I don’t often write about Whiskey. Not sure why, possibly because it is something I have not developed an appreciation for. I do however write about travel so when I had the opportunity with the American Distilled Spirits Council to learn more about American Whiskey and visit the places where it is made…How could I say no!
The new hot travel trend right now is Distillery Travel …Wineries have long been hot travel destinations, but with the rise of the cocktail culture people are flocking to see where there favorite spirits and beers are made. Just ask Forbes who posted this great article on “The top 10 American Whiskey Distilleries to Tour Now…”
Over time this distillery fell into disrepair and was closed. That is until 2005, with a two year rebuild. Including an archaeological dig to uncover actual artifacts and the historic placement of the distillery back in 1797, it once again open it’s doors in 2007. Walking through the buildings and the grounds you would think this place has been standing and untouched since 1797. The rebuild is AMAZING and the fact they still make the whiskey the same way they did in 1797 is more so.
I even got to mash up some mash myself, not an easy job.
Mount Vernon’s master miller, Steve Bashore, describes the 18th century milling process used by Washington in his gristmill on his plantation.
There is something very different about doing a spirits tasting when you are in the place where they make it. All your senses are alert, you now know the process, the ingredients, the history. It is unlike any other tasting you will experience guaranteed.
Every few months Mount Vernon produces a small batch of whiskey from this historic one of a kind distillery. Needless to say it is in very high demand. So much so they have created a “Whiskey Notification List”…So if you are interested in tasting some of that history you need to sign up!
You can read 10 fun facts about this amazing distillery here.
If you have made your way to George Washington’s distillery you are absolutely not aloud to leave until you visit Mount Vernon itself and it’s incredible grounds.
I learned so much about the history of this amazing space and the amazing women who saved it.
I have never been a history buff, hell I am not even American. However, there is always something very special special going on at this place that is sure to fascinate anyone no matter your interest. Not to mention the killer views off the back lawn.
When your tours are done and your head is about to explode with all the amazing sights and learning it is time to EAT!
Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant is the perfect end to the perfect day. The menu us vast, well priced and appointed and offers everything from braised lamb, roast duck to shrimp and grits.
And my favorite part…I got to wash it all down with Mount Vernon’s own beer!
The only thing wrong with this visit to Mount Vernon, was that I wanted more time to explore it! I can not wait to plan a Washing trip with my family and go back and spend more time in this amazing space.
To find out more about Mount Vernon and George Washington’s Distillery be sure to check out their website. It is full of amazing history, videos, trip planners and of course beautiful pictures. From amazing wine festivals one of a kind artifacts to being able to trick or treat at the mansion on Halloween. There is something for everyone.
If you are a spirits enthusiast like me, shake on over to the Distilled Spirits Council of Americas website and check the amazing things they are doing to preserve the history of spirit making in the United States and the American Whiskey trail.
When planning your next vacation be sure to do some research and see what is made in the area you are visiting. You will me amazed and the unique tours you will find. It is always a good thing to think outside the bottle.
Cheers happy travels.
On a Whiskey side note. After all that is the main reason I was there. I happen to find a whiskey I really enjoyed during our tastings.
Wigle Craft Whiskey is an American whiskey that was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However it has a great Canadian connection as the idea for it came about during a family visit to the Shaw festival in Niagara on the Lake back in 2010.
This grain to bottle distillery produces amazing flavored whiskeys using organic grains and also a selection of deevine organic bitters perfect for any cocktail. They also get my vote for the prettiest labels.
Be sure to check them out and read their story here…
Here is my Fave Whiskey recipe from the Wigle Whiskey recipe page…
Cheers and Party Safe…
A couple years ago I tweeted a pic of my wine with a bowl of chips and stated it was my perfect wine pairing…The response I received from people, telling me their favorite Wine & Chip combo was CRAZY! Who knew so many people loved to drink wine with their chips…? Turns put about 50% of them…MY PEOPLE !!!
So let’s get fancy shall we…
Cabernet Sauvignon + Original Recipe
This delicious full bodied wine…coupled with the simple flavor and unique crunch of Original Recipe …Is the perfect pairing for a night of ACTION…movies that is. Weather your Mission is Impossible or you are ready to be Bourne again…This will be the perfect match for an evening of excitement on the couch….
Sauvignon Blanc + Lime and Black Pepper
This white has crisp tropical notes…So fly to a beach IMMEDIATELY!! Or..Pair it up with an evening in and a good drama…Then you can be The Judge on whether or not this is the pairing for you…
Merlot + Balsamic Vinegar Sweet Onion
This wine is bright and fruity…So they are perfect to be paired with the tangy sweetness of these chips. The fun vibe of this pairing is perfect for a night of laughter. So call all your Bridesmaids over for a girls night in and figure out exactly when Harry did meet Sally.
Pinot Grigio + Seal Salt and Malt Vinegar
There is a crisp nectarine and peach flavor to this wine which pairs so well with the acidic tang from the salt and malt vinegar. This yin and yang is the best companion for a night of reality television. So you can bet that Big Brother is watching your Amazing Race to the bottle of the bottle and the bag.
Whatever your taste have fun with these pairings, mix and match and let me know your favorite pairings. If you are on Twitter or Instagram be sure to snap a shot of your pairings and hash tag them #UnwindTogether ..Would love to see what you are enjoying, also what you are watching these days, I am always looking for new TV show to obsess over.
And to sweeten the deal…On specially marked bottles of Woodbridge wines by Robert Mondavi you can get $2.00 your next purchase of Miss Vickie’s chips.
CHEERS LET’S #UNWINDTOGETHER !!
*Full disclosure I was given free wine and chips…Fuller disclosure…I would do just about anything for free wine and chips…*
**Dealer coupon expires December 31 2015**
This past summer my neighbor was over served at a local pub, went home, fell down the stairs and died. It was a horrible, senseless and preventable tragedy that tore a family apart.
So when RIDE Checks asked me to be a part of their campaign this year…Just like not dhttp://www.cocktaildeeva.com/wp-admin/post-new.phprinking and driving…it was a NO BRAINER.
Over serving at restaurants and bars happens all too often. Bar owners, servers and bartenders all want to make the customer happy. Let’s face it, telling someone they have had too much to drink is uncomfortable at best. Also let’s not forget the money making aspect of this.
In 1972 the Supreme Court of Canada decided there was a “special relationship” between a bar and it’s patrons because: as stated on Canada Safety Council.org
“The bar “invites” the patron to use its premises to buy and drink alcohol. There is a duty or responsibility on the bar to ensure that there is no “foreseeable” harm that occurs to the patron because of what the bar does (serving alcohol to a patron when he is visibly intoxicated and then ejecting him) and what it fails to do (take preventative steps – offer a ride or call a taxi or police).”
Establishments now have a “Duty of Care” for it’s patrons.
So what happens when you invite people into your home to consume alcohol? Do you as, the host, have a ‘duty of care’? Does your home or office party fall under the ‘special relationship law’?
What exactly is a ‘socialhost?”
A definition could include anyone who: as per Canada Safety Council.org
1. is not selling or supplying alcohol for profit;
2. is not an employer, or any position in which he or she has a unique relationship with his or her guests; and
is serving alcohol or condoning the service/consumption of alcohol on premises over which he or she has control.
Then there is the whole B.Y.O.B issue. Are you liable if people bring their own booze?
Unfortunately there is no exact answer. This whole area is as grey as it gets. However there have been many people successfully sued and found liable as a ‘social host’.
The real question is, how can you protect yourself this holiday season and really have your guests “Party Safe”?
Here are my tips for being a responsible Social Host…
As the host, don’t over serve yourself. Limit your alcohol consumption throughout the party in order to pay closer attention to your guests.
Avoid a self serve bar. I am all for hiring a bartender for the evening who has alcohol training.
Have MANY non-alcoholic selections. Create a signature Mocktail Punch for the evening.
Say hi and bye! This one is SO important. Greet all your guests to get a feel for if they have already been drinking. Say bye to EVERY single person that leaves your home to gauge how they are acting and see if maybe they need a alternate ride home.
Have a spare bed or a couch.
Only TIME will sober someone up. Not coffee or a slice of pizza or cold shower. It’s all about how much alcohol is in the blood stream.
One last thing to remember…If you have a guest that you feel is intoxicated and they refuse to take a taxi and insist on driving. You MUST call the police. It may seem dramatic but it is your ‘Duty of Care’ to do so. Imagine how dramatic an accident would be.
For more great Party Safe ideas and to learn more about RIDE Checks check out their website www.ridechecks.com
For more information on who, how and when you are liable as a ‘Social Host’ be sure to check out www.canadasafetycouncil.org/traffic-safety/social-host-liability