|THREE ESSENTIALS EVERY BOURBON DRINKER NEEDS

THREE ESSENTIALS
EVERY BOURBON DRINKER NEEDS

Every fine libation has its decade, and experts agree that we are at the dawn of a new bourbon era. More men and women of all ages are beginning to enjoy small batches, single barrels, and reserves like never before. With this new increase in interest, a question I frequently receive as a bourbon bartender is “How can I get the same bourbon experience at home as I get at cocktail bars?”

Its simple! You can enjoy your whiskey, serve up guests, and accentuate your tasting experience like a pro with the following three essentials.

Round Ice Molds

ICE, ICE BABY!

You may have seen whiskey served in fine establishments or overseas with a single giant sphere of ice that just fit inside the glass. By far, it is the most perfect way of serving whiskey on the rocks I’ve ever seen. Using a single large sphere of ice will last longer your my whiskey every time – The ice itself melts much more slowly than regular ice cubes, chills your drink to the perfect temperature, and one sphere is good for three drinks. If you would like to make whiskey ice balls at home, we recommend The Original Whiskey Ball mold. This specialty ice mold is made of flexible silicon that makes it easy to remove your spheres, and produces perfect circles every time.

Another great ice mold is the Tovolo Sphere Mold produced by Kegworks. They are sold in a set of two and produce two perfect spheres that look awesome in a rocks glasses. Your guests will love them for their novelty, and you will love them for their slow melting and long lasting properties.

The Glencairn Glass

GLENCAIRN WHISKEY GLASSES

Now let me say, Im no bourbon snob. By the end of Happy Hour, you could probably serve me a Bookers neat in an old Mason jar and I would be just fine. But any civilized and respectable adult should have at least a few nice whiskey snifters or rocks glasses.

Bourbon snifters (sometimes referred to as ‘nosing glasses’) aren’t just pretty additions to your cabinet. Nosing glasses are designed to concentrate and release the complex aromas of the bourbon at the mouth with a deep enough “bowl” to allow you to swirl the whiskey. The tulip shape of the glassware will force the bouquet into your nostrils, greatly improving the way you assess your bourbon.

Rocks glasses are another great way to enjoy your single malt or small batch. The wide mouth reduces the nose of some of the stronger whiskeys out there, and makes it easy to add ice (unlike the Glencairn). You can find a set of 12 of the Bormioli Rocco Luna rocks glasses for as little as $36.

There are a variety of other glasses out there, including snifters, Sherry glasses, and Riedels. All the above variations have a profound effect on the tasting experience, so be sure to choose one that will help you get the most out of your bourbon. My personal favorite is the Glencairn Scotch and Whisky Glass.

Bitters

IT’S BETTER WITH BITTERS!

I believe that each and every bourbon drinker should have at least one fine bottle of bitters on hand. Of course, there is no one right or wrong way to improve a whiskey, but If you feel the need to spice things up then bitters are the way to go. There are a handful of essential bourbon cocktails that utilize bitters, including the Manhattan and the Old-Fashioned. In fact, the very definition of the word “cocktail” was defined in 1806 as a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters.

There are four big names in the bitters market today. They are:

  • Peychaud’s Bitters – Can be found in any gourmet grocery store, or via Amazon.
  • Angostura Aromatic Bitters – Currently the most common brand of bitters, and can be found behind most bars, and in a growing number of liquor stores.
  • Fee Brothers Bitters – Fee Brothers produces more than 70 bitters blends. To get their full catalog, contact them at (800) 961-FEES, or purchase their top 6.
  • Gary Regan’s Orange Bitters #6 – A newcomer to the market. There are 12 to a case… and trust me, you will need a case. Its worthy to note that Regan’s Bitters are now produced by Sazerac – A Buffalo Trace company.

There is a fifth name, De Kuypers Orange Bitters, but its becoming increasingly rare. In fact, I have hunted around the internet for an hour and still to no avail. If you can find this stuff for sale anywhere, buy and horde as much of it as you can afford!

2018-08-16T23:08:22+00:00March 19th, 2018|BITTERS, SPEAKEASY|5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Ottis June 30, 2015 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    I am new to whiskey tasting. In my younger days I did shots of whiskey just to get drunk. The burn turned me off of it for years. Recently I have begun to appreciate whiskey for what it was mentioned to be, a sipping drink. This being said, I have a hard time picking out the different flavors and aromas of whiskey. I can smell and taste the Carmel UN the few drama that I have tried, but not muck else. What can I do to enhance my experience?

    • BourbonDaily July 1, 2015 at 3:35 pm - Reply

      Tasting is an ability that can be developed over time. Like any sense or ability, the more you ‘practice’ the easier it becomes to pick out different flavors. Here is how I practiced while going through the Sommelier training program: go and buy a bunch of fruits, grasses and vegetables, candies, coffees, herbs, and spices. Farmers markets are gold. Taste the items that you purchase while truly paying attention to what is going on in your mouth and in your head. Over time, you will not only develop a better appreciation for flavors, but you will also more readily identify them. Let me know if that helps!

  2. Stratcat February 5, 2016 at 3:00 am - Reply

    Ice ruins good whiskey. I drink bourbon, not bitters. Glencairn glasses are best for single-malt scotch.

  3. Liz Henry May 26, 2016 at 5:27 am - Reply

    Bittercube bitters, Milwaukee, WI. Six pack or individual bottles.

    • Demitrius May 26, 2016 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      Just checked em out! Thanks for the recommendation!

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