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Quick Flight, Small Pours


Find Bordeaux overwhelming? A pretty good crash course.
Now get out there and taste some.


Cakebread hires a helicopter to dry grapes.
   We daydreamed about this when we were young., Firestone Walker, the secondary market of rare beer.
A familiar subject to wine geeks: investment v. appreciation.


How expectation shapes experience in wine and more.
We have touched on this issue before, still find it interesting.

Tito Beveridge – the Vicar of Vodka


   What’s the first image that comes to mind when you think of vodka? Texas, right?

   We canhonestly say that Tito Beveridge is one of the nicest guys in the spirits industry. And on top of that, he makes an excellent vodka and sells it for a reasonable price. So we’re super stoked that he’s coming to the Binny’s Beverage Depot in Lincoln Park. He’ll be signing bottles and sampling cocktails featuring Tito’s Vodka. And it’s a free event. More info:


Binny’s Lincoln Park
Tito Beveridge – the Vicar of Vodka
Tuesday, November 8th, 6-8p
call for more info: 312.664.4394

Binny’s in Arlington Heights: Progress Report


We have a crew working to ready the new Arlington Heights Binny’s Beverage Depot. Watch for it at 69 Rand Road in Arlington Heights. It’s by the Smashburger. With a planned store opening in just a couple weeks, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

The store will be 21,000 square feet and will feature a wine cellar, humidor, and 21-door beer cooler. We have the shelves up now with tons of shelf stock coming in. Check out the pictures below to see our progress. Click for a larger image.


standing in the beer department, looking past spirits and into wine

Read more

Tapping The Oracle DIPA & More From Bell’s

 The South Loop Tasting Room – our full-service bar located inside the South Loop Binny’s – got another exciting keg. This time it’s one of two in Chicago a very rare keg full of Bell’s Oracle DIPA – their special release Double IPA. We’re tapping this one for you to enjoy. Details:


Bell’s The Oracle DIPA & More
Binny’s in the South Loop
Wednesday, November 2nd 6-8p
Call 312.768.4400 for more info
RSVP Required


   The highlight will be The Oracle DIPA, but that’s not all. Other Bell’s beers tapped that night include Double Cream Stout, Expedition Stout, and Two Hearted. Limited space, so RSVP soon. 5 bucks buys your first pour of Two Hearted.

   Need more convincing? From the Bell’s website on The Oracle DIPA:

Our take on the West Coast-style Double India Pale Ale, The Oracle places hop intensity first & foremost, making only the slightest concession to malt & balance. The fireworks start with the floral aromatic punch of two separate dry-hop sessions with Amarillo and NZ Pacific Jade. Resinous, citrusy hop flavors mixed with aggressive bitterness from a massive kettle addition deliver on that aromatic promise.

Don’t miss your opportunity to taste this awesome beer. 

Ducru Beaucaillou & Bruno Borie


Binny’s Lincoln Park
Ducru Beaucaillou Seminar
Thursday, October 27th, 5:30-7:00pm

   We are excited to welcome Bruno Borie, Owner and Manager of Ducru Beaucaillou, for the launch of the limited new Jade Jagger designed Croix de Beaucaillou label. 

   This seminar will include 2009 Croix de Beaucaillou as well as top vintages of the flagship wine from the cellar of Ducru Beaucaillou. Space for this seminar is extremely limited, so pre-paid reservations are required. 

   $40 W/Binny’s Card / $50 non-members. This is a Lincoln Park Tasting Room Event. Call 312-664-4394 for more information. 

   It’s tomorrow! It’s going to be awesome! If you’re a fan of wine, you’ll want to be at this event.

Binny’s Mailbag: Earthquake Zin 2007


   Want a peek into Binny’s mail? Let’s open up the Mailbag:



I just found a loved a bottle of 2007 Lodi Earthquake Zinfandel…  I see you have other vintages, but if there’s any way I can get more 2007 I’d like to.

Thank you,



   Hi CB,

   Glad you enjoyed the Earthquake Zin. It’s one of our favorites too.

   Unfortunately the 2007 is long gone. We’ve been into the 2009 vintage of the Earthquake Zinfandel for some time now and don’t have access to older vintages.

   Definitely try the 2009 though. We think it’s as good. The only thing it might lack is that little extra bottle aging time, but we’re sure you’ll love it as well. 

   Thanks for the inquiry,

   Binny’s Mailbag

Drillaud Recipe: The Water Lily


Here’s another cocktail recipe featuring Drillaud French Liqueur. This time we dig up a more obscure cocktail that features more than one of the Drillaud flavors:


Cocktail GlassWater Lily


3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz Drillaud Orange Brandy
3/4 oz Drillaud Creme de Violette
3/4 oz lemon juice


   Shake ingredients with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist. 


Some people prefer a little more gin – add up to 2 oz if you like it less sweet and more cutting and botanical.

We must admit finding this one in Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide (a really great resource, by the way). We tried it because it uses more than one of the Drillaud flavors, but we recommend it because it is delicious. The water lily is a bright, floral cocktail that reminds us of springtime. The tart combination of floral, herbal and citrus notes can be quite potent.


Drillaud Recipe: Kir Royale


Yet another cocktail recipe featuring Drillaud Liqueur, the new Binny’s exclusive line that offers great taste and big savings compared to famous brands.

This time we’re focusing on the Kir Royale, the drink to order whenever you’re in Dijon. Or, the drink to make whenever you have too much Champagne around.

Champagne FluteKir Royale

   4 oz brut Champagne
1 oz Drillaud Creme de Cassis

   This classic sparkling cocktail is pretty basic top off a flute of Champagne with a little Creme de Cassis. Mix it to taste we prefer a soft touch of Cassis, but if you like it heavier, then add more.

If you use sparkling wine that isn’t Champage (which is totally fine) then it’s called a Kir Petillant instead. Petillant simply meaning “sparkling” in French. Our Champagne guy suggests Nino Franco Prosecco Rusitco as a favorite mixable smarkling wine.

The basic idea here is that you’re adding a small amount of flavoring – usually Creme de Cassis, the liqueur from Blackcurrant – to your favorite sparkler.

The Kir is a versatile drink. Don’t care for Cassis? Other Drillaud flavors work just as well in sparkling wine. Try it with the Drillaud RaspberryBlackberryBlueberry, or one of our favorites, the Pear flavor.

Quick Flight, Small Pours


2011 has been a frustrating vintage in the US:
Reports roll in from California and Washington.


Marketers work to “peel back that stigma” of boxed wine.
Also discussed: affordability of wine boxes, alternate marketing practices.


Jeff of asks what makes craft beer craft.
He says consumers shouldn’t dictate products, forgets that markets exist. offers a fun article & infographic re: where bourbon barrels go.
It isn’t exhaustive, but it is fun. Click through for the whole thing.



Drillaud Recipe: Mango Sunrise


Here’s another great cocktail recipe featuring Drillaud French liqueuers. Drillaud – exclusive to Binny’s Beverage Depot – gives you all the great flavor you need for world-class cocktails at a big savings.


Rocks GlassMango Sunrise


2 oz Drillaud Mango
2 oz rum
6 oz orange juice
1/2 oz grenadine


   Pour spirits over rocks in a tall glass, fill with orange juice. Pour grenadine to sink for a layered effect.


Sure, everybody knows the classic tequila sunrise. Here’s a rum-based tropical twist. Just make sure you like mango, because the Drillaud is really authentic in its tropical flavor.

The key to pouring a sunrise, be it tequila or mango, is in the layering. Don’t stir or it will turn into a fruity, opaque pink. Pour the grenadine carefully off the back of a bar spoon so it sinks to the bottom of the drink.

For a creamy twist, you can also add vanilla extract.


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