Drinks

Battle of the Brands

What’s In a Name? A Tale of Two NYC Brewers

There are over 3,000 craft brewing companies in the United States. How can a budding brewer stand out? We caught up with the Bronx Brewery's Chris Gallant and Dyckman Beer Company's Juan Camillo after New York Beer Week to find the solution, from naming to branding to brewing.

Sour Power

The Best American Wild Ales

Wild ales are full bodied, can be incredibly complex, and for beer snobs and those looking for a liquid thrill, they're the holy grail of brewing.

More: Beer!
Single Malt, Many Virtues

Can Americans Make Single Malt as Well as the Scots?

In 2012, an American single malt whiskey from Balcones Distillery in Texas defeated nine other world-class single malts from around the world and gained international attention. Today, the American version of Scotch is still booming, reinforced by a number of new distilleries.

Grogg Sans the Gag

Colonial Rum, Renewed

Lost Spirits Distillery's Colonial American Inspired Rum revamps and perfects the original American spirit. As the back of the bottle reads: "This probably tastes a lot better than colonial rum did."

Not To Be Mixed With Ginger Beer

Tasting Gosling’s Family Reserve Old Rum

The Gosling's Family Reserve Old Rum is a far cry from the stuff you used to hammered back at the frat house. This high-end elixir is aged longer -- much longer -- and is judged against cognac and high-end bourbon whiskey.

A Partygoer's Best Friend

The Best Sparkling Wine Under $30

Here are ten of the best bottles of bubbly on the market. Give them, get them, and please, drink them with dinner.

Don't Call It Napa 2.0

New York’s Finger Lakes Wine Finds Its Way

At long last, New York's Finger Lakes wine region is gaining recognition, both nationally and abroad. Can the community preserve its identity in the face of looming challenges?

Cocoa Goes Craft

Hot Chocolates to Try This Winter

Hot chocolate has an artisan niche that's on par with the craft beer scene. So next time you’re seeking a second wind, or a substitute for a post-ski IPA, consider one of these delicious cocoas.

Canada Hops on the Craft Bandwagon

Learning from the Small-Batch Bourbon Boom

Forty Creek's John K. Hall tells the tale of how American bourbon showed Canadian whiskey the way from counterfeit hooch to finely crafted whiskey.

Have Your Pappy and Your Dickel Too

10 Best Bourbons Not From Kentucky

The rise of craft American whiskey now extends beyond the bourbon belt. Here's the shortlist of major players nationwide.

Private barrel selection at Woodford Reserve and the drive back to Louisville

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Travelogue: Day Five

In day five of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, we soak in the last rays of Kentucky sun, watch a group pick their own single barrel of Woodford Reserve, and more.

A Video Tour of the Process from 12 Bourbon Distilleries

How Bourbon Is Made

We toured 12 distilleries in a five-day blitz, asking everyone we met to walk us through the bourbon-making process. Here, you'll find all of the steps that go into making America's unique take on whiskey.

Single barrel bourbon explained

Hand Selecting Barrels with Chris Morris of Woodford Reserve

“For liquor stores, whiskey bars, restaurants -- having a private barrel label is basically their way of saying ‘This is how we like our whiskey.’” Tom Fischer, the founder of BourbonBlog and a frequent judge at many spirits and cocktail competitions, told me over the phone after we got back from Kentucky. “So it allows them to put that bottle on a shelf and say, you know, ‘This is something we went to Kentucky and we picked up. This is how we like our whiskey, but it may not always be how you like it.’” We shadowed Seattle-based Duke's Chowder House as they selected their own personal barrel of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.

Town Branch, Buffalo Trace, Old Rip Van Winkle and more

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Travelogue: Day Four

In Day Four of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, we visit Town Branch, learn from a true bourbon master, and Ben nerds out. (A lot.)

Gleaning the Importance of the Family Tree

Buffalo Trace’s Hunt for the Perfect Bourbon

"Buffalo Trace is already making the bourbons of the future”, said our guide Freddy Johnson. It sounded bold until we stopped to think about it. Whiskey has to age before it can qualify as bourbon, so technically, every distiller is making “the bourbons of the future” today. Still, after we spent an afternoon learning about the company’s quest to make the world’s perfect bourbon, his phrasing seemed prophetic.

Admiring the Selection at Lexington's Blue Grass Tavern

Rare Bourbons Not Named Pappy: A Budding Collector’s Guide

Call it the Pappy effect if you want, or just plain business savvy, but most distilleries saw an opportunity in limited, premium bourbons in the early 2000s. At one of Lexington's best bourbon bars, the Blue Grass Tavern, we laid eyes on some of the absolute best.

The Taste of a productive day

The Kentucky Sundowner

The Irish have Irish coffee, the Scotch have Highland Coffee, the Germans have Rüdesheimer Kaffee, and college students have vodka and red bull. Kentuckians have the Kentucky Sundowner. Here's how to make one.

Demystifying A Legend

The Complete Guide to Pappy Van Winkle

I'd say that Pappy Van Winkle is a brand that needs no introduction, except that it does. The truth is that most people don’t know anything about “Pappy”, other than that it’s supposed to be the best of its kind. So let’s set the record straight by getting a couple of basic facts out of the way.

Wilderness Trail, Four Roses, Wild Turkey and More

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Travelogue: Day Three

In day three of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, we check out small (Wilderness Trail) and big (Four Roses, Wild Turkey) distilleries on the way to Lexington -- and get to taste something particularly special.

Maker's Mark, Willet, and More

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Travelogue: Day Two

In day two of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, we get lost in the backwoods, explore the Willet Distillery, taste a few bourbon cocktails made by a pro, and more.

How a next-generation master distiller helped relight the stills

Willett’s Long Path Back to Bourbon

Willett Master Distiller Drew Kulsveen doesn't have time for bullshit. It's not something he has to tell anyone. The message shoots from his eyes like a railgun. Even at a relatively young age, it's clear he's heard it all before. He talks like someone who’s lost years listening to others dribble on, and worked hard to eradicate the behavior in himself; his speech is terse, verging on curt. You can't blame him for him ignoring the noise. A lot rides on his shoulders. He and his family worked for years to rebuild the family distillery, which reopened in 2012, and now he's determined to prove a point.

High proof cocktails in the bourbon capital

Three Bourbon Cocktails, Made By a Pro

Sometimes out of the bottle with a beer is the best way to have a bourbon", admits Chef Newman Miller, owner of Harrison Smith House in Bardstown, Kentucky. But not always. The three bourbon cocktails he showed us are truly made to meet the expectations of the local Kentuckians.

From Brunch Spot to Global Food Sensation

Louisville’s Hillbilly Tea Has a New Take on Soul Food

Hillbilly Tea sounds like an Urban Dictionary revelation -- or the latest product from the minds of White and Pinkman. For all we know, both of those statements are true. It’s also one of Louisville’s hottest brunch spots, and a burgeoning international brand. And if founders Karter Louis and Chef Arpad "Arpi” Lengyel realize their ultimate vision, that’s just the beginning.

Greetings from the Bluegrass State

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Travelogue: Day One

We figured the best way to get to the bottom of the recent bourbon boom was to head to the Bluegrass State with a few cameras, some notebooks and clean livers for five days of Kentucky scenery, friendly locals and distillery tours. Here's a play-by-play of day one of our investigation on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Whiskey Wisdom

Bourbon Terms, Explained by the Pros

A full command of bourbon terminology is a necessity when it comes to distinguishing between distilleries and knowing what's in your glass. We asked employees in the bourbon industry to arm us with a basic vocabulary.

A Roaming Journal of America's Spirit

5 Days on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Bourbon is booming, but only decades ago, it was on a path toward failure. This was most evident in the 1980s, at the height of vodka and big hair, when distilleries in the Bluegrass State were shuttering their doors. They simply couldn’t give bottles away, the same bottles that just a generation before were lining executive conference rooms and hotel bars throughout America. It was by definition an all-American drink, and it was quickly fading. But then in the mid-2000s, distillers realized the atmosphere was changing. Bourbon started coming back. Fast. This explosion, which continues to grow to this day, raises plenty of questions. What's fueling the bourbon boom? Is it going to burst, like tech and housing? Are some bottles really worth $5,000, and more importantly, who’s buying them? What makes a bourbon good? The best way to get to the bottom of this was to head to the Bluegrass State, where 95 percent of the world's bourbon is made, equipped with a few cameras, some notebooks and clean livers for five days on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail -- a triangle of distillery tours throughout the state with endpoints at Louisville, Lexington and Bardstown — for many early mornings and late nights drinking and talking with some of the foremost professionals in booze. We came back with five days of fear and loathing on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.