In our home we love a good party; birthdays, holidays, summer barbecues -any excuse for a good party is a good reason to get friends and family together. Recently one of our [my husband and I] good friend’s birthday was coming up. This particular friend is a guy’s guy. He loves his whiskey, Mad Men, working out at the gym and a big steak. I knew we were going to have to do something special for his birthday. The idea for the party came around when I decided what I was going to get him for his birthday, a bottle of whiskey. If he’d love that as a gift so much, wouldn’t that make for a great party?
Pinterest is almost always my favorite place to start for ideas, this party was no different. I found a pin for a party favor here, and I also found a pin for a really awesome tasting card here. I knew these would be a fun project and while a little time consuming, they’d be pretty simple.
The difficult part would be the actual party. Our house is in shambles. Usually I’d bring out the big guns for something like this; bring out our big dining table, make sure the guest room was clean and get cleaning but we are in the process of moving. Nearly all of our nice bar glasses are wrapped and packed and my dining room has a ton of boxes blocking our table. Entertaining at home was not going to be an option so I had to find a venue. I started on Google, searching for whiskey tastings in Atlanta. I found two possibilities, the first to respond was The Warren City Club in Virginia Highlands. It was Chef William Taylor and immediately I knew I had a hit. Chef Taylor was legitimately excited to host the event, he wanted to know our likes and dislikes so that he could custom tailor a flight of whiskey for us to sample, things we had never tried. He even special ordered a bottle of his favorite that they don’t usually stock because he thought we would appreciate it. He planned a few snacks for us to munch on and gave us a really reasonably priced per person quote. I made the reservation and the hard part was over.
I got on illustrator, took my time and made little booklets with FAQs and recipes that I was going to put on the party favors and I wanted to use the pin for the tasting card as a guide to make my own custom ones. (I’m attaching the .eps files if you want to use these to print your own.) I went to the liquor store to grab the tiny bottles of whiskey, Kroger for the straws and Coca-Colas and Walmart for the card stock I needed for printing. With the setup complete, it was time for the party.
We had all dressed up for the event, there were shiny cufflinks and the clicks of gorgeous high heels on the floor of the Warren City Club. The bartender, who incidentally was also our whiskey guide set out all the glasses and our guests began to trickle in. We could not have asked for a better experience. The manager and the chef both introduced themselves to us and best of all… no one rushed us. It was a Saturday evening, a very busy time in Atlanta, Virginia Highlands. It took a while for all the guests to arrive so it was wonderful that there was no pressure or fear in getting everyone there at once. Once everyone was there the tasting itself was a luxurious experience. We took our time tasting, filled out our cards and mingled.
There are not even the words for how happy the birthday boy was. It was the perfect setting and a truly exceptional event. We have a core group of friends and family, all of us around the same age. Over the last several years our parties have changed from 21st birthdays with a pub crawl to events that don’t necessarily revolve around the alcohol and focus more of spending time with the people around us. This event was the happy medium that perfectly reflected the place that we are all at in our lives. As young adults we are still trying to find our footing. We aren’t those college students anymore, we are young professionals and sometimes bridging that gap can be difficult. A whiskey tasting was just right and it was truly a pleasure.