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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Tasting: Recent Arrivals from the Spirits World

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we taste six different unique spirits.

My magazine writing means that I get a steady stream of samples connected to the features and columns I'm working on. My editors want tasting notes, so I taste. I don't complain. I'm also lucky to receive the occasional odd sample of beer, wine and spirits that is not directly related to anything that I happen to be writing for deadline. I try whenever possible to share some background on these through the Tuesday Tastings section of my blog. It is research for down the road and some of these products end up in future stories.

Consider this Tuesday Tasting to be a bit of a catch up round. The following spirits have arrived in recent months and deserve a little attention.

Sobieski Vodka: This 80 proof vodka from Poland is named for King Jan Sobieski (1629-1696) and made using Dankowski rye. It has a slightly sweet nose and a crisp, clean flavor.

1800 Select Silver Tequila: From Jose Cuervo, this Tequila is 100 proof and 100 percent agave. The double distillation creates a Tequila with a rich agave notes of grass and earth. Long lasting flavor with pepper finish that might make you think you are tasting a reposado.

Ty Ku Liqueur: This 40 proof liqueur is made with sake. Light hazy green color and interesting aroma. A number of ingredients go into the liqueur, including ginseng and damiana. Overall this has citrus and sweet candy flavor notes. The bottle comes with a LED light in the base that you can activate so it gives off a glow on the back bar.

Mata Hari Absinthe Bohemian: At 120 proof this light green colored drink comes screaming out of the bottle. Rich herbal nose. The drink contains grand wormwood and salvia among its ingredients. Burning note at the start due to the alcohol, solid long herbal aftertaste and slight bitterness.

Hiram Walker Pumpkin Liqueur: This 60 proof liqueur is orange with a mellow, slightly sweet nose. Hints of pie filling and toffee in the flavor base.

Cruzan Coconut Rum: This clear 55 proof spirit has a direct coconut nose and flavor. It starts off sweet and stays that way. Would be perfect for mixing tropical drinks.

While some of these products might be good straight, chances are you'll want to enjoy them in cocktails. In doing these tastings, I made a couple of drinks for my wife, Sandy, and brother-in-law, Dan Pikarsky. There is quite a difference in the tastes, but both were refreshingly different.

Pumpkin Martini

1.5 ounces Vodka
0.75 ounce Pumpkin Liqueur
2 ounces Orange Juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Vigorously shake for 30 seconds. Pour into a martini glass rimmed with brown sugar.

Le Demon Vert

1.5 ounces Gin
0.5 ounce Absinthe
0.5 ounce Velvet Falernum
0.5 ounce Fresh Lime Juice

Add all ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake for 15 seconds and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a licorice stick.


David Dempsey said...

A buddy of mine gave me a bottle of Ty Ku, which you mentioned above. Do you have any drink recipes you can recommend for it? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

their website recommends TY KU with club soda and lime, which is pretty good - they call it 'the natural'

Brian said...

Personally, The Mr Miyagi is a fav of mine. For sure, is a great way to start the night. What are your guy's favorites.

Sandee said...

I've always been a fan of margs so I really like the Skinny Senorita. I cant believe it has less than 100 calories!!!

Teezy said...

I've tried everything here but the Ty Ku and the Cruzan Rum. Both sound worth seeking out though

Geoff said...

Lucky you getting to try all the liquor you want. That's the life! I'd love some Sobieski and TY KU