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What Makes a Bourbon a Bourbon?

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What Makes a Bourbon a Bourbon

Bourbon. It’s potentially the one alcohol America can truly claim as its very own. At the very least, it is considered by many to be the quintessential American whiskey. It’s true that this sippable, caramelly, oaky, spirit is unique from other whiskeys. However, many Americans don’t know what makes a bourbon a true bourbon.

We’re here to clear that up, once and for all.

Bourbon Is Not Synonymous With Whiskey

You may have heard the saying before – all bourbons are whiskeys, but not all whiskeys are bourbons. So, what does the phrase actually mean? Whiskey is a spirit that is distilled in many regions of the world. The most notable are from Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. They are from the fermented mash of different types of grains.

Styles of whiskey vary throughout the world, especially in which types of grains are used in the process. For example, Scotch whisky is mostly crafted from fermented barley, while Canadian whiskey is often made from a blend of grains. As a whiskey, American bourbon is also made from fermented grains, but the recipe – and process – is unique to its production and required by law.

The legal requirements bourbon producers must adhere to in order to label their product as so include:

  • American production. To be labeled a bourbon, a whiskey must be produced within the US. However, other whiskeys can be produced anywhere.
  • 51% corn mash. While most other whiskeys can use any combination of fermented grains, bourbons must consist of at least 51% corn mash.
  • New, charred-oak barrels. All whiskeys are aged in oak barrels, but a bourbon is aged in a never-before-used, charred barrel to help lend the signature flavor.
  • Distillation limits. It must be placed in barrels at no more than 125 proof and distilled to no more than 160 proof.
  • No additives. While you might find a whiskey with added caramel and vanilla notes, true bourbons cannot have any flavor or coloring additives.

Other Fine Print

Aside from the name on the label of your favorite bourbon, you might notice a few other terms, including:

  • Straight is aged for at least two years. It’s likely longer than four if you don’t see an age specified on the bottle.
  • Aged left to sit for longer periods in charred barrels take on a bit darker color and more of the flavor imparted by the oak and char – namely vanilla and caramel notes.
  • Single barrel is a batch that is sourced from only one of a brand’s many barrels – as opposed to most bourbons, which are blends of multiple barrels to produce a uniform flavor across the entire line.
  • Small batch might be straight bourbon or may simply be a smaller batch than usual, blended from multiple barrels.

For more information about bourbon or any other spirit, ask the knowledgeable staff about the wide selection of bourbons at your nearest Payless Liquor location. Take a moment to pick out key phrases from the label to know what toexpect. Together, you can take a moment to find your newest find.

Skunky Beer

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Skunky Beer – and How to Avoid It

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Ever heard of a Skunky Beer? Imagine it’s a hot day in late August. You’ve spent the entirety of the day wrestling the backyard into submission. You’re sweaty, a bit overheated, and all you want is a nice, cold beer. So, you open the fridge and savor the wave of cold air that hits you before reaching for your favorite bottle of domestic. You pop the top and tilt the bottle. But instead of the refreshing taste you’re expecting, you get the offensive flavor of musty, wet animal.

What happened? What scenario possibly could have unfolded to turn your favorite beer into a malodorous bottle of sludge? Let’s find out.

Why Skunked Is an Apt Term

Since you were old enough to buy a case of beer and toss it in the trunk of your car to transport home on a hot day, you’ve likely heard the warnings – never let beer get warm and then cool it again, lest it become ‘skunked.’ While the advice was flawed in one respect (allowing beer to cool, warm, then cool again isn’t what causes skunking), the use of the term ‘skunked’ is pretty accurate. Skunked beer tastes the way it does because chemical reactions inside the bottle have created a compound called 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol (MBT) – a compound nearly identical to the one skunks spray in self-defense.

Humans can taste this compound in ridiculously small doses; just a bit of MBT is enough to completely ruin a beer. So, how does it appear in your beer bottle? More importantly, how can you prevent it?

What Causes Skunky Beers

Contrary to popular belief, beer does not become skunked after exposure to heating and cooling – unless you’re regularly boiling and nearly freezing your beer. (It does, however, increase the speed at which your beer oxidizes, leading to a slightly less offending wet cardboard flavor.) Instead, the main culprit behind skunking is the UV rays of the sun.

Over time and in large enough quantities, the blue spectrum of UV light interacts with the hop compounds (isohumulones) in your beer, breaking them down and lending an electron to an amino acid. The result is the dreaded MBT compound that gives your beer that skunked flavor.

How Can You Avoid Skunky Beer?

The first step in skunky beer prevention occurs at the brewery – brewers choose packaging that helps to block out UV light and avoid skunking altogether. Kegs and cans are completely opaque and are the best way to prevent skunking, and brown bottles come in a close second – there’s a reason most craft beers are packaged in these two containers. Green and clear bottles let in the most UV light, and the beer contained within is thus the most susceptible to producing MBT.

Skunking can happen at any time– usually during the warehousing or in-store portions of your beer’s trip to your fridge. That means there isn’t a lot you need to do to prevent skunking except purchase beers that come in cans or brown bottles. If your favorites are packaged in clear or green bottles, just do your best to keep your beer out of the sun.

You can trust Payless Liquors for all your cold, fresh beer needs. Our beer stock is regularly rotated to prevent unnecessary exposure to the UV light that can cause skunking. We also have a large selection of brands and styles to please any palate. Stop in or complete an online order form for pickup today.

Our Essential List of Beach Cocktails You Can Enjoy at Home

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Beach CocktailsIt’s summertime, which usually means beach cocktails, long weekends at the lake, and even excursions to tropical destinations abroad. Unfortunately, summer travel plans—including tropical fun—seem to be on hold this summer with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many Americans are choosing to partake in simpler, at-home vacations instead of heading to the surf and sand and dealing with the travel restrictions and quarantines that are sometimes required upon return.

No Beach Vacation Doesn’t Have to Mean No Tropical Drinks

One of the aspects of a beach getaway many of us will miss the most are the exotic, tropical drinks so often found at vacation destinations. Fortunately, they’re also one of the easiest parts of your vacation to recreate right here at home. Check out our list of beach cocktails from some of the most popular tropical destinations and corresponding recipes you can enjoy in your backyard.

Blue Hawaiian

This classic Tiki beach drink from one of the only domestic tropical locations is a must-have for any backyard luau. You’ll need:

  • 1 1⁄2 ounces vodka of your choice
  • 3⁄4 ounce blue Curaçao
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1⁄2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1⁄2 ounce simple syrup
  • Splash of half-and-half
  • Pineapple for garnish

Combine all ingredients except pineapple into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice—strain into a tall glass of crushed ice and top with pineapple.

Bahama Mama

As you’d expect, this tropical drink hails from the Bahamas. This fruity drink is best blended, but some swear by serving it over crushed ice instead. Round up these ingredients:

  • 1/2 ounce coconut rum
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce cherry grenadine
  • 1/2 ounce white rum
  • 1 ounce orange juice

Pour all ingredients into a blender, along with 1 cup crushed ice. Blend until smooth, and serve in a tall glass.

Mojito

Originating in Cuba and the Florida Keys, depending on which type of lime you prefer, this citrusy, minty drink is a refreshing twist on tropical. Gather up these essentials:

  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1/2 ounce fresh key lime or traditional lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 1/2 ounces club soda
  • 8 mint leaves

Muddle mint leaves in a shaker, then add 2/3 cup of ice. Shake vigorously before adding club soda and pouring into a tall glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Michelada

This classic Mexican drink is a great sipper inside in the AC or the backyard by the pool. You’ll need:

  • Mexican lager beer, like Modelo or Tecate
  • Clamato juice
  • 3 splashes hot sauce, preferably Tapatio
  • 2 splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • Tajín seasoning

Rub a lime around the edge of the glass and press Tajín seasoning onto the rim. Fill the glass 1/3 full with Clamato, add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, lime juice, and fill the rest with cold lager. Season with Tajín and salt as desired.

Get Your Tropic On at Payless Liquors

While there are a host of other popular tropical drinks out there—from the Sex on the Beach and the Mai Tai to the Pina Colada—we think the four listed above are a great representation of the different styles you’ll find on beaches around the world. For all the best spirits, mixers, and even a recipe suggestion or two, stop into your nearest Payless Liquors location today.

How Well Do You Know Your Sparkling Wines?

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sparkling winesThink you know your sparkling wines? If you’re a fan of celebrations and all that goes with them, you’ve likely been exposed to the glorious sparkling cocktail concoctions often served alongside. From the familiar mimosa and the rare and delicious Bellini’s at brunch to the joyous Champagne toasts at weddings—and even the odd refreshing glass of Moscato after dinner—sparkling wines are present at some of the world’s most pleasant occasions. However, whether they’re flying solo or mixed into a tasty cocktail, all sparkling wines are not created equally.

Not All Sparkling Wines Are Champagnes

While many people refer to all sparkling wines as Champagne, a true Champagne can only be produced in the Champagne region of France. While some sparkling wines produced outside the European Union bear the name of Champagne, they’re not subject to the same production standards or regulations as European sparkling wines. Here’s a brief guide to the different types of sparkling wines:

  • Champagne.

    As mentioned, sparkling wines using Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier grapes and produced in the Champagne region of France can legally bear the name of Champagne. Champagnes range from dry (Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, and dry) to sweet (demi-sec and doux) and often have notes of almond, orange, and cherry. Typically, they are around 12% ABV and have very fine, persistent bubbles due to the second fermentation they undergo in the bottle.

  • Crémant.

    Crémants can adhere to the same production methods as Champagnes. However, they are produced from a wider variety of grapes, including Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and others. Most are produced in Alsace, Burgundy, and the Loire Valley, but share many of the same properties as Champagnes.

  • Proseccos

    Proseccos are produced mostly in Veneto, Italy, primarily with Prosecco grapes. Prosecco is fermented a second time in a tank instead of in the bottle. This results in lighter bubbles that don’t last as long. Most Proseccos are sweeter than Champagne and can have tropical fruit, banana, vanilla, or hazelnut aromas.

  • Cava.

    Cava is the Spanish version of sparkling wine. It is produced almost exclusively in Catalonia. Most Cavas use Spanish grapes like Parellada and Macabeo, but some may add French grapes to the final mixture. Cavas have a distinctive sour taste, but can also have a toasty profile as well; Cava producers use the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle. So, its bubbles are similar to those of Champagne.

  • Moscato d’Asti.

    Sometimes referred to simply as Moscato, this sparkling wine is produced from Muscat grapes. They have been cultivated since ancient Greek and Roman times for premium sweetness. As a result, Moscato is much sweeter than the other types of sparkling wines. It has a lower alcohol content as well. The best Moscato d’Asti grapes are picked at peak ripeness. It results in sparkling wines that have notes of orange, peach, apricot, and rose.

Find the Ideal Sparkling Wine for Your Occasion

Whether you’re hosting a wedding, a mimosa brunch, or simply want a refreshing bottle of sparkling wine after dinner, it’s essential to choose the right bottle for your tastes. The experts at Payless Liquors can help you find a dry, sweet, or moderate sparkling wine of any variety in our extensive wine selection. Stop in or call ahead to find a new favorite today.

How to Stock Your In-Home Bar

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home barStocking your home bar with all the essential tools, glassware, mixers, and—of course—spirits will give you the ability to mix classic cocktails and invent new ones without rushing out to purchase missing ingredients each time the urge strikes. This checklist can help ensure you have all the items to make all the most essential drinks:

  1. Liquors. To make most classic cocktails, you’ll need a solid stock of basic liquors, including:

    • Vodka—used in more mixed drinks than any other spirit, vodka is necessary. Choose one affordable and one high-end vodka for your home bar.
    • Whiskey—as there are numerous types of whiskey, go with your preference. Choosing one great, sippable bourbon and one blended rye allows you the ability to serve whiskey on the rocks or in a cocktail.
    • Rum—white rum is most commonly used in mixed drinks, so choose one quality white and one darker or spiced rum to round out your home bar.
    • Tequila—most margaritas are made with tequila blanco, so choosing an inexpensive version for blended drinks and a top-shelf version for sipping is a good strategy.
    • Gin—although gin is a divisive spirit that seems to be either loved or hated, you should choose a quality gin to have on hand behind your home bar.
    • Liqueurs—these flavored liquors should be stocked according to your taste. However, starting with triple sec, Amaretto, and vermouth will allow you to make most classic cocktails.
  2. Mixers. Unless you’re serving your liquors straight up, you’ll need essential mixers to make your cocktails, including:

    • Juices—keep lemon, lime, tomato, orange, pineapple, and cranberry juice on hand.
    • Sodas—be sure to have a cola, a lemon-lime soda, and a club soda behind your bar.
    • Blended mixers—store-bought mixers like sweet and sour, grenadine, and even bloody Mary mix are helpful (you can make simple syrup yourself).
    • Bitters—one bottle of Angostura bitters should work for most cocktails.
  3. Glassware. While there are seemingly endless types of bar and beer glasses, you’ll need just a basic few to get started. Then, increase your bar glass selection as your mixology skills improve. Start with:

    • Beer glasses—the pint glass is the most versatile, however they can be used for mixed drinks, too
    • Rocks glasses—these short glasses are a staple for any drink served straight up or on the rocks.
    • Wine glasses—stock both red and white wine glasses, or purchase a medium-sized glass suitable for either.
    • Martini glasses—mixed drinks like Manhattans, martinis, and even the odd margarita can be served from a martini glass.

Bar tools. To make most mixed drinks, you’ll need a cocktail shaker, a durable mixing glass, a jigger to measure liquor, and a bar spoon to stir your mixed drinks. Also, most home bars include a beer opener, a corkscrew, and a cutting board and citrus knife or zester for garnishes.

Don’t worry if you aren’t able to check off all the items on this list right away. Simply begin with a bar stocked with your preferred liquors, and add spirits as you go. For more information about spirit selection, mixers, or equipment, inquire at your friendly neighborhood Payless Liquors.

tequila

Don Julio Tequila Drink Recipes For Any Occasion

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Tequila is most famous for being the prime ingredient in a margarita. However, this Mexican liquor made from agave plant is extremely versatile and can be used to make other delicious tequila cocktails. On National Tequila Day, ditch the salt and lime and try these drink recipes with a premium tequila like Don Julio.

Don Julio Blanco Margaritatequila

  • 2 oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 1½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Agave Nectar
  • 1 oz Soda
  • Lime Wedge for Garnish

Combine Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar into a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well, strain into a rocks glass over ice, top with soda, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Don Julio Blood Orange Palomatequila

  • 1½ oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • ½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • Seltzer
  • Chili Powder for Garnish

Combine Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice and fresh grapefruit juice into a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well. Then strain contents into a glass over fresh ice. Top with seltzer. Garnish with chili powder.

Don Julio Lemonadatequila

  • 1½ oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 3 oz Cold Water
  • ¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 8-10 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 1-2 tsp Sugar
  • 10-15 Ice Cubes

Add lemon juice, mint leaves, and sugar to blender. Pulse a few times until mint leaves are chopped.

Add tequila and cold water and pulse again to mix.

Add ice cubes and blend into slushie. Pour and garnish with mint leaves.

Don Julio Rosa Primaveratequila

  • 1½ oz Don Julio Reposado
  • 1 oz Coconut Cream
  • ¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Muddled Strawberry

Add all ingredients in a shaker. Strain into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with half a strawberry.

Reserve Your Bottle Today

For a limited time only, Payless Liquors is pleased to offer bottles of Don Julio 1942 and Don Julio Real to our customers who truly enjoy fine sippable tequilas. Reserve your bottle at our East Street location and arrange for in-store or curbside pickup today.

 

 

Modern IPAs—What You Didn’t Know About One of America’s Most Popular Beers

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IPAIf you’re a beer enthusiast of any persuasion, you’ve undoubtedly heard of IPA by now. This hoppy, floral, slightly bitter brew has found its way onto the shelves of nearly every beer cooler in America—and is the star of many a craft brewery lineup. The IPA is often an object of scorn by beer traditionalists. They claim to dislike its relatively high alcohol content, bitterness, and often-extreme level of hops. However, the beer market tells a different story—IPAs make up a full 13 of the top 25 beers on Beer Advocate’s Top 250 Beers list.

What’s in an IPA?

IPAIPA is an acronym for India Pale Ale and is, of course, a version of the classic pale ale styles that emerged in England in the early 1700s. These old pale ales utilized malts roasted with coke (a coal-based fuel that produces practically no smoke), resulting in ales that were much lighter than the traditional dark, smoky ales of the region. Since the malts were lighter in flavor rather than color, the hops were able to become the star.

The IPA became popular over a hundred years later. British expatriates living in the east Indian colonies requested barrels of their favorite “bitters,” or pale ales, to get a taste of home. According to legend, brewers feared their beers wouldn’t make the journey without becoming too sour and flat. So, they drastically increased the alcohol and hops content in the hopes that the beer would be drinkable when it arrived. However, it’s now believed that this explanation is just a story, because other beers made the journey without this addition. Whatever the origin, an IPA is simply a lightly malted pale ale produced with more hops and, in most cases, more alcohol.

What’s With All the Lingo?

As the style became more popular in the US in the 1970s and ’80s, American breweries utilized American hops like Cascade or Simcoe in both their pale ales and their IPAs. The pale ales were already higher in alcohol and more hop-forward than the British pale ales that came before them. Common sense dictated that the IPAs should be even more so. By the time the style took off in the late ’80s and ’90s, there were so many different types of IPAs. Consequently, brewers had developed terminology to describe their unique brews:

  • West Coast IPA—these brews are more bitter, hoppy, and floral than the average American IPA.
  • East Coast IPA—this style is maltier and mellower, although hops still shine.
  • Double IPA—the Double IPA simply doubles the amount of hops included rather than the brewery’s traditional IPA.
  • Imperial IPA—the term was originally synonymous with double IPAs, but now can even include triple IPAs.
  • Hazy IPAs—also known as New England IPAs, these beers aren’t filtered and, as a result, are creamier and less bitter than other IPAs.
  • Juicy IPAs—usually a type of hazy IPA, juicy IPAs include citrusy hops and yeast esters to impart a fruity flavor.

Try a New IPA for National IPA Day

With the ever-increasing number of releases from craft and big-name breweries around the world, you’re more likely than ever to find the perfect balance of hops and malt. No matter which type of IPA appeals to you, August is an ideal time to start looking. The first Thursday of the month is National IPA Day. So, stop into a Payless Liquors location near you and find your new favorite IPA to celebrate.

How Don Julio Created Two of the World’s Finest Tequilas

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Don JulioMost of the world knows tequila best as a party spirit, with Don Julio being the center of attention. It’s the essential ingredient in a margarita and makes an excellent one-shot-wonder, to be consumed with a pinch of salt and a wedge of lime. So pervasive was this reputation that when some spirits drinkers were presented with the idea of a “luxury tequila,” they had trouble imagining a tequila drinker would want to sip instead of shoot.

Of course, Don Julio wasn’t the first truly fine tequila in the world—but it was the world’s first luxury tequila. Here, we’ll explore tequila production, which makes Don Julio so special, and present two genuinely outstanding examples of fine tequila.

What Is Tequila, Anyway?

Tequila is a type of mezcal—a spirit produced by distilling nectar from the agave plant. For a mezcal to earn legal classification as a tequila, it must be produced strictly from Weber’s blue agave plant and undergo production in Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, or Michoacán.

Harvesters remove the hearts, or pinas, from the center of the agave plants and roast them in special ovens to convert the starches into sugars. From there, the pinas ferment for about four days, and the liquid is distilled so that it reaches the required alcohol content. Then, the tequila is either aged in a cask of choice or bottled for sale.

How Don Julio Crafted Some of the World’s Finest Tequila

In 1942, Don Julio developed a procedure to produce higher-quality tequilas. Instead of packing as many blue agave plants into his fields as possible, Julio proposed giving each plant room to grow and mature fully. His passion for the spirit—as well as his unique dedication to quality over quantity—inspired a local businessman to grant him a loan, and Don Julio Tequila was born.

Julio selected only the best pinas for eventual fermenting. He developed a process that steamed each pina for a total of 72 hours for peak quality. When his luxury tequilas were finished, Julio chose to bottle them in a short tequila bottle. Tequila enthusiasts everywhere could share a bottle around the table instead of leaving them hidden beneath the table.

Don Julio’s Best—Don Julio 1942 and Don Julio Real

While each of Don Julio’s tequilas is something special, experts agree that two stand out above the others in this fine collection:

Don Julio

  • Don Julio 1942. Crafted as an homage to Don Julio himself, this añejo is aged 2 ½ years in bourbon oak barrels. Then, it’s distilled a second time in a stainless-steel pot still, producing a rich, sweet tequila. Tasters note that 1942 has a full, creamy palate with hints of caramel and spice and a long, spicy finish.

Don Julio

  • Don Julio Real. The crown jewel of the Don Julio selection. This tequila is worth the purchase based on the crystal and silver leaf decanter alone. However, the real treasure is found inside, with one of the world’s first extra-añejo tequilas, aged 3 to 5 years in American oak barrels. With tasting notes of coffee, vanilla, and wood, this supremely smooth tequila is one of the best in the world to sip neat.

Reserve Your Bottle Today

For a limited time only, Payless Liquors is pleased to offer bottles of Don Julio 1942 and Don Julio Real to our customers who truly enjoy fine sippable tequilas. Reserve your bottle at our East Street location and arrange for in-store or curbside pickup today.

“Uncle Nearest” – The World’s First African-American Master Distiller

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Uncle Nearest
Does the name Nathan “Uncle Nearest” Green sound familiar? Ask anyone with a marginal interest in whiskey about the industry’s biggest names, and you’ll likely hear such legends as Jack Daniel, Evan Williams, and Jim Beam. While these brands are certainly the largest players in the industry – named for the real people behind their legendary spirits – there’s another whiskey name you may not know. However, efforts by author Fawn Weaver have led us to truly appreciate the contributions of the world’s first African-American Master Distiller – Nathan Green.

Who Was Nathan Green?

Born in Maryland circa 1820, Nathan Green’s life before whiskey is largely unknown. In fact, historians aren’t sure if he was born into slavery or became a slave at a later point. What is known is that Nathan was working in Lincoln and Moore County Tennessee on the farm of a preacher and distiller. He soon became the farm’s chief distiller, specializing in practices that would one day become known as the “Lincoln County Process”. It is a famed distillation technique many believe originated with the way West African slaves used charcoal to purify beverages.

The original Lincoln County Process involved using sugar maple charcoal to filter the whiskey. This results in a uniquely smooth, mellow product that was different from other whiskeys of the time. By the time a ten year old, white boy named Jasper Newton came to the farm to work, Green had gained notoriety for his process. The boy showed an interest in all the smoke coming from the rear of the property, was introduced to Nathan “Uncle Nearest” Green, and the rest is history.

Uncle Nearest, Master Distiller

As Jasper Newton grew up on the Lynchburg farm, he learned all about the Lincoln County Process and how to make true Tennessee whiskey. After losing his father in the Civil War, Newton partnered with the farm owner, and eventually purchased the farm and distillery outright. The young man who became Jack Daniel continued to learn from Uncle Nearest. Now a free man, he was employed as Jack Daniels’ Master Distiller, becoming the first African American Master Distiller in the world. Uncle Nearest’s sons and grandsons continued to work with the Jack Daniels distillery long after it moved to its new Lynchburg location. Jack Daniels tours still credit him with creating the famed Lincoln County Process to this day.

Unfortunately, Uncle Nearest’s contributions to American Whiskey went otherwise unappreciated for decades. Author Fawn Weaver, some members of the Jack Daniel family, and Uncle Nearest’s descendants wanted to change that. What resulted was the 2019 opening of a distillery that bears the name of Uncle Nearest himself and pays homage to the Lincoln County Process.

Uncle Nearest Whiskey

Currently, the distillery produces three distinct whiskeys. They include Uncle Nearest’s 1820 Single Barrel Whiskey, 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey, and 1884 Small Batch Whiskey. All three continue to receive platinum and gold awards and comprise the most awarded American whiskey or bourbon brand of 2019. After a century in the shadows, Nathan Green is finally getting his due – his part in the Tennessee whiskey story that includes Jack Daniel and Uncle Nearest in equal, mutual accord.

Uncle Nearest
Photo Credits: Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey

To reserve your bottle of Uncle Nearest Whiskey, contact Payless Liquors or complete our online ordering form.

4 Ways to Help the Hospitality Industry During the COVID-19 Crisis

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The worldwide outbreak of coronavirus has led to changes in our communities, the likes of which we have never seen. These unprecedented times have shuttered stores and restaurants, and closed other businesses all across the country. Unfortunately, some of these businesses will never recover from the losses they have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospitality industry is experiencing especially difficult effects, as many of the restaurants we love to patronize are small businesses that operate on paper thin profit margins. If you want to help your favorite restaurants out, here are a few ways you can contribute to keeping them up and running throughout this crisis.

Enjoy Takeout

Many restaurants have opted to continue carryout and delivery service to maintain some semblance of business while their tables sit empty. Patronizing their businesses during this time is helping them to cover some of their overhead costs so that they don’t have to close up altogether. Ordering food to-go is a great way to contribute while stay-at-home orders are in place. The CDC has stated that there is no evidence of coronavirus being spread through food, but they do recommend maintaining social distancing guidelines like no-contact delivery whenever possible. They also suggest that you transfer food to other plates for consumption, as an added protective measure. If you order takeout, remember to tip generously if you are able to, as these workers are risking exposure by going to work to provide food for you.

Share Gift Certificates and Merch

Purchasing gift cards and logo merchandise from your favorite restaurants is an excellent way to provide immediate revenue for small businesses, outside of direct donations. Most of their merch has already been paid for at the time they ordered it, so the price you pay usually goes directly to help them pay for pressing costs like utilities and payroll. Gift cards and certificates are a great option, because the money you pay goes directly into the business’ account and you or the person you give it to get to cash it in at a later time to pay for their services.

Online Order Forms

Many small businesses offer gift cards and merch online, which works perfectly for social distancing. Some allow you to order food and products online for a scheduled pick-up time of your choice. Payless Liquors offers this service for wine, spirits, beer, and even kegs, for your convenience. We also offer a selection of mixers and glasses through our online order form.

Donations

If you are looking for options that allow you to help the industry on a broader scale, there are many non-profit groups that are organizing donation drives to offer aid to the hospitality community. These groups aim to offer immediate financial help to businesses themselves, as well as their service staff during these difficult times. Many restaurant owners around the country have also started GoFundMe fundraising accounts in an effort to provide some financial relief to their laid-off employees.

This pandemic has put a financial strain on everyone, and we are all in it together. We can all help the hospitality industry get through this ordeal, since we will still be purchasing food products. Be sure to support the places in your community where you have made memories over

the years. Every little bit helps, and they will surely be grateful for all business they receive as they struggle to hang on.

Big Joe’s Payless Liquors Culinary Challenge

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Episode 1: Jeptha Creed Blueberry Flavored Vodka

Listen to episode 1 of The NEW Big Joe’s Payless Culinary Challenge. You’ll find some fresh ideas to whip up for Mom this weekend with Jeptha Creed’s Blueberry Flavored Vodka. Listen to Weekly Episodes on The Fan Morning Show.

4 Best Drinking Games to Play During the COVID-19 Lockdown

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The doldrums of quarantine are starting to get everyone down. We are sheltering in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but being cooped up in the house is getting old. There is only so much one can take of Netflix, cleaning, finishing home projects, and entertaining the kids. Since we all need to let loose once in a while, now is a great time to relive your college days and play some great drinking games! Whether it is with your significant other or as a fun Friday evening Zoom activity with friends, playing drinking games safely at home is the perfect way to get your mind off of the non-stop COVID-19 news. Here are a few fun ideas to try.

Truth or Drink

This twist on the classic Truth or Dare is an excellent way to get to know your friends better during Skype happy hour…or see them get a bit tipsy, whichever happens first. There are no dangerous dares to get anyone in trouble playing this game. You either answer a “truth” or take a drink. The only chance for shaming yourself is answering a particularly embarrassing question after taking a few “drink” turns. The fun with this one can go on for hours.

Most Likely To

Remember those senior superlatives in high school? Let’s take it to the next level with this hilarious quarantine drinking game. Each player takes a turn asking a “most likely to” question, such as “Who is most likely to get into a bar fight?” Everyone writes down their answer, and the winner has to take a drink. Have you ever wondered what your besties really think of you? This is one way to find out!

TV Drinking Games

This type of drinking game is one of the easiest and most fun to play. You can get any number of players in on the fun. Heck, you can even play by yourself if you’re really bored! The premise is simple. Everyone has to be watching the same show at the same time. One popular choice that everyone loves is Friends. As you enjoy the show, everyone has to drink whenever a certain character uses a signature line, like every time Joey says, “How you doin’?” Add a layer of complexity by assigning each player a different character with a different line.

Never Have I Ever

This is another game we all know that can easily be adapted to a drinking game. If you haven’t played before, it’s super easy. One person announces something they have never done, like “Never have I ever mooned a cop!” typically other players respond by raising their hand if they have never done this as well, resulting in lots of laughs at the expense of those who have done the deed. In the drinking version, those who have done the aforementioned act are “punished” by having to take a drink.

If these games sound fun to you, get a few friends together online to hang out and have some fun. They work great for quarantine, but you may just end up continuing with these party games once we are all able to get together again. No matter what, be sure to know your limits and drink responsibly while abiding by CDC guidelines for social distancing and coronavirus prevention. If you need to pick up libations for your game night, be sure to use the convenient Payless Liquors pickup order form to complete your purchase while maintaining your distance.

history of gin

The Real (and Kind of Crazy) History of Gin

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Gin is a favorite libation for those who enjoy the fizz of a good tonic or the bite of a martini. While many of us know and love the herbal notes of gin, you might be surprised by its somewhat sordid history. Like many types of alcohol, gin has been the subject of controversy and vilification. Learn the history of this herbaceous spirit.

An Ancient Spirit

You can trace gin’s origins back as far as 70 A.D., where it was first used as medicine – specifically, a tonic of wine steeped in juniper berries to help ease symptoms associated with chest coughs. Fast forward to 1055, and the Benedictine Monks included similar recipes in their Compendium Solernita, a sort of medieval medical textbook.

By the 16th century, the Dutch were creating their own version of gin, a spirit comprised of a healthy dose of malt and juniper berries added to combat the harsh flavor of the fermenting grain. Gin, as we know it, however, came around the year 1714, when a British author shortened the liquor’s name, genever, to Gen, but misspelled it. Interestingly, this is the name that stuck, and gin’s history only gets more exciting.

Death and Taxes

It would be another few decades before Benjamin Franklin would quip about death and taxes, but the sentiment would still hold true in 18th century England. At a trade war with France, the King put exorbitant taxes on wine and Cognac, prompting people to get a little creative with their mixing. People began making their own gin. With no laws or restrictions on distilling, enterprising distillers began adding juniper to turpentine and even Sulphuric acid, which had some unintended health consequences. Faced with a mounting death toll and number of people with mental illness, distilling would soon become heavily restricted. Because of its ability to make people crazy – a literal “gin craze” – it would become vilified and high members of society would promote drinking beer and tea over the seemingly dangerous beverage.

Gin found its redemption in the mid-19th century, when a new still revolutionized the way we make liquor (crystal clear and without additives). The British Royal Navy kept gin on its ships, as it was not prone to spoiling like beer and wine. They also kept quinine aboard as a natural treatment for malaria. Quinine was notoriously awful, so seamen often mixed it with soda to quell the harsh taste. An enterprising sailor thought to add gin to the mix – and an iconic cocktail was born. The rest is history. Today, gin is a staple at bars across the world.

Find Your Perfect Gin at Payless Liquors

Gin comes in a variety of styles and proofs. It tends to be dry, though some types of gin take on a naturally more piney flavor profile than others. While the most popular gins like Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, and Tanqueray are distilled from Juniper berries, some local distillers make the spirit from grains and even blueberries. There are many ways to enjoy gin – come and try a bottle for yourself!