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…

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…

Irish Whiskey Cocktails in the Wild

You guys did a gorgeous job garnishing your Irish whiskey cocktails! We saw a lot of photos of the Tea & Honey in particular, and the sage and bitters were looking great. Glad to see that you enjoyed those tiny little clothespin clips as much as we did! For your viewing pleasure, here’s the roundup of images…

Bubbly Cocktails in the Wild

Looks like you guys had some fun and romantic times with our bubbly cocktails! Chef Pusheen and Mersheen (below) were just too cute. For your viewing pleasure, here’s the roundup of images from our community of subscribers toasting with their drinks from the Afterparty Box. Use #shakerandspoon to be considered for a feature. Cheers! Valentine’s Chinese New Years via @tcsullivan Original Sin via @loridear…