On Beer & Food


Books: Good brews go well together with good food, often better suited than fine wine. This book presents recipes and fundamentals that explore the pairing of food and beer. It has 169 pages for you to explore outlining some great food and beer pairings and even how to use beer as an ingredient when cooking. Don’t worry, you can still have you bourbon after dinner.

Second Circle Recipe


2 oz. bourbon

1 oz. ruby port

1 tsp. maple syrup

2 dashes bitters of choice

3 maraschino cherries for garnish (optional)

Combine bourbon, port, syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled champagne coupe; garnish with cherries if you so desire. Simply enjoy.

B&O Mercantile Note Cards



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Keep those notes on your favorite bourbons with our handmade cards. The cards are crafted from kraft paper stock, measure 2″ x 4.25″, and feature a circle opening on top for you to hang on your bottle or place into a notebook. Each tasting card is hand stamped by us with the word notes on the front and the letters A, P, F on the back for you to write about the aroma, palate, and finish.

Available now at


3 Things To Do With Bourbon You Don’t Like

We’ve all been there. We’ve purchased a bourbon at the store that either caught our eye or that a friend recommended, only to get it home and find it’s just not for you. Most of the time it sits on the shelf collecting dust and doing no good. Here are 3 things you can do with those bourbons you don’t like.

1) Give it to a friend. Just because a bourbon might not be the right one for you doesn’t mean it won’t be a favorite of someone else. When sampling some bourbon with friends introduce the bourbon you don’t like to them. Be open and honest with them and explain that you purchased this bourbon or received it as a gift and it’s just not for you. They may try it and think its the best and by all account will walk away with a free bottle of bourbon.

2) Cook with it. Cooking with bourbon and drinking bourbon are two completely different things entirely. When cooking with bourbon, I tend to use inexpensive brands, unless I am making candy or a dish that you can really taste the bourbon. Adding some bourbon to sauces, slow cooking meats, soups, stews, or chilis, will add a unique flavor but not overpower the food. This is a great way to use up some bourbons that you just don’t like the flavor when drinking straight.

3) Make a cocktail. This one can be a bit tricky. There are just some bourbons that I can’t even enjoy in a cocktail but you don’t know until you try. Try using the bourbon in a cocktail that mixes it with other spirits or liqueurs as it will help mask the flavor a bit. In addition, cocktails that have multiple ingredients can be a choice as well as the more ingredients you have the less impact the bourbon has on the resulting cocktail.

Waterford Mad Men Edition Drinkware


Gear: I’m a huge fan of the show Mad Men, not just for the story line, but for the props used to portray the era. I especially enjoy the drinkware. Waterford paid close attention to period detail. Like the era it celebrates, Mixology Mad Men Edition is neither subtle nor inconspicuous. Each glass features bands of gold and platinum and are perfect for those who enjoy nice glassware as much as the cocktail itself. These unique pieces are a great addition to any collection.

Maple Bourbon Bread & Butter Pickles

Pickles by Brooklyn Brine

Food: Brooklyn Brine Co. crafts of some delicious items. Today we feature their Maple Bourbon Bread & Butter Pickles. Made with Organic NY State Grade B Maple Syrup, Finger Lakes Distilling McKenzie Bourbon, Kirby cucumbers, apple cider vinegar, and a special blend of spices. A delicious treat by itself of as an addition to a variety of dishes.

Essentials of a Damn Good Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned, our go to drink for those times when we want a little more than a neat sipper. When venturing out and about, we’ve had some delicious Old Fashioned’s but we’ve also had our fair share of some bad ones as well. A great Old Fashioned in my opinion is well balanced between sweet and bitter, gives you the opportunity to taste all the ingredients in the drink, and leaves you thinking about ordering a second one. Here are few essentials for creating a delicious Old Fashioned.

1) Bourbon. You are going to want to have a decent bourbon but there is no need to pull out a top notch bottle for this cocktail, it is not necessary. Go with a favorite choice for an everyday drink and one that is between 80 and 95 proof. Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey 81, Old Forester, Buffalo Trace, and Woodford Reserve make excellent choices. All of these bourbons add great characteristics to the drink and do not overpower the cocktail, instead they mix well and even enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.

2) Sugar. More specifically, one sugar cube. A single sugar cube is the perfect amount of sugar to muddle with a splash of water and bitters. If you’ve had a bad Old Fashioned before, you may have noticed it was overly sweet. This is a common mistake bartenders make and it can without a doubt ruin the cocktail. We suggest sticking to just one sugar cube, you can always go from here and adjust to taste.

3) Bitters. It used to be Angostura’s world but things have changed. Angostura Bitters are fine and are more than deserving of a space on your shelf but there are numerous other options out there and you can even craft your own bitters. We enjoy using Dashfire Bitters, specifically their Brandy Old Fashioned Bitters, as they add a nice spice to the cocktail.

4) Water. Stick with simple straight water, we like spring water or drinking water as they are simple and pure tasting. Avoid using seltzer, tonic, or sparkling water.

5) Ice. Large, slow melting cubes are best as they keep the cocktail chilled and don’t water it down like smaller cubes. Molds are available online as well as in local stores and usually come in round and square shapes.

6) Fruit. Ever order an Old Fashioned at a bar and it looks like a fruit bowl when it arrives? Keep it simple. A small twist of an orange peel will add some zest to the drink and can be thrown over the side as a garnish. Drop in a maraschino cherry and call it a day. If fruit is not your thing, just order it simply without fruit.

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2 oz. bourbon of choice

3 dashes bitters of choice

1 sugar cube

1 splash of water

orange twist for garnish

1 maraschino cherry

In an Old Fashioned glass muddle sugar cube, water, and bitters. Add ice and maraschino cherry, pour in bourbon and stir gently for 30 seconds. Hold an orange peel over the glass and twist, hand over side of glass for garnish. Enjoy.

Featured Bar: The Roosevelt, Richmond, Virginia

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Featured Bar: The Roosevelt in Richmond, Virginia is a great place to visit if you’re in the area. It is located in Church Hill, Richmond’s oldest neighborhood, and serves up some incredible southern food. In addition to the great food, they are always serving up excellent cocktails, using fresh ingredients. The atmosphere in the Roosevelt is another great reason to visit, it is always welcoming and just a great place to meet up with friends and family. Check out their menus below and if you stop by for a cocktail, let us suggest The Seersucker: maker’s mark bourbon, sweet tea syrup, angostura bitters, and a charred lemon cube.