Podcast 63- Wild Turkey and Choco-Mint-Chata

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The Blood Moon rang in the fall. “I’m better than that.” We taste Wild Turkey 101. “Good job Tom Cruise.” The meaning of the work cocktail…explained!? Mark Twain’s favorite cocktail. We make a “trashy” drink….a Choco-Mint-Chata (with Iceberg and RumChata). Greg has trouble remembering Toy Soldiers.

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St. Augustine Distillery New World Gin

st augustine gin

Hailing from the U.S.’s “oldest city,” St. Augustine Distillery distills New World Gin from sugar cane.

St. Augustine Distillery is based out of St. Augustine, Florida, a city founded in 1565 by the Spanish. The distillery was established in an old ice plant and distills all their products from Florida Cane Sugar. To my knowledge, Florida cane has never made its way into gin. I’ve always associated cane sugar with rum of course, or maybe sodas like Mountain Dew and Pepsi in their “Throwback” line, but gin?

New World Gin has a solid juniper base and a fragrant nose. I was surprised by the powerful but welcome bite that came with the first sip. If bite is your game, then this is the gin for you. The juniper is followed by a blend of orange, lemon, and cassia bark, angelica, and a number of other botanicals. then there’s the Florida cane sugar that adds a sweet and unique quality to New World. There’s a pleasantly sweet, spicy finish and lingering bite in the finish.

New World Gin can be purchased directly at St. Augustine Distillery Co. or on their website for about $30. They also distill Florida Cane Vodka and their Discovery Rum there, and are working to get their product distributed nationally as well.

Podcast 62- Hennessey and Easy-Tinis

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Our first podcast tasting of cognac. Cognac defined. “Very special other people’s property.” We taste Hennessey (Ryan McGinness edition bottle). Cocktails with cognac? Sophistication to ghetto drinking. Greg teaches us to make “Tinis” of various sorts. The ratio is 2:1.

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National Bourbon Heritage Month on the Morning Brew (Video)

I talked about National Bourbon Heritage Month on The Morning Brew in Albuquerque yesterday! Check out the video which includes the background behind the Month, some raving about Bourbon Curious, and drinking Four Roses at 7 am!

Here’s a link to our National Bourbon Heritage Month blog post if you’d like to read more about it. Lisa took some great behind-the-scenes photos as well: Continue reading

Podcast 61- Skyy Vodka and Gin Old Fashioned

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“I caught you on a good year”: we go to the State Fair. Many types of fried food. Lisa talks about fried tequila shots. We taste Skyy Vodka. “If you haven’t heard Greg…” Greg’s signature drink? We taste Knickerbocker Barrel Gin, too, and make a Gin Old Fashioned with it. “Breaking records left and right.” The real reason for no orange garnish. An eyeball sucked out of a mummy. Lisa’s genius coffee mixing technique. The problem with stemless glassware.

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Brugal Especial Extra Dry Rum

brugal extra dry rum

It seems every liquor bottle comes with a legend of some sort, and Brugal Rum is no exception. A five-generations-old rum that’s both sourced and produced in the Dominican Republic, Brugal has a line of rums with vary age statements.

For your entry-level $25, you get Brugal Especial Extra Dry. Keenly wrapped in a net of string, Brugal is unique in a way that many silver rums are not: it’s barrel-aged. After distillation, Extra Dry is aged 2-5 years in oak casks, then the color imparted from the casks is filtered back out. Usually a silver rum is not aged, and because of that, it’s not particularly flavorful, maybe a step up from vodka. But in the case of Brugal, you get a huge nose of woodiness, and a spicy, bold, and very dry rum. Though a common rum complaint, you won’t catch anyone saying this particular rum is “too sweet” for them.

As I tend to prefer my Daiquiris to have a lot of character, meaning I prefer to mix them with aged rum, Brugal gives me a great alternative to the usually-murky brownness that you get with aged rum, then allows me to mix a flavorful-yet-light Daiquiri instead.

You may recall from our Tales of the Cocktail interview that Fabian preferred Brugal in his Daiquiris as well! Cheers Fabian!

 

Podcast 60- Clockwork Orange and J.R.’s Revenge

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Diner en Blanc Albuquerque: “the mayor WAS there….or at least we saw the pictures,” it all comes out the sweat-pores, and here’s some Instagram pics, we taste New Holland Clockwork Orange. “Can you make me a cocktail involving milk?” We make the J.R.’s Revenge cocktail. Who did shoot J.R.? “Let’s do ‘I Dream of Jeanie Next’.” Mistresses will kill you.

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It’s time to talk about Jägermeister

Jägermeister and Jägermeister spice

Some spirits have a bad reputation. Often, it’s deserved and occasionally it’s more of a guilt-by-association situation. Jägermeister is certainly one of those “bad reputation” spirits, and I think in their case, they fall in to both camps.

First, an origin story. Jäger is an 80-year-old German brand, creators of an herbal liquor that’s a bit like an Italian amaro, a blend of 56 macerated herbs, spices and flavors. Jäger is aged a year as part of its production, then bottled and shipped out.

Now for the uncouth side of Jäger. Remember scantily-clad cocktail waitresses with trays of ice-cold Jäger shots prancing around your local bar? Seen frozen Jäger-branded “shot machines”? How about “Jägerbombs” or “Liquid Heroin”? There’s the fact that they’ve virtually ignored craft cocktail bars, craft cocktail makers, and craft cocktail enthusiasts, too. Continue reading

Amaro Lucano

amaro lucano

In the world of craft cocktails, amaros are a staple of the bar, usually multiple varieties. In the real world of people’s home bars however, these Italian bitter liqueurs have yet to make as much of an impact.

Amaro Lucano is one of many amaros you may find at your local liquor store. Of the amaros I’ve tried, there tend to be several camps of them. There’s the citrusy, like Aperol and Campari. There’s the cola-esque like Averna. Then there’s the herbal, like Cynar, Fernet Branca or this one, Amaro Lucano.

Lucano is the most similar to Cynar, herbal and spicy, though there are enough differences to set it apart. First, the alcohol level is higher, 28% compared with Cynar’s 16%. Because of the increased alcohol level, and likely because of something in the secret recipe of 30 herbs, Amaro Lucano has an interesting tingle when you sip it. It’s hard to trace the source of that tingle, but everyone who’s tried it has noticed it to varying degrees of enjoyment.

At $30, Amaro Lucano is definitely an enjoyable, herbal amaro. If you love to taste new amaros, and experiment with them in your Negronis, it should certainly be on your list of amaros to try.

Podcast 59- Four Roses, New Holland Bourbon and Hanky Panky

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Rings on your ankles? Greg’s never spilled whiskey on his pillow. We talk about National Bourbon Heritage Month. “Who says they don’t get things done?” We taste Four Roses Single Barrel and New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon. We make a Hanky Panky. Putting meat in jello? “New Orleans changed me!”

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