Review: Bache-Gabrielsen XO Natur & Eleganse Cognac

From the maker of one of my most treasured spirits of the year comes Natur & Eleganse, a cognac aged at least 10 years in oak casks. What’s immediately surprising is how this spirit, deep amber in the bottle, is a pale gold when poured into a glass. The oddities don’t stop there, though. The…

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Classic Recipe: Pegu Club Cocktail

Ted Haigh reminds us in Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails that there’s a reason why the Pegu Club in New York has its name. Pegu Club Cocktail 1 1/2 oz. gin 1/2 oz. Cointreau 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice 2 dashes Angostura bitters Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Goes down a…

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Review: Fever Stimulation Beverages

Tonight you’ll be consuming vast quantities of alcohol (remember one for your homies at Drinkhacker, y’all), so what better way to prep for the festivities than by downing something to up the level of your game. That’s the theory, anyway, of Fever, which aims to “Make Healthy Sexy,” with its collection of herbal, non-carbonated beverages…

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Review: Vermont Spirits Limited Release Vodka

Vermont Spirits already makes two vodkas with the strangest source material around — milk sugar and maple sap — and now it’s gone the “limited edition” route. Vermont’s Limited Release Vodka is also made of maple sap, but only the “early run sap,” the first flows of the “sugaring” season when sap is drawn from…

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Review: 2007 Picket Fence Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Sonoma Coast

Newly released, this Sonoma Coast pinot is a rather archetypal version of the grape and the region, an earthy, chewy wine with a plummy, almost prunish, core — but with a twist. Raspberry is big on the nose, which makes Picket Fence’s creation a little more jazzy and exciting. It’s a shame that doesn’t translate…

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Review: Wines of Tempra Tantrum, 2009 Releases

It’s not a bad idea at its core: Take Spain’s national grape, tempranillo, and blend it with grapes that American consumers might actually know, and sell the concoctions as double-varietal bottlings. Tempra Tantrum (get it?) takes cabernet sauvignon, merlot, grenache, and shiraz, and blends them in 40% concentrations with tempranillo (60%), in each of the…

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Recipe: Aperol Spritz

I’m calling it now: This will be the “it” cocktail of 2010. Very simple to make, nicely bittersweet, beautiful to look at, and easy to drink, especially as an aperitif. Aperol Spritz 1 1/2 oz. Aperol liqueur 2 oz. Prosecco splash of club soda Build in a tall glass or wine glass over ice and…

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Review: Pierre Ferrand Reserve Cognac

On the heels of Pierre Ferrand’s 10-year-old Ambre, I gave the distillery’s 20-year-old Reserve cognac a try. I was less of a fan of this edition of Ferrand’s brandy, which is considerably darker in color but comes off as a bit brutish and somewhat unbalanced. The flavors are relatively typical of the space, veering more…

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