Description from Bespoke Post: “The modestly spicy love child of a dirty martini, and a whiskey sour.” Full recipe here.
When I found out I was getting a gift of the November 2012 Bespoke Post – the Slate box – I immediately checked the website for the list of goodies inside. (You can see my unboxing and review videos here.) My professional curiosity was piqued by a front and center cocktail recipe using the brine from the spicy pickled okra, aka the Smokra. Continue reading Review: Bespoke Post’s Smoky Burb
For a long time I had an aversion to American beers on principle. The principle being that the phrase ‘American beer’ represented an oxymoron at best and an outright fiction at worst. There were beers, of course, and beer-like things made in America, but there was nothing in my experience that was a combination of the two. This was an unfortunate time for me, but then I learned about craft beers. Continue reading Review: Hudepohl Classic Porter
Yesterday I had the privilege of judging the first round of the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience in Lexington, KY held at Paulie’s Toasted Barrel. Over 30 Kentucky mixologists entered the competition.
The competition was divided into two rounds. Each of the judges met with 7 to 8 of the mixologists individually and sampled their creations. Each judge then picked one winner to move on to round two. During round two, each of the four finalists made their cocktail for all four judges. So we all tasted each of the four finalists and discussed to pick the ultimate winner.
It was interesting to me that the four of us judging initially dismissed cocktails that were either (a) not really manhattans or (b) didn’t allow the flavor of the underlying spirit to come through. For (a), we all talked about it to make sure we were in line on where the line was between a manhattan and a bourbon cocktail in general. But (b), on the other hand, was completely reflexive. It wasn’t until I reviewed the process that I realized how important it was that the cocktail additions (mixers) showcase the spirit used and not cover it up. This is one of the fundamental principles of the moden craft cocktail. Oh, and it can’t be too sweet. Cloying cocktails upset me. 😉
Yesterday we held our first Advanced Flavor Wheel tasting. This builds on the basic Flavor Wheel tasting developed by Ouita Michel. In the basic tasting participants taste six items – parmesan, toasted nut, dried berry, fresh orange, dark chocolate and sorghum – against Woodford Reserve neat. This type of culinary-aid tasting allows the participants to taste many of the subtle and nuanced flavors in the bourbon that they might not otherwise be able to detect.
For the Advanced Flavor Wheel, participants had an assortment of over 30 different food items to taste against. These ranged from single ingredients – like apple slices, mint springs and country ham – to freshly made syrups and scratch-made rye crackers.
We also served our signature sorghum mint julep cocktail.
This level of tasting allows a very rich palate experience. It’s something very unique and I recommend it to anyone who gets the opportunity.
Mark Gillespie, producer of the great Whisky Cast podcast, came down in March to experience Woodford Reserves Bourbon Academy. Attached is his write up of his experience of the class in the latest issue of Whisky Magazine.