How Do I Ship Alcohol?

Every Christmas season shoppers the country over are buying presents for relatives in the form of bottles of wine, beer and spirits.  They’re thinking of stuffy in-laws who like their single malt and brothers who just want a taste of the local craft distillate. When they get the whole thing wrapped they get a severe…

Drinks on a Plane

I’m not a frequent traveler.  I seem to have found my location in the universe and seldom wander far from home.  On the rare occasion that I do travel, flight is not my preferred method.  I have nothing against it, it simply has gotten too hairy since the TSA started their security theater project. In…

Bourbon Heritage: The Whiskey Rebellion

It may seem a little unusual now but until the passage of the federal income tax via the 16th amendment in 1913 the federal government received almost three quarters of their revenue from alcohol taxes. After the end of the revolutionary war the federal government had racked up something in the order of $54 million…

What is the difference between Whiskey, Rye, Scotch and Bourbon?

I had an opportunity to work in a distillery retail store, which is much like a standard liquor store only with a limited selection.  People of all types came along with questions like “do you sell scotch?”  At first I was befuddled, that people could be so ignorant of what they were drinking.  After a…

Tonic Water Comparison

My favorite liquor by far has to be Gin.  There can be no greater expression of gin’s history and utility than the simple gin and tonic.  To that end I am always on the hunt for the next great tonic water. History Tonic water itself has a long history and it all starts with the…

Portland Distillery Crawl: Mk II

Portland’s Distillery scene is expanding and exploding.  A recent article about local distilling pegged the number of distilleries at just over 27 between Forest Grove and Troutdale.  This is a staggering number and even more so when you consider that I can think of at least 1 they missed.  In the state of Oregon at…

Stocking Your Bar: Part 3 Mixers

By this point you should have a basic idea of what kind of alcohol you actually want to drink.  Even if that idea is as simple as “Vodka”.  If you don’t then please see Part I and Part II of this series first. I have heard stories from friends and customers many times that they…

Stocking Your Bar Part 2: Basics

For my previous ramblings on how to stock your bar check HERE. A long running argument among my friends is what actually constitutes a cocktail.  The line has been fairly drawn by me at three ingredients and by at least one of my more vocal companions at two.  Under his rule the rum & coke…

Stocking Your Bar: Part 1

To the average drinker not a great amount of thought goes into the content or composition of the liquor cupboard.  When spirits are needed spirits are purchased, and after a number of parties, dinner parties, superbowls and new years have gone by one might be left with an aging bottle of ouzo, a half empty…

Basic Drinking: Moscow Mule

Following up on my post about Core Drinks. This evening we present the Moscow Mule.  A drink with a fine pedigree and a well known history.  The president and owners of Cock ‘n Bull Ginger Beer and  G.F. Heublein Brothers, Inc. Heublein may not sound like a name to remember now but in the 40’s they…

Mudder’s Milk Part 5: Big Damn Heroes

To Recap: Mudders Milk 1 : Where I aim to misbehave Mudders Milk 2: Mighty fine shindig Mudders Milk 3: Too Pretty to Die Mudders Milk 4: Coming to a middle I think this is going to be our final installment.  With enough experimentation I’ve gotten this to the point where it can be reproduced consistently every time….

Double Simple Syrup in Practice – Fitzgerald Cocktail

In looking for a simple cocktail to showcase some of my new syrups I happened upon an old classic. The Fitzgerald is a classic cocktail in every sense. 1.5 oz Gin 3/4 oz Lemon Juice 3/4 oz Simple Syrup 2 dashes Angostura Bitters The combination of sugar, bitters, citrus and spirit is effortless and allows…