mentions honorable

  • strega is fine but I really only ever order it for the Aesthetic, and I wouldn’t buy a bottle
  • chartreuse is wonderful but I’ve only had it a handful of times, its American pricing being too rich for my blood. back to the Czech Republic it is…

other ethanols

  • mead: oppegaard meadery claims that their meads do not benefit from aging, but this is not what I’ve observed. get the oaked clover honey and let it sit for about a year and you will not regret it
  • pumpkin beer: elysian just never loses this category10
  • sparkling wine: treveri cellars, especially their sparkling gewürztraminer11

  1. Add to cheap champagne for a sort of wintry glamor. 

  2. I took my mother to Italy and was Very Insistent on trying every amaro that we came across. Ramazotti was the only one I liked as much as Montenegro, but don’t try the Ramazotti Menta… I can’t believe mint was meant for such indignity. 

  3. I have never forgotten the NYT blind test that had Smirnoff on top of fancy stuff and so I’m very suspicious of anyone who has vodka preferences more expensive than that. I’ve heard more recent tests have replicated this result. That said, my friends are prissy enough that I buy Stolichnaya instead, on the advice of Charlize Theron

  4. Good to keep around to swap out for vanilla when baking, to keep people on their toes. A few drops are excellent in cocoa, which is also true of spiced rums. 

  5. Unlikely. 

  6. I had the chance to taste the red, black, and blue side-by-side, and found I liked the red best. I recognize this disqualifies me from ever considering myself a sophisticate. 

  7. Discovered through a search for lavender gin, years before its acquisition by an actor, thank you please let me have this moment of Portland hipsterdom 

  8. To be had about a half teaspoon at a time, though. 

  9. Had for the first time at a very fancy hotel bar in Rome, which I’ll admit probably colored the experience. Tastes like a very romantic counterpart to gin. Haven’t been able to source it since. 

  10. If, however, you are dealing with someone opposed to the very concept of pumpkin beer, someone who waxes rhapsodic about the superiority of central European beer–pfriem has the right pumpkin beer 

  11. They do a sparkling Syrah which is a lot of fun but which requires you be familiar with the person to whom you serve it. Some people just aren’t cool about a sparkling red, for whatever reason12. Anyway, pair it with something a little offbeat for best effect. 

  12. The reason is Lambrusco from decades past, I am told.