Rachel is a beta tester of the New York Times’ Cooking site. It is fabulous and we can’t wait until it becomes available to everyone. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the easy access to fun cocktail recipes like this one, from Florence Fabricant.
1 Navel orange
1 tsp. Sugar
3 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Amontillado Sherry
1 oz. Domaine de Canton
Cut two thin slices of orange and liberally sugar one side of each. Place sugar side down in a hot skillet and let brown for a couple minutes. When they are caramelized, remove them from the pan and set them aside to cool. Juice the rest of the orange and combine its juice with the bourbon, sherry, and Domaine de Canton in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake briefly to combine and strain into two lowball glasses with ice. Garnish each with an orange slice, caramelized side up.
This cocktail is light enough for a hot summer day, but still quite sophisticated. It has a lush nuttiness that brings smoothness and depth to the ginger and citrus. Sherry and bourbon are a pairing we’ll be exploring more, to be sure.
We try to space out these bourbon beer posts, but it’s summer and it’s hot and sometimes a beer is necessary to chill the fudge out and cool off. We’ve already tried the Widmer Brothers Barrel-Aged Brrrbon 2010 and 2012 releases, so we’re filling the gap with the 2011 release here. We were especially stoked to find a 2011 because it’s already been bottled for 3 years. This means we don’t have to cellar it and can drink it right away.
We’ve said in a previous post that the Widmer Brrrbon’s are a can’t-miss every year. This is no exception. It’s smooth, balanced, and delicious. Rachel says it smells like vanilla and leather. She could not confirm that it tastes like leather, as she hasn’t chewed on leather before. Patrick, on the other hand, has chewed on many a baseball mitt during his baseball days, and this beer does not taste like baseball mitt. The only criticism is Rachel wished for slightly more carbonation because she likes carbonation.
(Source: ohhsob, via thepacificcoastwithcoffee)
We recently made orgeat and continue to find new ways to enjoy it. With the weather being super hot here in Portland, we figured now would be a good time put our orgeat to good use. This cocktail is a simple bourbon drink from Erick Castro of Polite Provisions.
2 oz. Bourbon
½ oz. Orgeat
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a coupe and garnish with a lemon peel.
This may be our favorite orgeat cocktail to date because it has every element in perfect balance: spicy (we intentionally chose a spicier bourbon), sweet and floral (orgeat), bitters, and just a hint of citrus from the garnish. Also, it is dead simple to make, which is wonderful in hot weather when it feels like everything is in slow motion.
Congress (Bar Tab)
for The New Yorker
I made a little spot illo for a bar review in The New Yorker. Much of the work was already done for me—Congress has gorgeous custom-designed wallpaper which inspired my final piece. Thanks AD Jordan Awan.
Hot weather calls for cold beer. We call for beer that’s been aged in bourbon barrels and Breakside Brewery answers.
This beer is heavy on the vanilla and cherry flavors, but manages to retain some lightness due to its sparkly carbonation. This was a limited-release beer that we managed to score several months ago because the brewery is local (in Portland). According to Breakside, “it is 80% English old ale aged in Bourbon barrels for seven months and 20% freshly brewed English strong ale.”
We thought this beer was good but not great. Its flavor profile is familiar territory for anyone who regularly drinks bourbon-barrel aged beer, which is not a bad thing, but it is less interesting than we had hoped. It reminded us vaguely of root beer. It’s a dark amber color with a loose head when freshly poured.
We’ve been enjoying the Texas Grapefruit Shrub from Liber & Co. This cocktail is another take on the Texas Mingle but it comes on a little stronger.
2 oz. Bourbon
½ oz. Liber & Co. Texas Grapefruit Shrub
Thoroughly muddle the cucumber pieces in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice, bourbon, and grapefruit shrub and shake vigorously to combine. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with mint and another cucumber slice.
We love the cooling effect of the cucumber on an otherwise strong blend of flavors. Make sure to use a cucumber at the peak of freshness, and the mint garnish is important for the palate as well. You can slap it against your palm before placing in the glass to release its oils.
Happy long weekending!
(photos by Cameron Carnes)
We recently got a chance to sample some cocktail syrups from Liber & Co., a small business out of Austin, Texas. We love the opportunity to experiment with new ingredients, and cocktail syrups are always a fun element. We’ve been most excited about their Texas Grapefruit flavor because grapefruit and bourbon complement each other so well. Today was also 99 degrees in Portland, which made it the perfect day to mix up a summery cocktail.
2 oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Liber & Co. Texas Grapefruit Shrub
2 oz. Sparkling wine
Thoroughly muddle cucumber in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice, bourbon, and grapefruit shrub and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a mint sprig and cucumber.
Dreamed up by Rachel while commuting in the 95+ degree weather, this cocktail helped us combat the heat. The grapefruit and bourbon are wonderful summer flavors, and the cucumber and sparkling wine add a refreshing and smooth quality to the drink. We can’t wait to try out more of Liber & Co.’s cocktail syrups.
*Even though this nightcap was on Liber & Co.’s tab, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free drinks don’t automatically taste better.