Book Review: Japanese Whisky

The book world has lately become flush with tomes about Japan’s drinking culture, particularly its unique world of whisky. Add to that list Brian Ashcraft’s slim but densely packed book, Japanese Whisky, a tome that is clearly written by both an enthusiast and an insider. The first half of the book finds Ashcraft driving you through…

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Review: John Drew Brands Brixton Mash Destroyer, John Drew Rye, and Dove Tale Rum

In 2016, John Drew, cofounder of the well-known cigar giant Drew Estate Cigar Company, jumped into the spirits world with the launch of his own spirits collection, gathered under the John Drew Brand label. After 20 years in Nicaragua overseeing cigar manufacturing, he relocated to Miami and began distilling rum and sourcing whiskey from various…

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Review: 2017 Mazzei Belguardo Rose Toscana IGT

Mazzei’s Belguardo is written stylistically as “Belgvardo” on the label, so don’t get confused if you’re having trouble finding — or pronouncing — the wine. This Tuscan rose — made in Maremma – is 50% sangiovese and 50% syrah. The wine is aromatic and fresh, its lavender and lilac notes pairing interestingly with notes of brown…

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Cocktails for Independence Day 2018

This year, with so many states in the U.S. experiencing heat waves, fireworks may be off limits in your area. That shouldn’t stop you from creating your own fireworks in a glass with one of these inspiring cocktails. Here are some great cocktail recipes to enjoy on tomorrow’s Fourth of July holiday, however you opt…

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Review: 2017 Ferraton Pere & Fis Samorens Cotes-du-Rhone Rose

Ferraton Pere & Fils makes a wide range of Rhone Valley wines, including high-end single vineyard varieties… but also this simple rose, called Samorens, a Cotes-du-Rhone denominated blend of 75% grenache and the remainder syrah and cinsault. The wine is fresh, offering immediate notes of fresh orange, rose petals, and vanilla cream. Boldly floral on…

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Review: 2017 Cote Mas Rose Aurore IGP

This simple rose wine proudly boasts “33% more wine” via a sticker on the bottle, thanks to its enclosure in a 1 liter container. Surprisingly, the wine denotes its blend on the back label: 30% cinsault, 20% syrah, and 50% grenache noir. Results: It’s a rose with tons of grip, tannic at times with notes…

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Review: Woodinville Bourbon Finished in Port Casks

This limited release from Washington-based Woodinville starts with its five-year-old straight bourbon, then throws a twist at it: six months of finishing in Tawny Port barrels. The result is the essence of craft whiskey — burly wood, heavy spice — is here, particularly on the aggressive nose, which hints at a plum-dusted, raisiny note beneath…

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Review: Smirnoff Ice Margarita

Too lazy to construct a proper margarita after a long day at the office? You’re not alone, which is why so many folks can barely get the cap off a bottle of beer before their butt hits the couch. The latest flavor in the long-running Smirnoff Ice line is a natural: Margarita, helpfully subtitled “refreshing…

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