Mixology Monday is a monthly online cocktail party that bands together booze fiends from barstools around the world to create a collection of cocktail recipes pertaining to a specific theme. This month’s host is the leading lady of booze, Lindsey Johnson, who chose a theme that’s near and dear to her heart (and liver): brown, bitter and stirred. From Lindsey –
Being the creative powerhouse I am, I offered up a theme. Yes, the same theme that dominates this blog and the first four words that come out of my mouth at any bar: brown, bitter and stirred. Basically, I’m asking you to participate in the Internet’s longest cocktail party by making me a drink.
Happy to oblige, I rounded up a handful of brown bottles, a bunch of bitters and some amaros. “Brown, bitter and stirred” can take you on several routes, from tried-and-true classics like the Manhattan and Old Fashioned to innovative drinks using bitter liqueurs like Cynar and Averna. My first attempt utilized an Islay Scotch rinse with some Canadian whiskey, while the second attempt was a modified Sazerac that paired rye whiskey with Bols Genever, an unaged spirit distilled partially from rye. Both cocktails were pretty tasty, but not quite what I was looking for.
By happy accident, some Four Roses bourbon was sitting next to a bottle of Campari. Bourbon is brown, and Campari is most certainly bitter. Fast forward two minutes and one more ingredient, and a cocktail was born. Not by me, of course; I just recreated an existing drink – The Boulevardier. This cocktail is like a bourbon Negroni, substituting bourbon for gin, and mixing equal measures bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth. It’s rich, warming and packs a hell of a boozy wallop.
1 ounce bourbon
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce sweet vermouth
Stir all ingredients with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange or lemon peel.
The 1:1:1 ratio works just fine, but I preferred the drink with a bit more bourbon bite, so I upped the whiskey to 1.5 ounces. Four Roses bourbon worked nicely, as did Bulleit (and even rye), so feel free to experiment as your tastes dictate.