With whiskey sales on the rise, more people are discovering there are plenty of ways to drink the distilled spirit than just straight on the rocks.
Drink mixologists enjoy finding more and more ways to complement the whiskey flavor with a plethora of other ingredients, whether its syrups, fruit juices, vermouth or even tea.
A growing willingness to experiment with whiskey and bourbon as the primary ingredient in a variety of cocktails is just one of several ways consumer habits have been changing, says Steven Earles, CEO of Portland-based Eastside Distilling (www.EastsideDistilling.com).
“People are drinking less wine and more whiskey, and women have become more inclined to give whiskey a try,” says Earles, whose company already experiments with a variety of flavors in its drinks, such as Cherry Bomb Whiskey and Oregon Marionberry Whiskey.
The trend of finding more ways to include whiskey in cocktails also may be just one of several factors helping to add to the bump in whiskey sales. As of November 2014, Whiskey sales were near $4 billion, in contrast to $3.5 billion in 2013, according Nielsen research.
For distilleries, those numbers may mean a toast is in order. For consumers, that toast may involve a mix of flavors made just to their liking – but definitely is still on the rocks.
Recipes For Mixing It Up Yourself
Perhaps the classic whiskey cocktail is the Old-Fashioned, around since the late 19th Century. But for those looking to add even more variety to their whiskey and bourbon selections, Eastside Distilling offers these cocktail recipes:
• Earl’s Demise
25 oz. Cherry Bomb Whiskey (one 750ML bottle)
12.5 oz. Burnside Bourbon
75 oz. Smith Teamaker Earl Grey Tea (chilled)
25 oz. Orange juice
25 oz. Simple syrup
12.5 oz. Sweet vermouth
5 tablespoons Peychaud’s Bitters
Mix all the ingredients in a large punch bowl, then add ice or ice ring. Serve in small punch glasses. The mixture serves 10-12 people.
• The Sideburn
1 ½ oz. Burnside Whiskey
¾ oz. Aperol
½ oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1 oz. Fresh lemon juice
½ oz. lavender simple syrup
13 oz. Old Fashioned glass over ice
Fill a 14 oz. rocks glass with ice, add all the other ingredients and stir.
• Eastside Civil War
1 ½ oz. Burnside Bourbon
½ oz. Cocchi Torino Sweet Vermouth
½ oz. Cynar
2 dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashion Bitters
Add all the ingredients, except the cherry, to a 16 oz. mixing glass (pint glass). Fill to within 1 inch of the top with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an Amarena cherry.
• Marionberry Beret
1.5 oz. Marionberry Whiskey
.5 oz. Dry Curacao
2 oz. Fresh Grapefruit juice
Served on the rocks
Fill glass with ice, add Burnside Bourbon and recipe ingredients.
About Steven Earles
Steven Earles is the CEO of Portland-based Eastside Distilling, (www.EastsideDistilling.com), a producer of handcrafted spirits created from local ingredients and focused in small batches to ensure unparalleled quality. He is responsible for Eastside’s day-to-day operations as well as overseeing the company’s brand development and financial strategy. Earles, who joined Eastside in 2009, has more than two decades of executive experience and orchestrated the development and building of one of the largest land-development companies in southern California.