The Daily Feed

George Washington’s Rye Whiskey

Photo courtesy of
‘General Washington’s Whiskey – 09-03-10 1′
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

Do you know who was the nation’s largest distiller in 1799? Here’s a hint: he is first in the hearts of his countrymen (I’m sure the booze helped with that). That’s right, George Washington, of Revolutionary War and first President fame, was the nation’s largest distiller of whiskey at the time of his death. But the really interesting thing is we still have his whiskey recipe, and the amazing people at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, have been brewing it for the past two years, using historical distilling techniques (full disclosure: my mother works at Mount Vernon and is responsible for bottling and selling the whiskey).

On July 4th, Mount Vernon sold their latest batch of the unaged rye whiskey (Roll Call; subscription required). That’s right, it’s an unaged whiskey; it spent no time in barrels, and thus doesn’t have the color of a typical whiskey. It’s also strong, coming out at 43% alcohol. To give an idea on how strong, my mom likes to tell a story that when her staff bottled the first batch last year, the fumes actually got one of her employees tipsy. It’s made in limited quantities (around 400 bottles), and they only sell it two or three times a year. Lines are long and the bottles go quickly, even at a hefty sum ($95). Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

First Look: Kushi Izakaya & Sushi

KushiExteriorPhoto1

There’s something wrong with me (maybe). I can’t get enough sushi! I just crave it – spicy tuna, firecracker, flying fish roe, fatty tuna, I WANT IT ALL. So when I was invited to check out the new Japanese gastropub in Mount Vernon Square, I jumped at the chance.

Sleek, modern and minimalist, the best Kushi experience you can have is at one of their three (!) bars – the sake bar, the sushi bar or what I call the grill bar – what is technically supposed to be called the robata counter. I sat at the robata counter – the bar surrounding Kushi’s kitchen. There is literally no back kitchen at Kushi, everything is prepared out front under the watchful eye of diners. With charcoal and wood burning grills, a sous-vide machine and a few tiny stoves, eating at Kushi is cooking theater. Chefs slice, dice, grill, plate and prep right in front of you. It gives the diner a perfect vantage point for the evening, and also keeps you craving more. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Christmas Camel Back at Mount Vernon

Photo courtesy of
‘Mount Vernon – Aladdin – 12-26-08′
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

Now through Jan. 6, Mount Vernon is having a special holiday celebration with historical chocolate-making demonstrations, 18th century dancing, and a Christmas Camel named Alladin.

Yes, that’s right, a camel, back by popular demand. It seems our founding father had a penchant for exotic animals, and in 1787 he paid 18 shillings to bring in a camel at Christmastime to entertain his guests. Hmm, do you think they were surprised? (And is that little “Alice the Camel” ditty now playing in your head?)

This year’s stand-in comes from the Full Moon Ranch Home in Berryville, VA, and is said to be very friendly, though of dubious help in a snowpocalypse. More on our man GW and his camel after the jump. Continue reading