Profile: The Alcohol Professor

The Class You Always Wanted to Take

Alcohol Professor is an educational online magazine devoted to wine, beer, spirits and cocktails - it's the class you've always wanted to take!
It was founded by Adam Levy, who is also the founder of the annual NY
International Spirits Competition
, NY International Wine Competition and NY International Beer Competition.
Its editor in chief is Amanda Schuster, who through the ever changing global landscape of New York City went from digital photo archivist to jewelry designer before training as a sommelier and becoming a retail spirits buyer for top NYC establishments. She has been writing, educating and promoting in the liquor business since 2006.
We will never tell you to celebrate National ____ Day, because everyday is one to celebrate with a glass of something delicious!

NoteStream NoteStream

NoteStreams are readable online but they’re even better in the free App!

The NoteStream™ app is for learning about things that interest you: from music to history, to classic literature or cocktails. NoteStreams are truly easy to read on your smartphone—so you can learn more about the world around you and start a fresh conversation.

See the full list of Authors here: link




NoteStreams By The Alcohol Professor

The Long, Bending History of the Straw

Plastic straws are now considered an environmental nemesis, but how did we get here?
The Alcohol Professor

Category: History

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Exploring the Wines of Toro

For lots of wine lovers, “Spanish red” immediately equates to Rioja. And in the past, if they had any impression at all of wines from Toro it was as Rioja’s brawnier, brasher, bolder cousin. That’s accurate to a point. But things are changing.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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The Ruin Bars of Budapest Are Ready for Prime Time

The once secret bar pop-ups in Pest’s crumbling Jewish Quarter have become legitimate businesses.
All photos by Phil Galewitz.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Travel

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Field Trips: Saint Augustine Distillery

The historic Florida town is home to the state’s first bourbon, and of course there is rum!
All photos courtesy Paul Senft.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Brewing Beer and Changing Lives

Brewability in Denver gives adults with disabilities a chance at meaningful employment.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Your Next Wine Destination: Portugal

Welcoming onsite accommodations, undiscovered grapes and exciting new wine styles make it a must-go destination for wine lovers!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Beer Review: New Belgium Hemperor HPA

Does hemp flavored beer still taste like beer?
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Who Says Red Wine Can't Be Refreshing?

When the mercury rises, uncork these chill-able reds!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Live Your Best (Spritz) Life

The Spritz isn’t just a drink. It’s a way of life, characterized by hours spent soaking up the sun on a patio lounger or at the table with friends, laughs and a leisurely three-hour afternoon snooze-inducing lunch.
We've got 6 low ABV cocktail recipes to relax and fizz out this summer :-)
Cover photo by Tomasz Rynkiewicz on Unsplash
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Where Officers and Seamen Elbowed Places At The Bar

Presenting a history of Brooklyn waterfront nautical industry bars, and a guide to ones you can still visit to toast the sailors for Fleet Week!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Travel

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Rosés For Pink Wine Haters

There will always be staunch purists for just about anything, but I am of the belief that most people who say they don’t like a type of drink just haven’t tasted the right one yet. Challenge accepted.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Around the World with Whisky Wood

Distillers around the globe are looking toward alternative tree varieties for whisky maturation.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Your Sake Adventure Begins Here

You’ve maybe seen a fictional group of samurai drinking it from tiny cups in a movie. Perhaps you’ve come across the large colourful bottles in your local liquor store. But what is it? It’s Japanese sake and, sadly, most people outside Japan know very little about it.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Melissa Burr's Northwest Winescape

Melissa Burr has forged a fairytale path through the Willamette Valley wine scene. Stoller Vineyards’ tenured star winemaker has ascended from intern to one of wine’s premiere directors of winemaking over the last 15 years, setting the bar for style and grace.
Presenting an interview with Melissa Burr about her wine journey, Pacific Northwest wine, and the best advice for budding winemakers!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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A Brief History of Ice

Ice, a common ingredient in many cocktails, was at one point a rare treat for only the wealthy. For the bulk of human history, its creation was through purely natural means.
From lake harvest to the modern obsession with cube clarity, here’s how ice transformed the cocktail industry.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Irish Whiskey for St. Patrick's Day & Every Day

With so many excellent new producers and styles to choose from, you'll need more than one occasion to appreciate them!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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The Evolution of the Bartender's Tool Kit

The history of jiggers, strainers, shakers and spoons for making cocktails!
It has been over two-hundred years since the term “cocktail” hit the American lexicon. Those two centuries have seen incredible changes in the way we enjoy a tipple. But stepping behind the bar to make a cocktail is a different story.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Diageo Special Release Whisky 2017

The whisky gods have smiled on me once again this year with the arrival of the Diageo Special Release samples box that I put aside till the new year to properly taste them. (Each year I keep asking them to send full bottles and yet they turn a deaf ear to my humble request.)
Here's what to expect in the 17th year of this range of limited edition Scotch.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Escape Winter (At Least Virtually) With Far-Flung Island Wines

Bomb cyclones. Early sunsets. Dreary landscapes. Most of us are already over winter by now. But if you can’t trade your snow shovels for sand shovels and escape to someplace warm, sunny and tropical, uncork a bottle from one of these islands.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Hard Cider Cocktails For Winter

Crisp and refreshing while also warming and satisfying – cider is the perfect ingredient for seasonal drinks.
All photos by Danielle Macdonald.
{!urhttps://www.alcoholprofessor.com/blog/2018/01/05/hard-cider-cocktails-for-winter/">The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Cognac vs. Mother Nature: The 2017 Harvest

Cognac–a drink that brings many images to mind; a snifter brandy glass, rows of fat grapes glistening on the vines, the iconic Hennessy brand or Rémy Martin a more boutique producer like Pierre Ferrand or Jacky Navarre… But we bet that when you think of Cognac, the last thing you think of is the weather in this tiny corner of South Western France.
All photos by Cognac Expert.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Basil Hayden's Dark Rye Divides Some Whiskey Fans

The buzz began to spread among bourbon and whiskey aficionados in late October. Jim Beam’s Basil Hayden was coming out with a new release that was to become a permanent addition to the portfolio. It wasn’t simply finished in a used port barrel – port was actually poured into the recipe.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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The 2018 Bourbon Bucket List

As much as I learned last year, there’s always more to do. Here is my bourbon bucket list for 2018!
All photos by Maggie Kimberl.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Decadent Drinks for Trimming The Christmas Tree

Whilst stringing up those lights and strategically placing every, carefully chosen ornament, one must stop and take things a little slower, to appreciate this moment with your family. Try one of these three decadent holiday cocktail recipes!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Different Sides to the Cognac Story

There is a strict set of rules that defines Cognac as a spirit determining where the grapes are grown, how they are processed, what type of wood they are aged in and for how long. There’s not much room for innovation, but there are subtle ways a Cognac can show some creativity. As Nicolas Palazzi puts it, “When you are a renegade in Cognac you are not pushing big boundaries. You do little things that would be normal in any other [spirits] area that would have less history.”
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Wine Insurance - A Primer

After the smoke has cleared on the devastating fires in the Napa and Sonoma/Northern California wine country, residents are presented with the task of sifting through the ash and debris to find out what might be lost and what might be saved in the aftermath of these deadly fires. In addition to the residential destruction, many businesses suffered a great deal of damage.
What steps do wineries and vineyards need to take to insure against natural disasters like the recent California wildfires?
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Halloween Hooch: Spirit of the Movies

Fall is an enchanting time filled with pumpkins, dressing up, and an obsession with the after life. It is a perfect time to watch a scary movie and indulge in your favorite potions! Take a look at four iconic horror films and their drinks for a boozy All Hallows’ Eve night in!
All photos by Danielle Macdonald.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Whiskey and its Grains

Breaking down the ingredients for bourbon and letting science do its thing!
This year I attended a class at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival about A Whiskey And Its Grains taught by Moonshine University Operations Manager Tyler Gomez, who not only operates the Grease Monkey Distillery but also teaches aspiring distillers the ropes.
Photos by Maggie Kimberl.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Wine Studies: What is Cork Taint?

Despite technological innovations in wine bottle closure systems, natural cork remains the most used closure in the business. It’s also the closure that most consumers associate with “tradition” in wine. So what exactly is "cork taint"?
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Eat Your Whiskey: Bourbon Black Walnut Cake

Here's LeNell's next-level boozy cake recipe with a boiled buttermilk fudge frosting and a whole cup of bourbon!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Food

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Does Beer Taste Better From A Bottle Or A Can?

What do you think? Does beer taste better from a bottle or from a can? Research, both controlled and anecdotal, suggests that most people would say that the same beer tastes better when it’s in a bottle versus when it’s in a can.
Science says it’s all in your head.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Greetings From New York! 13 of the Best NYC Hotel Bars!

13 of the best NYC hotel bars for both visitors and locals!
It’s time for a drink!
Luckily, some of the classics have stood the tests of time, and newer hotels have understood the necessity of providing a lounge for visitors that is the right mix of hospitality, style, substance, ingenuity and value. Here is a list of some the safe harbors in an urban sea of boozy mediocrity that are so good at being hotel bars, New Yorkers like drinking there too.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Wine Spotlight: Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG

This prized region produces the most elegant examples of Prosecco and could be given UNESCO World Heritage status. However, it's still largely under the radar.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Beer Review: Slap Fight IPA - Is What’s in the Can as Good as the Name?

There are so many craft beers on the market now that a name and/or an image can make or break the beer, for better or worse. And brewers are definitely a creative lot.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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How To Drink Bourbon In Summer

If you love bourbon, but think it’s too heavy for warm weather, here are 5 ways to make it seasonable. Easy recipes included!
All photos by Maggie Kimberl
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Bitters: The Spice Of Cocktail Life

How bitters add flavor to drinks, what goes into them, and a visit to Buffalo Trace - home of Peychaud’s and Regans’ bitters
All photos by Maggie Kimberl.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Whisky That Will Earn Dad's Seal Of Approval

Looking for something special for Dad (or yourself!)? Why not take a look at these 6 new whiskies - just in time for Father's Day! We've even included a cocktail recipe for a very tasty Porch Swing to kick things off!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Tech Informed By Tradition In Ribera Del Duero

Learn how the 3rd generation of Bodegas Emilio Moro uses digital information to monitor its vineyards and "listen" to its terroir.
It’s fascinating to taste how a single grape varietal can display such diverse results within a relatively small parcel of land. These wines are prime examples of what happens when winemakers allow the individual characteristics of terroir to contribute a different voice to each wine. Think you know tempranillo? Wines can always surprise us.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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The Right Beer For BBQ

Are you grilling? Then you need to know which beer styles are right for chilling. From octopus to chicken to steak, here's an easy guide to creating the perfect pairing.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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What's in a Whisky Blend?

Grab a cocktail and check out this interview with Diageo whisky blender Emma Walker as she talks about Johnnie Walker's (no relation!) limited edition of experimental whiskies - the Blenders' Batch Series.
A cocktail recipe to try at home is included.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Portuguese Wine Deserves Your Attention

It's one of the most traveled countries in the world, but for some reason, sommeliers are ignoring its beautifully crafted wines.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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The Best Rums For Home Tiki Bars

Nothing says "relax" quite like a rum cocktail - preferable with one of those playful parasols. There's more to it than just splashing rum over ice - the best tiki cocktail recipes require multiple varieties of rum for balance. Here’s a breakdown of each rum by island and some go-to recipes to get started!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Talking Terroir with Pedro Parr, PhD

A go-to vineyard consultant discusses soil, growing conditions and what the concept of “minerality” in wine really is.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Mixers are Moving On Up!

Even cocktails are getting in on the natural and more sustainable trend. So if you’re ready to make better cocktails at home, without all of the fancy glasses, with only little effort or experience necessary, we've got great news: your time has come.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Drinking With The Presidents

In honor of President's Day, let's take a look at POTUS drinking habits through history!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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So You Want To Make Your Own Booze...

Believe it or not, there are classes to do just that. Take a look at what it's like to study the science of brewing and distilling at Heriot Watt University in Scotland.
All photos by Karan Nagpal.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Four Beers for Your 2017 Super Bowl Chili Recipe

Super Bowl food comes in many flavors, from all kinds of places.
Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner. There may be chicken wings or homemade guacamole - but the king of the Super Bowl buffet must be chili!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Port On Call

If you think port is just for sipping after dinner, think again. We take a look at some of it's rich history, and offer up some delightful cocktail recipes from all over the U.S. Grab your shakers!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Stirring Up History: Bartender/Historian Christine Sismondo

Join us for a chat with historian, author and ex-bartender Christine Sismondo and discover how she came to fall in love with both history and cocktails!

The Alcohol Professor

Category: History

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Eloquent Toasts For Burns Night

Winter got you down? Try some of Robert Burns poetry mixed with some good Scotch whisky to fix what ails you.

The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Jester King Gotlandsdricka: Beer of the Vikings

Farmhouse ale from Austin, Texas made with yeast as wild as a viking raid – skol!
Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Healthy Drinking Tips for the New Year

It may sound like an oxymoron, but there is such a thing. Bartenders share low sugar/low ABV cocktail recipes and other advice for a healthy start to the year.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Loch Lomond Scotch Crosses Our Shores

Expressions of Littlemill, Glen Scotia, Inchmurrin and Glengarry whisky are available in the U.S. for the first time.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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10 Boozy Hot Chocolate Recipes

Take hot chocolate to the next level! These warming, comforting cocktails will get you through the rest of 2016 and the winter season. Bliss!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Guinness Releases Two New Limited Edition Beers

Antwerpen Stout and Rye Pale Ale are out of the Open Gate!
Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Book Review: The Big Man of Jim Beam

Booker Noe was the grandson of Jim Beam, and widely credited with the resurgence of bourbon.
This new book pulls together the stories about this larger than life distiller.

The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Get Started With Sherry

If you don't know much about sherry, you're not alone. Fortunately, Chantal Tseng, a.k.a. the sherry ninja, is here to take us through the various styles and even shares six of her favorite sherry cocktails.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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The Evolution and Metamorphosis of Pumpkin Beer

Nothing signals the arrival of fall for many beer drinkers more than the appearance on store shelves and tap handles of an array of pumpkin ales, pumpkin porters and pumpkin stouts.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Something Completely Bitter

A review of Amaro: the Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs by Brad Thomas Parsons.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Battle of the Breweries in Green Bay

Hinterland vs. Titletown – two of the city’s most enduring craft breweries are right near each other, and couldn’t be more different.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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What Makes a Spirit Kosher?

It’s probably a good idea to assume anything served at a Jewish celebration should be kosher, but how the heck can you tell when it comes to cocktails?
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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How to Select a Single Cask Whiskey

Take a peak at what it's like to choose a barrel of Buffalo Trace Bourbon with Westport Whiskey and Wine.
All photos by Maggie Kimberl.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Brandy, You're A Fine Gulp

American fruit brandy is produced all over U.S., in many varieties - often using regional specialties and some innovative aging techniques!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Whiskey Review: 2016 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection

The wait is over! Find out what to expect from these highly prized matured bourbons and ryes!
Warning: This could make you very thirsty.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Field Trips: Sicilian and Proud

There's more to wine than terroir - it's very identity can have deep roots. Take a tour of a Sicilian vineyard, and you'll see what I mean.
All photos by Amanda Schuster.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Wine

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Serve Yourself Craft Beer?!

Leatherhead Brewing in Green Bay, has a system that let's you pour your own beer! This is a fun, if potentially dangerous concept.
All photos by Kevin Gibson.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Why Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Only in Sept?

A native of the great state of Kentucky offers some thoughts on a distinctive product of the USA, while wondering why it's only "officially" celebrated in the month of September!
All photos by Maggie Kimberl.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Martini & Myth: Part IV

Editor’s Note: August is Martini Month at Alcohol Professor! Why? Well, any day is an excuse to sip a refreshing Martini, however, in the dog days of summer, there’s nothing like a Martini to quench a thirst. Enjoy this hebdomadal sipping trip through the lens of some familiar pop cultural figures. Cheers!
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Martini & Myth: Part III

The eternal quest for the perfect martini....vodka or gin? Olives or twist? Shaken or stirred??
We're going to explore all these and more - and we're even including recipes so you can mix it up at home, and decide for yourself!
August is Martini Month at Alcohol Professor! Why? Well, any day is an excuse to sip a refreshing Martini, however, in the dog days of summer, there’s nothing like a Martini to quench a thirst. Enjoy this hebdomadal sipping trip through the lens of some familiar pop cultural figures. Cheers!
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Martini & Myth: Part II

August is Martini Month at Alcohol Professor! Why? Well, any day is an excuse to sip a refreshing Martini, however, in the dog days of summer, there’s nothing like a Martini to quench a thirst. Enjoy this hebdomadal sipping trip through the lens of some familiar pop cultural figures. Cheers!
See Part 1 – on James Bond and the Vesper cocktail here.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Literature and Libations: A Visual Guide

The relationship between writers and the bottle can be complex, and stretches back to Gilgamesh.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Martini and Myth: Part I

August is Martini Month at Alcohol Professor! Why? Well, any day is an excuse to sip a refreshing Martini, however, in the dog days of summer, there’s nothing like a Martini to quench a thirst. Enjoy this hebdomadal sipping trip through the lens of some familiar pop cultural figures. Cheers!

Category: Cocktails

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Alcohol Consumption Throughout Human History

Life without cold beer? Actually, most of humanity wouldn't have had access to it. Yup, times were tough.

Category: Craft Beer

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Wine To Drink Now: New Zealand Whites!

If you're looking for delicious white wines for summer, check out these from way down in New Zealand!
All images provided by Hatch Mansfield.

Category: Wine

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Field Trips: Howells & Hood

So many beers, so worth making the time.

Category: Craft Beer

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Big Beach Brewing Opening Soon

Gulf Shore's first ever craft brewery is primed to take advantage of the new Alabama beer laws.

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer Review: Founders Mosaic Promise

New IPA is simple, restrained and nearly perfect.

Category: Craft Beer

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Sinning In Sydney

Travel these days is not a comfortable experience. Spend any time in coach class on a flight - especially a flight down to Australia - and you'll find yourself in need of a drink...or two. Fortunately, Sydney has plenty of options to offer.
All photos by Keith Allison.

Category: Cocktails

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London's Historic Pints And Pubs

A very handy guide to the colorful histories of some of London's legendary pubs. Bring history alive with your next pint!

Category: Craft Beer

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A Spy Who Loved Wine

A wine professional that needs his memoir cleared by the CIA? Meet Peter M.F. Sichel. Born in 1922 in Germany, he....we'll just let you read it for yourself!

Category: Wine

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Fermented Apples Of Normandy

Ever wonder what the differences are between Calvados, cidre and eau de vie? If so, you're really going to enjoy this primer. Warning: you may find yourself feeling thirsty...

Category: Cocktails

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A Brief History of the Negroni - Through James Bond

As the story goes...the Negroni was invented at the Caffè Casoni (formerly Caffè Giacosa) in Florence when Italian Count Camillo Negroni explained to the resident bartender, Fosco Scarselli, that, while the count did love himself an Americano, he wanted something similar but with a little more punch to it. Negroni suggested ditching the Americano’s soda in favor of gin.
But is that really the truth?!

Category: Cocktails

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Plows to Pints: Farm Brewing Sprout In VA

As craft brewing explodes nationally and particularly in the Mid-Atlantic states, farm brewing has become one of the hottest trends seeking to satisfy thirsts of beer lovers.

Category: Craft Beer

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Virginia: The Wine Region To Watch!

If you haven't heard much about wine from Virginia, prepare to be impressed. Virginia is the fifth largest grape producing state in the US, and is known for its production of high quality wines in relatively limited quantities.

Category: Wine

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Veterans Turned Brewers

There are a growing number of breweries owned and run by veterans across the country.
Ask Sean of Heritage Brewing to compare his time in the military to the brewing life, and he'll tell you: “Long hours, hard work and low pay is the first thing to come to mind, and team ethic.”

Category: Craft Beer

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Historically Accurate Cocktails for Cinco De Mayo

Move over margaritas! If you are planning on heading to Mexico someday to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the native manner, expect to be disappointed.

Category: Cocktails

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Barmini's Magical, Whimsical World Of Cocktails

José Andrés’ minibar is a culinary playground that delivers tasting menus packed with tons of delicious courses and a significant shot of theatrics and surprises. barmini is their new cocktail extension.
Those same magical themes apply at barmini, which proudly showcases 100 cocktails on its menu at any given time.
Leather aged cocktail, anyone?
All photos by Jake Emen.

Category: Cocktails

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Ransom Spirits: True Sense Of Farm To Glass

Mixing old and new traditions, Master Distiller and Winemaker Tad Seested creates unique and inspired spirits with ingredients grown at its very own organic farm.
All images courtesy Ransom Wine Co. and Distillery.

Category: Cocktails

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Gin And Tonic, Or Tonic And Gin?

Inside City of London Distillery Gin, which happens to go quite well with Franklin & Sons craft mixers.

Category: Cocktails

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Growler Chill: Keeping Growlers Fresh

Now opening a special beer won't be a race against the clock!
A new product, Growler Chill, is heading to market! Not only will it chill and dispense three growlers (standard 64-ounce or 32-ounce howlers) at once, it claims it will keep the beer fresh longer as well – up to three weeks longer.

Category: Craft Beer

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Copper & Kings Releases Cr&ftwerk Brandy

Copper & Kings American Brandy has released apple and grape brandy products aged in new white oak barrels, apple brandy products aged in bourbon barrels and sherry casks, and absinthe distilled with lavender, citrus and ginger. So, it wasn’t a surprise when founder/owner Joe Heron contacted me and asked me to try his new brandy aged in beer barrels, known as Cr&ftwerk Brandy.

Category: Craft Beer

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Dick Bradsell: A Good Bartender (1960 – 2016)

On the afternoon of Sunday, February 28, the bartending community received word that it had lost a legendary bartender and industry icon who managed to do something that many of us can only dream about. Dick Bradsell can be credited with creating a modern cocktail culture in a time where there was none and becoming a well known and very much loved face of the drinks industry not just near his home in the UK but globally.

Category: Cocktails

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How Dry Am I?

For Bourbon Heritage Month, growing up in a dry Kentucky county that allows distilling but not drinking, and its rebirth with Kentucky Artisan Distillery and resurrection of Old Taylor

Category: Cocktails

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Exploring The Wines Of Ribera Y Rueda

A wonderful trip to Spain in search of the best wines from San Sebastian. Not all great wines have to be expensive and a great example would be the crisp fresh whites of the Rueda wine region or those standout reds!

Category: Wine

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The Year Of The Stag A History Of Jägermeister

We've come a long way from drinking Käuterlikör to what we know today as Jägermeister. This liquor is used in diverse ways by bartenders all around the globe. Depending on the taste preferences of the locals, it can be as simple as a shot or mixed as a part of a finely crafted cocktail.

Category: Cocktails

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The Ultimate Whiskey Ice Test

An entire marketplace of products has rapidly risen to prominence, all promising to help you enjoy colder whiskey faster, or chilled whiskey without dilution. But do any of these products – from whiskey stones to huge ice spheres – actually work?

Category: Cocktails

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Break Even Bottles

I’m just going to lay this out there: Some spirits can be ridiculously expensive. We’re talking mortgage your parents house obscenely expensive.

Category: Cocktails

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Book Review: Lost Recipes Of Prohibition

Anyone who does serious writing and research about alcohol and its history has been drawn over and over to the Prohibition Era (January 16, 1920 to December 5, 1933). The combination of the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act created a maze of regulations that was vastly more complex than just banning the sale of alcohol in the United States.

Category: Cocktails

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Raise Your Glass High: David Bowie 1947-2016

This morning, DJ John Richards stated on Seattle’s KEXP radio that even though he was a celebrity, it’s okay to take the loss of David Bowie personally. Though most of us didn’t know him personally, he was just as much a friendly fixture in our lives as a friend or family member, and for many, his passing leaves a true absence in our hearts. We’re “floating in a most peculiar way.”

Category: Cocktails

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Do Home Brewers Have A Crystal Ball?

One study says "yes."
Dr. Bart Watson believes craft beer may largely go as home brew goes. His theory comes from plenty of research on past entries from the American Homebrew Association’s National Homebrew Competition, which is the largest beer competition in the world.

Category: Craft Beer

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Spotlight: Sicilian Wines From Maggiovini

Sicilian wines have generated quite a buzz in the last few years. Although they’ve been making wine on this Mediterranean island for centuries, in more recent memory it’s been the source for vast quantities of simple wine used for blending in the north. In the last couple of decades, however, a not-so-quiet Renaissance has been taking place, with small producers making quality wines using indigenous grapes.
All images by Amy Miller, photographed at Ristorante Rafele, New York City.

Category: Wine

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Whisky, Charity, And The Open Sea

Booze and community work have a surprisingly compatible history. For examples, the Bon Vivants’ Pig & Punch or Jameson’s collaboration with The Movember Foundation. So it makes sense that Old Pulteney Whisky teamed up with US Sailing for the 2015 Maritime Heroes Award.

Category: Cocktails

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Shots of History: What the Presidents Drank

Alcohol, in all of its varieties, has been a part of American history from the time that the Pilgrims stopped in Massachusetts because they ran out of beer. The holder of the highest office in the land is not immune to the allure of a cocktail or four a day. Some of them, like George W. Bush and Ruthford B. Hayes (his wife was known as “Lemonade Lucy” for her ban on drinking in the White House), abstained completely from drinking. Other presidents drank a little more than was healthy. A few even used the White House and its gardens to make their own drinks; Barack Obama’s staff uses honey harvested on site to brew several varieties of beer, and Teddy Roosevelt used mint grown on the property to make Mint Juleps for his guests.

Category: History

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Vermouth: The Supporting Actor Is Stealing The Show

Trends are forever changing in the beverage world, capturing the minds and tastebuds of professionals and changing the way we drink. There always seems to be an “IT” ingredient or spirit category driving creativity and market shares. In the past couple of years, sherry reigned. Before that, bitter and herbaceous tastes placed amari front and center for bartenders and consumers alike.

Category: Cocktails

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Which Beer Makes the Best Chili?

Yeah, I make pretty good chili. And to me, beer is an essential ingredient. What I’ve found over the years is that different styles of beers can add different flavors and textures. What I do is just choose the beer I want, pour in a twelve ounce bottle once all the other ingredients are there and the chili is ready to simmer.
From Red Ales to IPAs, Stouts and beyond - each adds a different flavor layer.
Recipe for Sam Adams Cream Stout Chili included!

Category: Food

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New Belgium Drops Three New Brews

Amidst a flurry of pineapple IPA releases by a variety of breweries, Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing recently dropped an intriguing Citradelic Tangerine IPA, a new year-round beer, as well as a Belgian pale ale and a pair of gluten-free brews.

Category: Craft Beer

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Hot Drinks With The Power To Heal

A toddy is a wonderful thing, but these hot cocktail recipes go a step further with their restorative ingredients.

Category: Cocktails

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Who Leads Italy’s Craft Beer Movement?

Visiting a land steeped in vinous tradition, but now waving its flag in another direction.

Category: Craft Beer

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Dispatch From Whisky Live Dublin

Several years ago, I lucked into attending Whisky Live Sydney when a vacation happened to correspond with the event. Focusing as it did on local spirits, it was a fantastic opportunity to taste a wide range of whiskies that I would otherwise never even know existed, let alone have a chance to sample. It seems my destiny is forever entwined with Whisky Live, because just last month, while vacationing in Ireland, I lucked into an invitation courtesy of Dublin’s own Teeling to attend Whisky Live Dublin, which, like the event in Sydney, focuses most of its energy on local whiskey, much of which isn’t and probably never will be available in the United States. Needless to say, I graciously accepted.

Category: Cocktails

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China’s Big Thirst For Bordeaux Wine

New book details china’s big thirst for Bordeaux wine a review of Suzanne Mustacich's thirsty dragon.

Category: Wine

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Sip In Heavenly Peace

Wines for a more silent night in or bring to an intimate gathering.

Category: Wine

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Alltech Releases First-Ever Global Craft Beer Survey

A survey of 128 countries around the world by biotechnology leader Alltech shows not only huge growth in the craft beer industry but suggests possible growth ahead in the East.

Category: Craft Beer

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Bar 54: A Reason To Go To Times Square?

Chances are if you live in New York City, you don’t love Times Square. This is one statement that I believe applies to natives and transplants alike. However, if your office isn’t in midtown, there will inevitably be a time where you will have to go to the area – probably when a friend is visiting you from out of town. So why not make the best of it and drink well? Perhaps this wasn’t the inspiring idea behind Bar 54, the new sky-high bar in the Hyatt Times Square curated by Julie Reiner, but for locals, it will be the enduring one.
All images by Edmund DeGuzman.

Category: Cocktails

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Cocktail Home Remedies

Cold and flu season is right around the corner, and there are medicinal cocktails that can ameliorate many symptoms and even shorten the duration of the ailment. An historic trend has returned and it takes advantage of the medicinal properties of alcohol and combines them with homeopathic medicine to create feel-good drinks that can really make you feel better!

Category: Health

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Cocktail Kingdom Releases Reserve Collection

Wherever you are on the side of the Starbucks red cup debate, we can all agree on one thing this holiday season: cocktails are a necessity. Sensing the opportunity to capitalize on this bipartisan, religiously neutral demand, barware retailer Cocktail Kingdom has released a stunning new Reserve Collection.

Category: Cocktails

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Tis The Season For Whisk(e)y 2015 Gift Guide

Is it that time of year already? So it is, and given that the holiday season doubtless involves Knecht Ruprecht showing up to swat people upside the head with his bag of ash, you’re going to need to arm them with the one thing that makes the intrusions of Santa’s many abusive sidekicks tolerable: whiskey.
We’ve searched far and wide, but mostly at the bar, and present to you our own suggestions for bottles that will delight whichever friend or loved one to whom you give them.
Be sure to remind them that the spirit of the season also behooves them to open it up and share.

Category: Cocktails

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Drink In The Prettiest Place In NY

New York has been getting a lot of fame for their number of ever-proliferating craft distilleries (and breweries, and wineries, and chocolates, and tea…), but what a lot of people don’t realize is that New York isn’t synonymous with New York City. A ton of fun stuff is going on in the Hudson Valley, one of the most idyllic places to get a little sauced – especially during the fall.

Category: Craft Beer

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Pudding Shots: Compact, Boozy Treat For Entertaining

I love infusing silliness into entertaining.
While I think it’s beautiful to set a proper table with vintage china, crystal and silverware, I’ve also used my mother in law’s silver tea service tray to present shots I named “Who you callin’ a ho-ho-ho?” to Christmas party guests.
So many people stress themselves out trying to achieve a manufactured notion of perfection at the holidays, but my ideal tends more toward making people laugh.

Category: Food

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Thanksgiving Wines: Bold And Delicious Pairings

Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite wine decision of the year. There are so many angles from which to approach the pairing, and so many different flavors and consistencies on the table at the same time. Most fun to me is balancing the emotional and historical part of the meal with what the food calls for. It is so much more about Thanksgiving as an event than it is about the wine and food paring. The stakes aren’t so high – nobody is there just for the wine, and so Thanksgiving can be an opportunity to push the envelope a bit, so long as there are sufficient bottles.

Category: Wine

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Wines Worth The Wait: Alsatian Vendange Tardive

Late harvest: the two words conjure images of golden afternoons picking apples amidst the scent of drying leaves and smoke fire in the cool autumn air. At this time of year most vineyards have long finished their harvest, but in some regions winemakers will leave a portion of their grapes on the vine late into the season. That extra dose of sunshine, translates into wines with an added layer of honeyed richness, complexity, and delicate sweetness. A great match with apple pies or pear tarts, they feel in sync with the season.

Category: Wine

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Behind The Wine: ‘Natural Resistance’

A new documentary from SundanceNOW sheds light on the struggles of Italian natural winemakers as they face corporate opponents.

Category: Wine

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Napa Valley’s Palmaz Vinyards

When Christian Palmaz, president of Palmaz Vineyards, wants to know the temperature in one of his 24 fermentation tanks all he has to do is look up. Projected across the domed ceiling of his family’s 18-story high winery is a graph for each tank showing metrics such as temperature and brix (sugar level).

Category: Wine

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Church of Beer

A number of breweries have opened in former churches the past few years, begging phrases like “church of beer” to be passed around. From Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh to the St. Joseph Brewery & Public House in Indianapolis to McMenamins Old Church Brewery & Pub, the idea isn’t new, but the quaintness doesn’t get old.

Category: Craft Beer

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American Brandy: Bourbon’s “More Sophisticated Older Sister”

Attention bourbon enthusiasts: American brandy not only came first, but inspired whiskey makers to barrel-age their distilled spirits.

Category: Cocktails

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School for Scoundrels

Cocktails and cardsharps in Atlas Obscurea’s one night only China Town casino.

Category: History

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Wines With A View

A Taste Of Tuscan Wine
To consider modern day Tuscan wine, one should give props to the Etruscans, who inhabited this central Italian region starting in the 6th century BC. Tuscany is a land of abundant sunshine, rolling green hills, spring water, a spectacular, breezy coast and rich soils. If you’re going to set up a civilization, this is a pretty terrific place to do it. Especially if you have a bunch of gods that need worshipping with the heavy consumption of wine.

Category: Wine

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Beer Flows Like A River & Dachshunds Run Wild

It was opening day for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the U.S., and the wiener dogs were everywhere. In fact, I quickly realized I had to be careful where I stepped when I made my way into the crowd that had gathered around the makeshift racetrack in the middle of Fountain Square. It’s hard to see a Dachshund in a crowd, and I didn’t want to step on one.

Category: Craft Beer

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Two Shepherds of Sonoma Valley

There is a funny thing about latitudes, no matter where you are in the world, similar crops grow similarly well if they are at the same latitude. One winery, however has chosen to work on perfecting the expression of grenache gris and grenache noir before creating the best expression of any other grapes.

Category: Wine

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Lady Day on Swing Street: Part II

Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and the jazz scene in New York City: clubs of a bygone era.

Category: Music

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Lady Day on Swing Street: Part I

Tracing the history of Billie Holiday and NYC nightlife through the Harlem Renaissance to Café Society.

Category: Music

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Alcohol Professor’s 10 Best Bars in the US

Here at The Alcohol Professor we’re all about spreading the love around. When it came time to write an article about the 10 best bars in the United States, we didn’t want it populated almost exclusively with joints from New York, or San Francisco, as so often happens. (No fault to NYC or SF, you do great work—but so do other places!) Below, you will find a fastidiously researched list of America’s best bars, spread out over the entire country, with no city overlap. [Editor’s note: It’s our first real Top 10 List, so we thought we’d start with a Top 10 of everyone’s Top 10. These are the drinking establishments that everyone insists are the “If you have only one night in ____ this place is not to be missed” places.] Enjoy!

Category: Travel

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Beer Gadget Alert: HopBlast

As a lover of APAs and IPAs, one of my favorite parts of enjoying a beer is the aroma. As we all know, aroma is tied to flavor, and a well-made IPA is a bounty on both the nose and the palate. Heck, part of the hopping process in brewing is about adding aroma; grab yourself a dry-hopped beer, and it’s likely to be big on the nose. That’s no accident. But when I ran across the HopBlast, well, I was taken aback at the idea.

Category: Craft Beer

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Reaching for the Sherry

It is difficult to pinpoint when sherry went from a bottle that was found behind every bar and in every respectable wine collection to a strange liquor that was relegated to cooking quality or a staple of VFW halls around the country. The history of this fortified wine is heavily influenced by the history of Europe, from the Phoenicians establishing colonies in the Cadiz area in the 11th century B.C. to Spain reclaiming the sherry heritage from other pretenders in 1996 when the European Union added a little extra enforcement of the existing Denominación de Origen. What is sherry, and what happened to precipitate its fall?

Category: Wine

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Bordeaux Blanc: More On The Retro Cool Wine

"...a more subtle, more food friendly source of Sauvignon Blanc.”
Earlier this year, I wrote an article here in this app about Bordeaux Blanc. As we move into the height of summer, it’s time to revisit this wine style and to chill out with a glass of retro cool!

Category: Wine

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A Memorable Beer from Kentucky: Citra Ass Down

Kentucky is not exactly an epicenter of brewing, but it’s making strides. One of the prides of Kentucky is Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse in Louisville, a brewery that has grown quickly into an entity that distributes across the U.S. and into Western Europe and Canada. And after a recent expansion that brought about a $1.7 million production brewhouse, Against the Grain began canning one of its signature beers, a double IPA called Citra Ass Down.

Category: Craft Beer

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Review: Victory Brewing’s WildDevil Beer

When brewers have fun, beer drinkers have fun, too. With craft beer’s ridiculous rise in popularity over the last few years, brewers have been having a lot of fun. While the American IPA is one of the most popular beer styles, with its floral notes and bitter hops, an appreciation for sour beers also has emerged. It’s only natural that the two would meet at some point, and that’s exactly some of the fun mentioned.

Category: Craft Beer

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Review: Tongue Ninja Sour Double IPA

National IPA Day is Aug. 6, and we at Alcohol Professor are celebrating the days leading up to the “holiday” with posts on a few interesting IPAs, some of which may be familiar and some of which may not. Just when you think every weird brewing hybrid must have already been tried, something else comes along. For me, it was in the form of my friend Nick texting me from a road trip to say he had a beer that would “blow [my] mind.”

Category: Craft Beer

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Founder’s Centennial IPA: Balance Makes the Beer

A Founder’s Brewing Company PR rep sent me a couple of cans of the brewery’s well-traveled Centennial IPA in advance of Aug. 6, which is National IPA Day. Hey, I’ll bite—er, drink. I’d had Centennial before, but only a couple of times. And why not start celebrating early? (Heck, I might start celebrating on Aug. 7 for next year.) The cans were wrapped so tightly in plastic sheets that it took me a good five minutes to liberate the two beers I was sent, and of course I then had to cool them. But it was no surprise at all to find that the beer was well worth the effort.

Category: Craft Beer

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When IPA Meets Whiskey

A beer guy's take on Corsair Distillery's hopped whiskeys.
I’m a beer guy through and through, but as a resident of Kentucky I’m sort of beholden to also pay attention to bourbon and whiskey. And so it was that, while in Bowling Green, Ky., recently for an authors’ conference my girlfriend suggested we visit Corsair Distillery.
Hey, I’m always game to take a tour, sip a few whiskey samples and get another stamp in my Kentucky Bourbon Trail passport. But this small-batch distillery, which also has operations in Nashville, Tenn., had a bit of a surprise waiting for me. OK, several surprises, three of them in the form of whiskey distilled with hops.

Category: Craft Beer

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How Two Friends Started Alabama’s Craft Beer Boom

Michael Sellers and Jason Malone, co-founders of Good People Brewing are responsible for kickstarting Alabama’s craft beer boom. The pair are true pioneers in the city of Birmingham, the state of Alabama, and the Gulf Coast region in general. Sellers and Malone, friends from college, then homebrewers, reconnected over beer and realized that Birmingham needed a brewery. And, in 2006, they were crazy and ambitious enough to try to do something about it. Now Good People is Alabama’s oldest and largest brewery.

Category: Craft Beer

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Wine Amongst The Lemons

A visit to the picturesque Castello d’Albola winery in Tuscany.
What could be a more quintessential Mediterranean scene than two small lemon trees, planted in terracotta pots on a stone patio, overlooking vineyards kissed by the golden rays of welcoming sunshine? Add to that a melodic, tranquil chorus of birdsong and the sound of bees buzzing around the colourful flower baskets, encroaching on the peaceful aura of an otherwise noiseless late afternoon. This was the backdrop to my arrival on 5th May at Villa Marangole on the grounds of Casa Vinicola Zonin’s flagship wine estate of Castello d’Albola, located in Radda in Chianti, one of the coolest sub-regions of the Chianti Classico zone.

Category: Wine

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Chile: Wine From A Land Of Change

Chile is a unique country, reflected by its distinctive shape and topography. Very long (almost 2,700 miles) and unusually narrow (only 112 miles wide on average), the country is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the east by the Andes mountain range. At the southern end are the Patagonian glaciers, its northern border contains the world’s driest desert, the Atacama and in the centre lies a diverse landscape including lakes, rivers, forests and volcanoes. Together with the country’s Mediterranean-style climate, all of this creates a hugely varied terroir well-suited to viticulture.

Category: Wine

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Preserving Cherries & Blueberries For Cocktails

One of the best parts about summer is the abundance of fresh, vibrant produce, especially cherries and berries. Might as well make them last by preserving those in booze too! Why should cherries get all the attention? Here are two recipes for preserving sour cherries for cocktails, as well as a bonus recipe for brandied blueberries you can use for cocktail garnishes or however you want to consume boozy fruit (no judgements here, especially if you eat them with ice cream or spread them on toast with some soft cheese).

Category: Cocktails

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Of Life, Liberty, Happiness....and Punch!

There are so many reasons that punches are perfect for summer celebrations. Starting with graduation parties and Memorial Day and ending with those last few days in the pool and the start of the NFL season (yes that happens in summer), large gatherings are just what you do. At the peak of that season is the Fourth of July, one of the biggest celebrations of the summer. The Founding Fathers loved a boozy punch - here are 3 recipes to make in their spirit on July 4th!

Category: Cocktails

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A (Bourbon) Affair to Remember

The motto of Buffalo Trace Distillery is “Honor tradition. Embrace change.” Not only does that sentiment apply to them, it was a theme that seemed to prevail throughout my first trip to Louisville, Kentucky in early June. I was there for the Kentucky Bourbon Affair, a nearly week long “bourbon fantasy camp” organized by the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the Kentucky Distiller’s Association. This is a consumer event that gives real bourbon fans a chance to experience unique elements of their favorite distilleries, and meet the people behind the whiskey, in intimate settings.

Category: Cocktails

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The Chairman, The Poet and the Dancer Part II

In part one of this tale, we’re introduced to Jilly’s Saloon, Frank Sinatra’s favorite bar, and the story of his friendship with owner Jilly Rizzo. Next we learn about the mobster plot to kill regular patron/TV talk show host Johnny Carson, and Jilly’s transition from casual midtown saloon to vodka emporium/Russian restaurant owned by famous exiles.

Category: Biography

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Father’s Day Spirits Shopping Problems Solved

Father’s Day can be a tough one to shop for. Your dad is probably at an age when he already knows what he likes (read: he can be a bit stubborn), and it’s challenging to find a unique gift that will surprise and satisfy him (read: you’ve never once seen him wear that expensive designer shirt you bought him.)
However, if your father likes to relax with a good drink, there are some thoughtful choices out there for most budgets and palates (and it matches with everything!). Presenting, the 2015 Alcohol Professor Father’s Day Spirits Gift Guide! Pick these for your dad, and hopefully he’ll invite you to sip along, now that you’re old enough for more than that little taste of his beer you weren’t supposed to tell Mom about.

Category: Cocktails

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The Chairman, The Poet and the Dancer Part I

Russian Samovar opened in 1986, a partnership between three Russian expatriates: literature professor Roman Kaplan, famed poet Joseph Brodsky, and legendary ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. All three men considered themselves “fundamentally pro-Russian, yet vehemently anti-Soviet Union.” They wanted a place where like-minded artists could gather, talk, listen to music, and eat. The vodkas came in the 1980s but the wooden bar has been there since the 1960s, when the place was called Jilly’s Saloon. Jilly’s was famous for a number of reasons, but two stand out above all others. One, someone decided to murder Johnny Carson there; and two, when Frank Sinatra was in New York, it’s where he would set up court, dining there several nights a week flanked by friends and associates.

Category: Biography

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Get Set for Negroni Week!

Italians are a passionate people. Their passion spreads to all aspects of life, including food and drink. They take meals seriously, with plenty of flavors and textures in the food they consume. Wine is always on the table, along with liquors to help aid in digestion and to open the palate for what is about to be enjoyed. Is it any surprise that in this environment one of the most classic of cocktails, based off Italian aperitifs, was created? One that sits with Martinis, Margaritas, and Old Fashioned as paragons of the bartenders’ menu? From June 1st to the 7th, bars from around the world will be celebrating Negroni Week, dedicated to this uniquely complex and balanced cocktail.

Category: Cocktails

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Rocky: Spirits Made Better with Ice

Spirits on ice! No, it’s not a skating show (although wouldn’t that be a fun Ice Capades alternative geared toward adults?), it’s booze with a cube. Seems obvious, but in a world of complicated cocktails, we sometimes want to keep things simple. And cold. Purists tend to think adding ice somehow offends a well-crafted spirit, diluting its full flavor potential. However, some spirits blossom when ice is added to it, bringing the best flavors once banished to the background right into the fore.

Category: Cocktails

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Session Beers: Drinkable, Flavorful and Less Alcohol

In recent years, the craft beer industry has been booming, and with that comes very flavorful, but very high alcohol by volume (ABV) brews. While most beers range in ABV from 5-7%, there are a number that reach into the teens. These beers may taste great, but have more than one pint at lunch and you are done for the day! However, there’s a trend happening within the industry that aims to change that – session beers.

Category: Craft Beer

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Memorial Day Drinks Our Writers Are Sipping

Memorial Day, the weekend most of us in the U.S. regard as the first official weekend of summer, is here! Last year I wrote about cocktails with a military connection as a way of celebrating this holiday in tribute to our fallen soldiers. This year I’m turning to some of our staff of alcohol professors to share what they’ll be imbibing on the long weekend as the grills fire up while our glasses cool down.

Category: Cocktails

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Chianti Classico & New Top Levels of Italian Wine

In 1716, Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany officially delimited the ‘Chianti’ production zone.
In 1924, winemakers of the original Chianti created a Consortium, symbolised by the military Black Rooster Trademark, to protect the style, quality and name/reputation of their wines. Eight years later, a decree was issued allowing the addition of the suffix ‘Classico’ to distinguish those wines made within the original production zone.

In 2013, a major development was undertaken, with a new top quality level agreed by the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico. Here are the details on the Gran Selezione, Riserva and Annata classifications.

Category: Wine

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Once Forbidden Fruit: Spotlight on Grapefruit

Originally known as “the forbidden fruit”, the grapefruit was not discovered until the late 18th century, did not gain much popularity until the 19th century, and was not a booming success for farmers until the 20th century. Botanists believe that the grapefruit, named for how the fruit clusters on the tree, is a cross breeding of the sweet oranges that grew on Barbados with the pomelo (or Shaddock), a citrus fruit native to Indonesia. The grapefruit was fortunate enough to get the best of both the fruits; it has a tart and sweet flavor, either of which can be enhanced by adding the right compliments to it.

Category: Cocktails

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Night of the Iguana: Tequila Pairing Dinner at Añejo

There is a special bond between people who love and admire agave spirits, perhaps more than any other spirit category. When we gather, there is a feeling of instant warmth and camaraderie, even if we don’t necessarily know one another. Because when the products are made well, when we drink them, there is a connection to the earth, the elements and a respect for the culture that created them. So when the fine folks at Milagro Tequila and Añejo restaurant in New York City announced they were co-hosting a tequila pairing dinner, this could only mean a night of delicious Mexican food, great drinks and many smiles.

Category: Cocktails

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Inside the Wine: Nikki Callaway of Quails’ Gate

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with winemaker Nikki Callaway from Quails’ Gate Winery during a three-day trip up to British Columbia’s wine country in the Okanagan Valley. Quails’ Gate is located in West Kelowna on top of stunning south facing slopes overlooking Lake Okanagan. This harvest marks Callaway’s second with Quails’ Gate after a few years at Mission Hill Winery managing their small lot portfolio. At 32 years of age, Callaway is already well respected within the industry for her excellent wines and dedication to quality.

Category: Wine

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Mad Men and Thirsty Dames

Every time Mad Men comes back on the air, I, like so many fans, look upon that event as an excuse to break out the pencil skirts and stir up some cocktails. However, this time there is even more anticipation than usual because the end is nigh. Sadly, there will be only seven more episodes before Don, Peggy, Joan, Betty, Megan, Roger, Pete et al ride off into a paisley sunset. Here are some fun cocktail recipes to remember the good times with!

Category: Cocktails

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Let's Play Beer!

Beer and baseball just go together. Something about the warm sun and a cold beer is just what a fan needs to stay cool. Every team has its own character, and beers also have their own character, even within styles. Taste a porter, pale ale, or wheat beer from any brewery in the United States, and you will get a different experience depending on your location and the bar you are sitting at. Someone who really loves craft beer and baseball should come up with a fun list of beers to pair with their favorite team. Beers that reflect the character of the team, not just a great beer from every city.

Category: Craft Beer

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Don't Passover The Cocktails!

In modern society, it’s a challenge to find foods that are Kosher for Passover that are filling and pleasurable. It’s even more challenging if you’re thirsty. Even some certifiably kosher spirits aren’t allowed for Passover because of their base makeup. We're here to help!

Category: Cocktails

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Kosher Wines for Passover

Finally, it’s here! The holiest of holidays for wine drinkers is Passover. Why? How many other holidays involve a divine ordinance to drink four (in some cases five) cups of wine at dinner? Sure some holidays suggest it, or even involve so much guilt that you need to put down a bottle of vino, but the Mishnah says that even the poorest man HAS to have wine at a Passover Seder. That’s a blessing. Lest we be judged, let’s dig in.

Category: Wine

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Single in Seattle: A Visit to Westland Whiskey Distillery

I remember a time, not so very long ago, when the announcement of a new American whiskey was cause for celebration, usually in the form of drinking said whiskey. Nowadays though, with so much (not undeserved) to-do about fake distilleries and fake craft and crap craft and whatever else is making us mad, the announcement of a new American whiskey is more likely to spark a determined fact-finding mission with the goal of uncovering if, and if so how much, the whiskey’s marketing is trying to deceive consumers. Which is why my first sip of Westland, a west coast single malt made near Seattle, Washington, was such a delight.

Category: Cocktails

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Classic Cocktails in History: The Sidecar

Cocktails have flowed out of New Orleans like the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Possibly with the same volume. The best-known ones are the Hurricane and the Sazerac. However, there is another icon of the cocktail world that has its roots in New Orleans, mixing a little French Cognac, a little Spanish curaçao, and a little American ingenuity into a single, sugar-rimmed glass.

Category: Cocktails

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New Brew: Sam Adams Rebel Rider Session IPA

Once upon a time, Samuel Adams (aka Boston Beer Company) was the pre-eminent craft beer brand. It made beers no one else was doing at the time and managed to find distribution all over the world. Today, however, the old brands like Sam Adams Boston Lager seem passé to many craft beer enthusiasts. It isn’t that the beer is bad, just that craft beer has gone in a different direction, one that more or less mandates that it be hip, funky or otherwise weird.

Category: Craft Beer

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Cocktail Stories: La Mordida

The bartender’s art of conversation with a difficult customer can be used to entertain a difficult policia preventiva. A couple of summers ago, after a long day of legal documents involving the bringing together of our lives in Baja, my husband Demián and I were headed for a little respite in Todos Santos. All of a sudden, the red and blue flashing lights of you-know-who caught our attention.

Category: Lifestyle

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For Your Consideration: The Martini

One of my favorite traditions of the year is watching the Academy Awards with friends and mixing up cocktails to match themes of the nominated movies. However, this year’s Oscar-watching poses some interesting challenges theme-wise. Apart from the fine wines served in Grand Budapest Hotel or decades-spanning beer brands served in Boyhood, it would be somewhat tasteless to come up with a drink to match the themes of the other movies.

Category: Cocktails

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Warm Flavored Cocktails Served Cold

It’s a common perception that winter cocktails have to be served piping hot. I love a toddy or a Tom and Jerry or Irish Coffee as much as anyone, but once I’ve defrosted, I don’t want my next round to be served in a mug. It’s time for refreshment! People consider summertime to be the best season for seasonal ingredients, but let’s not overlook the bounty winter has to offer. It’s the best time of year for citrus, after all, (especially blood oranges!), as well as apples, pears, pomegranates, pineapples, figs and persimmons.

Category: Cocktails

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Irish Whiskey: The Flavors of the Republic

As we draw closer to the wearing of the green and the drinking of the brown, could there be better time to taste our way through history? We all know that green beer and shots of Irish whiskey are the staple for Saint Patrick’s Day; but why? Why is there an obligation to obliteration?

Category: Cocktails

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Ode To The Blood Orange

Ok, Cupids. We get it, chocolate is to Valentine’s Day as the color green is to St. Patrick’s Day. However, why is it expected that a Valentine’s Day drink has to be chocolatey, thick and sweet? Especially since the hands down sexiest red fruit of the year happens to be at its peak right at the holiday – the blood orange!

Category: Cocktails

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Tasting Whisky in Detroit with Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich recently held a single malt training at the Detroit Historical Museum, a cultural institution that pays tribute to the city’s rich history, from its beginnings as a fur trading post to the race riots to the reviving metropolis it is today. As a novice Scotch whisky drinker who prefers her liquors clear (or red, as in wine), this was the type of “boot camp” to whip my taste buds and Scotch appreciation into shape. The drill sergeant: Glenfiddich brand ambassador David Allardice, a Texan by way of Scotland (imagine that accent!).

Category: Cocktails

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10 Citrus Cocktails to Keep your Life Tangy

Yes, yes, winter is the season of hot chocolate and flips, but it’s also when the citrus fruit harvest is in full swing. Don’t just settle for spiked lemonade. If there was ever a time to demand fresh juice, this is it! Yesterday we posted the history of the Whiskey Sour. Check out these other classic citrus cocktails that will keep you sipping happy all winter.

Category: Cocktails

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A New Classic: Bacardi Legacy Competition

Bacardí Legacy is a global cocktail competition that started in the UK 7 years ago and is arguably one of the industry’s largest competitions. It has grown to expand its reach to over 25 countries with bartenders contending for a chance to win the coveted Legacy cocktail, a trip to the Bacardí’s La Galarza distillery in Mexico, a trip to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and an around the world cocktail voyage. As well as the material prize, the winner sees their cocktail hailed as a new classic; something that will stand the test of time.

Category: Cocktails

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Int'l Women's Day - Let's Drink What We Like!

March is Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day is this Sunday, March 8. This is a day that was first established in 1911 by activist Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany. The idea was to set aside a day in every country that allows women to unite in tabling issues and celebrating women’s achievements.
You would think that by 2015, the need for such a day would be redundant.
However, there are still many places in the world where women are not given equal opportunities as men, and their plight is still being met with ruthless opposition. A need for this day is as vital as it was back then.

Category: Social Awareness

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Pink your Drink!

Last year, Alcohol Professor’s Amanda Schuster wrote a piece on the lovely ladies of the industry at Tales of the Cocktail. It was here Amanda got to meet with Ylva Binder, owner of Rhuby Rhubarb Liqueur to discuss how women are propelling the drinks industry forward. The role of women in the industry and female entrepreneurship is something that Binder and the team at Rhuby/Pink Your Drink foundation actively promote whilst also raising money for charity.

Category: Social Awareness

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Exploring 6 Popular Drinking Myths

Legends, tall tales, good stories, myths…whatever you call them, the drinking world is full of them. Here are a few favorites to debunk.

Category: Cocktails

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The Year of Boozy Books

Considering the subject matter, until recently, most books about the libations of the world have been rather… dry. However, reading about all things bibulous has become a lot more interesting in the past several years, and 2014 has been a banner year among them. Some exceptional releases were published, and it was a pleasure (in more ways than one, more on that later) to read them. Here’s a list of standouts:

Category: Cocktails

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Introducing Amaro Di Angostura

Even the crustiest of dive bars will carry a bottle of Angostura Aromatic Bitters (though in some cases, you might have to ask nicely for them to locate it.) It’s that little bottle with the label that sticks out at the neck, as though it’s playing dressup in oversized clothing. We know that taste so well. When someone says “bitters” it’s the first thing most of us dial up in our mental inventory of sense memory – that spicy, somewhat meaty, oaky, smoky flavor that adds an extra je ne sais pop! to drinks and even food recipes. Other bitters flavors may come and go (and some of them did and came back), but this one will always have universal recognition.

Category: Cocktails

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The Bar That Birthed America

Despite our disastrous flirtation with Prohibition, much of the character of the United States, in the early days of its life as first a colony of Great Britain and later as a newly minted independent nation, was hammered out by men raising tankards of booze in taverns and public houses.
Fraunces Tavern, being one of the most significant, is still standing, a modest yet instantly noticeable tan brick Federal style building surrounded by the towering steel and glass that defines modern lower Manhattan.

Category: History

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Bordeaux Blanc: The Retro Cool Wine!

Every wine lover will be familiar with Bordeaux. This famous dark red wine from the South West of France, produced in an area centered around the Gironde Estuary and rivers Garonne and Dordogne, is at its best capable of highly complex and elegant aromas and flavours befitting the finest of wines.
The renowned sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac also hail from this part of the country, but did you know that about 10% of Bordeaux wine is dry white, of which 50% is sold within France and the rest is exported overseas?

Category: Wine

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The Classic History of the Whiskey Sour

There has been a movement back to the basic blocks when it comes to cocktails. There is a grand pendulum that swings back and forth in trends. In the beginning, everything is simple. There is something special about the simple cocktails. They are enjoyable and well known from a customer standpoint, and easy to assemble from behind the bar. Daiquiris, Margaritas, Old Fashioneds, Gin and Tonics, are all starting to find their way back onto the menus of great cocktail establishments.
Another cocktail that is starting to see the light of day is one that has used the simplest of building material, and enjoyed widespread popularity in the United States even before it was written down – the Whiskey Sour.

Category: Cocktails

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Cocktails: A Love Story

For what it’s worth, I kind of like Valentine’s Day. There’s usually a lot of chocolate on sale, and I can’t argue with that. Plus, it gives me another excuse to drink. If you’re in a relationship (or something like it), buy your sweetheart all the candy (s)he desires. But can we please quit it with the cloying, mouth-coating sugar bomb cocktails? There are plenty of sexy drinks that don’t involve crème de cacao. Here, I’ve listed one for every stage of your relationship. Recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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A Glass Of Aphrodisiac

When my husband and I owned and operated a small, reservation-only bar called Casa Coctel in Mexico, we decided to throw a Valentine’s multi-course dinner featuring aphrodisiacs in food and drink. We quickly learned that about anything and everything has been used as a love potion. It became the joke for the dinner, that if you believe something’ll get you goin’, more than likely it has the power to do just that.
Here are three of our favorite love potions for Valentine’s Day. - Recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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Vintage Books Tell the Story of Champagne Cocktails

References to Champagne drinks abound in old newspapers, novels, and cocktail books. Champagne drinks containing brandy and orange liqueurs in the forms of punches and cups can even be found in old cookbook recipe collections, such as Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management first published in 1861. I’ve seen mentions of Champagne Cocktails in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives as far back as 1869. That same year Mark Twain mentions the drink in Innocents Abroad.

Category: Wine

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Wine, Beer & Spirits From Seattle & Boston Face Off!

Parties and bars are only as good as the atmosphere they provide. Whether you are at the pet friendly Bad Jimmy’s in Seattle or the upscale beer lover’s paradise at The Publick House in Boston, good libations are a must. Fortunately, Seattle and Boston are incredible cities to find delicious suds or spirits.
How can we put those two cities head to head to see which city would take the crown for best city for drinking? In football, teams are usually defined in three different areas: offense, defense, and special teams. We can create three categories for drinking as well: wine, beer, and spirits. How does each city rank in those three categories? Let’s take a look!

Category: Sports

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Meet Me At The Saloon: New York City

Ever get the feeling certain bars don’t really want you to keep coming back? Those hidden signs, those expensive cocktails with too many esoteric ingredients that take a long time to serve, never mind getting past the host who can make acceptance into an ivy league law school sound less exclusionary, and then once inside, the “bar” doesn’t even have stools and you can’t interact with the person making your drinks… enough already! The beloved neighborhood saloon is back! Here are four New York City establishments with their own takes on the casual-bar-with-quality-drink-ingredients concept. Of course a good saloon has to serve a great burger, and they all have their version of that too.

Category: Travel

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Hello Bartenders. It’s me, Vodka.

Dear bartenders,
Hey there! How are things going? It is me, Vodka. I was wondering if you have seen any of the big, flashy advertisements I have been putting out. We have not had a good conversation in a very long time, and I would like to at least maybe try and work things out between us.

Category: Cocktails

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Dispatch from the Beer Blogger’s Conference 2014

The Beer Bloggers Conference, organized and run by Zephyr Adventures, had its fifth conference in San Diego in August. The purpose of the conference is to bring together bloggers from all over the country to celebrate craft beer, particularly in the city the event is held in. Breweries, brewpubs, and distributors sponsor the event, hoping to get the attention of bloggers and writers who will spread the word about their products on blogs, social media and other publications. Other sponsors like CraftBeer.com (the online content arm of the Brewers Association) and the National Beer Wholesalers Association are involved to give bloggers and writers their perspectives, and other sponsors like WordPress, Sucuri website security, and others to show off their tools and toys.

Category: Craft Beer

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Why Beer Glasses Matter

Leading Louisiana brewery Abita Brewing recently paired up with glass manufacturer Spiegelau to demonstrate why the glass used to drink a beer is as important to enjoyment as the beer itself. This demonstration made a believer out of me regarding the proper shape and thinness of glassware. We did side by side comparisons with shaker pints and even tried the same beer in two differently shaped Spiegelau glasses, and the difference was immediately apparent.

Category: Craft Beer

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Drinking and Weight Loss

Losing weight is hard. What’s even harder is losing weight if you enjoy a good drink. Alcohol is the number one source of “empty calories,” that phrase which implies even though it’s not real food, you will gain weight from consuming it. This is especially troublesome for a professional drinker. And when I say “professional,” I don’t mean that I am merely skilled at doing it and do it often, but that I do it for a living.

Category: Health

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Cocktail History: The Bloody Mary

Sunday morning. Your stomach is a little delicate, your head is pounding, and every noise sounds like a thunderclap. You get out of bed, shower, and head out for brunch with friends, rocking the darkest glasses you have. It is not clear when the sun became so bright, but it certainly feels like someone turned up the intensity. Perusing the menu of your chosen brunch spot, you are looking for something that will sit well in your stomach. It all sounds a little dicey, until you get to the cocktail menu and see it: the Bloody Mary. No matter how rough the night was before, a Bloody Mary sounds great the next day. It is a cocktail that has risen from a curiosity in a Paris cocktail bar to a staple of brunch around the world. You would be hard pressed to find this cocktail excluded from any book of classic cocktails. You would also be hard pressed to find any two bartenders that use the same recipe. This is where the Bloody Mary gets interesting.

Category: Cocktails

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Glenfiddich The Original 1963

In 1963 — as today — most scotch drinkers drank blended scotch.
But in 1963, they did it because that was just about the only choice. There was some small-scale bottling of single malt, but it was not a commercial endeavor. By and large, blended scotch was the only game in town.
That is, until a couple guys in “the valley of the deer” decided that single malt shouldn’t just be an ingredient. It should itself be a commercial product — and a premium one at that. The Original is a recreation of that historic single malt released by Glenfiddich’s Sandy Grant Gordon and Charles Grant Gordon in 1963.

Category: Cocktails

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Guide #4: The Land of Misfit Toys

Part of the fun of giving booze as a gift is surprising even the experienced drinker, hitting them with something new, something that surprises them but doesn’t disappoint. So consider mixing it up a bit. If you know a scotch drinker, give them a Cognac or a rum. A bourbon drinker might appreciate a mezcal. Swap gin and vodka.
Or you can give them something really out of left field. The following selections play the game a little differently, or they are often overlooked despite making fantastic gifts. We've got ideas for liqueur, absinthe, amaro and shochu!

Category: Cocktails

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Repeal Day! (80 Years of 'Now What?')

This Thursday marks the 80th anniversary of the end of Prohibition, known as Repeal Day, with the ratification of the 21st Amendment. By the time it was enacted, organized crime was at an all time high and people were spending more on unregulated alcohol than they ever did on legal products, creating a $3 billion illegal industry, not to mention the necessity for alcoholic counseling (Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935.)
What remained of the legal alcohol landscape was only scorched terrain.

Category: Social Awareness

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12 Days of Beer Gifts

I grew up singing with my classmates and family a song about partridges in a pear tree, and a bunch of other weird gifts over a 12-day span leading up to Christmas. In those days, I was perplexed why the song didn’t include things like action figures and video games, while strongly endorsing go-to presents like eight maids a-milking. How much milk does one person need? Here are 12 wet and wonderful beers and beer gift packs that should make that beer lover on your list light up like the proverbial Christmas tree or menorah.

Category: Craft Beer

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Great American Beer Festival Report

This was my second time in Denver for GABF, but the first time I was there as a member of the media. This year there were over 49,000 total attendees of GABF, including people with tickets, media, exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers, and brewers. Tickets for the event, which is four 4-hour sessions spread out over three days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – all session tickets sold separately) sold out in 32 minutes for 2014. For comparison, in 2007, tickets were still available until the week of the event.

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer Wholesalers Conference Report

I’ve long been fascinated by the middle tier of distribution: the laws that surround the post-Prohibition three tier (producer/brewer >distributor >retailer) system of alcohol distribution have been criticized loudly by consumers and behind closed doors by brewers. Some brewers’ business models align better with the three tier system than others. I know a lot of local distributor craft beer sales reps who are passionate about bringing more breweries to the New Orleans market, and are proud to consider themselves an integral part of the region’s craft beer growth over the past few years.

Category: Craft Beer

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Guide #3: Whiskey and Whisky

If I had to gamble, I’d bet on there being more whiskey changing hands this year than any other spirit, perhaps all other spirits combined. It is a vast, evolving, and occasionally overwhelming category that offers a seemingly endless sea of gifting potential. From tiny American craft distillers to long-lived Scottish single malts, there is a whiskey out there for everyone. You just have to find it (which can be a pretty fun search).

Category: Cocktails

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Guide #2: Rum, Cognac, Armagnac, & Calvados

It’s possible that Cognac is the ultimate gift liquor, that perfect blend of high quality and high regard. Both Cognac and Armagnac are types of brandy made in specific regions of France, and, like Champagne, can only be labeled as such if hailing from there.

Their cousin Calvados is a brandy made from apples, sometimes with pears added, rather than grapes.

And while not as established as a gift as Cognac, the amazing depth and complexity of Rum is due for a close examination comparable to what has happened lately with whiskey.

Category: Cocktails

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Guide #1: Gin, Vodka, Tequila & Mezcal

We can, I think, forego the suggestion of a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue, or Hennessy, or Remy. They are fine and welcome gifts, but you don’t need to be told again about them.
There is so much to include, and so little room if you want to actually be a useful guide. So let us reach into our bag and offer up some deep cuts along with some greatest hits. Something that will delight a casual drinker or surprise an old veteran. Something for all drinkers, from the extravagant to the bargain, but always well worth it!

Category: Cocktails

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Sharpham Vineyard: More Than Just Wine!

The beauty of wine is not just in the glass, but also in the land whence it comes. While the increasing reputation of English wine continues to generate interest, UK vineyard tourism, spurred on by this phenomenon, is also on the rise. There is growing demand for home-grown produce and, while the sun-kissed beaches and city highlights of Europe and beyond will always remain attractive holiday destinations, Britain’s ‘staycationers’ who are visiting English vineyards in increasing numbers, are doing their bit to boost the national economy, while enjoying the local food and drink options.

Category: Wine

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Cocktails with Cupcakes

Pulling off a tricky dessert pairing with treats from NYC's Prohibition Bakery!
The Prohibition Bakery was established in 2011, making the world a happier place ever since. In this tiny little stepdown shop, Leslie Feinberg and Brooke Siem serve cheeky little treats in the shape of cupcakes, and unlike their name suggests, fortified with a not so abstemious amount of booze!
Cupcake and Cocktail recipes included!

Category: Food

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Scottish Hospitality: A Travel Story

Oh please, not another review of a dram we’ve all tasted many times before! Good point. I’m going to go about this topic with a whole different approach, so bear with me. This is about a rather unexpected situation, about an open mind and an open heart, and about feeling right at home wherever you might be.

Category: Travel

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Eisbock: A History of the Original 'Ice Beer'

To drink any beer in 2013 is to experience the culmination of hundreds of years of development, experimentation, and even a few happy accidents. For no style is this more true than for the German Eisbock. Once a rare find in the US, the last few years have seen more transatlantic shipping of bottles, and even occasional kegs.
To fully understand and appreciate Granitbock Ice, it is best to understand the style variations used to make it.
With flavors of dark fruit brandy and a well-hidden alcohol content of 11.5%, you might also be surprised to learn that the extra step in the brewing process required to achieve these qualities is the same treatment used to create Bud Ice.

Category: Craft Beer

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Sweet is Cool... Even in England

It doesn’t seem so long ago that many people wouldn’t throw a second glance at a bottle of sweeter wine, associating it with poor quality efforts popular in the 1970s. Mais plus ça change! Sweet wines are making a comeback and it’s younger drinkers who are embracing these more and more. Sweeter Rieslings and low-alcohol fizzy Moscatos are pushing the trend button and dry or even bone dry are no longer ‘de rigueur’.
One style that is becoming much better known among discerning drinkers is ‘Eiswein’ or ‘ice wine’. North Star, produced at Eglantine Vineyard, Nottinghamshire has an illustrious record. Learn why here!

Category: Wine

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Wine in Your Bathtub? No; It's Vinotherapy!

There is more to vinotherapy than just red wine baths. In fact, in the 1990s, a French husband and wife team founded the company, Caudalie Paris, aiming to further research and development of the health benefits of grapes and wine, and to isolate these compounds and patent them into various therapeutic products. According to their website, they now have several patents related to various therapies created from resveratrol, other polyphenols, viniferine, organic grape water, grape seed oil, and vinolevure. So .....does it really work?

Category: Wine

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Bittersweet Cider: Can it Return to America?

Before German immigrants brought their rich brewing culture to American shores in the mid-1800s, another alcoholic drink was the choice of the middle class: hard cider.
But with the rise of beer, hard cider in America slowly but surely disappeared, even though apples continued to be a chief crop here.
And now cider has returned as an alternative drink to beer, favored by those who eschew beer’s bitterness or want to get their buzz on without any gluten involved.
The problem is that most of the new brands are light and sweet. How much of a resemblance do they have to the ciders of old? Probably not much. So what do you look for to find the good stuff?

Category: Craft Beer

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Peat: The Great Smokey Divide

Whisky enthusiasts agree on many things, but they love to argue about peat smoke. Peat is a type of soil consisting of partially decayed vegetable matter, found in wet, boggy areas known as ‘peatlands’ or ‘mires.’
Dried peat has been used as an effective fuel and heat source in place of wood for centuries, particularly in Ireland, Scotland, England and Russia. So just because you might have tried a peated whisky and not fallen madly in love, it’s worth tasting others.

Category: Cocktails

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With the Grain

In the United States, hamstrung by rules about barrels, distillers have started experimenting with the mashbill — substituting new and unique grains like millet or quinoa or oats in place of the traditional quartet of corn, barley, rye, and wheat.
And while it may not be new, its position as a product distillers and blenders are pushing in the market is something that has only recently started to gain traction. Whatever the case, it seems that Scottish whisky made from grains besides malted barley is going to emerge in the US as a player in the coming months and years.

Category: Cocktails

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Cocktail History: American Hotel Bars

Take a leisurely stroll through time and learn about the creative evolution of the American Hotel Bar. From its early representations in the late 18th century, all the way through to the modern day you'll meet the influencers that guided and shaped the cocktail to its current form. Cheers!

Category: Cocktails

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Taste Adventures with Delicate Spirits

Explore the Eaux de Vie and Liqueurs of Distillerie Laurent Cazottes!
I may be incurably afraid of heights and lack the balance for extreme sports, but my taste buds are little daredevils. I get a rush of excitement when I have the opportunity to taste something new and adventurous.

Category: Cocktails

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Exploring the Complexity of Alsatian Wine

Nestled against the German border, Alsace is a French wine region rich in cultural diversity. With over three centuries of identity crisis, it has belonged to both France and Germany over six times in the past 300 years. The German legacy left behind unique features that are specific in France only to Alsace.

Category: Wine

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Masa Shiroki Knows Sake

It is important to Masa Shiroki to make the distinction that Sake is rice wine and not a beer product or by-product, “It all comes down to your choice of words – fermentation instead of brewing. I think the misconception is from when people came to Japan to study the art of Sake making and someone saw the process and associated it with beer but it is not like beer. Sake is wine – it is a rice wine.”

Category: Craft Beer

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Port: A Wine For All Seasons

This past winter, which most people across America thought would never end, brought calls from all corners for Port, Port, and more Port. Many wine lovers believed, and perhaps rightly so, that nothing would thaw and warm them like a steady intake of their favorite fortified wine.

Find out what’s behind that!

Category: Wine

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English Wine: Force for the Future

The English wine industry is going from strength to strength. Regularly winning prestigious international awards, wines from a country previously regarded as unsuitable for grape-growing, are gaining a worldwide reputation for quality. Learn more about this under-discovered wine region!

Category: Wine

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Beer for Whisky Lovers

The joke I always make to people about my drinking preferences is that I am bi-spiritual, meaning, I equally enjoy wine as much as I do spirits and cocktails. However, the category that has mostly eluded me is beer. I like it fine, but I don’t really nerd out on it the same way I would about bourbon or a white Moroccan Faranah or a good Negroni variation. There are occasions nothing else will do in a moment, though, especially on a hot day, or with fragrant, spicy foods like curries.

Category: Craft Beer

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OMG These GMO's

For anyone who works in hospitality or hospitality-related fields, the debate about Genetic Engineering (GE), specifically Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is likely at the center of many a conversation; both with colleagues and customers. The debate is also at the center of many food justice forums, and no matter what side of the debate one’s loyalties rest, one thing is certain: there are extremely intelligent people with solid arguments on both sides.

Category: Science

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It's Negroni Week!

Recently, the Negroni has become so popular (with people of all ages!) that it inspired Imbibe and Campari to launch a worldwide charity event celebrating this beloved cocktail, known as Negroni Week.
Learn some of the new inspirations using this classic!

Category: Cocktails

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Sherry: Versatility and Summer Cocktails

As most of us are already aware, Sherry is a couple of years into experiencing its revival. Cocktail bars across the globe have adapted the Spanish fortified wine onto their lists with great success, mainly because of the range and great versatility that comes with it.
Here you'll discover fabulous new cocktails with this classic!

Category: Wine

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World Cup Sipping: The Wines of Brazil

Chances are that wherever you may be, you’ll be drinking your normal tipple, be it lager, real ale, craft beer, spirits, wine, water, Caipirinha, orange juice, or whatever. However, for those of us not living in South America, Brazilian wine may be a completely novel concept. How many people know that there is such a thing?

Category: Wine

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What the Alcohol Professors are Sipping!

The staff of The Alcohol Professor pick their favorite wine, beer, spirits and cocktails for the holiday! We include some great cocktail recipes to help inspire you!

Category: Cocktails

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A Syrah for Summer

The Languedoc-Roussillon, in the South of France, is the largest vineyard area in the world, comprising over 280,000 hectares. Within this land, Pays d’Oc IGP wines (IGP signifies Protected Geographical Indication), produced in four regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea, offer distinctive tastes of tradition, quality and “terroir” with a modern outlook. Join us for a taste of this fantastic region!

Category: Wine

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Wines to Pair With Spicy Food

Room-temperature red wine with meat and chilled white wine with fish. That’s all there is to food and wine matching, n’est-ce pas? Well, errm, no actually – there’s a little bit more to it, which even includes some science! Learn more and look like a pro!

Category: Wine

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French and Italian Wine Smackdown!

Tiramisu or tarte tatin, Sophia Loren or Gérard Depardieu, Michelangelo or Rodin, Gianni Rivera or Michel Platini, Armani or Dior…? France and Italy are responsible for some of the most iconic names in food, art, sport and fashion. But wait, there’s a clash ahead and the two rivals need a winner! It’s David vs Goliath. So hop on your Vespa, or sidle into your 2CV and join in the contest with no let-up, right up until the post-lunch cappuccino or café au lait!

Category: Wine

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Australian Wine: History and Tasting

Australia has been a major game player within the wine industry for several years now and in 2013 was the fourth largest exporter of wine by volume in the world. Its biggest export markets remain the UK and the US, while interest from Asia is growing. Do the wines swirl counterclockwise? Find out here!

Category: Wine

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Introduction to German Wine

Germany is one of the world’s most northerly wine-producing nations, with a continental climate of warm summers and cold winters. The main grape is Riesling, and Germany is respected for producing some of the finest white wine available anywhere. Moreover, in recent years, red wine production has increased and gained much attention from international buyers, especially wines made from Spätburgunder, aka Pinot Noir.

Category: Wine

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Girls' Pint Out!

I love it when women tell me how happy they are with Girls' Pint Out. Even women who are very comfortable going out and drinking with men or mixed groups are happy about it. For my first event back in December, I was nervous that just a couple of my friends would show up – but we had more than 25 women hanging out, most of whom I’d never met till that night! And now I have some new, kickass, beer drinking girlfriends.

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer and Cider in the Isle of Man

While researching history on the Isle of Man, I took the opportunity to “research” some of the wonderful food and drink available. The Falcon’s Nest Hotel in Port Erin, a village in the south of the island, is a Victorian resort with a beautiful secluded bay and sandy beach offered the perfect backdrop to enjoy some national and local brews. Join me on this refreshing journey!

Category: Craft Beer

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Craft Beer & Baseball

Last year, 15.6 million barrels of craft beer got quaffed, which is 2.3 million more than in 2012. And as of the end of 2013, 2,768 craft breweries – including brewpubs, microbreweries and regional craft breweries – were in business, including 413 new breweries that opened. Of those new craft breweries, there were 65 in California alone.

Category: Craft Beer

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Hopped Up on Whiskey

When the craft distilling boom swept the country a beginning a few years ago, small boutique whiskey makers had to find a way to compete with the established macro-distillers, and unlike the craft brewing trend, they couldn’t position themselves as the better, more carefully made alternative since the big distillers have hundreds of years of experience and heritage and make an exceptionally high number of incredible whiskies. So what did they do?

Category: Cocktails

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Cachaça’s Identity Crisis

Cachaça is the third most consumed distilled spirit in the world, behind vodka and soju. It has struggled for years with its own identity crisis.
“Brazilian rum” is not just any other rum. Grab a glass, and join us as we learn more!

Category: Cocktails

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Cardhu Distillery: Women Behind Whisky

The history of Cardhu is forever entangled with the stories of two of the sharpest, most inventive and strong-willed women in Scotland’s early whisky narrative: Helen and Elizabeth Cumming. The former laid the foundations for success while the latter built on those and took Cardhu to being one of the most important in the region.

Category: Cocktails

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Discovering Aperitifs and Digestifs

“Drink this. It’s distilled artichoke flavored with an old Italian guy punching you in the face with a fistful of pine bark.”
And I think, well, that sounds just fine.However, there comes a time when a man wants to venture forth from what he knows, maybe go backpacking across Europe, or at least tasting through the world of Italian and Alpine liqueurs — aperitifs, digestifs, and amari. Your tour begins here!

Category: Cocktails

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Five Iconic Souvenir Bottles

When you travel abroad, it’s customary to bring back a bottle of booze that is identified with the region you visited. Sometimes just because your friends asked for them, sometimes to serve when you are boring everyone to death/regaling everyone with your stories and endless slideshows of the vacation. But what if you wanted to bring a bottle most of your booze lover friends may not be familiar, something around which a conversation can be created?

Category: Cocktails

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Irish Whiskeys With Character

Face it, St. Patrick’s Day is one of those occasions when most people who are caught up in the fray are going to drink the most ubiquitous and easy to reach booze there is. But what if we want to sip something slightly more festive than your everyday Irish?!

Category: Cocktails

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Prowling Prague for Czech Whisky

When you tell someone in Prague you are on the lookout for Czech whiskey, you get a lot of curious looks. On occasion, someone will tell you where can go for a decent selection of Scotch, but they will insist that Czech whisky does not exist. This is no conspiracy or act of malice. But there is, and while it has a low profile and many bartenders will be self-deprecating if they do have it, don’t let any of that fool you. Czech whisky is real, and it’s worth trying.

Category: Travel

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Absinthe - Why The Mystery?

The actual story of how Absinthe got “re-legalized” in the US is as follows: There were some businessmen that had an interest in importing authentic Absinthe in the US so they could sell it. Okay, there's a bit more to it than just that, and you'll learn the whole story here!

Category: Cocktails

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Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History

Bardstown, Kentucky’s Spalding Hall has been many things since its construction in 1826. Originally St. Joseph College and Seminary, it later became a hospital treating both Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War, an orphanage, and a prep school. It is, however, its current incarnation that most interests me: the home of the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History.

Category: History

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Vinho Verde: Summer Joy!

The weather is getting warmer, t-shirts have been dug out from under the winter layers and the summer will soon be upon us. So it’s time to start thinking about some fresh, light and crisp wines to suit the sunshine mood and what better than Vinho Verde, the iconic wine of Northern Portugal? Now I fully understand that some wine drinkers might be choking on their glass of Château GreatExpectations 2013, while reading this introduction. But don’t turn away....!

Category: Wine

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Pairing Beer and Easter

Easter is a Christian tradition that stands as the culmination of Lent in Catholicism and also marks the rise of Jesus Christ for all manner of Christian religions. It’s also a time when families get together to eat a lot of food.
Along with said food, they usually have a few drinks to help pass the time and get them through the day. So, we figured we’d point out some possible Easter food and beer pairings.

Category: Craft Beer

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World Cup: Quarter Finals Beer

Eight enter, and four advance to the next round. On Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5, the quarter finalists will be battling for soccer supremacy. I’ve done some digging around to find a representative beer for each country!

Category: Craft Beer

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Michel Chapoutier - A Life With Wine

Michel Chapoutier is a bold man who isn’t afraid to speak the truth. In 1990, at the age of 26, he took over the Chapoutier family business, putting the family name firmly on the French wine map. The Chapoutier estate has vineyard holdings in the Rhône Valley, Alsace and Roussillon in France as well as areas in Portugal and Australia – impressive!

Category: Wine

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London Pub Crawl

A friend of mine once told me that everybody has to have their own “Top Five London Pubs” list. He believed that it was a very important document to be shared with friends. So, here is mine to share for your next trip across the pond!

Category: Travel

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Which Famous Fictional Drinker Are You?

Television and cinema have provided us with a dynamic array of iconic lushes. From Martini imbibers in classic films to sitcom beer pong champs, find out whose boozy tendencies are most similar to yours!

Category: Cocktails

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Antwerp: Fashions, Chocolate, Beer!

I’ve visited quite a lot of different cities in my lifetime and also had the privilege to live in a few of the most beautiful ones, but I never had a relationship like the one I have with Antwerp.
It is a historic, picturesque, stylish, artistic and hip city. And needless to say, after so many years, I have a few suggestions you might want to note down for your next visit.

Category: Travel

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Booze for Babes: Smart Woman’s Guide to Drinking

It’s the 21st Century. Sad to think that a book titled Booze for Babes: The Smart Woman’s Guide To Drinking Spirits Right has to exist. But it does.
Why? Well, because… they don’t teach this stuff in school and because author Kayleigh Kulp felt the sting of every bad liquor ad geared towards women which seemed to relegate women’s tastes to the pink and frilly corner.
And its fun.

Category: Cocktails

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Why is the Sommelier Drinking My Wine?

A few years ago Wine Spectator’s James Molesworth asked me what I thought about a survey indicating that over 80% of the respondents did not want a sommelier to taste their wine before it was served. I have served wine in well-respected restaurants that both tasted and didn’t taste the wines. Learn the reasons behind the practice, and you can decide for yourself!

Category: Wine

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Sommelier Stories: The Bordeaux Breakdown

By 2001, wine lovers in New York City spent lavish amounts of money in restaurants like Veritas. Adventurous diners would try wines they had only read about. Those stories were fun to relive and easy to tell. As a sommelier, however, enlightenment came from the more challenging moments...!

Category: Wine

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Rock the Casbah: Let's Drink Moroccan Wine!

Wine production has a rich history in Morocco, where it has been made for 2,500 years, enjoying a wealth of soil diversity and temperate microclimates ideal for growing balanced wine grapes. This was not lost on the French and Spanish colonizers who settled in North Africa in the early 1800s and planted vines with Bordeaux and Spanish grapes.

Category: Wine

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A Toast to International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is not just one of those recent PR-contrived events used to market a product, like National Oreo Day (no offense to Oreos.) This is a real day with purpose and meaning, originally proposed in 1910 by German women’s rights activist Clara Zetkin, who envisioned a set day of the year simultaneously observed around the world to focus on women’s issues and accomplishments. And you'll find recipes for three cocktails to celebrate the day!

Category: Social Awareness

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Wines of Portugal: The Next Big Thing?

The typical American wine lover is driven by the love of discovery and the desire to find unbeatable bargains. In light of these twin motivations, the wines of Portugal just might be the next big thing.
Most consumers, when they think of Portugal, think of red wine. You'll learn about these, and the recent development of white wines as well.

Category: Wine

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The Still on the Hill: Charbay Whiskey in Napa

People go to Napa and Sonoma for wine. So naturally, I went to Napa for whiskey. Up a narrow, winding road to the top of the forest-and-vineyard covered ridge that separates California’s two wine valleys you will find the Charbay Winery & Distillery. Some things are popular for a reason.

Category: Cocktails

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Classy Chardonnay from South of France

The vineyards of the Languedoc-Roussillon, in southern France, benefit from a range of climates and soil types, enjoying mountain, coast and river terrains beneath a mix of hot Mediterranean sunshine and violent winds, rain and thunder from the Cevenol storms. It is this harsh natural environment that shapes winemaking philosophy in the region and which can be exploited successfully by visionary winemakers, like Laurent Delaunay and Nerida Abbott.

Category: Wine

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Gifts for the American Wine Lover

What better way to ring in the season of cheer than with the gift of wine? With a wide variety of styles and price points, you can find something for everyone on your list. So what bottles should you get? Naturally, it depends on who you are buying for, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Category: Wine

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Shouting About English Champagne

I have often encountered people, desperate to hold on to beliefs which go against the grain of all evidence, as if their whole world would collapse around them, if they opened their eyes a little wider. One area which also fits neatly into this opinion-dividing and prejudiced mentality is English wine. However, negative attitudes are gradually being challenged with great success, as English wine continues to gain awards and recognition worldwide.
Give it a go!

Category: Wine

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Amsterdam: Not Just Cigarettes and Red Lights

When people think of Amsterdam certain images pop into their head. There is the famous Red Light District. The 160 man made canals that intersects throughout the city. The coffee shops that sell other things besides coffee. Yet if you know where to look you will find an active community of fellow alcohol connoisseurs. Come along and explore its rich history and find great spots to take a break.

Category: Travel

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Classic Cocktails in History: the Daiquiri

The U.S. landed troops on a beach named Daiquiri, in Santiago, Cuba. Jennings Cox was one of the first on the island once it was safe, and generally credited with creating the original Daiquiri. The story goes that while he was entertaining guests one night, he ran out of the gin everyone was enjoying. Learn about the evolution of the drink he created - and try your hand at some variations - recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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Drinking to Remember

For most of us in ‘merica, summer officially kicks off with Memorial Day weekend. That’s when the barbecue grills get fired up, the first of the season’s over-the-top effects fests open in theaters, and with an extra day off, we look for reasons to day drink, hopefully outside if the weather permits. Learn more about the importance of this day - and try your hand at some classic cocktails to jog your memory... recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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Cocktails: A Love Story

Why a seasoned beer and shots bartender transitioned to working with high end cocktails!
I’ve been a bartender in New York City for ten years. I’ve been a cocktail bartender for the last three years. That means that three years ago I decided to start working harder during each shift, spend more of my free time studying classic cocktails, spirits, wine and beer, as well as memorizing countless recipes. Why would anyone make a career move that costs them money?

Category: Cocktails

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Oven-Braised Figs in Amaro

Gregory Peck helped me realize I’d never really tasted a fresh fig properly. Like most Americans, I pretty much only knew them in Newton form. But after seeing my man Greg in action, I had to give them a try. Fresh Figs. Amaro. I am not one of those people who has a problem admitting when I’m wrong. But oh yes, this time, I was so very, very right.
Recipe included!

Category: Food

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Jerk-Bourbon-Citrus-Collard Green Sandwich

When Jamaican records were exported back to America, their shuffling beat and bass/brass structure struck a chord with Southern audiences, and became a great influence on the developing soul music scene.
With that in mind, I decided to attempt a similar fusion in the kitchen, and see what happened when I gave a slight Southern twist to traditional Jamaican flavors. My goal was simply to take the elements I enjoyed, figure out where and how they could intersect, and make something that was hot, sweet, and funky. Recipe included.

Category: Food

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Making Homemade Cocktail Cherries

Making homemade cocktail cherries is one of the most satisfying and rewarding projects one can accomplish if the time is set aside. The good news is if you can handle it over the next few days, like an Indiana Jones escape, you’re gonna clear that collapsing door with your hat in hand. Or in this case, your delicious, boozy cherries.

Category: Food

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Recreating Classic Recipes...

The pitfalls of revisiting classic recipes in modern times or alternate locales
Times change - and so do tools, measurements and techniques - even ingredients adapt. Come learn about the many changes a "classic" recipe may experience!

Category: Food

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The Jägermeister BBQ Cook-Off

I was in for quite a surprise when I participated as a judge in the Jägermeister Charred BBQ Cook-Off recently. The Cook-Off, which took place in a culinary studio in lower Manhattan, was the culmination of a summer-long Facebook contest where fans submitted their own Jägermeister-infused BBQ dishes in three categories: beef, chicken and pork. Included are the recipes for the winning dishes!

Category: Food

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A Pilgrimage to Dublin

Since I am a journalist I must disclose that I have always been looking for an excuse to visit Dublin. Maybe it is the fantasy I have had for so long that I can walk into a real Irish Pub in Dublin and find a great new buddy to share a few pints with. Let me share my time there, and include a few spots to visit when you go.

Category: Travel

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Indiana: World Class Driving Experience

Everyone once in a while a great opportunity comes my way. In this case it was the opportunity to participate in World Class Driving Experience (WCD) down at West Baden Springs in French Lick Indiana.
So what did I drive that day? From and R8 to the Ferrari 599GTB and many more, take a spin behind the wheel here!

Category: Travel

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Introduction to Greek Wine

The indigenous varieties of Greece have been resurrected and new trends have emerged! We spoke to a few industry insiders to explore these popular, award-winning wines. Greek grapes are old heirlooms, and the land is certainly ancient, but what’s really new is the current generation of winemakers.

Category: Wine

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Drinking Nancy's Wine

Whenever I look back on that day, the word “lucky” is the first one that comes to mind. Not only was I lucky to be there, amid such great company, but also with what I had the opportunity to drink. I’d heard tell of my friend Max’s step-grandmother Nancy’s insane wine stash. Share the celebration with friends, laughter, and great things to drink.

Category: Wine

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Muscadine Wine—A Southern Favorite

The oldest cultivated grapevine in the world is the 400 year old scuppernong called “Mother Vine” growing on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. North Carolina is proud of that history, naming the scuppernong the official state fruit. While wine snobs may scoff at the thought of enjoying a glass of muscadine wine, with such a storied past, the grape is a part of our culture. Learn more, and try your hand at the included recipe!

Category: Wine

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The Evolution of Tequila

As agave advocates and celebrities like George Clooney can attest, it has come a long way from its party animal past as more bars and restaurants celebrate the popularity of fine quality tequilas, more of which are being imported to the US than ever before. People are finally understanding these are elixirs intended to be sipped and savored like a good whiskey, worthy of serious top shelf real estate. They are made with care and respect for the earth and the elements, and steeped in tradition.
Recommendations included.

Category: Cocktails

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What Makes a Spirit Gluten-Free?

Since beginning work with Purity Vodka (2012 NY International Spirits Competition medal winner) as their national brand ambassador in 2010, one of the most commonly asked questions I’m asked is, “Is it gluten-free?” Myths about alcohol are as common and as numerous as the people who drink it, and I for one have often wished that there was a definitive test that could set the record straight. Here you'll learn what you need to know.

Category: Science

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Handmade, Craft & Artisanal: Is it Meaningful?

Trying to make sense of how your bottles are labeled isn't easy. As the “Farm-to-Table” movement gains increased momentum, consumers are finding themselves more educated and selective about the types of food they eat. Customers are quickly venturing into buying speciality craft spirits as well, but unlike food, there is little known about the ingredients and production methods for alcohol - until now.

Category: Cocktails

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Ode to the Traditional Milk Punch

What is a milk punch and why is it so important for the healing of a hangover? Let's say you’ve gone beyond what you would consider to be polite behavior. There is scarcely is a more healing elixir than the refreshing and restorative milk punch.
Yes, recipe included!

Category: Cocktails

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Drink a Seelbach Cocktail on Derby Day!

As a former resident of the Bluegrass State, I am required by law to have a wealth of crazy stories about the Kentucky Derby. My in-state Derby memories come from when I was a kid and my family would, ironically, make the trek away from Louisville to Lexington for the annual party thrown by my parents’ friends, one of whom once got into a fist fight with a bus and came out on top. But that’s another story.
Recipe included!

Category: Cocktails

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Cinco de Mayo: Celebrate History

Please don’t treat Cinco de Mayo like Mexican St. Patrick’s Day.
Sure, it’s a good excuse to celebrate all things Mexican and gorge on its cuisine and drinks, but the true significance is often misunderstood. May the 5th is not Mexican Independence Day as many would believe. The history of this important date rich and colorful. Recipe included!

Category: History

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A Fresh Approach to Garnish

This is the age of thoughtful mixology. Historic recipes, bespoke ingredients and new spirits are all around us, challenging us to revive, invent, discover. We give so much thought to what goes into the glass, yet we frequently overlook one of a drink’s signature elements: the garnish. A garnish is meant to entice the imbiber through every available sensory portal. Come explore with us. Includes tips for you to try!

Category: Cocktails

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What Exactly Is Tennessee Whiskey?

Now as a whiskey educator, the question of what defines the term “Tennessee whiskey” is a sure one in every class. New legislation mirrors the federal definition of bourbon except for the requirement that it must be manufactured in Tennessee and filtered through maple charcoal. But what does that really mean?

Category: Cocktails

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Low Alcohol Cocktails!

The greatest obstacle I face in my line of work is staying sober while doing research. Craft cocktails celebrate the flavor and texture of alcohol and classic cocktails are typically several ounces of spirit, so you can understand the challenge of holding onto clear-headedness. Luckily, bartending is never in stasis and the next wave will soon be upon the nation: cocktails with a lower percentage of alcohol. Recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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Say Olá to Avuá Cachaça!

Outside of its native Brazil, cachaça is one of the most misunderstood of spirits. For years, because it is sugarcane-based, it’s been lumped unceremoniously in the rum category. Some people even refer to it as “that Brazilian rum.” But it’s not a rum, it’s cachaça, which really isn’t like rum at all, but a very distant cousin. Now that cachaça is growing steadily as its own category in the US it’s time we all got to know it better. Recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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Modern Wine Storage Technology

Once upon a time, before you were born, fermented beverage alcohol was discovered. Wine was the first beverage alcohol,and was for a time contained in clay jars and stoppered with clay, cork or leather. Here you'll explore the evolution of wine storage from ancient times to today, as well as why and how storage does matter to the wine.

Category: Wine

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Imperial Stout from Iceland

Ölvisholt Brugghús is surely one of the most beautiful breweries in the world. Located in the south of Iceland in a region lush with agriculture, Ölvisholt Brugghús was originally a small dairy farm before Jon Gunnlaugsson transformed his parents’ property in 2007. Like all of the world’s best beers, the offerings from Ölvisholt evoke the region, the cuisine, and the people who gave them birth. Food pairing recommendations included!

Category: Craft Beer

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Rum—From NYC?

While we’ve been able to legally drink at home again since the 1930s, the majority of spirits in the U.S. have been imported because high start up costs and death-defying licensing gauntlets have scared off most would-be domestic distillers. Owney’s is one of the precious few rums produced entirely from domestic ingredients, and it’s made right in the heart of Bushwick, Brooklyn. I recently visited the distillery and sat down with this audacious impressario, and learned about the history and intricacies of producing home grown rum. Plus just how sticky a situation it can be to make it.

Category: Cocktails

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The Shandy: Any Good Options?

Whenever folks start talking about favorite summer beers, someone inevitably mentions the shandy and causes me to break into hives and get the dry heaves. And yet, the shandy lives on. Could it be that behind those sickly sweet, artificially flavored monstrosities there really was something worth a sip? Perhaps mixing a decent beer with a nice soda would yield something enjoyable? The tasty results of my visit to the lab are here for you to enjoy!

Category: Craft Beer

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Why Supplements and Beer Shouldn't Mix

A long long time ago – in the 90’s(!) – health-enhancing, energy-inducing, nutritional supplements started sneaking their way into everything we ate and drank - but is that really wise? Find out what they've tried in the past - and what to look out for!

Category: Craft Beer

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All About Raki—the Traditional Turkish Spirit

Here we'll explore the production process and share some reflections on the traditional Turkish spirit. Turkish rakı has some distinct characteristics and is also nowadays protected by law to keep its consistency and quality. Find out how it's made, what to pair it with, and why singing is important. Recommendations included.

Category: Cocktails

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Tasting El Dorado (Guyanan Rum)

Friday, August 16th was National Rum Day – For some it was a cheap chance to abuse Daiquiris with low quality spirit, bad mixers and blenders. For others (like myself) it was a chance to get educated about the green sugarcane-based spirit we call rum. I learned the intimate history behind the Demerara rum making and naming process. The single barrel rums are named after the plantation owners or the actual estates.To be clear, the same stills from over 300 years ago (when rum was in its Beta phase) are working to this day in Guyana at the Demerara distillery producing El Dorado rum.

Category: Cocktails

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Tasmanian Whisky: Hellyer's Road

Think of the word whisky and your mind will almost certainly drift towards Scotland or Ireland – those powerhouse nations that have been producing it for much more than a century. But if you look even further afield, you’ll see the category experiencing great expansion to all corners of the globe, places that you may not have considered before. Like Tasmania - join me at Hellyer's Road Distillery.

Category: Cocktails

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Japanese Whisky Pioneer: Nikka

Irish whiskey. Scotch. Bourbon. These spirits are well known around the world. But what about Japanese whisky? Japanese whisky, while not around as long as sake, still has a rich history in the Japanese spirits industry. That history begins with one man, Masataka Taketsuru. Find out more about this award winning whisky!

Category: Cocktails

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A Primer on Cognac

Cognac may be quintessentially French, but it is inexorably linked to UK, Irish and Dutch traders, particularly during the 18th century. Many of its famous names can trace their roots to the British Isles – Richard Hennessy from Ireland, Thomas Hine from Dorset, Jean Martell from Jersey, to name just three. Find out that Cognac label tells you, and also some of the changes in the Cognac industry in the last 30 years. Tasting and pairing recommendations included!

Category: Cocktails

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A Whiskey-Giver's Cheatsheet

One of the wonderful things about whiskey is there is one for every occasion and personality. We live in a glorious age when there are choices that fit every situation. However, for some, that means shopping for them can be a dizzying prospect. How do you match a person with their whiskey? Here you can learn how to select the right whiskey, for the right person!

Category: Cocktails

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The Scoop on Sweet Wines

If your sweet tooth is crying out for a sip of something sugary, dessert wine offers the slightly classier, more adult sugar fix than popping open a can of soda. There are many different styles of dessert wines, none of which have supplemental sugar and all of which have a very interesting story behind how they came to be.

Category: Wine

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Italian Futurism: Art + Drink

When I first heard about a bartender at an art museum who was himself an exhibit, someone who crafted molecular cocktails in which the drinker’s psychological mood was a key ingredient, I admit I sort of rolled my eyes at just how out of control and comical these complicated, novel variations on mixing a drink had become. Little did I know that there was already a substantial foundation for such mixological tomfoolery, reaching as far back as the early 20th century.

Category: Arts

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Sagrantino: An Italian Staycation Red

I don’t know about you, but come August, I need a change of scene, and so does my palate. I get pretty tired of drinking rosé and white wines. I’m craving something deeper and richer, even if the hot weather still demands refreshment. Enter Sagrantino - what was once a tannic, rather austere wine is now produced as an elegant, velvety and full bodied red.

Category: Wine

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September is Bourbon Heritage Month!

A report on the state of bourbon in 2014 - it's Bourbon Heritage Month! Let's start by discussing a bit about the state of bourbon in America now, and how brands, marketers and consumers are approaching this category. Oh - and we've got recommendations for you too!

Category: Cocktails

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Blind Truth About Whisky Aging

Blind tasting whiskies - with and without age statements - at a Tales of the Cocktails Seminar
Spend any time in the whisky world, and you achieve certain signs of being a properly matured whisky aficionado. Among these is the understanding that neither price point nor age statement guarantee quality. During Diageo’s “The Blind Truth About Whisky Aging” panel at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, the question of age versus maturity was put to the (blind taste) test.
It is exactly the sort of thing I wanted from a Tales seminar. Engaging speakers, a lot of history, and a lively topic with a lot of grist for the discussion mill — oh, and some really great whisky. It’s a complicated topic and a debate that will be going on for some times, but to me it’s a debate that should be waged in good spirits, and preferably while accompanied by good spirits. Cheers

Category: Cocktails

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Bourbon's Bones: Louisville's Bourbon History

Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail is a carefully cultivated and well worthwhile trip through the rolling green distilling landscape of the state’s bourbon industry. Even industrial behemoths likeJim Beam and Wild Turkey seem picturesque amid the lush hills outside of Bardstown or overlooking a bridge spanning the gulf of the Kentucky River. Conspicuous by its absence, however, is the state’s largest city, the one-time bourbon making epicenter of America, home still to two of the biggest producers of bourbon in the world: Louisville, the city in which I grew up (or the closest city you can get to from Centerfield, Kentucky).
It is only recently that the mighty city on the banks of the Ohio has started to reclaim its spot in bourbon history.
Our own, unofficial, unmapped bourbon trail.

Category: Cocktails

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Bourbon Memories: Istanbul to New York

Growing up in Istanbul, Turkey in early 80s, I witnessed a lot of changes in the country. We were blending into the capitalist world and for the first time in my life I was witnessing imported goods hitting the shop windows, taking over slowly but surely.
In 2003 I moved to New York as a burgeoning whiskey enthusiast and was hungry to learn and to taste as much as I could. After years of tasting whiskey I started to grow a different kind of appreciation for good cheap whiskeys. - and I've got a couple to recommend you try!

Category: Cocktails

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Oktoberfest: a Tradition Worth Seeking Out

As October winds down and before the holiday beers come into the market, it’s time to take a moment to reflect upon the annual Oktoberfest beer season.
The Oktoberfest tradition originated in the Bavarian city of Munich in 1810 to celebrate the wedding engagement of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, and came to the United States over the following 150 years wherever German immigrants settled. In New Orleans, for example, the German population influx was one of the factors that led to the city’s reputation as the brewing capital of the South before Prohibition, leading to extensive Oktoberfest celebrations in the area that remain active to this day. Oktoberfest is about more than just the beer style. It’s a tradition started more than 200 years ago that is still close to many communities in the United States.
Tasting recommendations included!

Category: Craft Beer

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A Primer on Champagne

Champagne is classified as a wine, in the sparkling category. There are four methods used to make sparkling wine but only one region on the planet can claim their sparkling wine as Champagne. It is the one region of the world that focuses solely on sparkling wine and has made famous a style that highlights their cool continental climate for growing grapes.
Learn about the grape varieties allowed, as well as how this bubbly beverage is born. Cheers!

Category: Wine

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How Much Oak is OK?

There has been a big push in recent years to reduce the use of oak in wines. Consumers apparently have had enough of the big oak butter balls, particularly when it comes to California Chardonnays, and it seems as though winemakers are listening.
In This NoteStream, we'll explore the historical significance of oak, why it is used, as well as modern day alternatives to the traditional barrel.

Category: Wine

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Cork Talk: How Best to Seal Wine

If you’ve ever opened a bottle of wine a noticed it smells a lot like a damp newspaper or a wet dog, you’ve experienced one of biggest, most disappointing problems facing wine closures today, and that is what’s referred to as “cork taint,” i.e. “corked” wine. Here we examine issues such as cork taint, as well as some other common problems associated with various closures, and how the closure industry is evolving to address these issues.

Category: Wine

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Calvados 101

Normandy, France is well known across the Atlantic for its World War II history with the US storming of the beach on D-Day, its memorial at the American cemetery of Omaha Beach and the grace of the nearby historic Bayeux Cathedral. But it’s also a French region rich in local products – the Tripe of Caen, Camembert, inarguably the freshest butter and cream in France, and especially Calvados.
It is here that apples are fermented to make cider and its famous apple brandy, which it has been doing for five centuries. Learn about how Calvados is made, the aging process, and what to look for when you try it!

Category: Cocktails

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Guide to the Beers of Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest is upon us: lederhosen, bratwurst, schnitzel and beer. Lots of delicious, German beer.
I often find that there isn’t a lot of understanding about the difference between German-style beers and others. At the end of the day, it’s all about malts, hops and yeast for any beer, but the beer heritage in Germany is deep and unique.
So, for anyone out there who is about to crash an Oktoberfest celebration – and there will be a lot of you – here’s a brief guide to some of the more recognizable beer styles and what to expect from them (with a little help from the very complete list at GermanBeerInstitute.com).
Recommendations for your to try included!
Originally posted to The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Boozing in Belize

You won’t typically hear the words “Belize” and “fine wine” in the same sentence together, however, the small Central American country has plenty of other delicious libations to offer the weary traveler. From locally brewed beers and fruit wines, to a perennial Caribbean favorite – rum- there’s no shortage of options for even the most discerning imbiber.
I recently spent my honeymoon in Belize and was very excited to try the local food and especially the local drinks. Being so close to the equator, the climate is not conducive to growing Vitis vinifera grapes (think: Merlot, Chardonnay, etc etc). However, the Belizeans won’t let that stop them from making wines from nearly everything but grapes!

Category: Travel

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Pairing Bourbon and Cheese

Pairing wine with cheese (and everything else under the sun) is a pastime that seems as old as the wine industry itself. While doing the same with bourbon isn’t entirely uncommon, it’s certainly substantially less common than with wine. Max McCalman, author of Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager, picking on behalf of the French Cheese Board — a new cheese-centric event space (!) and pop-up market dedicated to promoting European cheese — sat down with Stephen Schuler of Proof Positive Beverages, a New York based marketer for Four Roses, to match the distillery’s three expressions of bourbon with three cheeses.
For McCalman, bourbon and cheese make excellent partners. “It is very common to pair cheese with Cognac,” McCalman explained, “and Cognac and bourbon are very closely related.” Bourbon, then, makes an equally natural partner for cheese — especially when one takes into account just how many different flavors there are in the cheese world.
Includes pairing recommendations to try for yourself!

Category: Cocktails

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