Sanitary Strength Spirits
By now it’s likely that if you touch something outside of your personal domain you might be a little unsettled. Time for a pump of the hand-sanitizer. With demand for this sacred gel at unprecedented highs, entire aisles of stores are barren, online sources are on backlog, or a few shady dealer’s are running up the prices on a homemade recipe. The recommended feature in a hand sanitizer is that it contains at least 60% alcohol content, the necessary strength to kill off the germs related to Coronavirus. New York State has produced its own batch of sanitizers that has 75% alcohol, no messing around with this.
Also in the great state of New York, liquor stores are still open for business because when the only option is at-home quarantine, booze IS essential. With spirits perhaps being more easily obtainable than actual cleansing products, we sought out to name a few of the boldest potions that are powerful enough to beat the baseline sanitizer strength. We’re talking 120-proof and above. To be real with you, no one on the Vices staff is remotely close to being a qualified medical consultant. So for the sake of #flatteningthecurve, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and good soap, stay home and social distance.
Back to our actual expertise, these high-proof spirits are not just made for an arms race but can actually be enjoyed. We found using these in a cocktail reveals more personality from the spirit, even some of the delicate notes that may have been masked in the mix when using the more common 70 to 80-proofs. The marriage of flavor and function has not been postponed.
Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength
Standard whiskeys, no matter the quality, are bottled with some dilution to make for a more palatable product. To find the stuff that comes straight from the barrel, cask strength whiskey is the category to delve into. The Redbreast 12 cask Strength exudes Irish authenticity. Distilled on the Midleton grounds, it is an amplification of flavor. It is creamy and mellow despite its strength, with gentle spice and fruitiness. A couple drops shy of our clinical grade but this sophisticated malt is a joy for the senses.
Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin
Gin sees your cask strength and invites you mee Navy Strength, a category harkening back to the rations given to the Royal sailors. Four Pillars’ is a 5-time earner of the Master Status from the Global Gin Masters. The fragrances here are proud, reflecting its distillation with ginger, lime, and a bit of turmeric, all made cohesive with a character of vanilla. The result is an intense yet very clean palate that’s juicy and sweet.
This one we have to put a warning on. Translating to rectified spirit, it is literally the most potent spirit in the world. Spirytus is Polish grain jet fuel. Drinking it straight is not an option here. If you'd like to make your own infusion or liqueur, this makes for a good base. Now is the best of times to make that thing you didn’t have time to start on. We don’t think any germ could walk away from a bar fight with this substance.
Plantation O.F.T.D. Overproof Artisanal Rum
Alexandre Gabriel owns the well-awarded Maison Ferrand and began Plantation to put forth the best of the Caribbean. He assembled a crew of six leading minds in the Rum world to have fun with developing their Overproof blend. O.F.T.D. (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark) is the line of expressions this group came together to create. The palate carries a range of sweetness, oak, and smoke. Shake up your next Mai Tai and be momentarily transported to a beach chair in Jamaica.
Absinthe Jade Esprit Edouard
Made for connoisseurs. It is a replica of Belle Epoque high-class favorite Edouard Pernod absinthe, put out of business by the French ban of 1915. Esprit Edouard lives up to the quality of its namesake as an opportunity to taste tradition. The classic anise comes in a smooth and delicate form. If you start seeing green fairey’s, please let us know via email.
Sure we’re not all going to be pouring liquor on your hands to fight Coronavirus, but we are living in unprecedented times. The spirit makers we cherish are facing major challenges as the hospitality industry comes to a halt at the same time that every individual is focusing on the health of themselves and their families. Distilleries throughout the country are stepping up for humanity by using their alcohol supply to produce actual hand sanitizers. We salute the heck out of that. While being conscious of safety, do your part to support local businesses who are working their hardest. A local distillery, winery, or brewery near you is probably accepting orders to-go, give them a call to learn how you can stock up and stay sanitary at the same time.