No, this is not the title of our memoirs, but the name of a delicious cocktail by Jamie Boudreau. His bar, Canon, is on our list of establishments to visit every time we go to Seattle.
2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 tsp. Crème de Cassis
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Stir all ingredients together with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This drink is darkly juicy, like blueberry jam with alcohol. That may not sound appetizing, but if you knew how much we love blueberries, you would know that is highest praise. Crème de cassis is, of course, French black currant liqueur and it, mixed with the Lillet, lends a dark fruit jamminess to this well-balanced drink. We used a mild bourbon that worked well with the other flavors. A spicier whiskey wouldn’t pair well with the sweetness of this cocktail.
Jim Meehan’s PDT Cocktail Book has been getting a lot of run here recently. It’s almost like it’s a beautiful book full of tasty cocktail recipes or something. As soon as we noticed there’s a bourbon cocktail in it called There Will Be Blood, we knew it was only a matter of time before it ended up on There Will Be Bourbon.
There Will Be Blood
2 oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Godiva chocolate liqueur
¾ oz. Blood orange juice
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.
We were really unsure of this cocktail at first, mainly because we’re not really big fans of creamy liqueurs like Godiva. But the spiciness of the bourbon (we used Temperance, though the PDT recipe calls for Old Grand-Dad) brings together the chocolate and blood orange juice nicely. It might not be an “every occasion” cocktail, but it’s nice for a rare, decadent treat. Does Patrick like it?
We’re absolutely loving the PDT Cocktail Book. Last week we made the De La Louisiane during the first portion of Rye Week, and here we are making the Frisco. We’ve also got our eyes on a few bourbon cocktails once we resume our regularly scheduled bourbon programming.
2 oz. Rye whiskey
½ oz. Bénédictine
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange or lemon twist.
That’s it. Two ingredients, stir, strain, and drink. Jim Meehan’s recipe calls for Old Potrero Hotaling’s Rye, presumably for its taste as much as its connection to San Francisco. (Meehan notes that this cocktail is “named after one of the most established cocktail communities in the world.)
This cocktail is as delicious as it is simple. The Bénédictine uses all its herbs and citrus flavors to round out the rye into a smooth, slightly sweet cocktail. The rye remains the star of the show. When making this cocktail at home, be sure to use a rye you really love.
Rye whiskey is really great in cocktails. Rye lends itself well to drinks more on the savory side, where its spice and herbal characteristics shine. We adapted the recipe below from the original, which appears in Savory Cocktails. It is categorized as a “fermentation cocktail” because the whiskey supposedly feeds on the sugar from the cherry juice. Science!
The Fatal Hour
2 oz. Rye whiskey
¾ oz. Cynar or other herbaceous amaro
2 dashes Chocolate bitters
1 Luxardo cherry
Combine the rye, Cynar, and bitters in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Let chill for about 20 seconds, the strain into a chilled coupe. Use a bar spoon to scoop a cherry with a little bit of syrup still clinging to it. Slowly stir it into the cocktail.
This drink is bitter but well balanced. The Cynar almost steals the show, so be sure to use a higher proof whiskey to keep the Cynar in check. The chocolate bitters add silky sweetness.
We wanted to make the most of Rye Week on our blog, so we decided to mix up a cocktail from the wonderful PDT Cocktail Book. We didn’t alter this recipe at all, which is very rare for us.
De La Louisiane
2 oz. Rye whiskey
¾ oz. Sweet Vermouth
¾ oz. Bénédictine
3 dashes Absinthe
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with three cherries.
The author credits this drink to an old book called New Orleans Drinks (1937). Aside from the fact that we love any book title that sounds like a factual statement, we appreciate the history behind this Manhattan variation, as well as its blend of American and French influences—just like its city of origin.
The drink is very smooth and aromatic. The absinthe plays a supporting role to every other ingredient without overwhelming. The rye is a great spicy addition to the drink, which could otherwise be too sweet or herbal. We loved this cocktail and will certainly make it again.
It is Meyer lemon season and we’re looking for any chance to use the mild, juicy lemon. This recipe is heavily based on one created by Mike Ryan at Sable Kitchen & Bar.
Power of Love
¾ oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Meyer lemon juice
¾ oz. Sweet vermouth
¾ oz. Ginger simple syrup
Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
This cocktail is deceptively smooth with a silky depth provided by the sweet vermouth. The Meyer lemon adds a citrus zing, but without the acidity that a more common lemon would contribute. Delicious!
Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher write Spoon Fork Bacon, one of our favorite food blogs that always features delicious recipes and beautiful photographs. Their new book Cocktails for the Four Seasons is a pocket-sized book that matches the quality of their blog. As the title suggests, the book is broken into four sections based on the seasons and the ingredients usually available during those months. Before all the recipes though, are some helpful tips like which glasses to use for what drinks and why, suggestions for variations of simple syrups, and tips on making simple but elegant garnishes. One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the number of cocktail recipes that include roasted fruit, such as the “Roasted Strawberry and Jalapeño Freezer.” You might imagine some of these drinks take quite a bit of preparation or require ingredients you wouldn’t normally have on hand. Those are really my only complaints about this book, but the recipes seem to be catered toward drinks you might serve at a dinner party—most recipes are calculated to make at least four drinks—so maybe you’d be shopping for special ingredients anyway. We’d be foolish not to make one of the bourbon drinks included in Cocktails for the Four Seasons, so we made their variation of the old fashioned.
Thyme Old Fashioned
2 oz. Bourbon
1½ oz. Thyme simple syrup*
1½ oz. Fresh orange juice
½ oz. Pomegranate juice
Make the thyme simple syrup by heating a half cup sugar and half cup water with a few sprigs of fresh thyme until the sugar dissolves, then let it cool.
Mix the bourbon, thyme simple syrup, and orange juice in an old fashioned glass and stir. Add ice and top with pomegranate juice. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Admittedly, we hesitate to call this an old fashioned as we’re used to the classic whiskey, sugar (or simple syrup), and bitters old fashioned. But we knew just by looking at the ingredients this was going to be delicious. It’s dangerously tasty. It’s so smooth, but also has a slight tartness to it from the pomegranate. The thyme simple syrup does wonders for balancing all the other ingredients and leaves a freshness lingering after each sip.
Cocktails for the Four Seasons is available here for about $10.
We’re always game to try any new variation of a whiskey sour. This one adds fig to the mix, which is pretty great.
When Figs Fly
1 Tbsp. Fig jam
1½ oz. Bourbon
½ oz. Lemon juice
¼ oz. Cointreau
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously to combine. Carefully strain into a lowball glass with ice and garnish with a lemon twist.
This is a surprisingly well balanced cocktail. To be honest, we were concerned that the sugar and gelatin from the jam would not be great additions to a drink. We were happy to discover that most of that stays in the bottom of the cocktail shaker and just the juicy figgy goodness makes its way into the glass. We would probably make this drink again, but maybe with fresh figs when they come into season.
Everyone knows ginger and bourbon are a match made in heaven. Ginger is delicious. Bourbon is obviously totally delicious. Put those two flavors together, and we can almost guarantee we’ll be willing to try pretty much anything you can throw at us. So when we saw these recipes for ginger syrup and a ginger old fashioned at Fresh & Foodie, it was only a matter of time before we made some ginger syrup for ourselves.
Ginger Old Fashioned
2 oz. Bourbon
¼ oz. Ginger syrup*
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash Whiskey barrel-aged bitters
½ cup Water
½ cup Sugar
1½ inch Ginger root
In a small pot, bring water and sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add ginger and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, depending on how strong you want the ginger flavor.
In a mixing glass with ice, add bourbon, then ginger syrup, then bitters. Stir for approximately 30 seconds, then strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange peel.
This is a very good take on the old fashioned. While we prefer the muddled sugar cube method of making our old fashioned cocktails, we gladly altered our methods for the simple syrup, using the directions on Fresh & Foodie. The ginger flavor, unexpectedly, smoothed out the whiskey burn while leaving a subtle gingery finish. We’ll surely be making more cocktails with the ginger syrup in the near future.
We found this cocktail recipe intriguing because it includes a few of our favorite spirits that don’t often make it onto this bourbon blog. We have been fond of Lillet since the Lillet event we attended during Portland Cocktail Week. Rachel is a secret gin lover, too, so we were keen to try this take on the classic Corpse Reviver #2.
Kentucky Corpse Reviver
¾ oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Cointreau
¾ oz. Lillet Blanc
¾ oz. Lemon juice
Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a mint leaf.
This cocktail is very light compared to most bourbon cocktails. There is almost too much citrus, so if you prefer less acidic drinks, we recommend playing with the proportions a bit. The Lillet Blanc adds nice botanicals and some bitterness from the quinine. We really enjoyed this drink and will certainly make it again.