By Aaron Walters
With the weather (finally and hopefully) breaking I thought it apropos to highlight some of my favorite spirits to knock the chill off of those colder nights. Fall, or what semblance we get of fall, is my favorite time of year. Sitting out on the deck with a glass of something warming to the soul, taking in the cool breezes, just has this peaceful calmness about it. Here are a few of the things that I'll be sipping on this fall and winter.
Laws Whiskey House / Secale Straight Rye Bottled in Bond
This whiskey--WOW! This is a Rye to end all Ryes! First, lets talk accolades:
- America's Best Rye and World's Best Rye, World Whiskey Awards 2017
- Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition
- Silver Medal, Outstanding Whiskies of the World 2017
- Platinum Medal, The Sip Awards 2017
All of this adds up to a pretty fantastic whiskey! Laws is a Colorado distillery utilizing the uniqueness of the Colorado terroir to create some of the most delicious whiskey in the world! Fitting all of the requirements for bottled in bond classification, Laws Secale Straight Rye is rich and spicy with good complexity and a smooth, lingering finish. Drink it neat with a small drop of water to really open it up or over a large rock. It also makes a perfect gift for the most discerning whiskey drinker in your family!
Pierre Ferrand / 1st Cru de Cognac Ambre
From my absolute favorite Cognac producer, the Ambre from Pierre Ferrand drinks like a $100 bottle of Cognac. Again, we will start with the accolades:
- Gold Medal, Cognac Master UK 2009
- Excellent, Beverage Tasting Institute USA 2009
- Exceptional Recomendation, Ultimate Spirits Challenge USA 2010
Hailing from the most prestigious vineyards site, Angeac-Champagne is part of what connoisseurs call the Golden Triangle, a highly reputed micro-terroir comprising the best parcels of Grande Champagne. As for aging, the fresh Eau de Vie is collected from the still and aged in small oak barrels kept in seven different aging cellars - some dry, some humid - at Logis d'Angeac. All of the cognacs produced by Pierre Ferrand are aged in several different casks to impart as much complexity as possible. This also helps with any harsh tannins that may accompany long-term oak aging. The Ambre is pure warm comfort! With notes of dried stone fruit, some rose and baking spices, it is a mellow, smooth and very rounded spirit. As with the Laws I enjoy this spirit neat or with a rock or two.
Art in the Age / Snap
One of the very few USDA "Certified Organic" liqueurs, Snap from Art in the Age is comprised of only real, whole ingredients, and it's 40 proof! Talk about warming! Using black-strap molasses, clove, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, rooibos tea and vanilla, the taste is a dead ringer for a gingersnap cookie! This spirit has some serious versatility. Enjoy it straight, in cocktails, and in cooking--I love to put a little Snap in any recipe that calls for vanilla extract.
And now for something really fun and interesting--you can combine all three of these ingredients and make one deliciously warming cocktail:
- 3/4 oz. Laws Secale Rye
- 3/4 oz. Pierre Ferrand Ambre
- 1/2 oz. Art in the Age SNAP
- 1/4 oz. Benedictine
- 2 Drops Infused Cassia Bark bitters
Add ice and all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir until chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass with a singe cube.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Cheers to staying warm this season!