Few drinks have the storied history of absinthe. Once considered a beverage for sophisticates, it would soon become the drink of degenerates and eventually be banned for its apparent dangers. Weird History Food delves into the green spirit’s unique properties and sets us straight on its many controversies.
Is there an end in sight for celebrity-owned spirits brands? Nope. Music producer-rapper Polow Da Don has twiddled the knobs for Christina Aguilera, Rihana, Usher, etc., and recently introduced YoCo Vodka, an all-natural, gluten-free spirit that uses activated carbon to create some bomb-diggity hooch.
Instead of going to Iceland to see the Northern Lights only to see nothing, I could’ve just gazed into the iridescent bottle of Crystal Head Aurora, a metalized skull inspired by the Aurora Borealis. The additive-free vodka inside is distilled 5X and filtered 7X, including three passes through layers of Herkimer diamonds.
Symphony 6 is an inventive botanical spirit produced with six fragrant leaves that are otherwise rarely used in distillation: mandarin, lemon, coffee, black currant and fig. Made in California by Copenhagen-based Empirical, the uniquely pink elixir is a bright, floral, citrusy and earthy addition to the sustainable bar arsenal.
Los Arango tequila honors Jose Doroteo Arango (AKA Pancho Villa) for defending his people in the Mexican Revolution. Its locally harvested 100% Blue Weber Agave is fired onsite in clay ovens, fermented with a specialty yeast strain, double distilled, then bottled in blown glass and hand-finished with leather, metal, and wood accents.
Meaning “breast,” pechuga is a mezcal-based spirit that adds or hangs ingredients in the still to impart aroma, texture, and flavor from everything from strawberries to turkey. Rarely found in the US, pechuga is made in Mexico by mezcaleros for celebrations and provides an offering or spiritual connection to the dead.
The full flavor of Grand Old Parr 12-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky is smooth as David Beckham’s off-field swagger. Fellow soccer star Sebastian Lletget (currently with Major League Soccer FC Dallas, and formerly the LA Galaxy) is an Old Parr fan so they partnered to create the perfect cocktail for soccer watch parties.
The best gins lean in with a strong juniper core. Junipero Gin does this in spades, blending 12 botanicals for an intense herbal and citrus concoction. Master distiller Bruce Joseph sources ingredients from around the world for small gin batches made in a copper pot still and bottled at an unfiltered 98.6 proof.
Uncle Nearest crafts an impressive range of whiskeys in the historic tradition of the first Black master distiller, Nearest Green. In 2021, it became the best-selling African American-owned and founded spirit brand in history, and the most-awarded American whiskey or bourbon of 2019, 2020 and 2021, with 500+ awards and accolades.
“The flaming heart can’t get his fill / But the flaming heart will try as he will.” M. Ward’s song has inspired seven editions of Flaming Heart whisky, with the label art a nod to classic rock posters. The peaty 2022 release is a power trio of whiskies from Laphroaig, Talisker, and Caol Ila distilleries.
Ernest “Papa” Hemingway wrote about lots of adventurous things, like bullfighting, hunting, and skiing. But there’s nothing he had more experience in than drinking, with rum being his go-to. Papa’s Pilar Rum honors the adventurer’s spirit by blending premium rums from the Caribbean, Central, South, and North America.
The Dominican Republic has a passion for passion fruit. So do the Florida spirits connoisseurs who created Chinola, a deliciously sweet ‘n’ tangy, all-natural liqueur with the juice of six passion fruits in each bottle. It’s lovely to sip on its own and plays well with others, like rum, vodka, tequila, and bubbly.
While tasting their latest barrels, Frey Ranch’s farmer-distillers came across a firecracker with their highest proof yet. The 140.18-proof Hazmat Single Barrel yielded only 126 bottles of dark mahogany bourbon, rich with notes of orange peel and oak. Drops 10.8.22 only at Frey Ranch Tasting Room in Fallon, Nevada.
Want a proper job where you get to drink and report to the world’s highest-paid athlete? MMA star Conor McGregor is hiring a “Professional Partier” to introduce Proper Whiskey across the US. The full-time gig involves pouring and preaching Proper, hosting parties, and kicking social media ass, so Conor doesn’t have to kick yours.
Bottling at the whisky’s natural cask strength was the Scottish custom before the 20th Century. Nearly 200 years later, The GlenDronach revives that tradition with Cask Strength Batch 10 Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, a limited expression that master blender Rachel Barrie aged in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks.
Two whisky cultures unite in each bottle of Glendalough 7-Year Single Malt Mizunara Cask. The rare whiskey expression was first triple-distilled from Irish malted barley in the Wicklow mountains. It then matures for seven years in bourbon casks before being transferred into Japanese Mizunara oak casks for another 8-12 months.
Beware, vegetarians. The rascally rabbit on the label hints that Bosscal Mezcal isn’t just made with agave, per usual. It’s made with meat. Organic agave is triple distilled in Durango, Mexico. During the third distillation, a skinless rabbit is suspended in the still, allowing the liquid vapors to pass through it.
Puncher’s Chance Bourbon is a knockout, a one-two punch of 5- and 6-year-old Kentucky straight bourbons made from a mash of 75% Corn, 13% rye, and 12% barley. The 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition gold medal winner won a 95-point review from The Tasting Panel. We give it two boxing-gloved thumbs up.
Bring new depth and dimension to your whiskey with this spirit-enhancing gift set. The kit includes various types of oak, herbs, and spices to infuse your whiskey with, along with two bottles for mixing and six stainless steel whiskey stones for ice-free chilling. They also make infusion kits for gin and vodka.
Utah is better known for banning booze than for making it, so David Perkins combined his passions for biochemistry, bourbon, and the American West to open Utah’s first distillery since the 1870s. Whiskies are king at High West, including Double Rye which blends two distinct ryes: a playful 2-year-old and a sweet 16.
Jack Daniel’s is offering up its 2022 Small Batch Special Release, a potent spirit that deserves small and measured sips. Blended from 55 over-proof barrels of last year’s single-barrel Coy Hill, the whiskey offers 76.6% ABV and a 153.2 proof. Available only at the White Rabbit Bottle Shop and select stores across Tennessee.
The High Rye expression from famed Scotch maker Johnnie Walker blends whiskies made from a 60% rye mash with barley and wheat. It offers a spicy vanilla fragrance, the flavors of apple, clove, and toffee, and a dry but slightly sweet finish. Great for sipping or mixing in fall and winter cocktails.
Frey Ranch Whiskey from comes from a farm in the Sierra Nevada Watershed. There, Colby and Ashley Frey sustainably “slow grow” heirloom grains and distill harvests into non-chill filtered 90-proof bourbon. The mash of non-GMO corn, winter cereal rye, winter wheat, and two-row barley yields a refined award winner.
Celebrate special moments or simply class up the joint with splurge-worthy Bisquit & Dubouché VSOP Cognac (Very Superior Old Pale), an exceptional pour from France’s Cognac region. It’s pressed from the most prestigious eaux-de-vie of vines harvested from four main crus: Petite and Grande Champagne, Fin Bois, and Bons Bois.
Distilled from high-altitude Blue Weber agave, Casa Noble Tequila was a pioneer in the use of certified organic agave, even going so far as to make their own compost to guarantee its purity. The blanco tequila’s refined flavor and aroma come from resting in toasted French oak barrels instead of common American oak.
Inspired by the stars, Astral Tequila is a super-premium tequila made in Jalisco, Mexico from 100% Blue Weber agave. A traditional milling process uses a stone wheel to crush juices from agave fibers, which are fermented together to maximize use of the plant. Spent fibers are then upcycled into bricks for local communities.