Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bols - The Authentic Genever

Bols Genever is a smooth, high quality spirit that can be enjoyed neat or in a variety of cocktails. Although Genever, an AOC protected category, can only be produced in Holland, its popularity has spread throughout the world. Bols Genever is composed of a triple distillate of rye, wheat and corn (what the Dutch call malt wine), which is then blended with a botanical and juniper berry distillate, resulting in a well balanced, full flavored spirit. Production of the original Bols Genever began in 1664, but in 1820, Bols introduced a revolutionary new genever recipe with a better balance of malt wine, neutral grain alcohol and botanicals. It resulted in a smoother, more subtle spirit which gained immese popularity during the rising cocktail craze in the US. In fact, during this time, bartenders used only four base distilled spirits for cocktails: brandy, rum, whisky and genever.

In 1862, celebrity bartender Jeremiah "Jerry" P. Thomas wrote the world's first cocktail and bartending book, titled "The Bar-tender's Guide or How To Mix Drinks". In this book, cocktail recipes appeared collected in print for the first time, immortalizing famous genever cocktails such as the Collins, along with forgotten classics like the Holland House.

Holland House:

1 3/4 oz Bols Genever
   3/4 oz dry vermouth
   1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
   1/4 oz Maraschino liqueur

Shake the ingredients with large ice cubes and double strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass.

In recent years there has been a renewed interest in cocktail culture, and Bols Genever's authentic 1820 recipe allows bartenders to recreate the true classics as they were meant to taste, as well as invent new, interesting combinations. Its full bodied palate and rounded maltiness even fares well in traditional whisky drinks like the Manhattan (appropriately renamed the White Manhattan for its crystal clear color).

White Manhattan:

2 oz Bols Genever
1 oz blanc vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange twist.

Aside from being an excellent cocktail ingredient, Bols Genever can also be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, so get your bottle today from DrinkUpNY!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Wine Of The Bekaa Valley

The vineyards of Chateau Kefraya
Why should wine from France, Italy and Spain get all the attention? Even the New World wines from Australia, New Zealand and the Americas have gained immense popularity through the years. Suprisingly, one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world is frequently overlooked, even though their wines are aromatic, fruit-driven and incredibly food-friendly. Yes, we're talking about Lebanon - where over 6000 years ago, the Phoenicians planted vineyards in the unique, mineral-rich soil of Bekaa Valley. Presently, Chateau Kefraya and Chateau Musar are two of the most prestigious wineries in Lebanon, exporting their wines to over 35 countries and winning numerous competitions.

Chateau Kefraya was founded by Michel de Bustros in 1946, with the first vineyard planted in 1951. In order to build his business, Bustros originally supplied grapes to other wineries, but was soon able to construct a cellar and produce wines under their own name. Chateau Kefraya's "Le Dame Blanche" is a subtly aromatic white composed of Ugni Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Chardonnay,and Viognier - all of which were grown in the Bekaa Valley. Notes of bitter almond, key lime, and green tea on the nose introduce a zesty, refreshing palate with a bright lemon flavor on the finish.

Established in 1930 by Gaston Hochar, Chateau Musar is located in the cellars of an old castle in Ghazir, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. After completing his oenology diploma in Bordeaux, his eldest son took control of the winery in 1959 and greatly expanded the business. Chateau Musar's "Cuvee Rouge" is similar in color and body to a Pinot Noir, but is a unique blend of Cinsault, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Spicy aromatics lead to delicate, earthy undertones that accent flavors of raspberry, pomegranate, cherry and cranberry.

So visit DrinkUpNY and try some delicious Lebanese Wine - you won't be disappointed!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Chartreuse: A Combination of History & Quality

The Chartreuse Cellar
Chartreuse is a spirit unlike any other! Over 130 herbs, plants, roots and leaves are incorporated into a base of wine alcohol, creating a complex, flavorful liqueur with a natural green color. Although typically served as a digestif, Chartreuse is also an essential ingredient in cocktails such as The Last Word and Amber Dream.

The Last Word:
1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz lime juice
Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Amber Dream:
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz vermouth
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

However, what makes Chartreuse especially unique is its fascinating history.

The Chartreuse Order of the Carthusian monks was founded in 1084, which makes it one of the oldest religious orders in Christianity. The Order was more than 500 years old when, in 1605, they received a special gift: a manuscript titled "An Elixir of Long Life". A long and complex recipe, it was not fully studied until 1737 by the monastery's apothecary. After intensely studying the manuscript and performing a series of test runs, Chartreuse Elixir was finally created!

This "liqueur of health" was distributed into small villages in the area. People were so fond of it that they drank it as a beverage, rather than taking it as medicine. Realizing this, the monks made a milder beverage, which we know today as "Green Chartreuse". In 1838, the distillers developed a sweeter and milder form of the original recipe. Since it was no longer a vivid green, this new liqueur was identified as, and is known today as, "Yellow Chartreuse". Presently, only two monks have been entrusted by the Order with the production secrets of these unique spirits.

While most of the spirits are bottled right after production, small portions are kept aside and subjected to long periods of aging in oak casks, allowing them to reach exceptional quality. The resulting liqueurs are known as Chartreuse Green V.E.P. and Chartreuse Yellow V.E.P. They are produced in a very limited quantity with a wax-sealed cork, a back label wax-stamped with the Chartreuse seal, and presented in a wooden box marked with a branding iron. Every bottle is identified by it's own number.

So whether you enjoy Chartreuse in a cocktail or prefer to sip the V.E.P., hopefully this history will help you savour it just a little bit more.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Delicious & Discounted: Wine and Liquor Options for the New Year

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying the New Year!

For most of us, the past month has been filled with shopping, spending, tipping, and gifting, which can leave your wallet looking a bit empty by the New Year. We feel your pain, and DrinkUpNY is here to help! Not only will we be offering sales and price reductions in the near future, but you can continue to celebrate the season right now with our wide selection of affordable wines and spirits!

These are just a few of our high quality winter spirits that won't break the bank:

Under $50

Castarede "Selection" Armagnac
Harvest Spirits "Cornelius" Applejack
Bache-Gabrielsen Classic VSOP Cognac

Montenegro Amaro Liqueur
Averell Damson Gin Liqueur
Combier "Royal Combier" Grande Liqueur


Suntory "Yamazaki" 12 Year Old Single Malt Japanese Whisky
AnCnoc 12 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Under $25
Finger Lakes Distilling Company "McKenzie" Bourbon Whiskey
Clear Creek "Eau de Vie de Pomme" 8 Year Old Barrel-Aged Apple Brandy
American Fruits Black Currant Brandy
Bertagnolli "Grappino Bianco" Grappa

Vecchio Amaro del Capo Liqueur
Meletti Anisette Liqueur
Voyant Chai Cream Liquor

Black Bottle Blended Scotch Whisky
John L. Sullivan Blended Irish Whiskey
Old Whiskey River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Don't worry, we didn't forget about all you wine lovers out there! We've selected a variety of delicious, affordable wines priced under $15.00 that are perfect for weeknight meals and casual gatherings. While the winter months are usually all about rich, flavorful reds, we've also added dessert wines and food-friendly white wines to our list to satisfy every palate!

Red Wine:

La Source Vin de Pays d'Oc Cabernet Sauvignon (Languedoc-Rousillon, France)
Michael Pozzan "Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma, California)
Raphael Cabernet Franc (North Fork of Long Island, New York)
Sunset Rd. Vintners "Independent Producers" Merlot (Columbia Valley, Washington State)
R Winery "Strong Arms" Shiraz (South Australia, Australia)
The Pinot Project Pinot Noir (California)
Di Majo Norante Terre degli Osci Sangiovese (Molise, Italy)

White Wine:

Step Rd. Winery "Black Wing" Padthaway Chardonnay (South Australia, Australia)
Setzer Gruner Veltliner (Weinvertel, Austria)
Schloss Walhausen "Two Princes" Riesling (Nahe, Germany)
Old Plains Wine "Funhouse" Pinot Grigio (South Eastern Australia, Australia)

Dessert Wine:

Ferreira Tawny Port NV (Douro Valley, Portugal)
Alvear's Cream Montilla-Moriles NV (Andalusia, Spain)

Browse our extensive selection of fine wines and spirits by price to find something within your budget. While sometimes it's really worth spending the money for top-shelf items, it's usually more of a thrill to find a real value, and luckily, we're here to sift through lots of less-than-inspiring drinks to find fantastic value alternatives for you!