Get Festive with Whisky & Bourbon

November 14, 2018

There’s something about brown liquor that makes you feel all warm inside. Perhaps it’s the amber hue, or maybe it’s the warm feeling you get from the booze, but liquors like Whisky and Bourbon feel somehow perfect for this time of year.

At Co-op we’re getting festive, and sharing ideas for ways you can enjoy some of your favourite drinks in new ways.

What’s the difference between whiskey, whisky and bourbon?
You could call whisky a category of liquors with some commonalities; they’re made from grains and are usually barrel aged. If you see it spelled with “ey” at the end, you’re likely looking at an American or Irish whiskey. 

Whisky with a ‘y’ and no ‘e’ is usually Canadian, Scottish or Japanese, though you’ll find rule breakers in this alcohol alphabet soup. 

Bourbon Basics
Bourbon is an American spirit—an American whiskey that was created in Kentucky. While popular lore has said that for it to be rightfully dubbed Bourbon, it must be made in Bourbon country, Kentucky, that’s not true. Instead, for Bourbon to earn its stamp of approval, more than 50% of it must be made made with corn. The remainder can be wheat, barley or rye—or a mix of these. 

Bourbon is often said to have a sweeter taste to it; that comes courtesy of that mix of grains, but the rules of Bourbon-making also state that it must be aged in new, charred oak barrels, and those barrels can never be reused for bourbon. So the oak, the char and the grains all combine to lend a unique character to Bourbon.

wild turkey longbranch2This Holiday Season, Try Wild Turkey Longbranch Bourbon
Arriving at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer this season is a very special bourbon from the folks at Wild Turkey. Wild Turkey Longbranch Bourbon takes the smoothness and familiar oak and spice of Wild Turkey and kicks it up a notch. This version is made in small batches and refined with oak and Texas Mesquite charcoals. This unique process results in an extraordinarily balanced and smooth sipping whiskey with subtle hints of smoky sweetness.

Wild Turkey also paired up with actor Matthew McConaughey to craft a spirit that’s meant to lure new whisky drinkers. McConaughey worked with the Wild Turkey team to craft a bourbon that would be his absolute favourite—and hopefully that of many others. Try is neat or on the rocks to get to know it, or use it in a fabulous holiday cocktail.

Try These Festive Co-op Whisky Recipes 
Instead of bringing a bottle of wine to holiday parties, break the mould and pick up a bottle of Whisky or Bourbon; it makes an unexpected hostess gift, and gets the conversation going—especially after dinner, if the host opens it up for sampling. 

If you’re looking to liven up your holiday drink list, we’ve got two new cocktails you’ll definitely want to try.

whisky sourFrothy Whiskey Sour
2 parts Co-op bourbon
1 part lemon juice
½ part sugar syrup
½ part egg white 

Cubed ice 
To garnish: cherry and an orange slice

Put the ice and all of the ingredients into a shaker and shake hard for about 20 seconds to chill the liquid really well. Strain the mix into a coup glass or a rocks class filled with ice and garnish with the cherry and orange slice.


old fashionedClassic Old Fashioned
1⁄2 tsp. Sugar
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 tsp. Water 
2 oz. Co-op Bourbon

Add the sugar, bitters and water to a rocks glass, and stir until the sugar is nearly dissolved. Fill the glass with large ice cubes and add the Co-op bourbon, and gently stir to combine the flavours. Squeeze a slice of orange peel over the glass to get the orange essential oils in there, then the rind into the glass as a garnish.

Enjoy these festive cocktails this holiday season and don’t forget Co-op Wine Spirits Beer is your best choice for entertaining needs.

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