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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Don't Sound Like a Tool: How to Pronounce Semi-Arcane Spirits

Posted By on Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 11:01 AM

These glasses contain Patxaran: PAH-cher-ahn. - THE ASARYA/FLICKR
  • The Asarya/Flickr
  • These glasses contain Patxaran: PAH-cher-ahn.
Don't Sound Like a Tool is SFoodie's series of audio pronunciation guides to sort-of-common-but-not-obvious words we keep encountering on wine lists and menus. No more shame, no more pointing, no more godawful imitations of a language you don't speak.

Everyone knows that any cocktail worth drinking these days contains at least one ingredient you your friends have never heard of before: an artisanal vermouth made by a a couple of biochemists in Iceland, the bartender's in-house rendition of an oyster-mushroom liqueur traditionally made by shepherds in the Lebanese hills. Don't tell us you were thinking of ordering a Jack & Ginger. 

While the best part of encountering all this arcana on bar menus is that it gives drinkers and bartenders something to talk about ― a conversation, we've found, that regularly leads to educational seminars and free sampling ― there's no way you can brag to your friends about what you've just tasted if you can't pronounce the names of the spirits you've just drunk.

These glasses contain Patxaran: PAH-cher-ahn. - THE ASARYA/FLICKR
  • The Asarya/Flickr
  • These glasses contain Patxaran: PAH-cher-ahn.

That's why SFoodie has asked our cocktail guy, Lou Bustamante, to record the first in a series of two audio pronunciation guides to the more commonly uncommon spirits showing up on bar menus. In this first installment, he reads off a list of types of spirits, liqueurs, aperitifs, and digestifs. In part two, coming next week, he'll tackle a few of the most commonly mangled brands. Now you owe us a drink.


de cassis
Crème de noyaux

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie. Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman


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