Rated B-

Reviews of spirits, wine, and beer (and various errata like mixers and garnishes) comprise more than 80% of the content at Drinkhacker, and at the B- level we begin to shy away from recommending these products except in relatively uncommon circumstances or for certain types of drinkers. On a five-star scale, these products would score 2.5 stars. On the traditional 100-point scale popular with many wine and spirits graders, these products would merit scores of 79 to 82 points.

Review: Zico Coconut Water

By Christopher Null | May 2, 2009 |

“Nature’s sports drink,” they call it: Spiked with natural electrolytes, tons of potassium, no fat or added sugar, it’s the water of the coconut, familiar to most of us only as it regards the consumption of the occasional beachside piña colada. Zico aims to get thirsty athletes and yoga enthusiasts drinking more of the stuff,…

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Review: NV pro-mis-Q-ous Pinot Grigio and Red Wine

By Christopher Null | May 1, 2009 |

This new value label is hitting the market, hoping to entice consumers with good wine at very affordable prices. We tried two of the three bottles being sold. Here’s how they stack up. All three are non-vintage bottlings and source fruit from all over California. Expect to pay $11 to $13 for a bottle. NV…

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Review: Blue Angel Vodka

By Christopher Null | April 29, 2009 |

This new California vodka is distilled from (unspecified) American grains and distilled four times, and distiller (and inventor — he also created a battery-powered sticky note dispenser) Maurice Kanbar says he goes to great lengths to filter out hangover-causing congeners. Blue Angel, he says, contains less than 0.01 grams of congeners or fusel oils per…

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Review: Jose Cuervo Especial Plata Tequila

By Christopher Null | April 18, 2009 |

Cuervo’s latest doesn’t stray far from its profitable core: Jose Cuervo Especial is a mixto tequila (meaning it’s over half blue agave and the rest neutral grain spirits) and unaged. The results should surprise no one: Especial is a crystal clear and clean spirit, (it’s also known as simply “Cuervo Silver,” although it doesn’t actually…

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Review: Organic Spirits Lineup – Highland Harvest Scotch, Papagayo Rum, UK5 Vodka, and Juniper Green Gin

By Christopher Null | April 13, 2009 |

Organic everything — that’s the sell of Organic Spirits (aka Maison Jomere), which imports five different products, bottles them disconcertingly in the exact same cylindrical decanter, and puts on each a label emblazoned with the Royal Warrant of HRH Prince Charles. The Warrant is offered for placement on products which have been used for five…

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Review: Canadian Mist Whisky

By Christopher Null | April 11, 2009 |

Don’t laugh. Canadian Mist may not be a top-shelf name in the Canadian whisky world, but the spirit’s been picking up some surprising awards, including a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition this year — the only Canadian to win one in 2009. Not bad for whisky that costs 10 bucks a…

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Review: Code Blue Recovery Drink

By Christopher Null | April 2, 2009 |

Billed as “the world’s first complete recovery drink,” Code Blue launched earlier this year with the goal of pre-de-hangover-izing the youth of America. (As with most modern hangover remedies, the idea is to drink this stuff after drinking alcohol — or during, or even before — and you’ll feel fine the next day.) And I…

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Review: 1998 Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Champagne

By Christopher Null | March 27, 2009 |

I’ve had this bottle in my fridge for months, because opening a $150 bottle of Champagne just for kicks seemed so, I don’t know, so wrong. I drink expensive wine for this blog all the time, but something about Champagne gives one pause before cracking it open willy-nilly. Well finally I had reason to celebrate…

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Review: 2007 Luke Donald Chardonnay

By Christopher Null | March 25, 2009 |

What it is about golfers and chardonnay I’ll never figure out, but here’s a new one, courtesy of Luke Donald (who put out a nice Bordeaux-style blend last summer). Luke Donald’s chardonnay, from the Carneros region, isn’t nearly the success of his Claret, but it has some basic charm. Chardonnay’s textbook characteristics are here: Some…

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Review: Crispy Green Crispy Bananas

By Christopher Null | March 22, 2009 |

Freeze-dry anything and you can’t really go wrong. I’ve tried several of Crispy Green’s dried fruit products. Crispy Banana is the company’s sixth fruit to go through the drying chamber and come out in foil-wrapped nuggets. (0.53 oz., the size of one packet, equals the fruit from one full, pre-frozen banana.) Bananas are a tricky…

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