If you’re a whiskey fan trying to find new ways to fill your time at home right now, the next thing you should buy yourself isn’t another bottle—it’s a book.
Longtime whiskey and drinks author Aaron Goldfaarb is a treasure trove of weird, oddball, counterculture booze knowledge. He spends much of his time at home, surrounded by bottles, tasting the new stuff and fiddling with experiments. And thanks to his book Hacking Whiskey, you can too.
Hacking Whiskey is billed as a book of whiskey experiments, including things like smoking, blending, and fat washing your own whiskey. But this book isn’t just an activity guide for drinkers with a few bottles to spare—it’s an education in everything from altering whiskey for cocktails, to blending your own unique whiskeys at home (something everyone should try once).
You’ll start with some well-regarded recipes; from the celebrated Poor Man’s Pappy, to the beloved California Gold, the initial section of Goldfarb’s book is full of ways to take what’s familiar and already on your bar, and create something new and unfamiliar.
But Goldfarb doesn’t stop with common bourbon-centric blends. There’s “Kentuck-Eh,” a rye blend made up of Canadian-sourced WhistlePig whisky and Kentucky Straight Russel’s Reserve Single Barrel that fanatics swear by, and a bold recipe that alleges to recreate long-dead Port Ellen distillery’s legendary whisky.
Goldfarb has assembled these recipes (as well as techniques for smoking, fat washing, and other home bar projects) through years of being on the ground and in the trenches with some of the world’s most forward-thinking and prolific drinkers. He’s put his palate (and his liver) through some exhausting challenges, and distilled the experience down to about 260 pages of applicable wisdom.
Hacking Whiskey ($20) is an essential library title, no matter how robust your whiskey library is. If you have a shelf, this book should be on it. And whether you’re trying to fill an afternoon or a month, you’ll never run out of experiments to try. Some of them will help you pass the time, in hours or days. But all of the projects in this book will give you something interesting to share with friends and family the next time you’re able to see them.Get it
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