Wednesday, February 18, 2009

George Washington's Whiskey

Monday was George Washington's birthday celebration. While it was crushing to discover he didn't really have wooden teeth, it was redeeming to learn GW fired up his very own whiskey still. Right at Mt Vernon, the Father of Our Country operated one of the country's most successful distilleries, percolating 11,000 gallons of nostril-singeing booze at its peak in 1799.

Historians recreated Washington's distillery a few years ago, and they occasionally cook up a batch of hooch following his recipe - which they're doing now, during the two weeks around his birthday. They'll bottle and sell half the whiskey at Mt Vernon starting in June. The un-aged product is akin to what Washington and troops swilled. The makers will age the other half in oak barrels for future sale - this is more like what we drink today. A daily blog documents the process.

Here in Chicago, top places to quench a whiskey thirst include Delilah's, Duke of Perth and Twisted Spoke. The latter has Whiskey Wednesdays so if you hurry out now, you can sip among the 150 varieties for half price.

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