Bourbon to me is so delicious. I can drink it straight but prefer it with ice. I can make cocktails with it, look like a badass with it, and feel relaxed with it. My favorite cocktail when I've had a long day is a bourbon old fashioned. I like the ability to add in flavors or just keep it simple. To share my love of bourbon, I'm going to share my tips for tasting, pairing, and a few cocktail ideas. Come down my bourbon trail...
Now when it comes to tasting, there are many ways to do it. The best way to first taste bourbon or any whiskey is to get yourself a Glen Cairn glass and a bottle of bourbon. You pour a splash of bourbon in the glass and do a little swirl, a little sniff, and a little taste. This not only makes you look fancy as fuck but also gives your senses time to engage. You should sniff to get some of the flavor notes that you don't necessarily taste. Tasting wise just let your mind relax and see what you pick up. Don't get too stuck up on it. Your brain will register familiar notes first and when you go back a second time then you will get more notes. It's ok if not everyone agrees about what is in the glass. We all have different levels of tastebuds and preferences. You do you. You drink your bourbon and you decide what you like.
Bourbons tend to be a little sweet and smooth but also differ based on where they are made. Kentucky Bourbon is known because of the process of making the bourbon and the branding that the state of Kentucky has done. Bourbon is made in places other than Kentucky shockingly enough. I do suggest trying other bourbons and not just getting stuck on Kentucky. At some point, we want to be fair and also we want to taste something new.
Bourbon pairings are pretty much anything and everything in my opinion. Bourbon is very easy to mix with. If you like bourbon, you drink it. There are some preferred pairings: pulled pork, barbecue, and anything smoky and meaty. This makes sense because bourbon is often used in sauces and blends well with the spices and charcoal smells. I also think bourbon is great with desserts as well. The smoothness really works when you are eating a nice cheesecake, rich cake, or pie.
Are you a Sylvester or a Sylvia?
Bourbon Old fashioned
2 oz 1792 bourbon
1 oz blood orange liqueur
Three dashes of whiskey barrel bitters
One sugar cube
Garnish: Orange slice
Recipe: In a mixing glass, pour bourbon, blood orange liqueur, and whiskey barrel bitters. In an old fashioned glass, muddle sugar cube and orange slice. Add ice and pour from mixing glass.
Anatomy of a Murder 🥃💀🥃
2 oz Bourbon
1 1/2 oz Watermelon juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Top with ginger ale
Recipe: in a shaker with ice, pour bourbon, watermelon juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Pour into a double old fashioned glass with ice. Top with ginger ale.
Falling for a dame
2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz tart cherry juice
1/2 oz all spice dram
Garnish: Maraschino Cherries
Recipe: In a mixing glass, pour bourbon, sweet vermouth, tart cherry juice, and all spice dram. Garnish with maraschino cherries.
Bourbon may not be for everyone. It definitely takes some time to get used to. Maybe these cocktails will change your mind. The goal is to start with something easy and flavorful. Preferably try something with flavors you already like and then branch out from there. I wouldn't recommend drinking bourbon straight if you are unsure of it. I definitely think blending and exploring is a much easier route and one that can ease you into it and try something new. Or at least that's how I've found my vibe with bourbon. I took my time and built up a passion for it.