Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 20

ESSENTIAL SPIRITS
for an unusual season
by C HANTAL MARTINEAU

What to drink during a holiday season intersected by a pandemic? A number of our favorite bottles to give and serve
this year happen to be made by people who've worked behind the bar or retail counter. Because 2020 has also been the
year of the passion project, after all.
LOST LANTERN AMERICAN
VATTED MALT EDITION
NO. 1

PROTEAU RIVINGTON
SPRITZ

LA BOÎTE AMARO

Nonalcoholic drinks are proving to be more than a fad in
this era of mindfulness and
well-being. As Proteau founder
John deBary puts it, "Drinking
less or not at all is becoming
much more normalized." The
former Momofuku bar director wanted to create an aperitif
in the tradition of amaro and
fortified wine, but alcoholfree. First came the velvety
and floral Ludlow Red in 2019,
then Rivington Spritz earlier
this year. Bright flavors of Chinese rhubarb,
strawberries, gentian and Champagne vinegar are rounded out by chamomile and hibiscus. Hitting floral and bitter notes, it has just
enough sparkle to feel celebratory.
0% abv; $20/750ml

Every holiday table needs an
amaro to soothe full bellies at
the end of the feast. La Boîte
makes an argument for serving amaro during the meal as
well. A collaboration between
Indiana's Cardinal Spirits and
New York spice blender Lior
Lev Sercarz, it adds to the
growing pantheon of American-made amari that are
inspired by the Old World but decidedly not
of it. La Boîte has a low proof and subtle bitterness tucked behind layers of spice. Blushbrown in the glass, it's full of savory star
anise and cardamom, with hints of smoke
and orange peel.
20% abv; $35/750ml

EQUIANO
RUM

KNAPPOGUE CASTLE
SINGLE MALT MARCHESI
DI BAROLO CASK

TATTERSALL
MANHATTAN

Global rum ambassador Ian
Burrell and distiller Richard
Seale are two of the most
recognizable names in rum.
Together they created this
artful blend of Mauritian
and Barbadian aged rum. It's
named for Olaudah Equiano,
an 18th-century African who was kidnapped
and sold into slavery and who later used the
profits he made from selling rum to buy his
freedom. At once lustrous and restrained-
it's strikingly dry-the rum opens with a
burst of banana bread that gives way to gentle spice, with just a hint of hogo, that gamey
funk found in old school-style rums.
Imported by Park Street, Miami;
43% abv; $60/750ml

In the ever-growing Irish whiskey category, Knappogue wants
to set itself apart with a series of
cask-finished single malts, the
first of which was launched in
2018. The latest is the Marchesi
di Barolo Cask, a limited edition of 1,200 bottles. Aged at
least 12 years in Bourbon barrels and finished for up to 12
months in casks from the Barolo producer,
it shows plenty of sweet fruit and fresh pastry, with warm spice on the finish. Expect a
Cognac-cask finish to roll out soon.
Imported by Castle Brands, NY;
46% abv; $80/750ml

In 2020, many bars and craft
distilleries began taking the
bottled cocktail seriously.
Ready-to-drink (RTD) products, both bottled and canned,
have come a long way. Tattersall, a Minneapolis spirits and
liqueur producer, released the
latest in its line of bottled cocktails, a Manhattan made with
Sherry and the company's own Minnesota
rye, Italiano-style liqueur and bitters. Chilled
over ice, it's a solid take on the classic, with
the Sherry adding a nutty dimension to the
traditional trio of ingredients.
35% abv; $35/750ml ■

20

WINE & SPIRITS

DECEMBER 2020

Scotland's tradition of independent bottlers, who source casks
from distilleries around the country, didn't have a true US counterpart until Lost Lantern launched
this fall. Led by husband-andwife team Adam Polonski and
Nora Ganley-Roper, who hail,
respectively, from the worlds of
spirits journalism and retail, its
inaugural release is a blend of
single malts from six US distilleries. There's
the cereal quality found in Pacific Northwest whiskeys, and a whiff of smoke from
the mesquite wood used in Santa Fe. "We
wanted it to taste American," says GanleyRoper. The mingling of salted shortbread,
oak spice and milk chocolate doesn't suggest anywhere else.
52.5% abv; $120/750ml



Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 4
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 5
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover3
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