Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons is filled lore, facts, and recipes. You’ve seen bitters in stores but now there literally is a blizzard of different bitters flavors out there for you to try. Bitters the book has ideas for using and making bitters, and other things too. Like cherry syrup.
I blogged a couple of days ago about how to make and use that cherry syrup. Brad makes a cocktail he calls a Coxsackie Smash in honor of some Upstate friends combining cherry syrup and bourbon. I made his smash and it was good. But, ah, there’s always a but.
But, I found his proportions [2 ounces of bourbon to ¾ ounces of syrup] yielded a drink that was distinctly a bourbon-dominant beverage. I wanted a drink with no dominant single note. Not bourbon, not cherry. I experimented with proportions and found the combination below to be perfect.
I leave it to you to experiment and generate your own favorite proportions. In his drink, Brad adds sour cherries and muddles them into the cherry syrup. Me, I just use lots of cherry syrup.
Brian’s Cherry and Bourbon Celebration
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 1 lime wedge
- 10-15 mint leaves
- 2 ounces of cherry syrup
- 2 ounces of bourbon
- Ice cubes and cracked ice, too
In a cocktail shaker, put the lime wedge, mint, and syrup. Muddle until the leaves are well smashed and you have aroma ascending to your nose.
Add the bourbon and ice cubes. Shake until strikingly cold. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Add cracked ice.
Adorn, if you wish, with some whole cherries or mint leaves, or perhaps a citrus twist.
Source: inspired from Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons
Photo Credits: Canon T2i, 18-55mm lens at F/2.8, 1/20th second at ISO 3200
Inspired creativity is the raw source for many food recipes. And for beverages, too.
Sometimes creativity is not inspired. It is demanded.
“I need grapefruit,” I was yelling at Suzen as she left for the store.
“Use oranges. We have some.” That was her closing remark. Very closing. The door actually closed. I could not say to her, “But I need grapefruit to make that drink, the Bamboozle, you loved.” I wanted to do something for her. But …
Well, I did do something. I used the oranges. I had found the Bamboozle in The Modern Mixologist by Tony Abou-Ganim. He’s a world famous mixologist. The Modern Mixologist is a world class repository of recipes and lore.
For my inspired-by-need version, something I call the Bamboozle II, I did substitute orange for grapefruit juice and dark tequila for light. The result? A deeply dark and rich beverage. The dark tequila has that dark, slightly smokey flavor that contrasts with the sweeter orange juice. Grapefruit juice might just punctuate with a sting here. Orange juice surrounds with a familiar, comfortable flavor.
These are the last days of summer. The Bamboozle II is a fine way to watch the sun go down. A little earlier each day. With light that dashes through leaves no longer bright green but now softening, darkening, reddening. Just like the drink.
Yield: one cocktail
- 1 ½ ounces dark tequila
- ½ ounce Crème de Cassis
- 1 ½ ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
- ½ ounce freshly squeeze lime juice
- ½ ounce agave nectar
Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, then shake to thoroughly chill the beverage. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Add crushed ice. Garnish, if you wish, with the peel of an orange, lime, or even a lemon.
Source: Brian O’Rourke inspired by Suzen O’Rourke and Tony Abou-Ganim