“I know you wanna leave me, but I refuse to let you go...Ain't too proud to beg, sweet darling please don't leave me” SUMMER! The end of summer is always bittersweet. Leaving the beach and scorching temperatures behind and transitioning into the beautiful orange and gold scenery and colder weather. Hallelujah! I love the last weeks of an Indian Summer it's the perfect time to plan an end to the summer outdoor dinner party, movie night or cocktail soirée with your family or friends! With the slight nip in the air, let's take advantage and make a perfect boozy backyard porch sipper!
The first thing that came to my mind for a perfect porch sipping cocktail was a bourbon old fashioned. Something you can sip on slowly and both women and men will enjoy! One of my favorite things to do is take a classic and elevate the flavors. Working in an Italian restaurant, I continuously get inspired by Italy, it's produce and many different regions. Calabria, located in southern Italy the “toe” of the boot, is an agriculture mecca and is home to the rare Bergamot orange. Which as you may know is the main flavor in Earl Grey tea. Eureka! I have it! Let's infuse the Bergamot tea with the bourbon and then make an old fashioned variation out of it!
- 1 white sugar cube
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 dashes Peychaud bitters
- 2 oz. Aged Bergamot tea infused Buffalo Trace Bourbon whiskey
- Meletti Anisette rinse
First, the day before your get together steep your Aged Bergamot tea in the Buffalo Trace and let sit overnight, then toss the tea bag the next day. 1 cup bourbon to 1 tea bag (I use Numi Aged Bergamot tea). Take your mixing glass and drop in one white sugar cube and then soak it with both bitters listed, two dashes of each. Press the sugar cube down with a muddler or end of a spoon that has a flat surface and make a paste. Then add your infused bergamot Buffalo Trace. Before adding ice, I like to stir and dissolve the sugar into the bourbon. Then add a few small cubes and stir for 10-15 seconds. (You don't want to fully dilute the drink cause you are serving on ice, so it will dilute more as it sits.) Get your chilled double old fashioned glass and spray inside or rinse the glass with a little Meletti Anisette. When your cocktail gets to the right dilution, use your julep strainer and pour out over fresh ice (I used a ice sphere) in a double old fashioned glass. Peel part of an orange and express the peel over the drink and rim the glass with it, then discard. Garnish with a half orange moon and mint sprig. Cheers!
A little background on my preferred spirits and inclusions:
Angostura bitters: Most commonly used bitters at the bar. (I am obsessed!) Recipe developed as a medicinal tonic by German surgeon general, Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert in 1824. Distilled in Trinidad and still made from the same 1824 recipe. Flavor notes clove, gentian root, cinnamon, and tamarind.
Peychaud bitters: See my post on The Enchanted Tiki.
Meletti Anisette: Silvio Meletti began making his anisette in the mid 1800's and is one of Italy's oldest liqueurs. The Adriatic coast east of Rome produces the best anise seed Meletti found out, he really took his craft very seriously. He personally handled all of his business from production to sales, cultivation, and even advertisement. Aged in stainless steel tanks for 4-6 months, then filtered using wool! He even was awarded the coat of arms in 1879 by King Umberto.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey: Founded in 1869 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The Buffalo Trace company was renamed over the years but they still have been making the same bourbon for over 140 years! Deep amber in color with elegant aromas of buttery caramel, and toasted nuts. With flavors of candied fruits, vanilla, oak and brown spices.