Review: 8 Poliakov Flavored Vodkas

Poliakov may look and sound Russian, but this is a French product (from the same company that distributes Label 5 Scotch), and it’s a big, low-cost seller in that country. Little is known about its production except for a vague “triple distilled” label. While there is a straight, unflavored version, we only received a passel…

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Recipe: 2015 Kentucky Derby Cocktails

We all know that the official, real deal drink of the Derby is the Mint Julep. Any suggestion otherwise borders on blasphemy within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and is most likely met with reluctance elsewhere. Realizing full well that not everyone digs bourbon-based drinks, here are a few alternative cocktail recipes for your consideration…. aaaaaand…

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Review: Piehole Flavored Whiskeys

Piehole is arguably the most maligned name in spirits today. Named in honor of a common insult, designed with labels that feature buxom farmer’s daughters, and a member of what is probably the most reviled category of spirits on the market — flavored whiskey — that’s three strikes before the bottle’s even open. Piehole is…

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Review: 2013 Kalfu Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Kalfu is a new Chilean wine brand hailing from the Leyda Yalley on the country’s coast. Here’s a look at two of the winery’s inaugural releases. 2013 Kalfu “Kuda” Chardonnay Unoaked Leyda Valley Chile – Engaging, tastes expensive. Quite neutral, apple notes on the nose, with light creme brulee, kumquat, and some light tropical character on…

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Review: Manhattan Moonshine

Moonshine connotes hillbillies cooking up corn in a crude oil drum still tucked away in the woods, high-test hooch bottled in a ceramic jug. And then there’s Manhattan Moonshine, made “using a unique blend of four premium New York grains [including rye, spelt, and oats — but not corn] and innovative, modern production methods,” bottled in an…

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Review: LIQS Ready To Drink Cocktail Shots

LIQS looks like the ultimate expression of laziness — single-serve shots in a foil-covered plastic cup. And yeah, LIQS is designed for the beachgoer who can’t figure out how to get his blood orange kamikaze into a water bottle, but there’s a surprising level of gourmet sensibility under the hood. Billing itself as the “world’s…

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Kentucky Derby Recipe: Grandstand Julep

Looking for a mint julep that isn’t blown out with tooth-aching sweetness? Try this version, which subs in bitter Cynar for about 2/3 of the bourbon and adds some fresh fruit juices to give it a little citrus character. It’s quite a fun spin on the Derby classic and the only julep I know that works…

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Review: Global Vodka

Global? Well, Italian. So, pretty global. This vodka is triple distilled from organic wheat and blended with spring water from the Dolomites, and the results are… not entirely distinguishable from any number of well-crafted but largely anonymous vodkas. The nose is heavily medicinal, with some woody notes giving it some backbone. The body is indistinct…

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