The Mantitlement Guide to Bourbon

Have you guys checked out the website Bourbon of the Day?

If you’re a bourbon drinker – or would like to be – you absolutely have to check it out. Demetrius from Bourbon of the Day wrote The Mantitlement Guide to Bourbon for all us readers here at Mantitlement. It was definitely informative to me, I think it will be to you guys too.

Read on with a glass of bourbon in hand…

This is the dawning of the age of the bourbon drinker. For decades ‘America’s Spirit’ was considered low-brow at best, but with a renewed interest in classic cocktails and spirits, bourbon has taken its place among the finest aged spirits in the world. If you have yet to convert to the house of bourbon, this guide will get you on your way.

What Is Bourbon

‘Bourbon’ whiskey has a very specific legal definition that separates it from all other spirits. Bourbon must be aged for no less than 2 years in brand new, charred white oak barrels. This aging method imparts distinct oak, caramel, earth, and smoke flavors to the whiskey while giving bourbon its rich amber color.

Bourbon must be made from no less than 51% corn, with the other grains being comprised of wheat, rye, rice, or barley. Changing up the grain mix changes up the texture and flavor of the finished product – whiskeys made with higher rye contents tend to be spicier, while whiskeys made with wheat tend to be smoother. With corn as its primary ingredient, most bourbons will have a sweetness that isn’t found in other whiskeys.

When these grains are mashed together, yeast is added to the mix to convert sugars naturally found in the grain into alcohol. Yeast provides bourbon with floral or fruit flavors, adding another dimension to the spirit’s flavor. Master Distillers spend decades mixing and matching grain combinations, yeast strains, and aging periods to find the perfect bourbon whiskey formula.

Bourbon Drinking Versus Bourbon Tasting

The difference between a bourbon “drinker” and a bourbon “taster” is an important distinction that should be made. You could choke down any old swill, but bourbon deserves to be properly tasted. Here’s how to do it, minus the snobbery.

Do the Kentucky Chew

Different parts of your tongue registers taste in different ways. To truly taste the different flavors that go into a bourbon, take a sip and roll it around on your tongue so that a little lands in each of the tongues regions (this, ladies and gents, is the Kentucky Chew).

Check Out That Body

If you are familiar with wine lingo, you have heard the term “structure” used to describe the interplay of different elements within the wine. Just like wine, different bourbons have different bodies (also known as weights, levels of viscosity, or texture). Think of the difference between heavy cream, whole milk, and nonfat milk – they all have a type of slipperiness and fluidity to them. Same with bourbons.

Some bourbons are thick and heavy, sitting on your palate like syrup. Other bourbons are very light bodied and almost evaporate on your tongue.

Enjoy the Finish

A good bourbon carries a long, pleasant, flavorful finish that can be as enjoyable as the drink itself. Sit back, smile, and enjoy it while you pass the time with people that dont kill your buzz.

Other Bourbon Essentials

A question I frequently receive as a bourbon bartender is “How can I get the same bourbon experience at home as I get at cocktail bars?” Its simple! You can enjoy your whiskey, serve up guests, and accentuate your tasting experience like a pro with the following three essentials.‘Magic’ Ice Molds

Bourbon Ice Balls

Using a single large sphere of ice will last longer your my whiskey every time – The ice itself melts much more slowly than regular ice cubes, chills your drink to the perfect temperature, and one sphere is good for three drinks. If you would like to make whiskey ice balls at home, we recommend Tovolo Sphere Mold. This specialty ice mold is made of flexible silicon that makes it easy to remove your spheres, and produces perfect circles every time. There are also lots of awesome things you can do with this mold besides make ice. Get creative!

Bourbon Tasting Glasses

Now let me say, Im no bourbon snob. By the end of Happy Hour, you could probably serve me an old Mason jar and I would be just fine. But any civilized and respectable adult should have at least a few nice bourbon tasting glasses.

Bourbon tasting glasses aren’t just pretty additions to your cabinet – they are designed to concentrate and release the complex aromas of the bourbon with a deep enough “bowl” to allow you to swirl it around while looking pretentious. 60% of your sense of taste comes from your nose, so for better tasting bourbon, use better glassware. My personal favorite is the Glencairn Scotch and Whisky Glass.

Bitters, Baby!

Bitters[1]

If you want to add a little flavor to your whiskey (or if you have a bad bottle that you cant get rid of), a few dashes of bitters is the way to go. Classic cocktails used bitters as a key ingredient ( in fact, the very definition of the word “cocktail” was defined in 1806 as a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters), so having some on hand gives you the opportunity to try your hand at your own cocktails.

Starting out, are only three names in bitters you need to know. They are:

So that’s it! You should be just as proficient at tasting bourbon as the most experienced of us out there. For bourbon reviews, cocktail recipes, free giveaways, and information on how you can enjoy the #BourbonLife, click here to subscribe to Bourbon of the Day! Cheers!

So, better informed after reading The Mantitlement Guide to Bourbon? Me too. And also a little thirsty…

 

Buffalo Fries

 

buffalo-fries-top

 

If you’re a fan of buffalo sauce then you’re gonna love these Buffalo Fries!

We make tons of oven fries. TONS.

Also we love buffalo sauce. Even the boys. There’s a wing sauce called Texas Pete’s, it has a mild wing sauce variety I usually grab for the boys and they love it. You could always do half mild, half spicy.

And the best part about these fries is that they’re oven baked – not fried.

I know, I’m finally not frying something that’s actually supposed to be fried.

But I’m telling you, you won’t miss the deep fry at all. These Buffalo Fries are really crispy and browned from cooking them at a high temperature. Make sure your oven is clean for this one or you’ll be calling the fire department…or at the very least setting off a bunch of your smoke alarms.

If you don’t have a Mandoline Slicer you can cut them by hand with a knife. We use ours all the time for lots of things, and they aren’t too expensive if you want to look into getting one.

 

potatoes-mandoline

 

After you slice up the potatoes you just need to soak them in cold water for about 15 minutes. Dry them off really good drain the water from the bowl and put the fries back in.

Toss them with the garlic powder, salt and olive oil then put them on parchment lined baking sheets. You’ll probably need two pans so they can sit in a single layer.

 

buffalo-fries-pan

 

Turn them halfway through cooking and when they’re done put them back in that big bowl. Toss with buffalo sauce and then they go back in the oven for 5 minutes – just to set the sauce.

 

buffalo-fries-cooked

 

After you toss with the buffalo sauce, before you put them back in the oven you could add any toppings you might want like mozzarella cheese or scallions, but I kept mine plain.

Serve them with a quick blue cheese sauce for dipping and you’ve got an appetizer that’s not only good but good for you.

OK not like carrot sticks good…but you know what I mean. These aren’t “fried” so that’s basically like health food.

 

buffalo-fries-hero

 

Buffalo Fries
serves 6 for appetizers
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Ingredients
  1. 6 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
  2. 2 T. olive oil
  3. 2 t. garlic powder
  4. 2 t. salt
  5. 1 bottle of buffalo wing sauce
Blue Cheese Sauce
  1. 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  2. 1/2 c. sour cream
  3. 1/4 c. whole milk
  4. 1 t. salt
  5. 1/2 t. pepper
  6. 2 oz. crumbled blue cheese
  7. 1 t. worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450º.
  2. Slice the potatoes on a mandoline or cut them into thin strips with a knife.
  3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl of cold water and soak for 15 minutes.
  4. Dry the potatoes with paper towels, you'll want to do this really well, you don't want any moisture on the potatoes.
  5. Toss the potatoes with the salt, garlic powder and olive oil and place on a single layer on two baking sheets lined with parchment.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes then take the fries out and flip over. Just check to make sure they're getting browned on the bottom before you flip them.
  7. Put them back in the oven for another 20 minutes until browned.
  8. While the fries are in the oven you can make the blue cheese sauce.
  9. Put all ingredients for the sauce in a blender.
  10. Blend on high for 30 seconds until smooth and transfer to a small bowl.
  11. When the fries have browned, transfer them to a large bowl and toss with about 1/2 cup of buffalo wing sauce.
  12. Place the fries back on the baking sheets and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
  13. Taste the fries for seasoning and salt them once more if you think they need it.
  14. Serve with the blue cheese dipping sauce.
Notes
  1. These fries can also be topped with cheese, scallions, blue cheese crumbles or whatever you like!
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

 

 

Shrimp Poutine

 This recipe has been brought to you by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions here are mine. #GameTimeGrub #CollectiveBias

shrimp-poutine-top

 

If you want to blow away your friends for the big game this weekend you should totally make this Shrimp Poutine!

Anyone can throw out tortilla chips and queso, but try amping up your game time snacking by making something that everyone will remember. And love.

The first time I had poutine or had even heard of it was at Disney. We had reservations at Le Cellier in Canada at Epcot so I pulled up the menu online. I saw a whole menu of “poutine”. Figured out by the descriptions that it was basically french fries with a cheese sauce, topped with whatever you could imagine. But the one I zeroed in on was the lobster. Lobster with cheese sauce all on top of french fries? I might even skip the steak for that one.

We sit down at our table, drenched from the huge storm we ran through to get there…The waitress comes over to take our order and I hear “Oh, sorry that’s not on the menu tonight.”

Just my luck.

I needed to recreate what I missed out on. Make something crazy good for the game this weekend. So as usual, whenever I need some game time grub, I ran out to Walmart and grabbed a couple bags of Alexia Smart Classics Crinkle Cut Fries. Looking at the display while I was there, I couldn’t help but to get the Spicy Sweet Potato Fries too but those will be for another day.

 

alexia-fries

 

Another trick to making this amazing snack seam easy was buying a bag of precooked, shelled and deveined frozen shrimp. Those little guys that you would use to make shrimp salad or something along those lines.

 

shrimp-poutine-ingredients

 

While the french fries are cooking you can make the sauce and cook up the shrimp. The sauce is quick to throw together and the shrimp cook up even faster.

Then get your fries piled up in a dish. 

 

fries-in-bowl

 

Take your shrimp and load them up on top of the fries. 

 

shrimp-on-fries

 

And pour that awesome, creamy cheese sauce all over everything and dig in.

If there’s extra sauce just serve it on the side for dipping – the more sauce the better, trust me on that.

 

shrimp-poutine-hero

 

If you haven’t yet, you should definitely check out the Smart Classics Crinkle Cut Fries. They are seasoned perfectly and cook up in just a few minutes, an easy side dish to any dinner.

You can look up Alexia Foods on Facebook, or check out tons of great recipes on Pinterest.

 

Shrimp Poutine
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (2 lb.) bag Alexia Smart Classics Crinkle Cut french fries
  2. 1 (12 oz.) bag of small frozen cooked shrimp
  3. 1/4 t. onion powder
  4. 1/2 t. garlic powder
  5. 1/4 t. salt
  6. pepper to taste
  7. 1 T. olive oil
  8. 3 scallions, chopped
For the Cheese Sauce
  1. 1 1/2 c. whole or 2% milk
  2. 2 T. flour
  3. 2 T. butter
  4. 1/4 t. salt
  5. 1/2 t. Old Bay Seasoning
  6. 1/4 t. fresh ground black pepper
  7. 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Spread the fries out on a baking sheet and cook according to the package instructions for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Start making the cheese sauce by adding the butter to a medium pot to melt. Once melted whisk in the flour to make a paste.
  4. Let cook while whisking for 2 minutes.
  5. Add in the milk slowly, while whisking and let come to a boil.
  6. Turn the heat down to low and let the milk mixture cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the seasonings and the cheese and stir.
  8. Toss the shrimp in the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, just until heated through.
  9. When the fries are done, remove them to a serving dish or to individual plates.
  10. Cover with the shrimp and then the cheese sauce.
  11. Garnish with the chopped scallions.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

Parmesan Hash Brown Cups

 

parmesan-hash-brown-cup-top 

  I’m sharing this epic recipe with you today thanks to Schick Hydro® as part
of a sponsored post 
for Socialstars, but all opinions here are mine. #MakeItEpic!

 

Try these Parmesan Hash Brown Cups instead of french fries for dinner tonight!

Actually these would be great for breakfast too next to a big pile of eggs.

Not only are these Parmesan Hash Brown Cups tasty, but they’re easy to make and a lot better for you than french fries.

We love eating potatoes of any kind. Hash browns are a favorite for us too. This recipe is an easy way to make your hash browns up ahead of time and have them for a couple of meals. I found this recipe when I was looking around the new Tumblr site and I thought it would be a big hit with the family. And it was – definitely a staple recipe now. Usually the recipes I look at or ideas get changed up a lot to make them my own but this one I followed just like it was. More scallions was all that I really changed. There’s a lot of cool stuff to look at on Tumblr and it’s completely user friendly for people like me who aren’t all techy like my wife.

This recipe can be changed up in about a thousand different ways too. Put in any kind of cheese you can think of or add any vegetable you might have in the fridge. 

You could even turn them into a whole meal by mixing in some eggs, chopped ham or sausage. I love recipes that you can rummage through your fridge and throw in whatever you have.

To keep it easy I used frozen shredded hash browns I picked up at the store. 

 

hash-brown-ingredients

 

Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray and divide the mixture to fill the whole pan.

 

hash-brown-in-pan

 

Then just cook them in the oven at 350º for 45 minutes until they’re crispy and browned.

Hamburgers, steak, chicken, eggs, whatever you would normally serve potatoes with – make these Parmesan Hash Brown Cups instead.

 

parmesan=hash-brown-cup-large

Thanks to Schick Hyrdo® for helping me bring this recipe to you today!
Don’t just make dinner tonight, make dinner #epic!

Parmesan Hash Brown Cups
makes 12 hash brown cups
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (20 oz.) bag frozen shredded hash browns
  2. 6 bunch of scallions, chopped
  3. 1 t. salt
  4. 1 t. garlic powder
  5. 1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
  6. 1 c. grated parmesan cheese
  7. 2 T. olive oil
Instructions
  1. Take all the ingredients and mix them together in a large bowl.
  2. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  3. Fill with the hash brown mixture, your mixture should fill the pan.
  4. Push the hash browns down into the cups with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Notes
  1. You could also make these bite-sized in a mini muffin pan and follow the same instructions.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

Dirty Shirley

 

dirty-shirley-top

 

It’s the last recipe of Dirty Week tonight and I’m finishing it up with this Dirty Shirley.

This Dirty Shirley is the grown up version of a shirley temple. I mean really grown up…

I kept the ginger ale and the cherries in this drink because otherwise it just wouldn’t be a shirley temple.

But my cherries are a little bit different than the kind you buy at the store – these cherries have been soaked in moonshine.

For days.

Moonshine is everywhere these days it seems, on TV, in every liquor store you walk into, at bars. There’s even some good flavored moonshine, too. Apple Pie, Cranberry…I’ve enjoyed a few of these flavors with friends. I have to say, it always turns into a pretty fun night!

And now I’m even seeing moonshine mixed into cocktails like this Dirty Shirley.

You have to prepare for this drink though, it does take a couple of days of prep work, but it’s easy.

Get yourself a couple of big jars of cherries and dump out all of that sweet cherry juice. Then replace it with some moonshine. Plain moonshine, not the flavored stuff for this one.

Let those cherries soak up the moonshine for a couple of days and then you’re ready to start drinking.

Get yourself a nice, tall glass and fill it up with ice. Pour in a shot of vanilla vodka, a shot of moonshine, a splash of grenadine and top it off with ginger ale.

Don’t forget those cherries! Remember when you were a kid and you went out to eat and got to order a Shirley Temple? If the bartender loaded up your drink with extra cherries it made your whole night. Same goes for this drink. Load it up with some of the moonshine-soaked cherries for garnish and it’ll make your whole night.

One and done. Enjoy!

 

 

 

dirty-shirley-hero

 

Dirty Shirley
Serves 1
A grown up version of the drink from your childhood!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 oz. vanilla vodka
  2. 1 oz. plain moonshine
  3. 1/2 oz. grenadine
  4. ginger ale for topping
  5. A jar of maraschino cherries
  6. A jar of moonshine (you'll have leftover)
Instructions
  1. Strain out the cherries into a strainer and put the cherries back into the jar.
  2. Add moonshine to fill, put the lid on and keep in the fridge for at least 2 days.
  3. When your ready to make your drink, fill a tall glass with ice.
  4. Pour in the vodka, moonshine and grenadine.
  5. Top with ginger ale and garnish with the moonshine-soaked cherries.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/