We havin’ a party!
We havin’ a party!
Congratulations to Wild Turkey Master Distiller James Russell on his Lifetime Honorary Member Award from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Russell has been at Wild Turkey for 60 years and becomes only the 6th person to receive this award.
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’ve decided to take a quick break from our bourbon imbibing with another Scotch Week. We’re kicking off the week the best way possible: with a single malt scotch aged in former bourbon barrels.
We received a sample of Auchentoshan American Oak a while back, and it’s been patiently waiting for us in this wooden Auchentoshan box with a jar of bourbon cask shavings and what appears to be a chunk of a charred barrel. The Auchentoshan site says their American Oak variety is bottled at 40% ABV/80 proof, but our sample bottle said 60%, so we’re under the assumption that our sample was 60%/120 proof. It’s a very light, golden honey color and smells very sweet. Rachel noticed only the sweet, raisin smell, while Patrick also thought it had more of the peat scent usually associated with Scotch. Its flavor is spicy the moment it hits your tongue. Rachel thought the spice carried all the way through, while Patrick thought it faded and gave way to the sweeter hints of coconut, apple, and pear. Though the spice overpowered Rachel’s palate, Patrick thought the blend of the sweet bourbon flavors with the peat and light smokiness of scotch flavors created a unique, complex whisky. At $40 a bottle (a pretty good price point for Scotch), it’s worth checking out.
*Even though this nightcap was on Auchentoshan’s tab, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free drinks don’t automatically taste better.
**Auchentoshan = “ock-in-tosh-in”
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.
Two things have coincided over the last week: peach season and very hot weather. Our answer to both is this recipe.
Bourbon Peach Creamsicles
16 oz. frozen peaches
2 cups plain yogurt
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup bourbon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Make a simple syrup with the sugar and water by stirring them in a pot over low heat for a few minutes. Set aside to cool. Place frozen peaches in a food processor and process until they are in small bits. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Pour into ice pop molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.
These pops are really fresh and allow you to taste each ingredient clearly. They’re not very sweet, which is how we prefer them, but more sugar could be added if desired.
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.