A fine cocktail can set the tone for any event. Rely on us to help you determine that tone.
We know which spirit goes better with fruit juices, how many servings one bottle will provide, and which spirits lend an air of sophistication or fun to an event.
Below, find our quick guide to spirits. In no time, you will be shaking, stirring, and sipping. And we are always available to answer your specific question and to give advice that will help you cement your reputation as the person to ask when it needs to be right.
Vodka comes to us via Eastern Europe--and some vodka purists maintain that the best vodka still comes from there. Colorless and relatively neutral tasting, vodka is used as a foundation for many cocktails. Vodka is popular throughout the world, partly because it can be made from such an array of sources (even grapes). Our selections range from brands with a harsh bite to those made to creamy and smooth. Although many varieties now come flavored with fruits and other flavors, making your own mixes at home with fresh juice and herbs will always set your table apart from mere pretenders to your throne.
Gin gets its distinct aroma and flavor from juniper, but counts grains and molasses as part of its makeup, as well as anise, licorice, cilantro and citrus zests.
Once believed to be good for the kidneys, gin has long been used in cocktails with fresh herbs, and citrus juices. Mixes with tonics remain very popular as well.
Although Native Americans gave us what we call tequila, the name itself comes from the Mexican town where the production process was refined in the 1600's. Tequila is made from the fermented juice of the blue agave plant. After distillation, the spirit is diluted and may be aged for as little as two months (Reposado) to a year or more (Añejo). The phrases Plata, Blanco or Joven refer to product which has not been aged. Tequila has many flavor varieties from spicy and peppery to earthy, but seem to be appropriate in ice cold Margaritas (yes, we like both frozen and on ice--and don't forget the salt).
Rum began its life in the warm sun of the Carribean Sea although it is also heavily produced across South America and other warm climates. The majority of rum comes from either molasses or sugar cane juice, as sugar cane was a farm staple in the Carribean. There are many different styles and colors of rum, which are influenced by varying factors such as the raw base material, the manner of distillation and whether it’s aged in oak or sweetened with added sugar or caramel. Often used as a simple mix with cola, you can impress by adding a little cinnamon and clove spices for the flavor of hot apple pie.
The whisky category is huge and has a large array of flavors, blends and distilling methods. Producers can't even agree on the spelling (Bourbon has an "e" in the end, while Scotch does not). Regardless, all whiskies are made from grains and refined to less than 95% alcohol by volume. Most whiskey is aged in wood barrels, which adds to the flavor and color of the product. The raw materials range from malted barley to ryes, wheat and corn. They can be produced as a single distilled product or blended from several. While Single Malt Scotch and small-batch bourbon are best sipped solo (neat or iced), a smooth bourbon also provides the ideal base for many popular cocktails.
When a distilled spirit is infused with a single flavor, it is called a cordial, and when infused with multiple flavors, it is a liqueur. These alcoholic beverages are much sweeter than straight liquor and are often consumed plain, although they are also included in many types of cocktails.