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  • Lemorton Calvados and the Quest for an Honest Spirit
    September 17, 2018 Patrick Smith

    Lemorton Calvados and the Quest for an Honest Spirit

    The Lemorton family is one of the most notable and unique producers of Calvados, having been growing apples and pears and producing brandies from them in Normandy for generations. On a recent trip to the area, I got to visit with them, take in the sights, smells, and tastes, and discover just what makes this traditional, family made spirit so special.
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  • Notes From The Pisco Trail: A Primer On The Oldest Grape Spirit Of The New World
    September 11, 2018 Addition Collaborator

    Notes From The Pisco Trail: A Primer On The Oldest Grape Spirit Of The New World

    This three part primer is a spirited introduction to the oldest grape distillate in the Americas, pisco. Part 1 defines pisco, then explores its origins and historical connection to San Francisco, before covering its presence around the world. Part 2 takes a look at pisco’s grape varietals and producing regions, then describes the distillation process, all of which give pisco its unique taste and terroir. Part 3 provides guidelines for selecting the right pisco for your (home) bar, reviews four classic pisco cocktails, and gives recommendations for making your own pisco cocktails.
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  • Will the real Margarita please stand up?
    July 30, 2018 Patrick Smith

    Will the real Margarita please stand up?

    The Margarita is perhaps the most oft quaffed cocktail in America, where people who don’t even consider themselves cocktail drinkers will still regularly order one. It’s almost a category all it’s own, millions of them served daily by the veritable “Tex-Mex Industrial Complex”, that inescapable Americanized Mexican restaurant with the same 7 ingredients served in various guises along with any variety of fruit flavored ‘rita your little heart desires. But what is a Margarita, really?
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  • La Fortaleza Distillery Takes The Scenic Route To Create Perfect Tequila
    July 24, 2018 Joe Barwin

    La Fortaleza Distillery Takes The Scenic Route To Create Perfect Tequila

    Have you ever had that moment, when you look back at your family’s history and think about how far we’ve gotten from their hands-on work, and how much of the knowledge held by our grandparents and great grandparents has been lost? Guillermo Sauza saw his great-great-grandfather Cenobio’s tequila empire whittled down to the family’s agave farm and the mothballed La Fortaleza distillery, turned into a literal tequila production museum. Meanwhile the Sauza brand and distillery continued to grow in the hands of an international conglomerate. So Guillermo decided to do something about it.
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  • Keeping It Couth With Vermouth
    June 27, 2018 Patrick Smith

    Keeping It Couth With Vermouth

    Poor vermouth. It’s the Rodney Dangerfield of many a home bar: everyone has some, but dammit, it gets no respect. It’s the key ingredient in your beloved Manhattan, Martini, or Negroni, but at shopping time it rarely receives the same attention that your Whiskey or Gin selection does. Generally, this isn’t out of a true disdain for the stuff, but rather habit and lack of awareness of what it really is. 
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    June 20, 2018 Mish Sukharev


    With its classic, striking label and near omnipresence in pop culture and commercial art for over a century, a bottle of Lillet looks familiar to almost everyone. James Bond even called for it by name! But outside of this familiarity, the liquid inside is a mystery to many people..
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  • A Very Sherry Situation
    June 20, 2018 Patrick Smith

    A Very Sherry Situation

    My first association with sherry was as a boy reading the Harry Potter books, in which the crazed, clairvoyant, and apparently alcoholic teacher, Professor Trelawney, is constantly described as smelling strongly of cooking sherry. Although I had no clue what sherry was, this association with the “crazy, spinster aunt” type stuck. I proceeded to live my life quite happily for some years before being untimely sucked into the world of cocktails, where I found myself avoiding recipes that called for all varieties of this mysterious sherry, never quite being sure of what it was or where I would start with it, not to mention the probably deep seated fear that I may eventually become a spinster myself if I tried it. 
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  • Bitter: About Campari
    June 6, 2018 Mish Sukharev

    Bitter: About Campari

    Bitter is decidedly not vanilla. And while my cocktail may not be your cocktail, I think we all have it in us to be just a little bit seduced by the mixing rule of Bitter, Sweet and Spirited. Here, in the US, bitter has often been given a bad reputation - that flavor that you really shouldn’t be tasting. But if it is wrong - why does so much of the world enjoy bitter flavors so freely, openly and passionately? 
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