THE SEASON OF white wine and rosé is running out. More serious drinks are on the horizon! With that in mind, we spoke with Audra Kelly, cocktail program manager for Pittsburgh’s Wigle Whiskey, on how to make sure your bar is appropriately stocked for the season ahead.
But first a bit of background. Wigle, a craft whiskey distillery in the ‘Burgh’s Strip District, opened to the public in 2012. It’s the only whiskey distillery in the region and the first in the city since Prohibition. The family-owned and operated business is named after Phillip Wigle, who defended his distilling rights in a tussle with a tax collector. He unwittingly helped spark the Whiskey Rebellion, pitting Western Pennsylvania distillers against George Washington’s troops. Sentenced to hang by George Washington for treason for defending his love of whiskey, Wigle was ultimately pardoned by Washington. Today, all Wigle bottles have a drawing of a hangman’s noose on the label.
History aside, if you’re eager to dip into cocktail culture, here are Kelly’s suggestions for tools, spirits and garnishes to equip your home bar. Kelly says you’ll have all the fixins’ for concocting a Tom Collins, Negroni, Rusty Nail, an Old Fashioned, a Manhattan and a Gimlet (see Kelly’s recipe).
Fine mesh strainer
1 Gin: Wigle Barrel Rested Ginever
1 Rye: Wigle Straight Rye Whiskey
1 Scotch: Johnnie Walker Black Label
2 Liqueurs: St. Germain, Drambuie
1 Amaro: Campari or Aperol
2 Vermouth:Dolin Rogue (Sweet Vermouth), Dolin Dry (Dry Vermouth)
Simple syrup (recipe)
2 oz Wigle Barrel Rested Gin
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz St. Germain
4 Dashes Wigle Rosemary Lavender Bitters
Directions: Mix ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice, shake for 20 seconds, strain in coupe glass, garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
— Janet Kelly