10 Cocktail Trends

cocktail on tap
Cocktails on tap require an incredible amount of precision and preparation.

Brian Quinn is an experiential event producer and cocktail writer. He is the cofounder of the Noble Rot, an underground supper club for wine, dubbed “a new form of clandestine drinking” by Tasting Table NYC. He learned the art of craft cocktails from work with the Milk & Honey family, as well as a love for hospitality from renowned Brooklyn oyster house Maison Premiere. Brian has written over 150 articles on cocktails for Food Republic and is also the director of programming for the Taste Talks and Northside festivals.

1. Bars within bars
Don’t call them speakeasies. The veil of secrecy separating two different bar experiences under one roof is simply a means of filtering out those who prefer the utility of a drink versus those who revel in the art. For bars like Los Angeles’s Walker Inn, bartenders are able to offer an omakase cocktail tasting for those who enter via the more accessible Normandie Club’s bar. Walking up a back flight of stairs at San Francisco’s Hawker Fare gets you into the more relaxed Holy Mountain bar setting, where the bar team is able to showcase more experimental drinks. Of course, Grant Achatz’s the Office beneath the Aviary in Chicago did this years ago. The advantage to finding these more intimate, highly curated bars is a more niche drinking experience that you likely won’t find anywhere else.

2. Camera cuisine’s impact on drinking
What’s on the inside still counts, many bartenders know that these days, the most Instagram-friendly drinks on the menu will likely be the biggest sellers. A decade ago, seeing a drink like the multicolored and mint-topped Queens Park Swizzle walk across the room on a tray would incite half the bar to order that drink next. Today, with more drinking options available than ever, a well-festooned drink on Instagram might be a bar’s best asset for finding new customers.

Rich Woods of London’s Duck & Waffle uses this showmanship and his unique style to entice drinkers around the globe by, say, serving a hay old-fashioned with the glass cradled in an actual bowl of hay, or creating edible garnishes, such as a ceviche shot served on top of a cocktail. Thankfully, his drinks are as balanced and brilliant in flavor as they are in appearance. Jane Danger’s now-renowned Shark Eye cocktail at the modern tiki bar Mother of Pearl — bloodied with Peychaud’s Bitters — is another example.

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Crystal-clear milk punches and milk-rinsed cocktails have cropped up at inventive cocktail bars and restaurants.

3. Clarified milk punches
One of the more exciting and delicious techniques that bartenders are now readily using is milk-washing, or clarifying a punch with curdled milk. The process of creating a curdled anything sounds bizarre and ill-advised, but this process dates back to the 1700s and ultimately creates a longer shelf life for the punch. Barman Gareth Howells, formerly of Forrest Point, knows this process well. He combines large batches of fruits, citrus, spices and spirits and macerates them together for several days before adding curdled milk on top. As gravity sets in, the milk proteins, which have attached to the pulpy particles in the mixture, begin to weigh down, ultimately leaving a clear liquid floating on top. Lactic in flavor, this soft and beguiling type of punch is gaining steam for good reason.

4. Dives with damn good drinks
Want a killer Last Word or Paper Plane while listening to Led Zeppelin in a bar that looks like it could have been the set for Tom Cruise singing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” in Top Gun? Well, you can get that now, too. In their off hours or for post-shift drinks, most bartenders find themselves in no-nonsense, unapologetic vestiges where a beer or shot of whiskey might be your best bet. For bars like Brooklyn’s the Starlight, the glow of red lighting makes you feel as though you just walked into some Midwest tavern in the 1970s, except that some of the best bartenders in the city pick up shifts here and can make you pretty much any drink you want, if they have it behind the bar. No frills necessary.

5. Pour-and-go service
Time is of the essence in bars these days, and many patrons no longer care if a $15 drink was made à la minute. Eager to find solutions for those in need of a quick but excellent drink, many bars are now experimenting with having one or more drinks on tap or pre-bottled. Yours Sincerely in Bushwick — with its Transmit the Box cocktail (shown at top) — embraces this concept across its entire menu, with over 30 drinks on tap. Far from lazy, this requires an incredible amount of precision and preparation behind the scenes but allows for insanely quick pours and lower drink prices during service.

London’s White Lyan turns many heads, with bartenders pouring from a colorful array of prebatched cocktail bottles stored behind the bar, which incidentally also led the bar to have very little wasted ingredients. The drinking experience at these bars does not suffer and, in fact, the effect is often a whole new world of creative cocktails.

6. Thematic menus
Bartenders are spending their time pining over more than just the drinks. Menus now seem to exist in their own theatrical context, with storytelling to support a bar’s original offerings. An incredible amount of work obviously goes into the Dead Rabbit’s menu, which seemingly takes months to research and create, with pages and pages of illustrations, history and cocktail lore. San Francisco’s Trick Dog takes a more playful approach, keeping patrons on their toes by presenting drinks on everything from dog calendars to a Chinese takeout menu to Pantone color swatches.

7. Cleansing drinks: Charcoal and kale
Bartenders love yoga, too, and it seems that cocktails are finally taking a cue from the juicing movement, as more cleansing or healthful ingredients are becoming prevalent. More than just citrus and herbs, drinks with freshly juiced kale or wheatgrass come out bright green and seemingly healthier in appearance. Thankfully, many people now realize that vodka does not have fewer calories, but it does blend well in these cocktails.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, black cocktails colored with a dose of activated charcoal might look like they could filter away your hangover, but no such luck. These deep black drinks, such as Joaquin Simó’s tequila- and mezcal-driven Heart of Darkness cocktail at NYC’s Pouring Ribbons, offer a unique appearance, but the charcoal has little impact on the flavor.

8. Cannabis cocktails
With the growing availability of weed tinctures and oils thanks to loosening regulations, the slow integration of THC into cocktails will likely continue to rise in 2017. The science around being drunk and high at the same time is not entirely clear, though we do know that alcohol can allow for a much quicker absorption of the psychoactive THC by the body. Clearly, it’s an area that needs further investigation, just like knowing the right and wrong way to use liquid nitrogen in a cocktail, which can also have serious effects. A sign of the times: Barman and author Warren Bobrow recently released the first book on this subject, Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics

9781592337347

9. Low-ABV ingenuity
Necessity is the mother of invention for low-ABV cocktails. Bars without full liquor licenses have to continue to push these drinks forward, leading to a rise in everything from legit wine coolers to beer cocktails to aperitif-driven coolers. Not to be left out, bars with full licenses also love these drinks, often adding spirits such as gin or liqueurs as modifiers to a largely wine or beer base in the cocktail. Seeing a Riesling cocktail on a menu might not have made sense until now, but that’s just what Maison Premiere bartender Shae Minnillo does with his Bimini Twist, using Riesling, Linie Aquavit, Pêche de Vigne, Suze, lemon and grapefruit.

10. Cocktails around the country
Serious cocktails are cropping up in virtually every city in America. Occasionally, transplant bars will migrate from a major city to other parts of the country, such as Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy’s Attaboy in NYC — ranked number five on the World’s 50 Best Bars list — opening up in Nashville. Other times, such as at the W.C. Harlan bar in Baltimore, delicious drinks seem to appear out of nowhere, driven by the owners’ unique aesthetic and approach. One thing is for sure: Deciding how to rate the “World’s 50 Best” anything when it comes to bar culture will soon be a very difficult task.

 

These Are The 10 Cocktail Trends To Follow Right Now

Herb’s 15 Amazing Weed-Inspired Products (#11!)

1. Grinder pipegrinder-pipe Not only can you grind you bud, but you can also smoke it with the grinder pipe. Moreover, this product will make your smoking experience more convenient.

 

2. Grinders for every personalitycannabis-products-2

There are so many custom grinders available that anyone can find one they like. Whether you like pinkand sparkly or Snoop Dogg’s face, you can have it.

3. Cottonmouth gum cannabis-products-3

Of course, simply drinking some water can put a stop to cottonmouth. Still, it’s kind of cool that some soul out there is inventing gum just for cottonmouth. Although the face behind it all wishes to remain nameless, it’s exciting nevertheless.

4. Smell-proof stash case cannabis-products-4

If you tend to get unorganized and messy with your weed gear, this is an investment worth making. In fact, this case is smell-proof and stores just about any cannabis product.

There are different ones to choose from based on how you like to consume cannabis. And they even come with accessories, such as a grinder card and dab mat, depending on which kit you choose.

5. Weed treats for your dog cannabis-products-5

Don’t worry, these treats won’t make your four-legged friend stoned. However, they will help calm your furry pet. These, in particular, are made with hemp seeds by a Canadian company called True Hemp.

6. THC bubble bath bubble-bath

High Gorgeous, a company that makes infused beauty and topical products, has different kinds of medicinal bubble bath. Although they focus on women, men can enjoy the weed bubbles too. Not to mention, smell amazing afterward.

7. All-in-one pipe 7pipe

Another pipe made for your convenience is the all-in-one pipe. This particular pipe not only holds your lighter but it also prevents the wind from messing with your flame. With this in mind, you no longer have to worry about covering your hand over your flame while you frustratedly attempt to hit your piece.

8. Snazzy stash jars 8-jar
The days of storing our bud in a plastic bag are long gone. Although some folks still resort to a Ziploc, others use stash jars. As a result of legalizing the herb, we now have clear stash jars, colorful stash jars, and even stash jars that light up.

9. Cannabis mouthcare 9-mouth

Axim Biotech is working on not only weed toothpaste, but also mouthwash and other anti-inflammatory products. As it turns out, brushing with cannabis is a solution to a lot of periodontal problems.

10. Coffee infused with pot 10-coffee

Although people have been pairing their morning cup of coffee with cannabis for some time, legalization has brought us THC-infused coffee. Now you can really get a buzz first thing in the morning.

11. Cannabis cocktails 11-wabo

Did you ever imagine being able to enjoy alcohol and cannabis at once? Well, now you can, thanks to legalization. Warren Bobrow has published a book that will help you create your very own cannabis cocktails.

12. Lube that helps you orgasm 12-lube

Now this lube is a win-win. Not only is it infused with cannabis, but it also enhances sexual pleasure.

13. Potato chips that will get you high 13-chips

Step aside Lays, there’s no way you can compete with potato chips that contain cannabis. In fact, a 1.5-ounce bag contains exactly 50mg of THC, which means they’re rather potent. Taking your medication has never been so delicious.

14. Buckle Puffer Belt 14-belt

Not only does this product allow you to have a pipe attached to your belt, but it’s also magnetically attached, which is perfect for those that stay on-the-go. Whether you are several feet in the air or inside a cave somewhere, you can sneak a toke in with the Buckle Puffer Belt.

15. Medicated lip balm 15-lips

Dank Stix not only smoothes your chapped lips but also heals bug bites, eczema, minor cuts, and dry knuckles.

Wild Ginger Brewing Company – Hard Soda Indeed!

The Wild Ginger Brewing Company approached me through their PR wanting me to review their new line of alcoholic craft soda.  It’s not my usual topic, I try to stick to craft spirits, the craft soda business is much different.  It’s more akin to craft beer.  I don’t write about beer at all.  It’s just another language!

wild

Imagine my surprise and delight when four ‘hard’ sodas of various alcohol by volume from 4 – 5% arrived at my door.  I love craft soda, the kind without alcohol… it used to be one of my topics a while back.  Anyhow this lineup of colorfully cartooned cans were waiting to be tasted.  With the craft beer boom, top quality beers are being canned in colorful, artist attended vessels.  These are no exception with a funky sense about them.

The first one that I opened was the Wild Root Original.  Smacking of herbs and good old fashioned Root Beer goodness, this is as close to what I remember from my boyhood, when my father would put some of his Haig and Haig in my root beer to keep me quiet.  It was a good representation of the buzz anyhow.  I remember it all these years later in a sip.  And what a delicious sip it is.  The Wild Root is chock full of spice as well.  It’s brilliant with large ice and fine bourbon whiskey- like the Barrell Bourbon #010 version that should be out any day now.  It’s that good.

 

The Wild Sit Russ Original.. with a snarling dog on that brightly festooned label was my least likely to enjoy, yet one of the ones that tastes the most true to form.  The label reads alcoholic citrus soda, there’s that snarling dog and all I can think about is Mezan XO Rum.  Smacking of herbs, spices, an element of tonic from the citrus oils- this wild soda is screaming for funky, dunder laden rum that only can come from Jamaica.  No other place in the world makes rum like this and no other soda should taste quite the same.  I don’t always recommend mixers with this rum, but the Wild Sit Russ Original (who was Wild Sit Russ I wonder, oh, no matter) it’s good soda.  Great with Mezan Rum.

 

The Wild Docta’ Original Rock and Rye is way too sweet for me, but with that said I mixed some really amazing barrel aged Rum from Barrell Whiskey with a splash of this ‘rock and rye’ type soda.  It dried out the sweetness immediately.  It’s more of a millennials drink than I’d like to admit.  They’d love it to no end. With that Barrell Rum, it’s so far over the top that I’m heading for a Hemmingway Daiquiri right now.   I’m not a big sugar in drinks fan.. Mark my words on that.

 

The Wild Ginger Original Ginger Beer – Alcoholic, like the other three soda pops is a thing of rare beauty.  There is an underlying element of spice that swirls around my tongue.  It’s a bit sharp, but the bubble spins in an undulation that is gratifying and bold in every spin around my mouth.  There is alcohol in there, you cannot miss it.  This element warms as quickly as it pours down my throat.  I’m charmed immediately and my palate calls out for something to deepen the spice element of the slurp.  I chose a bottle of the Mezan Guyana Rum.  This rum, distilled at the Diamond Distillery is a thing of rare beauty.  The Ginger Beer mimics the funky elements of the Guyana Rum, the smoke and char from the barrels and the sweetness from long aging in hot climes.  To mix this rum would normally be a sacrilege, but I have good feelings about this alcoholic soda.  Try it.  Let me know.

 

In conclusion, all good stuff, probably too good for the marketplace.  The funky can art is creative.  It’s a Millennial product.  Flashy.  Bold.  The soda is pretty darned good; I’d like to say that they will be used as a mixer.  A fine mixer at that.  Best of luck to them!  Cheers!

 

The Wild Ginger Company is doing a fine job.

 

Barrell Bourbon Batch 009

BATCH 009
BATCH 009

Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Distilled and aged in Tennessee and Kentucky

Crafted and bottled in Kentucky

112.10 proof cask strength bottling

Aged for 13 years in Char #4 American white oak barrels

Mash bill: 74% corn, 18% rye, 7% malted barley

FLAVOR NOTES

Neat

Appearance: Broiled apricot orange at the core and resplendent warm gold at the edges.  Sunlight reflecting off of burnished copper flashes across the surface leaving iridescent streaks with each swirl.

Nose: Slowly roasted exotic fruits like kiwi, coconut, and Satsuma orange swirled with smoked bergamot tea.  Herbed brown butter dripping over toasted brioche and northwest cherry

Palate: Lively and amusing across the palate, the mellow warmth makes this bourbon easy to enjoy.  Future sips touch all parts of the palate with broad strokes of thick clotted cream.  The glow of the 112.10 proof lurks just out of sight, a welcome but not distracting figure.

Finish: Oven dried stone fruit jam with a hint of citrus oils leads to Caribbean spices.  The multi-minute finish is reminiscent of sweet buttered carnival corn.

With a few drops of water

Bright sarsaparilla gives way to gooey apricot bread pudding fresh from the oven topped with rum soaked raisins.  Each taste leaves almond oil sticking to the back of your tongue.  The cool water spreads nuance and sophistication throughout each pleasurable sip.

Tasting Notes by Warren Bobrow, The Cocktail Whisperer

Zen and Tonic; Book Review

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?ID=4294990157

Zen and Tonic: savory and fresh cocktails for the enlightened drinker

Zen and Tonic is a lovely confection of a book, seemingly happily penned by the talented author, Jules Aron. The book is printed beautifully, reminiscent of Art Nouveau in appearance. Crisp and healthy is her mixology mantra, as each recipe encourages gleeful imbibing! Vibrant photography frames this carefully produced book.

Review by Warren Bobrow(@warrenbobrow1[twitter])
Zen and Tonic mech.indd

A Conversation with Author Warren Bobrow Plus Cannabis Cocktail Recipes!

We hear a lot about cannabis edibles, but what about pot potables? Warren Bobrow’s new book, Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzzworthy Libations (2016, Fairwinds) is now the definitive work on the topic. Beautifully produced and filled with lots of gorgeous full color photography, the hard cover book would make an excellent gift for all your toking and imbibing friends.

The publishers knew what they were doing when choosing Bobrow, master mixologist and creator of the popular Cocktail Whisperer blog, to tackle this topic. What follows is a collection of elegant artisanal marijuana infused drinks. Even better, Warren gives you the building blocks you will need to create your own liquid cannabis concoctions too. Not only will you learn to infuse all your favorite liquors, but also popular drink mixers like simple syrup, milk, cream, coconut cream, and maple syrup. He even teaches you how to make marijuana infused cocktail cherries!

“I tried so hard to make a difference by writing the first book on the topic,” says Bobrow. “I learned a lot while doing. I experimented on myself. It wasn’t always pretty. But I learned. I hope to change the way we do things. My drinks are delicious.”

Bobrow is a stickler for details, which in turn makes his cannabis cocktails drinkable pieces of culinary art. Quality ingredients and artisan techniques are emphasized throughout the book, right down to pairing the proper strain for each drink in order to maximize the cocktail’s full flavor potential. Bobrow is not trying to disguise the flavor of marijuana in his drinks, rather he uses it to actually enhance the flavor of his cannabis cocktails.

I recently had the chance to ask Warren Bobrow some questions about his new book and the controversial topic of Cannabis Cocktails. Here’s what he said.

Interview with Warren Bobrow, author of Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics
Cheri Sicard: What inspired you to combine cannabis and alcohol?
Warren Bobrow: I work in the liquor space, but I prefer cannabis for the feeling I get. I’m not a fan of being drunk, so I hardly drink any longer. I’ve always been fascinated by healing, in its many forms. I grew up on a biodynamic farm in NJ that belonged to my family, so folk healing was always nurtured. I always enjoyed science and found the experimentation enlightening!

Cheri Sicard:. Why does alcohol make such a good carrier for marijuana?
Warren Bobrow: Alcohol works! And it tastes good. And my cocktails absolutely rock the house!! And you do get stoned!! No bullshit cbd oil made from hemp in my drinks thank you!

 

Cannabis Cocktail: The Future is Uncertain and The End is Always Near
Cannabis Cocktail: The Future is Uncertain and The End is Always Near

 

Cheri Sicard: What advice do you have for people who are new to imbibing with the combination of both alcohol and cannabis?
Warren Bobrow: Don’t drive. Go slow.

Cheri Sicard: Do you have any special insider tips for those infusing alcohol for the first time?
Warren Bobrow: No open flame! Don’t be that person that blows up your home. I’m serious!!!!! Also, go low and slow. My recipes are geared for holistic healing. Not recreational. I don’t want to send the wrong message, nor make a play for the stoner set. That’s not my game. So healing should be the mantra. Take the Thai food principal. Start with a little spice and add more as you need it. Same thing with cannabis and alcohol.

Cannabis Cocktail: The Future is Uncertain and The End is Always Near

http://www.cannabischeri.com/recipes/cannabis-cocktail-recipe-future-uncertain-end-always-near/

Cheri Sicard: Do you have any words for the critics who think one “intoxicant” is bad enough, now we are encouraging two”?
Warren Bobrow: Drugs are bad. Alcohol is bad. Breathing underwater is bad. Eating fast food is bad. Yelling fire in a crowded theater is bad. My late father, when he learned I wrote a book about cannabis cocktails disowned me. That’s bad too. More? I get angry about the liquor people vilifying cannabis and the cannabis people vilifying liquor. I not so secretly think that they should be together. And guess what? They are delicious together!

Honey Duke Relaxer – Marijuana Boba Tea
Honey Duke Relaxer – Marijuana Boba Tea

 

Cheri Sicard: What is your personal favorite marijuana cocktail and why?
Warren Bobrow: My favorite cocktail invokes New Orleans and it’s the Vieux Carre. I take absinthe from Lucid and infuse it with about 1/2 oz of Tangerine (a sativa strain) and mix it with Barrell Bourbon whiskey and finish it with some Peychaud’s Bitters for good gastric health. It’s served icy cold, always stirred, never shaken, with a nice slice of orange zest always cut with a paring knife, never a peeler.

Cheri Sicard:. Who is the target audience for you new book?
Warren Bobrow: People who are interested in craft cocktails and alternative ingredients like bitters and shrubs. Those who appreciate craft cocktail ingredients and handmade, delicious concoctions that offer a high level of flavor in each sip. Ages 21 and up, endgame.

Cannabis Cocktail: Honey Duke Relaxer

http://www.cannabischeri.com/recipes/cannabis-cocktail-marijuana-boba-tea/

Cannabis Cocktail – Potato Head Blues
Cannabis Cocktail – Potato Head Blues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cannabis Cocktail – Potato Head Blues

http://www.cannabischeri.com/recipes/cannabis-cocktail-potato-head-blues/

– See more at: http://drinkwire.liquor.com/post/a-conversatioSample Cannabis Cocktail Recipes from Warren Bobrow’s New Book Cannabis Cocktails
– See more at: http://drinkwire.liquor.com/post/a-conversation-with-author-warren-bobrow-plus-cannabis-cocktail-recipes#gs.eCVjtok – Read more at: http://scl.io/LOiZN6wi#gs.eCVjtok

Mamont Vodka Kicks Off in NYC

/http://www.beveragemedia.com/index.php/2016/03/mamont-vodka-kicks-off-in-nyc/

Empire Merchants hosted Niche Import Co. for the kick-off of Mamont Vodka in New York City. International Brand Manager Tamara Mazur led the sales division through the story of Mamont as they tried the Siberian vodka. Acclaimed author and mixologist Warren Bobrow was also in attendance serving up cocktails with Mezan Rum.

Tamara Mazur led the sales division through the story of Mamont Vodka

Warren Bobrow mixed up a variety of cocktails using Mezan Rum, one of the products in the Niche spirits portfolio

Morning Cocktails With Coffee Liqueurs

Warren Bobrow

It’s never easy to drink cocktails in the morning, unless of course you are correcting your coffee on a weekend. Correcting?  What’s that all about? With the explosion of micro-roasting and micro-distilling there was bound to be a combination of the two cultures.  Hipsters and just plain folk have long combined a bit of lubrication to their morning Cuppa Joe by correcting it with hard liquor.  There is always a place in our collective memory for taking the chill off the morning, or putting courage in the heart of a sailor lashed to the wheel in a storm.

Enter the world of coffee liqueurs. These liqueurs, far removed from the corn sugar augmented, caramel colored and artificially flavored ‘science-class’ concoctions of the 70’s are serious stuff.  They show the quality of the micro-roasted coffee clearly should you choose to drink them on their own.  You might enjoy sipping coffee liqueurs in a classic cordial glass- or perhaps you are like myself- and enjoy the best; in my opinion of course- coffee roasted in NYC since 1907. That is an all-day beverage that I can wrap my fist around. Porto Rico Importing is that brand of coffee that goes in my cup.  A shameless plug, perhaps for their brand (full disclosure: they don’t give me free coffee)- but this is my go/to for flavor. 

coffee liqueursWhen researching an article on American brandy, coffee, coffee liqueur and rum- why not combine all of them in my breakfast. I mean cocktails. I am not usually confused by all this because coffee is the one beverage that goes from morning to night with ease, either hot, iced or served as a base component in my simple, yet aromatic craft cocktails.

There are many ways of using coffee liqueurs in a craft cocktail. First of all I brew the coffee.  Unflavored is my best suggestion.  If you have a coffee grinder, use it with whole beans.  I’ve found that the French Java- with its smoky overtones works best against alcohol.  Fairly priced something like nine dollars a pound, you cannot easily break the bank with this one. I’d freshly grind the coffee beans and make the coffee strong in a French Press.  Always boil your water from cold and let it rest for a few minutes (to taste) for your base ingredient.  You can cold brew it overnight for extra depth as well.  Keep hot or chill to your taste.

They know a thing or two about coffee liqueur in Hawaii and the Koloa Coffee Rum is no exception to the rule of coffee being an enjoyable beverage throughout the day.  From morning to night, this carefully crafted slurp adds more than just refreshment to their already brilliant Hawaiian rum crafted from local cane, bursting with pools of natural sugar.  Simple is the guidance that I suggest for this rum.  The coffee is already delicious- you don’t have to do too much to this rum, woven from Kauai Coffee® and pure Hawaiian Cane sugar.  I like to float it on top of my steaming cup in the morning or for a nightcap.  You can even start a long drink with the Koloa rum at the bottom.  It’s easy to look good with great ingredients!

 Bepi Tosolini, the fourth generation, Italian spirits distiller is bringing their Arabica based coffee liqueur to the USA and with it a taste of Italy.  This vanilla tinged base- woven with soft caramel notes and a long, multi-minute finish is memorable when poured over a Caffè Corretto, which is no more than steaming espresso with a shot of liqueur (or grappa) floated over the top…  Coffee on Espresso?  It’s amazing served steaming hot at the end of the meal- the last flavor on your palate before calling it a night.  Italy in your mind and your belly!

Seattle Distilling Company, located in the veritable ground-zero for hipster coffee roasting techniques- is particularly adept at weaving their brilliantly extracted, local- Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie Orca Blend.  Seattle Distilling believes in purpose, from the grain to glass approach to distilling.  I’m pretty sure that the distilled spirits direction is the perfect combination of smoke to char to roast to sweet to tangy in this mix.  All in one easy to enjoy liquid, which should be your glass.  I’ve found that the perennial favorite, the humble Mocha, built with chocolate syrup, the SDC Coffee Liqueur and salt tinged seltzer water is the Pacific Northwest version of a Manhattan Special.  In this case, this drink is certainly from another parent.

Brandy?  Where does that come in?  Are they all the uncertain varietals in pint bottles that are located next to cheap, flavored whiskey at your local package store?  Absolutely not and I ignore that segment completely.  Raising the quality bar is what is hot right now in American Brandy.  From Germain-Robin in California comes a delightful and well-priced brandy named Millard Fillmore.  Named after the former president of the USA, Mr. Filmore was certainly forgotten by history.  But just like the man- I’m just charmed by this brandy, not because it is inexpensive, but because it is made with the finesse which venerable brands like Germain-Robin brings to your glass.  Sure you can drink it straight up, but I like mine in a coffee drink.  Try adding a tablespoon or more in a float, over your favorite roast of coffee. Or splash some over some vanilla gelato and espresso.  You are in for a sophisticated treat. 

Down in Virginia, Catoctin Creek is building their Distiller’s Reserve Brandy and it’s a magnificent beast.  Brandy from Virginia you might say.  What is that?  Well the Virginia wine world is the unsung hero of the wine scene and how better to experience this terroir then by distillation.  Copper Pot Still chemistry is honed to delightful perfection drop by drop. There is a magnificent depth and softness to the distillate- rested for a time, until it is deemed ready to enjoy by the distillers.  You can make brilliant Brandy Alexander’s with this historically correct brandy.  No more than a couple splashes of dark simple syrup, some heavy cream (whipped just right) a splash of yesterday’s coffee (my way) and that delightful Catoctin Creek Brandy, shaken with ice with some freshly scraped nutmeg to finish?

Oh my!

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in your cocktails is made simple with coffee, coffee liqueurs, and brandy.  Try them, interchange them and enjoy them with moderation and responsible drinking of course!