A cocktail called the rattlesnake doesn’t sound frightening at all. It doesn’t even sound the least bit scary, especially not even after you find out there’s absinthe involved. As much as absinthe scares us (or maybe because of it), we couldn’t help but be intrigued by the recipe we found on Saveur (originally from the Savoy Cocktail Book).
1½ oz. bourbon
1 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. absinthe (or anise-liqueur)
½ tsp. powdered sugar (or simple syrup)
1 egg white
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a lowball glass. Garnish with a lemon peel if desired.
We were pleasantly surprised by this cocktail. We expected the rattlesnake to pack a bigger punch, but it’s surprisingly smooth. The small amount of absinthe is as strong as expected, but the lemon juice and bourbon also get equal time. We used Bulleit 10 for a smoother flavor, but a whiskey with more bite would also complement the absinthe nicely.
Bulleit is a constant staple in our bar, both the bourbon and the rye. They are each are delicious on their own. The rye makes a great Sazerac, and the bourbon works well in just about any cocktail. This means we were very eager to try their newest release, which is the same high-rye mash bill as the standard Bulleit, but aged 10 years. (I believe Bulleit’s standard bourbon is aged 6 years.)
Those extra years really impart the barrel’s oak and char into Bulleit 10. With a light amber and slightly golden hue, its color is a bit lighter than its younger sibling. The vanilla flavor that comes from the wood is really strong in both scent and taste, though it’s not overpowering. We found Bullet 10 to be very balanced, with raisin and plum flavors, and a long, subtle but spicy rye finish. At its price point of $45, Bourbon 10 is comparable to other bourbons in this range. Some markets may have a hard time justifying the price jump from Bulleit to Bulleit 10, but that’s not really something we can attest to. While Bulleit 10 seems to stick around $45 everywhere (that we’ve seen), we’ve found Bulleit to range from $25 on the lower end to our up to $38 in our market. Either way, we think it’s delicious and worth every penny.