Drink Green with Compostable Plastic

I try to consider the environment in my daily activities, including my enjoyment of fine wine, beer, and cocktails. Say you are having a party and don’t want the glasses piling up in your kitchen. You also don’t want to through away a ton of plastic cups. If you have access to a compost pile or a composter, then Eco-Products has your solution: compostable plastic cups made from corn.  Affordable and good for the planet. I like it.

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 9:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

I Call It A Slapshot, You Can Call It Whatever

Now that I have a home bar, I have been playing with various cocktails. Although I should probably be spending this time preparing my second post about our recent trip to Italy, here is my first in a series of posts sharing some of my favorite cocktail recipes. This one is our House Drink; I call it The Slapshot. A tip of the hat to On Frozen Blog for turning me onto the basics for this one — if it good enough for Ovechkin it is good enough for me. The portions for the ingredients are my own and experimentation is always recommended.

The Slapshot

1.5 oz. Vodka (for a good, inexpensive mixing vodka, I recommend Smirnoff)
1.5 oz. Limoncello (homemade, if you are feeling ambitious)
0.5 oz. Grappa
Dash of Vermouth
Appx. 1/2 lemon worth of fresh lemon juice
Simple syrup (amount depends on individual taste)

A Slapshot and a Shot of J.K.A Slapshot and a Shot of J.K.

Published in: on August 3, 2009 at 9:05 pm  Comments (2)  

Wasmund’s Whisky: A Local Twist on an Old Standby

I have to admit up front that I am not a big spirits guy. My tastes in alcohol are heavily weighted toward wine and beer. That said, I have been trying to open my palate to some new experiences. A recent tasting at a wonderful little wine & spirit shop in D.C., Pearson’s, provided me with an opportunity to do just that. Not only did I get to sip some whisky, I got to meet a local distiller who does things just a bit differently than everyone else.

Rick Wasmund is the Master Distiller at The Copper Fox Distillery, a Blue Ridge distillery in Sperryville, Virginia. He is a friendly guy who knows his craft, and he is more than willing to share his thoughts and experiences with you as you taste his Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky. Rick tells the story of Wasmund’s better than I can (as does the Washington Post), so I won’t go into the history. What I will tell you is what makes his whisky worth a try, and possibly worth a Christmas gift to your favorite alcoholic.

Wasmund’s in the Still
Just Another Day at the Office

When one thinks of single malt whisky, one thinks of Scotland, where the finest whisky in the world is made. The Scots, and just about everyone else on the planet, make single malt whisky by using peat in the kiln. The smoke from the peat filters up through the malted barley and imparts its flavor. The barley is then fermented and the alcohol aged in oak barrels for several years.

Rick Wasmund decided that he could create a unique product by doing things differently. He still uses barley (Thoroughbred barley from a private Virginia grower), but instead of employing peat in the kiln, Copper Fox burns cherry, apple, and oak woods. So far as Rick knows, Copper Fox is the only distillery in the world that does this. After being distilled in a relatively small pot still, Wasmund’s is barrel-aged in a patent-pending process that employs cherry, apple, and oak wood chips and results in a naturally accelerated maturation of the whisky.

Draining After Aging

The final product? Well, it is smooth with full, rich flavors while not being too harsh on the palate. It is different from the whisky you would normally sample, as the woods employed impart different flavors than your standard peat and oak barrels. While I may not be a whisky expert, I know what I like, and I liked this. If my word is not good enough for you, all I can tell you is that 20-30 people attended the Wasmund’s tasting at Pearson’s . . . they all left with smiles on their faces and bottles in their hands.

Distillery Dog
One Happy Distillery Dog

$35.00 per bottle.


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Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 12:14 pm  Comments (17)  
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The Holidays Approacheth: A Brief Bow to the Consumeristic Urges in All of Us

If you are anything like me (and who isn’t), you are coming closer and closer to buying your first house. As a man, I do not need much in a dwelling. I presume it will have a roof, heat and air, and at least one bathroom. We’ll put a bed in it someplace. While I would like it to be as environmentally friendly as possible, we can work on that over time. I am sure Mrs. Wine with Dinner will have many ideas on how to lay things out, and I will likely go along with most of them. But I do have one desire, a place to entertain. Let’s call it, “The Man Basement.” I mean, it is fun to go out, but sometimes it is nice to be able to have people over in the comfort of your own home.

What would I put in The Man Basement you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Part of it, probably one-third, would be a wine cellar. Nothing too fancy, but climate and humidity controlled, maybe with a small table and chairs for tasting. The remaining two-thirds of the basement would be an entertainment room with a large HDTV mounted on the wall opposite the wine cellar and some couches and chairs for the boys to watch the big game on, or for Mrs. Wine with Dinner and me to relax on while watching Return of the King. Depending on how much room there was maybe we’d get crazy and put in a pool table and some air hockey. In any event, there would be one last essential ingredient, a fully-stocked bar. Conveniently, Mrs. Wine with Dinner and I already owe each other a bar from Christmas last year.

Let’s face it, for many of us, even if we are not wine aficionados, alcohol is an integral part to many social gatherings. From Stanley Cup Game 7’s, to Wedding Showers, to Birthday Parties, to Christmas Eve, to Super Bowl Sunday, a well-stocked bar and a wine cellar can help to create a welcoming environment for friends and family on many occasions. Indeed, no occasion is needed for a friend to just swing by, have a drink, and watch Reservoir Dogs. While this certainly may be an expensive project up front, the enjoyment of this space (not to mentioned the money saved from less bar visits) should make the project will worth while.

With all this in mind, I have been keeping my eye out for books, magazines, etc. that might guide me as I fantasize about hosting 30 or 40 of my closest friends for the Super Bowl. I have come across a few interesting items in the last couple of weeks that may ultimately be very useful to me in this project. I list them here in the event that you share my desire for a Man Basement. For that matter, they might be useful for a “Girl’s Den,” or just for the small liquor cabinet that you keep in your apartment or condo.

Keys to the Cellar: Strategies and Secrets of Wine Collecting, by Peter D. Meltzer — a good place to start when thinking about building a wine collection.

The New York Bartender’s Guide, by Sally Ann Berk and 17 New York Bartenders and Drink Specialists — an inventory cocktail recipes along with a great list of items and ingredients necessary to start a home bar.

The Ultimate A-to-Z Bar Guide, by Sharon Tyler Herbst & Ron Herbst — similar to <u>The New York Bartender’s Guide</u>, though I would probably favor that text if you are looking for one source.

Be Wine Connected USB Flashdrive — kind of fancy for a flash drive, but this cute little bottle contains some interesting features, including a guide to the last 100 vintages of Bordeaux and Open Cellar software for managing your growing wine cellar. I just saw this online the other day, so I can’t vouch for quality, etc., but it certainly looks interesting.


Update:  Here is another one I just found today (12/5), the Wine Collector 250.  A bit much?  Have we crossed the line yet?  You be the judge.


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Published in: on October 17, 2007 at 5:16 pm  Comments (1)  
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