Top 50 Best Pre Workout Meals And Snacks – What To Eat Before A Workout
Whether you’re interested in crafting a regimen for overall health and fitness or focused on creating a more defined musculature, nutrition should play a large role in your plans. While it’s a simplified analogy, your body is a machine — an intricate, finely crafted organic mechanism made of up of many smaller moving parts— and any food, snacks and meals will all fuel and maintenance material.
In this guide, we’ll be focused on the best foods for what’s known as the pre-workout meal. These are snacks and light meals that will provide your body with the energy it needs to do what you’re asking of it — burn fat or build lean muscle.
Below, I’ll give the fifty best foods and combinations, and a brief explanation of why they’re great. Since everyone is different, tailor your menu to your needs.
Here’s what you need to eat before a workout:
Full of potassium to stave off muscle cramps, these fruity relatives of the potato also have plenty of high quality carbohydrates to keep you going through any high intensity program. Plus, they pair well with many entries on this list.
2. Pistachios and Blueberries
While it fills the carb-protein pairing requirement, it’s something a little different. Blueberries are chock full of vitamin C and anthocyanins—antioxidants produced in red, dark blue, and purple plant foods. The phytochemicals are a vital element to stave off environmental stress, including the toxins your body produces during a workout.
Pistachios contain more potassium and vitamin K than any other nut, and will help to stave off cramps while keeping you feeling full during your routine.
3. Steel-cut Oats and Berries
Great for those of you who enjoy a morning stint at the gym, steel-cut oatmeal retains more of the essential nutrients that are stripped away during the rolling process. It contains a higher level of complex carbohydrates and non-soluble fiber, which will keep you feeling sated while your body slowly digests your breakfast.
The berries provide support for your body during the stress of the workout and will help mitigate the damage that necessarily occurs during your routine. If you need a bit of protein, add some pecans or walnuts to your bowl.
4. Café au Lait
That’s right, guys—coffee with milk is a great pre-workout snack in a mug. Milk is a great source of protein and carbs, and caffeine gives you a little boost. It’s important to note that you have to balance the two liquids. Use a 1 to 1 ratio, and opt for whole milk. For those of you watching your weight, remember that it isn’t fat that makes you fat, but sugars.
Lactose is a simple sugar, which is balanced by fat content. Remove the fat and you are chugging a sugar jolt, though you may not know it. Heat your milk to keep your beverage hot.
5. Eggs with Veggies
For those of you with culinary skills, make that a veggie omelet. For the rest of us, try scrambled eggs with bell peppers, onions, and selections such as tomatoes, mushrooms, even broccoli if you desire. The egg is a perfect protein and veggies bring some vitamins to the party on your plate. Add a bit of cheese if you need a dash of fat.
6. Cottage Cheese and Stuff
You could pair it with berries, peaches, pineapple or tomatoes. It’s up to you. Cottage cheese is super-easy and packed with protein while not high in fat. Fresh or canned, fruit brings vitamins and necessary sugars to your snack. Tomatoes make it a savory affair, if you’re not keen on combining cheese and fruit. For summertime flavor, add a bit of fresh basil to your bowl.
7. Sweet Potatoes and Chicken
This should be eaten at least a couple of hours before you hit the gym, to allow for sufficient digestion. Chicken, of course, is a perfectly lean protein—and six ounces or less is optimum for this light meal. Sweet potatoes are full of carotenoids—the awesome things that make fruits and veggies orange—and enough minerals and vitamins to fill a book.
Stick to half of a large specimen or an entire small one. One delicious way to enjoy both of these this summer is on the grill. Sweet potato fries (skin on) brushed with oil, garlic, and cracked black pepper are tasty enough for a party.
8. Nut Butter and Apples
Some of us can’t have peanuts or tree nuts. So for this, select your favorite nut butter—almond is a great swap for peanut butter. Slice your apple, and dive in, but try not to overload on the condiment, since it is rich in fats.
9. Chia Seeds
No, really—that stuff that became a cultural joke in the 1980s is actually good for you. Aztec warriors could run twenty miles in a day and used the seeds of this Salvia plant to keep up their endurance. It’s incredibly protein dense, although a word of warning—drink plenty of water with it.
You can add it to your yogurt, oatmeal, or cottage cheese. However, because it comes from a desert plant, it forms mucilage when it gets wet, creating a thick gel if allowed to set.
10. The Seedy Greens Salad
Eat more than just iceberg or even romaine. Get adventurous and toss in some endive, spinach, and purple cabbage—and don’t settle for the stuff that comes in a bag. Slice carrots, radishes, tomatoes, and cucumbers for some added power.
Last, toss in some raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) and raw sunflower kernels for protein and essential minerals like magnesium and manganese. Magnesium balances with calcium, too little of either and you’ll feel some pretty nasty muscle cramps.
11. In a Squeeze
If you find yourself pressed for time or headed to the gym for an impromptu workout, energy gel can offer you a boost. It’s not something you want to do on a regular basis, since it isn’t actually food, but occasional use is just fine. The high-quality types of this gel are specially formulated with electrolytes, minerals, and nutrients your body needs during a routine.
12. Avocado Toast
Skip the butter on your morning slice. Instead, have a healthy spread of ripe avocado. Full of healthy fats, vitamins E and A, and phytochemicals your body needs to maintain during a workout. Whole grain toast provides some carbs to keep you steady as you work your way through a routine.
13. Rice Pudding on the Fly
This is great for those of you who are training for a running event or simply pushing your personal best on the trail. Make a cup of cooked rice, sweetened by adding two tablespoons of raisins or diced dried plums. When it’s about two minutes from being done, pour ½ a cup of whole milk over the top, cover, and finish cooking.
Stir well and let stand for a minute. Eat half a cup before your workout and tuck the other half in the fridge for breakfast tomorrow.
14. Brown Rice
Serve yourself an evening boost with ½ cup cooked brown rice and two or three ounces of baked chicken. You can toss in some veggies to liven things up, but be sure to wait at least an hour before hitting the gym to give your body time to start digesting your light meal.
Brown rice contains a great deal more insoluble fiber than its pale cousin and gives your body a long, slow boost of energy with plenty of complex carbs.
15. Protein Shakes with Berries
Select your favorite shake mix and add a half a cup of strawberries and blueberries. You’ll get the benefits of the protein shake with a boost of antioxidants, vitamins, and healthy fruit sugars to boot.
Go for whole milk yogurt—it tastes better, and your body will absorb the calcium that it can’t with non-fat varieties. You can customize it any way you want—berries, peaches, bananas, granola, or unsalted sunflower seeds. It’s your choice.
17. Fruit Smoothies
Yep—drink up, guys. Fruit smoothies with a ½ cup yogurt or some protein powder are ideal for pre-workout fuel. They’re delicious, easy to digest, and packed with everything you need to stay strong throughout your routine.
18. Hummus Along
Chickpeas, the main ingredient in this super-healthy snack food, are powerhouses of plant protein. Plus, they’re full of vitamins. So, while you could indulge in a handful of them, raw or cooked, hummus and celery, or smeared on your whole grain toast is a tasty way to go.
A Peruvian root that comes to us in a dried, pulverized form, this high protein powder can be added to any food for a boost in energy that will help you stay strong during a workout.
20. Pasta with Avocado and Turkey
Avoid the doldrums with this delicious pasta dish. Simply prepare a cup of whole grain pasta and toss in chunks of roasted turkey breast and ripe avocado with some olive oil and fresh basil. This makes a creamy, satisfying dish that will fuel an evening workout. The best part is it’s just as good served up cool on a hot summer evening.
21. Olive Oil
There’s a good reason Popeye was sweet on her. Olive oil is an excellent source of healthy fats, vitamin E, and antioxidants you need to maintain a healthy workout with maximum effect. While you should note that it is a fat and avoid going overboard with it, adding it to your pre-workout snack is great.
Put a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in your smoothie or whisk up a simple vinaigrette for salad, since heat tends to damage the vitamin E.
22. Celery and Peanut Butter
Moms all over America once fed hungry kids “ant logs”—celery stalks with peanut butter, dotted with raisins. Check it out. The insoluble fiber of the celery, the healthy fat and protein of the peanut butter, and the nutritious fruit sugars from the raisins will keep you at your best at the gym.
23. Rice and Beans
A mainstay of many Central American daily menus, rice and beans cooked together with veggies, chicken, and even eggs make an easy, inexpensive pre-workout meal. Beans are high in protein, so you could even skip the animal protein for this meal. Their high fiber is also excellent for the slow-burning energy you want.
This bright green cruciferous veggie is not only a potent cancer preventative food with a host of antioxidants. A cup of lightly steamed florets offers as much vitamin C as a medium orange, with more fiber to aid in digestive health. Vitamin C is responsible for cell maintenance and flushing away dead or damaged tissue, which a workout produces naturally.
Yes, it makes your pee smell funny, but that’s an effect worth living with for all the nutrition these tiny green spears provide. It’s full of folate, fiber, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. So chop some up and add it to your salad or your pasta. Or wrap some in bacon and bake in the oven until the meat is crisp.
Cooked, they provide more vitamin A than the raw version, but either way you go, these little roots are great for a pre-workout snack. They’re full of fiber, vitamins, and natural sugars that will keep you up at the gym. Pair with hummus, add to a salad, or toss them into your rice and beams.
27. Flax Seed
Many people suggest that you grind them, but if you know how to chew your food, that’s not required. These tiny seeds are full of nutrients your body needs to maintain healthy function, like ALA, especially under the stress of a workout. Cook them with your oatmeal or sprinkle over your cooked pasta.
No, not chocolate syrup. If you can’t find cacao nibs—the dried, hulled, and roasted inner portion of a cacao seed—check out cocoa powder. Add it to your smoothies, yogurt, or even your oatmeal. It’s dense with necessary amino acids that dilate blood vessels and relax smooth muscles—so it’ll help your body get oxygen to your muscles and carry away waste products during an intense session at the gym through better circulation.
We’ve talked about chicken and turkey, but salmon is an excellent source of lean protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Try thin slices of it on a whole-wheat bagel smeared with hummus or avocado.
We aren’t talking about sugar-saturated chewy granola bars. Hit the health food store and source some tasty, powerhouse granola. It should have—in addition to oats or cereal grains—nuts, seeds, and fruits, but be free of too much added sugar.
31. Shake It Up
A spin on popular frozen coffee beverages, this leaves the sugar and unhealthy additives at the door. Blend a cup of iced coffee, with the ice with one scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder.
Remember these summertime treats as a kid? Bring back the good old days with a simple shake. You’ll need one cup of orange juice, one scoop of vanilla protein powder, and one cup of ice. Blend until smooth.
33. Macaroon Shake
You’ll make your protein shake as usual, but to give an added boost of both flavor and nutrition to your routine, mix three teaspoons of pure coconut oil with chocolate protein powder. Garnish with unsweetened coconut flakes, if you like.
34. The Original
You really can’t go wrong adding fruit to any meal. A great pre-workout snack full of vitamins and minerals is a cup of fresh cantaloupe, ¼ cup black raspberries, ¼ cup sliced strawberries, ¼ cup fresh blueberries. Just keep a giant tub of this in your fridge and serve it up as needed.
35. Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal
This recipe is making the rounds in fitness circles, but it has the advantage of being delicious as well. Prepare a cup of cooked oats. Add two teaspoons of dehydrated/defatted peanut butter and a teaspoon of cocoa powder. Stevia has been suggested to sweeten it, but you could just as easily drizzle a bit of raw honey for its powerful health benefits and sweetness.
36. Waffle Sandwich
You need not do the standard treatment of peanut butter and jam for this. Try a savory variation with turkey and avocado for a powerful fast-breaker.
37. Protein Bars
If you shop for these, be sure to read the labels and steer clear of excessive sugar content. However, if you feel intrepid and are comfortable playing in the kitchen, check out Alton Brown’s recipes for homemade bars.
38. Whole Oranges
Don’t go for juice—that’s little more than sugar water. Eat the whole fruit, pulp and all. Full of fiber that mitigates the fruit sugar impact, and vitamin C, this is the breakfast choice that trumps broccoli—unless you really just crave a cup of florets first thing in the morning.
39. Pink Grapefruit
Again, eat the whole thing. Don’t bother with those weird-looking spoons. They waste too much valuable fruit. Peel a very ripe pink grapefruit like an orange and enjoy sections. If it’s too bitter for you, don’t reach for the sugar. Rather, lightly sprinkle a tiny amount of salt on each slice. It’ll bring out the sweetness.
40. Sweet Potato Mash-up
While you can easily grill or bake these little powerhouses, sometimes, it pays to experiment with different preparations. Try steaming and mashing them with a bit of butter and salt. Then, enjoy half a cup of your mash with some roasted turkey. Make it a snack or add some steamed veggies for a full-meal impact.
41. Tropical Bag
In many countries south of the border, you’ll see a common street vendor—the Fruit Dude. He—or she—has a cart on a busy street corner, from which bags of fresh cut fruit are assembled with a squeeze of lime, a bit of diced chili pepper, and a pinch of salt. Try this at home this summer.
You can make it any way you please—papaya, mango, pomegranate seeds, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, berries, peaches, nectarines. Do it up in a plastic bread bag and dig in with a fork.
42. Pita Pockets
This snack is also a great lunch on the go. Purchase whole-wheat pita pockets, pack them with dark, leafy greens and other salad fixings, add some shredded turkey or tuna, and drizzle with homemade vinaigrette—which is super-easy to whisk together.
43. Egg Whites
Now, whole eggs are all fine and good. There’s little harm done if you enjoy the yolk as well. However, if you’re aiming to trim some inches from your physique, but still want the protein, consider egg whites. You can create scrambles, omelets, and even pull off the English muffin topper with ease.
44. Lettuce Wraps
You can do this with almost any food—from peanut butter to salmon. What you’ll need are some large romaine lettuce leaves and your filling—turkey, tuna, salmon slices, avocadoes—whatever pleases you. Just keep it light and fresh.
Yes, cabbage. You can ingest this in the form of coleslaw, although a bit of shredded red cabbage on your salad is just as good.
This more mature relative of yogurt packs a powerful punch. It’s full of probiotics and protein, without any fat of which to speak. While it’s an acquired taste, add it to your morning shake for improved performance.
This grain that isn’t a grain—hint, it’s technically a “fruit”—is a complete source of protein, a great substitute for grain, and is packed with magnesium, B vitamins, and iron. Check it out, guys.
48. Hemp Seeds
Add these wonders to your protein shake or your oatmeal. They provide valuable, healthy fats, proteins, and a host of trace minerals essential for healthy muscle function.
These little green seeds are the inner portion of a pumpkin seed. They provide manganese and magnesium, and are virtually flavorless, even while adding a wonderful crunch to cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, and even pasta.
50. The Banana Boat
This is pretty simple, and great when you’re in a hurry. Toast a slice of whole wheat bread, apply some peanut or almond butter, and artistically arrange slices of banana upon said schmere. Or, you can have a banana boat—simply situate the whole banana in the middle of your slice and fold. Enjoy.
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The 10 Best Grilling Tools for Your Summer BBQ
If you want to be a grill master, you need the right tools for the job. While having a top-quality grill is obviously vital, there are many other things you need to make your life at the grill as easy as possible.
There are plenty of tools out there that will enhance the flavor of your food and allow you to cook your meat and veggies to perfection. We’ve looked at a range of them from meat thermometers and grilling gloves to cedar planks and grill baskets.
While all these tools are different, they’re all great ways to enhance your grilling experience. We’ve searched high and low to come up with 10 that you’ll love. All you need to do is read on and choose the best grilling tools for you. Let’s get started!
1. Kizen Digital Meat Thermometers for Cooking
When cooking on the grill, it can be easy to be a little nervous about whether or not your meat is ready. With this Kizen meat thermometer, you can put those fears to bed and know exactly when your meat is done.
The reading on this thermometer only takes around three seconds, so you’re not going to be waiting around for your results. It’s waterproof and durable. This is a tool you’ll be using time and time again.
It’s versatile too. Thermometers are often required for beverage and candy making, among other things. This tool is perfect for them all and will give you readings to a very high level of accuracy.
It will automatically turn on/off when you take out the prong and there is also a temperature guide written on it. It’s very easy to use and the magnet and handle hole also makes it simple to store.
2. Alpha Grillers Heavy Duty BBQ Grilling Tools Set
You can’t become a grilling master without having a high-quality set of grilling tools. While you can buy them all separately, it makes sense to get a set such as this. It’s brilliant and comes with a spatula, fork, basting brush, and tongs.
All of them are made out of thick steel so you don’t need to worry about them succumbing to the heat. They’re also fitted with silicone grips which keep your skin safe and the tools firmly in your hand.
Their design also makes them very simple to use, including the lockable tongs that allow them to stay compact when not in use. Added to this, all four of the tools have hooks for easy storage.
One downside of grilling tools is needing to clean them after use. With this set, that won’t be an issue. Not only are they easy to wipe down, but they are also dishwasher safe. This is perfect for anyone needing a brilliant set of essential grilling tools.
3. GEEKHOM Grilling Gloves
Your hands are going to be near very hot pieces of metal and you also have the risk of fat spitting onto your skin. For those reasons, it makes sense to invest in a pair of high-quality grilling gloves.
These are made of silicone which can cope with very high heat of up to 446F. On the inside is soft cotton, making the gloves very easy to wear. The material is breathable, so you won’t need to worry about your hands sweating.
The safety of these gloves doesn’t stop at the high-temperature resistance. They also cover your wrists and have a non-slip surface, allowing you to securely grip whatever you’re holding.
Usability is also exceptional as the gloves are non-toxic and machine washable. Five colors are also available, so you can pick ones that suit your style. If you want to grill in safety and comfort, these gloves are a must.
4. Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush
You’ve cooked all your food, everyone’s loved it, and you’ve had a fantastic day. You then look down at your grill and your heart sinks. You know that it’s going to take a long time to clean and you simply can’t be bothered.
If that sounds like you then you need to get the Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush. It will drastically cut down the time you need to clean your grill. It takes minimum effort and you won’t have that dreaded feeling after you’ve finished cooking.
A great aspect of this brush is that it can be used on all grill types. The three-pronged brush allows you to clean three times faster than most other models. It’s also very easy to use with the textured finger grip and 18” handle.
Impressively, the durability is also very high here. You get a limited five year warranty which is no surprise due to its solid construction. It’s going to last for a long time and you’ll enjoy that super-quick clean time and time again.
5. Primal Grilling Premium Cedar Planks For Grilling
For those that want a unique way of cooking their food, using cedar planks is a brilliant way to do it. All you need to do is soak them in water and then grill away. It results in food that is full of moisture and flavor.
These planks are quite thick which means they don’t burn easily at all. You can use them repeatedly before they become too charred to use. They come in a pack of five, which is going to last a very long time.
The natural cedar doesn’t contain any chemicals and is a very natural way of cooking food. It’s particularly good for fish but the planks will also enhance the moisture and taste of any meat, along with any veggies you want to cook.
When you’re finished using your planks, you can pop them in the drawstring bag provided and use them again whenever you want. You’ll love the results and if you’ve never done it before, you should definitely give it a try.
See more about - The 10 Best BBQ Grills For Your Summer Cookout
6. The Seasoned Griller Store Professional Grade Stainless Steel Grill Basket
While we love grilling, there’s no doubt that it can get messy. Veggies can also be very difficult to cook as they are hard to move around with your grilling tools and can easily fall between the gaps.
An ideal solution is to get this grilling basket from The Seasoned Griller. It’s a great way to keep all your cooking contained while heating it perfectly. The holes are big enough to allow the heat in without letting any food out.
It’s made of stainless steel and can be used on almost any grill. It is worth double-checking the dimensions to make sure it’s a good fit for your model. It’s not too big, so it shouldn’t be an issue. While it’s great for vegetables, you can cook anything with this and it makes it exceptionally easy. It saves cleaning your grill and prevents any lost food. It’s a great addition to your BBQ.
7. Victoria Cast Iron Grill Press
When it comes to pressing down your meat, most people will use the back of a spatula. It’s not what it’s designed for and isn’t great for the task. Instead, you should get a cast iron grill press.
It will help to reduce cooking time while also adding excellent flavor to your food. This model is seasoned with flaxseed oil to produce great results. It’s the ideal tool for searing or flattening meat.
It’s also simple to use, thanks to its excellent design. It has a removable cool-touch wood handle along with a textured bottom for a secure hold. It can be used for a wide variety of different meats and is ideal to have while grilling.
8. OXO Good Grips Meat Shredding Claws
Shredded meat can add an extra dimension to your food in both texture and taste. It works brilliantly with pork but you can also get wonderful results with the likes of chicken and beef.
When it comes to shredding meat, most people try to do it with regular forks, which can be extremely difficult. With these meat shredding claws, you’ll find the task to be incredibly easy.
The long handles and interlocking teeth mean that the task will get completed in no time at all. The grips are also comfortable and have a high level of heat resistance. If you want delicious shredded meat, then there’s no better tool than this.
9. Ofargo Plastic Marinade Injector
Adding flavor to your meat can be difficult. One method is to pierce holes into it with a fork or knife and try to rub marinade or seasoning in. The problem with this is that it’s not very efficient and produces mediocre results. With a marinade injector, you can put that flavor directly into the meat. The difference in results is huge.
You’ll find the meat to be much tastier and the flavor to be much more consistent throughout the meat. This injector is perfect for the job. It’s lightweight and compact so you can just place it on your shelf next to the grill, ready to go. It can easily be used one-handed and is food-safe too.
There are two different needles, one for sauce and another for liquid. It’s a great addition to your grill and takes the flavor to another level.
10. Hudson Durable Goods - Professional Grade Chef Apron
Unless you want clothes that are full of grease, food splashes, and charcoal stains, it’s a good idea to get an apron. This one comes in six different colors and they all look stylish. They’re made from heavyweight cotton that is very tough while still being comfortable to wear. Once you’ve finished using it, then you can throw it in the washing machine before using it again.
There are some great features here, such as the back straps which will prevent any neck pain. There are also four pockets and a towel look, for easy use. It’s easily adjustable and can be taken off quickly with the back buckle.
The versatile apron can be used for a lot more grilling and can be used time and time again. The quality is excellent throughout and most importantly. It’ll keep you and your clothes protected.
See more about - The 8 Best Aprons For Men Who Love To Cook
Grilling Tools FAQs
At a very basic level, you definitely need a spatula, fork, and tongs. After that, it depends on what you’re cooking and how you want it to be cooked. For safety, an apron and gloves are essential whereas other tools such as cedar planks are a great luxury extra.
Grilling tools need to cope with a high level of heat and need to keep you protected from that heat. They should also be comfortable and allow you to grill with ease. Once they tick those boxes, it’s all about how they make your life easier or improve the taste of your food.
This is difficult to answer as there is a vast range of brands that make a wide array of high-quality grilling tools. We think it’s more important to focus on the quality of the product if the tool meets your needs and the customer reviews. All the tools we looked at here get our seal of approval.
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The Difference Between Bourbon and Whiskey
The difference between bourbon and whiskey is as clear as mud when you’re trying to choose between brands and bottles. Bourbon needs to be American-made, aged in oak for four years, and have at least a 51% mash bill, while other American Whiskeys are made using wheat and/or rye or utilize other variations in the distillation process.
Whiskey was a term first employed during the late 1800s to differentiate Irish Whiskey and American liquor from Scotch whisky and Canadian whisky (which everyone called rye). The in-vogue Japanese whisky also went with the Scotch spelling (click here for the full breakdown of whisky versus whiskey).
The following article defines what mash bill is needed to make bourbon, but also identifies the other major American whiskey styles, bottled-in-bond, Tennessee whiskey, and single malt varieties that are beginning to become more prevalent in the US.
What Makes a Liquor Bourbon?
A frequent refrain that can be heard in Kentucky is: “Not every whiskey is a bourbon, but every bourbon is a whiskey.” To be called bourbon:
The liquor needs to be crafted from at least a 51% corn fermented grain mash bill that has been stored in charred oak barrels for four years. The spirit must have been distilled within the United States.
95% of the bourbon whiskey bottled in the U.S. is distilled in the state of Kentucky.
Is All Bourbon From Kentucky?
Kentucky is considered bourbon country, and your home bar is most likely to be stocked with expressions from the Bluegrass state. The majority of bourbon has been distilled in Kentucky since American whiskey production was drawn from the corn-producing farms of the 1700s.
Despite this, other regions – such as Tennessee, Colorado, California, and even New York – are beginning to craft and/or bottle amazing bourbon expressions. Just like with peat and barley malt for Irish Whiskey and single malt and blended Scotch in the British Isles, your liquor of choice comes from the source material.
Finding the best Kentucky bourbon is like finding the best single malt Scotch – it’s entirely subjective and based on a wide variety of factors including flavor, taste, aroma, price, and accessibility.
See more about - The Top 10 Best Kentucky Bourbon Brands To Try In 2021
Wheated bourbons are those made with a large proportion of the mash bills secondary grain being wheat, in addition to the mandated 51% minimum corn. Wheat as the secondary grain provides subtlety and contrast, adding a creaminess and gradual sweetness to the spirit than that derived from the majority corn, malted barley, or rye recipe.
Wheat is also useful during oak barrel aging, with a tendency to age much better than many traditional bourbons (up to around the 20 year mark).
Best choice: Maker’s 46 Wheated Bourbon
Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon and Whiskey
The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 was a set of legal regulations created by the U.S. Government to standardize and authenticate the quality of American distilled alcoholic beverages, especially bourbon, wheat, and rye whiskey.
Prior to the time the Bottled-in-Bond Act was legislated, the American whiskey market was being decimated by inferior quality, unregulated booze. Bottled-in-bond is a whiskey label that adheres to a set of legal regulations contained in the United States government’s Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits.
The regulatory jargon breaks down as follows:
- The whiskey must be the product of a single distillation season
- The distilled spirit must be made by one distiller at one distillery
- The distilled spirit must be at least four years old
- It must be stored and aged in government bonded warehouses
- The whiskey must also be at least 100 proof (50% ABV)
- Only water may be added to the mash bill
If you purchase a bourbon whiskey or rye labeled bottled-in-bond the regulations from the Act must be met.
Best choice: New Riff Straight Bourbon Whiskey
American Rye Whiskey
For a spirit to call itself American rye whiskey, the grain mash must be made up of at least 51% actual malted rye cereal grain.
Certified rye whiskey’s initial alcohol content can’t be higher than 160 proof, or roughly 80% alcohol before it’s distilled down and eventually bottled.
Aside from the straight rye whiskey, you’ll find some rye mash bills filled out with brown sugar, corn, or malted barley, or have the wooden barrel finish in wine, rum, or brandy casks to add another flavor dimension.
Best choice: WhistlePig Rye 10 Year
American Single Malt Whiskey
Single malt and blended whiskey expressions made from malted barley are becoming more popular craft spirits in the U.S.
With Scotch whisky at its highest popularity level of all time and the emergence of Japanese whisky as a power player in the billion-dollar market for blended malt whisky, there’s an opportunity for local distillers to make quality single malt. While it lacks the cultural cachet of Scotch, American malt whisky is meticulously crafted and caters well to craft distillation.
Best choice: Westward American Single Malt
There’s a simple, yet important distinction between Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey which makes a huge impact on the taste and what goes on the label. The crucial difference is that Tennessee whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal as part of the Lincoln County Process, a charcoal filtration method in which fresh whiskey passes through charcoal chips and is then put in oak casks for maturation.
For a whiskey to attain the Tennessee label, it must go through the charcoal mellowing stage, in the state of Tennessee.
Best choice: Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey
To be called bourbon, your whiskey needs to be distilled in America for a minimum of four years in oak barrels, with a mash bill of at least 51% corn. If it’s predominantly rye, wheat, or malt grain-based, then by law the spirit can’t be called bourbon.
Figuring out what constitutes whisky or whiskey is a lot simpler than in the past when nobody really knew what was going on. The simplest way to remember is If the country of origin has an “e” in it, then spell it whiskey. See, clear as mud!
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The 10 Best Jordans of All Time
Even if you are not a sneakerhead and don’t know all the nitty-gritty details of every pair of kicks on the market, you’re sure to recognize a pair of Jordans when you see them. Or not. I can spot a pair from a mile away; however, I have a friend that doesn’t know the difference between a pair of Nike Jordans and a pair of Adidas Gazelles, which is upsetting, but I digress…
One of the most classic and iconic sneaker styles ever, Jordans have been around for over 30 years and continue to be a part of rare and exclusive collaborations, making them a collector’s dream, with some pairs going for $12k or more. So get your wallet and credit cards out because you may just max them out as you go through this list.
1. Jordan 1 Retro Chicago (2015)
Undoubtedly the most popular style and colorway of all time as far as Jordan’s go. Last released in 2015, this iconic high-top silhouette has become the staple for street ballers, basketball fans, and sneakerheads alike. Since the airing of The Last Dance, the white/varsity red-black Chicago colorway has skyrocketed in popularity, but for the right price you can still get your hands on a pair.
2. Jordan 3 Retro Black Cement (2018)
To celebrate Mr. Jordan’s 55th birthday in 2018, the Jordan 3 Retro emblazoned sneakers feature the original “Nike Air” branding on the black cement for the first time since 2001. This mid-top kick has a black-based leather upper with cement grey, fire red, and white accents. Finished off by the iconic elephant print detailing, it’s one of the most iconic Jordan’s around.
3. Jordan 6 Retro Black Infrared (2019)
The Air Jordan 6 Retro “Infrared” is a 2019 re-release of the OG colorway. The shoe’s black nubuck upper includes a reflective 3M layer with perforations throughout for breathability. The heel, tongue, and lock sport Infrared accents, with the color also featured on the signature midsole detailing. Visible Air in the heel provides cushioning, while the translucent sections continue down onto the outsole for traction.
4. Jordan 1 Retro High OG Shadow 2.0
This very rare OG colorway has hit shelves only three times in the 30 year history of Jordans, making these a must-own for any AJ1 collector. The shoe features a black and grey leather upper with original “Nike Air” branding on the tongue tag and insoles, along with a white midsole and black outsole. It should be noted that the grey leather panels found on the “Shadow 2.0” are lighter in color than the original grey leather on the first “Shadow.”
5. Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Shattered Backboard
Released in 2015, the “Shattered Backboard” Air Jordan 1 High is inspired by a 1985 exhibition game in Italy in which Michael Jordan broke the glass backboard after a dunk. Constructed in high-quality tumbled leather in the original high top silhouette, the orange, black, and white colorway is taken from the team uniform MJ wore during the game and modeled after the OG “Black Toe” AJ1 color block. Highly limited upon its initial release, the “Shattered Backboard” Air Jordan 1 disappeared quickly and is now one of the most sought after pairs of not just Jordans, but of sneakers, in general.
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6. Air Jordan 1 Retro Royal (2017)
An original colorway of Michael Jordan’s first signature shoe, this 2017 re-release receives an upgrade in regards to the quality of materials used and its shape, which is truer to the actual 1985 release. The Varsity Royal blue paneling appears in tumbled leather on the toe box, Swooshes, heel, and ankle.
Black premium leather covers the remainder of the upper to complete the classic color blocking. A clean, white midsole balances out the shoe, maintaining the iconic motif along with the Varsity Royal outsole.
7. Jordan 13 Retro Low Chutney
Putting a spin on the iconic Jordan 13 design, Tinker Hatfield designed the Chutney as a stand out in the Air Jordan family. And stand out they do.
The difference between this chutney design and a traditional 13 lies in the cut. These retros replace the classic high top style with a mid top and feature a tan suede upper.
8. Jordan 1 Retro High Dior
If you happen to have $10k-12k burning a hole in your pocket then here is a place for you to spend it. One of the most highly anticipated launches, The Dior x Air Jordan 1 High sneakers are the first collaboration between the luxury brand and sneaker giant.
Featuring a premium white leather upper with wolf grey overlays and the classic Dior logo on the swoosh, this version of the iconic high-top silhouette is a stand-out. The collar has also been altered, stamped with a special “Air Dior” logo.
9. Air Jordan 1 Retro High Rust Pink
Again, if you happen to have $6+ grand just waiting to be spent, first, what do you do for a living, if I may ask, and second, please buy these shoes. These Jordan 1 Retro High Rust Pink kicks were released in early 2017, adding a coral pink “Rust Pink” hue to the two-tone color blocking previously seen on other classic AJ1 silhouettes.
The black paneling features a premium tumbled leather construction, while the midsole appears in white.
10. Air Jordan 5 Retro SP PS “Off-White - Sail
Every sneakerhead remembers when Nike teamed up with Virgil Abloh for the now iconic “The Ten” collection. Abloh added a second colorway to his Jordan 5 collaboration with the Jordan 5 Retro High “Off-White Sail.” This release pays homage to the first pair of Jordans that Virgil ever owned, the Air Jordan 5.
In signature fashion, Virgil has reimagined this classic silhouette with his own recognizable style. This Jordan 5 consists of a sail textile mesh upper with translucent netted panels and circular window inserts throughout the shoe. 3M reflective tongues, fire red Jordan branding, and an aged translucent outsole completes the design.
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