Original Recipe: Sparkling Caipirinha

As discussed here, I promised my recipe for the Sparkling Caipirinha, a lighter way to sip cachaça, a Brazilian sugar cane rum. This cocktail offers the spirit of the Caipirinha but is easier to sip; more like a Mojito than a Martini. The Sparkling Caipirinha 1/2 a lime, cut into four pieces 1 teaspoon sugar…

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Review: Beija Cachaca Virgin Cane Rum

Eric Felten wrote recently that cachaça is taking the world by storm, like it or not. The unofficial national spirit of Brazil, cachaça is used to make Brazil’s official national cocktail, the Caipirinha. Brazil produces over a billion liters of the stuff each year, and only 1% of it ever leaves the country. Brazilians, they…

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Review: Krol Vodka and Lemon Raspberry Vodka (2008)

I have seen the future, and the future is Kröl. Distilled from Polish rye (in, um, Poland), Kröl isn’t exactly the sexiest name in spirits, but it’s a solid product that vodka lovers will want to check out. Kröl comes in two forms (for now). I tried them both. First up is straight Kröl Vodka,…

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Review: Bak’s Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka

What the heck is bison grass? It’s grass that, well, bison eat, at least in Poland. And what’s good for the buffalo is also curiously delicious for vodka fans: Zubrówka (pronounced zoo-BROV-ka), also known as bison grass vodka, is now being reintroduced to America after 30 years of being banned, much like Absinthe, due to…

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Review: Hook & Ladder Golden Ale, Backdraft Brown, and Lighter

Across the northeastern U.S. you’ll find bars serving Hook & Ladder beer, products brewed by a company with roots in the firefighting biz: The founders are two brothers, one of whom is a volunteer fireman. The beers aren’t widely distributed west of Virginia, but if you should find one, you’re in for a treat. I…

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Review: 2006 Beringer Chardonnay California Collection

One doesn’t expect much from a bottle of wine that costs six bucks, but Beringer turns out a pretty drinkable product with this new bottling. Beringer’s Chardonnay “California Collection” is distinguished by a distinct lack of oakiness. Instead, it’s rich with apple fruit, displaying both a nice acidity and a little buttery roundness on the…

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Review: 2006 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir

Of all Pinot Noir wines, Oregon Pinots might be the most prototypical “new world” examples of the grape. The earthiness — even skunkiness — of French Burgundies is absent in most Oregon Pinots, at least at reasonable price levels. The fruit takes center stage here, not the terroir. Willamette Valley Vineyards’ newly released 2006 Pinot…

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Review: Pendleton Canadian Whisky 10 Years Old (2008)

Got a sweet tooth? Have I got a whiskey for you. Pendleton’s Canadian blended whisky (they spell it without the E) is aged for 10 years in barrels and bottled at 80 proof. Oddly, it is made from Oregon water and bottled in Oregon, to boot… yet it’s a Canadian whisky. Go figure. Sip #1…

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