Friday, May 18, 2012

Whiskey and Cupcakes, You Say?

I teach several different whiskey classes here in Chicago for I Wish Lessons, but the most popular one is "Whiskey & Cupcakes."

I taught it last night.

It speaks to the modern application of synergy in new product development. Take two unrelated things that trend hot, push them together, and see what you can do with it.

I was in the room when this idea came up and it wasn't much more sophisticated than that. They have some other coaches who, I'm told, teach it differently. I take my "Whiskey 101" class and add to it some discussion of food pairing and critical tasting.

"Whiskey 101" is an interesting class because it's unusual to taste across types. We typically taste a blended Irish, blended scotch, bourbon, and rye (American, not Canadian).

For "Whiskey & Cupcakes" we also have four cupcakes. There is a recommended pairing but I also explain the principles and let the students decide.

In addition to "Whiskey & Cupcakes" and "Whiskey 101," I teach "Introduction to Bourbon" and "Introduction to Single Malt Scotch," but only in Chicago. (I Wish is in several other cities.) All of the classes, which are held in bars, are informal and fun. Don't let words like "class" and "teach" put you off. We are, after all, drinking and, last night, also eating cupcakes.

Part of the idea, for the bars as well as the students, is to introduce people to bars they may not know about. Maeve, at Wrightwood and Wayne, where we were last night, is a very nice neighborhood bar which I wouldn't have known about otherwise.

I love neighborhood bars. Civilization is having good bars within walking distance. 

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