Booze News--Bartenders Aim To Be Master Mixologists; Absinthe Is Hip, But Is it Good?

Spirits producers are offering bartenders graduate-style cocktail slinging courses to become master mixologists. Pernod's BarSmarts course, designed by cocktail "king" Dale DeGroff's company, features a 68-page workbook, online quizzes, and tests given by those who are already considered master mixologists. [Wall Street Journal]

Sure, absinthe is popular lately. But have you tasted the green fairy? Firstly, it's not always green. Secondly, without water, it's practically unbearable. The flavors can be complex, ranging from citrus to floral notes. Then, there's Mansinthe: Marilyn Manson's absinthe. [NY Times]

To the dismay of Scotch purists, the popularity of the drink in America and the propensity of Americans to drink it on ice has led whisky distillers to start marketing their spirit to be enjoyed on the rocks. Fortunately, some whisky makers are trying to improve the quality of the rocks. [Wall Street Journal]

Pre-made cocktail mixes are everywhere these days. Most of them taste nothing like a hand-mixed cocktail, although Captain Morgan's Long Island Iced Tea comes close. Sauza's boxed margarita package boasts "Alcohol is in it!" but there is no tequila or triple sec in the mix. [Washington Post]

Hail storms in the Bordeaux have destroyed vines and may have destroyed the livelihoods of some grape growers. The damage will likely have an effect on the 2009 and 2010 vintages, which could also affect recently depressed prices. [Reuters]


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