Monday, August 18, 2008

Pin It

Monday Roundup: Moonshine, Grappa, Absinthe, and Scotch

The production of grappa is part of northern Italy's social and cultural tradition and is carried out in the Alpine regions by hundreds of families, as it always has been.

~ Senator Sergio Davina
arguing for legal home distillation of grappa

I've been offline for a few days, but the world of booze just keeps rolling on. Some of the highlights from the last week include—

  • Writing in Esquire, David Wondrich demonstrates the correct way to serve absinthe (note there are no flaming sugar cubes which translate into ruined absinthe spoons and little globs of caramelized sugar arc-welded to the sides of your glass). He also includes thumbnail reviews of the brands he considers The Five Best Bottles of Absinthe.
  • Our friend and all-around great guy Ian Smiley is in the news. Ian has been working with Michigan enterprise LS Moonshine to develop a distillery in China for producing unaged corn whiskey. Seems the Chinese have a taste for young corn liquor. I do remember a tale of a family member drinking shots of corn liquor with a Chinese general and breaking protocol by not allowing the general to win that little competition. Maybe Ian can help me steer my way through Chinese drinking protocol...
  • Speaking of China, seems there's a (gasp) serious problem with counterfeit goods the producers of genuine articles are trying to combat. Diageo has rolled out an anti-counterfeiting measure with their Johnny Walker scotch. In some markets (e.g., India) about half the scotch is counterfeit and, from what some distillers have told me, the figure is much higher in Pakistan where the scotch is not only fake, but very expensive. Like, someone-is-going-to-hell-for-this-scam-expensive. Diageo's solution? Make a bottle that can't be resealed to look new once it's been opened. According to Australian Food News,
Caps on Johnnie Walker bottles will now not return to their original position after opening and a permanent gold band appears at the top of the neck of the bottle upon opening - effectively eliminating the prospect of a disguised refill.

And for today, that's all the news that's fit to drink.


No comments: