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Happy New Year!


Once in a blue moon there is a blue moon on New Year’s Eve but it won’t really be blue. A blue moon is the second full moon in a month and we will see it in all its glory as the countdown begins. The blue moon will be brilliant and I hope it is a clear night for good viewing and let there be no howling!





New Year’s Eve and speaking of the blue moon makes me think of moonshine and moonshine makes me think of whiskey.  The best bourbon whiskey in the world is produced at Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY.  (Is that kind of like “6 degrees of separation” thinking?)  Those who know Bill undoubtedly know that when imbibing, his elixir of the gods is Maker’s Mark.  Maker’s Mark is smooth, gentle and very easy to drink.  It is termed a “wheatie” because any rye is replaced with wheat, making it milder and sweeter than rye whiskies. 

If you should get the chance to visit Maker’s Mark, you should!  It is beautiful out that way in the countryside (I really mean way out in the country, on very narrow back roads!) with its bold black and red buildings, black fences and fields surrounding it.  The tour is truly interesting and you will see how the red wax seal is hand-dipped and applied to the bottle.  

Not only does Bill enjoy drinking it, he is also a Maker’s Mark Ambassador.  As an ambassador, Bill had a barrel in the warehouse with his name on it that aged for 7 years.  When his barrel reached maturity, the people at Maker’s Mark invited him to come for a visit for the honor of applying the traditional label bearing his name, then hand dipping his bottles in the red wax and finally, stamping the top of the bottle, reading 2009.  It made for an interesting unique visit!



Bill, applying the wax on his bottle at Maker's Mark


Back to New Year’s Eve!  It would not be complete without a glass of Champagne and we’ll throw in a Manhattan, the so-called “king of cocktails”, made with Maker’s Mark and Sweet Vermouth.  It is strong, urbane, simple and deep in flavor; a hearty cocktail.  The drink originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the 1870’s and is still regarded as one of the greatest cocktails ever created.   Sweet Vermouth has a very intense flavor so the drink will taste much stronger if more is added. 


Manhattan

Ingredients:

1 ½ ounces Maker’s Mark
¼ ounce Sweet Vermouth or Dry Vermouth
dash Angostura Bitters, optional

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass and drink straight up or serve it on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass.
Garnish with Maraschino cherry.

Cheers!

Happy New Year to you all!!!


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