Thanks to a partnership with entertainment site The A.V. Club, Basil Hayden’s is putting me on the road to mix it up with fans of our bourbon and fans of their site. We call this tour “This is My….” Starting in Denver, we’ll be traveling to several cities across the country to document a collection of people in each city doing interesting things centered around a theme. Our theme for Denver was après ski, that time when you ditch your gear and curl up with some good food, good friends, a good movie, and a good cocktail (or two). Special thanks to Williams & Graham’s Chad Michael George for crafting the Red on the Rocks cocktail and to Winter Session’s Tanya Fleisher and Roy Katz for sharing their story and their space for our first event.
On a recent trip to my hometown of Saint Louis, Missouri, I swung into Brasserie by Niche for Basil Hayden’s Whiskey… Among Other Things. It was there I met Layla Linehan who devised a special cocktail she’s calling “My Old Missouri Mistress.” A cross between a Manhattan and an Old Pal, you can read all about it here.
When I was a little kid, a family friend of ours, a general contractor named Greg Elder, was hired to give a facelift to the Kentucky Fried Chicken in our small Kansas town. From time-to-time, Greg and his wife Sue would babysit me and my brother, and one night, they took us to the KFC.
Looking up at this giant bucket-shaped piece of tin, he said, “You know, Max, The Colonel himself taught me how to get that bucket to spin.” Now, I’m not sure if Colonel Sanders was even alive when Greg went to work on the world famous fried chicken joint that bears Colonel Sanders’ visage to this day, but every time I pass an old storefront that still bears the words “Kentucky Fried Chicken” and not the shortened, uber-corporate “KFC,” I look for that twirling bucket of chicken and think of Greg Elder.
And while it might not (yet) have a giant tin chicken basket spinning out front, what’s inside is a clean, modern take on the ol’ chicken shack. A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of dining at Parson’s Chicken and Fish, the latest venture from Land & Sea, comprised of some of the braintrust behind the Michelin-star rated restaurant, bar, and inn Longman & Eagle.
“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.” – W.C. Fields
With wedding season fast-approaching, and graduation and father’s day not far beyond, the questions in my e-mail have quickly shifted from “How do I tie a bow tie?” to “Is there something unique I can get my dad or my groomsmen or my soon-to-graduate boyfriend or all of the above?” And the answer is: The Great American Flask from Jacob Bromwell, the oldest kitchenwares manufacturer in America.
Art in the Age is a store in Philadelphia’s Old City named for one of German essayist Walter Benjamin’s most famous works. It is the brainchild of advertising executive Steven Grasse. After reading two interviews with him this week, Mr. Grasse has fast become a hero of mine.