Any world traveler worth their salt will tell you that it is imperative to learn a few key words and phrases when adventuring to other countries. Sure, saying please and thank you or being able to ask where the restroom is are extremely important things to know, but we think above everything else it’s important to know how to properly celebrate in each language.
That’s why we’re absolutely obsessed with these Cheers Around The World shirts. Ready to go in nine different languages, these graphic t-shirts showcase how to say (and pronounce!) “Cheers” in different languages.
They’re a must have for all travel lovers and those who just can’t quite get over the fact they’re not in Venice shouting “Salute!” during aperitivo hour anymore.
Αποσπάσματα από την τελευταία επίσκεψή μας στο Κτήμα Μπαμπατζιμόπουλου:
Ο αποσταγματοποιός της καρδιάς μας, ο Ζορμπάς του Ελληνικού κρασιού, ο άρχοντας των Πλαγιών του Βερτίσκου, ο πολυαγαπημένος Ανέστης Μπαμπατζιμόπουλος, ταξιδεύει στα αμπελοτόπια του ουρανού και της ανάπαυσης.
Καλό Παράδεισο κ Ανέστη (Το πολύ συγκινητικό κείμενο δανειστήκαμε από την Αλεξάνδρα Ανθίδου)
But considering that now is the season of gifts, these fine reads can also help you cross some people off your holiday shopping list. So below, you’ll find 12 new gift-worthy books that deserve a place on every drinker’s bookshelf—even if that drinker is you.
Sother Teague, beverage director at NYC’s Amor Y Amargo, stamps his personality onto every page of this energetic tour through spirit categories and cocktails old and new—including the one pictured at top. The recipes it contains are accessible enough for greenhorn drinkers to attempt, but feature twists that will capture the imagination of seasoned bar hands too. BUY NOW
It was only a matter of time before the budding Aviary empire found its way into print, and its 440 glossy pages are as close to art-book territory as it gets. The book covers 115 cocktail recipes, including 20 recipes from bar-within-a-bar The Office. BUY NOW
This tribute to women behind the stick comes from Misty Kalkofen and Kirsten Amann, two Boston-area bartenders and cocktail writers. The duo’s volume collects recipes from female mixologists across the world, accompanied by toasts to great (yet not always known) women throughout history. BUY NOW
In her latest book, prolific drinks writer Kara Newman covers more than 40 cocktails to close out the evening. You know the kind—those drinks that taste best when the sun’s down, whether you’re hoping to end a meal, drift off to sleep, or keep the night going until the next morning. Classics like the Brandy Alexander are featured alongside original concoctions, and it’s all contained in a very gift-friendly package, complete with gold foil accents. BUY NOW
We don’t care that it was technically published in late-2017, because Meehan’s Bartender Manual—pitched as a modern update to Jerry Thomas’s The Bar-Tenders Guide—is one of the best books about making, serving, and consuming drinks. The book’s intended audience is those who work in or operate bars (for instance, there’s a 42-page chapter on bar design), but laypeople who take the dive will never look at a bar the same way again. BUY NOW
The ascendance of the low-ABV cocktail continues with Aperitif by Kate Hawkings, which details the history of the pre-meal cocktail and includes 50 recipes to craft your own. The author also looks at the science of why these drinks work so well as appetizers, explores everything from amaro and Campari to classic spritzes, and provides serving suggestions for each kind of booze. BUY NOW
This memento mori from Antwerp-based sommelier Jurgen Lijcops is light on prose but heavy on eye candy. Gorgeous photos of glitzy bars from Venice to Mumbai may have you working on your bucket list—or lingering over the coffee table. It’s not all glam, however: you’ll also find a smattering of cocktail recipes accompanied by similarly beautiful photography. BUY NOW
Whether you’ve got a bottle of Nikka 21 stashed away or just picked up your first bottle of Suntory Toki, you’ll find something new in Japan-based journalist Brian Ashcroft’s tour through Japanese whisky. In addition to covering the industry’s history and methodology, the work also features first-hand accounts from its major figures and newly translated scorings from whisky blogger Yuji Kawasaki. BUY NOW
Anyone who’s ever passed a night at the weird and wonderful Portland Hunt + Alpine Club can try bottling the Maine-meets-Scandinavia magic at home, thanks to this new release from owners Andrew and Briana Volk. It’s as much a cocktail book as it is a cookbook, covering everything from their signature Espresso Martini to gravlax, plus digressions on oyster pairing, bonfire building, and—of course—Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy. BUY NOW
Since The Joy of Mixology’s 2003 publication, the cocktail world has passed through what feels like several epochs. The golden-fingered Gary Regan has updated his now-classic text accordingly, revising existing recipes, adding new ones, and opining on what’s happened since the craft cocktail movement reached critical mass. BUY NOW
The Death & Co. team returned to print with Cocktail Codex, a graph-heavy volume organized around “root cocktails” and their variations. For instance, flip to a page about the Old-Fashioned, and you’ll find a visual connecting it to more than three dozen cocktails, plus the page numbers where you can find each recipe. BUY NOW
Michael Foley is a Catholic theologian at Baylor University, which happens to be a dry school. Understandably, he escapes all that piety by heading off campus to research and write about drinking. His first work matched up drinks to all the major saints and liturgical seasons. His newest book, Drinking with Saint Nick, pairs drinks (beer, wine, and spirits) with every day of the advent calendar, the 12 days of Christmas, and even the Epiphany season. Take the Smoking Rosemary Old-Fashioned, which he suggests for December 18, the traditional Feast of the Expectation of the Virgin Mary in Spain. It’s a cocktail made with Redemption Rye (for a little extra deliverance) and a flamed sprig of dried rosemary. — Jeff Dufour BUY NOW
Eric Twardzik Eric Twardzik is a Boston-based freelance writer that’s traveled the world in search of good drinks. A former editor for UrbanDaddy, Eric writes about drinks, food, and travel for a variety of publications including Bevvy, Boston.com, and The Food Lens. He once scoured Italy in search of the perfect Negroni, and he’s never met a fernet he didn’t like.
America loves Hennessy — we imported 6.4 million cases of it in 2017 — but we tend to have trouble understanding Cognac as a category. Should we pair Cognac with meals, like wine? Is it a dessert drink? A cocktail ingredient?
“Cognac is not a secret society,” Germain Canto, a bartender at Bar Louise in Cognac, France, says. He is passionate about the versatility of his local spirit. “I want people to be less scared of Cognac and what it represents.”
Germain Canto, a bartender at Bar Louise in Cognac, France, believes Cognac is the best spirit for cocktails.
By definition, Cognac is a type of brandy made from wine that is distilled and then barrel-aged. To qualify as Cognac, the brandy has to be made according to specific guidelines and with grapes from the Cognac region, a sub-prefecture in southwestern France.
Stateside, Cognac played a leading role in pre-Prohibition cocktails like the Sidecar and Sazerac. Today, confusingly, it often appears alongside Port on American wine lists. And, to many of us, the very idea of geographically protected brandy seems precious, better suited to straight sipping than mixing into drinks.
In truth, Cognac is a broad category. It might be mellow and affordable, the perfect cocktail mixer. Or it can be a sophisticated sipper, best paired with a leather-bound book and a nibble of cheese.
Here are all the ways to drink Cognac, according to an expert.
Paired with a meal
“I love to have my dinner with Cognac instead of wine,” Canto says. “It has so many aromatic components, it pairs with a lot of food.”
Cognac is categorized by age statement. VS Cognac, or Very Special, ages for two years. VSOP, or Very Special Old Pale, ages for at least four years. Napoleon Cognac requires six years of aging, and XO, or Extra Old Cognac, ages for 10 years.
The longer a Cognac ages, the more rich, fruity, nutty notes it will have. Younger Cognacs are always a hit at happy hour — pair with hard cheeses, oysters, or caviar, Canto suggests. Older age statements work beautifully with chocolate, mushrooms, and even game meats.
There are no hard and fast rules here, though, Canto says. Because Cognacs are blends, they are versatile.
To qualify as Cognac, brandy has to be made according to specific guidelines and using grapes from the Cognac region in southwestern France. Credit: Benoit Linero
Canto believes that Cognac is the best spirit for cocktails because “it is a blend of different crus,” he says. As a result, different mixers, citrus fruits, or fresh herbs will highlight the flavors in each Cognac.
Canto likes VS Cognacs in long drinks, such as with ginger beer, lime, and fresh mint. He also thinks they make great Sazeracs or Old Fashioneds, bringing “woodsy aromas from the barrel,” he says.
Chinese consumers will soon be able to buy more imported beer and sparkling wine through e-commerce platforms, as China introduces an expanded list of tariff-free goods to boost cross-border imports.
Starting from 1 January, consumers in China will be allowed to spend up to RMB 26,000 (US$3,773) a year on an expanded list of imported goods that are exempted from the 14% import tariff, up from the previous RMB 20,000 cap.
The single transaction limit has also been raised from RMB 2,000 to RMB 5,000 (US$725) from goods ranging from baby formula to beer, sparkling wine, and wine, according to the list released by the Ministry of Finance in late November.
The new policy was introduced shortly after Chinese president Xi Jinping pledged to boost the country’s overall imports at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, as the country looks to transform from an export-driven growth model to focus more on imports.
The list was first introduced in 2016 to boost cross-border trade, and the newly introduced list further included 63 product items that the government describes to enjoy “mass demand”.
Malt beer and sparkling wines are among the 63 new additions.
The products on the list would enjoy zero-tariff policy and faster customs clearance, according to the government.
For instance, through regular channels, imported wines will be levied close to 50% of taxes (excise tax, VAT and import tariff), but goods imported from outside of mainland China through e-commerce channels are only subject to 20.2% of taxes*, less than half the rate of regular taxes.
This is the latest policy announced by the government to stimulate imports and domestic consumption, following its earlier decision to drop VAT tax from 17% to 16%.
The country’s biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba, just announced its plan to bring in US$200 billion worth of imports into the country by 2023.
Cross-border e-commece, however, only accounts for a small portion of China’s overall retail sales market. According to customs data, the total value of cross-border e-commerce transactions amounted to RMB 56.59 billion (US$8.21 billion), while the country’s retail sales market is valued at RMB 36 trillion (US$5.22 trillion).
“The increase in the single transaction limit is meaningful for high-value products”, Citic Securities wrote in a research note following the announcement, however they “account only for a small part of cross-border e-commerce”.
Ρακόμελο , το γιατρικό της Κρητικιάς! Από τότε που θυμάμαι,μία απο τις βασικές μου αναμνήσεις είναι η χρήση της τσικουδιάς στα ΠΑΝΤΑ! Ότι και να είχαμε η μάνα έφερνε τσικουδιά. Πονούσε η κοιλιά?? Μπαμπάκι με τσικουδιά στην κοιλιά! Είχες βήχα?! μπαμπάκι με τσικουδιά στο στήθος! Και καθώς μεγάλωνα ανακάλυψα και πόσα πολλά “γιατροσόφιά” σκαρώναν με την γιαγιά στο μικρό κουζινάκι με βότανα,μέλι και βέβαια τσικουδιά!
Μία φράση της γιαγιάς ακόμη ηχεί στα αυτιά μου…
“Βάλε μέλι να γλυκάνει ο βήχας και το κάρδαμο μην ξεχνάς..να καρδαμώσει ο ασθενής και να βγει στο κέφι”.
1 λίτρο τσικουδιά
4 σπόρια κάρδαμο
4 καρφάκια γαρύφαλλο
4 ξύλα κανέλα
5 κουταλιές θυμαρίσιο μέλι Cretan honey
Σε μία κατσαρόλα βάζουμε όλα μας τα υλικά εκτός από το μέλι σε χαμηλή φωτιά. Ζεσταίνουμε απλά, προσθέτουμε το μέλι δεν τα αφήνουμε να πάρουν βράση.Κατεβάζουμε όταν λιώσει το μέλι. Κατεβάζουμε πριν την βράση και αφήνουμε το ρακόμελο να κρυώσει με τα μπαχάρια του .Αν θέλουμε σερβίρουμε ζεστό κατευθείαν, διαφορετικά σουρώνουμε και φυλάσσουμε το ¨γιατρικό” μας σε γυάλινο μπουκάλι. Το πίνουμε σε θερμοκρασία δωματίου ή ζεστό το χειμώνα και παγωμένο το καλοκαίρι.