Category: Spirits

Last Call: The Columbia Room (Washington, D.C.)

Take a walk down Blagden Alley in Washington, D.C., and you might think you took a wrong turn. Could there really be a bar among the commercial alleyway’s unmarked brick buildings? Keep going, and liquid rewards await at The Columbia Room, Derek Brown’s temple to superbly crafted cocktails. The bar originally opened in 2010 as a 10-seat space within a speakeasy, and was reimagined in 2016 when Brown moved it to a 2,400-square-foot building in D.C.’s Shaw district. It’s now comprised of three distinct areas—the Tasting Room, Spirits Library, and Punch Garden—each offering a different experience. “I think the...

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The Crawl: Washington, D.C.

No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, politics in our nation’s capital can drive a person to drink. Fortunately, there are plenty of great places to do just that in Washington, D.C. The city was once known as the domain of buttoned-down bars and stodgy steakhouses, but thanks to an influx of millennials in recent years, D.C. has become a hotbed of epicurean innovation and variety. The District is also home to a vibrant craft brewing and distilling scene, so there are lots of intriguing local libations to explore.   U Street Corridor This historic neighborhood has...

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Winning Spirits: Results from the First Annual Spirited Craft Distillers Spirits Competition

The inaugural Craft Distillers Spirits Competition took place at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, Calif. over two days in December, 2017. The competition was created in conjunction with the upcoming Spirited International Spirits Trade Tasting & Show, February 27, 2018 (also at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds). “For a first-year event launched late in the fall, less than 150 entries were received in time to be evaluated, but I think this lent the competition an exclusive feel for both judges and entrants,” says Debra Del Fiorentino, owner of Wine Competitions Management & Productions, which produced the event in...

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The Shape of You: Practical choices for presenting your premium spirit in style.

When it comes to presenting your product to the public, the bottle and packaging you choose needs to express exactly what’s inside. We all know brands and bottles that have become iconic over time: Maker’s Mark, Johnny Walker, Patrón, even the Jack Daniel’s silhouette. But how did those products take shape (literally) in the first place? Spirited spoke with some packaging experts to help you formulate a plan for getting your brand’s message across with finesse.   Start with a story Incorporating your brand story into the look and feel of your final product is what will truly set...

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Inside Spirits: Seeing Is Believing

Since 2004, the field of “multi-sensory integration of perception”—I’ll give you a moment to make your way through the briars of that phrase—has arisen to explore how humans integrate all their senses when perceiving something. In short, humans don’t determine taste solely based on input from their tastebuds. This is somewhat obvious: We all know the aroma of a product contributes a large part to what we taste. But less obvious cues are also in play. For instance, “mouthfeel” in spirits can shape flavor. We also taste with our eyes. The clarity of a vodka or the tiger-eye hue...

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