Iron Mixologist winner Ryan Cleveland of the Ore House, Durango rounds up three of his favorite whiskey cocktails for spring.
This cocktail dates back to the 1920's and was named after the frequenters of speakeasies and general naysayers of the Prohibition act. The only alteration to the traditional recipe is that instead of rye whiskey I substituted Earl Grey infused bourbon. I keep a bottle of this around at all times. It is fantastic for an Old Fashioned or even on the rocks. Durango has close ties to Peach Street Distillers so we have been big fans of this bourbon for a long time. I personally love it for this cocktail due to the slightly higher proof and that it holds up well to the Earl Grey infusion!
2 oz. Earl Grey Infused Colorado Straight Bourbon (Peach Street Distillers)
1 oz. Carpano Dry Vermouth
.75 oz Fresh lemon juice
.75 oz Real pomegranate grenadine
Method | Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Fine strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Recipe: Earl Grey Bourbon
Take 1/4 Cup of loose leaf earl grey tea and add to 1 bottle of Peach Street Distillers Colorado Straight Bourbon. Let sit at room temperature for 25 minutes. Strain the Bourbon through a cheesecloth and store for future use.
Recipe: Real Pomegranate Grenadine -
16 oz Pomegranate juice
16 oz Sugar in the Raw
1/4 Cup pomegranate molasses
1 tsp Orange flower water
Combine sugar and pomegranate juice in a saucepan and stir on low heat until sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved let the mixture cool down and add the remainder of the ingredients. Store in a sealed jar and keep refrigerated.
2. Meunier's Vieux Carré
This next drink is essentially a white Vieux Carré. A traditional Vieux Carré consists of Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Cognac or Brandy, Benedictine and Bitters. It is one of my favorite wintertime cocktails. Substituting bianco vermouth and Singai (Bolivian white brandy) make this an incredible light springtime whiskey drink. I also substitute Leopold Bros. Three Pins Apline Herbal Liqueur for Benedictine. The Leopold Bros. American Small Batch Whiskey is perfect for this drink due to its mellow aging and lighter style. Most other whiskies will overpower this drink. One of my long time coworkers is not a huge fan of whiskey and even she is in love with this drink so I had to name this Vieux Carré riff after her!
1 oz. Leopold Bros. American Small Batch Whiskey
1 oz. Singani 63
1 oz. Contratto Bianco Vermouth
1 Barspoon Leopold Bros. Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur
Method | Stir ingredients together in a mixing glass for roughly 40 seconds. Strain Over a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon and a brandied cherry.
3. You Me & Génépi
I opted for Laws Whiskey House Scale Straight Rye whiskey which has an incredibly rich flavor and is 100 proof which is great for mixing drinks. It is a slight riff on a Whiskey Sour and I added Golden Moon Distillery Ex Gratia Génépi. It's a very herbaceous liqueur that brings a really bright refreshing quality to the drink.
1.5 oz. Laws Secale Straight Rye Whiskey
.75 oz. Golden Moon Ex Gratia Génépi
.75 oz. Fresh lemon juice
.5 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz. Egg white
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice vigorously for at least one minute to create a froth. Then add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with two dashes of bitters on the foam. Be creative and make a design using a toothpick.
Now grab those shakers and get to it! And be sure to tag West of 105 and Ore House when you post your tasty creations on social media.
Photos: Chris Wiman of Mountain Motion Media / Ore House Durango
Read the rest of this article in our spring, 2019 issue here