Brown Derby

Brown Derby

BROWN DERBY

Mixing drinks with fresh ingredients is a must for creating the best cocktails and the Brown Derby is a great example of this. It just wouldn’t be the same without the tang of fresh grapefruit juice to balance the soft oak flavours of the bourbon and sweet honey.

Ingredients

2 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon

1 oz fresh grapefruit juice

¼ oz honey syrup (1:1 ratio honey and hot water)

Grapefruit peel to garnish

Method

Ice a cocktail glass and set aside to chill. Pour all ingredients over ice into a shaker. Shake vigorously. Discard the ice from the chilling cocktail glass. Strain shaken ingredients into the now chilled glass. Twist grapefruit peel and slip into the drink.

Tips

Using the honey syrup rather than pure honey makes it easier to mix into the drink.

Christmas Punch

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Christmas Punch

It’s here, it’s here! The time of year that is filled with cheer. The holiday season is upon us and with it, gatherings of friends and family. To impress your guests, serve some Christmas Punch made with black cherry bourbon, smooth aged rum, cherry liqueur, tart cranberry and a splash of ginger ale for fizz. Don’t forget the peppermint candy cane!

Ingredients

½ oz. Brugal Anejo Rum

½ oz. Jim Beam Red Stag

½ oz. Bols Cherry Brandy Liqueur

2 oz. cranberry juice

Splash of Gingerale

Garnish with a candy cane

Method

This is a shaken drink so start by pouring all the ingredients, except for the ginger ale, into a shaker filled with ice. Shake until all ingredients are chilled and well mixed. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with ginger ale and place a candy cane in the drink resting the hook on the rim.

Tips

This drink is quick to make. However, if having a large number of guests to accommodate, serve in a large punch bowl. To accomplish this, multiply the recipe by the amount of drinks you anticipate will be consumed. Pour into a large punch bowl and stir briskly to ensure well mixed. Just before guests arrived add several ice cubes and approximately ¼ ounce of ginger ale for every drink you anticipate. Garnish the rim of the punch bowl with small candy canes hanging from the rim.

Some tips for serving in the punch bowl are to leave the ice in a bucket on the side so the ice doesn’t melt into the punch, watering down the drink. Guests can add ice to their glass before filling with the punch. This can also be done with the ginger ale. Omit the ginger ale in the punch and leave a few cans unopened next to the punch bowl so guests can add a fresh splash to their drink as needed.

You can also freeze cranberry juice into ice cubes. Use half the amount of cranberry juice needed in your punch. Let the cranberry ice cubes chill the punch and, as they melt, add more cranberry flavour.

Jumping Jack Flash

Jumping Jack Flash

September brings many routines back into our lives, such as school schedules, sports leagues and warmer clothes. It also means National Bourbon Heritage Month in the United States.

To honour our friends down south, this week I bring you a rich and smooth martini full of orange, pineapple and banana fruit flavours, vanilla and, of course, subtle oak bourbon.

Ingredients

1 oz. Maker’s Mark bourbon
½ oz. Bols banana liqueur
½ oz. Galliano liqueur
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
Garnish with a half orange wheel

Method

Ice a martini glass and leave aside to chill while you make the martini. Pour all the ingredients into a shaker glass. Fill with ice and shake vigorously. Discard the ice from the now chilled martini glass and strain mixture into the glass. Place the half orange wheel on the rim to complete the martini.

Tips

Shaking mixes and chills down all the ingredients efficiently. It also causes a very appealing froth to form when it is poured into the glass.

Whenever possible, use fresh juice. Using juice made from concentrate will not give you the most flavourful drink.

I enjoy reading about the history of different spirits and encourage everyone to learn something about the spirits each of us enjoy. Here’s something for the bourbon lovers: In 1964, Congress declared bourbon as “America’s Native Spirit” and the country’s official distilled spirit.

Apricot Julep

Apricot Julep

When searching for that perfectly refreshing drink to help cool you to the core, you must try a Mint Julep. If you have already discovered this traditional cocktail, then allow me to introduce you to another variation: the Apricot Julep. Smooth bourbon with subtle oak flavours mixes with fresh mint and light apricot. Lemon juice adds a contrasting tartness. This cocktail is sure to be a crowd-pleaser on any patio or at any barbecue.

Ingredients

2 oz. Maker’s Mark Bourbon

1/2 oz. Bols Apricot Brandy Liqueur

6 mint leaves

1/4 oz. lemon juice

Method

Place mint leaves In a mixing glass, add lemon juice and press with a bar spoon or a muddle. This will allow the oils of the mint to combine with the citrus juice. Add ice and then Maker’s Mark Bourbon and Bols Apricot Brandy. Shake to mix. Pour into a glass and top with more ice and place a sprig of mint for a garnish.

Place two straws next to the mint you can smell the fresh mint with every sip you take.

Tips

This is a light and fresh cocktail that is a perfect indulgence on a warm summer’s day. You can customize your cocktail by adding more Bols Apricot Brandy to enhance the light fruit flavour or by adding more lemon juice if you prefer more tartness.

For those who prefer their drinks a bit sweeter you can add a half ounce of simple syrup to the mix.