Published on August 16th, 2013 | by Keeley


Dipsy Digest: August 16

A weekly (or so) round up of our favorite spirited reading materials.  

August 16, 2013

Happy National Rum Day!
You would be hard pressed to find the origins for this holiday, but who really needs a reason to celebrate this delicious sugarcane spirit? While Cienfuegos has been indulging in rum-centric festivities the entire week (their National Rum Gala takes place tonight from 9:00PM – 2:00AM!), most of us will probably only get to pay our respects to the elixir for a few hours tonight or settle for some belated debauchery.  To aid in the process, Difford’s Guide has provided a list of their top 10 rum drinks that you can make at home, while gives you their rum 411 including the spirit’s history, biggest myths, and great cocktail recipes.  Usually partial to whiskey rather than rum?  Luckily, Mount Gay’s newest rum, Black Barrel, is a great variation that bridges the gap between bourbon and classic dark rum.  Check out some DIY cocktails featuring Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum in previous coverage on Dipsology.

The Devil is in the Details
A killer cocktail is more than just the brand of liquor or the fancy infusions.  In fact, often times the most frequently overlooked elements are what set a good drink apart from a great one.  Water used to dilute drinks or ice used to chill them is often taken for granted, but Serious Eats encourages you to give them a second look.  Similarly, different sweeteners can have more of an effect on the flavor profile of a cocktail than you’d expect.  Dave Arnold of Booker & Dax shows how you can sweeten up your drink five different ways for the exact result you’re looking for.  Finally, that crystalline mineral that has long been a resident of the rim of your margarita glass may have a place on and in other glasses as well.  Learn how, when, and why salt should be used to make your homemade concoctions pop, and when it’s best to leave it in the shaker.

This Week’s Summer DIY Drinks
Sometimes, nothing could be better than making cookies from scratch.  And other times, we are more inclined to take the quick and dirty Sandra Lee approach, pop some Toll House break-and-bakes in the oven, and call it a day.  In the end, we just want that ooey-gooey chocolate chip goodness.  The same could be said for a well-made drink.  When you’re too tired to break out the jiggers and shakers but want something more than a Tanqueray and tonic, try this for a change: homemade ready-to-drink cocktails.  Bottled and ready to go from the freezer, these drinks will keep you satisfied in the comfort of your own home.  If you are inclined to literally go the extra mile, head down to your local farmer’s market for the tomatoes and raspberries that are currently at their peak.  These farm-to-table inspired cocktails will keep you wishing summer never comes to an end.  For the more adventurous, these fun, frozen cocktails are more than your conventional popsicle.  Liquor poured over a mixer and garnish ice cube, this is a whole new level of creativity when it comes to drinks that beat the heat.

BBQ For Your Drinks, and Drinks For Your BBQ
While the whole world knows how crazy Texans are about their BBQ, it’s unclear whether anyone expected for this to happen.  Down at CU29 in Austin the mixologists are infusing their alcohol with everything from bubblegum to brisket.  Meat is added, still smokin’ hot, to bourbon, ensuring that maximum flavor can be derived.  For those of us who still prefer to have our meat on a plate rather than in our glass, here are some NYC establishments serving up booze to match your BBQ cravings.


August 9, 2013

Young Adult Drinkers’ Preference Shifts Towards Liquor
Young adult drinkers’ alcoholic beverage preferences have changed dramatically over the past two decades. In the early 1990s, 71% of adults under age 30 said they drank beer most often; now it is 41% among that age group. Younger adults’ preferences have shifted toward both liquor and wine, but more so toward liquor, over the past two decades. Those between the ages of 30 and 49 have moved exclusively toward liquor.

New Kids on the Block
From comes a list of summer’s 47 “must-try” liquors, liqueurs, and the like.  While your expectations are met with more conventional items on the list like #4, Jacob White Ghost Whiskey, Jim Beam’s newest whiskey varietal, there are suggestions for the more adventurous like #45, Basement Bitters Bitter Frost, a bitter described as “God’s liquid bacon.”

The Saga of Spanish Rum
Although you may be most familiar with the Caribbean, South, and Central American produced strains of rum, Spain is taking the reins and reclaiming this sugarcane spirit.  Difford’s Guide Magazine gives you a behind the scenes look at the long history of Spanish rum and how modern-day distilleries work in the land of Picasso and paella.

A Tasty Tanqueray Tipple 
In New York where we have the luxury of being able to purchase sun-sweetened local strawberries at farmers’ markets, the Ford Mixology Lab offers up an excellent recipe for homemade strawberry syrup.  This delectable additive can be used to create a stellar DIY cocktail that rivals those of mixologists around town.  Enter the Strawberry Gin Gimlet. 

Reinventing the Brunch Favorite: The Bloody Mary
There’s nothing to cure that Sunday morning hangover like…another drink.  Instead of waiting in lines that stretch on for hours, get your boozy brunch on at home with these three variations of the classic Bloody Mary by Todd Thrasher.  Take advantage of that beautiful summer produce and get mixin’!

July 26, 2013

A Belated Celebration of National Tequila Day
Even though National Tequila Day was two days ago, we here at Dipsology never think it’s too late to celebrate that blue agave goodness.  Eric Asimov of The New York Times shares with readers the results of a tequila tasting from a panel including famed mixology genius Jim Meehan.  The article includes a useful flavor profile breakdown of the 10 best value tequilas that were chosen.  Then, head to these Brooklyn barrooms that are serving up refreshing tequila cocktails that will start your weekend off right.

Yet Another Reason to Celebrate
Seeing as the national spirit of England is gin, it only seems fitting that the newest British royal is welcomed to this world with the juniper juice.  While Princess Kate’s bouncy baby boy may be several decades away from the legal drinking age, you, on the other hand, are invited to–nay, obligated to–drink on his behalf.  First, check out how the classic gin and tonic is getting a facelift, then witness Pam Wiznitzer of The Dead Rabbit whip up a killer cocktail fit for a king.

Tony Conigliaro: The Mad ScientMixologist
In a building that was once Pink Floyd’s recording studio, Tony Conigliaro is crossing the boundaries between science, art, and mixology.  While he rebuffs the title of scientist, Conigliaro is producing some groundbreaking work in the world of cocktail concoction using atypical ingredients to produce equally unordinary, yet exceptional, results.  Professionals and home-bar practitioners can acquire a wealth of wisdom from his recently published The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes.

The Martini: Deceptively Complex
While it may seem to some a straightforward combination of spirit, vermouth, and ice, the martini is a drink that takes more finesse than expected to perfect.  Difford’s Guide Magazine teaches us how a seemingly infinite number of variables can be tweaked and twisted to affect the flavor of this ever-sexy bar staple.  Use your newfound knowledge to try out these 7 martini variations from

The Ultimate Shape-shifter that is American Whiskey
Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about American Whiskey, Ian Cameron of Difford’s Guide Magazine had to turn you on your head.  His article describes the innovations that are currently taking place in American whiskey production and what the future of this intricate beverage may hold.


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