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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer too!

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Tasting with Oliver Krug

Upcoming Events

We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on or follow us on Facebook.  


Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

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Higher Dosage in Champagne Cocktails #2: Moet Ice Imperial "Final Word"

Moet Ice was created to drink on the rocks.

On Friday I posted a piece on using the Moet & Chandon "Nectar Imperial" Rosé Champagne ($59.99) in French 75’s. I was very happy with the results of using a higher dosage Champagne and dropping the amount of simple syrup in the recipe, and promised myself that I would continue experimenting. Last night I decided to try a completely new cocktail, based on the green colored and festive Final Word. This time I used the Moet & Chandon "Ice Imperial" Champagne ($56.99), which Moet developed to be served on Ice.


A traditional Final Word cocktail is composed of even parts Gin- we use the Anchor Junipero Gin ($29.99), Chartreuse Green 750ml ($49.99), Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur 750ml ($29.99) and lime. We love this cocktail at home, but it is very, very powerful. Using one ounce of each of the ingredients makes for a stiff drink, and I thought it would be interesting to see what it was like subbing in a few ounces of Champagne in place of the gin.

Shaking the liquor and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with lime yields the best results

My idea of using Champagne in the place of gin in a cocktail is not an original one. The Negroni Spagliato is a classic drink in which Champagne takes the place of gin and keeps the personality of the cocktail intact. How nice would be to have one of my favorite drinks (and a green one at that!) adapted for Champagne on St. Patrick’s Day!

I am happy to say that this worked out well, and even though Cinnamon was skeptical at first (she even went so far as to say “just make one”) I won her over in the end. The recipe could not be simpler:


1 ounce Chartreuse Green 750m

1 ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

2 ounces Moet & Chandon "Ice Imperial" Champagne (or other sec/ demi-sec Champagne)


Prepare a cocktail shaker with plenty of fresh ice, and a large rocks glass with plenty more. Shake the Chartreuse, Luxardo and Lime in the shaker until well chilled. Pour the mixture through a cocktail strainer over the ice in the rocks glass. Top with the Champagne, stir gently and enjoy.


As Champagne is less concentrated than gin, it takes a little bit more of it to bring the drink into balance. Since both the lime and the Champagne are acidic, this drink is very bright and refreshing… Perhaps dangerously so! Be careful with these- I thought I was making a more “moderate” drink, but it is easy to get carried away with these!


A toast to you!


Gary Westby

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