Category Archives: Drinks

Thank you, Annie and Simon

p4181876Today I depart Carefree, Arizona where I have spent the better part of four days in the vicinity of the swimming pool.  This break has provided a chance to decide how I want to go about this expedition.  I was only able to take this time because of Simon and Annie Lehrer, who have been excellent hosts.  Check out Annie’s website – cheesemongerswife.com

We went to the local wine shop, AZ Wine, on Saturday night for a Bourbon and Barbecue tasting.  It was a great line up.  Buffalo Trace, Blanton’s and Woodford Reserve were the highlights.  I picked up a Marsannay Rosé from Regis Bouvier that was great for the hot tub [I have yet to try a Marsannay Rosé that wasn’t worth the money ($16)], a bottle of Segura Viudas (for $8) and the find of the trip thus far – Domaine de Canton.

p4181875Canton is ginger-flavored and is the sister liqueur to St. Germain, which is rare in Missouri because none of the distributors are representing it as of yet.  Every now and then, we got our hands on St. Germain, which is a slightly sweet, elderflower liqueur, but I had never even seen a picture of the Canton bottle.  I like the St. Germain on its own, on the rocks or in mixed drinks that include some orange liqueur.  The Canton does not do nearly as well by itself.  It is drier than the St. Germain and the ginger lends a spiciness that needs to be tempered.  We started with Canton Royales – four parts Segura Viudas Sparkling Wine and one part Canton.  It helped spread out the flavorful liqueur, but did not provide any extra complexity.  Simon’s concoction added triple sec to the mix which gave it the citrus notes it had needed.

I’m off to Elgin, Arizona in the Sonoita AVA where I’ll be asking, “What’s the deal with your monsoon season?”

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Saké

How can a rice-based beverage smell like citrus fruits?  This is the new question confronting me.  I love these moments – when a beverage is redefined.  The experiences must be sought, and often the attempts lead to disappointment, but the few successes are worth the effort.  In this evening’s case, a cold and snowbound night in St. Louis, the opportunity came in the form of an improptu tasting of new products that will be entering the market in the coming weeks.

A friend of mine has spent a significant amount of time in Japan.  Two weeks ago he brought a saké from his travels to a casual dinner.  That saké became my epitome of the beverage.  Milky, smooth, nutty and clean.  The saké I had this evening expanded the boundaries.  The four examples ranged from a lesser version of my friend’s example, to one near it’s equal, to another that was sweet and pleasant, and finally to the one that declared a spectrum previously inconceivable.

I will post the specifics of the products when I have them.

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