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Malort, Chicago’s Proudly Unpalatable Spirit, Is Masochism at Its Most Midwestern

Malort, Chicago’s Proudly Unpalatable Spirit, Is Masochism at Its Most Midwestern

“Rotten grapefruit, sugar, and regret.” “Oh, this isn’t too bad, it’s kind of floral and light tasting! Oh, wait, it’s legitimately furniture varnish.” “The ghost of a grapefruit that died under suspicious circumstances.” Those are some of the gentler responses you’ll get if you ask people about Jeppsen’s Malort, the Chicago spirit that has become […]

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The Art of Repeal: Exploring America’s Post-Prohibition Beer Labels

The Art of Repeal: Exploring America’s Post-Prohibition Beer Labels

The 21st Amendment, which rolled back Prohibition in the United States, was ratified on December 5, 1933. Although many states and counties continued to block the sale of alcohol — for years and even decades — most Americans rejoiced over a cold one. Former breweries that had bided their time selling ”near beer,” soda, and […]

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Blackbeard, the Royal Navy, and the Strange History of Gunpowder and Rum Cocktails

Blackbeard, the Royal Navy, and the Strange History of Gunpowder and Rum Cocktails

Long before a kohl-stained Captain Jack Sparrow strutted haughtily onto the big screen, there was Blackbeard — the original bad-boy pirate of the Caribbean Sea. In addition to his eponymous facial hair, the unkempt 18th-century pirate was famous for employing a range of outlandish tactics to intimidate his enemies.

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The Difference Between Campari and Aperol, Explained

The Difference Between Campari and Aperol, Explained

Double IPAs. Black coffee. Kale salad. Our taste in food and drink seems to be getting rather, well, bitter these days. But that’s a good thing, especially when it comes to appreciating the delights of acerbic apéritifs like Aperol and Campari. Traditionally consumed to stimulate the palate before eating, apéritifs — or aperitivos in local […]

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Ain’t No Party Like a Medieval European Wine Battle

Ain’t No Party Like a Medieval European Wine Battle

Those who equate wine with sophistication and civility must not know about the Battle of the Wines. Called La Bataille des Vins in its original French, this circa-1224 poem by Henry d’Andeli depicts an epic, wine-soaked battle royale. It’s rich with trash-talking clergy, nationalistic rivalries, and bathroom humor. The hero of our story is King […]

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The Complete and Slightly Insane History of Gin in England

The Complete and Slightly Insane History of Gin in England

Of all the various spirit categories that make up the dynamic culture of drink around the world, gin has arguably the most storied past. Its English heritage tells the story of British aristocracy, class warfare, technological innovation, the maritime industry, and more. Let’s go back to the very beginning, shall we?

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The Legend, Myth, and Majesty of the Pickleback

The Legend, Myth, and Majesty of the Pickleback

Let’s talk about hangovers. Hangovers are like 10th grade math. They get more difficult, and then nearly impossible to deal with as we get older. Hangovers in your 30s are no longer a badge of honor from last night’s exploits; they’re a scarlet letter, a not-so-friendly reminder from the universe that you aren’t that young […]

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11 Things You Should Know About Bombay Sapphire Gin

11 Things You Should Know About Bombay Sapphire Gin

There’s a lot more a lot of us should know about gin in general. Which means there’s definitely plenty we should know about a gin like Bombay Sapphire. The great grandchild of the 1761 gin distillery founded by Thomas Dakin in Warrington, England, Bombay burst onto the scene in the late ‘80s.

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