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Liquor & spirit reviews, cocktail & drink recipe reviews, bar reviews

Irony Wine What’s Your Story Wine Cork

What's Your Story Wine Cork

What’s Your Story Wine Cork

A while back I let you in on a wine cork photo project I have been working on. The photo project has been a little hit and miss lately due to cocktail development projects and a book I am currently writing, but that’s all good. Many emailed, messaged me on Facebook and someone left a comment asking about what wine the “What’s Your Story?” cork came from. I couldn’t remember and couldn’t track it down.

Irony Wine What's Your Story Wine Cork

Irony Wine with the “What’s Your Story?” Wine Cork

Luckily a #WineWednesday shout out to Twitter friends garnered a correct answer within minutes. A huge shout out thank you to my friend Dan Bliss (@Blisser on Twitter) who is a Google search hero. As soon as Dan tweeted me the answer I made a bee line for the liquor store like an excited 21 year old at midnight with a fresh ID.

The What’s your Story wine cork comes from Irony Small Lot Reserve wines. Their wines include Cabernet Sauvignon (the one I purchased), Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Apparently the “What’s Your Story?” cork isn’t the only clever cork in Irony’s bottle neck. Nikki Cassandra has a cork posted with the words, “What Occasion doesn’t benefit from a little Irony?”

Irony Wine What's Your Story Wine Cork

I encourage you to take a look at the Irony wine website and read the about page to discover for yourself why the family chose the name Irony for their wine. Pick up a bottle at the store and give it a whirl or swirl in your glass while you’re at it.

What’s Your Story?

"What's Your Story?"

“What’s Your Story?”

I love wine corks with clever quotes, sayings or drawings. What clever wine corks have you seen and what wines do they come from? Share your comment at the bottom of this post.

All content ©2014 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Market-Fresh Mixology Book Giveaway

Market-Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Occasion - Bridget Albert with Mary Barranco

Market-Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Occasion – Bridget Albert with Mary Barranco

Market-Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Season is written by award winning mixologist Bridget Albert with Mary Barranco. Market-Fresh Mixology inspires readers to shop local farmers’ markets, use their own home garden ingredients and personal pantry items to make fresh, creative cocktails.

The book emphasizes the use of the freshest, seasonal ingredients. Some of these ingredients might seem a little unusual for cocktail use; zucchini, radish, beet, caviar, etc. But the book also includes a wide variety of more common cocktail fruit choices such as berries, watermelon, apricot, pear, etc. The recipes and ingredient choices reflect a “green” living movement that carries over into the cocktail and bartending genre.

Bridget Albert with Mary Barranco - photo credit: Larry Fox

Bridget Albert with Mary Barranco – photo credit: Larry Fox

Bridget Albert points to the Spiced Beet Cocktail as her favorite from the book. This spring cocktail is described as a sophisticated, balanced blend of bold, spicy flavors.

Spiced Beet Cocktail

1 beet (peeled & sliced)

Juice of 3 pressed Limes

2 bar spoons Brown Sugar

Pinch of Ground Ginger

1-1/2 ounce Silver Tequila

1/2 ounce Mezcal

1 ounce Fresh Sour

Beet Leaf Garnish

Add sliced beat, lime juice, brown sugar and ground ginger to sauté pan. Cover and simmer on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, until beets are tender. Stir occasionally. Remove beets and allow liquid to cool.

Place tequila, mezcal, 2 ounces cooled liquid, fresh sour and ice to cocktail shaker. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with beet leaf.

Bridget Albert Market-Fresh Mixology book - photo credit: Larry Fox

Bridget Albert Market-Fresh Mixology book – photo credit: Larry Fox

Market-Fresh Mixology does have wide appeal with its creative use of fresh ingredients. However, not every recipe can be followed exactly by every home bartender. For instance, Carrot Chic calls for freshly juiced carrot juice using an electric juicer. Not everyone will have access to an electric juicer. Though not ideal for freshest use possible, bottled carrot juice is available at grocery stores so it is still possible to make Carrot Chic if the recipe interests you. By the way, it looks delicious and someone on her Facebook fan page commented that the Carrot Chic cocktail “was the hit of the party…”

Bridget’s book separates recipes by season and includes a list of the best fruits, vegetables and herbs for each season as inspiration. Allow her original drink recipes to inspire you to get more creative in the kitchen and behind the bar.

Market-Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Season Book Giveaway

Market-Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Occasion - Bridget Albert with Mary Barranco

5 books to give to readers! – Market-Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Occasion – Bridget Albert with Mary Barranco

Bridget Albert and Agate Publishing have generously provided The Intoxicologist with five books to share with readers. Since the book is about inspired and inspiring fresh cocktails, the giveaway will be based upon the same thing. Bridget outlines a few unusual ingredients as “Season’s Best” for spring:

artichoke, asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumbers, dandelion, greens, fiddlehead ferns, lettuce, morels, papaya, pea pods, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, watercress, zucchini

Which of these spring season’s best ingredients would you find most intriguing in a cocktail and why? Leave your comments at the bottom of this post. Winners will be chosen from comments by random drawing.

I am excited to see which ingredients inspire you most and super excited to send a Market-Fresh Mixology book to 5 lucky readers! Thanks for participating! ~ Cheri

Leave your email address in the comment form. Email address will not be published, but it is the only way I have to contact winners. Contest is open from March 25 to March 30, 2014 midnight CST. Contest is only open to U.S. residents over the age of 21. International friends may enter and win, but the prize will be sent to a person of your choice with U.S. shipping address. See additional Giveaway Policy information.

Bridget Albert currently designs cocktails and trains bartenders throughout the Chicago area, while teaching at the Academy of Spirits & Fine Service on behalf of Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois. She has appeared on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America among many other television programs. Follow Bridget’s fan page on Facebook and bookmark her website.

Review copy and copies for giveaway provided by representatives Agate Publishing, Inc.

All content ©2014 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Latini

Latini Tequila Cocktail

Latini Tequila Cocktail

Although Margaritas are the most popular tequila drink out there, tequila deserves variety in the cocktail world. Mixologists and bartenders have created delicious cocktails with tequila. Ditch the sour mix and premade slushy machine Margaritas. Go for some good ole fiery charm in your drink.

What makes this cocktail so special is the syrup. The syrup is a little citrusy with fiery pop! It takes a little extra effort to make start to finish, but it is well worth the time. There should be approximately 3-1/2 cups of Latini syrup. Each cocktail only uses 1-1/2 ounce of syrup. That’s a lot of sipping pleasure for your syrup making time.

The Latini contains wonderful spicy kick that lingers long. The cocktail hints at charmingly sweet, yet its peppery spice complements the sweet for perfect balance. This is a definite keeper to add to your list of must try cocktails

Latini Cocktail Recipe

Latini tequila cocktail

Latini

1-1/2 ounce Reposado Tequila

1-1/2 ounce Latini Syrup*

1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice

Orange Twist

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Twist fresh orange peel over the cocktail to capture its essential oils in the drink. Drop in the cocktail.

*Latini Syrup

2 cups Water

3 ounces Fresh Lime Juice

1-1/2 cup Granulated Sugar

4 Guajillo or New Mexico Dried Chilis

3 Orange Wheels – sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 ounce Vodka – optional

Place all ingredients (except vodka) in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth or double strain using a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof container with lid. Allow to cool. Add 1 ounce vodka as preservative if desired. Refrigerate syrup while not in use.

El Diamante Del Cielo Tequila Review Notes (2009)

This recipe is from a lost review post from 2009. Cielo Reposado Tequila representatives provided me with a review sample. Cielo Brand Manager, Alec Hopmayer, recommended the Latini cocktail. All opinions are my own.

El Diamante Del Cielo Reposado Tequila displays a bit of vanilla in the first sip. It is not until the second or third sip that the magnitude of the succulent vanilla hits squarely across the palate with divine lusciousness. Cielo Reposado Tequila leans more toward smooth savory smoke than peppery spice. It is mild, yet deeply satisfying. The finish is long, creating an easy sipping experience. Perfect for winter evenings by the fire or summer evenings lingering on the deck.

All content ©2014 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Avion Espresso Liqueur Peanut Crème Espresso Cocktail

Avion Espresso Liqueur 010 - Avion Espresso has deep espresso flavor, light sweetness rather than cloying sweetness and clean dry finish that hint at its silver tequila roots. 70 proof / 35% ABV –Retails for approximately $24.99 for 750ml bottle. Enjoy chilled to sip or shoot as a shot, on the rocks or included in favorite cocktails. - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Avion Espresso Liqueur – photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Avion Espresso Liqueur has deep espresso flavor, light sweetness rather than cloying sweetness and a clean dry finish that hints at its silver tequila roots. 70 proof / 35% ABV – Retails for approximately $24.99 for 750ml bottle. Enjoy chilled to sip or shoot as a shot, on the rocks or included in favorite cocktails.

Avion Espresso Liqueur - Avion Tequila 024 Avion Espresso Liqueur taster shot with wooden bottle cap along side. - Avion Espresso has deep espresso flavor, light sweetness rather than cloying sweetness and clean dry finish that hint at its silver tequila roots. 70 proof / 35% ABV –Retails for approximately $24.99 for 750ml bottle. Enjoy chilled to sip or shoot as a shot, on the rocks or included in favorite cocktails. - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Use Avion Espresso Liqueur in the same capacity you would regular coffee liqueur. You will notice a bit of tequila in the finish. But I also think that adds a touch of something flavorful to cocktails if you are willing to experiment a little. Think of using Avion Espresso Liqueur in place of coffee liqueur in your next White Russian. Avion Tequila even suggests mixing 1 part Avion Espresso liqueur with 1 part Irish Whiskey in a rocks glass over fresh ice. Stir and sip. If you like that, think about adding a little half and half with a bit of Irish cream. Shake it up and serve on the rocks or in a cocktail glass for a creamy espresso cocktail with bit of Irish kick.

Avion Espresso Liqueur Peanut Crème Espresso Cocktail Recipe

Peanut Creme Espresso - Avion Espresso Liqueur 074 is a peanut creme influenced Espresso Martini that happens to include a tequila espresso liqueur in place of the usual coffee liqueur. - recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Peanut Crème Espresso is a peanut crème influenced Espresso Martini that happens to include tequila espresso liqueur in place of the usual coffee liqueur. – recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Peanut Crème Espresso – recipe by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin

1 ounce Avion Espresso Liqueur

3/4 ounce Castries Peanut Rum Crème

1/2 ounce Carolans Irish Cream

1 ounce Half and Half

Williams-Sonoma Milk Chocolate Shaved Chocolate

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill thoroughly. Strain into chilled cocktail glass or coupe. Garnish with shaved chocolate.

Use any chocolate you prefer for garnish. Grated chocolate chips or grated chocolate candy bar would both work rather nicely. I used what I had on hand in the cabinet. You should too! - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Use any chocolate you prefer for garnish. Grated chocolate chips or grated chocolate candy bar would both work rather nicely. I used what I had on hand in the cabinet. You should too! – photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

There is a nice balance of peanut and espresso flavor with barely there hint of tequila in the finish. If you prefer just a hint more peanut flavor, add a tiny amount more peanut rum crème. Use any chocolate you prefer for garnish. Grated chocolate chips or grated chocolate candy bar would both work rather nicely. I used what I had on hand in the cabinet. You should too!

Avion Espresso Liqueur and Peanut Crème Espresso Stock Photography Availability

Avion Espresso Liqueur - Avion Tequila 014 Top shot of bottle Cap - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Avion Espresso Liqueur – Avion Tequila 014 Top shot of bottle Cap – photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

There are seventeen Avion Espresso Liqueur bottle and tasting shot images available in the stock photography gallery including the photos chosen for this post. There are an additional twelve Avion Tequila Silver bottle and tasting shot images from a previous review.

Peanut Crème Espresso - recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Peanut Crème Espresso – recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

There are ten Peanut Crème Espresso cocktail images available with varying angles of the cocktail including top shots of the shaved chocolate garnish.

All images are available for immediate download for commercial and personal use, priced affordably in a variety of resolution sizes.

Avion Espresso Liqueur - Avion Tequila 020 Avion Espresso Liqueur taster shot with wooden bottle cap along side. - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Avion Espresso Liqueur – Avion Tequila 020 Avion Espresso Liqueur taster shot with wooden bottle cap along side. – photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Review sample courtesy representatives of Tequila Avion. Join Tequila Avion in conversation on facebook.com/tequilaavion and twitter.com/tequilaavion.

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Partida Tequila Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita

Partida Tequila Reposado 002 close up of bottle neck and bird logo. - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Partida Tequila Reposado 002 close up of bottle neck and bird logo. – photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Partida Tequila is quality Tequila made from 100% blue agave. It is all natural with no additives and no additional color. The Partida Tequila Reposado is aged in Jack Daniel’s American Oak barrels.

Partida Tequila Reposado 012 close up of bottle label. - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Great care is taken during the creative process so the finest quality taste goes into each Partida Tequila bottle. Partida Tequila gives the agave plants 7 to 10 years to mature before harvesting. The riper the agave plant, the more flavorful it becomes.

Partida Tequila Reposado 052 Bottle stopper with Partida Tequila Reposado tasting shot. - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Partida uses state of the art stainless steel ovens to bake their agave rather than the traditional old fashioned stone ovens. According to Partida, stone ovens develop sooty residue during the roasting process. Soot build up over time contributes to bitterness in Tequila. This is in part why Partida chooses stainless steel ovens. It is also why Partida Tequila cleans their ovens after each batch.

Partida Tequila Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita Recipe

Partida Tequila Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita 094 contains some of the same flavor elements of a classic Paloma long drink; Tequila, Lime and Grapefruit. This Margarita variation is a blended frozen drink with additional premium orange liqueur. Top it with a float of Cassis for wonderful lush flavor. - recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Partida Tequila Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita 094 contains some of the same flavor elements of a classic Paloma long drink; Tequila, Lime and Grapefruit. This Margarita variation is a blended frozen drink with additional premium orange liqueur. Top it with a float of Cassis for wonderful lush flavor. – recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

The Paloma long drink is such a refreshing warm weather drink with its easy tequila, lime and grapefruit flavors. It makes perfect sense to take the Paloma out for a spin and turn this tried and true favorite into a wonderful frozen blender drink. This Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita can easily make two smaller margaritas or one larger drink.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita – recipe by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin

2 ounces Partida Tequila Reposado

1 ounce O3 Premium Orange Liqueur

3 ounces Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice

1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice

Salt Rim and Lime Wheel Garnish

10 to 12 ounces Ice

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend on high until all ice is completely integrated into drink. No ice chunks! Rim chilled glass with fresh lime slice. Dip into coarse salt. Pour blended mixture into salt rimmed glass. Garnish with lime slice.

Extra option: Add a 1/4 ounce Cassis float to the top of the drink for a wonderful burst of flavor.

Partida Tequila and Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita Stock Photography Availability

Partida Tequila Reposado 020 close up of wood bottle stopper. - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Partida Tequila Reposado 020 close up of wood bottle stopper. – photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

There are thirteen Partida Tequila bottle photography shots available in the stock photography gallery including the photos chosen for this post.

Partida Tequila Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita 116 contains some of the same flavor elements of a classic Paloma long drink; Tequila, Lime and Grapefruit. This Margarita variation is a blended frozen drink with additional premium orange liqueur. Top it with a float of Cassis for wonderful lush flavor. - recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

There are twenty-two images of the Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita with varying angles of the cocktail and lime wheel garnish. There are two O3 Premium Orange Liqueur holiday themed images in the Wine & Spirits Holiday Stock Photography Gallery. All images are available for immediate download for commercial and personal use, priced affordably in a variety of resolution sizes.

Partida Tequila Reposado 036 Bottle stopper with Partida Tequila Reposado tasting shot. - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Review sample courtesy representatives of Partida Tequila. Join Partida in conversation on facebook.com/TequilaPartida and twitter.com/TequilaPartida.

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com