Daru Whiskey

Sran Spirits is launching its premium whiskey blend, which will soon be found in major grocery and liquor stores. Made in Canada using 100% Canadian corn, the whiskey is aged in oak barrels for three years and weighs in at 40% ABV. Founded by brothers Sonny and Andy Sran, the whiskey is inspired by a spirit made by their father decades ago in India using recipes and techniques passed down for generations, and the word Daru means alcoholic beverage in India. The lion on the label is symbolic of the brothers’ middle name which they both share: Singh, which in the Punjabi language translates to lion, but also symbolizes their family values and embracing the Indian culture. As for my opinion, I find it to be very smooth with a touch of sweetness on the palate and look forward to seeing more of it once it fully launches. 



Samuel Smith Organic Cider

Cider has a long tradition in the UK and sales of cider have been increasing dramatically there in recent years. Such is also the case in the US, where it was a common drink even before the early 1800s, when cider mills began to give free apple seeds to Mr. John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman, in hopes that a nationwide supply of apples would help the industry. Not to be confused with beer, cider is often listed alongside it due to similar alcohol content and carbonation. Also gaining in popularity are organic products, and this cider is Certified Organic by the USDA-accredited UK Soil Association. The bright straw-gold hued drink has a bouquet of fresh apples with a floral note and a light body with a crisp clean flavor and a dry finish. Made with organic apple juice and organic sugar, and weighing in at only 5% ABV and 151 calories per 12 oz serving, added bonuses are it’s vegan, naturally gluten-free and is now available in cans.



Shots Box

If you like trying a variety of different spirits and cocktails, this one has your name written all over it. This subscription service for craft spirits lovers includes shipment to your home of a sample box filled with ten sample-sized bottles. The 50 ml bottles offer just enough for you to enjoy one full serving, and for those who like to mix their drinks, you also receive recipe cards for each spirit. My sample box included an assortment of whiskey, rum, flavored and unflavored vodka, a wine cream and an absinthe. The kits can be tailored to your likes, with options of clear spirits, dark spirits or mixed; a bi-monthly subscription offers full-sized bottles; and if you just want to check some out and not have monthly deliveries, that option is available as well. In looking over the kits, and based on my sampling, it appears most are small batch, locally sourced craft distillers that you likely would not be able to find at your local liquor store.



Modified Theory

A growing segment of the beverage market continues to be the crafted hard beverage, which continues to sprout creative new ways to enjoy flavorful adult drinks. A new entry is Modified Theory, which uses all-natural ingredients and no preservatives to produce lightly carbonated gluten-free drinks with less than 4g of sugar and 5.5% ABV. Ingredients include fruits, herbs and spices and the initial three flavors are Northwest Berry Lavender (fresh marionberries, raspberries, blackberries and lavender), Tahitian Lime Agave (Tahitian limes, Aji Amarillo peppers, agave, and Himalayan sea salt) and Tarocco Orange Vanilla (Sicilian blood oranges, spices, vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg). The drinks are designed to be served chilled, on ice or mixed in a simple cocktail. The company suggests mixing one of the aforementioned flavors with 1.5 oz of tequila, gin or bourbon. I’m not usually a cocktail fan, but did find the Blood Orange Bourbon (Tarocco Orange Vanilla mixed with 1.5 oz bourbon) to be enjoyable. You can find six recipes, complete with short videos, on the website.