Brew and Booze News

Repeal Day Record for December 5, 2013

So much news, so little time! Below are a few of the more interesting press releases that landed in our inbox. But before we get to that, let’s acknowledge what makes December 5th a very special day for the imbiber in all of us…

Prohibition Ends at Last

Click the photo find out more about the excellent Ken Burns Prohibition documentary on the PBS website…


And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…


Click the pic to buy a bottle...

Click the pic to buy a bottle…

Christmas Mulled Cup from Professor Cornelius Ampleforth

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth launches the solution to creating a perfect Mulled Wine every time—just in time for the Christmas season.

The Christmas season is just around the corner, and you know what that means: festive gatherings, chilly days, and deliciously warm and spicy mulled wine! The Professor has always enjoyed a mug of this classic, cockle warming beverage but has noted a few problems when sipping a home-made version of this Chrismassy concoction.

The Problems: Most good people have left spices languishing in their cupboards for far too long, leaving them dry, old and flavourless. In addition, it’s often difficult for the average ‘muller’ to find the sweet spot for each spice. They must be left in the wine long enough for all the rich flavours to come through, but removed at just the right moment so that no bitter notes remain. Cooked citrus can release some off-notes as well, freshly ground nutmeg is difficult the completely strain from the finished product, and fresh ginger, if not properly prepared, can be just plain dull. 

Achieving balance and consistency in a mulled wine is nearly impossible given the aforementioned problems.

The Solution: Christmas Mulled Cup! The Professor has dealt with every problem one by one so that you can make perfect mulled win every time. No muss, no fuss. How has he achieved this?

  • Spices: Tinctures. These are basically macerations of spices in alcohol (in this case, the Professor has used VSOP cognac) which not only have the benefit of extracting the essential oils from the spices in a much more effective way than wine at 15%, but also lend almost total reliability to the concentration of the final drink.
  • Citrus: Cold-distillation. The peels are macerated in high-proof wheat spirit, and then distilled to remove nearly all the pesky terpenes (those compounds that can lend off-notes to the finished product) and leave only fresh and zingy notes from the oils.
  • Nutmeg: Filtration. The Professor painstakingly filters the nutmeg tincture to remove all traces of solid matter.
  • Ginger: Cold-distillation again. Fresh root ginger is macerated and distilled to remove the precious gingerol and leave behind any heavier compounds that would break down over time and lend nasty notes to the drink.
  • Balance: Blending. This is where the finished product comes in. We’ve accurately quantified the amount of each ingredient needed to produce the base of a perfectly balanced mulled wine allowing you to easily increase or decrease the entire ‘mulled’ flavour without ruining the overall balance of the drink.

How easy is it to make perfect mulled wine with Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Christmas Mulled Cup? Here’s the recipe straight from the Professor’s kitchen:

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Mulled Wine 

  • 1 bottle of decent red wine (something fruity like an Australian Shiraz works well) 
  • 65g sugar 
  • 50ml (or more to taste) Christmas Mulled Cup 

Directions: Heat and serve.

Christmas is officially sorted!


Misery Vodka

Misery Vodka of Iceland Prepares to Release Their Second Batch…

“The planet is f’ed. There’s a Mc Donalds on every street corner, H&M is a popular “brand”, and if you want to lighten things up with a bottle of vodka or two, next thing you’re lying in some gutter, hated by everyone you love, and Donald Trump still has his helicopter.

Misery is a micro-distillery on Iceland (actually, more of a moonshine operation). The vodka we make comes in really small batches. Every bottle is sealed by hand. The quality might not be the best, but it’s better than any of the other “ultra premium” industrial vodkas out there. 

Misery by Studio Total. Have a drink.”



Three Ships Whisky is in Top Seven in the World at New York International Spirits Competition

The two proudly South African premium whiskies, Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish and Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old, are among only seven whiskies from around the world to receive a double gold award at the 2013 New York International Spirits Competition.

The competition, now currently in its 4th year, sees spirits from 37 countries competing against each other and with only 48% of entries receiving awards, the competition is fierce. The impressive judging panel of trade judges includes buyers, retail storeowners, restaurant and bar proprietors, distributors and importers – the very individuals who have a direct impact on sales.

The Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old is an artful blend of grain and malt whiskies, aged for a minimum of five years in oak casks. The whisky is robust, aromatic and unpretentious with a full peaty character, ending in a lingering, warm finish. The Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish is initially matured for three years, after which the final blend spends a further six months in oak casks originally used for bourbon. This results in the slight honeyed sweetness on the nose. The vanilla notes on the palate are complemented by subtle hints of pepper and spice, ending with a lingering finish and a hint of flavour from the bourbon casks.


2013 Whisky Advent Calendar Video

Spirits bottler Drinks by the Dram has pulled out all the stops–just in time for Advent–to bring a most spirited advertisement to Whisky lovers worldwide. Featuring the incomparable talents from Whisky and drinks notables, this short film is sure to spread as much cheer as the Whisky Advent Calendars themselves.

This star-studded film features the talents of Japanese Whisky expert Marcin Miller of Number One Drinks, Ryan Chetiyawardana from Mr Lyan and White Lyan fame, Balvenie Ambassador extraordinaire Sam Simmons, Master of Malt sales director Ben Ellefsen, and the irrepressible Colin Dunn from Reserve Brands at Diageo as none other than Santa Claus!

We’d love to tell you more, but we’ll let this delightful piece of cinema speak for itself.

1 reply »

  1. I picked up a bottle of the Christmas Mulled Cup for Momma to go with the Whiskey Advent Calendar for Pappy! I’ll have to get her comments and let you know how it is.


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