Review: 2006 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

I haven’t gone out of my way to try Louis M. Martini’s wines due to — as it turns out, completely incorrect — association with Martini & Rossi (you know: Asti Spumante). Turns out the California-based Louis M. Martini family is, as near as I can tell, wholly unrelated to the Martinis of Italy. (It…

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Review: Combier Roi René Rouge Cherry Liqueur

Reportedly a recipe that dates back to 1632, Combier (which makes an outstanding orange liqueur) is now producing this complicated cherry spirit, a pinkish-red liqueur popular, they say, in the court of Louis XIV. It’s easy to see why the royals enjoyed it: Combier Rouge is unlike your typical cherry liqueur (such as Peter Heering),…

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Review: Black Maple Hill Bourbon

Kentucky Straight Bourbon, y’all. Can you beat it? Black Maple Hill is a small batch distillery producing this simple spirit, with no age statement. The bourbon is extremely citrus in character, with big orange notes and nose leading into some wood tones. The finish is silky and sweet, but not too much so. Overall it’s…

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Review: Cuca Fresca Cachaca and Caipirinha

It’s been a while — too long, perhaps — since we sampled a new cachaca at Drinkhacker HQ, but Cuca Fresca has arrived to our watering palates. Cuca Fresca Cachaca – This unaged Brazilian rum is intensely fragrant, filling the room with sweet lime notes. The body is more typical of cachaca, with that smoky…

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Review: Master of Malt Whiskies, 2009 Releases

Master of Malt is a whisky and spirits merchant, and it’s also making its own line of spirits from privately bottled single malt scotches from all over Scotland — including at least one I’d never even heard of before. We sampled a solid five of these offerings, with results all over the proverbial map. Master…

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Review: Black Bull Blended Scotch 12 Years Old

Slogan: 50% malt, 50% grain, 50% abv. This whisky from the independent bottlers at Duncan Taylor and Co. is half malt whisky and half grain, and far better than that pedigree might imply. Normally blended Scotch is relegated to the second tier of the whisky world, but this is a real knockout of a whisky.…

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Original Recipe: The Bull Ku Cocktail

Made this for company, to rousing applause — to take advantage of Bulldog gin, one of my new favorites, and Ty Ku liqueur. The cool, light green color didn’t come across in my photo, alas… The Bull Ku Cocktail 1 1/4 oz. Bulldog gin 1/2 oz. Ty Ku (original) liqueur Prosecco or cava Shake the…

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Review: Purista Instant Mojito Mixes

Premixed cocktails are always a dicey proposition, and Purista’s two new mixers probably aren’t going to win any overnight fans. Offering two spins on a theme — a traditional Mojito and a Blackberry Mojito — these mixes promise they are “hand-crafted” creations made with premium ingredients: In the case of the former, all-natural ingredients including…

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