Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Died and Gone to Heaven: Armagnacs

Died and Gone to Heaven: Armagnacs

I like to think of brandy as wine that died and went to heaven. If there is a better way to finish an evening at the table or at a bar than with a double espresso and a glass of one of these two wine-based brandies, I have yet to find it.

Yet, they are quite different. Cognac is, generally speaking, the more-refined (critics would use the word “commercial”), while Armagnac is generally darker, more-brooding (critics would say “rustic”) with somewhat of an artisanal bent.

Unlike in Cognac, which is farther along the Atlantic Coast to the north, many of the Armagnac producers of Gascony also make wines for the international market. Such is the case with Château de Tariquet, which I visited a few years ago, but it is their range of Armagnacs that draws the most attention: Bas-Armagnac, incidentally, refers to the sub-region and is not a quality classification.

Here are three, each progressively more refined and aged.

Château de Tariquet VS “Classique” Bas-Armagnac ($35). This entry level brandy might cause you to pause before moving up in class. It is sweeter and rounder than its older siblings – a lot of dried fruit flavors – with a nice finishing bite.

Château de Tariquet VSOP Bas-Armagnac ($45). Armagnac has lovely dark oak, much darker than you would get in Cognac, and that is very apparent here. It is a disciplined drink with a concentrated spiciness and notes of sea salt, common in many distilled spirits.

Château de Tariquet XO Bas-Armagnac ($60). Age has helped make this the most elegant of the three. It is very smooth with notes of violets and candied fruits, yet lean with a tight finish and a little coda of crème fraiche.


Died and Gone to Heaven Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Every December, my mom and I head to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for their annual Christkindlmarkt, a wonderful spot for artisans to feature their wares, and a good time for us to pick up a few unique holiday gifts. As much as we look forward to our visit to the market, we also eagerly anticipate our trip because it means it&aposs also time for our stop at Bethlehem Brew Works, a brew pub in downtown Bethlehem. Every time we go, we order the same thing . their Beer and Cheddar Soup and their Christmas City Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette. And every time I go, I ask for the recipes to no avail. Not even a list of ingredients.

Over the years, I&aposve been tinkering with my own Beer and Cheddar Soup and have come up with a version that I actually like better, but the Cinnamon Vinaigrette has eluded me . until now. In a recent issue of Southern Living magazine, I spied a recipe for Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette and ripped it out, hoping against hope that it might come close. I quickly mixed up a batch before dinner and made a salad with tossed greens, roasted sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese. And, of course, the dressing. Ahh, the dressing.

Spot on and oh so good. The Husband wouldn&apost touch it after the first bite, which is absolutely A-OK with me, because you know what that means. more for me! He&aposs your traditional oil and lots of vinegar guy anyway, but there&aposs nothing stopping you from getting as hooked on it as I am . and save yourself that trip to Bethlehem, PA. Well, unless you&aposre visiting the Christkindlmarkt, which is a very good reason to go indeed. But in the meantime, have the dressing. On the salad with the pears and Gorgonzola. Really. You&aposll thank me for it. I&aposll be right here waiting.


Died and Gone to Heaven Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Every December, my mom and I head to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for their annual Christkindlmarkt, a wonderful spot for artisans to feature their wares, and a good time for us to pick up a few unique holiday gifts. As much as we look forward to our visit to the market, we also eagerly anticipate our trip because it means it&aposs also time for our stop at Bethlehem Brew Works, a brew pub in downtown Bethlehem. Every time we go, we order the same thing . their Beer and Cheddar Soup and their Christmas City Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette. And every time I go, I ask for the recipes to no avail. Not even a list of ingredients.

Over the years, I&aposve been tinkering with my own Beer and Cheddar Soup and have come up with a version that I actually like better, but the Cinnamon Vinaigrette has eluded me . until now. In a recent issue of Southern Living magazine, I spied a recipe for Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette and ripped it out, hoping against hope that it might come close. I quickly mixed up a batch before dinner and made a salad with tossed greens, roasted sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese. And, of course, the dressing. Ahh, the dressing.

Spot on and oh so good. The Husband wouldn&apost touch it after the first bite, which is absolutely A-OK with me, because you know what that means. more for me! He&aposs your traditional oil and lots of vinegar guy anyway, but there&aposs nothing stopping you from getting as hooked on it as I am . and save yourself that trip to Bethlehem, PA. Well, unless you&aposre visiting the Christkindlmarkt, which is a very good reason to go indeed. But in the meantime, have the dressing. On the salad with the pears and Gorgonzola. Really. You&aposll thank me for it. I&aposll be right here waiting.


Died and Gone to Heaven Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Every December, my mom and I head to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for their annual Christkindlmarkt, a wonderful spot for artisans to feature their wares, and a good time for us to pick up a few unique holiday gifts. As much as we look forward to our visit to the market, we also eagerly anticipate our trip because it means it&aposs also time for our stop at Bethlehem Brew Works, a brew pub in downtown Bethlehem. Every time we go, we order the same thing . their Beer and Cheddar Soup and their Christmas City Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette. And every time I go, I ask for the recipes to no avail. Not even a list of ingredients.

Over the years, I&aposve been tinkering with my own Beer and Cheddar Soup and have come up with a version that I actually like better, but the Cinnamon Vinaigrette has eluded me . until now. In a recent issue of Southern Living magazine, I spied a recipe for Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette and ripped it out, hoping against hope that it might come close. I quickly mixed up a batch before dinner and made a salad with tossed greens, roasted sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese. And, of course, the dressing. Ahh, the dressing.

Spot on and oh so good. The Husband wouldn&apost touch it after the first bite, which is absolutely A-OK with me, because you know what that means. more for me! He&aposs your traditional oil and lots of vinegar guy anyway, but there&aposs nothing stopping you from getting as hooked on it as I am . and save yourself that trip to Bethlehem, PA. Well, unless you&aposre visiting the Christkindlmarkt, which is a very good reason to go indeed. But in the meantime, have the dressing. On the salad with the pears and Gorgonzola. Really. You&aposll thank me for it. I&aposll be right here waiting.


Died and Gone to Heaven Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Every December, my mom and I head to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for their annual Christkindlmarkt, a wonderful spot for artisans to feature their wares, and a good time for us to pick up a few unique holiday gifts. As much as we look forward to our visit to the market, we also eagerly anticipate our trip because it means it&aposs also time for our stop at Bethlehem Brew Works, a brew pub in downtown Bethlehem. Every time we go, we order the same thing . their Beer and Cheddar Soup and their Christmas City Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette. And every time I go, I ask for the recipes to no avail. Not even a list of ingredients.

Over the years, I&aposve been tinkering with my own Beer and Cheddar Soup and have come up with a version that I actually like better, but the Cinnamon Vinaigrette has eluded me . until now. In a recent issue of Southern Living magazine, I spied a recipe for Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette and ripped it out, hoping against hope that it might come close. I quickly mixed up a batch before dinner and made a salad with tossed greens, roasted sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese. And, of course, the dressing. Ahh, the dressing.

Spot on and oh so good. The Husband wouldn&apost touch it after the first bite, which is absolutely A-OK with me, because you know what that means. more for me! He&aposs your traditional oil and lots of vinegar guy anyway, but there&aposs nothing stopping you from getting as hooked on it as I am . and save yourself that trip to Bethlehem, PA. Well, unless you&aposre visiting the Christkindlmarkt, which is a very good reason to go indeed. But in the meantime, have the dressing. On the salad with the pears and Gorgonzola. Really. You&aposll thank me for it. I&aposll be right here waiting.


Died and Gone to Heaven Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Every December, my mom and I head to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for their annual Christkindlmarkt, a wonderful spot for artisans to feature their wares, and a good time for us to pick up a few unique holiday gifts. As much as we look forward to our visit to the market, we also eagerly anticipate our trip because it means it&aposs also time for our stop at Bethlehem Brew Works, a brew pub in downtown Bethlehem. Every time we go, we order the same thing . their Beer and Cheddar Soup and their Christmas City Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette. And every time I go, I ask for the recipes to no avail. Not even a list of ingredients.

Over the years, I&aposve been tinkering with my own Beer and Cheddar Soup and have come up with a version that I actually like better, but the Cinnamon Vinaigrette has eluded me . until now. In a recent issue of Southern Living magazine, I spied a recipe for Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette and ripped it out, hoping against hope that it might come close. I quickly mixed up a batch before dinner and made a salad with tossed greens, roasted sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese. And, of course, the dressing. Ahh, the dressing.

Spot on and oh so good. The Husband wouldn&apost touch it after the first bite, which is absolutely A-OK with me, because you know what that means. more for me! He&aposs your traditional oil and lots of vinegar guy anyway, but there&aposs nothing stopping you from getting as hooked on it as I am . and save yourself that trip to Bethlehem, PA. Well, unless you&aposre visiting the Christkindlmarkt, which is a very good reason to go indeed. But in the meantime, have the dressing. On the salad with the pears and Gorgonzola. Really. You&aposll thank me for it. I&aposll be right here waiting.


Died and Gone to Heaven Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Every December, my mom and I head to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for their annual Christkindlmarkt, a wonderful spot for artisans to feature their wares, and a good time for us to pick up a few unique holiday gifts. As much as we look forward to our visit to the market, we also eagerly anticipate our trip because it means it&aposs also time for our stop at Bethlehem Brew Works, a brew pub in downtown Bethlehem. Every time we go, we order the same thing . their Beer and Cheddar Soup and their Christmas City Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette. And every time I go, I ask for the recipes to no avail. Not even a list of ingredients.

Over the years, I&aposve been tinkering with my own Beer and Cheddar Soup and have come up with a version that I actually like better, but the Cinnamon Vinaigrette has eluded me . until now. In a recent issue of Southern Living magazine, I spied a recipe for Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette and ripped it out, hoping against hope that it might come close. I quickly mixed up a batch before dinner and made a salad with tossed greens, roasted sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese. And, of course, the dressing. Ahh, the dressing.

Spot on and oh so good. The Husband wouldn&apost touch it after the first bite, which is absolutely A-OK with me, because you know what that means. more for me! He&aposs your traditional oil and lots of vinegar guy anyway, but there&aposs nothing stopping you from getting as hooked on it as I am . and save yourself that trip to Bethlehem, PA. Well, unless you&aposre visiting the Christkindlmarkt, which is a very good reason to go indeed. But in the meantime, have the dressing. On the salad with the pears and Gorgonzola. Really. You&aposll thank me for it. I&aposll be right here waiting.


Died and Gone to Heaven Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Every December, my mom and I head to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for their annual Christkindlmarkt, a wonderful spot for artisans to feature their wares, and a good time for us to pick up a few unique holiday gifts. As much as we look forward to our visit to the market, we also eagerly anticipate our trip because it means it&aposs also time for our stop at Bethlehem Brew Works, a brew pub in downtown Bethlehem. Every time we go, we order the same thing . their Beer and Cheddar Soup and their Christmas City Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette. And every time I go, I ask for the recipes to no avail. Not even a list of ingredients.

Over the years, I&aposve been tinkering with my own Beer and Cheddar Soup and have come up with a version that I actually like better, but the Cinnamon Vinaigrette has eluded me . until now. In a recent issue of Southern Living magazine, I spied a recipe for Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette and ripped it out, hoping against hope that it might come close. I quickly mixed up a batch before dinner and made a salad with tossed greens, roasted sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese. And, of course, the dressing. Ahh, the dressing.

Spot on and oh so good. The Husband wouldn&apost touch it after the first bite, which is absolutely A-OK with me, because you know what that means. more for me! He&aposs your traditional oil and lots of vinegar guy anyway, but there&aposs nothing stopping you from getting as hooked on it as I am . and save yourself that trip to Bethlehem, PA. Well, unless you&aposre visiting the Christkindlmarkt, which is a very good reason to go indeed. But in the meantime, have the dressing. On the salad with the pears and Gorgonzola. Really. You&aposll thank me for it. I&aposll be right here waiting.


Died and Gone to Heaven Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Every December, my mom and I head to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for their annual Christkindlmarkt, a wonderful spot for artisans to feature their wares, and a good time for us to pick up a few unique holiday gifts. As much as we look forward to our visit to the market, we also eagerly anticipate our trip because it means it&aposs also time for our stop at Bethlehem Brew Works, a brew pub in downtown Bethlehem. Every time we go, we order the same thing . their Beer and Cheddar Soup and their Christmas City Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette. And every time I go, I ask for the recipes to no avail. Not even a list of ingredients.

Over the years, I&aposve been tinkering with my own Beer and Cheddar Soup and have come up with a version that I actually like better, but the Cinnamon Vinaigrette has eluded me . until now. In a recent issue of Southern Living magazine, I spied a recipe for Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette and ripped it out, hoping against hope that it might come close. I quickly mixed up a batch before dinner and made a salad with tossed greens, roasted sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese. And, of course, the dressing. Ahh, the dressing.

Spot on and oh so good. The Husband wouldn&apost touch it after the first bite, which is absolutely A-OK with me, because you know what that means. more for me! He&aposs your traditional oil and lots of vinegar guy anyway, but there&aposs nothing stopping you from getting as hooked on it as I am . and save yourself that trip to Bethlehem, PA. Well, unless you&aposre visiting the Christkindlmarkt, which is a very good reason to go indeed. But in the meantime, have the dressing. On the salad with the pears and Gorgonzola. Really. You&aposll thank me for it. I&aposll be right here waiting.


Died and Gone to Heaven Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Every December, my mom and I head to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for their annual Christkindlmarkt, a wonderful spot for artisans to feature their wares, and a good time for us to pick up a few unique holiday gifts. As much as we look forward to our visit to the market, we also eagerly anticipate our trip because it means it&aposs also time for our stop at Bethlehem Brew Works, a brew pub in downtown Bethlehem. Every time we go, we order the same thing . their Beer and Cheddar Soup and their Christmas City Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette. And every time I go, I ask for the recipes to no avail. Not even a list of ingredients.

Over the years, I&aposve been tinkering with my own Beer and Cheddar Soup and have come up with a version that I actually like better, but the Cinnamon Vinaigrette has eluded me . until now. In a recent issue of Southern Living magazine, I spied a recipe for Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette and ripped it out, hoping against hope that it might come close. I quickly mixed up a batch before dinner and made a salad with tossed greens, roasted sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese. And, of course, the dressing. Ahh, the dressing.

Spot on and oh so good. The Husband wouldn&apost touch it after the first bite, which is absolutely A-OK with me, because you know what that means. more for me! He&aposs your traditional oil and lots of vinegar guy anyway, but there&aposs nothing stopping you from getting as hooked on it as I am . and save yourself that trip to Bethlehem, PA. Well, unless you&aposre visiting the Christkindlmarkt, which is a very good reason to go indeed. But in the meantime, have the dressing. On the salad with the pears and Gorgonzola. Really. You&aposll thank me for it. I&aposll be right here waiting.


Died and Gone to Heaven Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Every December, my mom and I head to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for their annual Christkindlmarkt, a wonderful spot for artisans to feature their wares, and a good time for us to pick up a few unique holiday gifts. As much as we look forward to our visit to the market, we also eagerly anticipate our trip because it means it&aposs also time for our stop at Bethlehem Brew Works, a brew pub in downtown Bethlehem. Every time we go, we order the same thing . their Beer and Cheddar Soup and their Christmas City Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette. And every time I go, I ask for the recipes to no avail. Not even a list of ingredients.

Over the years, I&aposve been tinkering with my own Beer and Cheddar Soup and have come up with a version that I actually like better, but the Cinnamon Vinaigrette has eluded me . until now. In a recent issue of Southern Living magazine, I spied a recipe for Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette and ripped it out, hoping against hope that it might come close. I quickly mixed up a batch before dinner and made a salad with tossed greens, roasted sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese. And, of course, the dressing. Ahh, the dressing.

Spot on and oh so good. The Husband wouldn&apost touch it after the first bite, which is absolutely A-OK with me, because you know what that means. more for me! He&aposs your traditional oil and lots of vinegar guy anyway, but there&aposs nothing stopping you from getting as hooked on it as I am . and save yourself that trip to Bethlehem, PA. Well, unless you&aposre visiting the Christkindlmarkt, which is a very good reason to go indeed. But in the meantime, have the dressing. On the salad with the pears and Gorgonzola. Really. You&aposll thank me for it. I&aposll be right here waiting.


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