After a summer of cocktails filled with fruit and juice and sparking something or another and of course tequila, the weather has turned enough to speak of fall and the cocktails start to transition as well. I seem to do more classic cocktails in the fall and winter; times when bourbon seems more at home and a warmer, more full bodied drink is appropriate.
A gin rickey might be considered more of a summer drink but transition it over to bourbon and everything changes…add some maple syrup and fall is definitely in the air. A rickey is one of those cocktails — actually a highball, that is defined more by the accoutrements in the glass than the liquor that’s included. For a rickey that means lime juice, club soda and a lime garnish. So although it’s more commonly known in the summer, you can make a wide variety of rickeys depending on your taste and the season; including a Bourbon rickey, a Brandy rickey, a Scotch rickey (yes you CAN make cocktails with Scotch!), a vodka rickey, and so on. Once the weather starts to cool (and this past week it snowed even!) I’m ready to move from the lighter gin rickey to this one with Bourbon.
In this highball I used Larceny Bourbon from a small batch distiller in Kentucky. Larceny carries on the tradition of John E. Fitzgerald Bourbons with wheat as the secondary grain instead of the traditional rye. Its mashbill calls for one-third more wheat than other competitors, making it a smoother tasting bourbon. It’s become one of my favorites.
Wanting to make something that really spoke of fall, I loved the addition of maple syrup to the classic ingredients in a Bourbon Rickey. Wow. Double Wow. Not too much; I didn’t want a really sweet drink but something about bourbon and maple syrup just sings to me. The lime adds a much needed sour element that keeps the drink from being cloying and this was perfect recently for an afternoon of football. Especially after I’ve had a few (just kidding).
This was a real cocktail folks…great bourbon, just enough soda; a bit of tart and that bit of maple syrup sweet…the perfect ending to a cool fall day.