Whiskey School & the New Fashioned

“Off to (whiskey) school.  Off to (whiskey) school.  To prove to my dad that I’m not a fool.”  God bless Billy Madison.  Am I right?  Anyway, as many of you may know by now, Whitney and I recently went to whiskey school at the Mississippi River Distilling Company in Le Claire, IA.  And let me tell you it was a ton of whiskey filled fun.  We learned about and were able to participate in all facets of the whiskey making process.  We measured out the grain, ground, and mashed our own batch.  We went through the entire distillation process.  Got to try some white lightning.  Filled barrels, emptied barrels, and even got to bottle our own bottles.  It really was an awesome learning experience which happened to include a bunch of whiskey drinking.


Now you may be thinking, and we were asked, “Why, when you live so close to Kentucky, would you drive all the way to Iowa for whiskey school?”  Well, I will tell you.  First of all, I haven’t been able to find anything quite like the MRDC whiskey school.  There are other types of tours and things you can do but nothing that I have found to the same degree.  Second, the mighty Mississippi is a pretty awesome backdrop for whiskey making.  And finally, the owners and employees of MRDC are awesome people who wanted us to learn everything they do while showing us a great time.  I mean come on, every single meal we had was prepared using their spirits so even when we weren’t drinking we were getting a little buzz.  And third, not all whiskey is made in Kentucky, folks.  As majestic of a place as it is, it’s only one of the many places where craft booze is created. I know that not everyone loves whiskey as much as we do here at the Bouche but if you have the opportunity or desire to learn more about how to make whiskey, we would very highly recommend you check out the next whiskey school at the Mississippi River Distilling Company. (The next one is coming up in August! Below you’ll find some photos of our time together.)

While whiskey school was an educational experience, let’s be honest, we were really there to drink the whiskey.  Which was pretty damn good.  While we were there, one of the employees made us a slew of delicious cocktails with their spirits and told us that there were a number more online.  So what did I do when I got home from whiskey school?  Drink water?  Catch up on sleep?  Temporarily switch over to vodka?  Heck no, I went online and found their best looking recipe to craft up one of their whiskey cocktails.  And I found the New Fashioned, which turned out to be delicious and a perfect cocktail for the spring months.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

(In the coming week or so, you’ll hear a little more about the culinary side of whiskey school from Whit.)


Mississippi River Distilling Company New Fashioned

By Brian, May 1, 2013

Mississippi River Distilling Company New Fashioned

Recipe also found here.  



In a large shaker,  muddle fresh basil, one strawberry, sugar, and bitters. Add ice along with bourbon and vermouth and gently swirl to mix and chill. Dump (don't strain) mixture into an old-fashioned glass - add more ice if needed. Garnish with remaining strawberry and serve.




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About Brian

Brian is the Chief Taste Tester, Mixologist, and Resident CSS Wizard at Whit's Amuse Bouche. When he's not writing code, you can find him with a brown drink in one hand, and a hairbrush in the other. He prefers Colorado-raised lamb to all other meats. View all posts by Brian →

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