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crown royal


Just when you thought that “Black Label Marketing” had been beaten to death with a stick, a familiar spirit reminds you that it will never die. Crown Royals latest addition to its collection is the darker, deeper bodied, more robust “Crown Royal Black”, aged in charred black oak barrels, and blended at 90 proof. The goal here was to create a bolder tasting Crown Royal spirit with the continued smoothness that CR has been known to have. I had the pleasure of experiencing “Black” at a recent Crown Royal sponsored event. The strength of the whiskey immediately hits you reminding you less of traditional Canadian whiskey and more of bourbon which I believe is what CR was originally going for. This is a whiskey that is meant to be sipped on the rocks or neat, but mixes just as well with your favorite mixer. All in all I would say this is a definite winner for the Canadian franchise expanding it’s drink-ability by inviting bourbon fans to give it a try. At a price tag of about 28.99 per 750 ml, its not a bad buy at all for the upscale bourbon drinker to experiment with, nor for the average CR fan to give it a try. Below are a couple different ways for you to enjoy CR Black.

Black Manhattan

  • 1 oz CR Black
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1/4 oz bitters
  • Garnish with a Cherry

Black Apple

  • 1 1/2 oz CR Black
  • 1/2 oz  Green Apple Vodka

Crown and Ginger (Classic)

  • 1 oz CR Black
  • 3 oz Ginger Alw
  • Garnish w/Lime

Hot Toddy

As if you didn’t need another excuse to drink, January 11th is National Hot Toddy Day and man is there a cold front sweeping the states. I usually laugh at the Floridians here who break out the thick heavy coats for 50-60 degree weather but It’s not just Florida cold here, it’s cold cold. We hit 36 this morning and while that probably feels like beach weather to folks up north feeling the single digits, that’s cold enough for us to warrant extreme measures to keep warm. Kick back this Sunday, enjoy the NFL Playoffs, and keep warm with these 5 awesome Hot Toddy recipes:

2 Gingers Irish Whiskey Hot Toddy

  • 2 parts 2 GINGERS Irish Whiskey
  • 1 part Ginger Liqueur
  • 1 part Lemon Juice
  • 1 part Agave Nectar
  • A dash of aromatic bitters
Combine ingredients in a mug. Top off with hot water, stir, and garnish by floating a lemon wheel stabbed with dry cloves. Alternative garnish: cinnamon stick.

Knob Creek Hot Toddy 

  • 1 1/2 parts Knob Creek® Bourbon
  • Orange Slice
  • Lemon Wedge
  • 3 – 5 whole cloves
  • Hot water
  • Dollop of honey

 In a pre-warmed coffee mug, muddle cloves, orange and lemon. Add Knob Creek and top with hot water. Add honey as desired. Stir with a cinnamon stick.

Fireball Cinnamon Whisky Hot Toddy (Pictured Top of Post)

  • 1 shot of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey (or more if you’re feeling feisty)
  • 1/4 cup of boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Pour the shot of Fireball, quarter cup of boiling water, tablespoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice into a mug. Stir until the honey is melted and then top with a lemon slice or cinnamon sticks.

Crown Royal Maple Hot Toddy

  • Crown Royal® Maple Finished™ – 1.5 oz.
  • Lemon Juice – 0.25 oz.
  • Honey Syrup – 0.5 oz.
  • Hot Water – to taste
  • Dry shake all ingredients, except hot water and pour into a coffee mug. Top with hot water. Garnish with a lemon twist spiked with cloves and a cinnamon stick.

Jack Daniels Hot Tennessee Toddy

  • 1 part Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7
  • Spoonful of honey
  • Cinnamon stick
  • A good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Boiling water

Pour Jack Daniel’s into a heavy mug. Add a spoonful of honey, cinnamon stick and lemon juice. Top with boiling water and stir.



Recipes courtesy of the brands. 



bushelFlavored whiskies… It’s a category that didn’t really exist a few years ago, and it certainly wasn’t taken seriously by bourbon and whiskey drinkers back then. Many still treat it like a step-child. Fast forward to 2014 and everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon inspired by the success of flavored vodkas in the 2000’s. Knob Creek, Crown Royal, Jim Beam, and Jack Daniels, just to name a few have all released flavored versions of their popular bourbon and whiskey spirits. Even Scotch made the leap with a Honey flavor.

So in honor of the 4th of July, we’re reviewing an apple flavored bourbon, Bushel & Barrel. Bourbon and Apple pie are arguably two of the most American things you can have, so we though it would be very patriotic of us to share it today. It comes to us from Berentzen, a brand primarily known for their flavored liqueurs. Their flagship flavor is Apple, and they’ve been making it since 1976. In addition they offer a pear, wild cherry, and peppermint schnapps. Our sample was a new innovation from the brand, a combination of sourced Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, and their classic apple liqueur, creating one of the tastiest flavored whiskies we’ve had so far (we’ve tried a lot!)

First Impression:  When you get to open a bottle, there’s no mistake about it, it’s very Apple forward in aroma. I’d say it’s somewhere between apple juice and apple cider with hints of cinnamon and vanilla behind that. I expected stronger notes from the bourbon. It’s very similar, but not as obnoxious, as the smell of apple pucker.

Taste: In three words: I LOVED THIS. I love and appreciate a good whiskey, but I’m no whiskey snob. If it tastes good in my mouth It’s getting two thumbs up from me. I was a little worried the strong smell of apple was a sign of things to come and would carry over too heavily into the taste of the whiskey, but they did a great job of blending to give it a perfectly crisp apple flavor without covering up those oaky, caramel and vanilla notes we get from bourbon. I’d be careful with this one though, I found myself pouring a second and third glass pretty quickly. I could think of a hundred drink combinations this would be amazing in, and we used it for a summer punch a few weeks back that turned out great. My advice would be keep some for Fall (or grab another bottle), it’ll make one hell of a hot toddy.

Price: $21.99 750ML

ABV: 30% /60 proof

Overall: I won’t look down on you if you drink this stuff right out of the bottle. It’s one of our favorite flavored whiskies we’ve had, right up there with Knob Creek Maple. It’s great on its own over ice, and it can work in a ton of drinks. Add to that it’s something you really can drink all year round, and it’s at a good price.  I’ve read reviews and comments from “bourbon snobs” about how this and other brands like it aren’t real whiskey or bourbon, but i’m of the opinion that if it tastes good, why are you arguing when you could be drinking it?

Bushel & Barrel is available nationwide. For more information on Bushel & Barrel, or any of Berentzen’s other brands, visit their website at: www.http://berentzenusa.com/


Disclaimer: Bushel & Barrel Sample was provided courtesy of the brand and in no way was influential of our review.. Photos are property of Berentzen and Intoxicology.

Still haven’t decided what you’re drinking this Holiday? Here’s a secret, you can’t go wrong with cider. Granted apples and apple cider are now widely available all year round but nothing says fall and reminds me of the Holiday season quite like warm apple cider. If you’re unsure what to make to satisfy multiple taste-buds, here are some excellent recipes each unique in their own way but focused around warm apple cider.

Gingerbread Apple Martini (Courtesy of master mixologist Dale DeGroff)

  • 1 oz. vanilla vodka
  • 2 oz. Canton Ginger Liqueur
  • 2 oz. apple cider
  • Several drops lemon juice
  • Orange zest
  • Agave syrup
  • Graham cracker crumbs

Rim a cocktail glass with agave syrup and graham cracker crumbs. Combine the remaining ingredients except for the orange zest in a shaker half-filled with cracked ice, and shake to chill. Strain into the prepared glass, and top with freshly grated orange zest

Canadian Stone Fence

  • 2 oz apple cider
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1 1/2 oz Canadian Club Whisky
  • 1 tsp sugar syrup

Mix all ingredients with cracked ice in a shaker or blender. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cozy PAMA Cider (Courtesy of Pama)

3 Oz Hot Apple Cider
Super Fine Sugar
Orange Peel Spiral

Heat white wine glass with hot water. Empty. Rim with Cinnamon and Super Fine Sugar.  Add PAMA and Hot Mulled Apple Cider. Garnish with Orange Spiral.

The Apple SideCar

2 oz. Calvados Brandy (Or suitable apple brandy)
1 ½  oz. apple cider
½  oz. Amaretto
splash fresh lime juice
dried apple slices for garnish
Pour first four ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice to mixing glass and shake for 10-12 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass with a salted rim, add dried apple slices for garnish.

Kings Cider (Courtesy of Crown Royal)

  • Crown Royal – 1 1/2oz
  • Cider – 1 oz
  • Honey – 1/4 oz
  • Lemon Juice – .1/4 oz

Serve warm. Top with cinnamon & garnish with cinnamon stick.

Hot Apple Toddy (Classic Cocktail W/ an apple twist)

  • 2 oz Apple brandy
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • lemon wedge for garnish
  • cinnamon stick for garnish
  • 2-3 whole cloves for garnish


Hopefully I made life a little easier and guided you towards something to share with your family this Thanksgiving. If not, try one of these wonderful Recipes courtesy of Wild Turkey. If warmer drinks aren’t up your alley maybe cool off this Thanksgiving with an Iced Pumpkin Latte.

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