Category:  whiskey

Seven Drinks I’ve Made that You Probably Have No Interest in Trying

I consider myself a novice mixologist. Of course, by “novice”, I mean “terrible”, and by “mixologist”, I mean “person to make your next drink”. This is because of my sense of adventure and complete disregard for recipes. For all the bad, hurtful things you can say about my creations, though, I’ve never made one I didn’t finish myself. So for your reading pleasure, here are seven of my worst: 1. Beer ‘n Wine – Great as a corner store. Terrible as a drink. And just in case you’re giving me the benefit of the doubt, you shouldn’t. This was no Black Velvet (A take on the Black and Tan that replaces the pale ale with champagne). We’re talking one part light beer, one part red wine, two parts grossest vom I’ve ever had. 2. Whiskey Monster – Ooh! This sounds like a fun drink, or at least creatively named! A… Read More »

The Vodka Watermelon: A Guide

By , August 29, 2011 in booze, drunk food, party, sangria, Vodka, whiskey

Many readers have been writing in and saying, “Don Julian! You have so much fun all the time! How do you do it? Can you provide a step by step tutorial on how I should do something fun?” And despite the fact that the previous sentence is completely fabricated, I will gladly oblige. Here is a step by step guide on how to make — the staple of many a raucous event — a vodka watermelon. PREP A. Attend a houseparty that has a large watermelon readily available. (NOTE: This is made easier if you’re friends with stupid hipsters. Hipsters have an annoying and inexplicable affinity for fresh produce, and only a stupid person would leave a watermelon in plain site at a house party). B. Eye the watermelon craftily and say, “Hey guys! When was the last time we made a vodka watermelon?”. (NOTE: Everyone will say it’s been… Read More »

Dear Whiskaliburr

Dear Whiskaliburr, I still think about you. I think about the first time. “I love this beer, this Milwaukee’s Best,” I said. “And I love this whiskey, this Jim Beam. I doubt I could love either of them more than I already do.” But I could. I drank an inch of the beer and I replaced that inch with whiskey. After a couple stirs of the can, I had you. Whiskaliburr. Beer that tastes like whiskey. Whiskey that drinks like beer. I remember when people couldn’t handle us. “What the f**k did you just do?”, was one response. “That’s disgusting. You’re really, really gross,” was another. But with all the hate in the world, they couldn’t take away our memories together. That was your job. Maybe we did make messes, burn bridges, deface properties public and private; maybe we didn’t. “I have no recollection of that, officer.” You made these… Read More »

Boozin’ Barber

By , June 24, 2011 in whiskey

While alcohol trends aren’t exactly my boozin’ beat (apologies for going wild with the alliteration), every so often, my shenanigans intersect with a liquor phenomenon. In this case, I feel it appropriate to report. I’ve been aware of “real man” barbershops for some time now. They’re a little pricey, but with the extra dough, you get a solid cut, a clean shave, and a slap in the face to keep you grounded. Okay, maybe not the latter, but many of these establishments will give you something just as good: a whiskey drink while you wait. Even though whiskey has never made me act like a real man (if it has, I’m the handsiest, most prone-to-crying real man you’ll ever meet), I love the concept. So when I heard about Tommy, I was intrigued. I’ve perused the Yelp page of many a bar, and never have I read an entry that… Read More »

Cheapo of the Seas

College graduation. Tears, laughter, a sense of accomplishment. And what’s that? That’s right: the feeling that someone’s watching you. It’s not your imagination. It’s us, the adult workforce, gleefully welcoming you to our ranks as each and every ounce of happiness begins to slowly, painfully drip from your carcass of a soul… But first, you’ve got a graduation cruise to enjoy! Now, in a perfect world, you received enough graduation money to buy all the drinks you could ever want while sailing from one Caribbean port to the next. But if your reality’s anything like mine was, then you’re flat broke as you spent all of your money on alcohol-themed beach attire (“Yes, your Corona flip-flops make you look distinguished, but I still won’t sleep with you… What? You have a matching Corona towel?! Take me! Take me on your kitschy towel!”). In order to offset the cost of the… Read More »

Canadian Whisky’s Image Issues

By , April 20, 2011 in booze, Bourbon, whiskey, whisky

Did you know that Canadian whisky had an image problem? Neither did I until I spotted this article in the New York Times. As I read the first few sentences, I realized that I have, unconsciously, harbored a dim view of whisky from the north. The article talks about how Canadian whisky is generally viewed as a light mixer without much depth or character; okay for cocktails but kinda weak on it’s own. My unconscious prejudice against the stuff isn’t quite so thoughtful. I just tend to think that it’s not going to be as good. I have no basis for this. One possible explanation is that, living fairly close to Kentucky, I have a strong sense of the tradition of bourbon. I’ve toured some of the distilleries there and dig the history of some of those old distillers. I feel the same way about Scotch, although I’ve never been… Read More »

After the whisky comes…electricity

By , February 28, 2011 in scotch, whiskey, whisky

At first blush it seems unlikely that waste material from making whisky could be used to make electricity. Once the liquor is created, it leaves behind dirty water and spent grain and not much else. As has been done for centuries by brewers and distillers alike, the grain is generally given or sold to local farmers to feed their livestock. The dirty water is just dumped. One distillery, has found a use for that water. Bruichladdich Distillery has spent the last three years working on a project with a company called Biowayste to use that waste water to produce biogas. This can then be used by a generator to produce electricity which will be pumped back into the distillery. It’s kind of cool to think that heretofore useless by-product will now actually go to power the distillery. But, it’s not the first such circular arrangement of benefits for Bruichladdich. Those… Read More »

How to sell Punjabi rocket fuel

By , February 7, 2011 in booze, scotch, whiskey, whisky

The quick answer is to not call it that. In practice, that answer led to £60,000 in monthly profits for some Indian entrepreneurs and, eventually, to a half dozen arrests. Here’s what happened. The criminal masterminds in our little morality play were blending a couple of locally produced whiskeys, Signature and Bagpiper, aka Punjabi rocket fuel. They would then pour their product in discarded Chivas, Glennfiddich and Johnny Walker Black bottles that had been recovered from the trash of upscale hotels that were serving the real thing. With new, fake labels from a local printer, they were able to pass their booze off to a wholesaler and walk away with a nice little profit. Unnamed “whisky experts” mentioned in the story above have taken this opportunity to crow about the “triumph of brand snobbery over taste and knowledge.” Really? The whiskey industry in India has exploded over the last year… Read More »

Protecting Scotch whisky one country at a time

By , December 29, 2010 in Alcohol Law, scotch, whiskey, whisky

As you know, the term whisky is generally reserved for Scotch. Whiskey is the word used for the same sort of stuff made outside of Scotland although this distinction isn’t recognized in all cases. Some regions and countries choose to respect this distinction by writing it into law. Add China, Panama and Vietnam to the list of countries that have decided to formally protect Scotch whisky. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) announced last week that, after securing protection in China and Panama, the Vietnamese National Office for Intellectual Property agreed to recognize the term as a “geographical indication of origin.” I admit that I’m a bit of a word geek which is why this sort of thing fascinates me. Written English has always been fluid. It’s only been in the last century or so that people have made a serious effort to freeze the written form of this living language… Read More »

Scotch and Water?

Frankly, I know nothing about Joe E. Lewis. But, I can’t argue with his position on water. It just takes up space in the glass that you could fill with more whisky! Whenever someone asks me if I want water with my Scotch, I say I’m thirsty, not dirty. -Joe E. Lewis Part of the November 2010 series of Beer and booze quips, quotes and one-liners