Sparkling wine has been around a long time. Drew Lambert says the English invented it back in the 1600s, before the French. Beer got its fizz around the same time. It took another 400 years for spirits to acquire a fizz, and now sparkling spirits are here with a vengeance. Nuvo was early, first approved on December 11, 2006. It is a sparkling liqueur made with vodka, sparkling wine and fruit nectar, in France. Three days earlier, TTB approved O2 Sparkling Vodka. It’s currently made in England and imported by Admiral. Topless is a third example of this trend. It is vodka with natural flavors and CO2 added. Topless is made in Holland and imported by Drinks Americas of Wilton, Connecticut.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
Rogue Spirits makes a Dead Guy Whiskey “Ocean Aged in Oak Barrels for 1 Month.” Is it a gimmick or a good idea? Let’s just say they are not alone in searching high and low to make innovative products. Ocean Vodka “uses deep sea water from Hawaii” according to Luxist. “The water is drawn from 3,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean … to be devoid of surface pollutants.” Montanya Distillers is headed in the other direction. They make Mountain Rum in Silverton, Colorado, where it is “altitude aged” far from the seas.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
Here is dué. It claims to be “The World’s First Chardonnay Flavored Vodka.” It is made in Italy and imported by Francoli of California. Francoli also has a Merlot Flavored Vodka. Emily Haile found this approval from way back in 2001 and brought it to our attention. The dué grape flavored vodkas are not to be confused with Ciroc. The latter is distilled directly from “Fine French Grapes,” as opposed to adding grape flavor to a grain vodka.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
Who is Ed Hardy and why is he on so many wine and spirits labels? His website says Ed Hardy is:
known as “the godfather of modern tattoo”, for his sophistication, depth and sense of experimentation. California native Don Ed Hardy is recognized around the world for his technical brilliance and mesmerizing imagery. Don Ed Hardy pulls from life experience to meld American, Japanese, Cholo, tattoo, surf and hotrod iconography. This broad spectrum of taste and experience, coupled with an ongoing investigation of various art histories and a mastery of technique, give his work a unique range and depth.
The colors on that site nearly melted the monitor. It turns out that tattoo art, on alcohol beverage packages, goes way back. Sailor Jerry Rum goes back at least a few decades. This article points out that Ed Hardy learned tattoo techniques from none other than the original Sailor Jerry.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
Yes, it’s official. You can make spirits from just about anything. Duncan Holaday is determined to show us how. Here is Vermont White Vodka, distilled from 100% Milk Sugar, according to the label. The website for Duncan’s Spirits, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, says:
Inspired by traditional Tuvan milk vodka, this hand-made vodka is triple distilled from pure milk sugar and Vermont spring water. Crystal clear, smooth and with a delicate nose, this vodka is excellent straight and chilled, perfect in a white Russian. After a year and a half of designing, building and perfecting, the distillery burned to the ground the night before their first delivery. Daunted but not defeated, they rebuilt the distillery, this time with more efficient stills and a wood-fired steam boiler for power. Within six months they were distilling again, and in August 2001, Vermont Spirits made its first appearance in Vermont liquor outlets.
Tuvan milk vodka is mighty obscure; good luck finding any information beyond this. To go with the White, Duncan’s also has Vermont Gold. It is “Distilled from 100% Maple Sap.” Sounds expensive.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
Red Deer wine claims to be “Tree Free.” We could only guess that this means the labels are made from rice, or something other than trees. But no. The UPC label explains that the wine is “Untouched by oak – The ‘naturelle’ fruit characters of the wine are not overwhelmed by additives commonly introduced by man – LIKE OAK.” We are getting the impression they don’t like oak. The label says the producer is part of a sustainable resource initiative. It also refers to the “Intense body,” and TTB often disallows “intense” on table wines (where it suggests a high alcohol content). In other green beverages, Rainforest Gin claims it “Saves the Rain Forest with Every Bottle.” Of gin. Made in Cleveland.Continue Reading Leave a Comment