Welcome folks! This week, we have a new smoky Fumado addition to Sierra Milenario tequila, Ryanair tries to stop customers from getting drunk before flying, Jack Daniel’s finally honors the history of its first distiller, and David Wondrich tells the story of the Tom Collins. Enjoy!
Ever wondered what the latest, newest, weirdest whiskeys are? Wonder no more and delve deep into the world beyond Fireball. Food and Wine put together a list of the 13 strangest whiskeys. Gems include Chipotle Whiskey by Rogue Ales & Spirits (made with dried and smoked jalapeño peppers), Grainiac 9 Grain Bourbon by Corsair Distillery (made with the addition of quinoa, healthy!), Pecan Pie by Piehole Whiskey (also comes in apple and cherry pie), and Cookies & Cream Whiskey by Ole Smoky Tennessee (no. just, no). Find the whole list here and be ready for a solid belly laugh.
Sierra Milenario Adds Fumado Tequila to its Lineup
“German spirits producer Borco has expanded its Sierra Milenario Tequila range with a new smoky expression, made using a ‘unique’ ahumado process with mesquite wood.” The tequila’s unique production process is said to create the “exceptional notes of smokiness.” The agave is cooked in stainless steel ovens for 24 hours before a fire of mesquite logs and Mexican oak is lit beneath lidded, stainless steel containers. These are perforated which allows the smoke to infuse the agave for eight hours. “Created by master distiller Rodolfo Gonzalez, the 100% de agave Sierra Milenario range includes Añejo, Extra Añejo, Blanco, Reposado, and Café.”
Ryanair Calls for Airport Alcohol Ban
“European airline Ryanair is calling for a ban on all bar and restaurant alcohol sales in UK airports before 10am to tackle disruptive behaviour from passengers,” because of course Ryanair customers are the ones who get drunk before flying at 10am. Don’t get us wrong, we’re big fans of the airline (certainly a lot better than its orange counterpart) and have used it countless times, but without getting mind-numbingly drunk before the flight. The Spirits Business cites a study by the CAA which says that the number of “disruptive passengers” (euphemism much?) in the UK has risen 600% between 2012 and 2016. That’s … a lot. This is why Ryanair is urging UK airports to adopt “necessary measures” to prevent customers from excessive alcohol consumption, particularly during flight delays. Well, what else are you going to do if your flight’s three hours late?
Another favorite option: “Other practices encouraged by Ryanair include making it mandatory to present boarding cards when purchasing alcohol in bars and restaurants, and imposing a maximum limit of two beverages per traveller.” Can’t imagine that going down well with the Brits Abroad gang. Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: “It’s completely unfair that airports can profit from the unlimited sale of alcohol to passengers and leave the airlines to deal with the safety consequences. This is a particular problem during flight delays when airports apply no limit to the sale of alcohol in airside bars and restaurants.” Fair enough, the man’s got a point, but honestly: shouldn’t adults be responsible enough not to get blackout drunk, purely out of boredom? This seems to be more of a ‘humans are horrible’ problem.
When Jack Daniel’s Failed to Honor a Slave, an Author Rewrote History
Finally, some good news. In 2016, Brown-Forman made an announcement stating it would finally embrace Nearest Green, a Tennessee slave who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey, and the role he played in the creation of the Lynchburg whiskey. Unfortunately, words were much quicker than actions. Until author Fawn Weaver got involved, that is. Last week, The New York Times wrote a lovely article on how Ms Weaver travelled to Tennessee, rented a house in downtown Lynchburg, and began contacting Green’s descendants. She’s now written a book on Green and in May this year Brown-Forman officially recognized Green as its first master distiller.
“The company’s decision to recognize its debt to a slave, first reported last year by The New York Times, is a momentous turn in the history of Southern foodways. Even as black innovators in Southern cooking and agriculture are beginning to get their due, the tale of American whiskey is still told as a whites-only affair, about Scots-Irish settlers who brought Old World distilling knowledge to the frontier states of Tennessee and Kentucky.” Ms. Weaver has now even released her own whiskey, called Uncle Nearest 1856 she is planning on producing a second, unaged spirit which mimics the style of whiskey that Green and Daniel probably made.
How the John Collins Became the Tom Collins
Our favorite barstool historian David Wondrich wrote a little piece on the history of the enduringly popular summer gin cocktail for the Daily Beast recently. He traces the story of Stephen Limmer and his eponymous Limmer’s Hotel – a rowdy place that was known for serious drinking. After Limmer died, head waiter John Collin took over running the hotel. John Collin also liked to make an Ale Cup and various other “mixtures,” including his take on Gin Punch. No recipe survives but “as far as we can tell, this began as a fairly standard mixture of Hodges Old Tom gin, lemon juice and water, sweetened with capillaire, a slightly tarted-up sugar syrup.” By 1830, the Gin Punch at Limmer’s had become a fixture in London.
In 1865 the media first reported on a drink called the “John Collins,” which was a simple Gin Punch and seven years later the John Collins appeared in New York as a hot-weather cooler. By 1876, the drink made it into Jerry Thomas’s cocktail book and by 1880 it was hugely popular in the United States. “Only something has gone wrong with the name: now, the original recipe, with English Old Tom gin, is a ‘Tom Collins,’ while the ‘John Collins’ is made with Dutch genever or a domestic American imitation.” The reason for the name change has much to do with the rising popularity of Old Tom.
“The John Collins faded with the decline in genever drinking in America. The Tom Collins, however, remained one of America’s essential summer refrigerants, at least until air conditioning took some of the necessity out of such things. It was still enjoying its heyday in 1943 when, on one hot summer afternoon, the bar at the Commodore Hotel, across the street from Grand Central Station in New York, served 1,100 of them to thirsty commuters. If it’s not at that level of market penetration these days, the Tom Collins is still hanging in there, and every glass still has a dash of low ceilings, barroom marksmanship and Old John Collin.” And there you have it, the story of the John and Tom Collins.
Bildquelle: Photo via Shutterstock.