It’s supposed to be fall right now, the produce department of our local Co-op certainly reflects the change of the season even if the weather outside stubbornly refuses to. I’m looking at you 95° weekend weather! With the transition to fall I’ve got to say goodbye to all the chilled drinks full of citrus and fruit! That’s okay though, because I’m looking forward to some hot drinks.
This cocktail was inspired by one D saw over on another blog (here), that called for a homemade brandy and quite a bit of alcohol in it. I took the recipe and tweaked it a little bit and ended up with a delicious cocktail with an herbal undercurrent, that wouldn’t knock D out. I replaced the brandy with applejack and balanced out the proportions.
1 oz bourbon
1 oz applejack
1 oz thyme simple syrup
1/2 – 1 oz lemon juice
Combine ingredients into an ice filled shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain onto ice in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with apple slice and thyme twig.
I didn’t have any expectations with this cocktail. I’d never considered using bourbon and applejack together and I’d never thought to infuse simple syrup with thyme. It turned out really well though! The lemon and thyme go together quite well and blend wonderfully with the bourbon and applejack. Depending on how much lemon juice you have a flavor that goes anywhere from an apple-y bourbon with hints of lime, and thyme to a whiskey sour with hints of apple. I heartily recommend this for relaxing on a cool fall evening.
I was listening to Mother Jones’ Inquiring Minds podcast last week and they had Amy Stewart on the show to talk about the science of turning plants into alcohol. A topic I was sure to be interested in. The podcast also happened to be released/recorded during the Fourth of July holiday weekend and so the topic of what the first “Americans” drank came up. Amy mentioned that both whiskey and cider, the hard variety, were very common and very popular with American colonialists. She then mentioned a drink that would be called a “cocktail” today, the Stone Fence. She described it as a mix of hard apple cider with rye whiskey or rum and that it was very popular. This was enough of a hook to get me digging!
2 oz. rye whiskey, whiskey, rum, or brandy
Hard apple cider
mint spring or lemon wedge (optional)
Pour spirits into a highball or Collins glass, add a dash of bitters, top with ice and fill to the brim with cider. Stir, garnish with mint sprig or lemon wedge.
With the amount of cider and ice you’ll be putting into this drink the spirit is going to be subtle. My first impressions were that this drink was an odd and very dry champagne. Not a bad thing at all, but not really what I expect from a cocktail either. Subtle would be the best one word description for the drink. The crisp dryness of the cider followed up with the soft aftertaste of bourbon. I didn’t think twice about finishing this cocktail in two or three swigs. But here I am 30 minutes or so later and I’m feeling it. Either I’m more dehydrated than I realize or this drink masks the hard alcohol phenomenally well. This cocktail reminds me of a Dark and Stormy or a Moscow Mule without any of the kick or punch that the ginger beer gives those drinks. That’s not a bad thing, just different.
Fourth of July weekend was a scorcher! We decided to ditch the central valley and head someplace cooler: Santa Cruz. Where, I might add, we had a great time relaxing, enjoying the beach, running trails, watching the illegal fireworks, etc., etc. It was great! To cap it all off we picked up some fresh fruit and ginger and whipped up this frozen cocktail. I was a little leery about mixing peaches and ginger at first, but…
Peach, Ginger, and Bourbon Frozen Cocktail
3/4 cup frozen peaches
1/2 tbsp. finely grated peeled ginger
2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. simple syrup
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup ice
Place all ingredients into a blender and pulse. Stop when the texture looks too thick when poured into a Collins glass. Garnish with rosemary sprig if desired.
I’m glad I took the plunge and made this! Ginger and Peach work great together, the garnish complements the drink nicely as well. I’m thinking next time I make it I’ll squeeze some rosemary oil into the drink. Cool, crisp, clean. This was the perfect way to cool down after a hot 4th of July weekend.
Well, here it is July in California’s Central Valley and it is starting to get hot. Today it got up to 100° F, tomorrow it’s supposed to get up to 104° F?! What are you supposed to drink in that kind of weather? What could possibly be appropriate? Iced Tea wouldn’t be a bad idea, even better if it’s sweet tea. Sweet Tea, while being delicious, isn’t a cocktail though…
Until you add bourbon to it.
Bourbon Sweet Tea
(makes 1 pitcher)
3 cups of black tea
1/2 cup sugar
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 cup bourbon
Add sugar to tea. Put tea on stove and heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Let tea cool for a few minutes. While tea is cooling add, lime, lemon, orange, and bourbon to a large pitcher. Pour tea into pitcher. Chill. Serve in small glasses with a lemon wheel for garnish.
This was a lot like drinking candy. Delicious citrus flavored sweet tea and with a little hint of bourbon on the way down. In the future, I’d pour the tea into chilled glasses or serve it on ice to really get it cold. This was so refreshing on a hot, California summer evening.