Crushable Cocktails, Train Excursions & The Teaspoon

A few interesting booze & cocktail articles from the inter-web that have come across our radar this past week.

Crushable Cocktails, Train Excursions & The Teaspoon By: Tiff Christie|August 5,2019

Explainer: The Differences Between Pot Stills And Column Stills

The production of distilled spirits is a complicated process — from the choice of base material, and all the way on through to ageing, there’s any number of choices the producer must make which will determine the spirit’s final character.

One of those choices — a huge determinant of the final spirit — is the choice of how exactly to distil the spirit. We’ll focus here on three ways: the use of a pot still; the use of column stills; or some combination of the two. (There’s a fourth, vacuum distillation, but it’s so damn expensive and inefficient that few people bother with it — though the Bacardi-Martini-owned Oxley Cold Distilled Gin is one of them).

Let’s get into it.

What is distillation?
Distillation is the action of applying heat to a liquid, so that the components within the liquid which have a lower boiling point become vapour, and are then re-condensed into liquid by cooling the vapour.

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Could Rum Be The Next Gin?

If rum has what it takes to make it big, as its many fans contend, it’s certainly taking its time about doing it.

‘Everyone’s been saying for years that rum is going to be the next big thing,’ confirms Bruce Govia of Fam Bar. ‘The category has been trying to clean up its act over the last few years. There are better-made products on the market now, and it’s more accessible – you’re even seeing really good rum on the high street, in supermarkets.’

This is a diverse spirit, in terms of its styles and flavour profiles, and, of course, where it can be produced – ie anywhere. But certain styles do dominate.
‘The same old sub-categories of spiced rum and white rum lead the market. They’re the kings of rum,’ says Govia. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Renewed interest in spiced, for example, has resulted in a number of recent launches, and a general increase in quality.

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Embark On These 3 Distillery Train Excursions, No Chugging Required

Tasting rooms can be such a bore. Why not take a different track to a leisurely day of sipping? These locomotive journeys come with a built-in designated driver and offer you a panoramic front-row seat to the raw material that goes into a spirit. All aboard the boozy train excursion.

Imagine sipping tequila and noshing on Mexican snacks while kicking back in a vintage train car watching the blue agave fields whir past. That’s what you’ll encounter on this excursion in Jalisco. Mundo Cuervo, the tourism and hospitality division of tequila brand Jose Cuervo, gives agave aficionados an experience they won’t forget. Guests can select from three different levels of luxury, including a rail car with an onboard bartender. You’ll visit La Rojeña, the oldest distillery in Latin America, in the town of Tequila. Guests will be immersed in Cuervo’s 250-year history and explore the town of Tequila and the nearby agave fields where the tequila-making process begins.

Price: $111-$147 for adults; $98 for children ages 6-17; children 5 years and under free without an assigned seat

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Top Bartender Erick Castro’s Current Obsession: The Teaspoon

Not long ago, bartender Erick Castro got into a bit of a tiff with an Instagram follower.

The strange thing was, it wasn’t about politics, sports, religion or any other hot-button issue—it was about, of all things, the humble teaspoon.

“I posted a recipe on @bartenderatlarge and it included a one teaspoon measurement and somebody got really mad,” says Castro, who hosts the award-winning podcast Bartender at Large and co-owns San Diego bars Polite Provisions and Raised by Wolves, as well as New York’s Boilermaker. “They were like, ‘I hate when bartenders use baking measurements, blah blah blah.’ I just responded that it’s 1/6 ounce and he was like ‘Oh, really? That’s cool.’ That made him okay with it.”

Though the commenter has since removed his original complaint, the exchange stuck with Castro, who has been an advocate of using teaspoon measurements in cocktails since opening Polite Provisions in 2013.

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Mastering The Art Of The Crushable Cocktail

Even the fiercest AC fiends among us know what to expect once the calendar begins its inexorable lurch into our steamiest, stickiest season: Pesky sand, in, on and around everything. A sheen of sweat so wickedly omnipresent it starts counting as part of your outfit.

The most effective and appealing balm for a cruel, cruel summer, of course, is a chilly beverage specifically engineered to bolster sanity as the mercury climbs. For many, a minimalist approach is the way to go—hand over a frigid canned pilsner or a glass of rosé and call it a day. But we should never undervalue the elemental power of a properly made summer cocktail.

In partnership with Giffard, we sought the expertise of four of our favorite bartenders to school us on the subtle art of defeating the heat. The result: “Summer Four Ways,” a reimagination of time-honored warm-weather cocktail styles that injects new life into the “crushable” canon, inspired by the Giffard line of fruit liqueurs.

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