I first drank baijiu when I was 12, at a banquet in Beijing during a family trip to China. I took a small sip and felt the liquor flame down my throat, setting my nasal passages and eyes on fire. The aftertaste was of hot trash. My body involuntarily tensed as if I'd just drank poison. How was it that this drink, so deeply woven into my parent's warmest memories and the Chinese collective unconscious, tasted foremost of kerosene and rot?
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Set side by side, rhum agricole stands tall compared to its cousins in the category. Where many mass-produced rums are heavy and a little one-note, rhum agricole is all about freshness and complexity, with an intriguing grassy and vegetal side from fresh sugarcane. Want to taste? Here are four great bottles to get you started.
If you think Pop appreciated the paperweight you got him for Father's Day last year, just wait till his eyes light up when you set a bottle of primo hooch and a chunky pair of tumblers on the table and wordlessly pour out two fingers. Nearly every dad who drinks would prefer a tasty dram to a new necktie on the third Sunday of June.
Islay whiskies are, almost without exception, big on flavor; if you're looking for a light and delicate dram, you've come to the wrong place. But Islay whiskies aren't just about the peat and smoke. They're a thrillingly varied lot, with distinctions both subtle and not-so-subtle between them. If you want to explore Islay's most delicious whiskies, consider this your guide.
If you're looking for a cool new gin or whiskey to try, you've come to the right place. To get a sense of the best spirits coming out of the Northeast today, I tasted my way through over 40 thoroughly unique bottlings, not a single one like another and each with its own story to tell. These spirits are the cream of the crop: well worth your attention and hard-earned do-re-mi.
When it comes to the American distilling industry, most people probably think about the abundance of whiskey flowing out of Kentucky, but these days, it's the American West that's making some of the most exciting spirits on the American market.
Here's your guide to the best new cocktail books to check out, plus a few that should be on your radar for the next year or two to come.
Do you need to spend big bucks to make a great martini? Does one style of gin work better than another in this cocktail? I convened a tasting of martinis made with ten different gins to test out a variety of gin styles and price points.
If you're only familiar with cheap rums sold by the handle, you might think the category is pretty one-dimensional, best consumed with Coca-Cola, shot by shot or hidden under layers of fruit juice. But the truth is, rum is one of the most complex and interesting spirits, worthy of far more attention than simply mixing. Here are nine outstanding options to get you started on your sipping journey.
We'd bet that you're familiar with tequila, and probably pisco and cachaça, too. But there's a whole labyrinth of interesting spirits from around the world that should be on your radar.
The best gin I've had in years isn't made by an American or British distillery. It's Spanish, an ultra-premium gin flavored with basil, thyme, rosemary, and, for a killer dose of savory, oily richness, arbequina olives. It's a gin that makes the case for sipping yours neat.
While we can happily find a good bottle of bourbon for twelve bucks or ten or even eight on sale, it's startlingly difficult to find good gin for less than $20. I know—this month, I scoured and I searched and I hunted, and I tried 15 of 'em. Here are the best gins that'll run you less than an Andrew Jackson.
We asked bartenders from around the country about the best bottles, books, and gadgets to give whiskey lovers, gin fanatics, tequila fans, and other lovers of cocktails and spirits.
These spirits and liqueurs take a bold flavor stance with inspiring results. If you're looking for a boozy gift this holiday season, these are the best new bottles you can buy.
Only a short time ago, the notion of Scotch cocktails seemed a bit absurd to many drinkers—isn't Scotch supposed to be served neat? But as bartenders became acquainted with more affordable blended Scotches marketed for mixing, Scotch cocktails started popping up at bars across the country. Cognac is, in many ways, a similar case: a generally pricey spirit whose higher-end bottles are indeed best enjoyed straight, but whose more affordable brethren can shine when mixed. As we're seeing mixology-focused cognacs hit the market, perhaps the cognac cocktail is on the verge of a comeback.
Here's a guide to some of the fun and curious spirits I'll be bringing to Thanksgiving dinner this year. Some of these make stellar partners for your beautifully roasted bird, while others work to ease the digestive system after the annual
stuffing eating contest feast.
Scotch really is one of the most expensive drinks out there. But even if you're watching your wallet, there are some great bottles to try.
When we think of American whiskey, we usually think of rich, sweet corn-based bourbon, or perhaps spicy and grassy rye. But the category of American single malt whiskey is on the rise. Here are some delicious bottles to try.
Thanks to a crop of small distillers, the U.S. is now one of the most exciting producers of apple brandy. We tasted our way through an orchard of bottles to find a few of the best.
Moonshine's been called some pretty nasty names: Rotgut. Skullpop. Firewater. Panther Piss. But what is the story behind moonshine? Perhaps you've wondered: where did moonshine get its start? Is that stuff you've heard about moonshine's connection to NASCAR really true?