The Pennsylvania Spirits Convention on March 23, 2017!

The Pennsylvania Spirits Convention on March 23, 2017!

The Pennsylvania Spirits revolution is in full swing. Pennsylvania is coming into its own again as a distilling state producing world renowned spirits. Combine that with some of the best bartenders in the country making their own signature cocktails from these PA spirits and you have the Pennsylvania Spirits Convention. The Pennsylvania Spirits Convention is the first and largest event of its kind.  It pays respect not only to Pennsylvania’s legendary distilling past, but also to its future.  Every spirit at the event is made in Pennsylvania. Guests will be amazed at the quality and selection that is arising from the Pennsylvania talented distillers. This grand event comes to Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park on March 23rd. It will be host over 110 craft spirits,...

Here We Come A-Wassailing!

Here We Come A-Wassailing!

I was singing a Christmas carol to myself and realized- Hey, this has whiskey in it! Or, at least, it CAN have whiskey in it… Here we come a-wassailing Among the leaves so green; Here we come a-wand’ring So fair to be seen. REFRAIN: Love and joy come to you, And to you your wassail too; And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year And God send you a Happy New Year. Wassail (Old Norse “ves heil”, Old English was hál, literally ‘be you healthy’) was a hot mulled apple cider drink that has origins in medieval England. It was drunk ritually during the Yule season (midwinter) to ensure a good apple harvest. The Norse and Germanic people celebrated the midwinter festival of Yule, which predated Christianity. (The Yule-tide season lasted...

Christmas Egg Nog

Christmas Egg Nog

6 days until Christmas…Time to make the EGG NOG! Egg nog’s origins are a bit fuzzy. It may be that it originated in England, but many believe modern egg nog is derived from a medieval recipe for posset. Posset was a drink made of hot milk curdled with ale, wine, or other alcoholic liquor and typically flavored with spices, drunk as a delicacy or as a remedy for colds. The word “nog” comes from the word noggin, a Middle English term for a small, carved wooden mug used toserve alcohol. Egg nog should be aged, not only because the flavor will enhance over time, but because any bacteria will not survive after the aging process. I always recommend making your own egg nog. It’s always tastes better and you know where it’s been and what’s in it! This recipe needs...

Be Adventurous, Whiskey Drinkers! Try a Cocktail.

Be Adventurous, Whiskey Drinkers!  Try a Cocktail.

I was reminded today of the cocktail culture’s influence on whiskey sales in the United States. I know that most well-seasoned whiskey drinkers will insist on either only a few ice cubes or that their whiskey be served neat. Sometimes a whiskey drinker will refuse to order a cocktail because they aren’t sure what’s being served. I thought I’d take a moment to point out what you’re missing out on and give some explanations of what these crazy elixirs are… We all know the old fashioned that’s served in a rocks glass-that ubiquitous short glass that usually has a weighted bottom. Many cocktails will be served in a highball glass, which is a tall thin glass that most of us would get water served in when we order our whiskey neat. (A highball is just any...

Laird’s Apple Jack- America’s First Licensed Distillery

It’s autumn now and that makes me think of applejack… Laird’s applejack is not whiskey, but it was the first licensed distillery in the United States. I’m particularly proud of the beverage because I grew up in New Jersey and have been to the Inn where it was originally served many times. Laird’s Applejack was originally produced for sale at the Colt’s Neck Inn in central New Jersey. The Inn was built in 1717 by an ancestor of the Laird family, and the apple brandy they served to travelers there was reportedly very popular. The distillery at the Colt’s Neck site was built in 1780 and thrived until it burned down in 1849. The Inn was rebuilt on the same site, but the distillery was moved to Scobeyville, N.J. Laird’s survived Prohibition (they were granted a...

William McKinley’s Political Cocktail

Today was the day President McKinley was shot… What does this have to do with whiskey, you ask? William McKinley had a cocktail named after him while he was running for president in 1896. Of course, so did his opponent, William Jennings Bryan…(Bryan’s was the Free Silver Fizz) Handing out booze was common practice when running for office. Even George Washington knew that handing out free liquor was the best way to secure votes. In fact, the first reference we have to the term “cocktail” comes from 1806, in a newspaper article describing how a Federalist defeated a Democratic-Republican candidate in New York’s Hudson River Valley despite the latter’s attempt to secure votes by handing out almost 300 mixed drinks....