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.
[Read 'em all!]
My latest, at Serious Eats, is a glimpse at bartender lingo. Behind the stick, building a drink, rolling a drink, buy backs … that sort of thing.
But I was thrilled to see that the amazing new drinks website, PUNCH, mentioned this one.
Don’t read PUNCH? Read it, or I will steal all your brown spirits.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve heard a rumor that in other parts of the country, the weather is turning colder, leaves are starting to drop from the trees, mountain men and other rustic types are gathering wood for their fireplaces, and drinkers are turning their bloodshot eyes toward the brown spirits.
Me? I have the air conditioning on as I type this. It’s about 80°F out there. Then again, my bloodshot eyes never turn away from brown spirits even when the temperatures crack the triple digits, but I’m unusual that way.
A few months ago, I provided a primer on Scotch terms. Today, I thought I’d turn my gaze inward and explain a few things about good old bourbon whiskey.
[Fill 'er up!]
Next time you’re at the gym or the salon or the grocery, and someone says it’s a sacrilege to mix Scotch into a cocktail, promise me you’ll grab that person, take him or her out back, and…
[Want to know my picks for five essential Scotch cocktails? Read on!]
Harry Craddock only wrote one book, the Savoy Cocktail Book, but many of the cocktails in that book are justly renowned and worth adding to your repertoire. The Corpse Reviver #2 is probably the most famous, but we’ve written about that drink many times before, so we’ll move on to a few other cocktails from Savoy that you should know.
When you start looking through vintage cocktail books, one thing you’ll quickly notice are the names of obscure ingredients—products with names like Caperitif and Hercules. And if you’re anything like me, you’re curious about these products. What were they? What do (or did) they taste like?
My latest at Serious Eats. [Read on!]
My piece on ingredient substitutions at Serious Eats.