Ivan Lauer

Ivan Lauer is a contributor to Drinkhacker.

Does Absinthe Make You Hallucinate?

By Ivan Lauer | June 26, 2017 |

“After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.” – Oscar Wilde Though absinthe has been legal in the United States for a decade now,…

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What is Fortified Wine and How Is It Made?

By Ivan Lauer | June 14, 2017 |

“Silver and ermine and red faces full of port wine” – John Betjeman Fortified wine, that is, wine with a spirit (usually brandy) added to up the alcohol content, is a style that fell out of fashion decades ago. While once enjoyed in the salons of well-off aristocrats throughout Western Europe, these days ports, sherries, and their fellow…

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What Botanicals Are Used to Make Gin (and Why)?

By Ivan Lauer | June 6, 2017 |

Our recent martini taste test has lit a juniper-scented fire under us here at Drinkhacker HQ, so we’ve decided to once again explore gin, the most aromatic of spirits. Today we’ll be giving an overview of the different botanicals that go into your favorite gin; unlike wine, which can have aromas and flavors of a…

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Shaken or Stirred: Which Makes the Best Martini?

By Ivan Lauer | May 16, 2017 |

“A dry martini,” he said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.” “Oui, monsieur.” “Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?” -Ian Fleming, Casino Royale Like a manhattan or an…

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Should You Let Your Whisky Breathe?

By Ivan Lauer | May 10, 2017 |

So now everyone knows that the shape of a glass can radically change the taste of the spirit inside it, right? But are there any other ways to improve the taste of your favorite beverage even further? What about letting your whiskey aerate before drinking, like we do with tannic wines? Does whiskey “open up”…

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A Brief History of Orange Flavored Liqueurs

By Ivan Lauer | May 7, 2017 |

Orange liqueur is a staple of any bar, used for dozens of different mixed drinks, from simple classics like the margarita, to obscure Prohibition-era drinks like the XYZ. But there are several different styles of orange liqueur, and it can be hard for the average consumer to tell just what it is they need. We’re…

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What Is Bottled-in-Bond Whiskey?

By Ivan Lauer | April 14, 2017 |

Occasionally, a new whiskey drinker will notice something unusual with select bottles of bourbon or American rye: There are occasional bottles that seem to share a long thin sticker over the cap of a bottle, that states that the whiskey is “bottled-in-bond.” What does the phrase mean, and what does it mean in practice for…

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A Brief History of India Pale Ale

By Ivan Lauer | April 12, 2017 |

Though sours and goses have been making strong headway into the craft market recently, IPAs remain kings of the mountain. High in alcohol, swelling with hops, both tart and bitter, there’s a lot to like about the crisp, bracing taste of a good craft IPA. But whether you’re a dedicated hop-head who can recite the…

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How to Make a Perfect Old Fashioned Cocktail

By Ivan Lauer | April 2, 2017 |

So, you’ve mastered mixing the manhattan, and now you want to try your hand at another 19th-century classic cocktail? Another simple and delicious mixed drink with oodles of history behind it is the Old Fashioned, and for a drinker who has mixing manhattans down pat, an old fashioned is an excellent new recipe to try.…

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Understanding the Wines of France

By Ivan Lauer | March 29, 2017 |

To an average wine imbiber, a trek through the new world wine section of their store of choice is a painless ordeal; a California Cabernet has “Cabernet Sauvignon” written right there on the label. Same with an Oregon Pinot Noir, an Australian Syrah, and just about any other “New World” wine. Blends might be trickier,…

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