If you’re going to make decent whiskey, you need a lot of time. But time is money, and your whiskey is going to need years. So how does a distillery make money in the meantime? The answer is usually vodka and its juniper cousin gin. For a moment unaged whiskeys were all the rage and thankfully that moment has mostly passed. Is there a good way to use an immature whiskey? New Hampshire’s Tamworth Distilling & Mercantile seems to have found an interesting solution.
The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern Cocktail by Philip Greene offers a richly detailed history of the ingredients and the evolution of the cocktail itself. Greene takes the reader through the myriad origin stories (spoiler alert: most of them aren’t true!) and beyond to the descendants of the Manhattan such as the Brooklyn. One of my favorite stories in the book details how the Manhattan exposed a politician’s hypocrisy and destroyed his career.
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The julep is an old mixture, which like many began as medicine. Not old like early 20th century. Old like over a thousand years old. And not “medicine” like a morning pick-me-up, anti-fogmatic, corpse reviver, etc. Actual medicine made from macerated flowers. (900 AD wasn’t the height of medical science.) How it became the delicious cocktail we enjoy today began around 1770 with a mintless rum drink that later evolved into a brandy drink and eventually wound up as the drink we know today. In 1938, the mint julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby and sadly most people only think of juleps around the first Saturday in May. If you ask me, we should be drinking juleps during the hottest days of July and August when juleps truly are medicinal against the heat.
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Disclaimer: Samples were provided by Sukkah Hill Spirits for this review. I appreciate their willingness to allow Bourbon & Banter to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you. Today we have a pair of liqueurs from Sukkah Hill Spirits: Etrog and Besamim. If those words sound unfamiliar to you, know that they have their roots in Judaism. The etrog is a citron used in the week-long festival of Sukkot (Sept. 27-Oct. 4 this year). Besamim means spices and often refers to those spices used in the closing of Shabbat. Both are made with cane sugar (not high fructose corn syrup), …