Posts Tagged ‘serious drinks’

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The Cocktail Classics

May 17, 2013

For those of you in New York and for those who have made the trip, tonight marks the opening of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. The Classic is a series of events, some educational, some experiential that celebrate the world of spirits and the enthusiasts that keep it interesting. Tickets have been on sale for many of the events for some time and most sold out pretty darn quickly but there may be a few events still open so check it out here…

But in honor of the classic, I thought I’d put together a little post about the cocktail. You know, the notion of the cocktail. Because when well executed the cocktail represents a confidence and an intrigue that no other drink can encompass. And most importantly, you can make your cocktail your own. Maybe you tweak a recipe, maybe you choose something historical or cutting-edge, but no matter what, having “your’ cocktail is a damn good feeling.

What perfect timing then, that the folks over at Serious Drinks put together this list of 25 classic cocktails to get us all started. I’ll tell you, it’s a great list with a lot of great drinks; but encourage you to make these your own. Choose your favorite spirit and brand, choose your favorite garnish, and be sure to recognize the fun in choosing. Next week the Noblers are gathering for a little cocktail creation of our own and I bet we’ll have a few more options to report back on. So enjoy the weekend, at the Classic or not, and most importantly, enjoy a cocktail!

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With Craft Beer, More Isn’t Always A Good Thing

April 4, 2013

20130402craftbrewersconference.jpg

[Photo: Jason E. Kaplan, Serious Drinks]

First off, I’ve got to say I’m a bit offended the Cow Thieves Brewery wasn’t invited to the Craft Brewers Conference this year. We could have held a really valuable seminar called “Barefoot Bottle Filling: The Pros and Cons of Questionable Quality Control”. Oh well, next year…

With all that silliness aside, this recap from the folks over at Serious Drinks summarizes a few trends in the industry, most of which I’m pretty happy about. Love the focus on new job opportunities! But the one that really blows my mind is the pacing of new U.S. Brewery openings. 409 new breweries in 2012 with another 1254 in the planning stages is just insane. That is an unbelievable amount of craft beer and as Jen mentions in her write up, this isn’t always a good thing.

We’ve all had the craft beer that disappoints and with the number of new breweries growing, I’m fearful that this will become more of a regular occurrence. But with the number of beer obsessives out there, I’m also thinking the less than average breweries will have to evolve or die. Either way, myself and the Noblers are excited to keep drinking these newbies, good, bad, or breathtaking. Speaking of which, who’s going to Beer for Beasts this weekend? We’ve got quite the Nobler contingency going and are always looking for new recruits!

 

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And the mustard winner is…

October 26, 2012

Despite a valiant attempt by Nobler Mark Alu to continue his winning streak, it was simply not meant to be. Because after hours of algorithm data mashing and wild blogosphere forecasting of who would be the winner of the third Nobler giveaway, one name remained, carefully chosen by Microsoft excel’s RANDBETWEEN function. Congrats to Mike Mangone, you may now collect your mustard. I hope you’ve prepared your speech!

As for the rest of the Cow Thievery taking place these days, this weekend marks the unveiling of our new set of labels for the two delicious wheat beers we bottled just a few weeks ago. I’m looking forward to tasting both now that they are fully carbonated!

For those of you dressing up like sexy pirates or styling like Gangnam for Halloween, I hope you have a great time and drink well. And by drink well, I mean hopefully you avoid the candy corn vodka. If you have better drinks in mind and are looking to continue the pumpkin beer theme but are getting a little sick of the typical offerings, here is a great post from Serious Drinks on a few unusual spins on this fall favorite.

Have a great weekend and congrats again to Mike!

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Another Worthy Addition to the Cabinet

July 12, 2012

I’ve watched this video close to 10 times this morning. It’s so peaceful!

I’ve made a point recently, to try as many new bourbons as possible. So naturally, when I’m out at a bar and find a thorough list, I do my best to go for something unique, as opposed to something I already know well and have enjoyed. But I realized, this isn’t exactly the best way to get to know a bourbon (or really any whiskey for that matter). Sure, even an average bartender can put together a decent cocktail or a stiff pour, but there is something irreplaceable about grabbing your own bourbon out of the liquor cabinet and fixing yourself a glass straight from the bottle.

It encapsulates everything about that brand of bourbon that goes into your approval or disapproval. The look of the bottle as it sits on the shelf, the color of the bourbon in your own lighting, as opposed to the darkness of most bars, and most importantly, the control over how you drink it. Even in the video above, what was cool about the way their Old Fashioned was made, was in the freedom to add and pour by preference. The use of one singular sugar cube helps keep the sweetness in check, but maybe you like more bitters, maybe you like it heavy on the bourbon; when you make your own, you’ve got full control.

Which is why I am glad I picked up a bottle of this Jefferson Bourbon the other day. I’m a sucker for a good bottle design, and this one rates high on my list. Simple, smooth, and unique to stand out amongst the other bottles, the Jefferson is a nice addition for sure. But I was also really pleased with the taste. Jefferson is a small batch Kentucky whiskey and at just above 80 proof, it’s really smooth. I saw a lot of reviews describe Jefferson as a “beginners” whiskey because it provides all of the flavor components you would expect from a Kentucky aged bourbon and not much more: caramel, vanilla, and oak make their presence known. But I think classifying this as a bourbon for beginners is kind of silly.

A true bourbon drinker, knows that preferences depend on occasion. While complex and curious bourbons can be mind-blowing, sometimes the simple and reliably delicious are just what the doctor ordered.

 

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New Summer Ale Giveaway!

May 8, 2012

It’s time for the Cow Thieves to get back to work as we get set to create our first summer brew. This last batch of pilsners has been wildly successful and despite a slight issue of over-carbonation in the Garage Pale Pils, leading to a minor explosion of two bottles, there wasn’t much I would have changed about this go around. Particularly not the labels!

So it was perfect timing that the team over at Serious Drinks posted this link on 5 Refreshing Beers for Warm Weather Drinking. Acting as a little inspiration and a source of reference for our upcoming shopping trip, this guide points out a few necessities for our summer style beers. Both the Cow Thieves Pilsner and the Garage Pale Pils are crisp and refreshing but not exactly “light”. They pack a delicious punch making them perfect for a spring night cooking by the grill. Sitting in the summer sun and heat, pounding a few of these guys on the other hand could lead to some interesting/potentially dangerous situations.

I am envisioning us cracking into these new brews as we float in the water digging for clams and avoiding the constable at our annual Southampton extravaganza. You’ll notice, all of our traditions have lavish names and involve a heavy focus on booze. Take note if you suffer from a lack of tradition in your life! But in order to be an effective clammer, a life jacket can not be worn. Whether you “dive and swoop” or prefer to clam as a “toe digger” buoyancy in this case is not your friend. But trust me, I would definitely need a life jacket after a few of the pilsners.

So what should our summer brews taste like? Or what are some of your favorite summer beers that we can try to reference? Leave a comment and you are automatically in the running to win a 6 pack of the Cow Thieves next delicious batch of beer! You normally pay $8-$15 bucks for a six pack…and all I’m asking you to do is contribute…seems fair to me!

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The Future of American Whiskey

February 23, 2012

As you probably have guessed, I’m not the only one out there who loves a good American Whiskey. Because whether you’ve been following the specifics or not, our nation’s re-birth in the whiskey world is in full-out growth mode and the obsession with small batch, craft distillation has followed suit. It really blows me away to see projections like those in this article from Serious Drinks that predict the number of American craft distilleries to balloon to over 400 by 2015. But with all the competition sure to brew (or should I say distill), I really love the model and suggestion brought out referencing true elegance in the liquor industry.

The Scotch business years ago, much like the current American Whiskey industry, grew like wildfire as the techniques and processes were perfected with local and regional practices taking shape in the form of Single Malts. But as competition grew, and “master blenders” began to tout the beauty of  blended scotch, the single malt distilleries needed to adapt to remain in business. As the article suggests, many of these single malt distilleries sell up to 90% of their output to those same “master blenders”. And the outcome is really ideal for all of us. The pressure to produce high quality single malts keeps the distilleries in business with the blenders and in parallel, allows them to remain focused on their uniqueness; the very thing that got them into business in the first place.

So looking forward, as a number of craft distilleries take form in the states, will a similar model be adapted? I think certainly some aspects will have to. Brands will have to capitalize on the quality of small batches to offer up highly marketable blends to keep a leading edge in the industry. But there is an interesting wrinkle taking shape that may provide for even more stateside excitement. As more of our craft distilleries begin production, more of them are looking to break the mold of what we know as a traditional bourbon or rye. By differentiating from the classic designations, we are in line for some pretty exciting stuff. The times of ordering just any “bourbon” are coming to an end (or probably already have) and we all stand to gain on this one. It’s time to get on board!

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