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During the summer of 2004, I lived in Central Florida and we were ravaged by hurricanes that year. My grandparents and godparents live right next to one another and after the first hurricane, we decided to do what good Floridians do and just have a hurricane party each time one went through. I wasn’t much of a drinker, but I grew up using the purple Crown Royal bags as change purses, so during those hurricane parties, my contribution was always a handle of Crown. Back then I mixed it with ginger and a lime wedge, but I’ve grown up a lot since those days and now I take my bourbon on the rocks.
A few years ago when I became a mommy again, I started hanging out with a bunch of moms who drink wine. Like lots and lots of wine, usually red. I tried to be that mom, but it just didn’t work out for me. I love wine and I have an appreciation for its notes and legs and different mouth feels, but it makes me sweat and after two glasses I’m done.
So I became the “other” mom who brings whiskey to the party, which better matches my wild hair and tattooed arms personality, right? Time and again I hear women say to me, “How can you drink that stuff?!” and I constantly wonder how they can NOT drink this stuff.
Whiskey, Scotch, bourbon, and rye all have such different flavors. Some are better with mixers, others are so complex and sweet that they are amazing alone – neat or chilled. Others are earthy while some others are smoky, and the complexity of their flavors rivals that of wine. I have become a whiskey connoisseur and I’m proud of it.
For those of you who can’t figure out how I drink whiskey, or why, there’s a website for you that will help you pick out the best whiskey for your tastes. Whiskey has SO many different calling cards, so to speak, and I really love most of them. I do know that I’m not a fan of super peaty Scotch, but whiskey and bourbon are a free-for-all when it comes to flavor.
Today I’m feeling sweet and smoky, so on the Whiskey5 website, I selected Sweet for my first flavor profile and Smoky for my second. I love a whiskey that has a distinct flavor after the first sip, and I often choose caramel and vanilla as my favorite flavors, but I always love a surprisingly smoky sip. Once I had toggled both Sweet & Smoky to my liking, I hit “Get Results” to find out my flavor, and it told me I’m as sweet as can be. Duh.
- Smooth – Sip on these for a rich and creamy, mellow and soothing adventure for your senses.
- Spicy – Take yourself on a vibrant flavor journey, filled with fruitful highlights, hints of vanilla and peppery spices.
- Bold – Explore the deeper flavors achieved by generous aging; a remarkable pallet with a mix of oak, dark fruits and charred smokiness and long rich finish.
- Sweet – Delight in these delicate whiskeys that offer up a surprisingly smooth creaminess and notes of fresh fruits and dried apricots.
- Smoky – Discover deep flavor as intense rich fruit zest and spicy oak tannins give rise to an incredibly powerful lingering smoky sweet.
For someone just diving into whiskey, I would recommend selecting Smooth and Sweet and using the Toggles to select how much of each profile you want in a drink. The website then recommends a whiskey for you, similar whiskeys to choose from, and some cocktails you could try your whiskey in should you not be quite brave enough to venture into neat or on the rocks territory. You may even spot this helpful display at your local retailer.
It’s my mission in life to turn some wine-lovin’ mamas into whiskey babes, and Whiskey5 is my weapon of choice. That and a well-crafted whiskey cocktail like this one that my award-winning mixologist husband concocted this summer for my drinking pleasure. We call it the Country Carousel.