This cocktail recipe by Ryan Maybee is similar to a Manhattan. It is perfect for a drizzly evening when you want something mellow, smooth, and slightly spicy.
1½ oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Sweet vermouth
½ oz. Bénédictine
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a lowball glass without ice and garnish with a lemon twist.
This cocktail is not as bitter as a traditional Manhattan. Bénédictine is the star of this drink, in our opinion. Its sweetness and subtle herbal notes lend complexity to the recipe and balance really well with the deeper flavors of sweet vermouth and the strength of the bourbon.
Art by our wonderful friend Malynda
We enjoy drinking hard cider, and if you can combine hard cider with bourbon, even better. Sonoma Cider makes certified organic hard ciders in micro batches, so you know they put a great deal of care into each bottle. The owners of Sonoma Cider are both huge bourbon lovers, too, so we have something in common. Even so, we aren’t afraid to admit we were skeptical about a bourbon-flavored hard cider.
At only 6% ABV, this cider reflects the beauty of the product type: low alcohol, crisp, and clean and perfect for sipping over the long haul in warm weather. Upon first taste, you immediately detect apples (rightly so!). It is slightly sweet with a lovely light carbonation. The next flavor is pretty yeasty and pretty strong. It didn’t blend in as smoothly as we would have liked. The unique part about this cider is its finish. It opens up into a caramel-and-grain roundness with a hint of vanilla and smoke.
Those familiar flavors are due to an organic bourbon flavor that is a proprietary ingredient of Sonoma Cider. We have no idea what is in this ingredient mix, but we can report that the cider does, in fact, have a flavor reminiscent of bourbon. If this is appealing to you in a cider, definitely give this product a try. If you’d rather have your cider be cider and your bourbon be bourbon, we don’t blame you for that either.
*Even though this nightcap was on Sonoma Cider’s tab, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free drinks don’t automatically taste better.
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!