You may like whiskey. You may love whiskey, but to true connoisseurs of mash delight, the pinnacle of Kentucky’s bourbon offering is Pappy’s Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Year Old Bourbon. This limited edition 100 proof elixir comes from eleven barrels of bourbon originally distilled in 1989. Only 710 handmade glass decanters packaged in boxes made from the staves of the oak barrels, which originally aged the spirit, are available for purchase, each packed with a certificate of authenticity signed by Julian Van Winkle, grandson of founder Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle. So magnificent is this offering mere money won’t secure a bottle. In fact, so sought after are all varieties of “Pappy” that retailers often hold lotteries to decide who is lucky enough to purchase them. Old Rip Van Winkle 25 is likely to make winning the bourbon lottery akin to hitting the power ball. It may already be too late to get in on ORVW 25, but maybe you can find one the many ruthless bourbon scalpers willing to make a deal.
It won’t get you tipsy but Jack Daniel’s Coffee will get you up and at ’em in the morning with a hint of whiskey taste. This blend of medium-roasted Arabica gourmet coffee goes through an infusion process with actual Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. While no alcohol actually reaches your mug after brewing (none was left in the beans, anyway, though nothing’s stopping you from spiking the coffee itself with a bit of Jack) the whiskey’s notes of vanilla and caramel come through in every sip. Also available in a decaffeinated version as well as smaller 1.5 ounce sample sizes ($7).
Learn more at Jack Daniel’s Coffee or grab a can here – $22
They’re certainly not the first to come up with the idea of drinking in the shower, but Snask & PangPang’s collaborative Shower Beer is the first such drink specifically conceived for enjoyment during this private time. It’s of the pale ale variety, sweet and strong, and comes in a 18 cl bottle (about 6 ounces) that goes down in just a few sips — likely before any shower water dilutes the stuff. Perfect before hitting the hay all squeaky clean or of course to get the evening off on the right foot, especially since its alcohol content is a solid 10%.
Learn more at Behance – $TBA
When you think of the Scottish Isles and libations, gin doesn’t necessarily come to mind. Harris Distillery’s Isle of Harris Gin is changing that. Just as the peaty nuance of a fine single malt can transport the imbiber to a seaside in the North Atlantic, so too can the gin distilled to reward the drinker with maritime pleasures. Isle of Harris utilizes hand-harvested sugar kelp to marry the sea to eight other carefully chosen botanicals. Juniper (of course), pine needles, fresh citrus, lime and grapefruit flesh out a complex floral note of rose and wallflowers with crushed green herbs, coriander and gooseberry all balanced on a mixed spice foundation. To the average drinker, that means a gin with a good balance between the bitter juniper and sweet citrus flavors… distinctive and smooth with a dry flinty taste. The finish is long with sweet vanilla and black pepper remaining on the palate as a gentle reminder of the sea. Though getting your hands on some may be tricky.
Find it at Isle of Harris – roughly $43
Draft beer isn’t impossible to pour at home, it’s just that typical systems are more complex and expensive than the average beer lover would like. Now there’s another, simpler option with the Fizzics Waytap Draft Beer Dispenser, which recreates the taste and texture of draft beer without taking up much space or pulling beer from a keg. Instead, the tap fits over a standard/tall can or a bottle of beer and pours at the pull of its lever. When the handle is pushed to the closed position to finish the pour the Waytab converts the exiting brew’s natural carbonation into perfect foam by using sound waves instead of nitrogen canisters. It works with all types of beers and runs on four AA batteries so it’s portable, too.
Grab one at Amazon – $130
The first question you’ll ask yourself after discovering Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka is probably something along the lines of how is this even made? Well first the milk is separated into curds and whey, the former turned to cheese (Black Cow will sell you cheddar, too) and the latter converted into beer via a particular yeast that transforms lactose into ethanol. This beer is then distilled, treated (using proprietary and secret processes), and finally triple filtered. While it’s completely transparent like vodka should be its milk origins imbue the booze with a creamy and sweet character that you won’t want to dilute with mixers.
Learn more at Black Cow or grab a bottle at Master of Malt – $29
The original Coravin allowed you to tap into a bottle of wine without actually opening it, sparing its contents of oxidation if not drunk quickly. The new Coravin Model One does the same thing but at a lower price point. It’s made of ABS and synthetic rubber but otherwise uses the same Teflon-coated stainless steel needle to get through the cork and pour out wine. The Coravin Model Two on the other hand boasts a fully metal body and a thinner wall needle that allows for 20% faster pouring. The needles are narrow enough that the cork naturally reseals as they’re withdrawn, and both models use pressurized argon cartridges (good for about fifteen 5 ounce pours) that fills the bottle’s newly created empty space with this inert gas and keep the wine as fresh as a brand new untouched bottle. And if you need something a touch flashier the Model Two Elite comes in fire engine red, gold, or silver (click through to picture two), albeit at a $50 premium.
Add a modicum of smokiness to your drink with the Crafthouse Cocktail Smoking Kit. This set – created by a world-champion bartender – includes a smoke box and Polyscience smoking gun set along with two sample flavor wood chips to get started experimenting with your cocktails and liquors like whisky. The glass-and-stainless-steel box is made large to also fit taller glasses, though you can also load it with food that smokiness might complement.
Find it at Wine Enthusiast – $200