Anchor Distilling Company

A Conversation with Wine Enthusiast Part 1: Spirits Editorial Vision with Susan Kostrzewa & Mike Dawson

We here at Anchor Distilling Co. are big fans of beverage culture. The U.S. is in the midst of a grand spirits and cocktail revolution/movement/renaissance/whateveryouwanttocallit, and media plays a critical role in that cultural ecosystem.

As such, we will be taking opportunities to shine a spotlight on some of our favorite cocktail and spirits media professionals on this blog, beginning with a three-part series of conversations with the head editors at Wine Enthusiast.

If you read the magazine, you know that Wine Enthusiast covers much more than wine, with spirits and cocktails also playing a big role in their editorial vision. I’m a big fan of the publication for many reasons, though above all I appreciate their ability to blend what works about the traditional approach to spirits and cocktail media combined with a forward-thinking mentality that keeps them fresh and constantly evolving.

In particular, I’m a big fan of Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa, who is one of the driving creative forces behind that progressive mentality. I’ve had the opportunity to hear Ms. Kostrzewa at events, as well as enjoy one-on-one meandering rhetorical conversations with her about all things drink media, and she is a true editorial visionary that beverage culture is extremely lucky to have on its side. It’s with great pleasure that I’m able to present the first interview of this series to you today, which also features Senior Editor Mike Dawson.

Also of note regarding this post is that the video contains the first official montage sequence on this proud blog. It’s a whimsical, now over-hyped, eight-second encapsulation of a trip from Manhattan to sleepy Mt. Kisco, New York, where the Wine Enthusiast offices are located. If there’s a life lesson here, it’s to limit the amount of grappa consumption the evening before taking an early morning train ride to Mt. Kisco, as overindulging in that devilish spirit will most definitely test your morale and resolve.

Luxardo PSA: Don’t Store Your Cherries in the Fridge

Luxardo Cherries

Hello world. Today I’d like to offer a valuable piece of information regarding Luxardo Maraschino Cherries.


Easy enough, right? And well worth it, as these cherries are quite spectacular. How spectacular? Well, they serve as the base for Luxardo Maraschino, which legendary cocktail historian David Wondrich describes as, “An object of cult worship among mixologists. Its presence is as good as a sign saying, EXCELLENT DRINKS MADE HERE.”

So these little cherries are quite significant, and they are perfect for garnishing your favorite cocktails. Luxardo owns and manages the largest Marasca sour cherry orchards in Europe, with 30,000 trees located on the Euganean Hills near Padua and Venice in the Veneto region of Northeastern Italy. It is from these orchards that Luxardo Maraschino cherries are sourced, with the final product consisting of whole, pitted cherries packed in pure Marasca cherry syrup. Luxardo Cherries are available in a 400 gram jar (approx. 75 cherries), 3KG tin (approx. 500 cherries and 5.6KG tin (approx. 1000 cherries).

Karlsson’s Vodka & The Power of Vodka Terroir

Karlsson’s is an extremely unique vodka with a character authentic to both the vodka category and to Karlsson’s itself. This is an argument that I make with profound enthusiasm, and something I look forward to continue substantiating on this fine blog in the future.

Every stage of production adds something special to Karlsson’s Gold Vodka, and today I’d like to highlight its “terroir”, or sense of place. For those of you that don’t know, The Google defines terroir as, “the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate”, which is a pretty solid definition, though the very concept of terroir in wine culture has become a controversial topic. Wine blogger Steve Heimoff makes the following argument on his influential blog in a post called, “The End of Terroir”:

The word “terroir” went beyond its original French meaning of referring to a given set of growing conditions, to acquire qualitative and even esthetic dimensions. One might say that the terroir meme mutated…Wine writers aren’t supposed to admit such things, and few do, at least in public. Which is why I have been so enjoying Benjamin Lewin’s new book, Claret & Cabs. He does such a superb job of demolishing the terroir meme, not because he doesn’t believe in terroir–he does– but because external factors are minimizing its impact, to the point where traditional terroir concepts in Bordeaux–the mothership of terroir–have become so blurred as to be largely unintelligible. Continue Reading »

Cocktail Friday: Two Karlsson’s Gold Vodka Cocktails with Video Instructions for the Reading Impaired

Ok folks, it’s officially the 2nd Friday on this fine blog, and as a reward for conquering our second week, we are going to offer a cocktail two-fer (which means ‘two for one’ for all our friends out there unfamiliar with hardened street lingo).

The first is a Moscow Mule, which is as delicious as it is simple to make. Take some Karlsson’s Gold Vodka, ginger beer, and lime, and combine to the soundtrack of a hip, yet agreeable and uplifting electronic soundtrack (See above video) Told ya. It can’t it get any simpler than that, can it? The answer is yes, yes it can. Continue Reading »

BarSol Perfecto Amor: Three Delicious Recipes

Following up on Tuesday’s introduction of BarSol Perfecto Amor, the BarSol party continues with three delicious recipes to use said product. At only 17% ABV, these cocktails are perfect (pun intended) for bruch-time adventures and pair wonderfully with your favorite Peruvian dishes…ceviche anyone?

Simply Perfecto

Pour 2 oz BarSol Perfecto Amor over ice and garnish with an orange wheel.


By Enrique Sanchez, Puerto 27

1½ oz BarSol Perfecto Amor
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz Luxardo Amaro Abano
¼ oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice. Shake well and double strain
and serve into a coupe.


By Carl Wenger, Shady Lady Saloon

1 oz Old Potrero Rye
1½ oz BarSol Perfecto Amor
1 barspoon Luxardo Amaro Abano
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice and stir. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry.