With everyone experiencing outrageously cold temperatures this week, we though it would be a good time to test out the winter julep recipe from Imbibe. The hot herbal tea and the hint of bourbon will warm you right up. We were delighted to have the opportunity to use Berkshire bourbon from our frozen friends in Massachusetts.
5 oz. Peppermint herbal tea
1½ oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Brown sugar syrup (equal parts brown sugar and water)
Brew herbal tea, then stir in bourbon and brown sugar syrup. Garnish with a mint leaf.
This is a wonderful little nightcap. We enjoy how refreshing the peppermint is and its calming warmth combined with the gentle sweetness of the brown sugar syrup and the slight spice from the bourbon creates just the cocoon we’re looking for right now.
Last week we jarred up our apple-vanilla bourbon to let it steep for the week. We tasted it after about three days and decided it needed a lot more time. At that point, the apples hadn’t affected the bourbon flavor at all, while the vanilla smothered everything. We let it sit another three days, hoping the apples would grab hold. Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened.
The final product is a pleasant infusion. We used Berkshire Bourbon so we could end up with a super New Englandy product. I could imagine apple-vanilla bourbon as a fine addition to some Autumn orchard excursions. There’s an apple tartness followed by the vanilla smoothness to the flavor, all without completely masking the bourbon’s flavor.
That being said, this probably isn’t something we’re likely to drink straight. We’re more interested in how we can use it in cocktails. Of course we’ll be posting those results here as well.
As you can see, we repurposed an empty Hudson Four Grain Bourbon bottle to store this new creation in. Its label washed off easily and the cork is still sealing well. It looks like the multi-purpose aspect of these bottles is helping to offset the expense of the Hudson bourbon.
Another potentially fun situation we have on our hands is we now have a mason jar full of apples that have been soaking in bourbon for a week. There has to be something fun we could make with them, right?
Today’s post will be brief because we’re not exactly sure what we’ve made yet. We’ll find out in about a week or so. We’ve been curious about this DIY Apple-Vanilla Bourbon for awhile, and, since it’s really simple, we decided to give it a try. Here’s what you need:
1 cup bourbon
1 apple, cored and cut into chunks
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Put apple and vanilla bean into a container, add bourbon, seal, and shake. Let it steep for 5 to 7 days. Strain through cheesecloth and store.
So, we’ll see this little guy in about a week.
After our last bourbon review, you’d think we wouldn’t immediately jump on trying a new bourbon again. But that’s what we’re here for. To be fair, we were already familiar with the Berkshire Mountain Distillers. We enjoyed their Ice Glen Vodka very much, which we tried after a wordnerdy vacation trip to the Berkshires to tour the homes of Herman Melville and Edith Wharton.
The first noticeable aspect of Berkshire Bourbon is how dark it is in the bottle but light in the glass. It has a very red amber color in the bottle, but once poured, it’s a lot lighter and more of a golden color. (The picture above doesn’t do justice to the golden color. It is probably reflecting the color from the bottle and the wood it’s sitting on.) Its aroma is light and only slightly sweet. The light color in the glass reflects its flavor. I noted that it reminded me a little bit of Jameson whiskey, only with a bit of bourbon sweetness, especially toffee and vanilla flavors. Rachel said the cask isn’t as evident as it could or maybe should be, and I agree. At first I didn’t think it had much spice to it, but Rachel did. We talked about it and I conceded that though I didn’t taste the spice while I was drinking, its finish left a subtle but lasting pepper taste on my tongue. Berkshire Bourbon seems like it would be very good in cocktails also. The only drawback is, at about $40, there are some higher quality bourbons in the same price range. For reference, here are our 33 Books reviews of Berkshire Bourbon.
A sidenote: when we were taking the plastic wrapping off of the cap, we noticed a small amount of liquid (and a bourbon smell) on the outside of the bottle under the plastic. It is possible that we got a wonky bottle with an ill-fitting cap because the Ice Glen Vodka has the same design with no leakage, but we thought it was worth noting.