Thursday’s Short Pours: SW Ohio venues among 2013 Ratebeer Best, $0.33 martinis, and what it takes to open a distillery

Short Pours are bits of news that we at QCD think are worth your while. Follow the attributed links for the whole story!


A couple Southwest Ohio better beer locations get some love from Ratebeer…

In the Ratebeer.com Best for 2013, Dilly Cafe won best restaurant and Jungle Jim’s (Fairfield) won best grocery store for the state of Ohio. Jackie O’s, notably, won best brewpub in Ohio.

Via Ratebeer.com

Japp’s is dishing out some martinis on the cheap…

“Japp’s, the craft cocktail bar on Main St.,   is launching a Prohibition Pricing Happy Hour. From 4-6 p.m. every day, a classic Plymouth Gin martini will be — hold on– 33 cents.  That’s Plymouth Gin, dry vermouth and two olives or a lemon twist.”

Via Campbell’s Scoop

Craig at Drink Up Columbus  speaks to the folks at Watershed Distillery about what it takes to get a distillery up and running…

“Since Watershed’s inception in late 2010, it seems that every Columbus area bar and home bar is stocked with at least one of their four spirits. The distinct flavor of their gin is something I’ve been unable to match from another brand, the vodka is as solid as you’ll find, the bourbon barrel gin is an unexpectedly delicious unique experience, and the new bourbon is absolutely delicious. I sat down with Watershed owners Greg Lehman and Dave Rigo to learn more about their business.”

Via Drink Up Columbus

 

Which Gin Makes the Best Martini? A Blind Taste Test.

Names can be misleading. Take me for example. Ginny Tonic was my stage name when I was helping out at a cabaret, and I still use it when go-go dancing with Dr. Bombay and the Atomic Bachelor Pad but I have never actually been much of a gin drinker. Perhaps because my first-ever hangover was inflicted after a night of heavy gin and tonic consumption, I’ve never warmed to the taste of gin. In the past, it has struck me as harsh and overly reminiscent of cleaning products. But as we shall learn here, past impressions can be misleading as well.

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Photo by Alexa Clark

Continue reading “Which Gin Makes the Best Martini? A Blind Taste Test.”

Buckeye Vodka

An Ohio Vodka meets an Italian Vermouth and they make sweet beautiful love together.

The following post first appeared on January 18th on The Charlie Tonic Hour.

I am sitting here at my computer, having just finished recording episode three of The Charlie Tonic Hour where we reviewed the locally distilled vodka, Buckeye Vodka. I am still a little tipsy from the tasting and I am feeling such a pleasant buzz that I thought I better record my thoughts before this delicious feeling passes me by.

Charlie and I went into the local liquor store to buy some vodka on a cold Saturday night. We were just planning on getting something cheap since we were going to be mixing it but Charlie is a Skyy man and he was leaning toward that. The guy behind the counter suggested that instead we try a local vodka, Buckeye Vodka, because it was only two dollars more and it had recently won a gold metal for exceptional quality at a world competition in Chicago. Well it’s not often that I am able to drink a gold metal winning vodka, let alone one that is made in my home state, so I had told Charlie we should go for it. The very helpful young man assured us that we would not be disappointed, noting that it is distilled 10 times, filtered five times, and is incredibly smooth.

Seeing as how we had a gold-metal winning, distilled to the tenth power, fancy-schmancy vodka on our hands we decided to scrap the fru-fru girly drink we had planned and to go instead with a dirty martini for the week’s drink. This had the added benefit of allowing me to recite Dorothy Parker’s martini poem:

I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
After four I’m under the host.

Buckeye Vodka is made near Dayton. Ohio. Despite being less than two years old the vodka has done well in international competitions. Dayton isn’t the first rust-belt city hit hard by the recession to be making a name for itself in the micro distilling field, lately Boyd and Blair have been getting rave reviews with their potato vodka made near Pittsburgh, and I am thrilled to see this trend continuing in Ohio. Now that’s an economic recovery plan I can fully support.

Charlie and I do not have any kind of training in tasting alcohol; we are nothing more than enthusiastic amateurs when it comes to our booze. So we decided to try the vodka straight up as a shot, not chilled at all, and then in the martini. Upon first taking the shot Charlie and I were both surprised how smooth it was. No grimacing or coughing here, you can drink it nearly as easily as water. That has not been the case with any other vodka I have tried. After that I was very excited to try the dirty vodka martini I was mixing up. Despite loving the name and the lore of the martini, H.L. Menken called it the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet, I’ve never warmed to the gin version. I had a feeling that I would enjoy this one a lot more and I was not disappointed. Good vodka should be clean and smooth and Buckeye is definitely that. The martini had a light, crisp taste that was incredibly pleasant.

And speaking of incredibly pleasant, the buzz from these drinks was a light, sparkly feeling. It had a crisp, almost energetic quality that suddenly made the three-martini lunch seem like a sensible business decision.

Of course good taste and a pleasant buzz are all well and good but can you afford to drink it? Well of course this isn’t the cheapest stuff you are going to find out there. But it is exceptional value for your money. At less than $20 for 750 ml, Buckeye is at least $10 cheaper than the well-known premium brands like Grey Goose and if you are an Ohioan you are supporting local jobs. Unfortunately Buckeye Vodka is only available in Ohio right now but if you are passing through the state I highly recommend you pick yourself up a bottle. You won’t be disappointed.