Whiskey Wedge and Chillsner

whiskey wedge

Corkcicle has several fun products available for drinkers, from the original Corkcicle product (to keep wine sealed and chilled) to stainless travel coffee mugs and water bottles. Two of their products stand out the most for readers of this blog are the Whiskey Wedge and Chillsner.

The Whiskey Wedge is a drinking glass that you insert a rubber lid into, then fill with water through the lid. You freeze the whole thing, then when you’re ready for a glass of whiskey, remove the lid and you have a 1/2 glass of ice in a wedge. This allows for cooling of your whiskey with slower dilution.

I find the whiskey wedge to be handy (I like ice in my bourbons and ryes) with a few stipulations. If you’re lazy and don’t keep up with wishing, filling and freezing the glass, you may not use it much. For solo sipping every couple of days at home, the Whiskey Wedge is a nice way to cool and slowly dilute your whiskey. Get one from Amazon here.


The Chillsner is a stainless steel icicle that you freeze, then insert into a bottled beer to keep it cool as you drink. These are pretty readily available in 2-packs for about $17, though Corckcicle lists the 2-pack on their site for $27.

chillsner closeup

First, let me say that I usually drink beer in a frozen pint glass or mug, so this device has me reverting to drinking out of the bottle. The Chillsner most definitely keeps your beer colder as you drink, plus it adds a larger, smooth lip to your bottle. Once I took an initial sip out of the bottle (so it didn’t overflow) and seated the Chillsner, I found that sometimes I couldn’t seat it right on the bottle, so it would leak a little underneath my lip as I drank. Because these are made from steel, it also ends up making the cost pretty prohibitive, too…you could buy a couple of six packs instead of a couple of Chillsners.

The best fit for this is someone who drinks bottled beer often, but finds their beers getting warm before they finish them. If that describes you, you’ll like the Chillsner!


Podcast 68- ​ Thanksgiving! Sweet Potato Vodka and 10th Ave Tea

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Fowl liquor. A very normal Thanksgiving. “My people need carbs.” We taste Art in The Age Sweet Potato Vodka. “Happy Thanksgiving back.” A shoutout to the Totally Beverages podcast. We make 2 cocktails with 10th Avenue Tea. Greg mentions Owl’s Brew. “A little frightened from the gobble.”

Here are the 10th Avenue Tea recipes:

Green Tea Daiquiri

  • 2 oz spiced rum
  • 2-3 shakes of 10th Avenue Green Tea
  • 1 oz water
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • garnish with a lime twist

Dirty Bourbon

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2-3 shakes of 10th Avenue Chai Tea
  • 1 oz water
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • garnish with a lemon twist

You can send questions and comments to podcast@simplecocktails.net!

Download Episode 68.

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Gonzalez Byass Brandies

gonzales byass brandies: soberano and lepanto

Gonzalez Byass is primarily known as a wine family in Spain, though they also own several spirits as part of their portfolio, including Flor de Caña rum. Two of their brandy lines are Soberano and Lepanto.

These two, however, are very different brandies. Soberano 5-year, which is about $30 and distilled in a column still (a pretty new way of distilling), is sweet in the smell and candy-corn-like in the flavor. It has no spice or alcohol burn and would make an excellent Sidecar cocktail.

Lepanto is a 12-year-old brandy, distilled in a copper pot still. The price tag reflects its age ($60) and the flavor is quite different than Soberano, with a stronger and spicier flavor than its younger brother, with burn on the finish and sizzle on your tongue. In a vague way, this brandy reminds me of a very old whiskey-barrel-aged tequila – spice mixed with a freshness from the grapes, slightly sour notes in the nose and a vanilla cream flavor on the finish. For the price, you’d be more likely to sip Lepanto than mix it, but it would make an outstanding, complex cocktail if you decided to shake one up. We initially tasted Lepanto on the Simple Cocktails Podcast.

From what I can tell, the Gonzalez Byass family of brandies are just beginning to be distributed in the United States. If you have a chance to try Soberano or Lepanto, let me know what you think in the comments.



Special Podcast- ​ Interview With Larry Ahrens

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On this very special edition of the Simple Cocktails Podcast, our producer Larry Ahrens interviews us about the origins of Simple Cocktails. We also talk about the our first podcast, Viva Podcast, the first in New Mexico.

You can send questions and comments to podcast@simplecocktails.net!

Download this Special Episode.

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If you enjoy the show, please tell us so and write an iTunes review! Thank you!

Hennessy Cognac

hennessy ryan mcginness bottle

This is one of the few cognac reviews you’ll find here at Simple Cocktails, but that’s not really intentional. It’s just that cognac can be pricey and is mostly intended for sipping, not cocktail-making. Hennessy is really one of the big names in cognac and has released a limited edition bottle to celebrate 250 years in business, designed by American artist Ryan McGinness.

So what is cognac exactly? Cognac is brandy (distilled from grapes) that is specifically distilled and aged in the Cognac region of France. Like brandy, there are 3 common types of cognac:

  • V.S. – very special. The youngest type of cognac.
  • V.S.O.P. – very special old pale. An older and more expensive cognac.
  • X.O. – extra old. Cognacs in this range usually start at $100, though they can command thousands or tens of thousands of dollars if they’re old or unique enough.

hennessy ryan mcginness bottle

Hennessy has chosen accessibility with this limited edition bottle, it’s the V.S. blend, which retails for the usual $30-40. V.S. is a blend of dozens of cognacs and is aged 8 years. Cognac has long been the preferred accompaniment to a cigar, and this one has the subtle flavor of sweet red wine, and the barrel notes of vanilla and a little bit of caramel. Definitely the right flavor profile for a cigar.

Cognac is not particularly appealing to the younger drinking crowd and I imagine this bottle art is a way of generating interest from them. It glows under a blacklight, a particularly cool effect in a nightclub. The artwork is modern and beautiful too, and if you’re looking to pickup a moderately-priced cognac, there’s not reason not to grab this beautiful bottle with quality cognac inside.

Podcast 67- ​ Bully Boy Old Fashioned and Commodore

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A matured tongue. Bottled cocktails and why they’re nice. “It reminds me of Sunday School.” We taste Bully Boy Old Fashioned. The very first cassette tape Greg owned. Copies of copies of copies of 2Live Crew tapes. We make a Commodore Cocktail….and we have some issues with it. Maybe a lot.

You can send questions and comments to podcast@simplecocktails.net!

Download Episode 67.

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If you enjoy the show, please tell us so and write an iTunes review! Thank you!

Fall Cocktails on the Morning Brew (Video)

I talked about Fall Cocktails on The Morning Brew in Albuquerque last week! Check out the video which includes a Sidecar and Scotch Milk Punch recipe. Get the recipes here.


Hardly Wallbanger

hardly wallbanger

November 8 is National Harvey Wallbanger Day. The signature cocktail of Galliano Liqueur,  and likely invented in the 1950’s in California, the Harvey Wallbanger grew in popularity throughout the 60’s (especially in California). The Sycamore Den bar in San Diego has given the original recipe a little twist in the Hardly Wallbanger. We also made this cocktail on our most recent podcast. Enjoy!

Hardly Wallbanger

  • in a shaker, combine:
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Galliano
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • shake with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with ice
  • garnish with a lemon peel “rose” (pictured) or a lemon wedge

 Special thanks to our sponsor Galliano L’Autentico

Fall Cocktails on the Morning Brew


Greg appeared on The Morning Brew with Friends in Albuquerque today and made two Fall cocktails: the Sidecar and Scotch Milk Punch. If you saw the segment, welcome! Here are the recipes:


  • 1 1/2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz lemon
  • rim with sugar
  • shake with ice, then strain into a glass
  • lemon wedge garnish

Scotch Milk Punch

  • 2 oz scotch
  • 4 oz milk (the fattier this is, the better the drink will taste)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • shake with ice until extremely cold, then strain into a glass
  • top with whipped cream and nutmeg


Podcast 66- ​ Spirit of America Bourbon and Hardly Wallbanger

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Celebrating all week. Carbs. Halloween candy pairings. Bourbon Curious is on sale for $3. We drink Spirit of America Bourbon. Patriotic drinkers. Harvey Wallbanger stories. We make a “Hardly” Wallbanger for National Harvey Wallbanger Day on November 8. “What kind of feminist are you?” A shaker incident with Lisa, followed by a PSA.

You can send questions and comments to podcast@simplecocktails.net!

Download Episode 66.

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If you enjoy the show, please tell us so and write an iTunes review! Thank you!