Hooch: Homemade infused vodka makes better bloody marys

Hooch: Homemade infused vodka makes better bloody marys

Which is better? Cookie-dough vodka or bubblegum vodka? It’s a trick question. Both are odious. The good news is that the flavored-vodka fad appears to be past peak. “Vodka is so 2012,” the Wall Street Journal declared recently. The article anointed whiskey the sales-growth leader among spirits,...

Baltimore Beer Baron

  • Baltimore Beer Baron: Is 2015 the year of the can?

    Baltimore Beer Baron: Is 2015 the year of the can?

    2015 might be the Year of the Can in Baltimore. Once a matter of great debate, it has been emphatically decided that canned craft beer is here to stay. No matter where you stand on craft being distributed in aluminum vessels, the War on Cans is over and the cans won. Last week, I spoke to a few...

  • Baltimore Beer Baron: Meet the Beer Baroness of Canton

    City Paper is Baltimore’s Booziest Alternative Weekly, so instead of writing about the usual suspects—bar owners and brewers—I want to get to the core and focus on a real-life imbiber this month. Allow me to introduce you to the Beer Baroness of Canton. She doesn’t own a brewery or a bar, nor has...

  • Three Months of Beer

    Three Months of Beer

    I've got a lot of ground to cover in 600 words, hopheads. August: Union's Second Birthday Bash From what I remember, it was a hell of a party at Union Craft Brewing's Second Anniversary on Aug. 9 at the brewery in Woodberry. About 550 people came out to toast the milestone and were rewarded with...

  • Filling the World('s) Cup With Beer

    Filling the World('s) Cup With Beer

    With all the international competition brewing at the World Cup in Brazil, it reminded me of Baltimore’s own ambassador to the beer world, my friend Brian Strumke. Strumke’s line of Stillwater Artisanal Ales finally reached Asia and South America this year. He’s come a long way from cooking up...


  • Maryland's Booming Booze-a-Palooza

    Maryland's Booming Booze-a-Palooza

    Real, honest-to-god Maryland rye at last! Pleasant nose, rich mouthfeel, corny sweetness interwoven with crisp rye notes, and a finish as smooth as the Baltimore Beltway the day it opened in 1962. OK, this rye predates I-695 and was probably bottled in the 1940s. I'm drinking the state's distilling...

  • Hooch: Talking mezcal with Lane Harlan

    Hooch: Talking mezcal with Lane Harlan

    Whenever I engaged in cocktail banter with casual acquaintances this spring, and I brought up that Baltimore was soon to acquire its first mezcal bar, I’d get one of two responses: blank stares and crickets, or something along the lines of “Dude, I don’t touch tequila—it makes me crazy.” So, yeah,...

  • Hooch: Canada's Alberta Dark Batch Rye rolls into Maryland

    Hooch: Canada's Alberta Dark Batch Rye rolls into Maryland

    While we wait a few months for the high-end Pikesville rye to debut locally, and a few years for homegrown rye to flow, help for our rye whiskey cravings has recently arrived from up north where a slumbering giant might finally be awakening. A rep from Canada's Alberta Distillers Ltd. was in town...

  • Rye whiskey is back, baby!

    Rye whiskey is back, baby!

    Rye whiskey is back, baby. Well, duh. You’d have to be living under bridge in Pyongyang to be unaware of this bar-rail revival. All the drinks mags tout its glory and the whiskey’s resurgence loomed large in my January cover story on local craft distilling. But now I can quantify the comeback....

  • Hooch: Hot cocktails for a cold winter

    Hooch: Hot cocktails for a cold winter

    Are you an imbiber who believes that the cold months constitute brown-liquor season? Some Facebook friends of mine discussed this a while back as if the whiskey-only-in-winter position was a given—up there with the hoary prohibitions against white slacks after Labor Day and the like. One even has...

  • Hooch: Expanding our gin knowledge

    Hooch: Expanding our gin knowledge

    Forget everything you think you know about gin. OK, maybe you don’t have to go that far. Maybe you’ve been out in front of the crush of developments (and redevelopments) in this tipple from the Middle Ages as it collides with 21st-century craft distilling. For me, the traipse down Gin Alley these...

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    Looking for low-end liquor? Consider Kentucky Gentleman bourbon—$6.99 a fifth, or $12.99 by the plastic “family pack” handle. But you just know this whiskey is as gentlemanly as Mike Tyson in a headlock. Russia banned Kentucky Gentleman imports this summer after the country’s scientists said it...

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    Italian wine, food, and spirit all promise to be on grand display at Vino Festa

  • Juice


    The American Craft Council Show at the Baltimore Convention Center this weekend brings a heightened recognition of commitment to craftsmanship