The folks behind @sukkahhillspirits have their own whiskey now, @calidistillery. Unsurprisingly, it's really good--finished with an infusion of spices, it's smooth and a little sweet and full of botanicals that make Cali unlike anything else I've had. It's as if there were this long lost spirit, whiskey crafted like a gin, and suddenly we've rediscovered it. Because in some ways it feels like they're playing with the boundaries of what you can do with a whiskey and they're doing with enough confidence and skill that this feels the end of a long line of evolution, not the first one out there.
I wanted to pair Cali with some sweet and fruity and botanical flavors, so I put it in a peach basil julep.
2 oz Cali whiskey
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 a peach, muddled
1 sprig basil, muddled
Swizzled, then garnished with more basil and a peach slice.
This is a warm, fruity but dry drink with a hint of spice and a terrific aroma of basil that just made me hungry. Although we associate juleps with mint, the julep is a flexible template. Plus, basil is a cousin of mint (and the earliest juleps were drenched in fruit garnishes) so I don't feel too off with this.