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It’s a Tequila Party!

Spirits

The Tequila Party

The Tequila Partyyour shot for change.

Whoa. That has a nice ring to it.

Wait, another political movement named after a beverage? Yup! But this time they’ve gone a little harder than tea and have chosen Tequila .. and they even have Don Abraham Tequila as a sponsor. Where you at, Lipton?

According to their website, The National Tequila Party Movement is a national tour of concerts, events, dinners and rallies that will encourage a massive Latino Get Out The Vote. This movement is a non-partisan movement. We don’t care how people vote, we just want them to get on the early ballot system, become consistent primary and general election voters.

TEQUILA!


1 comment 06.10.2011 |

How To: Art in the Age ROOT Bottle Terrariums

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Art In The Age ROOT Terrariums from Art In The Age on Vimeo.

Founded in 2006, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is an artist collective that takes its name from Walter Benjamin’s landmark 1935 essay. They sell a lot of random things from handcrafted soap to clothing to jewelry, but they also produce two really cool liquors, ROOT and SNAP, both of which are certified USDA organic. ROOT is a pre-temperance alcoholic Root Tea and SNAP is a spirit distilled from the ingredients traditionally used to make ginger snap cookies. Both also have really cool stories and I urge you to check out their website and watch the videos they’ve created for each of them.

I stumbled upon the above video of building a terrarium with the bottle you’re left with after enjoying the delicious ROOT and wanted to share it as I think it’s a cool concept and they do a really nice job on all the videos they create to promote their products. If you aren’t interested in building a terrarium, you might at least find the video entertaining. If you do plan on making a terrarium with your empty ROOT bottle or any other bottle, be sure to check out the ROOT website for directions and tips on how to do it correctly.

Note: Please also consider the environment and local laws pertaining to wildlife conservation or property rights when harvesting plant life for your terrariums. While it may be tempting to harvest mature mosses or ferns from state parks or other wooded areas, not only may it be illegal, but the delicate ecosystems required to sustain them are not easily recreated in a bottle.


1 comment 06.07.2011 |

The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess: The Chas Cocktail

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This week’s installment of The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess brought to you by the Small Screen Network brings you the Chas Cocktail. According to Robert Hess, “A good bartender inspires patrons with their creativity, skill and service behind the bar. Watching a master at work can do that. It is rare, however, when a patron inspires a bartender. Thus was the case with the Chas Cocktail created by Murray Stenson at Zig Zag Café in Seattle and named after Chuck Talbot, a regular at the bar with a love for Bourbon.”

We chose to highlight this cocktail to honor Murray Stenson, known by many to be one of the best bartenders in America and who was voted “Best Bartender in America” by his peers at the 2010 Tales of the Cocktail festival. We find this cocktail to be most fitting for today’s post as Murray worked his last shit at Zig Zag on May 27th and he is moving to Michael Mina’s RN74, set to open June 13th where he will tend bar. On the move, Murray said “I’d been at Zig Zag for 10 years. I’m looking to simplify. I’m really old, and Zig Zag is a young man’s bar.” He’ll do this at RN74, where the bar is smaller and the focus is a bit more on the food than the cocktails. No worries though as Zig Zag Café is still in very capable hands with bartender Erik Hakkinen who has been working at Zig Zag with Murray for the last three years.

Cheers Murray!

The Chas Cocktail

  • 2 1/2 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
  • 1/4 oz Amaretto
  • 1/4 oz Benedictine
  • d1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz Orange Curaçao

Comments Off on The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess: The Chas Cocktail 06.06.2011 |

So You Want to be an Absinthe Connoisseur…Part 1

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Tasting Absinthe

It’s not cool enough to just drink absinthe anymore.  Since absinthe has been around in the U.S. legally since 2007 (and since the Wormwood Society has been around since 2004), ignorance is no excuse as to why you aren’t yet an absinthe connoisseur, or absintheur.  For those of you who are behind  on the times, the next series of blog articles are going to help bring you up to speed.  From types of absinthe based on production process, to the specific herbs used to make it, to how to evaluate an absinthe, and finally ending with how to throw your own tasting party.  We’ll go through it all.  And each week, we’ll also leave you with a popular absinthe cocktail that is simple to make, and will boost your cool points with your friends.

So, before we can get into tasting and evaluating absinthe, you need to know more about the different types.  That’s what we’ll be discussing today.  Of the products that call themselves absinthe (or absynt, absinth, abisinthe, etc), there are three major types, which differ based on production process.  Here are some basics for each:

Traditional, distilled absinthe.Making Absinthe

The botanicals are macerated (soaked) in high-proof alcohol for a brief time, usually around 24 to 36 hours.  This macerate, still containing the herbs, is then distilled. The resulting distillate is clear, and further herbs are usually used in a second maceration (think of a huge teabag full of aromatic herbs), which will add flavor, aroma and color. This is a traditional finishing step, but not all absinthes receive this second maceration, and remain clear. These uncolored absinthes are typically referred to as “blanche”style, while the herb-infused green variety are referred to as “verte”.  These terms are simply the French words for white and green, respectively.  You might also run across the term “La Bleu”, which indicates a blanche style absinthe that was traditionally made in Switzerland.

Compounded, or “Oil Mix” absinthe.

Essential oils are usually extracted from plant matter by steam distillation.  These are the same type of oils used in aromatherapy products, incense and fragrances. Other flavors are produced synthetically. These flavorings are then purchased by the producer in bulk and then simply blended with neutral spirits. This mixture isn’t distilled further, and the result will be clear. If the absinthe is to be green (or any other color), it will almost always be colored artificially.This is the common way to make absinthe cheaply—virtually all mass-market absinthes are produced this way—and they will normally be noted for tasting less complex and more like “black jelly beans” owing to the use of star anise oil, the flavoring used in much black licorice candy. They will also lack nuance and often contain acrid or harsh characteristics because the steam distillation process isolates different compounds than does the more traditional alcohol distillation method.

While the oil mix method was used in the pre-ban era, these were never considered to be quality products, merely “economy brands.” Only consumer ignorance permits these products to be sold at premium prices today.  Take a look at the Absinthe Cost Comparison entry for more information.

Macerated “absinthe”.

Herbs are soaked in alcohol. That’s it. The resulting macerate is filtered and bottled. It’s an extremely cheap way to make “absinthe” and it shows. Technically, this isn’t an absinthe any more than beer is whisky: in other words, it’s the first step, but not the same thing at all. If using the proper herbs (many do not), the overwhelming flavor of wormwood will stand out dramatically, since it’s one of the most bitter herbs in the world.Even the smallest amount of raw wormwood can be easily picked out by an educated palate due to its high level of bitterness and lingering astringency in the back of the throat. It’s a very unpleasant flavor.

OK, so now that you know the types of absinthe (and by way of inference, which type you should probably be drinking), we’ll move on to some of the specific herbs and what they taste and smell like in our next column.  Until then, I leave you with one of my favorite all-time cocktails, the Sazerac.

Sazerac Cocktail

Fill and Old Fashioned glass with ice, then set aside to chill.

In a separate glass, add:

  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 2 healthy dashes of Peychaud’s bitters (these must be used for a classic Sazerac)
  • 2 oz. Sazerac Rye

Fill glass with ice and stir.

Discard ice from the original Old Fashioned Glass, and rinse that glass with absinthe. Strain other ingredients into the Old Fashioned Glass, then garnish with a lemon twist. Enjoy!

Watch fellow Wormwood Society member Robert ”Drinkboy” Hess prepare this cocktail on the Small Screen Network.



Cognac Conversations with Ben, Daryl & Alan

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Cognac. You know it and love it, and now you can witness Mutineer Editor in Chief Alan Kropf attempt to educate stand-up comedians Ben Morrison (who also happens to be a regular Mutineer contributor and host of the Mutineer Comedy Festival) and Daryl Wright (also a Mutineer Comedy Festival performer) at the world renowned Jon Lovitz Comedy Club at Universal City.



The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess: The Monkey Gland Cocktail

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This week’s installment of The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess brought to you by the Small Screen Network brings you the Monkey Gland cocktail, which according to Robert Hess, “Back in the day, men used to attempt amazingly misguided, ill informed shenanigans with the goal of increasing their virility and longevity; like taking monkey testicles and implanting or grafting them in to their own bodies. Thus, the Monkey Gland cocktail was created by Frank Meier, of the Ritz Hotel Paris (April, 1923).”

MONKEY GLAND COCKTAIL

  • 2 oz Beefeater 24 Gin
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • dash Absinthe

Comments Off on The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess: The Monkey Gland Cocktail 05.30.2011 |

Mutineer Magazine Columnist Dan Dunn on Conan O’Brien

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Regular Mutineer Magazine columnist Dan Dunn and author of the new book Living Loaded was recently on on the Conan O’Brien Show where Dan showed Conan how to make some Cinco de Mayo cocktails using Hornitos Tequila. Though Conan’s “cocktail” was pretty much just a lot bell pepper and a lot of tequila, the drink itself was bell Jalapeno-infused Hornitos tequila, bell pepper, celery bitters, pineapple juice, lime juice, a dash of hot sauce and shaken with ice and strained into a salt-rimmed shot glass .. and in Conan’s case, more tequila .. and then, more tequila.

The next drink would be rimmed with maple syrup and bacon and then a shot of Hornitos Añejo tequila


Comments Off on Mutineer Magazine Columnist Dan Dunn on Conan O’Brien 05.27.2011 |

The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess: The Clipper Ship Cocktail

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This week’s installment of The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess brought to you by the Small Screen Network brings you the Clipper Ship Cocktail, an original cocktail created by Robert Hess for his friends at the Pacific Distillery in Woodinville, WA to highlight their Voyager Gin and Pacifique Absinthe.

CLIPPER SHIP COCKTAIL

  • 4 parts Voyager Gin
  • 2 parts St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1 part lime juice
  • dash Pacifique Absinthe

Comments Off on The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess: The Clipper Ship Cocktail 05.19.2011 |

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