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archive for 'liquor'

- kentucky derby 2014 -

mint juleps - photo by: ryan sterritt

we are enjoying mint juleps before the kentucky derby! we went with a recipe from the original bartender’s guide by trader vic from 1947 and used rittenhouse rye. they are quite tasty for sure!

rittenhouse is the latest rye whiskey i tried out. i had read a lot about them, including how they won the 2006 north american whiskey of the year award, but had yet to try out their rye. at only $18.99, it is definitely the most economical option for a solid tasting rye out there. the bottle design is nothing to write home about, however it packs a punch at 100 proof and is a great addition to one’s bar.

i would probably stick with mixing rittenhouse in cocktails like juleps, manhattans or an old-fashioned over just sipping the whiskey. it has a little more bite than bulleit or redemption, but for the price, it’s still tasty and great in mixed drinks.

rittenhouse is bottled in bond, which means it was the product of one distillation season by one distiller at one distillery, was aged in a federally bonded warehouse under us government supervision for at least four years and bottled at 100 proof. pretty strict standards for such an economical rye!

check our my previous posts on bulleit, 13th colony and redemption rye.

- ryan

georgia mint julep recipe:

1 tsp sugar syrup
4 springs fresh mint
2 oz. brandy (we substituted rye)
2 oz. apricot brandy (we substituted more rye)
shaved ice

- crush mint with sugar syrup in large class and fill with crushed ice
- add liquor and stir gently until glass frosts
- serve with straws and garnish with more mint

- redemption straight rye whiskey -

i've been digging the straight #ryewhiskey from #redemptionrye !!! it's very tasty! #rye #whiskey

i’ve been sampling different rye whiskies as of late. after trying bulleit and 13th colony, i went with redemption rye whiskey. off the bat, i wasn’t impressed with the design of the bottle. the hand-numbered batch was a nice touch, but the metal screw cap was a big turn off. i was, however, recommended their rye by both employees and random patrons on five consecutive trips to green’s beverage, so i decided it was time to try it out.

like bulleit, redemption straight rye is distilled from 95% premium rye mash and aged for 2 years in new charred oak barrels. at 92 proof, it has a little more bite than bulleit, but it is still super smooth. for only $23.99, it definitely gives bulleit a run for it’s money for best value.

back to the bottle design. if i were headed to a party or giving this as a gift (ie. cared about a nice presentation), i would probably go with bulleit or 13th colony. those bottle designs are much more fun and have better counter appeal.

on the other hand, if you are looking to get a gift for a big rye fan, redemption is a great choice they may not have tried. it’s very tasty, and for the price, i know i will be going back to this brand.

- ryan

- 13th colony southern rye whiskey -

as previously mentioned, i’ve been on a big rye kick recently. after moving beyond bulleit, the next rye i tried was southern rye whiskey by 13th colony. i’ll say up front that it definitely had the best designed bottle i’ve come across! i’m keeping this one around for future uses.

i was intrigued that 13th colony was from americus, georgia. to many, including the employee at green’s, the fact that this whiskey came from georgia was a deterrent. i was excited though to see what was being distilled in my own state and was impressed! it was a little darker in color and had more bite (95 proof) than bulleit, but it was still smooth. pouring drinks out of the bottle was an added bonus. the old-fashioned design made it feel like it’s own decanter.

the only downside to the 13th colony rye was it’s price. at $28.99, it’s not the most expensive around, however i don’t know if i enjoyed it that much more than cheaper options like redemption or bulleit.

- ryan

- bulleit rye -

i’ve been on a big rye whiskey kick recently. it’s become fairly popular over the last few years. liquor store shelves are now loaded with small batch options in atlanta. i’m by no means a connoisseur, but i do enjoy drinking some rye on the rocks with a little lime, and i also appreciate a well designed bottle for the full experience.

the first rye i remember trying was from bulleit, which is actually still one of my go-to brands. i was working at a food & wine festival and bulleit had a booth giving away samples of their new rye. they were promoting that it was made from 95% rye-mash, which was the highest on the market at the time. i was told to picture rye bread while drinking it and then to picture corn bread while sampling their bourbon. i was definitely able to taste the spicy versus sweet distinction.

to some, bulleit rye is not aged long enough and lacks some bite, but i really enjoy it. it’s very smooth (90 proof), comes in a classy bottle, but most importantly, it’s also affordable. you can find it for $24.99 at green’s beverage in atlanta, which makes it an easy bottle to restock.

in general, american whiskeys are classified by the type of grain being distilled. rye is distilled from at least 51% rye grain, while bourbon is distilled from at least 51% corn. check out my post from a few years ago for more information on bourbons.

- ryan

- pinewood tippling room -

we recently went to the pinewood tippling room in downtown decatur, which is located in the old cakes & ale. we found a great scout mob deal and decided to try out the new restaurant.

the pinewood specializes in southern fare and fancy libations, which both lived up to their expectations. the restaurant in the style of other modern watering holes, ie. h. harper station, with tasty, albeit pricey, handcrafted cocktails. the bartenders were very knowledgeable though and definitely worked hard for their tips! the food was very tasty as well. we both ended up going with the fried chicken & waffles and had the crispy pork belly to start things off.

we definitely enjoyed our first pinewood tippling room experience and would head back! be sure to check out their dinner, libation & spirit menus.

- ryan

pinewood tippling room

254 west ponce de leon avenue
decatur, ga 30030


- i’ve got moxie -

whenever in maine, we try to visit the moxie soda shop in lisbon falls. moxie was the first mass produced soda in america and is still popular in the new england area. lisbon falls is known as the moxie capital of the world and is home to the annual moxie festival.

the old timey soda shop in lisbon falls is where you’ll find all things moxie, including shirts, stickers, pencils, frisbees and more. they also have sodas, candy and ice cream (even moxie flavored ice cream). not much has changed over the years, i can remember going to this same little shop as a kid and it looks exactly like my memories of it. plus it’s the same guy behind the counter, frank. we have a good amount of moxie gear from many visits and wear them quite a bit.

people generally love or hate moxie. i like it, but i only like it every few years when in maine. i’m not sure if i’d love it as an everyday soda. it tastes sort of like cream soda meets dr. pepper, but a little more medicinal. there is a mixed drink called a new englander made with moxie, the recipe can be found below.

when in maine, keep your eye out for the bright orange soda cans. you’re in for a true new england experience.

- ryan

new englander recipe:

1 part gin
2-3 parts moxie
a large slice of lime
a dash of worcestershire sauce

- kentucky bourbon -

with the kentucky derby on the television and a mint julep in hand, i found myself wondering what exactly defines a bourbon? in general, american whiskeys are classified by the type of grain being distilled. rye whiskey is distilled from rye grain, while bourbon whiskey is distilled from corn. woodford, wild turkey, maker’s mark, bulleit, and jim beam are some of the more popular bourbons.

a common misnomer is that bourbon has to come from bourbon county, kentucky. although most bourbons do come from kentucky, it is not a requirement for classification. if you feel like going on a bourbon adventure, there is a kentucky bourbon festival held every year in bardstown, ky and the kentucky bourbon trail where you can tour 6 distilleries.

tennessee whiskey, aka jack daniels and george dickel, have the distinction of being filtered through a thick layer of maple charcoal before aging.

canadian whisky, aka crown royal, as well as scotch whisky and irish whiskey are generally blended whiskeys. this means they use multiple grains in distilling, often with a large percentage of rye, resulting in a lighter, smoother flavor.

another interesting fact is that whiskey gets its color and flavor from being aged in charred oak barrels. without this, the liquor is clear and known as moonshine.

- ryan