Billy the Fig

billie-the-fig

A very nice cocktail that I have did not yet present here in the blog is the Williams Sour. Pear brandies or Eau de Vies are currently enjoying an ever-growing popularity. And so it is no wonder that people mix it with together with lemon in a sour to create a refreshing summery-autumnal drink. Today’s cocktail is inspired by the Williams Sour, but makes a few crucial things a little bit different. Read More

Pure Spirits: Bodos & Lonis Dortmund Dry Gin

bodos-und-lonis

And once again it’s time for a gin on my blog. It is a mere truism to state that the gin market is booming, also in Germany. Nevertheless I believe it is still worth it to have a closer look on the matter and to stay open-minded for new releases. That was not really difficult for me when it came to the two bottles I’d like to review today, because while with the Edelstahl Dry Gin I have recently presented a gin from the Ruhr Area, both bottles in this article are even closer to my personal ancestry since they are from my city of birth, Dortmund. Read More

Pure Spirits: Hibiki Japanese Harmony

hibiki-japanese-harmony

Today’s whiskey is a special one in many respects. Not only is it a whisky of special quality but it is also quite special for me because it reminds me of some very nice whisky experiences (not to say: revelations) I had in the past. Although this particular one entered the market not before 2015. Last but not least, it is also the youngest member of a whisky series that was one of the first I knew by name at all. Read More

Smog Fizz

smog-fizz-1-von

Of course you all know the concept of signature cocktails for certain brands not just since yesterday. The most famous example certainly is still the Dark ‘N’ Stormy which is even trademarked or the original Moscow Mule. Meanwhile it has become quite common for spirits manufacturers and the makers of various fillers to publish their own signature drinks for example in the form of recipe books. That does not always lead to very refined drinks because often the aim is to have recipes for a mass audience so that particularly few ingredients are needed. (an understandable and welcome intention). But sometimes you can also find real gems and such I’d like to present today. Read More

Pure Spirits: Edelstahl Dry Gin

edelstahl-dry-gin

Who is following my blog for a while will certainly know that I am a child of the Ruhr area in Western Germany and live here, too. At one point or another I also wrote some rather skeptical lines about the region I live in, not because I do not like living here but because it is simply not the ideal location for the subject of my blog. Well, that is not entirely true since in terms of beer the Ruhr region – and in particular Dortmund – has a huge tradition and is also a growing part of the craft beer movement. Therefore you will occasionally encounter beers from my home region under the blog’s category “From the Brew Kettle”. Read More

Blood Orange Negroni

bloodorange-negroni

Today’s drink is of course no real new creation but merely a variant of the much-valued Negroni. In many contexts I have not become tired of repeating that the Negroni is my all-time favorite cocktail (together with the Mint Julep) and I guess there is no drink I am having more often. That should also explain why I am consistently fascinated by different varieties of this drink (I listed some cool varieties in my article about the Negroni). Yet today’s version is very simple, since it is identical to the original in terms of proportions. Nonetheless it is an absolutely top notch drink, I think! Read More

Pure Spirits: Mondino Amaro Bavarese

mondino-amaro

Without any doubt Italy’s culinary soul is one – if not the – brightest in the world. Although most people certainly won’t primarily think of its liquid and alcoholic contribution, of course we owe Italy a lot of innovations also in this respect. Whether it’s the little things like a good Limoncello, numerous vermouths and grappas or the fascinating world of Amaros (Italian bitter liqueurs): Italy is a Lucullan paradise also for every bartender. Read More

Schmeckt ja wie ein Tannenzapfen!

schmeckt-ja-wie-ein-tannenzapfen

Today’s cocktail is a drink whose recipe is one of my own and its very strongly related to a vacation experience that happened last year. A crucial ingredient in order to realize this project is the Fichtensprossengeist (spruce shoots spirit) from Florian Faudes “Faude Feine Brände” which gives the cocktail a decisive twist in the desired direction. However I must warn you: It is certainly not a drink for everyone. Read More

Pure Spirits: Breaks Gin

breaks-gin

Introducing a new gin to the market nowadays requires lot of considerations and marketing strategic skill. After all you have to create a distillate that stands out from the mass of available products and that somehow is able to draw some attention to it. Of course I want by no means suggest that it’s only up to marketing strategies – which of course is not the case – but even if you’re delivering a very high quality, your gin has to become known to a wider audience and to successfully do that you have to ideally connect it to a specific story. Read More

Pure Spirits: Faude Feine Brände

faude-feine-brande

Until the present – when writing articles in my category “Pure Spirits” – I was mainly concerned with classic spirits which are not uncommon as an ingredient in cocktails or which are unmistakably representatives of  the often so called “sipping segment”. However, fruit brandies are certainly not the first category of spirits that comes to mind on these issues. Although fruit brandies were used in cocktails even before the Prohibition in the US, mainly as the liquid legacy of German immigrants. Nevertheless, today they are often living in the shadows. But there are very ambitious efforts to change that. Read More

Daiquiri

Daiquiri

Once again it’s the hour of one of the great classics of cocktail history. Until now I have not written about this cocktail here although it has been waiting for its own article without any doubt; and it really deserves it. I’m talking about the Daiquiri, the Cuban-Caribbean classic that has influenced countless other cocktails directly or indirectly. But I must confess that the Daiquiri is not really my biggest favorite among the classics. This has nothing to do with the essential cocktail (if done right) but is more about my first contact which was not necessarily what you would call love at first sight. Read More

BOAR Lockstoff

Lockstoff

Today I’ll settle for a rather short article about a signature cocktail that belongs to the BOAR Gin from the Black Forest region in Germany. A few days ago I have written a separate article about the BOAR Gin and must again repeat here: I really did like it.  And with each bottle of BOAR Gin also comes a small notelet and also a small information flyer which feature the recipe for the BOAR Lockstoff (German for attractant). I’m not always writing about every signature drink that belongs to a certain spirit but this sounded interesting enough that I wanted to try it here. So will the BOAR Lockstoff attract me? Read More

Mint Julep

Mint Julep

Ok, now the time has come to write about one of my very favorite cocktails of all time. It constantly competes with the Negroni  in a head-to-head race for the title “My personal No.1”. Eventually with its very special flair and that certain “more” that the preparation requires it might be that one little step ahead…but finally it’s too close to call. I am talking about the Mint Julep, a cocktail incredibly much has been written and said about and one that is far too unknown to many people in europe. Read More

Pure Spirits: BOAR Gin

BOAR Gin

Gin and the Black Forest – to read these two words in one sentence is really nothing special in these days. Rather, a lot of people will immediately think that they already know what such a sentence is about and will most likely have the image of a Monkey 47 bottle in their minds. But that is not necessarily the correct association. The Black Forest region is home to more than 1000 distilleries of which admittedly but a few have a real tradition in the gin segment. Now a new Gin from the Black Forest is arousing some attention and it is not unlikely that we have to rethink our primary association of gin in the future whenever hearing the word “Black Forest”. Read More

Bramble

Bramble

I did already write in other contexts about the English bartender Dick Bradsell, who is considered to be the English luminary of bar culture for the last decades. He is the master mind behind many sophisticated cocktails, for example the very rich Treacle Cocktail, which I really appreciate, but he also created less sophisticated drinks that became very suitable for a mass audience like for example the Espresso Martini. But I don’t want to make more words about Dick Bradsell’s personal career here since I already did this in other articles. Instead I’d like to concentrate on one of his most famous drinks, the Bramble. Read More

French 75

French 75

It is not always an easy thing to name a newly created cocktail properly. Most of the drinks in present times own their name to either a certain flair that emphasizes the idea behind the cocktail, or the name is an allusion to people, places or bars that have played an important role in the drink’s genesis. Meanwhile it has become a rather rare habit (one that is also a little frowned upon) to metaphorically name a cocktail after its alcoholic effect. In earlier days, however, that was sometimes the case. One of the most famous examples is for sure the drink I’d like to write about today which owns its name to nothing less than a French field artillery gun. Read More

Gimlet

Gimlet

A couple of days ago I wrote a few lines about Ernest Hemingway’s notorious penchant for alcoholic beverages in my article about the Daisy de Santiago. Considering how many cocktails are associated with him, it is not surprising that you’re always ending up with the Nobel Prize winner. Today I’d like to write a few lines about a drink that is also very often connected to him but is also famous enough not to be reliant on such associations: I’m talking about the Gimlet. Read More

Daisy de Santiago

Daisy de Santiago

The history of cocktails would of course be nothing without the history of the bartenders standing behind all those numerous creations. Some of them became famous, some of them did not. But almost as important as the bartenders are all those innumerable anecdotes about famous connoisseurs who are inseparably linked with the name of certain drinks. The perhaps best known example for that is Ernest Hemingway. Today’s drink combines both elements to some extent since it was invented by a bartender who became a little famous himself and who also became a drinking companion of Mr. Hemingway. Read More

Pure Spirits: Cotswolds Dry Gin

Cotswolds Dry Gin

One can easily lose track of the flood of newly released gins these days. Even the German gin market sees a new juniper distillate almost on a daily basis and so it is not surprising that a lot of people have recently developed a collector’s passion when it comes to gin. However, today’s distillate comes from the motherland of gins, strictly speaking even from the “heart of England”, from Cotswolds. Read More

Caipirinha / Batida de Limão

Caipirinha

On the one hand I thought that today’s cocktail is still missing in my blog. On the other hand I was not sure if I really should write about it here because basically everyone knows that drink and in addition to that it is that hackneyed that it certainly won’t knock anyone’s socks off. Also I’m actually almost never in the mood to prepare one for myself. But now there is a reason to write about it anyway. Of course I’m talking about the good old Caipirinha. Read More

From the Brew Kettle: Samuel Smith’s Organic Apricot

Samuel Smith Organic Apricot

Today I’m once again writing about beer. About an English beer to be precise. In the English town of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire the traditional Samuel Smith Brewery produces a broad variety of beer styles. I have already presented an Imperial Stout from that brewery some time ago here on the blog, a beer that I really love to drink. I also referred to some interesting traditions in the context of beer in Tadcaster in that article. It is all the more surprising that today’s Samuel Smith beer is not brewed in Tadcaster. Read More

Pure Spirits: B my Gin

B my Gin

Today I want to introduce a gin which bears a very personal signature. And it does that in many ways because already the gin’s name shows that it is a personal matter or may become personal. But of course there is a certain story behind that name which has to do with the personal history of the makers of this distillate. And this bottle is also connected to a personal and nice anecdote. Read More

Bittered Sling & Remi Landier Cognac VSOP

Bittered Sling

Recently, Cognac has not really been what you would call the shining star of the international spirits market. Despite the fact that for a long time it was surroundes by the nimbus of noblesse and sophisticated artisanship. For many it became too expensive and somehow a little antiquated and so it was no wonder that many French cognac distilleries increasingly positioned themselves as premium sightseeing and tasting destinations for super-rich Russian and Chinese people. But times are changing. Read More

Pure Spirits: A Quintet of Independent Whisky Bottlings from “whic”

Whic - whiskys

Whisk(e)ys have been the first spirits category I really became enthusiastic about. Well there is a small exception because that happened in the same days when I started to discover my passion for classic cocktails and my personal gateway was the most classic cocktail of them all, the Martini. Therefore in my “early days” of course gin and vermouth also played a certain role, but I spend much more time reading about whisky and of course tasting it. So today I would like to publish an article all about whisky. Read More

Rum-Traube-Nuss

Rum-Traube-Nuss

I have to confess: a few years ago rum has not only been a book of seven seals to me, I did also commonly announce not to like rum at all. But this was not only unfair, it was much too hasty and naive because I simply had no clue about rum. Instead I did associate rum with an industrial aroma that often is used inside of sweets, such as in the “Ritter Sport Rum Trauben Nuss” chocolate. Read More

Pure Spirits: The Gins from Eden Mill

Eden Mill Gin

Spirits and the countryside of Scotland seem to have a close relationship. Most people will certainly think of whisky, the many neat distilleries covering the picturesque landscape of the country, barley fields and clear rivers. But of course many connoisseurs know that Scotland has more to offer than just the “water of life”. Above all I’m thinking of the trendy spirit of our day: gin. Read More