Category Archives: ANTIQUES

Antique Shopping In Salamanca

Another weekend come-and-gone, and another Sunday out at antique shops.

Today my wife and I were at the Antiques Mall in Salamanca, N.Y.

I always find something to buy at this location, like this bitters bottle from a few years back.

And while I did score a couple of cocktail books today, this photo post is more about what I didn’t buy:

  
Pictured above is a nice-looking “traveling bartender” set I saw today in Salamanca. It’s a neat set, but I’ve got a really good one that’s a little older than this — which I’ll have to feature in a post some day.

 

This rye whiskey jug was selling for $79 at the Antiques Mall.

And lastly, a zodiac-themed ice bowl with a strainer and bar spoon:

  

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Filed under ANTIQUES, BARWARE, RYE WHISKEY

Five & 20 Spirits

Today my wife and I were back out at antique shops and wineries.

Seeing a pattern in these posts?

While our day trip didn’t net me another vintage cocktail book, I did get a tour of Mazza Winery’s Five & 20 Spirits:

  

Five & 20 Spirits is located at Mazza’s Chautauqua Cellars location on Route 20 in Westfield. The site houses the company’s Christian Carl brand still (and will soon be the site of a new, larger still, we learned).

My wife’s parents met us in the tasting room where there was not only wine and liquor to sample, but also Five & 20’s brand-new beer offerings.

I’ve tasted the company’s bourbon before, so today I headed straight for their rye whiskey — followed by their bier schnapps and two of their new beers.

One of the Five & 20 guys was working in the tasting room and offered to take my father-in-law and I on a tour of their still room and storage warehouse.

Notes From The Tour:

The Christian Carl still was impressive, and is capable of both pot still distillation and column distillation. The still wasn’t in use and was being prepared for a cleaning, so our guide disassembled a “porthole” for us and let us take a look inside.

The tour was nice because we got to hear a lot about both the kinks in starting up a distillery as well as the successes. From making mash to distillation to storage and bottling, there are a ton of elements involved with producing the several spirits that Five & 20 is making — and they’re coming out ahead it seems, doing good work and building on their accomplishments.

Back to the still…. The thing’s powered by steam, and we got to see the engine room, so to speak. The temperature that thing has to reach in order to fire the still is just insane.

The secondary structure next to Chautauqua Cellars is more than just a warehouse, it’s Five & 20’s rick house — or rick room, I guess. The filled barrels are stacked in the corner of the warehouse next to the window facing the road, and our guide said the room will soon be filling up with more stacks of barrels, which is an exciting prospect.

More notes about the spirits I tasted are below, but first another photo:  

What I Sampled Today:

  • Rye Whiskey (SB)2RW:

Batch #2 was crafted to be smoother and more approachable than many rye whiskeys. The spirit was pot-distilled and was aged for 18 months in smaller barrels, all of which were new charred American Oak.

Five & 20’s website describes it as having “the spicy grain character of rye and the sweet caramel & vanilla flavors of high quality oak barrels.”

The mash bill is 80% New York-grown rye and 20% distiller’s malt.

On a side note, it’s nice to see that their tech sheet for the spirit not only has a recommended cocktail recipe, but that it’s more than just something basic — specifically, the Westfield Wallop requires both Galliano and strawberry purée. 

45% ABV

  • Afterburner Bierschnapps AB2S:

Five & 20’s Afterburner Bierschnapps are a grain-based spirit created by distilling a finished barley wine. 

On their website, FIve & 20 suggest using the bierschnapps as a stand-in for gin — and now I wish I would’ve had a flask of genever  for side-by-side sipping and comparison, because that spirit is so malty and intersting as well.

50.5% ABV

  • Pale Ale:

Medium-bodied pale ale  with hops for light, fruity, citrus flavors. —  5.4% ABV

  • Rye Pale Ale:

Light-bodied pale ale with spicy grain flavor from its rye malt. — 6.2% ABV

As of this visit, Five & 20’s three beers were only available from the tap. The good news though is that they refill growlers and are selling blank growlers right now, with branded growlers expected to arrive soon. Our guide told us that there isn’t any immediate plan to do 12 oz bottles, but plans for cans and 22 oz bottles are in the works.

What I Didn’t Taste Today:

There’s always next time:

  • Bourbon (SB)2BW — Even though I’ve tasted their bourbon before, that bottle wasn’t mine and so I don’t know whether it’s the same stuff they’re sampling there in the tasting room now.

  • Unaged Corn Whiskey
  • Unaged White Rye Whiskey
  • Limoncello
  • Manhattan Moonshine
  • Sugarwash Moonshine
  • Three Hunters Vodka
  • Apple Eau de Vie
  • Plum Eau de Vie
  • Cherry Eau de Vie
  • Pear Eau de Vie
  • Pear in the Bottle (sale only)
  • Grappa of Steuben

Much of the info in this post came straight from the Five & 20 website, which is online at Five & 20.com.

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Filed under ANTIQUES, CRAFT BEER, RYE WHISKEY, WESTFIELD, WHISKEY, WINE, WINERIES

Weekend Wine Tasting & Antiquing

On Saturday I scored a copy of the Esquire Drink Book from 1956:

My wife and I went to North East, Pa. with her folks and not only hit up some antique shops, but also bought a couple bottles of wine along the way.

Here in Jamestown, we live near the Lake Erie Wine Trail — so weekend tasting is a regular part of summers in Chautauqua County.

We started at South Shore Wine Company, which is a winery located in North East that’s part of the Mazza group of wineries. Mazza has two other locations, both in Chautauqua County, my favorite of which is right across from Johnson Estate Winery — but more on that in a bit.

The South Shore location was a great place to visit because the main room is in an underground, cavernous, stone room that’s just neat to experience. And even better, there’s wine to taste while you’re taking in the history.

I tasted two wines and three meads, their Gruner Veltliner and Noiret for wines — and also their honey mead, raspberry honey mead and a carbonated mead called “Hops & Honey,” made with hops and more.


The gruner veltliner was very good and I wish I would have gotten a bottle, but the appeal of having some honey mead was more appealing. Not getting a bottle of the gruner veltliner just means I’ll have to go back soon, and I wonder if the other Mazza locations sell that same gruner veltliner that South Shore was selling.

Wine Links:

— Lake Erie Wine Country

Chautauqua Wine Trail

— South Shore Wine Company

Johnson Estate Winery

Tasting Bar:

Earlier I mentioned that one of the Mazza sites is located right across from the Johnson Estate Winery.

Those two sites are located right on Route 20 in Westfield and are a couple of my favorites because they offer more than just wine to taste — they have spirits.

The Mazza location has its own distilled spirits to taste, made and marketed under the Five & 20 name. The Johnson Estate Winery doesn’t distill spirits, but it does have what it calls a “New York Statr Spirits Tasting Bar.” Basically, there’s a second station in the winery’s tasting room where you can taste boozes which were made in New York State.

I tasted three whiskies there Saturday:

Whiskey Tasting :

Bootlegger 21 New York Bourbon Whiskey — 

Hudson Double Charred Whiskey — 

77 Whiskey Rye & Corn

At Mazza, in addition to wine and spirits, there’s a launch party for their brewery’s first beers this weekend — making Mazza and Five & 20 the first combination winery, distillery and brewery in the state.

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Filed under ANTIQUES, COCKTAIL BOOKS, COCKTAIL HISTORY, VINTAGE COCKTAIL BOOKS, WINE

The Start Of A Bitters Bottle Collection

I like old bitters bottles.

I’ve got the start of a little collection going, which is just this fernet-style bottle and an Underberg as well as some of the more mainstream and traditional brands.

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I’m going to an auction at a bar today and then up to Buffalo, so if I see anything neat (bitters or otherwise) at either the auction or some stores, I’ll post here if its cocktails related. Hopefully I’ll hit up a worthwhile antique shop.

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Antique Mixology: Ginger Beer Bottle

Another find I spotted at an antique shop while in Salamanca, N.Y.

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Ginger beer used to be stored in stoneware. And just as with old bitters bottles, there’s quite a market for these ginger beer bottles.

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Antique Mixology: Lash’s Bitters

I spotted this antique bitters bottle while antique shopping in Salamanca, N.Y.

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A quick Google search turned up this historical site about the bottle as well as this site about the antique glass/bitters bottles market.

Neat stuff. Might have to make another trip out to Salamanca to get this.

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Filed under ANTIQUES, BITTERS BRANDS