Recipes: National Tequila Day Cocktails, 2016

As is usual, National Tequila Day arrives on July 24th. Unlike similarly marketed holidays, this one has managed to endure and continues to gain popularity every year. Here are a few recipes for your consideration, and if anyone need us we will be recovering on National Hangover Day, Monday July 25th. Watermelon Crush (Created by…

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Review: Miami Cocktail Co. Tropical Sangria and Blood Orange Mimosa

Miami Cocktail Co. produces ready-to-drink bottled cocktails, with organic and natural ingredients as the focus. The beverages are made from a base of premium wine and use progressive recipes that add some unexpected fruit components to the mix. (Coming soon is the company’s “Copper Pot Margarita,” which is made with “agave wine.”) I was originally a skeptic…

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Review: 2015 Chateau Sainte Marguerite “Symphony” Rose

More Provence rose as summer hits its peak months, this one a blend of 40% grenache, 40% cinsault, and 20% syrah. Restrained with light apricot, browned apple, and apricot notes, the wine unfolds to reveal some white floral elements, a bit of honeysuckle, and more herbs and baking spice on the finish. Showing lovely balance…

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Review: 2014 Avignonesi Rosso di Montipulciano DOC

Avignonesi’s 2014 Rosso di Montipulciano is in line with its prior efforts, which kicks off with a healthy cherry character with a slightly sweet, vanilla-dusted finish. Some modest tannins, a touch of licorice, and a bit of chocolate. Light balsamic notes add complexity to the finish, but otherwise the wine is a simple but enveloping…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Distillery Series – Five Malt

Woodford’s latest Distillery Series bourbon — a limited edition experimental series that doesn’t quite merit Master’s Collection status — is here. “Five Malt” connotes what it is, though the company doesn’t exactly tell you everything: Inspired by the popularity of micro-breweries to explore malted grains typically used for beers when crafting whiskey, Five Malt’s distinctive…

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Tasting and Testing: MashBox Club Spirits Samplers, 2016

Like Flaviar and the Whisky Explorers Club, MashBox aims to expose you to spirits you wouldn’t normally get to try. The main difference with this booze-of-the-month club is that with MashBox you get a lot more than just whiskey (as we’ll see below). It’s a veritable tour of the entire spirits universe. The deal is simple:…

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Review: 2013 Yangarra Grenache McLaren Vale

This old vines grenache from Australia’s McLaren Vale starts off both a touch thin and overloaded with fruit character. Things settle down a bit with air in the glass, revealing some tart balsamic notes to balance out that initial rush of plum and red berries. The finish adds a touch of dark chocolate and a…

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Review: 2015 Hecht & Bannier Cotes de Provence

Another Provence rose, this one a blend of 40% grenache, 40% cinsault, and 15% syrah. The nose is pure strawberry with a lemon twist, but the body takes on a more curious note, with essence of orange peel, herbal lemongrass, and some odd currant and winey Port notes on the somewhat gummy finish. I also get…

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