On a recent trip to Pouring Ribbons my brother was looking for something off the menu that was sweet and spicy with Bourbon. Our bartender for the evening, Amanda, served this up. Essentially it is a bourbon smash, with an extra kick, that performs a perfect balancing act between sweet and spicy.
The SS Bourbon
2 oz Bourbon (Bulleit)
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Hot Honey
3 pieces of Lemon 8ths (3/4 of a half lemon)
1 dash of Angostura Bitters
1 dash of Cinnamon Bitters
Muddle the lemon with the honey in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the bourbon, bitters, and ice. Shake and strain into an old fashioned glass over a big chunk of ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.
The resulting cocktail is initially sweet and boozy before the hot honey rears it’s head and coats your throat complemented by the acidic bite of lemon. If spicy is your thing then definitely give this one a try. I didn’t have any fresh mint at the time so I garnished it with a lemon wheel.
How to Make Hot Honey
According to Amanda, the hot honey is a blend of Serrano and Habanero chiles with honey that is then strained and mixed in a ratio of 3 parts honey to 1 part water. There is no specific recipe, so you can make the honey as hot or as mild as your taste buds will allow. If you wish to take the easy way out you can try Mikes Hot Honey which this syrup is based upon.
Today is the last day of this series, so what better way to celebrate the official last day of summer then with a bottle of champagne.
Depending on which cocktail book you examine there are a wide variety of recipes for the Airmail. They include different proportions of ingredients, type of rum, and type of Champagne. There are even disagreements on the type of glass to serve it in including the coupe glass, the collins glass as recommended by David Wondrich in Esquire, and even a variation from Jim Meehan which is served in a glass teacup over a sphere of ice.
Despite the many variations of the recipe there is little to be found in the way of history on the cocktail. According to David Wondrich, cocktail historian, “It simply turns up, as if by spontaneous generation, in our 1949 Handbook for Hosts.” On the other hand Payman Bahmani stated that in a conversation with Greg Boehm, owner of Cocktail Kingdom, the “Airmail was actually first created by the folks at Bacardi (or at least their corporate mixologist) and was featured in a Bacardi recipe pamphlet published in the 1930’s.”
Airmail 2 oz. añejo rum (Rhum Barbancourt 8 year) .75 oz. lime juice 1 oz. honey syrup (1:1) 1 oz. Brut Champagne/Cava/Sparkling Wine (Freixenet Brut) Combine the first three ingredients with ice in a shaker. Shake, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and top with champagne. Notes:
This is a rich and effervescent cocktail with a delicious backbone of orange blossom honey. A perfect way to wave goodbye to the long warm days of summer and usher in the cool crisp days of fall.
If you missed yesterdays post on the Look Normal and the Freshman Daiquiri you can find it here.
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