It’s World Whiskey Day – May 18th!

In honor of World Whiskey Day we are dropping some whiskey knowledge! World Whiskey Day is a global celebration focused on making whiskey enjoyable and fun. To join in on that celebration, we are sharing Lifted Spirits whiskey cocktail recipes that are easily created at home.

Our Lifted Spirits whiskey is a rare 100% Wheat Whiskey proudly distilled from local grain, right here in our Kansas City distillery. The flavor is bright, vibrant and approachable and really lets the beautiful character of the grain shine through. Current batches spent about a year in barrels (although we’re always working on new recipes!), a shorter time-frame than you typically see in whiskey. Because we use 100% wheat to make our whiskey, the spirit takes the flavor of the barrel more quickly than whiskey made from other grains, which is why we don’t age our whiskey longer. Don’t let the age fool you though, the Wheat Whiskey is a smooth drinker and we can’t get enough of it.

Not only do we make spirits, but we also craft some pretty amazing cocktails in our Tasting Room. And what would a Whiskey Day celebration be without a few cocktail recipes?! Up first…

The Sazerac

The Sazerac is a cocktail with a long, rich, and somewhat murky history. Many say that the Sazerac is America’s first cocktail, while others say cocktails had been defined before the Sazerac’s creation. One thing we do know about the Sazerac is it originated in New Orleans, Louisiana in the mid-1800s and its creation is attributed to Antione Peychaud (yes, like the bitters). The original Sazerac was not made with whiskey, but with Cognac – Sazerac de Forge et Fils, to be specific (hence the name) – along with an absinthe rinse.

In the late 19th century, European vineyards faced a phylloxera epidemic (basically, grape disease), causing brandy, and therefore Cognac, to no longer be a sustainable ingredient in the cocktail. Because the drink had garnered so much popularity, largely thanks to the Sazerac Coffee House, bartenders turned to rye to fill the gap. After absinthe was banned in 1912, Peychaud’s bitters started playing a larger role in the drink, likely in conjunction with an anise-flavored liqueur rinse.

Today, there are many variations of the Sazerac, depending on the ingredients being used behind the bar. Here’s our version, formulated with flavors that best complement our Wheat Whiskey:

Sazerac Cocktail Recipe:

  • 6 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 2 bar spoons rich simple (demerara simple) [note: a bar spoon is equivalent to a teaspoon]
  • 2 oz Lifted Spirits Wheat Whiskey
  • .5 oz Lifted Spirits Absinthe
  • Lemon twist for garnish

In a mixing vessel, add bitters, rich simple and Wheat Whiskey. Add ice and stir approx. 30 seconds until well chilled. Add the absinthe to a rocks glass and “rinse” around the glass so it is well coated. Strain the cocktail into your glass over a large rock and garnish with a lemon twist.

Now that you know more than you probably ever needed about a Sazerac, we are going to move on to a cocktail with a much more local history: the Horsefeather.

The Horsefeather

The Horsefeather, often mistaken in Kansas City for a classic cocktail, is actually not well-known outside of the metro area! While the drink is popular in Kansas City and there is a KC Star article from 1898 featuring a cocktail called the Bradley Martin Highball with ingredients very similar to those of a Horsefeather, the cocktail as we know it today likely originated in Lawrence, KS.

A twist on the classic Horse’s Neck cocktail (aptly named for the intricate lemon peel garnish detail), the Horsefeather is a whiskey-based cocktail with lemon and ginger elements and bitters, usually Angostura. In Lawrence history, soda water was used in the Horsefeather and the ginger came later. Since we use soda water and ginger simple syrup, our interpretation of this refreshing cocktail is, therefore, a classic Lawrence twist.

Horsefeather Cocktail Recipe:

  • .5 oz lemon juice
  • .75 oz ginger simple syrup
  • 1.5 oz Lifted Spirits Wheat Whiskey
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Soda water
  • Lemon wedge for garnish

Add lemon juice, ginger simple, Wheat Whiskey and bitters to a shaker. Fill with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a glass with ice and top with soda water. Garnish with a lemon wedge and enjoy!

Note: if you’d rather not make your own simple syrup, substitute ginger beer for the soda water and ginger simple and keep all other measurements the same!

We hope you enjoy these delicious whiskey cocktails for World Whiskey Day and beyond. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with pouring a bit of Wheat Whiskey neat or on the rocks.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy a good whiskey?

Tag @liftedspiritskc on Instagram and show us how you’re celebrating!