Month: September 2018

The Taste: where to find Old Dominick this week [09.27]

In Memphis tonight we’re welcoming Tia ‘Songbird’ Henderson to the Distillery for the third show in our fall season of the Pure Memphis Music Series. She stopped by the other day to perform a song for us in the Barrel Room and help our whiskey age – check her out:

Tickets are still available for tonight, and $5 from your purchase supports nonprofit co-host The CLTV!

In Nashville we’re counting down to the Nashville Whiskey Festival, Nashville’s premiere whiskey experience, next weekend. It’s going down October 6 at the Omni Hotel and tickets are still available. The goal of this festival is to encourage participants to truly taste, learn, explore and experience all the nuances in a variety of whiskeys. Regardless of personal taste preferences, this event is catered to a community with a deep appreciation for carefully handcrafted work and passionate, talented artisans.

October 6 is a big day for Tennesseans who heart whiskey, y’all. Over in east Tennessee, join us in Gatlinburg that day for the Tennessee Whiskey Experience, an elevated celebration of Tennessee distillers and Appalachian cuisine in the Great Smoky Mountains. The Tennessee Whiskey Experience will highlight the distilleries that make up the Tennessee Whiskey Trail with product samples and cocktails straight from the distillers. Complimenting these spirits, Park Vista Executive Chef Jeremy Hemen will be creating dishes highlighting authentic Appalachian cuisine. Tickets are still available!

And last but most definitely not least – back home in Memphis we’re gearing up for a weekend at Shelby Farms Park as the official craft vodka of Mempho Music Festival! Pssst: we’re also cooking up something pretty cool with our friends at WeAreMemphis. Be sure to keep an eye on our social media to learn more about how you can connect with us at the Fest!

Share a Sip with Alex Castle 09.20.18

Home bars are a favorite topic of mine — I started building my home bar about 10 years ago.

In this post, I’ll focus primarily on spirits. In my next post, I’ll go into a bit more detail on great tools and extras you can add to elevate your offering.

You want to keep a variety of everyday spirits on hand, and they don’t need to be expensive. They don’t even need to be names that you recognize, necessarily – you just need to find a comfortable price point for you. If you can have a $40 vodka be your everyday vodka, and you can afford that, then by all means, do that! If all you can afford is a $20 vodka for your everyday, that’s what you need to stock.

Keeping a variety of spirits on hand means that hopefully anytime anyone comes over, or anytime you find a cocktail that strikes your fancy, you have everything you need. You won’t have to make a special trip to the store to make it. For me, that variety does begin with vodka – you definitely need vodka on hand. Some people can get away without a gin, but I always like having it – I like gin, and I think it can do a lot in a cocktail. You want a whiskey – and I say whiskey, not bourbon. It’s completely up to you if you want a scotch, if you want a bourbon, if you want a rye whiskey. Rye and bourbon are very interchangeable with cocktails. You’ll want to keep standard bitters – orange bitters, angostura – those are pretty much the basics.  (I like throwing in weird ones, like the chocolate bitters and the hellfire bitters, because I like spicy drinks, and that’s an easy way to get a spicy drink.)

Next, make sure you have an orange liqueur or a triple sec – that’s what goes into a margarita. So, if you have that, you have tequila, and you have one fresh lime, you’ve got a margarita. You don’t need anything else. Then, vermouth. You should probably have a dry and a sweet vermouth, because they do have different uses. A dry vermouth is mainly for martinis, so that’s what you want that for. A sweet vermouth gets used in Manhattans most. You want to use those and simple mixers. A cranberry juice is always good, and any kind of juice that you like would work. Always go for the juice, not the fruit cocktails, because you don’t want the added sugars – you always want to be able to control the sugar level yourself. And to that end, I prefer sugar cubes over loose sugar. So, if you make an old fashioned, a lot of times that comes with a sugar cube, which allows you to meddle the cube with the orange slice, with the bitters, and really meld those flavors together. Loose sugar is harder to measure as well. A sugar cube, you just chuck one in and you’re done. If you’re using a regular spoon to get loose sugar out, how much do you put in? And please don’t ever use sugar packets! Sugar cubes are cheap. Buy them!

If you want to elevate your game, I recommend keeping fresh herbs. Most people don’t go that route with cocktails, even though a lot of the cocktails they drink have some sort of savory characteristic to them. I just don’t think people naturally go that route. If you can keep fresh herbs, because they will keep for quite some time, you can easily throw that in there. I’ve made cocktails using cilantro before, rosemary, thyme – you can really have fun with those, and they’re super easy. Chuck a couple leaves in and you’re done. Fresh jalapeno goes a long way. Choose your fruit seasonally. If a peach is in season, instead of making an Old Fashioned with an orange, just make it with a peach. I did peach-jalapeno for an old fashioned. (Just be sure to remove the seeds!)

Check back in October, when I’ll have part two of this series, focusing on tools and extras to elevate your home bar game!

The Taste: Where to find Old Dominick this week [09.13]

If you’re in Nashville, we hope to see you today at The Pure Memphis Happy Hour presented by Music Export Memphis and spirited by Old Dominick! We’ll be on hand with some signature cocktails – and we’re the secret ingredient in the boozy MemPops that’ll be available to cool you off! The line-up is a packed mix of soulful Memphis Americana and we’re looking forward to a packed house of folks coming in to discover it.

Back home in Memphis, tonight Alanna Royale will take over the Distillery with her 10-piece soul band for the second concert in the Pure Memphis Music Series fall season! There are tickets still available, and trust us – you don’t want to miss this one. Plus, $5 from your ticket purchase goes to support our nonprofit co-host for the night, Memphis Songwriters’ Association!

Later this month, we’re looking forward to spiriting studio happy hours during the 15th annual GonerFest! Do you have your passes yet?

We’ll be back in Chattanooga (did you see our posts from Moon River? Already counting down til next year!) this weekend for the fifth annual Tennessee Whiskey Festival! It’s going down on the campus of the Chattanooga Choo Choo from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday and tickets are still available. Come share a sip with us!


Share A Sip with Alex Castle 09.06.18

If you follow Old Dominick on social media – or if you’ve perused the bourbon aisle in your local liquor store in Memphis this week – you might’ve seen that we’ve introduced a new spirit: Huling Station, a high rye bourbon. What you might not realize is that if you’ve had our Memphis Toddy, you’ve already had a little bit of Huling Station – this spirit is the base of the Toddy!

About four years ago, we began the development of what would become Huling Station. We took our recipe, our yeast, our barrels, our water – pretty much everything we physically could – to another distillery and had them make our product. (Our downtown Memphis Distillery home was still a ways from being ready to occupy!)

We knew we needed a base for the Toddy, and we knew we wanted that spirit to be the first one we released. So, we had them make the high rye bourbon for us. And they made a lot! That bourbon is ready to go, and we only consume so much in the production of the Toddy – so we decided it was time to bring it for people to enjoy, and that’s when the idea of Huling Station started to come to life.

It was a bit of a long road before we landed on the name Huling Station, but once we got there we knew it was perfect. The building that was once Huling Station is just a few blocks from where our Distillery sits now, and it’s where Domenico Canale bottled his spirits before prohibition. Back in the day, Domenico would take the train up to Indiana and Kentucky to hand select the finest barrels to be delivered to Huling Station for bottling. With Chris and Alex Canale’s vision of Old Dominick today, it’s only fitting we gave a nod to the origination of the Dominick Whiskey line through this very small batch bourbon whiskey.

Huling Station is a four-year-old high rye bourbon. It’s 44 percent rye – it does have the legally required minimum 51 percent corn, but we kind of want it to toe the line of a rye whiskey, so that’s what this recipe does for us. We decided to go ahead and bottle it at 100 proof. That was something I pushed for. Personally, when it comes to my whiskeys and in spirits in general, I tend to like stronger bottled spirits. When you put them in a cocktail, they tend to get watered down. If you start at a higher proof, you still get to taste the characteristic of the spirit regardless of what you’re putting with it. That’s why it’s a little on the high side for the proof. (By law, they have to be bottled at or above 80 proof, and you will see a lot in the 80-90 range. In the last five years, I’ve seen a pick-up in the higher proofs, because the industry has sort of realized that people actually do like it. It doesn’t scare people as much as it used to.)

Because of the rye content in it, there is a spiciness and heat to Huling Station that is not coming from the alcohol, it’s coming from the rye itself – that’s why I like it. I’m a huge rye whiskey fan. You do get the sweetness from the corn, and you get vanilla and caramel notes, mainly from the barrel, but you’re getting a really nice spicy characteristic just from the rye.

Have you had a chance to try Huling Station yet? (Nashville and Chattanooga, we’ll be in your stores soon!) I’d love to hear what you think.