How Does Water Change The Taste Of Whiskey?

Whiskey is a strange yet wonderful spirit that comes in a wide variety of brands celebrated the world over. Much like wine, whiskey connoisseurs follow specific disciplines when drinking. One of the things they do is add a small amount of water when drinking to change the flavor. How does water change the taste of whiskey?

Again, similar to airing wine, adding a drop of water can open up different subtle flavors in whiskey. This is more apparent for cask strength whiskeys which have higher alcohol contents. The higher alcohol content results in a burning sensation in the mouth which can overpower these flavors. By adding drops of water, the alcohol gets diluted, reducing its effect which allows drinkers to taste the subtle flavors.

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Adding ice to whiskey is a different proposition altogether. One would think that since ice would melt and add a significant amount of water to the whiskey, it would dilute the spirit more. But because of its temperature, it does exactly the opposite. Rather than enriching the flavors, the cold temperature inhibits some of the flavors. By adding ice, some whiskeys tend to taste flat and dull.

Adding a drop or two or a cube of ice to a whiskey drink is not mandatory. Some people like their drinks on the rocks, some like it straight, some take a sip before adding a drop or two of water and tasting it again to taste the difference. Regardless, whiskey is a terrific drink to explore.

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Adam Quirk is the co-founder of Cardinal Spirits, a craft distillery opening in Bloomington, IN, that produces premium whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, and liqueurs using local ingredients. For more reads on spirits, visit this page.


Mixing Your Own Chai Wallah At Home

Ever since the development of Terra Botanical Gin, there emerged a number of amazing cocktails that are both easy to mix and a joy to taste. This article will look at how to create a Chai Wallah cocktail in your very own home. Yes, the spicy warmth of the chai mixed with the woodsy flavor of the Terra Botanical Gin can work wonders and can calm you down after a long, exhausting day.

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But before everything else, you’ll need to gather a few ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Terra Botanical Gin
  • 1.5 ounces ginger-chai tea (recipe follows)
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • Candied ginger, for garnish (optional)

Mix all these ingredients (except the candied ginger) in a shaker and add ice. Shake it vigorously before straining into an ice-filled glass. You can opt to add the candied ginger as garnish, for more flavor.

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Now to make the ginger-chai tea, you’ll need to peel and chop a half-inch knob of ginger. You can refer to the directions on the package of the chai tea on how to prepare a cup. Add the chopped ginger after you’ve prepared the chai tea. However, before using the drink, you should strain the ginger out completely once the tea is cooled.

Adam Quirk is the co-founder of Cardinal Spirits, a craft distillery producing premium craft gin among many other craft liquors. Follow this Twitter account for more updates.

Foods That Pair Best With Whiskey

What sort of food should one serve at a whiskey party that will go well with its rich, complex taste and will not embitter or spoil the taste of the drink? As in other beautiful things in life, simplicity is key in concocting great food-whiskey pairings – here are some of them.

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Start sweet with chocolate, which matches perfectly with whiskey. Note, though, that dark chocolate is especially ideal – the more cacao, the more delightful the outcome. Fruits are also a good bet when it comes to this drink, and they could be tangy or tart. Just remember to stay away from too much citrus such as oranges as they tend to mask a lot of the whiskey’s natural flavor.

In creating food pairings, it’s important to note the kind of whiskey as well. For light fragrant whiskeys with a dab of sweetness, one can choose sushi, smoked salmon, dressed crab, parsnip soup, soft and creamy cheeses, and bread and butter pudding.

As for medium-bodied whiskeys, smoked delights from mackerel and mussels to duck and venison are an ideal choice. If one’s whiskey is full-bodied and aged in sherry casks or European oak, why not go fancy with grilled steak, roast venison, or rich fruit cakes?

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For a full meal, pork ribs are a terrific dish option. But go easy on the flavors; avoid heavily spicing the meat and drowning it in a mélange of sauces. Just season the ribs with onion, garlic, and curry powders along with a touch of brown sugar. Share the whiskey-touched dinner with someone who loves to spoil the palate with good, simple food and a good drink.

Adam Quirk is a former operative at a tech startup and the co-founder of Cardinal Spirits, a craft distillery opening in Bloomington, IN, that produces premium whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, and liqueurs using local ingredients. More articles like this on this page.


Here Is The Fruity Vodka Cocktail You Deserve

You might think that any cocktail with the word “Death” in it would be terrifyingly strong. But no, nope for this one. Fresh 2 Death is a new and amazing vodka-infused cocktail created by Cardinal Spirits bartender Chris Resnick.

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It has been described as the perfect spring cocktail by Cardinal Spirits patrons because of its freshness and fruitiness. Here’s what you need to create the cocktail:

2 ounces Cardinal Spirits Vodka
¾-ounce lime juice
¾-ounce raspberry-mint syrup
Tonic water

First, make the raspberry mint syrup. You’ll need a cup of sugar and a cup of water. Add the sugar to the water and boil it. Once the syrup is boiling, add a single package (a small one would do) of raspberries and a small amount of mint (how much depends on your taste). Muddle the mixture until you see the sugar fully dissolved. After this, allow the syrup to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

For the rest of the drink, put the Cardinal Spirits Vodka, lime juice, and raspberry-mint syrup in a shaker before shaking well. Once you’re done, strain into a glass (we prefer to use a Collins glass), and top the cocktail with tonic water.

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Learn more about how your favorite alcoholic beverages are made by visiting this Adam Quirk blog.

Cardinal Spirits And Its Purpose

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Ever since Cardinal Spirits opened, there’s been an undeniable impact on the community it serves. People have loved coming to the bars and distilleries and have found a place where they can just feel comfortable enough to spend time in.

One of the primary purposes of Cardinal Spirits is to connect people, and in doing so, help them unwind. The spirits in this place ease people in conversations with both their friends and the strangers they meet. Conversations are seemingly more engaging and leave a lasting impression on patrons in Cardinal Spirits.

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Another thing the owners and staff of Cardinal Spirits can be proud of is the fact that almost everything being served in the bar is hand-made. This harkens back to a time before tablets, and the internet kept people from doing things using their own hands. This gives Cardinal Spirits a more “personal” feel, thus adding to the comfort and warmth of the place.

Finally, Cardinal Spirits is a place that seeks to make people feel important. This is achieved through a well-trained, world-class staff. Customers can only expect the best from Cardinal Spirits, not just with the drinks, but also with the service.

Learn more about how your favorite alcoholic beverages are made by visiting this Adam Quirk blog.

With regard to whisky glasses…

Let’s talk about whisky glasses for a moment here, specifically ones that narrow towards the top, ones that feel extremely comfortable to hold. Since vapors from alcohol are lighter than other compounds and esters in a whisky, the aroma will be concentrated towards the inside in this type of whisky glass.


If you pour anywhere between 40 to 50 ml in this particular glass, it will be evident that the alcohol level will go no higher than the point where the shape of the glass reverses and curves out. The natural effect of this is the inward concentration of alcohol and the whisky’s aroma.

This kind of glass also creates an avenue for the alcohol to rise upward through the sides, while the aromas go up, concentrating at the center. Given the current pressure and vaporization, the alcohol itself is forced going outside and nowhere else.

But perhaps the most appealing quality of this kind of glass is that whisky connoisseurs can both nose and taste their beverage of choice from it. Serious whisky tasters know only too well how convenient this is. Most tasters in clubs would use two glasses often.

For other drinkers who aren’t as serious, the shape of the glass really doesn’t matter since they’re only after the general flavor of it.


Learn more about gin, vodka, and other alcoholic spirits by visiting this Adam Quirk blog.

Simple foods that pair best with whiskey

You may have to momentarily forget about red or white wine for dinner this time. Focus on the brown – whiskey is best enjoyed by the sip and goes well with certain foods and dishes for that perfect meal or nightcap.

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First on this list is good ol’ cheese. Pair smoky or spicy Scotch whiskies with a stronger cheese such as Roquefort, according to Houston Press. Sweeter options such as Glenmorangie, on the other hand, pair well with softer cheeses such as brie.

Pork ribs
Prefer simplicity and serve ribs with stuff such as curry, onion, garlic powder, and a bit of brown sugar. Wrap them in foil and marinate, and then roast at 450 degrees for around an hour and let sit in their juices for another 10 minutes. A smoky whiskey combines well with this dish.

Smoked meats and seafood
Smoked mackerel, mussels, oysters, duck, and venison make for a great combination with medium-bodied whiskies with some peat influence, such as Bruichladdich. Basil Hayden Bourbon, too, proves to be an ideal pair with smoked salmon for a spicy and fruity taste cutting through the smokey fattiness of the fish.

Whiskey also complements chocolate, particularly dark, showing that the more cacao, the better.

Tangy or tart works well with whiskey, perhaps apples or pears. Don’t go for overly citrus ones, as they will mask too much of the drink’s flavor.

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Adam Quirk is the co-founder of Cardinal Spirits, a craft spirits distillery based in Bloomington, IN. Read more on this page.

A Beginner’s Guide To Gin

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We’ve seen a resurgence in the popularity of gin, once considered the favorite alcoholic drink in many parts of Europe, particularly England. Over the past decades, gin has become the go-to drink anew for many, and it would be good to have a look at what makes it a top choice.

Gin is essentially a spirit that’s flavored with juniper, made more flavorful by the inclusion of other ingredients like cardamom, citrus peels, anise, licorice, and angelica roots.

While it is considered to be a very English drink, gin actually began in the Netherlands. Dutch Jenever became popular in England during the late 1700s when Dutch king William of Orange took the English throne in 1688. The English started making their own version of the spirit as taxes were low and gin was cheap to produce. This started the gin craze.

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The popularity of gin hit its peak in the early years of the 20th century, with famous drinks like the Martini, Gimlet, Negroni, and Gin Fizz appearing. Things were quiet until the turn of the millennium, with the renewed interest in cocktails and the arrival of premium gins like Bombay Sapphire.

Today, there are more than 400 types of gins appearing on established spirits listings. And new ones continue to sprout all over the world.

Adam Quirk is the founder of Bloomington-based craft distillery Cardinal Spirits, which specializes in the production of premium craft whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, and liqueurs using local ingredients. Visit this website for similar reads.

Basic wine serving tips for your next dinner party

The holidays are coming, and so are the many dinner parties! And of course, no dinner party is ever complete without a great bottle of finely aged wine. Serving wine may seem easy since we’ve all been acquainted with them. But beware, serving wine poorly can lead to a dinner disaster.

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Here are some wine serving tips to help you for your next dinner party:

1. A proper glass will make your wine taste even better

Georg Riedel was the man the proved this. In fact, he was awarded the Decanter Man of the Year in 1996 for demonstrating that wine tastes better in some glasses. Find the best fit for your wine and serve it.

2. Serve it at the right temperature.

Here’s a quick guide for the perfect temperature for each wine:

Red wine tastes better when served slightly below room temperature, 53-69°F.

White wine tastes better when served chilled, 44-57°F.

Sparkling wine Is also better when served chilled, 38-45°F.

3. Almost every red wine tastes better decanted

Decanting is one thing that we take for granted that will significantly improve the flavor of our wine. Pour the wine into a glass of pitcher or decanter and let it sit for 30-45 minutes.

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Adam Quirk is the co-founder of Cardinal Spirits, a craft distillery based in Bloomington, IN. Visit this blog for more wine tips.

Flower power: Infusing cocktails with chamomile

Chamomile is an herb that contains plenty benefits and uses, which is why it has been used since ancient times. Its popularity got a boost back in the Middle Ages as people found it helpful in relieving different types of diseases, such as fever, nausea, inflammations, and others. For some, it was the European counterpart of Ginseng, the Chinese do-it-all herb.

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It can be applied or ingested in various ways, the most common of which is as tea. But another way to drink chamomile is to infuse a cocktail with the herb.

To do so, you can concoct a honey syrup blended with chamomile. Just add chamomile to cold water in an enclosed container and let it infuse for three to four hours; every 30 minutes, it should be lightly shaken.

After which, remove the chamomile by straining, otherwise, the syrup would become too bitter. Heat the resulting chamomile water and mix it with honey until the substance has settled to create the chamomile honey syrup.

This syrup can then be added to your choice of cocktail mix.

For example, you can create the classic Bee’s Knees cocktail by adding the chamomile honey syrup to gin and lemon juice, resulting in a light, fragrant, and sweet drink.

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Adam Quirk is the co-founder of Cardinal Spirits, an Indiana-based craft distillery that produces premium spirits made from locally sourced ingredients. For more cocktail recipes, follow this Twitter page.