Welcome to ‘What We’re Drinking,’ a recurring column here at Cool Material. Every other week our team of editors will share our favorite beverages we’ve been enjoying and how you can get your hands on them.
“Don’t get me wrong, E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Booker’s, and Stagg Jr. are all great barrel proof options. But I’m kind of over all the hunting that’s become a thing with the current catering of bourbon as a whole. Which brings us to the affordable, delicious, and easily attainable barrel strength bourbon that is Wild Turkey Rare Breed. This richly colored, deeply complex bourbon that’s bottled at 116.8 proof checks all the boxes when it comes to nosing, tasting, and finishing. With combinations of toffee, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, anise, cinnamon, and oak, this is easily my current favorite barrel-proof option, and it’s readily available for about fifty bucks… for now, anyway.” Buy: $50
“Soju is like the Korean version of Japanese Sake. Jinro Ilpoom is one of the better iterations of Soju that also won’t break the bank. I don’t drink Soju often, but I will have it as a digestif after a big Korean meal sometimes. Jinro Ilpoom stands up well because it’s aged for 10 years in oak barrels, unlike most Sojus that are aged in Korean earthenware jars. The result is a light whiskey-like flavor, and it’s sublime. I grabbed a bottle of Jinro Ilpoom recently and polished it off with friends who had never tried it. They were hooked.” Buy: $21
“When the weather starts to cool off, I’ll be back to drinking whiskey. And when that day comes, you’ll be damn sure that I’m sipping Hochstadter’s Slow and Low Rock and Rye. Whiskey was popular back in the day but wasn’t smooth so bartenders started cutting it up with rock candy syrup. Basically an old fashioned. Hochstadter’s gently heats the whiskey to melt the rock candy without evaporating the precious alcohol. The rock candy is less sweet than traditional white sugar, and brings the right amount of balance to the rye spice. Hochstadter’s also uses raw honey from Pennsylvania, navel oranges, and bitters for a unique twist.” Buy: $27
“Despite its uber ubiquity, I haven’t really become a hard seltzer fan. It’s not that I have a ‘my tastebuds are better than yours’ mentality, I just haven’t really found a hard seltzer brand that I enjoy. Usually, I’d much rather just drink non-alcoholic sparkling water. (Or, better yet, make a spritz.) But, I was pleasantly surprised when I gave Drunk Fruit a try. Drunk Fruit Hard Seltzer uses a trio of Asian fruits — Lychee, Yuzu, and Melon — to craft refreshing, flavorful seltzers. My favorite was probably Melon but get a variety pack and give them all a try. Honestly, these taste like liquid Jolly Ranchers so if that’s your thing, you’ll love these. Take it from me, a certified hard seltzer skeptic.” Buy: $16
I love my Nespresso espresso machine, but never felt good about the aluminum pods I was using. And I use a lot of them. I came across Woken Coffee last week and decided to give their pods a try. Not only is the coffee delicious (yo Deciso!), but the pods are fully compostable. I’ve tried others in the past and the pod quality was always poor, resulting in watery coffee, grinds in my cup, and broken pods. Woken pods hold up just as good as the aluminum versions.