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This edition of Vices arrives to you on the 100th anniversary of the commencement of American Prohibition. One hundred years after the destruction of what was a vibrant and growing American distilling industry, experts are claiming that American single malt whisky is primed to be the booming spirit of the new decade. Craft distilling in America has, after a century, finally recovered from the effects of prohibition.
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In this box you’ll find Seedlip Spice 94 — an aromatic blend distilled from six botanicals: Jamaican allspice berries, lemon peel, grapefruit peel, cardamom, American oak bark and Cascarilla bark. Mix it with tonic and a squeeze of lime for a ginless gin & tonic, or get adventurous and try it with some of your favorite mixers (we highly suggest Fever-Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale). However you enjoy it, be sure to raise your glass to Ben Branson, a true innovator.
The bottle which you’ll find in this month’s package, Port Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky (note the Scottish-style spelling which loses the “e”), is, after distilling and aging, finished in port-style wine casks predominantly sourced from Virginia. You’ll smell the port influence even before you’ve taken a sip, with fig, raisin and dates coming through on the nose. You’ll taste that fruitiness as well, with the drier cereal notes of the whiskey coming to the fore as it hits the back of the tongue. The finish is long and velvety, with just enough bite to remind you that you’re drinking a 92-proof spirit.
The Double Old Fashioned glasses you’ll find herein (also known as rocks glasses, as they’re meant for cocktails served on the rocks) are designed for form as well as function. The etched lines look gorgeous, but they also serve a purpose. Pour to the bottom line and you’ve got exactly two ounces of the spirit of your choice. “That’s the pour you’re going to be using if you’re making an Old Fashioned,” Joly says, before adding, “And then we went to the next level, and you’ve got your bad day pour [5 oz.] on the next line.” To be clear, he doesn’t encourage anyone to make a drink with five ounces of alcohol. “But if you put rocks in that glass and you pour two ounces of spirit in there,” he says, “it’ll hit that second line pretty closely.”
The answer to your garnish problems can be found right here in this month’s box. Dardimans Orange Crisps are naturally dried orange slices that look great — and taste great, too. In fact they’re so delicious that you may have trouble saving them for your cocktails. That’s because they’re made without added sugar, color, flavoring or preservatives. They’re vegan AND kosher, and they pair with food as well as with drink. But we suggest you try them with drinks first! Namely with a Virginia Distillery Co. Port Finished Highland Whisky Old Fashioned. For a non-alcoholic alternative, pair it with a Seedlip Spice (also conveniently found in this very box) and tonic.
In this month’s box you’ll find a bottle of one of Fever-Tree’s newest creations, Spiced Orange Ginger Ale. It’s the classic Fever-Tree blend of three gingers combined with sweet clementines and spicy cinnamon, specifically formulated to pair with dark spirits. And it just so happens that you’ve got a perfect dark spirit with which to try it in this month’s box — Virginia Distillery Co’s Port Finished Highland Whisky, whose dark fruit notes mingle beautifully with the bright citrus and spiciness of the ginger ale. We call it the Whisky A L’Orange, but you can just call it delicious. You can add another level of orange with the enclosed Dardimans orange crisps as a garnish. For further experimentation, try the Spiced Orange Ginger Ale with Seedlip Spice 94 or your favorite dark rum or cognac.