Thursday, October 23, 2014

Red Heat Tavern: The Food & Drinks (Part 2)

How does food taste cooked in the Josper Charcoal Broiler Oven?

Red Heat Tavern, located in Wilmington, opened in March 2014 and is owned and operated by the Burtons Grill restaurant group. It is easily accessed from Route 93, or you can get there via Route 129. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, and on both times when I visited, the restaurant was very busy, and obviously is a popular dining destination for many.

The restaurant is moderately sized, with a large, thirty-two seat bar with six televisions, numerous booths, tables and high-tops. There is also an outdoor patio, where people were seated on both of my visits as the weather was pleasant. It has an open kitchen, which I always like, and it has a casual, homey vibe, what you desire from a tavern-style restaurant. It is the type of place to go for a drink and some food while you watch football, or a spot to hang out with a group of friends. On Tuesdays, they have a weekly trivia event, with tequila & tacos, and on Thursday evenings they have live music. In addition, they host other special events on a regular basis.

As for alcohol, beer is king, and they have an impressive list of about 50 selections, including Drafts, Bottles and Cans. The beer menu includes local craft brews as well as international selections, Draft beers are available in 14oz and 20oz pours. You can even find some beer cocktails available. The wine list is relatively small, with most wines by the glass costing $5.50-$10. It is not an exciting list, but will have many names familiar to the average consumer.

Their cocktail list, most ranging from $7-$10, includes a number of their own takes on some classic cocktails, such as the Fire House Iced Tea and the Wilmington Cranberry Gimlet. The Jack & the Giant Peach (pictured above) is made from Jack Daniel’s, peach puree, & agave. Both the bourbon and peach flavors were well balanced, and it had only a slight hint of sweetness to it. A very satisfying drink, one you could easily have a few over the course of an evening. The Spicy Strawberry Margarita is made with Tequila, Cointreau, strawberry puree, jalapeno, & agave, and again it was well balanced and with only a touch of sweetness to it. There was a nice spicy kick, and it too was a satisfying drink.

The kitchen cooks everything from scratch and they use seasonal, fresh ingredients. The menu has plenty of choices, including about 13 Appetizers ($4.95-$11.95, with 1 exception), 9 Salads ($9.95-$12.95), 14 Sandwiches & Burgers ($9.95-$12.95), 15 Entrees ($13.95-$16.95) and  12 Sides. There is a flame symbol next to some of the menu items, indicating that the dish was at least partially prepared using the Josper Charcoal Broiler Oven.  It is a menu that emphasizes comfort food, with plenty of hearty dishes and tavern fare, though you can find some lighter items too, from salads to seafood. Price wise, it is very affordable, especially considering the ample portion sizes of many dishes.    

At the beginning of your meal, at both lunch and dinner, you'll receive some moist cornbread with a sweet cinnamon & honey butter.

My favorite dish, and which is also indicative of the potential of the Josper, was the Mesquite Smoked Wings ($11.95, or a double order for $17.95). The wings can be ordered either with a buffalo-style sauce or a sweet Thai chili sauce, and I opted for the latter on both visits. The Thai wings comes with a sriracha mayo for dipping. The wings are slow cooked during the day in the Josper, and then later crisped up prior to being served.

Honestly, these were some of the best wings I've tasted in some time. There was a delightful crispiness to the outer skin, and plenty of tender meat inside. The sweet, and slightly spicy, taste was accompanied by a nice smokiness, all of the flavors blending together harmoniously. That smokiness is due to the Josper. I could easily eat these wings by the dozen and they receive my highest recommendation.

The RHT Nachos ($10.95) is a hearty appetizer of crispy corn tortilla chips, melted colby and monterey jack cheese, cherry peppers and diced tomatoes, all topped with fire roasted salsa verde and RHT sour cream. You can also add chicken or chili. The chips were a bit thicker than some, and made for a sturdy platform for the rest of the toppings/ I don't like when the chips are too thin and continually break when you load them up with toppings. There was plenty of gooey melted cheese, and the salsa verde added a pleasant smoky flavor to the dish. Very good comfort food to snack on while watching the Patriots.

Another hearty appetizer is the Smothered Wild Cat Fries ($7.95), a bowl of french fries covered by a five cheese sauce, BBQ gravy and applewood smoked bacon. What a delectable dish of comfort food, kind of a variation on poutine. The cheese sauce, savory gravy and bacon enhanced the crisp fries, providing a nice blend of taste and textures. This is a dish which you will be sure to finish.

The BBQ Burger ($11.95) is a half pound of Angus Beef topped by cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, honey BBQ sauce and onion strings on a toasted bun. Burgers come with a choice of Sweet Potato Wedges, French Fries, Onion Strings, Creole Potato Chips or Coleslaw. I opted for the Sweet Potato Wedges. This is a hearty burger, with a nice meaty taste enhanced by the toppings. A good-sized dish for the price. The rippled Wedges were excellent, with a nice crunchy exterior and plenty of tender sweet potato inside. As wedges, you get far more sweet potato taste than a skinny fry. A great alternative to the usual potato French fry.

The RHT Philly Wrap ($11.95) is made from their house roast beef with RHT steak sauce, onions, peppers, melted provolone and American cheese with crispy onion strings rolled in a chipotle wrap. Another hearty and tasty sandwich.

The Fresh Catch Basket ($14.95) contains plenty of lightly battered fresh cod with fries, crispy onion strings, fried pickles, coleslaw and tartar sauce. The crisp and thin batter covered very moist and flaky fish, and there were enough pieces to make any seafood lover happy. I have to give some kudos to the fried bread & butter pickles, which balanced the thin batter with the crisp pickle slices. I've had too many soggy fried pickles but these didn't disappoint. You can also get them as an appetizer.

For sides, you could try the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, which combine smokiness and salt to these small, leafy veggies.

Or maybe you would prefer the Five Cheese Mac & Cheese, which is topped by an onion string crust. A compelling blend of cheese, and tender pasta make this tasty comfort food.

If you want lighter fare for your entree, order the Miso Glazed Salmon ($16.95), which has a sweet miso glaze and is served over lemongrass and edamame jasmine rice, and topped with a warm slaw of carrots, sugar peas and sesame seeds. The salmon, which sees time in the Josper, had a nice cruncht crust to its exterior, and plenty of moist, flaky meat inside, with a slightly smoky accent. The rice and slaw was a nice blend of flavors and textures, enhancing the dish. Highly recommended.

The Josper Roasted Sirloin Tips ($16.95) were the only disappointment of my two visits. These tips, cooked in the Josper, are in their signature RHT marinade and served with chimichurri sauce and herb parmesan fries. This was an ok dish, but didn't stand out as anything special, and seemed like a dish I might find at any tavern. As the kitchen did so well with all of the other dishes, it was a bit of a letdown to have such an average dish. Maybe their Tavern Chateau Steak would have been a better choice.

I didn't try any desserts as I was too full from the rest of the meals. Service on both visit was excellent, with the servers showing an excellent knowledge of the food and drinks menus. Everyone was very personable, and the servers seemed to be very attentive to all of their tables. Overall, I very much enjoyed Red Heat Tavern, and a couple of their dishes, like the Wings and Salmon, were top notch, as good as you find most anywhere. For a comfort food fix, or a reasonably priced lunch or dinner, or even just drinks and apps, this would be a good destination. I understand why it is so popular, and recommend that my readers check it out.

As for my original question, how does food taste cooked in the Josper Charcoal Broiler Oven, I think the answer depends on the preparation. The Wings are the perfect showcase of the great potential of the oven, and the Salmon indicated that it can do well with seafood too. The salsa verde on the Nachos were another good example of the flavors the oven can impart. However, the steak tips failed to live up to the potential, Overall, I am impressed with the Josper.

(Disclaimer: I received a media comp for dinner though I had lunch there on my own. Please be advised I was under no obligation to actually review this restaurant and if I chose to review it, I was under no obligation to say anything specific, whether positive or negative, about my experience. All of this content was solely at my discretion.)

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting wine and food items that are upcoming. **********************************************************
1) On Saturday, November 1, the Olé Restaurant Group is celebrating the Day of the Dead holiday with traditional fare and customs. In Spanish, this holiday is called Día de los Muertos. Men, women and children of all ages honor and celebrate their loved ones who have passed away, participating joyously in a festival that has roots nearly 4000 years old.

Ole will have a festive atmosphere with special decorations, traditional dishes, and creative cocktails. The altar will be set, and they encourage everybody to leave a small thought of a love one. All diners will receive complimentary “Traditional cinnamon Day of the Dead bread and hot Mexican Chocolate” with their dinner. Complementary bread and chocolate with the purchase of entrée per person. One per person per table.

November is also the kick start of Ole’s acclaimed “Festival del Mole” (Mole month festival). Mole are sauces, including black, red, yellow, red, green peppers, almendrado and pipian. Many Mexicans celebrate with special dishes using mole sauces. Chef Ramos invites all guests to share this tradition as well.

The menu, available for the entire month of November, will feature different mole sauces different regions of Mexico. Some options will include, Mole Negro with Turkey, the darkest of all the moles, Mole Mancha Manteles with Lamb Shank, a deep red mole famous for “staining table cloths” and Mole Verde with vegetables a vegetarian pumpkin seed base mole with seasonal vegetables. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste these intricate sauces, made of up to 30 components cooking for several days as tribute of love ones, life and tradition. The Festival del Mole Menu is served in conjunction with the regular menu.

The bar will be offering a special drink: “Sangre de Judah” – Zapopan Reposado Mezcal, Vago elote, fresh squeeze lime juice, and curacao, top with Sangre de Guida wine

For Reservations, please call 617-492-4495

2) On Monday, November 10, at 6:30pm, Legal Harborside will team up with Andrea Pace, USA Brand Manager of Ceretto, for a four-plus-course wine dinner. Located in the hilly area of Langhe in northern Italy, Ceretto is predominantly recognized for its selection of red wines, its sprawling vineyards, environmentally sustainable practices, architecturally modern wineries and design. Family-owned for three generations, the Ceretto family is one of the largest vineyard proprietors in Piedmont with more than 395 acres of estate-owned vineyards, located primarily in the Langhe and Roero region, including in the prestigious areas of Barolo and Barbaresco. The Ceretto name is synonymous with estate-grown, carefully produced wines that express true varietal character with purity and elegance.

The menu will be presented as follows:

HORS D’OEUVRES
Baked Clam - ciabatta pancetta crumbs
Sunchoke Soup - crispy prosciutto, poached pear
Crispy Pork Belly - thinly sliced scallop*, apple mostarda
Baccala Fritter - salsa verde, lemon & white anchovy aioli
Ceretto “Blangé” Arneis, Langhe, 2013
FIRST COURSE
Porcini Mushroom Soup (braised rabbit, marsala prunes)
Ceretto Barbaresco, Piemonte, 2011
SECOND COURSE
Truffle & Chestnut Agnolotti (slow roasted veal shank, crispy sage)
Bricco Asili “Bernadot” Barbaresco, Piemonte, 2007
THIRD COURSE
Charred Strip Steak (smoked lentils, oxtail, bone marrow bordelaise)
Ceretto Barolo, Piemonte, 2010
Bricco Rocche “Brunate” Barolo, Piemonte, 2008
DESSERT COURSE
Poached Pear & Hazelnut Torta (mascarpone cream, local honey)
Ceretto “Vignaioli di Santo Stefano-Belbo,” Moscato d’Asti, 2013

COST: $135 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservation required by calling 617-530-9470

3) As if it were ripped straight from the pages of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Pier 6 will be offering Transylvanian fare in celebration of Halloween on Friday, October 31. “Our chef thought it would be interesting to research, prepare and showcase Transylvanian cuisine for guests and we haven’t seen this done in Boston before,” said Sal Boscarino, Managing Partner of the Charlestown waterfront eatery.

The chef he is speaking of is Chef Adriano Silva who has been working in Boston kitchens such as B & G Oysters, Green Street Grille and Sportello for over ten years, working his way up from a dish washer, to line a cook, sous chef and eventually Executive Chef at Pier 6.

While some creative license was exercised, all the dishes are connected to traditional Transylvanian cuisine with dishes like, clătite, savory seafood crepes featuring lobster and scallops in a white wine cream ($16), Transylvanian Goulash with slow-braised beef, smoked paprika and sour cream ($22) and a traditional Transylvanian Apple Tart ($8). Guests can choose any of the items as specials which will be offered in addition to Pier 6’s regular menu.

The bar will also be highlighted during Halloween at Pier 6 with special night walker cocktails including The Twilight with a mix of Triple 8 Vanilla Vodka, White Crème, Triple sec and a splash of Milk & Grenadine ($10) and Dracula’s Kiss featuring Tito's Handmade Vodka, Cointreau, Pineapple Juice and Raspberry Puree ($11).

The Transylvanian food and beverage specials will be served in addition to Pier 6’s regular menu and is available only on Friday, October 31, from 5pm-10pm. Reservations are highly recommended so please call them at  617-337-0054

4) Besito Mexican, a Mexican restaurant venture from restaurateur John Tunney III, opened its first Massachusetts location in June at the Burlington Mall, I previously wrote a rave review of the Burlington restaurant, and their second Massachusetts restaurant will open on Friday, November 7, in The Mall at Chestnut Hill. The Chestnut Hill restaurant will have over 125 seats and a full bar and during the warmer months will offer outdoor patio seating. The menu will be similar to that of Burlington, and I anticipate the food and drinks will be equally as good. Check out the new Besito when it opens in a couple weeks.

5) Chef & Owner Brian Poe is adding seasonal southern comfort dishes – and some wild game – to his menu at Estelle’s. In addition to the signature burger options, po’ boys, and classic southern fare, Chef Poe’s revamped menu brings forth new tastes and flavors to the South End.

For starters and salads, highlights include: BBQ Wings (peach-basil BBQ & beer glaze - $10.95); Southern Nachos (fried chicken skins, jalapeños, cherry peppers & pimento cheese sauce - $8.95); Buffalo Brussel Sprouts (buffalo sauce, blue cheese - $8.95); Tater Tots (horseradish cheese sauce, fried sage, lava salt - $8.95); and, the Autumn House Salad (arugula, apples, blue cheese, champagne cider vinaigrette - $6.25).

New savory burgers and entrées include: Elk Burger (rosemary and onion char-grilled maitake mushroom, cured cherry tomato, Belgian white mustard - $10.95); Turkey Burger (cranberry-fennel slaw - $10.95); Fried Avocado Burger (cilantro lime crema - $10.95); Poe Dawgs (alligator Andouille, venison, bison mini hot dogs - $12.95); and, Duck & Andouille Sausage Etouffee (trinity, tomatoes and spiced white rice - $23.95). Other newcomer sides are the Cornbread with Molasses Butter ($4.25) and Fried Sweet Potatoes ($4.25).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Red Heat Tavern: Josper Charcoal Broiler Oven (Part 1)

It is the only one of its kind in Massachusetts, and one of only three in New England. It is an intriguing piece of equipment, and it perked my interest enough to learn much more, delving deeper into its origins and capabilities. All this excitement over an oven, An oven?

This fascinating oven is the Josper Charcoal Broiler Oven and is part of the kitchen at the Red Heat Tavern, a relatively new restaurant in Wilmington, easily accessible from Route 93. I've spoken to two chefs at the Tavern, dined there on two occasions, and got a chance to view the oven in operation. And I remain excited about this oven, and I believe other chefs should investigate the capabilities of this unique item.

The Josper Oven was created in 1970 by Josep Armangue and Pere Juli, who opened the restaurant Mas Pi in Pinedar de Mar in northeast Spain. They enjoyed cooking over charcoal, but wanted a better way to do so. The Josper is both grill and oven, and you have the ability to close its front door to keep the smoke, moisture and flavor inside of the oven. Working with 100% charcoal, it also cooks faster than an open grill, and even uses less charcoal. Originally only available in Europe, the Josper has since been made available in the U.S. through Wood Stone, Currently, only a small number of U.S. restaurants are using this oven, and Red Heat Tavern has become the first in Massachusetts to put in into their kitchen.

I recently spoke with Chef Martha Leahy, of Red Heat Tavern, to interview her about the Josper. Chef Leahy actually began a career in finance, but eventually decided to make a change and go to culinary school, graduating from Johnson & Wales. She then obtained a Master's degree in Italian cuisine in Italy. Afterwards, she spent time in culinary research & development, concepts and even taught at culinary school. She began working at Red Heat about a month after they opened their doors in March 2014.

The Josper oven, which was new to everyone at Red Heat, was something unique, and they felt it would help their concept stand out. There is certainly plenty of restaurant competition, so such differences can be significant, if they work well. At first, the Josper was delivered to Executive Chef's Alan Frati's home so he could experiment with it for a time before they added it to the restaurant. It is a bit more expensive than a regular restaurant oven, but its advantages seem to make the purchase worthwhile. However, like any tool, the key is how you use it.

One of the disadvantages of the Josper is that it has a steep learning curve, that cooking with it is both art and science. You need to learn how to control the heat through varying the amount of charcoal as well as the amount of air allowed into the oven. The high heat, which can reach 800-900 degrees, was initially intimidating to some of the kitchen employees. Chef Frati mentioned to me that, at first, many of the cooks wore large, hear-resistant gloves and aprons while using the Josper, but once they became more comfortable with its use, those gloves and aprons vanished.

The Josper has two different grills and they use four different cooking zones within that oven. The bottom level is the charbroiler while the top level is more the oven. Each morning, around 7am, they start the grill, raising it to about 400-500 degrees, using it for their prep work such as roasting tomatillos or slow cooking chicken wings. For service, they bring the Josper up to 800-900 degrees, so it gets hot working around this oven..

As fuel, they use a hard wood mesquite charcoal which they purchase from a company in Maine. They believe mesquite provides the best flavors to their food, and they go through about 30 pounds of charcoal per day. The Josper cooks food about 40% faster than other ovens or grills, which can be a great time saver during a busy service, and the enclosed area allows the heat to come from all sides, helping to cook food more thoroughly. In addition, the enclosed area keeps the smoke within the chamber, imbuing more flavor to the food.

Chef Leahy stated that the Josper works with most foods, obviously doing well with beef and other meats. Seafood, which you might think is too delicate for the oven, actually cooks well inside the Josper too. Vegetables even do well, caramelizing nicely, as well as acquiring smoky elements. Chef Leahy loves the fact that the Josper was inspired by an ancient coking method, the covered fire pits that were once used in Spain.

How does food taste cooked in the Josper? I'll tell you my thoughts in Part 2.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Americans, Don't Ignore Farmed Seaweed

For most Americans, their sole familiarity with eating seaweed is when they dine at Japanese restaurants, from seaweed salads to sushi. Most non-Asian restaurants rarely use seaweed as an ingredient and it is also rare for Americans to purchase seaweed for home cooking. Why is that the case? Why isn't seaweed for popular, especially with current efforts to get people to eat more healthy vegetables and plants?

In the latest issues of the Global Aquaculture Advocate (Sept/Oct 2014), there is a fascinating article, Seaweeds: Top Mariculture Crop, Ecosystem Service Provider. Sure, the title might seem dull, but the points it makes are thought provoking. And there should be much more discussion in the seafood sustainability realm about seaweed.

Mariculture is a category of aquaculture where the species are raised in the open ocean, an enclosed section of the ocean, or in enclosed area which is filled with seawater. Since 2004, seaweed has been the most common mariculture species. In 2012, seaweed represented about 49% of all global mariculture. Nearly half! In comparison, mollusks (like oysters and clams) represented about 31% of mariculture while fin fish represented about 11% and crustaceans only 8%. In addition, nearly 96% of all seaweed comes from mariculture, so very little is wild harvested.

In 2012, seaweed production reached about 24 million metric tons, valued at $6.4 billion, and this total has an average annual growth of 7,7%. It is a huge business so why don't more Americans know about this seaweed production? The main answer is that over 96% of all seaweed production occurs in Asia, in six countries including China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, Japan and Malaysia. As such, Americans rarely notice anything but the finished product that might show up on their plate at a Japanese restaurant.

Seaweed needs more respect in the U.S., as it is both good for the environment, the ecological weel being of the sea, as well as providing a nutritious and sustainable food choice. Kelp is very healthy for you, being gluten free and low in calories, carbohydrates and fat. It also is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron, as well as one of the few foods with the nutrient iodine, which is essential for hormone balance.

This past spring, I learned about one of the few seaweed farms in the U.S. Founded in Maine in 2006, Ocean Approved was the first kelp farm in the U.S. and they grow it sustainability in the cold, clean waters of Maine. They see kelp farming as an industry and not just something done by their own company, and in fact, even have a Kelp Farming Manual on their website.

I got to sample some of their kelp products and I found them tasty, from a Berry Kelp Smoothie to a Kelp Savory. As I have said before, we need to diversity the amount and type of seafood species we eat, to better protect our oceans and the life that inhabits it. Kelp and other seaweeds are species that we should be consuming far more, supporting those locals willing to take the risk on seaweed mariculture. We also need to encourage other Americans to invest in domestic seaweed aquaculture, to both help our oceans, our economy and to provide another sustainable choice.

Give these plants of the sea their due respect.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rant: Vodka's Dying, Long Live Whiskey!

Three years ago, vodka reigned supreme and its future seemed bright. How matters have apparently changed in a short time.

From 2010 to 2011, the vodka category grew by volume about 6%, selling about 65.8 million cases and making it the most consumed spirit in the U.S. During that same time period, the growth of some other spirits included: rum rose 1.3% (25.8 million cases), tequila rose 3.8% (12 million), American whiskey rose 5% (20.85 million) and Irish whiskey rose 23.9% (1.76 million). Brandy & cognac remained at the same level (10.37 million) though a few other spirits saw a decline. Gin decreased 2% (10.8 million), cordials decreased 1.2% (19.4 million) and even Scotch decreased 1.4% (8.5 million).

Driving the vodka rise was the flavored vodka category, which rose by a significant 23.3%, increasing by 3.3 million cases, and constituted over 25% of the total vodka volume. Nearly 75% of the vodkas introduced in 2011 were flavored vodkas. Raspberry and citrus were the top two flavors but whipped cream seized third place. For example, Pinnacle Whipped Cream grew an incredible 324.5% in 2011 to make it the leading flavored vodka brand. Growth was predicted to continue at significant levels for years to come.

However, a new article, All Hail King Whiskey, in The Atlantic casts doubt on the continued supremacy of vodka.  It is predicted that the dollar value of whiskey this year will pass that of vodka, though vodka will continue to rule by volume. This is not a brief aberration, but rather a sign of a significant change in the drinking habits of Americans. By 2018, it is predicted that whiskey sales may even overtake vodka by volume too.  Vodka's apparently dying. Long live whiskey!

In 2013, the vodka category grew only by 1%, and is the smallest amount of growth in maybe the last ten years. In addition, 2013 saw evidence that the flavored vodka category wasn't contributing to the growth of the overall category. In fact, flavored vodka was now seen to be taking away sales from unflavored vodka. What a difference a few years have made.

Why is whiskey doing so well? There are several reasons, all contributing to its continued growth and positive outlook for the future. First, it appeals more to people seeking "local, authentic and natural" spirits. The surge of craft distilleries across the country has led to a greater interest in local whiskies. Second, its history and flavor profiles are more interesting and diverse than vodka. Many of the different flavored vodkas are actually fairly similar as they are mainly sweet in their profile. Whiskies also add more flavors to cocktails than most vodkas. Third, the great demand for more expensive bourbons is fueling increased sales, and bourbon has become one of the fastest growing whiskey categories. Fourth, whiskey has begun using marketing methods which once provided much success to the vodka category. All of these factors have led to whiskey's great rise.

Consider even just the new outlets, and how they discuss whiskey far more than vodka. There has been plenty of discussion about new whiskey distilleries opening, locally and around the world, from Taiwan to Washington state, but when is the last time you heard about a new vodka distillery? The main news people see about vodka is the creation of some strange new flavor. And we have seen an over-saturation of flavored vodkas. How many candy flavored vodkas do you really need?

While I was recently in the Hudson River Valley, as part of TasteCamp, we visited a whiskey distillery and there was a spirits tasting there with products from a number of other local distilleries. One of those producers had an intteresting vodka made from apples, and there was at least one other vodka from another producer, but it was the whiskies, especially those produced by Hillrock Distillery that drew everyone's attention. People may have liked the apple vodka but they raved about the whiskies.

Vodka isn't disappearing, and it still sells many millions of cases, but its growth has decreased significantly, People are getting tired of all the dozens upon dozens of flavored vodkas. They want something more now and whiskey has attracted many of those people. It has become a strong competitor, and its growth will continue for years to come. There are multiple reasons for the increased popularity of whiskey, and those same reasons will lead to less growth for vodka, until whiskey, by volume, may overtake vodka..

Are you primarily a whiskey or vodka lover? Whatever your choice, why do you prefer that spirit?