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The Cocktail College Podcast: The Improved Whiskey Cocktail

“Cocktail College” is brought to you by George Dickel. Let me tell you a little story, listener. From the very beginning, as one of the oldest distilleries in Tennessee, George Dickel was determined to do things differently — rethink American whiskey using fresh spring water as well as tried-and-true distillation techniques. And here’s why I’m excited to partner with Dickel today: Whether you’re talking Tennessee whiskey or bourbon, Dickel actually puts both of those different types of spirits out there. You can argue the differences between yourselves. And, when it comes to sipping, we’re talking high-age statements with some of the best value you can find in American whiskey. Seriously, we’ve been fans here at Vinepair for years. We’ve championed Dickel for years, which is why it’s so awesome to be partnering today. But this is a cocktail podcast, so let’s talk about mixing options. I like to turn to the Dickel Bourbon, which feels just at home in those classic cocktails that we always cover here, as well as those modern classics we like to get into as well. Listener, head to www.georgedickel.com/recipes to get inspired and start mixing with our old pal, George Dickel. Cheers.

Few drinks can compete with the timeless mixture of whiskey, sugar, bitters, and ice, otherwise known as an Old Fashioned (or a Whiskey Cocktail or an Old Fashioned Cocktail). It would take a bold bartender to claim they’ve improved upon the Old Fashioned, but in the fascinating world of cocktail culture and its curious vernacular, seemingly simple words can have surprisingly specific technical definitions. Case in point: the Improved Whiskey Cocktail — and “improved” cocktails in general.

Today, we break down that exact terminology from a historical and technical perspective with Tristan Brunel, the bar director at New York’s Tusk Bar, as we explore the Improved Whiskey Cocktail. Dust off that bottle of Maraschino liqueur, get some absinthe ready, and tune in for more.

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Tristan Brunel’s Improved Whiskey Cocktail Recipe


1 bar spoon gum syrup
1 small bar spoon Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
3-4 dashes absinthe
3 small dashes Angostura bitters
2 ¼ ounces rye whiskey, such as Rittenhouse
Garnish: lemon twist


Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.
Stir until chilled.
Strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass over ice.
Express a lemon twist and drop it into the drink.

Get in touch: cocktailcollege@vinepair.com

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Tim McKirdy
Tusk Bar

The article The Cocktail College Podcast: The Improved Whiskey Cocktail appeared first on VinePair.

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