Hey hey heyyy
My friend Devyn is coming into town today for a quick visit… I’m so excited! To show her a good time, I am taking her to Point Street Dueling Pianos, which I think I have mentioned on here before. It’s awesome and unique and beforehand we will be attending Buck-a-Shuck, so you know it’s going to be a great day.
Anyway, after my time spent in NYC (I know, more on that visit to come), I realized that my drink of choice is Whiskey. Am I badass or what? However, I didn’t think I knew too many whiskey drinks, so in preparation for the bar tonight, I did a little research. The funny thing is, all the main whiskey drinks I came across are pretty much the only drinks I enjoy ordering (besides beer, wine and Bloody Mary’s)… so it looks like I know myself better than I thought. BOOM.
To recap my research though, I wanted to share a little whiskey knowledge with you fine folks. If anyone has any recipes to recommend as well… I’m all ears. And lips. Mmmm.
Whiskey Facts: All whiskeys are distilled liquors made from fermented grain mash, except in the event that they’re made from corn. They’re almost always aged in wooden barrels, except for “white dog” whiskey, aka moonshine. The aging process mellows the bite of the drink and imparts those caramel notes. Canada and Scotland drop the “e” when spelling out the word.
- Scotch is only made in Scotland and can range from smooth and a bit sweet to smoky, a distinct flavor imparted by smoking the grains over a peat fire. Old scotches are typically not mixed, but there’s no rule against it.
- Irish whiskey is basically any whiskey aged in either Ireland or Northern Ireland. There’s a lot of diversity in this pool, leading to whiskeys that are sweet or spicy or citrusy or earthy.
- Bourbon is generally sweeter than Irish whiskey or scotch. Wheated bourbons like Maker’s Mark are particularly mellow, and 95% of the world’s bourbons are made in Kentucky.
- Tennessee whiskey is effectively bourbon made in Tennessee. Jack Daniel’s is Tennessee whiskey, and it’s mellowed through sugar maple charcoal before aging; some say this makes it a bit sweeter than bourbon and slightly sooty.
- Rye is trickier: American rye whiskey must be at least 51% rye in the grain bill, whereas Canadian rye just has to have any rye in the grain bill. Ryes are spicy and sometimes “bready.”
- Canadian whisky is considered, by and large, the most versatile mixing whisky — it’s a mellower and lighter flavor than most other types of whisky.
Classic Whiskey Drinks:
- Hot Toddy. Perfect for this time of year. Ingredients: 2 oz water/3 cloves/cinnamon stick/.5″ ginger piece, peeled and sliced/1 strip lemon peel/2 oz whiskey/2 t honey/1-2 t lemon juice/nutmeg. Directions: Put the water in a small pan along with the spices and peel over a low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Meanwhile, rinse a heatproof glass with hot water and dry. Pour the whisky into your warmed glass, then pour over hot water and spices. Stir in the honey and lemon juice and taste for sweetness. Top with a little nutmeg and sip slowly, breathing deeply.
- Manhattan. So classy, oui? Ingredients: Ice/2 parts whiskey/1 part sweet vermouth/1-2 dashes bitters (ex: Angostura)/orange peel. Directions: Place ice in a cocktail shaker. Add the whiskey, vermouth, and bitters, and stir well. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the cocktail glass. Strain the drink into the glass. Add 1 or 2 cherries.
- Whiskey Sour. Yes please. Ingredients: 2 oz whiskey/1 oz fresh lemon juice/1 t sugar/1 egg white (optional). Directions: Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, and shake for 10 seconds; if using the egg white, give it a little extra muscle and a little extra time. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, or into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry, a slice of orange, all of the above, or nothing at all.
- Mint Julep. This was made for me wayyy back in the day. Ingredients: 1 oz minted simple syrup/2 c crushed ice/2 oz bourbon/fresh mint sprig (garnish). Directions: To a highball glass or silver Julep cup, add minted simple syrup, then 1 cup crushed ice, bourbon, and splash of water. Add enough of remaining ice to almost fill glass. Stir well and garnish with mint sprig.
- Sazerac. I had this for the first time two weeks ago, actually. It was awesome. Ingredients: 1 sugar cube/water/1.5 oz rye whiskey/2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters/1 dash Angostura Bitters/Ice/1 barspoon-full of absinthe/lemon peel. Directions: Put the sugar cube in a mixing glass with just enough water to moisten it. Use the back of a barspoon to crush the cube. Add the rye, both bitters, and ice and stir until chilled, about 30 seconds. Add the absinthe to a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Turn the glass to coat the sides with the absinthe, then pour out the excess. Strain the rye mixture into the absinthe-coated glass. Twist and squeeze the lemon peel over the glass. Rub the rim of the glass with the peel, drop it into the cocktail, and serve.
- Old Fashioned. A classic. Ingredients: 2 oz whiskey/.5 oz simple syrup/2 dashes Angosturn Bitters/1″ orange peel (no white)/1 candied cherry (optional)/ice. Directions: Chill a cocktail glass. Fill a mixing glass to the top with ice. Measure out your booze and your sugar, and dash in the bitters. Stir. If a drink is all alcohol and no juice, it’s stirred and not shaken. If there’s juice, go ahead and shake. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass over fresh ice. Squeeze the orange peel over the glass and squeeze; drop the peel into the glass. Add a cherry if you wish.
- Green Gimlet. This one is new to me, but sounds awesome. Ingredients: 3-4 basil leaves/60ml Scotch whisky/30ml lime juice/20ml sugar syrup/ice. Directions: Basil leaves in shaker, pour in liquids, muddle. Add ice and shake vigorously until cold. Strain into tumbler over large ice cube and serve garnished with basil leaf.
- Blood & Sand. Another new one to me, wooo. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 30ml Scotch whisky, 20ml Peter Heering Cherry Heering (NOT cherry brandy!), 20ml red vermouth and 20ml orange juice. Shake hard until cold. Strain into a glass and garnish with a strip of orange peel.
- Pickleback. I’ve heard of this recently but haven’t tried it. However, I feel as if I will be in love. All you need is a shot of whiskey (they recommend Irish) and then a shot of good pickle juice. Voila, perfection.
- Bryn Collins. Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour in 50ml Penderyn whisky, 25ml lemon juice and 10 ml sugar syrup. Stir well to combine and top up with soda water. Garnish with a slice of lemon and serve.
- Irish Royale. Place a sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute and douse it with a good couple of dashes of Angostura bitters. Add 45ml Jameson’s Irish whiskey, and top up with cold, cold champagne. Some people chill the whiskey by stirring it in a mixing glass over ice before they strain it into the flute. This takes a little edge of its alcohol. So, really, it’s up to you.
- Walking Earl. Infuse 1 dessertspoon of Rare Tea Company’s Earl Grey tea in 500ml of cold water. Place in the fridge for EXACTLY 1 ½ hours. Henrietta is very precise. Strain the tea infusion, then mix 100ml of it with 25ml Johnny Walker. Henrietta recommends their platinum whisky, but black or red will suffice. Sweeten the mixture with a drop of good Scottish heather honey. Stir to dissolve. Then pour into a tall, ice filled glass and garnish with a twist of orange.
- The Thistle. In an ice-filled shaker, mix 30ml whisky with 30ml dry vermouth (I recommend the Aperitivo Cocchi Americano). Add a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters and shake like hell. Strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.
- Scotch Rickey. Pour 60ml scotch whisky into an ice-filled high-ball glass. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Stir them together, and then top up the glass with soda water. Garnish with a half slice of lime if you so desire.
- Rob Roy. Stir 45ml scotch, 25ml sweet vermouth and a good dash of Angostura bitters vigorously over ice. Then strain into a cocktail or over ice into a tumbler, and garnish. To make it “dry”, replace the sweet vermouth with dry vermouth. To make it “perfect”, make up the 25ml of vermouth by mixing equal parts of sweet and dry.
That’s all I’ve got at the moment, folks. I’m going to try a few of these tonight, wish me luck! Teehee.