Will the U.S. Get Better International Spirits? A TTB Standards of Fill Update

As any US-based distilled spirit enthusiast knows too well, many great bottles don’t make it to our shores for several reasons. One particularly frustrating reason is bottle sizes. Here in the U.S., the government, in the form of the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) only allow certain bottles sizes for distilled spirits. The allowed sizes50ml, 100ml, 200ml, 375ml, 750ml, 1 liter, and 1.75 liters

Continue reading “Will the U.S. Get Better International Spirits? A TTB Standards of Fill Update”

Can the U.S. Recognize Rum Regulations?

As Caribbean rum gains in popularity and rum enthusiasts push back on the “Rum has no rules” trope, a common refrain is “The United States doesn’t recognize rum’s rules.” It’s been said by well-meaning advocates online and at public events such as Tales of the Cocktail. In fact, I’ve said something along those lines myself, previously.

If you’re a proponent of artisanal rum, striving to improve its reputation among anybody who will listen, it’s easy to shake your virtual fist at the faceless bureaucrats in the U.S. government who seemingly don’t care about the rum regulations of Jamaica and other countries.

That frustration is misplaced.

Continue reading “Can the U.S. Recognize Rum Regulations?”

Your Guide To Winning $2500 with Minimalist Tiki

As you may have seen recently, Reàl Ingredients has generously agreed to supply the prize money for a fun little contest involving our book, Minimalist Tiki.

In brief, thirteen bartenders and ten bars are featured in the book, along with their recipes that follow the Minimalist Tiki ethos – about 100 recipes in total.

Continue reading “Your Guide To Winning $2500 with Minimalist Tiki”

Can You (Ever) Use Too Much Angostura Bitters?

“Hey Matt, I think I found a bug in your book,” began a recent message from my friend, Mike. ”The Trinidadi Issues recipes calls for 1.5 ounces of Angostura bitters…seems like that can’t be right (?)”

I chuckled. Mike wasn’t the first person who’d messaged me about this recipe, certain they’d found a typo.

Continue reading “Can You (Ever) Use Too Much Angostura Bitters?”

Still Life: Saint Lucia Distillers

Every few months, a tanker ship pulls into Saint Lucia’s Roseau Bay, and anchors. A diver drops into the water and attaches an 8-inch flexible hose to the ship. The hose is connected to a 12-inch pipeline that runs for 194 meters underwater before hitting land and popping up in the middle of a beach and continuing overland for just over a kilometer. Eventually the pipe connects to one of several gigantic tanks.

For the next several hours, thick black liquid flows from the ship to the tank—liquid that is vital to the site’s operation. Not oil, but rather molasses: Since Saint Lucia no longer grows enough sugar to make any appreciable amount of molasses on the island, this undersea dance is how the island’s one distillery– St. Lucia Distillers – receives its vital feedstock.

Continue reading “Still Life: Saint Lucia Distillers”