Friday, April 11, 2008


today we bring you a family favorite and big hit at parties - our house whiskey. you don't actually make the whiskey... this is really one of those "take some whiskey and make it better" type of things. enjoy!

McG family recipe – Sweet & Spicy Whisky

· cheap whisky (after trying several I've settled on Black Velvet as my default )
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 2 vanilla beans
· regular honey

Other stuff you’ll need
· a funnel
· 2 quart size mason jars
· a glass measuring cup
· a coffee filter (a strainer can do in a pinch)

first, taste the whisky – it’s important that you have a feel for what your base is. a tablespoon is probably enough.
· drop the cinnamon stick into the bottle of whisky
· wait 2 days, shake it up, then taste the whisky. the cinnamon will need to be in there for 2-6 days depending on how fresh/potent your cinnamon is & your personal taste. you’ll know that “it’s done” when you can clearly taste the cinnamon – it should add depth and spice.
· don’t rush! the process is half the fun.
· when the cinnamon essence is properly represented in the whisky, pour the entire bottle equally into your 2 mason jars. remove the cinnamon & discard.

now it’s time to add vanilla!
· Here’s a quick primer on how to prepare vanilla (from Official McG Family Vanilla Bean Supplier - they have a store on eBay)
· split the bean as described, scrape out the caviar, then dump the caviar and the bean pod into your mason jar, one bean per jar. don’t chop up the bean pod as described in the tutorial - you want the bean pod in large pieces for easy removal later.
· shake the jars. shake ‘em! every day until you pull the vanilla, shake the jars.
· just like the cinnamon, now it’s time to wait & taste. it will probably be 2-7 days depending on the freshness of your vanilla beans.
· make sure to shake the jars before tasting - a teaspoon is probably enough to taste.
· you’ll know it’s done when you can clearly taste the vanilla – it should add flavor and your whisky should taste smoother.

you’ll need to filter the debris at this point.
· shake your jars up - then pour the whisky from your mason jars back into the bottle it came in. after you spill all over the counter you’ll remember that a funnel is listed above.
· even if you don't drink coffee, having a reusable filter in your house can come in quite handy at times like these. there's also an advantage to not chopping up the vanilla bean pod - it should be easy to pull that out.
· note that the more you filter the more clear your fluid will be. if you don't mind little vanilla bean flecks in the whisky then minimal filtering is required – just yank out the chunks.
· note, however, that flecks mean that you have to shake it up before you pour since the flecks will settle to the bottom.
· if you filter through a re-usable coffee filter there will probably be some flecks. if you use a paper filter there will probably be very few flecks. your call.

all right, home stretch! next we gotta incorporate the honey
· pour three or four ounces of whisky into your measuring cup. add *only a little bit* of honey, say 1/2 shot glass per 1 liter of whisky.

· you can always add more later, but if you add too much then it will be way too sweet.
· put your measuring cup into the microwave and heat the bejeesus out of the whisky/honey.
· after a minute, take it out every 30 seconds or so and stir it up.
· you want it to get hot enough that *every bit* of that honey incorporates into the whisky. this might take a couple minutes - don't rush it.
· if you don't get the honey hot enough at this point then it won't fully be incorporated into your beverage & it will settle at the bottom of the bottle - so you'll have to shake before pouring - then it will settle at the bottom of the glass. you don't want whisky with a honey caboose - you want equal parts honey throughout the whole thing. so, like I said, heat the bejeesus out of it.
· pour your honey-ized whiskey back into your bottle, shake it, and taste.
· depending on how heavy handed you were with the honey, you may need to add more.
· if you think that you didn't add enough honey, PLEASE wait a day or two and taste it again before adding more. the longer the flavors chill out together the more they work together, and you might taste more honey on Friday than you did on Tuesday.
· if you accidentally go overboard with the honey, go out and buy another bottle of cheap whisky, then mix up the two bottles. you will probably be good at that point.

when complete there should be a lot happening in your mouth when you taste … it should be equal parts warm, spicy, sweet, and mellow. it should taste really yummy and should barely resemble the cheap garbage you started out with.
· I drink this straight but it’s also an excellent mixer. and it’s great in tea. or over ice cream! on toast! with oatmeal! you get the picture.
· you can keep this in the container it came from the store in and/or bottle it up and give it away.

for your bottle needs check out the McG Endorsed Bottle Vendor



Reese McG said...

you know i haven't actually ever tasted this! i was preggo when he made the first batch but now i should really drink some. also we really need a kegerator. for reals.

jay mcg said...

I want an extra fridge/freezer for the garage. extra freezer capacity up top, kegerator on bottom.