Author Archives: Greg

Roaming Man Whiskey

roaming man rye whiskey

Sugarlands Distilling has done a pretty great job of carving a space in the moonshine category with dozens of moonshine flavors, but expanding into rum and liqueurs as well. One of their big multi-year projects, however, has been Roaming man Straight rye Tennessee Whiskey, an aged rye that they release specially for the past 3 years.

Here’s the fun part, though: it’s available in cask-strength, 375 ml bottles and is VERY limited edition: one release per year and then it’s gone. I’d joked with Sugarlands’ distiller Greg Eidam on a recent podcast that I didn’t know whether to drink mine immediately or save it forever.

It was too tempting. I cracked my bottle of their second-year release, from 2016, and it’s an extremely tasty rye with a great amount of spice and a nice amount of age. Often, if a rye is too young, it’s a bit sour and not as balanced as the older ones, but Roaming Man is balanced and drinkable.

And now, there’s a chance to get your own bottle of 2017 Roaming Man. Preorders are open  October 20, 2017 – get your bottle here.

Special thanks to our sponsor Sugarlands Distilling.

Podcast S03E10- What is Vermouth?

simple cocktails podcast

Today we talk to Vya Vermouth’s Mixologist Dana Fares about vermouth, how to care for it, and what Vya does to make a great vermouth. Dana talks about Manhattan Month, too!

Vya-4-Color

Pre-order Sugarlands’ Roaming Man Whiskey here.

Download Season 3, Episode 10 (direct link).

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Italiana RumChata

rumchata italiana cocktail

RumChata has proven to be a more diverse liqueur than I initially guessed it would be when I first tried it. Sure, it does great with the flavors of coffee, cinnamon, chocolate and rum, but every time I’ve tried to push it into unfamiliar territory, it has held up extremely well.

I approached this cocktail from a Italian perspective, using Italian brandy and an amaro together with RumChata, and as fall approaches, I created another great seasonal RumChata drink: the Italiana RumChata. This can be served up in a cocktail coupe or on the rocks (pictured). Here’s how to make it:

Italiana RumChata (by Greg Mays)

  • In a shaker, add:
  • 1 oz RumChata
  • 1 oz amaro (I used Amaro Montenegro)
  • 1 1/2 oz brandy (I used Vecchia Romagna)
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • shake with ice and strain into a old fashioned glass filled with ice
  • garnish with red grapes

Special thanks to our sponsor RumChata.

Podcast S03E09- Flavored Whiskey

simple cocktails podcast

A cabinet full of flavored whiskey. A cocktail in a bottle? A sour face. “Papa that’s your thing!”

Download Season 3, Episode 9 (direct link).

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Piña Colada Fizz

pina colada fizz cocktail

One of the more exciting jars I found when I opened my Sugarlands sponsorship shipment was their Piña Colada Moonshine. I’ve been thinking for a few weeks about a great cocktail to make with it, and one day I discovered a new Trader Joe’s product that I figured would really make it shine (pun intended): “Island Colada” Mineral Water, a fizzy, sugarless water that I knew would work well with this moonshine.

So I developed a recipe for what I call a Piña Colada Fizz using Sugarlands’ Piña Colada Moonshine, Island Colada Mineral Water, and a splash of banana liqueur. It’s an AMAZING warm-weather cocktail:

Piña Colada Fizz (by Greg Mays)

  • in a collins glass filled with ice, add:
  • 2 oz Sugarlands Piña Colada Moonshine
  • 1/4 oz banana liqueur (creme de banane)
  • top with Trader Joe’s Island Colada Mineral Water (plain mineral water will do, too)
  • stir briefly
  • garnish with cherries
Special thanks to our sponsor, Sugarlands Distilling Co.

Podcast S03E08- More Gin

simple cocktails podcast

Gin’s popularity. Is there a Gin revival? Vinyl records resurgence!? Greg’s book. Gin Lane. Gin and cocktails?  Book: “Gin, A Global History.” We make the “Gin Cocktail.”

Download Season 3, Episode 8 (direct link).

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Podcast S03E07- What is Gin?

simple cocktails podcast

“I notice the bottles.” A brief history of gin. Genever, and more. Greg mentions KGB Spirits gin. “Mobsters slinging it around.” We taste Dry Gin, New Western Gin and Old Tom Gin. Greg mentions Ransom and Left Turn‘s Old Toms. “The tequila shooters of their time.”

Download Season 3, Episode 7 (direct link).

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Podcast S03E06- Brunch Cocktails

simple cocktails podcast

“If we call it brunch, then we’re not sinning.” We make Bloody Marys. Bloody Mary mixes we’ve tried. Mimosas. Salvatori Cabrese’s cocktail mishap. We make Breakfast Martinis.

Download Season 3, Episode 6 (direct link).

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Humboldt Vodka and Hemp Seed Vodka

humboldt vodkas

Humboldt Distillery is based out of northern California where they distill vodka and rum. I used their spiced rum to make a cocktail that I’ve been really enjoying lately: the Double Rum Old Fashioned.

Humboldt’s spiced rum I found to be sweet and syrupy, with a mild spiced palate; it goes well in cocktails for sure. I also had the chance to try their vodka, a sugarcane distillate that’s a touch sweet and quite smooth, as well as”Humboldt’s Finest”: a vodka infused with locally-grown sativa cannabis.

I know, that raises some questions, so here’s what I do know: Humboldt’s Finest is legal in all 50 states. Does it make you high? Not that I noticed. Really, the biggest question we need to ask is: how does it taste? Well, Humboldt’s Finest is like a marriage between a tasty vodka and a mild, minty, herbal gin. In tonic, for instance, you might just find it a little more herbal than a Vodka Tonic and bit milder than a Gin and Tonic. It makes for a slightly more interesting Dirty Martini, too. When I substituted it for their regular vodka in cocktails, people always noted it was “more herbal.”

All Humboldt’s spirits are organic, and I think the distillery had a unique enough approach together with a unique portfolio of spirits to add some fun cocktail twists to your home bar. Both vodkas retail for about $25.

Podcast S03E05- Moonshine, Sugarlands Style

simple cocktails podcast

Greg talks to Greg Eidam, head distiller at Sugarlands Distilling Co., about the distillery, their history and the famous moonshiners on their payroll. Here are some recipe ideas from Sugarlands. We talk about Roaming Man Straight Rye and getting it through their new Whiskey Club (sign up here).

Download Season 3, Episode 5 (direct link).

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