Friday, June 13, 2014
If They Didn't Make Products Like These There Wouldn't Be a Whiskey Shortage
Kidding, of course. The whole 'Whiskey Shortage' thing is way overblown and consumer product companies are in the business of making and selling products consumers want. That what they want these days is bourbon whiskey and products made with bourbon whiskey is a good thing for bourbon lovers, even those who wouldn't touch this with a ten foot straw. Plus this doesn't, at 12.5% ABV, contain very much bourbon anyway.
In a way, this is how it used to be. People made lots of different concoctions for parties and the alcohol those drinks contained was usually bourbon, simply because bourbon was what most people drank and what they had in the house. If somebody secretly spiked the punch, they spiked it with bourbon. I'm talking about 50 - 60 years ago, before America discovered vodka and rum, not to mention tequila.
Lots of old party punch recipes called for brandy, for which bourbon is easily substituted. After vodka and white rum became common, it simply was easier to suggest them for punch-type recipes because they are fairly neutral as far as flavor contributed by the alcohol. Drinks made with vodka or white rum taste like the other ingredients. The alcohol is just there for the alcohol, not for flavor.
But use bourbon or rye instead and you have something different. In some recipes it might just be wrong, but in most cases it adds a depth and richness most people enjoy. That's why products like this aren't just a gimmick. The whiskey's contribution to the taste makes a lot of sense.
Evan Williams Kentucky Slush and other products like it are a type of pre-mixed cocktail, similar to the canned and bottled highballs so popular in Japan right now, or the bourbon-and-dry enjoyed in Australia ('dry' = ginger ale). As you can see from the label, the official classification is "bourbon whiskey with natural flavors and caramel color." Specifically, it is Evan Williams Bourbon combined with "the natural taste of Lemonade, Orange Juice, and Sweet Tea for a slushy, cool-down cocktail that is a breeze to make."
How easy? Either freeze it in cups for about four hours, or freeze the whole bottle for about eight hours. Because the alcohol won't freeze, it will never freeze solid. Instead it makes a slushy! The bottle is plastic so after it is as frozen as it will get, you just pull out the pourer and squeeze the sweet slush into glasses.
It will only be sold in June, July, and August, and this year only in Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Next year, the world.