Whiskey, hmmm or is it bourbon? Whiskey has become the new buzz word in many food circles. Heck, I don’t even drink cocktails that often but during the holidays, I purchased whiskey and planned to celebrate all the “at home” time with a whiskey cocktail or bourbon on the rocks. Well, the best laid plans….never a drop of whiskey touched my lips.
Then it happened—the cold hit and caused a layer of dark days and gloom over all. Nights are spent in front of the fire and yes, over the weekend, it did involve whiskey. Before I digress too far, let’s define whiskey vs. bourbon.
All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon. Got it? Let me explain. Whiskey is a spirit distilled from fermented grain mash such as from wheat, rye, barley and corn. It is then aged in wooden barrels. There are several styles such as Scotch whiskey and Irish whiskey. In the United States, the most popular is bourbon. Bourbon needs to be produced in America and made from 51% corn, other whiskeys do not need to meet this mark.
This all ends up in a tasty old fashioned but oh so trendy cocktail, Fresh Whiskey Sours.
No dinner party should ever be planned without first serving these tantalizing and satisfying drinks.
I had great fun, sitting in front of the fire and sipping on a Whiskey Sour as I become more enthralled with Downton Abbey. Even if whiskey isn’t your cup of tea, I encourage you to give this recipe a try.
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
Early in the day or the day before, prepare a simple syrup by simmering 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water and stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Store in refrigerator until well chilled.
In a large glass measure, combine the bourbon, lemon juice and lime juice. Add 1 cup of the simple syrup. Stir to blend well. Fill a cocktail shaker 1/2 full with ice. Fill the cocktail shaker 2/3 full of the bourbon mixture. Shake for 30 seconds.
Serve with a maraschino cherries.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
*We preferred to pour ours over ice and sip over a long period of time as the ice began to melt.