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Archive for June 18, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: Gin Martini

Vodka martinis overtook the original gin martini back in the 1990s. The trend was started by Bond, James Bond, who liked vodka martinis shaken, not stirred (and he picked that tip up from the writer Somerset Maugham).


But new artisan gins are providing a reason to return to the original. Vodka is a simple, unflavored distillation. Gin is the opposite—so many different aromatics go into creating a fine gin, that each brand is very different from the next (see the components of gin). With very complex flavors—as much as any fine wine—fine gin, like fine Scotch, is delicious straight up.

It also makes a better Martini. For Father’s Day, we’re trying a new small-batch gin, G’Vine. The word is a contraction of gin and the French word vigne, grapevine—for this gin is made in France from grapes instead of juniper berries.

Make artisan gin part of your weekend celebration. Even if you’re not celebrating with your father, you can toast in his honor.

Learn more about gin and find martini recipes:

A Gibson is a martini garnished with cocktail
onions instead of olives or lemon peel.
Photo by Philip Pellat | IST

  • Classic gin recipes: Gimlet, Gin Fizz, Gin & Tonic, plus adaptations like a Gin Mojito and a Bloody Snapper (the Bloody Mary made with gin instead of vodka) 

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PRODUCT: The Wine Diaper

Flying with wine? Consider a Wine
Diaper. Photo courtesy

Are you a wine lover who needs to fly with a bottle of wine (or whiskey or other bottle larger than three ounces)?

Some people remember a gentler time when you’d just hand-carry precious bottles into the cabin and tuck them into the overhead bin.

Today, when any liquid is classified as a potential bomb ingredient, wine needs to be checked with the luggage, subjected to freezing temperatures and yes, breakage.

To all of those who’ve said, “We just wrap the wine bottles in our tee-shirts and have never have a problem”: We wish them continued good fortune.

For the rest of us, the Wine Diaper is an alternative to bulkier, padded leak-proof wine totes.

What exactly is a Wine Diaper?

The Wine Diaper is an almost flat, heavy plastic wine bag with a built-in handle. The plastic is lined with a hyperabsorbent diaper-like material that cradles your precious bottle and catches any leaks (in the non-pressurized baggage compartment, air pressure can force some wine through the cork). Even if the bottle breaks in shipment, the Wine Diaper’s manufacturer claims it will contain everything within its freezer bag-type seal.

The price is three bags for $15, 10 bags for $40. Unless there’s an accident, the bags can be reused in perpetuity (or at least, for many trips). Find out more at

While the design is a bit cutesy, it can serve as a wine gift bag (be sure to include a bottle of wine).

Learn more about wine in our Wine Section, including wine and cheese pairings and identifying the aromas and flavors of wine.


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