Where To Get The United States’ Best Whiskey

For those who love whiskey and live in the United States or are planning to visit, you’ll love this new infographic. The good people over at Sloshspot have kindly and ingeniously created a map detailing some of the best whiskey distilleries around the country.

If you’ve ever needed some inspiration to plan a U.S. road trip, or just can’t decide which route to take, let this map be your guide. The infographic not only tells you where to go to sample great whiskey, but also what to expect at each distillery in terms of fermentation and style. For example, you can see that in San Francisco, California, there is Anchor Brewing Company, which makes non-Kentucky bourbon, and that in Chicago, Illinois, there is Koval Distillery, where you can try American rye whiskey. A very large chunk of the graphic is dedicated to Kentucky and Tennessee, where you’ll find majority of the country’s whiskey distilleries.

If you’re having trouble viewing the infographic, click here.

[Infographic via Bourbon & Banter; top image via libraryrachel]

Sipping Vino At The Northern Hemisphere’s Highest Winery And Vineyard

Terror Creek Winery and Vineyard is located in the West Elks American Viticultural Area of Colorado. The establishment gets its name from the snow-fed stream residing along the property’s edge, called Terror Creek. What makes Terror Creek really special is the fact that, at 6,400 feet, it’s the highest winery and vineyard that’s estate bottled in the northern hemisphere.

The winery sits atop the Garvin Mesa in the Rocky Mountains, allowing visitors to sip boutique vinos while having a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding landscape. It’s run by Joan Mathewson, a Swiss-trained winemaker who takes pride in the fact that she creates unique Alsatian-style wines, know for their fruit flavors and crisp acidities.

When asked how her style differs from other vintners, she responds with a smile, “I don’t know what other wineries do. I know what I do.”

Mathewson offers five varieties of wine, including a dry riesling, a full-flavored and spicy gewurztraminer, a unique chardonnay vinted without oak, a rich and fruity pinot noir and, her signature creation, chalet, a light red blend that can be served chilled. Tastings are free, and bottles start at $10.

For more information, click here.

Relaxing At The World’s Highest Beer Spa In La Paz, Bolivia

At 11,975 feet above sea level, the city of La Paz in Bolivia is pretty high. In fact, it is the highest “de facto” capital city in the world. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to experience some kind of reaction to the altitude. To help your body relax, backpackers can enjoy the world’s highest beer spa at The Adventure Brew Hostel.

This hostel has many opportunities for experiencing Bolivia’s beer culture. Along with having their own on-site microbrewery, giving guests a free beer each night and featuring a rooftop lounge, their beer spa allows for a unique outdoor experience.

“The beer spa came as an idea some six years ago. It was the result of having lots of leftover beer from Sayabeer brewery,” explains Remo Baptista, creator of the beer venue. “We built two old hot tubs with brick chimneys – we can heat the water with wood under it – filled it with 20 liters of beer plus water and voilà!”Weeks on the road can be draining, and spa-goers can relax while sipping on ice-cold brews. For those who are skeptical if this is just a gimmick or if it’s actually healthy, studies have shown beer can treat everything from acne and dry hair to cancer and ulcers.

The service is free of charge, as long as you purchase a jug of beer at the beer spa.

Five Alcohol Factories To Kick Off Spring Travel

Spring is in the air, which means that most of us will be swapping our mulled wine and spiked apple cider for beer gardens and rooftop bars. Behind every good brew, though, is a distillery that made your buzz possible. And many of those outlets have turned into touristic destinations for the curious traveler in search of an off-beat destination – something in contrast to the humdrum monument or public art gallery. Here are five factories to get your planning started.

The Guinness Storehouse: Ireland
Unlike many bartenders in the US, the Irish take their Guinness drinking very seriously and after a day at the Storehouse, you too can learn the “perfect pour.” Tickets cost around 13 Euros and include a free pint of Guinness at the rooftop bar, which arguably has one of the best views of the city. The building’s seven-story exhibit takes you though the brewing process, giving guests a better understanding of just how much effort goes into creating good tasting beer. Student discounts are available and for a more in-depth experience, schedule a specialty tour.
St James’s Gate, Dublin 8

Glenkinchie Scotch Malt Whiskey Distillery: Scotland
If you find yourself in Scotland, good luck avoiding a Scotch tour, as malt whiskey distilleries are scattered throughout the country. The Glenkinchie Distillery is close to Edinburgh, making it an easy day trip for travelers. Tickets cost 6 GBP and tours are offered daily. A complimentary taste of Glenkinchie’s 12 year old single malt is given to anyone who pays the 3 GBP entrance fee. More extensive tours are available for a slightly higher price but more freebies are provided, making it a worthy investment.
Pencaitland, Tranent, East Lothian EH34 5ETGin
Plymouth Gin Distillery: England
Black Friars Distillery has been the happy home of Plymouth Gin since 1793 but the buildings themselves date back to the early 1400s. The Refectory Room is a medieval hall and cocktail lounge that is the highlight for many guests, as it’s said to be where the Pilgrim Fathers sat before sailing on the Mayflower. Tours are held daily but have limited space so make sure to plan your visit in advance. Don’t forget to drink your free and flavorful gin and tonic before leaving.
60 Southside Street, The Barbican, Plymouth, Devon

Filliers Vodka Distillery: Belgium
Belgium is certainly known for top-tier chocolate but it is also home to Filliers Vodka Distillery. Tours are offered Monday-Saturday for groups of 15-20 people and last around an hour and a half, giving guests a sneak peak into the distillation process complete with vodka tasting. The minimum price for guided group tours is 120 Euros. For travelers craving a bit or solitude, Filliers is perfectly situated in the middle of the countryside and surrounded by meadows and picturesque fields. The distillery produces a number of liquors including Goldlys Belgian Whisky, Van Hoo Vodka and the traditional Bols Genever.
Leernsesteenweg 5, Deinze, Belgium

Bacardi Rum Factory: Puerto Rico
Those who prefer a little rum to their drink should head straight to Casa Bacardi in Cantano, Puerto Rico. Starting in Santiago de Cuba, the popular brand has since made its way to Havanna, San Juan, Miami, Bermuda and almost certainly your local bar. Daily tours run every 20 minutes and include an interactive glance at Bacardi’s history starting with the origins of rum making to a demonstration of how to make mojitos. Each guest is given two free drink tickets but drinks during the tour are not allowed, so make sure to hold onto your vouchers for the outdoor Bacardi bar.
Road 165, Rte. 888, Km 2.6, Cataño, 00962

[flickr image via chacrebleu]

Where To Get Singapore’s Favorite Historical Cocktail: The Singapore Sling

Developed sometime before 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon, a bartender who worked at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel Singapore, the Singapore Sling is a historical cocktail that has made a revival over the past few years. The original recipe used only the best ingredients – gin, Cherry Heering, Bénédictine and fresh pineapple juice. While by the 1980s the quality of the drink had begun to suffer – for example, substituting soda water and bottled juice instead of the fresh variety – a reappearance of Cherry Heering and fresh ingredients has revived the cocktail favorite.

Want to know where to get a quality Singapore Sling on your next trip to Singapore? Try these top venues.

Raffles Hotel Singapore

This should be the first stop on your mission to find the perfect Singapore Sling, as this is where the drink was created over 100 years ago. Inside the hotel is the legendary Long Bar, the birthplace of the cocktail. For those who enjoy sipping their drink in a laid-back atmosphere, the two-story venue features Earthy decor inspired by the Malayan plantations of the 1920s.Moreover, if you’d like to try a unique spin on the drink, modern day bartenders at the Long Bar have created six variations – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Tropical and Courtyard. To pay homage to the Ngiam Tong Boon, however, each recipe contains at least one original ingredient. For instance, the Spring Sling contains Smirnoff Apple Vodka, Apple Sourz and fresh pineapple and orange juices, while the gin-based Courtyard Sling is made with Lychee Liqueur, fresh mango juice and ginger beer. To help guests remember their cocktail experience, Singapore Sling Glasses and Sling Shakers are available for purchase.

Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

At the historic Fullerton Hotel, Singapore (FHS), patrons can enjoy more than just your average Singapore Sling. At their onsite Post Bar, there is actually a Singapore Sling collection, featuring eight unique variants of the famous cocktail, including a Coconut Sling and a Lychee Sling. The trendy bar also features a private music room with contemporary and new world music. Moreover, guests can choose to enjoy their cocktails at the under-lit honey onyx bar tables or outside in the bar’s adjoining outdoor East Garden.

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

At The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, patrons will be able to enjoy classic Singapore Sling’s in a lounge named after the famous American glass artist, Dale Chihuly. The recipe for their version of the Sinapore goes like this:

  • 30 ml Gin
  • 15 ml Cherry Brandy
  • 15 ml Grenadine
  • 10 ml Triple Sec
  • 10 ml Benedictine Dom
  • 90 ml Pineapple Juice
  • 15 ml Lime Juice
  • A dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Sliced Starfruit, Watermelon and Rock Melon for garnish

“There are many variations of Singapore Sling as different bartenders tweak the cocktail’s components for the best result,” explains assistant beverage manager Karamjeet Singh. “Our Singapore Sling is completely made a la minute when orders are received. This freshness really allows the subtleties of different flavors come through, from the warmth of the cherry brandy to the sunshine that pineapple juice imbues on the palate. Our Singapore Sling is slightly less sweet and doesn’t contain club soda unlike most other establishment’s version.”