If you're ready for a new kind of DIY challenge, consider building your own copper still, which will allow you to distill your own spirits for DIY whiskey, vodka, gin, or brandy. (Or tequila, I guess...if you can get your hands on a giant agave piña.)
Ever wonder how America's great bourbon is made? Like, from what it's made, and how does it become liquid, and if it's distilled, why is it brown?These guys went on a five-day blitz through twelve distilleries and cut together this video as a visual guide through the entire process.
You may have been told that the less desirable effects of alcohol - the disturbed sleep, the morning-after headaches, the drama in your gut - come from dehydration, or impurities from barrel aging, or mixing spirits, wine, and beer in a single session. I've always thought (or, um, learned) that it's the sugar in sweeter drinks that does the deed, coupled with the dehydrating effects...but, even if you DO drink water, or don't have multiple spirits, the effects can still be intense.
Turns out - we've got it all wrong.
Huh. The Daily Beast shares that most bottles of 'craft' whiskey - those determined by branding using phrases like "small batch," "handcrafted," "artisanal," and always with a local designation, probably come from a huge, macro distillery in Southern Indiana.
Some days are everyday cocktail days. Straightforward, two or three ingredient drinks that taste great and require little prep work.
But some days are special cocktail days... Days where a little extra effort makes for all the difference. Days like Fourth of July on a Friday that happens to make for three-day weekend. Which is totally happening this year.
Spring isn't the time for making complicated drinks...infusing spirits and boiling special syrups. It's the season for getting outside as much as possible, enjoying the ever-later evenings, and embracing simplicity.
Most have heard, and can quote, the famous line attributed (probably inappropriately) to Benjamin Franklin, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." And plenty of us have likely created our adages to remind ourselves of experiences with tequila, wine, or some other overindulgence. But, throughout the last few hundred years, many of our greatest writers, thinkers, and humorists have dedicated their lines to that most aged and crafted of spirits: whiskey.
Like many things, the world of spirits and liquor is a spectrum. On one end, there's the only-there-for-ABV stuff that college kids drink, on the other, the collections and high-end bottles of fine connoisseurs, with plenty of options in between. And while there are the days when something special is the only way to go, there are also plenty of time when you want a budget bottle that works: something for mixing, something to bring to a party, or a good-enough bottle to share with guests.
Some guys have their go-to libation: no matter the time, no matter the place, they want this beer or that drink, and the matter really isn't up for discussion. Others are constantly switching up their poisons, perusing the menu for familiar flavors, taking the advice of the bartender, or simply having what everyone else at the table ordered.
Do me a favor this St. Patrick's Day: skip the green beer. Please. But, while you're not drinking that silliness, do try some Irish Whiskey. Often overlook by bourbon and Scotch drinkers, the Irish whiskey tradition is as old as it is varied. In fact, they kinda invented it.
ManMade team member Gabriel has been experimenting with some serious cocktail mixing, and sought out to give that non-season-specific classic, the Old Fashioned, a winter-y update.
Look, on another day, I'd try to come up with some clever intro, talking about classic flavor combinations and different textures, or some other such goodness. But today, I'm just gonna dive in: this is a recipe for whiskey sriracha caramel popcorn. It's got smoky scotch whiskey, and a balance of heat and sweet, and I can't wait to make some at home this weekend.
GQ shares this fascinating chart excerpted from the new book The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining: How to Drink and Make Whiskey by Colin Spoelman and David Haskell.
A sour is one of the original families of cocktails, and, done properly, is pretty straight forward: base spirit, an acid to create complexity and brightness, and a little sweetener to tame the sourness and round things out. Which means: a whiskey sour is a perfect cocktail to make at home, without any need to buy an overly sweet commercial sour mix.
The tradition of barrel or cask aging distilled spirits, wine, and beer goes back thousands of years. Letting the liquid mature within wood is what gives them their distinct flavors, aromas, and colors...when spirits are distilled, they're as clear as vodka; it's spending time with charred wood that develops the brown color of whiskeys, aged tequilas, brandies, and the like. The alcohol and the wood continue to interact, pulling out flavorful compounds known as vanillins and tannins, further distinguishing the product.
Over the last few years, some creative bartenders and cocktail experts have been experimenting with aging entire drinks