Monthly Archives: October 2015
When one thinks of Hawaii, tropical fruit-forward rum drinks usually come to mind and there’s been plenty of that this week. Even though tiki bar culture really was born on the West Coast of the mainland, there’s no denying the role this tropical paradise played in its development.
But I want to talk about some of Maui’s other liquid offerings. For starters there’s the brewery that bears the island’s name. I’d had a number of Maui Brewing Company’s beers before, most notably its coconut porter. But I was actually pretty surprised at the number of taps in Maui’s tasting room. All told, including flagships, limited releases, one-offs and seasonals, there were about thirty selections available , a greater number than I’ve seen at most breweries. Some of the standouts were Doppelshot Doublebock, a doppelbock brewed with local coffee, and hot blonde, a comapeño-pepper-infused version of Maui’s popular Bikini Blonde.
And it’s not just craft beer that’s sweeping the island. Craft distilling also has a bit of a presence on Maui. Hawaii Sea Spirits, an organic farm and distillery, is the best known of the operations there.
The spirits maker grows its own organic sugar cane, which it uses as the base for its flagship brand, Ocean Vodka. And even if you’re not a vodka fan, you have to admire its spherical bottle design. The package itself would make a great gift.
Sugar cane is an uncommon choice for a vodka base, but this is Hawaii after all. It’s of course, the raw material for rum and Hawaii Sea Spirts has one of those as well. Last year it launched Deep Island Hawaiian Rum, aka WAVE. The clear rum blends the same organic sugar cane with deep ocean mineral water. It’s a terrific base for those tiki drinks.
Tiki drinks and coffee beers figure prominently in my new book, The Year of Drinking Adventurously from Turner Publishing. It’s dropping in less than a month. Pre-order it today and stay tuned for details on my book tour.
A box full of hardcover copies of The Year of Drinking Adventurously just arrived! As a special Halloween treat, I’m giving away two signed copies of it. The catch? You’ve got to follow @JeffCioletti and @DrinkableGlobe on Twitter and answer this question: What’s the spookiest drink? (and use the hashtag #spookiestdrink) I’ll select one winner from each of those Twitter accounts. Good luck!
Can’t believe it’s almost here! My book, The Year of Drinking Adventurously (52 Ways to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone) officially hits the street on Nov. 24, but the adventure starts a few days early. And, instead of a typical launch party, it’ll be a launch BAR CRAWL! What better way to reflect the diversity of beverages showcased in the book than to hit an array of venues that specialize in some of those specific drinks/styles? It’ll begin in the afternoon of Saturday Nov. 21, and continue into the evening. You’re all invited to come to as many or as few of the stops as you’d like. I’m still ironing out the exact itinerary (frequent updates will follow) but the most likely starting point will be Jimmy’s No. 43 on E. 7th St. at 2 pm. And, if you plan on showing up for some of the later stops, don’t worry about not being able to find us. We’ll adhere pretty closely to a schedule and will have frequent social media updates throughout the day detailing our whereabouts. (I’ll also be hauling copies of the book in both hardcover and paperback formats for sale and signing). The official hashtag is #Drinking52.
The more acquainted I get with shochu, the more I realize how much more there is to learn about it. It’s such an easy beverage to like, but not such an easy one to know.
In 2015, I’ve traveled to Japan twice—mostly to the epicenter of shochu production, the southern island of Kyushu—with the express purpose of exploring the elusive spirit that gets a chapter-long shout-out in The Year of Drinking Adventurously (my new book, due out in a little over three weeks—pre-order today).
Back in March I toured several shochu distilleries, dined with their proprietors and made a circle of new friends whose common bond is a passion for the drink. In October, I returned to Kyushu (thanks to the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association and Kampai.US mastermind Stephen Lyman) for a bigger, bolder sequel to that spring experience. Read the rest of this entry
Vintage beer artifact collecting is, perhaps, one of the most democratic hobbies. It’s quite possible to start your collection of classic beer cans for as little as $1. If you’re among the super rich, then you’re probably attracted to items that fetch $10,000, $20,000 or even $30,000. Here are some shots from the recent convention of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America in Milwaukee, showcasing packaging and point-of-sale items from days gone by.
Feeling like a bit of a human yo-yo this week. Just returned from Japan a day and a half ago and now I’m heading about two-thirds of the way back in that direction to Hawaii tomorrow. Not that I’m complaining (Nor is my MileagePlus account)!
In honor of my trek to state No. 50, here’s a nod to the mainland tiki bar culture that the Pacific archipelago inspired. No, these are not from Hawaii itself, but from San Francisco’s iconic Tonga Room (top) and New York’s East Village tiki hideaway, Otto’s Shrunken Head.