The Revolutionary War was part of our great nation's history in becoming a free country, and without the Bluecoats that war might not have been won. The Bluecoat symbolizes strength, integrity, honor, bravery, and the list goes on. Every dad out there is made of this storied past. For one day a year, dads are honored for everything, that in the history of dads, they have done, accomplished, and sacrificed. So here is to all the "Bluecoats" or dads of this great country we call home. Stand up and fight for what is right in "Merica" again! Look at what you have built on your backs. Come help me celebrate the great honor of the Bluecoats with some Bluecoat Gin. Bring back the honor of being a dad. You deserve to enjoy a drink that reflects all of who you are and who you will become. Here's to you! We couldn't have done it without you!
Hacienda de Banuelos
Mezcal de Zacatecas
Located just to the north of Jalisco in Zacatecas, the Bañuelos family has been distilling for four generations. Though they share with tequila the use of the Tequilana agave, their utilization of spontaneous or wild fermentation as well as the characteristic minerality specific to Zacatecas sets their mezcal apart from tequila. This fine and smooth spirit gives the immediate impression of clay and light mineral driven earthiness. It has a pleasing herbaceous character with very subdued citrus and papaya notes and a slightly minty and menthol finish. All of these elements are interlaced with an intriguing and lingering vanilla character. What about smoke, you ask? Not all mezcal is smoky, and Bañuelos is a perfect example of that.
Drink neat, or any cocktail that features mezcal or tequila.
Sylvaner de Mittelbergheim
This is the tastiest white wine I have had in a bit. This shows that price is relative, and this obscure white blows away others that are 10 times its price. Our obscure varietal here is Sylvaner. The flavors are sublime. Waxy and tropical, this has tones of pineapple, Golden Delicious apple and lime. It is even a bit nutty. The palate is creamy and smooth. This screams "Thanksgiving", and then washes it all down!
Langhe Rosso 2016
This is some serious bang for your buck! Sumptuous blackberries, woven over woodsy spice. Just enough tannin and acid to make this a real gem. This wine is a window into the flavors of Barolo at an amazing everyday price.
Double Dry Hopped
Double Hazy IPA
$15.99 per 4 pack
This Epic beer takes it up several notches! They doubled the hell out of everything! Double Double Dry Hop, Hazy IPA. The ABV is a whopping 10%, yet this smooth beast is quite drinkable. Gobs of hoppy pineapple in this creamy hop mess. I think they called it "Chasing Ghosts" because it will leave you fumbling around and bewildered. Like you saw an apparition. CAUTION: this thing goes down easy, but will put you in a headlock.
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Wicked East Coast
Breweries in Maine, Vermont and New York
At this time of year I always lament about how early the Pumpkin beers come out....Yet I also have a yearning for the new seasonal flavors they bring. The cream of the crop... Pumpkinhead; a warming spice explosion of flavor; cinnamon, clove and nutmeg all woven over a smooth wheat ale. Wonderfully dry and satisfying. Plus, it has this headless horseman label that is killer! Get them now before their gone!! we sell out every year way before Halloween.
I was flipping through Food & Wine magazine looking for dinner ideas. I happened upon some Gin recipes and noticed our very own Leopold Bros. summer gin featured there!
After reading the mixers and realizing I had them all it was on!!! We further went all Martha Stewart, and made Lavender simple syrup. (due to the shrub of lavender on the side of our house). What followed was sublime. Heady citrus and floral. Cold and refreshing, and most of all fizzy. We decided the first one was a little sweet and dialed down the simple syrup for number two. By this point we were in the zone. We had our new summer drink!
Lavender Simple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
handful of lavender
*simmer on low for 10 minutes and discard solids.
let cool completely
Lavender Gin Fizz
3 tablespoons Leopold Bros. Summer Gin
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lavender simple syrup
2 dashes bitters
club soda float (at home i used lemon La Croix)
*shake gin, lemon juice and simple syrup on ice until quite cold. Pour over fresh ice, add bitters and club soda (La Croix) float.
Chateau Saint Cyrgues
Costieres De Nimes
This Southern Rhone delight really delivers. The color is electric orange. Yep, the splashy color that screams refreshment. The bouquet is parfum over raspberry. Kind of like the candies my Grandma had in a bowl when i was a kid. (Picture them, a hard candy with the raspberry shape. All sugary and piled in a little crystal bowl.) It is smooth and textural, with seeded berries and soft candy flavors. The finish is soft and dry, with just enough acid to round out. It is elegant, but has some backbone to it as well. Enjoy on its own, or wash down some Hummus!!
**Garden Party Certified**
Corte Dei Papi
Cesanese Del Piglio 2016
This is some serious spring juice!! It has a youthful "newness" that seems to spring from the glass. It is crackling with bright minerality and acid. The color is a cloudy dark purple. The bouquet is layered, with dark berries, plum and leather. There is a smoky pepper quality as well. The palate is broad and juicy, yet dry. Dark savory fruits over peppered meat. Mouthwatering, this ancient Roman grape tastes much more expensive than its rather affordable $14 price. Try this ethereal red with your Easter feast, salami or blackened Salmon.
St. Patrick's Day is here!!! For most of us that means we are going to have a few drinks. This year I am going for quality over quantity. Yes, my day drinking copious amounts of green beers are on the outs. My night drinking high quality whiskey is in!! This year it will be the Tyrconnell Irish Single Malt. This is a honeyed and decadent whiskey, with layers of citrus, nuts and malty cereals. It has a rich texture and satisfying finish. I typically enjoy this on a big rock with a splash of water. Sip....
I was in the mood for a little spring Monday. I am off on Monday and really like to seize the day. It was pleasant for February...a balmy 61 degrees. I decided to make surf and turf for dinner to celebrate. The scallops seemed to really call my name as I walked by the counter at my local Whole Foods. I knew some of the parties in my camp would prefer the turf part (namely a 3 and 5 year old). I notice how choice the NY strips also looked... so Ny Strips with Pesto Scallops it is. Now that I had dinner in the works it was time to focus on the wine pairing. I had to do this just right. A creamy, full bodied white was just what the night called for. Something to cut through the Pesto Scallops, but still hold up to the steak. I needed a buttery Chardonnay....I say that with some reticence... This "Buttery Chard" is not usually my jam. I am typically peppery reds and steely whites. This chardonnay needed to be just right though, no flabby sugar bomb. No "chippy" fake wood taste.
Insert Beaucanon Estate Chardonnay here...
The color was a splashy, dark gold.
The bouquet was deep, with caramel and toast.
The palate was rich, layers of pineapple custard and brioche. Medium body plus with enough acidity to slice through the steaks. Very decadent.
This is a lot of wine for $9...
like tons...It is medium bodied and smooth. Gobs of Raspberry fruit over nice peppery tannins. The bouquet is pleasant and layered. The palate is lush and focused. I thought i was mistaken when i noticed the price. $9, can that really be?? The answer is thankfully Yes..look to our southern hemisphere friends in South Africa to help us stretch our dollar. This wine really over delivers for the price. Get them while they last.
Grand Cru Blanc De Blancs
This is a racy Champagne that is both complex yet approachable. The bouquet is lively, with apple, sourdough, lemon verbena and sesame seed.
The palate is dry and focused; golden apple, croissant and lemon zest dance effortlessly on the tiny little bubbles. It has a pleasant texture with a long creamy finish.
Pairs nicely with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche Blinis.
This wine is scary good, with plush dark cherry fruits and a smooth finish. The label is just as haunting with a terra cotta Owl? That's right, a full on Owl gem hanging right off the bottle. I find the Owl both foreboding and ominous, & perfect for Halloween.. Several Native American tribes consider the Owl a bad omen or symbol of death. Spooky for sure...you need to see the scene with the Owl in the movie "Thunderheart"
It will scare the hell out of you. Not to mention the amazing acting of Val Kilmer.
Pairs well with; Peanut Butter Cups pillaged from your kids Trick-or-Treat bag while watching "Thunderheart" on Netflix
Dark Chestnut Ale
This beer is dark as night and will not permit light to enter its domain. The smell is decadent and boozy. Nuts, caramel and rum balls abound. The palate is surprisingly dry; with notes of cocoa and molasses. This beer smells like a tootsie roll and tastes like cocoa puffs. It is robust and creamy. It delivers on that boozy smell with a whopping 9% abv. This is the Vertical 2016 release and is quite rare. It is also very unique. Not only is this a serious craft beer from Japan, breaking all of our Sapporo or Asahi barriers. It also has this cool layer of depth from the chestnuts. It will be nice to see how this beer ages. Drink now or cellar for years.
Golden Moon Distillery
American Rye Whiskey
Wow, affordable local Rye Whiskey? I had to give it a try... Deep golden caramel in the glass. The bouquet is spicy with pepper, rich with cereals and a little hot. The palate is rich, with cocoa, pepper and citrus. The hallmarks of Rye Whiskey. I was interested in the Double Cask wording on the label though. This Whiskey sees 6 months in new American oak and then a further rest in ex-Port barrels. Hence the Double Cask. That second barrel helps lend the rich texture and cocoa smoothness. This thing is a local treasure...kind of like Doc Holliday. Cheers
Arrogant Bastard Ale
$2 per tall boy
What is it about this beer that has me so wrapped up? Is it the cool name? ABV? Size? Nope...Its the silky malts and hops and dark amber bitterness. I was scouring the fridge for a stout drink..the kind of drink you need after moving your mother-in-laws storage unit...again.. so think really stout drink. Then Bam, I see the Arrogant Bastard.
Hops, ABV, Can size, Arrogant, fun read, matches my bike, talks sh#t.
Talks sh#t, bitter as hell (this is actually a pro for me but not for everyone)
Domaine des Sanzay
For this month’s natural and organic theme, I chose this fantastic concrete-aged Cabernet Franc from the Loire. Antoine Sanzay has been making wine at his family’s estate for more than 20 years, and his vineyards are all certified organic by Ecocert. It certainly helps this wine express the limestone-rich terroir of the region, with earthy, savory notes of tobacco, sage and pepper backing the black cherry and berry fruits. This is a more elegant expression of the grape, making it comparable to a Burgundy Pinot Noir (without all the pricetagginess). Pair this with prosciutto-wrapped asparagus bites at your party, or a pork chop dinner.
Estate Réserve 15 year Rhum
Port Au Prince, Haiti
Pardon me, it appears that 'rum' has been misspelled. As a matter of fact, there are a few reasons for the addition of that conspicuous 'h'. Rhum is the French spelling and Haiti is of course a Francophone country. Additionally, it refers to the style- Rhum Agricole. What truly separates rum from rhum is in the production; rhum agricole is distilled only from pure sugarcane juice, whereas rum is made with fermented molasses. The resulting flavor and texture can be quite different; agricoles tend to be leaner, drier and more nuanced, while traditional rum will have a darker, richer and often sweeter profile.
Rhum Barbancourt has been producing highly sought-after spirits since 1862. My personal favorite, the 15 year Estate Réserve, was originally saved exclusively for the Barbancourt family and close friends, with the first public release in the 1960's. Aged in large French oak vats, it isn't quite as rich as one may expect for a 15-year rhum. Full-bodied in flavor, yet texturally it is leaner, softer. The nose and palate are quite balanced- tawny caramelized sugar with heady frankincense and sandalwood, vanilla bean, dried fruits and a bit of white pepper. Surely a seductive sipper to savor this summer.