Celery bitters lend an enticingly vegetal and citrusy edge that plays well with traditional savory drinks (Bloody Mary, anyone?) but is also lovely with the floral notes of gin (just one dash in a martini is a revelation, and 2 to 3 dashes takes the sweet edge off a G&T), as well as the grassy, herbal undertone of tequila. Which bottles should you try? Here are my favorite brands of celery bitters.
Our top recommendations for 100%-agave tequila that you can buy for $25 and under.
These 5 bourbons may not be quite as well known as Pappy Van Winkle, but they very much deserve a spot in your liquor cabinet.
Bourbon has long been our go-to for reasonably priced whiskey, but as demand continues to grow, more and more producers are jacking up prices to cash in on the trend. That's part of what makes Tincup American whiskey such a refreshing change of pace: it's a delicious whiskey at a reasonable price.
Some seriously good Irish whiskey is now available in the U.S.
If you haven't tried high-proof tequilas yet, seek these out.
Situated in the small hill country town of Hye, Garrison Brothers Distillery is leading the craft whiskey charge in Texas.
Suntory and Nikka remain the sole Japanese distillers exporting their whisky for American consumption, but there are a number of new bottlings on the market in the US.
This vodka from Suntory is made from 100% Japanese rice and water sourced from the island of Kyushu. The rice mash is distilled in small pot stills and clarified through a bamboo filtration process.
Produced by Cooper Spirits (of St Germain and Lock, Stock, and Barrel Rye), this new cocktail-in-a-bottle is a revival of one of the first American cocktails touted for its medicinal properties. It makes for a darn-easy cocktail party: the only other thing you need is ice.
This new whisky from Cutty Sark ups the ante on proof and flavor without breaking the bank.
Cocktail lovers stateside are pretty familiar with Carpano Antica Formula—so much so that a writer for Food & Wine joked that "If you add Carpano Antica to whiskey, people will think you are a good bartender." But while we've enjoyed our share of drinks enriched with the Antica, Europe got early access to the Bianco version, which finally launched this fall in the US. We gave it a try on its own, and played around with it in cocktails, too.
It's been a banner year in the spirits industry, with incredible new releases flowing fast and furious. After reviewing dozens for this site (and drinking even more beyond that), it's always difficult for me to choose favorites. Still, you're wondering what to seek out to tuck under the Christmas tree or order online as a gift to yourself, so I might as well try. Here are my top spirits of the year.
If you've been watching top shelf Scotch pricing lately, you would be forgiven for thinking they were selling bottles of actual liquid gold. Enter the Balvenie Tun 1401. Offered at $250, it's a mind-blowing Scotch that can compete with whiskys at twice or even four times the price.
Now, I realize a single malt bourbon is a contradiction in terms, but hear me out. Glenfiddich's latest release in their limited edition line is very special Speyside Scotch. Unlike the vast majority of its compatriots, this whisky is aged entirely in former bourbon barrels.
These two limited releases from Woodford start with the exact same malted barley distillate. However, the Classic Malt spends its time in used bourbon barrels (like Scotch), while the Straight Malt matures in new charred oak barrels (like Bourbon). They offer an intriguing opportunity to taste the effect that the barrel truly has on the spirit.
This new limited release from Martini & Rossi is more fruit-forward than Carpano and more full-bodied than Dolin. Subtly sweet, bitter, rich, dark, complex, and spicy, it's everything a sweet vermouth should be.
Releasing whiskies without age statements is a growing yet controversial trend among distilleries, a move away from 10 year, 12 year, 18 year, etc., offerings. The movement has been met with mixed feelings from connoisseurs and critics, skeptical of the trend as a way to cash in on the current boom in demand for whisky despite the limited stocks of older aged malts at most distilleries. While that is certainly a very real concern, we tend to feel that the proof is in the pudding.
Compass Box has many lovely bottlings in their lineup, but arguably their breakthrough whisky was the Peat Monster—an unapologetically peaty blend of single malts that has a balanced sweetness to it that makes it an entirely distinct style of whiskey. This year Compass Box celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Peat Monster with a limited edition anniversary release, bottled at 97.8 proof. We gave this special whisky a try.
Jägermeister Spice was inspired by the original recipe (flavored with some 56 secret herbs, fruits, flowers, and roots) but highlights cinnamon and vanilla, and is bottled at a lower 50 proof. And here's the shocker: it's meant to be drunk neat at room temperature.