All posts tagged: bourbon

Drinks to Get You Through Christmas Day

Christmas Day in the Clark household follows a well-established, age-old routine, utterly unshakeable in the face of whatever joyful events or natural disasters are occurring as each December 25th rolls around. A slow crawl down to breakfast, the build-up of anticipation to present-opening time, sherry or prosecco and Christmas cake to accompany the vast heapings of wrapping paper, white wine to wash down quantities of turkey and sprouts, followed by a retreat to cups of tea, sandwiches, and thin mints as the Queen’s Speech is succeeded by films and TV specials which no one has more than half an eye on. None of this will change this year, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. IF I were to institute any changes, and if I were less torpid and more Nigella-esque in my approach to the festivities, I might arrange a slightly more inventive drinking menu for the day. Well, I have arranged it, for the purposes of this post, but I don’t have the energy to impose it on my actual family. Maybe you can impose it …

Chinese New Year Cocktail 2: Lapsang Souchong Old Fashioned

So this is the second of my Chinese New Year-inspired tea cocktails, also taken from the Rare Tea Company website. It builds on the character of a whisky old-fashioned, but adds Lapsang Souchong tea, along with vermouth and honey syrup in place of the sugar. This one, I LOVE. The intense woody smokiness of Lapsang is just amazing with the bourbon. It doesn’t get overpowered in the way the delicate jasmine tea did in my first tea cocktail. Quite the opposite. This drink makes me feel like I should be sitting in a leather armchair in a private club, smoking a pipe and talking as men do. Preferably in this episode of Frasier: Not very Chinese New Year-related, but still, it’s a great drink! (Soon I will make a Tuxedo cocktail in honour of Frasier. I might also start putting a Frasier clip in every post.) Ingredients: 60 ml (2 oz) Lapsang Souchong tea (infused and chilled) 60 ml (2 oz) bourbon 20 ml (1/3 oz) sweet vermouth 1 tsp honey syrup (half honey, half …

Cocktail of the week no.6 : the Boulevardier

My bottle of Campari has been languishing in the kitchen, waiting for warm weather when I feel like it’s time for a Negroni. I think I might have to do a series of Negroni variations – Sbagliato, Americano, a Cheeky Negroni, a Jasmine – but those all seem like spring/summer drinks. So while we wait for the weather to change, here’s a drink that’s often described as a cold-weather Negroni: Campari and sweet vermouth, but with bourbon replacing the gin. The bitterness is still there, but the overall effect is distinctly less crisp. The bourbon adds a sweetness and a honeyed warmth which is just right for the late winter chill. The  combination of Campari and sweet vermouth is such a complex taste, herbal and sophisticated. This article from T, the New York Times magazine, has some great suggestions for tweaks you can make to the cocktail (although they do involve some rather obscure ingredients, unsurprisingly). The Boulevardier was first made by Harry McElhone in Paris in 1927 for his fellow American expat, Erskine Gwynne. Gwynne edited a …

Seasonal cocktail: blood orange and bourbon

It’s blood orange season, finally! You can tell because they’re all over Instagram. Naturally I wanted to make something with these photogenic fruits, and came across this beautiful drink in an old post at Love and Lemons. I definitely can’t photograph it as well as the original, partly due to lack of skillz and partly due to SAD-inducing lack of decent daylight, but hopefully you get the idea of how pretty it is. (Should I rearrange my life to make cocktails in the early morning and catch the light? Probably wouldn’t go down well at work.) I love that citrus is in season in winter. It’s always just what I need in miserable January. This is not just a good-looking drink, it’s a fresh yet wintery concoction, easy on the liquor, with a bit of sparkling water to lighten it up.  Super tasty, super refreshing, could drink about 10. But won’t. I changed the proportions a bit, and made it with equal parts bourbon and blood orange juice, and added just a splash of water. You could alter …

Cocktail of the week no.4: Whiskey Sour

Aaand… another sour cocktail – this time I had lemons to use up. I love the combination of smoky, sweet bourbon and crisp, tart lemons – somehow it all blends together perfectly. It seems like the perfect thing to knock back before dinner. 2 0z bourbon 1 oz fresh lemon juice 0.5 oz simple syrup Dash of egg white (optional, I prefer it without) Shake with ice and then strain into a glass with more ice. Garnish with lemon rind and a maraschino cherry.

Cocktail of the week no.1: the Old-Fashioned

I’ve always liked a good cocktail, but something about living in London has alerted me to the fact that I don’t really know enough about the art of making them as I’d like to. As a kind of educational project, I’m planning to make a new cocktail every week, and work my way through as many classic recipes as possible. I hope to learn a lot over the course of the year about spirits, techniques, and equipment, including but not limited to how to make perfectly clear ice cubes. As a starting point, I’m using this list at Serious Eats. I don’t intend to do it in the same order, or necessarily cover all of the cocktails on the list, but I like it as a reference point.  I’m going to start with a true classic, the original cocktail – just spirit, sugar, water, and bitters. Most Old-Fashioned recipes call for you to muddle a sugar cube with a dash of water and bitters, and then add the whisky on top. Some call for the …