Send all questions to [email protected]

What is eau de vie and when should I drink it?
Eau de vie is a fruit brandy that is distilled clear, with a slight flavor of the fruit it was distilled from. In English-speaking countries, it is used to refer to a fruit brandy made from any fruit other than grapes. Some of the more popular fruits to use are plums, cherries, and pears. The flavor of the resulting brandy is subtle, reminiscent of the fruit it was made from, but not fruit flavored. This makes the liquid a delicious drink for the end of a meal, pairing perfectly with dessert. The next time you’re out for dinner, ask the server if they have any eau de vie on hand, and give it a try for yourself!

I know nothing on the wine list – how do I order without looking ignorant?
One good way to prepare yourself for a night out drinking wine is to read VinePair, BUT, if you’re in a pinch, here are two good rules to live by. One, tell your server a wine you remember liking, whether it was a Cabernet from Napa or a specific brand. This will help them a lot when it comes to recommending a specific bottle. But before you get that recommendation, the second thing you should do is tell them your price range. People are often scared to do this, but trust me, your server or the somm very much appreciates it. This will avoid having them recommend something way out of your range, and have you feeling uncomfortable about saying you want to go a bit cheaper. Follow these two rules, and you should find a great bottle to enjoy!

Get the latest in beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent straight to your inbox.

I ordered a Dirty Martini at a fancy bar recently and the bartender made a comment that I might I well drink olive juice. What’s up with that?
First of all, that was incredibly rude on the part of the bartender, and I hope you don’t plan on returning to that bar in the future. No one should ever be made to feel bad about their drink order. However, the comment they made is based on the fact that olive juice brine, which is used to make a Dirty Martini, has such a powerful taste that it overtakes the gin and vermouth in the drink, rendering those spirits a bit pointless by muting their flavors. While I see their point, I also like a good Dirty Martini from time to time. I just order mine with vodka, since it’s flavorless anyway, so there’s nothing to mute.