What Does a $20 Bloody Mary Look Like?

Like this. San Francisco’s Waterbar serves this $20 “Ultimate” Bloody Mary, which largely speaks for itself. The garnishes — bacon and two jumbo boiled shrimp — steal the show, but the Bloody itself is darn good, too. Belevedere Vodka — not my favorite on its own — works fine with this superb blend of tomato…

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Review: 2006 Brotte Chateauneuf-du-Pape

What an amazing disappointment this wine was, as Brotte has a solid reputation in the Rhone valley of France. Weedy, gamy, and redolent of Port-like character, I had immense trouble drinking Brotte’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape (primarily a grenache-based wine), either on its own or with a big, traditional French meal. Nothing could cut through this Chateauneuf’s funk.…

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Review: Canadian Mist Whisky

Don’t laugh. Canadian Mist may not be a top-shelf name in the Canadian whisky world, but the spirit’s been picking up some surprising awards, including a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition this year — the only Canadian to win one in 2009. Not bad for whisky that costs 10 bucks a…

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Review: Love Potion #9 Liqueur

One way to sell your product is to tout its ancient recipe, artisan craftsmanship, and so on. Another way is to tell the world how long it took you devise the concoction. In the case of Love Potion #9, the company notes that “almost 1,800 trial-and-error formulations [were experimented with] before its blend of 20…

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Review: Tequila Ocho Plata Single Estate 2008 and 2009

Vintage tequila? You betcha. Tequila Ocho produces tequilas in individually numbered bottles and dated to the vintage of the agave harvest from the estate in question. It’s said to be the first single-estate tequila to be released in the U.S. — bringing to the tequila world what has worked (and worked well) for wine. We…

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Review: Spirit of Liberty American Cream Liqueur

If we strictly reviewed packaging here, well, we’d have some choice words about the bottle for Spirit of Liberty, which is mostly comprised of a plastic Statue of Liberty atop a small vial of bourbon cream liqueur. I’m not sure what those words might be yet, but I will note that it’s available in larger…

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Review: Laphroaig 25 Years Old (2009)

As promised, we’re back with another ridiculously expensive, very rare Scotch whisky — Laphroaig’s 25-year-old limited edition, weighing in at $500 even. I have to say, I’ve always wondered what old Laphroaig would taste like, and my curiosity is now sated: It’s amazing. With this 25-year Islay whisky, all that harsh, oil-fire phenol that’s part…

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Review: Big Sky Brewing Montana Trout Slayer Ale

Does one really “slay” a trout? I’m not much of a fisherman (and it turns out “Trout Slayer” has a long history which I’m not going to begin to go into), but this is indeed as close to a “gone fishin’” brew as I can fathom. It’s a very light wheat ale, starting out with…

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