Every third Saturday of May, whiskey drinkers around the world gather to celebrate with their spirit of choice for World Whiskey Day. I’ve done a round-up to honor the day appropriately.
Here are some fun ideas to honor the day that honors whiskey. One involves a day trip out of the city, plus I found gathered complex cocktails to accent the spirit, and a bottle, most unusual. Read on.
Dennings Point Distillery in Beacon, New York
If you are looking for a fun day trip destination from NYC with the bonus of a distillery tour and tasting, head up north to Dennings Point Distillery in Beacon. Only 1.5 hours away by train, you will discover a quaint town, sometimes known as the Brooklyn of the north. This distillery hosts tours, tastings, and special performances on a regular basis. Past shows include open jam sessions for blues musicians, and drag performances.
In creating their spirits, Dennings Point adheres to keeping a minimalist environmental footprint while achieving maximum flavor profiles. Nearly all of their equipment has been recycled and overhauled to create their special products. Here are two of their offerings in the whiskey category:
Beacon American Whiskey Tasting notes: A nose of vanilla and caramel, a dash of cinamon on the palette and a long finish of butterscotch. Distilled entirely from corn mash, this whiskey is deceptively smooth and easy to sip, but will still kick you in the pants at 104 proof.
Beacon Bourbon Winner, “Best Spirit”, 2016 Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition; Silver Medal, 2017 San Fran World Spirits Competition. Hand-crafted Beacon Bourbon is made from New York State grains and aged for two years in premium charred white oak barrels. This classic spirit opens with notes of vanilla and oaky spice and finishes with hints of cinnamon, maple and dark fruit.
Owner Karl Johnson shared a bourbon cocktail recipe with us, which is a bit tongue-in-cheek. The Combover alludes to our current president’s intricate do.
2 oz Beacon Bourbon
.5 oz triple sec
4 oz Saranac Ginger Beer
Dennings Point Distillery, 10 N. Chestnut Street, Beacon, NY; take Metro North Hudson Line train to Beacon. The distillery is about 1 mile from the station, just under a half hour walk, or take a cab from the station. Main street has lots of shops and restaurants. Tastings & tours happen on the weekend. Friday nights tastings are from 2pm to 8pm and Sundays from 2pm to 6pm. Saturdays tours start at 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, except for on the 2nd Saturday of each month, tours are only at 2:30pm & 3:30pm. Tour & Tasting: $5
Here are three more cocktails for the celebration with great smoky tones, and hints of fruit.
1 oz BenRiach 10 yr
.5 oz BenRiach Peated
.75 Byrrh Quinquina
.25 Luxardo Maraschino
2 dashes Chocolate Bitters
Stirred, served up. Orange twist.
—by Megan Lazar of the NoMo SoHo Hotel
Evening in the Empire
“In winter, a nice Scotch and fireplace is my idea of heaven. I really wanted the wonderful flavors of BenRiach to shine. I added a little local New York pear liqueur and an Apple Brandy from New Jersey that I infuse with cinnamon and cacao nibs. The hazelnuts give a great richness and depth to the drink.”
1.5 oz BenRiach 10 Year Old Peated Curiositas
.75 oz Neversink pear liqueur
.5 oz Cinnamon and cacao nib-infused Laird’s Applejack
.25 oz Del Professor sweet vermouth
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, stir. Serve in a tulip glass and top with hazelnuts.
—cocktail by Meaghan Levy of Lounge at Rose Hill, HGU Hotel
A summertime take on an Old Fashioned that puts the spirit in the spotlight. Embers Ski Lodge shared this fruity recipe. Their bar boasts one of the largest whiskey selections in Nashville.
2 oz Old Forester Bourbon
.25 oz blackberry/strawberry honey
Muddle orange zest in the bottom of a rocks glass with the blackberry/strawberry honey. Stir the bourbon in a stirring glass with ice for 30 seconds. Strain the bourbon over a large bourbon cube on top of the muddled orange zest and honey. Add 2-3 dashes of bitters. Express an orange zest over the top, rub around the rim of the glass and discard. Garnish with a strawberry stuffed with a blackberry.
—recipe courtesy of Embers Ski Lodge, Nashville, TN
(photo of Rudolph’s Vacation by Nicole Kopperud)
A Very Special Bottle
World Whiskey Day gets rich. For adding a bit of glitz to your bar, get yourself a bottle of Gold Bar Whiskey, which presents itself in the actual shape of a gold bar. Would be fun to stack at a party in the shape of a pyramid! Each individually numbered bottle also has a special coin pressed into the front.
Tasting notes: It’s made with 88% corn, 9% rye, 2% barley, its appearance a clear, golden amber. The aroma is herbaceous with spicy notes of clove and cardamom. Slightly sweet, with notes of vanilla, rye, honey and apple with a smooth and balanced finish. About $50. Also comes as a mini version, about $28 for a set of three 50 ml bottles. goldbarwhiskey.com