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Gin and Bear it: All About One of the World's Most Popular Liquors

Gin and Bear it: All About One of the World's Most Popular Liquors

All About Gin

 Refreshing, sharp, herbal, and dry - gin is a versatile and surprising alcohol that is perfect for summer months and cold winters alike. Whether you go for the simple Gin and Tonic or a more complex Gimlet, gin is a staple in any bar or kitchen. 

Juniper's Roots 

Gin's beginning's can be found in 11th century Italy, where Benedictine monks used the juniper berry for medicine. This practice continued throughout history, with juniper being used as a medicinal tonic and plague doctors even stuffing the berries into their beaks to protect them from the Black Death. 

Eventually, it became pretty clear that patients were a little too keen to take their daily medicine, resulting in its use as drinkable alcohol by the 16th century. 

Oops All Gin

In the United States,  alcohol must contain 40% alcohol by volume (ABV) to be considered gin. The main ingredient is juniper, which is then infused with other botanicals to create a complex and refreshing flavor profile. 

There are five distinct types of gin; London Dry, Plymouth, Old Tom, Genever, and International. Each kind of gin has distinct methods and flavors; choosing which gin is best for you requires a taste test of all of them, right? 

London Dry gin is the most popular style of gin. This gin typically has a high proof and a 45% ABV.  Juniper is the main flavor, often paired with citruses and coriander. A classic G&T is best with this kind of gin and can be paired with any number of botanical tonics. 

Plymouth gin has a lower proof than the London Dry and is much less juniper-forward. However, it has a much higher ABV at 57%. The only distillery allowed to produce this kind of gin is Plymouth Gin Distillery in England. Due to its high alcohol content, it is recommended to use Plymouth Gin with sweeter cocktails like a spritz or a gimlet.

Old Tom gin is a much older kind of gin that often uses barrels in the distilling process. This gin is maltier and citrusy, making it perfect for a dry gin martini. 

Genever gin is a precursor to modern gin, produced by the Dutch in the 16th century. Distillers in Holland and Belgium produce this kind of gin using wine rather than grain, making it richer and more savory than other gins. This is a gin that can be played with, often used in Negronis and riffs on the Manhattan.  

Finally, International gin is expressed through different cultures around the world putting their own spins on the gin alcohol. It has become a modern practice to move away from the classic London gin and instead to make this versatile gin reflect local regions of Spain, Japan, and Brazil. These gins contain different botanicals and methods that fit with the cultures of where it is distilled. It will be exciting to see these gins incorporated into classic cocktails around the world.

Closing Time

Now that you know where it comes from and what gin might be best for you, it's time to get to the fun bit - the cocktails.  

As mentioned above, many drinks can use gin, both classically and in more innovative ways.

The best way to serve a classic G&T is with 1 part gin and two parts tonic. A favorite is the London Dry paired with elderflower tonics, creating a flowery and refreshing drink perfect for an afternoon on the patio. 

The gimlet is another classic that can be altered and played with to create new and exciting flavors. The gimlet uses gin, lime, and simple syrup, shaken and poured over ice. Any kind of syrup can be added to create different flavor profiles, such as basil, blackberry, or rhubarb. 

The gin spritz is another versatile cocktail, using gin, simple syrup, prosecco, and club soda. Dryer flavors are often used in this drink, such as cucumber or grapefruit, and can be a perfect use of a Plymouth gin.

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3 Summer Wine Tasting Theme Ideas

3 Summer Wine Tasting Theme Ideas

Summer is the perfect time to host a wine tasting party for good friends.  Crisp whites, fruity rosés, and lightweight reds that are low in tannins are wonderful refreshers for hot, humid days and nights. Paired with something to nibble, maybe some music, and good company, it's hard to go wrong with a few good bottles of vino. 

Here are three theme ideas for a fun summer wine tasting.

1. Chilean Fiesta

Chilean wines deserve their own party. Invoking nuances of citrus and honey, the herbaceous Maturana Colchagua Semillon is a good summertime option. For contrast, try the Mahu Sauvignon Blanc. A Charcuterie board laden with bits of chorizo, olives, crackers, and white Mexican cheeses make this party easy to prepare for and a breeze to clean up.  

2. Dessert Wine Luau

A fun idea for girl's night is a tasting party dedicated to dessert wines. Muscat de  Beaumes de Venise Sweet is deliciously sweet with a healthy dose of freshness. Chateau Coutet Sauternes Barsac is bold and sweet with notes of honey, citrus, apricot, and marmalade. Fresh fruit and a collection of small cakes and pastries from the local bakery is the perfect, worry-free accompaniment. 

3. Champagne Dreams

Go all out and celebrate sparkling wine. It's never a bad time for champagne, and several good bottles of bubbly is a wonderful way to kick off a summer evening. Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial is distinguished by a bright fruitiness and a seductive palate. If you're feeling especially celebratory, Dom Perignon is always a fine choice. Cocktail attire is in order as are foie gras, creme brie, and caviar.

Wine is always in style. To make summer entertaining easy and fun, try one of these themed wine tastings featuring a few choice selections from our store.

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Best of Independence Day Drink ideas

Best of Independence Day Drink ideas

So, you've got savory and smokey barbecue recipes on the grill, some blue, white, and red crafts to keep the kids engaged, and some do-it-yourself (DIY) Independence Day décor hanging up. Sounds like a terrific holiday, right? However, the list is not complete if the only thing absent is a festive Independence Day drink in your hand. Yet, it is one of the ingredients that can sparkle this holiday.

From cocktails to alcoholic slushies and wines, these drink ideas will turn a celebration into a party. 

Cocktails

Cocktails are often classic with a purpose. Timeless cocktails such as the Martini, Manhattan, and Margarita are cocktail versions of comfort food, and you can't imagine life without them. So, whether you're searching for a go-to order or want to brush up on your home mixology menu for the perfect blend for the holiday, we've got you covered.

Alcoholic Slushies

High temperatures, the summer weather, and a pool party sounds like the Independence Daydream.

Instead of just taking regular drinks, have you ever considered boozy slushies? Pairing slushies with some alcohol yields alcoholic slushies, a recipe for an extremely stunning holiday. 

Alcoholic slushies like Whiskey slushie, Bourbon slushie, Rhubarb slushie, Champagne slushies, and Hennessy slushie will certainly lighten your holiday. If you love slushies, then these variations will be the best you've ever tasted by far.

Wines

We're all for holiday cocktails, but nothing beats a simple glass of wine during Independence Day. Think of it as a lubricant to help you ignore unsolicited political talk and unstiffen your reaction to unpleasant (but considerate) presents. Of course, you can also gift your loved ones some of our favorite wines for the holiday. 

A little cocktail, slushie, or wine always seems to turn a get-together ceremony into an actual holiday party. If you choose one (or all) drink ideas from this list, we'd love to hear about it. 

View our collection online and order your ideal drink for the Independence Day holiday. 

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The Best Beer for the Best Dad

The Best Beer for the Best Dad

Let's be honest: that tie you bought for your Dad last year? It's been in the back of his closet, collecting dust. And you know, your Dad is the best Dad...so he definitely deserves the best Father's Day present. Treat him right with the best present around: Beer. 

For the Dad that loves the taste, but not the buzz

He loves crackin' one open on Sundays, yeah, but this Dad also likes waking up early on Monday and tackling the week without the lingering effects of Sunday's brews. Athletic Brewing's Non-alcoholic Golden Ale gives you all the taste of a craft beer, without the alcohol. Brewed with organic malt, this ale is sweet and drinkable. 

For the Dad who's a bit of a Kiwi

The rolling hills, the towering mountains, the lush valleys- there is a reason that Lord of the Rings was filmed in the paradise that is New Zealand. This is a land of adventure and beauty...and also the land of good beer. The Toppling Goliath Zeelander is the perfect choice for the Dad that wishes he could be hopping around the breweries of New Zealand. Brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand, this American style IPA is earthy and floral, with notes of mandarin oranges. 

For the Dad that spends his weekends mowing the lawn

He's seen it all: squirrels stealing all of his bird seed, deer eating his shrubs, rogue neighborhood dogs digging up his beautiful grass. This Dad knows that when disaster strikes, there is only one thing to do: roll up his sleeves, get to work, and, when it's all said and done, crack open a nice cold one. For this dad, Allagash's Saison is the only right choice. A play on the Belgian farmhouse ale, this beer was made to be drank after a day of sweaty yard work.  It is full-bodied, with a crisp finish, and hints of pepper and citrus to balance the sweet malts. 

For the Dad that actually doesn't really want beer after all

Sometimes, when you've spent your whole life loving a thing, you might need a little distance from it. This Dad would never say no to a brewski, but ever since that trip to Cabo, he's been exploring other options and is pretty excited about what's out there. Cutwater Spirits is a distillery based in San Diego, CA, which specializes in both liquors and premixed beverages. Perfect for the days when you need a break from the hops and malt and yeast, their Horchata inspired Cold Brew Cocktail is perfect for the Dad that's branching out. 

 

Your Dad is the best Dad, and he deserves the best beer (or drink of choice). Check out or catalog or stop in-store for a full selection!

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