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RECENT COCKTAILS: SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
Bourbon, Bonal Gentiane Quina, Aromatized wine, Orange bitters, Maraschino cherry
JULY 22, 2012
Demerara Rum, Bitters, Lime juice, Simple syrup, Mint
JUNE 10, 2012
Grappa, Bianco Vermouth, Campari, Grapefruit peel
MAY 29, 2012
Gin, Elderflower liqueur, Orgeat, Lime juice
MAY 13, 2012
Prosecco, Campari, Dry vermouth, Licor 43, Lime juice, Cucumber
MAY 4, 2012
Gin, Aromatized wine, Eau de vie of Douglas Fir
MAY 2, 2012
Gin, Pineau des Charentes
APRIL 11, 2012
Rum, Campari, Sherry, Orange peel
FEBRUARY 11, 2012
Genever, Amontillado Sherry, Cardamaro, Elderflower liqueur, Orange peel
JANUARY 28, 2012
Gin, Sweet vermouth, Amaro Meletti, Orange peel

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

  • Celebrate Rhubarb — Gin, Zucca, Rhubarb syrup, Lime juice
  • Blue and Yellow — Gin, Elderflower liqueur, Blueberry syrup, Lemon juice
  • Trash Polka — Fernet Branca, Campari, Sweet vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur, Peychaud's Bitters, Absinthe, Lemon peel
  • Plain Sailing — Gin, Bianco Vermouth, Manzanilla sherry, Sloe gin, Absinthe, Cane syrup, Salt Solution, Lemon peel
  • Lord Byron — Gin, Mastika, Lime juice, Mint

Recent Discussion

  • Re Meatpacker, 2 hours 41 minutes ago Biff Malibu commented:

    Cut the bitters - they are out of place.

  • Re Jakarta Mai Tai, 9 hours ago Craig E commented:

    So glad you tried it and you liked it! The recipe is built quite directly on the modern version of the Trader Vic Mai Tai, including the nutty curry-leaf syrup in the place of orgeat and even the split rums.

  • As usual, went easy on the St. Elizabeth, about 4 mL. Dirty dump works too if you don't want to rinse your blender.

  • Re Jakarta Mai Tai, 1 day ago prattginkgo commented:

    Phenomenal drink, so this is nitpicking--but shouldn't this be a Jakarta Daiquiri? 2 oz. rum, 3/4 lime, 1/2 syrup is a pretty standard daiquiri, and adding a bit of Curacao isn't unheard of. Muddling 5 fresh curry leaves in cane syrup did the trick for me, and I strained onto new ice.

  • Re Margarita, 1 day ago jpan999 commented:

    Jo's Margarita

    Tequila Blanco - 2 oz
    lime and lemon - 1 oz
    Orange liqueur (Cointreu works) - 1 oz
    Mezcal (spash)
    mix with ice
    strain