Posted on | December 19, 2011
Written by | BevNetwork
|HENNESSY LIGHTS UP THE NIGHT
The high-end spirits realm just got stretched in a brand-new direction. Hennessy Privilège NyX—the second in the brand’s “Privilège Collection”—sports a daring translucent platinum glass bottle with metallic purple trim inspired by a starry night. Logos etched in luminescent ink adorning the label, collar and cork are visible only under black light. Hennessy’s Jennifer Yu says that the design “evokes the imagination and conjures the endless possibilities when exploring the unknown or crafting the perfect night out.” The Cognac within is not exactly new (it is Hennessy’s Privilège VSOP), but this iteration represents the second in a noteworthy series. The first, Helios, paid tribute to the sun; others are slated to follow annually. Distribution begins December 1st. SRP: $45.99-$49.99
|A TASTE OF MALT HISTORY, FROM WAY DOWN UNDER
History has long been fertile territory for special spirits bottlings, but this one practically goes to the ends of the Earth. Mackinlay’s has re-created the malt whisky that explorer Ernest Shackleton toted to Antarctica in 1907 on his “Nimrod” expedition. Three wooden crates of the malt, originally distilled at Glen Mhor Distillery in Inverness, were abandoned and buried in the ice, only to be unearthed a century later by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust. Apprised of the discovery, Mackinlay’s distillers set about to faithfully re-produce the spirit—elegant with hints of apple, pear, smoke and creamy caramel. Dubbed The Enduring Spirit, it was then given a fitting package: the bottle contains deliberate imperfections; the label was meticulously hand-drawn to match the original; and, in a nod to the re-discoverers, it is encased in a wood box made from New Zealand pine. SRP: $175
|PDT: HOT BAR SPAWNS HOT BOOK
As drinking is a constantly evolving pastime, it makes sense that bartending books should evolve as well—and even lead. Jim Meehan, the force behind Manhattan hotspot PDT, seems perfectly positioned to pen the definitive “circa now” book. The PDT Cocktail Book is packed not only with 300+ recipes, but also oozes its namesake speakeasy’s underground yet accessible edginess, with behind-the-scenes secrets and evocative full-color, retro-modern illustrations by Chris Gall. Available in hardcover (Sterling, $24.95), it’s already been lauded by spirits maven Gary Regan as “the best book of its kind to hit the shelves in the twenty-first century.” Back-pats by cookbook author Mark Bittman, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Momofuku chef David Chang speak to the book’s appeal beyond the mixologist fraternity.
|TEA TIME WITH A KICK IN BALTIMORE
While coffee has long been a foundation of rich, warming bar drinks, tea—perhaps due to its inherent subtleties—has been less frequently complemented by varied liquors. Baltimore’s Teavolve Café and Lounge features a slew of loose-leaf teas, but also an impressive range of spirit-ed tea options. Sangrias include red, white and blush (each based on wine, brandy, triple sec, tea and fresh fruit). Himalayan Green Tea Vodka and Pomegranate White Tea Rum are among the house-infused spirits. The latter is used in the café’s most popular cocktail, the Pomegranate Mojito, which also includes agave nectar, muddled lime and mint leaves, and club soda. Teavolve’s menu focuses on sandwiches, salads and crepes, with many ingredients locally sourced.