First of all, we apologize for our absence last week. We were way too sick and in no condition to be drinking, let alone making drinks or food to be sharing with all of you. But we’re back now! Hooray!
Before our productivity got all sidetracked by the coldest of colds, we had the pleasure to be invited to the Heathman Restaurant & Bar to launch their new cocktail menu. The revamped menu features spirits from local Portland distilleries. We were lucky enough to sample all of their new menu, and were especially fond of the Vineyard Margarita, which is a delicious margarita topped with a float of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. (If you haven’t had Oregon Pinot Noir then go drink some now.) Of course, the highlight for us was the Orchard Old Fashioned.
If you’re in Portland, be sure to stop at the Heathman for one of these. If you’re not in the area, try mixing one for yourself with Maker’s Mark, Clear Creek Pear Brandy syrup, and apple bitters.
It’s no secret that Patrick’s favorite cocktail is a Sazerac (let’s ignore for now that it doesn’t contain bourbon). This variation on the Sazerac from 500 Tasty Sandwiches was a must-try for us, especially because Rachel acquired a taste for orange blossom water in Tunisia.
2 oz. Bourbon
3-4 dashes Orange bitters
½ oz. Simple syrup
¼ oz. Orange blossom water
Splash of Absinthe
Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a lowball glass with a large ice cube or ball. Garnish with an orange twist.
One of the reasons we love bourbon so much is that with so many different proofs and mash bills, it’s easy to find the perfect bourbon for any cocktail recipe. For example, this cocktail has a lot going on. We love its citrus freshness as well as its heavy floral notes, and we used a higher proof bourbon to offset these strong flavors. We recommend using thyme simple syrup to complement the herbal flavors of the absinthe.
There seems to be renewed interest in early twentieth-century America lately. Whether it’s Boardwalk Empire, The Great Gatsby, or Mob City, gangsters are fresh in the imagination. This cocktail supposedly originated with Al Capone and his crew, and we love the fresh take and pretty graphic we found on Bourbon & Banter.
2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Simple syrup
1 oz. Lime juice
2 drops Angostura bitters
1 Mint sprig
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously to mix. Strain into a highball glass with ice and garnish with a fresh mint sprig if desired.
We enjoyed the freshness of this drink. Instead of muddling the mint separately, we put it in the shaker knowing that the ice would muddle it when shaken and save us that extra step. Mint and lime are a classic combination that pair well with a higher strength bourbon like what we used.
If you’re feeling adventurous, make this with ginger syrup. So good!
We recently came across this post at Honestly Yum about making a Negroni-filled ice ball. This isn’t a brand new idea. We’d seen it somewhere on the Interwebs a year or two ago but failed to successfully place a cocktail inside the ice ball without either crushing or melting the ice. The post at Honestly Yum provided such great and detailed instructions that we were able to finally inject an old fashioned into the ice ball.
You don’t necessarily need an ice ball mod, but it’s helpful. This video shows how a few bartenders used water balloons to create their hollow ice balls. Basically, you need to make an ice ball, but before it completely freezes, poke a hole in the top (I used a chopstick to do so), and pour the water out from the center. Now you have a hollow ice ball. I put it back in the freezer for a few hours just to make sure it completely froze. Then make a cocktail and inject it into the hole you poured the water from. I made an old fashioned, but the best part is this works with pretty much any cocktail.
Sydney Kramer writes one of our favorite food blogs, The Crepes of Wrath. Our home cooking (and drinking) has been inspired countless times by her blog. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram as well.
I’ve long been a fan of There Will Be Bourbon. Patrick and Rachel are awesome people and we are frequently getting into Twitter conversations - about bourbon but also about television and our eating habits, which are both very important topics. They’ve asked me to do a guest post before, but I finally got around to it now. Sorry that it took me so long, guys! I don’t know if it’s cheesy or what, but I didn’t plan on calling this the There Will Be Blood. It just happened. I adore blood oranges and when they are in season, I buy them in bulk. It’s really sad that they aren’t as plentiful year ‘round. I love the touch of bitterness that they add to most things. Blood oranges make wonderful marinades, delicious salad dressings, lovely desserts, and, more importantly, a fantastic pairing for almost any cocktail. Peel off a bit of rind, rub it around the edge of your cocktail glass, and prepare for some seriously aromatic deliciousness. For this cocktail, I used the juice of an entire blood orange, a few ounces of bourbon (duh), a couple of shakes of both Angostura and orange bitters, and Lillet, which is a sweet wine liquor that makes for an almost lighter version of the usual sweet vermouth. I wanted the blood orange to shine here, after all. If you don’t have a bottle of Lillet laying around (and save for Hannibal fans, who does), you should pick one up. It’s relatively inexpensive and makes up half of one of my other favorite cocktails, The Vesper. Even though it doesn’t have bourbon in it, maybe Patrick and Rachel can show you how to make that another time. Cheers!
There Will Be Blood
makes 2 drinks
4 ounces bourbon
1 ounce Lillet Blanc
juice of 1 blood orange
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes orange bitters blood orange peel, for garnish
1. Cut off two pieces of blood orange peel, squeeze them over your glass, and rub the oils from the peel around the inside of the glasses. Place a large ice cube and your peel in the glasses.
2. In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, add the bourbon, Lillet, blood orange juice and bitters. Stir until well combined, then, using a strainer, pour the drinks into your two prepared glasses and serve.
We love Campari. We love bourbon. This cocktail uses both and is, of course, a winner.
1 oz. Sweet vermouth
¾ oz. Bourbon
½ oz. Campari
¼ oz. Lemon juice
¼ oz. Orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to combine. Strain into a lowball glass with ice. Garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry, if desired.
This drink is juicy, but bitter. The Campari makes a huge contribution to balancing the other flavors, while the sweet vermouth and bourbon add depth. The citrus keeps it light and refreshing. Like we said, a winner!
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.