What better way to seduce most of the city’s top bartenders (and a few lucky journalists) than to offer a free pass at Franklin’s Barbecue? That’s what the folks at Knob Creek offered as we gained entry to the holy ground of ‘cue.
Even better, none of us had to stand in line, we all had reserved seats, and we could go through the line getting whatever made our little hearts happy. Aaron himself was even serving. Franklin offered a feast of flavors with bourbon glazed ribs, brisket, sausage, turkey, and all the classic sides. I don’t know how he does it, but this is still some of the best meat I’ve ever eaten.
We arrived at 6:30 in the evening, gave our names to get in to the private party, and walked in to see more famous bartenders than I’ve seen in one location since we took the picture of our to drink makers back in 2010 (www.austinchronicle.com/food/2010-12-31/drink-upscale/). In fact, most of the mixologists pictured in the article were present at the Franklin/Knob Creek bash.
We tasted the Knob Creek Bourbon ($31), always a treat. They also shared the rare Knob Creek Single Barrel whiskey ($40). But for me, the revelation of the night was Knob Creek’s Rye whiskey ($41). The U.S. has been slowly re-evaluating its long-term banishment of rye whiskey. Suddenly there is a comeback, as well there should be. It is the classical American whiskey and really the only choice for a proper Manhattan. There was a time when the only place in town where you could get rye whiskey was at Vespaio, where bartender Tom Upthergrove still makes some of the best cocktails in town. Luckily, now every bar that hopes for high-end drinkers keeps at least a couple of ryes on the shelf. Not many taste as good as the Knob Creek. Highly recommended!
KNOB CREEK SPICE OF LIFE Recipe by Chef Michael Symon INGREDIENTS: - 2½ parts Knob Creek Rye - ½ part White Peach Nectar - 1 part Ginger Beer - 4-5 Fresh Mint Leaves METHOD: 1. Muddle mint, peach nectar and Knob Creek Rye in the bottom of a shaker. 2. Add ice and shake vigorously. 3. Strain over ice and top with ginger beer.
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