WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DRINK BOURBON?
Have you ever gone to a fancy whiskey bar and felt vaguely self-conscious about ordering a bourbon on the rocks, or in a cocktail? We’re giving you permission to stop feeling that way right this second. There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about the best way to drink bourbon, but the true answer is simple: However you want.
Seriously. Drink it neat, at room temperature. Keep it in the freezer and pour it over ice cubes–fancy ice balls, or whatever your fridge’s built-in ice maker churns out. Top it with soda water, or Coke, or lemonade. Make complicated cocktails. Or don’t.
Whatever you do, don’t feel sheepish about it. We love drinking bourbon neat, but that’s far from the only way to be a bourbon drinker. Apocryphal stories about Booker Noe, the former master distiller at Jim Beam and the mastermind behind the bourbon juggernaut that is Booker’s Bourbon, say he preferred his cask strength bourbon served over ice and mixed with Mountain Dew. (Who knows! It might be great.)
If you really want a rule, how about this one: Pay attention to–and enjoy–what you’re smelling and tasting. Skilled, dedicated craftspeople have worked hard to create the flavor profiles in every bottle of bourbon, from fine-tuning their stills to carefully choosing exactly the right charred oak casks for maturation. The best way to appreciate their work is to savor what they’ve made, whether that’s in a beautifully garnished mint julep, or straight from a tin mug around the campfire.
THREE GREAT BOURBON COCKTAILS
If you love cocktails, you’re not alone. Some of our favorite ways to drink Barrell Craft Spirits whiskey are in mixed drinks. Barrell Craft Spirits’ Single Barrel Program Manager and Nic Christiansen drew on her years of experience as a top Louisville mixologist to create some very special cocktails featuring Barrell products. Here are three of our favorites to get you started.
Featuring the award-winning Barrell Craft Spirits Armida, a unique blend of bourbons finished in a combination of pear brandy, rum, and Sicilian amaro casks, this citrussy, gently bitter cocktail is just the thing to wake up your tastebuds before dinner.
This recipe features our Barrell Bourbon Batch 028, a blend of 10- and 11-year-old straight bourbon whiskeys from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. But you can use any of our Small Batch Barrell Bourbons. Each one will make a slightly different--yet still delicious--cocktail. Oh, and don’t skip the fresh mint: it’s essential.
A classic for a reason. Our take on the ubiquitous combination of American whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters pairs the spicy bite of Barrell Rye Batch 003 with Contratto Vermouth Rosso and a combination of Angostura and Orange bitters. Try substituting bourbon for the rye (Batch 029 is a great one!) and take the drink in a different direction.