I absolutely love mead, but it’s hard to find in most stores. Is there a type of wine that approximates the taste of honey mead?

Mead is growing in popularity. But you’re right — it’s still pretty tough to find, unless you’re in a region that’s known for it, like Michigan. In these regions, the mead really is flowing. But in most of the country, mead hasn’t caught on in a way that many would like it to.

But if you’re looking for those honey flavors, you’re in luck, because one of the incredible things about grapes is that they have this ability to taste like flavors other than, well, grapes, without any other flavors actually being added to the wine! Crazy, right?! So, if honey’s your jam, look for a sweet Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, or a Sauternes. You’ll fall in love with their honey flavors, and you may not miss the mead at all.

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There’s this bar I love that makes incredible cocktails. But the bartenders are SO RUDE. How to handle this?

The only way to handle rude people, whether it’s rude bartenders, wine snobs, or just general bad behavior in the service industry, is to vote with your wallet. Even if the drinks are awesome, if the bartenders are rude and make you feel terrible, why drink there? There are plenty of other awesome bars in the world.

But if you’re sitting in a bar and you’ve ordered a drink and the bartender is making you unhappy, don’t feel that you need to tip them. That tip is for good service. And they are apparently unwilling to provide it.

What is the difference between bourbon and rye whiskey? Is the difference detectable by taste?

The biggest difference between these two whiskeys is the main ingredient. For rye to be rye, the mash bill must be at least 51 percent rye, whereas for bourbon to be bourbon, it must be made of at least 51 percent corn. The remaining 49 percent of both of these whiskeys can be corn, rye, or barley, but the base requirement clearly sets them apart.

Now let’s talk about the difference in taste. Due to bourbon’s corn base, the whiskey will be sweet and caramel-like, while rye grains lend a spicier, more savory note to the whiskey. The fact that one is spicier and one is sweeter is important to remember when it comes to cocktails. Despite the fact that drinks like the Old Fashioned are now made with whatever whiskey you want, traditionally, cocktails took into account the personality of their ingredients. An Old Fashioned that called for the addition of sugar would use rye; bourbon’s sweetness, combined with the sugar, was thought to make the drink too cloying.