New Video: Chasing spirits in Germany’s Black Forest

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When most of us hear the word “schnaps,” we think of those artificially sweetened liqueurs designed for folks who think they like to drink, but really don’t. True, schnaps, however, is an unaged brandy distilled from any number of fruits in German-speaking countries. The schnaps-making capital of the world is Germany’s Black Forest region, home to some 14,000—yes, those three zeroes belong there—farm distilleries. If you want to drink close to the source, you don’t need to go to local bars. You just need to seek out a few of the area’s Schnapsbrunnen (literally, “schnaps fountains”), small, unattended kiosks with fresh-off-the-stills bottles of the spirit, drinking cups or glasses and slotted lockboxes where drinkers can insert a euro or two for the privilege. It’s all on the honor system, but no cheating! You want the distillers to be able to continue to make the stuff, don’t you?

Enjoy the latest episode, which invites you on my schnaps-soaked odyssey through the Black Forest!

 

I’ll talk your ear off!

Hey, looking for a booze expert for a lecture, guided tasting/dinner or any related drink-related speaking opportunity? Hit me up!JeffCiolettiheadshot-4 I’m for hire. I’m also a Certified Sake Sommelier and Certified Shochu Adviser, if those strike your fancy. But I my expertise extends to a wide spectrum of distilled spirits and fermented beverages (including beer!)

Drop me a line at jeff@drinkableglobe.com

 

Read my sake piece at The Takeout

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I contributed the piece, “Ease Yourself Into the Singular Joy of Sake” to The Takeout, the food and beverage site owned by the folks behind The Onion, The A.V. Club and others. Give it a read here!

 

Distilled Spirits Council rebrands with new logo and website

This just in from The Distilled Spirits Council 

DISCUSlogoThe Distilled Spirits Council today announced the launch of a rebranding initiative, featuring a new logo, website and annual report, as part of an ongoing modernization effort.

 “The distilled spirits sector has achieved both record sales and exports, with eight consecutive years of market share growth,” says Distilled Spirits Council president & CEO Kraig R. Naasz. “To celebrate this achievement, we are introducing a modern branding initiative that reflects consumer enthusiasm for spirits and celebrates the cocktail culture both domestically and around the globe. Read the rest of this entry

Diageo acquires Belsazar aperitif

A bit of news out of Diageo and the drinks brand incubator, Distill Ventures. German entrepreneurs Maximillian Wagner and Sebastian Brack are likely toasting with more than a few glasses of their aperitif from the Black Forest. 

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Diageo this week announced the acquisition of Belsazar GmbH, a premium aperitif from Germany’s Black Forest. Belsazar was launched by entrepreneurs Maximillian Wagner and Sebastian Brack on the Berlin food and drinks scene in 2013. Belsazar is the first company to be acquired by Diageo through Distill Ventures. Read the rest of this entry

Woodford Reserve unveils 2018 Kentucky Derby bourbon bottle

DB8C5F7C-045B-4EAC-A8FC-36DD12BECA4FWoodford Reserve is honoring “the greatest two minutes in sports” with the release of its 2018 Kentucky Derby commemorative bottle. The limited-edition Woodford Reserve bottle features the colorful artwork of Louisville artist Keith Anderson.

Anderson has for 11 years worked in the Bourbon Street Café, the private dining room at Brown-Forman headquarters in Louisville. At the 2017 company Derby party, while Anderson was stocking the bar, he told Mark Bacon, senior vice president at Brown-Forman: “These artists before me, they’re good, but I’m no slouch. One day, I will have that Derby bottle.” Read the rest of this entry