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.
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.
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.
Jim Meehan’s PDT Cocktail Book has been getting a lot of run here recently. It’s almost like it’s a beautiful book full of tasty cocktail recipes or something. As soon as we noticed there’s a bourbon cocktail in it called There Will Be Blood, we knew it was only a matter of time before it ended up on There Will Be Bourbon.
There Will Be Blood
2 oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Godiva chocolate liqueur
¾ oz. Blood orange juice
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.
We were really unsure of this cocktail at first, mainly because we’re not really big fans of creamy liqueurs like Godiva. But the spiciness of the bourbon (we used Temperance, though the PDT recipe calls for Old Grand-Dad) brings together the chocolate and blood orange juice nicely. It might not be an “every occasion” cocktail, but it’s nice for a rare, decadent treat. Does Patrick like it?
We’re absolutely loving the PDT Cocktail Book. Last week we made the De La Louisiane during the first portion of Rye Week, and here we are making the Frisco. We’ve also got our eyes on a few bourbon cocktails once we resume our regularly scheduled bourbon programming.
2 oz. Rye whiskey
½ oz. Bénédictine
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange or lemon twist.
That’s it. Two ingredients, stir, strain, and drink. Jim Meehan’s recipe calls for Old Potrero Hotaling’s Rye, presumably for its taste as much as its connection to San Francisco. (Meehan notes that this cocktail is “named after one of the most established cocktail communities in the world.)
This cocktail is as delicious as it is simple. The Bénédictine uses all its herbs and citrus flavors to round out the rye into a smooth, slightly sweet cocktail. The rye remains the star of the show. When making this cocktail at home, be sure to use a rye you really love.