Tennessee, Gin, Rum, Whiskey, White Whiskey, What To Drink, Bartender’s Recommendations, Matt Tocco, Bourbon, Sour Mash, Rolf And Daughters, Nashville, TN, Where to drink, Cocktails, Ingredients, Best Whiskeys for Cocktails, Belle Meade Bourbon, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, George Dickel, Corsair Artisan Distillery, Quinoa Whiskey, Triple Smoke Whiskey, Barrel Aged Gin, Prichard’s, Kelso, TN, Lincoln County Process, Tennessee Whiskey, Single Malt Whiskey


Liquor Recommendations from Nashville Bartender Matt Tocco

Bartender Matt Tocco

He heads the cocktail program at Rolf and Daughters restaurant and before that spent three years honing his skills at The Patterson House.

He believes in minimalist three ingredient cocktails, but isn’t afraid of pushing the creative boundary. When looking for liquors that work well in cocktails, he emphasizes spirits that have a unique flavor profile and come with a punch.

Tennessee Liquors

Belle Meade Bourbon

Made by a distillery called Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. Their grandfather used to distill pre-Prohibition and it was actually one of the biggest distilleries around here. It went out of business because of Prohibition and now they’re bringing back their grandfather’s bourbon.

It's not a Tennessee whiskey in the sense that it's not going to go through what's called the Lincoln County Process. The Lincoln County Process is a charcoal filtering process. Both George Dickel and Jack Daniel's follow that process. Belle Meade is more like a Kentucky-style bourbon, but it has a good amount of rye flavor to it too. It's not just corn and wheat and really sweet. It has a little bit more of spice and pepper to it.

Website: greenbrierdistillery.com

George Dickel

A local classic beyond Jack. I really like the flavor of it -- better than Jack Daniel’s. Because of the flavor and price point, it works well in cocktails. They just released a rye whiskey and I'm kind of excited about it, but it’s distilled in Indiana rather than Tennessee.

Website: dickel.com

Corsair Artisan Distillery

It’s the first distillery to start distilling within the Nashville city limits since before Prohibition. They're doing a lot of experimental stuff.

Website: corsairartisan.com

Triple Smoke Whiskey

It's a smoked American whiskey, which is not something that happens very often. It’s peat-smoked, which means it's like Scotch, but American. It’s not as bulky-flavored as a Scotch and they use three fractions of malted barley. They're smoking with cherry, peat, and beechwood.

Quinoa Whiskey

Is has a really soft flavor, without a lot of backbone. When you make cocktails, you need whiskies with a strong flavor and a lot of spice and pepper to them. The Quinoa whiskey is not necessarily something I would use in cocktails, but it’s a cool thing.

Barrel-Aged Gin

They start with their own gin and they barrel-age it in their spiced rum barrels. It has a cinnamon quality to it, which is really unique for gin, because you don’t normally associate gin with cinnamon at all.


They're a cool company in Kelso, TN. They have whiskeys and rums. I’m not a big fan of white whiskeys, but I like their aged whiskeys a lot. I really like the Tennessee Whiskey and the Single Malt Whiskey.

Website: prichardsdistillery.com

Tennessee Whiskey

It goes through the Lincoln County Process which means it has a charcoal-filtered flavor to it. It gives the whiskey a smoky, minerally, earthly flavor. That one I'm a big fan of. 

Single Malt Whiskey

It's a good high proof whiskey that has some backbone to it, so it works well in cocktails from that perspective, but doesn't necessarily from a price point.

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General Information

Rolf & Daughters


New American / Cocktails

700 Taylor Street

Nashville, TN 37208

T: 615.866.9897








The Pros

- Chef Philip Krajeck

- Sommelier Mollie Ward

- Bartender Matt Tocco