Tuesday, October 9, 2012

WWW Homework: Whiskey Tasting at Ward III

One of the best parts of being the founder of Women Who Whiskey is getting to plan future wWw events. And one of the best part of planning for the events is doing the homework.

I never plan an event in a place I haven't personally tested out myself--I'd be remiss if we showed up and our expectations weren't met.

Last night Samantha and I went on a recon mission to Ward III.

Indeed, we have already been to Ward III for an event, Women Who Whiskey: Graduation Edition.

But last night was special: Whiskey Mondays at Ward III, where booze reps come in and host a free tasting of a selection of liquors.

It's a recurring Ward III evening I'm hoping to plan a Women Who Whiskey event around, and I'm pleased to say that it was a delightful and educational experience.

We tried three different alcohols: rum (light and dark), whisky, and absinthe. Below are my photos and notes from the tasting.

Banks Blended Rum

Banks Rum is a blend of 21 different rums from a number of different countries, which gives it an even, spiced flavor that isn't too sweet. Both the dark and white rum has a butterscotch bouquet, but the flavor was far from syrupy--which is what I usually dislike about rum, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Florent, the charming and handsome (and French) brand manager told us all about the different rums they blend together--from Indonesian rum to Jamaican rum--and gave us a booklet of Banks rum cocktails. 

Banks Negroni

2 oz. Banks 5-Island Rum
.75 oz. Luxardo Bitter or Campari
.75 Lustau East India Sherry or Martini Sweet Vermouth

Add all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a tumbler over ice, or unto a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange twist. 

Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch

Monkey Shoulder is different from other blended scotches because it's a blend of only single malt whiskys. Most blended scotches use a single malt to cover up the taste of grain alcohol, which makes up most of the volume.

Monkey Shoulder is a Triple Malt Scotch--a blend of three single malts--which is why it has a smooth taste, superior to other blended scotches like Johnnie Walker or Dewars. 

It was started by David Stewart, the oldest serving distiller in Scotland--who's been doing it for more than 50 years. It's called Monkey Shoulder, after the common injury that malters use to get from turning the malted barley by hand.



Freddy, the brand rep, taught us how to make the Jam Old Fashioned, a cocktail he came up with consisting of a couple of ounces of Monkey Shoulder Scotch, two dashes of bitters, a couple of splashes of lemon juice, and a dollop of whatever jam you have on hand. Shake it with some ice and strain over ice in a tumbler.

La Clandestine Absinthe

Having French and Italian parents, I grew up with Pastis and Sambuca--both with strong anise/black liquorice flavors, which I love--so it's no surprise that I love Absinthe as well. 

I was delighted to find La Clandestine Absinthe on the tasting menu, and it was fun to watch Alan, the brand rep, pour us the traditional Absinthe and water cocktail with a fancy little thingamajig--called a Broulliar--to slowly drip the Absinthe into a glass of ice water. 

The goal is to bring the alcohol content of the absinthe down to the same strength of a glass of wine--about 13 or 14%--from it's original 53%. Normally this is about 3 parts water to 1 part absinthe.

La Clandestine is an old school no brand absinthe, which was started in 1935 by Charlotte Voucher. It was a bootleg recipe that only recently became an official brand.

We also tried La Clandestina, a deliciously crisp and refreshing cocktail.  Mix equal parts simple syrup, lime juice, and La Clandestine. Shake with ice in a mixer and strain into a chilled glass.


It was a wonderful evening--with lots of delicious free samples--and I wholly intent to make a future Women Who Whiskey event out of it. 

In the mean time, I highly recommend checking it out. It's every Monday at Ward III, on Reade St. and West Broadway in Tribeca.

11 Reade St.
(corner West Broadway)
Monday Night Whiskey Tastings
Mondays 8-10pm
Free with the purchase of a cocktail at the bar

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