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    Eat & Swig

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    This originally appeared in Vol. IV of Louisville Swig, December 2015
    Photos by Chris Witzke


    Marie Zahn, bar manager at the newly opened Butchertown Grocery (she previously worked at Meat and St. Charles Exchange, both now closed), gives tips on how to make four classic cocktails. It’s a lot easier than you might think.

    “I often drink gin,” Zahn says. “But with some of these wonderful vermouths on the market, I totally would pair one with vodka and be pretty darn pleased.”

    If you’re on the vodka martini team, Zahn recommends Belvedere Intense, a 100-proof vodka. For a team gin martini, she recommends the Old Raj brand. As far as vermouth, Zahn says, “I suggest Dolin Dry for those who would like a vermouth that’s pretty subtle. For those who aren’t afraid to hop on the vermouth train, I would suggest Maurin Dry. I love it and would drink it just on the rocks.”


    Whiskey Sour

    “If you’ve ever had a whiskey sour from me at any bar in town, I have likely prepared a Boston Sour (a whiskey sour with frothy egg white added) for you by default,” Zahn says. “I like them for their fluffy but rich mouthfeel.“ 

    When making a whiskey sour, Zahn suggests using a high-proof whiskey. “You want to be able to taste it against all the other ingredients,” she says. And for making an orange twist, Zahn recommends using the Y-shaped peeler you might use for peeling vegetables. 



    There are two classic ways to make this drink. The first comes from Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide, which was published in 1862. Boker’s is the bitters brand Thomas recommended in his book, so use those if you want to be historically accurate. 

    The second recipe comes from the Manhattan Club in New York, which claims the drink as its own, similar to how Louisville’s Pendennis Club claims the Old Fashioned.

    Zahn recommends using Willett or Wild Turkey 101 rye whiskey in either drink. “For me, the higher proof the bourbon or rye, the greater ratio of vermouth I’d use in the cocktail to balance out the drink,” she says. “Because you’re using higher-proof spirits, you can use a really interesting, flavorful vermouth like La Quintinye Rouge or Carpano Antica.” 



    You might be familiar with the version of a daiquiri that’s sugary, strawberry-flavored and comes out of a blender. The original version is a long way from that, Zahn says. “It’s hand-shaken and should always have fresh ingredients. I’m pretty sure if I picked up a pre-bottled daiquiri mix and looked at the ingredients, I wouldn’t be able to pronounce most of them,” she says.

    For the rum, Zahn recommends Flor de Cana. Want to play around with the recipe a bit? Substituting honey for simple syrup makes a drink called a Honeysuckle. Adding dark rum instead of light rum turns it into a Honey Bee. 


    This originally appeared in Vol. IV of Louisville Swig, December 2015
    Photos by Chris Witzke


    Michelle Eigenheer's picture

    About Michelle Eigenheer

    A Louisville transplant beginning to appreciate all the city's small things.

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