“You got any whiskey? How about you give me some whiskey?” — Loretta in the movie Moonstruck.
remember all those old westerns where people were downing shots of whiskey like it was water? how about moonshiners, prohibition, saloons and much earlier a whiskey rebellion? kind of gave whiskey a bad name. It’s not news that the u.s. has had a long love affair with whiskey.
“wee have found a waie to make soe good drink of indian corne i have divers times refused to drinke good stronge english beare and chose to drinke that.” george thorpe, virginia 1620.
rye and corn became the preferred grains of colonial whiskey makers, with rye the main ingredient. whiskey made principally with corn developed later in the eighteenth century in the backwoods of virginia known as kentucky.
but like all things old, whiskey in the u.s. is new again, in fact whiskey is undergoing a kind of renaissance. and man oh man, is some of it really, really good.
i have always loved a good wine, particularly a complex red and california has been delivering them for decades. more recently, as craft beer brewing has expanded, i’ve been sampling craft brews from around the country and trying to taste many local brews whenever we travel.
but i’ve never thought of myself as a whiskey drinker. c always fancied a good scotch and sometimes enjoyed a manhattan while i enjoyed a nice wine. but these days, we’ve been enjoyed a plethora of fine whiskies, primarily from around the u.s.
whiskies come in a few types and you can read the details here but generally what c and i have been enjoying is bourbon or rye.
now for me, tasting some good whiskies is a slow endeavor since i have a pretty low tolerance for liquor. i have to say that alcohol gets in the way of my enjoying a long taste of a good whiskey – i have to savor in small doses.
i’ve never been one for jack daniel’s but we’ve always had a bottle in the house. it’s good for our annual shot before the season’s first football game.
our go-to favorite has always been maker’s mark, but now there’s a maker’s mark 46 which is aged longer and has a smoother, richer flavor. true story: the french girlfriend of a guest at our home asked if she could sample some of that “make her smart” we were drinking.
c and i also enjoyed jefferson bourbon, though it wasn’t distinctive enough to be worth the price.
another small batch bourbon is bulliet frontier whiskey revived from an old family recipe.
i’m currently enjoying a small batch whiskey called dad’s hat rye, which is made in pennsylvania. c has developed a drink just for me called the counterfeit cure (in honor of my novel). 1.5 oz dad’s hat, .5 oz grand marnier, 1 oz sweet red vermouth, some drops of blood orange bitters stir over ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass and top with homemade maraschino cherries.
as i say, my limit is one drink, so sampling all the new american bourbons, whiskies and ryes is going to take some time. i’ll share another batch as we broaden our knowledge. but i may have found the perfect second drink to enjoy after a good whiskey
— a beer aged in bourbon barrels. http://www.kentuckyale.com/ i thoroughly enjoyed this on a recent trip to boston along with a bowl of homemade soup. unfortunately, this beer is not distributed in pa yet so i have to just savor the memory… and keep hounding total wine in delaware to work with the brewery to get distribution to their location.