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.
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.
Attorney Privilege 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.
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.
Texas Single 2 oz. Bourbon ½ oz. Liber & Co. Texas Grapefruit Shrub Muddled cucumber
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.
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.
Texas Mingle 2 oz. Bourbon ¾ oz. Liber & Co. Texas Grapefruit Shrub 2 oz. Sparkling wine Muddled cucumber
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.
Stir ingredients together with ice and strain into a highball glass with more ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
This drink is like a sweet iced coffee without the syrupy texture that can creep into flavored coffee. The orgeat has such a light floral and nutty balance complemented by the whiskey’s depth. We recommend using Stumptown cold brew coffee for its strong but smooth punch. This is an excellent summer day or evening drink.
One thing about keeping up a cocktail blog is that one can never have enough glassware. With so many different types of drinks, we need a wide variety of glasses—and of course we want them to be stylish and durable, too.
Ravenhead is a family glass business founded in 1892 in St. Helens, England. They began making art deco-style domestic glassware in the 1930s. We love supporting companies with such long and interesting pasts, and were delighted to receive a sampling of Ravenhead’s party glasses.
The designs are classic. We love having good-looking glassware that doesn’t distract from the look of the drink itself. The glass is well weighted in the hand and we can attest to its sturdiness, since we accidentally knocked two against each other when washing them and they didn’t break or scratch.
Even though this post was sponsored by Ravenhead, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free products aren’t automatically better.
We love neckwear as much as the next person. (Patrick even maintains a tumblr called Tweedy Impertinence.) This stylishly named cocktail from Tasting Table uses ingredients we’ve been digging lately, like orgeat. By the way, did you catch the news that Jim Meehan of PDT is the new drinks editor of Tasting Table? One more reason to love the site!
Bow Tie 1½ oz. Bourbon ¾ oz. Orgeat ¾ oz. Lemon juice ½ oz. St. Germain
Shake ingredients together with ice. Strain into a lowball glass with ice and garnish with a lemon twist.
At first we thought the combination of St. Germain and orgeat would be too floral, but they actually balance really well with the lemon. St. Germain is always wonderful for smoothing out a cocktail. The bourbon adds some much-needed depth and spice. This is the perfect summer cocktail—fresh, bright, and icy.
We have been enjoying a string of warm days, inspiring us to take our bourbon experiments to the freezer for some popsicles. We used a recipe from finecooking.com.
Chocolate Bourbon Pops ½ cup Granulated Sugar 3½ oz. Dark chocolate (70-72%), chopped 2 Tbsp. Dutch-processed cocoa powder ⅛ tsp. Salt 2 Tbsp. Bourbon
Combine all but the last ingredient in a saucepan and add two cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Transfer to a pitcher or measuring cup with a spout to cool for half an hour. Stir in the bourbon. Divide the mixture among the popsicle molds and freeze for at least three hours.
These pops are intensely chocolatey with a hint of bourbon to add some fun. It’s almost like eating a frozen brownie, which, if you ask us, is a high mark to achieve.
We used an ice pop mold from IKEA. It was inexpensive and it works really well.
Coffee cocktails are often too acidic or too sweet for our tastes, but this one is a winner. The recipe is from Imbibe.
Francis the Mule 2 oz. Bourbon ½ oz. Orgeat ½ oz. Coffee, chilled ½ oz. Lemon juice 2 dashes Orange bitters
Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Bourbon, coffee, and orgeat, with its strong almond flavor, are predictably delicious together. What makes this recipe unique is the citrus juice and bitters, which add considerable brightness to what might otherwise be a too-rich mixture.
We recently visited Teardrop Lounge, a bar in Portland known for its creative cocktails. A few of the bartenders recognized Patrick because his brother Nick is a pretty common visitor there. In fact, they even make exclusive ingredients that can only be used to mix drinks for Nick.
When a bartender asked Patrick, “Would you like to try the 52 Skidoo, since you are the literally the only person we can open this bottle for?” of course Patrick obliged. She described it as an adaptation of an old fashioned using their house-made cherry digestif, a liqueur made from the pits of Teardrop’s brandied cherries. It was so tasty we knew immediately that we should try to replicate it at home.
52 Skidoo 2 oz. bourbon ¾ oz. Cherry Heering 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and stir. Pour into a lowball glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with an orange peel.
This was a pretty good adaptation of Teardrop’s 52 Skidoo. It’s slightly sweeter than their version, likely because their cherry digestif is made from cherry pits, which makes it less sweet and more bitter than Cherry Heering. We used a fairly spicy bourbon to offset the cherry sweetness, making this a well-balanced cocktail.
Mix all ingredients except thyme sprig in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to combine. Strain into a highball glass with ice and garnish with the thyme sprig.
This drink is creamy and slightly acidic from the coffee and charred pineapple bitters. The bourbon and herbal notes from the thyme balance it nicely. We thought the mixture was a little bit like chai tea.
We are infatuated with orgeat, especially the one we made ourselves using 500 Tasty Sandwiches’ recipe. Naturally we decided to try out the orgeat using another of their recipes for a bourbon cocktail with an interesting history.
The Japanese Cocktail 2 oz. Bourbon 1 oz. Orgeat Royal 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Stir all ingredients together with ice and strain into a lowball or coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon or orange twist.
This cocktail is so simple and each of its ingredients can be tasted clearly. They come together to form a floral, nutty, spicy drink with a touch of exoticism appropriate to its name.
Elderflower liqueur is one of our favorite cocktail ingredients. We always take advantage of the opportunity to mix it with bourbon when we can, and this recipe from Saveurpresented just that occasion.
Bourbon Bramble 1 oz. Bourbon 1 oz. Elderflower liqueur ½ oz. Crème de cassis Squeeze of lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for at least one minute. Strain into a chilled coupe.
This cocktail tastes like a berry pie. It’s fruity and floral, but the lemon and the relatively high alcohol content keep it light and balanced. Shaking a cocktail for one minute will make your hands really cold, but it is necessary to get the right mix of water into the drink while making it very cold. We can imagine this recipe would make a very good punch for a party.
We apologize for the lack of posts lately. It turns out that it’s hard to blog adequately during the NBA playoffs. Our team just got eliminated, though, so we turned to some bourbon barrel-aged beer for comfort.
This is a Belgian-style ale that was aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels by The Commons Brewery in Portland, Oregon. The brewery is actually located not too far from where we live, so we were excited to try their take on bourbon barrel aging.
We’re really pleased with this beer. The head is slightly out of control when first poured, but the nice part about that is it keeps a little foam on top until the very last sip. It is a light, crisp beer that is somewhat sweeter than we were expecting. The combination of sweetness and carbonation reminded us of a soft drink, but not in a bad way. (Don’t worry; it’s not syrupy.) We tasted cherries, chocolate mousse, and coffee. The finish of this beer is particularly pleasant, as we are often put off by the thick coating that heavier bourbon barrel-aged beers can leave on the tongue. There is none of that with this brew, and we will definitely be checking out what this small craft brewer produces in the future.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that a Sazerac is Patrick’s favorite cocktail, even if it’s a rye cocktail instead of bourbon. Weird, right? But he likes them so much he even made Sazerac cookies. It’s become his go-to bar order, and he definitely will make you a Sazerac if you visit our house. Also Sazerac is still a really fun word to say. Anyway, while looking through the PDT Cocktail Book, we found the Staggerac, which is basically a Sazerac with bourbon instead of rye and the addition of Angostura bitters. Obviously we mixed one up.
If you’ve ever made a Sazerac, just make this the same way. In a mixing glass, add sugar cube and bitters, then muddle into a paste. Add bourbon and ice and stir until mixed. Strain into a lowball glass with an absinthe rinse.
We called this post “(Almost A) Staggerac” because Jim Meehan’s recipe in PDT calls for George T. Stagg bourbon. Since we don’t have that (and because it’s actually fairly difficult to find, being part of Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection), we replaced it with Temperance Bourbon because it’s delicious and the highest proof bourbon we have. (Stagg is 140 proof, and this seemed important.) Unsurprisingly, this drink is super similar to a Sazerac. The bourbon and Angostura bitters add a little more compexity, since rye is usually a pretty one-note liquor. It’s an interesting drink, and definitely worth trying. We’ll stick to Sazeracs, though.
It’s no secret that we love bitter liqueurs. Cynar tops our list, so we substituted it for the Averna amaro that the original recipe called for.
A Thief in the Night 1½ oz. Bourbon 1 oz. Cynar ½ oz. Lemon juice ½ oz. Honey syrup
Shake all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with fresh oregano or other herb of your choice.
This cocktail tastes very fresh. We attribute that to the honey syrup and the oregano aroma. Somehow those two ingredients together are very springlike. We used a bourbon that is the exact same proof as what the original recipe called for (92°). It was balanced, but we might experiment with something higher proof and/or spicier next time. Still, this simple cocktail is a winner.
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of Patrick’s favorite books. He still has a vivid memory of his 10th grade English teacher acting out Atticus Finch shooting the dog and actually breaking his glasses on the classroom floor. So once Punch posted this literary-named cocktail by Chris Hannah, we knew we’d be making it for the blog.
Boo Radley 2 oz. bourbon ¾ oz. Cynar ½ oz. Cherry Heering
Combine ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and stir. Serve in a coupe and garnish with an orange or lemon peel.
The Boo Radley is a very rich variation of the Manhattan. The Cynar provides much more depth than vermouth while the Cherry Heering adds a lot of sweetness. Those two ingredients complement each other well because the Cynar keeps the cherry from being otherwise saccharine while the cherry keeps the Cynar from being too bitter. Of course, the bourbon shines through. We used Rowan’s Creek because we were in the mood for some spice in our drink.
Woodinville Whiskey Company Limited Release Pot Distilled Unfiltered Bourbon
Seems we’re developing quite the relationship with Woodinville Whiskey Co. We recently wrote a follow-up review of their flagship bourbon, in which we emphasized how much we appreciate their commitment to improving their product and seeking out feedback to do so.
Once again, we were offered a chance to try their newest product, a limited release of their first batch of bourbon aged in standard sized barrels. (Their other whiskeys are aged in 8 gallon barrels.) Like the mini-barrel bourbons, this is also 92 proof. Other than that, the difference in products is immediately apparent. This photo might not illustrate it perfectly, but the color of this bourbon is much lighter and more golden than its sibling. Its nose is sweet and pruny, with a slight musty hint. Its flavor is incredibly well balanced. There are hints of apple and vanilla, with a slightly spicy finish. All of the flavors blend together and never fight with each other. This makes the bourbon very smooth throughout. In fact, it’s also our only complaint about the bourbon. At times it can be hard to pick out a distinguishing flavor. We might prefer a stronger individual flavor depending on our mood, but we could see this being a solid option for a wide variety of cocktails for the same reason. We’ll also be drinking it neat from time to time.
*Even though this nightcap was on Woodinville Whiskey’s tab, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free drinks don’t automatically taste better.
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.
Pendergast 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.
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.
Orchard Old Fashioned at Heathman Restaurant & Bar
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.
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.
Orange Blossom 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.
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.
Capone’s Southside 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 Yumabout 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.
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.
We love Campari. We love bourbon. This cocktail uses both and is, of course, a winner.
The Lambo 1 oz. Sweet vermouth ¾ oz. Bourbon ½ oz. Campari ¼ oz. Lemon juice ¼ oz. Orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to combine. Strain into a lowball glass with ice. Garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry, if desired.
This drink is juicy, but bitter. The Campari makes a huge contribution to balancing the other flavors, while the sweet vermouth and bourbon add depth. The citrus keeps it light and refreshing. Like we said, a winner!
Hooray for trying new things! Rowan’s Creek is yet another bourbon we’ve had our eyes on for at least a year but never got around to purchasing until now. It’s made by Willett Distillery, which obviously makes the Willett whiskey line and also Johnny Drum bourbon, which we found to be a pretty good tasting bourbon at a bottom shelf price point.
Rowan’s Creek has a rich golden color. Its nose is a nice balance of vanilla, raisin, and apples. Rachel also found hints of cherry blossom. It’s a bit spicier than expected for a 100-proof bourbon, though not overpowering. In fact, it’s actually pretty well balanced. Apple, raisin, and vanilla sweetness work together to cut the spice down. Its linger is long and peppery. The only thing keeping Rowan’s Creek from being an all-around hit is its lightness. The rye and corn flavors from the mash seem be completely separate instead of combining to make one unified flavor. Perhaps a fuller-bodied bourbon would round these flavors together.
No, this is not the title of our memoirs, but the name of a delicious cocktail by Jamie Boudreau. His bar, Canon, is on our list of establishments to visit every time we go to Seattle.
Bourbon Dynasty 2 oz. Bourbon 1 oz. Lillet Blanc 1 tsp. Crème de Cassis 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Stir all ingredients together with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This drink is darkly juicy, like blueberry jam with alcohol. That may not sound appetizing, but if you knew how much we love blueberries, you would know that is highest praise. Crème de cassis is, of course, French black currant liqueur and it, mixed with the Lillet, lends a dark fruit jamminess to this well-balanced drink. We used a mild bourbon that worked well with the other flavors. A spicier whiskey wouldn’t pair well with the sweetness of this cocktail.