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Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 year Rye

December 5th is a special day, some even consider it a holiday. It is a day to celebrate our freedoms and imbibe our favorite drinks! Today is the 77th anniversary of the 21st amendment which repealed the 18th amendment, the end of prohibition.

My repeal day started pretty well, I was in Big Sur, CA for a weekend getaway. My wife and I started the day off with a beautiful coastal hike just missing the torrential downpour that ensued on our drive home. Once home I started a nice wood fire, it was time to crack open something special. I figured there’s no better way to celebrate repeal day then to open my bottle of Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 year Rye. The VWFR Rye is only released once a year in fall and is very limited in quantity; I all but gave up even looking for a bottle but lady luck was on my side and one just presented itself a few weeks ago (Thanks K&L).

This is one whiskey that lives up to the hype, it’s absolutely sublime! I cannot imagine picking a better bottle to open today. Somehow, it seems fitting to open a high quality bottle of American rye to commemorate the end of prohibition, a time when we abundantly imported Canadian whiskey and called it rye.

The celebration didn’t end there. After one pour I tucked away the VWFR rye for the next special occasion and started on a punch. A recent issue of Imbibe magazine had a feature on punches, a certain one from Brooke Arthur caught my eye. The Sands of Time looked to be a delightful mix of Spanish brandy, Madeira, Benedictine, pineapple gomme, Earl Grey tea and lemon juice.

The resulting punch, with it’s mixture of pineapple and nutmeg, is an absolute delight. Time to curl up by the fire with my wife and enjoy a movie. I know I’ve enjoyed my repeal day and I hope you have too!

Sands of Time Punch from Brooke Arthur


3 comments to “Celebrating Repeal Day”

  1. Fabienne Jach

    I can attest to the lovely attributes of this punch. It’s good times in a glass!

  2. Chris

    Van Winkle Rye was the first rye I fell in love with, but I haven’t had it in years. A lot of water (and drink) has passed under the bridge since then; I need to get another bottle of VWFR to see how it holds up to (or blows away) my current favorites.

    I’m now seriously lusting after that bottle. Thanks for the reminder!

    FWIW, My current favorite is Templeton Rye. It’s a rare bottle, but worth the effort to track down. It holds up well to my fragmentary memories of the best I’ve had.

  3. filip

    I was lucky enough to score a bottle of Templeton when my wife visited Chicago for a conference. But nothing can compare to the VWFR, maybe the Thomas H Handy gets close but still VWFR Rye is where it’s at.


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