Welcome to Distilled 001. It's a new thing.
If you're reading this, you're most likely one of the peeps who follow me on Instagram. I go pretty hard on there sharing recipes and home bar tips and all kinds of cool cocktail photos. However, the IG world has a lot going on and can feel a bit crowded. It can be pretty tough to keep up with!
As an alternative, I've decided to start a bi-weekly series called "Distilled." Think of it like a boozy-newsletter with a round-up of cool and helpful cocktail stuff. You're always welcome to hunt around my Instagram or peruse the Cocktail and Bottle sections of this website... but if you prefer a more distilled version (ha! get it?) this is for you.
I will also be highlighting content from other talented people: sometimes from other blogger-types like myself, as well as from industry professionals in the craft spirits and cocktail arena.
I only ever share things that I think are cool and/or truly beneficial for others, but I promise that no sponsored content will ever appear on Distilled.
And of course, always feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just want to say hi!
Any Montenegro Amaro fans out there?
This Italian bittersweet liqueur is made from 40 various botanicals and was first produced way back in 1885. Crazy stuff!
I recently got my very first bottle of it but honestly didn't have a clue of what to make cocktail-wise. My friend and go-to spirits expert Douglas Derrick suggested this original recipe of his that uses Montenegro, rosé and 151 proof rum. I would have never thought of this combination on my own but it's pretty incredible and definitely unique. It also got a lot of attention on Instagram this past week but lets be honest, that's just because people really dig any cocktail that's on fire.
This should go without saying, but BE CAREFUL. Lighting 151 proof rum is very dangerous and please only attempt when you fully have your wits about you.
2 oz Underwood Rosé
1 oz Montenegro Amaro
1/2 oz 151 proof rum
Place rosemary in a rocks glass and add 151 rum. Ignite and roast the rosemary for about 8 seconds then smother. Add Montenegro, rosé and ice then stir to chill. Top with more ice if needed.
Generally, I'm the guy to highlight really good bottles that won't break the bank (my all-time favorite rye whiskey is Rittenhouse Rye and it's only $20-$25). However, every now and then I think it's totally acceptable to splurge a little and buy a quality scotch.
The Talisker 10 year has been my go-to single malt scotch whiskey lately. For my fellow Oregonians it will set you back $65-$70 for a bottle... which isn't even that bad compared to a lot of other single malts out there. Though if you're anything like me, that's a lot more money than you're used to spending on a single bottle. For that reason, I don't generally use it for cocktails and will just sip on it during a special occasion or on an especially dark and cold night.
Talisker is an Islay scotch– if you don't know scotch well that basically means it has a SUPER smokey flavor and aroma. Islay is the region of Scotland that Talisker is produced in (along with other popular scotch brands like Lagavulin and Laphroaig). The scotch gets those smokey/briney flavors from the water, barley and peat in that region.
Keep an eye out for a more in-depth single malt scotch post coming soon!
Even though this is more of a "fancy" sipper for me, I will occasionally throw some in an atomizer and spritz it over the top of a cocktail to give it more of a rich and smokey aromatic.
People to Follow
Allow me to introduce you to my favorite Belgian, Matthias Soberon.
I'm pretty sure he's the only guy from Belgium I know... but if I have other Belgian friends, sorry but I'm not sorry. Matthias was one of the very first people I "got to know" via Instagram when I started High-Proof Preacher. He's always been a huge encouragement to me and to a lot of others as well.
The guy knows his stuff... spirits, cocktails, history and GIN. I thought I knew at least a thing or two about gin, but once I got into Matthias' content I soon found that I know next to nothing. Even if you're an expert yourself, I'm sure you'll learn something from him. Check out his website and Instagram below and tell him hello from me!