(Real) Michter’s Whiskey

Though it does not share the same name on the bottle, this…:

Hirsch Reserve

…is thought to be this:

Michter's Original Sour Mash Whiskey Jug Michter's Original Sour Mash Whiskey Bottle

And that is why Hirsch Reserve (not not be confused with Hirsch Selection) fetches more than $1000 per bottle, and is now little more than a memory shared by few.  I have had only three bottles of it since the late 1990’s.  I jealously guard the remaining half of what will surely be my last bottle.

None of these are from the old Michter’s (or any other pre-1979 name it had) distillery at Schaefferstown in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.  The folks who now own the Michter’s name say that it is produced according to the Michter’s formula (at some distillery that they don’t even own).

New Michter's

But what was Michter’s and what happened to it?  A pretty good story about that can be found here.

Libbey Citation Sour #8475

Libbey 8475

This goblet was Libbey’s Citation Sour (#8475) and I am pretty sure it was discontinued during the mixologically-bad, old 1980’s.  They have kept their smaller “Whiskey Sour” (#3775) available.  The problem is that if you make a sour from 2 fl-oz. of base liquor, plus lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white, it just won’t fit into the little, 4-1/2 fluid-ounce #3775 after shaking.

I only have three Citation Sour goblets left.  I want Libbey to bring back the Citation Sour #8475.  Its capacity is 5-1/2 fluid-ounces, so it can hold a full-sized sour — and will keep it colder longer than any coupe of the current, image-driven fad.  Those concerned with image should know that #8475 looks more like a classic sour goblet than any coupe — or even the smaller #3775.

Many of you who have taken my courses will remember that Libbey’s Citation Sour #8475 is my favorite true sour goblet, and that sours look very elegant and classic in it.  If you would like to see Libbey produce another run of it, send them an e-mail message (info@libbey.com) and let them know — please!

Scarcity News: Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy

Laird's Straight Apple BrandyAs many of you have undoubtedly noticed, Laird’s bonded Straight Apple Brandy has become hard to find.  I contacted Laird’s and they informed me that it is out of stock, due to increasing demand.  They also told me that they are bottling more before the end of this month (January, 2014) and that it should be regularly available again in California in mid-February.  Considering that the product as it is now is aged three years, and that demand is increasing, let us hope there will be enough for a while.

There is no substitute for this bottle.  Not wanting to have to resort to using lower proof Calvados apple brandy, or Laird’s blended applejack instead of their excellent straight applejack (a.k.a. straight apple brandy), I searched for, and found, plenty of bottles still in stock in various liquor stores.  If you are in the Los Angeles area, the best bet as of now is probably the Total Wine & More store in Northridge.  Yes, it’s a long, valley trip — but, they had an entire case gathering dust above the same product’s labeled-but-empty spot on the shelf.  Of course, I was directed to Laird’s blended applejack first.  I indicated that I was not interested in applejack-flavored vodka and that their website indicated a healthy supply of straight applejack/apple brandy on hand.  As we strolled the isle (I in my frustration, her in her confusion), I saw the full case up high.  Each of the bottles that I took from that case cost me $27.99.  That, plus the trip, made me yearn for the $23.99 I was used to paying for this from K & L Wines in Hollywood.  Sweeter still is my memory of paying only $18.99 per bottle years ago at Beverage Warehouse.  But in times of scarcity, one does what one must.

My applejack needs through February are now securely hedged!  There are still enough bottles of it there that if you go right now, I feel your need will also be satisfied.  Just check the stock online for the Northridge Total Wine & More, first.

Andrew’s Orchard Syrup – By Special Order

Andrew's Orchard Syrup 001a

Feeling that I have found the optimal processing temperature and reduction point, I am preparing to make a full batch of my orchard syrup.

Each 12 fl-oz. bottle will cost $24.  That is expensive, but this syrup contains the richness of many pounds of apples per 12 fluid-ounce bottle.  Most apple juice sold in the U.S.A. these days comes from China, but these are 100% domestically-grown and juiced.  The juice has not been stored in plastic, and neither is the orchard syrup.  Of course, the only ingredient in this syrup is the apple, itself — no added water, sugar or acid.

I feel that this is the best orchard syrup or cider syrup or boiled cider that I have ever tasted.  Make an Apple Cocktail with 4 dashes apple bitters, 1/2 fl-oz. of orchard syrup and 2 fl-oz. plain vodka stirred through ice and strained.  It will ruin all who taste it from ever ordering a “Pucker” Apple’tini again (if anyone even still does).  Gourmands will probably prefer the Superjack Cocktail — made the same way, but with straight apple brandy instead of vodka.

This item will not be shipped.  Buyers must be able to pick up their bottle in person in Los Angeles.  Allow one week for procurement and cooking time after your purchase.  It can be ordered here: