Editor’s Note: Our buddy, Adam Piggot, the Gentleman Adventurer pens a useful article on Spirits. Read him at his site, as well.
I’ve been into mixing drinks for a very long time. When I was still 17 I set up my own bar in my bedroom complete with glass shelving that I put up myself. I had all the utensils and then when I hit 18 I purchased a bunch of bottles and began teaching myself how to mix drinks. It was about as appalling as you might expect. The low point was a drink that I invented which I christened a ‘sperm bank’. Classy stuff.
Then it was time spent working in bars, pubs and restaurants and then finally owning and running my own late night club in the Italian Alps for a number of years.
In between there was also quite a bit of sampling of the produce, shall we say. Drink was originally invented to make unhealthy water palatable, but eventually it morphed into making boredom bearable. Not bores, just boredom. A drunk bore is the pits of the earth. A fitting punishment for the SJW woke crowd would be to be marooned on some island archipelago with the world’s most boring drunks.
With all that in mind, I do have rather strong opinions on the strong stuff. This enforced period of containment which has coincided with beautiful spring weather has me going into my back catalogue of drink recipes so as to stave off the inevitable boredom.
For a start I am not one to use whiskey in mixed drinks. You’re probably now thinking of some wonderful drink like the whiskey sour and coming to the conclusion that I am a philistine. But whiskey served in that way just doesn’t do it for me. What I prefer is to substitute the whiskey for dark rum. So make a rum sour the same way that you’d do it normally if you had used the whiskey.
Rum is my favorite spirit for mixing drinks. I’ll substitute it for just about anything. The good old Caprioska which is a combination of vodka, fresh lime wedges and sugar is fine as it is. But throw away the Russian firewater and put in a really nice Plantation Peru 2010 single cask rum and you have the beginning of a wonderful, if not brief friendship.
Rum drinks are summer drinks, but what about winter? Have a gander at the classic hot toddy, yet another damn whiskey cocktail. But once again we can sub in the Caribbean hooch and you’re good to go as far as I’m concerned.
That barely 18 year old version of me buying bottles for his home bar had a number of financial constraints with his project. I had no money and booze required some in order to be obtained. I remember buying a bottle of gin because so many cocktails had gin as a base. Unfortunately the vast majority of them turned out to be horribly unpalatable crap. Awful concoctions such as a Blue Lagoon. I wasted real money on a bottle of blue curacao in order to make that abortion of a drink. Goodness only knows what the chap in the bottleshop was thinking as I purchased it. Probably something along the lines of, there goes the neighborhood.
But if I had just used my limited funds on a good bottle of dark rum then I would have been a lot better off. Rum is the best spirit out there for mixed drinks. Sometimes it can even be drunk neat, but that is something that I prefer to leave to the aforementioned whiskys, single malt naturally. Another side benefit in this day and age is the rumor that they finish off this nasty chopsick that’s apparently going around. Time to get boozing.
Can you suggest a good dry whiskey, bourbon, rye, or scotch to have on ice in a highball type glass? I never know what to get. Not a fan of sweet drinks or fancy martinis. Thanks!
Try Noah’s Mill bourbon. It’s strong with a slightly dry finish, perfect for having over ice.
I second Noah’s Mill. Good bourbon. I mean, for the money, nothing is better than WT101, but NM is really, really good. Costs a bit more than WT, but still affordable.
Thanks, I will give both a try!
From the same distiller as Noah’s Mill, Rowan’s Creek is also a fine bourbon.
I don’t drink much bourbon, and have almost no experience. Lately, I’ve found I like a shot of Marker’s Mark, diluted with an equal volume of water, over the rocks. Seems fine for the two or three times a month I want bourbon. At least it’s a whole lot better than my wife’s mudslides… Tired one of those *once* and realized it takes like a milkshake. I’m too old for stuff that sweet.
Do I need to expand my horizons?
Most of us tend to be neat drinkers (no ice or water), but if it works for you, go with it. Makers is OK, but I like the others we have mentioned here more. You can also drink rum, brandy, or even tequila.