European Booze Makers

By , June 20, 2007 in Vodka, whisky

As the EU continues to unite Europe, makers of our favorite liquids are trying to make sure that their places in the market are secure. In recent ruling by the European Parliament, Scottish whisky makers were gratified to see restrictions placed on products labeled whisky.  In response to a sweetened French spirit labeled “whisky,” Scottish distillers sought and won restrictions barring any sweetened or flavored products to carry that word.  Polish and Scandinavian vodka makers were less pleased with the ruling on vodka labeling.  They have maintained that vodka can only be made from potatoes or grains but other distillers have been labeling booze made from sugar beets and molasses “vodka” and the European Parliament protected their right to do so, provided that they also clearly state on the label the source product.  Hmmm, sugar beet martini, anyone? I suppose rules need to be set but this rush to so… Read More »

Another Bourbon Trail Convert

By , June 15, 2007 in Bourbon, whiskey

A friend and I are planning to spend a few days on the bourbon trail in Kentucky sometime soon. But we’re having trouble getting our schedules to mesh. From my wife’s perspective this is all a bunch of silliness but then she doesn’t like distilled spirits and she married me so already I know that her judgment is questionable at best. “Why does he keep trying to get you to go to Kentucky to drink booze?” she asked me the other day after another planned trip fell through. “Well, I want to go, too.” “I don’t know how you drink that stuff.” “The Kentucky bourbon trail is the closest thing of that sort to where we live. It’s world class. It’s what Napa valley or Tuscany is for wine drinkers or Belgium is for beer drinkers.” “Yeah, but it tastes nasty.” So, the bourbon trail will probably never win her… Read More »

Welcoming Patrón

By , June 7, 2007 in Cocktails, Tequila

Boozin’ Gear is always looking for more branded clothes for you to add to your collection. Recently Patrón Tequila gear joined the list of brands available. As welcome to the new addition I offer the following tequila drink recipes – all perfect for these hot summer days. First, naturally, is the margarita: You’ll need: Tequila Triple sec Sour or Margarita mix Ice cubes Lemon and/or lime Salt To make it you’ll need to: Pour 1 ½ oz tequila, ½ oz triple sec, 3 oz of the mix into a shaker with a cup of ice cubes. Reserve a wedge of the citrus for garnish and squeeze the rest into the shaker. Shake well. Salt the rim of your margarita glass, pour in the margarita and ice, garnish and serve. For a frozen margarita assemble the same ingredients in a blender and blend. Some variations on the traditional margarita include frozen… Read More »

Bleak Future?

By , May 31, 2007 in Beer, Tequila

Something needs to be done. There’s a real problem looming on the horizon and I’m not sure that we have done enough to properly prepare ourselves for it. Al Gore and environmental activists have finally, after years of persistence, convinced the world that global climate change is an issue that must be dealt with. As a result more hybrid cars are being sold than ever before, alternative energy sources like wind and solar are gaining more and more prominence. And alternative fuel sources to oil are being produced in greater quantities than ever before. That’s what’s causing the problem. Corn is a popular choice as a bio-fuel alternative to oil. But there are only so many farmers in the world and they haven’t been sitting idle all of these years just waiting for a bio-fuel revolution. They’ve been growing other crops but with demand for corn rising and driving up… Read More »

Look Who’s Distilling Now

By , May 28, 2007 in Beer, Bourbon, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Vodka, whiskey

Taking the idea of extreme beer to the logical next step some craft brewers here in the US are trying their hands at distilling.  Even though alcohol and tax laws seem to have been written, at least in part, to make brewing and distilling mutually exclusive endevours, these brewers are willing to wade through the paperwork to see if they can make booze as well they can brew beer. You might think that I’m refering to Sam Adams’s Utopia but this brew remains all beer, that is to say, no distilling is used to bring it to the astronomical ABV of 25.6%.   Typically, the yeast that creates acohol dies off somewhere between 14 and 18% roughly.  It was only through the most careful monitoring of fermentation, use of a very high gravity (meaning, lots of sugar for the yeast to feast upon), and two proprietary yeast strains that the brewers… Read More »

Sammy Sells Cabo Wabo

By , May 16, 2007 in Tequila

And I didn’t even know it was on the market! It seems that Skyy Spirits has bought a controlling share of Sammy Haggar’s iconic top-shelf tequila brand. Sammy kept twenty percent for himself and hopes that this deal will help improve distribution of Cabo so more people can have “a shot at the best tequila on the planet.” It doesn’t look like the Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas is affected by the deal. Love it or hate it, it’s impossible to ignore the impact that Cabo Wabo has had on the tequila market. Haggar managed to make being snooty about tequila cool. Personally, I’ve never tried Cabo. I’m a big fan of 100% agave tequila and can’t say for sure why I’ve never picked up a bottle. The wildly mixed reviews are probably a result of it being Haggar’s tequila. Haggar fans and inexperienced drinkers who might never… Read More »

What’s In a Name: Whisky or Whiskey

This is the first in what will be an occasional series of posts that will explore the often confusing words that booze makers use on their labels. This entry explores the difference between whisky and whiskey especially with regard to Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey.

The Enduring Mystique of Tequila

By , May 7, 2007 in Tequila

Have you ever noticed that the fickle designation of “hip” never seems to slip from tequila? In the world of booze different types of alcohol rise and fall on the cool-o-meter. Gin, once the hippest drink around, is now as stodgy as shuffle-board. It is so out of fashioned that when martinis enjoyed a revival a few years ago it was only if they were made with vodka instead of gin. And the same cyclical truth applies the currently chicer-than-thou vodka as well as cognac, scotch, bourbon, etc. But tequila remains perpetually cool. Why is that? Well it’s hard to say. It could be the ritual of salt, shot, lime – three simple steps that are easy to remember no matter how many times you repeat them. But tequila may have finally met its match. It’s becoming ultra chic, something that it’s never really been before. There’s always been cheap… Read More »

Vodka and What?!?

By , May 6, 2007 in Beer, Cocktails, Vodka

I was searching for booze news over at Google and I came across this tantilyzing headline: Kosher conference decides fate of shrimp, vodka.  Who knew that vodka isn’t kosher? But that that’s not necessarily the problem here.  A rabbi spoke at the conference and uncovered his recent findings that certain alcohol manufactures are using horse milk.  Now I’d have to go along with him on this one, kosher or not it just seems wrong. Of course cows milk shows up fairly regularly in cocktails and every so often a beer appears on the scene that’s made from milk such as Japan’s Bilk. But horse milk? How do you even… no I don’t want to think about it! Turns out, though, that horse milk and alcohol not really that unusual, at least not in Mongolia. A booze is made there from fermented horse’s milk. It’s called airag and has been described… Read More »

Coors Light Unveils 2007 Innovations that Deliver Refreshment as Cold as the Rockies

By , April 28, 2007 in Beer

Below is a press release from our friends at Coors.  If Coors is your favorite beer then there are some cold times ahead for you.  They’ve developed a tap that’s so cold that ice actually condensces around it!  And the new Thermochromatic bottles actually change color when the beer is cold enough to drink.  In short, Coors is doing everything that that can to make sure that you never drink a warm beer again.  It’s going to be a chilly summer. GOLDEN, Colo., April 11, 2007– As temperatures rise and summer approaches, Coors Brewing Company is announcing its latest product innovations designed to meet adult consumers’ desire for cold, refreshing beer. Super Cold Draft and the Cold Activated Bottle are just two in a long line of Coors Light product innovations, and are designed to deliver Coors Light in the coldest, most refreshing way across a variety of beer drinking occasions…. Read More »