The Iconic Spirits Blog

Bars of NOLA

August 22, 2012

Tags: New Orleans bars, Sazerac Bar, Bombay Club, Carousel Bar, Bar UnCommon

It’s probably safe to say that New Orleans has more bars than residents, particularly in the post-Katrina era. This might seem to be a bonanza for the tourist interested in a night of bar-hopping, but restrictions apply---you’d likely want to think twice about entering some of these places, particularly if you have an aversion to cigarette smoke, tattoos and frozen drink machines, or if you have a finely honed sense of self-preservation. (more…)

Caorunn Scottish Small Batch Gin

August 15, 2012

Tags: Caorunn, Caorunn Scottish Small Batch Gin

Gin from Scotland, home of the world’s great single malts? At first, it might seem that someone didn’t get the memo. Look closer, and you’ll find a visionary who read the memo, cheerfully tore it up, and went on to pursue his dream.

The visionary is Simon Buley at Balmenach Distillery in Speyside, founded in 1824 by James McGregor. A devotee of gin, Buley had toyed with the idea of making one at Balmenach from the time of his arrival there, but not just any gin. He wanted to craft a spirit that would make use of the pure, local spring water as well as historical Scottish botanicals. His idea was to fuse tradition and modernity, to create a gin that would bring the past into the present. (more…)

The Phenomenon of Fernet

August 8, 2012

Tags: Fernet, Fernet-Branca

Some believe it to be a hangover remedy, and others regard it as a cure-all. If you had an upset stomach and an Italian grandmother, it was administered to you as a child. Fernet is one of the most popular drinks in the exploding cocktail culture, which is baffling to the rest of us: The forbidding potion is an amaro, a bitter, black spirit, and its taste has been described as “licorice-flavored Listerine.” (more…)

Tales Turns Ten

August 1, 2012

Tags: Tales of the Cocktail

Tales of the Cocktail, America’s premiere annual cocktail event, celebrated its tenth anniversary last week in New Orleans.

Over 20,000 people streamed into the Big Easy for five days of tastings, seminars and sponsored events. The attendees were a mixed bag of mixologists and industry professionals, along with consumers who know a good party when they see one. Ground zero for the festivities was the vintage Monteleone Hotel in the French Quarter, with overflow events spilling out onto the street and into a cluster of nearby hotels. Seminars ranged from the historical (top cocktails of the past ten years) to the unusual (cocktails based on beer or coffee) to the positively geeky (how to make your own vermouth or bitters). Virtually every major spirits brand sponsored a tasting room during the week, and the packed lobby of the Monteleone was lubricated by servers circulating with trays of drinks. (more…)