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.
We love neckwear as much as the next person. (Patrick even maintains a tumblr called Tweedy Impertinence.) This stylishly named cocktail from Tasting Table uses ingredients we’ve been digging lately, like orgeat. By the way, did you catch the news that Jim Meehan of PDT is the new drinks editor of Tasting Table? One more reason to love the site!
1½ oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Orgeat
¾ oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. St. Germain
Shake ingredients together with ice. Strain into a lowball glass with ice and garnish with a lemon twist.
At first we thought the combination of St. Germain and orgeat would be too floral, but they actually balance really well with the lemon. St. Germain is always wonderful for smoothing out a cocktail. The bourbon adds some much-needed depth and spice. This is the perfect summer cocktail—fresh, bright, and icy.
Coffee cocktails are often too acidic or too sweet for our tastes, but this one is a winner. The recipe is from Imbibe.
Francis the Mule
2 oz. Bourbon
½ oz. Orgeat
½ oz. Coffee, chilled
½ oz. Lemon juice
2 dashes Orange bitters
Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Bourbon, coffee, and orgeat, with its strong almond flavor, are predictably delicious together. What makes this recipe unique is the citrus juice and bitters, which add considerable brightness to what might otherwise be a too-rich mixture.
We recently visited Teardrop Lounge, a bar in Portland known for its creative cocktails. A few of the bartenders recognized Patrick because his brother Nick is a pretty common visitor there. In fact, they even make exclusive ingredients that can only be used to mix drinks for Nick.
When a bartender asked Patrick, “Would you like to try the 52 Skidoo, since you are the literally the only person we can open this bottle for?” of course Patrick obliged. She described it as an adaptation of an old fashioned using their house-made cherry digestif, a liqueur made from the pits of Teardrop’s brandied cherries. It was so tasty we knew immediately that we should try to replicate it at home.
2 oz. bourbon
¾ oz. Cherry Heering
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and stir. Pour into a lowball glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with an orange peel.
This was a pretty good adaptation of Teardrop’s 52 Skidoo. It’s slightly sweeter than their version, likely because their cherry digestif is made from cherry pits, which makes it less sweet and more bitter than Cherry Heering. We used a fairly spicy bourbon to offset the cherry sweetness, making this a well-balanced cocktail.
This brunch cocktail was inspired by The Clooney recipe from Tasting Table. Its low alcohol content makes it perfect for day drinking on long summer weekends.
2 oz. Cold coffee
1 oz. Bourbon
½ oz. Thyme simple syrup
½ oz. Unsweetened almond milk
1 dash Charred pineapple bitters
1 sprig Thyme
Mix all ingredients except thyme sprig in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to combine. Strain into a highball glass with ice and garnish with the thyme sprig.
This drink is creamy and slightly acidic from the coffee and charred pineapple bitters. The bourbon and herbal notes from the thyme balance it nicely. We thought the mixture was a little bit like chai tea.
We are infatuated with orgeat, especially the one we made ourselves using 500 Tasty Sandwiches’ recipe. Naturally we decided to try out the orgeat using another of their recipes for a bourbon cocktail with an interesting history.
The Japanese Cocktail
2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Orgeat Royal
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Stir all ingredients together with ice and strain into a lowball or coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon or orange twist.
This cocktail is so simple and each of its ingredients can be tasted clearly. They come together to form a floral, nutty, spicy drink with a touch of exoticism appropriate to its name.