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RECENT COCKTAILS: MAY 3, 2011
Cynar, Rum, Rich demerara syrup 2:1, Mint
APRIL 29, 2011
Brandy, Triple sec, CioCiaro, Kumquat, Lemon juice, Simple syrup
APRIL 23, 2011
Bourbon, Bénédictine, Bitters, Agave syrup, Grapefruit juice, CioCiaro, Lemon
MARCH 31, 2011
Calvados, Averna, Walnut Liqueur, Amaro Nonino, Bitters
MARCH 26, 2011
Bourbon, Cynar, Maraschino Liqueur, Celery bitters, Lemon zest
MARCH 23, 2011
Cognac, Calvados, Triple sec, Herbal liqueur, Lemon juice, Simple syrup, Pineapple juice, Lemon peel
MARCH 18, 2011
Apple brandy, Campari, Aperol, Ginger beer, Lemon juice, Lemon peel
MARCH 16, 2011
Bourbon, Red wine, Lemon juice, Simple syrup, Egg white
FEBRUARY 25, 2011
Islay Scotch, Fernet Branca, Sweet vermouth, Mint
FEBRUARY 17, 2011
Gin, Sweet vermouth, Herbal liqueur, Orange bitters, Maraschino cherry

A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

From the Knowledge Vault

Making Bourbon

This is the fourth in a series on Bourbon by Zach Pearson. Read them all: Bourbon, Bourbon After the Act, Bourbon: What it is ... and isn't, Making Bourbon, Who Makes My Bourbon, Producer Capsules., Finding the Good Stuff, Tasting the Good Stuff, Neat, Mashbills, Geeky Information and Resources.

This is really pretty simple. A distiller buys grains off the commodity market: corn, wheat, rye, whatever their recipe demands. They also buy malted barley from a supplier; none of the large Bourbon distillers grow their own grains or malt their own barley. Each grain is milled into meal, which takes specialized equipment for each grain, then everything is cooked together, with the addition of each grain happening at a different temperature. Starch to sugar conversion is allowed to take place (due to the enzymes in the malted barley), then fermentation is started, typically with a secret yeast strain. After this, everything is dumped into a column still, where a first distillation happens. This liquid (at about 80 proof) is pumped into a doubler still where a second distillation takes it to between 110 and 150 proof. The spent grain, historically fed to pigs is removed from the still and a portion of it is used to “sour” the next batch of grain, ensuring proper pH for yeast growth.

Recent Additions

  • Songs My Mother Taught Me — Mezcal, Cardamaro, Amaro Montenegro, Fernet Branca, Bitters, Orange peel
  • Calexico — Aquavit, Rye, Herbal liqueur, Bitters, Ancho Reyes Verde chile liqueur, Lemon peel
  • Rare Hearts — Cognac, Bourbon, Herbal liqueur, Cardamom bitters, Lemon juice, Vanilla syrup
  • Long Peninsula Iced Tea — Light rum, Curaçao, Cola, Lime juice, Simple syrup, Brewed Tea
  • Blueberry Patch — Rye, Ginger liqueur, Blueberry syrup

Recent Discussion

  • Re Baby Zombie, 9 hours 33 minutes ago HallA commented:

    Dangerously sweet for the booze content. Would be careful to not make this with high fructose grenadine (or take it down) as this is inclined to lean sweet but with the passionfruit and lime there's nice bite there with layers of booze. Very nice,

  • Re Songs My Mother Taught Me, 16 hours ago Mixed up in Na… commented:

    Enjoyable, interesting, and surprisingly refreshing.

  • Re Camp Counselor, 20 hours 24 minutes ago bkemp1984 commented:

    I used Fever Tree's "Refreshingly Light" ginger beer, which just has about half the amount of sugar. I didn't try it with the regular ginger beer, but I think the one I used is the way to go. It was still plenty sweet since the liqueurs and vermouth have plenty of sugar.

  • Re Patent Pending, 1 day ago TrinSF commented:

    Bullitt rye and Bitter Mile Chocolate Chili bitters. It left a zing on the lip. A nice Manhattan changeup.

  • Re Alpine Bird, 5 days ago HallA commented:

    It's good, there is a weird, pleasant note that I'm reading as coconut-ey off the combination of the braulio and the pineapple. Lots of foam.