Whisky Magazine Issue 104
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Naren Young looks forward to some long hot months
For anyone that's ever put a perfectly made Mint Julep to their lips – one where the ideal balance is achieved by mixing fresh mint, a touch of sugar, a good high proof rye or Bourbon and that subtle dilution provided only by crushed ice – will know that enjoying a good whiskey needn't be reserved for the cooler months. No need for that clichéd rocking chair or an open fire when sipping your favourite dram.
Too often, it is the white spirits such as vodka, gin, blanco tequila and unaged rum that are thought of as the most versatile when mixed into cocktails. To buy into this philosophy, however, would allow one to miss the fact that many aged spirits – especially whiskies – can provide an amazing base in a wide variety of mixed drinks to be enjoyed over the summer. The aforementioned Julep – first mentioned in print in 1803 – is the most famous, although during its long and celebrated chronology it has been made with everything from gin to brandy to rum.
At Maison Premiere in Brooklyn's trendy Williamsburg, co-owner Maxwell Britten has turned this spectacular bar into somewhat of a beacon for local Julep lovers.
They have a constantly rotating list of at least four Juleps on their superb menu, each one perfectly balanced and presented as a work of art. A strong rye base might be tempered by something exotic like crème Yvette, yellow Chartreuse, demerara sugar or orange flower water, among a myriad of other strange sounding elixirs and bitters.
A close relati...