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The Summer Of 2020

Summertime usually brings with it lots of get-togethers with family and friends and fun activities such as outdoor concerts, swimming parties, barbecues, sporting events and beach time. However, this summer we have an intrusive and uninvited guest, COVID19. And, unfortunately, this pandemic brought a whole new meaning to the word “socializing”. Even though it’s going to be a bit more challenging, there are still many activities that can be enjoyed solo or in small groups.  

Happily, food and drinks will always continue to be part of most festivities. So, with that in mind let’s shake things up a bit and introduce a few spirits and cocktails into your summer fun. Whether you’re watching a sunset from the comfort of home or enjoying a backyard picnic, these spirits are palate pleasers!

Tequila Bribón Blanco
This tequila is produced from one of the top three tequila families in Mexico. Fully matured seven to ten-year-old agaves are hand-harvested and cooked for 18 hours at 100°C. The agaves are then shredded and the juice is fermented in tanks and then double distilled. 

Photo credit: Penny Weiss

This 100% agave tequila is un-aged, clear in color and has subtle aromas of floral, pepper, fruit notes and savory. These aromas continue onto the palate with coconut, pepper and a trace of floral on the finish.
Enjoy on the rocks or in your favorite cocktail. Margarita anyone?
Alcohol:  40%
80 proof
SRP:  $24.99

Tequila Cherry Sunrise.  Cocktail recipe courtesy of Bribón.
Fill glass with ice and pour the following into it.
1.5 oz Tequila
1.5 oz orange juice
1.5 oz Cherry Heering (pour this to the side, not directly on top)

Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum
Diplomático is an independent family-owned company located at the foot of the Andes in Venezuela. This rum is a blend of exclusive rum reserves that are aged up to 12 years. It is carefully crafted with attention to detail from the selection of the purest sugar cane honey to fermentation, distillation, then barrel aging, and finally blending the matured spirits. 

Photo credit: Penny Weiss

Seductive aromas of caramel, vanilla and candied orange peel float onto the palate with hints of cinnamon, ginger and toffee.  This is a smooth and elegant rum that I feel is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks. I have included a cocktail recipe recommended by Diplomático for your tasting pleasure.
Alcohol:  40%
SRP:  $42.99

Signed & Sealed created by Jon Lister, Brand Ambassador UK

Image courtesy of Diplomático

40 ml Reserva Exclusiva
30 ml Strawberry infused Cocchi Rosa
3 dashes of Lavender bitters

Add all the ingredients to a stirring glass, fill with ice, stir and strain

Serve straight up

Grace O’Malley Blended Irish Whiskey
This is the first Irish Whiskey to be named after a woman. Grainne Ni Mháille/Grace O’Malley was a 16th century Irish Pirate Queen. She was born into Irish nobility and was a natural leader, gifted negotiator and a fearless mariner. Grace was far from ordinary, just like this whiskey, which has 46% malt content, one of the highest in the blended whiskey category. It is a special blend that combines whiskeys with age statements from three to ten years old. Each batch of whiskey is aged in a range of barrel types including French oak, ex-bourbon, and ex-rum casks.

Photo is courtesy of Grace O'Malley

Aromas of caramel, honey, nuts and orange zest segue onto the palate with hints of malt, vanilla and toasted oak.  This is a smooth whiskey that keeps on talking in a long finish. Enjoy neat, over ice or in a cocktail.  Below is a cocktail recipe taken from the Grace O’Malley website.
Alcohol: 40%
SRP:  $34.99

The Manhattan Smoke Show is a variation of the classic Manhattan. This is a boozy cocktail by nature and this version is no different in that respect. The Manhattan Smoke Show uses different spirits from around the world. The base ingredient is Grace O’Malley Blended Irish Whiskey. Cherry Liqueur complements the currant and vanilla notes in the whiskey. Vermouth is included and is typical of a Manhattan cocktail. The smokiness in this version comes from the Mezcal, while the Ancho Chile Liqueur also adds a subtle smokiness, spiciness and sweetness to this drink.

30ml Grace O'Malley Blended Irish Whiskey (1oz)
20ml Mezcal (.75oz)
15ml Ancho Chile Liqueur by Ancho Reyes (0.5oz)
20ml Heering Cherry Liqueur (0.75oz)
15ml Sweet or Amber Vermouth (0.5oz)

Stir all the ingredients together with ice. Strain into a small coupe-style glass and serve.

Disaronno Velvet
Disaronno is a liqueur made in Italy. It has a very distinct aroma and delicious flavors of almonds called Armelline (the seeds of apricot stone), sweet fruit, Madagascar vanilla and pure caramelized sugar. Disaronno Velvet has all the familiar flavors of the classic version, but it is also creamy and smooth with a touch of chocolate and vanilla.  

Photo credit: Penny Weiss

This is a refreshing and perfect “cooling off” drink to enjoy throughout the summer. And thanks to its low alcohol content, this  cream liqueur is a great alternative to other spirits. The best way to enjoy Disaronno Velvet is to serve it over ice. A dash of Disaronno Velvet in iced coffee is delicious as well!  Enjoy!
Alcohol:  17%
SRP:  $29.99

Please share your original cocktail recipes with me and I will be happy to publish them! In the meantime, put a smile on your face, rise to the challenge and let’s embrace the summer of 2020.

Until next time,


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