Tag: whiskey

Weekend In Review


If you follow the Winekindasseur on Twitter, you may have noticed my Monday morning Tweets called Weekend In Review. In the weekly photo, a few empty wine and booze bottles are lined up, ready to head out to the recycle bin. A concerned friend tweeted, “Did you guys really drink a whole bottle of Limoncello over the weekend?” No, but it’s funny you should ask…

Just as we were inspired to clean out the pantry a few weeks ago, we’re attempting to reduce our liquor bottle count as well. The motivation isn’t expiration dates, since most spirits last for years, but rather that we’ll be moving eventually. Now you’re probably wondering, why don’t we just pack up the liquor and wine and drive it to our new place? To some extent we will do just that, but our problem is that there are hundreds of bottles.

Prior to becoming liquor store entrepreneurs, we had an average size collection of spirits. In order to be knowledgeable for our customers, part of our ‘homework’ was to try products at home. After the store, our curiosity led us to continue trying new products and testing in the drink lab. Oftentimes, we made a few cocktails from one bottle and then put it aside to move on to the next experiment. This behavior has resulted in every nook and cranny of our kitchen and dining room being occupied by a partly-consumed bottle of booze. Open a cabinet door and you never know what you’ll find.

I can imagine some less thrifty readers may want to suggest that we pour the bottle contents down the drain and be done with it.  Blasphemy!  This dilemma has delivered an opportunity to revisit our prior mixology dabbling and encourage friends to help us with our project. Certain bottles are ‘targeted’ for completion. When the goal of emptying each bottle has been accomplished, they are collected on the counter for a final farewell photo in memoriam.

Here are a couple of highlights:

Lemon Sorbet

We originally made this cocktail with Dr. McGillicuddy’s Intense Lemon Drop Schnapps. Since the shapely Limoncello bottle was targeted for completion, we’ll substitute it for the Schnapps. We give ourselves a pat on the back for our efficiency because finishing the Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka is next on the project timeline. I just love achieving my milestones!

  • 1.5 oz. Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka
  • .5 oz. Limoncello
  • .5 oz. lemon juice
  • .5 oz. simple syrup

Shake over ice and pour through a strainer.


Our friends who like to travel to bourbon and whiskey country in the south brought us a souvenir bottle from a distillery they visited. Davy Crockett Whiskey was a gift that kept on giving but after a year or so, it was time to bid farewell to our Tennessean friend. We’ve made a couple of minor changes to the traditional preparation of the Sazerac cocktail: using simple syrup in place of a sugar cube, and shaking instead of stirring.

  • Splash of Absinthe
  • 1.5 oz. whiskey
  • .25 oz simple syrup
  • Few dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
  • Lemon rind
  1. Prepare the glass with a wash of Absinthe and fill with crushed ice. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, peel some lemon rind.
  3. Fill a shaker with ice and add the whiskey, simple syrup, and about 3 dashes of bitters. Shake vigorously.
  4. Pour out the crushed ice from the glass. Strain and pour the whiskey into the glass. Twist the lemon rind and garnish the drink.



Manhattan Cocktail Drink Lab


New Year’s Eve with a few friends may not present the best opportunity to conduct a scientific drink lab but it sure is a fun way to get the party started! The Tiki lounge is set up with three whiskeys, three sweet vermouths, and Angostura regular and orange bitters. The buffet table offers a variety of chips, pretzels with raspberry honey mustard dip, cheeses, and an unusual but wonderfully delicious maple bacon onion jam. The food warmer keeps the heat on a square pepperoni pizza cut into mini slices as well as a glass pitcher of hot apple cider. Now this is a cocktail hour.

My father-in-law drank a classic and budget-friendly Manhattan cocktail every evening, made with Canadian Club and Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth. The classic recipes indicate rye as the whiskey of choice, however we opted for Bulliet and Buffalo Trace bourbons and our souvenir Crown Royal from the duty-free shop at Niagara Falls. Our sweet vermouths include Dolin, Vya, and Martini & Rossi.

First we taste the three whiskeys. The Bulliet is spiciest and harshest of the three. Buffalo Trace has a smoky flavor with a moderate burn and a hint of vanilla. Crown Royal is slightly sweeter and by far the smoothest, but loses out in punch and character. The Dolin tastes the sweetest of the three vermouths.

We mix the cocktails with a standard ratio of two parts whiskey to one part vermouth and a dash of bitters. The Manhattans made with Bulliet and Buffalo Trace are dominated by the bourbon flavor profile while the vermouth takes a back seat. Crown Royal combines especially well with Dolin vermouth, uniting their sweet essences with the tart orange bitters. Just add ice and stir, or shake over ice and pour to create a frothy head!