The Geiger Counter: Going places with your palate

Deerhammer Distilling Co. is one of three offerings at this weekend’s Whiskey and Woodworking event at Warren Station Center for the Arts’ Distilled Spirits and Speaker Series. There also will be tastings of Stranahan’s Blue Peak and Tin Cup.
Photo from Deerhammer Distilling Co.

Don’t know what to do this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a seat to the counter, and I’ll tell you about everything that’s hot and happening.

It’s been roughly a year since I’ve ridden in an airplane. I was never one to be bit by the travel bug, but it’s strange to think about how long this pandemic has lasted and what has now become an uncommon occurrence.

I had a couple of travel shows help me with escapism this past fall while I was longing to take a vacation. I watched “Long Way Up,” along with its two previous iterations, which focus on Ewan McGregor and his friend Charley Boorman riding motorcycles to the far ends of the earth. This season in particular had them riding from the tip of Argentina to Los Angeles on electric bikes.

I followed that up with “James May: Our Man in Japan.” The former “Top Gear” host tours the country over six episodes in a way that balances education with May’s signature British humor. The show reminded me that one of the things I miss the most about traveling is dining at must-see restaurants.

Thankfully, I subscribe to Umai Crate, which ships me different types of Japanese ramen each month. The service translates the instructions — like how much water to use and how long to boil — but it also encourages you to add your own toppings to the shrimp tempura soba or spicy seaweed ramen, like a soft-boiled egg or pickled ginger. It also includes bonus items and recipes to make other dishes, such as an omurice breakfast omelet.

My latest hobby has been delving into the expansive world of Tiki drinks. Aside from one takeout meal from Castaways Cove, I’ve never been to a proper Tiki bar and can count the number of Mai Tais I’ve had elsewhere on one hand. I’m not sure what drew me to the subculture except for wanting to make more craft cocktails.

It’s been eye-opening to read Shannon Mustipher’s “Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails.” I knew there was more to rum than Bacardi and Captain Morgan, but I wasn’t expecting recipes to call out ingredients from specific countries of origin that are then layered and mixed. Turns out the terroir of the sugar and the type of still used can greatly alter the flavors between a Jamaican rum compared with those made on the banks of the Demerara River in Guyana or on the island of Martinique.

To take a more local excursion, check out the latest entry in Warren Station Center for the Arts‘ Distilled Spirits and Speaker Series on Saturday, March 13, at 164 Ida Belle Drive. Called Whiskey and Woodworking, the evening features a DIY art project from The Frosted Flamingo and three pours of whiskey. On tap is Stranahan’s Blue Peak single malt distilled in Denver, Buena Vista’s Deerhammer Distilling Co.’s Straight Bourbon made with four Colorado grains and original Tin Cup from Indiana that is then cut with Rocky Mountain water.

The four available art projects match the whiskey theme to create unique gifts or souvenirs. People can burn designs into wooden coasters, make wildlife wall art with string or etch a whiskey glass. Another option is to paint a sign with an alcohol-related phrase, such as “You’re the moon to my shine.”

The event is split into two one-hour seatings to allow for enough space between audience members. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the talk and tasting starting a half-hour later. There is then an hourlong sanitation break before the 7:30 p.m. seating.

Guests are required to wear a mask at all times except when eating or drinking. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at

Jefferson Geiger
What I’m Listening To

‘Wolverine: The Lost Trail’

Another treat for the senses are podcasts that embrace the feeling of old-time radio dramas. Sure, the Disney+ shows “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” are hogging the Marvel hype, but listen to this 10-episode series to rest your eyes and engage your ears and imagination.

The second season of a narrative all about the titular mutant, it follows Wolverine — played by Richard Armitage — running away from Weapon X in New Orleans while he searches for missing people. The high-quality production made by some of the best in the business uses sound effects and engineering to make it feel like you’re in Louisiana right next to the action.

Jefferson Geiger is the arts and entertainment editor for the Summit Daily News.

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