This time of year I like to drink. Well, truth be told I like to drink most times of year. It is genetic. But during winter I like to drink things that warm. I am not a Scotch person. My parents, they are Scotch people. As a child, I used to hound them for a sip of whatever adult beverage they had in hand. They would cave knowing that the burning taste of Johnny Walker would make me gag. It did. To this day that first sip of Scotch always triggers churning chills down my spine. I can drink it if duty calls in certain social situations, but it is not preferred. I am an American girl when it comes to whiskey.
Bourbon whiskey is made from corn and is unique to the American South, distilled mainly in Kentucky but also Tennessee. Ironically enough the invention of bourbon is attributed to a Baptist minister named Rev. Elijah Craig. The term "bourbon" comes from the county in Kentucky where the distillation process of American whiskey was created. American whiskey producers are mandated by trade agreements to label their booze bourbon, but Tennessee whiskey producers refuse to label their bottles as such. Instead they use "sour mash whiskey" to disassociate themselves from their brothers in Kentucky, in true bootlegger moonshine feud style.
This week Chef and I were introduced to Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey. It was given to him as a gift to nurse an upper respiratory infection. Like a true southern bell she is warm, inviting, a real sweetie but if you take advantage of her good graces she will bite you in the ass. She made her debut to society this summer and has had five star reviews from anyone who has taken her for a ride.
Let me tell you something...this is one of the most sippable liquors Chef and I have ever tasted. I am not kidding. This beverage will now be a staple booze in our home. There is nothing syrupy about this drink, just whiskey warmed with honey. It is extraordinary.
Do yourself and everyone around you a favor and go buy a bottle. Maybe two. One for you and one as a gift to someone who needs a drink more than most. This year, this climate, this world we live in now demands too much from us, and there is nothing like a little southern comfort to provide relief from the cold. A little liquid courage to face the all consuming holiday season. I am telling you if cheer had a flavor, it would be Tennessee Honey.
Cheers to one of America's finest exports, and congrats to Mr. Daniels for landing himself such an incredible lady!