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Looking to the Future of American Brandy

Brandy was produced in the United States when the country-to-be was but a ramshackle collection of colonies. In fact, Laird’s has stood the test of time and remains three centuries later as the oldest family-owned distillery in the U.S....

The State of Our Bar Community is Dire

It’s a terrifying time for all. But it’s a dire time for small businesses, especially our beloved restaurants and bars. Not only do our independent restaurants and bars bring the color and literal and figurative “flavor” to each of...

Desert Door Unlocks Secrets of Sotol for the U.S. Market

For ages, sotol has been the regional vaquero drink in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila while merely a popular style of moonshine in west Texas. Desert Door Distillery in Driftwood, TX, aims to change that by...

Native Nuts: Liqueurs and Bitters

As autumn arrives in America, one of the great seasonal pleasures is seeing a scattering of nuts across a path and looking up to see the tree that made them. Nut liqueurs and nut bitters might seem opposite expressions,...

Apple Brandy

Various ‘testimonials’ could be gathered showing that George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, George Fox and other personages either made, drank, or sold apple brandy or did all three or express themselves upon the merits of it, but it...

Why Genever Is Still Misunderstood

It was 2008 when Lucas Bols came to the States and made a big splash in cities like San Francisco and New York. The legendary genever/jenever (pronounced juh-NEE-vuhr) has been produced since 1575, the world’s oldest distilled spirits brand....

It’s Time to Take Ethyl Carbamate Seriously Again

Ethyl carbamate (EC), also known as urethane, is a compound found in fermented foods and beverages. It’s an ester of carbamic acid. It’s also a known carcinogen (cue ominous-sounding music), making it an important compound to know and understand...

Flavoring Whiskey

It takes years of aging to make whiskey in accordance with accepted definitions, so if you’ve done it right, why would you add anything else to it? The simple answer: Because alongside rye whiskey, which has been in a barrel...

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,...

Juniper

Just as juniper trees stay the test of time and can live to be hundreds of years old, juniper berries have been an enduring flavor in the repertoire of distillers through the centuries. Liquids present challenges to archaeologists, as they...