Profile: Amanda Schuster

The Alcohol Professor

Amanda is the Senior Editor in Chief of Alcohol Professor. One of her closest friends once said she has failed at more things than most people have tried. But that’s just what she finds most interesting about life! Amanda earned her certification from the American Sommelier Association in 2006, & has since worked as a consultant, retail buyer, writer & promoter. 2011 she went back to school once again to pursue a graduate marketing certification with a specialty in e-commerce and social media.

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 Amanda Schuster

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

Something Completely Bitter

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

Category: Cocktails

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

Sip In Heavenly Peace

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

Category: Wine

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App

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

View NoteStreamSave to App