After 10+ years of writing and hosting events here at Worn & Wound, if there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s that watches and whiskey go hand-in-hand. If you care deeply about watches, you likely care deeply about your whiskey. Case in point, meet our friend, Thomas Mauriello. He’s an expert outdoorsman, a budding mixologist, and an avid watch collector.
Tommy works for Wyoming Whiskey and he pitched us on the idea of hitting the Appalachian Trail to forage for interesting, locally-found mix-ins for an on-the-trail cocktail. We all loved the idea and are excited to introduce this concept to you as well, so excited that Wyoming Whiskey has created a special discount code specifically for Worn & Wound readers. Simply click this link and use the promo code: wornandwound for a 10% discount off a bottle of Wyoming Whiskey.
In the meantime, feel free to learn more about our pal Tommy, the brand, and the ingredients for your own foraged cocktail.
Hey Tommy! Thanks for coming up with such a cool idea for our readers. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure. My name is Tommy Mauriello. I have the pleasure of working with Edrington Spirits in NYC and Connecticut and preach the good word for Wyoming Whiskey. I’m originally from Brooklyn, NY so I love everything the city has to offer. But I spent a ton of time in Upstate NY, so I’m as comfortable in the woods as I am in the schoolyard. I’m a whiskey guy. I’m a watch guy. I’m an outdoors guy. I’m most importantly a husband and a dad.
What exactly got you interested in the outdoors?
My grandparents lived in Upstate NY and we’d go up there all the time, in the summer and in the winter. We had quads. We had mountain bikes. I just loved jumping into their lake, or going out on it when it was frozen. We fished. We skied. It really got me interested in the outdoors and all those kinds of activities.
So, you’re a whiskey guy. You’re an outdoors guy. But you’re also a watch guy. What was it that got you interested in watches?
My dad and brothers always wore watches. For my confirmation, the gift from my brother who was my sponsor was a beautiful Swiss Army watch. When you go through confirmation, for me it was all about growing up and becoming a man. So this watch was both about status and sentiment, but it represented this manly sort of thing. Later in life, that same older brother got a Breitling, and he taught me all about pilot watches. I was way into the Blue Angels and the USS Intrepid Air & Space Museum as a kid and watches just became a perfect embodiment of my passions.
Can you tell us a bit about the watch you brought on this little adventure you’ve crafted for us?
For this little excursion, I brought one of my favorite timepieces, the Seiko 6105-8110 aka “The Captain Willard.” I sourced this particular watch through our mutual friends at Analog/Shift. It was originally purchased at PX in Vietnam during the war as an upgrade from the stand issue watches. It can take anything that’s thrown its way and is virtually indestructible. It’s famously worn by Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now, hence the nickname. I felt it was just the right vibe for this on-the-trail cocktail moment.
You’ve talked about the crossover between whiskey and watch enthusiasts. What is it about whiskey and watches that works so well together?
When you start to understand the nuances of both categories, you understand that there’s both a whiskey and a watch for every occasion. You have your everyday whiskey. You have the whiskey you want to flex with and show your friends that you know what you’re talking about. And there’s that whiskey you hide from your friends and you only sip with your dad. Then there’s that bang-around whiskey you can throw in your pack for the weekend.
Watches have that same feel. You have your everyday watch, your dress watch, your tool watch and pairing the right watch for the right activity, and even with the right whiskey can be incredibly rewarding.
What makes Wyoming Whiskey so special?
It’s right there in the name. When you think bourbon, your mind goes right to Kentucky. Well, from here on out, when you think whiskey, you should think Wyoming. Every drop of Wyoming Whiskey is made in Kirby, Wyoming and aged in an uncontrolled environment for a minimum of five years in one of six rick houses. That’s not true of every whiskey you run into. From the start they only select Wyoming-sourced corn, winter wheat, barley, and winter rye for specific starches and sugars, which are the building blocks of whiskey making.
The corn strains used take exactly 91 days to mature, which is ideal for Wyoming’s high elevation and short growing season. A mile below Wyoming is a limestone aquifer where they get all their water. The limestone rock there is millions of years old and the pure water that it filters hasn’t seen the light of day for over 6,000 years. So it’s truly being seasoned by all things Wyoming. It’s this kind of extreme attention to sourcing and details that sets Wyoming Whiskey apart and why we’re so excited to introduce it to Worn & Wound’s readers.
So we’re on the Appalachian Trail today, foraging for an on-the-trail cocktail. Can you tell us what we’re making, and what the ingredients we’re looking for are?
I wanted to embrace the culture of Wyoming Whiskey for this cocktail. So I thought it would be cool to replicate that and source all our mixers from the state of New York. I’ve been on this section of the Appalachian Trail several times and I had this idea to go out and forage for my own cocktail in the woods. Foraging is a lot of fun and for this I knew there would be mint and berries along this part of the trail. I was honestly looking for blackberries when we stumbled upon raspberries.
So, outside of a lemon and the simple syrup, which I made, we were able to find some raspberries and mint for a perfect New York Bourbon Smash. So all you need for a Bourbon Smash is: whiskey, citrus such as lemon, simple syrup, herbs, and berries—and in this case we found mint and picked raspberries.
What kind of prep do you need to do beforehand and what gear should you bring?
Whenever you’re going into the woods, it all starts with footwear. I learned quickly as a Brooklyn kid that my Jordans weren’t going to cut it. You also need something with an edge. So for this hike I chose Merrell boots and classic Buck Knife. For my pack and apparel, I went with my favorite outfitter Filson. They make high-quality gear that looks great and in the case of warm-weather hiking, also keeps you cool and protects you from the sun.
Now, I don’t normally carry the full bar roll setup, but I wanted to provide your readers with the complete cocktail experience. Filson’s Ripstop Nylon Pack totally went with the vibe of the day and handled all the tools I wanted to bring. So, I brought tin shakers from Cocktail Kingdom, a Japanese jigger, a bar spoon, a Hawthorn strainer, a big old muddler for us to really hammer the flavors of the mint and raspberries together with the lemon juice and simple syrup.
Can you give us some tips and tricks around mixing the ideal on-trail cocktail? What’s different about doing this in the wild vs. at a bar cart?
You have a lot more ingredients at a bar cart, so you want to make sure that you get your measurements right, because in the wild you might not have a second chance if you accidentally spill or mismeasure. So the pressure is on to make sure you’re doing everything right. You don’t want to have to backtrack to the spot where you found your foraged ingredients.
When you take a challenging hike, a classic watch, and well-crafted whiskey cocktail and wrap them into one experience, in your words, why is that such a rewarding combo?
When you take that hike and you’ve discovered those ingredients, you’ve truly earned that relaxing and memorable moment. And that’s what a cocktail should do… relax and replenish you. It makes you feel good to earn that moment at the end of a hike and it feels rewarding to gather ingredients that can’t get any fresher. So the flavors of that particular drink in that specific spot creates a cocktail-sipping moment you’ll never be able to replicate exactly again. It’s a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
Thankfully, since I have a special watch from my collection on-wrist, whenever I look at my Seiko 6105 again, I can relive that one-of-a-kind moment again and again. That’s what’s cool about whiskey and watches, they’re both storytellers that evoke specific memories.
Thanks for sharing this adventure with us Tommy, it’s been inspiring.
Thank you for allowing me to introduce your readers to this wild idea. I’ve been excited to share with you all for some time. Hopefully, your audience will enjoy an on-the-trail cocktail of their own on their next adventure with their favorite watch.
Once again, simply click this link and use the promo code: wornandwound for a 10% discount off a bottle of Wyoming Whiskey.
wardrobe provided by Filson