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Reviews for 2016

June 2016 - Mixers & RTD Cocktails & The Bitter Battle®

June 2016 - Mixers & RTD Cocktails & The Bitter Battle®
This month's Spirits feature is Mixers & RTD Cocktails & Bitters

Mixers & RTD Cocktails & The Bitter Battle® Reviews

Sallie’s Greatest Strawberry + Basil Simple Syrup
93 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Brilliant dark bronze amber color. Delicate, fresh aromas and flavors of strawberry compote, dried strawberries and herbs, and a hint of balsamic with a supple, crisp, fruity sweet medium body and a tingling, charming, medium-length honeyed strawberries and touch of caramel finish. A very pure, superbly flavorful strawberry syrup that makes a great cocktail.
93 points $12.99 Best Buy
On-Time Mixers Bloody Mary Mix
92 points
$7.99
Best Buy
Tasted as a Bloody Mary cocktail. Opaque dark ruby color. Spicy, peppery aromas of sweet bbq rubbed tomatoes, turmeric and cumin, and exotic cracked pepper with a bright, fat body and a searing, appealing, medium-long horseradish and wasabi, chili pepper, and toasty gingerbread and zucchini bread finish. A very thick, very different, very very hot bloody Mary.
92 points $7.99 Best Buy
Top Shelf Mixers Jalapeno Bloody Mary
92 points
$8.99
Best Buy
Tasted as a Bloody Mary cocktail. Opaque sedimentary ruby color. Fresh, vegetal aromas of pizza sauce, roasted garlic, honeyed sundried tomatoes, and herbs with a medium-full body and a refreshing, medium-long celery and cucumber, root vegetables and green peppers, and white pepper finish. A fun, very green and garlicky, spicy bloody Mary.
92 points $8.99 Best Buy
Riemerschmid Angobitters Bitter
92 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Tasted as an Old Fashioned cocktail. Opaque sedimentary mahogany color. Lively, woody aromas and flavors of spice barks, sandalwood, exotic peppercorns, and rhubarb and green tomato with a supple, bright, dry body and an interesting, medium-length dried citrus and earth finish. This a vivacious and well-balanced bitters that adds a lot of warm, woody spice tones to cocktails, in particular whisky-based cocktails like the old fashioned.
92 points $14.99 Best Buy
Basement Bitters Bitter Frost
92 points
$20
Best Buy
Tasted as a Pisco Sour cocktail. Brilliant golden amber color. Spicy aromas of fresh gingerbread and oatmeal, fruitcake, brown spices, and malted cocoa with a supple, lively, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, captivating, medium-length anise seed, clove, cardamom, and saffron finish. A very attractive and confectionary-like spice bitters that will add a wonderful pie-like quality to cocktails; in the case of the pisco sour it made it like a liquid key lime pie.
92 points $20 Best Buy
Crawley’s Spiced Honey Apple Syrup
92 points
$20
Best Buy
Opaque sedimentary amber color. Lively, nutty, fruity aromas of gingerbread, zucchini-apple bread, and delicate brown spices with a supple, soft, fruity sweet medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long pure clover honey and cinnamon finish. A great spiced apple syrup that really cranks up the volume and midrange of a whisky-based cocktail like a whisky smash.
92 points $20 Best Buy
Bungalow 23 Blueberry Lemon Drop
90 points
$13.15
Best Buy
Opaque dark purple color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of fruit leather, prickly pear, berry compote, and lemon ice with an oily, vibrant, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and an effortless, interesting, short black raspberry sorbet and blueberry tart finish. A very pure, very tasty blueberry lemon drop cocktail that is sure to please.
90 points $13.15 Best Buy
Riemerschmid Riemerol Bitter
90 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Neon golden orange color. Bright, fruity, herbal aromas of dried peach, delicate spices and herbs, and honeyed citrus and cucumber with a silky, bright, bittersweet medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length medicinal barks and roots and chamomile tea finish. A nicely balanced and vibrant bitter nonalcoholic ’liqueur’ that works well with soda.
90 points $14.99 Best Buy
On-Time Mixers Sweet and Sour Mix
89 points
$7.99
Best Buy
Pale hazy straw color. Bright, citrusy aromas and flavors of baked lemon and lime tart and dried citrus with a silky, lively, fruity medium body and a seamless, easy honeyed lime and salted lemon finish. A clean, well made sour mix that adds a nice savory twist to cocktails and really shines in sour cocktail like a gin sour.
89 points $7.99 Best Buy
Top Shelf Mixers Lemon Drop Martini
89 points
$8.99
Best Buy
Hazy slivery straw color. Delicate, citrusy aromas and flavors of lemon tart, lemonade, and corn pops with a silky, bright, off-dry light-to-medium body and a seamless, interesting, relaxed finish. A pure flavored, very balanced lemon drop cocktail.
89 points $8.99 Best Buy
Crawley’s Burnt Orange & Vanilla Syrup
89 points
$20
Best Buy
Opaque sedimentary golden amber color. Mild, fruity aromas and flavors of baked orange, dark caramel drizzled mango, and vanilla pudding with a soft, vibrant, moderately sweet medium-full body and a tingling, captivating, buoyant finish. A flavorful, well made syrup that brings a delicious, confectionary orange character to plot of a clever cocktail.
89 points $20 Best Buy
Top Shelf Mixers Margarita
88 points
$8.99
Best Buy
Tasted as a Margarita cocktail. Opaque straw color. Delicate, fruity aromas and flavors of key lime pie crust, hint of banana custard, melon rind, and talc with an even, vibrant, medium body and a silky, lime and melon sorbet, clover honey, and candied yams finish. A nice creamy margarita that is a pleasure to drink.
88 points $8.99 Best Buy
ERA Jamaica Bitters
88 points
$10
Best Buy
Tasted as a Pisco Sour cocktail. Clear bronze color. Lively, meaty, spicy fruity aromas of chocolate covered espresso bean, smoked pepper, toasted brown spices, and cedar and frankincense incense with a silky, soft, dryish medium body and an intricate, medium-length sassafras, chocolate nuts, and nougat pistachio finish. This is a nice mocha-sassafrass-like bitters that brings a baked, brown roundness to cocktails; in the pisco sour it combined with the creaminess of the egg to create an interesting chocolate soufflé note.
88 points $10 Best Buy
Tequiponch Margarita Cocktail
88 points
$13.99
Best Buy
Slivery green straw color. Aromas of dried lime, peppercorn, and yam with an tangy, fruity sweet body and a stimulating, medium-length honeyed limes, hint of herbs and ginseng, and minerals finish. A solid margarita that is sure to please.
88 points $13.99 Best Buy
Cuesta Mesa Margarita
88 points
$15.99
Best Buy
Pale light hazy slivery straw color. Waxy aromas of honey baked citrus, scented candle, and citrus gelatin with a silky, tangy, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a sleek, charming, lime taffy, orange drink, and pineapple finish. A tasty, lightly tropical margarita.
88 points $15.99 Best Buy
Crawley’s Bartender Orgeat Syrup
88 points
$20
Best Buy
Cloudy slivery straw color. Mild, oily aromas and flavors of almond oil, crushed whole nuts, cherry pit, and suede with a soft, fruity sweet medium-full body and a smooth, easy honey, horchata, and wax finish. A purely, mellow, nicely balanced almond syrup that pops nicely in cocktails.
88 points $20 Best Buy
ERA Origins Bitters
87 points
$10
Best Buy
Tasted as an Old Fashioned cocktail. Opaque bronze color. Bright, spicy, fruity aromas and flavors of licorice and clove, chocolate nuts, fig-date bread, and pencil shavings with a supple, bright, dry medium body and a seamless, interesting, breezy peppercorns and cologne-like spices finish. A subtle, anise-led cocktail bitters that adds a pleasant licorice high note to cocktails.
87 points $10 Best Buy
Taste of Florida Medium Bloody Mary
86 points
$4.99
Best Buy
Tasted as a Bloody Mary cocktail. Reddish mahogany brown color. Delicate, vegetal aromas of celery root, herbal pickle, tomato paste, and cedar and a hint of asphalt with a chunky, soft, medium body and a peppery, crisp smoked peppercorns, garlic chip, and Worcestershire sauce finish. A pleasant, easy drinking blood Mary.
86 points $4.99 Best Buy
Riemerschmid Bitterlyne Orange Bitter
86 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Tasted as a Gin Martini cocktail. Light gold color. Mild, herbal, spicy aromas of chamomile, grilled citrus, toasted herbs and bark, and dried flowers with a supple, crisp, petillant, dryish light body and a tingling, delightful, medium-length citrus pith, bark, fennel, and wax finish. A very pungent cocktail bitters that brings a lot of earthiness to the table; in the gin and tonic the citrus character was subdued and supportive.
86 points $14.99 Best Buy
Austin Cocktails Freds Ruby Red Cocktail
86 points
$15.99
Cloudy light golden orange color. Citrusy, umami aromas of fresh sliced grapefruit, farm yard mint, and Meyer lemon seeds and cucumber skin with a lightly tannic, bright, off-dry light-to-medium body and a compelling, easy lime, nougat, wheatgrass, and chalk finish. A nice, easy drinking grapefruit cocktail.
86 points $15.99
Owl’s Brew Wicked Green
85 points
$13.99
Cloudy golden amber color. Delicate, citrusy aromas and flavors of baked orange and lemon, chili peppers, and green tea leaf with a velvety, tangy, off-dry light-to-medium body and a warming, delightful, medium-long pepper jelly finish. A peppery citrus syrup for spicy cocktails.
85 points $13.99
Austin Cocktails Bergamot Orange Margarita
85 points
$15.99
Pale hazy straw color. Mild aromas of prickly pear, spiced melon, and baked peach with a silky, shy, off-dry light body and an interesting, brisk lime Italian ice, pear nectar, hint of lady grey tea, and grass finish. A delicate, lightly herbal margarita.
85 points $15.99
Tequiponch Orange Margarita Cocktail
84 points
$13.99
Brilliant neon golden yellow color. Delicate, curious, fruity waxy aromas of baked citrus, mint gelatin, scented candle, and rice cake with a bright, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, quick orange drink and mango-lime relish finish. A nice citrusy, tangy margarita.
84 points $13.99
Jose Diego Golden Margarita
84 points
$16.99
Pale hazy slivery straw color. Delicate, citrusy, creamy herbal aromas of key lime custard, epazote and curry leaf, toasted marshmallow, and rice with a silky, bright, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, crisp fruit salad and vanilla-banana pudding finish. Interesting creamy, tropical twist on a margarita.
84 points $16.99
Tequiponch Low Calorie Margarita Cocktail
83 points
$13.99
Hazy light golden green color. Delicate, citrusy, herbal aromas of lemon-ginseng-menthol cough drop, warm rose’s lime concentrate, baked yams, and cedar with a lightly tannic, crisp, fruity sweet light body and a seamless, breezy lime spritzed melon rind, lime sucker, and grass finish. A decent diet margarita.
83 points $13.99
Riemerschmid Bitter Bar Syrup
83 points
$14.99
Neon red color. Bright, savory, peppery aromas and flavors of smoked peppercorns, toasty cedar, grilled and pickled beets, and saffron with a soft, bright, petillant, dryish light body and a silky, brisk double mint gum, birch bark, crystallized ginger, and almond oil finish. An easy drinking non-alcohol bitter syrup for mild cocktail creations.
83 points $14.99
Drego Azul Margarita Light
81 points
$6.99
Brilliant pale chartreuse color. Delicate, curious aromas of dark roasted nuts and limes and pond rind with a tannic, crisp, moderately sweet light body and a graceful, brisk lime pixie sticks and popsicle, baby aspirin, diet sprite, and chalk eraser finish.
81 points $6.99
Tropic Isle Palms Southern Hurricane
81 points
$14.99
Light pink color. Bright, candied, fruity aromas of black cherry soda, watermelon jelly bean, and hint of marzipan cookie with a supple, tangy, moderately sweet body and a silky, short Hawaiian punch and orange baby aspirin finish. A candied fruit punch cocktail.
81 points $14.99
Isla de Rico Long Island Iced Tea
80 points
$16.99
Light golden amber color. Delicate aromas of flat RC cola, lime, and cinnamon coffee cake with a soft, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, swift citrus pudding and sherbet finish.
80 points $16.99
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