Category Archives: RYE WHISKEY

Drinks At Bird In Westfield, N.Y.

Saturday was a gorgeous day in Western New York and I spent a portion of my afternoon at Bird in Westfield, N.Y.


Bird is located on the back porch at Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing in Westfield and has ties with 1201 Kitchen in Erie, Pa.

The venue itself is a walk-up, open-air kitchen & service counter/bar situated under the spacious pavilion on Five & 20’s back patio.

On Saturday there were two cocktails advertised at the back bar. I’m not sure whether drinks are limited to the daily specialty cocktails Bird creates or whether simple drinks like whiskey & ginger ale can be purchased, but I was there for their suggested beverages anyway and didn’t even think to inquire.

Saturday’s Cocktail Offerings


Buffalo Negra 


Gentleman Johnson


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Filed under BARS, BOURBON, BRANDS, BREWERIES, DESTINATION COCKTAILS, DISTILLERIES, RYE WHISKEY, WHISKEY

24 Hours In Buffalo — Savoy & Vera Pizzeria

The reason I went to Buffalo over the weekend was to get myself some quality craft cocktails for my birthday.

My first stop though was for a quick beer, as I detailed in my last post, but the plan for the evening was very much about craft cocktails. We checked into our hotel and got gussied up for Halloween, then headed first to Savoy for a drink and Vera Pizzeria for dinner.

Savoy’s Beet Around The Busch:

  

My wife had a non-alcoholic cocktail which the bartender shook up and topped with ginger beer.

The first drink I had at Vera was a cocktail called Dill Breaker:

  

My second drink at Vera was a cocktail called Vice Admiral:

  

By the time we got to Vera it was very dark out, and the house lights were low (for Haloween I’m guessing) — and so I brightened the above pictures as best I could. Apologies for all the graininess, but I’m happy I at least got a pic at all for the blog. I easily could’ve left my phone at home and just enjoyed the atmosphere and overall experience. 

Our meal was excellent and the staff members at Vera were knowledgable and friendly. I finally got to try Amaro Di Angostura and the bartenders were kind enough to chat with me about their Fernet-Branca on tap!

The two cocktails I had are on Vera’s new Fall 2015 cocktail menu:

The Dill Breaker:

  

The Vice Admiral:
  

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Filed under AMARO, BEET, BIRTHDAYS, BRANDS, BUFFALO BARS, BUFFALO RESTAURANTS, DESTINATION COCKTAILS, DILL, HOLIDAYS, PISCO, RYE WHISKEY, WHISKEY

Drinks At Brazill’s

Last night I had dinner and drinks at Brazill’s on Main in Westfield, N.Y.

It was my second time at the restaurant, and it was as great an experience as my first visit — if not better.

I had a rye Manhattan to start:


I also had a bourbon & cider drink:


Even though it’s within Chautauqua County, Brazill’s is a bit of a hike from Jamestown — and I don’t get there often enough because the place is open the same hours as when I’m usually working at my restaurant.

Last night was a bit of a surprise night off though, and I tried to make the most of it.

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Filed under BARS, BOURBON, RYE WHISKEY, WESTFIELD

National Whiskey Sour Day

I read on Good Spirits News that today is National Whiskey Sour Day!

As with all these random-seeming drink holidays, I won’t put up too much fuss or question its origin — as any reason to celebrate a cocktail is reason enough!

Whiskey Sour

About This Cocktail:

For my Whiskey Sour pictured above, I used Woodford Reserve:

Ingredients:

•2 oz rye or bourbon or other whiskey of preference. I actually used 2 oz of Woodford Reserve bourbon, which has a lot of rye in its mash bill.
•.5 oz simple syrup
•.5 oz fresh lemon juice
Preparation:

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

Some recipes for the Whiskey Sour cocktail call for an egg white, as a lot of old sours recipes do… But a lot of recipes these days list egg white as “optional.” I didn’t use egg white in the drink pictured above, but you’ll find it listed in some of the recipes I linked to in this post.

  

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Filed under BOURBON, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL RECIPES, RYE WHISKEY, WHISKEY

Customer Appreciation Post — The Blinker Cocktail

Here’s a photo of a cocktail I made for LochNessie last night:

 A classic Blinker cocktail:

This drink is one I have saved in my Highball app.

Highball is a really great app for saving cocktail recipes. It’s easy to use, it’s pretty minimalist and it allows you to save and share your recipe cards.

Here’s my recipe card for The Blinker:

 

When I made the Blinker last night, I didn’t stick exactly to the recipe.

I didn’t use grenadine for the drink, as the only grenadine on hand was the typical pre-packaged grenadine full of sugar and preservatives and whatnot.

Instead, I used a grenadine-style simple syrup comprised of Pom Pomegranate juice and my restaurant’s housemade simple syrup.

It’s not a full-blown grenadine, as it’s missing a few ingredients and flavor components, but it’s a start — and it’s a nice flavored simple syrup to have on hand.

Here’s a link with more info about Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s method.

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Filed under APPS, COCKTAIL RECIPES, CUSTOMER PHOTO, GRAPEFRUIT, GRENADINE, HIGHBALL APP, PHOTO POST, RYE WHISKEY, SIMPLE SYRUP, WHISKEY

Notes From The Farm To Table

Last night I tended bar at the Athenaeum’s Farm-To-Table Dinner.

Although I was tending bar, I was only making three specialty cocktails — all from a limited menu of drinks which used locally-sourced ingredients:

  
The meal was prepared by Chef Travis Bensink of the Athenaeum Hotel’s Heirloom Restaurant and Chef Julie Scheira of Forte in Jamestown.

I feel really lucky today to have been a part of the event yesterday. I learned a lot and met a lot of great people. The chefs helped me throughout the process, from the first brain-storming sessions to the last-minute details of setting up. My wife was super supportive and helped me throughout the several hours of set-up yesterday afternoon.

There are a lot of great local businesses which specialize in certain food items, and it was nice to see the spotlight on them. For myself, I was just really happy to have a chance to challenge myself and work within a different set of parameters doing stuff that’s a little atypical of traditional bar service.

But enough blathering. Here are a few more photos from the event:

  
One of the courses came paired with a beer from Five and 20 Spirits & Brewery:

  

In addition to the theee cocktails I was making before the dinner, I did create a cocktail to pair with the chicken & waffles course.

I’ve got to give a big thanks to the Southern Tier Brewing Company for giving us a firkin of their one-off kettle sour beer, which used all local ingredients.

The beer was so tart and funky that I wanted to use it in a rum sour, which I made with blackstrap rum, lemon juice, lime juice, falernum syrup, simple syrup and, of course, a hefty pour of the kettle sour beer from Southern Tier Brewing Company.

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Filed under BEER, BRANDS, CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION, COCKTAIL MENU, CRAFT BEER, DISTILLERIES, ORIGINAL COCKTAIL RECIPE, RYE WHISKEY, WESTFIELD

Any Reason For A Sazerac Is Reason Enough For Me

Today is Katharine Hepburn’s birthday.

She was born May 12, 1907.

In celebration of her birthday, I say we should all have a Sazerac.

It’s the second time in a week that I’ve recommended this cocktail. And I’m sure I’ll find a dozen more reasons to do so again as time goes on, but today is about Katharine Hepburn.

I don’t know if she has a cocktail named after her at all, but she did drink a Sazerac or two in the film State of the Union, which was made in 1948.

 

The film stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as political campaigners, and at one point, a Southern guest of Hepburn’s character introduces her to the Sazerac cocktail.

The website The Hooch Life drscribes the scenario as follows:

In the classic political comedy, State of the Union, Katharine Hepburn’s character passes out after two of these cocktails while her drinking companion shouts, “Honey, make me another Sazerac!”

This official cocktail of New Orleans is as boozy as you’d expect, and, if it’s cool enough for Katharine, it’s more than cool enough for me.

Read the full list of 10 classic cocktails and who drank them in this 2011 piece on The Hooch Life.

INGREDIENTS

  • Sugar (or simple syrup)
  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Absinthe rinse

PREPARATION

Chill a rocks glass. Give it an absinthe rinse, using only a small amount of absinthe (or Herbsaint)band then discard the excess liquid.

Stir all the ingredients except the absinthe over ice and strain into the absinthe-rinsed glass.

Rub a lemon peel around the rim of the glass and discard. The drink does not get a garnish.

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, BITTERS & TINCTURES, BITTERS BRANDS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL HISTORY, COCKTAIL RECIPES, OLD HOLLYWOOD, RYE WHISKEY, WHISKEY