Rye Oh My!

Like many American spirits, rye whiskey almost disappeared after Prohibition and has only recently begun to be resurrected. As bartenders turn their attention to classic cocktails, they’re returning to rye for their old fashioneds, Manhattans, and whiskey sours—drinks all originally created with rye in mind. And in January’s Rye Oh My! Box, we’re featuring some…

You Don’t Know (Apple)Jack

Lately, my Instagram feed’s been filled with all things autumnal: Halloween costumes, multi-hued landscapes, and, yeah, a whole lot of apple picking. I’m personally into the coziness of the season and everything the dropping temps are traditionally associated with, but between apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes, seeing a lot of the same admittedly has…

Applejack of My Eye

Applejack was originally created in colonial times by leaving fermenting apple cider outside in the wintertime to be freeze-distilled (“jacked”) into a higher-proof spirit. Since alcohol freezes at a lower temperature than water, producers were able to remove water content (and thus concentrate the alcohol content) by going out and discarding the ice as it…

The Amaro You Know

Not too long ago I went on a date to an Italian restaurant with an extensive amaro selection on its bar menu. The date? It was a one-time deal. But I’ve been interested in learning more about amaro ever since. Amaro, meaning “bitter” in Italian, is a liqueur traditionally consumed as both an aperitif and…

That’s Amaro!

Oh, amaro, that dark, often bitter beloved of bartenders the world over. Why such strong feelings? Perhaps because it’s complex, mysterious, and misunderstood . . . like an irresistible bad boy (though luckily this one can be tamed). What is amaro, anyway? It runs the gamut from intensely bitter and medicinal all the way to…

Austin Without Limits

The public television music program Austin City Limits (the only TV show to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts) helped the city of Austin earn the title of “Live Music Capital of the World” and then spawned an annual festival that happens each October—a very busy time for Austin and its bartenders. We…

Rum Away With Me

What makes rum dark versus light? Dark rums are aged longer and in charred barrels or made with blackstrap molasses. Both roads lead to a richer taste with lingering flavors including toffee, vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, nuts, spice, honey, tobacco, and caramel. And when mixed with the right delicious ingredients—provided in September’s Rum Away With Me…

Use Your ImaGINation

What makes gin, gin? The one real requisite is the distilling of a neutral grain alcohol with juniper, and that’s actually pretty much it. What distinguishes the various gins from one another, on the other hand, is a far more interesting question! With so many distinct flavors, no two gins are truly alike (luckily we…

Pisco Away

. . . actually, on second thought, don’t. Stay right here, because there’s something you may not know: pisco, the featured spirit in Shaker & Spoon’s July box, is actually a type of brandy! But don’t be too surprised: any distillate of fruit juice is technically a brandy. While Cognac and other after-dinner drinks you…

Behind the Last Guinea Pig in Cuzco

We sat down with Nathan Dalton of Piscobar in the Catahoula Hotel in New Orleans to chat about his work, the history of pisco, and his cocktail for July’s Pisco Fever Box, the Last Guinea Pig in Cuzco! S&S: What’s your specialty? ND: I guess I would have to say pisco is my specialty. I recently opened a bar/café…

Pisco Fever

Hot summer nights call for the spirit of the Incan gods: pisco, one of the purest spirits known to man. The only thing that enters the bottle is the grapes—and nothing else can be added, not even water. The result is the remarkably delicious and shockingly versatile unaged Peruvian brandy that’s sure to be the…

Vodka Cocktails in the Wild

Spring has sprung (mostly), and it shows in the fun photos of your vodka cocktails! Here’s the roundup of images from our community of subscribers toasting the season with their cocktails from April’s box, Vodka, Adventures, and Spring, Oh My! Use #shakerandspoon to be considered for a feature. Cheers! Vodka, Adventures, and Spring, Oh My! via @omichellemybell Shrub-a-Dub-Dubs via @lbeaslie Ralston’s Black Peppered Old…