Review: Torani Amer

Amer Picon (aka Picon Amer) is one of those old-school classic spirits that you read about in dusty old cocktail books and which doesn’t seem to exist anywhere — at least in the U.S. Amer Picon is readily available in Europe but it can’t be sold here because of a botanical ingredient called calamus that’s…

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Review: The Whistler Double Oaked, Honey Whiskey, and Irish Cream

The new Whistler Irish Whiskey brand comes to us from family-owned Boann Distillery, which can be found in the Ireland’s Boyne Valley. “At Boann, we pride ourselves in being one of the most innovative whiskey distilleries in Ireland, and in late 2019 our new state-of-the-art facilities and custom copper pot stills produced the first spirit…

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Review: Suntory All-Free

Sick of drinking? Or maybe you just need a night off. We all know the feeling — and now you can have your highball without the guilt thanks to the latest from Suntory: All-Free, “a delicious non-alcoholic beer-like beverage with refreshing nodogoshi* and aroma.” It’s not just 0% alcohol, it’s got 0 calories and zero…

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Review: Basil Hayden’s Rye 10 Years Old

Here’s a little surprise that recently hit the market. On the heels of a less-than-stellar rye — and three oddball variants — Beam-owned Basil Hayden’s has taken this horse upmarket, slapping the original, un-gimmicked version with a big 10 year old age statement. It’s actually the first rye in the lineup to have any age…

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Review: 2019 Barone Montalto Pinot Grigio and Art of Earth Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

These two Italian wines are from the portfolio of Germany-based Mack & Schuhle, which focuses on importing affordable wines from Europe and other far-flung places. Let’s see what 12 bucks can get you! 2019 Barone Montalto Pinot Grigio IGT – Straightforward, floral, and fruity. Notes of mango and guava interplay with a fresh spray of…

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Original Recipe: Mimmy’s Paloma

Hey folks, it’s another quarantine birthday cocktail, this one in honor of my mother, affectionately known as Mimmy to her grandkids. Mimmy is well known for her love of the color red (hence the grenadine), and since she’s a lifelong Texan, ruby red grapefruit from my home state had to be included in the recipe.…

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Review: Corsair Dark Rye, Triple Smoke, and American Gin (2020)

At one point, Nashville-based Corsair had roughly 20 expressions of whiskey, gin, moonshine, and even absinthe on the market. To say that Corsair’s attentions were scattered might be a bit of an understatement. That changed this year when Corsair did a full-scale reboot, bringing their core product lineup down to just four: Two whiskeys, and…

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Review: Merlet Creme de Poire Williams (2020)

Merlet continues to raise the bar on fruit liqueurs. Here’s a look at a rarity we last encountered in 2013: a liqueur de Poire Williams — pear liqueur, for the rest of us. Those unmistakable, lightly bitter but aromatic pear notes emerge immediately when the bottle is cracked, that vague apple-meets-camphor character rising promptly from…

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