Donde esta Jose?

I’m no fan of straight whiskey or cognac or tequila tastings.  Because of the aged nature of these liquors, they invariably turn into money tastings.  By that I mean that the $300, 25-year-old bottle almost invariably tastes smoother and richer and sweeter than the $150, 18-year-old one.

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Ice King

Home Made Clear IceLet me start this post by saying that I love the recent (quickly becoming less so) resurgence of cocktail culture.  Many U.S. cities (even small ones) now have at least one “farm-to-fork”….wait…..”grain-to-glass” bar.  Home bartenders are trading in flavored vodkas for small-batch Ryes.  And Amazon’s shelves are filled with great books that revive old recipes and introduce readers to long-forgotten ingredients.  There are even people recreating defunct spirits so that 19th century cocktails can be enjoyed in their original glory.

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Brunch Time — Episode 1

There are as many Bloody Mary recipes as there are drinkers of them.  For the most part they fall into one of 3 categories, none of which I’m a big fan:

The Tomato Crowd.  At its epitome, these guys use tomato juice ice cubes to keep from diluting the sacred tomato.

The Spice Crowd.  You recognize them by the constant sweat on their brow and their insistence that your bloody would be “great if it was just a bit spicier”.

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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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