Every once in a while we receive cocktail recipe books from nice people. Market-Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Season is exactly what it sounds like: cocktail recipes that are organized by season, with each section utilizing seasonal ingredients. Originally published in 2008, we received the new edition, a vibrant paperback with great photographs. Isn’t it annoying how so many online recipes include photographs that look nothing at all like the resulting cocktail? Not so with this book. Points.
We chose to make a recipe that makes full use of late summer’s produce bounty while being original, light, and refreshing.
5 1-inch Cantaloupe cubes
2 1-inch Pineapple cubes
2 Cherries (pitted)
1½ oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Lemon juice
1 oz. Simple syrup
½ oz. Orange liqueur
In a cocktail shaker, muddle 4 cantaloupe cubes, 1 pineapple cube, and a cherry. Add ice. Add lemon juice, simple syrup, orange liqueur, and bourbon. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled lowball glass. Garnish with remaining cantaloupe and pineapple cubes and cherry.
This drink is, of course, super juicy, and we love it. It would make a great punch if served in a different glass with ice shavings instead of crushed or cubed ice. We used really ripe fruit, too, which helped amplify its tropical factor. The one substitution we made was using Luxardo cherries instead of fresh cherries, because cherry season just ended.
Even though this post was sponsored by Agate Publishing, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free products don’t automatically taste better.
We’re always looking for ways to incorporate what’s in season into our bourbon cocktails. One such recipe that inspired us this week is from Oh So Beautiful Paper.
Raised in a Red Barn
2 oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Sweet vermouth
¾ oz. Lemon juice
1-2 fresh figs
Muddle figs in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice and the remaining three ingredients. Shake well to combine and chill. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, using a sieve to filter out fig bits and seeds.
This cocktail is so mild and fresh that we both drank it up without even noticing how quickly it was gone. We blame (credit?) the Labor Day sun for making us extra thirsty. The drink is a little tart, probably due to our figs being particularly mild tasting for some reason, but so well balanced. Don’t judge us if we use up the rest of our pint of figs making another round of this drink.
We chose to use a really great sweet vermouth that is local to Oregon and known for its subtle spiciness. For further information, please read this post.
We’re continuing Scotch week with a classic cocktail named for a Rudolph Valentino film. Importantly, this drink allows us to close the loop on the name of our blog with another film reference.
Blood & Sand
1 oz. Scotch
¾ oz. Cherry heering
¾ oz. Sweet vermouth
¾ oz. Orange juice
Combine first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well to mix and chill. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a maraschino cherry. (We prefer Luxardo cherries.)
This drink could turn out really sweet, but the smoky Scotch we chose balances it beautifully. It’s a very interesting cocktail. We recommend using a strong Scotch, whether it’s smoky, spicy, or some other defining characteristic. Just pick one you like and make sure it’s no wallflower or you risk an imbalanced drink. The mouthfeel on this drink is slightly more syrupy than we usually enjoy, but we’re willing to overlook it.
We have an abundance of peaches and love to use them with bourbon. This recipe from the fabulous I Am a Food Blog is so good that we didn’t even tweak it once.
Bourbon Peach Julep Fizz
¼ cup Sugar
¼ cup Water
2 oz. Bourbon
½ oz. Peach simple syrup
2 oz. (or to taste) Tonic water
Make peach simple syrup by placing the sugar and water in a pot over low heat with half of the peach, sliced. Stir. After the sugar has melted, set aside to cool and remove the peach slices.
Combine the bourbon, peach simple syrup, and tonic water in a lowball glass with ice and stir. Garnish with a few fresh peach slices and a mint sprig.
This highball is sweeter than what we usually drink, but it is a good treat at the end of a meal. It has a really smooth mouthfeel and the fresh fruit flavor is so nice with the mint fragrance wafting near the nose with every sip. The bourbon is the star of this drink, which is just how we like it, so make sure to use a bourbon that you like to sip on its own because its flavor will be front and center.
Brunch cocktails are a special category. Their consumption portends a day of ease, adventure, and friendship. This one, from Saveur, goes down smooth and even feels a little healthy.
The Alpine Rabbit
1½ oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Carrot juice
½ oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. Walnut liqueur
½ oz. Simple syrup
Pinch of flaky salt
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to combine. Strain into a lowball glass with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist or fresh slice of ginger.
We love the combination of carrot juice and bourbon. Make sure to use fresh 100% carrot juice. It’s easy to make yourself if you have the right equipment. If not, it’s readily available at any good market. Be sure to use a higher proof bourbon as well so that its kick balances the sweetness of the other ingredients. We used the gum syrup from Liber & Co., which has a really smooth mouthfeel and is richer than a standard simple syrup.
The walnut liqueur is the most distinctive flavor in this cocktail, and we thought it was a little overwhelming. In the future, we’ll reduce it by half. Still, this is an enjoyable drink that deserves a place on your brunch table, preferably outdoors, with friends, in the summertime.
Rachel is a beta tester of the New York Times’ Cooking site. It is fabulous and we can’t wait until it becomes available to everyone. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the easy access to fun cocktail recipes like this one, from Florence Fabricant.
1 Navel orange
1 tsp. Sugar
3 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Amontillado Sherry
1 oz. Domaine de Canton
Cut two thin slices of orange and liberally sugar one side of each. Place sugar side down in a hot skillet and let brown for a couple minutes. When they are caramelized, remove them from the pan and set them aside to cool. Juice the rest of the orange and combine its juice with the bourbon, sherry, and Domaine de Canton in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake briefly to combine and strain into two lowball glasses with ice. Garnish each with an orange slice, caramelized side up.
This cocktail is light enough for a hot summer day, but still quite sophisticated. It has a lush nuttiness that brings smoothness and depth to the ginger and citrus. Sherry and bourbon are a pairing we’ll be exploring more, to be sure.
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.
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.
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.
2 oz. Bourbon
½ oz. Liber & Co. Texas Grapefruit Shrub
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.
2 oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Liber & Co. Texas Grapefruit Shrub
2 oz. Sparkling wine
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.
This cocktail recipe was conceived on the bus on the way home from work. What, you don’t think about making cocktails during your commute?
3 oz. Stumptown cold brew
2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Orgeat
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.