To-Drink List: Top 10 Whiskeys to Try Before You Die

We love food, we love beer, we love wine, we love booze. Of course, as we all grow up and mature, the kinds of beer, booze, and wine we enjoy tends to change. Now that we are all “adults,” it is important to know when it is and is not okay to bring a box of wine, a six-pack of Natty Light, or a bottle of Sailor Jerry. We got you covered on beer and cocktails. But what about the classic whiskey? That’s why we bring you our list of the top ten whiskeys to impress. Whether it is bourbon, single malt, or a blend, we have you covered. Enjoy – literally try them all.

 

Knobb Creek

10. Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve

Knob Creek can be found in nearly any liquor store. This is a good starter for drinking whiskey straight. This is a smooth bourbon that goes down nice and easy!

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9. OOLA Discourse Three Shores Blended Whiskey

Many scoff at the thought of blended whiskey. However this is a blended whiskey that will turn anyone. The blend features some of the best whiskeys in the world in one bottle. This is a well balanced sweet, spicy, and smooth blend to get you started.

Clyde Mays

8. Clyde May’s Bourbon

Impress your friends with this sweet bourbon. Don’t add water. Don’t add ice. Just pour it into the glass and drink it up.

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7. Angel’s Envy Rye

Now this stuff isn’t cheap, but well worth every penny. This stuff gives new meaning to rye whiskey with it finishing off in rum barrels. The spice of the rye meshes well with the sweetness of the rum barrels. YUM.

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6. Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

This award-winning bourbon packs a punch. Four Roses is a well-known brand amongst whiskey lovers, but the single barrel provides fruity undertones without losing the strength of a bourbon whiskey.

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5. Catskill Distilling Co. Rye

While this may be more difficult to find, it is well worth the search. Catskill Rye comes out of the Empire state with a complex flavor profile. Some find the description of “leather” as odd. However, the flavor comes out underneath other flavors such as caramel and vanilla finishing with smoky and spicy flavors (that “wood” description they provide).

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4. Basil Hayden Bourbon

At 80 proof, this bourbon goes down easy straight. Smooth flavors of spice and honey make it an enjoyable whiskey that is worth keeping in your liquor cabinet.

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3. Bulleit Rye 

You’ll find this one behind just about every bar you go to. Tend your own bar with this for anything from straight whiskey to mixed drinks. Or keep on dumping in Old Crow and not realizing that whiskey can taste good even in mixed drinks.

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2. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon

This one has been around for quite a while. What does that mean? Well developed flavors through maturing in barrels and perfecting the cuts. With such great color to the bourbon and TONS of flavor – you can’t go wrong with Woodford Reserve.

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1. Teeling Irish Whiskey

Of course, we can’t leave out Irish whiskey! Like the Irish, Teeling packs a punch. In your face spice hits you first, along with a nicely balanced boozy flavor. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you are going to go with an Irish whiskey – start here.

Burns My Bacon: Cranberry Garnish

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Cranberries are taking over the world. Not the band, I wouldn’t mind that as much. More specifically, cranberry garnish is taking over. We recently attended a wedding where cranberries were in our champagne glasses. Only weeks later, we had cranberries in another one of our drinks. Why? What does it add to the drink?

I’ve had strawberries in my champagne – sliced up and infused into the champagne. I’ve had mint in my mojitos, basil in strawberry drinks – all garnishes that I could taste. But cranberries? You can’t get flavor out of a cranberry unless it is cooked! Garnish is fine if it has some kind of use…but just to throw it on there for the hell of it? For who’s benefit?

1) FREEZE the cranberries

At least you can use them as ice cubes in the drink. I would argue that the cranberries will at least keep the drink’s original constitution rather than watering it down with ice cubes.

2) Cook the cranberries

Boil the cranberries first and muddle them in a new drink. Your hipster friends will be more impressed. Although, I can guarantee you that at least one hipster will ask where the garnish is.

3) Infuse with cranberries

You see, the key here is to COOK them first. Cook on medium heat in a sauce pan. Then let it sit in your favorite booze for a few days.

THERE. Something useful for cranberries in alcoholic drinks. At the least, you can use them as ice cubes if it’s that important that the drink look “pretty”.

pumpkin chai ice cream

Top 10 Halloween Foods

YES. Halloween is upon us. Break out the Hocus PocusThe Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, and your favorite horror DVD. But what good are these delightful fall productions without fall-themed food? Well, frankly they are nothing without our beloved food. Clearly, you’re doing it wrong if you have not yet enjoyed some sort of “halloweeny” food. Here are our top ten suggestions:

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10. Acorn Squash Fondue

Who needs the melting pot? Get the acorn squash while their on sale and fill it with ooey, gooey cheese.

9. Caramel Apples

Yes, that apple is supposed to be me. My favorite part (other than eating them) is trying to design the most vulgur apple.

8. Butterfinger Cheesecake

Tell yourself that you didn’t have to go back to the store for candy because you didn’t blow through the first bag. OR, you could make a more refined candy treat that won’t tempt you to go through that second bag “for the kids.”

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7. Pumpkin Caramel Mousse Cake

Pumpkin at a whole new level.

6. Baked Stuffed Pumpkin

This version is pretty much a pumpkin pie in a pumpkin. If that’s not your thing, think of the other possibilities (cheese, meet, ya know – the basics).

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5. Black Bean Spaghetti

BS showed us the blood and guts of spaghetti with a gourmet spin.

4. Pumpkin Chai Ice Cream

In the BEST of households, ice cream is NEVER out of season. Don’t you dare tell me otherwise.

3. Three Musketeers Pop-Tail

Who needs candy anyway when you can have a dessert that also has booze?

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2. Butternut Squash Pizza

No, Domino’s does not have this flavor.

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1. Butternut Squash Quiche

And finally, something for those who still want to eat “healthy” on Halloween.

Endless Spirits: The New York Sour

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I over-did it this year. Pumpkin beer is beginning to get old. Sad, I know – it’s not even Halloween yet. I’ve been seeking out other booze drinks to help satisfy my thirst and I think I found an alternative that I can still call a holiday drink: The New York Sour. I first tried this drink last Christmas season and it was AWESOME. Gives you that warm feeling you want in the cold months, sweetness of the whiskey and wine, along with the tart touch of sour mix. Plus, it looks pretty….well pretty I guess. Your friends will be impressed.

The New York Sour is a whiskey sour with a splash of red wine on top. No worries, if you are not a whiskey drinker, this cocktail will still impress even you. The wine adds a surprisingly refreshingly sweet flavor to the drink that balances everything out quite well. That being said, it also doesn’t take away from the classic tastes of the whiskey sour. The best way to explain the first sip is a feeling of jubilation. Yes…I believe that accurately describes a drink that provides the satisfying sweetness of whiskey, the tartness of the sour mix, and the sweet refreshing crispness of red wine. Here’s how to make your own:

 

New York Sour

2 ounce Whiskey (of your choice)
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
1/2 – 1 ounce dry red wine

Pour whiskey and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice. Shake, shake, shake the shaker until frosty on the outside. Pour the mixture into a fancy glass (include some of the bits of ice). Pour wine over a spoon, impress friends, and drink up!

Cocktail O’Clock: Sparkling Summer Sangria

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I don’t know what it’s like where you guys are, but here in NYC it’s about ninety-way-too-freaking-sticky degrees, which IMHO means that Cocktail O’Clock is allowed to start before noon on this particular Friday.

Here’s a refreshing drink that’s tailor-made for these hot summer days. A spin on classic sangria, this recipe subs in Cava for white wine — a neat trick that adds a little fizz, without requiring too much of a spend, as the light Spanish bubbles are an excellent and affordable sub-in for Champagne.

Sparkling Summer Sangria

· 1/2 oz. simple syrup
· 1 orange quarter
· 1 lime quarter
· 1/2 oz. orange liqueur
· 1/2 oz. Spanish brandy
· 3-4 oz. Freixenet Carta Nevada Cava (chilled)
· 2 oz. lemon-lime soda (chilled)
· 1 maraschino cherry

Muddle fruit slices in a shaker cup with simple syrup.

Add liqueur and brandy with ice.

Shake, then strain into a cocktail glass.

Add soda and top off with Cava.

Drop in cherry or secure to an orange wedge using a toothpick, to decorate the rim of each glass.

Alternatively, multiply everything by 5 (our favorite rule!) and put it all together in a pitcher.

emily's cinco de mayo beergaritas

Cinco De Mayo Necessity: Ultimate Beergaritas!

emily's cinco de mayo beergaritas

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!!! Probably my favorite day of the year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my proclivity for drinking mass amounts of tequila on Cinco, well, buckle up.

One of my essentials for any Cinco de Mayo is a good beergarita. You can drink a lot without realizing how much you’re actually imbibing, and it actually tastes delightful! (PSA: I don’t care what holiday you’re celebrating, never drive drunk yo. Call yourself an Uber, Lyft, taxi, sober friend, or unfortunate booty call and make them deal with your drunk ass.)

Anyway, make these. Tonight. Or today. Or right now.

Dayna y Emily’s Classic Cinco Beergaritas

4 12oz cans of your favorite Mexican beer (or, if you really want to get “authentic Emily” just load up an unused coffee pot with keg beer)
1 can frozen limeade concentrate
Enough silver tequila to fill up 2/3 of the empty limeade can (or 1/2 can’s worth of tequila if you aren’t trynna get crazy)
2 limes, sliced

Combine the first three ingredients into your drink dispenser. (What do you mean, you don’t have a professional-grade drink dispenser?! Get one immediately, what is the point of your life right now?!) Squeeze the juice from the limes into the mixture then drop the rinds in. Fill a Ziploc bag with ice and seal it tightly, then drop it into the jug as well. (This way the ice doesn’t water down your drink… smart, eh?) Get a keg cup – because beergaritas are always best consumed out of a keg cup, and you know it – write your name on the cup so you can keep track of it, cause it’s gonna be a long night. Pour a hearty serving of beergarita in, and get this party started!

ENJOY, AMIGOS!

Whislers Sweet Potato Cocktail

Cocktail O’Clock: I Yam What I Yam

Whislers Sweet Potato Cocktail

We’re nearing the end of winter, but there are still more cozy cocktails to be sipped! Before the spring sun comes back, snuggle up to an inspired s’mores-ish cocktail, made with sweet potato (yes, sweet potato!) shrub. This recipe comes from Whisler’s, one of Austin’s favorite craft cocktail bars. (And one of my personal favorite places to grab a drink and some spicy Thai food!)

I Yam What I Yam

1.5 oz Butter-Infused Flor de Cana 7yr
.5 oz Milletti Amaro
1 oz Sweet Potato Shrub
2 dashes of Fee Bros Black Walnut bitters & 1 dash of Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas bitters

Shake and strain over ice in an old-fashioned glass.  Garnish with toasted marshmallow.