Review: Southern Comfort Sweet Tea and Hurricane Cocktails

Let’s be frank. Southern Comfort has a difficult reputation. Everyone I know has a story involving the peach-flavored liqueur, and it usually ends up with a blackout or someone’s head being shaved against their will. Hey, it’s party booze. Nothin’ wrong with that. SoCo is expanding its little empire with the craze du jour —…

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Recipe: Sweet Basil Cocktail

This recipe comes to us from Virginia mixologist Todd Thrasher, as published in Food & Wine Cocktails ’09. Fun little cocktail… as long as you like basil! The photo in the book is a whole lot greener, I have to say. Sweet Basil 10 basil leaves, plus one for garnish 3 oz. Lillet Blanc 1/2…

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Who Wants Cheap (Yet Fancy) Wine?

The bottom is falling out of the top of the wine market, and it’s probably about time. Per the Wall Street Journal: Total U.S. wine sales rose about 5% in terms of volume in the first quarter from a year earlier, but wines priced at $25 a bottle and up fell about 12%, estimates Jon…

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Review: Fruit Lab Liqueurs – Citry, Crism, and Theia

The folks behind Tru Organic Vodka have set their sights on, well, a smaller, less lucrative market: Fruit- and flower-flavored liqueurs. Up first, a line of three curious concoctions, with even more curious names. All are certified 100% organic, sweetened with cane sugar, and weigh in at 40 proof, which puts them on the (very)…

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Review: 2007 Grey Stack Pinot Noir “The Fisherman” Connell Family Vineyard Bennett Valley

Formerly known as Dry Stack, Grey Stack Cellars took on a new name after the folks at Dry Sack Sherry felt there was a little too much similarity between the two company names. Fair enough, the wine inside is the same no matter what you call it. In any case, this pinot noir from Sonoma’s…

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Review: 2008 Lander-Jenkins Chardonnay “Spirit Hawk”

At 14 bucks a bottle, Lander-Jenkins’ “Spirit Hawk” Chardonnay (sourced from unspecified California vineyards) doesn’t exactly aim for the stars. Lightly oaked, it’s a simple wine, with fair apple character, some grapefruit, and a good slug of hammy meat in the body. The mouthfeel is fairly rich and creamy, and a touch of pineapple on…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Black Butte XXI 21st Birthday Reserve

Recipe for awesomeness: Take a thick, brown porter, add (Bellatazza’s) coffee and (Theo’s) chocolate beans during the brewing process, age 20 percent of the finished product in (Stranahan’s) whiskey barrels, and bottle at 11 percent alcohol. Hefty beers like this are normally not my thing, but Deschutes’ Black Butte XXI (celebrating 21 years of the…

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2008 Wine May Offer a Bit More Smoke Than Usual…

Remember all those California forest fires in 2008? Well guess what, you might be drinking them with your next bottle of pinot: And then, biblically, came the blazes throughout the Northern California hills but notably in Mendocino, where the 129 fires of the Lightning Complex blaze would ultimately burn more than 54,000 acres. It was,…

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