First of all, we apologize for our absence last week. We were way too sick and in no condition to be drinking, let alone making drinks or food to be sharing with all of you. But we’re back now! Hooray!
Before our productivity got all sidetracked by the coldest of colds, we had the pleasure to be invited to the Heathman Restaurant & Bar to launch their new cocktail menu. The revamped menu features spirits from local Portland distilleries. We were lucky enough to sample all of their new menu, and were especially fond of the Vineyard Margarita, which is a delicious margarita topped with a float of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. (If you haven’t had Oregon Pinot Noir then go drink some now.) Of course, the highlight for us was the Orchard Old Fashioned.
If you’re in Portland, be sure to stop at the Heathman for one of these. If you’re not in the area, try mixing one for yourself with Maker’s Mark, Clear Creek Pear Brandy syrup, and apple bitters.
photo via Bourbon & Banter
We love beer. It’s delicious and tasty and sometimes after a series of long days the most relaxing thing to do is just bust a cap off a bottle and share a beer together. Luckily we’ve been hoarding a number of bourbon barrel beers. Tonight we decided to break into our Anderson Valley Bourbon Barrel Stout. We don’t know much about Anderson Valley except that they’re based in California. This happens a lot, actually. We’ll try almost any beer aged in bourbon barrels, which leads to trying a lot of new breweries. Another benefit of having a blog where we write about bourbon! We also don’t know much about this beer except that it’s a “Malt beverage aged in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels,” because it says that right there on the bottle. Also, it’s about 6.9% alcohol (which seems low for a barrel aged stout). Oh, and it’s aged in Wild Turkey barrels for 3-4 months. We learned that through this nifty little video that we found because the Internet is pretty great!
Also pretty great: this beer. It’s super dark and chocolatey, but also very smooth. A lot of these dark bourbon stouts can get too thick or sometimes syrupy. Not this one, though. It’s got a light carbonation that Rachel described as very similar to champagne bubbles. This keeps the texture super light and keeps the beer balanced. It also gives the beer a short, sweet aftertaste. CONCLUSION: This is a delicious beer and you shouldn’t buy it because we would like to have more for ourselves.
It’s no secret that Patrick’s favorite cocktail is a Sazerac (let’s ignore for now that it doesn’t contain bourbon). This variation on the Sazerac from 500 Tasty Sandwiches was a must-try for us, especially because Rachel acquired a taste for orange blossom water in Tunisia.
2 oz. Bourbon
3-4 dashes Orange bitters
½ oz. Simple syrup
¼ oz. Orange blossom water
Splash of Absinthe
Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a lowball glass with a large ice cube or ball. Garnish with an orange twist.
One of the reasons we love bourbon so much is that with so many different proofs and mash bills, it’s easy to find the perfect bourbon for any cocktail recipe. For example, this cocktail has a lot going on. We love its citrus freshness as well as its heavy floral notes, and we used a higher proof bourbon to offset these strong flavors. We recommend using thyme simple syrup to complement the herbal flavors of the absinthe.
(Source: distinguished-gentlemans-club, via thewoundedknee)
There seems to be renewed interest in early twentieth-century America lately. Whether it’s Boardwalk Empire, The Great Gatsby, or Mob City, gangsters are fresh in the imagination. This cocktail supposedly originated with Al Capone and his crew, and we love the fresh take and pretty graphic we found on Bourbon & Banter.
2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Simple syrup
1 oz. Lime juice
2 drops Angostura bitters
1 Mint sprig
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously to mix. Strain into a highball glass with ice and garnish with a fresh mint sprig if desired.
We enjoyed the freshness of this drink. Instead of muddling the mint separately, we put it in the shaker knowing that the ice would muddle it when shaken and save us that extra step. Mint and lime are a classic combination that pair well with a higher strength bourbon like what we used.
If you’re feeling adventurous, make this with ginger syrup. So good!
We recently came across this post at Honestly Yum about making a Negroni-filled ice ball. This isn’t a brand new idea. We’d seen it somewhere on the Interwebs a year or two ago but failed to successfully place a cocktail inside the ice ball without either crushing or melting the ice. The post at Honestly Yum provided such great and detailed instructions that we were able to finally inject an old fashioned into the ice ball.
You don’t necessarily need an ice ball mod, but it’s helpful. This video shows how a few bartenders used water balloons to create their hollow ice balls. Basically, you need to make an ice ball, but before it completely freezes, poke a hole in the top (I used a chopstick to do so), and pour the water out from the center. Now you have a hollow ice ball. I put it back in the freezer for a few hours just to make sure it completely froze. Then make a cocktail and inject it into the hole you poured the water from. I made an old fashioned, but the best part is this works with pretty much any cocktail.
(Source: abbygalloway.com, via abbygalloway)
Sydney Kramer writes one of our favorite food blogs, The Crepes of Wrath. Our home cooking (and drinking) has been inspired countless times by her blog. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram as well.
I’ve long been a fan of There Will Be Bourbon. Patrick and Rachel are awesome people and we are frequently getting into Twitter conversations - about bourbon but also about television and our eating habits, which are both very important topics. They’ve asked me to do a guest post before, but I finally got around to it now. Sorry that it took me so long, guys! I don’t know if it’s cheesy or what, but I didn’t plan on calling this the There Will Be Blood. It just happened. I adore blood oranges and when they are in season, I buy them in bulk. It’s really sad that they aren’t as plentiful year ‘round. I love the touch of bitterness that they add to most things. Blood oranges make wonderful marinades, delicious salad dressings, lovely desserts, and, more importantly, a fantastic pairing for almost any cocktail. Peel off a bit of rind, rub it around the edge of your cocktail glass, and prepare for some seriously aromatic deliciousness. For this cocktail, I used the juice of an entire blood orange, a few ounces of bourbon (duh), a couple of shakes of both Angostura and orange bitters, and Lillet, which is a sweet wine liquor that makes for an almost lighter version of the usual sweet vermouth. I wanted the blood orange to shine here, after all. If you don’t have a bottle of Lillet laying around (and save for Hannibal fans, who does), you should pick one up. It’s relatively inexpensive and makes up half of one of my other favorite cocktails, The Vesper. Even though it doesn’t have bourbon in it, maybe Patrick and Rachel can show you how to make that another time. Cheers!
There Will Be Blood
makes 2 drinks
4 ounces bourbon
1 ounce Lillet Blanc
juice of 1 blood orange
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes orange bitters blood orange peel, for garnish
1. Cut off two pieces of blood orange peel, squeeze them over your glass, and rub the oils from the peel around the inside of the glasses. Place a large ice cube and your peel in the glasses.
2. In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, add the bourbon, Lillet, blood orange juice and bitters. Stir until well combined, then, using a strainer, pour the drinks into your two prepared glasses and serve.