Four Roses Bourbon is in the middle of an expansion that will eventually double production. A tour of the still-growing distillery shows a company keeping up with increased demand for bourbon while holding on to the craftsmanship that created the demand in the first place.
Traditional Mint Julep ~ The basic version is anything but boring. Put on your fancy hat and have one.
Peach Mint Julep ~ Refreshing and fun, this twist on the Mint Julep brings some Georgia into your Kentucky drink.
Strawberry Moonshine Julep ~ Moonshine is a bit of a misnomer. Let’s call it unaged whiskey. Either way, throw in some strawberries and you have one heck of a cocktail.
Pineapple-Ginger Mint Julep ~ Behold! The powerful combination of mint and pineapple. In Julep form. Yum.
Jalepeño-Spiked Julep ~ Infusing simple syrup with spicy jalapeño peppers and putting it with cooling mint mixes makes for an “icy-hot take on the Derby classic.”
This little-known classic cocktail is basically a gussied-up Old Fashioned. While the addition of maraschino liqueur makes it a little sweeter than an Old Fashioned, it also gives the drink a funky kick and subtle bitter almond flavor.
Some people like to strain the drink and serve it up (without ice). I don’t. Controversy! Or, you know, personal preference.
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
orange twist for garnish
Put several ice cubes (or one large ice cube) in an Old Fashioned glass. Add other ingredients and stir, then garnish with an orange twist.
If you want to learn how to make up your own cocktails based on the classics, buy the DIY Cocktails book. If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the Kindle version for free.
Photo by Jackson Stakeman
I got together with Savvy Housekeeping, and that’s exactly what we did. And it’s delicious … just not in the way that we expected. We thought it would just add a smoky flavor to our drink. But grilling did so much more.
Putting the plum on the grill for a bit deepened the plum’s flavor and brought out the sweetness and brightness of the fruit. We were using nice plums that were a little on the tart side, and the grilling brought out the natural sugars and helped the plum blend better with the other flavors in the cocktail.
So grilling is a nice way to improve slightly tart fruit (and let’s face it, supermarket stone fruits are usually too tart). Have some fruit that is a little disappointing? Get that grill out! It’ll make a great cocktail.
Honey Barbecue Plum Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce honey liqueur (you can make your own)
1/2 ounce agave nectar (sub simple syrup if needed)
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Cut the plum in half and remove the pit.Grill the plum on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to caramelize and you see grill marks. Turn over and let it cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes, until the plum is soft. Remove from the grill.
In a cocktail shaker, combine all the ingredients except the bitters. Muddle the plum thoroughly. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice. Put on the lid and shake for at least a solid minute, or until ice starts to form on the outside of the container. This is especially important if the plum is still hot. You don’t want a warm cocktail.
Strain the drink into a glass. Add a drop or two of Peychaud’s bitters.
Photo by Savvy Housekeeping
Any New Orleans cocktail is going to be good. Milk Punch is great for brunch (very late brunches, since there’s a lot of booze in it!) or cozy evening parties. It’s lightly sweet and has the homey goodness of eggnog in a much lighter drink.
I like it best with bourbon, but brandy is also a traditional choice. It’s even good with blended scotch. For a lighter version, you can use whole milk instead of half and half. (It won’t be as creamy, of course, but the flavor will be just as good.)
Bourbon Milk Punch
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 1/2 ounces half and half
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash vanilla extract
Nutmeg for garnish
Shake all ingredients well over ice, then strain into glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with freshly ground nutmeg.