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.
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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?
Chocolate is made from tiny beans nestled inside cacao pods, whereas Solbeso is distilled from the juicy, pulpy fruit surrounding said beans. When this fruit is transformed into liquor, it yields a citrusy-tasting clear spirit—a bit like tequila, a bit like pisco, a bit like rum—with thick floral flavors laced with nutty undertones. A totally new category of liquor that actually adds something interesting to the conversation instead of re-hashing tired concepts? Consider us on board.
Add a little water to absinthe or pastis and the spirit suddenly goes milky. Why? We dig into the mystery and science.
Some compare the South American spirit to grappa, because both are distilled from grapes. Others relate it to tequila, as it often has similar herbal, earthy flavors. The truth is, comparisons to other liquors often fall flat because pisco has its own unique personality. We tasted through 25 different piscos, exploring what makes the category so wild and wonderful. Here are our 10 favorites.
I'm on a quest to find the best tequila for a margarita. Do you need to spend big bucks to make a great version of the drink? Are there affordable brands that make good margs? I convened a blind tasting of margaritas made from ten different tequilas to find out.
Here are 10 flavored vodkas that have won over even the biggest flavored vodka cynic—yours truly.
Rum is a category of spirits that offers many wonderful values—bottles that taste like they should cost way more than they actually do. You can very easily find great rums, both white and dark, under $20, and today, I'll introduce you to a few of my favorites.
Some of the best absinthes out on the market today, from traditional-style bottlings from France to boundary-pushing expressions made in the States.
This week, Tanqueray drinkers will find a new bottling on the shelf next to the familiar green bottle of London Dry: the distillery's spin on an Old Tom Gin, a once-extinct liquor that's poised to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight again. It's delicious stuff. Here's a bit more on Old Tom (and how to use it in cocktails.)
Whiskey lovers have discovered that rye can be every bit as smooth a sipping spirit as bourbon, and America's distillers have responded, bringing out entire new lines of rye whiskeys. Here are five of the best we've found.
Does the rum you use in a daiquiri change the drink's flavor? You bet.
We're seeing more and more small-scale distillers popping up around the country (and the world!)—but of course, not every newbie with a pot still is making delicious booze quite yet. Bartenders get a chance to taste all sorts of spirits, so we asked for their tips on the craft distillers that are really making great stuff.
A new set of American producers have turned their attention to vermouth, and very few of these bottlings resemble their European counterparts. We tasted our way through 20 examples to find our favorites: 12 delicious new-school American vermouths.