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Northwest Tequila Fest 2012

Posted on 1st June, by DrinkGal in Events. No Comments

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This summer, Mexico comes to the Northwest! On August 18, 2012, the Phinney Neighborhood Center in Seattle will become the site of the very first Northwest Tequila Fest (NWTF), a premium Tequila, Mezcal and Sotol tasting experience.

With music, tasty bites and the native spirits from our neighbor to the south, NWTF will be a little slice of Mexico, with libations for the seasoned tequila connoisseur as well as those looking to fall in love with the agave spirits.

For those that crave a little competition, the Cocktail Contest will feature tequila-inspired  cocktails from bartenders across the Puget Sound area. The competition will happen live at NWTF, the winner being chosen by a panel of judges from around the country.

Northwest Tequila Fest benefits The Benevolent Guild, who are are committed exclusively to assisting children, charities, and support groups in the Puget Sound …


Boozy reads: Edible Cocktails

Posted on 12th April, by DrinkGal in Reviews. No Comments

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Natalie Bovis (aka The Liquid Muse) has it right, “The trend toward marrying the kitchen and the bar has already been underway for over a decade…” In her new book, Edible Cocktails, From Garden To Glass – Seasonal Cocktails with a Fresh Twist, she explores ways in which the home bartender can take this tasty trend from their favorite cocktail bar to their home, and create fresh, seasonal cocktails with ingredients they can grow in their backyard.

Instead of just listing recipes or providing general information about ingredients, the book gives detailed descriptions of things like building and maintaining a compost pile for your garden, making pectin from scratch, and applications of homemade syrups and preserves beyond just cocktails. It’s a comprehensive how-to guide to creating your own “cocktail garden” and kitchen, and encourages creativity in using your homemade ingredients and …


April Wine News

Posted on 2nd April, by DrinkGal in Ken's Wine Picks. No Comments

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Rosé is here! Spring’s arrival always coincides with the arrival of our favorite pink wines! Rosés began trickling in towards the end of March, and by mid-month this month, we should be in full swing. Rosé, as explored in the past, covers a wide flavor profile; from very dry to very sweet, and everything in between. The main variables determining the type of flavor profile being: region, grape varietals, and length of time of skin contact with the juice. Judging from past sales numbers, the most popular rosés are also the most dry. Highlighted are a few that have already arrived from our favorite producers.

2011 Triennes Provence, France, $14.99  “Made from grapes pressed following only a very brief period of skin contact. The result is a very light pink color. Aromatics include red fruits and candy, followed by a harmonious …


Vida Tequila

Posted on 27th February, by DrinkGal in Reviews. No Comments

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There is no mistaking it, the parade of premium tequilas just keeps on rolling and is showing no sign of stopping. The new appreciation of agave spirits is turning out better tequilas, refined mezcals, and a cult like following that is very reminiscent of Scotch. No complaints here to be sure, but as the parade continues, it’s sometimes difficult to wade through the sea of slick visuals and creative storytelling to find tequilas that live up to their premium price tag.

The clean yet classic packaging of Vida Tequila arouses suspicion. Clearly, this was going to be another ultra-premium tequila that fell short on the palate, right? Not so. Relatively new to the scene, the company was founded just 5 years ago by Utah natives Lisa and John Barlow, and has already garnered lots of attention and awards. Tequila.net gave the …


7 Ways to Celebrate Washington Wine Month

Posted on 24th February, by DrinkGal in Ken's Wine Picks. No Comments

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March is Washington Wine Month! There are many great wines being produced right here at home that it would be impossible to try them all. In fact, with now over 750 registered wineries in the state, one would be hard pressed to try one wine from each winery in the course of a year, let alone in a month. I thought it would be a great time to highlight can’t-miss, must-try Washington wines. Use this as your guide to Washington Wine Month, as I present seven solid selections of varying price points and multiple AVAs for you to choose from.

Treveri Cellars Sparkling Pinot Gris NV, $13. Yakima Valley. After meeting with and tasting through the lineup, it is tough to pick just one from this sparkling-only producer out of Yakima. All phenomenal. They also produce sparkling Chardonnay, Mueller-Thurgau, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, …


National Pisco Sour Day

Posted on 4th February, by DrinkGal in Events. No Comments

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Happy (Peruvian) National Pisco Sour Day! As the “official” cocktail of both Chile and Peru and the only well known cocktail with pisco in it, this cocktail carries a lot of responsibility as ambassador to the cocktail swilling world.

A distillate of grapes, pisco is technically a brandy and popped up exactly where you might expect it to: in the winemaking regions of South America. It was originally made as an alternative to brandy from Spain, called orujo, back in the 16th century. Trade wasn’t nearly as quick as it is these days, and the settlers got tired of waiting (and probably paying) for the brandy from the homeland. The alternative, while not the same as the tipple they were used to, was quite good, and became the definitive distillate of the area.

In the early 20th Century, cocktails were enjoying a …


I prefer ‘Bartender’

Posted on 23rd January, by DrinkGal in Insider. 4 Comments

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I feel lucky I started bartending when a short skirt, easy smile and attitude got you farther than knowing the Savoy Cocktail Book cover to cover, or when suspenders and a flat cap were the uniform. My first regulars loved knowing a fresh pint would be ready before they finished the one in hand, that I knew the name of their husbands, wives and kids, and if the conversation got stagnant I had a repertoire of really bad jokes to break the tension.

Don’t get me wrong, I had to know how to pour drinks too. I worked day bar for a year and a half, laboriously setting up the bar, taking pour accuracy tests and learning recipes before I caught a break and worked a Saturday night. But I was trained to tend bar, to be the one you see …


A Tequila Fling

Posted on 19th January, by DrinkGal in Insider. No Comments

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Too many people are scared of tequila. For some the name alone elicits a face-contorting reaction, and trying to sell a tequila drink to an unseasoned drinker usually ends with a “oh no, that’s way too harsh for me!” That same person will then order Jack Daniels or something equally debasing, and shoot it straight. How do people arrive at a shot of whiskey being less harsh than a tequila cocktail? Something has gone horribly wrong here.

The worm myth has been debunked and José isn’t the only guy at the party anymore, so why the fear? A flood of delicious tequila has been streaming over the border for years now at an exponentially increasing rate, and yet it’s one of the most neglected spirits in the cocktail world. We recently re-tasted all of the delicious Herradura tequilas (blanco, reposado, and …


MLK Day Cocktails

Posted on 13th January, by DrinkGal in Events, Insider. 2 Comments

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Monday is Martin Luther King Day, a day when many reflect on how far this country has come in the fight for civil rights. Many of us think we still have a ways to go, but it’s worth a moment to think about the good Doctor, and all he stood for. Without him, it’s hard to say where we would be as a society.

He was born Michael King Jr. on January 15th, 1929, and every year millions of people get a long holiday weekend in the dead of winter when it’s too cold to BBQ, and the only logical thing is to cozy up indoors. In honor of the occasion, we gathered up some classic cocktails to commemorate and celebrate his life.  Is this a classic drinking holiday? No. But why not find reasons to celebrate every day of life? …


Clément Créole Shrubb

Posted on 5th January, by DrinkGal in Reviews. 1 Comment

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If someone says “shrub” to us, the obvious visual is something leafy and green. Even after sampling Clément Créole Shrubb for the first time, we were still confused at the use of the word to describe it. Shrubb? A degree in English was failing us. And yet, when faithful friend Google was consulted we discovered, “shrub” can also be  “a beverage made from fruit juice, sugar, and a liquor such as rum or brandy”, derived from  the Arabic urb, meaning a drink.

Things were starting to make sense. From the island of Martinique, Clément Créole Shrubb is a delicious liqueur d’orange made with Rhum Agricole, from the distinguished line of Clément. The recipe is said to be a Créole one (hence the name), a few hundred years old. A blend of white and aged rum is infused with macerated orange peel …