This is the last day of restaurant week, and it’s been going swimmingly! You can read a write up Courier Post Online did on our member restaurant Kitchen 519 here:
From everyone at SJ Hotchefs, we wanted to say thank you for taking a chance on eating local, and for the overwhelming response we have gotten from all of you.
In the spirit of St. Patricks day this week, we wanted to highlight the most important part of that special holiday, Whisky!
We kid, the second most important thing is that Saint Patrick was a boss and helped save virtually all of civilization. The Irish helped keep record of art, language, and culture, that went on to be passed to future generations. If you don’t believe us, you can listen to the audio book “How the Irish Saved Civilization” narrated by Liam Neeson. We told you, The Irish rock.
That brings us to our feature today, WHISKY.
For years, Whisky has been one of the biggest cultural icons all over the world, so what’s all the fuss about?
Whisky is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Various grains (which may be malted) are used for different varieties, including barley, corn (maize), rye, and wheat. Whisky is typically aged in wooden casks, generally made of charred white oak.
You can almost certainly tell when you are drinking Whisky by the reaction your significant other has when they first try it.
Historically it’s entirely possible, that the Babylonians practiced distilling methods as early as the 2nd Millennium BC, and most certainly the technique made it’s way to Ireland no later than the 15th century.
There are a few different types, that have famously distinguished this respectable drink over history,
That’s the stuff you see all the swanky men drinking in Mad Men.
Go Don Draper.
Although distilling alcohol was primarily for medicinal purposes, it left it’s place of being distilled by monks and entered secular society.
Whisky has always been a symbol of power, rebellion, and discipline. There is so much time and energy that goes into making a single bottle perfectly.
While that might be the case, for most of the last decade, it had record profit losses that seemed to have no end in sight.
Then something radical happened, people started paying attention like they had never had a glass of bourbon.
Once again it held a high place in modern day society.
“Whisky became a cultural phenomenon all over again, people actually started to care about who was making their alcohol.”
It’s become a 1933 all over again.
Madmen wasn’t the only reason we all started drinking bourbon again, a large part of this phenomenon had to do with people caring about who was making their food, their clothing, and the drinks they were putting in your bodies.
Eat Local, slowly started to become something that encompassed drinking locally, supporting the very people right down the road from you that work hard for a living, even if it’s Whisky they are working on.
Whisky started to gain so much stardom that last year it landed itself on the cover of Fortune magazine.
“This is probably the best time to be in bourbon since Prohibition,” says Tim Delong, the managing director for global whiskeys at Brown-Forman, which makes Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve. The industry has responded by investing some $300 million in new capacity over the past two years. Drive through the hills outside Kentucky whiskey meccas like Bardstown or Lawrenceburg and you’ll see new, five-story aging warehouses sprouting like boozy mushrooms in the bluegrass.
All over the world we are seeing a surge in people concerned with “craft” distilleries. It’s not just Whisky that has experienced this boom. Craft Coffee, as well has seen an increase in consumer awareness.
The biggest concern, is that Whisky will go the way of the wind, and eventually fade out of cultures sight. One thing that intrigues us at SJ, is a deep belief in community, and we really believe that’s what will sustain craft distilleries, restaurants and the like from ever shutting their doors.
People are hungry for things to believe in, they are hungry to try something new. St. Patrick, did extraordinary things with his life, because of a deep belief in the unknown, he was an adventurer at heart, and felt called to keep safe the cultural icons that once made our world great, and people followed suit.
We believe in community, and good commerce, which is why we do restaurant week. Visit our Facebook page to see all the amazing photos and stories from this past week, and join us in doing something different with our communities.
We raise a glass to St. Patrick, to Whisky, and to community.