Whiskey Hotline Hits the Road: Cedar Ridge

Ever heard of Swisher, Iowa? It’s home to Cedar Ridge Vineyards Winery & Distillery and most importantly, where we picked our latest batch of Handpicked bourbon barrels. Yup, plural. We just couldn’t pick one. But more about Cedar Ridge first.

 

Owners Jeff and Laurie Quint have built quite the distillery/winery. Located in eastern Iowa, it’s just a short drive from Cedar Rapids or Iowa City. Jeff serves as Master Distiller and Master Winemaker. In addition to crafting award winning small batch spirits (like our Handpicked barrels), Cedar Ridge produces wines from their own estate-grown grapes. Fun fact: Cedar Ridge is the first licensed distillery in the state of Iowa since the age of prohibition.
 

Cedar Ridge

 
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Wild Turkey and Anderson Valley Extravaganza!

Here is your chance to talk shop and have a drink with Jimmy Russel himself. Yes, that Jimmy Russel.
 
Meet Wild Turkey Master Distiller and living legend Jimmy Russel, plus owner of Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Trey White. Why these two? Anderson Valley has an exclusive partnership with Wild Turkey, making them the only brewery getting Wild Turkey’s gently used bourbon barrels for beer aging. And let us tell you, they make for some tasty beer.

 

Info after the jump…

Jimmy Russel Wild Turkey
 
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Wine Hotline Hits the Road: Italy

Just returning from Italy, on a trip to experience and discover and bring that energy back to you, Barb S, Binny’s Des Plaines Wine Manager, reports from the road:

 

The variety across regions is striking. Starting in the south, the region of Puglia has almost tropical heat humidity, yielding forward wines that are juicy and jammy and just a little rustic. But as we went north to Chianti in the heart of Tuscany, the heat became arid and dry. Then, on the west coast in Bolgheri, the air cooled with a nice breeze from the sea.

 

We came back with an overwhelming impression of the charming hospitality and incredible scenery. Even if you don’t care about the wine (which we do!) the sweeping landscapes, the color and beauty of the countryside are an incredible experience. We also came back suffering prosciutto withdrawl.

 

 

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Beers of the World to Fill Your Cup

Beers for the World Cup

 

كرة القدم الهدف! Fußballtor! Objetivo de fútbol! Fotballmål!

 

GOAL!

 

Goal! However you say it, say it at the top of your voice with a cold brew in your hand. Whether you’re taking this opportunity to try some new worldly beers, add some theme to your soccer party, or just impress other soccer fans, we have you covered. Here are a few of our favorite beers from around the world to fill your cup! Beers after the jump…

 
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Beer Buzz: Beer News

Penrose Packages Appearing PromptlyPenrose Brewing

 

It’s true. The delicious beers of this up and coming Geneva brewery will hit Binny’s shelves before the 4th of July! Their initial launch will include P2 Belgian-Inspired Pale Ale, and Proto Gradus Belgian-Inspired Single Ale, and these two are just the start. Plans include the release of all four of their year-round offerings. The Beer Buzz reached out to Penrose Brewmaster Tom Korder for his thoughts:

 

“Bottles are yet another great way for us to get it in the hands of thirsty new friends.” Introducing people to nuanced and refined craft beers that are more accessible than many of the common styles available today… are they damn proud of that?

 

“We’re damn proud of that,” Korder said.

 
More news after the jump! Continue reading

Confessions of a Mixologist: Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is a cocktail staple and has stayed the most consistent since its origin compared to other long standing cocktails. In the early 1800′s when the word “cocktail” was defined as a “potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water and sugar,” the Old Fashioned was called a bittered sling. The only slight change we’ve seen over the past 200 years or so is the popular switch from rye whiskey to bourbon.

 

We won’t judge your choice of bourbons, but it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t recommend Wathen’s for your Old Fashioned. Not too long ago, the Whiskey Hotline went to Kentucky and picked out our own single barrels of Wathen’s. Our Handpicked Wathen’s are full of sweet characters like maple, vanilla and raisins, and also open up with some spice notes that make for a pleasant bourbon with flare. The bottles are somewhat limited, but definitely still around and at a very good price if you want to get your hands on some. Otherwise, stop in to our Lincoln Park Tasting Room and give it a try in your Old Fashioned. Check out the recipe after the jump!
 

Wathen's Bourbon

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Quick Flight, Small Pours

Mass produced wine, good tasting, making: economics and chemistry.

 

More chemistry: make older whiskey faster.

Not sure that’s how that works, guys.

 

Honest reactions to Laphroaig.

 

Harry Caray’s bar diary.

 

This story again: Wine Good for Teeth

My dental hygienist just doesn’t get it.

 

Buying a wine for a newborn baby.

We do actually get this question a lot.

 

Drink your damn beer.

 

Lagunitas houses migrant workers.

Central question: “What do you feed 26 hungry Germans?”

 

…thoughts?

Confessions of a Mixologist: Wild Strawberry

This is one for the books. The Wild Strawberry was handcrafted by Caitey, one of the lovely bartenders you should visit at our new Lincoln Park Tasting Room. This cocktail is essentially the adult version of a strawberry limeade. It’s a bright, sour and tart mix that will have you salivating for more. Its main spirit ingredient is cachaca. If you’re not familiar with the sugarcane spirit, we highly recommend you try it. Very similar to rum, cachaca has two varieties, unaged (white) or aged (gold).
 

National Cachaca Day falls on September 13th. If you feel like celebrating, this is the cocktail we recommend you try. Also try the caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail. Recipe after the jump!

 

Wild Strawberry Cocktail

 

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Pics from June 2014 Taste at the Track

This past weekend, a couple thousand handsome and enthusiastic wine fans joined us for some amazing weather that we’re totally taking credit for, delicious foods provided by Bar Toma, Jake Melnick’s, Fulton’s and Cafe Spiaggia. And as always, attendees enjoyed the heart-pumping thrill of live horse racing and even some newly added beer samples. Thanks to everyone who came out!
 

cheers_tatt

 

Check out these pics of the event – there’s a bunch more after the jump, plus a whole album of pics from the afternoon on this Facebook album. Check it out, and tag all your friends! Continue reading