Orange you Glad…

Few people would accuse me of being smart, but I can’t believe I’m the only person to be confused by all the orange liqueurs at my local ABC (see, I’m acclimating to the South).  So today we’ll set the record straight.

Nearly all orange liqueurs are derivative of Curacao (pronounced Kura-SOW), which is named after the Caribbean island of its origin.  It’s made by soaking the dried peels of the lahara citrus in grain alcohol for several days.  Voila. Continue reading

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Local Watering Holes – Part 2

Lantern has been at 423 W Franklin St in Chapel Hill for nearly 10 years.  It’s an award-winning restaurant that’s “a marriage of Asian flavors and North Carolina ingredients sourced mainly from local farms and fisheries.”  The Reusing’s execute this menu crazy-well and I’d recommend it anytime.  But this is not a food blog. Continue reading

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Oeno Files 2 – Port

I moved to North Carolina a few years back from the west coast.  After settling in to the new house, I set out one Saturday to re-stock my liquor cabinet.  I looked and looked for a liquor store to no avail, either online or by driving through the local strip malls.  So I finally asked the wine attendant at the local supermarket and she said, “Oh, the ABC?  It’s right across the street.” Continue reading

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Fall Harvest

Why do burning leaves smell so good?  Wikipedia says that leaf smoke is an insecticide.  So maybe it’s inherited.  We like the smell because when we smell it we’re less likely to catch West Nile virus from a mosquito. Continue reading

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Local Watering Holes – Part 1

A friend told me recently of a new bar in downtown Raleigh, and when you see the menu you’ll understand why I had to check it out… Continue reading

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Cocktail Goggles

A Pisco Sour in an old fashioned glass

Glasses.  I have wasted more money on over-priced, under-performing, and just plain unnecessary glasses than I have on bad liquor.  And I’m sure I’m not alone (although the scale might be a little different in my case).

Cocktail books and bar guides are the first culprit here.  I’m looking at my first cocktail book right now and it specifies 8 basic glasses and 4 others that you really should own if you’re going to do this right.  I dare you: buy a dozen of each and find a place to put them. Continue reading

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Oeno Files 1 — Sweet, Sweet Vermouth

A surprising number of drink mixers are some form of wine.  So today we’ll launch a series that’ll periodically visit this family and dissect one of its members for the purpose of better drinking.  Let’s start with sweet vermouth. Continue reading

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Mooses and Gooses Jooses

Before we go too much farther, we need to address a critical topic: juice.  A good home bar must have fresh squeezed juice.  I don’t care how much you spend on highly advertised super-premium liquors and $25 cocktail glasses, if you’re using bottled lemon juice for your sidecar, it will taste like cat urine.  Continue reading

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I came across Fentiman’s Tonic Water recently.  I had tried a few boutique tonics before and hadn’t seen a lot of difference between them and the standby Schweppes.  But given that I still had most of my 16 varieties of gin left in the bar, I bought a 6-pack of this ‘botanically brewed’ tonic water. Continue reading

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For Wendy, Mike, and Tim — 2 Summer Drinks for Halloween

It was a Dark and Stormy afternoon when I first tried a Dark and Stormy.  And the skies parted and the sun shone, and (at least in my head) it was summer again for a few moments… Continue reading

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