Breaking a cork into your wine is a relatively familiar problem. Like all beverage professionals and functioning alcoholics, we’ve explored its causes and sought best-practice solutions.
But! What if you pull off the cap of a beloved whisk(e)y only to find yourself with a handful of wood or plastic topper, while the cork remains firmly wedged in the neck of the bottle?
For those of us who adore brown spirits, and find that our dexterity decreases with consumption, this is a very real problem. We took it to the experts.
“When a cork separates from the cap and the cork is still in the mouth of the bottle, carefully use a corkscrew to remove the cork, just like with a bottle of wine,” advises Doug Kragel, Bulleit‘s North American whiskey educator.
If the cork falls into the bottle (or you accidentally push it in while attempting to secure your corkscrew), “Take another empty bottle or jug, and with a sieve pour the liquid out into the empty vessel,” Mahesh Patel, Universal Whisky Experience founder, wrote in an email. Kragel suggests a mesh strainer or cheesecloth for such an endeavor.
Then, simply clean your original container, removing all traces of cork, and pour the liquid back into the original bottle.
“Hopefully the whiskey was worthy of being stored in your home bar decanter,” Kragel says. And hopefully you kept the stopper. Alternatively, Patel suggests using another cork (from a wine bottle, say) to close the bottle. Either way, consider your whiskey and evening saved.