Whiskey, or “America’s Native Spirit”, has a long and admittedly sketchy history. While we are almost positive it first showed up in the 1600’s, there is a lot of debate as to exactly when. Also debatable is the question of who our first official distributing family was. Given the nature of the subject, we can see where things might get a little hazy as far as this is concerned.
What we do know, however, is that Whiskey came here with the Scottish and Irish settlers. Forced to use new and different raw materials than were available in their homelands, they crafted Whiskeys that were completely different than their European cousins. Without the peat for smoke that characterizes so many Scottish and Irish Whiskeys, different methods were used, and the American Whiskeys we know today came in to existence – fuller, stronger, and often sweeter than their ancestors.
There are six common categories of American Whiskey : Bourbon, Rye, Wheat, Corn, Blended, and – our favorite – Tennessee.
Tennessee Whiskey’s smooth and mellow flavor is similar to Bourbon, with just a few differences that make it unique unto itself. First, and most important, Tennessee Whiskey can only be produced in the state of Tennessee. Also, it is always filtered through sugar-maple charcoal prior to aging, a process that can take ten days to complete. It was first recognized as a separate style of Whiskey by the United States government in 1941. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, however, claims a founding date long before that, in 1866.
Yes, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Sippin’ Whiskey has a long history. We aren’t going to cover any more of it in this post, however. This week we wanted to introduce you to just a little bit of history, and share some wonderful recipes to show you the potential of this incredible creation!
A refreshing summer cocktail that we love is the Tennessee Iced Tea. Simple to make from things all Southerners have around the kitchen, it’s perfect for afternoons on the porch.
Tennessee Iced Tea
1 ½ oz. Jack Daniel’s Black Whiskey
6 oz. lightly sweetened iced tea
Juice of ½ lemon
Combine all ingredients over crushed ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel, and enjoy!
For a snack with your Tennessee Iced Tea, try this new twist on an old favorite. Quick and easy, it’s a sure hit!
Jack Daniel’s Black Bean Dip
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 15oz. cans black beans, drained
¼ c. Jack Daniel’s Black
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tbs. fresh lemon juice
Hot pepper sauce, to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet ovr medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sautee until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans, Jack Daniel’s, and cumin. Cook until heated through, stirring often. Mash lightly with wooden spoon, stir in lemon juice and hot sauce. Serve warm or room temperature in a dip bowl, garnished with diced tomatoes.