Urban Gardini – a Martini twist for the modern gardener

I have to start this article with a confession: I’m a big fan of mate lemonade – more precisely the classic, Club Mate, which is very famous here in Germany (most other manufacturers are simply too sweet for me). And of course I know about the evolution from the so called “hacker’s soda” to “hipster’s soda” and what other epithets there might be for this very polarizing drink. I am convinced that part of the polarization is simply caused by the slightly bitter, earthy taste, which one would not expect in a lemonade. However, for anyone who has tried real mate tea, the note in a bottle of Club Mate can at best be described as a nuance. Anyway, today I tried again to use mate flavor as a cocktail component. Read More

Chairman’s Reserve Legacy & the Luau Grog

It is not without reason that Saint Lucia Distillers is always written in the plural. Even if the phrase “Saint Lucia Distillery” can also be found throughout the web, it is actually the Distillers, because it is a distillery merged of the two former distilleries Dennery Factory and Geest. The merging took place in 1972. Both distilleries had been in existence since the 1800s, or even before in the case of Geest Distillery. And if the name should sound familiar to readers of this blog, it may be because the Admiral Rodney Rum is also made there. Read More

CO’PS Kaffee-Kolanuss-Likör & the Cop Chiller Cocktail

It’s not so long ago that I wrote about a coffee liqueur here. And today the focus is again on one, but this time not from the other side of the world, but from the capital Berlin. It is created by Finn and Jan, two chefs who felt obliged to create their own coffee liqueur based on natural ingredients, which should not only act as ingredient for mixed drinks, but also be a flavorful wake-up call as a neat liqueur. The result is CO’PS Kaffee-Kolanuss-Likör (Coffee Cola Nut Liqueur). Read More

18 US craft distillers introduce themselves

A few weeks ago, I received a package with 18 small samples of spirits in a very attractive presentation. Behind this marketing offensive is the American spirits umbrella organization DISCUS (Distilled Spirits Council of the United States), which wants to promote various spirits from small American craft distillers on the European market. And since I like the idea and am in principle a friend of maximum diversity, I would like to write a small article about it here, too. Read More

Mount Rigi & Mountain Whisper

In the Swiss distillery Distillerie Mount Rigi of the 30,000-inhabitant city of Zug in the canton of the same name, no big words are spared. On the website it says: “Finest Swiss Alpine aromas, boldly and freshly embellished with pure Kirsch. Mount Rigi goes wonderfully with tonic water, together with beer, spritzed on rosé wine, as a cocktail mixer or simply pure on the rocks. Always different in taste and aroma, the Flavor of the Alps is an enrichment to the purist Kirsch – Mount Rigi is the new Swiss aperitif”. That’s what I’d call a self-confident announcement. Read More

From the Brew Kettle: Strandhase Pale Ale & Strandhase Lager

I have to admit: it has been a really long time since I wrote my last article about beer here. But instead of justifying this time span, I’d rather do something about it and publish another beer article. The journey leads me to a beach in Düsseldorf. The Stadtstrand (city beach) Düsseldorf, to be precise. Because there you can buy the Strandhase Pale Ale and the Strandhase Lager (Strandhase means as much as beach bunny), which are the names of today’s bottles. Read More

El Rayo Tequila – made for Tequila & Tonics

It’s been quite a while (almost 4 years) since I mentioned a Tequila & Tonic highball in my article about the Spiced TNT Cocktail (the Spiced TNT is basically nothing else but an upgraded version of this highball or long drink). At that time, Tequila and Mezcal was discussed everywhere as the new thing in the (European). And indeed Tequila and Mezcal have become more popular and even better known. Even if they did not become as popular as some expected, above all, the quality awareness has increased a lot. Read More

La Hechicera Serie Experimental No.2 & Plátano de la Bodega

Today I have a special bottle in focus, which only recently saw the light of day. I was very excited in advance, because I could not really imagine in which direction it would go in terms of taste. My expectations oscillated somewhere between delicious and terrible, which is simply because infused rum doesn’t always have to lead to a delightful result – and especially in combination with bananas, spirits quite often drift off into unpleasant realms. Today we are talking about the La Hechicera Serie Experimental No.2. Read More

Starward Two Fold & Robby goes to Sydney

In a recent article I wrote about a really remarkable coffee liqueur from Australia. The fact that this liqueur comes from Australia didn’t make me sit up and take notice – I just accepted it. Now that the bottle I want to review today also comes from Down Under is simply a coincidence. Although perhaps one that shows: You’d better have Australian spirits on your future lists. Read More

Siglo Cero Pox and the Pox Negroni

Today it is all about liquid Mayan medicine! Yes, you’ve read correctly, we are dealing with a very unusual distillate from Mexico, which means as much “medicine”. We are talking about Pox (spoken: Posh), a schnapps from Mexico distilled from yellow, red, black and white corn, wheat and sugar cane. In fact, I had never heard of such a distillate before writing this review – and I’m certainly not alone in this. Read More

Scheibel Premium Plus Ingwer Royal – Gingergold & White Ginger Negroni

Ginger spirits are not necessarily at the top of a typical bar repertoire list. Nevertheless, you will come across recipes that call for them from time to time. Especially the King’s Ginger, produced by Berry Bros. & Rudd, has been the supposedly most common ginger-based liqueur for many years. Ultimately, however, there are not only liqueurs, but also ginger eau-de-vies or – in the broadest sense – ginger spirits, which all differ from each other. And today I would like to take a closer look at a very interesting ginger spirit from Scheibel, which is limited to 2000 bottles. Read More

Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur & Trinidad Cocktail

Coffee liqueurs are indeed a real phenomenon (for me personally, they are in fact a phenomenon in multiple ways)! In general, it must be stated that they have become a permanent element behind every bar and hardly anyone who really wants to build up a serious stock of bar ingredients can avoid a coffee liqueur. Considering this fact, it is even more astonishing that usually only a few brands are mentioned in this context, especially Kahlua from Mexico, which is probably best known for its part in a White Russian. However, the world has also long since started moving in the coffee liqueur segment. Read More

Ginraw Barcelona Gastronomic Gin & Maretini

Just recently, I started an article about a bottle of gin with some thoughts about bottle designs. And actually this seemed quite natural considering the really nice outward appearance of the Lind & Lime Gin. However, also today I could start my article with very similar words, because once again I have a gin bottle in front of me that stands out without any doubt. In view of the really large and competitive gin market, which is entered by new bottlings on an almost daily basis, the design, which has always been not insignificant from a salesman’s point of view, seems to gain even more importance. Read More

Mezcal Local – Wake me up, and then sacrifice me to Quetzalcoatl!

So, once again it is time for Mezcal! Well, and that makes me especially happy in the case of today’s bottle, because we are dealing with a special one about which I have already heard lots of good things. To what extent this premature praise is actually true and whether I can join in the hymn after the tasting remains to be seen, of course. However, on paper, at least some things are already really cool. Read More

J.M Rhum XO & Rhum Old Fashioned

Today it is once again about a Rhum Agricole. In the past I have already written about Rhums from J.M. here in the blog. In the course of these articles, I have reviewed the Rhum JM 50° and used it in a sour with white asparagus, which sometimes causes some irritation. Furthermore, the Shrubb J.M Liqueur d’Orange was also put to the test here. Today, however, it is about a matured representative of the series: The J.M Rhum XO. Read More

Lind & Lime Gin – The Way to Paradise

As an author of booze reviews, you’re naturally striving for a certain objectivity. Although I hope that it is not necessary to point out the impossibility of achieving such a complete objectivity at this point, it still remains in view somewhere as a shining beacon of how things should ideally be. Okay, this may sound a little bit more dramatic than intended, but actually I just want to emphasize that I don’t let myself easily be blinded by outer appearances. Well, I have to admit, today it was not really easy for me! Read More

The Rear Cocktail – a medium drink made with rye whiskey and “Speckbirne”

Today, the main focus will be on a special drink that was the result of some thought experiments around the pears. I really wanted to make a drink with bourbon or rye whiskey and a pear distillate and here I also had some ginger in mind. How exactly I would create this drink was not quite clear to me at first. My initial thoughts have been about a kind of sour cocktail, whereas I find sours in principle rather simple and personally prefer drinks that consist exclusively of alcoholic ingredients (granted, a source of sweetness like in an Old Fashioned may also be part of it). So I thought a little bit further. Read More

Dover Azuki Liqueur & Aka-Murasaki

If you have ever travelled to the Far East, you will probably not have been able to avoid contact with the sweet, red bean paste found in countless desserts and pastries. The name azuki bean paste is somewhat less common, even though it is actually the correct name for the sweet called dousha in China and An, Anko or Ogura in Japan. Because the basis of the paste is the so-called azuki bean (sometimes adzuki bean). And it is precisely this bean that is the decisive ingredient for the liqueur that is the focus of attention today. Read More

G’Vine Nouaison Gin & The Improved Jockey Club Cocktail

After a short holiday-summer break here on the blog, today I will continue with a bottle of gin, to which I have a very special relationship. This is because at numerous gin tastings that I have moderated in the past, I have put this gin at the end of the tasting series (or at least almost at the end). Why did I do that? Well, the G’Vine Nouaison Gin has been on the market for quite some time (2001) (albeit in a different design) and for me it symbolizes the breadth of the gin taste palette – and it did this even before the big wave of New Western Dry Gins flooded the world. Read More

Perola turns 10 – and celebrates this with two exciting rums

Ten years ago, Arno Schmid-Egger and his then co-founder Joachim Klein founded the Perola GmbH. Initially, the company focused solely on Magnífica Cachaça, but eventually expanded its range of products and is now one of the established distributors and traders of spirits in the German-speaking world. My esteemed blogger colleague Johann Trasch from cocktailbart.de worked for the Fürth-based distribution company and also I have worked with Perola in the past, writing about some of their products, as well as tasting and mixing them. Read More

Samurai No Mon Shōchū & The Shimazu Highball

Today I am happy to be able to once again write about Japanese Shōchū. Already in March this year I published an article about a representative of this category of spirits and reviewed the Sato No Akebono Gold Shōchū, which I liked very much. In a Negroni, it is truly a poem! However, while the Sato No Akebono Gold is a sugar cane-Shōchū, today I am dealing with a Shōchū made of sweet potatoes. But that is by far not the only special thing! Read More

Monkey Shoulder & The Laughing Monkey

Today’s article is one that is both long overdue and full of special anticipation. Because when I first held the beautifully shaped bottle with the three monkeys in my hands many years ago, I was directly in love with the design. I’ve always had a weakness for monkeys (it’s no coincidence that the blog mascot is a little monkey) and so I liked the Monkey Shoulder from the start. But well, design alone is not everything (on the contrary), it depends on the content. Read More

Plantation Isle of Fiji & the Bula Bula Cocktail

It’s been quite a while since I wrote about a rum from Fiji here. I really liked the Plantation Vintage Edition Fiji 2009 very much and since then I have been absolutely positive about rums from the Pacific island state. Later I also reviewed the Plantation Black Cask Barbados & Fiji, which is at least partly based on Fiji rum from the South Pacific Distillery. Here, too, I was very positively impressed. And today I have a new Fiji-Rum from the Plantation series in front of me. Read More

Berlin Distillery Gin

After a break of almost two weeks I am finally back with another article. It’s quite possible that in other times I would have used a two-week break to visit the German capital, because I have to admit that I really have a soft spot for Berlin! – This may sound rather facile because some people might wonder who doesn’t like Berlin (actually quite a lot of people do), but basically I just want to express that I like the city best among the big German bar scene metropoles. However, this has only little to do with the bar scene, but rather with the history of the city, the free spirit of Berlin, the unique, multicultural (gastronomy) – and somewhere of course also with the possibilities of upscale drinking pleasures that the city offers. Read More

Vallendar Obstbrände & Obstgeiste (Eau-de-Vies)

When people talk about the German tradition of distilling spirits, the first thing you will hear about is the art of distilling fruit, which is the historically grown foundation of that craft throughout the country. Although countless fruit distillers have long since expanded their traditional profession and now also produce gin, whisky and co. on their own or as commissioned work, in the end it is of course the fruit brandy respectively eau-de-vie production that forms the heart of the German distillery landscape. And the Brennerei Hubertus Vallendar is one of those distilleries. Read More

Happy Chartreuse Day!

“Chartreuse is an herbal liqueur from the Grande Chartreuse!” – This was indeed the first sentence I encountered many years ago when I first came into contact with the liqueur from the green or yellow labelled bottle. It was uttered by a friend who had quickly researched what exactly this spirit was – and thereby left a big question mark. Although I am not a culturally uninterested person, one might  forgive me for not immediately making sense of the term “Grande Chartreuse” at that time. Read More