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April 27, 2011

National: Spirits of the Season

By Departures Dispatch | Spirits


There’s nothing like a refreshing cocktail on a warm spring night, and this season we’ve found a few new spirits to complement the beautiful weather. Adding to its line of infused vodkas (the first made use of Blood Orange), SKYY has introduced SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit, naturally infused with the exotic superfruit native to South and Central America. The drink has a berry-like flavor with hints of pepper, melon and pear and mixes beautifully with fruit juices. Gin drinkers should mix tonic with Beefeater 24, which has a blend of ten botanicals including grapefruit, bitter almond, orris root and Seville orange peel. But what’s unique about it is that one of its flavor notes is tea, namely Japanese sencha and a Chinese green tea created specially for this gin, which is "cut" early in the distillation process to maintain crispness. In June, Möet & Chandon is debuting its first Champagne specifically crafted to be served on ice and under the sun. Called Möet Ice Impérial, it emphasizes Pinot grapes (which stand up to higher temperatures), comes in a white-lacquered bottle so as to keep cool, and is best served garnished with a mint leaf, a slice of cucumber or white grapefruit zest. New Yorkers should keep their eyes on Combs When, a special gin available only at chef John Fraser’s rotating-concept restaurant What Happens When. Distilled from honey rather than wheat, it has a ginger, lemon and allspice taste and is featured in two cocktails per month. Finally, and most easily prepared on a hot day (just add water or ice), The Macallan has introduced two new limited edition single-malt scotch whiskies as part of its "Masters of Photography" series. One thousand bottles of Sherry Oak 20 Years Old and 36 bottles of the rare 1946 whisky (at $1,000 and $16,000, respectively) will come with artwork by Scottish photographer Albert Watson, who documented the creation of the distillery’s oak casks starting with the wood’s growth in northern Spain. Here’s to spring! skyyinfusions.com; beefeater24.com; moet.com; whathappenswhennyc.com; themastersofphotography.com.

Photo From left: Courtesy Pernod Ricard, Courtesy Möet & Chandon, Courtesy SKYY Vodka