While many people enjoy two fingers neat or a pour over a perfectly clear ice cube, National Bourbon Day is an excuse to step outside of the traditional. These twists on a classic bourbon cocktail could have even the most astute drinker taking a second glance in the glass. Isn’t it time to think outside of the cocktail shaker?
Known as America’s Native Spirit, bourbon has many specifications to be considered that particular spirit. Having had a resurgence over the past couple of years, the luscious caramel colored liquor that has flavor imparted through the charred oak barrels is far from the stuffy beverage of years past.
Many liquor brands have sought to change the conversation on bourbon and whiskey. While the two liquor terms are not interchangeable, the reality is that pursuing the shelf affords many people the opportunity to discover what this type of spirit can be.
Even though iconic brands will always have their place in the conversation, sometimes smaller distilleries or historic distillers with their unique approach to the craft deserve a pour in the glass. Opening a bottle can re-ignite a love affair with the American spirit.
For example, I.W. Harper has a long, storied history. Dating back to the founder coming to America in 1848, the highly praised bourbon whiskey has made an impact around the world. Timeless and always stylish, this liquor is indulgent yet not pretentious.
One cocktail that highlights the I.W. Harper Cabernet Cask Reserve is the Serrano Sour. While a whiskey sour is a classic cocktail, this version adds another layer of flavor. The hint of spice and touch of herb ignite the palate in the most delicious way. After one sip, it is the cocktail that will have everyone feeling a little more spirited.
- 1.5 oz I.W. Harper Cabernet Cask Reserve
- .75oz Lemon Juice
- .5oz Agave Syrup
- 2 slices of Serrano Pepper
- 2 sprigs of Cilantro
- Cut a slide of serrano pepper and tear 6 cilantro leaves
- Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and mix
- Pour over large ice cubes on a rocks glass and garnish with a sprig of cilantro and a slide of serrano pepper
While the Serrano Sour brings the heat, another classic cocktail takes a floral turn. Redemption is known for its Rye. Harkening back to when Rye Whiskey was “America’s favorite spirit prior to Prohibition,” the brand wants drinkers to embrace those rye-forward flavors.
With both Rye and Rye Bourbon within its releases, Redemption looks to highlight a rye spice with a hint of sweetness. Unlike other bourbons on the shelf, this flavor combination leads to creative cocktail pairings.
In this riff on an Old Fashioned, Redemption adds vibrant florals to entice in both the visual and the flavor. For someone looking to escape into the glass, this take on the classic bourbon cocktail is worth a sip.
Dream in Color (Old Fashioned Recipe from Redemption)
- 1 ½ parts Redemption Rye
- ¼ part Plantation OFTD
- ½ part banana liqueur
- 3 dashes lavender bitters
- Stir all ingredients
- Strain over large ice cube
- Garnish with lavender bud or edible flowers
What twists on a classic bourbon cocktail are you sipping for National Bourbon Day?