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Since Prohibition, U.S. Consumers have long gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to getting many of the great spirits made in other countries. One reason: The antiquated legal restrictions on the allowed size of distilled spirits bottlings. Legally, only the following bottle sizes can be sold in the US: 50 ml …

The post Will We Finally Get the Good Stuff in the US? TTB Considers Fixing Bottle Size Problem appeared first on Cocktail Wonk.

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In the course of researching various rum-related topics, there’s some recent history that I keep bumping up against. Between 1997 and 2009, one company purchased several extremely important rum companies such as Angostura and Appleton. It also acquired a few other well known spirits brands. It then went bankrupt during the world financial crisis that …

The post How the Financial Crisis of 2007 Reshaped the Rum World appeared first on Cocktail Wonk.

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Researching distilled spirits history is a bit like panning for gold—lots of work for the occasional grain of gold remaining in your pan. But there are also jaw-dropping moments when a sizeable nugget suddenly appears. These “A-ha!” moments motivate you to keep dipping your pan in the riverbed and swirling away. Over the past eight …

The post The Curious Tale of a Pineapple Press and the West India Docks appeared first on Cocktail Wonk.

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There’s no shortage of rum listicles lately. Rum is a hot topic du jour and publications push them out with abandon: “Nine Rums I Found at My Local Bar” or “Seven Rums Too Expensive for You.” All too frequently these stories elicit groans from rum enthusiasts, because the author only dabbles in rum, thus providing …

The post The Cocktail Wonk Comprehensive Caribbean Rum Tour: Bottles $45 or Less appeared first on Cocktail Wonk.

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Among Jamaican rum aficionados, two names hold almost mythical allure: Plummer and Wedderburn. They’re known as old, obsolete Jamaican rum marques from a glorious time when all Jamaican rums were chock-full of funky flavors and hogo. The main reason most aficionados know these names today is thanks to Smith & Cross, the gateway Jamaican rum …

The post Unraveling Plummer and Wedderburn Rums appeared first on Cocktail Wonk.

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Telling the story of Barbados rum–and of rum itself–is impossible without referencing Mount Gay. The distillery operations at its Barbados site are arguably the oldest and longest running in existence. Spanning nearly four centuries, Mount Gay has something to say about every era of rum’s existence. In October 2018, I visited Barbados as a guest …

The post Mount Gay – Cornerstone of Caribbean Rum appeared first on Cocktail Wonk.

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Cocktail Wonk by Matt Pietrek - 6M ago

In September of 2018, I sat down with Luca Gargano in London immediately prior to the Rum Tasting of the Century, celebrating the launch of Hampden Estate’s aged rum. We had a wide-ranging interview that covered many topics, resulting in far too much material for a single interview piece. In my Bevvy Ruminations column, I …

The post The Gargano Files appeared first on Cocktail Wonk.

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It’s an annual Cocktail Wonk tradition to holistically examine the last twelve month’s writings and pick the ten stories most deserving of highlighting and after-the-fact commentary. Looking back, the frequency of publications here slowed somewhat in 2018, but the topics dove even deeper than before. And while I consider Cocktail Wonk a cocktail and spirits …

The post The Cocktail Wonk Top Ten Stories of 2018 appeared first on Cocktail Wonk.

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A recently published “Rum 101” article caught my attention because it asserted rum can be made from sugar beets, as well as from sugarcane. This is simply not the case. While you can certainly make a distilled spirit using sugar beets, the end product is not a rum. Just as a distilled spirit made from …

The post Is Rum Made From Sugar, or Not? appeared first on Cocktail Wonk.

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Barbados is often referred to as the Birthplace of Rum. You can make the case for cane spirits appearing elsewhere before Barbados–for example, in Brazil a century or so earlier, or even in India–but Caribbean rum as we know it today is considered to have started in Barbados, before spreading rapidly to other islands. In …

The post Barbados Rum Cheat Sheet appeared first on Cocktail Wonk.

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