Category Archives: Noteworthy articles

Hibiscus Rose Vesper

A cocktail of mine made it into Saveur’s March Issue.  I also figured out how to embed documents into wordpress.  Big day. 

Use the zoom key at the bottom so you can actually read what it says.  Does my crooked scanning make you feel like you’re reading it from the magazine?


Filed under Cocktails, Noteworthy articles

Martha gets down with FLD

The McKenzie Rye is featured in the current issue of Martha Stewart Living.

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Filed under Noteworthy articles, Spirits

More love for the white dog

Josh Ozersky penned “White Dog Rising: Moonshine’s Moment” for Time yesterday.

Some highlights:

“Why is moonshine making a comeback? For the same reason absinthe did a few years ago. Because it’s delicious. Because it’s illegal. And because it’s cool.”

“None of the luxury-tinged language that surrounds its grown-up siblings, like bourbon or scotch, applies to the dog. There are no 12 years of ‘mellowing,’ no ‘complex vanilla notes.'”

“Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace (one of the oldest and most admired distillers in the U.S.) makes White Dog, Wisconsin’s Death’s Door Spirits has White Whisky and even New York’s tiny Finger Lakes Distilling sells Glen Thunder, named after the Watkins Glen racetrack. I had a flight of all three at Tipsy Parson, in New York City, and expected them to be uniformly vile. I’m no enthusiast of this sort of thing, and even the most acclaimed and expensive grappa tends to make me cough and gag. But there was no question that the three products all tasted different, and not unpleasing: they’re neither blankly insipid, like vodka, nor gasoline-y, the way so many clear spirits are. Obviously, a lot of care went into them.”


Filed under Noteworthy articles, Spirits

White dog has its day in the NYT

In today’s Dining Section, Robert Simonson’s article, “Moonshine Finds New Craftsmen and Enthusiasts” discusses the current popularity of unaged whiskey aka white dog aka moonshine. 

Bottled fresh from the still, without a kiss of oak, these tasty whiskies are starting to get the attention they deserve. 

There are two paragraphs in particular that I’d like to draw your attention to:

“Most are the work of young micro-distilleries like Death’s Door, in Wisconsin; Finger Lakes Distilling, in upstate New York; Tuthilltown, in the Hudson Valley; the Copper Fox Distillery, in northern Virginia; and House Spirits, in Portland, Ore.”


“Ehren Ashkenazi, beverage director at the Modern, uses it for Devil in White, a spin on the Manhattan, and Jim Meehan, of PDT, pairs Finger Lake Distilling’s Glen Thunder corn whiskey with sake and Galliano L’Autentico in his Brewer’s Breakfast.”

Here’s Jim’s Brewer’s Breakfast recipe:

2 ounces sake, like Masumi Arabashiri
1 ounce unaged whiskey (Glen Thunder!)
1/4 ounce Galliano, or Galliano L’Autentico if available

Honey Nut Cheerios, for garnish.

Stir in shaker with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with Honey Nut Cheerios on a cocktail pick.

Take that, Tony the Tiger. 

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Filed under Cocktails, Noteworthy articles, Spirits

I want a drinkbot

In the article Just Like Mombot Used to Make in today’s Times, robots are delivering snacks, whipping up omelets, preparing octopus balls and making up to 800 bowls of ramen per day (with human staff reporting to them). 

I couldn’t help but think that while a snackbot is nice, a drinkbot would be nicer.  Unsurprisingly, other thirsty spirits out there share my sentiment.  By the time I got to page 2 of the article, I learned about the group, Roboexotica, who hosts festivals where scientists showcase “cocktail robots” as well as “beerbots”, some of whom will not only mix, serve and consume cocktails, but they might also tell jokes and smoke cigarettes. 

Just for fun, I went to You Tube to see what would pop up with a “drinkbot” search.  No clip on robots is complete without the statement, “Does not compute”.

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Filed under Gadgets, Noteworthy articles

“If your body can take it, you might as well buy the cheaper liquor”

This is a great quote from a  Washington Post article that ran today. 

No surprises were revealed – people are drinking more in this economy, but they’re doing it at home instead of out at restaurants or bars, and many of them have switched to cheaper brands.  Folks outside New York are taking the Costco approach, buying big to save money. 

My advice from yesterday’s post still stands.  Popov will do bad things to you.


Filed under Alcohol in the News, Noteworthy articles

Pouring tableside

Over the summer I wrote a short piece about how a restaurant can show it cares about wine. 

I didn’t include pouring wines by the glass tableside on my list, but I should have.  The Detroit Free Press ran a great article on the subject a few days ago, citing how it’s a disappearing courtesy. 

I certainly understand the need to control costs – the main reason given for the decline of tableside pouring – but I also believe in the power of staff training.  If, as an owner or manager, you don’t trust that your staff will be able to pour the 5 or 6 ounces that comprises your glass of wine, what does that say about you?  The more you empower your staff, the better they will perform for you.   In the long run, you will also save money by allowing the guest to sample the wine prior to commiting to a full glass. 

The article didn’t mention it, but seeing the bottle is an important part of the drinking experience.  It’s nice to know that what you’ve ordered is what you’re getting and seeing the label can be a helpful tool when it comes time to remember the wine that you liked (or would like to avoid).

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Filed under Noteworthy articles, Wine

Octopus and Zinfandel

Frank Bruni, the former restaurant critic for The New York Times, is still terrorizing restaurant employees. 

For the January 2010 issue of Food & Wine, Bruni pays a visit to Le Bernardin to see if he can make sommelier Aldo Sohm crack under the pressure of a cantankerous diner making ridiculous beverage pairing requests. 

The article notes that chef Ripert and a few other employees were in on the game, but that they hadn’t informed Aldo.  Sounds like a great plan, though I’d be really surprised if  Aldo didn’t know who Bruni was.  Recognizing critics (especially those from the NYT) and working at top NYC restaurants go hand in hand.  Nevertheless, World’s Best Sommelier vs. World’s Worst Customer is worth checking out.

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