Category Archives: Alcohol in the News

“Earl’s a Pearl”

Super big ups to Adam, Corey, Mike and the rest of the Earl’s crew!

NY Mag’s Underground Gourmet gives Earl’s Beer & Cheese a glowing, 3 star review.  “Some of the best (and cheesiest) bar food in town.” “As fine a convergence of food and setting that this precinct has seen since Rao’s.”

Yeah, baby.

photo by Danny Kim for NY Mag

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Filed under Alcohol in the News, What my friends are up to


Julia Moskin published an awesome article in the NYT this week, “D.I.Y. Cooking Handbook“.  She notes that before getting started, “it’s not necessary to understand lactic fermentation, or to learn the difference between bacon and pancetta.” 

The article reminded me of some of the successful and not-so-successful undertakings of this blog.  I need to post more “projects” like this.  I’m thinking about tea infusions and rosé vermouth for spring.

Two of Moskin’s recipes caught my eye.

Horseradish beer mustard. Photo by Hiroko Masuike for the NYT.

Moskin sourced the recipe from Jessie Knadler and Kelly Geary:

In a bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup dry mustard, such as Colman’s; 1/3 cup sweetish dark beer, such as Brooklyn Local 2 or Negra Modelo; 1/2 cup drained prepared horseradish (a 6-ounce bottle); and 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors calm down a little. The next day, taste again for salt and pepper, and whisk in a little more beer if the mustard seems too thick. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Use it to elevate a simple dinner of sausages, roast chicken or steak.

The other:

Vin d'orange. Photo by Hiroko Masuike for the NYT.

This time the recipe is from Sally Clarke, a chef in London:

Your citrus should be organic and clean, because anything on the peel will end up in the wine. You will need 3 tangerines or oranges with a good balance of tart and sweet plus 2 lemons or grapefruit, or one of each.

Slice them in thick wheels and place them in a clean container (glass or hard plastic) with a wide mouth and a tight-fitting lid. Now add 1 1/2 cups sugar; half of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise; a cinnamon stick, about 4 inches long;2 liters rosé; (about 2 1/2 bottles), and a cup of vodka.

Stir this well with a spoon (not wooden, as it may harbor bacteria that could inhibit fermentation) and fasten the lid. Keep the jar in the refrigerator, shaking occasionally to dissolve the sugar. After about 6 weeks, mix in 1/4 cup dark rum and strain everything through a fine strainer or several layers of cheesecloth. Store in bottles at a cool room temperature or in the refrigerator; it will last indefinitely. Lovely plain or mixed with sparkling wine or water.

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Filed under Alcohol in the News, Beer, Wine

Beer on the rocks

The articles just keep coming this week.

Gothamist reported that Mayor Bloomberg refused to sample any of Brooklyn’s new brews at the ribbon cutting for their recent expansion, as they didn’t have any ice on hand. 

To each his own, but ice in your beer in the middle of winter?  Also, I’m sure there’s an ice machine somewhere at the brewery.

The author is attempting to determine where the mayor picked up this habit, but his press team has so far refused to comment.

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Filed under Alcohol in the News, Beer

Big Flats 1901

As you know, I am a big supporter of local booze.  Guess I haven’t been doing enough beer shopping at Walgreen’s. 

It is worthwhile to read the full article that came out on Tuesday in my home-town newspaper about this “premium” and “genuine” brew that retails for $2.99 a six-pack.  I hope the traffic up there doesn’t get out of control this summer when I’m trying to visit friends and family.

Stephen Colbert featured the beer in a segment at the beginning of this month.

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Filed under Alcohol in the News, Beer, Videos

Wine for Oscar Night

Last week I wrote a piece pairing wines with Oscar-nominated films.  So far, it got picked up by Variety and NYPress picked it up from there.

Update: On Saturday, 2/26, Cork Savvy posted it as well.


Filed under Alcohol in the News, Wine

Wine grape vines haven’t been getting busy

The New York Times reported last week that grape vines weren’t having enough sex.  At first glance, this may not seem like a major problem (insert sex joke here).  Alas, it is a big deal.  Look at the mess of a family tree that has been created as a result:

A geneticist from Cornell determined that 75% of wine grape varieties are as closely related as a parent and child or brother and sister.  This is as simple as the NYT could break it down, and I won’t try to compete:

“Thus merlot is intimately related to cabernet franc, which is a parent of cabernet sauvignon, whose other parent is sauvignon blanc, the daughter of traminer, which is also a progenitor of pinot noir, a parent of chardonnay.”

What happened to cause this?  The ease of propagating vines through grafting, phylloxera, wine laws, and our palates.  As a result of so much genetic similarity, the grapes are more susecptible to a wide range of pests, and vineyard managers have resorted to herbicides, fungicides and other nasty chemicals. 

The Times points out three options: add genes for pest resistance, go organic, breed sturdier varieties. 

Big problems with these three options: folks don’t like genetically modified plants, grape vines can have a hard time surviving in an organic environment, and breeding new varieties takes time, money and we’re not guaranteed a tasty result. 

The article went on to discuss a new plant breeding method, called genomic selection or marker-assisted breeding, which would enable scientisits to explore the grape genome.

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Frommer’s visits the Finger Lakes

Brian and Thomas at the distillery. Photo courtesy of Amy Zavatto.

Amy Zavatto, one of the writers for Frommer’s Community Blog, Between Bites, recently wrote a piece titled, “Sipping Whiskey in the Finger Lakes“. 

On assignment for a wine job, she stumbled upon Finger Lakes Distilling on her way out of town. 

She got a tour and did a tasting and reports that her favorites were the Seneca Drums Gin, the Cherry Liqueur and the McKenzie Rye.

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Filed under Alcohol in the News, Spirits