Cocktails for Valentine’s Day 2018

Not everyone wants to get out to brave weather and traffic for a jam-packed restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Instead, why not create a romantic dinner in with your sweetie, friend, or even yourself. Check out these great cocktails to get things started, and finish the meal with a red wine-infused cake. You’ll be glad you…

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Review: Samuel Adams Sam ’76

Samuel Adams isn’t the first company to marry an ale with a lager, but as far as mainstream versions of this hybrid go, it pulls it off remarkably well. A little backstory: Born in Samuel Adams’ experimental nano brewery in Boston, it took more than a year of testing and 60 different brews for the…

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Review: Grand Marnier and Grand Marnier Cuvee du Centenaire

Is it possible we’ve never reviewed one of the most essential liqueurs ever produced (GM Titanium notwithstanding)? Grand Marnier, the orange-meets-brandy spirit, deserves a spot in every liquor cabinet, and I’ll tell you why in a moment. First, what is Grand Marnier, actually? Understand that this is a different animal than triple sec or Cointreau. While…

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Review: 2015 Mark Ryan Winery Water Witch Red Wine Red Mountain

Mark Ryan Winery is based in Woodinville in Washington state, and Water Witch is its latest project, a reintroduction of one of the first wines it ever created. Back in 2012, Mark Ryan partnered with Quintessence Vineyards to plant a 13.6-acre block on the south slope of Red Mountain, and the grapes are now being used…

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Review: Bedlam Vodka

Graybeard Distillery can be found in Durham, NC, and it makes a single product, Bedlam Vodka, which is distilled from rice “with a deep Irish heritage.” The concept behind the vodka: Avoiding harshness. Per Graybeard CEO Brandon Evans. “After years of dissatisfaction with many vodka’s on the market, we came together to create a spirit based…

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Review: Backpack (Canned) Wine (2018)

Is canned wine a thing? Yes. Is canned wine necessarily a good thing (as it has been for beer)? Not really. The latest entry into this burgeoning field is Backpack Wine, which comes in picnic-friendly one-and-a-half serving cans, four to a box. What’s in the can? Who knows!? This trio of low alcohol, nonvintage wines…

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Review: Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare

The latest installment in Diageo’s Johnnie Walker Scotch line isn’t a new color but rather a special version of an existing one. Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare, as it awkwardly notes on the bottle, is a “Special Blend with Brora & Rare; 8 Legendary Whiskies.” The key to that is a single word: Brora, a…

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Review: Sake Roundup – Fukucho, Bushido, Tozai, Konteki, and Kanbara

Sake is a daunting category that, for many westerners, has two sub-categories at best: hot sake, and cold sake. But as we’ve written about in the past, sake is in reality a complex universe that contains many styles and grades. Various sakes can be found in tiny cans for a few bucks, or in full-sized…

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