A campaign to end whisky snobbery

Special to WJW One question that periodically comes up in casual conversation is: What Scotch whisky should a whisky novice try first? To which I inevitably respond: What, pray tell, is a “whisky novice”? Drink one whisky and, presto change-o, one is a novice no more. There is no secret handshake or silly initiation ritual…. Read More

A martini in memory of Roger Moore

With the death last week of Sir Roger Moore, who famously portrayed James Bond, my thoughts have turned to the martini, that classic, cooling and altogether quintessential cocktail. In Moore’s seven Bond films, he never said the evocative if over-familiar phrase “Shaken, not stirred.” His memoirs — he published three enjoyable efforts over the years… Read More

The lore and lure of the Southern-style mint julep

Pining for the regularity of traditional seasons, I find my mind turning to one of the greatest hot-weather cocktails of all time: the Southern-style mint julep. Little more than a concoction of whiskey, mint, ice, sugar and water, this mix becomes an enchanting, seductive ambrosia when mixed right: The tang of the mint perfectly balances… Read More

Pass around the salt and lime

Special to WJW Tequila is a type of mezcal made from a fermented mash of the piñas, or hearts, of the agave plant. Unlike other mezcals, tequila can only be made from azul (Spanish for blue) agave harvested in designated regions in the Mexican state of Jalisco and limited regions in four other states.  In… Read More

What did they drink during Prohibition?

Lots of folks eschew alcohol, either for dietary or lifestyle reasons. So what does one do for Kiddush if wine is off the menu? Kosher grape juice, of course. But it wasn’t always so simple. What did Jews do during Prohibition? As it happens, wine wasn’t necessarily off the menu. And grape juice wasn’t necessarily… Read More

Why holiness isn’t boring

Special to WJW This week’s Torah portion is Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1-20:27 I used to think that reading about holiness in Leviticus was boring. That changed when I was able to reframe my relationship with the text after an in-depth study of the first few sentences of chapter 19, also known as the holiness code…. Read More

What did they drink during Prohibition?

Special to WJW Lots of folks eschew alcohol, either for dietary or lifestyle reasons. So what does one do for Kiddush if wine is off the menu? Kosher grape juice, of course. But it wasn’t always so simple. What did Jews do during Prohibition? As it happens, wine wasn’t necessarily off the menu. And grape… Read More

Keeping up with the Bowmores

Special to WJW More often than I think healthy, I am asked about super expensive, top-shelf, trophy-style single malt Scotch whiskies, and increasingly about those multi $1,000-plus beauties. The question always is, “Is it worth the money?” By and large, these hyper-expensive whiskies are typically excellent, and are most assuredly not at all worth the… Read More