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Colleen Graham

Booze News: July 23, 2012

By July 23, 2012

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It may be hard to believe, but there is more going on in the cocktail world this week beyond Tales of the Cocktail. That event is kicking off on Wednesday and will be celebrating its 10th year. Before all drink eyes descend on New Orleans, here are more boozy headlines worth reading.

Air Premium Clear Malt Beverage - Seriously, a company has release an alcoholic beverage that takes the best part out of liquor - the taste.  This new carbonated malt beverage is reported to taste like water (because that's a flavor of alcohol we are all craving), or berry- or citrus- flavored water. Beyond the dastardly boldness of removing all of the flavor from liquor, other consequences can be seen with this product: binge drinking, alcohol abuse, underage drinking, intentional and unintentional drink spiking, mistaken drinks, etc. I think Scotch in a can has a new rival for the 'really?' marketing plan of the decade. The DrinkAir.com website has no real information (other than it has only 95 calories), so the title link goes to the Gizmodo.com report.

Dale DeGroff's Pimento Aromatic Bitters - Here is a product release to get very excited about. One of the great men in modern mixology, DeGroff's quest for Pimento Dram has been realized and his newly released Pimento Aromatic Bitters are now on the market for all of us to enjoy. These are going to be essential in every bar and are versatile enough for everything from rum to whiskey and gin. The development of this exciting news was aided by the absinthe revolutionary Ted Breaux, who has been instrumental in our recent interest in that infamous spirit.

Micro-Distilleries in the U.S. and Canada - I have not personally checked this new book out but it sounds interesting. I admire David J. Reimer Sr. for taking on the subject and celebrating the fine spirits and devoted people behind the micro-distillery movement in North America.

The Quest for a Good Gin and Tonic - Beyond the Martini, the Gin and Tonic is on my top 10 list of personal favorites. I write about it quite a bit and did so just last week. I am thrilled to know that I am not the only writer enamored by the simplistic mix and its unlimited potential. A G&T can be a poor mix or a great one, and JK Grence's article on Chow Bella has more advice on it.

Is Controy the Authentic Margarita Liqueur? - There are rumors out about the first orange liqueur used in a Margarita. The story goes that it was a 1930's developed Mexican liqueur called Controy. This story on Chow takes a look at the purported facts as this spirit is now finally available in the U.S. There is some marketing hype behind the story. Who knows, the 'original' orange spirit in the very first Margarita may have been Controy, but first we would have to know the hard facts about where and when that first cocktail was mixed and the cocktail history books have too many theories to (probably) ever answer that question.

History of Prohibition Bottled Here - An interesting read on the Wall Street Journal about Kings County distillery in New York City. Part distillery, part museum, the duo behind this recreation are making strides in bringing back NYC's liquid past via their moonshine and bourbon offerings. Distillery tours began this month and run every Saturday afternoon.

Whiskey Expert with a Taste for Success - A man you should know, Barry Walsh has been a man behind the Irish whiskey scene for years and is responsible for developing the tastes of many of our favorite brands from the Emerald Isle.  Now retired, Walsh continues to aid Irish distillers and looks back on his career in this Irish Times article.

Molecular Cocktails Don't Go Down Easy - Molecular mixology has not been trending as it once was and this story by Chris Macias on The Sacramento Bee might have the answer. This is an account of the adventure as Macias and Grange Restaurant mixologist, Andrew Calisterio, create and taste the recipes on a molecular mixology DVD. The result to be succinct is that the drinks may look great, but there is a lot to be desired when it comes to the taste (the most important aspect of the drink). The story is a great read and proves the point that while molecular mixology may have given us great techniques, like infused foams, there is a point where the theory outweighs the outcome and we lose the point of the cocktail, creating undrinkable drinks.

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