We always try to incorporate rhubarb into our diet when it’s in season. An easy way to get rhubarb flavor in cocktails is to use Rhuby, a liqueur from Sweden, which is featured to great effect in the strawberry rhubarb fizz cocktail.
Strawberry Rhubarb Fizz
1 oz. Rhuby
1 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Strawberry juice
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
Combine first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to mix, then strain into a lowball glass with ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This cocktail is so delicious that we couldn’t stop exclaiming about it for several minutes after first tasting it. The Rhuby gives it an earthy tartness, which is brightened by the lemon juice, and balanced by the sweet strawberry juice. We used a higher proof bourbon, which we thought worked well because with only one ounce, you have to make it count. Don’t use a wallflower bourbon.
This drink reminded us a bit of an amped up strawberry rhubarb smash. Our strawberry juice was particularly seedy, and if you don’t do look forward to straining a million seeds, this drink could be modified to use strawberry-infused bourbon.
Even though yesterday’s nightcap was partially on Rhuby’s tab, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free drinks don’t automatically taste better.
The Cocktail Chart of Film & Literature (larger)
(Source: nevver, via palegirlinthecity)
Patrick has been making cocktails in a different way lately.
Continuing our Cynar kick, we decided to try a variation of a classic whiskey sour.
Cynar Bourbon Sour
1 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Cynar
1 oz. Lemon juice
½ Egg white
¼ oz. Maraschino liqueur
¼ oz. Agave nectar
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
This cocktail is interesting because the Cynar adds more bitterness than a sour typically has, but the egg white froth helps to smooth everything out. This may be the most Cynar we’ve ever put in a cocktail (the usual amount is half an ounce or so), and we have to say we like it. The taste lingers for a while after each sip.
We burned out on cupcakes for a while, but when we received an email from a reader with this recipe, we were instantly back on the cupcake wagon. This recipe is originally from Modern Domestic, but we haven’t been able to find the source directly. If anyone has the source, please share it in the comments.
Bourbon Street Cupcakes
½ cup Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg + 2 Large egg yolks
1½ tsp. Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Bourbon
1½ cups Cake flour, sifted
1 cup Sugar
1½ tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Nutmeg
¼ tsp. Cinnamon
1 stick Unsalted butter, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and bourbon until blended. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon until blended. Add the butter and half of the sour cream mixture and beat on low until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise speed to medium and beat for one and a half minutes. Add the rest of the sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Scoop batter into the cups with an ice cream scoop, filling two-thirds of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cupcakes are light golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from pan and placing on a rack to cool completely. Frost with salted bourbon caramel buttercream. Sprinkle espresso sugar on top if desired.
These cupcakes are glorious. They are light and fluffy with little pockets of air throughout the cake so they’re springy. We used plain nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream; it adds moisture and a very slight tang. The cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla enhance the bourbon flavor without adding any booziness, while the salted bourbon caramel buttercream adds decadence. We recommend having a light hand with the frosting, as it can get overwhelming if there is too much.
We cut the recipe shown above in half (so it made six instead of 12), so that’s why the ingredients in the top photo don’t match the recipe quantities.
(Source: rogerwilkerson, via wildanimas)
We previously tasted the Coney Island Human Blockhead Imperial American Bock from Schmaltz Brewing Company. Because that was one of the more interesting barrel-aged beers we’ve tried, we were excited to come across this Funky Jewbilation, which is a mixture of six different Schmaltz beers aged in both bourbon and rye whiskey barrels. Each beer is aged for different amounts of time as well. (The full breakdown of each brew and how long they are aged before making up the Funky Jewbilation is available here.)
Like the Human Blockhead, the Funky Jewbilation had a very interesting flavor profile. Its appearance and scent barely hints at the beer’s taste. It pours thick and brown with a dark tan foam. Its nose is very bold and smells a lot like root beer. The Jewbilation’s flavor is more difficult to describe. It has some dark chocolate notes, but then transitions into a more fruity sweetness. Its texture is thick and a little creamy, but not very carbonated. We thought it was like a mixture of an apple cider and a stout. The Funky Jewbilation is truly unlike any other barrel-aged beer we’ve tried. It’s definitely worth picking up just for a unique experience.
Inexcusably silly name aside, this cocktail from Matt Biancaniello in Imbibe is enjoyable on a sunny day and combines one of our favorite liqueurs, Cynar, with bourbon.
California Bubble Bath
2 oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Lemon juice
¾ oz. Lavender simple syrup
½ oz. Cynar
Mix bourbon, lemon juice, and lavender syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass and float the Cynar on top.
Lavender Simple Syrup
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. Sugar
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. Water
1 Tbsp. Dried lavender
Boil water in a small saucepan. Add lavender and remove from heat. Let it steep for 15 minutes, then add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved, about three minutes. Strain into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.
This is a nice, aromatic drink. Our Cynar didn’t float very well because the ice got in the way, but imagine how enticing the artichoke, lemon, and lavender aromas are together. And let’s not forget the bourbon. We used a higher proof bourbon so that it wouldn’t get lost in the other strong flavors, and it worked out well. It tastes like a more complex whiskey smash. This is a very well-balanced drink that we will return to several times throughout the warmer months.
Everyone’s going to be drinking mint juleps this weekend to celebrate the Kentucky Derby, and as much as we enjoy the classic, sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a bit. We chose to try a variation from Food & Wine that sticks close to tradition with one addition.
Blackberry Mint Julep
¼ cup Blackberries
2 Tbsp. Mint leaves
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1½ oz. Bourbon
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to extract juice from the berries and oil from the mint. Strain into a lowball glass (or a julep cup if you have one) with ice and garnish with mint and a blackberry.
This is a lighter twist on the classic because the addition of blackberry juice decreases the alcohol by volume. The blackberry goes very well with the mint, which adds the coolness that makes the julep so well loved. We chose to use a higher proof bourbon so that the spirit’s spiciness wouldn’t get overwhelmed by the sugar. If we were to make this again, we would probably reduce the amount of sugar to one teaspoon.
For another take on the mint julep, try mint julep ice cream, and here’s the recipe for a delicious pie traditionally served around the Derby weekend.
We’re already fans of Victory Brewing Company’s beers, so we jump on any of their barel-aged offerings at every opportunity. (A while back, we reviewed their Otto in Oak Ale, which we loved.) Patrick was especially excited about this beer because he loves barley wines. The Oak Horizontal is Victory’s Old Horizontal Barley Wine, but aged in bourbon barrels. We haven’t tried the original version because not all of Victory’s beers are readily available in our market, so we can’t say how the Oak Horizontal compares to its barrel-aged counterpart.
This beer is exactly what we expected from a bourbon-barreled barley wine. It’s not particularly unique—it tastes very similar to the other barley wines we’ve had—but it is delicious. It pours slightly amber with very little head. Rachel noted that it’s very sweet and malty, with a long aftertaste that turns slightly sour. The bourbon and oak flavors really comes through during the aftertaste as well. At 11% ABV, the Horizontal packs a nice punch. It’s a seasonal ale, so if you can find it, we’d recommend picking it up before it disappears for a while.