Tasting Report: Vini Portugal, April 2008

In the world of wine, Portugal is known for two major things: Expensive, fortified dessert wines (Vintage Port), and super-cheap whites (primarily from the Vinho Verde region). Recently, nearly 40 Portuguese wineries, importers, and distributors gathered in San Francisco to offer an updated perspective on the wines of Portugal. The verdict: About the same as…

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Review: Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

Continuing on the summer theme here at Drinkhacker we turn to this unique summer beer, a pre-mixed shandy! Leinie’s Summer Shandy is a Weiss beer mixed with lemonade (or at least, per the bottle, “with natural lemonade flavor”), and it doesn’t take long to find both flavors in the bottle. The beer side is very…

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Original Recipe: Vaya Con Fresas

Summer is nearly here, but summer fruit is already available at the market. Here’s a new recipe for strawberries that doesn’t have the overpowering sweetness of a frozen daiquiri. Vaya Con Fresas (Go With Strawberries) 4 strawberries, destemmed 2 oz. spiced rum (preferably Kilo Kai) 1/2 oz. peach-flavored brandy 1/2 oz. Chambord 1/2 oz. agave…

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Review: Plymouth Sloe Gin

Sloe Gin Fizzes were the first cocktail I mastered, but it’s been years since I’ve had one. No reason why, really. Sloe gin, a liqueur flavored with sloe berries, the fruit of the blackthorn tree, has hardly seen the renaissance that other spirits have in recent years. There hasn’t exactly been a clamoring for the…

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Review: 3 Vodka

Get ready for this. 3 is the world’s only soybean vodka. And by “soybean vodka” I mean “vodka that’s made from soybeans.” No, really. If you were to ask me what a soybean vodka might taste like, I’d probably come up with something like this: A meaty spirit with strong overtones of bitter herbal liqueurs…

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Original Recipe: The Mac|Life Cocktail

Today I wrapped up two months of filling in as the interim editor-in-chief of Mac|Life magazine. Fun times, and some really good people there (click the thumbnail to see the staff in all its glory). To celebrate the completion of our June issue and go out with a bang, I created this cocktail specifically for…

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Review: Bacardi Classic Cocktail Mojito

Premixed cocktails are usually a mixed bag. In fact, they’re hardly cocktails at all but rather heavily carbonated malt liquor, watered down to about 6 or 8 percent alcohol and flavored with a variety of components that can be either reasonably tasty or very nasty. Bacardi (which makes it share of the aforementioned malt liquor…

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Exploring Price vs. Quality in Wine

“Red Nosed Taster” writes: Tasting expensive but not so good wine on my trip to the wine country last weekend made me think… How do they price wines anyway? A recent study showed that in blind tastings, cheaper wines consistently do better than their more expensive brethren. I was hoping you could elaborate on this…

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