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Monday, November 30, 2015

At This Game, Iowa Beats Kentucky: Templeton Rye Whiskey Review


It should come as no surprise that I love a good cocktail.  I've been to some great venues in the city for thought-provoking, complex and layered drinks that walk the line between 'superb evening' and 'life-changing night out'.  What I find just as interesting as the rinds, the zests, the infused this, the pickled that and the other dizzying array of garnishes are the complementing secondary alcohols.  The liqueurs, the syrups, the dash of aperitifs and the splashes of digestifs all in the name of mixology harmony are just wonderful to experience and pinpoint as they blend with the star.  For with all the glad tidings in a highball or flute, it's the star that begins it all.  It's the star that steals my heart (not to mention my tastebuds).

So it was that time of year for a Friendsgiving in Brooklyn which meant some very important decisions.  Of course I was bringing a spirit as part of my culinary participation, but what spirit should I choose.  I had a lovely Kentucky bourbon whisky and a bottle of Templeton Rye Whiskey, the pride of Templeton, Iowa.  Well I brought both to the affair and clearly one was the star.  

Templeton Rye Whiskey, the host-appointed star, captured that title for this very simple reason.  The presence of the rye takes away that sweet notes that can sometimes define the flavor of a bourbon whisky.  Now while preference is always in the tastebuds of the beholder, on this day with all the sweet cranberries, candied yams, sweet potato and pecan pies and ambrosia salad remixes, the smoother rye-based Templeton offered up a more round and mellow flavor for a distinguished and crisp finish.  Interestingly enough, I enjoyed my glass of Templeton Rye neat and easily sipped away at delightful bursts of subtle spiciness with an herbal grain-like under-note as I laid back with a full belly and great cocktail in hand.  How also wonderfully fitting that Templeton Rye Whiskey also serves as a great digestif as well. 

Templeton Rye Whiskey is available now at your finer Wine, Spirit and Alcohol retailers and as always please remember to drink responsibly!





Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Ties That Bind: Skinny Tie Madness


So I've been on quite a roll it seems.  This year was CuraƧao, Toronto and Saint Martin and just one week ago I was wave-jumping, enjoying absurdly warm pool water and eating some of the best grilled octopus and pernil mofongo I've ever had in Puerto Rico.  It seems that I've learned to enjoy what I love in dressing but now in traveling.  What do I love in dressing?  The aspect of interchangeability, the excitement of the new, the integration into my existing wardrobe and the synchronizing with my mood.  What do I now love with traveling?  Being a foodie with cuisines outside of the five boroughs, the temporary trading of my safe home space for a polished away space, the existing in a place where you (if only for a week or so) have to re-establish your persona to a new crop of locals and finding a sweet balance of clothing and accessories that's packable into the dimensions of a suitcase and carry-on.  

Now when I combine the two I wind up with wonderful keepsakes like a silver cage ring from San Juan or a coconut beaded bracelet from St. Martin and great memories from the sight and touch of the cottons and linens that traveled with me.  With that in mind, when packing for San Juan I grabbed two cool ties from Skinny Tie Madness.  Perfectly packable and not fussy for the seaside, their 'Bandana Bandit' and 'Dry Dreams' worked great with my airy linens and slim seersuckers yet had enough cool factor for my tattered denims, avant chambrays and a couple of my own vintage tie clips.


Tantamount to the expressiveness of a pocket square, sock or cufflink is the coolness of a tie.  With more men becoming much more comfortable with donning a button-up and tie and blazer, the idea of the fun tie has become the sartorial t-shirt in a sense.  You pair it with a fussy button down to take yourself less seriously or you match it up with a denim-esque collard shirt for a new remix on 'casual with denim'.  Broader ties suggest more classic while skinnier cool-factor ties have become the new message sender for the sartorial guy similar to the way the expressive/logo tee was for the 80s and 90s guy.  Skinny Tie Madness is a company that is continuing in the trend of the modern look of a skinnier tie by giving men options to loosen up by enjoying ties in easy familiar fabrics and prints.  SkinnyTieMadness.com allows men to choose a tie according to color, width, style genre and fabrication affordably and offers a variety of ties, pocket squares, tie clips and bowties that'll speak to the modern man that has something to say through his tailoring.  


The more integrated tailoring and its accessories become is the more men will seek ways in which to distinguish their take on how they communicate through their own personal adornment.  Skinny Tie Madness is one way by which they can do so while still arriving properly attired for the affair.  

www.SkinnyTieMadness.com

Thursday, November 5, 2015

99 Problems But My Drink Ain't One: Four Roses Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky Review


Ahh Fall weather is here!  The lovely crisp weather, the leaves beautifully changing color, the dressing in cozy layers once again and the oncoming excitement of the holiday seasons are here.  Then the alarm on your phone goes off.  Suddenly you realize that the crisp weather will mean the seasonal calling of the heating oil guy again.  Those so-called leaves mean you have to get out the old rake on what would've been a restful Saturday morning again.  The cozy layers may not fit after a couple of seasons in the closet so its time to go shopping again.  Finally, questions of 'who's house', 'who's bringing what' and 'how many gifts do I have to buy this year' creep in to make Thanksgiving more of a chore to feed the greedy and the December holidays a burden on your credit cards.

There can always be positives and negatives with anything.  However, isn't it quite interesting how a great cocktail can be the perfect remedy to commemorate a wonderful day or to salvage a horrible one?  So when faced with the annoying task of clearing the yard of a million acorns or grumbling that it's too early for the seasonal cashmere to be on sale, find some way to cope with the inevitable.  Lemons make lemonade.

Now save some of those lemons for a real cocktail.  While many attribute whisky to the South and Ireland, this cosmopolitan New York guy says whisky is year round, but especially relevant in the Fall.  Why?  Hot toddies!  They're that deliciously soothing comfort food in drink form that gratifyingly sneaks up on you with its warm spicy and fragrant kick.  For my inaugrual hot toddy of the season I've chose the wonderfully crafted Four Roses Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky.

Four Roses has been creating their award-winning whiskies for over a century from their home in Louisville, Kentucky.  Their Small Batch Whisky is handcrafted from a combination of four of their select bourbons for a unique and distinct homegrown flavor hence the moniker of Small Batch.  The result creates an excellent hot toddy since Four Roses Small Batch has a naturally spicy and woodsy flavor with a bit of sweet that when added to the ingredients for a hot toddy make a flavor profile that is very satisfying.

Check out this simple recipe for a hot toddy with Four Roses Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky.  With each sip try not to take Fall and everything that will ensue from it so seriously. 

Classic Hot Toddy

ounce Four Roses Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
1 tablespoon honey
½ ounce lemon juice
1 cup hot water
Cinnamon stick or lemon wheel for garnish
Combine the first four ingredients into the bottom of a warmed mug.  If desired, garnish with a cinnamon stick or lemon.
Side note:  You'll really be satisfied with using Four Roses Small Batch for your hot toddy.  The notes lend themselves so harmoniously to a spicy hot toddy.  Also, you'll want to get the big bottle since a great hot toddy is so smooth and comforting, you'll reach the bottom of the mug before you know it so better quadruple up on the ingredients and make a whole carafe.  You'll thank me later!

Four Roses Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky is available now at your finer liquor, wine and spirits retailers and as always please remember to drink responsibly.