Thirty days of looking to classic cocktails to discover where craft cocktails came from, and the thought processes behind some of the foundations for the industry. The second thirty days, plus one for poor counting, was an exploration of the modern cocktail scene. The men and women shaking and stirring what we are drinking. Some were iconic writers and personalities, some were bars where the craft cocktail movement is getting advanced by the pour. I learned much from the cocktails I was able to make, and the ones I was not able to make. It has inspired a wealth of inspiration for future content, but that is after I am done with all 100 Days.
This last thirty nine days will be focused on my cocktails. Experiments that will, or will not, work. I will share them all, even the revisions to ones that did not work well the first time. Or second. It will offer insight into how I am developing cocktails, what I am thinking as I do it, and techniques I have learned or learned about as I have blasted through sixty one days. This first one happens to fall on Election Day 2015. My friend Bryan Suddith ran for local city council. I helped with the campaign, and it was one of the best things I have done with my talents in a while. This cocktail was going to be inspired by the Ward 8, but Bryan was not so much into that. The end result is the child of a Mojito and a Mint Julep, called the District 4.
1.5 oz./ 45 mL bourbon
.5 oz/ 15 mL fresh lime juice
6 mint leaves
2 tsp. sugar
Glass: Old Fashioned
Garnish: Lime Wedge
Ice: Large Cube or Sphere
Place the mint, bourbon, sugar, and lime juice in a mixing tin. Shake hard for 10-15 seconds, then double strain (through a Hawthorn strainer and mesh strainer) into the Old Fashioned glass over ice. Top off with ginger beer, add the lime wedge, then serve.
The Mojito and the Mint Julep were not nearly as hard to marry as one might think. Bourbon, lime, and ginger worked well in the Bourbon Buck. Adding a kiss of mint and a little sugar only helped the flavors. I would recommend a more gingery ginger beer; Cock and Bull has a nice balance, but leans to the sweet side in this cocktail. You may also notice I did not muddle the mint. I have read many articles on not muddling herbs, instead using the ice in the shaker to do the muddling for me. So far I have had success with herbs, but I have yet to try it with things like citrus zest or anything with some meat to it. It is the perfect fall cocktail to celebrate the end of an amazing campaign.