Southern Wine and Spirits
Amaro Nonino Quintessentia is an digestif amaro made in Fruili, in northern Italy. It is grappa based, and infused with a blend of many herbs, spices and roots, including gentian, saffron, licorice, rhubarb, sweet and bitter orange, tamarind, quassia bark, chinchona bark, and galenga, among other things. It is a light reddish brown color and 70 proof.
Nonino is a bit less sweet, less bitter, and lighter in texture than other amari. It is aged for five years in oak barrels.
Southern Wine and Spirits
Aperol is the perfect aperitif.
Its unique bittersweet taste and bright orange color derive from a secret and original recipe, that has remained unchanged over time. An infusion of ingredients including oranges, herbs and roots which make a perfectly balanced combination.
Lightly alcoholic, zesty orange with complex herbal scents harmonized with a touch of vanilla
Intense orange top with herbal and woody body notes, pleasantly bittersweet and salty
Velvety and rounded, with long-lasting orange and wood memories
Herbal long pleasant typical bitterness
Averna has an intense and sweet-bitter taste. The notes of orange and liquorice are balanced by those of blueberry, juniper, rosemary and sage. Every taste is a journey to the real Sicily. This makes the bitter Averna a true multi-sensory experience
Rainwater took its name from its pale color and delicate texture and flavor. Yet, the origins of the style are shrouded in mystery. Some attributed it to a Savannah wine merchant after the Civil War, but that cannot be, as Rainwaters existed at least a half century earlier. Others said Rainwaters were a freak of nature. Noel Cossart credited his own firm with creating Rainwater in the 1700s, after a barrel of wine was left on a beach.
Southern Wine and Spirits
Green Chartreuse is the only liqueur in the world with a completely natural green colour
It is powerful and unique.
Only two Chartreuse monks know the identity of the 130 plants, how to blend them and how to distill them into this world famous liqueur. They are also the only ones who know which plants they have to macerate to produce the natural green and yellow colours. And they alone supervise the slow ageing in oak casks.
- Ingredients : alcohol, sugar, 130 plants and flowers.
- Alcohol content : 55% (110° proof US)
- Presentation : Packaged in a traditional Chartreuse liqueur bottle. Very elegant with the embossed seal of La Grande Chartreuse.
- How to drink it : To bring out all its flavour, it should be consumed very cold, even on the rocks. Traditionally considered an after dinner drink, Chartreuse is more and more being enjoyed as a long drink.
St. Martin de la Garrigue has endured through several eras of history. The château is located in the Languedoc, near Pézenas, the hometown of Molière. Surrounded by pine forests and garrigue, it is situated overlooking the Hérault River. The building that stands today dates back to the Renaissance, yet its dazzling little chapel (which could turn the devil into a true believer) was constructed in the mid-ninth century. Records show that the property was gifted to the clergy throughout the Middle Ages by the kings of France. The story goes back even further though—the Romans were said to have built a villa and vineyards here after the conquest of Gaul. In recent years, primitive pottery shards and graves on the property were found, indicating that people have been living here even as far back as the Iron Age! So what is so special about this place? Its proximity to a water source and ideal terroir makes it the perfect spot for growing grapes. The microclimate here is different from St. Martin’s neighbors. It sits at a slightly higher altitude and is therefore cooler, allowing a one-to-two week delay of the harvest. This long, even ripening of the grapes is also attributed to the humidity and the cooling influences of the Mediterranean breezes, as well as bountiful rains in the fall and at the end of winter. Beautiful red and white limestone gravel covers the floor of the vineyards, lending aromatic depth and freshness to the grapes.
Jean-Claude Zabalia, one of the region’s most talented winemakers, has certainly left his mark on the property for over twenty years. In addition to overseeing the vineyards and the winery, Jean-Claude has made extensive renovations to the property, including managing the reconstruction of the cellars. He has brought the domaine to new heights, making wines that are sold in over twenty-eight different countries. Sixteen different varietals are planted at Saint Martin. While most of the vineyards are planted to red grapes, St Martin de la Garrigue is also known for their deliciously fresh white, Picpoul de Pinet. Andrew Jefford, author of The New France, raves, “Perhaps the best wine for me is an astonishing Picpoul de Pinet, picked very late from low-yielding vines: those who consider this an inarticulate if refreshing choice, the Muscadet of the Midi, should try this mint-and-verbena-scented, powerfully lemony wine.” KLWM Salesperson Lori Varsames has written of the domaine, “White or red, rosé or Cuvée Réservée, everything coming from Château St Martin de la Garrigue offers up incredible value.” Be sure to try their Bronzinelle – it is the perfect wine for barbecue.
Cocchi Americano is an aromatized wine created in 1891 by Giulio Cocchi and since then produced without interruption according to the original recipe.
The name “Americano” is both due to the alcohol made bitter (“amaricato”) by the addition of herbs and spices and to the American habit of drinking vermouth with ice and soda.
63% at cask strength bottles NCF
This was a collaboration between Chris from Westport Wine & Whiskey in Louisville and Joshua from PlumpJack Wine & Spirits.
This brandy was aged for 2 years in a Woodford cask then another 2 years in Oloroso sherry cask.
It has a symphony of flavors across a spectrum of flavor profiles. Dried rasins and almond marzipan flavors from the Oloroso sherry cask meld effortlessly with the burnt sugar and spice notes from the bourbon barrel on the finish.
Cynar is an artichoke based bittersweet liqueur known for its versatility and distinctive flavour; its taste is enriched by an infusion of 13 herbs and plants. The name of the drink derives from Cynar scolymus, the botanical name for artichoke, as artichoke leaves lend the distinctive flavour.
The secret recipe, which has remained the same since its creation, is based on some of the natural substances found in the artichokes, including ‘cynarine’.
VERY PALE CRYSTALLINE ROBE, TINGED WITH GOLD.
GENEROUS, FULL, INTENSE NOSE OF CITRUS PEEL, UNDERSCORED BY MENTHOL AND BALSAMIC NOTES. AROMAS OF MOUNTAIN PLANTS LINGER ON FINISH. VELVETY TEXTURE WITH HARMONIOUS AROMAS OF ALMOND AND FRUIT PIT. SLIGHYLY BITTER CITRUS BASE UNDERLIES AND BALANCES THIS ELEGANT, LIVELY VERMOUTH WITH SUBTLE PERSISTENCE.
Golden State Wine Co.
Only the second domestically produced Fernet available, SF's local Fernet producer has knocked it out of the park. It's got everything you love about the Branca and nothing you don't! Gone is the hard-edged menthol flavor, replaced by cinnamon and subtle bitter roots ALL sourced locally. The ingredients list is made of almost exclusively native plants with the exception of a couple of classics which are nonetheless grown in California. Medium bodied with a good deep spicy nose. The palate forgives, but does not forget! Lots of complex and familiar aromas of Amaro - with the bitterness straightening the whole thing out in the back. A truly stupendous local tipple which should have all the mustachioed hipsters doing cartwheels, but open enough for even the most modest lover of bitter things to enjoy. Ingredients include: Rhubarb, orange peel, bay leaf, peppermint, spearmint, German chamomile, cinnamon, and gentian.
"Although many amari boast a secret formula comprising a multitude of ingredients-Fernet-Branca ($30) contains a total of 27, giving it a licorice, menthol and raisin character - certain flavors are well-trodden. Among them are anise, angelica, marjoram, cinnamon, cinchona, gentian, rosemary, saffron, fennel and cardamom, as well as mint and orange."- Wine Spectator
This cask collaboration used barrels that previously held High West Yippie Kayee whiskey. Generously aromatic with cinnamon roll, coffee and pumpkin spice. The up front palate has some soy, coffee, and cocoa nib on a light oily texture. Mid palate gets more savory, with the barrel influence coming through giving it a soft long finish.
Max Rudsten and Ben Flajnik, two local guys with a passion for the peculiar, formed their friendship over a shot of fernet. Prior to this fateful toast, they each had explored their infatuation with complex elixirs. Max had spent tireless days in his backyard experimenting with his own concoctions, constantly macerating, infusing, and barrel-aging different local plants and herbs, exhaustively cataloging the results in hopes of creating the first local, San Francisco fernet. Meanwhile, on an amaro quest of his own, Ben traveled to the most remote corners of the globe, immersing himself in the methods and techniques practiced by some of most renowned international distilleries.
Their connection sparked the emergence of Fernet Francisco - The first locally crafted, Bay Area fernet.
In each batch of Fernet Francisco, we distill 12 hand-picked herbs with a holy wisp of fresh fog. The purest. The surest. The spirit of San Francisco.
16 different botanicals infused together in nearly pure alcohol, following an old recipe from an order of monks. All the ingredients are Italian, among them are linden-leaf, ash leaf, mulberry, rhubarb root, currants, orange peel, and cypress leaf.
COLOR: deep natural amber, from the infusion of the plants. No color added, unusually.
AROMA: of tree buds, with herbaceous notes typical of tree leaves, the usual root aroma emerging
FLAVOR: herbaceous, balanced, delicate, with intensity but also rounded and balanced, finishing with a pleasant bitterness. Notes of bark, buds, as in a forest when it’s just been raining; slightly citrussy on the finish. Bitter finish but rich, and very persistent. Note that the sugar ratio in this Amaro is 15%, about half of that found in many commercial examples.
Use: the classic use is straight, after dinner, as a digestivo, but the Amaro is also perfect in craft cocktails such as the Hanky Panky.
Amber, golden tawny color. An excellent bouquet, with a characteristic "nutty" character, such as almonds, and delicious mature fruit with hints of orange peel. Rich, sweet and smooth onthe palate, it is perfectly balanced, with a long and lingering finish.
Graham's 20 Year Old Tawny Port pairs extremely well with vanilla ice cream or crème brulee. Serve slightly chilled to appreciate thefull complexity and sensuous pleasure of this wine.
Port is best served in classic Port wine glassware or white wine glasses. Avoid cordial or liqueur glasses as they are too small to fully appreciate the wine's aromas.
"A gorgeous tawny with dried figs, caramel, dried raisins and coffee beans. Full-bodied, sweet and delicious. This shows such length and beauty. I love the crème caramel and cooked apple tart on the finish. Some pecan pie. Crazy. Drink now."- James Suckling
Strega liqueur is one of the most famous Italian liqueurs, it is unique and unmistakable for its taste, thanks to the exclusive use of natural ingredients.
Its processing starts with the grinding of about 70 herbs and spices, they are being selected from all over the world, and each one of them has unique properties. Among these herbs we find Ceylon Cinnamon, Florentine Iris, Jamaican Pepper, Juniper from the Apennine Mountains, Sannio Mint and Saffron, are among many of the exotic herbs used in the production of Strega.
The liqueur gets its characteristic yellow color from the percious Saffron that is added to the herb distillate. Strega liqueur is aged in ash barrels over a period of time to ensure perfect blending of the different aromas. The resulting distillate is 40% proof and only after the aging process is the liqueur bottled and distributed all over the world.
The quintessential Fino from Jerez: dry, light and pungent, with an aroma of almonds and mildly acidic on the palate.
The wines recommended here have been selected by a broad range of educated palates, then rated and described by one person. Our critics each cover a range of territories. Our goal with these ratings is to provide a single, consistent point of view against which you may measure your own taste over time.
Paolo Marolo is widely regarded as one of the best Grappa producers in the world. He is credited for being a leading innovator in Alba, the heartland of Grappa production, for departing from the tradition of working with a continuous still (used for efficiency in mass production), and choosing instead to work with a bain-marie discontinuous still. This alembic requires fresh pomaces and distills very small quantities much more slowly, but ultimately yields a Grappa that is infinitely more pure, complex and invigorating, with many dimensions of aromas and flavor. Moscato Grappas are generally more well-received by the average drinker due to their lifted aromatics and softer palate. This is 100% Moscato d'Asti. The aromatics of the Muscat grape are on full display in the nose, with flowers and zesty citrus notes coming forward. The pomace fermented for three days, unlike most Grappas where it is immediately distilled after crushing, for added depth. The alcohol is soft of the palate and the spirit finishes long with lingering intensity.
Southern Wine and Spirits
Mr Black is a bittersweet blend of top-grade Arabica coffees and
Australian wheat vodka. It is bold, balanced and unapologetically coffee.
With half the sugar and ten times the coffee of ‘old-world’ liqueurs, Mr Black is a cold brew liquor for coffee purists.
Made in Australia, produced in 300 bottle batches.
Ramazzotti is a digestif amaro invented by Ausano Ramazzotti in 1815 in Milan. It is made of a secret blend of 33 herbs and roots, and uses no artificial color. Today, Ramazzotti is owned by the Pernod Ricard group.
Ramazzotti is dark brown in color and fairly opaque. It has a strong root beer-citrus aroma and has a nice balance between bitter and sweet. At 60 proof it's a bit higher proof than most Amari. They also make a Menta version and a Fernet, though they look to be quite difficult to track down.
In 1910 Heleni Giokarini established the first ouzo-distillery in Samos, producing ouzo which was known as the "Widow's Ouzo". The Giokarini's have been producing their ouzo for three generations. A selection of pure local ingredients which are distilled in a traditional copper still.
Youngs Market Company
Bruto is made from a variety of herbs, roots, and other botanicals. Though the exact number of ingredients and formulation are proprietary, we will say that the bitterness comes primarily from gentian root; the citrus notes mostly from California-grown Seville orange; and the woodsy notes from balsam fir and Cascara sagrada (bark from the California buckthorn).