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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Heaven Hill\'s Mellow Corn

    I was thinking it's summer and maybe some real American corn whiskey would go down well, I'll try something different. So I set about devising my usual labyrinthine plan for a blend encouraged as I was by Tim Sousley's support. I thought, how about if I use the corn unmixed with other liquors but add some sugar and a sprinkling of ginger, some lemon too. Maybe bitters. Top with Perrier (I live in mid-town Toronto, recall).

    I opened a can of ginger ale and poured some on two fingers of corn sitting in some cubes. Lemon, yes. Will save the bitters for another time.

    Just corn whiskey and ginger ale, really, probably what many saloon patrons would have ordered in 1910 in the wet counties, the lazy fan above sending eddies of warmed air about, a whispering wind foretelling the end of saloons and corn likker and the hour of relaxation in America..

    Fast-forward almost 100 years. Saloons of the pre-1920 style never came back after 1933. Liquor did, and Heaven Hill was set up in 1935 and makes fine bourbons to this day and fine corn whiskey, the progenitor and unpolished, downhome relation of bourbon. It can be enjoyed to this day and there may be people who like it straight but it goes a treat in some sweet spicy soda, take it from me.

    gary

  2. #2
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    Re: Heaven Hill\'s Mellow Corn

    Hi Gary,
    That sounds really good. I have some Mellow Corn and can get some ginger ale tomorrow. I wish I could get some old fashioned ginger ale with a bit more ginger kick than Canada Dry. Maybe I will add a bit of powdered ginger to the Mellow Corn, let it steep a bit then add the Canada Dry.
    Ed

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Heaven Hill\'s Mellow Corn

    Ed & Gary, instead of powdered ginger go to the produce section and get a fresh ginger root. Thin slice that (like with a peeler) and soak the shavings directly in the bourbon. If you like, add water and sugar to taste.

    (You can make your own ginger ale by soaking the shavings in sugared seltzer)

    Cheers,

    Ken

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Heaven Hill\'s Mellow Corn

    Actually Ed I used Canada Dry. A few years ago this soft drink was improved, they added more ginger to it I think. It works just fine on its own. The oils in the corn are moderated and made tastier by the zippy soft drink. The mix is really good.

    Gary

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Heaven Hill\'s Mellow Corn

    Well, that sounds good too. We get a good range of home-style ginger beers here because of the large Caribbean community. Also, there is an old Detroit brand of ginger ale, popular here for a long time, that would work well too, Vernor's.

    'Vern and Corn', perfect for these lazy days.

    Gary

  6. #6
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    Re: Heaven Hill\'s Mellow Corn

    Hi Ken,
    Hi Gary,
    I don't have to go that far, there is some in the fridge. I still need to get some Canada Dry. Perhaps I should try it with just the Canada Dry first, but I almost always start fiddling with recipes from the first go.

    The above was written ealier. I have had my cocktail now. I let the slices of ginger steep for a couple of hours in two oz of Mellow Corn, took them out, added ice and filled the glass to the top with Canada Dry. A few drops of lemon juice from one of those little plastic lemons and it was complete. And very good! I get an orange pop flavor from Mellow Corn and it came through in the finished drink. I was worried that the ginger would be overpowering, but after the first sip it was just right. The only problem, and this is true of any mixed drink or beer for that matter, is in a matter of minutes I had drunk what would have taken me 30 or 40 minutes or even more to drink neat. Still, on a hot summer day it went down a treat.
    Ed

  7. #7
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    Re: Heaven Hill\'s Mellow Corn

    Sounds delicious Ed. I know what you mean about the "rate" though. That's the way I am when I make Margarittas. Those little suckers are delicious and deadly! Two of those and you're spending the night!

    3 parts white Tequila
    4 parts Reposada Tequila
    3 parts Grand Marnier
    1 part Triple Sec
    1 part juice (lime, orange & lemon mixed)

    Stir all ingrediants in a pitcher of ice. Pour into a rimmed glass.

    As Emeril would say, "Bam!"

    Cheers,

    Ken

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Heaven Hill\'s Mellow Corn

    Interesting way to approach this cocktail, thanks. As in any drink but especially a cocktail or when using a mix, the proportions are important. I do believe with Jim, Chuck and others that using good ingredients is important, too. I think that all bourbon, since it is made to legally defined standards, is good and discloses a range of different tastes, is all. Choose what you like and the building of a cocktail can be interesting and rewarding. I see now why "mixology" is storied (although more so in the old days, it seems), it really is an art. In the case of corn whiskey and soda, using ginger ale in this particular case, clearly a well-balanced drink can result in which the taste of the spirit is complemented, not neutralised, by the non-spirits added. More and more as I get on with spirits I find I like cocktails. In my case though I find they take longer to get down than spirits neat - not such a bad idea though.

    Gary

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Heaven Hill\'s Mellow Corn

    Interesting that so many cocktails use the plan of spirits, something sweet and something tart. In the Caribbean the Planter's Punch was similar and followed an old folk jingle:

    one of sour
    two of sweet
    three of strong
    four of weak [water, ice]

    Some people today reverse the proportions of sweet and sour but all these formulas are advisory only and personal preference rules the day. By the way in terms of mixing spirits (as the recipe does using tequila just reported) I belive a Mai Tai was mixed with numerous varieties of rum and finished by floating a few drops on top of a high proof (overproof) variety. I have never tried this drink.

    Speaking of rum, the other day I found in a corner at home a bottle of Wray & Nephew Overproof, this is a white rum from Jamaica. I bought it in the late 1970's in the Islands and recall it having a strong congeneric taste (of raw unrefined spirits). I stored the bottle away and it came to light the other day when we were moving some boxes. The bottle was half full, so the air inside has been "working" on it for almost 30 years. This time it did not taste congeneric at all. Have the congeners really mostly disappeared, to be replaced by esters and more innocuous (to the taste) compounds? I think this is possible (or has my tolerance for congeners increased over 30 years such that I am not noticing what I did a generation ago)? There is a way to test this. This rum is now sold in Ontario, in the same-style bottle, styled still overproof. I intend to buy some and test it against the oldie. This may provide some practical evidence of whether spirits can improve in the bottle. True, Wray & Nephew Overproof may not be made the same way today as then, so my test may not be definitive but it is one worth trying to see the results.

    Gary

  10. #10
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    Re: Heaven Hill\'s Mellow Corn

    I intend to buy some and test it against the oldie. This may provide some practical evidence of whether spirits can improve in the bottle. True, Wray & Nephew Overproof may not be made the same way today as then, so my test may not be definitive but it is one worth trying to see the results.
    Can't wait to see how this works out.....

    Cheers,

    Ken

 

 

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