From the Brew Kettle: Rodenbach Alexander

Unfortunately it tends to happens again and again during the Advent time of the year: there is an increased danger to fall sick and be bed-stricken. And that’s exactly what happened to me these days, which of course is annoying in many ways (and of course I’m not drinking alcohol). However, one of the few bright spots is that since I cannot do lots of things, I finally have some time to continue writing on some long-planned articles. Read More

Pure Spirits: Pierre Ferrand Ambré, “Between the Sheets” & “The Amber Flip”

Cognac went a little short here in the blog so far, but to be honest there is really no good reason for that since I really like this spirit type very much and also the range of classic, cognac-containing drinks is not small at all. So it’s time to once again write about the French white wine distillate. Read More

Green & White Negroni and The Green Fairy

Absinthe – Hardly any other spirit has such a fabled reputation as the famous, usually green wormwood spirit. Many people first think of Van Gogh’s ear (though the exact circumstances of the famous self-mutilation are not really clear), hallucinogenic effects or perhaps of the famous painting “The Absinthe Drinker” by Viktor Oliva which can be seen in the Café Slavia in Prague and on which the “green fairy” appears to an Absinthe drinker. Read More

Pure Spirits: The Balvenie Doublewood Aged 12 Years & Speyside Ambrosia

After a long time passed I want to devote today’s article to a single malt whisky. That makes me particularly happy since single malt whiskys are still something very special for me and ultimately my original “home” when it comes to spirits. Although it was actually gin that I first started to “study” intensively, the enthusiasm for Scotch caught me shortly after that. And there is probably no spirit in the world that comes close to the aromatic range of this genre (and there is also no spirit that I have tasted more intensely or widespread). Read More

Pure Spirits: Citadelle No Mistake Old Tom Gin & Once won’t hurt

Today it’s once again a gin’s turn. However, it is not about an ordinary gin but an Old Tom Gin. Even a matured Old Tom Gin, to be precise. And even though I’ve reviewed a lot of gins here on the blog in the past, I have not written about an Old Tom Gin yet. So what exactly is that genuine British gin category? And can the French do a good Old Tom Gin? Read More

Kamehameha Rum Punch

Today I would like to introduce a cocktail that I personally like to drink a lot but which is usually not named among the most prominent of its genre. And it is not a down-to-earth classic from an ancient cocktail tome but a drink from the world of tiki drinks which is often considered to be an ambivalent cocktail category. Nonetheless, the drink is not a spring chicken at all. Read More

Pure Spirits: By the Dutch Batavia Arrack and The Vanilla & Spice Punch

If you are concerned about spirits and their history, sooner or later there will be no way around Arrack. I am explicitly talking about Arrack and not Arak. You will probably also come upon the latter, but it is far from being as famous and much less common. But what exactly is Arrack (or Batavia-Arrack, to be precise) and what is its place in the history of cocktails? Today I would like to explain this while also reviewing a concrete example. Read More

Pure Spirits: The Amber Falernum & The Corn ‘n’ Oil

For a long time (at least in Germany), Falernum was an exotic ingredient that only few knew, which was hard to get and which some therefore even avoided to use. Besides the Velvet Falernum, for many years there were basically no real alternatives, at least if you did not want to make a Falernum yourself from rum, sugar and spices. The latter can be definitely worth the effort, but of course it takes a lot of time to do it and you probably have to face some unsuccessful attempts. So it is very nice indeed that the market situation has changed in the meantime. Read More

Shiragiku Yuzu & Sake Raspberry Tonic

I was quite busy during the last days with a variety of things and so there is a slightly larger timespan than usual between my last article and today’s. Nevertheless, (or even because of that) it is very nice to return with a wonderful drink and also being able to explore the possibilities of a beverage that is unfortunately rather under-represented behind the bar: Sake. Read More

Pure Spirits: Mount Gay XO Barbados Rum & The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club

Today’s article focuses on two things: a rum and a cocktail. In terms of rum we are dealing with the Mount Gay XO, a molasses rum that won many awards, while the cocktail is also an internationally known classic: The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. When it comes to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, however, there are a few inconsistencies and I hope I this article will bring some light into some confusing aspects, for instance why a Bermuda cocktail calls for a Barbados rum. Read More

Pure Spirits: F. Meyer Eau-de-Vie de Framboise & Roi Framboise

Fruit brandies are certainly one of the most traditional and deeply rooted spirits in Europe. And of course this applies to many European countries such as Austria, Germany, Italy and others. But one of the most famous fruit brandy-producing countries in the world is France which is also the home of an internationally renowned name for these particular distillates: Eau de Vies. Read More


Today I would like to stand up for a sometimes tiresome topic: infusions. Anyone who is interested in cocktails will sooner or later come upon the topic of infusing. Some recipes may call for it, descriptions may deal with it or blog articles such as this one may raise the question: Is that really necessary? On the other hand, many people find the topic quite interesting and appealing when they visit a bar. That may mainly be due to the expectation of something different than you would make for yourself at home. But the whole thing isn’t that hard to do. Read More

Testing the new Red Bull Organics

Today, as an exception, it is about some canned beverages here in the blog. However, I do not intend to expand my regular topics by reviewing soft drinks, but nonetheless I’d like to take a closer look at a series of much-noticed products today. The fact that it is currently very difficult to obtain them is all the more interesting. I’m talking about the new “Organics” series from Red Bull. Read More

Pure Spirits: Dry Fly Straight Triticale Whiskey & Toasted Pecan Triticale Old Fashioned

Anyone who is not a passionate farmer or a specialist for various types of grains will not necessarily have come into contact with the term “triticale”. Although you might have heard about it here and there, it is not necessarily a topic that makes a lot of people enthusiastic. But why am I writing about it and what does it have to do with whiskey? Read More

Pure Spirits: Compagnie des Indes Jamaica 5 Years Old Navy Strength & Persephone

If you are a little bit into rum, there is hardly a chance to not even hear about the Compagnie des Indes Rums these days. Behind that sound name (which is an allusion to the East India companies of the colonial era with the British East India Company as the most famous) hides an independent bottler from Beaune in the department of Côte-d’Or in France with the ambition to conquer the rum world. In addition to general information on the series, however, the main focus will be on an intensely aromatic representative of the Compagnie des Indes series. Read More


To create a new cocktail is basically always a journey of discovery on which you move along well-known orientation points. You have a certain idea of ​​what you would like to express but this idea is almost always based on the foundation of your personal experiences with various classics or their modifications. So also today’s cocktail is a twist on a classic, although it may not be recognizable at first glance. Read More

Yoshinogawa Ginjo Gokujo, Saketini & A peach cannot defeat Tai Lung!

What actually Sake is, how it is manufactured, what kind of resources are needed to make it and also what quality differences exist: I have written a few lines about all these aspects in my article about the Gekkeikan Nouvelle Tokubetsu Honjozo Sake. So if you want to to read more about the basic principles of the brewed Japanese traditional drink in a short and concise manner, please take a look at this article. Especially since today’s article again is about sake and it also shows how multifaceted the Japanese “rice wine” can be. Read More

Pure Spirits: The Choya Single Year – Married under Cherry Trees

Even though I have first used the Japanese Umeshu liqueur from the ume apricot in the eponymous cocktail here on the blog, Umeshu has been the main center of attention during the last weeks. My article about three Choya-Umeshus and various cocktails document this focus and also show what you can do with this liqueur. Today’s bottle shows that there are also further quality levels within this particular genus of liqueurs. Read More

Pure Spirits: Dry Fly Washington Bourbon 101 & The Avenue

If you should have asked yourself whether there is also a bourbon made at the Dry Fly distillery while reading my recent articles about the Dry Fly Cask Strength Straight Wheat Whiskey or the Dry Fly Port Finish Wheat Whiskey, today it is exactly about that. However, being a “Washington Bourbon” it is not really a classic one. But of course, a bourbon that is not a “Kentucky Straight Bourbon” can also be a really good bourbon. Read More

Oriental Fashioned

If you are concerned with spirits and cocktails, you will automatically have to think about possible combinations of ingredients on a regular basis. And very often such thoughts are not only guided by taste and flavor, but more or less intentionally by a certain “flair” of some ingredients. There is undoubtedly the tendency to combine regionally close ingredients with each other or to honor a specific cultural sphere. Whether you’ll have a classic South-American cocktail, Italian vermouth drinks or a Caribbean-Polynesian Tiki concoction – the principle is basically a ubiquitous one. Read More

Pure Spirits: Tokiwa Kome Shōchū & Tokiwa Mugi Shōchū

Shōchū (焼 酎) is considered the traditional Japanese spirit. While the brewed sake as a “rice wine” is endemic to the lower alcohol ranges and the Umeshu is a Shōchū-based liqueur, the Shōchū itself is the pure, genuine-Japanese spirit drink. Sometimes it is also called “Japanese vodka”, which is not really a viable term. But what exactly is the Japanese spirit Shōchū? And how does Shochu taste? Read More

Eau d’Épices

It has been a while now since I presented and reviewed the Isle of Harris Gin here in the blog. Anyone who keeps track of my posts will probably remember that I’ve really loved this gin and gave it a very high personal rating. In fact I have presented relatively few gin cocktails here in the meantime and among those recipes most drinks even called for very specific and rather unusual gins. Today, however, I finally want to show you a cocktail that relies on the wonderful and unique taste of the Isle of Harris Gin. Read More

Enchanté, Mandarin

Often the drinks on the full-aromatic side with a straightforward character are the ones which spread quickly and sell good. They are usually not particularly complicated, have one or two distinguished flavors and thereby make you happy. But, of course, there are also the gentler and more filigree representatives that are nonetheless a wonderful addition to the world of cocktails. But they usually demand a little more concentration and are characterized by their subtleties. I would like to introduce such a drink today. Read More

From the Brew Kettle: Gekkeikan Nouvelle Tokubetsu Honjozo Sake

With my article about three different Umeshus I have already presented a famous Japanese drink with a proud tradition here on the blog (and also some marginal information on the Japanese spirit Shōchū). Nonetheless, the probably most famous alcohol from the land of the rising sun has not yet received my detailed attention: Sake. And that is exactly what I want to change today. Read More