Strong Stuff

Charles Passy of the Wall Street Journal reports on the Next Big Thing in spirits—higher proof. But it’s not because we just want stiffer drinks:

For the cocktail crowd, the strength of the alcohol isn’t as big a factor as the taste: The flavor of overproof spirits tends to be more robust because the spirits haven’t been watered down.

Plus, as [Jim Beam spokesman Dan Cohen] says, the spirits give drinkers greater control: If they want less flavor (and less alcohol), they can simply add water, ice or a splash of soda. “It allows you to customize your experience,” he says.

These “high-octane” spirits include Louis Royer’s Force 53 VSOP cognac, Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin, Laphroaig’s Cask Strength whisky, Wild Turkey 101, and Bacardi 151. You can go higher, of course. But then you’d be drinking EverClear. And while you’re at it, you might as well pick up some Kool-Aid mix for your sophomore-year lethal punch party.

A JERKY UPDATE: Tim Carman of the Washington Post is a fan of jerky—as it turns out the Vietnamese make a good one (from beef, ahem). Locals in the D.C. area can find it at the Phu Quy Deli Delight at the Eden Center in Falls Church. “There are pieces of dehydrated beef flavored with chili flakes, curry powder, lemon grass, sugar, black pepper, orange juice and barbecue seasonings,” he writes. “There are jerkys cut into cubes, sliced into strips or even shredded and laced with cashews. One might be the burnt-orange color of leaves in fall, another could be as crimson as ripe September apples. Some are as dry as cinnamon sticks, others as chewy and sticky as candied bacon. One or two are downright fuzzy, as if someone made jerky out of Fozzie Bear.”

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