One night last week I had an interesting night out – I went with a couple of friends to a single-malt scotch tasting and dinner at a good, new restaurant in Carlsbad.
This seemed like an interesting proposition, considering there were seven different whiskies* to taste. I mean, wine-tastings are pretty easy – you can have sips of several wines and not really feel much of an effect on your equilibrium. But a half-ounce to ounce of seven hard-liquors – well, that seems like it could be a little trouble. Fortunately, the tasting was first, which was followed by a nice, leisurely dinner in which you could pack in some calories, drink some water, and allow the effects to wear off.
Thinking about the tasting made me think of another important part of the home bar – and that’s having liquors to drink neat. You might recall in the last post on this topic, I mentioned how important the quality of ingredients can be for a good cocktail.
Well, when you’re thinking about drinking booze straight, it’s of the utmost importance – in fact, these spirits are the ones that are so good that you usually won’t want to mix them with anything**. The picture below shows some of the “sippin’” liquors we have here at The Aerie.
Whisky: I have to say that single malts were my entry into my current status as a drink “enthusiast” about a decade ago. I guess in that way maybe they’re a gateway booze. A good store will have a somewhat bewildering array of products that you really can’t pronounce correctly. At ~$40 a bottle (or more), I’d get some advice and maybe taste-test beforehand to find out what you like – sweet-ish or not, peat-y or not.
Whiskey: The Beloved loves herself some brown liquor, so we tend to have a couple of high-end bourbons on the premises, as well as Single Barrel Jack Daniels (which is what’s in the decanter).
Tequila: Yes, you don’t need a lime wedge and some salt to enjoy straight tequila. Get an high-quality anejo tequila. The flavors can be remarkably complex and still be a little “lighter” than a whiskey (or whisky). I like Herradura myself and Siete Leguas.
Rum: Arrrgh The Kraken! The KRAKEN!
What’s missing? A good vodka in my freezer, that’s what. I really have to rectify that. And no, I really don’t advocate drinking gin neat – maybe on the rocks, but yeah, no.
Okay, maybe I’ll go enjoy myself a nice after dinner tipple.
*Drink nerd alert: “Scotch” in Scotland is not called “scotch”, it’s called whisky. Note the difference in spelling between that and American whiskey. Do not interchange.
** or at most with an ice cube or two, or a little splash of water.