Posted on | June 1, 2012
Written by | BevNetwork
|CROWN ROYAL ADDS EXTRA LUXURY
Tapping the remaining whiskies of the renowned LaSalle Distillery, which was convereted to a bottling facility in 1993, Crown Royal has released the second variant in its Extra Rare Whiskey Series: Crown Royal XR. The 80 proof blend is crafted with a small reserve of the final batch of LaSalle whiskies to create a refined fusion of dried fruits and honey in a balance with the spicy notes of Canadian rye. This blend marks the second extra rare whisky; the original, crafted from the Waterloo Distillery whiskies, was released in 2006. SRP: $129.99
|FIFTY POUNDS, READY FOR AN OLYMPIC BOOST
When the 2012 Summer Olympics in London open in August, plenty of beer drinking is sure to fill American bars and pubs. But we can also expect some extra action for the host city’s native spirit, namely London Dry Gin. Interestingly, Fifty Pounds Gin—named for the Gin Act of 1736 which aimed to curb the so-called Gin Craze by imposing an annual levy of £50—will be celebrating its very first Olympics. While the batch-distilled recipe of 11 botanicals hails from the 18th century, its global distribution (via Shaw-Ross) is quite recent. With Fifty Pounds having a foothold on the U.S. east coast, look for tuned-in mixologists from Amnesia in NYC to Zuma in Miami to tap this 87 proof gin to whip up some medal-worthy cocktails. SRP: $29.99.
|BEFORE MAD MEN, THERE WAS THE GENTRY MAN
Selective nostalgia always seems au courant. Perhaps with that spirit in mind, HarperCollins has published The Gentry Man, a compilation from Gentry magazine from 1951-1957, edited by currentday style guru Hal Rubenstein. Coverage of wine and spirits is extensive, and fascinating in how Old School wisdom still works today. To wit: “The martini marks the dividing line between bartenders with reverence for their calling, and converted soda jerks.” And “Don’t make the mistake of ordering a good meal and then expecting to enjoy it with ice water as a beverage.” Some of the particulars feel dated (grogs, anyone?), but the overarching endorsement of drinking well is not.
|LILLET: NOW PRETTY IN PINK, TOO
First created in 1872, Lillet is based on Bordeaux wine (85%) and citrus liqueurs aged in oak, resulting in a soft yet assertive apéritif. This sidewalk-café staple, available in Blanc and Rouge, is now a Rosé as well, with berries, wildflowers and melon complementing the traditional sweet and citrus notes. Additional red fruit liqueurs and a dash of the Rouge account for the pink color. The classic way to enjoy Lillet is on the rocks with a fresh orange slice; for Rosé, grapefruit is the pick. Bartenders love Lillet’s mixability, and now they have a new hue to play with. SRP: $19.99
|AVERNA GROWS IN BROOKLYN
In Italy, the amaro Averna (amaro is Italian for bitter) is as much a part of daily life as wine, pasta and espresso. Its unique character derives from a secret mixture of herbs, roots and citrus rinds which are soaked in alcohol before the addition of natural caramel. But as Americans are not flocking to bars for digestifs so much, importer Domaine Select has shifted gears, promoting the 64 proof Averna as a potent cocktail ingredient, with hip venues Aurora and Huckleberry Bar in Williamsburg creating original drinks to put a mod twist on this classic that dates back to 1868. SRP: $29.99/750ml, $32.99/1L