Bourbons are the most prominent style of American whiskey enjoyed by most whiskey lovers all throughout the world. What makes it different from other whiskeys is that it is brewed from corn. Its quality and taste depend on the grain chosen, the yeast strains, the oak barrels and the bottles in which they are stored on.
The art of slow whiskey drinking can be mastered with the bourbons for they are mild. Bourbons are the best whiskeys for women too. It’s warm, pure and so clean; just the way women like.
Bourbons are not usually preferred for cocktails, for rye whiskeys have been used in the recipes which were written in the time when whiskey ryes were the most common base for cocktails. But bourbons are the perfect base for cocktails for they give the subtlety, intricacy as well as the complexity required for the cocktails.
When used brilliantly, the sweet, oaky and relatively mild drink called bourbons can prove to be the best base for all kinds of cocktails. Let’s have a look at the most interesting kinds of cocktails made with bourbons!
Bourbon Old fashioned
The bourbon old fashioned is similar to the one made with whiskey but slightly more sweetened and seasoned. Team the bourbon with bitters, sugar, water and finish it with an orange peel to make the perfect old-fashioned bourbon.
The New York Sour
A variation to the classic whiskey sour, the twist lies in the addition of a dash of red wine. Combine the bourbon, simple syrup (made by combining white sugar and water), lime juice and red wine to make the most excellent drink, the New York Sour.
The Hot Toddy
Known as the grandfather of hot cocktails, the hot toddy is a unique blend of cloves, lime, brown sugar, bourbon and hot water which gives a flavour explosion in the palate. Use this warm and comforting cocktail to spice up any day. Hot Toddy is also very effective in curing a cold.
Uncle Angelo’s eggnog
This sweet, yet mild, cocktail makes you fall in love with fluffy and light cocktails. Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar until they form a light colour and then whisk in the bourbon, rum, milk and the heavy cream. Now whisk in the whites and serve with a pinch of powdered nutmeg to finish the wonderful drink.
Jockey Club Cocktail
When whiskey is combined with vermouth and bitters, that’s what you call a classic Manhattan. But Bourbon mixed with sweet vermouth and maraschino liqueur stirred with ice makes the spirit forward, strong cocktail often called the distant cousin of Manhattan.
This cocktail equivalent of New York egg cream is a fuzzy and rich bourbon drink, made by mixing bourbon, heavy cream, coffee liqueur, almond orgeat and club soda. This bubbly creamy sweet drink is shaken with ice before adding soda and is finally poured into a tall glass and served with a straw to complete it with a modern classic touch.
Basil Hayden’s Bloody Mary
A bourbon bloody mary is a special and unusual concoction for a Sunday brunch. Here Basil Hayden’s Bourbon is teamed up with celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, tomato juice and wasabi to create the bourbon version of bloody mary, served with a lime wedge, celery stock, and blue cheese stuffed olives.
Tips to keep in mind
- A higher proof bourbon is what you need to balance out the strong flavours of a vibrant liquor.
- Always try out the classics like the whiskey sour to understand the new and amusing flavours which burst open in the palate while rye is the base and while bourbon is the base.
- A bourbon teamed with a spicy flavour really brings out the potential to work as a cocktail base. Basil Hayden’s, Manhattan’s, Old Grandad’s and Wild turkey are a must try in this department.
- Use relatively milder bourbons in light cocktails such as Old Fashioned, Mint Julep and whiskey Smash. These can really help the bourbon showcase its full flavour.
- Try giving a hint of lemongive bourbon a zing and who knows, it might be your new favourite flavour!
- Never go overboard on any cocktail as even the most popular cocktail may sometimes not appeal a bit to you. Try to find your own personal favourites and enjoy them.
- Don’t force them on yourself for then, it may not be an enjoyable experience.
- Cocktails are of course great but so is a glass of the plain whiskey. If you fail to find your cup of tea in cocktails, then a glass of whiskey would do.
Always remember that your tea might be somebody else’s coffee. So buckle up, and find your cocktail for the weekend!