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6 Ways to Love Your Bourbon Even More: Recipes From the Experts

In celebration of America’s Native Spirit, here’s a token from our bartenders for #BourbonHeritageMonth. Try these recipes at home, or order one at our bars all September long. Also remember to check out our Bourbon Heritage Month event round-up!

Proof on Main: Poison Arrow

In homage to the revered Boulevardier cocktail, bittersweet Campari meets the corn forward mash bill of Heaven Hill 6yr in this warm and intriguing cocktail. With reference to the Boulevardier, a Negroni riff featuring whiskey instead of gin, Paul Clark is quoted as saying, “[This is] the Negroni’s long-lost autumnal cousin.” – perfect for September’s Bourbon Heritage Month. At Proof we added an extra twist by throwing in a little french aperitif, China China  (pronounced SHEE-na SHEE-na) and blood orange bitters creating a citrusy and earthy dance of flavors.

1 1/2 oz   Heaven Hill 6yr Bottled In Bond
3/4 oz   China China
1/2 oz    Campari
3 dashes   Blood Orange Bitters (can substitute with 2 dashes of orange bitters and 1 dash Angostura bitters)
1 each orange peel

Stir ingredients together in a mixing glass and strain into rocks glass over one large ice cube. Express and garnish with orange peel.

Metropole: Lieutenant

In 1605, a young french marshal presented the Carthusian monks with a recipe for an elixir of immortality. The monks rejoiced and created Green Chartruese. It certainly has a kick to it, so we throw in a little ginger and rhubarb to balance it. Then we round out the concoction with Kentucky’s own elixir of life (a.k.a. Bourbon) and you have a life-affirming cocktail. Viva la Bourbon!

2 oz Old Forester Bourbon
1 oz Domaine de Canton
2 dashes Rhubarb bitters
Spritz of Green Chartreuse

Spritz glass with chartreuse. Add the remaining ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice, stir and strain into the spritzed glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

The Hive: Point and A Half

Punt e Mes is a Vermouth Amaro whose name translates to “point and a half” because of it’s extra bitterness.  When combined with the rye forward mash bill of Old Grand Dad Bourbon and the stone fruit flavors of Luxardo Apricot, it creates a spin off of a Manhattan that is assertive with an extra touch of bitterness.

1.5 oz Old Grand Dad
.75 oz Punt e Mes
.5 oz Luxardo Apricot Liqueur
2 dash Angostura

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.  Express a lemon peel over the drink and use as garnish.

Counting House: Kentucky Orchard

Counting House has preserved the potent flavors of the summer’s best peaches for a sweet bourbon cocktail that packs a punch. Old Forester Bourbon is paired with Bonal, a French aperitif, and Sweet & Thai Basil bitters for an herbaceous and peppery finish. Don’t forget the locally sourced honey.

1 1/2 oz Old Forester Bourbon
3/4 oz Bonal
1 1/4 oz Honey Peach Basil Syrup
1/4 oz lemon juice
1-2 dashes of Crude Sweet & Thai Basil bitters

Combine Old Forester Bourbon, Bonal, Honey Basil syrup and lemon juice in a shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain your drink into a rocks glass and fill with crushed ice. Add bitters. Garnish with a basil leaf.

Honey Peach Basil Syrup
1qt honey (local wildflower if possible)
1qt hot water
4 sliced peaches
1 bunch basil

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add basil in cheesecloth and steep until cool. Blend with simple syrup, about 2:1, juice to syrup ratio. This will yield about two quarts of syrup that you can store in your refrigerator for about 2-3 months.

Lockbox: Odd Forester 

The Old Pal is said to have been invented by Sparrow Robertson in Paris sometime in the early 1920’s. The drink was similar to a Negroni but replaced the gin with Rye whiskey. In our version, we dolled it up in the Kentucky way by replacing the rye with bourbon. As one should, when in bourbon country.

2 oz Old Forester Signature Bourbon
1/2 oz Salers Apertif
1/2 oz Campari
Dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Stir with ice. Strain into a stemmed cocktail glass. No need to garnish.

Mary Eddy’s: Kentucky Rose

When creating the Kentucky Rose, we used Four Roses Bourbon paired with a shrub made from macerating blackberries, blueberries and strawberries in white balsamic vinegar and sugar. We then add in a little aloe liqueur, a dash of cucumber bitters and a fresh basil leaf for aromatics and the result is a light, fruity and very refreshing Bourbon cocktail, a nice contrast to some of the more alcohol forward cocktails on our list.

1.5oz Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon
1.5oz Mixed Berry Shrub
1/2oz Chareau Aloe Liqueur
1 dash Cucumber Bitters

Shake and strain into a Coupe glass. Garnish with slapped Basil Leaf.

Garage Bar: M.I.A.

The M.I.A. is Garage Bar’s take on the classic Paper Plane; a simple bourbon cocktail with a surprisingly complex flavor profile. Our bartender Jeremy Salmon prefers Old Forester Signature for this one because of its spicy notes, which pair excellently with wood-fired pizza and cured meats. The citrus makes this drink perfect for year-round consumption, but it really shines in the fall. Cheers!

3/4 oz Old Forester Signature
3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Nocino
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.