Love At First Sip

To truly appreciate your drink, follow these simple tips recommended by the pros.
Photography by Tony Valainis

Hold the sample to the light. With bourbon, the darker the caramel coloring, the longer it’s been aged. Look for any impurities floating around a clear spirit.

Swirl the spirit in the glass to see if the legs cling to the side. If the droplets or rivulets of liquid stick for more than 15 seconds, you know you’re drinking a premium spirit.

When taking your first sip, swirl the spirit in your mouth for 10 seconds before swallowing. By taking your time, you can pick up some of the more subtle flavors of the spirit. A good spirit will have some heat but won’t have a harsh burn as it slips down your throat.

Take a little time between your taste tests. Drink some water and swish it around in your mouth. The goal is to have a nice, clean palate for the next sample.