I love cocktail books. I sometimes go to Indigo and flip through their pages, picturing the taste of what is usually bourbon, or whiskey, and the added components that make them shine. (Yes, I’m whipped, should’ve been born in Kentucky.) I linger there as Bob looks for potential props, I reluctantly slink away to peruse the rest of the store – eventually. I have a mental list of all the things I would like to try, what syrups we can make, how to use my beautiful bitters, and so on.
When Bobby shipped me a gift of books, there was one in particular that gripped me. I immediately sat down and started reading. He got me a whiskey cocktail book. (I’ll keep him.) The book gave a concise but thorough explanation of each type of spirit, where they originated from, and why they were chosen for specific recipes. I was hooked. I immediately tagged my favorites, and later made syrups to get started on crafting them.
While I would love to accumulate a variety of glistening bottles, with their shimmery, caramel colored nectar, and use the appropriate ones, I’m sad to say my budget doesn’t allow for it. Maybe one day we’ll make a whiskey buying trip, or special order. For the time being, Bulleit bourbon is my standby, and we have Knob Creek and Woodford Reserve around here as well.
- 4 oz Freshly brewed Earl Grey tea, cooled
- 3 oz smoked American whiskey - we substituted Bulleit Bourbon
- 1 oz spicy ginger honey simple syrup
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 pinches of sea salt (optional)
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- Make simple syrup by combining 1 cup honey with ½ cup water, and simmer, mixing until honey dissolves
- Add ¼ cup ginger, and stir, allowing to combine.
- Let the mixture cool and steep for a couple days in the fridge in an airtight container
- Strain before using
- To make the cocktail:
- Brew and cool the Earl Grey tea. Fill a stirring glass ¾ full with ice
- Pour whiskey, tea, lemon juice, and simple syrup over the ice and stir to combine
- Once your glass is well foggy and frosted, pour over ice
- Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt in each glass, and garnish with thyme
Recipe adapted from Whiskey Cocktails.
This particular cocktail drew me in because of the Earl Grey. Nothing brings back better memories of my English great grandmother, and our heritage, than a good cup of tea in a real tea cup. Now, a little more grown, I still thought of her as I steeped tea for this drink. A grown up toast to my favorite lady. The thyme on the nose, and little bit of lemon juice just tempered the bourbon and brought it all together.