Best of the Barrel, Indeed!

What happens when you get 500+ people together with 25 tables of almost 60 types of top-shelf booze? A hell of a good time, that's what. 

That's what happened when we gathered at Marathon Music Works on Thursday, September 3rd when Music City Food + Wine Festival joined us to raise funds for Songs for Sound. Songs for Sound is a Nashville-based charity whose core mission is to improve the quality of life for profoundly deaf children worldwide by providing resources to give them the chance at a mainstream life.

The event brought out a record crowd and record number of booze brands. A total of 25 tables were packed with more than 60 products; sampled, stirred and strained - or shaken - into cocktails. 

And our friends at Music City Food + Wine Festival helped with bringing in three of Nashville's favorite spots to provide nibbles for the night. Sinema, Hattie B's and Biscuit Love all brought their a-game and the crowd devoured every single bite. You can sample again from these folks (and so many more!) at the Music City Food + Wine Festival on September 19-20. It's a must-see event - kinda like 3st, but all day long and with much more food! Get your tickets here.

But let's talk about the booze. Because there was a TON of it! Of course, with the them of "Best of the Barrel," most were expecting bourbon and whiskey - and we had that in spades. But we also brought in a few surprises including barrel-aged tequila, gins and cachaça. Local bartenders stirred, shook and strained themselves into a frenzy with some of the most creative (and tasty) cocktails we've ever had. 

View the photo booth pictures on facebook.

What We Drank

As you know, we could not do this event without our incredible sponsors. From the venue to the posters, our sponsors help reduce the costs of hosting 3st of the Month so we're able to give even more to our charity partners. 

Emma Email Marketing
Food Sheriff Consumable Branding
Generation Domination
Liberty Party Rental
Mountain Agency
Moxie Print Market
Music City Food + Wine Festival
Nashville Audio Visual
SPEAKeasy Marketing
UBER Nashville

Rum for Days

Today, Sunday August 16, is National Rum Day.

Seriously, only one day? Rum should at least have a whole month! You see, we kinda love rum. Regardless of whether it's white, brown or yellow, rum is one of those spirits that just doesn't get the love it deserves.

After all, it was RUM that helped us get through Prohibition. Just because the laws shut down (legal) production of booze here in the states, that did not mean other countries had to stop. And folks ("rum runners") would bring this sugarcane spirit up from the tropics where we discovered the joys of a good rum buzz. 

Through the months, we've been lucky to have some seriously amazing rums participate in 3st of the Month. And through that time, we've whipped up a ton of rum-based cocktails. So, it seems only fitting to share some (30!) of those with you on this most sacred of days. Drink up!

throw your own 3st this july

After almost a full year of putting on some incredible boozy gatherings every month on the 3rd (or 3st) of the month, we're taking this July off. 

We've planned this all along, knowing that July is a crazy month for everyone and that we would be ready for a break. And while we're already working on our big return in August (and other upcoming months), we figured it would only be right to invite you to host your own 3st of the Month this July. 

We pulled inspiration from fireworks and created new cocktails that are perfect for the holiday and drinking during the summer months. Be they red, white, blue or just plain boozy, they're all pretty darn good. So, gather a few friends, pick a few (or even all) of these drinks below, put on our special playlist of new summer music and PARTY like it's the 3st of the Month!

We'll see you in August!

summer drinkin'

Yup. Regardless whether it's "official" or not, it's definitely summer here in Nashville. 90+ temps are a better determination of the season than the Summer Solstice (June 21, in case you're wondering). 

When it comes to summer drinks, we like to keep them light, bright and refreshing. Be it Tiki or Tequila, there's no shortage of cocktails you can make this summer. And luckily for you, we've collected our favorite recipes right here for your boozy enjoyment. 

And if you don't have time to grab a bunch of ingredients, keep it simple. Just pick up some flavored seltzer (we love LaCroix) and booze. It can be that easy, folks.

So, grab some ice, a few buddies and get to drinkin'! 

for the love of negroni

The Martini. The Margarita. The Old Fashioned. Every now and then a cocktail comes along that captures the attention of many. It's just a shame it took so damn long for the Negroni to do that. 

Traditionally made with equal portions of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, the Negroni is a lesson in simplicity and balance. But start tweaking the ingredients in just the slightest way (even just use different types of gin), and the Negroni can be as diverse as the people that make them. Maybe that's why Imbibe Magazine and Campari have teamed up to celebrate Negroni Week.

Started in 2013, Negroni Week is a week-long celebration of one of the world’s great cocktails and an effort to raise money for charitable causes around the world. From 2013 to 2014, Negroni Week grew from more than 100 participating bars to more than 1,300 participating bars around the world and more than $120,000 raised for charities. 2015 promises to be another record-setting year with more than 2600 bars and restaurants already signed up. Perhaps even cooler, each bar can select the charity they want to support. 

Here in Nashville, there are several bars participating in Negroni Week (you can see and search all bars from around the world on the Negroni Week website). We don't know about you, but we're definitely planning on hitting up at least a few of those to support the cause. Yeah yeah, it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

At the time of publishing, here are the local spots you can go to enjoy a Negroni for Negroni Week:

Of course, you're welcome to make your own. Lucky for you, we've got some recipes for you below. 

gin: 101

A few months back we sent out a survey to our members asking them (among other things) what booze they hoped to see at a future 3st of the Month. The overwhelming winner was gin. This honestly surprised us a bit. We had already been planning on doing a gin-themed 3st, but knew it has a bit of a bad rap. You can thank your grandfather for that. People seem to think all gin tastes like pine trees (not that that's a bad thing). They're wrong.

Gin is for cocktails - not on its own. You can drink tequila and mescal as shots, and vodka is served chilled with food (zakuski) in its native land. Bourbon, rye and whiskey drinkers might add some ice or a splash of water. Gin is meant to be mixed, however, as the botanicals (herbs, spices etc.) come to life in cocktails and add complexity to the drink. This is why so many classic cocktails call for gin
— Simon Ford, Gin Historian

The truth is gin is about as diverse of a spirit as you can find. Whereas vodka, tequila, whiskey and bourbon all pretty much owe their differences to the types of grains (or agave), methods of fermentation and distillation, time of again and barrels used (if any), gin has all of those and more. Because, unlike these other spirits, gin is a result secret formulations of botanicals added at different points of the process to result in a highly flavorful spirit. To be called "gin" it must have some juniper, but the other botanicals can include a wide array of herbs, vegetables, flowers, fruits, spices and even tea. Each brand uses a different formula and many use different base spirits to begin with. Some are even aged in barrels. It's pretty complex shit. So, to help prep you for Juniper June, we've put together a bit of a gin primer to get you 'ed-gin-icated' on the types of gin.


Pronounced (in this country anyway) "gin-KNEE-ver," Genever is basically the 'grandfather' of gin. Though the true history is fuzzy to say the best (we are talking about booze here after all), it's thought that it was the Dutch that started making gin by adding juniper to cover the taste of the alcohol. Genever was originally used medicinally, thought to 'cure' ailments ranging from kidney ailments to gallstones to gout. Today, Genever is made from a base spirit distilled from malted wine, giving it a soft mouth feel and slightly sweeter flavor than many other gins.

London Dry

Many think of London as the birthplace of gin due to their longstanding history with it. It's said that in the year 1730, the average Londoner drank 18 gallons of gin a year! Today, London Dry Gin is used to describe a style of gin, not the location in which it is made. Like the name would suggest London Dry gin is dry, meaning not sweet. It's the classic gin that people think of when they say they 'don't like gin,' most often due to the dry nature and highly-flavored botanical profile, of which juniper is the predominant ingredient. Sometimes just referred to as London Gin, it's distilled from grain and then distilled again with the actual plant material that adds the flavor. To be called London Gin, it not have sugar or other additives other than water and the plant materials that flavor it.


Rich in flavor and texture like Genever, yet dry like London Gin, Plymouth Gin is a unique, protected style of gin originating from the city of Plymouth, South West England. Since 1793 it has been distilled from a unique blend of 7 botanicals, soft Dartmoor water and pure grain alcohol at the historic Black Friars Distillery - the oldest working distillery in England.

Old Tom

Though not as popular as it's gin siblings, Old Tom Gin is essentially a sweeter version of London Gin. Still made from grain distillates and highly flavored. Old Tom Gin became popular in 18th Century England before falling out of favor. Thanks to the craft cocktail movement, many new Old Tom recipes are being released commercially.

New American or International-Style

In some cases, the only thing New American Gin has in common with the other varieties is juniper. But that's where the similarities can end, as all rules are discarded and a range of new and exciting botanicals are added through various methods, imparting a huge variety of flavor from brand to brand. Just by substituting a New American Gin for London Gin, a classic cocktail and be new again. 

the big orange

Sip on this! Easy summertime drinkin' with the "Big Orange"

With a holiday weekend ahead, it's the unofficial kickoff of summer, which means long days on the lake with drink in hand. Lucky for us, this guest post from Jacob Jones at Mountain should get you set for the summer ahead.

When I was young, my family would take the drive once a year from our tiny farm town in Indiana to Dale Hollow Lake on the Kentucky/Tennessee border. Dale Hollow meant all things summer to me back then. We'd spend a week water skiing, swimming, tubing and staying up all night. My parent's had a crew of friends with tons of kids combined. For an 8 year old kid, it felt pretty much like middle American paradise.

For the adults though, it meant letting loose from the grind of work weeks, playing cards and getting drunk. My parents were fairly young, so they were still able to throw down every once in a while. They'd listen to The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty all night. They got louder and louder by the hour. They danced. They got smashed at least one night of the trip. Who could blame them? 

Back then, everything felt very blue collar. It's been my experience that blue collar and middle class people are by far the most fun to party with. My folks and their friends weren't fancy, but they made strong drinks and held their own. 

They had this one concoction called "Big Orange" or "Big O," as it came to be known. They'd make a big batch in the morning and sip this stuff all day. The "Big O" days on the lake were always the most fun to watch. My dad would jump off 40 foot cliffs into the lake. The entire house boat of adults sang John Mellencamp at the top of their lungs. The Big O flowed. All before four in the afternoon.

The kick in "Big O" was gin and, this being gin month at 3st Of The Month, I thought I'd share this little Indiana secret with you.

"Big Orange"

1 Handle of Seagrams Gin (Yes, it needs to be Seagrams. Nothing fancy here)
2 Two Liter bottles of Mountain Dew
6 Oranges
6 Limes
6 Lemons

Squeeze all the fruit and combine all ingredients in a giant bowl. Pour over ice and sip.

I know what you're thinking....Mountain Dew, really? Really? Yep. This isn't mixology. Trust me. 

Make some "Big O" next time you hit the lake and you'll have stories for months. Its a boozy, citrusy, caffeinated experience that goes perfectly with Bruce Springsteen, sunburns and the best times of your life. Oh, and go ahead and buy some Advil.


the go-to

It seems we all have that one 'go-to' drink. In this guest blog post from Henry Pile of Mountain, you'll read about his. And it's damn good.

What’s your go-to drink? You know, the one you turn to when friends stop by. The one that everyone asks you to make. The one you love to drink on a warm saturday afternoon.

I love a cold can of beer. Zero maintenance. Easy to keep at the ready. Portable. Reliable. But, it lacks imagination. My can of beer is as good as yours or anyone else’s. There’s nothing special about it.

The next is a “something and something.” Think of this as Gin and Tonic or Whiskey and Lemonade or Rum and Coke. I think Peggy Olson said it best when considering Mountain Dew and vodka as  “an emergency.” A last resort. Desperate.

If you come to my house, you’ll drink an ice cold Old Fashioned. That’s my go-to. But, in making this drink over the years, I’ve found a few derivations that make it uniquely my own.

I don’t usually have simple syrup on hand, but I always have sugar cubes. I drop one in the bottom of a rocks glass and three dashes of Bitter Truth lemon bitters.

I smash the sugar and spread it around the bottom and side of the glass. Then I add one dropper of Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters around the sides.

Drop in a  full scoop of ice.

Add ½ ounce of Cointreau.

Add 2 ounces of Belle Meade Bourbon

Grab that long mixing spoon and stir 40-50 turns. This helps melt the ice and mellow the drink. It also blends the sugar on the bottom.

Lastly, cut a slice of lemon peel and rub the rim.

From time to time, I’ll try a variation (orange, different bitters, Rye…), but this is my go-to. You should have one as well. But don’t rush into it. Let the trial and error be a fun process. Hell, you’re drinking! Relax and enjoy it.

green cocktails!

Admit it. You've done the green beer thing. . .only to wake in the middle of the night with a horrible case of green vomit. 

Well, you're older and wiser now. And you deserve to celebrate St Patrick's Day with a little more class and style. 

With this in mind, we've pulled together our favorite green drinks - both naturally colored and brightly colored - to give you a little boozy inspiration.