Blood Orange Bitters

February 26th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Blood Orange Bitters are a magical addition to cocktails produced by a company called Stirrings. HG buys it at the Kokoman wine and liquor store in Pojoaque, a few miles from HG/BSK’s residence. Kokoman has a big selection of bitters as well as an encyclopedic range of beers (domestic and foreign), fine wines, single malt Scotch, etc. Yes, there’s more to New Mexico drinking and dining than Budweiser, tacos and green chile sauce. HG uses the Blood Orange Bitters in a self invented, pre-dinner cocktail HG has dubbed “The Gerald.” It is composed of freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice, vodka, the bitters and a splash of Topo Chico sparkling water. Served on the rocks. Stimulating beverage. The Stirrings company also recommends adding the bitters to the usual whiskey and sweet vermouth for a superior Manhattan. They also suggest putting a sugar cube in a flute, soaking it in the bitters and adding chilled Champagne. Sounds nice. HG will try it with Prosecco.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

October 27th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

HG has some penny pinching proclivities. Always used cheap, use ’em once and throw ’em away razor blades. Bought seven buck wines. Bought cheap vodka (Hey, they’re all the same). A big change has occurred due to BSK’s continual effort to make HG’s life better. BSK is the family sommelier and now buys great wines at nearby Kokoman (HG has written about this idiosyncratic wine-beer-spirits shop near HG/BSK’s New Mexico home). No spendthrift is BSK. Price limit is $13 a bottle. BSK’s bottles make every dinner a feast.Though not a fan of strong spirits, BSK has introduced HG to Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Thought HG should abandon low end firewater. Well, Tito’s is superlative. Wine Enthusiast gave it a rating score of 95 out of 100 points, six points above Ketel One and 11 points above Grey Goose. Tito’s is distilled in Austin, Texas: “Crafted in an Old Fashioned Pot Still by America’s Original Microdistillery.” HG enjoys its unique clean, smooth taste. This is sipping vodka. HG doesn’t adulterate it with bitters, Aperol or Campari. Just Tito’s on the rocks in a crystal glass. As for razors, HG has subscribed to Harry’s Razors. They make shaving a joy rather than a chore. At last, octogenarian HG is getting some class.


You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover

March 12th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

This cliche of an adage is true for Kokoman, the very odd and wonderful wine/beer/liquor store near HG’s New Mexico home. From the highway (285/84) it looks like a ramshackle joint catering to impecunious drunks. The exterior is plastered with signs adverting beer bargains. Then you go inside. Surprise. On the right are three aisles and a back wall. First aisle: French brandies (Cognac, calvados, armagnac, Prices rising up to the hundreds); Single malt scotch whisky (All the greats); Tequila (Vintage brands including rarities); Whiskey ( Definitive selection of rye, bourbon, Canadian, Irish, Japanese); Sake (all the best); Vodka and gin (There are rarities for the connoisseur). Second aisle: The great, expensive Belgian beers and ales; scores of bitters and mixers; jug wines. Third aisle: Beer heaven (Hundreds of selections from craft breweries throughout the United States plus imports from all over the world including bottles of Britain’s best ales). Back wall: Every brandy, eau de vie, liqueur, aperitif you’ve ever tasted or heard of plus a strong selection of grappas. The left side of the store is devoted to aisles and walls of wine. Very carefully curated. Sound values on drinkable, pleasant wines. Plus all of the world’s greats: California’s cabernets; France’s burgundies and bordeaux; Italy’s Super Tuscans; etc., etc.. HG enjoys strolling through the enticing wine section. Always buys more than anticipated. Temptation overwhelms. One of Kokoman’s missions is to educate the palate of wine drinkers. There’s a themed wine tasting every Saturday afternoon. :Last week it was the U.S. Northwest coast. This week it’s Portugal. In the offing is Germany (the Kokoman wine director says the Teutonic wines have vastly improved. He promises surprises.) The wine tastings draw folks from all over New Mexico, some armed with two glasses–one for white and one for red. The tastings are festive, joyous events. One more reason HG/BSK are glad to live in The Land of Enchantment.