If you’re a Southern food fan or a bourbon lover, the Van Winkle name should be familiar to you. The family has been making award-winning bourbon for four generations, building up quite a cult following with their Pappy Van Winkles (some of which have been aged more than 20 years). Sean Brock is one lover of Pappy and a friend of Julian’s, the current head of the Old Rip Van Winkle brand.
I ran into Julian and his wife Sissy at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival’s opening night party on Thursday, where we made a date to rendezvous at the Husk afterparty the following night so Julian could mix up his namesake drink for me himself (the Husk bar created The Julian back in November when they opened). We planned to videotape the experience and interview Julian.
True to their word, the Van Winkles found me in the wee hours of the morning and led me to the bar where Julian slowly and painstakingly mixed me a damn fine drink. Bourbon geeks came out of the woodwork for the momentous occasion — Julian was mixing a Julian! Unfortunately, conducting an actual interview proved difficult for me (it was late, I’d been drinking!), but we did capture the moment albeit in black and white (drunken operator wasn’t sure how to fix that glitch).
The video is posted below. Be warned, it’s six minutes long and results in a drink that you will neither be able to smell nor taste (that is, unless you head to Husk after watching it).