If cuisine drives (or helps) you decide your travel plans, USA Today's list of food favorites covers Best Farmers Market, Best Food Trail, Best Food Factory Tour, Best Al Fresco Dining Neighborhood and Best Local Food Scene. All those lists are pretty self-explanatory, except for the food trails, which aren't even fully described in the more verbose slideshow of the top 10. And of course there are more than 10 food trails in the US (not to mention abroad), so let's dive in. [more inside]
Your ‘Craft’ Rye Whiskey Is Probably From a Factory Distillery in Indiana. The Daily Beast covers the phenomenon of a large list of whiskey brands serving only as bottlers, purchasing their spirits from a "hulking factory in Indiana". Thirdhand hattip to blogger SKU for leading the charge on this. [more inside]
Pappy Van Winkle, the white whale of bourbons, uses the same mash bill, spirit, and barrels as a cheaper, considerably easier-to-find bourbon (previously). When you mix that with yet another, even cheaper (but higher proof) bourbon, you get a whiskey that tastes pretty damn close to the highly-coveted PVW 15.
Every wondered where your favorite brown liquid came from? Find its starting position on the Bourbon Family Tree. [more inside]
Darcy O’Neil’s “Art of Drink” blog examines temperance images from the 1800s, the meaning of temperance, historical drinking and driving ads, and a couple of bitters labels for good measure. [more inside]
If you're ever in Loretto, Kentucky, you're welcome to pay a visit to the Maker's Mark bourbon distillery, a National Historic Landmark. Until then, why not pour yourself a taste and watch this video? [more inside]
Last week, the New Yorker published a (previously rejected) F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, "Thank You for the Light", written in 1936. The magazine has also made available "A Short Autobiography," in which Fitzgerald gave a chronology of his life in terms of alcoholic beverages imbibed. [more inside]
Quest for the Perfect Bourbon: Voices of Buffalo Trace Distillery is a documentary from the Buffalo Trace Oral History Project, part of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Mapping out whiskey. Start here, swimming in Drunkards Channel: Map On Temperance, 1846. [more inside]
The joy of Bourbon drinking is not the pharmacological effect of C(2)H(5)OH on the cortex but rather the instant of the whiskey being knocked back and the little explosion of Kentucky U.S.A. sunshine in the cavity of the nasopharynx and the hot bosky bite of Tennessee summertime--aesthetic considerations to which the effect of the alcohol is, if not dispensable, at least secondary.Bourbon, an essay by Walker Percy. A warning: "Not only should connoisseurs of Bourbon not read this article, neither should persons preoccupied with the perils of alcoholism, cirrhosis, esophageal hemorrhage, cancer of the palate, and so forth..." [more inside]
I am Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. I am the Dauphin of France. I am, by the grace of God, Pope. [more inside]
I Have Seen The Future And It's American Straight Whiskey: How many things do you know that get not only better but more numerous with every passing year? You could call it Bourbon, of course, it you wished to exclude the superb Tennessee products of Jack Daniel's and George Dickel (just because they charcoal-filter their otherwise equally impeccable straight whiskey), but you should know that this is only the result of a strictly commercial rivalry between the two main producers: Brown-Forman (who own Jack Daniel's in Tennessee) and Jim Beam (who make only Kentucky straight whiskies, i.e. Bourbons). Call it American straight whiskey and be proud! [More inside.]
Can I Have A Glass For This? Yes, you can. Riedel make the best glasses in the world (well, with a little competition...), painstakingly suiting each drink to the best shape and size of container, for the benefit of nose, mouth, eyes and hold. A very recent addition, not yet found on their official list, is the bourbon glass, made with expert advise from Fred Noe, of the legendary Noe family, overlords of Jim Beam. Form means content indeed! More's the pity that the great majority of drinks are served in inappropriate glasses and therefore never fully enjoyed.
Try Saying Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Tea And Mint Julep Without Smiling: it can't be done. Coz June is busting out all over in Bourbon country and the mint is as high as an elephant's eye. For this we all rejoice. But - wait - did you know that, for that most perfect Summer drink, the thirst-quenching nec plus ultra they call the Julep, "the most important ingredient is a T-shirt for the mint juice extraction"? Oh yes! The time has come. Here comes the sun. Mmmm...
What's your favorite type of liquor? After the success of the beer thread, I figured some people might want to talk about their favorite scotches, bourbons, rums, tequilas, vodkas, and gins.