Liqueurs/Amara/Digestifs/Bitters Category

Tuesday 16 August, 2016

Brandy is Dandy: Armagnac vs. Brandy de Jerez

Although it pre-dates virtually all other spirits, brandy may be one of the most misunderstood and underappreciated categories in alcoholic beverages right now. Very basically, brandy is a distilled spirit, typically ranging from 33-40% abv, made from grapes (all brandies may also be called eau-de-vie, but eau-de-vies can also be made from other fruit). Brandies […]

Wednesday 11 May, 2016

What Spirits Will Ascend? Inside the 73rd WSWA 2016

It always takes a few days to digest everything that happens at WSWA—not to mention, sober up—hence why it’s taken me some time to post this wrap up on the convention of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America in Las Vegas  April 18-21st. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Distinct […]

Tuesday 19 January, 2016

For the love of Negronis …and Amaro

Ask an American bartender to name his or her favorite cocktail, and nine times out of ten you’ll get one answer: Negroni. Negroni, Negroni, Negroni. What’s behind this fascination with the cocktail somewhat famously created in post-WWI Firenza, Italy by “Count” Negroni (there are other theories, as well as questions about the Count’s peerage, but […]

Friday 27 November, 2015

Five Bottles I’m Obsessed With! Unusual Gift Spirits

Need to find a gift bottle for that hard-to-impress cocktail fan? Your answer may be here. I’m lucky enough to get samples of a lot of different spirits, some of which are easier to categorize than others. That can be a detriment unfortunately, in that the more something is an outlier, the longer it may […]

Friday 21 November, 2014

Where Is The Best Bar Supply Store? I Vote For Kegworks Buffalo!

The news out of Buffalo this week reminded me that I was overdue (surprise) to post about an amazing store I visited there a few months ago…back when the weather was milder, thank goodness! At the tail end of a trip to Western New York this summer,  I was flying home out of Buffalo airport […]

Friday 03 October, 2014

Cocktails and more on

My work at hasn’t been just about food and chefs–I get to write about cocktails and other beverages as well. Here’s a few of my pieces there: Master Mixologist Tony Abu-Ganim on Vodka Distilled A New Holiday Cocktail: The Latketini Vintage Spirits: Are They Trash or Treasure? How the L.A. Cocktail Scene Is Different […]

Thursday 02 October, 2014

Getting Spirited in the Tasting Panel

As Editor-At-Large for the Tasting Panel, I got to explore every corner of the varied world of spirits. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! Click on each image below for the full stories as printed! ALSO SEE MY WINE STORIES FOR THE TASTING PANEL HERE OR GO HERE FOR MORE STORIES […]

Salvatore and Giada DeLaurentiis at Bound by Salvatore Calabrese at the Cromwell Las Vegas
Friday 06 June, 2014

VIDEO: Salvatore Calabrese on Why The Negroni Is The Perfect Cocktail

Before Negroni Week ended, I wanted to post this interview with “The Maestro,” legendary bartender and mixologist Salvatore Calabrese, on why the Negroni is–like so many bartenders–his favorite cocktail…and so many other interesting topics. I reacquainted myself with Salvatore a few weeks ago at the opening of his new bar in Las Vegas, Bound by […]

Friday 29 November, 2013

Mixologists and Bartenders in The Tasting Panel

As Editor-At-Large for Anthony Dias Blue’s The Tasting Panel magazine, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the world’s best winemakers as well as master distillers, mixologists and other experts of the spirits industry. Here are some of the many features I published (click on each to see the full story): OR CLICK HERE […]

Friday 05 July, 2013

Minute Mixologist: Mixing with Bols Yogurt Liqueur

I admit I was more than intrigued when Bols–makers of more liqueur varieties than anyone else in the world, I believe–announced they would be making a shelf-stable Yogurt liqueur. What with all the novelty flavors in the liqueur and spirits worlds these days, I wasn’t sure what to think. Luckily Bols was nice enough to […]