I’ve spent my fair share around Lutherans and drinking is accepted and even welcome - in moderation. Except for coffee, which they tend to drink excessively.
They may not necessarily encourage whiskey at afternoon lunch gatherings in their church hall, however. So when my extended family was having a reunion lunch at a Lutheran church, I decided to be discreet. Since I was traveling, I didn’t have a flask handy, but my bag was dark and had plenty of space, so I just brought a bottle – an entire bottle – of Buffalo Trace.
Lunch was BBQ. Perfect. I slipped into the kitchen and poured a couple of drams into some plastic cups – one for me and one for my uncle. And then a little later, one for my aunt. Just a touch of whiskey to share and toast the family properly.
The trouble began when I set my bag down on a chair to change my camera battery and somehow knocked it off the chair and underneath the table. I heard a sickening “crack” and saw liquid spreading quickly – a bottle minus three drams of whiskey – all over the church hall floor. Uff da. Or, as my uncle put it, “Busted.”
An Evening at the Whiskey Garden
I like the idea of a whiskey garden. Makes me think of little nips sprouting on a stalk before maturing into pints, fifths, and liters you can pick at various stages depending on your current need.
The whiskey garden at Kings County Distillery is not quite that Whiskey Wonka. But it has a good vibe, corn stocks, and damn tasty sausages. You can also peek through the windows of an old brick building where whiskey is being made.
Temperatures hovered over 100 degrees in the middle of the summer where I grew up in California. On sweltering days, if we braved the sun to ride our bikes to the local grocery store, we would be rewarded with a stand that sold what seemed like hundreds of flavors of snow cones. After the agonizing moment of decision, the man with the scoop would dish out a heaping pile of ice and cover it with the syrupy color of your choice that would soon stain your lips, tongue, and hopefully not too much of your shirt.
On summer days when the heat radiates off the New York pavement and up through my shoes, I sometimes wish I could ride my bike to the grocery store and pick out a flavor. The closest came during a recent weekend when someone made a vat of bourbon slushies – the greatest thing to happen to shaved ice since Snoopy.
The trick to whiskey ice cream can be summed up in two key ingredients: Whiskey. And ice cream.
Step #1 – Pour vanilla ice cream into a blender.
Step #2 – Pour whiskey into blender.
Step #3 – Blend ice cream and whiskey.
Step #4 – Refreeze ice cream.
The amount of whiskey is up to you. I went with the three-pour method. I tipped in a sturdy pour. Blended. Tasted. Not bad. Tipped in a second sturdy pour. Blended. Tasted. Better but could use just a tad more. Tipped a third time. Oops. Little more than I had planned. Ah, well.
From the happy puckers and empty bowls of my tasters, I think it turned out probably half a tip too much for them and just right for me.