Champagnes under $40 can be a great deal, especially those made by smaller producers who grow their own grapes. Look for bottles by Joel Falmet, Cedric Bouchard, and Fleury and Serge Mathieu.
Cheryl Lins is the first absinthe distiller in New York State. Her micro-distillery, Delaware Phoenix, produces two absinthes: Walton Waters and the less traditional Meadow of Love.
[NY Times, related]
Benedictine, which celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2010, is experiencing a renaissance as a rediscovered ingredient in craft cocktails. For bartenders, it’s the new Chartreuse, another herbal liqueur made by monks.
Researchers have determined that Gouais Blanc, a French grape used in peasant wine, is the “mother” of such noble varieties as Chardonnay and Gamay Noir. In the 18th century, Gouais Blanc was banned by the French government for being too rustic.
The Tom and Jerry, a forgotten Christmas cocktail, is making a comeback. In the eggnog family, it’s made with scalding hot milk poured over a batter in the bottom of a mug, then stirred quickly, which causes the egg whites to rise, and finished with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
[The Atlantic Food Channel, related]