Column: Warm up with these winter whiskeys

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Fashion choices, wine and spirits become darker in the winter months, and local restaurants and bars are taking joining the trend. Here’s a guide to navigating some of the best local whiskey selections in Hamilton County.

Convivio Italian Artisan Cuisine uses homemade gingercello in its Winter Old-Fashioned. (Photos by Anna Skinner)

CONVIVIO ITALIAN ARTISAN CUISINE

11529 Springmill Rd., Carmel

Customers may be more apt to think of ordering wine when dining at an upscale Italian restaurant, but Convivio Italian Artisan Cuisine’s Winter Old-Fashioned ($15) may change minds. Convivio’s take on an old-fashioned is a punchy rendition of the traditional cocktail, combining a blend of the restaurant’s house-made gingercello, Knob Creek Rye, 1821 Apple Cardamom Shrub, Woodford Reserve Chocolate Bitters, a muddled orange and garnished with a cinnamon stick and star anise.

The drink goes down amazingly smooth and warms you inside out. Pair with a hearty serving of pasta.

For more, visit convivioindy.com.

1933 Lounge offers elegant trios of whiskey in three-quarter ounce pours with four flight selections ranging from $14 to $85.

1933 LOUNGE

9707 District North Dr., Fishers

1933 Lounge has an impressive bourbon selection. It offers four bourbon and whiskey flights with three-quarter-ounce pours of three different whiskeys are. The bar offers a Bourbon Starter flight with Basil Hayden, Buffalo Trace and Noble Oak for novice bourbon drinkers for $14. A Private Selections flight features Whistle Pig, Woodford and Knob Creek Rye. The Director’s Flight features Rabbit Hole Dareringer, Old Forester Statesman and Angels Envy for $21. For the experienced drinkers, an Orphan Barrel Rhetoric Library flight features Orphan Barrel’s 23-year, 24-year and 25-year selections for $85.

Pictured, the Private Selections flight has flavors of, clockwise from left, Whistle Pig Rye with a citrus nose and notes of vanilla, light toast pear and almond; Woodford Reserve with notes of honey, brown sugar, vanilla and a malted finish; and Knob Creek Rye with notes of butterscotch, cinnamon, bergamot and spearmint.

For a decadent splurge, try Whistle Pig’s 18-year rye for $81. The libation has an elegance and balance for a well-rounded, softer whiskey. Order it neat with a side of ice to sample each flavor profile because ice or water will opens the flavors.

For more, visit 1933lounge.com.

The Broken Barrel uses syrups in its drinks instead of muddled fruit. The New Old-Fashioned cocktail is garnished with a lemon swath and a Bada Bing Cherry.

THE BROKEN BARREL

1156 Keystone Way, Carmel

Nestled in a small room next to Wolfie’s Grill in Carmel, The Broken Barrel has speakeasy vibes with its wood tones, exposed brick wall and leather chairs. A lone television continually shows black-and-white classics with no sound, and swing music plays in the background. The bar offers 95 kinds of whiskey and an expansive cocktail menu, and even new whiskey drinkers will find something they like, usually in the Dave’s Golden Rip-off ($9), a blend of Larceny Bourbon with Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, lemon juice and an organic honey shrub. For seasoned whiskey drinkers, try a flight of Japanese whiskey for $40, which features 1.5-ounce samples of Nikka Coffey Grain, Nikka Coffey Malt and Nikka Pure Malt. Flights are generally served with a side of ice.

For cocktail lovers, try the Basil’s Dark Manhattan ($10) made with Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, a velvety whiskey blended with port.

For more, visit thebrokenbarrel.com.

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