Archive for November, 2007

Piscos at Dawn

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

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I have always had a soft spot for pisco and its trendier Italian cousin grappa. Both are rustic, unaged grape brandies. Pisco originated as a way for Peruvian grape growers to use poorer quality grapes considered unsuitable for wine production which otherwise would have been discarded. From these humble beginnings pisco gradually grew in popularity and grapes started to be planted specifically for its production. In contrast, Italian grappa is distilled from the skins, stalks, pips and other material remaining after wine making. In most countries this material would be discarded or used as animal feed, but in Italy it is collected and distilled to produce grappa. (more…)

Mixology Monday: Gin! Introducing the Barbara West Cocktail

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Well this week’s Mixology Monday topic is gin.

I should have lots of ideas for this one since gin has become a favorite spirit of mine. I’ve had dreadful arguments about the whole vodka versus gin thing with friends who believe the former is the most versatile cocktail ingredient. I think gin deserves that honor. Sitting here writing this though, I can’t say that I have any particular drink in mind for this Mixology Monday. However, there is one thing that I believe does need to be said.

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Gin occupies a unique space in the world of mixed drinks. (more…)