spirits

Flickr_DanSilvers

Tales of the Cocktail has been shaking up the international cocktail scene since 2002. We'll speak with founder Ann Tuennerman for a retrospective of the annual event, and find out her plans for the future.

Then, we'll continue our spirited discussion by talking with the King of Cocktails, Dale Degroff. Dale outlines his involvement in the cocktail scene and discusses its return to popularity in the past decade.

Finally, we'll hear about a new collaboration between the Leidenheimer Baking Company and Tableau, a new restaurant in the French Quarter.

A few years ago, your best chance of tasting mead might have been at a Renaissance Fair. We're going to wager the enduring memory is of overpowering sweetness and little desire for a second glass.

Until recently, if you ordered Japanese beer, there weren't many to choose from. Before the industry was deregulated in the 1990s, four major brewers — Asahi, Suntory, Sapporo and Kirin – controlled the manufacture of Japanese beer.

But the major brands' domination is ebbing, for reasons that have as much to do with Japan's ancient history as with its evolving palates. And now some traditional sake brewers are ditching the tradition and trying their hand at craft beer brewing.

Some grapes like it hot.

Downed a few too many drinks at the office happy hour? The shape of the glass may be at fault — at least in part — for encouraging drinkers to overindulge. The reason, scientists say, is simple: A curved glass interferes with the ability to judge alcohol intake.

It seemed normal enough when President Obama chatted with a coffee shop patron about beer in Iowa Tuesday. The president has shown he's a fan of beer — and it's the most politically expedient, "everyman" beverage a candidate can drink. But then the president told a man at Knoxville, Iowa's Coffee Connection cafe that he travels with his own home-brew — and gave him a bottle to prove it.

Two oil company landmen have an off-hours business in Broussard as the Rank Wildcat Spirits Distillery, crafting a rum they named Sweet Crude.

The Advertiser reports that 26-year-old Cole Leblanc welded the still together, and 35-year-old David Meaux — who also is a lawyer — dealt with all the paperwork.

They monitor the distilling, they bottle and label the rum, and even went to a sugar refinery and shoveled 1,600 pounds of raw sugar into huge barrels to bring back to Broussard.

Today on Inside the Arts we'll visit with playwright Jim Fitzmorris as he steps into the boxing ring with the Governor... we'll peek inside the acclaimed new biography by New Orleans writer Ben Sandmel, Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans... we'll tap into the demand for specialty cocktails, and give you tips on how to perfect your signature voice.

Inside the Arts airs Tuesdays at 1 p.m. and Thursdays at 7:35 a.m.

Today is Bastille Day. In celebration, head over to the West Bank. You can drive on an avenue named for a French head of State, Charles De Gaulle. He actually visited New Orleans in 1960. And while you are there, why not pop over to the Gretna Farmers Market to purchase a bottle of Henry Amato’s orange wine. With it, you can prepare a refreshing French cocktail in honor of the occasion.

When the mercury's soaring, a cold, refreshing beer can be the best part of summer. As part of our occasional Taste of Summer series, we asked beer expert Graham Haverfield to recommend a few of his seasonal favorites.

Haverfield is the beer director for the Wine Library in Springfield Township, N.J. He's also a certified cicerone, or beer server. "Summer beers are typically lighter in body, they're typically a little lower in alcohol," he tells NPR's Scott Simon.

Pages