- amari: montenegro and ramazotti2
- vodka: stolichnaya3
- rum: myer’s4. if I wanted to bring an unpretentious drink somewhere5, it might be kraken and Dr. Pepper
- scotch: johnnie walker’s red6
- gin: aviation7
- creme de violette: rothman & winter’s8
- bourbon: bulleit9
- rosolio italicus10
- 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…
- drambuie is a minor Christmas tradition, but DIYing it mostly11
- 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 never12 loses this category13
- sparkling wine: treveri cellars, especially their sparkling gewürztraminer14
- Tieton Cider does a very nice lavender honey cider.
- I still miss the elderflower Angry Orchard15.
- Seattle Cider Co. wins for spiced hard cider.
- Elemental Cider has a blood orange cider that’d be great when it’s hot.
- We had very promising Alma Cider but I’m not sure what they normally do / how to get it.
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. ↩
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. ↩
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. ↩
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. ↩
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 ↩
To be had about a half teaspoon at a time, though. ↩
I don’t know anything about bourbon and this is nice for mixed drinks, so… ↩
After all, I’ll put our local honey up against Scotland’s any day. ↩
I’ve now attended their Great Pumpkin Beer Fest, which is Quite an Experience, culturally, but pumpkin-beer-wise did surprisingly little to disabuse me of this opinion; Postdoc Brewing’s Kilty MacPumpkin did strike me as an improvement on Elysian’s Night Owl, and my (spice-tolerant) group also thought highly of their Ghost Reaper. ↩
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 for such a one ↩
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 reason16. Anyway, pair it with something a little offbeat for best effect. ↩
It tasted like what you’d imagine would be served at faerie revels. Something in between an elderflower cider, a pear cider, and an oaked mead would really do the job best… ↩
The reason is Lambrusco from decades past, I am told. ↩