November 10, 2017

What I’m Drinking: The Plot Begins

It’s November here in Seattle (haha), which means the sky has shifted to grey, there’s cold rain in the wind, and people are looking longingly at their calendars. But, it’s also the time of year when whiskey takes more of a center stage spot (not that it’s ever off-stage, mind you me). Why now? Well, it’s warming for one! Also, it just adds a level of brown comfort to a cold evening. At least that’s what I thought when needing a drink for this chilly night. And luckily (lucky me!), I recently received a swell bottle of whiskey, Billy rye whiskey, in the mail, and wanted to take it for a cocktail drive.

Coming from Oregon’s McMenamins (known best for their series of creative bars, but also expanding as a distillery), Billy rye is a sibling of Billy whiskey, and is a limited-availability number, but one worth tracking down. Aged four years in American oak, it has a deep and cuddly and toasty molasses, oakiness, and caramel nature that’s begging to be sipped, and felt, to me, that it’d pair perfectly with some nuttiness. So, I went with the green-walnut liqueur nocino. I used local Sidetrack Distillery Nocino, which is a rich, strong, version of nocino, one I love. To add some undercurrents to our cocktail story I doubled up on bitters, with a bit of both Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters and Fee Brothers West Indian orange bitters. But, it felt unfinished, so I traveled even farther up the west coast, and brought in Sons of Vancouver’s (a distillery in North Vancouver, CA) No. 82 amaretto as our second to the last character – a big orange twist is the final one. Inspired by their mother’s canning recipes it has just five ingredients (apricot kernels, Bourbon vanilla beans, orange peel, Demerara sugar, and blackberry honey) and like our nocino is well worth tracking down.

And the plot all came together, letting the rye lead, but with a host of flavors swirling: nutty, herbally, a smidge of sweet, tiny hints of citrus, it took my mind right off the weather outside. Oh, if you don’t have Sidetrack or Sons of Vancouver in your backyard, well, I feel sad for you! You could sub in other nocinos and amarettos, sure. Won’t be exactly canonical, but still readable – or drinkable.

The Plot Begins

2 ounces McMenamins Billy rye whiskey
3/4 ounces Sidetrack Nocino
1/2 ounce Sons of Vancouver No. 82 amaretto
2 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters
1 dash Fee Brothers West Indian orange bitters
Wide orange twist, for garnish
Big ice cube (or a couple decent-sized ones)

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything but the twist (it’s that kind of story). Stir well.

2. Add a big ol’ ice cube to an Old Fashioned or comparable glass. Strain the mix into said glass. Garnish with the orange twist, and a happy finish to the plot.

February 28, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Friday Kahloe

This is (and I’m being both tongue-in-cheek and deadly, deadly, serious here) a nutty drink. Really, I’m not 100% sure how I came up with it, as the ingredient list is wide-ranging and may appear to be one that would only turn up in the ramblings of a drink-making madman. A madman, I tell you! Wait . . .

Anyway, the recipe’s printed in Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz, and, strange-ish ingredient list aside, it’s darn good. A great drink for a Friday, really, especially if you’re getting ready to go on a world tour, or want to pretend to take a world tour from your living room or home bar. If you can’t find the Kahana Royale macadamia nut liqueur, well, I feel for you. But you could sub in another nutty liqueur – then email me and tell me how it is. If you can’t find Amaro CioCiaro, dang, I’d move. But if that isn’t feasible, try another of the amaros, one that leans towards the bitter side. If you can’t find Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters, then just go read another blog. Sorry.


Friday Kahloe

1-1/2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce Kahana Royale macadamia nut liqueur
1/2 ounce Amaro CioCiaro
Dash of Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the bourbon, macadamia nut liqueur, CioCiaro, and bitters. Shake well—it’s Friday, so show you appreciate it.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

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