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  • Crazy for Clairin, Haiti's Wild Ancestral Rum
    July 16, 2018 CJ Best

    Crazy for Clairin, Haiti's Wild Ancestral Rum

    Attention all amateur and professional rum fans! With the much anticipated launch of La Maison & Velier in the United States comes their coveted Clairin releases. For the uninitiated, Clairin (meaning “clear” in the native Haitian Creole) may seem like a standard unaged rum but is really much more. There is so much culture and terroir in this juice that it deserves recognition and understanding of what this spirit is and how it came to be.
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  • January 22, 2018 CJ Best

    Viking Cocktails : How is this not a thing?

    Since attending a Viking themed Tiki party and having some friends visit Sweden and Norway I’ve become enthralled with my ties to the region and baffled by how little of its culinary wonder has penetrated the American landscape.

    Two of my Great-Grandparents immigrated to America from Norway and Sweden. I can still remember my Great-Grandfather singing the Swedish National Anthem at his 100th birthday.

    But besides great genetics I don’t see a lot of other imports from the Northern European countries especially in the cocktail scene. Which is a shame because there are so many fun flavors to play with.

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  • January 22, 2018 CJ Best

    LeJay - how to use this classic liqueur for a classic cocktail

    Included in the International Bartenders Association list of contemporary cocktails is the Kir, a simple two ingredient drink perfect for the next Summer heat wave.

    The recipe is simple, 9 parts dry white wine to 1 part Crème de Cassis (blackcurrant liqueur). The traditional wine used is called Aligoté, a very dry white wine. But most home bartenders reach for any white wine for their Kir but choosing a sweeter, fruity wine won’t provide the necessary dry/sweet balance when paired with the Cassis.

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  • January 22, 2018 CJ Best

    The one rum to rule them all, from our resident tiki expert

    Locked in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault are copies of nearly every known plant seed on earth. If anything were to happen where we would run out or lose a certain crop or plant, the Seed Vault has a back up. 

    I think it’s high time they added a bottle of Mount Gay rum to the vault for safekeeping. That way if we ever run out of rum (oh please tell me that can never happen) we can always reach for a copy of the original.

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  • January 19, 2018 CJ Best

    The Cadillac of Cognacs is a must on your bar cart

    Few liquors are held in as high regard as Cognac. Like hand-crafted furniture and leather goods, much of its fanfare lies in the amount of time, care, and effort that go into its creation. Pierre Ferrand is one of the brands best known for their dedication to craftsmanship from the vine to the bottle.
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  • January 19, 2018 CJ Best

    Don’t judge this rum by its cover

    Move over J. Wray and whoever his Nephew is, there’s a new overproof Jamaican rum in town and it’s on Fire. Part of Hampden Estate’s relaunch, Rum Fire is pure unadulterated Jamaican rum in all its ester-full glory. Rum Fire has been in production since 2011 and we here in the United States could only enjoy it on the rare trip abroad. That is until early 2016 when it had its first US launch in Seattle. It quickly spread through the local tiki scene showing up in cocktail bars from Rumba to Tacoma Cabana.
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  • January 19, 2018 CJ Best

    If you love Bloody Mary's and Margaritas, you'll love this cocktail

    I REALLY love Bloody Marys and Margaritas. They are my go-to cocktails whether I’m drinking out, or mixing at home. I wanted to find a way to marry the spicy, savory, flavors of a Bloody Mary and the salty citrus and pepper notes of the Margarita. My two favorite drinks in one! When you combine 2 of your favorite flavors sometimes it works out horribly (orange juice and tooth paste) and sometimes it's dynamite. T-N-T cocktail recipe below.
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  • What else to do with Dry Vermouth - Cocktail Recipes
    January 17, 2018 CJ Best

    What else to do with Dry Vermouth - Cocktail Recipes

    Dry Vermouth is great in a martini, and good on ice or with fizzy, but then what?

    The dry vermouth cocktail options aren't limited to clear spirits.  A great classic dark spirit cocktail to modify is a Manhattan - the warm whiskey notes still shine through, but the lovely botanical notes inherent to dry vermouth give the cocktail a fresh twist.

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