I’m excited by seasonality in cocktails… Whiskey seems to continue to haunt my taste buds and it is about time to shatter the preconceived notions that whiskey is only for cold weather.
Just as Henry Clay, he brought the mint julep to Washington, DC.
So I thought it wise to give you three shades of whiskey in three easy to reproduce cocktails using three easily found whiskies and three ingredients in total. Think you want to continue with me? I hope so, because here are three shades of whiskey.
Barrell Bourbon is a perennial favorite of mine. Each batch is different and un-touched if you will. Only a fine mesh separates the char from the whiskey and it is never caramel colored, nor artificially flavored. This is the good stuff! I used batch #004 but good luck finding it. Once they sell out, well it’s gone, gone, gone!
Out On The Perimeter There Is No Sun…
- 2 oz. Barrell Bourbon #004
- 1 oz. Freshly Squeezed Charred Grapefruit Juice (cut grapefruits in half and roast in a 400 degree oven with a sprinkle of Demerara sugar and Angostura bitters on top
- 1 oz. Freshly Squeezed Charred Orange Juice (same as the Grapefruit in execution)
- Aromatic Bitter- ok, so that makes four ingredients…
- Mint (ok, five.. with the garnish)
- Into a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with Bar Ice, add the Barrell Bourbon and the freshly squeezed juices
- Shake hard for 15 seconds
- Strain into a coupe glass or a rocks glass with 1 large cube of ice
- Dot with Aromatic Bitters
- Garnish with mint
The next drink draws its influence from the bar by the name of the Erin Rose located on Conti Street, just above Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I visited this boite of intoxication just before I left New Orleans after Tales of the Cocktail this year and ordered their house specialty, the Frozen Irish Coffee. I made mine with Teeling Irish Whiskey because of the assertive flavor that just says Ireland in every sip.
- Take 16 ounces of freshly brewed coffee and combine it with 16 ounces of freshly whipped (to the soft stage) whipped cream, whisk together and add 1 oz. vanilla extract
- Add 16 ounces of Irish Whiskey (Teeling in this case) and combine
- Add 1 cup Simple Syrup
- Combine again
- Add to an ice cream mixer or frozen drink maker
- Churn until slushy
- If necessary, you can add more Teeling Whiskey
The consistency should be that of soft ice cream with a granular edge from the semi-frozen liquid.
The final drink is a tip of the hat to Henry Clay, the father of the mint julep and Kentucky Senator. This deceptively simple drink uses white dry Vermouth from Carpano Antica and Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey along with a touch of Pickett’s Ginger Syrup and a splash of seltzer water.
There really are only three ingredients in this one, if you don’t count the seltzer water of course. Nor the mint.
The Henry Clay Duel
- 1 oz. Carpano Antica Dry White Vermouth
- ½ oz. Pickett’s Hot and Spicy Ginger Syrup
- 2 oz. Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
- 1 oz. Seltzer Water
- fresh mint
- In a Collins glass, add three cubes of ice
- Add the Pickett’s syrup
- Add the Vermouth
- Add the Four Roses Bourbon
- Top with Seltzer and serve with some slapped fresh mint
- (what does it mean to slap mint? Put it in your hand and clap your hand. This action reveals the oils in the mint.)
Warren Bobrow is the creator of the popular blog The Cocktail Whisperer and the author of nearly half a dozen books, including Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktail and Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails – his most recent book.