|Woodberry Kitchen's "Deadwood" cocktail with Rittenhouse rye|
I drank scotch for almost 20 years. I learned to drink on cheap beer and Cuba libres, and I got adult by adding bottled beer and the scotch loved by my grandfather and father. Scotch is easy. You can drink with the boss. You can impress your friends.
But drinking scotch is hard . . . because it tastes like dirt. Smoky. Peaty. I tasted the flavors that aficionados love, but I admitted at some point this year that they taste awful to me. So my friend asked if I liked bourbon. Bourbon? I thought that was harsher than scotch. It turns out that it's sweet. Sweet!
This started as a summer of bourbon. DonkeyKong introduced me to Buffalo Trace bourbon at Kloby's Smokehouse, which does bourbon, beer and barbecue. Then Woodberry Kitchen taught me about rye. Specifically, it was a wonderful "Deadwood" cocktail with "honeyed rye," a smoky tea, peaches, a sage leaf and other magic.
|Rye w/dinner of|
potatoes, tomatoes and eggs
Now, I'm trying to recreate the experience at home. I have shopped around. Buffalo Trace from Roundabout Liquor in Laurel. Rittenhouse rye at Perfect Pour in Elkridge -- a giant store that can really offer variety. Then a special mixer -- ginger shrub -- at i.m. Wine in Fulton. Shrub is a non-alcoholic vinegar, and i.m. Wine sells an entire line from Shrub & Co.
So far, it's good fun. I'd recommend either Rittenhouse or Buffalo Trace. Just a glass and an ice cube make a great drink. But I'd love some advice -- about cocktails and about other options. What liquor stores have something special? What restaurants serve cocktails on the Woodberry theme? What cocktail recipes could you recommend?