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Matt Pietrek

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A Tale of Two Piscos: Pisco Portón and La Caravedo
Imagine you’ve taken a seat at your friendly neighborhood
craft cocktail bar. As you scan the bottles, you see all manner of gins,
tequilas, rums, brandies, but only a single bottle labeled “whiskey” – no
Scotch, no bourbon, and no rye – just “whiskey.” You...
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Will the Floome Portable Breathalyzer Blow Away the Competition?
As a techie with creds going back to the 1980s (ahem…), I relish the chance to mash together two of my loves--gadgets and spirits. So when I was contacted by Floome recently to see if I was interested in trying out their smartphone-based breathalyzer, I cou...
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California Rum Fest 2015 and Rational Spirits Santeria Pre-Launch
It’s 10 PM on Saturday night and I’m standing in the dark by
the side of Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Bryan Davis,
master distiller of Lost Spirits holds his iPhone aloft, flashlight lit, to
help our friend Anders snap a rum bottle ...
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Checking out Tanqueray's Bloomsbury Limited Release Gin
With the rise of craft spirits, established brands are
finding themselves under attack by an army of Lilliputians, all touting their
small batch, artisanal, hand-crafted credentials to great effect in influencing
the buying public. The big players like Tanq...
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Unveiling the THEA One Aging Reactor from Lost Spirits
Driving through Silicon Valley on U.S. 101, you’d be
forgiven if you didn’t notice the southernmost town of Morgan Hill, a dusty
bedroom community of 40,000 residents, two freeway exits, a Walmart, and some
small vineyards. Mrs. Wonk and I are driving from ...
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Checking out the La Quintinye Vermouth Lineup
Every so often, a press release for a new product jumps off
the screen to capture my attention. Such was the case when I read about La
Quintinye vermouths, which claim to be the first vermouths made with Pineau des
Charentes. Don’t feel too bad if you’re no...
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Vermouth: A Wonky Primer on What It Is and How to Care for It
There’s an old trope about ordering a “dry” martini so
devoid of vermouth that the bottle was merely opened in an adjoining room, or
that the word “vermouth” was merely whispered nearby. People who think this is
clever not only exhibit a huge misunderstandi...
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Lost Spirits Rumbles into High Gear: Aging Reactor Release Imminent
After Lost Spirits ’
big announcement this past April that they’d be leasing their revolutionary “reactor” aging
technology to other distilleries, owners Bryan Davis and Joanne Haruta have
gone mostly dark. To briefly recap their audacious plan as it was an...
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Plantation Rums Brings Out the Rarities at Tales of the Cocktail 2015
The agony and ecstasy of Plantation Rums is a direct result
of their many, many releases of rums purchased from distilleries around the world
and finished in France. Once you’re hooked on their sublime expressions and
start collecting their numerous bottlin...
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Grape Escape: Peru’s Pisco Varietals at Tales of the Cocktail 2015
Pisco is a spirit that’s taken me a while to wrap my head
around. A clear, grape-based spirt from South America, I’ve been enchanted by
it since my first sip, and later making my first pisco punch at home. But once
you seek to move beyond the Pisco Sour, it...
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