Review: Drank “Anti-Energy” Drink

Leave it to folks in my home town of Houston to buck the trend and introduce the opposite of what everyone else is doing: Drank’s tagline is “slow your roll” and it’s an anti-energy drink. Instead of caffeine, guarana, and taurine, it’s loaded with Valerian Root (10mg), Rose Hips (10mg), and melatonin (1mg), all designed…

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Review: Oval Vodka

It takes guts to name your vodka after a shape. This 84-proof spirit hails from Austria, where it is distilled from wheat using a patented process that makes it, per the company, “the only structured vodka worldwide.” My understanding of this “structuring” system is limited, but Oval says it’s an entirely new way of making…

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Review: Cherry Heering (2008)

Cherry Heering has always been one of cocktaildom’s most puzzling spirits. Bartending books regularly call it either Peter Heering or Cherry Heering, sometimes in the same tome, leading novices to wonder if there is more than one kind of Heering out there. To compound matters further, the bottle itself just reads “Heering.” Beneath that you’ll…

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Review: 2006 Boho Vineyards Chardonnay

Wine in a box doesn’t have the most savory reputation, and for good reason: Most of it is awful plonk. Boho Vineyards is a welcome change to that equation, offering a three-liter box of not-at-all-bad Chardonnay that you can stow in your refrigerator so it’s always at the ready. The sell: three liters equals four…

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Review: Mini Thin Rush Energy Shots

I happened into a Phoenix gas station earlier this week and was stunned to see how many “energy” shots were on sale at the register. Over 20 different varieties and hundreds of little two-ounce vials. It’s become one of the biggest trends in nonalcoholic drinking: High caffeine, very small portions. Just suck down the shot…

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Angels: DENIED

A fascinating piece in the latest Malt Advocate (Q4 2008, page 18) still has me reeling and thunderstruck. It concerns efforts to thwart evaporation of whiskey, a natural part of the aging process. Evaporation is a huge expense for distillers: Conventional wisdom holds that 2 percent of a cask vanishes each year as it evaporates.…

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Review: Charter 101 Bourbon

Here’s a new kid on the block from the good whiskey folks at Buffalo Trace: Charter (aka Old Charter) Bourbon, bottled at 101 proof and retro top to bottom in its gold-trmmed, angular-designed bottle. No age statement on the label, which is the norm for a $24 bottle of whiskey. In the glass, it’s very…

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Bad Red vs. Bad White?

From the inimitable Kingsley Amis, in the tome Everyday Drinking: Faced with a choice between bad or untrustworthy red wine on the one hand, and ditto white on the other, pick the red. That was true back when Amis wrote those words in the early ’70s (when cheap white wine meant one thing: crudely made…

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