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

Raspcano

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

Jisei

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

Pure Spirits: Dry Fly Port Finish Wheat Whiskey & The Sunset in Suburbia

The Dry Fly Cask Strength Straight Wheat which I have reviewed a few days ago (neat and in a cocktail) was really able to completely convince me. For a long time I have acted a bit disparaging when it came to wheat whiskeys and thought of them as mere components of blended whiskeys or indirectly as a part of the mash in the production of bourbon. And pure wheat whiskeys were almost impossible to find (however, I once tried an Austrian wheat single malt). Now all the more interesting is today’s wheat whiskey! It was finished in my favorite type of barrels: port wine barrels. Read More

Lime in the Coconut

I do not really have much to tell today, but just want to introduce a drink which I recently came upon by chance and which I simply had to try. The cocktail is called “Lime in the Coconut” and was created by Elizabeth Forsythe from the Hot Joy in San Antonio, Texas. That may not sound unusual or exciting at first, but although it is a fairly simple recipe, it is more than unusual indeed! Read More

Pure Spirits: Dry Fly Cask Strength Straight Wheat, Mondino Stagionato & The Blood Like Lemonade

After a short weekend trip to Berlin I want to continue with a new cocktail and two related spirits today! If you should expect a “Berlin Special” or something like this, I must disappoint you. There are plenty of reports on the Berlin bar scene or articles with recommendations on this topic out there so I don’t want to launch just another article like that. But there is a really nice recipe in this article that has all it needs to please the crowds! Read More

Pure Spirits: Choya Yuzu & The Geisha’s Kiss

And once again an article is dominated by a Japanese product. It was only yesterday when I wrote about the Choya “Extra Years”, the Choya “Extra Shiso” and the Choya “Royal Honey”. However, today’s article has a slightly different focus because besides a cocktail based on Umeshu there is also a Yuzu liqueur which also comes from the house of Choya. Read More

Pure Spirits: Choya Extra Years, Choya Extra Shiso & Choya Royal Honey

Today’s bottles are certainly one of the most striking bottles in any rack of liqueur. Presumably, many people have already wondered about these bottles during a walk through a well-stocked supermarket’s liqueur department. They might have asked themselves: What kind of liqueur is inside those tall bottles with the fruits in it? And what can you do with it? Well, I would like to concentrate on these and also on other questions today and introduce three bottles which I particularly like very much! Read More

Pure Spirits: Stobbe 240 Black Currant Barrel Dry Gin & Reserve Apricot Sage Smash

It’s been a while since I wrote about the Stobbe 1776 Black Currant London Dry Gin. At that time, this gin really convinced me with its flavor and I have also used it in some cocktails, for example in the Smuggler’s Cove Straits Sling or in my Just Another Lemon Tea. Last year, another Gin from the house Stobbe appeared on the market: the Stobbe 240 Black Currant 1776 Barrel Dry Gin – today I’m not only going to review that gin, I will also present a very nice and well-fitting cocktail. Read More