Happy weekending!

Happy weekending!

(via everythingsparklywhite)

June 20, 2014 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: weekending bourbon Knob Creek Bulleit Woodford Reserve Maker's Mark 

3,710 notes

Happy weekending!

Happy weekending!

September 13, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: weekending bourbon knob creek maddie on things 

47 notes

Kirkland Signature Premium Small Batch Bourbon

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Some people would scoff at drinking liquor from Costco’s in-house brand Kirkland Signature, but we are not those people.  In fact, we’ve been known to swoop on bottles of Kirkland Signature vodka on the rare occasion we’ve been able to find it.  (Liquor laws in different states sometimes dictates if Costco can sell alcohol at all.)  Plus, we knew where Costco’s bourbon was coming from, but more on that later.

We first saw Costco’s bourbon a few years ago, but we didn’t buy it at the time.  Though we remained intrigued by it, we never ended up buying it because the only Costco that sold liquor in Massachusetts was an hour’s drive away.  Luckily, a person close to us recently bought us a bottle to welcome us back to the Pacific Northwest.

Before we get into our review, we should tell you that when we first found Kirkland Signature Bourbon, we immediately did some research to find out where it was coming from.  After some Interneting and a call to a friend who works at Costco, we confirmed that Costco’s bourbon is made by Jim Beam.  We’re guessing this is some variation of Knob Creek, though it’s aged only seven years compared to Knob Creek’s nine years.  Its proof is also slightly higher than Knob Creek (103 to 100).  It’s been a long time since we’ve had a standard bottle of Knob Creek (we’ve been meaning to try it again), but we did find some similarities between the two.

Kirkland Signature Bourbon has an amber-red color with a hint of gold in it.  I thought its nose was mostly the expected vanilla and caramel sweetness of bourbon, and Rachel also picked up some caramelized banana.  I thought the sweetness also overpowered this bourbon’s flavor, which was a little unexpected considering the high proof.  The high alcohol content does tame the vanilla, oaky sweetness a bit, but not enough in my opinion.  Rachel noted some cardamom hints as well.  Overall, it’s not a bad option at a slightly lower price than Knob Creek, especially if you really like Knob Creek.

August 6, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: bourbon reviews Jim Beam Costco Knob Creek Kirkland Signature whiskey 

15 notes

Improved Boulevardier Cocktail

We are big fans of the Boulevardier.  It’s one of those classic bourbon cocktails that always hits the right spot.  Obviously, we were intrigued by the “improved” Boulevardier from Manhattan Cocktail Classic, especially with the presence of absinthe.

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Improved Boulevardier
1½ oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Sweet vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash absinthe
2 dashes Maraschino liqueuer

In a mixing glass with ice, combine all ingredients and stir until mixed.  Strain into a lowball glass with ice.  Garnish with an orange twist.

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We’re not entirely sure this improved the Boulevardier, mainly because the bar was already set so high, but this is a very good cocktail.  While it still has the bright color, this version tastes a bit more complex.  Cutting the amount of bourbon from two ounces to one and a half—along with the addition of the absinthe—makes the Campari and vermouth more noticeable.

June 6, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: cocktails Boulevardier bourbon whiskey knob creek 

9 notes

Elderflower Esprit

We are taken with the entire line of Thomas Henry products, which are packed with flavor and about as fresh and natural as packaged products can get.  One of our favorites is their new elderflower tonic, which was the inspiration for this cocktail.

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Elderflower Esprit
2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. Amaro
Elderflower tonic

Combine first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake to mix and strain into a lowball glass with ice.  Top with elderflower tonic and garnish with a mint sprig.

imageThis cocktail is light and refreshing.  The amaro (we used a homemade version) adds bitterness and balances the bourbon spice and citrus.  Be sure to slap the mint against your palm to release its aroma before garnishing.

Even though this nightcap was on partly Thomas Henry’s tab, we will always review products honestly.  Contrary to popular belief, free drinks don’t automatically taste better.

June 4, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: bourbon whiskey Cocktails Knob Creek elderflower 

12 notes

Summertime Smash

June announced its presence boldly this week, blasting us with 90+ degree weather.  Obviously, this was the perfect time for us to make the Summertime Smash from the Five O’Clock Cocktail.   

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Summertime Smash
1 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Frangelico
1 tsp. Sugar or simple syrup
Bitter lemon soda (or any lemon-flavored seltzer)
Mint leaves

Put the mint leaves in a lowball or highball glass, whichever you prefer. Add the sugar or simple syrup.  (If you’re using sugar, you’ll want to add water or some of the lemon seltzer to help dissolve the sugar.)  Muddle the sugar and mint, then fill the glass with ice.  Add bourbon and Frangelico.  Top with lemon seltzer.  Garnish with a mint sprig or lemon twist.

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As its name suggests, this is a refreshing summertime cocktail.  Adding the bitter lemon provides just the right hint of lemon without overpowering the drink, and the Frangelico makes the cocktail slightly more complex than a normal whiskey smash.  We’re still loving our Thomas Henry products, so we put their bitter lemon to use, but if you don’t have bitter lemon on hand, you can do as the original recipe called for and spike seltzer with lemon.  

Now that we’re all enjoying summertime cocktails, we might as well mix up a few drinks, relax, and blast this DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince classic:

Even though this nightcap was on partly Thomas Henry’s tab, we will always review products honestly.  Contrary to popular belief, free drinks don’t automatically taste better.

June 3, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: whiskey cocktails Summertime Fresh Prince Knob Creek bourbon 

10 notes

The Lion’s Den

Everyone knows that rum is a great warm-weather spirit, so we were excited to try this cocktail that combines the great flavors of rum with bourbon.

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The Lion’s Den
½ oz. Bourbon
1¾ oz. Rum
½ oz. Simple Syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash Rose water

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to combine.  Strain into a lowball glass with ice and garnish with a lemon twist.

imageWe liked this cocktail, but we’re not sure that we would drink more than one (this can be a good thing).  The rose water texture adds a nice smoothness, and of course the taste is distinctive and springy, but be sure to have a very light hand when adding it; rose water can easily become overwhelming.  The combination of rum and bourbon was surprisingly successful, if you’re OK with bourbon taking a back seat.

May 30, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: bourbon rum Knob Creek Cocktails whiskey 

5 notes

Bourbon Cynar Sour

Continuing our Cynar kick, we decided to try a variation of a classic whiskey sour.

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Cynar Bourbon Sour
1 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Cynar
1 oz. Lemon juice
½ Egg white
¼ oz. Maraschino liqueur
¼ oz. Agave nectar

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe glass.  Garnish with an orange twist.

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This cocktail is interesting because the Cynar adds more bitterness than a sour typically has, but the egg white froth helps to smooth everything out.  This may be the most Cynar we’ve ever put in a cocktail (the usual amount is half an ounce or so), and we have to say we like it.  The taste lingers for a while after each sip.

May 15, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: bourbon whiskey sour Cocktails Luxardo Knob Creek cynar 

4 notes

Blackberry Mint Julep

Everyone’s going to be drinking mint juleps this weekend to celebrate the Kentucky Derby, and as much as we enjoy the classic, sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a bit.  We chose to try a variation from Food & Wine that sticks close to tradition with one addition.

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Blackberry Mint Julep
¼ cup Blackberries
2 Tbsp. Mint leaves
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1½ oz. Bourbon

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously to extract juice from the berries and oil from the mint.  Strain into a lowball glass (or a julep cup if you have one) with ice and garnish with mint and a blackberry.

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This is a lighter twist on the classic because the addition of blackberry juice decreases the alcohol by volume.  The blackberry goes very well with the mint, which adds the coolness that makes the julep so well loved.  We chose to use a higher proof bourbon so that the spirit’s spiciness wouldn’t get overwhelmed by the sugar.  If we were to make this again, we would probably reduce the amount of sugar to one teaspoon.

For another take on the mint julep, try mint julep ice cream, and here’s the recipe for a delicious pie traditionally served around the Derby weekend.

May 2, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: Knob Creek Bourbon whiskey Cocktails mint mint julep Kentucky Derby 

16 notes

Waldorf Cocktail

We’re still very much intrigued with mixing absinthe into our bourbon cocktails.  Our latest experiment is the Waldorf, which has an interesting history.  On his site, Barry Popik compiled numerous variations of the Waldorf.  Most of those cocktails noted that the absinthe would take over, so we kept that in mind while mixing our cocktail.  Our Waldorf most closely resembles this one.

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Waldorf
2 oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. Sweet vermouth
Absinthe
2 dashes Angostura bitters

In a mixing glass, combine bourbon, vermouth, and bitters with ice.  Stir until mixed well.  In a cocktail glass, add enough absinthe to coat the glass.  Spin the glass to coat the sides, then dump the excess.  Strain the other ingredients into the cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist (optional).

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Absinthe experiment success!  We were actually more concerned with the vermouth content, since sweet vermouth is definitely not our favorite flavor.  The Waldorf is very balanced though.  The spiciness of the bourbon (we used Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve) and the absinthe rinse complement the good parts of the vermouth while mostly removing the aftertaste we don’t like.  The Waldorf is a strong, spicy cocktail that we recommend highly.

April 23, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: whiskey bourbon cocktails absinthe Knob Creek 

10 notes

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