Liquor 101: Liquor Reviews


South Hollow Spirits Distillery When we were deliberating two years ago whether or not to move from Boston to DC, the job opportunities and the sense of adventure eventually swayed us in the direction of making the move. But it was no easy decision. To ease the pain of saying goodbye to our beloved city, we made ourselves a few deals; one of them was that despite the increased distance every other year we would still vacation on Cape...

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Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin We’re eternally grateful to Glendalough, the craft Irish whiskey maker, for giving us  a whole new appreciation for what an Irish whiskey could be. I think craft Irish whiskey, with it smooth and companionable style, has been our default whiskey for cocktail mixing ever since we ran into Glendalough. They’ve been expanding their repertoire, and were kind enough to send us a bottle of their...

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Liquor 101: Aquavit Given how much time we spend drinking, making, and writing about cocktails, it always surprises us and mostly delights us when we discover a new spirit. Aquavit has definitely been one of the most pleasant of those discoveries. Aquavit is the traditional spirit in the Scandinavian countries. We’ve known of aquavit’s existence, but it flew below the radar until we noticed that barmini devotes an entire...

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Tasting Mancino Chinato We’ve been on something of a (greater than usual) fortified wine kick for the last week or so, prompted by the arrival of several samples from fortified wine importer Fasel Shenstone. Beyond being simply delicious, they’ve taught us a lot about fortified wines, and prompted us to go back and revise some of our earliest conclusions about vermouths and their close cousins. As we finish our week on...

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Tasting St. Raphael Quinquina Let’s talk about Quinquinas. A few days ago, we mentioned that Cocchi Americano is a quinquina, not a vermouth, and arguably therefore should never have been allowed in our Vermouth Taste-Off tournament. That might have left you with a couple of questions: ‘What exactly is the difference between a vermouth and a quinquina?’ And, ‘Why should I care?’ Well, it all comes down to...

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Adding to our Red Vermouth Catalog Our earliest sets of posts (here and here and here and here and here) came about when, after years of using whatever vermouth was handy, we realized that it might be useful to find out which one we liked best and why. We conducted a taste-off to determine which red vermouth and which dry vermouth we would stock in our bar. That tournament served us very well for a while, but as time passes we have...

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