If You Like Mad Men… – Los Angeles Public Library
Whether you watch AMC’s Mad Men for the fashion, the characters, the history, or the writing, these books will sweep you up in the world of 1960s New York, from Madison Avenue to the suburbs. Read More
A Theater Fluent in Scotch – New York Times
The Scotch lover bellying up to a New York theater bar at intermission is lucky if he can score some Dewar’s White Label. At E:Bar, in the Midtown theater complex known as 59E59 Theaters, that same thirsty theatergoer can choose among 20 single malts. There are the bottles you would expect at any halfway decent bar, like Glenfiddich and The Macallan. But E:Bar also stocks also peaty Islay Scotches including Lagavulin, Bowmore and Ardbeg; the smooth, triple-distilled Lowlands whiskey Auchentoshan; and two briny specimens from high up in the Orkney Islands, Highland Park and Scapa. Read More
Citrus Flavored, Corked Till Summer – New York Times
The homemade liqueur is the perfect addition to many a beachy cocktail, served in frosty glasses and sipped on a porch at sunset. The classic daiquiri, the margarita, the (aren’t we done with you yet?) Cosmopolitan and the ever-dangerous Lemon Drop are all made more refreshing by its bright citrus flavor. Read More
Vodka Goes Vintage – Wall Street Journal
Who knew 2008 was a good year for Old Swedish Red spuds?
Terroir, varietals, and vintages: three fancy words most commonly associated with grapes and wine. But with potatoes and vodka? Not so much. Liquor brand Karlsson’s hopes to change that with the U.S. debut this week of its first vintage vodka. Its conception began as a taste experiment by Börje Karlsson. While the master blender was aware that different potato varietals yielded unique flavor profiles (the standard Karlsson’s is made from seven potato types), he wondered if the characteristics of a single kind of spud would change from year to year. Mr. Karlsson produced a vodka made from 2004 Solist potatoes, then made a batch from a 2006 harvest. The difference was dramatic (I tasted it—it is). While a handful of different single-batch, single-varietal Karlsson’s vodkas were released in Sweden, the 2008 Old Swedish Red potato bottling will be the first to go international, with 1,542 of 1,980 bottles designated for the States. It’s interesting stuff—Karlsson’s Gold has always been one of the more flavorful vodkas, but Batch 2008 is even more earthy, peppery and closer to an Aquavit than anything you’d use in a martini. Save the 2008, however, for sipping neat or with ice, accompanied by, say, an oyster plateau. New York’s PDT and Los Angeles’s Comme Ça have it behind the bar or get it online at astorwines.com. Read More
How to Make Punchier Punch – Huffington Post
Punch used to be, and ideally still is, something both more spartan and more delicious — and, dare I say, manlier. It should be based around spirits, water, sugar, spice and citrus. Except the citrus is in juice form, not sliced up as peels and left to turn soggy and gross. It’s something like a hand-shaken daiquiri, but made on a larger scale.
We know this thanks to David Wondrich’s fantastic 2010 book Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl (Perigee, $30). Wondrich hopes to instruct a new generation on the deceptively simple and unadorned punches of yore (i.e., the 17th through 19th centuries). These were thirstily consumed by pirates and lords and ladies and rogues and students and Charles Dickens. In other words, everyone. Read More
Bland. James Bland. – Huffington Post
But the thing is, even in going more gruff, Daniel Craig still drank martinis, the proverbial tonic of refinement. And obviously shaken, not stirred. Martinis are axiomatically symbolic. Martinis can make a man fit in or stand out. At the bijou Parisian bar on Sunset Boulevard, for example, I order a martini (albeit mine is usually gin, and dirty) and the patrons across the room raise their own conic goblets for an air toast, assuming me to be a boulevardier just like them. I order the same drink at the local dive bar and suddenly I’m an anachronism that needs to get the hell out of Dodge before someone smashes a Heineken bottle on my head.
So even with Daniel Craig, I felt confident that the world was right because he still drank martinis.
Well, my devoted Bond comrades, that’s all about to end. Bond will be much more plebeian when the next movie comes out. He is ditching the martini for a Heineken. Read More
Opa To It – Tasting Table
Rinse and raise your glass with American ouzo
First it was banned from the States due to its purported hallucinogenic effects. Now it’s too frequently used in cocktails as a mere “rinse.” It’s a shame, but understandable: The potent anise-flavored elixir is too strong to warrant prime billing.
Still, we’ve found an anise-flavored concoction that is smooth enough to take on a larger role: Old Sugar Distillery’s Americanaki Ouzo ($34 for 750 ml). Read More