All posts by Dietsch

Cocktail Resolutions for 2014

Resolve in 2014 to be a better you! Bear-hug your youness! Revel in the youness that is your youness. Encourage everyone to also embrace your youness. Especially the cute co-worker you keep trying to talk to in the break room.

Or. Don’t do any of that. It’s creepy.

Instead, relax and have a drink. Take a break and think about all the boozy stuff you ever wanted to do. Now’s your year. If you don’t have any boozy stuff you always wanted to do, here are a few ideas.

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Stock up for the holidays

With Christmas and New Year’s approaching, I know that many people take this time to restock their home bars for parties, for unexpected guests, or just to take the edge off after visiting relatives or attending holiday parties.

Splurging on expensive or hard-to-find bottles is always going to be a holiday thing, but even if you can find Pappy, you’re probably not going to drink it every day. Likewise, that bottle of the 10th anniversary Peat Monster is also a special-night-at-home drink.

So you stock up on the tried-and-trues at the holidays because, well, they’re the tried and true. Over the years, I’ve developed a list of go-to brands: fairly affordable bottles that don’t disappoint and generally stay consistent from year to year. In most cases, these spirits all mix very well and taste great on their own, so they’re not just good, they’re versatile, too.

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Gifts for Cocktail Lovers

Pat yourself on the back: you made it through Thanksgiving dinner with Uncle Edgar and his creepy new wife, and you even made it through Black Friday without getting trampled at Wal-Mart. But you’re not done yet, pilgrim. It’s time to shop. If you’re having trouble thinking of great presents for your favorite spirits aficionados, we’re here to help. These gifts will be a hit with cocktailians, home mixologists, and fanciers of booze in general.

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A Sadly Missed Opportunity at Greatness

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I‘m compiling my annual gift guide for Serious Eats, looking at cool products for your home bar. This measuring beaker from Williams Sonoma caught my eye.

I love the idea of a product like this. It’s nothing I’d use daily, because of its breakability, but I’d definitely bring it out if we were having a couple of close friends over for drinks and dinner. It’s a great piece for entertaining.

Except, look at it closely.

Look very closely. See what it lacks, bar geeks.

Said the drunken sot to the drunken sot, “Do you see what I see? There on the beaker, drunken sot. Do you see what I see?”

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Argh! You’re right! It only measures in full ounces. Need half an ounce of vermouth or other ingredient? Go to hell! You can’t do that with this one! Grump.  It’s really cool looking otherwise. I guess if I just wanted a show piece, this would be fine. As a practical tool, though, nope.

Tips for Planning a Holiday Cocktail Party

The holidays are coming and the geese are getting fat. It’s time to pull some party ideas from an old man’s hat. I would say that everyone loves a holiday party, but that’s just not true; many of them suck. Here are a few tips that should help ensure that yours is of the non-sucky variety.

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Rye Resurgent

From Shanken News Daily, a look at the rise of rye whiskey.

Rye Whiskey Rising Fast, Spurred By Dynamic On-Trade Cocktail Culture

The U.S. whisk(e)y renaissance and vibrant cocktail culture have created ideal timing for rye whiskey’s serious return to the marketplace. The category, which never really recovered from Prohibition (1920-1933) and was relegated to near-oblivion as other whisk(e)y categories filled the void, is now back on track and making headway with support from some of the biggest U.S. whiskey producers.

[Link to full article.]

3 New(ish) Cocktail Bitters

Now, you young folks won’t remember this, but back in my day, when you wanted to make a cocktail, and you needed some cocktail bitters, you went to the soda-pop aisle of your grocery and found the shelves dedicated to mixers for adult beverages, and if you were lucky, you’d see a bottle of Angostura right there sitting next to the lime cordial and the sour mix and the tonic water.

Then about eight years ago, the bartender and booze writer Gary Regan formulated the newest and greatest recipe of his orange bitters, sensing a need in the marketplace, and so it came to pass that Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6 became available to bartenders and cocktail nerds.

These days, you kids are spoiled for choice. I decided one day to count the number of upstart companies producing bitters, and I had to stop when I got to 30 because I can’t count much higher than that.

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