The Iconic Spirits Blog

Less is More

June 27, 2012

Tags: cocktail culture, mixology, intricate cocktails

I recently read an amusing interview with Drew Nieporent, the owner of numerous trendy restaurants in lower Manhattan (actually, some of his trendy places have survived so long that they’re famous). Nieporent was bemoaning the high-handed, arrogant attitude of mixologists in his native Tribeca. What caught my eye was the title, which contained the following supplicant request: “Please just give me a freaking vodka rocks already.” This seemed like a promising start, but it got better: (more…)

Angel's Envy and Whistle Pig

June 20, 2012

Tags: Angel's Envy Bourbon, Lincoln Henderson, Whistle Pig Straight Rye, Raj Peter Bhakta

What do you do when you retire after 40 years as a Master Distiller with Brown-Forman?
If you’re Lincoln Henderson, you get to work making some Bourbon. After leaving in 2005, Henderson set up the Louisville Distilling Company with his son Wesley and grandson Kyle. During his four decades with Brown-Forman, he had been instrumental in developing brands such as Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Early Times, Old Forester and Woodford Reserve. There’s no doubt that part of his motivation in starting his own operation was to pass his knowledge along to his family, but part of it was also to revel in his freedom from the corporate world---“We don’t have to go through three or four committees” to try a new idea, as he recently put it. (more…)

Cooking with Bourbon

June 15, 2012

Tags: cooking with bourbon

Chefs are finding creative uses for America’s Native Spirit, and not just in Kentucky.
Cooking with Bourbon imparts the spirit’s signature sweetness to meats and game fish, along with notes of caramel, vanilla, honey and oak. You can make a quick marinade by adding brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and your favorite spices; to prepare a glaze, throw in some molasses or jam and reduce for 20 to 30 minutes. It’s a noteworthy way to add flavor and depth to a dish, and is a charm when grilling during autumn and the cooler months. (more…)

Wild Turkey

June 6, 2012

Tags: Wild Turkey 81, Wild Turkey 101, Russell's Reserve, Rare Breed, Wild Turkey 81 Rye, Jimmy Russell

During my visit to Wild Turkey in April, I was fortunate to spend some time with Master Distiller Jimmy Russell. Sometimes referred to as “the grand old man of Kentucky Bourbon,” Russell has been working at the distillery since 1954. He’s still on the job at 78, although he spends more and more time as a roving ambassador for the brand. Charming and loquacious, he is a wealth of knowledge about the distilling process, and it was a privilege to be able to taste with him. (more…)