My next event was Whistling Through History – a talk about the history of rye whiskey sponsored by Toasting the Town, a weekly email list about NYC history and cool events happening around the town (free to sign up at that link!). That covers the History.
As for Whistling:
Yep, Whistle Pig was also a sponsor. The first time I ordered this whiskey, I did it just because of the name – but then I discovered that it’s really good!
The event was on the lower level of the Park Avenue Tavern, where I also found:
These private taps seem like they’d be a threat to my liver and my wallet, but I’d still like to get some friends together and take over a booth.
Anyway, Sonoma County Distilling had some really nice whiskey, and it should be available in NYC now. And we got to try straight samples of their 3 whiskeys (rye, wheat, and corn), and mixed drinks made with their rye from the bar (more on that later).
Unfortunately for the history portion of the evening, the space was not set up for a lecture. I heard a few interesting tidbits (George Washington made rye whiskey! They used to filter whiskey with blankets!), but I could barely hear through the post-work Midtown crowd, and I could see even less. The speaker cut it off after less than 10 minutes.
Then it just became an open bar with Sonoma rye, which was a great concept… but the drinks were terrible. This is NOT, I must emphasize, the fault of the whiskey. The bartenders just didn’t know what they were doing – I got an Old-Fashioned with a dumptruck of sugar, muddled with cherries, and topped with club soda(!). It was undrinkable. So I went back to the bar:
(I don’t actually care that much about stirred v. shaken – it was just one more thing wrong.) The ingredients ratio was the real problem: