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Teeling Whiskey Company

Teeling Whiskey Company hails from Dublin, the hub of Irish whiskey production.  Here the Teeling Whiskey tradition began in 1782 with Walter Teeling and once again in Dublin, this once prosperous distillery has become relevant again. And right where it started in Dublin back in 1782.

Brothers Jack and Stephen Teeling are carrying on the family craft with their new distillery.  Teeling Whiskey is confident they will bring Irish whiskey in Dublin back to its celebrated roots.

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Teeling’s exceptional small batch blend contains a high malt ratio and is finished in rum casks for added spice.  The rum cask finish creates an amazing aroma and a delicious rum finish.  The small batch blend has been non-chilled filtered at a noticeably high 46% ABV.  This is a unique and special addition to small batch Irish whiskeys.

The aroma is fruity and reminiscent of oranges, apple pie, and spice.  This spicy aroma follows into the palate and includes notes of toffee and cinnamon.  The finish was smooth and the rum cask finish becomes apparent here.  This Irish whiskey is complex.  Teeling definitely has a winner with this one.

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This whiskey is best enjoyed on its own but really develops after a few drops of water have been added.  An Irish whiskey that is beautifully smooth and full bodied, Teeling has a special whiskey with this small batch.

BB Score:



Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka

Zubrowka is an herb-flavored vodka that is distilled from rye and interestingly tastes great with apple juice, as it is traditionally had.  The name comes from the Polish word for the bison that enjoy grazing the Bialowieza Forest.  This fusion creates a uniquely sweet flavor that is unlike any other vodka.

There is some controversy over the FDA prohibition of the coumarin contained in this vodka (product of the bison grass).  Zubrowka contains trace amounts of this mildly toxic compound and was banned at one time here in the US.  Zuborwka has reintroduced it’s vodka in the US with a reformulated version, and I’m glad they did.

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This aromatic and sweet vodka is definitely smooth and exceptional.  It’s really hard to nail down the unique flavor of this vodka.  It contains notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and almond.  These flavors work so well with apple juice or cider, and maybe even mixed with more booze, like a hard cider.  This creates a drink that is reminiscent of apple pie.

Here is a great recipe for enjoying Zubrowka.

ZU & Cider

2 parts ZU

4 parts hard cider

Mixed in a tall glass with ice and garnished with apple slices

BB Score:


Turtle Anarchy Brewing

I was recently in Nashville, TN and decided to find a local brewery that I could visit.  Turtle Anarchy was instantly recommended to me, and being completely unaware of it’s existence, it was the perfect choice.  I had no expectations going in, which is always the best.  Sometimes making uninformed decisions about what booze to consume is a great idea, but usually not.  (Case in point, the one time my friend decided to buy and drink a pack of Steel Reserve.  Is that even beer?)

Turtle Anarchy was located in an industrial area and in a somewhat of a odd location for a brewery.  Apparently, in Williamson County, if the brewery is not also a restaurant it is required to be located in a industrially zoned area.  This is common in the Nashville area.  Which is unfortunate for Turtle Anarchy, because they have great beer and should be in a more prominent local.

When we entered, we were greeted by the most awkward employee.  The inside had several picnic tables constructed of iron pipe with wood tops and the floor was a stained concrete.  It had a very industrial vibe.  I ordered a sampling of the ten brews they had on draft. I enjoyed tasting the entire line up but the stouts are what caught my attention.  In particular, the 11th hour on NITRO was supremely smooth.  This is their flagship stout infused with vanilla beans.  It has a chocolatey and roasted hops aroma with a sweet vanilla finish.  It’s a solid stout.

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Overall, it was a great decision to visit Turtle Anarchy.  Next time I’m in Nashville, I would love to stop by for a refill of my growler!

BB Score:


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How to Use Honey in Cocktails

From serious eats cocktail contributor:

Michael Dietsch


Tips on using honey to add flavor to your drinks. [Photo: Jennifer Hess]

If you’re looking for a cocktail sweetener, it’s time to look beyond sugar.

For bartenders and home drink-makers who strive to introduce a locavore element to their cocktails, honey is a goldmine. Honey from your local food shed is made by bees that feast on the nectar of local plants, carrying subtle flavors and scents from the plant back to the hive, where the honey is made. If you live in an area known for its blueberries, say, or its oranges, you can find honeys that carry the essence of blueberry or orange blossom. Find them at a farmers’ market or health food store and mix them thoughtfully into a drink, and you can add a subtle locavore kick to your cocktails.

But even clover honeys or those you find at big-box groceries—y’know, the honeys you buy in bear-shaped bottles—impart enticing floral notes you can’t find in sugar. You can make great drinks with mass-market honey, thanks to honey’s ability to pair well with spirits, citrus, and other cocktail ingredients.

At the recent San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Charlotte Voisey led a discussion of how to use honey to make layered, lightly floral cocktails. Voisey started in restaurant management at the age of 18 and opened her own bar—London’s Apartment 195—six years later. She’s now a brand ambassador at William Grant and Sons. The seminar got me buzzing with ideas, and today, I’ll talk about how to mix with various types of honey and create balanced cocktails, and how to make honey syrup.

[Photo: Jacqueline Raposo]

Need to brush up on what honey is and how it’s produced? Jump over here for a peek into the secret lives of honeybees.

There’s one more thing I should mention: since honey is an animal product, many vegans don’t eat it. Further, some people are allergic to honey. If you use it in a cocktail, be sure you let your guests know, no matter whether you’re a bartender or a home-mixmaster.

Which Type of Honey Should You Use?

[Photo: Jacqueline Raposo]

Honey ranges from lightly floral varieties such as clover honey all the way up to earthy, dark, and rich options such as buckwheat honey. Which type you choose depends on the direction you want for your cocktail and the other ingredients you’re using.

    • Clover honey is light in both color and flavor, sweet, and mildly flora. It’s a workhorse behind the bar, and it’s hard to go too wrong using it. Reach for clover honey in any cocktail that calls for honey, unless the recipe specifies a certain type.


    • Alfalfa honey comes from the alfalfa plant, which grows mostly in Western states. It’s mild, with a subtle grassiness; it’s a common table honey, and in cocktails you can generally use it interchangeably with clover honey, although you should account for the fact that it’s both lighter tasting and sweeter than clover honey. Unless a recipe specifies a certain honey, alfalfa will work fine.


    • Orange blossom is also a mildly-flavored honey. The name is a bit of a misnomer, since it can be made from grapefruit or other citrus blossoms as well as orange. The flavor is mildly sweet and has light hints of fresh citrus. Orange blossom is a good choice for citrusy drinks, or paired with lighter spirits, such as gin or vodka, where its floral notes will really shine.


    • Blueberry honey is made by bees feasting on the nectar of blueberry bushes, mostly in New England and Michigan. It has noticeable berry flavors, and it works well in cocktails made with fruit and berry flavors; it’s also nice in drinks where you might want a delicate berry flavor without using actual berries—for example, in a delicate gin cocktail, such as a French 75, with the honey syrup subbing in for simple.


    • Buckwheat honey is a dark brown and strongly flavored variety that tastes much like very dark molasses. Funky and earthy, it has flavors of dark chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. Use it in rich cocktails where the complex, dark flavors won’t overpower the other ingredients. Pair buckwheat honey with rum, bourbon, rye—even a peaty Scotch would be a good choice.


  • Other honey options. There are many, many more types of honey; hit your local markets and see what’s available to you. Honeys that come from herbal sources, such as sage honey and thyme honey, offer savory notes that could play well with tequila or gin, two spirits with flavors that reward savory experimentation. Chestnut honey’s flavors of wood and smoke are nice in a hot toddy made with a great blended Scotch or Irish whiskey. Guajillo honey, if you can find it, is almost jammy, with flavors of stone fruit; try using it in a margarita variation.

How to Make Honey Syrup


[Photo: Vicky Wasik]

Working with honey in cocktails is pretty simple, but the one thing you need to do first is to make your honey into a syrup. Honey on its own is a little too thick to mix well with other ingredients, unless one of those ingredients is hot. Honey in hot tea is fine, but honey in an ice-filled cocktail shaker won’t mix in nicely.

Making honey syrup is easy, almost as easy as making simple syrup. No, wait, it’s exactly as easy as making simple syrup. All you do is take equal parts honey and water and heat them in a saucepan until the honey melts into the water. Bottle, cap, and store in the fridge for two weeks. If you don’t need a lot, get a teeny pan and make a syrup of 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup water. If you need more, double or even quadruple the formula. The syrup shouldn’t separate in the fridge, but it doesn’t hurt to shake before using.

A one-to-one ratio of honey to water will make a mild-tasting honey syrup. For something richer, you can bump up the ratio of honey to water, making a 2:1 syrup or even a 3:1.

Another option is to make an herb- or spice-infused honey syrup, as the chef Jonathan Benno mentions in this piece on using honey in the kitchen. This is an opportunity to add more flavors that will blend well with your other ingredients. In the Bee’s Knees, for example; a little ginger works, as would lemongrass or thyme.

Just add the herb or spice (go light; a little goes a long way) into the pan with the honey and the water, and then strain them out when the syrup is cool.

Seeking Balance in Honey Cocktails


[Photo: Jennifer Hess]

Before you begin making cocktails, taste the honey on its own. Make sure you understand its flavors and aromas. Taking notes is good, but don’t get caught up in tasting-note jargon; just jot down your general impression of the honey.

Ask yourself: how will this honey balance with the other flavors in the cocktail? Are the spirits and other ingredients you’re using light and herbal? Bold and aggressive? Somewhere in between? Intense buckwheat and chestnut honeys wouldn’t work well in, say, the Bee’s Knees, which is made with gin and lemon juice. But clover honey will work well, and orange-blossom honey will be even better.

Keep in mind that honey, especially the kind you get from local apiaries and farmers’ markets, is a natural product. It changes from season to season. The flavors and aromas you get from a jar in April won’t necessarily be the same in August. Taste each new jar you buy, and adjust your recipes if necessary.

If you’re adapting a recipe that uses sugar or simple syrup, it’s safest to start with less honey syrup than the recipe calls for. Honey syrup has more flavor than regular simple syrup, and you don’t want to overwhelm your drink. I suggest halving the sweetener, testing the drink, and then adding more honey syrup to taste.

Not sure where to start? Consider experimenting with apple brandy cocktails, swapping in honey syrup for other sweeteners, or using it to enhance the other sweetener. Apples and honey are a terrific flavor combination; I’m sure your parents sometimes offered you a honey-dipped apple slice when you were a child.

My Favorite Honey Cocktail

Because I love bourbon cocktails, the Gold Rush is my favorite honey-laced drink. Little more than a bourbon variation on the Bee’s Knees, it melds honey, lemon, and bourbon, which come together harmoniously in the cocktail. I find it to be a nice variation on a traditional whiskey sour, with the honey providing a complexity that sugar lacks. The honey also brings out the spiciness in the bourbon. The name helps, too, calling to mind a pre-Prohibition cocktail, even though the drink is only a little over a decade old.

Originally Posted on serious eats:

The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s Set

This summer I’m making an escape from my rural midwestern hell hole to the beautiful continental Europe.  Being a world traveler means having to give up some basic comforts, like having a working knowledge of foreign languages and dialects, also having a working knowledge of strange European toilets.  When you travel, there’s so much you just can’t prepare for.  Luckily, alcohol is one of those things you can always count on!  There’s always an ample supply of booze no matter where you go, but there isn’t always a bartender who knows how to mix a nice cocktail.  To ensure a good drink regardless of where I am geographically I started checking out some travel sized cocktail bitters.

Bitters are really the key to a good drink.  They’re also a crucial element of building so many of the classical drinks in the world.  After doing a bit of research I found The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s set to be some really nice and well packaged bitters for flying.  Because of all kinds of new flying regulations you can’t just take any large unmarked bottles through security, they have to be the right size.     The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s set is exactly the right booze for the job!


The set comes with a handful of the most important bitters you’ll need to make your favorite drinks.  The set itself comes with five bitters.

Old Time Aromatic Bitters

The aromatic bitters add a bit of spice or cinnamon to a drink.  A few dashes really make a difference.  Aromatic bitters are good for any cocktails containing Whiskey, rum, brandy or tequila.  I tried out the Aromatic Bitters in a Manhattan.


2oz rye whiskey

1/4 oz sweet red vermouth

2-3 dashes of the Aromatic bitters

Stir and strain into a chilled glass

Add a lemon peel if you want to be classy


Orange Bitters

the orange bitters are probably my favorite addition to a drink, because the bitters themselves are so versatile.  In some drinks they come off fruity and in others a little spicy.  You can also use them in varieties of cocktails.  I used the orange bitters to make a classic dry Martini

Dry Martini

2oz gin

1/4 oz Dry Vermouth

2 Dashes of Orange Bitters

Stir (or shake it) with ice and pour into a chilled glass

garnish with an olive and pretend your James Bond.


Creole Bitters

These creole bitters were a first for me.  Definitely something a little out of the ordinary.  They add some sweet and spicy characteristics to the cocktail.  Creole bitters seem to be pretty good in whatever you put them in!  Try them in a brandy cocktail.

Brandy Cocktail

2 oz cognac

2 dashes of creole bitters

2 dashes absinthe

1/4 oz sugar syrup

stir with ice and strain it into a chilled tumbler


Celery Bitters 

Ok, we all know what these are for: the Bloody Mary.  The bitters themselves taste like celery…obviously.  Though, you get some hints of lemon as well.  Bloody Mary’s aren’t really my thing…but  for the sake of all my dear readers I made one.  Ok, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Bloody Mary

2 oz Vodka

4 dashes celery bitters

3 dashes worcestshire sauce

1/4 oz lemon juice

3 1/2 oz tomato juice

tabasco, salt, pepper, pretty much go crazy.

stir with ice, put it in a tall glass with a stalk of celery and go crazy.


Jerry Thomas’ Bitters

The jerry Thomas Bitters are by far my favorite.  You can use them in pretty much any cocktail containing gin, whiskey, rum, brandy, et.  They add a some richer flavors like dried fruit.  They’re the best bitters for my favorite cocktail: the old fashioned

Old Fashioned

2oz tequila (or whiskey, but I really prefer tequila.)

1/4 simple syrup

3 dashes Jerry Thomas’ bitters

build in tumbler with ice and give it a stir.

I like to garnish it with a whole slice of orange.

Ok, so if you’re a traveler and you’re picky about your cocktails pick up The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s set!  Also, if you’re building your bar at home and in search of some good bitters, then look no further! Also, check out our post on making your own home bar!

Recipe – Strawberry Margarita

Last night, my partner developed a strong desire for a strawberry margarita…but not just any strawberry margarita, she wanted one “like at the Mexican restaurant.”  What a request.  I have no idea what the specific protocol is at the local Mexican establishment, but I thought I’d give it a shot.  Here’s the recipe I came up with for the official Boozeblogger “Like at the Mexican restaurant” Strawberry Margarita.  Clearly, the idea here isn’t to make something classy, but just a nice drink to make when your significant other demands it of you.

Me Irl

Me Irl

This recipe could probably make margaritas for around four people…or two people who want to get a little tipsy.  First, you need a blender capable of crushing ice, pretty much any blender with an option called “pulse” can crush ice like a motherfucker.  Crush up about 2 cups of ice.

After crushing the ice, add the following to the blender

2 cups crushed ice

1 cup tequila (it’s not everyday you measure out tequila in cups)

3 oz triple sec

a few handfuls of strawberries (you could use frozen or fresh, it probably doesn’t matter)

a little sugar or agave nectar

squeeze in some lime juice

Then, blend the shit out of that.

You could serve your margaritas in any number of glasses.  If you are actually going to split the drinks between 4 people, you could put them in rocks glass, but since my goal was to get a little crunk, I just poured them in some big mason jars and then cut a slice of lime as a garnish.

I didn't take this. this is way prettier than what I could ever make

I didn’t take this. this is way prettier than what I could ever make

Urban Chestnut – Part II


We finally had a chance to finish the rest of Urban Chestnut!  This is part II of our review, if you haven’t already, read part I.

It was an honor to review a local and favorite brewery of ours in St. Louis.  Like we said in part I, St. Louis has become a great place for craft beer and Urban Chestnut is on the forefront of the revolutionary urban beers.  Also, check out, Urban Efforts.  This is Urban Chestnut’s program for supporting local non-for-profits.  Urban Chestnut strives for sustainable brewing methods while creating high quality beers with an emphasis on supporting the St. Louis community.

“As we endeavor to create our high-quality offerings of lagers & ales, we also strive to be respected for our actions as a business member of the St. Louis community.” – Urban Chestnut




Here are Boozeblogger’s notes for the last two Urban Chestnut beers!

Urban Chestnut Hard Wood Myth 5.5 ABV

English Style Porter


Pour:  Dark and porter in appearance, minimal head and thin lacing

Nose:  Cocoa, smokey, malty

Palate:  Sweet, toasty, oatmeal

Mouthfeel:  Medium body, smooth, chocolate

We really enjoyed this porter and would love the opportunity to have more!



Urban Chestnut Zwickel 5.2 ABV

Bavarian Style Lager


Pour:  Light golden in appearance, minimal head and little to no lacing

Nose:  Sweet, cereal, hops, fruit

Palate:  Light and clean, spice, malt, dry finish

Mouthfeel:  Light to medium body, medium carbonation, smooth

Urban Chestnut’s flagship lager, a great tasting and easy to drink beer!  This is a good introduction to a more complex lager that is unlike a mass produced Budweiser.










Go Drink Yourself

Before you read any further, play this video. This post needs this music.

Have you ever wanted to drink something out of your head?  That sounds weird…let me try again. Have you ever wanted to drink something out of a mug shaped like your face? I know I have.  Ok, I feel like this is something that could get pretty existential pretty quick…Southern Comfort is having a bad ass competition ( Go Drink Yourself) where you make some kind of crazy drink on their website and you can win a mug that looks like your head.

Though, before we go any further–holy shit, have you seen their website?  Some web designer out there did an incredible job.  It’s all web 2.0 and shit.

Personally, I haven’t had SoCo in a pretty long time.  Their Go Drink Yourself competition was a nice reason to up my SoCo game and practice my mixology skills.  I tried a few different combinations other SoCo fans had posted to get started, but I quickly ran into trouble when trying to mix my own drink.  The first rule of the competition disqualifies most of what I tried to make “Recipe creation must be original, creative and consumable.”  I should probably leave new cocktails up to the professionals.  

The first cocktail I tried is called the Scarlet O’Hara.  The Scarlet O’Hara is a nice drink…it’s probably not something I’d order in public, because it’s sort of girly, but in the privacy of my own home I’m totally open to getting down with it.

The Scarlet O’Hara 

– 1.5 oz SoCo (Get the 100 proof SoCo ya turkey)

– 2 oz cranberry juice

– 1.5 oz club soda

– a little bit of lime juice

Shake that mother fucker.

serve it in a rocks glass with some ice cubes

It’s a solid drink.

Ok, the Scarlet O’Hara is a fun drink….but hold on to your butts for the monstrosity I threw together.  I wanted something that was weird and innovative.  We at boozeblogger put our heads together and thought, “Hey, it would be cool if we could make a drink that tasted like a Mexican restaurant!”  Well, dear readers, we made something….pretty gross.

(for the love of God don’t make this…)

The Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell

– 1.5 oz SoCo

– 2.0 oz Coke

– Squirt of Siracha

– Squirt of lime juice

shake it and serve in a rocks glass.

Ok, so don’t make this…you wouldn’t be dumb enough to do it anyways.  It’s interesting for maybe, like, one sip and then you just want to vomit.  The first rule of alcohol tasting is always engaging nostalgically with a drink: what does this drink remind you of?  Our cocktail reminds me of a gross spicy taco pizza.

All of these shenanigans aside, SoCo is a fun liqueur with a wide possibility for delicious drinks and good times.  Take a look at some of the most popular cocktails on their site right now! 

Urban Chestnut – Part I

This is part I of our Urban Chestnut review! Check back later this week for Part II

St. Louis is a great place for craft beers.  Maybe you most associate STL with Anheuser Busch, this would be a mistake.  Ok, Bud Light is fine, I don’t find any reason to be too much of a beer elitist, but St. Louis is becoming a pretty craft big beer town.  There’s a number of amazing craft breweries that are too often overlooked.  A relatively recent development in the STL beer scene is Urban Chestnut.  Urban Chestnut strikes this really interesting balance between “revolutionary” urban beers and “reverential” traditional beers.  This dialectic creates a good and diverse balance between beers.


We tried four beers over all, here are our notes from the first two!

ErlKonig (Elf King) 8.3 ABV

Pour: Hazy, orange, beige foam, good head, from bottle, drink it out of a motherfucking stein

Nose: Yeast, cloves, spices

Palate: Grainy, boozy malt, wheat oranges or some kind of citrus

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, somewhere between medium and heavy bodied


A really nice beer. Goes well with pizza and probably everything else.  Also, the ABV is surprisingly high, you definitely get the start of a nice buzz after a bottle.  ErlKonig is part of the Urban Chestnut revolution series and I can definitely see why.  ErlKonig is a pretty cool twist on a weizen bock.

Pierre’s Wit 5.10 ABV 

Pour: small white head, Weizen glass, cloudy golden apricot color,

Nose: Coriander, dry wheat

Palate: Coriander, Citrus, Orange, Wheat

Mouthfeel: Dry, medium mouthfeel a little creamy.

Urban-Chestnut-Pierres-Wit-Wheat-AlePierre’s Wit, coming from the reverence side of Urban Chestnut, fits the bill perfectly for a Belgian Witbier.  The coriander was probably my favorite part of the beer.  I’m a sucker for coriander in beer.  For obvious reasons, Pierre’s Wit reminded me a lot of New Belgium’s Trippel.  Though, I think the biggest difference, and also why I like Pierre’s Wit better, is the creaminess and sweetness of the beer overall.


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