Saturday, May 26, 2012

A White Manhattan

A White Manhattan: 
Bully Boy White Whiskey (unaged bourbon), Dolin Blanc (white vermouth), and rhubarb bitters. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Super Strong Spirits

Super strong spirits--above the average 70 to 90 proof--are becoming increasingly popular.

"In general, alcohol levels have been creeping northward for a few years, as distillers aim to please bartenders and enthusiasts who thirst for a more potent dram — 50 percent has become the new 40 percent. But a goodly number of bottles are now speeding past even that mark, weighing in at anything from 51 to 70 percent, and beyond. 

True to the name “cask-strength,” these liquors are bottled uncut, at the same concentration they possessed in the barrel. (Yes, most spirits are diluted to render them palatable, a fact that comes as a shock to many otherwise savvy drinkers.) 

Flavien Desoblin, who owns the Brandy Library in TriBeCa, guessed that one out of every dozen new Scotches he encounters is high octane. The number of bourbons is fewer but still substantial, including barrel-strength expressions from Wild Turkey and Four Roses.
“We’ve got lots of people asking about cask-strength,” he said."

Read on for more information about cask-strength spirits.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Champagne Cocktails

Sometimes bubbles are just what you need...

"By the mid 1800’s the classic ‘Champagne Cocktail’ was all the rage at dinner parties and soirees in genteel society. Today these sparkling cocktails are as hip as ever in wine bars and lounges from coast to coast. Only now you get them served with Thievery Corporation or Ursula 1000 cooing in the background instead of Beethoven or Brahms." 

Champagne Cocktail Basics
- Chill your sparkling wines. Keep them about 42-45° F.

- Don’t use cheap sparkling for cocktails. Good ingredients make a good drink.
Don’t use the highest end sparkling either. Drink your Dom straight.

- As most sparkling wine drinks are on the sweet side, use a dry sparkling [aka Brut].

- Chill the glass [flute] ahead of time. Sparkling wine likes to be served well chilled.

- Pour small amounts of sparkling in at a time to prevent foam over. Repeat until the glass is filled.

Read on for more delicious Champagne Cocktail recipes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Rachel!

In honor of Rachel's upcoming birthday, we'll be making

2 oz bourbon
1/4 oz rye whiskey simple syrup
Peychaud's bitters

Over ice, stir together bourbon, simple syrup, and bitters.

Fill a stoppered decanter (or another sealable container, like a lidded pitcher or jar) with fresh hickory smoke from a handheld food smoker (like PolyScience's Smoking Gun). Strain in the cocktail, seal the decanter, and swirl for one minute. Pour the drink out over ice; serve.

NB: If you don't have fresh hickory smoke on hand, substitute a peaty Scotch for the bourbon. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Women Who Whiskey: Graduation Edition - Ward III

This last semester of graduate school--after which many WWW members graduated--was a bit crazed, and so Women Who Whiskey took an unintentional break from any official events between January and May.

But WWW was back in May with Graduation Edition at Ward III, a charming little cocktail bar in Tribeca known for its delicious bespoke cocktails.

Rachel and Julia

The staff was absolutely delightful, and the food was delicious. 

I had lamb tacos and tasted someone else's duck nachos. Yum!

A Manhattan

I had my signature Manhattan, which was delicious, while Rachel tried the Ward III, the bar's eponymous summer cocktail, made with Bourbon and strawberries.

The Ward III

We started off as a small group of six or so, but people kept filing in for late happy hour drinks before we all ran off to a splendid rooftop graduation party in Chelsea.

Emma and Jon

Rachel and Keenan

Overall it was a splendid place to close out our graduate school careers.

11 Reade St.
(corner West Broadway)