Author Archives: Rob Theakston

The Drinkhacker Shopping List – 12.13.2013

Welcome to the Shopping List, our semi-regular printer-friendly portable checklist of everything we’ve covered over the past several weeks. We’re getting you ready for the trip to the liquor store to stock up for those holiday parties in good form. Our coverage over the last two weeks plus our annual Drinkhacker Gift Guide pretty much covers the range of spirits you’ll need to have your party be the one that everybody talks about in 2014.

TheList121313 525x998 The Drinkhacker Shopping List – 12.13.2013

Drinkhacker Reads – 12.11.13 – Brit Boozer Boasts Bourbon Bests Barley

(Back to our regularly scheduled formatting…)

millerlite Drinkhacker Reads   12.11.13   Brit Boozer Boasts Bourbon Bests BarleyOld people and retro addicts rejoice! Miller Lite is bringing back its old packaging for a limited time. To help cross promote this historic occasion, several cans of the vintage design will be featured in Anchorman 2, which has seemingly attached itself to literally everything this holiday season. The can will be available on the market starting in January and throughout the spring of 2014.

Speaking of fossils, normally we don’t lend much credence to Jim Murray’s biblical decrees but this time he may be on to something: Bourbon might be surpassing Scottish whisky in quality. Of course this news comes from the Washington Times, and we’re told by incredibly reliable sources (namely: awesome readers of this daily feature) that said paper isn’t exactly a reliable source, so he might have said the opposite. Either way, we wouldn’t be surprised if he actually said both at some point. [Washington Times]

Becky Paskin is no stranger to awesome booze writing, and her profile for the Spirits Business on the insanely astronomical prices folks are paying for Scotch is one of the more engaging reads of the year. Definitely worth the time to read through and daydream about affording some of the beauties profiled. [The Spirits Business]

Whisky Advocate is starting to announce their best picks of 2013, starting today with Few Spirits Rye taking home its Craft Whiskey Of The Year. More selections are on their way this week, none of which will probably as expensive as those in the Spirits Business profile, and (hopefully) in a store near you. [Whisky Advocate]

And finally today, Shanken News is reporting that Four Roses is scaling back production due to a barrel shortage. Industry barrel supplier Independent Stave Company is having problems sourcing American white oak lumber. Instead of enacting company layoffs and a distillery shutdown, Four Roses made the smart move to reduce production for the time being. Stay tuned… [Shanken News Daily]

Drinkhacker Reads – 12.09.2013 – Absurd Upworthy Headline Edition

With the inpouring of luxury goods and spirits into the nation, the Chinese are also slowly developing their own class of whisky connoisseurs. Financial Times examines the emergence of this new class of savvy and sophisticated drinkers. You won’t believe what happens next. Also in the Financial Times: a discussion of rare releases and the constant demand they bring. [Financial Times]

Jason Barber spent years developing a vodka made from cow’s milk. What happens next may blow your mind. [The Guardian UK]

Here is what happens when a man seeks crowd-sourced funding to bring another rum into existence. [Newsday]

Find out what happens when a large tequila company partners with a Russian distribution company to increase profits and market share. The answer may astound and stun your sensibilities. [Beverage Daily]

A Kentucky distiller makes only 273 bottles of its sour mash. Find out the astronomical price these bottles are fetching on the inflated spirits market. [Poughkeepsie Journal]

Click here to discover which famous Will Ferrell character is slated to receive his own expression of Scotch. The answer will not surprise you. At all. [Huffington Post]

The A-List November 2013

In contrast to last month’s cornucopia, this month’s edition of the A-List features fewer brands hitting the mark. However, between the annual gift guide and this list, we’re fully confident you’ll be armed and ready to head to the liquor store with a multitude of high quality options to choose from.

AListNov13 525x838 The A List November 2013

Review: The Ancient Ales of Dogfish Head

“Not to know what happened before you were born is to be a child forever. For what is the time of a man, except it be interwoven with that memory of ancient things of a superior age?” – Cicero

Thankfully, there are modern day custodians of history keeping the past alive and well, presenting long-silenced voices in time and framing the act of rediscovery as an innovative art. Such is the case with magazines like Lapham’s Quarterly, podcasts like Hard Core History, and Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ales series.

Working in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Director of Biomolecular Archaeology for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages and Health Dr. Patrick McGovern, Dogfish CEO Sam Calagione revives long lost recipes and brings to light traditional beermaking methods that folks in the United States would consider highly exotic (you can see their discovery and process in action on their reality show Brewmasters, now streaming on Netflix). More often than not though, the efforts pay off.

jiahu Review: The Ancient Ales of Dogfish HeadChateau Jiahu – A variation on the world’s oldest fermented beverage recipe, this is an incredibly sweet beer made with hawthorn fruit, sake, barley, rice and honey. The majority of these ingredients are more than evident throughout the experience. Took a bit to get used to, but once invested, I thoroughly enjoyed it. 10% abv. A- / $12 (25.4 oz.)

Midas Touch – “Indiana Calagione” and Dr. McGovern found the molecular evidence of this recipe in a Turkish tomb that was allegedly the property of one King Midas. Incredibly sweet, and as the story goes it’s actually somewhere on the scale between a wine and mead. I’m inclined to believe it. Leaves a bit of a dry finish with a few faint herb notes. 9% abv. B / $12 (12 oz. four-pack)

theobroma Review: The Ancient Ales of Dogfish HeadTheobroma – Wham bam, thank you ma’am! Taking its recipe cues from a chemical analysis of Honduran pottery over 3,000 years old (it feels kind of ridiculous just typing that), this is a chocolate beer recipe filled to the brim with cocoa, a bit of bitter honey, and a bit of chili spice on the back end. The deceptive light coloring (you’d think a chocolate beer would be a bit darker) teases and lets the chili and cocoa do their dance. Excellent stuff! 9% abv. A / $12 (25.4 oz)

Ta Henket – Bread bread and bread… which makes perfect sense because this recipe comes from Egyptian Hieroglyphics. The yeast stands out with traces of the chamomile and other herbs listed as secondary ingredients. Probably my least favorite of the bunch, but being the weak link in this chain could be the strongest on any other lineup. 4.5% abv. B- / $11 (25.4 oz)

The company also offers a variety of special brewpub only editions, including one involving a whole mess of human-masticated corn and saliva. Hopefully these other experiments will see mass production shortly, but given the time and effort it takes to make them happen, it may just require a visit to Delaware instead.

Dogfish Head has a tendency to sometimes enter the realm of the comically absurd. In keeping with the spirit of the company’s mantra, that’s a risk that unconventional brewing must take in order to stay innovative and interesting. For this series it’s an investment that pays off handsomely and provides an enjoyable education into the complexity of beer history for those willing to pay the cost of admission.

dogfish.com

2013 Drinkhacker’s Best Books Guide

Back in February, we dedicated nearly a full month to reviews on books based around alcohol as the main subject. While this post could serve as compendium to that month, here are a few more ideas for last minute stocking stuffers. Read anything not on our list that we missed, or suggestions for alternatives? Drop us a line in the comments section! We’re always looking for more to read.

Whiskey Women Cover 393x590 199x300 2013 Drinkhackers Best Books GuideFor the whiskey fans in your life (or yourself), a few books from the heart of Kentucky provide hours of entertaining facts, recipes and historical anecdotes. Derek Bell’s Alt Whiskeys looks into the adventurous experiments of his Corsair distillery. Mike Veach’s historical tome on the history of Kentucky bourbon is thoroughly detailed and rich with engaging content, but it might prove to be a bit much for those newly initiated into bourbon culture. Fred Minnick’s Whiskey Women gives a compelling account at the understated, underrated role women played in the making of bourbon and Scotch (our review is forthcoming). Dominic Roskrow’s encyclopedic tome, The World’s Best Whiskies, is a gorgeous, full color affair that is mildly outdated but is an excellent resource with 750 excellent suggestions and selections to consider. With an update to reflect recent expressions, this would no doubt be the book of the year for whiskey fans. Finally, New York Times scribe Clay Risen offers up a new book called American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye, which is a competent, accessible and affordable read.

drunken 216x300 2013 Drinkhackers Best Books GuideHistorical drinking books were even strong beyond the whiskey world. Amy Stewart’s The Drunken Botanist breaks the origins of drinks down to a near-molecular level, explaining in wonderfully written prose the biology of our everyday drinks. Brad Thomas Parsons’ Bitters acts as a wonderful supplement to The Drunken Botanist, deeply documenting the history of one of the most essential ingredients of any cocktail.

We also saw an abundance of cocktail books hitting the market this year, and Katie Loeb’s Shake, Stir And Pour was among the best of its class, offering a perfect hybrid of quality recipes and affordability. Tim Federle’s gorgeously illustrated Tequila Mockingbird provides literary history lessons with tasty tequila recipes and some seriously wince-worthy puns (“Are You There God? It’s Me, Margarita”). Tristan Stephenson’s new release (again, review forthcoming) The Curious Bartender is a quick and simple read, giving modern twists to classic favorites but offering clear and simple directions that even the newest of mixologists can follow.

Drinkhacker Reads -12.04.2013 – U.S. State Department Spends $180,000 On Alcohol

1 Glenmorangie fans are able to choose from these three label and box designs for Taghta Tuh ta1 525x177 Drinkhacker Reads  12.04.2013   U.S. State Department Spends $180,000 On Alcohol

We’re not big on the compiling of slideshow based listicles, as is the trend these days. However, we’ve come across two that would fit quite snugly under the header of “Weird Whiskey Ideas of 2013.” The first, from Glenmorangie, invites users to decide on the label for its latest in the Cask Masters series, Taghta (Gaelic for “chosen”). Fans can hop on over to the website and vote on their favorite label, all bold and risky choices: yellow and brown, brown and orange, or purplish! [Glenmorangie]

In Beamland, the new “I’m Beam” application also is a bit of a charming headscratcher. Users can download the app to create woodcut-styled portraits similar to those found on the side label of Beam bottles, amongst other knicknacks, including something ambiguously entitled “Beam Family Surprises.” Mmmmmmm… [Jim Beam]

image001 143x300 Drinkhacker Reads  12.04.2013   U.S. State Department Spends $180,000 On Alcohol Coming in January/February to a white dog shelf near you: Dickel No.1, which serves as the base juice for it Nos.8, 12, and Barrel Select editions. It’ll be bottled at about 91 proof and will retail for $21.99 for a 750ml bottle. Look for our review shortly. [Dickel]

Faced with the shutdown this past fall, the State Department racked up a liquor bill of $180,000 in anticipation of its inability to purchase spirits during the brief hiatus. This included a nearly $16,000 whiskey tab in Moscow. Why weren’t we invited? [Washington Times]

Elsewhere in the political/alcohol narrative, Sen. Charles Schumer continues his crusade to cut excise taxes on smaller microbreweries in an effort to… wait for it… help “job creators.” [WSJ]

And finally today, the New Republic asks: Do smart people drink more? We’d like to think so, but that’s just opinion. NR backs that up with the results of several recently published studies. [New Republic]

Drinkhacker Reads – 12.02.2013 – Drinkhacker Gift Guide Goes Color + Sriracha Vodka

No doubt you saw the 2013 edition of our Gift Guide posted last week in between stuffing your faces or fighting the crowds during Whack Friday. But did you know our guide also comes as a full color PDF, complete with full reviews and all the previous years’ winners. Dig in!

Despite an overall slowdown in the amount of what we’re consuming in restaurants, a report issued today by Technomic suggests that we’re drinking less, but we’re also being more discerning about our choices. While the overall gains were modest (0.7% overall), categories such as Irish whiskey (+21.6%) and craft/microbrewed beer (+13%) saw double digit growth. [Technomic]

While we were on Thanksgiving break, Diageo announced via press release an initiative it’s The Orphan Barrel Project, which sounds suspiciously close to another project near and dear to our hearts. The project will “rescue” old and rare barrels of whiskey from their warehouses, including Kentucky Bourbons, to be bottled… in Tennessee (…not cool, Diageo). The first of the “expressions” – a 20 year old called Barterhouse and a 26 year old called Old Blowhard will be arriving in early 2014, and not everyone is thrilled with the concept or presentation. Charles Cowdery offers up an excellent editorial on the whole business.

bottlelarge sriracha2 77x300 Drinkhacker Reads   12.02.2013   Drinkhacker Gift Guide Goes Color +  Sriracha VodkaAnd finally today: just when you thought it was safe to go down the vodka aisle and not be assaulted by hideous flavors, UV has announced the arrival of its Sriracha Vodka expression. No doubt an attempt to cash in on the Sriracha craze sweeping the nation, Philips Distilling Company is proud to present the world’s first Sriracha-flavored vodka. We’re kind of hoping it’s the only version, but hey… maybe it’ll sell well in upscale restaurants. [UV Vodka]

Recipes: Last Minute Thanksgiving Cocktails, 2013

Running around the house panicked with no idea what to serve the more discriminating drinkers in your clan? Here are some quick and easy cocktail fixes to serve before or after that giant meal tomorrow.

Ellinge Autumn Sky  205x300 Recipes: Last Minute Thanksgiving Cocktails, 2013Ellinge Autumn Sky
3 ounces Purity Vodka
.5 ounce honey
Barspoon roasted pumpkin
Handful fresh cranberries

Add pumpkin, cranberry, and runny honey to a short tin. Add vodka and ice, shake hard. Garnish with whole cranberries.

Gondolier Blanco
1 oz white chocolate liqueur
1 oz white creme de menthe
1 oz white creme de cocoa
½ oz white chocolate syrup
½ oz cream

Shake and strain into candy cane rimmed martini glass.

Pom Prosecco
1 oz Pama liqueur
½ oz fresh lemon juice
Top with Prosecco

Served in a flute, garnished with Lemon Twist.

Smashed Pumpkin
1 oz Wild Turkey Spiced
1/4 oz almond liqueur
1/4 oz cinnamon schnapps
2 oz pumpkin pie filling
1/2 oz heavy cream
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix ingredients together. Garnish on top with freshly grated nutmeg.

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.25.2013 – Dennis Rodman Solves North Korea Problem With Vodka

rodman goodlooks 300x200 Drinkhacker Reads   11.25.2013   Dennis Rodman Solves North Korea Problem With Vodka

Dennis Rodman, 21st Century International Diplomat

Not satisfied with being one of the most brilliantly insane basketball players of all time, Dennis Rodman has decided to travel down roads blazed by Jimmy Carter and numerous others in an idealistic effort to become a peace broker for humanity.

At a recent press conference, the former Piston/Bull/Laker/Maverick/Cross Dresser promoted his upcoming basketball game in North Korea — where his 6-foot-7 frame will be valiantly taking the court in country where the average height for men is 5’8″ — and also took a few moments to promote his new vodka brand, humbly named Dennis Rodman: The Original Badass Premium Vodka.

From AP/Detroit Free Press:

“Everyone knows (President Barack) Obama drinks beer (…) But you know what? I’m pretty sure he does have a cocktail here or there. I’d love to see him with a ‘Bad Ass Vodka’ shot in his hand, toasting to Kim Jong (Un) and me.

“That would be awesome.”

Indeed, Worm. Indeed.

In related news, both Rodman and Obama make an appearance on the 2013 edition of GQ Magazine’s Least Influential Celebrities list.

Equally as amusing today, a Fort Meyers, Florida man was arrested for attempting to hide 13 bottles of liquor down his pants. When approached by security, he was asked if that was twelve bottles of Hennessy and one bottle of Grey Goose in his pants, or if he was just happy to see them. [UPI]

Finally in science news: the Daily Mail is reporting alcohol is good for preventing cancer, improving your sex life, and when drunk in moderation won’t make a person fat. The world’s oldest wine cellar has been discovered in Israel. Physics researchers explain foaming beer bottles, Gizmodo drinks a Samuel Adams Utopias in the name of research [Drinkhacker's take coming soon!], and a British researcher busts the myth of the beer belly.

Recipe: Thanksgiving Cocktails

The time is almost here for us Americans to gorge ourselves on a feast of food, take long naps, and watch the national embarrassment that is the Detroit Lions lose yet again on national television. And so in lieu of the traditional beer, wine, and spirits sure to be served, we offer up these recipes as an alternative which may simultaneously spruce up your family gathering and potentially start an argument with a curmudgeonous relative demanding to know why there’s no Lowenbrau in the fridge.

karamel Recipe: Thanksgiving CocktailsSalted Karamel Martini
(courtesy of Caterina Miltenberger)
1 ¼ oz. Sobieski Karamel vodka
¾ oz. coffee-flavored tequila
2 oz. half & half
½ oz. simple syrup
1 oz. caramel syrup (set aside 1/2 for topping/garnish)
Garnish: 1 dash of kosher salt
Garnish: Whipped cream

Add ingredients in a mixing glass with fresh ice. Shake vigorously & strain into a martini glass. Garnish with whipped cream, followed by a drizzle of caramel and kosher salt.

Maple Bacon Manhattan
2 parts Jim Beam Maple
1/2 part Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Angostura Bitters
bacon strips (NOTE: for vegetarians, MorningStar Farms bacon does NOT, repeat, NOT work)

Build ingredients in mixing glass with ice and stir together. Pour over ice into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a bacon strip.

Turning Leaves
(courtesy of Jim Beam)
1 1/2 parts Jim Beam Black bourbon
1/2 part DeKuyper Orange curacao
2 parts fresh lemon sour
1 part Funkin Pear (note: entirely optional)
1/2 part DeKuyper Pomegranate

Shake all but the pomegranate with ice and strain over fresh ice in a hurricane style glass. Slowly pour the pomegranate so that it flows through the drink. Garnish with a pear slice on the rim.

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.21.2013 – The End Of Flavored Vodka?

Good news everyone! Restaurant Sciences LLC is reporting that sales for flavored vodkas fell almost 12% over last year’s 3rd quarter reports! Hooray! This means no more “innovative” flavors like grass clippings, musty fall leaves, or leather in our neutral spirits! Further from the report:

Restaurant Sciences tracks more than 600 flavored vodka brands, with the Top 50 flavored vodkas accounting for 73 percent of sales. Among the larger brands, Absolut Citron, the flavored vodka category leader, saw a 1.8 percent year-over-year sales decline. While Grey Goose Cherry Noir flavored vodka is enjoying increased on-premise sales, all other Grey Goose flavored vodkas on-premise sales are off between eight to 20 percent. Other category leaders, such as Stolichnaya and Three Olives, are down more than 20 percent.

Hooray! [Market Wired]

Elsewhere in other “innovative” news: Amsterdam is paying alcoholics to clean their streets. The can-do spirit of keeping the areas neat and tidy caused by their equally inebriated countrymen will result in a compensation of 10 euros, a half packet of rolling tobacco, and five cans of beer distributed throughout the day. While some people think the move a genius one, others are a bit more vociferous about the new initiative. Of course, the public forum Reddit is engaging in a lively discussion over the article. [Elite Daily]

The Wall Street Journal reports on the latest findings on why hangovers hit people harder after 40 than they did in their youth. [WSJ]

The final release in A. Smith Bowman’s 2013 line will be available nationwide beginning late November/early December. The Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Port Finished Bourbon is aged 12 years, and unlike last year’s Port-finished expression, was aged four more years in oak while spending less time in Port casks. The limited edition is 100 proof and will retail for about $69.99. [A Smith Bowman]

And finally today, rye fans rejoice! After much consternation about its disappearance over a year ago, Wild Turkey is bringing its rye bottling back at its original proof of 101. However, due to the minimal amount of stock available, the 101 proof version will be made available to targeted markets in limited quantities. Of course, the 81 proof version will still be available en masse to those who love it.

Review: W.L. Weller Bourbon Lineup

With Pappymania 2013 reaching a fever pitch, we figured we would review some wheated bourbon alternatives to satisfy those not fortunate enough to get their hands on a bottle so they could re-sell it for simply ludicrous prices.

WSR 145x300 Review: W.L. Weller Bourbon LineupW.L. Weller Special Reserve - Formerly carrying a 7 year old age statement (Buffalo Trace has since removed the age statement on the label, though claim it’s still aged around the same span of time), this is the value edition of the trio, clocking in at about $12. However, unlike most lower shelf bourbons, the quality isn’t really sacrificed here. A very honey and vanilla infused nose turns into a mellow palate, with traces of caramel and cinnamon. There’s a sharp, almost peppery burn at the end, which punches and fades away quickly. 90 proof. B / $12

107 141x300 Review: W.L. Weller Bourbon LineupOld Weller Antique 107 – The middle child often gets unfairly overlooked, and Weller is no exception. Weller Antique has been a mainstay on the shelf for an every-day bourbon for quite some time, with really good quality at an affordable price point. The nose has a bit more cinnamon and molasses than Special Reserve, and less vanilla than the 12-year edition. The taste brings the heat without too much emphasis on the alcohol. Get on the train before the fare increases and goes the way of its older sibling, the 12 year. 107 proof. A- / $22

weller 12yr 142x300 Review: W.L. Weller Bourbon LineupW.L. Weller 12 Years Old – The one that many folks in the know have lovingly christened “baby Pappy” (close in age, same mash bill) has garnered quite a following itself, with supply so low it’s only being offered semi-annually if you’re lucky. There’s a heavy dose of vanilla from start to end, which is accentuated by oak and cinnamon in the palate. The finish is sharper and lingers a bit more than its siblings, with more smoke and char for a finale. A raised proof could make it a serious contender and increase its fan base. Definitely worth picking up should one spot a bottle in their local store. 90 proof. A- / $26

buffalotracedistillery.com

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.18.2013 – Wine Spectator Releases Top 100 Wines of 2013

Wine Spectator‘s Top 100 Wines List of 2013 was unveiled this morning to much fanfare, with the Cune Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva taking top honors. The site also has a feature where users can trace the entire history of the list dating back to 1988. Congrats to all making this distinctive list. [Wine Spectator]

Bacardi rum has unveiled its new, expansive global media campaign. “Untameable” will include several new television and digital ads and expansive print layouts highlighting the company’s 150+ year history. The brand’s packaging will also be redesigned and unified with a new aesthetic. [Bacardi]

Glenfiddich has unveiled the final details of its Spirit Of A Nation expression, aged 29 years in a single sherry cask before finishing in an American oak cask. The edition is limited to just 250 bottles, with only 200 being available to the general public at price tag of $1,600. The launch coincides with the beginning of an expedition to the South Pole by veterans in order to raise awareness for Walking With The Wounded, a charity for injured veterans. [Glenfiddich]

And finally today, in science news: Fred Minnick and Scientific American take on the debate about vodka being labeled “gluten-free”, the NHTSA wants automakers to speed up an alcohol-detection device which would prevent cars from starting, and NPR explains “wine tears.”

Recipe: Tabasco Cocktails (Anchorman 2 Edition)

Everything has to have some sort of “spin”, and our first reaction upon opening the press release promoting the release of Anchorman 2 was that it would be flooded with Scotchtails. While there’s not a single malt to be found in this list, we have to give the marketing folks and mixologists who supplied us with these spicy recipes due credit: some of these are pretty tasty.

The Burgundy 200x300 Recipe: Tabasco Cocktails (Anchorman 2 Edition)The Burgundy
1 quart tomato juice
1 cup vodka
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
Lime slices or celery stalks

Combine tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, and Tabasco Sauce in a 2-quart pitcher; stir well. Serve over ice. Garnish with lime or celery. Serves 6

Its So Damn Hot Recipe: Tabasco Cocktails (Anchorman 2 Edition)It’s So Damn Hot
2 ounces quality vodka or gin
7 ounces tomato juice
1/2 ounce worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon horseradish mustard
10-20 dashes Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Pinch of cumin
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 lime, juiced
Garnish: 1 chicory leaf
Garnish: 1 cornichon

Spicy Seasoned Garlic Sea Salt
6 dashes Tabasco
1/8 cup sea salt
1/2 tablespoon toasted garlic

Combine all spicy seasoned garlic sea salt ingredients and mix well. Fill a pint glass with ice and rim with spicy seasoned garlic sea salt. Combine all other ingredients into mixing glass. “Roll” ingredients back and forth from mixing glass to shaker several times; mix well. Pour into ice-filled, salt-rimmed pint glass. Garnish with chicory leaf and a cornichon.

image001 252x300 Recipe: Tabasco Cocktails (Anchorman 2 Edition)Brick’s Hand Grenade
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
2 tablespoons lemon-lime soda
1 tablespoon light rum
1 tablespoon tequila
1 tablespoon vodka
1 tablespoon gin
3 drops Tabasco

Combine all ingredients and pour into a 12-ounce highball glass filled with ice; stir. If desired, garnish glass with a wedge of pineapple or lime.

The Drinkhacker Shopping List – 11.16.2013

Welcome to the Shopping List, our semi-regular printer-friendly portable check list of everything we’ve covered over the past several weeks. This edition features a whole slew of vodkas, brandies and cognacs we’ve had the pleasure to review, and a few experiences that were less than pleasurable. Either way it’s our duty and privilege to sample these in order to make you a better informed consumer, and help pick just the right spirit for your upcoming Thanksgiving holiday events.

TheList111613 525x1102 The Drinkhacker Shopping List – 11.16.2013

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.14.2013 – Science Thursday Edition

Science has possibly found a way to mimic the pleasant effects of inebriation without alcohol by taking one one pill, and then sober a person up by taking a second pill. While we’re all for science and discovery around here, unless there’s a pill that can recreate the incredible sensation of drinking an A+ rated spirit without coughing up the dough, we’ll stick with the joy of what we know for now. [Huffington Post]

In other science news, MiiR has introduced a new growler that keeps beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. They’re raising money to start things up and have surpassed their goal with almost two weeks to go. On top of all this, every growler purchased will result in a donation of clean drinking water to a person for a year. A great idea and a great cause. Head on over to their website and check it out. [MiiR]

Popular Science isn’t jumping on the pill bandwagon this issue, but it does feature an incredible and indepth look at how evolution determines the flavor of our beer and whiskey. [Popular Science]

Buffalo Trace is getting ready to unveil the eleventh round of its Single Oak project in time for the upcoming holiday, with this round focusing on the maturation process in two separate warehouses and the effects of flooring: a brick warehouse with wooden floors vs. a brick warehouse with concrete floors. As always, we’ll have complete coverage as we head toward the conclusion of this most ambitious experiment. [Buffalo Trace]

In beer news, it looks as if Miller’s lime-flavored Miller Chill will be put on ice later this year. Originally slated to compete with Bud Light Lime, the product received the cold shoulder from consumers and will be frozen in its tracks in order to make room for newer, sunnier brands. [Beer Pulse]

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.11.2013 – Patriotic Dispatch Edition

First and foremost, a raising of the glass to the men and women who have proudly served in our country’s military branches. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

In true patriot form, Bostonians are once again taking it to the streets and marching towards the halls of politics. Members of the Massachusetts Beer Guild (which includes Samuel Adams and Harpoon) will be testifying at a hearing with state legislators tomorrow afternoon, claiming that four-decade-old laws and legislation regarding wholesalers and distribution are curbing growth and impacting 1,300 existing jobs in the commonwealth. We’re in the process of trying to find out if the hearing will be simulcasted, and if so we’ll post a link tomorrow. [Boston.com]

Jack Daniel’s is back in court again, this time suing a restaurant over the use of the phrase “No. 7″. Last week it was against Popcorn Sutton for the use of a similar bottle shape. We can’t wait to see them in court over the use of black and white as a color scheme. (Note: This is a joke. Please don’t sue us.) [Law 360]

In wine news: Bloomberg is reporting that France is already down on the rot-ridden 2013 vintage, already prompting an increase in wine prices, The Wall Street Journal reports that New York had a great year for its crop, and a new system in Germany can identify grape varietals and sugar content through optical techniques.

And finally today, the world’s oldest living veteran Richard Overton credits his 107 years of longevity to 12 cigars a day and whiskey in his coffee. “Whiskey’s a good medicine. It keeps your muscles tender.” Overton said in an interview with an LA Times reporter. While not many doctors may agree with that assessment, we’ll drink to it. Cheers, sir. Tender cheers. [LA Times]

The A-List October 2013

This month’s edition of the A-List is one of the most jam packed we’ve had in quite sometime, thanks to the plethora of great new options (and some classics revisited) we’ve had the luck to sample this month. As no doubt you can tell, the spirits have been of absolute quality and there is no reason for you to leave your local hooch shop this month without something fantastic in your bag.

AListOct13 525x899 The A List October 2013

Review: Beam’s Eight Star Whiskey

Beams Eight Star Review: Beams Eight Star WhiskeyIn nearly every family there’s a black sheep or dirty little secret. Such is the case with Beam’s Eight Star. It’s so low shelf, it’s not even on the shelf. In fact, it’s not even listed on the Beam website as a purchasable brand. It’s not bourbon, but rather a blended whiskey and certainly holds true to the label’s claim. There is some familiarity here to the rest of the brands bearing the Beam banner, but very little. It’s akin to a distant cousin you see every few years at a family reunion.

There are scant traces of caramel and sweetness on the front end and strictly oak on the back, accompanied with a generous portion of heat all around. This is all one really gets out of the deal. And at a price point of around $10, I suppose there’s not much more to hope for in the great game of expectations.

In tech-nerd terms (after all, this is Drinkhacker): if big brother Baker’s is a finely tuned browser with minimal service interruption and amazing extensions, Eight Star is Netscape without frames support and still using the *[blink]* tag.

I kept searching for the silver lining, and to my surprise I actually found one. In a last ditch effort to find some semblance of a positive angle, I mixed Eight Star with Coke. The results were not as bad as anticipated, and I didn’t cry. That’s pretty much the only way I’d take this budget buddy for a spin again.

C / $10