Eastern Promises: Shochu and baijiu are entering the Minnesota market—getting them right in a cocktail takes a delicate touch

The bottle in question was some type of clear spirit, purchased on a business trip to China, secondhand gifted to me. Its only English lettering was the word “Taiwan” and a three-digit number that I figured to be the spirit’s proof. It smelled like an auto mechanic’s shop on a humid July afternoon—stuffy like hot … [ Read more]

Leaves of Change: Verdant Tea champions China’s unheralded family farms by going straight to the source

The future of tea is a new generation—one of thoughtful drinkers who have developed their palates by selecting pour-overs from lists describing coffee beans’ origins and consuming spirits in the same building in which they were distilled. Developing that same relationship between tea farmer and tea drinker is where Verdant Tea has staked its mission, … [ Read more]

Heirloom Liqueurs: Oddball flavors, excellent mixers

No one has ever accused the Bittercube group of being too straight-laced, and their newest project is appropriately off-the-wall—a collection of intense liqueurs in surprising flavors, but ones that are easy to mix and a delight to drink. Heirloom, from Bittercube founders Nick Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz, partnering with their research and development coordinator Brandon Reyes, is … [ Read more]

Bartender, There’s Cheese In My Drink: The how and why of fat-washing spirits

Fat-washing spirits.” It sounds disgusting, right? But, when a bacon bourbon old fashioned is on the menu, it sells like hotcakes. Fat-washing is the revolting terminology for a delicious and popular technique in the cocktail world, and, despite my many emails advocating for a name change, the global bartending community has yet to change the … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Tattersall’s Salty Dog

A clear spirit and a slug of Fresca is tailor-made for an oversized plastic cup and the ragged sunshine of June. It’s a combination that says, “I’m going to lounge on a boat that’s still tied to the dock and don’t bother me until I finish this book,” or perhaps, “I have to spend Saturday … [ Read more]