Category Archives: vodka
My next book, The Drinkable Globe arrives in just a few short months. (Pre-order it today!) I see it largely as an extension of this site, celebrating drinking cultures around the world. It features insights on what, where, how, when and why folks drink on every continent. As a sort of countdown to its fall release, I’m going to offer small teases from now until November. Those teases will be in the form of photos, videos and even a few book excerpts here and there detailing the wide world of booze.
The first is a vodka-soaked video I shot in Poland last summer (when I was still calling the video series “The Drinkable Week”). Enjoy! And don’t forget to Pre-order The Drinkable Globe!
Taste of the Industry is always a highlight of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Convention. It’s a chance for marketers to showcase emerging brands in front of key decision makers at the major distribution outfits across the country. It’s impossible to even come close to trying everything in the hall in two hours—it’d be tough to do so if they dedicated an entire day to the event. But among the beverages I did manage to try, there were quite a few standouts. Here’s my shortlist, in no particular order.
A few words with David Solomon, importer of Brod Irish Whiskey and Golia Mongolian vodka.
I’ve always had a bit of a difficult relationship with vodka, but a recent trip to Gdansk and Warsaw, Poland completely turned me around. (It may have been the pickles!)
I also got to stroll through fields of rye that ultimately will become Belvedere Vodka
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.