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Colleen Graham

Booze News: February 22, 2012

By February 22, 2012

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Interesting stuff in the news this week. One of the hottest tips I can give out is this first headline. There are only 25 seats available and it is ideal for anyone who wants instruction on tackling the Blue Blazer or those who want to geek out on cocktail history for the night.

The Blue Blazer: A Night of History, Tasting, and Instruction - Cocktail Kingdom and David Wondrich are hosting an intriguing event on Tuesday, February 28th in New York City. That evening Wondrich will be giving tips and tastings of the Blue Blazer (recipe here) and history including, get this, "recently uncovered information about the true originator of this renowned and sometimes feared libation." So Jerry Thomas did not create the iconic flaming drink? I guess we have to wait until next week to find out.

Spirits of Note:

  • Perique Tobacco Liqueur - Daniel Topper reports on The Guardian about a tobacco-flavored spirit that seems to be gaining notoriety in London. Interesting, though it would have to be in the right cocktail for me.
  • 666 Pure Tasmanian Vodka - Just in case you have run out of vodkas from 'exotic' locations to try, here is another one for you. This one comes from Tasmania and the 666 refers to the Tasmanian devil, of course. Apparently the vodka is pretty good as it received a Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirit Awards in 2010, though I don't always rely on those accolades.  I will warn you that the link goes to a press release, so you must read between the marketing lines...
  • Sammy's Beach Bar Rum - He sold the Cabo Wabo Tequila and now Sammy Hagar has ventured into the realm of rum. Distilled in Hawaii and launched just this week to the 'mainland,' time will tell if this new Hagar venture will take off as well as the last.
  • Pucker Premiers - Two new flavors have been added to Pucker's line of vodkas. Now Pucker Vodka can be found in Lemonade Lust and Raspberry Rave.

The 'Big Ginger' Dispute Ends - Here's the story in brief: When Minneapolis restauranteur Kieran Folliard began selling the Big Ginger drink at his four bars - one of which was the top seller in the world for Jameson Irish Whiskey - he trademarked the drink name. Recently, Jameson started marketing The Big Jameson Ginger in the metro area and at some point Folliard switched out Jameson in his cocktails for his own Irish whiskey, 3 Gingers. This all ended up in a short lawsuit that ended this week with an undisclosed settlement over Jameson's alleged trademark infringement.

The drink that all of the fight was over? Irish whiskey and ginger ale served with both lemon and lime wedges. Admittedly, it is a fantastic drink that has been around for years, just not under that particular name. If you have not had the pleasure of enjoying the Irish whiskey-ginger ale combination, check out these variations: Jameson and Ginger and Irish Buck.

Gin Ahoy! A Navy-Strength Fleet Arrives - This entry on The New York Times' Diner's Journal blog is interesting and brings up the blooming fascination with higher-proof gins, or navy-strength. The average for this style of gin is 57% alc/volume and they tend to make a great base for mixed drinks, especially for those who enjoy a gin-forward drink.

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