Art by our wonderful friend Malynda
Art by our wonderful friend Malynda
photo via Bourbon & Banter
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.
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.
Hooray for trying new things! Rowan’s Creek is yet another bourbon we’ve had our eyes on for at least a year but never got around to purchasing until now. It’s made by Willett Distillery, which obviously makes the Willett whiskey line and also Johnny Drum bourbon, which we found to be a pretty good tasting bourbon at a bottom shelf price point.
Rowan’s Creek has a rich golden color. Its nose is a nice balance of vanilla, raisin, and apples. Rachel also found hints of cherry blossom. It’s a bit spicier than expected for a 100-proof bourbon, though not overpowering. In fact, it’s actually pretty well balanced. Apple, raisin, and vanilla sweetness work together to cut the spice down. Its linger is long and peppery. The only thing keeping Rowan’s Creek from being an all-around hit is its lightness. The rye and corn flavors from the mash seem be completely separate instead of combining to make one unified flavor. Perhaps a fuller-bodied bourbon would round these flavors together.