Book Review: How to Booze: Exquisite Cocktails and Unsound Advice

This mixology manual from veteran writer Jordan Kaye and co-author Marshall Altier tries to spin the usual, tired, organized-by-spirit cocktail manual by taking its several dozen drinks – mostly classics, with just a handful of originals thrown in – and offering “The Right Drink for Every Situation.” Neat idea, and in Kaye and Altier’s world,…

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Review: Broker’s London Dry Gin

You’ll see the hat first: Broker’s Gin has a fun little bit of surprise & delight: A bowler hat affixed to the lid of the bottle, a hat which will certainly someday end up on the head of my daughter’s Ken doll. It is too manly for Barbie. But Broker’s is hardly a gimmick in…

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Book Review: Let Me Tell You About Wine

The venerable – unavoidable, even – Oz Clarke continues to grind out book after book, and this almost-coffee-table-sized tome is designed to make wine accessible to even the most rank novice. If you know nothing, you’ll probably get sucked in by the pictures of strawberries and chocolate, part of Clarke’s goal to get you thinking…

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Review: Brugal Ron Anejo Rum (2011)

We’ve covered the Dominican Republic’s Brugal Rum before and declared its Extra Viejo (old, but no age statement) an awesome rum at an unbelievable value. Brugal Anejo is aged three to five years in American white oak casks and, like it’s kissing cousin, represents an incredible value. What does 20 bucks get you? Good, old…

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Tasting Report: Riesling World Tour 2011

Riesling will never get much respect, but it remains an underrated and really enjoyable grape. The Germany Rieslings being poured at this event hailed from the 2009 and 2010 vintages (the latter being just bottled by many producers) and represented a wide range of styles from bone dry to so sweet you had to wash…

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Tasting Report: 2010 California Cabernet Sauvignon

One of my favorite wine events of the year is when California’s producers roll out their barrel samples from the prior harvest. The members of the California Cabernet Society offered their 2010 selections at a recent event, and the results were intriguing. In my estimation of dozens of barrel samples, 2010 is shaping up to…

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Tasting Report: Spanish Wine Cellar & Pantry 2011

It isn’t often you go to a wine tasting where the most expensive wine costs $36… and most of the wines being poured cost about $5 or $6 a bottle. Well, wholesale, anyway. The Spanish Wine Cellar & Pantry event is always fun and loaded with delicious foodstuffs. Although there was no Serrano ham being…

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Review: Big Bottom Bourbon – New White Oak and Port Cask Finish

It’s hard not to think of Big Bottom without immediately jumping to Spinal Tap, but after a few sips of this distillery’s products, my thinking is finally changing. The company produces two very young whiskeys largely in the Bourbon style (though they aren’t billed as Bourbon). The whiskey is actually made in Indiana, then it…

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