Wednesday, September 03, 2008
All doped up on Patriotism and Adrenaline left over from the Olympics, I poured my heart into a crash course on Bourbon, America's distinctive spirit. Alcohol is complicated stuff with all it's legalities and subtle signature touches, and Bourbon is certainly no different. I attended a Bourbon Tasting at Morton's The Steakhouse which included nibbles, loads of drinks and an educational session with a proclaimed Whiskey Professor, Bernie Lubbers. Here I learned that to truly be an American Bourbon, a spirit must be at least 51% corn and be aged in new, charred oak barrels. My whiskey professor said they can't use the barrels twice by law, so they ship them to abroad where they're used to make Scotch Whisky.
If anything, this guy was serious about his favorite spirit, he wore it on his shirt, his belt, and even his shoes. Bourbon was poured generously all night long. On one side of the room, Bernie was pouring Bourbon straight and talking his talk. The other side of the room showcased a few of Morton's excellent bartenders mixing four featured Bourbons into mixed drinks.
I especially enjoyed the Mint Julep made with mint and Knob Creek, and the Washington Apple Martini mixed with Baker's. Morton's didn't shy away from the challenge of accompanying the stellar cocktails with small bites from their kitchen. In addition to the filet sandwich and crab cake pictured above, there were garlic lamb chops and bacon wrapped scallops.
Morton's The Steakhouse
1411 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102