Broken Bourbon

With a decidedly less spicy profile than rye or other cereal grain–based whiskeys, bourbon is punchy enough to stand on its own yet blends harmoniously into lighter drinks like sours or juleps. The spirit’s corn content (mandated to be at least 51%, but could be as high as 100%) produces a level of easily-detectable sweetness….

Rum Wild

Rum—and its relatives of yore distilled from byproducts of the sugar cane plant—had a centuries-long history on the open seas aboard Navy vessels and pirate ships before striking land in the Caribbean for mass-production in the 1600s. There have been changes and a lot of geographic expansion along the way, but the adventurous, sea-centric soul…

Kiss Me, I’m Whiskey

This month, by popular demand, we’re re-releasing one of our past boxes—so that those who missed it the first time can give it a try, and those who loved it last year can come back for seconds! So we hope you’re excited to experience March’s Kiss Me, I’m Whiskey Box and learn to enjoy Irish…

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…

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…

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 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…

Sake It To Me!

In recent years, sake has crossed the Pacific and graced our cocktails with its presence here in the US. The shapeshifting fermented rice liquor is quickly becoming popular among bartenders due to its intense umami-ness (the fifth taste), complex flavor profile, and increasing availability and variety, though many people still haven’t discovered sake libations. That’s…