Bourbon: The Official spirit of the U.S.A.
Bourbon: The Official spirit of the U.S.A.
Sometimes we see recipes with directions that have just enough ambiguity to lead to minor disasters. While this isn’t usually a problem with cocktail recipes, we still got excited when we learned about the Cocktails Step-By-Step cookbook by Parragon Books. We love the photography and simple, clean, and organized photos.
The book includes recipes for a wide variety of cocktails using different types of liquor, including a cosmopolitan, Manhattan, caipirinha, and highland fling.
More info on the Cocktails Step-By-Step book can be found here.
We recently received a package from Thomas Henry, a culinary company based in Germany that makes sodas, tonics, and assorted gelées. One of the most intriguing items in this package was a jar of Horse’s Neck gelée. Since we don’t speak or read German, we couldn’t find very much information about this product (though their website provides an English version for their other products). What we do know is that Horse’s Neck is cocktail of bourbon and ginger ale, and that the Thomas Henry gelée is made with Maker’s Mark. That’s pretty much the only words we could read in the product information. Unsure of what to do with this product, we opened it up to sample it. Sure enough, it tastes remarkably like a perfectly mixed bourbon and ginger ale cocktail.
Pleased with the flavor, we did what any self-respecting bourbon lover would do: we put it on waffles. In case you weren’t aware, waffles that taste like bourbon are even more delicious than normal waffles. We highly recommend trying this gelée if you can get your hands on some. (It seems that all their products can be ordered via the worldwide interwebs.) Thomas Henry also makes gin & tonic and earl grey & vodka gelées, in case you want a whole spectrum of breakfast cocktail concoctions.
OK, now for a silly question: is gelée any different from jelly? We noticed at least one of the gelées is slightly more liquid than we’re used to seeing with jellies. Other than that, we didn’t see a difference. Is a gelée used differently from a jelly? Please advise!
Also, feel free to throw out any more ideas for how we might use this Horse’s Neck gelée.
Even though this weekend’s breakfast was on Thomas Henry’s dime, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free stuff doesn’t automatically taste better.
We always try to incorporate rhubarb into our diet when it’s in season. An easy way to get rhubarb flavor in cocktails is to use Rhuby, a liqueur from Sweden, which is featured to great effect in the strawberry rhubarb fizz cocktail.
Strawberry Rhubarb Fizz
1 oz. Rhuby
1 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Strawberry juice
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
Combine first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to mix, then strain into a lowball glass with ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This cocktail is so delicious that we couldn’t stop exclaiming about it for several minutes after first tasting it. The Rhuby gives it an earthy tartness, which is brightened by the lemon juice, and balanced by the sweet strawberry juice. We used a higher proof bourbon, which we thought worked well because with only one ounce, you have to make it count. Don’t use a wallflower bourbon.
This drink reminded us a bit of an amped up strawberry rhubarb smash. Our strawberry juice was particularly seedy, and if you don’t do look forward to straining a million seeds, this drink could be modified to use strawberry-infused bourbon.
Even though yesterday’s nightcap was partially on Rhuby’s tab, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free drinks don’t automatically taste better.
Patrick has been making cocktails in a different way lately.
Continuing our Cynar kick, we decided to try a variation of a classic whiskey sour.
Cynar Bourbon Sour
1 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Cynar
1 oz. Lemon juice
½ Egg white
¼ oz. Maraschino liqueur
¼ oz. Agave nectar
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
This cocktail is interesting because the Cynar adds more bitterness than a sour typically has, but the egg white froth helps to smooth everything out. This may be the most Cynar we’ve ever put in a cocktail (the usual amount is half an ounce or so), and we have to say we like it. The taste lingers for a while after each sip.
We burned out on cupcakes for a while, but when we received an email from a reader with this recipe, we were instantly back on the cupcake wagon. This recipe is originally from Modern Domestic, but we haven’t been able to find the source directly. If anyone has the source, please share it in the comments.
Bourbon Street Cupcakes
½ cup Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg + 2 Large egg yolks
1½ tsp. Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Bourbon
1½ cups Cake flour, sifted
1 cup Sugar
1½ tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Nutmeg
¼ tsp. Cinnamon
1 stick Unsalted butter, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and bourbon until blended. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon until blended. Add the butter and half of the sour cream mixture and beat on low until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise speed to medium and beat for one and a half minutes. Add the rest of the sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Scoop batter into the cups with an ice cream scoop, filling two-thirds of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cupcakes are light golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from pan and placing on a rack to cool completely. Frost with salted bourbon caramel buttercream. Sprinkle espresso sugar on top if desired.
These cupcakes are glorious. They are light and fluffy with little pockets of air throughout the cake so they’re springy. We used plain nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream; it adds moisture and a very slight tang. The cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla enhance the bourbon flavor without adding any booziness, while the salted bourbon caramel buttercream adds decadence. We recommend having a light hand with the frosting, as it can get overwhelming if there is too much.
We cut the recipe shown above in half (so it made six instead of 12), so that’s why the ingredients in the top photo don’t match the recipe quantities.
We previously tasted the Coney Island Human Blockhead Imperial American Bock from Schmaltz Brewing Company. Because that was one of the more interesting barrel-aged beers we’ve tried, we were excited to come across this Funky Jewbilation, which is a mixture of six different Schmaltz beers aged in both bourbon and rye whiskey barrels. Each beer is aged for different amounts of time as well. (The full breakdown of each brew and how long they are aged before making up the Funky Jewbilation is available here.)
Like the Human Blockhead, the Funky Jewbilation had a very interesting flavor profile. Its appearance and scent barely hints at the beer’s taste. It pours thick and brown with a dark tan foam. Its nose is very bold and smells a lot like root beer. The Jewbilation’s flavor is more difficult to describe. It has some dark chocolate notes, but then transitions into a more fruity sweetness. Its texture is thick and a little creamy, but not very carbonated. We thought it was like a mixture of an apple cider and a stout. The Funky Jewbilation is truly unlike any other barrel-aged beer we’ve tried. It’s definitely worth picking up just for a unique experience.