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regal apple

regal apple

Crown Royal Regal Apple has been out a few months now and it’s a perfect example of how fads work in the liquor biz, especially whisk(e)y. A few years ago every brand and their momma made a honey whiskey. Then everyone moved on to the pancake like Maple flavor. Eventually everyone got tired of seeing Fireball OWN the cinnamon segment and copied that. Lately the “it” flavor has been Apple, and that’s not just whiskey, it’s popping up in ciders and beer brand launches too. I can’t lie though I got pretty excited when I heard Crown was going the apple route. Is it creative? No. But the first thing I thought of was how many times I’m at the bar and hear someone ask for a Washington Apple shot. Seems like a no brainer right?

First Impression: Nothing to see here. Your typical Crown Royal bottle gets a slight make-over with an emerald green hue replacing the classic purple.  The “whoa” moment here comes when you crack open the bottle. If I put this to a blind smell test I would swear it was a bottle of Dekuyper Green Apple Pucker. The sweet apple aroma is OVERWHELMING, so much that you get no whisky at all. This is pretty similar to the problem I had with Crown Royal Maple. The sugary maple syrup aroma masked any  bit of the whisky Crown’s famous for.

  • Tasting Notes: There’s no surprise here, it’s very apple heavy with the whisky behind it. That’s not a bad thing. It’s got a good balance of sweet and heat, but be careful you wouldn’t know this is 70 proof, it goes down pretty easy. Besides the apple there’s definitely some cinnamon and vanilla in here that rounds it out well. The only thing that I didn’t like was in the leftover taste in your mouth, it’s kind of like a burnt sugar, sour taste.
  • Proof: 35% ABV [70 Proof]
  • Price: $23.99
  • Drink Suggestions: On Ice, Cranberry Juice, Lemonade.
  • Grade: B

Final Word: I’m a sucker for a bottle of Crown. Where I grew up (Sweet home, Chicago!), It’s king. I wasn’t a big fan of Crown Maple because  the maple flavor was to overpowering. Crown Apple dodged that bullet and I’m not ashamed to say If I don’t want something really heavy to sip on, I pour a glass of this, on ice.

Crown Royal Regal Apple Sample was provided courtesy of the brand. For more information visit www.CrownRoyal.com

 

Summertime Sunrise

I hope you’ve made some plans for this weekend even if the plan is to be lazy and do nothing. . Its OK to sit back and relax sometimes, but just make sure you’ve got something cold and tasty in your hands. We’ve got a list of memorial day drinks we’ll be making and sampling over the next four days and wanted to share them with you. Happy holidays!

Cheers,

Alex

BH_Spiced Blueberry PunchBasil Hayden’s Spiced Blueberry Punch: 

Created by Debbi Peek (Louisville, KY) 

Recipe serves 4-5

  • 4 parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
  • 8 parts Blueberry Juice
  • 8 parts Passion Fruit Juice
  • Sparkling Wine or Club Soda
  • 15-20 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 1 bag Frozen Blueberries, for ice ring

Add Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, blueberry juice, passion fruit juice and mint leaves to a medium-sized punch bowl and stir. Add blueberry ice ring*. (See recipe below.) Serve in a cocktail glass and top with club soda or sparkling wine. 

*Blueberry Ice Ring

Freeze one bag of frozen blueberries with water in a bundt cake pan. Dip frozen ring into hot water for a few seconds to unmold. Place in punch bowl with blueberry side up.

KC_Rye_Blackhawk

 

Knob Creek Rye Blackhawk

  • 2 parts Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey
  • 1 part DeKuyper® Sloe Gin
  • 1 maraschino cherry for garnish

In a mixing glass half-filled with ice cubes, combine the whiskey and gin. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a  cherry.

Summer SaluteSummer Salute

  • 1 ½ parts of Sauza® Silver Tequila
  • 4 parts cranberry juice
  • 2 parts lemon soda
  • 2 mint leaves for garnish
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Combine all ingredients except mint leaves in a tall glass. Serve glass with 2 mint leaves. Serve cold or iced. If you want to rim the glass with sugar before pouring the margarita, simply run a lime wedge around the edge of the glass and then dip the rim of the glass in a plate of sugar. Add mint leaves and lime wedge for garnish.

Summertime SunriseSummertime Sunrise

  • 2 parts Sauza® Blue Reposado Tequila
  • 2 parts Orange Juice
  • 2 dashes grenadine
  • Orange wedge for garnish

In a glass filled with ice stir together orange juice and tequila. Pour the dash of grenadine down the side so that it settles to the bottom of the glass. Add an orange wedge for garnish.

Q Ginger Beer_WatermelonWooWoo_Bottle

Watermelon Woo Woo
– 6 ounces Q Ginger Beer
– 1 ounce gin
– 2 ounces watermelon juice
– 1/2 small lime, juiced
– Lime wedge, for garnish
– Place chunks of watermelon in a blender and blend well until watermelon is pureed. Strain over a fine mesh strainer into container. Save juice and discard pulp. Combine watermelon juice, gin and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with Q Ginger Beer and gently stir. Garnish with a lime wedge
Q Ginger Beer_A Summer Storm_BottleQ Summer Storm
– 5 ounces chilled Q Ginger Beer
– 2 ounces Dark Rum
– 1/4 ounce fresh lime juice
– 1 ounce chilled pineapple juice
– 1 pineapple slice, for garnish
 
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add rum and lime juice and shake well. Pour Q Ginger Beer into a highball glass filled with ice, then top with the shaken rum. Garnish with a pineapple slice.
southern comfort caramel

southern comfort caramel

Southern Comfort is one of those liqueurs you either really love or really hate. It’s cheap, it’s strong, and it’s got flavor so it’s not hard to understand why it’s popular. I can remember my first time having Soco with friends at a house party on campus my Freshman Junior year in college. I didn’t know much about drinking and I didn’t care. All you had to do was pour it in a cup with some sprite or coke and it was good to go. Great for parties, perfect for tailgating, and no mess or fuss, but if you didn’t watch out you were left with a nasty hangover. So yea I’ve got a bit of a love hate relationship with them.

Still, you can’t deny it’s a popular brand. They know their audience and the trend of flavored liquors has played right into their favor. Over the past few years they’ve built on that by releasing flavored editions of Soco that fit what they do best, easy 2 ingredient cocktails perfect for the guy/girl who just wants a quick drink. Their latest release is Southern Comfort Caramel aka Caramel Comfort and like their previous flavors, we snagged a bottle for review.

First Impression: Southern Comfort Caramel is the first of the SoCo brands to get a complete bottle makeover. The traditional SoCo bottle you’re use to is gone and this one is much more simplified and bold.

The aroma on Caramel Comfort is INTENSE. You know those little caramel candies you always ate growing up, Werthers Original? Well I’ve never visited their factory but I’d imagine this is how the entire place smells like. Strooonnnggg. Faintly underneath all that caramel and sugar is a hint of whiskey but not much.

Tasting Notes: As you could guess this one is pretty sweet. I like the caramel flavor it doesn’t taste artificial but it hides the whiskey flavor for sure. The warm taste of caramel and vanilla combined with only 27.5% alcohol make this one both very smooth and easy to creep up on you. There’s a bit of an after taste, kind of reminds me of burnt sugar, but it’s not a make a break type of thing.

Price: 11.99 / 750 ML

Final Word: Sweet, smooth, and cheap. Don’t over complicate this one. If you were hoping for some complex sippable whiskey you’ve purchased the wrong bottle. If you’re looking for something easy to drink and smooth then this is for you. perfect for house parties and tailgating, and easy to add into dessert cocktails, or even in cooking with sweets. Two thumbs up.

Cheers!

 

Cucumber Mamarita

Let’s not pretend that mom doesn’t like to have a drink every now and then, and for some of us maybe that’s an understatement. You can go anywhere on the web and get literally hundreds of gift ideas to make your mom feel special this Mother’s Day, but we’ve put together a list of drinks that she’ll really be thankful for. I’ll be honest some are one’s we’ve tried and LOVE, and others are suggestions from brands we work with that sound delicious. You can be the ultimate judge and decide what works best for you. If you tried these and just didn’t think any of them fit what you were looking for, check out these Mother’s Day Cocktails we’ve tried in the past: Bloody Mary’s for Mom and Margaritas for Mom.

twisted honey

Twisted Honey

  • 1oz Chambord Liqueur
  • 1oz Jack Honey
  • 1.5oz Rum Chata

Combine your ingredients in a shaker and pour over crushed ice.

Heartbreaker

Heart Breaker

  • ½ oz. Jack Honey
  • 1 oz. Blackberry syrup
  • 2 oz. Cranberry juice
  • 4 oz. red wine

Combine each ingredient in a wine or high ball glass and stir. 

Cucumber Mamarita

Cucumber Mamarita

  • 1 ½ parts Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
  • ½ parts Orange Liqueur
  • ¼ of 1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 ½  parts fresh lime juice
  • ½ parts simple syrup
  • Lime wedge for garnish

In a glass, muddle together sliced cucumber and Sauza Blue Tequila. Let sit in the refrigerator for one hour. Strain the cucumber Tequila and combine with all ingredients in a glass. Stir and serve over ice. Garnish with reserved cucumber slices and a wedge of lime.

Strawberry MOMosa

Strawberry MOMosa

  • ½ parts Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
  • ¼ parts DeKuyper® Strawberry Liquor
  • 2 ½  parts (chilled) Rose Champagne
  • ½ parts limeade
  • 2 strawberries
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • Squeeze of lime

Wash, stem, quarter and freeze strawberries for at least 1 hour (can be done the day ahead). Run a wedge of lime around the rim of your champagne flute and dip in a plate of sugar to coat rim. Repeat until glass is prepared. Place 2frozen strawberries in the bottom of the flute. Open champagne and pour glass approximately 2/3 of the way full. In a shaker filled with ice, combine tequila, limeade, and strawberry liquor. Shake. Add a squeeze of fresh lime if desired. Top glass with the cocktail and serve immediately.

Q Grapefruit - PrettyInPink

Pretty In Pink 

  • 6 oz Q Grapefruit
  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • .5 oz Campari
  • Slice of Ruby Red Pink Grapefruit

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add vodka and then top with with Q Grapefruit. Stir gently and then drizzle on the Campari. Garnish with a slice of pink grapefruit.

 

 

honey-whiskey-cupcakes3

honey-whiskey-cupcakes3

Mothers Day is this weekend and after everything mom did for us it’s time to give her something back. You can go the usual route and buy her a card, maybe some flowers, or take her out to eat but if you wanna REALLY get on mom’s good side bake her a batch of these boozy cupcakes courtesy of Creative-Culinary! They’re made with Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey Whiskey. Who says you have to drink whiskey anyway?

Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey Cupcakes with a Bourbon Drizzle 

  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey
  • 3 Tbsp Milk
  • Cupcake liners

Click Here for the full recipe and instructions.

pomegranate rickey

pomegranate rickey

Have I ever told you how much I love gin? I fell in love with it in college and I’ve been on a mission to convert people ever since. I get strange stares though a lot, so I guess it’s their loss and more gin for me. When we get Gin in the mail I get a big grin on my face, so you can imagine how I felt when a bottle of Bluecoat Gin arrived at our door. It’s not just any gin, it’s their new barrel aged expression. The classic Bluecoat gin aged 3 months in charred American oak barrels. Yes, I went nuts, and Yes I’m drinking some now.

But, before I had even opened the bottle my mind was already racing with ideas. The brand asked us to work with their new product to create our own twist on a classic gin cocktail and I immediately thought of making one of my favorites, a Gin Rickey.

The Rickey is a highball drink made from gin or bourbon that’s been around For-E-Ver. The bourbon version was the originator but by the late 1800’s the Gin version surpassed it’s predecessor in popularity. A gin aged in oak barrels is the perfect meet-me-half-way spirit to bridge the gap between lovers of BOTH versions of this drink. For fun I added a fruity twist because I think there’s nothing better with gin than fresh fruit juice.

Pomegranate Gin Rickey

  • 1.5 oz Blue Coat Gin,
  • 1 oz Pomegranate Juice.
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • Club soda
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup (optional for those that like it sweet)

Combine your gin and lime juice in a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Top with club soda and for garnish drop your leftover lime wheels into the glass, wedging between the glass and ice. 

Cheers!

Sample of Bluecoat Gin was provided courtesy of the brand. 

FERNET CHALLENGE

Fernet & Ginger beer

One of my favorite things about running intoxicology is the ability to collaborate with brands. Sure we have fun with the reviews, but what I really love is making cocktails and experimenting with flavors when brands send us their products. Last Summer we collaborated with Fernet Branca for the first time in a challenge we accepted to create our own cocktail using Branca Menta, a mint liqueur that’s sort of gateway to Fernet, and that’s definitely an “acquired” taste but one we loved. We’re teaming up with the brand again and this time it’s a Ginger Beer challenge using Ginger Beer and Fernet. Cocktails using ginger beer are a big trend right now, and we just happened to catch a 4 pack of the newly released ginger beer from Q Drinks on the shelf at Target so it must have been fate.

I decided to make something using my favorite fruit, pineapple which goes really nicely with the spice of the ginger beer, and the bitter of the Fernet. I chose a white rum to because I wanted that island feel to the drink but didn’t want the flavors to be too overshadowed by a more flavorful dark rum. What we came up with was a tropical drink that draws inspiration from a dark n stormy, with a pineapple and Fernet twist. Check out the recipe below:

Combine your rum, pineapple juice and lime juice and sugar in a shaker. Shake, and pour into a highball glass filled with ice. Add your Ginger beer and float your Fernet on top. Enjoy

Cheers

 

 

 Sample of Fernet Branca provided courtesy of representatives of the brand. 

 

NewBooze1

NewBooze1

 

We’re back with another edition of New Booze. We got an overwhelming response from our readers so this one’s here to stay. There’s some new booze hitting the shelves this week (or soon) that might be worth your buck. We’ve got a couple Canadian whiskey’s, a flavored rum just in time for Summer, and it looks like Pinnacle isn’t giving up on the crazy flavored vodka “fad”.

albertaryedarkbatch

Alberta Rye Dark Batch: Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whisky features a blend of 91% rye whisky, 8% bourbon and 1% sherry to add layers of complexity in each bottle. The distinct rich color of the liquid comes from a combination of factors, including the aging process, which incorporates both new charred American white oak and once-used American bourbon barrels. Other contributing factors include the addition of a touch of sherry and Alberta, Canada’s high altitude, desert-like humidity levels and extreme seasonal and daily temperature changes, which promote maturation.Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whisky is at its best in cocktails that highlight its distinctive flavor, such as the Rye Squeeze below, and can also be enjoyed neat.[$29.99 750 ML | 90 Proof]

Cruzan-Blueberry-Lemonade-Rum

Cruzan Blueberry Lemonade Rum: Cruzan Blueberry Lemonade blends fine Cruzan Rum with the essence of ripe blueberries and vibrant citrus to create a well-rounded spirit bursting with the taste of fresh fruit. Cruzan Rum is made from natural ingredients including cane molasses and tropical rainwater, using a unique five-column distillation process and staying true to Cruzan’s dedication to creating the cleanest-tasting rum on the market.[$14.99 750 ML | 42 Proof]

 

crown rye

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye:The newest addition to the Crown Royal family combines the distinctiveness of northern harvest rye the unmistakable smoothness of Crown Royal. [$14.99 750 ML | 90 Proof]

 

Pinnacle Cucumber:  Pinnacle Cucumber is a 70-proof, five-times distilled vodka that can be enjoyed chilled, on the rocks or in mixed cocktails.  [$11.99 750 ML | 70 Proof]

 

Pinnacle Mimosa: Pinnacle Mimosa Vodka offers the refreshing combination of juicy orange and crisp champagne flavors with a short and sweet finish.[$11.99 750 ML | 70 Proof]

 

Pinnacle Habanero: Pinnacle Habanero Vodka offers a spicy and sweet taste of ripe, juicy chili peppers with a lingering warm finish. [$11.99 750 ML | 70 Proof]

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

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 National amaretto sour dayApril 19th is National Amaretto Day!

Happy Saturday everyone! Hopefully you’re out enjoying the weekend but if you aren’t then this might be even more reason to keep reading. April 19th is National Amaretto day so if you were looking for an excuse to drink, now you’ve got one. I can’t think of any brand better to use for the occasion than Disaronno, the undisputed king of the category.  To get you started, we’ve got a few sour recipes courtesy of the brand to help you out.

Disaronno Sour (Pictured above)

1 part Disaronno

¾ part of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of sugar

Combine all ingredients and pour over ice. Stir and garnish with lime slice.

 

National amaretto sour dayDisaronno Godfather

¾ part Disaronno

1 ¼ part Scotch Whiskey

Pour ingredients over ice.

 

 

National amaretto sour dayDisaronno Creole Sour 

1.5 parts Disaronno

½  part Angostura Bitters

¾ part Lemon Juice

2 Barspoons sugar

Combine all ingredients over ice.

 

National amaretto sour dayStone Basil Sour

1.5 parts Disaronno

¾ part Lemon Juice

¾ part Orange juice

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Basil Sprig Garnish

 

Cheers!

 

 

Tennessee Fire

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire Review 

We’re starting the week off with a review of Tennessee Fire, the new cinnamon whiskey from Jack Daniels that launched nationally last month. It’s also the first flavored release since the highly successful launch of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey. Over the past few months there’s been a lot of buzz about Jack Fire but the elephant in the room is still Fireball Whisky, the brand that OWNS the cinnamon whiskey category. Is this just the latest example of a brand jumping on the cinnamon-liqueur bandwagon or is this JD’s attempt to show up fashionably late to the party and steal the show (Again).

A lot has changed about the perception of cinnamon liqueurs and whiskies since Fireball re-invented itself back in 2006. I remember when the only time you saw someone drinking cinnamon-anything was at ladies night outs or bachelorette parties. It wasn’t popular, it wasn’t really cool either. Fast forward to now and it’s essentially taken Jagermeisters place with the next generation of drinkers as the “shot of choice” at the bar. Nasir Jones said it best, “When you’re on top there’s envy” and because of that we now have Jim Beam Fire, Red Stag Spiced, Cinnerator, Early Times Fire Eater, and a bunch of other brands, some of which to be honest, taste like crap. Now it’s Jack Daniels turn:

First Impression: As we’ve mentioned in the past, we love the signature look and design of a JD bottle. They haven’t strayed far away with this release making only subtle changes to the design and swapping out classic black for a red-hot packaging. Everyone of these cinnamon liqueur brands takes a page from a candy company when crafting their taste and aroma. Some remind me of Big Red gum, others of Atomic Fireball candies. Jack Fire reminds me most of those little red-hots candies you had as a kid (or last night)? It’s like opening a box right under your nose. It’s kind of overwhelming and hides any trace of a whiskey smell under the cinnamon and sugar.

Tasting Notes: Sweet. Spicy. Smooth. Doesn’t need to be that complicated. The smell test had me worried but the cinnamon flavors in Jack Fire are perfect, not over the top, and sweet enough without being obnoxious. The finish is my favorite part though, it’s smooth and leaves absolutely no nasty after taste in your mouth like you sometimes get with liqueurs.

Price: 21.99/ 750 ML

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Final Word: If you’ve been disappointed by other cinnamon-liqueurs in the past, this one might give you new hope. The flavor doesn’t taste artificial, It’s not overly syrupy like Red Stag, and it doesn’t leave an after taste like Fireball. Jack Fire balances the cinnamon-sugar-whiskey combination better than any other brand we’ve tried so far. A great taste is only half the battle though, but with a powerful brand name like Jack Daniels behind it, I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw Fireball Whisky come down off the throne.

For more information on Tennessee Fire, visit www.JackDaniels.com

Cheers!

Sample provided courtesy of Jack Daniels / Brown-Foreman