This Memorial Day Besides Getting the Grill ready to BBQ, Set Up a Side Bar with Great Whiskey and a Cooler Full of Canned Cocktails
Now that summer is almost officially here it’s time to break out the barbeque, soak in the sun and get grilling. What better way to start than on Memorial Day Weekend?
Although your Memorial Day cookout may not be as large as previously due to social distancing, we can still try to maintain some summer tradition – even if it’s a small semblance of what once was. Whether it be a virtual grilling hour or ordering takeout from your favorite BBQ joint this year, make it extra smoky with some perfectly paired peated or (non) peated whiskies from Benriach, The GlenDronach, Woodford Reserve, Starward Australian Whisky and Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey.
If you’d rather a more refreshing twist to escape the heat, Cutwater Spirits and Novo Fogohave got you covered with their delicious canned cocktails!
Benriach 10 Year Curiositas Peated ($54.99)
BenRiach 10 Year Curiositas is an innovative peated whisky that can be savored by those who are curious to discover a new style of smoky single malt. The wood-rich Highland peat used to craft BenRiach imparts sweet peat flavors compared to the more medicinal notes of Islay peat. This expression serves as a delicious pairing with refreshing, creamy coleslaw and the burnt sugar flavors found in baked beans.
The GlenDronach Original Aged 12 Years ($60)
The GlenDronach is known for robust, full-bodied, fruit forward whiskies. The Original Aged 12 Years epitomizes the historic distillery’s unyielding dedication to the mastery of sherry cask maturation. The richly sherried Highland single malt Scotch whiskey presents sweet fruits, walnuts, dark chocolate and some sweet soft-spiced oak that will not only stand up to BBQ burgers, steaks and ribs, but also provide a harmonious parining.
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked ($54.99)
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is an ultra-premium spirit in the core line of whiskeys that is twice barreled in White Oak and matured to perfection in handcrafted barrels created at Woodford Reserve’s own cooperage. The barrels are uniquely toasted and charred to create an expression rich in flavor and color. The second custom barreling process creates heavier notes of honey, cream and vanilla that are magnified alongside sweet aromatic notes. Since Woodford Reserve’s bourbon is perfectly designed to enhance certain food flavors instead of being a flavor destroyer, there is no wrong way to pair the bourbon with anything on your plate!
Starward Nova Australian Whisky ($54.99)
Starward Australian Whisky is a distinct new style of whisky launched in the US in Spring 2019 that utilizes the unique climate, terroir and raw materials of Australia. Starward Nova is a single malt whisky elementally matured in Australian red wine barrels for 3 Melbourne years. Starward draws influence from the vibrancy of “big red” wines from southeastern Australia where the distillery team sources barrels from local wineries that previously held Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. This proximity allows the team to maximize the flavor of the wine permeated into the oak, lending a vibrant red ochre color to the final liquid. The full maturation in red wine barrels creates a light and fruity whisky with a long and spicy finish, similar to some of the country’s award-winning wines.
Its fruit backbone makes it a great pairing with grilled meats and vegetables such as steak, brisket, sausages, or even halloumi and mushrooms with a tangy sherry vinegar marinade.
Proper Peppercorn Steak Sauce
2 tbsp Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
1 tbsp cracked black peppercorns
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, minced
3 tbsp butter
3/4 cup beef broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- Cook steak to your liking, then remove and cover while you make the sauce.
- Add peppercorns to the same pan used to cook the steak and heat for 1-2 min.
- Add shallots, garlic and 1 tbsp butter. Sauté over medium heat until shallots soften.
- Add Proper No. Twelve Whiskey and bring to a simmer for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan by stirring with a wooden spoon, incorporating any remaining bits from the steak.
- Add the beef stock and bring to high heat. Reduce the sauce by half (4-5 minutes).
- Mix in heavy cream and simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Remove from heat, add remaining butter and whisk for 1-2 minutes. Salt to taste. Optional: Add any juice from resting steak and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
- Pour over steaks and serve—pairs best with a Proper on the Rocks!
Cutwater Spirits Canned Cocktails ( $9.99 – $12.99 per four-pack)
Cutwater Spirits is a San Diego-based distillery known for its award-winning lineup of over 18 canned cocktail classics made from its portfolio of premium bottled spirits including: gin, whiskey, bourbon, vodka, rum, and tequila. Co-Founder and Master Distiller Yuseff Cherney began distilling as a side project under Ballast Point Brewing. He started canning cocktails because he wanted to make drinks he could enjoy while doing the things he likes to do (mostly fishing and hiking). To date, Cutwater has earned over 736 awards across their portfolio of products and is currently distributed in 38 states.
Seasonal favorites include:
- Cutwater Tequila Margarita (12.5% ABV) gives a floral aroma with a smooth finish that complements the house-made mix of tart lime, pure cane sugar, and a subtle hint of orange.
- Cutwater Tequila Paloma (7% ABV) puts a south of the border favorite in the palm of your hand. The tequila gives a floral aroma with a smooth finish that complements the sweet flavors of our grapefruit soda.
- Cutwater Vodka Mule (7% ABV) features natural ginger, a splash of bitters and a hint of lime, making for an unforgettable Moscow Mule. Enjoy it straight from the copper colored can.
- Cutwater Grapefruit Vodka Soda ( 5% ABV) is a premium and refreshing cocktail featuring Cutwater’s award-winning vodka and soda water with a subtle and satisfying hint of zesty grapefruit.
Novo Fogo Sparkling Caipirinha, 200ml cans, ($3.99 per can; $15.99 per four-pack)
Novo Fogo’s popular line of Sparkling Capirinhas include Original Lime, Passion Fruit-Lime and Mango-Lime flavors and offer consumers a variety of ways to enjoy Novo Fogo’s carbonated twist on Brazil’s national cocktail. The refined recipe, released last summer, features less sugar, fewer calories and carbohydrates, and lower alcohol by volume. These cocktails combine freshness, deliciousness, and shelf stability by virtue of their 100% natural ingredients that harmonize as balanced, carbonated drinks. They can be served straight from the chilled can, over ice in a glass, and with or without a slice of lime.