improving the quality of life with grain

Archive for October, 2015

Difference Between Bourbon and Rye Whiskey

Once a star at the bar, Rye had lost its sheen, and for decades, became an obscure whiskey made by a few distilleries. However, just when it seemed that Rye had become a part of whiskey history, it came back with a bang and more distilleries are noticing the trend. New brands are coming in the market as more manufacturers are making this whiskey. Though the way in which both Bourbon and Rye whiskeys are made are quite similar, there are a lot of differences in the mashbill, taste, percentage alcohol and so on. Here are the differences between the two.

The Mix

As the name suggests, Rye whiskey starts with at least 51% Rye grain and the rest of it is generally corn and barley. Bourbon, on the other hand, has corn as its predominant ingredient making up for at least 51% of the mashbill. However, it cannot be more than 79% of corn because then it is classified as corn whiskey and not Bourbon. The aging conditions for Bourbon and Rye whiskey is the same. They both need charred and new American Oak Barrels. They both have the same distillation standards too. They cannot be distilled to have more than 80% Alcohol by Volume. Therefore, it is the ingredients in the initial mix that make for the marked change in the taste and texture of the final product.

Geography Matters

In case of Bourbon, it does. To a whiskey, to be called a Bourbon, it has to be produced in America. Some people also think that a Bourbon has to be produced in the Bourbon County in United States, but that is just a misconception. Rye whiskey, on the other hand, has no such restriction. In fact, Canadian Rye whiskey is widely popular and the country has a long history of using Rye in their whiskeys. However, there are no set standards for the Canadian counterparts. Interestingly enough, the only 100% Rye whiskey comes only from Canada.

Taste and Texture

There is a distinctive taste of spices that Rye whiskey has. It also has a more dry feel in the mouth. Canadian version of Rye has a smoother taste and there is only a slight presence of the Rye spice. On the other hand, the higher amount of corn in the Bourbon mix, ensures that the drink feels sweeter to taste. However, given that Bourbon has corn as the main ingredient, it has a fuller body and also has the hint of spices and caramel.


There is no doubt that a few years ago, it looked like Rye was taking its last breaths. However, it has slowly been resurrected. Its revival is largely due to the changing tastes of the new generation and the appreciation for craft liquors, which people are ready to pay more for. Today, it has a niche market which is slowly growing.

Alternatively, Bourbon is a popular drink that is loved by the masses. Since there is not much of a difference in the starting ingredients and the aging process, distilleries that are already into Bourbon and are curious about the growing market are branching out into making Rye and at a quick rate.

Bourbon and Rye both are great liquors. Rye is definitely spicier and less sweet than Bourbon. However, it becomes subtle with aging, but it always packs that initial kick. Bourbon on the other hand has won many hearts over the years and is an integral part of many beloved cocktails. Given the fact that many of the cocktails that use Bourbon today were originally intended to use Rye, it would not be difficult to mix it up behind the bar, now that Rye is easily available and also has a fan base that savors the taste.

Now that McDonalds is open for breakfast all day we should consider the best companion whisky drink to enjoy with your McMuffin. Check out this video for the perfect cocktail.




Orange Manhattan

Christmas Burwell Manhattan

These are great…actually one of the house fav’s.

Here is what you will need

  • cocktail shaker
  • ice
  • dash of sweet vermouth
  • 1.5 oz bourbon whiskey
  • 1.5 oz Cointreau
  • dash orange bitters
  • dash maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 maraschino cherry, to garnish – well, make it 2

Mitch Morgan


The Mitch Morgan

-One shot of bourbon;

-One-half slice of cooked bacon;

-Combine ingredients, enjoy.

Yep.  That’s it.  The smoky bacon pairs wonderfully with the wood in the bourbon and makes a delicious garnish, and its fat cuts the bite of the alcohol with ease.  Put them together and you’ve found the perfect way to stay warm this winter.

The drink originates from Telluride, Colorado, specifically a BBQ and Bourbon joint called “Oak…The New Fat Alley.”  Telluride makes sense for this cocktails’ birthplace: know for cold, snow and mountains, the one-time silver mining camp has emerged as a destination ski resort town.  The Mitch Morgan speaks to the town’s hardscrabble roots (it’s easy to see a drink like this counting as breakfast for a miner) and it’s foodie/ski resort present.

One thing, however, is certain: The Mitch Morgan will warm your belly and put a smile on your face at the same time.  Time to stock up on ingredients before the snow cuts you off from the store.

Mint Julep

Mint julep

4 cups bourbon
2 bunches fresh spearmint
1 cup distilled water
1 cup granulated sugar
Powdered sugar

To prepare mint extract, remove about 40 small mint leaves. Wash and place in a small bowl. Cover with 3 ounces bourbon. Allow the leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Then gather the leaves in paper toweling. Thoroughly wring the mint over the bowl of whisky. Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times.

To prepare simple syrup, mix 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of distilled water in a small saucepan. Heat to dissolve sugar. Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.

To prepare mint julep mixture, pour 3 1/2 cups of bourbon into a large glass bowl or glass pitcher. Add 1 cup of the simple syrup to the bourbon.

Now begin adding the mint extract 1 tablespoon at a time to the julep mixture. Each batch of mint extract is different, so you must taste and smell after each tablespoon is added. You are looking for a soft mint aroma and taste-generally about 3 tablespoons. When you think it’s right, pour the whole mixture back into the empty liter bottle and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to “marry” the flavors.

To serve the julep, fill each glass (preferably a silver mint julep cup) 1/2 full with shaved ice. Insert a spring of mint and then pack in more ice to about 1-inch over the top of the cup. Then, insert a straw that has been cut to 1-inch above the top of the cup so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping the julep.

When frost forms on the cup, pour the refrigerated julep mixture over the ice and add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice.

Serve immediately.

Manhattan Italiano

Manhattan Italiano

2 ounces bourbon reserve
1/2 once Tuaca
1/2 ounce triple sec
6 dashes of Orange bitters
1/2 ounce of white sweet vermouth


Dark and Bloody Bourbon Mary

Bloody Mary

Dark and Bloody Bourbon Mary

1 teaspoon salt / pepper / paprika mix
2 ounces Kentucky Bourbon
2 large lemon wedges
1 tablespoon Bourbon Barrel Aged Worcestershire Sauce
1 can (6 ounces) campbell’s tomato juice

Blackberry Soda


Blackberry Soda

1.5 oz Ole Smokey Blackberry Moonshine
top off with soda water on ice

Rye Rocks

Rye Rocks

Locate your favorite whiskey glass
add ice
pour Rye


Bourbon Iced Tea

Rye Iced Tea
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus mint sprigs for garnish
  • 6 good-quality black tea bags

Good-quality bourbon

Integer eleifend laoreet orci. Sed eleifend scelerisque sapien, ac cursus massa interdum in. Praesent ac mauris pellentesque, consequat lectus vitae, feugiat enim. Nulla non nulla vel massa iaculis gravida quis vel odio. Duis tincidunt odio vitae orci posuere rhoncus. Nulla suscipit vel ipsum ac adipiscing. Duis non lobortis nunc. Morbi in odio mollis, placerat nibh vitae, scelerisque libero. Integer facilisis urna sit amet euismod semper.

Bourbon Burger

Rye Burger

Burger Patties and Cheese:
30 ounces ground chuck (20 percent fat)
2 1/2 tablespoons bourbon (recommended: Bulleit brand)
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
30 grinds fresh black pepper
6 ounces Dubliner cheese (Kerrygold brand), thinly sliced and divided into 6 (1-ounce) servings

Sauteed Onions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (European style)
1 large Vidalia onion, halved (through the core) and thinly sliced (1/4-inch)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
8 grinds fresh black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup bourbon (recommended: Bulleit brand)

Brioche hamburger-sized buns, halved
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (European style), at room temperature

Rye Sour

Bourbon Sour

2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 slice orange
1 maraschino cherry

Bourbon on the Rocks


The Plan

Find a good bourbon
Select your favorite glass from your bar
Drop in a couple of cubes
Pour over ice



Classic Manhattan


3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 dash  bitters
1 maraschino cherry
1 twist orange peel

Combine the vermouth, bourbon whiskey, and bitters with 2 – 3 ice cubes in a mixing glass. Stir or shake gently so you won’t cloud the drink. Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass and strain the whiskey mixture over the cherry.

Perfect Manhattan


2 oz blended whiskey
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 dash bitters

Shake with ice to chill, pour into a low ball cocktail glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.


Cara’s Feature


750 JB White
1 can Concentrated OJ (Do not add water)
1 can Concentrated Limeade or Lemonade (Do not add water)
1 jar Maraschino Cherries. (I use DK Michigan Cherry since I don’t care for the Cherries)
2 Ltr Lemon-Lime Soda

Blend all ingredients together-place in freezer minimum 24 hrs.

**Once you remove from freezer, stir mixture from the bottom. Slight separation may have occurred during the freezing**