liquor and libations

get a black belt in booze

this food, that wine March 30, 2007

Filed under: marketing,pairings,wine — liquorandlibations @ 2:54 pm

wine-that-loves_2.pngFrom the always brilliant Tastespotting, I came across Wine That Loves. If you’ve ever stood at the liquor store wondering which wine to pair with your salmon or steak, this company takes the guess work out of it for you. With bottles called “wine that love pizza” and “wine that loves roasted chicken”, the emphasis is placed squarely on wines that play well with food.

From their company site:

The wines are designed to pair with the foods Americans enjoy most often and to reflect American tastes. They are tailored to food lovers, but their world-class quality, distinctive character and winning style also will delight wine aficionados.

As long as they don’t go so far as to reflect American tastes for fast food (Jimmy Dean pancake wrapped sausages on a stick anyone?), this is a nice idea for someone wanting to try something new, and offers solid suggestions for those intimidated by choosing a wine. The packaging is pretty cute too.


liquor & libations unofficial guide to duty free March 28, 2007

Filed under: liquor — liquorandlibations @ 1:48 pm

duty-free.jpgCanada has plenty of restrictions on where you can buy alcohol. While in Quebec you can at least get a bottle of wine at the grocery store, here in BC we have our choice of government run liquor stores, and private liquor or beer & wine stores. In the US however, you can buy booze almost anywhere – the grocery store, the gas station, I’ve even seen it near the pharmacy counter at the drug store (I’m sure it’s someone’s idea of medicine). Alcohol in the US is usually quite a bit cheaper as well, so the likelihood is if you’re Canadian and you’re heading over the border, you’ll want to stop at the duty free.

Here are some suggestions to help you on your way:

Know how much you can bring back
If you’ve been away more than 48 hours, on returning to Canada you are allowed to bring in:
• 1 liters (40 ounces) of liquor or wine; or
• 24 containers, at 355 milliliters (12 ounces) each, or their equivalent, of beer or ale

You can bring in more, just make sure to declare it, if you are caught bringing in alcohol you haven’t claimed they can charge you a fortune and take it away.

Look for the deals
On a recent trip to San Francisco we brought home 2 bottles of Absolut Vodka (one regular and one flavoured) for $29 – we saved $19 off the regular duty free price, and at $35 a bottle back in town, it was pretty much buy one get one free!

Talk to the sales people
The duty free store at the Cancun airport has tequila company representatives all trying to get you to buy their products. While many are pushy and over the top, you can learn a lot from these people about their products, and when I have over 100 tequilas in front of me, most of which I’ve never heard of, I need all the help I can get.

Try something new
While it may be upsetting to then end up stuck with a giant bottle of Fireball Whiskey, this is a great opportunity to try something you haven’t had before, whether it’s a new type of alcohol or just a new brand. Try the local specialty, or bring home a liqueur you’ll only use it cocktails. If you’re in a really large store, look for premium brands – when you get back home, you’ll be glad you tried out the Tanqueray 10 instead of the Gordon’s Gin.

If all else fails, go for the free gift
If there are too many things to choose from and you can’t decide what you want, find the bottle with the sample attached, or even a free hat or T-shirt. Keep it for yourself, or give it away as a nice souvenir from your trip.


Vancouver International Wine Festival

Filed under: events,local,wine — liquorandlibations @ 1:01 pm

Its that time of year again! The Vancouver International Wine Festival is taking place this week, featuring wines from 17 different countries with an emphasis on Australia. Generally considered one of the best festivals of its kind in North America, the event is a fundraiser for the Vancouver Playhouse, contributing to the city’s theatre scene. There will be an estimated 21,000 people attending this year with over 31,000 bottles of wine to uncork…which could lead to an interesting week. This year’s theme wine is the ever versatile riesling. Unfortunately tickets to the festival tastings at Canada Place Thursday through Saturday evening are sold out but there are still other events during the week, you can find out more details on the website at

For those unlucky people without tickets, liquor and libations will be working undercover to get the inside scoop on who’s who and what’s what at this year’s 29th annual festival.

Updates to come later in the week on trends, our favourites, and what to look for in the perfect riesling!


the pisco sour March 22, 2007

Filed under: cocktails,drink of the week — liquorandlibations @ 6:51 pm

For a touch of South American flavour, try out a pisco sour. During a year spent in Chile and Peru I discovered pisco sours were the beverage of choice, and a point of national pride for both countries…a source of some controversy. Pisco is a liquor distilled from grapes, a type of brandy or aquardiente that is light in colour and high in alcohol content. It has become easier to find in Canada – lucky us – with most government run liquor stores carrying the Chilean brand, Pisco Capel.

2 ounces Pisco
Juice from 1 lime or lemon
1 tsp sugar or ¼ ounce simple syrup

1 dash Angostura bitters
Peruvian option: 1/2 egg white

Shake well with ice and serve in a cocktail glass, garnished with the beaten
egg white and bitters. Be careful though, Pisco packs a punch!

For an easier, slightly lowbrow alternative have a pisco and canada. This is the drink on the street in coastal Chile and is pure and simple – pisco and canada dry gingerale. This is more or less the cultural equivalent of a rum and coke, but slightly more dangerous (as you may discover). Enjoy!


Welcome! March 6, 2007

Filed under: general — liquorandlibations @ 12:29 am

Welcome to liquor and libations! Simply put, this a blog about booze. If you want to really get into it though, you will find everything from wine recommedations, taste testing, cocktail recipes, event listings and coverage, and general chatter about drinks and drinking.

Now you may be wondering if this blog was started by a bunch of alcoholics, the answer is no, umm maybe socially? and possibly, but really, we are just three ladies who like to wind down with a glass of wine or a cocktail at the end of the day.

We’re just getting started, but if they’re anything you’d like us to post about, let us know.