City Guides » Restaurant Guide

Days of Wine and Boozes

Fine wines, moonshine and whiskey


35. Let a Little Time Go By

Rick Blaine wouldn't let Sam play "As Time Goes By" in his cafe, but if you visit Rick's Cafe Americain at The Flicks theater—named after the eponymous Rick's in Casablanca—time won't just go by, it'll fly. With a respectable lineup of libations—beer, wine, hard lemonade and cider—Rick's at The Flicks is one of Boise's best kept secrets, especially during the sweltering summer months when nothing beats a glass of wine on a shady patio. Of course you can come for the movies, but you don't need a ticket to let a little time go by under the leafy canopy at Rick's.

36. Start Blushing Over Idaho Rose

The rose renaissance is sometimes dated back to 2006, when the New York Times "Sunday Styles" section declared rose "the summer drink to be seen with." Almost 10 years later, a January 2014 Nielsen report showed retail sales of premium imported roses in the United States jumped 39 percent year over year. Domestic thirst for the variety is also fierce: the U.S. consumes 13 percent of all rose in the world, second only to France, and this year rose is expected to make up 15 percent of all wine consumed nationwide.

A handful of Idaho wineries are also thinking pink. Garden City's Cinder Wines took silver medals in the 2014 Great Northwest Wine Competition and the 2014 Sunset International Wine Competition for its syrah-based 2013 Snake River Valley dry rose. Meanwhile, Sawtooth Winery in Nampa earned the gold medal/best rose at the 2013 Idaho Wine Competition for its 2013 and 2012 Classic Fly Series rose made with cinsault and muscat blanc. Finally, Caldwell-based Indian Creek Winery won a silver medal for its 2014 Rose of Syrah at the 2014 Savor Northwest Wine Awards and a gold medal for its Rose of Mouvedre at the 2014 Great Northwest Wine Competition.

A new crop of local distillers are raising spirits in Boise. - JEFFREY C. LOWE
  • Jeffrey C. Lowe
  • A new crop of local distillers are raising spirits in Boise.

37. Take a Shine to Hometown hooch

A new batch of local distillers has taken a shine to making unaged corn hooch, aka moonshine. Both 8 Feathers Distillery and Idaho Bourbon Distillers are producing their own versions of white lightning. 8 Feathers sources local corn to make its 92-proof unfiltered Idaho corn whiskey, which is then aged briefly in uncharred barrels to give it a light yellow hue and slight oak character. Idaho Bourbon Distillers makes a 100-proof clear corn whiskey and recently released its aged Idaho Bourbon Whiskey—the first Idaho bourbon distilled and aged locally.

38. Whiskey Bar: It's Neat (and Rocks)

A stellar Manhattan at Whiskey Bar. - KELSEY HAWES
  • Kelsey Hawes
  • A stellar Manhattan at Whiskey Bar.

Though Boise's Main Street might feel a bit like Bourbon Street after a Boise State win, once you squeeze past all the debauchery, you'll find the real Bourbon Street. With a selection of more than 50 bourbons—not to mention around 20 ryes and innumerable Scotch, Irish, Canadian and Japanese whiskeys—Whiskey Bar caters to the brown liquor connoisseur. Want your whiskey a little more tarted up than the classic neat or rocks preparation? Go with a Manhattan. At Whiskey Bar, you can choose your favorite bourbon or rye (or just point to one at random) and the bartenders will mix it up with Carpano Antica vermouth, Angostura or Peychaud's bitters, and top it with a cherry.