Hair of the Dog, December 1st 2010

Who drinks Port anymore? Eric Asimov wistfully recounts his experiences with the fortified wine in this excellent article. He discusses pairings with food, different types of Port and occasions for drinking them, and use in mixology(largely as a vermouth substitute).

What is Brandy? Jason Wilson gives you a good primer on the subject, while also discussing two trends he thinks will push the popularity of the spirit going forward: better, unaged brandies(Piscos are certainly improving with Encanto de Campo, and Remy Martin is releasing an unaged Ugni Blanc brandy) and Courvoisier experimenting with releasing age statements more akin to single malts than the traditional abbreviations of quality.

Maybe it’s not just what’s in the wine! An interesting discussion on how the idea of drinking way might just make people healthier, more or less as a homeopathic placebo effect. The ultimate suggestion being that engaging in the company of friends in jovial spirits may be as much to cause for the studied health benefits as anything else.

The Great Wine Divide. Big versus balanced. Is higher alcohol akin to the higher fat saturating the palate for the increased perception of flavors?(ok, the article dismisses the idea entirely, although I think fat is a flavor amplifier) Jordan Mackay makes the point that a lot of growers are moving away from a dominating trend created by Robert Parker: bigger, fruit bombs are better. I’ve recently been reading Hugh Johnson’s A Life Uncorked, and he even says that Parker’s 100 point system has fundamentally changed how many winemakers made their wines so that these wines would perform better in tastings. There’s an increasing resistance to this movement, and the divide is growing.

$3.5 million bottle of tequila. That’s what happens when you encrust the bottle in all sorts of jewels. My question is if the tequila is any good?

Book signing for the new release “History of Pisco in San Francisco” by Guillermo Toro-Lira at Pisco Lounge in San Francisco. December 13th 6-9pm.

Will commercial alcoholic whipped cream get the boot? Kind of silly, but I’ve seen really well down house-made whip creams at a few bars. I doubt those are in any danger of going wayside.

Red bees!!! These bees have been slurping up some Maraschino cherry juice and changing colors. The bees preferred the sweetness of the juice to the nectar of flowers(or perhaps the abundance of supply made the ease of their work that much easier). Beekeepers are concerned, but some locals find the red bees to be beautiful.

David Driscoll checks in with Craft Distillers(Best known for Germain-Robin brandy) and tries their new Mezcalero and Low Gap unaged whiskey. I’ve tried and enjoyed both recently. He’s also got a developing taste for rare, expensive Scotches. That Port Ellen is quite delicious.

Sean Kenyon, Denver bar manager, discusses smashes! He offers a good interview discussing methods and offers 3 interesting recipes.

Sidecars, Sidecars, Sidecars! The history of this drink isn’t exactly clear(hardly unique), but the historical variations are fun to examine. Science of Drink does a good job offering up a nice range on the drink.

Imbibe Magazine discusses best winter beers; and, although the list is alphabetical, Anchor Christmas beer is atop the list. This beer is phenomenal year after year, and the tree is different every year as well.

Regent’s Punch Recipe from the Pegu Blog. This is a recipe dating back to 1913.

Cocktail Chronicles tackles 4 drinks made with Chartreuse and Chocolate. Definitely some you’d want to try at the bar, and these drinks offer plenty of opportunities to play on the basic Creme De Cacao and Chartreuse synergy.

John Hansell previews the top 10 whiskies in the winter issue of Malt Advocate.

Underhill Lounge discusses the Waldorf cocktail from the Savoy Cocktail book.

Camper English on his top 5 tequila misconceptions

Captain Morgan is now officialy being distilled in the U.S Virgin Islands


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