Review: OM Organic Mixology Wild Cranberry & Blood Orange Cocktail

Pre-mixed cocktails aren’t often a high-end affair, but Organic Mixology is trying to change that with a new line of ready-to-drink cocktails, courtesy of Natalie Bovis, “The Liquid Muse.” Made with certified organic ingredients, no artificial flavors/colors/preservatives, lightweight glass bottles, and packaged in 75% post-consumer recycled cases (whew!), this is high-end, eco-friendly cocktailery, complete with…

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Review: Newcastle Bombshell

Curious: A blonde ale from Newcastle. The latest in Newcastle’s limited edition beer series will be available from now through July 2013. Naturally, it’s Newcastle’s most “summery” brew, though it’s still got a big mouthfeel and lots of heft to it. Nicely grainy, almost biscuity with distinct toast notes, this very light pale ale doesn’t…

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Tasting Report: Wines of Howell Mountain 2013

This tasting of Cabernet-centric Howell Mountain wines is always a highlight of the wine event season, and this rundown of a few dozen wineries in the region was no disappointment. We’ve covered the event for several years now, and this year’s tasting of primarily 2009 and 2010 Cabs, plus a smattering of library wines, offered…

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Julep Recipe Variations for Derby Day

For one Saturday afternoon in May, the world looks away from other sporting events and focuses its eye on the commonwealth of Kentucky for a time-honored tradition: the Kentucky Derby. The 139th running of the roses will bring another packed Churchill Downs full of loud hats and high hopes that their lucky number will come…

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Review: Captive Spirits Big Gin

Seattle-based Captive Spirits makes one product and one product alone: gin. Big Gin, actually. Crafted in the London Dry style 100 gallons at a time and is imbued with nine botanicals: juniper, coriander, orange peel, grains of paradise, angelica, cassia, cardamon, orris root, and Tasmanian pepper berry. Altogether it’s a fairly traditional botanical bill, with…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 04.29.2013 – Frank Thomas Replaces Home Runs With Beer

One of the most intimidating hitters in major league baseball is trading bats for hops, as retired Chicago White Sox great Frank Thomas is getting poised to move his Big Hurt Beer into the big time. Crain’s Chicago catches up with five-time all star, two-time MVP to talk about his adventures in the craft beer…

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Review: Wines of Gary Farrell, 2010 Vintage

Gary Farrell is based on Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, but it makes wines with fruit from all over California. Russian River, however, remains the focus. The 2010 bottlings are now hitting the market. We tasted through a solid sampling of five of them. Thoughts follow. 2010 Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Valley Westside Farms –…

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Tasting Report: 2013 Berkeley Wine Festival

Now in its fourth year, the Berkeley Wine Festival features a series of weekly dinners hosted by California winemakers. The dinners and the big kickoff takes place at Berkeley’s iconic Claremont Hotel, which I attended. Packed with attendees, the opening night featured tastings of over 180 wines, plus a smattering of foodstuffs prepared by Claremont…

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