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The Fixative Effect

A bartender serves up an ice-cold Martini. (If it helps you visualize the scene, let’s say it’s a 7:2 ratio, served up with a twist. Stirred, naturally.) The customer chose a bright, citrus-forward gin. She takes in the beautiful...

13th Annual Judging Award Winners

The 2019 Judging of Craft Spirits once again showed itself to be a unique snapshot of the industry. Spirits entered into the competition this year indicate an overall increase in the quality of craft spirits as well as some...

Are We Ready for Accelerated Aging?

“There is hope that 1-year-old whisky may soon rival 16-year bonded liquor in taste and smell and at a vastly lower cost. … Chemists are glad Prohibition is over so they no longer have to listen to bootleggers for...

More Than Juniper

Unlike other spirits, the flavor profile of gin is carefully selected before production. With whiskey, mezcal, rum, vodka and other commercially produced spirits, flavor compounds mostly result from a combination of effects relating to fermentation, distilling and aging processes....

Europe’s Biggest Cocktail Convention in NYC: Bar Convent Brooklyn in its Second Year

When you’ve been in the cocktail/spirits industry as long as I have, you’ve attended a few hundred industry events and conferences around the globe, packed with bartenders and owners, restaurant and F&B managers, press, distillers, importers and distributors. I’ve...

Interview: Spirit Hound Distillers, Craig Engelhorn & Wayne Anderson

A “little” brewery by the name of Oskar Blues brought Craig Engelhorn and Wayne Anderson together. Meeting and working there in the late 1990s/early 2000s, their distillery idea cooked for years before they opened Spirit Hound Distillers in Lyon,...

Interview: Denver Bar Manager, Chad Michael George

St. Louis-born Chad Michael George has been keeping busy the last few years. He oversees the drink menu and staff at Denver’s celebrated The Way Back restaurant and bar and is a partner in the restaurant and consulting group,...

How Do You Define an “American-Style” of Rum?

Rum is the most malleable of spirits. It’s a liquid shape-shifter that can vary by region and culture, from the full-bodied double-retort pot still rums of Jamaica to the grassy agricoles of Martinique to the crisper, dryer rums of...

A Surge in Craft Bottled-in-Bond Whiskey

Bartenders and bargain hunters have rejoiced in recent years with the return to prominence for bottled-in-bond, or bonded, whiskeys. I’ve long said the best $20 you could spend in a liquor store was on bottom-shelf bonded bourbon. Now, though,...

What’s in a Glass?

Sensory perception is such an intangible thing. There are so many variables at play in evaluating a spirit, from the emotional and environmental factors to our own inherent biases, that it is a wonder that there is any kind...