A Sip of Scotland: Touring the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh

If you want to truly understand Scotland, there's no better place than the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. Here's why.

When I was a wee lass all of 21 years old, I sniffed my first bit of scotch and promptly handed the glass back to my friend. What was this foul stench that reminded me of a dirty, dank bog?

Let’s be honest: at 21, I was more into pinot noir than hard liquor. I was kind of an eejit back then, erroneously assuming that all scotch was disgusting because it was too smoky and peaty for my taste.

What I didn’t realize then — and many of my current friends still don’t — is that the Laphroaig scotch I tasted wasn’t nearly representative of what’s out there in Scotland’s whisky world. NOT ALL SCOTCH IS AS SMOKY AND PEATY AS LAPHROAIG, my friends. I repeat, not all scotch equals Laphroaig(Nothing against it; I actually like it now that my palette is more developed.)

Flash forward ten years later: the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland completely upended my expectations of what scotch is and can be. If you want to truly understand Scotland, there’s no better place than the Scotch Whisky Experience. Here’s why.

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Booze Buzz: Elsa in Brooklyn

In "Booze Buzz," we take you to the latest and greatest watering holes throughout the country. Today, we head to Elsa for craft cocktails in Brooklyn.

In the “Booze Buzz” series, we take you to the latest and greatest watering holes throughout the country. Today, we head to Elsa in Brooklyn.

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Where to Drink in Indiana Right Now

Indiana may be known for craft beer, but it's got hip craft cocktail bars and wineries too. From Indianapolis to Franklin, here's where to drink right now.

When you picture Indiana and drinks, I’m betting the first thing that comes to mind is ice cold beer, especially on sweltering summer days. You’re not totally wrong: this Midwestern state is home to over 130 craft breweries and counting. (Emphasis on the “counting” part — I swear that by the time you read this, three more will have popped up.)

While the Hoosier state may be known for its craft beer, it’s got some hip craft cocktail bars and wineries as well. From Indianapolis to Franklin and back, here’s our list of hot spots to drink in Indiana right now.

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Booze Buzz: Circa Brewing Co. in Brooklyn

Circa Brewing Co. opened in downtown Brooklyn, New York, less than a month ago, but people are already fans of its craft beer and pizza. Here's why.

In the “Booze Buzz” series, we take you to the latest and greatest watering holes throughout the country. Today, we head to Circa Brewing Co. in Brooklyn.

You know what I like even better than a glass of ice cold beer on a scorching summer day? Not having to take a long, sweaty subway ride home afterwards. Circa Brewing Co., welcome to the neighborhood.

Circa Brewing Co. opened in Downtown Brooklyn less than a month ago, but it’s already found a steady stream of regulars (including us) who are incorporating it into their weekend bar circuit. Here’s why.

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“Indy South”: Why You Need to Visit Johnson County, Indiana

Johnson County, or "Indy South," has great craft beer and fun for the whole family. Find out why you've got to visit this Indiana hotspot.

There are places you visit expecting to have an amazing time, and they deliver in spades: Hawaii, perhaps, or Rome and Hong Kong. Then there are other corners of the Earth you travel to without an inkling of what to expect and are wonderfully surprised by how charming they are. Johnson County, Indiana — or “Indy South” — is one of these places. Here’s why.

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Diplomático Rum: The Rum You Didn’t Know You Needed

Diplomático rum is deliciously complex and can be used in a variety of cocktails. Find out what happened when we put the Reserva Exclusiva to the ultimate taste test.

One of the best aspects of writing about travel and booze is that I’m constantly discovering new drinks and spirits. Chartreuse? Delicious. Kentucky Colonel? More, por favor! Sometimes, however, I come across these gems completely by accident. Case in point: Diplomático Rum.

While sipping a lavender negroni at Dante during Negroni Week, I started chatting with the women next to me at the bar. (You know you’re gonna become fast friends if you’re bonding over a negroni.) As we discussed our favorite spirits — mine being bourbon, of course — I realized that I don’t drink rum very often.

Enter Shanika, my rum fairy godmother. When she described the Diplomático rum she loved, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. Was this the rum that would finally convert me into a rum fan?

She offered to send us a bottle of Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva rum in exchange for an honest, no holds-barred review of our experience. What follows is the true account of our rum taste test party cocktail education.

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How to Fall in Love with Indianapolis in 10 Easy Steps

Indianapolis's food and drinks scene, Midwestern charm, and hip factor took me by surprise. Here's how you, too, will fall in love with Indiana's capital.

I’ve got an announcement: Indianapolis is my new favorite city.

But wait, you’re thinking. Don’t you say that about every new place you visit? Well, actually, no. I have no shame in admitting that I wouldn’t return to certain parts of China, for example. And Brussels? Not going back either. #Sorrynotsorry.

With so much of the world to see, it’s rare for me to want to return to the same place twice. You’d better keep me on my toes — and have some darn good beer to boot.

Indianapolis’s charm took me by surprise: I loved its food and drinks scene, as expected, but I found so many more things to love. In fact, once I returned to New York City, I immediately told Mr. Five O’Clock that we’d better get back to Circle City as soon as possible. Here’s how you, too, will fall in love with Indiana’s capital.

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Why I’m So Excited To Visit Indiana

Surprised to learn that Indianapolis is on my bucket list? Indiana as a whole has been on my radar since I was teen, which is why I'm excited to visit!

You might be surprised to learn that Indianapolis has been on my (fairly) secret bucket list for years. In fact, Indiana as a whole has been on my radar since I was teen, which is why I’m so stoked to be visiting this week!

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