Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Kentucky Longshot, the Back Forty, and the Mint Julep

In honor of it being Kentucky Derby Day 2011, I am posting a couple of bourbon recipes I found. It is a day for bourbon, and there are many choices... For a few more, visit this article "Beyond the Julep" by the Wall Street Journal.

The first is called the Kentucky Longshot, and it is a great way to use Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur. According to Gary Regan, who adapted the recipe in Joy of Mixology, the drink was created in honor of the 1998 Breeders' Cup by the late Max Allen Jr., a bartender at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville, KY. 

The drink has an interesting fusion of flavors, with a good spice from the bourbon (I used my standby, Wild Turkey 101), Angostura, and ginger (I used the aforementioned Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur), followed by a sweeter note of the peach (Hiram Walker Peach Schnapps) and the unique, floral aspect of the Peychaud's. One might think the liqueurs would make this drink too sweet, but that is not the case. It has some sweetness, not too much, and is complex in its depth. You can add more bourbon and bitters or adjust the ratios of the liqueur and brandy. Think of it as a Manhattan with liqueurs replacing the vermouth.

Kentucky Longshot
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz ginger liqueur
  • 1/2 oz peach brandy
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash Peychaud's bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. The recipe I took this from recommends garnishing with three pieces of candied ginger (representing "win, place, and show"). One piece is plenty, though.

I also found a recipe online for The Back Forty, devised at the restaurant of the same name in New York. It's very much like a whiskey sour, but with an unusual and delicious distinction: it is made with Vermont maple syrup. The syrup, to my taste, is less sweet than your average simple syrup, so is ideal for a sour that has the notes of candy without being sickly sweet.

The Back Forty

2 oz bourbon
4 teaspoons of maple syrup
1 oz fresh lemon juice
3-5 dashes of Fee Brothers orange bitters

In a shaker with ice, shake all the ingredients vigorously, to ensure that the syrup is well-mixed. You could also stir the syrup with two teaspoons of hot water to dissolve it, then add the other ingredients.  

Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon or lime wheel, or a cherry, and enjoy. Perfect for a summer day.

Note: You can also make the sour mix by the batch: 1 part maple syrup to 1 part lemon juice.

Julep cups, courtesy of Anne & Todd, Derby Day 2011
Finally, it is Derby Day - the day of the famed Mint Julep.  There are certainly many variations of the julep, from a big ol' glass of glass of bourbon over crushed ice (with a sprig of mint for fashion) to bourbon with mint-infused simple syrup, to bourbon and various liqueurs. in common, perhaps, they should all be very, very cold. Crushed ice adds a lot of water to the drink (which is probably not a bad idea if you're in the big ol' glass of bourbon mode), but it also allows the cocktail to become extremely cold. The idea is to stir the drink until frost forms on the outside of the glass (or a nickel- or silver-plated julep cup, if you happen to have one).

Here is my variation on the julep:

The Mint Julep

3-4 oz Kentucky bourbon
1 oz peach brandy
Bunch of fragrant mint

    Muddle a generous portion of the mint and the ounce of peach brandy in a glass (gently: just bruise the mint to allow the bouquet to flourish). Remove the bruised mint. Pour in the bourbon, fill with crushed ice - right to the top of the glass - and stir in a clockwise motion with a swizzle until the outside of the glass (or julep cup) is frosted. Or as long as you can stand. Add a fresh mint sprig as garnish; the sprig should be generous enough to provide fragrance while sipping...

    Bottoms up.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Tasting notes? Suggestions? Please share your thoughts...