I realize a lot of what I talk about here is my love of fashion, but I also have a love of bourbon. It's no coincidence that our engagement photos featured a toast of bourbon, and the day-after wedding activities included a bourbon tour for the out-of-towners.
Steve and I have visited several distilleries (many more I need to get to!) but we were offered a unique experience at Angel's Envy in Downtown Louisville: a Behind the Bar cocktail class.
The experience started off with a quick tour of the distillery. It was different to see an operation in a downtown location (literally on Main Street) versus so many of the distilleries out in the country. It was also interesting to learn about the finishing of their products. Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon is finished in port wine barrels. So after the bourbon ages in its new charred oak barrel (as is required for all bourbons), the product goes into a second finishing barrel that previously housed port wine. Their rye spends up to 18 months finishing in Caribbean rum casks. This means that even though I'm not typically a rye whiskey fan, I AM a fan of the Angel's Envy Rye because this finishing process really cuts back on the spiciness that I dislike from many ryes.
After our quick tour, we sat down for a tasting where we learned more about the flavor profiles of the different Angel's Envy expressions. There was also a tasty spread of appetizers we could nosh on before the main event: cocktail making!
The bar is stunning, and we were welcomed with our own station full of everything needed for our cocktail of the day: Remember the Maine using Angel's Envy Rye. These classes are small, so you have all the attention you'd need in order to really learn what you need to. We had a lot of fun with the other attendees!
Remember The Maine:
- 2 parts Angel's Envy Rye Finished in Caribbean Rum Casks
- 3/4 part Sweet Vermouth
- 2 teaspoons Cherry Heering
- 1 dash Absinthe
Add a dash of absinthe to a chilled coupe glass and roll round to coat the inside of the glass. Discard any excess. Combine all remaining ingredients with ice into a mixing vessel and stir for 25-30 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a Luxardo cherry.
Once we all walked through the steps on our own, we then got to go behind the bar to make another cocktail. I went with a daiquiri with egg white. And no, not the frozen syrupy daiquiri – the classic cocktail that usually has rum, citrus juice, and simple syrup. This recipe used Angel's Envy Rye.
Steve loved playing bartender. So much so that when we got home, he ordered a bartending set and also went to the store to pick up some Cherry Heering and Absinthe to make the Remember the Maine at home.
After the class is done, you get to take home an awesome gift bag filled with some items to help with your at-home cocktail making endeavors.
It's been a couple of months since we took this class, and we still talk about how much fun we had. It's something different from the standard distillery tour, and is fun for tourists and locals alike. A perfect date night activity – so much so, that we're talking about going back. You can find upcoming Behind the Bar classes here.
Shout outs to our tour guide Brent, and to Mike for teaching us some bar magic! Thank you Angel's Envy for having us. I'll be back down there stalking the cask strength release soon 😂
Are you a bourbon fan? See some of my other bourbon-related posts: