Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Way off track...

I know I really need to get with the program, but work has been killer.  
Very little time lately to do any of my much needed research but I heard through the grapevine that a new beer is coming into our market and is next to impossible to find anywhere at all.

I really would have wanted to throw a New Year's Party in the new house but I don't have the time, money, or energy to do it....

I'll have more than enough posts to keep y'all happy after the first, but till then, just enjoy this:


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Rogue Santa's Private Reserve Ale

I can't believe I'm actually doing an update today!
The other day I decided to finally try this after having it tease and taunt me for nearly a month.

Rogue Santa's Private Reserve

Although it really seemed like a real interesting brew, I was a little disappointed at first but then some of its underlying beauty started to bloom towards the end.

Nice and hoppy with a nice toasty malt, but what threw me off for a spin was this overbearing flavor of spruce, almost like a perfume really.  Honestly not a bad brew, but I think it's certainly a once a year beer.

Try it out some time especially it your house is lacking a tree and you absolutely need to huff some Xmas tree.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bacardi Rock Melon Rum

So in case you're wondering where I've been for the past few days, let's just say I've been a little lost.
Not lost in the sense of "Honey, ask that stranger with the arm one for directions," kinda lost, but the "HOLY CRAP IT'S A SQUIRREL!!!" kinda lost.

See, in the same weekend, Mine craft came out with the beta version, I found Big League Chew at a local store, and Bacardi released this wonderful new beverage that I've taken a moderate liking to.
Although I can't really explain the first two due to my over-indulgence of child-like behavior, I can explain in GREAT detail about the third.

Bacardi Rock Coconut

For those of you unaware of it, a rock melon is another fancy name for a cantaloupe, just as is a muskmelon.  But before you freak out thinking this is like a rum infused with the Godly power of Midori (Which is a muskmelon liqueur), sadly it is not.  But nonetheless, it's pretty badass as far as flavored rums go.

Like all Bacardi flavored rums, this holds some serious stomping power at a whopping 70% as opposed to the regular flavored rums out there averaging about 25-35%.  The flavor in itself has a slightly different taste from its regular coconut rum as the "water" from the coconut provides more of a lighter less sweet flavor, which is pretty impressive since the rock melon really stands out.

The only downside to it I find is that the rum proves to be just a tad too sweet for my taste and I needed to mix it with something a little harsh.  For those of you with a sweet tooth, this will mix well into cola or pineapple juice, but for me, I did this:

Purple Panty Ripper
2oz Bacardi Rock Coconut
2oz POM Pomegranate juice
1oz Club Soda
Twist of Orange

Shake first two ingredients over finely cracked ice and strain into a martini glass topping with club soda.

I'm not trying to make a habit of using cocktails with the word "panty" in its name (if you remember my Lace Panty Martini from an earlier post), but this is based off of a normal cocktail called a panty ripper which is a girly little cocktail composed of Malibu and Passion Fruit Juice.  
Mine is just slightly different in which I use unsweetened pomegranate juice and club soda.  For me, it creates a nice and natural balance of sweet and sour that really tie in the drink as a whole.

Overall, a pretty good spirit for about $16 but a little tricky to utilize.  I'm pretty sure you can use it in lieu of any clear rum in jsut about any recipe, but it will add a great deal of sweetness.

I'll have another Christmas beer for y'all tomorrow, but til then..
Bon Boire!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Apology....

Because of this thing I recently discovered called a "life,"  I've been forced to spend time with family, coworkers, and friends.  Actually it's not too bad, but it does interfere with my drinking time somewhat.  But I have noticed that you can drink AND be sociable!
For a quick update, I have added a new poll so go and VOTE!!!
As proof of this newfound discovery and penance for my lack of REAL update last night, I give you a picture of myself sexually molesting a Velociraptor at The Celebration in the Oaks at City Park.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Update Tonight

I know it's been a while but I will finish my Vodka list and Christmas beers before the big day!
Today I'm preparing to have Christmas with my wife's family at her grandmother's house and later tonight we are going to Christmas in the Oaks - a large celebration that takes place in City Park in new Orleans.  I'll post some pics of it and whatnot later, but right now just hang tight and grab a cold one.

Also chcek out this video which has some pretty cheesy sexual wine references in it:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rökk Vodka

One thing that's really neat-o about the winter season is that it's the perfect time of year to drink vodka of any kind and sort.

Just the other day, I was introduced to a Swedish vodka called Rökk.  The bottle and pretty much everything concerning it really seemed like a knockoff of Absolut or some other of its cheaper brethren like Sobieski or Svedka.  It's large plastic bottle makes it look like a pumped up bottle of SmartWater and notes of condensation in the brim note that it has a high water to spirit content.

All negativity aside, it is a pretty decent drink.  For about $19 per 1.75 Liter, it made a pretty damn smooth Bloody Mary.  Now before you freak out thinking that any vodka is decent in a Bloody Mary, this isn't necessarily true.  It's the same principal of saying, "as long as you're putting ketchup on them, it doesn't matter how bad the French Fries taste."

Rökk has a very smooth and clean start and finish that drinks easily neat as does mixed, but it does lack a serious quality of body.  Most vodkas in this price range add additional starches or gelatin to fatten its body for the consumer, but they seem to have just skipped that to go straight to the bottling.

Overall, it's not a bad buy, but for twenty bucks, just splurge on yourself and get a 750ml of something decent.
Be sure to keep up to date with me as I post some more vodkas for the winter season!
Bon Boire!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Herbal Healing

So lately I've been going through a phase of mixing my energy drinks with herbal liqueurs.  I know this is nothing new but still, mixing herbal liqueurs and energy drinks is about as American as apple pie, baseball, and filing frivolous lawsuits..  I usually shy away from this concoction because it winds up being a little too heavy to drink, but I've found a couple good mixes that aren't half bad.  Here's a few for those over the top Christmas parties!

Classic Jager Bomb
Shot of Jagermeister Herbal Liqueur
Half Can of Red Bull

Most of this drink's potency is in the chemistry.  You need to place both in the freezer until very cold and the Red Bull is almost like a slushie.  Jager and Red Bull seem to blend so well together because of the deep dark flavors of the Jager and the sharp citrus acidity for the Red Bull.  Mix both together and drink down quick.

Lamborghini Drag Race
3oz Sambuca
16oz Monster Java Mocha or Vanilla

There is an interesting alternative to this called the Flaming Lamborghini that includes overproofed rum, but this classic has been improved with the addition of everybody's favorite mind-altering chemical: Caffeine!  An easy to make drink that can be further improved by throwing everything into a blender with some ice.

Liquid Cocaine, 8-Ball Style
½oz Amaretto
½oz Triple Sec
½oz Southern Comfort Peach Liqueur
½oz Peach Schnapps
8oz Rockstar Energy Drink

Shake the first four ingredients over ice and strain into a beer mug while simultaneously pouring the Rockstar. If you want to make it flaming, just float 1/2oz of Bacardi 151 on top and ignite with caution.

Well i hope you've enjoyed.  I will have a more serious update tomorrow.  But for today, I definitely needed all three of these....
For lack of a better post, I leave you with this:
Mobile Jager Bomb.
Bon Boire!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

I know it's been a while but I'm delivering as promised!!!  This is just the first of a few Christmas Ales I'll be reviewing until Christmas Day, and yes you can expect me to do one of my favorite line of all time: Abita.
But the first was one pointed out to me by my good friend, Theresa. She told me about it and explained the flavor and whatnot, but completely sold me on the fact that it came with a free chalice laced with a gold rim.
That's right.  I love free shit.

So anyway, here's my overall analysis of a wonderful work of art from the heart of Belgium, this is Corsendonk Christmas Ale!  Visit the brewery by clicking here!

Pictures courtesy of my wife's camera I stole while she was at work.  Pictured is the 12oz bottle along with the free chalice enclosed in the 6-pack for $14.99.

The bottle really screams "CHRISTMAS!!!" at you.  Most others kinda put on a little show, maybe add snowflakes or some crap to their label.  but this one is colorful, snowy, has a star on it and everything.   Unlike Brooklyn Lager which just barely changes the color of the label, this is a complete overhaul of its original format.

As you can see, the dark abbey style ale is very similar in color to the bottle itself, barely allowing any light to pass through.  Most who revel over the thickness of a beer's head boast that you can float the bottle cap on the head, but with this brew, you could float a brick!  It's so interesting because it allows you mix this heavy top head with a smooth and light body that really drinks like a crisp lager.
The aroma is pretty typical of a Christmas Ale with nice little warm notes of coffee, pecan and hazelnuts; but a little hit of metal and chemical is present due to its rustic hops.

Once again, the body is creamy yet crisp, not overbearing like a stout yet not watery like a lager.  A very nice balance of flavor and ability to drink, not something you would normally expect out of a "spiced" ale.
Also, unlike most Christmas Ales, this isn't overly Christmas-y.  Just the label.  Although it still has those great notes of deep and heavy cinnamon and nutmeg along with a refreshing citrus zest; it's not too heavily present.  You can still taste the slightly bitter hops and deep roasted malts through all the holiday flair.

My dad told me once before, "Christmas beer is the shit they put back in the tank because it wasn't good enough to drink then."  You can clearly see what my opinion while I gently nurse the second bottle.

This was a nice introduction for me this year considering I usually skip on what I used to call novelty beers.  If others produce the same quality as this one.  I believe I will be tempted to try more than a few other Christmas Ales.

For a little bit of langiappe, here's the notes I took while drinking this beer.  If you read carefully, the second to bottom line states "Heavy nuts."  I need to get some better adjectives.

Bon Boire!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Top Ten Red Wines!!!

Now that I no longer have any excuses to procrastinate my work, I now present you with my list of my favorite Red Wines on the market!  I've stalled long enough and done my fair share of research on this so I think this list will be pretty definite of what I want to tell you all.
The one thing i should not is that I'm only applying vintages to certain reds on here, more specifically because that is the one vintage of that particular wine that I prefer.  I usually don't pay too much mind to vintages years unless there is an inconsistent little boost in quality amongst one or the other.  For example, bad vintages don't concern me at all.
So hope you enjoy and feel free to ask any questions that you may have!

10 - EOS Zinfandel 2003
A rare wine that I've fancied for some time now but the main issue I have with it, is its availability.  Right now, it's hard enough just to find any vintage, let alone the 2003.  But the juice is spectacular.  Exactly what you would expect out of the great American descendant of the Primitivo.  It's smooth and spicy with lots of complex aromas and bites with just the slightest hint of oak.  As majestic as the name implies and just as elusive.  Expect to find this one for anywhere between $15-30 per bottle.  But absolutely worth it at any price.
Pairs well with gourmet woodfire pizzas and heavy red sauces.

9-  Miguel Torres "Santa Digna" Carmenere 2007
The first and only time I've had this wine was at a fantastic bar in town called the Obelisk.  I knew the owners quite well but had never stopped in so they ordered a bottle for my friends and me to try on our first visit.  Not only did the wine pair well with the food (which I list) but with the atmosphere of the wine bar itself.  It had one of the most beautiful aromas I had ever encountered before in a wine, and at first sniff I knew I was going to be in love with the bottle.  At the first taste of blackberries and roasted raspberries, I wanted to propose to it.  It drank as smooth as silk and left just the faintest little bite in the back of the jaw with little but noticeable acidity.
It was served with roasted pork and cranberry chutney, stuffed mushrooms and lobster paté.

8 - Chateau Lafont Fourcat Bordeaux
I could mouth off on several Bordeaux's at a moment's notice but this one I chose over others because two main factors:  its flexibility and its price.  Unlike some of its cousins, Chateau Lafont Fourcat is an inexpensive cheeky red that rolls with the big dogs.  Some of the flavors that are normally masked out in cheaper reds are predominant here and linger without any lack of quality.  Truly something unique amongst its peers.

7 - Immortal Zin
Another insanely good pick out of Lodi, Immortal Zin is crafted from 114 year old vines and every drop is reminiscent of that fact.  Handcrafted by the wonderful people at Peirano Estates, Immortal Zin brings forth a massive tidal wave of berry flavor and mild citrus, that which is only replicated from Old Vine Zinfandels such as this one.  The one thing that it truly reminds me of is Monster Energy's Import, it has those deep vibrant berry flavors with the lemon-lime zest.  But Immortal Zin won't give you a charge of energy, just make you "feel" immortal.
Drink with diner style cheeseburgers or some late night fast food!

6 - Clos de los Siete 2007
A true marvel in South America, Clos de los Siete is crafted now as it was years ago when the vineyard was first found.  Originally founded by seven of the biggest names in French viticulture.  As deep and rich as its history, the wine is an amazing blend of some of Argentina's finest.  You can simply taste the tradition and love put into this bottle by its current vitners and all the splendor it has to offer. It has great aromas of black cherry and currant with similar flavors incorporated into light grippy tannins.  A good find for arounf $15.
Pairs with spicy green chile dishes, and curries.

5 - Row Eleven Vinas 3 Pinot Noir
One of the domestic Pinot Noirs I tend to go around anymore.  Row Eleven has seemed to work its way into being a cult favorite in my area, much like Opus One has in Chicago and New York.  More than likely because it has a few advantages over Opus One, like its smooth round texture and lack of that awful "watery" Pinot Noir trend, the drink itself is much easier to go down and its flavor is more adaptable to food, and also it costs about a tenth of the price of Opus One.  As a matter of fact, if given a case deal, you can get 12 bottles of 11 for 1 bottle of 1.  BUT ENOUGH OF THE MATH!!!  What it adds up to is a blend of sweet and spicy that goes down well in the clubbing scene and still holds boldness amongst a few friends in a social atmosphere.  Great for those who are sick of the whole "La Crema" thing too.  For the same price you get double the quality.  The only thing it's lacking from it, is nobody can tell how big of an asshole you are if you choose it over La Crema or Opus One.
Pairs well with people who actually enjoy drinking wine.

4 - Primaterra Sangiovese
Lately I've found myself bored of Chianti's and other Italian wines that I can't pronounce.  But I'v found a soft spot in my heart for Primaterra and its line of wine.  Their Sangiovese is one I can't get my hands off of, being a strong yet soft and vibrant red wine that is studded with amazingly thick portions of natural grape flavors.  Although it bears much oak and tooth-staining goodness, the juice tastes as fresh as if just picked from the vine.  Pretty amazing stuff that is for the most part a paradox in a bottle.  It's a young wine that seems to have age twenty years overnight and shines through those other "serious" reds on the top shelf.  Bold and deep flavors of cassia bark, muscadine and raisin are softened with plum, white cranberry and sugarcane.  Pretty awesome find if it's in your neighborhood.
Goes well at parties and family gatherings!

3 - Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
I had always imagined that everyone involved in this wine is wearing a white lab coat and thick goggles that come out of a B-list Sci-fi movie.  Educated Guess is not only one of my favorites because of it's taste, but because of it's lack of seriousness in choosing wine.  They're mocking what people normally do when trying a wine.  They simply take an educated guess, but EdGuess suggests that drinking a wine should be much like making a wine in which there is no guessing, just SCIENCE!!!  The flavor is very difficult to describe but the easiest way to put it, is that EdGuess is one of the richest, fullest wines you can find at it's price.  The label is also pretty damn cool.  being a Chem major in college, I have a deep fondness for it and its meanings which you can discover by clicking HERE!

2 - Clos du Bois Marlstone 2005
This is my bottle.  I am so proud of it. ♥

An amazing blend from one of my favorite wine producers in California.  Very few wines come this close to perfection without going well over $100.  A proprietal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.  Crafter by Clos du Bois's Erik Olsen, Marlstone is a shining example of a great Meritage, modelling itself after the premium Bordeaux's of France.  Nice smooth flavors of cassis flow well with notes of cigar box, cocoa, and brown sugar.  An overall astounding wine that will make your head spin in ecstasy.
Pairs well with grilled lamb, prime rib, and premium cuts of beer tenderloin. 

1 - Silver Palm North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Not only my favorite red, my favorite Cabernet and more than likely one of my favorite wines of all times.  It holds not only a palatable memory to me, but also has great sentimental vale as well.  Accidentally ordered by a fellow coworker, it quickly became a favorite at the first taste that I held with my dad, whose opinion of wine I greatly respect.  He held Cabernets amongst the top of the red grape varietals and knew that this was worth drinking.  Previously available only at restaurants, it slowly became available in certain retailers but more or less as a hush-hush kinda thing.  It's robust notes of cranberry, nutmeg, coriander make it a strangely complex drink that mingles well with the deep oak and moderate tannin.  Being from North Coast, it picks up a natural moderate sweetness that doesn't overpower the Cab but rather gives it a supple smooth finish that lasts long after it's finished. Another cool note is that it has chunks of raw platinum studded throughout the glass. I drank it with my father to commemorate our bond in wine, I drank it after one of my closest friend's funerals, and I will drink this on my deathbed.  

Well now that I've self-inflicted my hands with arthritis, I'm going to take a break and do some hands-on research on Christmas Ales!  I'll have that update for you tomorrow!
Bon Boire!

p.s.:  Because a certain someone refused to read the list after intially giving me the idea to do so.  I am obligated to mention one Deloach Pinot Noir.
Honestly, I've had it once, and although I won't hold it at the same level of Row Eleven, it would be #2 on a top ten Pinot Noir list.  just above Mont Avril from France.  The reason this too is an excellent choice is much like Row Eleven.  It's inexpensive, highly drinkable, and won't make you look like a pretentious wine snob amongst your friends.  Also a damn good find, and easy to do so as well.  Has a giant fleur de lis on its label!

This one's for you, Lacey.  You now owe me a bottle ;)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Got Sole?

Once again I thank everyone that's been following and supporting me along the way. I'm still a few glasses away from my Red Wine list but in the mean time I've done some non-alcoholic research and found something I think the ladies might enjoy!

Looking to decrease your carbon footprint? A Montana-based footwear company might offer the most literal way for you to do just that. SOLE, a manufacturer of footbeds, socks and sandals, is partnering with ReCORK, a wine-cork recycling program, to design a new line of products. The company’s “upcycled” footbeds and footwear will be made with wine bottle tops that come from restaurants, culinary schools, and an airline that participates in the recycling program.
SOLE sandals will soon be made with recycled wine corks

Corks are received at a storage facility in Napa, Calif., and one in Great Falls, Mont. The corks are sent to SOLE’s factories in Asia to be used in products and packaging. While SOLE is focusing on integrating the cork into its footwear, other uses ReCORK cites for upcycled cork include fishing rod handles, bulletin boards, place mats, flooring tiles, building insulation, gaskets, packaging materials, and matting under playground equipment.

The ReCORK program is sponsored by Amorim, the world’s largest producer of “natural cork wine closures.” About 12 million wine-bottle corks have been collected for processing since 2007, and the organization touts it has also planted 3,000 cork oak trees. Says the company’s literature, harvesting cork does not harm the trees, in fact the trees provide “an important source of carbon-dioxide sequestration.” Sounds like that’s sustainable product sourcing at its best.
SOLE’s cork-based Napa sandal

I would love to see a Bordeaux one for men! Hope you guys enjoyed! Til next time!

Bon Boire!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Wow!  It's been a long trip but i finally made it!  But I'm not going to stop until I reach a million following this damn thing.  Everyone celebrate with me and grab your favorite beer or champagne or whatever the Hell you have to drink by your side!
Woooo!!  Party time!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Top Ten White Wines!!!

Enough of my procrastinating bullshit!  It's time for the top ten White Wines in the eyes of your favorite drunkard!

So like I mentioned in my last post I've been doing some extensive field research within the past week and I've been trying to find exactly what needs to go into this list.  This will be a massive personal challenge for me, simply because I'm not a huge fan of white wines to begin with, but I think you'll see as we go down the list that some you may not even believe exist out there, but take my word on it, they do.
From 100% varietals to insane combinations that were never thought of before, here's my summary of the Top Ten whites you need to down before you die.

10) Ménage à Trois White Blend
I'm just a sucker in general for the Ménage family of wines.  Simply because they are a nice widely available and affordable wine company that is actually good to drink.  Although most of their wines would not be my first choice, sometimes they do indeed become the final choice I make.  The white blend is an interesting blend of Chenin Blanc (also known as the French Vouvray), Moscato, and Chardonnay.  Although made from three of the sweeter varietals on the white spectrum, the wine itself is not overbearingly sweet.  Instead, the sweetness factor in it is more of a gentle surprise as opposed to an obstacle you need to tackle just to drink.  A great wine to pair with any type of seafood really, and with a select few poultry dishes, preferably roasted chicken or such.

9) Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Brut Champagne
Yeah that's right.  Although I will tell people that VCP is my favorite Champagne, this usually isn't the case.  Although I absolutely the splendid little ecstasy trip that VCP forces you in and out of with each little fizzy golden drop that pours out of it, there is one major thing keeping it from being my favorite Champagne, yet my favorite white wine ever:  It costs too damn much.  I love you VCP, but my wallet doesn't. An interesting thing to note about VCP is that it is most famous for introducing the modern method of Champagne production known as méthode champenois  which is only allowed within the border regions of Champagne.
Occasions to drink: Births, Weddings, and Funerals.  Winning the Lottery is also acceptable.

8) Evolution White Blend
It's Evolution, baby!  It's very hard for me to drink this without thinking of the fast pace grunge groove of Pearl Jam with the same name.  Like the song, Evolution is also a nice little ball of fiery grunge fueled by the rejection of everyone else in the world.  In this case, we're talking about the wine snobs of the world.  Most cringe at the thought of a white blend, and tenfold with Evolution because of the massive amount of grapes shoved into one bottle.  Like a counterpart know as Seven Daughters (available at many chain restaurants), Evolution contains nine white grape varietals including Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muller-Thurgau, Semillon, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Sylvaner.  Before you freak out, yes, these grapes all do exist.  Most just not popular outside of Europe.  Muller-Thurgau, for instance, is a wonderful wine to drink if you ever get the chance, you might just have to go a little out the way to get it.
Pairs well with EVERYTHING.

7) Hob Nob Chardonnay
This to me is a novelty wine even though I am a big fan of Hob Nob wines.  Whenever I have a gathering and I need a decent wine for a decent price, I'll usually pick its Rhone Varietal brothers to serve, but the Chard is a little too sweet for my everyday taste.  Instead, I like to use the Chardonnay as a crowd pleaser and as a palate shocker.  The sweetness that occurs in this wine is really unlike anything else you may encounter in another Chardonnay anywhere.  The main flavor notes indicate an odd plethora of flavors including bubblegum, cotton candy, coconut, and marshmallow.  Something you really need to experience first hand to see what I'm talking about.
Pairs well with desserts and smoked cheese.

6) Peirano Viognier
Once again I present you with a Lodi-born white that drinks like liquid gold.  The vibrant body of it is purely sinful and luxurious at the same time, rippling with a slightly clouded pear-like bronze.  What separates Peirano's Viognier from the others is its remarkable ability to hold strong when paired with foods.  Usually any white that is light in flavor, tends to be easily masked by powerful foods like a creamy shrimp pasta or a red fish poached in butter.  Peirano's light flavor is not as easily hidden by these powerful foods but rather sits comfortably alongside them.  Nice little hints of peach and mineral pop out of its sea of complexity making this a wonderful drink for any day, anywhere.
Pairs well with spicy seafood and creamy pastas.

5) Domaine William Fevre Grand Vins de Chablis
Possibly one of the finer wines I had the luxury of actually getting a bottle of.  Sometimes there are just those rarities out there that can't be found in just any old mom and pop liquor store, and sometimes those aren't necessarily the best either, but this Chablis is incredible amongst its peers.  Chablis, is not just a generic term for white wine in North America; in France, a Chablis must meet certain standards and fall within certain boundaries and contain Chardonnay grapes in order to get the name of Chablis on it (much like the Italian Chianti which is made of Sangiovese grapes).  A very elegant wine, it is shy about its underlying flavors at first and only shows the more dominant introduction of pear and dragonfruit, but quickly followed by a deep lychee and starfruit brightness.  The oak is just slightly noticeable which is nice considering that it is not overpowering, but just present enough to remind you that this isn't some run of the mill factory produced Chard, but rather a small example of the pinnacle that is French wine making.
Pairs well with roasted chicken with herbs and sushi.

4)  Saint Hillaire Blanc de Limoux
Like its cousins over in Champagne, Saint Hillaire is a sparkling dry white wine that is an astoundingly good drink but sadly enough cannot bear the same title.  Since Saint Hillaire is not within the borders of Champagne, it cannot bear the title of Champagne according to France's region laws and does not fall under the AOC classification.  This is truly a shame, because saint Hillaire is the oldest known producer of sparkling wine and to this day still abides by the méthode traditionnelle used in sparkling wines across the world.  A very crisp dry white, it drinks well with low acidity and a palate pleasing cleanliness. 
Pairs well party crackers and light canapés.

3) Root: 1 Sauvignon Blanc
A Chilean marvel amongst whites, rising to the top of its class in South American wines and in Sauvignon Blancs in general.  Although Sauvignon Blanc is heavily debated amongst fanatics, I find that Root: 1 is one that a lot can agree on.  It has all the major qualities that people turn to Sauv Blanc look for like its pleasant acidity, moderate bite, floral aromas, and bold dryness.  But at the same time, more importantly, it lacks all the negative qualities that a lot of people would normally shy away from like that awful stainless steel taste that comes from lack of oak aging or the deep bitterness that comes from the wine being "cooked" by sunlight. Even though "cooking" can occur to any white, Root: 1 doesn't seem to be so fragile to the Sun.  A great Sauvignon Blanc for people who are also wishing to be exposed to the wonderful varietal.

2)  La Yunta Torrontes
A wine I was recently introduced to and one that quickly got accepted into my favorites.  A white varietal that is rarely seen outside of Argentina, Torrontes drinks much like a sweeter version of Sauvignon Blanc, but with a slightly more vivid body.  Some of the first noticeable flavors include green melon and vibrant citrus.  It is very lightly oaked but still shows much of a heavily oaked body, much like a blended county Chardonnay from Sonoma.  The label gives about as much curiosity to the consumer as the wine itself does.  It is adorned by two llamas (or some other kind of animal.  I really can't tell...) aloft in the field.  A must have wine to people looking for a true underdog in the wine world.

1) Hendry Pinot Gris
I will be straightforward about this one.  I don't know much about the vineyard or the winemaker or really anything about this wine except for the fact that I declared and still proclaim to this day that this is the best white I've ever tasted since the first sip.  Something about it really took me over me completely and had me enticed into the bottom of the glass, longing to finish it and keep drinking, long before I ever begun to drink it. The fragrance of this wine was much like an elegant perfume worn by an elegant lady on a smooth October night.  It really is a romantic wine and pours like a sweet waterfall into your glass and slides very smoothly down your throat.  Just as easy on the tongue as it is the nose, many floral and citrus notes are present without brining too much acidity.  Very cool notes of green tea and nectarine really bring forth a bright youthfulness to the wine alongside a hint of maturity.  A must in any wine cooler anywhere.

Hope you guys enjoyed the list and hope you can enjoy some of these with me.  most cost only about $10 or less (except Veueve Cliquot....)  but some are just a real hard thing to find.  
Also, just something I'd like to add in:  I just recently discovered these awesome little wine bags that keep your white wines chilled for nearly two hours.  Lately I have been using it to keep my energy drinks ice cold when I go to school or work!  but otherwise, they totally rock.  They're called BYO bags and they're totally worth it!

I'll see you all next time, and hopefully with the red Top Ten!

Bon Boire!

Update Tonight

Hey guys.... Been falling back on this whole blogging thing.... But the good news is that I've been doing lots of field research as I like to call it. I will be able to post the Top Ten White Wines tonight along with a pretty interesting surprise for you all tomorrow night!

In the mean time sit back and relax, and enjoy this collection of pictures featuring animals doing what I do best!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hayman and Hill Dry Creek Zinfandel 2003

Since the Top Ten White update is still a little ways away I have an actual wine review to share with you all.  The other night my wife and I have a deep desire for Krystal Burgers but because of our area, Krystal burgers are deemed "low income food" and they try to keep it out of the neighborhood.  The only alternative we had was to make our own.  So if you're going to make tiny little burgers, you might as well do it right: with premium grade beef, sweet Hawaiian rolls, good quality cheese, and of course America's favorite domestic red the Zinfandel.

Zinfandel and Hamburgers are about as American as apple pie and pizza.  All of which are from other countries but that's not the point.  It's the idea that counts!  And the bold and sharp sweetness of a nice Zin are exactly what you need to wash down a teeny tiny cheeseburger.  So we rolled out the beef patties as thin as we could get them (they cooked in like 5 seconds) and slapped those hot daddies onto a sweet roll and you could easily down half a dozen in the drive-thru, but two were good enough!

As far as the Hayman and Hill goes, let me break it down.

Hayman and Hill Dry Creek Zinfandel 2003

Hayman and Hill Dry Creek Zinfandel is a seriously good wine.  One of the few Zins outside of Lodi that really catch your attention, H&H Dry Creek is a Sonoma County wine that really shines amongst others in its class.  It didn't have to breath very long before the waves of mocha and berries starting flowing alongside its luster into the glass, leaving heavy drops of beauty along the sides of the goblet as it splashed about.  Its hue is a deep tawny Port red that's darkened by matured oak and deep grapeskin.  Not too much present acid, and just the perfect balance of sweet and dry to accompany any good home cooking.  Leaves you with a good lingering feeling of comfort that only entices you to take another sip.  A very interesting find if you can actually get a hold of a bottle.  Retails for about $15 for current vintages.

Hope you enjoy!  I'll have the white review up soon!
Bon Boire!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Boy and His Blog

Today I actually got to enjoy yet another day off of work.  Not going to get used to this feeling any time soon with the holidays and whatnot coming up.  One thing I can marvel over is that we decided to get a Wii. One game that has caught my heart by marketing it directly to my longing sense for nostalgia, is A Boy and His Blob.  Good Lord I loved this game as a child, and the new one is just as silly, challenging and cute as the first.

For anyone who has not played it before (new or old) the concept is pretty simple.  A boy and his white blob set out for adventure, feeding him jellybeans along the way which allows the cute gelatinous ball to transform into a variety of useful tools and shapes.  One neat little feature they added to this game is the ability to hug the blob.  Really, it pulls at the heart strings a lot.

In commemoration of my favorite jellybean in the game, Root Beer, I whipped up a very interesting little blend that I drank while playing the game.

Root Beer Jelly Bean
12oz Pure Cane Root Beer (like Abita or Jones)
3oz White Rum
1oz Bourbon
1oz Southern Comfort

Mix the rum, bourbon and SoCo in a frozen beer mug and pour root beer on top for a frothy and frosty drink!

Not my usual blog, but I hope you guys enjoy my video game review!  Also, check out this drink, I think you'll love it!

Bon boire et joue!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Top Ten - Other Wines

So like I had mentioned before, this is an unusual list of everything out of the ordinary.  Bubbly, pink, and so many more; they'll all be here and in a sweet fashion.
One or two I can expect to probably never see again and some, even though my favorites, I might not pick up again just because of its availability or price.
So here we go!

#10 - Gekkeikan Sake
A very inexpensive and easy to find Sake, Gekkeikan is to Japan what I believe Bud Light is to the United States.  You really can find it everywhere and it won't bust your wallet open when you do.  Just to note, one of my favorite ways to drink is in a Sake Bomb!  It's simple and fun but you do need a few friends to help you drink it.  First, pour a glass of beer (preferably an Asian brew like Tsingtao) and place two chopsticks across the top of the glass.  Put a small shot glass of heated Sake on top of the chop sticks and have everyone bang on the table while building up for the bomb, "Three..... Two.... One.... SAKE!!!!"  Drink as quick as you can and the infusion of hot and cold, mild and strong will completely blow your mind in more ways than one.

#9 - Aveleda Casal Garcia Rose Vinho Verde
Vinho Verde, for those unfamiliar with it, is a slightly sweet and sparkling white wine from Portugal.  Most people know about one in particular called Famega.  Aveleda is known strictly for their Vinho Verde's and the Rose was one of their first I was able to try.  I was more than pleased by it too!  Very powerful pops of strawberry and peppermint really make this wine into a nice Aperitif as opposed to a table wine or dessert wine.  Pretty cool little beverage if you're still making that transition from Amateur Alcoholic to Enlightened Drunk.

#8 - Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry
Growing up I thought that Harvey's was a one of a kind wine and no one else made anything like it.   I was wrong.  But to this day, I still find Harvey's a crowd pleaser when it comes to Sherries.  Some will claim other sherries are too dry and others too sweet but ever though this little number is about a sugary as a diabetic coma,  it still maintains that proper balance of smooth and savory.  Not necessarily one of my favorites to drink, but more than so to serve.

#7 - Babcock Identity Crisis Shiraz
A weird one of the wine world.  I usually don't dive into Shiraz nor blush wines when I look for a dry summer drink but somehow this caught the best of both world's by making a truly unique wine.  People have panicked before exclaiming in confusion, "OMG!  A White Syrah?!"  Yes and no.  Unlike a usually "white" red wine, this is bone dry and lacking fruit, making it drink like a white wine, but sustaining some serious red body.  If you are at all familiar with the Champagne process of Blanc de Noir, it produces a similar flavor and color, but without the bubbles.  A seriously good find but extremely rare.

#6 - Taylor Sparkling Burgundy
Now before you freak out on me, I have nothing against inexpensive alcohols even though I occasionally pick on Pabst Blue Ribbon.  This is a holiday favorite of mine because it is one of the only true sparkling red wines that I know about.  I think Arbor Mist has one but then again that shit really isn't wine.  Back on topic!  Taylor Sparkling burgundy is such a smooth refined beverage that it really makes you reminisce of a deep blood colored Ruby Port.  Heavy flavors of black cherries and raspberries come alive but smoother hints of plum and grape come about too.  The sparkling effect in it is really just a plus.  Another good wine for beginning drinkers who aren't ready for the heavy stuff yet.

#5 - Homemade Strawberry Wine
Okay, this one is kinda cheating but then again why should I have to narrow down every single review to a label or vineyard or brand?  Some of the best wine I've tasted was made in some local backyards (and sheds).  I'm not one to brag on myself but two things I make right in this world are Gumbo and Strawberry Wine.  The taste is phenomenal and there is more than one flavor present in the wine.  Depending on what grade of yeast and how much sugar you decide to add if any, you can get a wide variety of flavors spanning from lemon zest to coriander to slate and even some heavy bites of hops!  If anyone wants a recipe along with some instruction on how to make this wonderful beverage, I'd be more than glad to do so!

#4 - Florio Dry Marsala
This is a pretty common item at my bar namely because of its versatility with food.  pretty much anything Italian can pair well with it except for...... Chicken or Veal Marsala!  The one thing that may seem obvious is a definite no-no.  Two much sweet with too much sweet; you should really use a Sangiovese or something along that line.  But Florio's Dry Marsala is a nice little blend of butterscotch, Toffee, and almond flavors that are really a pleasant surprise in a dessert wine.  Not too overbearing with alcohol or acidity, it makes great as an aperitif as well.

#3 - 2003 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port
This is one of those premium wines I'm always crying that I can't afford.  Even though it's about $23 per 375ml bottle, it's still a bit too much for a dessert wine.  I guess it would be equivalent to paying about $12 for a slice of cheesecake.  But what I truly love about it, is that you can taste every little note in the bottle, as if every grape shoved into this bad boy had its own unique taste.  Unlike the LBV Ports to come out of Portugal, this one is a little easier to come across.  Truly one of the finest wines in its category, the 2003 vintage received an astounding 98 points by Robert Parker.  Other wines with this rating are easily priced upward into the $300-400 range for a 750ml bottle.

#2 - Beringer and Sutter Home White Zin
Honestly can't stand either one, but during the summer they keep me in business.

#1 - Ménage à Trois Rosé
This might have been a little more than obvious on my part.  but it's not made like you would think.  Most people assume since Folie à Deux is famous for their Zinfandel used in the red blend, that they use the same method for making White Zinfandel, but this is far from the truth.  The Rosé is actually a summation of Merlot,  Syrah, and Gewurztraminer.  The Merloy and Syrah get a 24 hour soak in cold water to allow some of the red to seep into the juice and all three are blended into this wonderful little concoction.  Not a bad drink considering they sell it everywhere and it pairs well with everything from Burgers to Asian food.

Well I hope you enjoyed my list of oddities in the wine world.  And if you are really interested in the homemade wine thing, I can easily make an update this week with all the knowledge you need to be making some serious brew in your back yard.

Bon Boire!

Top Ten - Wines!

This one is going to be tough.  I mean really tough, because I spend a good 75% of my day at and away from work recommending wines to people.  And I don't necessarily recommend them according to my preference but by judging what theirs might be.
For me personally, releasing a top ten list of wine is going to be a huge challenge and I more or less will list a few that might not need to be on the list.  And of course I'm going to miss a few that need to be on here as well.  I wish i could just do like a Top 50! But that's more typing than my laziness will permit me to do.

Instead I'm going to make a few lists....
Top Ten Reds
Top Ten Whites
Top Ten Champagnes/ Others

"Others?  You mean blush?"
Nope!  Well, yeah, but there are other wines that would be considered others:  Ports, Marsala, Sherry, Fruit Wines, Blush, Sake, and I guess you get the point.

Stay tuned!  I will have the first up by 8pm tonight!

Update Tonight

Hey everybody!
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!  I know I sure did.  We had a supersized grilled turkey with all the trimmings and then some.  And my wife whipped up a sweet potato soufflee that was to die for.
I'll have an update for you all later tonight on a zinfandel I tried yesterday and Hopefully even later tonight I'll have the first part of the long awaited top ten wines posted too!

Hope to see you then!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Top Ten Beers - Part Two

<<NEW POLL!!! GO VOTE!!!>>
Lately I feel like I can burn through a case of each of these on any given day, so I think it's time for a much overdue update.  This is the second half of my Top Ten list of my favorite beers.  In the can, bottle, or barrel; all of these wonderful brews are worth it down to every last drop. 

#5 - Gordon Biersch Heffeweisen
A microbrewery based out of California, Gordon Biersch is working its way across the country in forms of on location microbrew restaurants and just recently they have begun a bottling process.  My first taste of REAL beer came from these guys when they opened near Harrah's Casino in New Orleans.  I was 15.  They brought out a sampler tray with six beers on six coasters.  Each coaster described the beers and you drank them.  The one I was instantly taken with was the Heffeweisen.  Although not my favorite type of beer, it was at the moment the first beer I drank and knew that this was what beer should taste like.  Aroma was full on wheat and hoppy, and the taste was strongly influenced with gentle fruit and surprisingly enough bananas.  The description on the coaster said that Heffeweisen beer was originally designed for kings, and this statement could not be any truer for I felt like a king at that moment.  Unfortunately, this is one I can't get in the bottle, but it's definitely worth the trip down to the city to get it on tap!  Follow them on Facebook, and you can receive a coupon for free Garlic Fries!
Pairs perfectly with gourmet pizza and Asian stir-fry.

#4 - Rogue Dead Guy Ale
A seriously good beer.  Very refined and smooth, doubly so when poured on tap.  The brewers over at Rogue have been doing their thing and doing it well in almost every style of beer on market.  Gaining critical acclaim from their wild brews like Yellow Snow IPA, Chocolate Stout, Mocha Porter, and Iron Chef Morimoto's Imperial Pilsner.  Their Dead Guy Ale, however, is the shining star of their flagships beers.  The superior quality of which has been modified into other brews like the Double Dead Guy and the John John Ale (which is infused with whiskey that was distilled with Dead Guy's wort!) This would have easily been a little higher on the list if not for the price, it can reach nearly $7 a bottle or $8 a pint in some places.  It has become the standby for me when I go out with the guys.  We normally go to the Barley Oak, an old fashioned tap house on the Lakefront that supplied nearly hundreds of beer.  Even with all that variety, I somehow end up getting the same damn thing every time....  It's either this, or #2 on this list.
Pairs great with grilled sausages and sauerkraut.

#3 - Abita Strawberry Lager
This sounds a little sketchy to people from the outside, but within the Greater New Orleans area, everyone knows that this once a year brew is so good that you'd kill for it.  Made with just hops, malted barley, yeast, spring water from the Abita Springs, and fresh Pontchatula strawberries.  Every year, I can expect to sell about 250-300 six packs a month for the three months that its actually available.  It's just that big of a deal.  Likewise, this one would be higher, not because of the price, but the availability sucks.  The quality is well worth it though. Underneath the beautifully sweet strawberry taste is a rich plethora of light malts and gentle hops.  If you're ever in the area, check it out.
Drink with Fried Chicken and Red Beans

#2 - Abita Andygator
I've mentioned it in one of my past blogs but its worth mentioning again.  This beer hands down rocks.  A Helles Dopplebock that is a cool balance of malt and hop with an intense bit.  Very fragrant of rye and grains of paradise, it drinks with the smooth flavor of wheat and berries.  A serious beast that will grab you by the feet and keep dragging you down with it; one sip will have you craving a second bottle long before you even finish the first.  A pint bottle filled with 8% ABV of pure goodness.
Pairs well with Buffalo Wings, Cheese Fries and any kind of bar food in general.

#1 - Abita Amber and Abita Turbodog.
I'm just a sucker for Abita.  Living so close to the brewery has given me the opportunity to drink beer so fresh that it will bring tears to your eyes.  But of their main line of fine brews, these two stand out the greatest of all. The Amber is brewed in the tradition of a good quality German Marzen, and Turbodog is killer ale brewed with extra dark roasted malts.  I swear if I had a kegerator at home, either one of these would always be on tap for me.
Best to drink with Jamabalaya, Gumbo, and Crawfish Boils!

Hope you're not too hungover from Thanksgiving to kick back a few brews.  I'll be working on the wine list soon but in the mean time I have a few new wine to share with you along with some more cocktail recipes that are to die for.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Reasons to Drink

1-10 : This: http://www.divacup.com/

That is all.

p.s.: I want my memories of the past ten minutes erased.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you're all having a great one!
I'm celebrating with lots of turkey, sweet potatoes, beer and family!
Also some food for thought, what do you guys think about a Sweet Potato Vodka?
Should we try and make it?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top Ten Beers - Part One

I can guarantee that I won't be able to make an update on the wines until after Thanksgiving.  This week has been completely insane.  But the good news is that I'm finally able to make my post about my Top Ten Favorite Beers of all time.  Some you may have heard of and I know I've mentioned one or two here before.  They should be easily available in your area unless you live in one of those third world countries like Nebraska.
So grab your favorite beer and enjoy with me while I burn through my list of one of mankind's greatest inventions.

#10 - Young's Double Chocolate Stout
I am not one for Stout or Porters.  This is probably one of the only exceptions I make because it isn't as heavy as some of the other options out there.  One really strange thing about Young's though, is that I always prefer the can to the bottle.  Not only is the price a factor ($1.99 per can / $5.99 per bottle, both 16oz), but for some odd reason the taste is actually superior.  The roasted chocolate malt is kinda a foreign thing to some people but more or less, it is a dark or raw cocoa taste as opposed to a Hershey bar.  This is a pretty good pub drink and pairs perfectly with loaded French Fries or Buffalo Wings!

#9 - Shiner Bohemian Black Lager
From Shiner, Texas, Shiner Bock is one of the great beers I got to grow up close around and the other beers in the Shiner line have caught my attention as well.  The Commemorator Ale was released as their 100th anniversary brew and was phenomenal, but unfortunately like all goods things, it came to an end.  The Shiner Black Lager however is one I could always rely on.  First brewed in 2006, the Shiner Black has become one of their flagships beers alongside the Bock, Blonde, Heffeweisen, and current year Pilsner.  Like most Schwarzbiers of its type, the Black Lager has great robust sweetened coffee and dark bitter chocolate.  Most people fail to see the difference between Black Beers and Stouts and Porters, but the answer is in the hops and complexity of the malted barley.  All in all Shiner Bohemian Black is a damn good beer that is easy to grab in the South and great with any type of spicy BBQ.  Not half bad at a crawfish boil either!

#8 - Grolsch Premium Pilsner a.k.a. Grolsch Premium Lager
It's hard to say whether or not this is a Pilsner.  According to the formula and craftsmanship, it is; but then again it cannot be classified as a true Pilsner because it hails from the Netherlands as opposed to a true Pils which hails from Pilsen, Czech Republic.  This is good news because typically I hate Pilsners!  Grolsch is one of those nostalgic beers to me.  Some people's daddy would give them a sip of Budweiser or Old Milwaukee or something, but mine gave me Grolsch.  Famous for its green bottle and hingetop design, this is the ultimate lager in a few senses.  The mild balance of hops and malts are pleasing and light, but the lager was originally designed with preservation in mind.  Being able to seal it for a later date, this really is a TRUE lager.  Pilsner or Lager, either way, this is a good brew.  Great with vegetable dishes and soups.

#7 - Dos Equis Ambar Lager
sometimes you need to take a break from Domestics and European beers.  Believe or not, there are other places in the world that make beer too!  Dos Equis is a pretty common beer, especially if you eat at Mexican restaurants every other day like I do.  It is an awesome beer on tap with just a slight twist of lime.  And obviously it pairs well with any kind of Mexican or Tex-Mex cuisine.  Medium bodied, mildly hoppy, and a good toasted aftertaste.  Not much can be said about this great Mexican beer, but at least its all good.

#6 - Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat
Flying Dog is known fairly well for its nice balance of serious and downright insane.  But these guys really do a great job of brewing beer to the truest of traditions and styles.  Made of German Perle Hops and gentle white wheat (and Munich Malt as well), it is a deep wheat beer that drinks with the smoothness of a sweet tea.  The quality of beer that Flying Dog produces is fine enough to where its leftover wort is sent over to a  distillery in Colorado where a new frontier "Bourbon" is being pumped out at $50 a liter.  A good summertime beer that is just as easily adaptable to any season.  Pairs well with grilled chicken and fresh salads.

That's about the extent of content I can bring you for right now but i promise after Thanksgiving I will not only bring you the second half of my beer list but I'll start up the wine list too.  Hang in there with me.  This whole "work" thing is messing up my drinking time....

Bon Boire!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Possible Update Tomorrow

Sorry guys but between school and work I'm pretty much dead.  Pulled an overnight for the first time in nearly four years and it was not too forgiving on me.  The one good thing I can tell you is that I actually tried this year's Beaujolais Nouveau!  It's not half bad, and it actually holds a match against last year's vintage.

For those of you unfamiliar with the wine, it is the French grape Gamay and is cultivated in the appellation of Beaujolais, known pretty much only for its early harvest wines.  According to French law, it is not to be released until the third Thursday of November and it is the first wine released in the French vintage, making this the first available 2010 vintage.

This year's vintage is not half bad.  Pretty much like a Diet Pinot Noir with a little extra sweetness.  As crazy as that sounds, one sip will have you agreeing 100% with me.  Really strong notes of blueberries and sage, and for only about $8.99 it's worth a shot.  I also kinda like the label this year!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Top Ten!!!

I promised my friend Lacey (who I made the Frilly Lace Panties cocktail for) that I would do this list.  her suggestion was that i do my favorite beers but since I've been depriving all of you of wine reviews, I need to throw in a few good products.  Hope you enjoy.  here are my Top Ten lists of my favorite things to drink!

Top Ten Spirits

#10 - Pearl Flavored Vodkas
Available in such a crazy array of flavors, Pearl has really left a mark on me.  Distilled six times for an unusual smoothness, this Canadian vodka distilled primarily from wheat is a perfectly acceptable substitute for some of those higher end products.  The good news is, it will only run you about ten bucks.  Available in Pomegranate, Blueberry, Plum, Coconut, Caramel, Cucumber, Citrus, and Orange.

Electric Leninade
1½ oz Pearl Pomegranate Vodka
3 oz Lemonade
½ Blue Curaçao
Splash of Grenadine Syrup
Twist of Lemon

Shake vodka, lemonade and curaçao over ice and strain into a martini glass.  Drizzle in grenadine and add a twist of lemon for garnish.

#9 - Midori Melon Liqueur
A wonderful mixing product that's a little hard to get use to at first, Midori was one of the hottest beverages in the past year.  The Midori sour and Emerald Martini became hits along the Gulf Coast in all the casinos, rapidly becoming a favorite amongst drinkers young and old.  The flavor is hard to pin, most thinking it's a mock watermelon, but the real flavor is Musk Melon, a slightly less sweet variety of Honeydew available in Japan.  A must have for any modern bar.

Midori Sour
2oz Midori Melon Liqueur
3oz Sweet and Sour Mixer

Mix in a glass with ice, stirring gently.  Top with club soda or tonic water.

#8 - Maker's Mark Bourbon
Some of the finer drinks I enjoy are not widely available and some are not even heard of in some areas.  One thing I can rely on is Maker's Mark to be nearly everywhere I go and for a reasonable price.  A nice smooth whiskey that's good not only for people being introduced to drinking, but for the well experienced as well.  Strong notes of honey and vanilla make it a great drink for before, during, or after dinner.  Or you could do what I do and do all three.  Best to drink neat or on the rocks.

#7 - Illy Espresso Liqueur
For years I've known that Illy has made premium quality espresso products (some half pound containers go up to $15 each!!!) but I only recently stumbled upon a liqueur that they produce.  Unlike most of it's competitors, this is not your usual coffee flavored alcohol, but it tastes just like espresso.  Unsweetened, black, and aromatic are gross understatements of it's true nature.  It is a raw and untamed beast of flavor that shines with bitter chicory-like qualities and a truly beautiful roasted notes.  It's a hard fine but absolutely worth it.

Cappucino Martini  
2oz Illy Espresso Liqueur
2oz Steamed Milk
2oz Milk Foam
1oz Vodka (Optional)

This is nearly impossible if you don't have an espresso maker at home, but you can do it but slowly heating milk in a pot and skimming some of the foam off.  I would highly suggest not using any real espresso in this because of the added caffeine.  Optional ingredients for taste: whipped cream, sugar or other sweeteners, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, or any other crazy shit those people at Starbucks push on you.

#6 Cruzan Coconut Rum
Believe it or not but there are other coconut rums besides Malibu out there.  And honestly, Malibu comes from Canada.  Not saying Canada is bad or anything, but I don't remember what their last coconut season was like....  What's cool about Cruzan is not just the fact that it comes from a place where coconuts actually live, but it's a lower proof drink that you can consume straight.  It's a little on the sweet side but that's not a bad thing either now is it?

Saint Punch
16oz Monster M-80 Energy Drink (Yellow Label, Pineapple Flavor)
2-4oz Cruzan Coconut Rum

This is such an easy cocktail.  But for the love of God don't drink more than one of these a week....  When I was packing the house, I made that mistake a few too many times and couldn't get the toaster to stop spreading lies about me.  The easiest way to make it is brass monkey style!  Drink it down and add more liquor.

#5 - Magellan Iris Gin
I think one of the most disappointing things in adulthood is finding out that Bombay Sapphire is not actually blue.  Magellan is a gin not only for people suffering from the Bombay shock but for those who truly enjoy some unique gins.  Very floral and light, it's best served simply with tonic and lime.  It's beautiful translucent blue color will draw you in instantly but its taste and superior quality have keep you going.

#4 - Meukow Cognac, Azul Tequila, and Amaretto di Amore
These three belong in such a special category together because they hold a place in my heart.  Amaretto di Amore is the liqueur of choice of my lovely wife and Meukow Cognac brandishes a puma across the label, an animal related to an inside joke between my wife and I.  Azul Tequila is also a beverage that my wife got me on her last trip to Mexico and to my knowledge is not available in the States.  I highly suggest trying to obtain a bottle but it might cost you a trip down South.  More or less I keep the cognac around for sentimental reasons but the taste itself is astounding.  A little spicy and sweet and is very pleasant on the nose. For you Cognac enthusiasts out there, it may not be your thing, but this is my blog :P.

Casa Noble
2oz Azul Reposado Tequila (or other)
½oz Grand Marnier Orange Cognac
Lime Quarter

Pour tequila and triple sec into a rocks glass over ice. 
 Twist the lime quarter and drop it in, giving it a gentle swirl.

#3 - Kraken Black Rum
A truly sinister beast composed of spiced rum as black as night and liquid AWESOME.  This is without a doubt the single best spiced rum I have ever drank.  Rum and Coke, Mojitos, Rum Runners, and many other rum-based cocktails are given a whole new life due to this amazing spirit.  At 94 proof it is sure to give you a slight kick but the strong essence of blackstrap molasses and plethora of spices with keep you coming back to face the Kraken man to beast.

Grand Ilse Iced Tea
1½ oz Kraken Black Rum
2oz Sweet Tea Vodka
Lemon-Lime Soda
Mint Leaves to garnish

Pour rum and sweet tea vodka over ice in an iced tea glass and fill with lemon-lime soda.  Add mint leaves and stir gently.

#2 10 Cane Rum
Another amazing drink, this time from the island of Trinidad, 10 Cane is amazing yet conflicting.  What is so strange about it is that in all essence, it is technically a Cachaça (a Brazilian rum) which is distilled from straight cane juice instead of molasses as is most rums.  The difference between the two besides not coming from Brazil is that 10 canes is slightly aged in new oak barrels until a soft cloudy yellow color is achieved.  It bares its name from the traditional method of binding sugar cane in batches of ten stalks at a time, which is nice because the sweetness of it convinces you that all ten of those canes were packed into this bad boy.  Hands down, this makes the best Mojito on the planet.  Well, maybe not.  It's all in the method, but Hell, this rum will definitely enhance it a few notches.

10 Cane Mojito
3oz 10 Cane Rum
1 oz Lime juice
1 oz Sugar or Simple Syrup
About 24 mint leaves 
Club Soda

First muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of a shaker with cracked ice, lime juice, and sugar.  Make sure that it is muddled very well, you want all that yummy menthol to leak and saturate into the ice.  Add the rum and shake until the shaker is frosted.  Pour everything into a tall glass and top with club soda.  Just to note:  This particular recipe is a double so grab a big glass, maybe 16oz.  Also, a good rule of thumb is make sure the mint leaves are, well, about the size of your thumb.

#1 - Bulleit Bourbon
If you didn't see this one coming then you obviously don't know me well enough.  I drink this stuff like my life depends on it and it is one of the best things to ever come out of Kentucky.  I used to drink Woodford Reserve whenever I wanted a super premium drink, and one day out of the blue, someone turned me on to this wonderful spirit.  It now holds a special place in my heart for two reasons:  A very close coworker of mine gave me one last Christmas, and I actually have a hand-signed bottle from Tom Bulleit, the mastermind behind this drink.  With the smoothness of a rye whiskey, and the intense aroma and oak of some of the finest red wines, I can guarantee everyone that this will always have a common stock in my bar. Drink neat, on the rocks, over poured over a few freshly picked berries.

Well that's all I have for tonight guys!  By Monday I should have the beer and wine lists up as well.  Right now I think I'm going to go over to my bar and mix all of these together and see what happens.

Bon Boire!