I bought these Teroforma whiskey stones as a Christmas gift for my brother last year, and I’ve been meaning to pick them up for our bar ever since. We like our whiskey cold but not watered down, so giving these a chance was a no-brainer. Our ice balls have been a staple in our drinks ever since we started this blog, so that’s what I’m basing our comparison on.
One pack of Teroforma whiskey stones comes with nine ice cube-sized soapstones. The instructions say to put three stones in a drink, pour whiskey to cover the stones, and let sit for five minutes before drinking. I wouldn’t say the stones made the glass of Eagle Rare (pictured) cold, but it did cool the drink noticeably. Most important, there’s no dilution of your drink of choice.
Last night I spent a decent amount of time trying to think of a blog post for today until, finally, I thought, why don’t I just keep it simple and enjoy some bourbon. Sometimes looking for new posts and new cocktails gets hectic and we forget that bourbon is the real star. So last night Rachel and I each enjoyed a glass of Eagle Rare. I enjoyed mine so much I almost forgot to take a picture of it.
We love our bourbon, obviously, but we also love variety. When I realized that our bar had been missing dark rum for quite some time, I had to go out of my way to pick up a bottle. Being the Northwesterners that we are, Rachel and I almost always stock up on the Rogue Rums, but since they were unavailable at the store we were at, I opted for The Kraken. I don’t know much about rum, so I chose The Kraken based on its very dark coloring as much as its package design and bottle; I’m a fan of humorous, kitschy things. After drinking a few Dark & Stormies, I decided to find a place for The Kraken on this here bourbon blog, which led me to the Mumsicle.
Mumsicle: 1.5 oz. dark rum .5 oz. bourbon 1 dash bitters maraschino cherry
Combine rum, bourbon, and bitters in a mixing glass with ice, stir well, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
This is the first cocktail we’ve put on this blog where the bourbon isn’t the main ingredient, but it certainly doesn’t get lost. We used Eagle Rare bourbon, which lent its vanilla-caramel sweetness to the richness and spice of The Kraken. If you like rum, I recommend making one of these at home.
I also recommend watching this entertaining short YouTube advertisement for The Kraken:
One of my favorite things to do is bake, so when we found a recipe for chocolate chip cookies with bourbon, I jumped on it right away. I made these on the same night as the Mint Juleps for our friend who moved away.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt with a fork. Set aside.
Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the bourbon. Stir in the flour mixture just until blended. Fold in pecans and chocolate chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet for a minute, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
To put it lightly, this is a solid recipe. We loved the addition of the bourbon (I used Eagle Rare), and, to my surprise, it was easily detectable. My experience with liquor in baked goods has been that its flavor becomes overwhelmed, but that was not the case with this recipe, which is simple and delicious.
We’ve had Eagle Rare once before in the Rarely Eagle cocktail from Highland Kitchen. We liked it then, so I recently picked up a bottle to add to our bar. Its deep amber color is gorgeous and lets you know to expect strong caramel and vanilla flavors. Its aroma doesn’t let down, either. As soon as I opened the bottle, I knew it was going straight to the top of my bourbon shelf. Its scent is strong and sweet, and there’s also an underlying tobacco leaf smell that reminded me of opening a new pack of cigarettes. It’s strange, but smokers (and people who’ve quit, like me) know the comfort of that familiar scent. But don’t worry, it never crosses into the territory of actual cigarette smoke.
Eagle Rare’s flavor predictably hits with strong notes of vanilla and caramel, and a touch of fruit. It’s a dense, heavy bourbon, and balanced around all its flavors. Its long finish has a slight burn that holds its sweetness throughout. At about $30 a bottle, Eagle Rare is a must-have for your home bar.
And because we love good package design, we have to compliment Eagle Rare’s bottle. This tweet just about sums it up:
Hungry Mother is my Disneyland. There are few places, restaurant or otherwise, that make me as giddy as Hungry Mother. In fact, a random Twitter joke about the place is what led to the creation of this blog. They cook locally sourced Southern food with French techniques and provide an atmosphere that is upscale but not pretentious. Unlike some other nice restaurants, I absolutely never feel like I should shut up, no matter how boisterous my table might get. Hungry Mother also has amazing bartenders to match their amazing food.*
When we go there, we usually just order a “Bartender’s Choice” and tell them to include bourbon. This time though, some good friends gave us a few drink suggestions the night before. Rachel started the night with the first suggestion, a Geneva Convention.
This is not the Geneva Convention with Vodka, Everclear, and Goldschlager, which sounds like something college kids would make in bulk. This Geneva Convention (AKA “no.72” on the Hungry Mother menu) had Eagle Rare bourbon, chartreuse, and sherry. There were other ingredients that we can’t recall, but we’re sure they also represented the peaceful and boozy union of many different countries.
The other tip we received is that Hungry Mother happens to carry Pappy Van Winkle.
I ordered the 20 year, and it tasted a little bit like heaven. Being the wordnerd that I am, I couldn’t help but drink this and think of Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” and the following sentence: “With some difficulty he got down into the glen: he found the gully up which he and his companion had ascended the preceding evening; but to his astonishment a mountain stream was now foaming down it, leaping from rock to rock, and filling the glen with his babbling murmurs.” It made me wish I had a stream of bourbon flowing my way.
I don’t remember exactly everything in this besides Eagle Rare bourbon. I can’t say much more about this, since it wasn’t my drink, but Walt assured me it was tasty.
I then let the bartender decide, and this showed up:
I was never told what it was called, but it included Buffalo Trace bourbon, sweet vermouth, and angostura and peach bitters. I guess that makes it sort of a sweeter Manhattan, maybe? It was delicious, just like everything else. I’m fairly certain I’ll be riding a Hungry Mother high for most of this week.
*For the record: I ordered a tomato tart appetizer, a pork plate entree (with cheek, sausage, and a rib) on grits and collared greens, and a chocolate pot dessert with bourbon creme. Rachel ordered a market salad, bluefish entree, and a blueberry crostata dessert, as well as “Rachel P.’s cookies” for the table, for obvious reasons. Our conclusion was that Rachel P. at Hungry Mother (i.e. pastry chef Rachel Polonsky) makes cookies at least as well as this Rachel P.
After completely dominating the week, Rachel and I decided to celebrate Friday night with some delicious food and bourbon research. We went to Somerville’s Highland Kitchen, which is a fantastic local restaurant and bar that we don’t go to nearly enough. (Somehow this was only our second trip there.) We had to wait about 30 minutes for a table, so we got some drinks and hung out at the bar.
That’s a Bulleit on the rocks on the left and a Rarely Eagle on the right. The Red Sox and Brewers also made an upside down appearance on the bar. Bulleit has been recommended numerous times and did not disappoint. It had a deep oaky flavor and what seemed like a hint of vanilla before sliding into a smooth but lasting aftertaste. Rachel gave me a wide-eyed, “ooooh that’s goooood,” upon first taste. The Rarely Eagle is described on the menu as:
Eagle Rare bourbon St. Germain lemon juice orange blossom water
It tasted like pineapple juice, bourbon, and deliciousness.
When dinner came around, Rachel jumped on to gin and ordered a Pimm’s Cup, while I got a Mark N Stormy.
The ginger overpowered the Mark N Stormy at first, but once I spotted the huge chunk of ginger floating around and removed it, it got a lot better. I think the ginger killed my palette, though, because the flavor lingered until I finished the drink.
For dessert I had a bourbon pecan pie that I didn’t take a picture of because it looked and tasted like every other pecan pie you’ve ever had (delicious).