Month: October 2018

The Taste: Where to find Old Dominick this week [10.25]

Musician Mark Edgar Stuart

In Memphis, we’ve got a gorgeous forecast and our weekend plans locked in: we’ll be spiriting River Arts Fest, which will take place on Riverside Drive for the first time and (as always) feature artists, artisans and makers from across the country. Check out the details here and come Share A Sip with us this weekend!

Next week, IndieMemphis takes over midtown theaters for its 21st annual film festival and we’re proud to be spiriting all the music you’ll enjoy throughout the festivities. IndieMemphis is known for the unique ways it spotlights Memphis music, with performers before every film screened during the festival and a block party featuring multiple Memphis bands. If you follow us on Instagram and Facebook you might’ve gotten a peek at who’ll be performing — including Pure Memphis Artist Mark Edgar Stuart — as we helped them make the announcement last week!

And of course, we hope we’ll see you at the Distillery tonight for the Pure Memphis Music Series featuring Dale Watson! Tickets are $20 and you can still grab yours here – don’t forget that $5 from each ticket will go to our nonprofit co-host for the evening, Beale Street Caravan!

Over in Nashville, we’re looking forward to supporting emerging talent at Nashville Unexpected on October 30! Nashville Unexpected is a vibrant, diverse community of musicians and artists presenting monthly showcases of original music. Check out the October event details right here and come see us at The Back Corner!

Just down the road in Franklin, you’ll also find us at Pumpkinfest on October 27! Pumpkinfest is middle Tennessee’s largest family fall festival, expected to bring out more than 65,000 people for festivities stretching along main Street in downtown Franklin. If you’ll be there, keep an eye out for our cocktail cruiser and come say hello and enjoy an Old Dominick draft cocktail.

And if you’re in Franklin, we’d also love to see you at Puckett’s, where we’ve been spiriting the Hitmaker Series, a weekly show on the restaurant’s stage that exclusively features the writers behind beloved No. 1 hits in a ‘songwriters in the round’ format.

And last but not definitely least, farther east in Chattanooga we’re counting down til our next partnership with Songbirds Guitar Museum! We’ll be spiriting their November 20 show with the talented PJ Morton. Grab your tickets now and come Share a Sip with us.

Share a Sip with Alex Castle 10.18.18

The most prized piece in my whiskey collection is probably a bottle that no one will ever open.

Actually, all of the ones I prize most will never be opened – I have a 50 ml. bottle of the first distillate I ever made, which I guess would be 10 years old now. It’s just white whiskey – full strength, hasn’t touched a barrel or anything. It went into that bottle straight off the still, and that has traveled with me for the last ten years.

I also have a 50 ml. bottle of the first vodka I ever distilled, which was here at Old Dominick. I keep a bottle from each distillery I’ve ever worked at – when I was at Wild Turkey, at my interview, they gave me a 750 ml. bottle of their 101. A neat thing about it is that it’s got a really old label, because they’ve done so many label changes since then. That bottle will never get touched, because it’s commemorative of my job there. I have a bottle from the distillery before that, and I will eventually have a bottle from Old Dominick that will never be opened.

I don’t think I’ll ever change my mind on that, which is weird, because I also firmly believe that you should never buy a bottle that you’re not willing to open. I really do! If you’re willing to spend $200 on a bottle of bourbon, you better open it at some point and enjoy it. Like, really enjoy that one! These will not get opened for a couple of reasons. First, they’re nothing special, as far as the liquid that’s inside them – they’re not single barrel, hand-picked by me or anything like that, they’re just what you could’ve bought on the shelf. Basically, the idea is just to have a portfolio, if you will, of where I’ve worked.

As you build your own whiskey collection – as I mentioned in the posts about building your home bar – your personal budget is the most important thing to keep in mind as you stock. If you have enough money that you can spend $500 on a bottle and it’s nothing to you, then by all means, do it! For me and my husband, personally, we tend to draw the line at around $150-175. Through all the whiskeys we’ve tasted, our experience has been that the higher-priced bottles are delicious, but for $100 cheaper we might be able to get something that is almost identical.

This is especially true when you consider that something like 95 percent of the world’s bourbon comes from Kentucky. Among those distilleries, there are only so many mash bills, so many yeast strains – the differences that you get at those highest price points are very nuanced. The liquid in the bottles may have simply been aged in different warehouses or have a slightly different blend. Unless your palate is incredibly discerning, you may not be able to taste some of the variances. As you’ve probably realized by now, my advice is almost always that you can probably spend a little bit less and still find something you love!

The Taste: Where to find Old Dominick this week [10.11]

The bar at old dominick

In Memphis, we’re looking forward to spiriting River Arts Fest, which will take place on Riverside Drive for the first time and feature artists, artisans and makers from across the country. Check out the details here and come Share A Sip with us October 27-28!

Just a few days later, IndieMemphis takes over midtown theaters for its 21st annual film festival and we’re proud to be spiriting all the music you’ll enjoy throughout the festivities. IndieMemphis is known for the unique ways it spotlights Memphis music, with performers before every film screened during the festival and a block party featuring multiple Memphis bands. Be sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram – we’ll be helping them announce their music line-up soon!

And of course, we hope we’ll see you at the Distillery tonight for the Pure Memphis Music Series featuring Liz Brasher! Tickets are $20 and you can still grab yours here – don’t forget that $5 from each ticket will go to our nonprofit co-host for the evening, the Soulsville Foundation!

Heading east to Nashville, we’re excited to share that we’ll be spiriting Nashville Unexpected’s October 30 event at The Back Corner. Nashville Unexpected is a vibrant, diverse community of musicians and artists presenting monthly showcases of original music. Check out the October event details right here and come see us at The Back Corner!

Last but not least: we’re kicking off a new partnership in Chattanooga with Songbirds! We got things started with last night’s show featuring Ana Popovic, and we’re looking forward to being back next month for PJ Morton. Check out their full schedule of live music here and come see us (and PJ) on November 20!

Share a Sip with Alex Castle 10.04.18

Welcome to the second post exploring how you can build a great home bar! In part one, we focused primarily on spirits and mixers – in part two, we’ll dive in to the tools you need to make magic in your own home bar set up.

My first and most important tip is to find bar tools that you’re comfortable with. Don’t just get a bar tool that someone tells you is awesome, because if it doesn’t fit your hand or your needs, you’re not going to use it. They don’t need to be fancy, they don’t need to be expensive. My favorite jigger is the OXO brand jigger that you can buy pretty much anywhere. I love it! You probably won’t see an actual bar using it – and I don’t really care. It’s the best one for me, and I think it cost me about $6. You just need to be able to use the tools, so the best options will be the ones that suit you.

In building out your arsenal of bar tools, a lot will depend on what you want in your cocktails. If you’re someone who wants a lot of fruit zest or even peels, you should probably look at getting tools that are designed to zest the fruit or even do a nice little spiral. I’ve seen people try to zest with a fork, which actually does seem to work pretty well – it’s not as sharp, so it can’t go too deep – but for me, I’m not very handy with a knife, so any utensil I can get that helps me cut anything thinly is high on my list.

Get a shaker, but get the type of shaker you like. There’s the Boston shaker, which looks like two pint glasses. (That’s my preferred style of shaker.) One of them is usually stainless, the other is usually glass. The glass fits inside the stainless, and you shake them, and you can pull them apart. The strainer fits easily into it. The more old-fashioned-looking shakers have a top with a built-in strainer – they look amazing, but I can never get the top off! I’ve heard other people say the same thing – because it gets so cold and the whole thing is stainless, the top just gets stuck and you can’t open it to empty it and make the next cocktail. They also just always leak on me! So the Boston shaker is my preference.

A strainer is another tool that is really inexpensive and would be a nice addition. They are designed to fit into the top of a shaker, holding back your ice, your fruit, so that when you pour it into a glass, you can either do straight up and not have to worry about ice, or you can at least be pouring it over fresh ice. Those are neat because if you’re doing egg white drinks, you can actually take the spring off the strainer, and throw it in the shaker to help froth up the egg.

Incidentally, I love egg white cocktails! Whenever I see one on a cocktail menu, that’s always what I’m going to try. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to make one, start with a whiskey sour, which traditionally has egg white in it. A good whiskey sour will change your life! What I love about the egg white is that it makes the cocktail creamy and adds a nice foamy consistency to it. And if you’ve got the spring from your strainer, throw it in there and it’ll help you get that perfect froth!

The bottom line is, you should have tools on hand that make it simple for you to craft the cocktails you like to drink. Just like with your spirits, they should make sense for your budget and your daily bartending needs. Just because something seems fancy doesn’t mean it will have utility for you – and any of these tools can elevate your game.