clyde Common) shares his recipe for the Sore Loser, a cocktail with overproof bourbon, creme de peche and Amontillado sherry.
  • In U.S. News and World Report, Rober Schlesinger investigates the difference between Scotch and American whiskey.
  • In the Cincinnati Enquirer, Polly Campbell hits the town to see what the local bartenders are mixing up — and finds a lot of bourbon. (I had to link to this, because apparently Cincinnati has a Mexican restaurant named Bakersfield, which is my old hometown.)
  • Serious Eats presents their guide to tequila. This has been a very interesting and useful series.
  • Also on Serious Eats, Andrew Strenio recommends 3 unusual spirits from around the world that you should try: Brennivín from Ireland, White Lion VSOA from Sri Lanka, and Amarula from South Africa.
  • On the Reuters wire, Kara Newman visits Phoenix to check out the cocktail scene — and pronounces it hot! (Get it?)
  • Also on Reuters, Kara Newman visits Baltimore to drink their hometown spirit: rye whiskey. (Maryland-style rye whiskey was a lighter, sweeter version of rye that has all but disappeared.)
  • Lots of traveling this week: Rick Steves visits Europe and tries out the local liqueurs.
  • John Hansell muses about the new trend in American whiskey of distillers striving for versatility, as both mixers or sippers.
  • In The Tennessean, Ryan Underwood talks craft distilleries in the land of Jack Daniels.
  • In The Village Voice, Alexia Nader interviews Janet Glasser, the co-founder of Bittermens Bitters.
  • The A. Smith Bowman distillery, not far south of here in Fredericksburg, Virginia, recently opened a new visitors center and is making plans for expansion. Lew Bryson visited and reports back.
  • On Liquor.com, Wayne Curtis writes about Derek Brown, co-owner and head bartender at DC's Columbia Room. Wayne describes him as "part mixologist, part drinks nerd and part writer." That's a great combination!
  • Also on Liquor.com, Ryan Magarian talks Old Fashioneds, and shares his recipes for gin and coffee liqueur versions.
  • CLASS Magazine rounds up 9 different varieties of creme de banane. They give the highest marks to Lejay Lagoute Creme de Banane.
  • Also in CLASS, Simon Difford discusses Scottish grain whisky.
  • The Spir.it presents 3 variations on the Negroni.
  • The Weekly Pint shares their 5 favorite beers for spring.
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The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

I need a collection of pithy comments that I can use to kick off the weekly links round-up. Please send in your suggestions.

That's it for now. If you have any suggestions for next week's round-up, please let me know.

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The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

 If it's Wednesday, we must have links. Enjoy!

  • In the Washington Post, Jason Wilson tries his hand at blending cognac in the cellars of Remy Martin.
  • In the Philadelphia Daily News, Jason Wilson (the guy is everywhere!) visits the Hop Sing Laundromat — a laundry that serves booze!
  • In the San Francisco Chronicle, Gary Regan mixes up a drink from Old Havana: the Wil P. Taylor's Hotel Nacional Special. Great name — and it sounds delicious.
  • In the New York Times, Cathy Barrow talks about making your own citrus liqueurs at home. I think I might try this.
  • Also in the New York Times, Robert Simonson reports on a theater that is conversant in Scotch.
  • In the Los Angeles Times, Jessica Gelt samples a new bottle of Stoli vodka that costs $3000. It's made with pristine water from the Himalayan mountains, if that helps.
  • Also in the Los Angeles Times, Betty Hallock reports on a new series of vintage potato vodkas made by Karlsson's, a Swedish distiller.
  • Maggie Hoffman is also talking potoato vodka, including Karlsson's, over on Serious Eats.
  • In CLASS Magazine, three of their writers get together to taste 6 apricot liqueurs. Their top mark goes to De Kuyper XO Apricot Brandy. This is not available in the U.S., but it sounds delicious.
  • Also in CLASS, Simon Difford investigates the Daiquiri, one of my favorite drinks (and one of the world's most perfect cocktails).
  • Reuters reports on the efforts of Italian distilleries to make grappa an attractive spirit in the modern cocktail world.
  • On Liquor.com, tequila ambassador Jacques Bezuidenhout makes the case for why you should be drinking Mezcal. I think he convinced me!
  • Also on Liquor.com, some suggestions to help you get ready for baseball season — including a couple of very promising cocktail recipes.
  • Serious Eats visits Bar Agricole in San Francisco and asks head bartender Craig Lane to make his five favorite drinks on the menu.
  • British drinks conglomerate Diageo is reportedly getting close to buying Jose Cuervo, makers of the popular tequila.
  • Famed NYC bar Milk & Honey is moving its "secret location" to Murray Hill.
  • The United States agrees to recognize cachaca as a distinctive Brazilian product. What's really needed, I think, is a legal definition of what constitutes rum.
  • Speaking of rum…Over on The Spir.It, Amanda Schuster attended a lecture on rum given by F. Paul Pacult recently, and reports back with all the details.
  • More on the rum front: a new craft distillery is making the sugar cane spirit in Brooklyn. I guess if you can make it there…
  • Check out these very cool, but ridiculously expensive, bar carts.
  • As craft cocktails have become more popular, so have cocktail events. Case in point: Boston is mixing up a fun one, the Boston Cocktail Summit, coming this October.

That's it for now. If you have any suggestions for next week's round-up, please let me know.

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The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

 The Professor is ill this week, so I'll be dismissing class a little early today.

  • News from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition is starting to trickle out, and one of the big winners was Knob Creek. The brand, owned by Jim Beam, was the category winner for Best Rye Whiskey (with Knob Creek Rye, hitting the market soon), and also took home Double Gold medals for Knob Creek Bourbon and Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve. [Edit: Looks like the full results are now online.]
  • Serious Eats presents an excellent guide to bourbon. (Previously they covered Irish whiskeyblended Scotch whisky and single malt Scotches.)
  • Food Republic spills the details on the birth of Beefeater 24 gin. (It took Master Distiller Desmond Payne a year and a half to come up with the formula.)
  • At CLASS Magazine, Ian Cameron rounds up 7 coffee liqueurs. He gives the highest marks to Lua Licor de Café, a liqueur made in Spain that I'm not familiar with.
  • Also in CLASS, Simon Difford discusses the history of Bacardi, the famed rum producer, and includes reviews of several of their spirits.
  • At Liquor.com, David Wondrich takes us behind the scenes of the Blood Caesar, a variation on the Bloody Mary that is Canada's national drink.
  • The Contra Costa Times discusses Concannon Irish Whiskey — whiskey made by Cooley Distillery in Ireland and then aged in used Concannon Vineyard barrels.
  • Saveur Magazine investigates the Las Vegas cocktail scene and finds it fine. I haven't been to Vegas in so long, I doubt I'd recognize the place.
  • Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey is returning home, breaking ground on a distillery in the town of Tullamore, a small village in Central Ireland. (It's been produced elsewhere for the past 60 years.)
  • In other distillery news, the old Willett Distillery, one of Kentuck's most famous producers of bourbon, has resumed operation.
  • In GQ UK Magazine, Ian Cameron discusses the new trend of bottle aging cocktails. (I suppose the oxidation from the air in the bottle would change the flavors — but I think it might just make it taste bad.)
  • The Epicurious blog has some nice things to say about Rhuby, the rhubarb-flavored spirits from Art in the Age.
  • A company called Cedar Ridge is making bourbon in Iowa now — the state's first — and the Beverage Tasting Institute has pronounced it "exceptional."
  • Rum season is fast approaching, and Hamptons Online recommends Brugal rums, and shares some recipes.
  • George Washington's whiskey distillery, located at his Mount Vernon estate, has resumed production for the season. Visitors can stop by and see how the U.S.'s first president made rye whiskey — although, sadly, there are no samples to be had.
  • Speaking of Washington's distillery…Some of Scotland's best master distillers came over to make the first single malt whiskey at Mount Vernon.
  • John Mitchell, Scotland's cocktail king, reveals the secrets of life behind Scotland's busiest bars.
  • Eight great cocktails mixed up by the fine folks at Philadelphia's The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. These all sound good.
  • Bartender Simon Ford visits the best bars in Amsterdam.