'Tis the Season for Whiskey

Life usually gets in the way of doing fun things - like blogging. We apologize for our recent and prolonged absence, but it was all for good and personal reasons. We look forward to picking things up in 2019.

Please enjoy this article which appears in the 2018/2019 Winter edition of My Sanford Magazine.


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While whiskey is certainly suited to any season, most would agree the bold, brown spirit especially pairs well with chilly nights around the Yule log. Bourbon, rye, Scotch, or Irish, and neat or in a cocktail --there’s really no wrong way to enjoy a whiskey.

Once newbies to the craft, we cut our teeth on many different types of whiskey at The Imperial in Sanford. There we met Marti and Dick Waters, owners and distillers at Palm Ridge Whiskey in Umatilla, who explained to us the best way to taste whiskey, carefully and methodically, to truly savor the flavor.

Step 1: Begin by capturing a small amount of whiskey in your mouth and keep it at the tip of your tongue behind your bottom teeth.

Step 2: With your mouth slightly open, inhale a slow stream of air across your tongue; you will experience different layers of the whiskey.

Step 3: Lift your tongue to move the whiskey back to the middle part of your tongue to active different taste buds.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 a couple of times to compare and contrast flavors.

Step 5: Finish by taking the whiskey up and over the top of your tongue (not allowing it to go under the tongue) and then swallow.

Tips and Tricks

  • The same technique can also be used for other spirits. Try it with rum or tequila!

  • Don’t let the whiskey slip below your tongue as that is where the burning sensation comes from.

  • It’s never improper to add a few drops of water or an ice cube to your whiskey. Adding water actually helps “open” the whiskey, releasing new aromas and flavors.

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Where to Enjoy a Whiskey in Sanford

The Imperial at Washburn Imports, 116 E 1st St.
With a selection of over 130 whiskies, The Imperial is situated right in the middle of Washburn Imports furniture store. Get your name on the the bar by joining the Whiskey Club and trying 50 different whiskies, then get upgraded to gold status after trying 100 (don’t rush, please take your time with this challenge).

The Sullivan, A Public House, 116 E 1st St.
Brought to you by the same people at The Imperial, The Sullivan offers a wide selection of Irish whiskeys (and beer). A full-service, classic version of the Irish Pub, it features classic pub fare and Irish folk musicians.

Make it at Home

The hot toddy is a classic drink that includes all the hallmarks of a good cocktail, with the added benefits of fending off the chill of winter and a sore throat.

You’ll need:

¾ cup water
1 ½ ounces whiskey
2 to 3 teaspoons honey, to taste
2 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
1 lemon round
1 cinnamon stick (optional, for garnish)

In a teapot or saucepan, bring water to a simmer and pour into a mug. Add whiskey, 2 teaspoons honey, and 2 teaspoon lemon juice. Stir until honey dissolves. Add more honey or lemon to taste. Garnish with lemon round and cinnamon stick.