spirits (21)

Thursday, May 10, 2018 / Manhattan

13th Annual Taste of Hope is the American Cancer Society’s signature culinary, wine, and spirits event, featuring some of New York’s most popular restaurants and beverage vendors. Guests enjoy a walk-around tasting where they can sample signature dishes, premier wines, and spirits. Now in its 13th year, the event has raised over $1.8 Million to support the American Cancer Society’s mission and goal of eliminating cancer as a major health problem.

Sarabeth Levine

Read more…

cognaccenter-1024x768.jpg?width=534
It says something that an entire region is named after France's signature liquor. Only three hours away from Paris by train, the village of Cognac, world famous for its namesake eau-de-vie (water of life) is also the birthplace of King François I, narrow winding streets, the towers of St Jacques' gate, and many large 18th-century houses made of stone typically coated with "black velvet" or torula compniacensis, a microscopic fungus that also graces the walls of the region's cognac cellars.


cognacvillage-768x1024.jpg?width=350

Hist

Read more…

iStock_000010738692XSmall.jpg?width=292As I travel around the Caribbean (and to some extent this is true in Latin America, too), I find nearly every island has some kind of homegrown hooch (often rum-based) that purports to be “medicinal” (and sometimes certainly tastes the part), often  including revitalizing, curative, and even aphrodisiac qualities. And if you visit the Dominican Republic, you may well come across the Dominican variation on this type of esteemed elixir.

The name mamajuana (Spanish for “Mama Jane”) is thought to der

Read more…

Spirits of St. Augustine, Florida

9008997073?profile=original


St. Augustine is a very old city - so old, in fact that it is celebrating its 450th year in existence.  Because of its age and rich history, people often come here looking for spirits, like the one at The St. Francis Inn, the oldest continuously operating inn in North America.

9008997278?profile=original


The Inn, owned by Joe and Margaret Finnegan, is purported to have its own real ghost. Lily, a slave girl that had an illicit affair with a military man and committed suicide when found out.  Lily’s room is on the third floo

Read more…

Shoreham, Vermont's WhistlePig Whiskey Baron

RajBhatka.jpg?width=384Rye whiskey, an American original, came to life out of necessity during the American Revolution when rum supplies dried up. Scottish and Irish settlers in western Pennsylvania and Maryland came to the rescue using their longstanding expertise in distilling rye grain while a post-presidential George Washington popularized the endeavor distilling rye at Mount Vernon.

Today's American rye whiskey must by law be distilled from at least 51 percent rye grain. Other grains like barley and corn are oft

Read more…

9008731888?profile=originalPreparing the first chapter of our new e-book, Golden State Eating, we did much first hand research. It's a tough job...I know...hitting bars from Sacramento to San Diego, searching for the perfect margarita, but someone's got to do it.

Along the way, we've had some pretty unspectacular versions. I swear, the one we had at a nationally famous rib joint had to have been poured from a bottle of pre-made Jose Cuervo Margarita bought at the local supermarket. Another one, a high-end restaurant overlo

Read more…

 

13thcolony-300x224.jpg?width=300

Up until recently, when folks mentioned liquor from the Southern U.S., whiskey and moonshine immediately sprang to mind. Popularized through aggressive marketing and folklore, images of whiskies like ‘Ole Grand Dad and Jack Daniels are etched into a cultural milieu that also plays up images of pickup truck driving backwoods individualists. But of course reality is just a bit more complex and liquor production in what is commonly referred to as “the South”, an area roughly defined by the Mason D

Read more…

Rhum, the Spirit of Guadeloupe

Somewhere in the Caribbean, between Puerto Rico and St Lucia, is the archipelago of Guadeloupe (pronounce gwa-de-loop). The French West Indies or French Caribbean are currently two territories (St Barthelemy and St Martin) and two overseas states -“départements” in French- (Guadeloupe and Martinique). The French West Indies have always looked towards the old continent rather towards their Caribbean neighbors. Flying from the USA, a long journey and a couple of connected flights will bring you to

Read more…
Last weekend, we found a unique something to celebrate my wife’s birthday - a tasting of the opening of the first aged dark rum barrel at Desert Diamond Distillery, a little run factory off of Route 66 near Kingman.
Of course, this was not an ordinary stand around the counter tasting, but an event catered in by a local Italian chef and limited seating - very limited! So if you think this is for you, wait until next year when they have another set of pristine, aged barrels. The drink, aged in fo
Read more…

          The inaugural meeting of the Occasional Sprit Council (OSC) took place on March 31st at the strikingly beautiful art-filled home of Todd and Susan Montgomery.  It was the perfect setting to launch the council.  Linda Kissam, writer, wine publicist, and Vice President of The International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association, devised the council based on her Occasional Wine Council (OWC).  Like OWC, participants were to bring a dish that they had prepared to pair with their assigned

Read more…

clearwaterbeachuncorked2.jpg?width=507Florida means different things to different people. Popular characteristics include Disney, sunshine, gators, the Everglades, and miles of wide open beaches. And then there's Florida's Gulf coast, endless stretches of powder white sand that were remarkably resilient to the ravages of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill several years ago. Right in the middle is Clearwater Beach studded with a wide variety of beachfront lodgings ranging from mom & pop motels to grand hotels. The Hyatt Regency Clearwa

Read more…

Cretans Greet Fall with Tsikoudia Festival

Last weekend the final two races of the Cretan Union Cup Regatta took place off Agios Nikolaos – the first event of this kind celebrating 100 years of Crete Island union with mainland Greece and to honor the Cretan culture.

Cretans have a lot history and modern-day culture to be proud of and, once again, they’ve proven the Minoan’s spirit is still alive on the Island. As November and fall come to Crete, these Islanders prepare for autumn activities: grape gathering, wine and tsikoudia making, amo

Read more…

Top 5 Local Tipples to Taste Around the World

In nearly every corner of the world, you can find a local, traditional beverage that’s worth to taste. In many of those destinations you could easily arrange an organized beverage trail, but very often it’s best to simply head to the nearest pub and enjoy a drink with the locals – a perfect chance to get a bot of taste of the culture! Here are 5 must-try beverages to get you started.

1. Guinness, Ireland

Guinness.jpg

The first pint of dark-bodied stout with roasted barley and caramel flavour, comes from the br

Read more…

A Hint of Wales: Brecon Beacons Park

POSITIVELY WELSH

It’s misty and rainy as I write this but last year was very dry so I’m thankful for the rain. Rainy days and Mondays don’t always get me down – generally they just put me in mind of other times, other places I’ve been in this kind of weather. I often joke - when it rains for days on end - that I should move to Seattle. The weather may be soggy there too but at least the view is better.
Clouds touching the ground
It was a wet, rainy August day as I drove through the Brecon Beacons i
Read more…

campari-300x300.jpg?width=300Every bottle of wine or liquor I can think of has a label. Many times the label simply indicates the contents with a brief description of origin and flavor. But sometimes, labels go beyond the basic requirements with a higher purpose. Campari and Fonseca Bin 27 Port are two brands with labels promoting indigenous art.

Campari


Campari's art label is very fiery...vibrant! And this most accurately portrays what's inside the bottle. This spirit can be sipped straight, but when mixed in classic cockta

Read more…

A Whisky Night to Savor

On a recent Thursday night in the enticing Hillcrest area of San Diego, Planet Rooth Design Haus brought together the seemingly unlikely but totally pleasing combination of high-end whiskeys, gourmet appetizers, and beautiful artisan furniture.  A group of about 40 gathered to partake of it all and we had a unique and completely enthralling evening. 

9008708697?profile=original

If there was a highlight in an evening of highlights, it was the setting in Planet Rooth’s intimate studio and gallery, the artistic enterprise crea

Read more…


Growing up and living in the cultural mecca of  San Francisco, and having a wife who makes palatable, refined wine as a hobby. I'm drawn to the travel destination that also produce a delectable spirit.

In early November I embarked on the one hour Easy Jet flight from London Gatwick to Edinburgh to make my first visit to Scotland, and finally live the dream of my first sojourn to the Whiskey Trail, and taste the amber "nectar of the gods," in its native land, the destination that had eluded me in

Read more…

 

solmar-pool-beach-cabos-300x225.jpg?width=300

It's no wonder that Los Cabos, located at the tip of 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula, was selected as the host city for this year's G20 Summit scheduled for June 18 – 19. Los Cabos has long been a favored destination for those seeking once-in-a-lifetime vacation experiences where rugged desert meets pristine white sand beaches framed by the iconic El Arco de Cabo San Lucas. What really sealed the deal for locating this event here was the region's solid infrastructure and impeccable safety record

Read more…

A Visit to Tequila's Mexico Hometown

9296540263?profile=original
by Diana Rowe


Tequila — the liquor, not the town — continues to grow more and more popular beyond Mexico, even as along the way it's also pick up a bit of a bad rap (as in, margaritas and shooters, a cheap and surefire way to get — how can I put this — majorly wasted).

And yet…ever more folks are coming to appreciate the spirit’s finer points — there are reposados the equal of any single malt or Cognac, and a lore nearly as varied and distinguished as either. It was this pedigree — plus a ta

Read more…

Mamajuana: A Boozy Dominican Tradition

Even a short visit to the Dominican Republic like I had last week to Punta Cana’s Bavaro Princess Resort acquaints you with a locally produced beverage….the mysterious mamajuana. My first encounter with it was dining at on site Chopin
Restaurant. A waiter brought out a bottle sans label filled with slivers
of wood steeped in liquor. This was his own creation and asked if we
wanted to give it a try. Being a food/wine/liquor geek, I naturally
couldn’t help myself. In fact I was downright fascinate

Read more…