We are smitten with ice cream of any variety, but the other day when I decided to make a lemon ice cream to use up some extra lemons we had lying around, the idea hit me to add some bourbon and make a whiskey sour-inspired ice cream. It was a magical moment.
Whiskey Sour Ice Cream
2 cups Heavy cream
1 cup Milk
1 cup Sugar
½ cup Lemon juice
3 Tbsp. Bourbon
½ tsp. Vanilla extract
Whisk milk and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. Gently whisk in the other ingredients and pour into your ice cream maker. Freeze for about half an hour, then transfer to a container and place in the freezer for four hours or overnight to harden further. Garnish with a maraschino cherry if desired.
This ice cream is so delicious and it actually does taste like a whiskey sour. It is light and refreshing, but with a tiny bite from the bourbon. We chose to use a sweeter bourbon to help balance out the tartness of the lemon. If you really wanted to boost the cocktail factor of this recipe, you could add in some bitters, but we opted for a more refreshing citrusy ice cream.
We’ve been dreaming of affogato since our vacation in Italy a couple years ago. Suddenly it hit us: what could be better than adding a splash of bourbon for the ultimate dessert nightcap?
1 scoop Vanilla bean ice cream
1½ oz. Cold brew coffee
1 oz. Bourbon
Gently pour coffee and bourbon over ice cream. Serve.
This is a modern take on affogato using cold brew coffee in place of espresso. We love espresso, but why not use a strongly brewed coffee that won’t immediately melt the ice cream? We’re all about savoring this glorified bourbon float as long as possible.
We used Stumptown Cold Brew and Four Roses Small Batch for this dessert—a perfect pairing of bitter, sweet, and creamy.
We’re fans of fresh herbs in our bourbon cocktails. This simple drink from the Tasting Table test kitchen is right up our alley.
3 sprigs Thyme
2 bar spoons Sugar
1 oz. Club soda
2½ oz. Bourbon
Combine first three ingredients in the bottom of a highball glass and muddle gently until some of the sugar has dissolved. Add the bourbon and some crushed ice and stir until chilled and well combined. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
This drink really lets the bourbon be the star, and we love that. We used a good mixing bourbon, Four Roses Small Batch, which has a sweet flavor and spicy finish. Our only complaint about this drink is with the directions. The muddling removed some thyme leaves from the stem and a few of them floated into our mouths when sipping. In the future, we might make the thyme syrup in a separate mixing glass, strain into the highball serving glass, and then add in a fresh thyme leaf as garnish.
Any guesses regarding the origins of this cocktail’s unusual name?
We spotted Thai basil while wandering the aisles of a giant Asian market recently and remembered that we had seen a bourbon cocktail recipe that called for it. And since we thought the ginger and black pepper agave syrup would work well with herbs, we decided to modify the drink recipe to include it instead of just plain simple syrup.
Summer on Sligo (Modified)
2 oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Ginger and black pepper agave syrup
½ oz. Lime juice
3 Thai basil leaves, plus one more for garnish
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a lowball glass with ice and garnish with a fresh Thai basil leaf.
This drink has a lot going on, but it is actually really smooth and fairly mellow. Thai basil is more citrusy than the sweet basil common in Western cooking and it smells of anise, making it a nice complement to the other flavors in this cocktail. We chose to use a sweeter bourbon to balance the spice and citrus.
An unexpected bonus of Thai basil is that their terminal leaves sort of resemble the mockingjay designs from The Hunger Games.
We reviewed both Four Roses Small Batch and Four Roses (Yellow) back when we first started this blog. Despite liking both of those variations, we never got around to picking up other Four Roses products, mainly because there are so many different bourbons to try, with new products being released all the time. Luckily, we recently received a bottle to review.
One of the first things we noticed was the small leather belt around the bottle’s neck. It’s attention to those small details that signifies a high level of quality that we’d expect to carry through to the actual whiskey in the bottle. Four Roses Single Barrel doesn’t disappoint, either. It has a dark gold color and a light fruity scent that carried pretty much through our entire house. The fruit comes through on first taste, followed by a long spicy finish. Maple and pear flavors complement each other well and provide a nice sweetness before the spice comes in, creating a very nice balance. At 100 proof, it falls right into our proof wheelhouse for bourbon. We also tasted it with ice because 95 degrees is too many degrees to drink anything without ice. Ice smooths out Four Roses Single Barrel a lot, making it incredibly mellow without losing any of the flavor. This bourbon will definitely find a consistent place on our home bar.
Even though this nightcap was on Four Rose’s tab, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free drinks don’t automatically taste better.
Toastworthy moments in bourbon, by Four Roses Bourbon (click to enlarge).
We’ve tried Four Roses small batch before, and we recently picked up a bottle of this Four Roses Yellow (as the official Four Roses website refers to it). We’ve been curious about the Yellow since we saw it pretty much everywhere on our vacation to Italy and Germany last year. Along with Jack Daniels, this was the only American whiskey we could count on finding at every bar or liquor store (and the only bourbon). We occasionally found Maker’s Mark too, but Four Roses Yellow was everywhere. Though it might be the lowest grade from the Four Roses Distillery (or maybe because it’s the lowest grade), Yellow is distributed throughout Europe and Japan.
Four Roses Yellow has a bold golden color. Its scent is very sweet. I smelled mostly a variety of fruits but couldn’t pinpoint specifics, while Rachel detected lemon zest, apple, and wet moss. The fruit is apparent in the taste, too, where apple, pear, and citrus comes through. The taste is very light, with a touch of oak and pepper and a subtly spicy linger. The fruity sweetness is pretty much the only note. It reminded us a little bit of a dessert wine, which isn’t exactly what we’re looking for when we want to drink bourbon.
We spotted a variation of this recipe on a distiller’s website and noticed that we had tasted and liked each of the individual components paired with bourbon. Naturally, we thought this recipe that combined all of them at once was worth a try.
Ginger Citrus Cooler
2 oz. bourbon
½ oz. molasses syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
Squeeze of orange
1 piece uncrystallized candied ginger
3½ oz. ginger beer
Muddle the candied ginger with all of the ingredients except the ginger beer in the bottom of a shaker. Add ice, shake, and strain into a tall glass. Add a generous amount of crushed ice. Top with the ginger beer and garnish with an orange twist.
At first we thought the molasses flavor overwhelmed everything, especially at the front of the palate. As the ice melts, though, this drink really opens up and becomes quite tasty. Watch out for diminishing returns on the ice melting; the drink is just as one-note when diluted as it is fresh from the bar.
In preparation for the Kentucky Derby this weekend, we decided to stock up on mint. All this extra mint definitely came in handy when we stumbled across this whiskey sour at The Talking Kitchen. We altered our version because we weren’t really in the mood for a sour drink, but needed a refreshing bourbon cocktail to help carry us through a productive weekend day. (Also, blood orange season has passed.)
Minty Blood Orange Bourbon Soda
2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. blood orange Italian soda
2 mint leaves
¼ tsp. powdered sugar
¼ oz. lime juice
In a lowball glass gently muddle mint, powdered sugar, and juice from lime. Add crushed ice to glass, then bourbon and blood orange soda and mix well. Top with a small soda float. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
If those drinks look bigger than the recipe, it’s because we decided to make doubles. Sure, it’s a pink drink, but it’s not too dainty. This cocktail actually has a strong bourbon flavor with a touch of mint. The blood orange soda adds both sweetness and light carbonation.