On Our Plates: Distilleries and More Birthday Shenanigans

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On Laura’s Plate: Distilleries

Sometimes you overlook the touristy things in your own town and often, there’s a good reason for this. However, sometimes the things that draw the tourists can also be a lot of fun for locals, like breweries and distilleries. Added bonus- you get to sample what they make! Even if you are not a drinker, the tours are a lot of fun and include lessons in history (Prohibition!) and science (fermentation!). They also seem to be popping up all over, so a little research will likely turn up a place to visit nearby. Tim and I ┬árecently visited Cosairs, a microdistillery in Nashville, TN, and Woodford Reserve, a bourbon distillery near Lexington, KY. Both are worth a visit, but be warned, you’ll need a reservation for Cosairs.

Cosairs: This is a relatively new distillery that makes various spirits in one of two locations. In Nashville, they make whiskey. Up in Bowling Green, KY, they make a number of other things, including gin and rum. Their website has the complete line-up.

We toured the area where they make whiskey and they told us about some of their products, like a quinoa whiskey and a triple smoke whiskey. We tasted both. I preferred the quinoa, but smoke is not really my thing.

We also got to taste some of the products they make in KY. All are handcrafted, and the results were pretty good. The most interesting? A red absinthe. The coloring comes from red hibiscus. This one was first mixed with water and the resulting chemical reaction was pretty impressive (as seen in the picture below). It gets kind of cloudy. Apparently this is the mark of a true absinthe.

Woodford Reserve: Despite growing up in the heart of bourbon country, I had never toured one of the distilleries. We decided to change that on our recent trip to visit my parents in Lexington, KY. Woodford has been making bourbon since well before Prohibition and is in a beautiful setting surrounded by horse farms.

Because they are bigger, the tour was longer, although extremely interesting. It’s amazing how little has changed in the making of bourbon over the years. Woodford also has very tasty bourbon balls for sampling. These are alcohol-free so everyone can enjoy them.

Bourbon Ginger Cider: If this post is making you thirsty, try this cocktail from Henry Happened. Enjoy!


On Amy’s Plate: More Birthday Shenanigans

My birthday shenanigans were spread out over an entire week, thanks to some wonderful friends. Here’s a brief rundown.

Hananoki Japanese Restaurant – One of my lovely friends looked around Lexington for a restaurant where we could watch a chef cook. She settled on a hibachi grill (I’d never been to one). It was lots of fun! I’m not sure I’ll attempt to make flaming onion towers in my kitchen any time soon, though.

County Club – A few nights later, I had joint birthday dinner here with some friends from school. Oh my. The menu is crazy small & they were out of one of the items, but what they did have was fabulous. County Club’s rendition of poutine may be the ideal comfort food: french fries topped with gravy, cheese curds, and smoked meat.

Fabulous Chocolate Cupcakes – If there’s a celebration, there must be dessert. I made these cupcakes from Brown Eyed Baker. (Why does she keep making such incredible desserts?) If you don’t mind a chocolate overload, they’re amazing! The ganache in the middle is really fun. I tried piping the icing, per the recipe, but it didn’t hold up well for transporting. These might be best with the icing smoothed on. Or maybe I need to up my piping game. Or maybe I should keep them all for myself so I don’t have to take them anywhere. At any rate, they tasted a million times better than they looked – which is why we’re pictureless today.