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.

Top Ten Things to Do With Your Leftover Wine

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I’ll admit it – we don’t always finish the entire bottle of wine. Sad, I know. Then, we’ll get into something else like beer or booze, and suddenly about one glass of wine has been sitting in the bottle for at least a week. We try another wine, and another glass sits in that bottle. The problems of a first world citizen…  Well, here at ES, we look to solve those first world problems, which is why we bring you the top things to do with your old wine.

1. Make Vinegar

Your mother makes good vinegar. But really…you can make your own vinegar with just some old wine, “mother,” cheese cloth, and a glass vessel of the appropriate size. If you have a party where there is left over wine, or tasted a few wines, you can even mix them together to fill a bottle and then use that to create your own homemade vinegar. Or, you can buy a bottle of wine to make vinegar (I vote for the other option). Once you get your mother, add the wine, let it sit, add more wine, let it sit, add more wine, let it sit, wait a month.

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2. Port Wine and Fig Poptails

While this is not necessarily the “spoiled wine” route, let’s be real – nobody ever finishes a bottle of port. Wine and figs all in one! I’m typically not a fan of port, but I think I could get behind this – no matter what season!

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3. Roasted Pork Loin Over Pumpkin Risotto

I know we’ve seen this one before, but it’s important to point out that even white wine can be used in cooking!

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4. New York Sour

It won’t be as easy for your friends to call you an old person with this drink. Instead, they’ll be like, “oh shit, your so cool!” …Maybe not, but it’s good.

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Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned

Top 10 Holiday Cocktails

Ah yes, here we are. The red cups are back, people are crankier than ever, and our bank accounts are draining the same day we get paid. So how do we cope celebrate? Alcohol and parties! Yes, we all gather to celebrate the holidays and drink our sorrows away. Well, this year, impress your colleagues, friends, and family with some new cocktail recipes. You’re welcome.

10. Candy Cane Affogato

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Ever since I had my first Affogato on a cruise, I will always order it when on the dessert menu. But now, this?! Not only do I get my espresso with my ice cream, but there’s a bit of booze and minty freshness. Sign me up.

9. Wine Me Up Santa

I got a massive bottle of red wine for our recent holiday party. Well, a day later and there is still at least 3/4 of the bottle left. Knowing it would “go bad” in a few days, I drank the rest of the bottle myself. Next time, I’ll be offering these at the party. Unless I’m feeling like drinking an entire bottle of wine again.

8. Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned

Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned

I’m a whiskey fan. Go to drink is typically a Whiskey Sour or just drinking it straight. I’m always looking for other cocktails to make than the Whiskey Sour. Well, here we have it – Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned. I’ll be having this one tonight. Cheers.

7. Hot Buttered Whiskey

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At my super-classy holiday party, I was tempted to serve buttered rum. Only thing was that the party just started and I didn’t feel like bringing another Crock Pot up from the basement. You can use this recipe with rum or whiskey. I suggest whiskey.

6. Candy Cane Martini

Some like to keep it simple. While this certainly is not for the lightweights, it will get the job done.

5. Haute Hazelnut Cocktail

A few years back, I fell in love with Rumchata. This version of Bailey’s is very similar. I mean, I could probably even have this drink with breakfast.

4. New York Sour

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First time I had this drink was at Keen’s in New York City. I always ask if the bartender knows how to make this. if they say no – then I go with beer. Otherwise, I go for this every time.

3. Hot Peanut Buttered Rum

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The POV in D.C. offers this up as their spin on buttered rum. Start with peanut butter infused rum with hot cinnamon tea, butter, and of course a bunch of whipped cream on top.

2. Punched Up Punch

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Take yourself back to the days of college, grain alcohol, and Kool Aid. Now class it up a bit and you have this drink made with Brazilian Cachacaliqueur, ginger infused acai spirit, organic tea syrup, lime and passion fruit juice. Originally found at Poste in DC.

1. Purple Snowflake Martini

 

I mean…if you want glitz and glam at your holiday party. Here it is. And it has plenty of booze too!

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Cocktail O’ Clock: The Scarecrow’s Lean

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Thanksgiving is a time for cooking, sure, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s also a time for… drinking. While a bottle of cheap wine always does the trick, sometimes you want something a little fancier to wow the family and friends. This cocktail from The Honeymoon in Houston is the perfect mix of sweet, savory, and just elegant enough to impress your crowds of holiday guests. Bottoms up!

 

The Scarecrow’s Lean

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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!

artists lament from the townsend

Cocktail O’ Clock: The Artist’s Lament

artists lament from the townsend

Every Spring, Austin hosts the  Moontower Comedy & Oddity Fest, a festival all about – you guessed it – comedy. This year, Moontower features comedians like Martin Short, David Cross, Leslie Jones, Maya Rudolph, Janeane Garofolo, and more… and it’s happening this very weekend! In honor of the event, Justin Elliott, the Director of Hospitality and Bar Program Creator at popular downtown cocktail bar The Townsend has created a special drink, only available Thursday (4/21) through Saturday (4/23). It’s called the Artist’s Lament ($8) and it’s available at the bar, which is hosting a number of Moontower shows.

This drink is only on the menu during Moontower, and The Townsend will be a popular spot during the festival for comedy shows and, of course, drinks. If you’re not in Austin for the fest this weekend, no worries! We got the secret recipe to make this complex and bitter cocktail at home.

What Justin says about this drink: “Loosely based on the classic ‘Artist’s Special’ I present – in honor of the miserable lot that we all know comedians to be – the ‘Artist’s Lament.’ Basically it has a lot of the tasting notes of an Artist’s Special but it’s way more bitter and it’s definitely smoking about a pack a day.”

Sounds good to us! Bottoms up to the weekend, let’s laugh and lament.

 

The Artist’s Lament

1 oz Dolin Vermouth Dry
1 oz Bigallet Amer China-China
.5 oz (1:1) Simple Syrup
.75 oz Lemon Juice
.25 oz Port Charlotte Islay Scotch Whisky

Swizzle together with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned

Cocktail O’ Clock: Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned

Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned

Tis the season… to drink! And to do other things too, of course. But today I want to talk about drinking. I love a festive holiday-flavored beverage, especially when it’s nice and boozy. So when Eureka sent me their recipe for a gingerbread old fashioned, I was super into it. Now I can pretend I’m Don Draper and Santa Claus, all at once! (Sorry, is that really creepy? Probably.)

Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned

 

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