I was really looking forward to going out for a drink at Schiller’s one night because I knew I could really use a New York Sour after the long day I just had. The New York Sour, one of Schiller’s house cocktails, is a traditional whisky sour made with fresh lemon and orange juice topped with a float of dry red wine. I could tell that my beer drinking companion felt the need to even out the playing field after his first Heineken and didn’t hesitate to order a Maker’s on the rocks when he finished his beer.
A similar situation happened at Summit Bar when I opted to drink the Born & Raised – a masculine blend of scotch, vermouth, agave and orange bitters. While my date’s beer and bourbon mixed drink was equally delicious, he asked if he could try what I ordered. His response after one sip was, “Hmm. I want that one instead.”
More recently this past weekend after ordering a Maker’s on the rocks at an engagement party, the bartender’s bewildered expression propelled me into feeling obligated to ask for a splash of ginger ale.
I was never a Jack & Coke-ordering kind of girl, but as a petite female who so often looks too young to be allowed inside a bar, I am not a stranger to receiving a peculiar look when ordering an Old Fashioned. What is it about women and brown liquor? According to a recent article posted on MSNBC, the resurgence of whisky could be correlated to eras depicted on television. Shows such as Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire visually depict eras of classic Americana drinking in the sexiest way possible. On the other hand, the Gossip Girl generation gets to follow a more modern (and substantially younger) “age” of scotch sippers. As a result of this revolution, many bars have made creative plays with their whisky, scotch, and bourbon mixtures as a mainstream player and taken the intimidation out of ordering them. My education of whisky began when an international whisky expert came to New York City on a book tour. My drinking palate had very little experience with the taste but I was eager to learn and appreciate the flavor. It wasn’t easy. But as anticipated, an appreciation for whisky was an acquired taste and, surely enough, it developed quickly. Whisky offers a complexity of flavors that can complement itself much like wine pairs to food. The real glamour to a high-quality whisky drinking female is her appreciation for the taste, not the novelty of the idea.
Wondering if I have a favorite? Head over to Summit Bar in the East Village, NYC and order The Guv’nor (pictured below) made with Yamazaki 12 Year Whisky, toasted cardamom infused agave, Japanese yuzu and fresh orange juice served with one giant cube of ice. It’s a drink that will change your perspective.