Recently I reported on a product for commercial bars and restaurants that could rapidly chill spirits. Now I have found one you can use at home. Called HyperChiller, in one minute or less it can chill any non-carbonated liquid up to 8 oz, such as coffee, tea, wine, or spirits. The apparatus contains two food grade stainless steel cylinders that are filled with water, assembled within each other and placed in the freezer. After it’s fully frozen you pour your drink of preference into an opening at the top, swirl or let sit for about a minute and then pour from the other opening into your glass. I found it works great and actually does chill a spirit in less than a minute to about the same temperature as it would be if poured on the rocks, but with zero dilution. I must confess its use has become a part of my daily routine.
The HyperChiller sells for $29.99 and can be ordered at http://hyperchiller.com.
Now that the temps are inching up many of us turn to lighter wines, such as Chardonnay. Just in time for the season is Custard Chardonnay from the premiere wine growing region of Sonoma. The Custard brand is inspired by Donny Sebastiani’s favorite childhood treat: a glazed donut with a creamy custard filling. I sampled the 2015 vintage, which is 100% Chardonnay and is 14.5% ABV and was impressed with the notes of pear and citrus intermingled with smooth vanilla cream pie. Definitely a warm weather delight, but I could enjoy it any time of year.
Custard Chardonnay is distributed in Southern Nevada by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and in Southern California by Epic. The SRP for a 750 ml bottle is $17.99.
C3 Carciofo Artichoke Liqueur
Anyone who reads this column knows I like unusual products and this one jumped out at me. I truly never thought of making a spirit from artichokes, but that’s just what Don Ciccio & Figli did. Produced and bottled in Washington, D.C. and based on a traditional Italian recipe from 1911, a nod to the original Don Ciccio & Figli distillery that produced liqueurs on Italy’s picturesque Amalfi Coast for nearly a century, the name refers to the fact that three types of California-grown artichokes are used, along with cardoons, grapefruit and 18 selected botanicals. It is aged in a barrel for 12 months, and is 23% ABV. This unique Italian-style handcrafted bitter liqueur tastes simultaneously bitter and sweet and the medium-to-high bitterness level was designed with cocktail aficionados and fans of bitter aperitivi in mind.
Nomad Outland Whisky
This whisky breaks the rules. An interesting back story is that it was born and aged for 5-8 years in the highlands of Speyside, Scotland and refined for an additional 12 months in Pedro Ximénez (a type of grape) sherry casks in Jerez, Spain. It benefits from both the warm and humid plains of southern Spain with the wild yeasts and a quintessential Scottish highland character. Sipping it brings a palate of sherry combined with the sweetness of wood and you are rewarded with a long aftertaste.
Nomad is 41.3% ABV and the SRP is $44. For more info visit http://www.gonzalezbyass.com/en/nomad-outland-whisky-2.