The folks at Two James Distillery in Detroit partnered with a local ramen shop to design a unique whiskey that would pair with the restaurant's rich, umami-forward Japanese dishes.
They came up with Johnny Smoking Gun, a blend of corn whiskey (70%) and rye (30%). It's also steeped with a blend of three Asian teas, including Lapsang Souchong, which gives it a smokey finish – truly unique East meets West expression.
At 87 proof, the spirit is hardly tame, but the numbers "eight" and "seven" are considered highly auspicious in Asian cultures. Yep, one sip of this whiskey will bring you good fortune, people!
Two James Distillery is located in an old taxi dispatch center in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood (it's the first licensed distillery in Detroit since prohibition!) and was founded by lifelong friends and Detroit natives David Landrum and Peter Bailey. The distillery is named after two of their ancestors, who were both named James.
Another good luck omen? We think so.
TIP OF THE TONGUE
Best sipped neat or on the rocks (paired, of course, with Asian pork dishes or a steaming bowl of ramen), but it also makes a delicious take on the classic Rusty Nail cocktail: In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine 2 oz Johnny Smoking Gun, .5 oz KAS Krupnikas Honey Liqueur and a dash or two of Hella Bitter Aromatic Bitters. Stir until blended and well chilled. Strain and pour into a rocks or cocktail glass with ice.
Distilled from 70% corn and 30%rye; 43.5% alcohol by volume. Comes in a 750ml bottle.