Review: El Mayor Tequila Blanco (2008)

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo. And Cinco de Mayo is holiday time. Holiday time in Mexico. While we celebrate Mexico’s victory against Napoleon’s invading force in 1862, we are encouraged to do so with quality tequila. Here’s the first of two reviews of premium tequilas, both of which are excellent choices for your May 5…

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Review: Oak Leaf’s $1.97 Chardonnay and Merlot

How good can something cheap really be? When last I broached this topic I found there was some correlation between wine prices and quality, but that it was fairly weak. But that analysis doesn’t really apply to the rock-bottom pricing that rules the world of jug wines, box wines, and stuff like Oak Leaf, a…

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Classic Recipe: Mint Julep

Today is Derby day, and while I’m leaning towards bets on Big Brown, Pyro, and Court Vision in Kentucky’s Run for the Roses, I’m more preoccupied with preparations for Mint Juleps, which are one of the few hard liquor beverages (aside from breakfast junk like Bloody Marys and Mimosas) that are acceptable to drink before…

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Review: Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur

Ginger is one of the hottest flavors in cocktails right now, and it’s only fitting that someone has put the essence of ginger into a liqueur. Domaine de Canton is the real deal: Baby ginger steeped in cognac, bottled at 56 proof, and coming together as a spicy and flavorful monster of a liqueur that…

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Review: Reserva del Señor Almendrado

Mexico’s answer to Amaretto (and no, I didn’t know there was a challenge that needed answering either) is Almendrado, a tequila-based liqueur flavored strongly with almonds and bottled at 60 proof. If you’re the type of person who can handle Amaretto on the rocks after dinner, you’ll have no trouble with Reserva del Señor Almendrado.…

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New Menu: Bong Su, Cocktails 2008

The lovely people at San Francisco’s Bong Su (upscale Vietnamese, South of Market) hosted a small gathering to show off their new cocktail menu, devised with the exotic Southeast Asian food menu in mind. We rolled through all five unique concoctions (each paired with an appetizer to match). All in all, very good libations, but…

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Review: Swan’s Neck Vodka

More proof to my theory that grapes make the best base for vodka arrives in the form of Swan’s Neck Vodka, an artisan spirit from French grapes distilled in copper pots and named for part of the alembic still used to make it. Swan’s Neck is a very sedate vodka, smooth and silky, offering flavors…

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Review: Grey Goose Vodka (2008)

It’s easy to see why Grey Goose has become one of the most successful new liquor brands in recent years. This is a fantastic vodka, smooth and lightly sweet, with a nutty nose and aftertaste that works well in cocktails and adds an interesting complexity when served straight. Grey Goose is very mild, quite neutral…

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