First, I have to say that I am not much of a drinker. Even in a non-pregnant state I don't drink often. Maybe a beer every once in a while. And Rykert doesn't drink at all. Never has. Though I think he would want me to say that he has no moral qualms against drinking, he just has literally never been a drinker.
This is the reason that we had never even heard of Templeton Rye until a couple of weeks ago. My sister sent me an email and let me know that my brother-in-law was looking for it, and that if I happened to come across any, pick it up. It was apparently quite hard to find and people were clamoring for it. Even though I had not, until that moment, really even heard of the stuff, I do love a good scavenger hunt. I come by this honestly. Every Christmas Rykert and I try to find out what the "hot" toy will be and then consider scavenging to find it so that we can re-sell on Ebay. We've never actually done it, but we talk about it every year. So, I went out on this Cabbage Patch Kid-esque odyssey.
I started my scavenger hunt at my regular grocery store (or more specifically, the affiliated liquor store next door). When I asked if they had any, the guy pretty much laughed in my face and told me that it was sold out "everywhere." From that point, it was on. My next stop was another liquor store down the street (the advantage of a college town is that there are no shortages of stores selling liquor), and the college kid working was more helpful in offering tips on where I might find some. On my third stop I found it. And I bought a case. I'm sure the picture of me, now visibly pregnant, standing in The Cigarette Outlet purchasing a case of high-end booze was lovely. Classy, if you will. And this is how I became a pregnant bootlegger (well not really, at least not in the legal sense, since I'm not reselling it, I want to be clear about that).
So what is this stuff? I had to do some research. Apparently during Prohibition, farmers in Templeton, Iowa (as well as other areas) made rye whiskey using family recipes. Templeton Rye became popular in speakeasies in Chicago, Omaha, Kansas City, and beyond. And purportedly, it was the whiskey of choice of Al Capone. The recipe was resurrected in 2006, a corporation was formed, and the booze began to be sold legally for the first time. The corporation is still based in the small town of Templeton, Iowa and is the largest employer in the small town. It is bottled by a crew of volunteers who originally responded to a advertisement in the church bulletin, but now include fans that come from all over to participate. It is still made in small batches, and the State of Iowa apparently limits the amount that can be distributed in the state creating at least the appearance of scarcity. And that is all I know about it, but I have to say that I like the "localness" and history (though it seems a bit exploitive) behind it. It apparently tastes good, if you are into that sort of thing. I'm saving a couple of bottles for gifts and perhaps to take a sip and toast at the end of April.